|Busy having too much fun
||[May. 6th, 2013|10:35 pm]
Or maybe just too busy having much fun, but either way, there are posts which aren't going to be written. So, in the spirit of Dylan's Hard Rain, the last week in one concentrated, incoherent list:
The Bears and I spent Sunday morning wandering around Durham; and in the evening we all went to see the fabulous New Rope String Band playing a village hall on the edge of Tyneside, and laughed ourselves silly, and GirlBear made friends with a theremin.
The Bears went home on Monday. On Tuesday durham_rambler and I had one of those days that are a triumph of organisation, where you can't quite believe how much you've managed to fit in: like a supersaturated solution, where one more crystal would make the whole thing crystalise out, yet it somehow remains - just - liquid. It began reasonably enough: I wanted to go to my reading group in Newcastle, we had tickets for the Sage, so durham_rambler made a date with Gail to do some maintenance on her computer. Then we realised that this was the last day of the Society of Antiquaries Bicentennial exhibition at the Great North Museum, and that if we went into town early enough, we could catch it. Finally, we had a late call from a friend (and former client): she was coming to Durham to do a bookshop event, would we join her for lunch? and we were delighted to say yes, and have a whole day of good things.
The Antiquaries' exhibition displayed some of the objects they have accumulated over 200 years, including a large number of Roman inscriptions (their president, Lindsay Allason-Jones, says "Of course, the Times New Roman face was developed from inscriptions in our collection," but backs off and says probably when you ask for sources - too good not to mention, though). But also maps and small pipes and jewellery and pottery and coins and books of music and an eighteenth century account of a woman who had been taken on as cook by a ship's captain and was claiming her pay from the ship's owners (they said women weren't crew, and she said she'd done her share on deck with all the others - and won her case, too).
The Folk degree students' concert at the Sage was pleasant enough, but until the last act we were thinking that was all it was. The final duo were stunning though - and since the publicity doesn't list the performers, I have no idea who they were. I wonder if this is deliberate? There's sometimes a handout of the running order on the night.
On Thursday, more music: By Toutatis playing the Polite Room at the Gala Studio. We knew nothing about them, except that they had a very good name, but enjoyed them. If I had to describe them I'd come up with something about the New Romantics meet Bellowhead... There seems to be quite a bit of their stuff on YouTube: they had a drummer when we saw them, who doesn't seem to be on this video, though it's a bit dark, so the sound's not identical...
On Saturday we packed the first picnic of the year (in May! Has it really been such a long winter, or are we getting soft?) and went to Cragside. It's a long drive, but a beautiful one, through Northumberland, and a fine day for walking through the grounds. Lord Armstrong used the house to demonstrate the brilliance of his engineering to potential clients, so it was, for example, the first house in the world to be lit by hydroelectricity, and there's a trail through the grounds which highlights this - not a long walk, but with plenty of energetic up and down hill.
This is Douglas, who lives in the pinetum. It's too early for the rhododendrons for which Cragside is famous, but the formal gardens were ablaze with tulips.
And I might have written about some of this last night, but we seemed to have too much curry for two, so we invited J. to come to dinner and help us out...