Wednesday, July 04, 2012
one in and out
Great Day Out
She Who Hates Socialists and I ventured out to Zone 5 over the weekend. Scarily on the border of London, almost not in the city at all.
We went to Eel Pie Island, a sort of hippie colony-artists haven in the middle of the Thames, in Twickenham. Twickers isn't just about rugby, you know. At least that's what they'll tell you on the tea towels as you arrive.
Eel Pie Island, in spite of its name, isn't where people eat a lot of eel pie either. (Thank fuck for that, no?) It's made up of mostly shipyard, stray boats moored to its edges, lots of little quirky clapboard cottages and overgrown gardens, and most significantly, an abundance of artist studios.
Once a month, these are open to the public, so you can potter around and stick your nose in. There's only foot traffic on the island, and it almost immediately reminded me of Užupis. I go to a lot of these semi-independent states, it seems. Where people smoke reefers all day and make 'art.'
One guy tried to the 'seize' the island at one point, and after a bit of a scuffle, was forced to give it back to Queen Elizabeth II.
Well. The Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd and The Who have all performed here - it's a haven for some pretty epic rock concerts over the decades. I'm not sure where they actually played; the place is a myriad of little foot paths, boats and lots of other crap that collects dust in people's back gardens like washing machines, plywood, anchors and oars. It's like stepping out of west London into a the leftovers of the Woodstock festival.
We found a Pimms station, and meandered around the island dipping our head into eccentric little studios and making idle chit chat with the artists (one or two, whom I fear, had long lost sight of space and time.)
We also polished off two bottles of pinot grigio over a frightfully English country pub lunch. Much squawking ensued, and we scared a few locals.
Great Day In
I bought a karaoke set. Not just any, I bought the best. None of this 'Singstar' crap, where you have to dick about with CDs and "oh where's my song, they don't have it," malarkey.
I bought the Big Daddy of song machines - The Lucky Voice Party Box.
I used to own karaoke stuff years and years ago in a shared flat. After Baltic Extravaganzah 3000, my love for the sport - that's not a typo - has returned with particularly enthusiastic gumption.
She Who Also Loves Tweed has this particular set too, and I've tested it out. It comes with a crucially fluoro pink microphone, and a thingie that you plug into your computer/TV that accesses over 8000 songs online.
Dude. I'll never not have your song ever again.
The Brit doth protested too much, and of course ended up singing anyway, as well as all his mates. We've all beaten the Bejesus out of this bad boy, it's here to stay. Oh, and given our neighbour has Taurettes and screams obscenities ranging from fuck' to 'cunt' everytime he enters and exits his flat, we don't feel too bad singing late into the night on a weekend. More about that another time, he deserves his own post.
But the delight of receiving the party box! Delivered to my desk, I ran home and the Brit hooked it all up for me. Bless. He's been very patient, given this is my favourite and not his.
I've since had hours and hours of fun. To be honest, I don't really need to go out ever again.
It'll be a life saviour in winter. Just saying.
I've also since realised why the Japanese have the longest life spans in the world. Saki, sushi and karaoke. It's so stress relieving. Some people go for a run; I sing.
It's bloody marvellous.