Love the view from Ashland station

I’ll get my coat

Love the view from Ashland station
Love the view from Ashland station
Randi in Garfield Park Conservatory
Randi in Garfield Park Conservatory

I really love coat weather. A few nights ago, John from work hosted a “casual pizza and beer between colleagues” gathering at his house – it’s been way too long since I last went to one of those – and I persuaded my co-worker Snow to travel there with me via a classic Dom walking/Red Line/more walking route rather than just jumping in a car. And of course I kept apologising because it was slower and colder and I’m bad at directions (we got there eventually) but really I was delighted to be prompted to go home and dig a coat out of the cupboard again.

This afternoon, Randi and I had some time to kill before Doctor Who, so it was coats-on to visit Garfield Park Conservatory (which is lovely and free!) and, look, I don’t know a better way of putting it than that life is just better in a coat. It doesn’t have to be freezing, just brisk enough that you can walk with purpose. And you get more pockets, too.

Oh, yes, Sundays are Doctor Who Sundays now. I really have missed it, and I absolutely love settling down on a Sunday night (a departure from tradition but it really suits) with Randi, Amanda, Joe and Julie to watch it. At the same time I love how fresh this series feels, how everything is being built anew. It looks different, it sounds different. Jodie is great but when I think of “the Doctor” I don’t think of her… yet, and oddly that is exactly what is so reassuringly familiar from regenerations past. It takes time. It takes work. I just checked my blog from 2014 when Capaldi started and discovered I watched it from Malaysia. That feels like a lifetime ago.

I am less emotionally invested in The Great British Bake Off but I am enjoying that too, especially last week when Villy dropped in on Chicago and joined us for an episode. I also saw Crazy Rich Asians in the cinema with Randi and Amanda, which was surprisingly fun and prompted hilariously genuine gasps from the audience at all the right moments of rom-com drama.

Finally, on Friday night I saw a 2nd Story performance in a pub. The concept is four “ordinary people” getting up and telling their personal stories, from the comic to the heartbreaking, but the event is carefully crafted beforehand through workshops and rehearsals so that each speaker delivers an impressive and moving piece of rhetoric on the night itself. It’s really interesting, because I think we have come to associate “authentic” and “real people” with spontaneous, unpolished, off-the-cuff emotion. I appreciated the opposite approach, where the stories which are worth listening to are also worth the work to craft. In particular, I’m glad I heard more from Randi’s colleague Lydia, the final storyteller on Friday night and who has a story worth hearing. 

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