I took the train to London. Ooh – I never knew there were so many people in the world and that most of them would be in Leicester Squash. Yes, yes I know it should be Square. Apparently they are improving London ready for the GAMES. What games do you say? Yes, the Olympics. I must confess to feeling that it’s actually a lot of fit young folk running about and playing games. Tribal warfare with feral mobs of grasping lawyers has already broken out over the ownership of the Olympic stadium after the event. Anyway, they are pimping up Leicester Squash. Entering or leaving from the Charing Cross Road means battling with thousands of one’s comrades through a small gap created by building site mesh barriers. Any faller would be trampled. Last night a rampant gang of spidermen dress-alikes surged and jumped through the shuffling throng. A comatose young female in Father Christmas garb was dragged along by merry reindeer mates. Ho hum – I’m getting old and longing for Charentes-Maritime. My business plan in this world of austerity is for the inflatable Olympics. The same stadia and palaces of pugilism could be traipsed around the globe and inflated in the winning city like a travelling fair or circus. And we could have all manner of be-knighted bigwigs blabbering about drug scandals in the bouncy castle event. OR – we could have the games permanently in some unlikely place that needs a cash generating theme park like….um…. GREECE.
I went to London in full bourgeois pursuit of ART. There is a fabulous exhibition of paintings by Degas at the Royal Academy of Art in Piccadilly. It focuses on his paintings of dancers and takes in that period when the whole notion of motion was a lotion flotion in the air. Photograph, film and the science of movement were combining to fix and define the relationship between Action and Time. Ooh – when I try, I can sound right posh don’t you think?
I feel a bit mean for writing about Degas because he guarded his privacy very seriously. He thought the worst possible fate to befall a man was to be written about by writers. Well, that’s all right then – I don’t think I count. Regular readers will know that I once had a temp job in the ART world and developed a taste for the old brush strokes. Some exhibitions can be promoted with lofty themes and in reality have a cobbled up content. Not so this one! It is the biz with a buzz.
There is a modern term used in comedy these days of “projectile vomiting”. I had always dismissed it as hyperbole although laughed to see it in” Little Britain”clips. Last night Gilles and I dined at a famous Chinese restaurant in Wardour Street Soho named “Wong Kei” (Affectionately known as Wonkies). This restaurant is known as being good value but with staff at best brusque, but probably often just rude. The food is kinda slammed down in front of you and plates are snatched away before you have finished. Last night Gilles was left in mid munch when his plate of hors d’oeuvres was grabbed from the table. To a Frenchman this kind of thing is incredible. In seconds the next course was slam dunked in front of us. As I began the Chicken in black bean sauce young man of about 8 years old stopped alongside my table. He turned his green face towards our table and clutched his hand to his face as he convulsed in pre vomit apoplexy. Suddenly he let go. A stream of hot pre-owned sweet and sour pork noodles splattered into my rice and onto my arm. Gilles, who had not been impressed so far, shrugged and asked cynically if this was the cabaret. The child appeared happier and stood smiling in front of me. Waiters arrived throwing green tea and bleach on the floor. The child wandered back to his oblivious family who were occupied with a second screeching child who was throwing some kind of tantrum and charging around the salon. Still green, the lad resumed his meal. I was delighted. I hate to see food wasted.
The sting of bleach in my eyes and the splash of vomit had cooled my appetite. We paid and left. You know, this is the land of plenty. Sometimes it is just too much.
Emma thinx: When you think you’ve had enough, you’ve already had too much.
Far From The Crowding Mads