Thought I’d pop in a nice T Rex reference in the title for you, just so you can get it stuck in your head all day long. It’s also appropriate, because of what I got up to on Monday. It’s been an obscenely busy week, and I’ve been from Guildford to Sussex to Leamington Spa to Sussex to London to Sussex….Sleeping in my own bed has become a luxury of the highest order this week! It’s been an extremely exciting week – though very, very tiring – and I thought I’d share it with all of you. It’s been insanely busy but I’m finally free today, to bake cakes and loll around, and to read the beautiful copy of ‘Style Me Vintage’ that the charming Naomi Thompson sent me!
Mr B, the Gentleman Rhymer If you’re not acquainted with Mr B, then I seriously suggest you sort yo’ life out. Mr B aims to bring old fashioned values (ish) and elan to the art of hip hop, forging a new musical form called ‘chap hop’. While he may often sample rap in his ‘recitals’, as he calls them, he’ll usually perform in a three piece suit, and his moustache is always in tip top condish. India and I sort of found him by accident at Latitude last year. It was a rainy Thursday night in July (yeah, THANKS, England), and we actually just perched ourselves in the poetry tent to shelter from the rain. Little did we know that we were about to embark on one of the finest musical experiences of our lives.
We were lucky enough to see the chap at the Boileroom in Guildford on Monday, and we weren’t disappointed. We also managed to push ourselves through to the very front, so there was nothing between us and Mr B apart from a pair of tweed trousers and a microphone. We also saw an incredible group perform called ‘UkeJam’. I suggest you look them up if you like ukuleles, and jamming. I hope you like jamming too. I also recommend you Youtube Mr B, because he has a magical power whereby he makes everything right with the world. Try it. If you’re having an appalling day, Mr B will make it vanish. If you get a chance to see him live, you’ll find yourself feeling all warm inside. That’s the sensation of your cockles being thoroughly warmed. Enjoy!
After lunch in Guildford on Tuesday, then a race home to finish a job application and do some writing, I had something completely different to do. On Wednesday I had a bit of a journey to go for a networking event. I’m not going to go into detail or even mention any names, but let’s just say, it really wasn’t for me. I have rather specific taste, and…well, this wasn’t to it. If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all. So with that in mind, on to Thursday!
Fortnum & Mason’s Diamond Jubilee Tea Salon My editor Rachel at LadyMPresents.co.uk received an invitation to go to the launch of the Diamond Jubilee Tea Salon at Fortnum’s. I’ve been madly in love with the place since I was small and my parentals took me there, and as Rach was unable to go (she’s a strong contender for ‘busiest woman in the world’) she asked if I’d like to take her place. Would I?! Stepping over the threshold into a haven of true Englishness was a wonderful feeling. We were greeting not only by the fantastic PR team, but also by a chap playing a grand piano. I can’t quite put into words the glorious feeling of well-being that settled on me the longer I stayed in the tea salon, but I’ll just say that it made me phenomenally happy to know that things like this still exist.
I’m writing the event up in full for Lady M Presents, so won’t go into all the details here, but I’ll just say that despite the full blown, cockle-warming Englishness of the occasion, it also fulfilled my Marie Antoinette fantasies. If you’ve seen Sofia Coppola’s film, you might remember the abundance of cakes and cocktail saucers. It was like that. Endless champagne being poured, tea-based cocktails, and cakes EVERYWHERE. Sumptuous macaroons, phenomenal cherry and almond cakes, a reinterpretation of a peach melba…I almost cried. And they just kept coming. Waiters were moving constantly across the room, bearing plates of food. In the cold, hard times of this double dip recession (although surely we’ve passed double dip and we’re now the equivalent of some grossly unhygienic party guest who’s thrusting their carrot stick into the hummus repeatedly?) this was the perfect remedy. Check LadyMPresents.co.uk later in the week for my full write up.
Sundance After Fortnum’s, we dashed along to the O2 to see a film as part of the inaugural London incarnation of the Sundance festival. We had tickets to a film called ‘Liberal Arts’, directed by and starring an actor called Josh Radnor. I’d never heard of him, but I was reliably informed by my companion that he was in a TV show called ‘How I Met Your Mother’, which is, I believe, the methadone to the heroin of Friends. That aside, the film was absolutely incredible, and well worth seeing when it’s released in cinemas in the Autumn. It’s ostensibly about a 35 year old man who falls in love with a 19 year old student called Zibby, played by the magnificent Elizabeth Olsen. I unashamedly love the entire Olsen family, so I was happy about this.
The love story element is quite reminiscent of Lost in Translation, but it’s extremely well played and cleverly done. 35 year old Jesse (Radnor) doesn’t seem to just be in love with Zibby, but with youth itself, that he now feels is something he lacks. It’s a fascinating portrayal of getting older, and yet not being Old. Jesse in turn is young in the eyes of his old professors. If you’ve had an arts education like me, please see this film. It turns over ideas about how the arts can slightly mess with your mind a little bit, and seal you too much inside your own head, or your own romantic ideas about life. There’s so much I could say about the film, but I’ll try and keep it short. The performances were masterful, including a wonderful and surprising turn from Zac Efron, of all people. The soundtrack is also beautiful, containing lots of classical music, and the setting for the film is the verdant campus of Kenyon University in Ohio.
In terms of themes, it really resonated with me. Not just the arts education, which I’ve had a double whammy of with my English and Drama degree, but I also found I identified with both Zibby and Jesse in different ways. There was a comment on how young people talk in constant hyperbole – ‘this is the best song EVER!’, which is something I do an awful lot. Even though I’m a long way off 35, I’ve been struggling with the idea of getting older lately, although I’m not sure why. In the Q&A at the end, Radnor said some interesting things: ‘There’s an arrogance to youth. You don’t understand that time is happening. Then suddenly, you’re not the youngest person in the room’. But ultimately, the film was about acceptance of getting older, or being at a different stage in your life, saying ‘what gifts are here for me?’ I can’t recommend the film enough, and I’ll definitely be seeing it again.
So, that was Monday til Thursday of my week…another post coming soon just to finish things off, but I’m SO HAPPY to be at home this Sunday, and looking forward to chilling and baking!