Tuesday, March 23, 2010


What a weekend! I had great fun in Birmingham, which is a place I love - with my usual contrary nature: most people have a terrible and unfair opinion of what has got to be Britain's only truly multi-cultural city. (Yes, more than London.)

Went down on Friday, to meet with James and to hear a performance of Stockhausen's Carré, a spatial piece for four orchestras and choirs which was performed in the incredible venue of the Methodist Central Halls (AKA "Q-Club"), a crumbling Victorian brick methodist church, very wrecked and very beautiful. The music was excellent and the other pieces on the programme were Allegri's Miserere, Tallis' Spem in Alium and Berio's Laborintus II. The Berio piece is one with which I am familiar from recordings: this was a proper performance, complete with actors, dancers and video projections which made it particularly exciting.

Laborintus II - 2

Methodist Central Hall

Carré 1

On Saturday, I spent the day with Sophie, being highly cultured and visiting the Bridget Riley retrospective and the Staffordshire Hoard - delighted to hear that it will now be staying in the Midlands and will not be going to London - wandering round the art gallery and museum and going to the Rag Market, which is a brilliant kind of market where you can buy anything from buttons to tweed jackets. Bought an old waxed cotton trench coat which smells funny, though I didn't notice that until it was hanging up in the hotel room...

(The hotel was SO noisy, the Ibis hotel in Chinatown. Directly above some nightclubs. The place was clean and efficient, polite and friendly, but even after moving to three different rooms, the noise of the clubs below was unbearable. Not helped by the cheap Liverpudlian hoor who hammered on my door at 5am in a drunken stupor and who just shrieked and ran away when I growled at her!)

Met up with James in the evening and went for dinner and a drink but as he was working at 7am on Sunday, it was an early night.

Sunday was all about taking photographs - on Flickr now - and then home to worry about the degree validation (see previous post).

Not much to report today. I have washed the coat and have re-waxed part of it and it smells much better!