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Trains, Flames and Mangetouts

It’s kind of like a diary. Just the kind that you keep 6 months later.

One weekend in June, our now departed Queen, was celebrated for staying alive for a very long time.

The city filled with flags and people, and Sameer and I did our best to fill our free holidays with as many things as possible.

Obviously, the Main Event was that Sameer won some tickets for us to actually go and See The Queen (with an addendum here being that the main event of that main event, was probably either seeing Jeremy Irons dressed in an outfit that I’m going to call ‘colonial picnic’, or the fact that I managed to smuggle out a meringue the size of my head).

But the Jubilee Weekend also had lots of other highlights.

On Friday evening, we went to see 2001: A Space Odyssey, with a live musical track by the Philharmonia Orchestra and London Voices at the Southbank Centre.

The music of that film is pretty well known to be spectacular, and all up the evening was a success. Some points deducted for the fact that the crowded hall was very very warm. Maybe they wanted the trippy nature of the film to match up with us actually having heat-stress-related visions. Maybe London just doesn’t know how to deal with heat.

On Saturday, we did some strolls to observe the ‘Kingdomness’ of the city (flags flags everywhere!), and then went for a lunchtime screening of The Glass Menagerie.

Neither of us had seen it or knew the plot (I tend to not read much about plays before I go to see them), but we knew the name, and knew that this one had Amy Adams in it.

I quite enjoyed the play, which didn’t get incredibly brilliant reviews. It was also interesting to me that Sameer and I came out with quite different readings and sympathies to the characters. While Sameer found the brother less sympathetic (feeling he should spend more time and money helping his family rather than being in the pub/movies), I was pretty strongly against the sister (feeling she needed a bit of a shove).

Overall, my favourite things was that Menagerie is one of those words that just doesn’t stick in Sameer’s mind (see also, Cotton Castle) so we ended up fumbling around ‘the Glass Megenuheudeow‘, and eventually settled on ‘The Glass Mangetout’.

That evening, one of us tactically changed her outfit (looser waistline), and we headed to the Walthamstow Pumphouse Museum.

We didn’t get much time in the way of museum things, mostly because we were actually going there for the most hipster of all adventures: to eat a meal inside a decommissioned tube carriage.

The ‘Supperclub‘ had a Latin American theme, and started with a bit of backstory about the chef herself and why she’d chosen the various dishes.

And then the food began:

The starter was the Bolivian Jak’alawa, a four-corn soup (sweet, white, yellow and chulpe corn (toasted to form cancha), which came in a tiny tiny jug.

Next up was Empanada de Pino, and after that was Aguachile (chile water), a kind of ceviche from Mexico. Aji de gallina came next as the main- and in my opinion least exciting of the dishes. It came with a yellow chilli sauce that was quite good, but overall it wasn’t super stunning. Predessert was a tiny passionfruit icecream breast, and the dessert was a columbian style coconut pie with coconut, lime and mint icecream.

All up, the food was nice, and the atmosphere was kooky, but I think I would have liked a bit more story throughout the whole meal.

Sunday was the Jubilee itself, and then Monday we took a small break from doing things, before our final ‘theatre of the week’.

Kiln theatre’s ‘Girl on an Altar’ follows the story of Clytemnestra coming to terms with the brutal slaying of her daughter by husband Agamemnon, as a sacrifice to the gods for the sake of the Trojan war.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, it was intense.

Which was one of the most impressive things for me- the actors were very very skilled, and able to keep a high level of power and emotion throughout, without everything just feeling screamy.

The way it was played out was also incredibly skilled, with the dialogue switching quite seamlessly from conversation to a kind of ‘internal thought/stage direction’ and back, and actors blending from scene to scene with simple movements and changes.

This is one that I think I’d go back and see if it came out again in a couple of years.

And then, the next day, we headed out to Paris.

First week of June, 2022

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