Saturday, April 08, 2006

all work and no blog...

Apologies for the long silence. It’s good to be back.

While I’ve not been blogging, I have been:

1. Listening: to Sophie Solomon’s new album Poison Sweet Madeira. Fabulous. I saw her recently at the Barbican. You can read about it here. But before you do, I have a confession to make. YKW (“you know who” is becoming too tedious to spell out in full) read the post and thought that I’d over-egged my cultural credentials somewhat. He has a point (he’s always right…) since I didn’t admit that we only actually stayed for the first half of the concert. Well, Sophie played before the interval, and the second half was all a bit too Radio 3 for my liking. So we bought a cornetto and went home.

2. Watching: ”Live and Become”. Quite possibly the worst film I have seen in the past five years. It’s a French-Israeli film set during the 1984 Ethiopian famine, about a Christian boy whose mother realises that his only hope of survival is to go to Israel on the Operation Moses mission. So the boy goes to Israel and pretends to be Jewish and is eventually adopted by a French family. So far so good. However, the film then proceeds to cover pretty much every cliché you can think of. For two and a half very long hours. Intergration, bullying, adoption, racism, secularism v orthodoxy, prostitution, military conscription, etc etc. And the ending (where the boy is reunited with his mother twenty years later in a Sudanese refugee camp) is so twee that it would have been rejected from a trashy airport novel for being too contrived. However, the evening was not without its highlights. As the film began the woman sitting behind me was talking (in Hebrew, naturally) on her mobile phone. In the middle of the cinema. I thought she’d stop once the credits had finished but she carried right on. So after five minutes I turned round and, quite loudly, said “Say hi from us”. People around me clapped. And people around them no doubt wondered what was going on. But the woman turned her phone off and shut up.

3. Playing: poker. I have never played before and I have to admit to a (probably prudish) hatred of gambling. But YKW is quite keen and it’s still early days so I have to show willing. The ‘buy in’ was £10 and I went home with £9.40. So my first proper gambling experience only cost me 60p. (Actually, it cost me £35.60 once I’d paid the babysitter and bought a bottle of wine for the host. But you know what I mean). The trick, apparently, is to work out the best possible hand on the table and then measure your chances of winning based on how your cards compare with that. But I couldn’t quite get my head round the various options. In the end they all blended in to one royal flush straight. I think I’ll leave poker to the experts and stick to playing top trumps with Scrappino.

4. Celebrating: the civil partnership ceremony of A and Y. I’d not been to a civil partnership of men before. I’ve been to one for two girls which was exactly like a ‘regular’ wedding, only with two brides, so I had to pretend to like two dresses rather than just one. But there were no dresses at all this time. In fact, this made it quite difficult to make small talk to guests I didn’t know, as the obligatory “Doesn’t she look fantastic” wasn’t an option. It was a very low-key affair. Just 8 guests, including grooms. A champagne toast before we went in, a 20 minute ceremony, and then lunch at a restaurant round the corner from the town hall. (I had the pigeon. It’s a lot like chicken). It may not have been a conventional do, but I still had to hold back the tears. Just goes to show that you don’t need 300 guests, the Kinloss Banqueting Suite or Danny Shine in order to tie the knot. You just need a lot of love and someone to share it with. And A and Y clearly have that. So Mazal Tov to them both. (And in case you are about to become the Nth person to ask me, no, they didn’t both break a glass.)