weekend cowgirls

I first met this chick at a party where we were by far the two tallest people in the saloon, and we eyed each other over the ten-gallon hats. I got a giggle drawing her this morning as Hayley Heartbreaker. I suppose I’m playing the role here of sheriff, trying to keep her from breaking too many comic men’s hearts all at once, but never really succeeding (’cause that would be boring, and then there wouldn’t be any more episodes). Go cowgirls, go!

Okay, back to the more straightforward weekend account:
Friday: I went to the party of Hayley Campbell, who works at London’s fab Gosh! Comics, for the birthday of her flatmate, Holly, who makes hats, works for the women’s support U-Turn Project and went to the same university as me.

My great discovery of the evening (other than Holly’s cupcakes) was illustrator Barnaby Richards. He’s done loads of illustrations for The Observer and has some lovely work on his website. Plus, he’s a great guy, I’m hoping to run into him more often. (Here he is, on the left, with my studio mate Ellen, Danielle and Stephen.)

So here’s the Bryn Mawr posse. We all went to the same all-women university and really loved it.

Alex loved it so much that she had the first part of its signature Greek chant tatooed up her arm. (Anassa kata kalo kale). And Holly was quick to point out that their lounge gnome carries a Bryn Mawr style lantern. The whole Bryn Mawr thing is a bit like joining a cult, there’s lots of strange night-time ceremonies involving dressing up in black robes and singing Greek songs while carrying lanterns, the improbable but perfectly functional Honor Code, running around in white dresses with large wooden hoops, falling backwards into fountains and sneaking into hidden lofts and bizarre underground, half caved-in tunnels.

Saturday: Before Stuart and I did our shopping in Deptford Market, I had to show him the wonder that is Panda Panda cafe and its bubble tea.

On the way back from the market, I took a whole bunch of photos of my neighbourhood. They’re not particularly brilliant photos, but at least they give you an idea of the place where I live.

Amersham Arms pub mural by Gemma Correll

Here’s our post office, and the square where the drunks hang out on weekdays.

In the evening, we went to The Dog and Bell, our absolute favourite old geezer pub, to watch the US-England World Cup match. It was surprisingly uncrowded when we went in so we even got to sit at a table, but lively enough to have a great time with the people there.

Two nearby pubs had the crowds we were glad we’d managed to avoid. They can be downright scary, those other pubs. (And Christopher Marlowe got stabbed in one of them, so you should watch out.)

Sunday: In the early afternoon we went to the National Theatre to see The White Guard, a Russian play by Bulgakov. We liked parts of it: the sets and the set changings were fabulous, and there’s a great scene when all the leaders are telling the people in the field to keep fighting while making their hasty escapes to Germany. There’s also a very believable scene where all the guys in the house get completely wasted on vodka and the poor half-drunk female host has to keep them individually at bay while they act like idiots.

Then we walked a few hundred feet down the river to the annual Celebrating Sanctuary music festival. Here’s Radio 3 Late Junction DJ Max Reinhardt (aka Dave), who put together the music lineup, with his partner Sue Eves. (You may know her picture book The Quiet Woman and the Noisy Dog.) Every once in awhile, Max Reinhardt gives me a little bit of education in world music, and this festival was no exception. (He’s imaxreinhardt on Twitter and Sue is sueeves.) Max/Dave is the guy in the hat.

We were just in time to catch two remarkable performances, the first a combination of musicians from Bulgaria, Ireland, Czech Republic and England called Transglobal Underground’s UNITE. I loved the way the female singers mixed Bulgarian folk style into the very different instrumental music. And then we got to hear Ivory Coast singer Dobet Gnahoré and immediately bought her CD. But I’m just listening to the CD now, and it doesn’t have quite the force of energy of her stage presence. (But still pretty amazing.) You can find out lots about world music and listen to CD compilations through Songlines magazine; follow Sebastian Merrick, kazuum on Twitter.

Oh yeah, and I drank a very juicy coconut and there were twin Elvises dancing, except I couldn’t catch both of them in the camera at once.

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