Monday 27 August 2012

Shaken and Stirred!

It's been very quiet at Contrary Towers. Now that we have a lovely set of candles on the balcony, carefully measured and sourced from the local market, the weather has rather contrarily decided to go off colour in the evening. Honestly. It's rather annoying when you want to sit outside, gossiping and watching the Cotall Street mafia go about its business.

Last week involved us working hard and plotting a few things. I had decided on a weekend of study. Which is why I found myself heading off to the Barbican 007 exhibition with a friend on Friday night. It was impossible not to, the website said:
Whether you like your drink shaken or stirred, you can enjoy a selection of Bond-style cocktails at the Martini Bar and experience the 007 lifestyle for real.
That clinched the deal. We got there in time for a drink before hand and as quips fell thick and fast the Vesper did interesting things to my co-ordination. Wobbling into the Curve, I was delighted by the Bond memorabilia; costumes, gold bars, gadgets, designs and story boards. Seeing the films all in one place showed how each Bond film was defined by its era. 

The exhibition appears to take over the entire Barbican complex, with 2 other rooms being filled with Bond baddies and a mock up of the Die Another Day ice palace. In that last snowy room I particularly loved seeing the cello case that Timothy Dalton and Maryam D'Abo used to escape in The Living Daylights. After that it was off to the bar for another classic vodka martini. Lightweight, fun and fashion-filled frivolity.

Saturday was a bit of a slow start; I blame the pizza from the night before. To shake out the cobwebs and disregarding the ferocious looking weather forecast, I got on a boris bike and headed to Academicland. I spent precisely 10 mins in the library before deciding coffee with another friend was a good idea. Now the weather was being rather beautiful; light was being scattered by jewel like raindrops through the Russell Square trees, non-threatening and ... oh. Coming down in buckets. All pretense was dropped so we stayed there until it suddenly stopped and odd shaped clouds bloomed above Bloomsbury.

We toddled off to the Southbank because I needed mead. And then as if the weather gods were mildly unhappy that we'd taken their threats so lightly earlier on, they really went for it. The food stalls at the back of the Festival Hall were suddenly inundated with water; awnings bulged and torrents flowed down the street. Thunder and lightning sent people scurrying for cover. If you were lucky you scarpered with Moroccan fancies in your hand and munched whilst the gods put on a show. It was brilliant. 

After no let up for half an hour, we became a little bored and cold. So sensing a slight lull I grabbed my bottle of mead and we headed for the underground. After a brief excursion to North Greenwich to see if the cable car was running ... er no ... we got on a boat and headed back to Contrary Towers. To warm up, we opened the mead and proceeded to talk about art which is always heating! We discussed a rather interesting sound installation which is currently on at the ICA and I made plans to see it - because looking at stuff is sort of like studying, only not reading and writing.

As it happens, I was blown away by it and I will be doing something a little more academic with Bruce Nauman's Days. I bought a book and everything. This student discount thingy is brilliant. I wonder if the local furniture/bookcase shop does discounts?

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