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La Roux at the O2 / racking the wine

It's been a bit of a bitty weekend although highlights included my car actually starting (after last week's battery shenanigans), Harlequin kitten deciding that lap is the place to be (considering the state of the outside world) (cold wet and miserable) and playing Ice Floe over at zengineer's (fun, though I stuffed up and left an explorer on an iceberg surrounded by polar bears and with nothing in her rucksack), and all day breakfast in the evening at Beetroot cafe on Cowley Road, which and offered a really good build-your-own breakfast, which lead me to a very tasty combo of bacon, egg, mushrooms, spinach, and halloumi. Toast included.

Saturday main event: La Roux at the O2

I'd been a bit nervous about seeing La Roux in case she didn't live up live to the promise of unearthly, freakish glamour she projects while standing in the middle of videos or stuffing up interviews. I need not have worried. Bowie bags, a huge wave of improbably immobile hair and a voice that sounds like it should be introduced by David Attenborough ("you may not think at first that this is a human singing"). She sang from a net of lasers, strapped on a guitar and rocked out on the monitors, and took a brief break to look at a picture of a La Roux lookalike contest one of her fans had brought to show her. The crowd were lovely. The band were lovely. Even the drummer who looked like Michael Portillo in his heyday, if Michael Portillo had been a drummer in an electro band, was lovely. I would also like to draw attention to the keyboard's hat. Her playing was (oh everyone on stage was) exquisite, of course, and the songs all had new live arrangements which were wonderful, and I could even buy a La Roux paper doll to take home, but you just have to keep on coming back to a hat like that:

La Roux La Roux
La Roux la roux standee

Also noble mention to Meanwhile, who started off with a nice slice of louche electro with some classy vocal acrobatics. The bassist was swigging a bottle of wine onstage but vocals was having none of it. And an all-ages gig, so home in time to curl up with the cat in front of Agents of SHEILD. Win.

Sunday main event: racking the wine

Doing this as a one man job is fiddly, though in the usual way I'd just about got the knack of turning the tap with one free thumb by the time I was done. I was a bit slow to get the wine off the gross lees, so we might have a problem, but the flavour is still holding. The colour looks a touch darker, but I think it'll still clean out to Barbie pink.

racked wine gross lees
top-up-juice blossom/autumn leaves

The Kilner jar was not a great success as a fermenting vessel, and nor was the little sloe gin bottle. The jar was too wide and flat, leaving the wine too in contact with the lees, and the bottle was reasonable proportions but too small for the Turkey baster to pull out the last centimetre of wine from the lees (in the end I used a drinking straw) (fairly ineffectively). What I really needed, I realised, was another Jura bottle. Because that's just right for holding the top-up wine (needed because the demijohn loses volume with each racking), and the bottle's wide enough for the baster. Alas, the one in the cupboard is still really quite full.

That last shot is something to look out for this autumn; some trees are re-blossoming even as their leaves are changing colour and falling. Look out for that, it's unusual, but this year the conditions have been just right.