Thursday, November 12, 2009

the south

and look forward to ireland we did. all the way to the security check point we waited excitedly, anticipating the joys and greenery of ireland. once we were told, though, that our tickets were for the day prior, we were not feeling such singular emotions anymore. they fragmented into disbelief, anger, hunger, anger and a feeling at a loss as to what to do with this big blank week in our schedule (Melissa, however, was not angry, so much as sad and disappointed in herself. Because, it was, after all, her fault- flight number 21 on the 20th was written into our calendar on the 21st. A simple simpleton's mistake.). we found our way back to london and set up camp at leo's house. our week in not-ireland lead us to more museums, skateparks and new streets and neighborhoods to explore. finally it lead us to the south. the direct south, to brighton. london by the sea. like a santa cruz/long beach mash up, if both those places had little pebbles instead of sand and if those places were a few hundred years older with beautiful narrow streets that you could wander about in and get lost. brighton is like a big couch, its been said, and we agree. once we sat down, it was hard to get up and get back to london. our time there, though, was like sitting on a big couch in an overwhelming cloud of smoke. morning noon and night, sitting on a big couch in a big smoke cloud. our hosts were responsible for that cloud, but they were also responsible for showing us amazing hospitality; whether it be folding dozens of paper cranes in a pub that slung amazing...AMAZING thai food, eating poached eggs from their kitchen (or....toast, for melissa), watching a growly stompy blues guitarist in a sweaty cramped pub, whilst sipping stawberry beers (strawbeery goodness! like a smoothie, with a kick!), or enjoying the sunlight and warmth on those pebbly beaches, they were quite the crew of kind and welcoming and interesting souls. at the paper crane making gala, i noticed a flyer for a show the next night. after reckless consideration, we decided we could in fact foot the bill for the show, if it hadnt sold out yet. upon arrival the next night, though, we had second thoughts about footing that bill and decided to just sit outside the venue and listen, watching the sea. it so happened that there was an opening in the drapery near the stage, so we watched and heard tinariwen for free. here is the south, in pictures.

but first, a slice of life from the week of non-ireland.

on the ride home, feeling stoooopid

saw where friedrich lived

and found the museum of everything!

(i had to poach these photos. couldnt help it)

nek chand

alexandre lobanov

augustin lesage!!!

and leo by the part time residence of a certain lady

and then there was....


mists fell fast and heavy.

tinariwen through one of our peep holes.

(ranulph) gettin weird

impact pebbles

hove huts


Monday, November 9, 2009


again, finding our way through victoria station to board a bus elsewhere. this time to cambridge. the traffic getting anywhere in london (or out of london) is immense and patience testing. once we breached the outer wall of this dense population, it was smooth driving all the way into the heart of the lush and incredibly old confines of cambridge. the ever refreshing and inspiringly kind, becca and darren (melissa's friends from way back, mine from not so way back)found their way to us, on a non-descript edge of christ's pieces (yes, a park named christ's pieces). from there, becca and darren led us about the quiet, ancient and bicycle friendly streets of their new home away from home. we visited a church turned cafe, a church that has remained such for the past thousand years, many many pubs (darren has a mission to visit them all, he even keeps a journal of the pub and the experience/quality thereof), the river cam (punting! so beautiful about the backs of cambridge. darren was a natural, the rest of us not so much. it was incredibly stressful not going in any one direction for very long, being turned about by the other boats ramming into us, etc). also, we attended a service by the king's choir and it was absolutely stunning. even though its the most tourist laden church service of cambridge, and even though people talked through the service, an overwhelming sense of awe, stillness and reverence resounded in our hearts and minds long afterward. incredible town and people to be surrounded by, for an all too short amount of time. with clown themed eateries, the orchard and watching every episode of trapped in a closet behind us, we returned to christ's pieces and were back to the south of london in no time (well, a lot of time. the traffic never seems to let up), looking forward to ireland, a few days later.

punting challenged

clowns (eeeek)

the orchard!

also. beckett-ish guitar playing on the streets of cambridge. beautiful acoustics, somehow.

and mr. cave has a new novel. and is looking dashing...

Friday, November 6, 2009

remember remember

guy fawkes plotting to blow up the houses of parliament and all the protestant aristocracy therein. remember guy fawkes filling the space underneath the house of lords with barrel after barrel of gunpowder, seething with hatred for james the first. remember guy's stash of 36 barrels of gunpowder being discovered just hours before they were to explode and guy being subsequently tortured excessively (hung, gutted, quartered, etc) for his plot almost carried out. remember children burning effigies of guy since then. finally, remember the 5th of november (because it was only two days ago and it is much easier to remember it than the rest of the things we have to congure up for the catch-up blog (yet promised but not delivered), which are slowly being sifted out of our long term memory...falling through the cracks), melissa and i close to the very tip of cornwall, the most westerly point of britiain, meeting up with newly befriended couchsurfing host rob, who offered to take us to "somewhere close where we can get a cup of tea." this place turns out to be a 450 year old home, thatch roof and all, where a friend of rob's family has been living for quite some time now. tea, indeed, but also we heard myriad stories of these new friends (the ones living in the centuries old establishment) and their past jobs (which included work for the bbc, as well as other documentarian filmic enterprises (yes, i am making up words to properly express excitement over these lovely middle aged hippie wunderkinds)including filming surgeries (which did include stories of filming knuckle and colon reconstruction) and nature and so on) many parenthesis back there, sorry... from tea and stories we retired to the garden to watch an elegant fireworks display to celebrate our guy being killed. happy fifth of novemebr, it is now the 7th and london is brilliantly (and surprisingly) sunny. time to get out of the blogosphere, be back soon...

Guns of Brixton