Taking spastic ballet a step further

This probably isn’t the best place for me to broadcast my artistic ideas, especially ones so embryonic, but I just have to jot this down somewhere to get the ball rolling. I was watching the culture show last night, about Matt Stone and Trey Parker’s new musical about The Book of Mormon, and it ocurred to me that someone should take an equally irreverential attitudde to disability. I know that people like Francesca Martinez are beginning to show the funny side of disability, as do programmes like The Last Leg, but to some extent they hold back. What if we got really dirty? I mean, obscene to the depths of South Park. What if I could somehow expand upon the ethos behind Spastic Ballet? I mean, there was an anarchic element to that: I love the fact that people thought that someone had dressed wo cripples up and forced them to dance; I love that mismatch between perception and reality. Surely there is dramatic and comic potential behind that. What I aim to do now, then, is start playing around with ideas, start generating characters, perhaps use some of the comments people leave on youtube to create scenarios. My aim isn’t to take the piss out of myself or lyn, but to take what we started with Spatic Ballet a step further and develop it into a full narrative.

Looking for the real Elisabeth Swllocks

I seem to think the oddest thoughts. Last night in bed, for instance, I began to seriously wonder whether anyone had ever been christened Elisabeth Swallocks. It’s odd, when you think about it, because Swallocks sounds as if it could be a genuine surname, so it’s not inconceivable that someone, somewhere, at some time in the past has genuinely been called Betty Swallocks. I even went so far as to google it this morning, but that just turned up a few joke pages and didn’t resolve the issue..

I also continue to think about the Olympics. Last year made quite an impression on me. This morning, in the bath, I was mulling over the fact that London probably won’t see a summer like that again for a long time. I don’t mean that pessimistically, but realistically: London has hosted the games three times, the only city to do so; the first time was in 1908, then forty years later in 1948, then sixty-four years after that in 2012. The mid-point between forty and sixty four is fifty-two, so we’ll probably next host them some time around 2064, and that’s if we’re lucky. After all, the general impression I get is that Paris is just as prominent a world city as London – it might even outrank it, given it’s beauty – and if it wins is 2024 bid it will have been a century since it last hosted the Olympics. Thus I doubt London will be an olympic city again in my lifetime, as, if a city as great as paris can be ignored by the ioc for a century, and given that London is the city it has selected the most, then it has to be fair on other cities and ignore London for a while.

That made me think, though:I never thought I’d live in a city while it hosted the olympics, and, as I wrote here, I felt it a privilege to have done so. In the moment of that thought I felt a tinge of sadness that I’d never experience it again. But then, I thought, maybe not in London; if the fates conspired to plant me here last year, who knows where I’ll find myself in the future. Who knows where Lyn and I will be in five or ten years. While we are very happy in London, I don’t think we can rule anything out. We both like new places, after all. Thus if it is possible for me to find myself living in London during a summer in which it hosted an event it hadn’t hosted in sixty years and probably won’t again for another fifty, then it seems to me that I cannot rule out finding myself and Lyn in, say, Paris when it hosts it’s third games, or new york when it hosts its first. Nor can I rule out finding myself at a myriad other splendid happenings!

What an experience that would be. Living with Lyn I know not to rule it out: she has an air about her, something which says everything is possible. Knowing her, I could again watch her play an Olympic ceremony; in New York that would be amazing. Whatever the future holds, then, I’m sure it will be bright. I look forward to many more glorious summers with lyn, In London, Paris, New York, or wherever fate takes us. Who knows – during one of them we might find someone really called Elisabeth Swallocks.

Happy birthday Luke

Today I just want to post my annal birthday blog for my brother Luke. We dont see much of eachothr these days: although we both live in London, the city is so vast that it kind of feels as if he lives in another country. The fact that he’s such a busy goit that I don’t know when to Skype him doesn’t help, nevertheless he will definitely be seining my spasticated mush on his computer screen later tonight. Happy birthday bro!

A very special evening

Last night saw our first proper night out in a while. By that I mean a night of music ad song – a bloggable night. Lyn and I went to a monthly event at a local tapas restaurant, Cataleya, organised by our friend and all round top dude Gus. I think I’ve mentioned it on here before. However, last night was extra special, in more ways than one.

