On Friday night I went to the housewarming party for Alletta and Ryan who are friends of my friend Lucy. I hadn’t met them in person before then but we’d exchanged emails after Lucy emailed us both saying we all live in London so should be friends! I had a really nice time (apart from burning my finger on some haloumi cheese but what do I expect for doing something as silly as picking it up directly off the barbecue?!).
On Saturday we had lunch with old friends of mine from my student union days (Dave McElrea and Matt Carter) and their partners and another couple from Australia. It was really nice. We met up in Islington and had a late lunch at a French cafe and then a few drinks in a pub.
After that we met up with Helen in Kensington and walked up Exhibition Road where there was supposed to be a heap of stuff for the London Architecture Festival and a music festival, but I think we had missed everthing for the day – the street was still closed off but everything was being packed up! We went up to Kensington Gardens for a concert to do with the Serpentine Gallery, near the Albert memorial. (I had only seen the Albert Memorial from a distance before and it is so ostentatious up close!). We could also see the Royal Albert Hall across the road, which is rather nice looking from the outside.
The Albert Memorial
Helen and Paul at the Albert Memorial.
We didn’t hang around too long. We walked up through Kensington Gardens and Hyde park to Oxford Circus, got a bus to Piccadilly Circus, and then had dinner in China town. We left Helen wandering around Soho!
On Sunday we went to the We Make, London craft fair to see Di and I bought one of her bags, and it is really gorgeous! I also bought some very cute hair bands that have buttons attached with pictures of cats on them.
The fair was in Covent Garden so after leaving there we walked down to Somerset House on the Strand to check out their exhibition Skin and Bones: Parallel Practices in Fashion and Architecture. It was quite interesting. There was a lot of interesting clothing and models and pictures of interesting buildings. Also, Paul had heard that there was heaps of over-sized furniture in the Somerset House courtyard and we’d been imagining really huge couches and things but it wasn’t really ‘over-sized’, just ‘slightly larger than normal and made of wood’. It was ok. We had lunch on the terrace overlooking the Thames afterwards which was nice even though there was a lot of traffic noise from Embankment below.
Paul at Somerset House
Furniture in the Somerset House courtyard for the London Festival of Architecture.
After the craft fair and fashion exhibition, I’m feeling really keen to learn to sew again. Time to get out the sewing machine and give it another go.
We looked at buying some New York City guidebooks as we’re planning on going there for a week some time this year but we didn’t buy any – we decided we could get them cheaper from Amazon.
Paul told me about a card game that is played by someone he works with – it’s called Magic: The Gathering – that he was interested in and I thought it sounded interesting so I encouraged him to buy some cards so we could play (unlike Paul, I’ve never played Dungeons and Dragons or any kind of Role Playing Game or any games like this). So we bought some cards in town on Sunday, then when we got home Sunday evening we watched videos on Youtube explaining how to play the game. Paul ended up staying up late playing the game against the computer in a program he downloaded that teaches you how to play. I might have a go of the computer program too and then when I know how to play we could actually play using the cards we bought. This is all so new to me! I am looking forward to geeking it up!
On Tuesday night I am attending a lecture by French feminist philosopher Luce Irigaray at the ICA with Paul, Helen and Jess. I’ve bought two of her books recently but have found them quite hard to read. Damn French theorists! Well, maybe I should say, damn academic theorists, especially those I’m reading in translation! Helen told me about a feminist theory reading group she has heard about in London so I’m going to try and join – I’m feeling really keen to do some kind of post-grad study in gender studies/feminism/whiteness studies but I just don’t know what. I am trying to read more on it and I have thought of trying to join some university libraries so I can read academic journals to get an idea of what’s being published/studied at the moment. I recently bought a book called Colonize This:Young Women of Color on Today’s Feminism which arrived from Amazon on Saturday. I’m really looking forward to reading it, especially as a lot of middle-class white feminists are often occused of being completely unaware of race and class differences between different women so I’m trying to make a concerted effort to read feminist stuff by women who aren’t white (I’ve also been aware that a lot of the books I read are written by white people).