Was up late finishing off the making of a couple of videos. Slept poorly, afraid I wouldn’t wake up at 6. I did, natch. Breakfast, cycled to the train station with time to spare (am always paranoid about flat tires and having to lock bike and run). On the train, read some “Active Hope” ate apples, celery and also dozed. Took a tube to O2 Arena, North Greenwich.
In queue for tickets chatting to South African Djokovic fan. She was going to give me the Federer-Del Potro ticket, but I bought it from her instead.
Sat around in what was the Millennium Dome, reading more of this “Active Hope” malarkey. Went in early and saw a bit of Federer warming up and then signing autographs (there’s a blog post to be written on how celebrities (though elite athletes don’t quite fit, since their fame is tied to achievement) are the new saints.
The doubles match was watchable (Bryan/Bryan lost to Paes/Stepanek). What struck me was the absurd breathless Fox News style of bombast to the proceedings. It’s as if someone had seen “Rollerball” and thought it was an instruction manual, not a satire.
Although I was high up, and although Federer lost, I totally loved watching the match with Del Potro. Such athleticism, such elegance!! Major props to my wife for insisting that I go and get tickets (my tickets were a gamble – for the evening session, and since it was a dead rubber, I didn’t even stick around). Instead, tubed to Brixton (change over at Stockwell to the Victoria line is all of five metres – useful to remember for t’future).
Went to my friend’s house, spent some time chatting with him and friends. They have all known each other for ever. This is something that I, given my mobile youth and early “adult”hood and my general not-very-likeableness, have not ever experienced – that shared memory with someone that goes back a lifetime. So it goes.
He and I walked around the ever-more-gentrified Brixton market briefly (how many hipsters does it take to change a lightbulb? You wouldn’t know it, it’s a really obscure number…) before settling in at a Japanese place I’ve been to before. Majorly loved the food, conversation and Asahi beers.
Back to his for tea and watched Prometheus… not sure it was worth the wait. The gratuitous arse-shots of Charlize Theron kept my attention, for the most part (what sort of insanely punishing diet and exercise regime must she be on to look that good in a tight suit?!) Of course, the film is great to look at (this is Ridley Scott, after all), but I am not so sure it was quite as deep and meaningful as it wanted to be…
A bit of toe-marbles on Match of the Day (men’s soap opera, football is – slowly changing cast with artificial highs and lows in the never-ending storyline, allowing viewers to emote and share stories of their own…)
Slept like a baby – asleep in 30 seconds
A rare lie in!! More of Active Hope, and then off to the nearby cafe the “Duck Egg” where they will, for an extra quid, make you your breakfast (veggie in my case) with, well, a Duck Egg. Scrumptious. Talked of – as you do – local government economic development strategies, the general hopelessness of civil society and relationship break-ups.
Then a strong gust of wind blew me into a second-hand bookshop. Before I could get out its owner had insisted I buy a book or… eight. It would have been rude not to…
- In the Shadow of Islam by Isabelle Eberhardt
- Think before you think by Stafford Beer
- How Big is your brain? (puzzle book) by Ian Livingstone and Jamie Thomson
- A Hall of Mirrors by Robert Stone
- The Constant Economy by Zac Goldsmith
- The Woman who waited by Andrei Makine
- The Middle Mind: Why consumer culture is turning us into the living dead by Curtis White
- My Revolutions by Hari Kunzu
- Promises Lovers make when it gets late by Darian Leader
(I am conscious of the pure white and almost total maleness of this list)
Futile wait for bus, realised tube would be quicker, and so got to the new “Putney Debates” later than I planned, but earlier than I should. I will vent about this another time, but suffice for now to say that sitting in a circle taking turns to talk at people is not a debate, it is not a dialogue and it will not build a movement.
Met up with someone and was interviewed, as planned, about activism and cliques and sustainability and the lies we all tell ourselves.
After that, with not enough time to get to the Barbican and back, I wandered along in search of pub showing the tennis. Another strong gust of wind threw me at Judd Books, where I bought The Journalist and the Murderer Janet Malcolm
Mosquito Andrew Spielman and Michael D’Antonio and Quantum Leaps Jeremy Bernstein
Got some train munchies (not, as has been my train-home-ritual, from M and S) and sat in the quiet zone (as if)
On the train read the outstanding chapter of a project I’m involved in. Go team!!
And some of “Malignant Sadness” by Lewis Wolpert
Cycled home with my books hanging over the handlebars. Very safe (did have hi-vis and lights, no helmet though).
Long telephone talk with the totally lovely Mrs Towers. Rest of evening frittered away. Listened to Federer giving Murray a tennis lesson on t’radio, and wished I had been there. And life admin (cleaning the bike, getting the tire pressure back to its optimum, ironing my superhero costumes for the wage slavery ahead, while listening to Cold Chisel…)
And so to bed, ish.