Monday, 14 April 2014

A London marathon

There’s nothing like going to London and overdoing it. On Friday night I put my second Off The Hook party on at Vogue Fabrics. It was a busier affair than my first party there, and a whole different crowd too I think, but just as much into the music, if not more so. Song of the night was ‘Overdose’ by Ciara. Very apt… I can not / will not leave that tune alone right now. I aim to move RnB away from ‘guilty pleasure’ to just ‘pleasure’ with this party. So many brilliant songs to play. I had a great guest DJ this time around in the shape of Mr Sina Sparrow who runs a terrific Bethnal Green party called Debbie. I’ve been a fan of Sina’s illustrations for ages. It was lovely to meet him in real life at last (and now I’m off to see him for coffee in Chorlton..!). You should check out his work here.

Saturday morning never happened. Instead we drag ourselves out of bed third thing in the afternoon to face a gorgeous sunny Clerkenwell day and take restoratives at Workshop Café. I recommend this place endlessly. Gorgeous coffee / staff and a beautiful living wall in the back. Try the corn fritters and whatever’s on the aeropress, it never fails. Next comes a chance meet-up with dear Anna at the Coach and Horses in Soho and her lovely friend Derek who is currently living in a converted school near Hyde Park and paying a pittance for it. I just adore London stories like this, the lucky devil. I Facebook a photograph of us from inside the pub and my friend of twenty-something-years Andrew, a West-end Wendy, currently working on what he refers to as ‘The Irish play’ (The Commitments, ha-ha!) only goes and recognises the pub from my photograph and nips out of the theatre to come and find me and say hello. Pints of Hopspur and a five quid (!!!!) cake in the patisserie next door then it’s back to Dalston for Long Island Iced Teas and Korean food and onto to Debbie at the amazing Resistance Gallery where I immediately run into a succession of friendly Manchester faces. By this point Oisín and I have all but lost our speaking voices. We manage an hour of dancing before we have to call it a night. It’s a great party and you should get it on your list, stat.

Sunday is another glorious day so we head to Potters Field Park for a street food festival with live music, both of which turn out to be great. Venezuelan wraps and South London rap and actual warm sunshine beating down on us. Oisín runs into a friendly face from his Limerick days thus proving that London is in fact a village of 200 people as suspected. From where we are we can hear the London Marathon runners passing over Tower Bridge and the crowd cheering them on. We head over to the bridge to give our support and it’s so unexpectedly moving that the pair of us have a little spontaneous cry. We see the oldest runner in the race pass by, followed by a wheelchair user, powering away with his incredible shoulders, and a guy dressed as a tiger, and we’re off again blubbing. I am re-inspired to do my own modest bit for charity, and if you’d like to help me raise funds for the Neo-natal Unit at St Mary’s, you can do so here! We walk down the north side of Thames, which I’ve never done before, occasionally crossing paths with the runners, the cheers and whistles floating in and out of our ears with the breeze off the Thames. London is truly magic on days like this. We meet up with Ted who takes us to the rooftop of ONE NEW CHANGE which is a grim glass shopping mall but the rooftop allows you to look eye to eye with St Paul’s and is breathtaking. I am singing ‘Feed The Birds’ of course and getting teary-eyed. We sink a rum and coke in the sun and it’s time to head home to Manchester. We don’t want to leave of course, but we are back in just a few days for this, so hurrah! See you soon London…

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