Firstly, last night ruled because Lyn did a set. While it is not an open mic gig, Gus asked Lyn to play a song or two. She was more than happy to perform, and, despite a brief struggle setting her kit up, Lyn’s music was warmly appreciated by the audience. Her electronica is quite different from the rock Gus and his friends play, but I really think the room enjoyed it. Lyn played two songs of her own creation, but I suspect Gus will ask her to do more at future events.

Last night was also special because my old friends Robert and Bernie were there. Yesterday afternoon, I noticed Bernie mention on Facebook that my old university flatmates were in town, and, remembering Rob’s penchent for rock, invited them along. To be honest, I thought there was only a slim chance of them making it, given te short notice and the distance they wound need to travel. But come they did. Sadly, though, thy arrived too late for Lyn’s set, but by then Gus was paying a few old school rock numbers, which I must say sounded awesome. It was great to see them: oddly, my uni days seem at once a lifetime ago and last week. Part of me cannot believe it has been three years since I left cheshire, but another part of me is equally convinced that I have always lived in London, and that I moved here a lifetime ago. Thus, when my old friends walked in, Rob’s brother with them, it was like I had seen them the day before and like I had not seen them in years.

I hadn’t, of course. I had last seen rob three years ago, on my last day on campus. He hadn’t changed much, yet it was great to catch up with him. Both Robert and bernie are doing well, and, dare I say it, seem to have grown together. We chatted and listened to the music: it was wonderful to hear instruments played by men who knew how to play them; there is something about the combination of to guitars, a drum and a double bass which is just plain cool. Gus usually plays on his own, yet last night he and his mates rocked. It’s only a small restaurant, and we were sat at the front near the band (in fact I almost fell on them at one point) so it was hard to hear each other speak at points. Even so, it was the coolest night I have had in weeks. I now think of gus as a fiend, so with Lyn there, and my old uni friends, it felt quite personal, quite intimate, and very special.

and the meme goes on

It would seem that Lyn nd I ave succeeded in creating a meme when we made Spastic Ballet. I don’t know what ‘Ufoporno’ means (presumably some kind of erotica forextra terestrials) but I just came across this. It’s not the best video in the world, but the random, Banzai-like backing track with which they replaced the original’s Tchaikovsky appeals to my sense of humour.

Hey, I can see our house from here

I know it’s another piece of lazy blogging, but this is just too awesome for me not to share with you. This is a link to the world’s largest panoramic photo, taken recently from the top of London’s BT tower. It’s a stunning piece of photography. They mentioned it yesterday on click, and, havng just watched the repeat, gave in to the urge to blog about it. Photography, with it’s ability to freeze time, intrigues me – I can spend hours on Google maps Street View – so no doubt this image will keep me occupied for quite some time. I must say the resolution on this thing is gorgeous; although it was taken over several hours, it’s as if London it it’s entirety was captured in a second. Now, time to go and try to find our house.

A modern Baudelaire?

Although Lyn and I don’t use taxis very often, I’d dearly like a trip with the cabbie mentioned here. He is a poet, and recites verses to customers. He seems to be fairly good at it, too. I love it – where but in the metropolis can you find such things? Here, it seems, artistry naturally juxtaposes with privation, beauty with squalor, in a way even Walter Benjamin might not have envisaged.

Less gushing emotion, please!

My dad visited us yesterday. My parents are in town to help look after my grandmother, so Dad popped in while mum stayed with her. He had picked up a copy of the Metro en route, and while he was here we took a collective glance at it. Interestingly, dad spotted an article oddly relevant to us, about a man who had just been given a communication aid after being paralysed for twenty years. It was an interesting article – well worth a read. Mind you, it raised some interesting questions, like why now? Why did the poor fellow have to wait all that time for a voice? Given the way in which such devices are becoming less and less of a rarity, why was this article written in such a gushingly emotional manner? It was written as if VOCAs had only just been invented, and this guy was some sort of a pioneer. The media frequently take that stance – it always strikes me as a litte odd how they use such stories to elicit motion. What irritates me is the pitying manner in which they write about such things: it only reinforces negative stereotypes of disability. I wish this guy luck, but I also wish journalists wouldn’t use such cases as a source of pity, and instead ask why it took so long for him to get the equipment he needed.


Today I would simply like to link to the newly-established blog of my friend Ben. He is a friend from uni, and, excellent writer that he is, I think his output is well worth a read. Although he only has two entries online, he shows much promise, and as a fellow writer I fel it my duty to link to him. His thoughts on OCD are especially interesting. Check it out!