Sunday, September 10, 2006

Sojourn in Oxford Street, London

In London for a few days, getting ready for a workshop at the Jenner Institute for animal health. Took time out to enjoy a few days rest.

Charlotte Church, who used to be an angelic little girl singer, has turned into a hot totty with her own late night chat show on channel 5. In one segment she managed to get the words “shag”, “twat”, “fuck” and “tits” into a paragraph. Not quite the girl who sang Palestrina.

An afternoon with the National Ballet of Cuba dancing Don Quixote. I used to think one went to the ballet to see the girls. While the girls of Cuba are very attractive, the men are stunning – brilliant, energetic, focused dancers. My friend Jean Grand Metre (Artistic Director, Alberta Ballet) recently worked with them to choreograph their next works…bet he had fun. Last night of the proms – now has matching concerts in Swansea, Hyde Park, Edinburg, Ireland and its become quite something. A good musical day.

Sitting on a bench in Oxford street outside Debenhams (where I was once mentor to the CEO and the Board coach), I saw eleven pairs of women’s knickers (mainly thongy things) stroll by, seven women wearing stocking of various kinds that showed because their skirts were too short, two women whose breast were not exactly technically exposed but might as well been. I heard dozen expletives being shouted into cell phones – mainly at builders who didn’t arrive to fix shower doors or a broken kitchen cabinet or a leaking toilet. I saw two kids being hit very hard by their mothers and one women hit her bloke with such a thump that he was on the pavement. All this in less than twenty minutes.

Tate Modern for the Kadinsky exhibition – he didn’t start painting until he was in his mid 30’s (was a law Professor before). Moved from representational art to abstract and produced some stunning work. The exhibition shows his transitions to his final leadership of the abstract movement in Paris between the two great wars (being in exile from Russia). Well worth the entry fee.

Now resting in the hotel (which is very sensible place all round – and, by English standards, not bad from a cost point of view). Watching good old British television.

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