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Last Week, Sunday 16 February 2020

Yup, Still Kansas, Just Has More People

Looks like I’m slightly ahead, I’m wrapping up last week only a day late. Surely this augurs great things… Maybe. By my standards, last week was a veritable social whirlwind. No wonder I now wish to hide in the dark! I have a somewhat quieter week ahead, featuring lots of work to be done and if I’m lucky a couple of Lego-ing slots. 

Evening Drinking

Is the evening the best time to drink? I’m never sure. I kinda like daytime drinking when I’m on holiday, but I’ll confess it mostly leads to dozing off in the early evening and arguably not being the best use of time… But that’s what they would argue, and screw those guys, right? Either way, I’ve done a bit of it this week.

I finally managed to catch up with some of my dearest friends from the sixteen years I spent working in Probation before it went to galactic level shit, courtesy of our government’s ideological obsession with privatisation. I finally abandoned ship some four years ago (to find a wildly pleasing new life in publishing), and as usual, I’ve not retained a huge number of friends out of the many people I saw and interacted with daily for so many years. I absolutely suck at keeping hold of folks, which makes me rather sad at times. And then I forget, until I remember again. It’s a cycle… Anyway, due to the remaining aftereffects of storm Ciara and the nightmare that is Nottingham traffic management, only three of us successfully reunited. I’m not sure why it’s mostly my former line managers that I ended up being closest to, but I’m very glad to have done. I get that lovely feeling I do with my cousins when I see them, of snapping effortlessly back into our relationships, just as we had last time we met. It might be one of my favourite sensations in the whole world. If someone’s created a fiendish term to capture it already, I’d be glad to know. I guess there’s something of nostalgia, and muscle memory all bundled in there. Nice to catch up on various gossip / the sheer hell Probation has inevitably declined into, and its further forthcoming catastrophes. A splendid evening out!

I’ve become a fan of Brews of the World in Burton on Trent. Originally they were just a terrifyingly well-stocked bottle shop, and have gradually pivoted into being a fine micropub with ten taps. I tried most of them this week, and was particularly taken with this Star Trek themed beer (presumably in honour of the new series on Prime). Very tasty! 

We mostly skipped Valentines Day this year, save for a trip to the cinema and chicken gorging on Sunday afternoon… though I do now have some exquisite sparkly nail varnish and cute stuff!

Watching: Sex Education season two

If you haven’t started on Netflix’s Sex Education, you really should. Set in a rather nice secondary school (filmed in Wales I believe), featuring a gaggle of horny teenagers learning about sex and relationships, aided by Asa Butterfield and his sex and relationships counsellor mum, Gillian Anderson. The script is impossibly well-written and the performances are pitch perfect all round. This season begins with absolutely cripplingly embarrassing scenes of Asa’s character Otis getting hooked on wanking… It’s hard to make this sound classy, but it actually is. Particularly deserving of attention are Emma Mackey’s Maeve (part time collaborator in Otis’s under-the-table sex ed business) whose very difficult family situation really shines this season. I like them all, though I’m most intrigued by how they found so many characterful and hideous garments for much of the cast to wear. Well played all.

Watching: Parasite

A singularly odd film which has happily scooped up a tonne of awards, Oscars included. Written and directed by Bong Joon Ho, who made the magnificently strange The Host and the future hell of Snowpiercer come to life, and filled with fantastic character actors, including Song Kang-ho who was in both of those aforementioned films. I’d been tipped off about this one months ago by some mates who saw it at festivals and I was thrilled it won awards that ensured a longer run at Cineworld…  Essentially, it’s the tale of a down-on-their-heels family who inveigle their way into the home of an upper class family in a really nice house, by getting their existing staff fired and placing themselves in line… I wouldn’t want to spoil it for anyone, but it turns out they’re not the only “parasites” on the family, though ultimately I imagine you could argue that it’s the wealthy who are parasitic on the rest. Slow, funny, and very, very dark toward the end – I really enjoyed Parasite, though I confess to being slightly perplexed about why it’s being so lauded. I guess if you’ve somehow never seen a non-English movie it’s particularly striking. Watch it!

Doing: Brick by Brick exhibition at Harley Gallery

On Saturday we met up with some dear friends who we spend too little time with (we blame it on their kids, they blame our appalling laziness – let’s call it a draw) to visit the Brick by Brick LEGO exhibition at the Harley Gallery in Worksop. As at previous LEGO shows there, the Harley Gallery spills the exhibits over a couple of floors, giving the magnificent builds room to breathe, and supplying plenty of table space for folks to build their own models (we all did!) A particular highlight is the work of Canadian-Ghanaian artist, Ekow Nimako, who I’d seen popping up on various brick blogs with lovely work, but his entirely black figurines and sculptures inspired by are simply extraordinary in the flesh (plastic). I took a bunch of photographs which all suck because of the highly reflective bricks, but I urge you to check out his website There are many other very satisfying and clever builds too, and various LEGO sculptures made out of glass, merged with paintings, large-scale near-interactive pieces, and I finally got to see some of Jason Freeney‘s superb anatomical LEGO sculptures. Art aside, it was a really lovely day out with friends – cheers Silvers!

Here’s a short video on Ekow, featuring a couple of the sculptures at the Harley Gallery. The exhibition is there till the end of April, so get it together! Brick by Brick at the Harley Gallery


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