I started last week with a couple of evenings in, hanging out with our new flatmate, N came over on the Tuesday too. I was at the shelters on Wednesday and then a few of us went to see Hapgood at the Hampstead Theatre on Thursday evening: it's a Cold War era Stoppard, one that didn't do so well when it came out, although it seemed pretty much up to his usual calibre, exploring our capacity for duality via both spying and physics in typically wordy fashion.
On Friday N and I poked around the Kings Cross end of the London Lumiere light festival: it was pretty crowded, despite the cold, and I enjoyed the experience of lots of people out and about on the streets of London, sharing something, probably more than the installations themselves, some of which we couldn't really get near, and we warmed up with a curry rather than head into town to catch the rest. After another Stoke Newington brunch the next morning, I met up with D (who was briefly over from Switzerland) on the South Bank and it was lovely to catch up, even if he's having a bit of a tough time. I popped home for a couple of hours before heading out to Egham for our Angels game, then back in and up to Stamford Hill for FNB M's birthday at his fabulously hostel-style house there. It was definitely a young person's party, of the kind I rarely get the opportunity to go to these days, with giant cardboard structures, friendly strangers and hallway DJs, who were still going when I bowed out at 4.30 in the morning, traipsing back across a London being gently dusted with snow.
It mostly didn't seem to settle but when M and I went for a tramp around the Heath the following afternoon, there were some scattered clumps of white stuff, which had been dragged together to make a couple of very sorry looking snowmen here and there. We'd invited some people over for a Sunday roast in the evening but it turned out to be just the three of us plus N, which was their loss as it was definitely one of our better efforts.
I had Monday off to head up to Oxford to help out at the Iris 'Festival of Lost Cities' at the Classics Centre there, which largely involved trying to cut up food as quickly as the ravening hordes of school children were devouring it whilst dressed as a Roman soldier. I didn't make it to any of the talks this time (Bettany Hughes and Martha Kearney were among the dignitaries) but it all seemed to go really well.
Last night I was at the Fiddlers' Elbow, a gloriously scuzzy Camden gig-pub I hadn't encountered before, to see N make his muscial debut at Zero Wave an Experimental Music night our friend B runs. N was performing as a guest artist with B's duo Far Rainbow: his modular synths adding to their percussion and looped sounds for a single 20ish minute piece with a very urban feel, underscored by some quite sinister industrial sounds. It was definitely an emotional journey. Also on the bill were a Classical experimental collective, who had one piece I really liked, based on the Tube Map, which changed with each performance depending on which lines they took. The big draw was Peter Zinovieff who played four recent compositions through his laptop. We rather guiltily snuck out before the last act and bundled back to Tottenham with N's housemates in my first Uber.