it's that time of year again

it is the official first big weekend of the summer. it's not the weekend i thought it was going to be - ruth didn't come down, but then i only just remembered that. "it's so easy, now, to get carried away."

friday night was looking like a night in on my own (see previous post), but at some point i got very happy pissed myself laughing at a conversation with laurence, and started dancing round my bedroom to gene's 'as good as it gets'. so i went out to meet ed round tottenham court road way, and spent a quite evening in various pubs - i seem to remember i only had two beers and a felafel kebab, but i could be wrong. talked about women and i realised i was probably okay after all. went home at a reasonable time.

saturday was beautiful. luke came down, and rachel (this rachel, not that one) and james had a picnic in the park outside our flat - virtually our own garden. rachel and james, king and queen of the picnici overdosed on humus, naturally, and we played a spot of frisbee. i began taking rachel through the rules of witch trial but i don't think it was ever going to really happen. we got pretty drunk on whiskery and ginger beer, and then some friends (in lieu of the ticket i bought for ruth) and i took off about five to the coronet for 'this is our punk rock'.

the venue was offering no pass-outs, which for a planned event of ten hours, is a bit rich, but i suppose that's what passes for punk rock these days 87p. being about six or seven at this point, we decided to get a curry round the corner before going in. this we did, recieving brandy on the house at the end, even though we hadn't finished our beers. i could only eat half of my scran (two side dishes and a stuffed paratha) so i got a doggy bag - we were in for the long haul and i knew it was going to come in handy at one a.m. so we entered a large silent room with a title screen projected onto a large canvas. there didn't appear to be much going on. someone started playing some music and an odd video came on. the music varied over the next hour or so, sometimes being quite dancible although the crowd was still largely seated. about nine or so, we took e. go me. i took a half at first, in case i had an unpleasant reaction or anything, which i didn't. i took the other half at ten, just as the rather pedestrian filler dj was finishing and zan lyons came on. zan was rather simply amazing. jaw dropping visuals and beats, alternated with him twatting around on the viola and making lots of noise. he'd cut up the end scenes of blade runner to fit with the pre-programmed beats while fucking around over the top of them, it was completely beautiful and hard and dancible. it was like post-everything, doom-hop. alec empire came on at midnight. he was blonde and in a grandad jumper, and possibly the most arrogant-looking person i've ever seen. it was a mixed bag allround from him; he started off playing a few tracks from intelligence and sacrifice and don't fuck with us - ronin's 'the destroyer', shizit's 'audio jihad 2' (cutting it off before the really good break down!), his own 'everything starts with a fuck', schizoid's 'everything is connected' (i think) and so on. good, but frankly i can do it at home. then as he arsed around more, he began to lose the crowd a bit. about half way through, it got really good, but in a pretty undanceable, beard stroking way, as he did an improvised fucking around bit. then it sort of not as good again, and then really good again at the end, he played some proper metal song, then a track by the locust (don't know the names...) which he kind of spoilt by feeling the need to make stupid noise over the top - the locust already has stupid noises in it. it was unecessary. - and finished with 'revolution action', great but kind of underlining how 'not as good as he was' he was.

venetian snares came on, and played the most amazingly atrocious music. i danced for about twenty minutes then went for a sit down; i think at this point, the e began to come over me. i sat with a glass of water, watching the manga film they were playing over the top, ninja scrolls, for a bit; the music was really good, but i just didn't feel like dancing to it. it was about twenty to one now, and i remembered my curry. i sat and et it, using the bread as a spoon in the trad fashion, and i thought i'd get a beer too. i thought, 'eating curry and drinking bitter on e; what could be better?' i finished my food and found my freinds (not really hard, as the place wasn't packed), who'd just taken another two. 'ah,' i thought, 'i can see you're in for the night then.' i got my coat and left, and as soon i went out of the building and couldn't hear venetian snares anymore, i felt very happy. everything else was normal; i just for all the world felt like i was being hugged. i got back and put on heron's beaucolic debut album, then neutral milk hotel's 'aeroplane', to which i fell asleep.

i was very reflective and aware during the whole experience of the chemistry and reality of it; but it was great in several ways; partly in that i got a distilled smaple of seratonin. i can now say, ah, yes, that's what that chemical feels like. it was pure and simple. my thoughts were repetive on it; looping round as i tried to explore the feeling, but it was just too simple to find much to say about. and yes, i looked at my cds and thought 'crikey, so many of these are so miserable,' and it has somewhat changed my perspective. it's so chemical, like the first chapter of 'do androids dream...', where they can just choose what mood they want to feel for the day. i felt that maybe a whole one had been too much; the feeling began to disturb me in it's brazeness and simplicity. i don't think i'll feel the need to do it again.

the next day i still felt good; a lazy morning/afternoon consisting of a fry-up and watching lightning bolt videos on the internet, and then out to the second picninc of the weekend; the second annual hampstead heath pincin and bonfire, although it seemed to only be me wanting to think of it as such. here is a report of last year's picnic. it's a year ago! huzzah! luke and i got to hampstead, did some shopping and hung out while waiting for everyone else. it was probably about two hours late starting, and that was from the unreasonable time of three o'clock. but it was great. midges starting crowding round us, and we figured it was time to start the fire, which we did just as it was gloaming. luke is essential in these ventures.
adrian, michelle and alex
luke and adrian
night vision
hush the warmth
emma and ed
searching for fire wood on hamsptead heath does get you the wrong kind of glances from the cruisers, but they're quite easy to put off. when adrian left with the guitar, we sang musical songs with attempted four part harmonies. the night very much drew in and it was lovely. i felt like i always do when faced with such greatness; wistful. we utterly extinguished the fire about ten and set off to leave, via the pub for one last drink. i was begining to fall asleep, and so left to read the silmarillion on the train home. didn't even turn my light on; that kind of happiness is exhausting. i slept like a log and dreampt of difficult things. i think. something to do with travelling. maybe.

i'm now supposing i'll never hear from ruth again - she's normally completely on the button with replying to texts. in some ways this may be for the best - long distance friendships often mean more heartbreak than anything else - but it could have been an interesting experiment with pluralism. it's good to miss people.

UPDATE: the last paragraph is now no longer true. i was a bit pre-emptive there.
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