The sauna’s on fire!

Or a week in the life of someone who looks like they have one, however briefly.

Saturday 4 November – a UK bloggers’ meet-up. My first ever. I had already met a limited number of the people there and spoke only to them. With the exceptions of Robin (whom I read regularly) and Clare (whom I didn’t). Truth to be told I spent as much time as possible with Bernard who is the most delightful, adorable, sociable, interested and engaging young man.

Monday 6 November – on the guest list and off to the Groucho, as already related. At length.

Wednesday 8 November – met, finally, a blogger who although physically somewhat diminished was entirely wonderful, clever, funny, and someone I’m so happy to know offline as well as on. It’s difficult not to say something trite about him. So instead read his own, extremely untrite, words linked to above. In the evening I went to the LSE and listened to Alain de Botton‘s talk based on his new book, then recorded an interview with him (which may or may not appear on the web at some point). Snap review? oh ok then… although I admire his ability to bring complex ideas to an audience which might not otherwise be exposed to them (a populariser in the best sense of the word) he’s bitten off more than he can chew with the phenomenology of architecture and to concentrate only on the facade at the expense of space and all other aspects of architecture is… facile. And it’s totally eurocentric.

Friday 10 November – A delicious evening with C at Octave which was hosting Anita Wardell on this the opening night of the London Jazz Festival.

Anita Wardell

We ate a selection of animals carefully carved and introduced to culinary procedures for varying lengths of time (my venison was very rare). The music was excellent although this was the most up-tempo and altogether joyous scat-filled version of the jazz staple Willow Weep for Me I’ve ever heard. And the drummer of the quartet looked disturbingly like one of my disturbing and long-ago ex-boyfriends.

Saturday 11 November – More jazz. Given the choice by H of Norwegian or Cameroonian jazz I was decidedly in favour of the latter. During my recent brief sojourn to Norway I had been given a triple CD of the country’s jazz highlights as selected by the Ministry of Tourism and, having listened to all of it, felt it had filled my quota for the year. Besides I’m very fond of Manu Dibango (have I ever mentioned drinking champagne with him on my birthday, outside under the brilliant stars and velvet sky of the southern hemisphere?) Unfortunately Richard Bona was already sold out so we went, somewhat hesitantly, to the Finnish experimental contemporary big band instead. It was absolutely brilliant.

Umo Jazz Orchestra

About 20 men in not-quite-matching black suits mostly looking like bank clerks making a sublime sound of great complexity. The imaginative and catchy title of this post is actually that of the UMO Jazz Orchestra‘s latest record, or in Finnish Sauna palaa! The album’s tracks are all inspired by Finland’s national writer Aleksis Kivi – read the background and listen to a couple of the track here.

I’ve spent today recovering with a little light housework interspersed with the crossword. Given that my life consists of childcare, animal husbandry and work it’s unlikely that I shall experience such a social whirl for at least another year. Which is probably a good thing since, unaccustomed as I am to leaving the house, I was poleaxed by the price of everything and will have to allow my wallet at least that long to recover.

6 Replies to “The sauna’s on fire!”

  1. I have only just read this entry. Thank you for your lovely words. It was absolutely terrific to meet you and to finally put a face and a person to the words I’ve been reading for so long. Hope to see you again soon.

  2. Rachel, I didnt know you were going to be at Andre’s blogmeet on Nov.4 so I’m even more sorry that I missed it. I was intending to be there but something came up that I couldn’t change so I’m reduced to reading comments about it, enviously.

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