Monday, 3 April 2017

March 2017 Review

I finished the month with the Spring Cold. In the middle of these colds, I wonder if I will ever be well again. Will I be able to walk more than twenty yards without getting breathless? Will I be able to focus enough to do any work, even from home? Will I ever have an uninterrupted night's sleep again, and will that sleep ever be free of fever-driven obsessive imagery and stories? Intellectually I know it will all be over in a few days, that doesn't help me get through it now. I'm used to being clear-headed and physically on form, unlike the rest of you, who have hangovers, mysterious aches, low days caused by eating curries after too much lager, and dodgy sleep from having a row with your partner, or from the kids teething. None of that happens to me, so when anything breaks my serene routine, it's Literally. The. Worst.

I got in a training session in on the last Saturday of the month, and that was it.

I saw Personal Shopper at the Curzon Mayfair, and John Wick 2 at my local Cineworld. I went through half of Angel S4 at a clip, and then stopped. I will carry on, but I wasn’t in the mood.

I read James Salter’s The Hunters, Somerset Maugham’s The Merry-Go-Round, Wells Towers’ Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned, David Szalay’s London and The South-East, and Svetlana Alpers’ The Vexations of Art. I can commend the first three, but Szalay's novel left me feeling like I needed a shower. Alpers' book on Velasquez is in that style of art commentary which mixes interesting history with that weird art theory that finds great epistemological significance in the fact that the painter stands in front of the canvas to paint.

Sis and I had her birthday supper at Picture, because we like it there, and I had an early supper at the Argentinian restaurant in Richmond with another friend of Bill and Bob. Between my teeth and the winter, this is the first time I've been eating out socially. I stopped by Gulu Gulu for their unique take on sushi the Thursday before The Cold.

I went to a delightfully arcane City ceremony called a "Wardmoot" in the Parish Hall of St Botolph's Without Bishopsgate. It's where the candidates for the Council of the Ward of Bishopsgate are elected and confirmed in their position. People who work in the City get to vote for Councilmen as well as the very few residents in the Ward. Most of the people there were officials and candidates, including a Beadle who shouted Oyez Oyez Oyez and called on us to attend, shut up and listen. I thought one of the people wandering about in fancy gowns looked familiar, to the point where I thought "That's Baroness Scotland", and then when I got the Agenda, there it was. Patricia "The Overspender" Scotland is the Alderman for the Bishopsgate Ward. The ceremony was full of people saying admiring things about each other, as often happens at these ceremonial events. There are six councilmen, and had been IIRC nine or ten candidates in February. Then four dropped out and there was no need for anyone to vote for anyone. That's democracy for you. The next one is in four years' time, when I might not be working, so I'm glad I had that little glimpse of City ceremonial arcana.

And was I the only person to spot a distant but important resemblence between Sir Tim Barrow

and Sir Thomas Beaufort as portrayed by the mighty Brian Blessed in Kenneth Branagh’s Henry V?

(Sir Thomas is on the left)

 I know that Sir Tim was only delivering a letter to a guy he saw on a fairly regular basis, but though it looked like this when he handed it over

what was really going on was this

History. Lived through again.

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