Foot Pets and Theatre
Sunday morning has just ebbed into Sunday afternoon and I have a picture of a cat on my foot. Last night, as we were eating dinner before going out, Ben asked me a question.
"Um, what shoes are you going to wear tonight?"
It's not like he is usually disinterested in my sartorial choices, but I'll admit the query took me back.
"I... I don't know. Why?"
"Well, I was wondering whether you're going to wear open ones or closed ones?"
"It's just that I quite want to draw a cat on your foot with this permanent marker."
"Oh. Right. Well, I don't know what shoes I am going to wear, but I definitely want you to draw a cat on my foot. Make it good, though, because I was actually planning to wear 'open' shoes."
So, giggling like a sweet but possibly not intellectually over-burdened child, he began to draw.
"Those" he explained after a while "are the ears."
I wore boots.
I am having a cup of tea, and considering cleaning the flat. In a few hours Lowri will pull up on her bike (cue screeching tyres and burning rubber) and I will leap upon Glinda, and together we will go and get Fergus and go to a housewarming/babyshower. I am almost resigned to the fact that I will sit considering cleaning until the point when it's really too late to start anything now and I will shrug my shoulders and go and get ready. Later on Fergus and I are planning on going to a life-drawing class. I am hoping for an interesting naked person. Somebody with some good topography to test our pencils properly. Basically, I want a morass of a subject, preferably with an evil glint in their eye and weird hair. I will be very disappointed if we get there and there is someone average, or even worse, someone who clearly likes gyms and soya products. I might take a marker pen in case I have to make the subject more interesting by drawing cats on their feet.
On Friday night we went to see some street theatre in Castlefield, an area of Manchester underneath the railway arches where the canal threads through. It is all red brick and cavernous spaces: dark and brooding. Castlefield is an area that could be really interesting and weird were it not for all the identikit wannabe-fancy, not-a-hair-out-of-place bars that have slithered up there, all moody outdoor lighting and Dyson airblades. The sort of place where you slide off the shiny sofas whilst desperately trying not to spill a drop of your pint because it cost £4.10.
Anyway, that aside, the theatre was amazing. It was part of the xtrax Platform 4 festival, and, as usual with these things I didn't really know what it was or even where we were going, I just trailed behind Ben whining vaguely about food until something amazing happened. As The World Tipped was stunning. About 1,500 people sat on the steps and watched as actors came onto the stage dressed in office clothes, and... well this is what it says on the website:
"At the Secretariat of the Copenhagen Climate Change conference, harassed staff fail to notice as the world around them, literally and metaphorically, slides toward disaster. Suspended above the audience in the night sky, the performers struggle to control their increasingly precarious world as they do battle with the effects of drastic environmental catastrophe."
Which is all true. What the website doesn't point out is the whole OHMYGODWOWDIDYOUSEETHATNODON'TTALKTOMEIAMWATCHINGWOWOWOWOWOWOWOW of the whole thing. It was impressive, sure, but more than that it was so moving and poignant. I just loved it. I don't want to bang on about the details because I am not a theatre reviewer, but I will just say that I totally forgot about needing a wee for about an hour. It's that good.
Also: free. I don't know how many people would have been there even if they had had to pay, probably quite a few, but not as many. It was a really strong reminder of why arts subsidies are so very important.
We are going to Edinburgh tomorrow! To the festival, just for a couple of days. I plan on spending a millionsquillion pounds and getting a cold, which is usually what happens in Edinburgh at festival time. I strongly believe we can be there for just two days and come back as broken and penniless as if we had been there for the whole month.
(Brief interjection to say that the impatient buzzing coming from the window area and what I assumed to be a fly is, in fact, A WASP. My arch nemesis. (Please insert dramatic "dun dun DUN" music here.) I am going to have to go and get in a cupboard until one of us dies.)
I am looking forward to Edinburgh, the hectic, street-pounding existence of it all where time moves in strange ways and everyone is cocking joyously on about THEIR SHOW and how hungover they are all the time. It's fun and brilliant and deeply exhausting.
(Now I have noticed the wasp I am finding it very, very distracting. I might phone Ben and get him to come back from town where he is doing street theatre and tell him FUCK ART THERE IS A WASP and hope he comes back to rescue me. Even Foot Cat is beginning to look nervous.)
I have to stop droning on now. I have successfully wasted most of the time I should have been tidying up, so my mission has been accomplished. Well done, me. I am going to see exactly how permanent this marker actually is, because if Foot Cat doesn't come off I will be forced to draw a matching one on my other foot. Or maybe a Foot Dog and make them chase each other by doing some kind of dance.