The gods had other plans; Friday's quiet date mutated into a frantic hour of beer and therapy crammed inbetween an unhappy housemate and a dying pet, not exactly the laid-back, no-pressure companionable laze I'd had in mind. But it did free up the evening for a film, and I had been meaning to go see Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. The original terrified me, but this was lovely, beautiful, musical without being a musical, even though Depp's performance was off the other side of uneven, pinging wildly between a demented Michael Jackson caricature and a dandy Dr Who in a glam glass tardis. Afterwards, still early, jinty and her amazing lollipop lights made the perfect stop on the way home, for rice and noodles and beer and much talk and messing around with cameras.
The following morning I crawled grumpily through morning chores and cartoons like the bear with the big sore head. When Mark called to cancel brunch (ugh) I almost sobbed with gratitude. I was also down one camera, but a quick call tuned it up, still worshipping the lollipop lights. We picked it up, dragged Dan to the comic shop, lunch with comics and then the bookshop, where I find that "three people" have been in to see me, and not the usual ones.
Ah yes, I had forgot that Zak (applez, the grinningest man in the world) was in town this weekend, and that he would of course have plans and that these might involve me, for example, punting down the Cherwell while knocking back neat gin and absinthe cocktails.
But I'm getting ahead of myself.
It's a good day at the bookshop; a Sendak first, an early edition of Bevis, and (joy of joys!) Biggles and the Leopards of Zinn, fist edition, oh yeah. Shame about the condition, but, you know. Nice. Or would have been if bloody Jonathon hadn't turned up last thing and showered me with complicated boxes, here, you can sort this out. Urgh.
Didn't put me in the sweetest of moods for going over to Mark's for our deferred quiet night in, but as he and Seb were working on some new tracks when I got there, all I had to do was close my eyes and drift for a bit while the music twisted red corkscrews and smeared weird blacklit scrawls across various improbable planes, occasionally opening my eyes onto Seb's surreal blue-glazed eyes and knifey cheekbones or the tiny spider on the ceiling, frozen in place by the weight of sound.
We'd both missed The Mighty Boosh so far, but several spare hours and broadband put paid to that. Howard Moon is a god and the soup song (featured in this week's episode) may be the best song ever written. Mark disagrees, he prefers the Yeti Seduction song ("Listen to your heart") but he is wrong. It was possibly also wrong to follow this out by going to the Hi-Lo, assaulting Lee Smilex in the street, turning up at one party at the watching Glastonbury re-runs and bitching about Coldplay stage, and another at the "I can't even remember who I am any more" stage and then kissing Mark goodnight on Cricket Road, me who was always so against kissing, there in the street. But I'm a wrong'un, ask anyone.
Sunday, then, to the boathouse, via a short adventure with Tescos re-merchandising (plastic cups are now filed with cake decorations, not barbecues) and a suspiciously convenient taxi. We spill into two punts; Ian's headscarf and my skull shirt make us the pirate punt! Arrrr! Zak has silky San Franciscan gin; the ducks are fearless. We get wet and lose poles and eat strawberries and mix champagne and absinthe cocktails until the colour matches my hair, eventually settling on the name "Blue Fairy" for our favourite mix, when you drink it you say "I wish I was a real boy" instead of "cheers". Not bad entertainment for £2 each, although racing after damiancugley's superfast punting prowess has left me feeling a bit beaten round the back today.
After that we went to the Rose and Crown to meet more friends in their all-weather garden, and it seemed to make sense to stay. Eventually they moved us into the private room at the back, probably for the protection of the other patrons. When the time seemed right we staggered off to complete our revisit of the student lifestyle with a gig down the Purple Turtle, a Beard Museum acoustic night of xylophones, strings and bangy noise. Mark was playing, but didn't want to talk after so I drifted off and played local colour to a bunch of out-of-towners for a bit while everyone else gave up and went home.
I also pulled, which was nice; flattering, and it made me feel good that someone wanted to kiss me goodnight. I got into a cab with him, but hopped out again at the Plain, thereby cutting my
Woke up this morning at 7am not with that sublime post-bender relaxation but instead gripped by a strange and uneasy combination of moral and physical bad; for the first few minutes could see nothing but an alternating stream of strange screaming monsters and Louise Brookes heads. Guess it's true, what they say about absinthe. Who knew?
At some stage in the weekend I was accused (complimented?) of holding out hope to the younger generation (as opposed to being a terrible warning) -- but I think I'm also a warning.
Just in colourful wrapping.
Color Code is a full-color portrait of the English language.