It’s been a funny old week this week. August means that the usual glut of press launches, parties and art events slows down while everyone normal goes on holiday while the rest of us wander around London or stay at home fiddling about on our PCs or watching dire TV, another by-product of August. Perhaps we’re all so deflated as this time last year, London and the rest of Britain was on a high from the London Olympics & Paralympics. So much excitement, good humour and bonhomie with loads of flash parties to boot. Compare and contrast this week’s Twitter feed – post troll bomb threats and intimidations, backlash to #twittersilence and Richard Dawkins making a right ass of himself with the usual Twitterati piling in. August is a wicked month, huh?
The first part of the week I avoided celebratory pop-ups and launches largely as it meant crossing the whole of the city to get to their Brick Lane and other East London locations. I stayed at home and flicked channels. God, there’s a lot of bad TV on at the moment. And what is it with the infatuation of making Britain’s unemployed feel like a mass populace of scroungers with programmes such as Channel 4’s ‘Benefits Britain 1949’ and BBC1’s ‘Nick & Margaret; We All Pay Your Benefits’? Since when did people’s hardships make for entertainment and judgement? Makes me despise the producers who come up with such stereotyped tosh even more. And then there’s those, ‘Have you had a cough for more than 4 weeks, it’s probably nothing but could be lung cancer’ health ads. Cheer us all up why don’t you? Fully expecting new reality programmes like “Could Children Still Be a Viable British Workforce?” “We put volunteers up chimneys, down mines and on streets selling matchsticks to see if it would improve good behaviour and increase potential employment prospects.”
First foray out this week was to an evening with friends at The Gin Club. Gin’s quite big on the vintage scene. I’m not such a huge fan save for the odd martini or straight G&T. I’ve recovered from accidently o.d’ing on cheap gin at a couple of launches. My friend M and myself have vowed not to indulge. You can see for yourselves the amount of gin consumed by the faithful before heading over to The New Sheridan Club talk. And btw, it wasn’t me who had the beer. I succumbed to peer group pressure.
Thursday night meant heading into W1 again. Its pleasant at the moment as its hot in the evenings without being over sultry & humid. Teams of people are on the streets again in old familiar Soho. Swishing by Dean Street Townhouse on my way to The Whoresley Show at The Outsiders Gallery (an exhibition of the late Sebastian Horsley’s work), I locked eyes with a young handsome sitting with a group of friends. It was only after that 3 second realisation that ‘the handsome’ was none other than Eddie Redmayne. I’d just done that, ‘oh-I-know-him, no-I-don’t-really’ thing that you do when you see someone familiar and mistake fame for friendly recognition. Oops.
The show showed Sebastian’s Crucifix paintings and his famous ‘This Is Not A Brothel’ signage. Knowing him, I’d think he’d have hated the girls parading around in stovepipe hats. I heard that lots of old Soho and ex Colony Room faces turned up much later.
I had Groucho Club to get to and on a Thursday night. Thursday nights are always great at The Grouch. It’s been an age since I’d last been there and the new girls on reception didn’t know me from Adam. So, I waited patiently and politely for A, the Producer to turn up so I could go through the haloed doors into the bar. So many people then started walking in that I knew and saying hello to me while I was plonked on the couch in reception, including Bernie the Maître D’, that he ushered me in to the bar telling the girls on reception that he knew me, would personally vouch for me and that I was one of the old Soho regulars. I felt quite at home for the first time in a long while. I ran into more Soho regulars, ex Colony members and broadcaster Robert Elms who (after saying hello and settling down) pretended to read the same article in a paper diligently while listening in to A’s and my steamy conversation. I swear I caught him sniggering.
It’s nearly the weekend. As these generally seem to be my recovery periods, I expect there will be little to report. But who knows? Someone somewhere may have a week-end plan that includes moi.
PS. Yes, that is me as a 5 year old. The shape of things to come, eh?