October 2018, London
I am wary that this blog, Ijo Pona, is turning in to a ‘look what I had for tea’ blog — but, I need to talk about Potatoes. London-shaped Potatoes. Me and Mrs Backhouse paid a visit to the capital and spent a long w/e down there. It was fun. The excuse for the visit was that an artist on my label, Chris P. was putting on a gig at S. Augustine’s Church, Kilburn and I was not going to miss it for all the bass-bins in Nottinghill.
It was a bit more ‘Speedcore’ than ’Spandau” on the way there as we missed our train after getting stuck in traffic. But, the Lovelies at Leeds sorted us and we were only an hour late arriving at Kings Cross. We checked in to our Russel Square located room and set about exploring.
Lambs Conduit Lane is an amazing place to spy Men’s Clothing. We stocked up on Espresso and Swedish Cake and made off to the theatre to bask in its Neon Wholesomeness — it was reet mint! I at the best Italian Food I have ever had — Spaghetti Carbonara and a lemonade to wash it down with. Homeward bound for a night of great sleep.
Can’t fault the accommodation — very central, but with that comes central noise. Thankfully we both had earphones and had a good nights sleep. We went to the V&A the next day. Caught the tube to South Kensington and walked past the Natural History Museum. We had missed the show for the Wildlife Photographer of the year as it started Monday and we were coming home that day.
The Frida Kahlo exhibit at the V&A had sold out — I was not sure people would be booking museum tickets at such a rate but the Photography room was working and we visited that in the first month of being open. That was amazing. There was a massive cross-section of photo history; everything from old daguerrotypes to modern digital art. It was reet mint!
Kathryn had a ball at the V&A — she loved seeing the Porcelain section. To me, it was just old crockery, but Kathryn quite likes the history behind the Staffordshire miniatures and seeing Ming-era Vases was a real eye-opener. Ming Dynasty China was hundreds of years ahead of us when it came to … well … china. We walked miles and saw the Norfolk Music Room — a room that was the interior of a Bloomsbury manor hose but said manor house had been gutted — the interior of the gutted mansion had been placed in the V&A to put on gigs — an amazing, windowless space that had excellent acoustics.
Then it was the night of the label’s gig.
The gig was by Chris Parmenidis at Saint Augustine’s Church in Kilburn, London — Chris met me at the gates of the church and we took our seat. I was shocked to see a good mate, Paul, turn up — we muttered away and then the gig started — it was how 8B5C3B++ should have sounded — an eight-speaker sound immersion. Whether it fell on deaf ears I do not know but I invited a member of The Wire to come and review it.
It was awesome and Chris received a standing ovation.
I hope he got as much from it as his audience did.
Me, Paul & Mrs Backhouse went out for a few beers afterwards — I was surprised to see most people I saw in London still smoked and did not use Vaporisers. The bar staff knew the policy on Smoking — and adhered to it — but they had to ask their boss if I could vape. Seemed a bit weird — but the weather was amazing that day and night so I did not mind standing around being given permission.
It really was balmy. I was walking around Kilburn and Kings cross in Jeans and T-Shirt at midnight in the middle of October. Storm Callum was battering Yorkshire and we had escaped the worst of it. I was perspiring!
Sunday was spent getting lost on the tube. It delayed us by an hour but the Tate Modern was open until 6 pm so we had time to make up for it. This is the plaque for my personal favourite installation in the gallery that day –
We heartily munched on Chinese food for the evening — my fortune cookie said “Family is a bit like Fudge — very sweet but sometimes with a few nuts”
We ate the fortune cookies on the train back up north.
The thing I got from London was that you did not have to go to exotic destinations to experience culture — sometimes it is only 3 hours away. I hope to go back down to the Smoke for a few more days next year. We are already looking at destinations elsewhere for our next break. We do not have an excuse. And, for once, my health permitted me to do what I love; spending time with Mrs Backhouse.