Sunday, September 25, 2005


Have spent most of the weekend in Croydon.
Well it felt like Croydon, because Ikea here is identical. In true Ikea-behavioural form, we somehow failed to have on our person the correct measurements for shelving yesterday, and were obliged to return today. We still don’t have any shelves because today we had a ‘colour’ dilemma and were forced to ‘acquire’ a small piece of wood to check it out at home against floorboards.
The TH reckons that if we go back every day for approximately 2 weeks and ‘acquire’ a piece of wood, we’ll have the shelving anyway. This suggestion is quite something coming from the man who had to be dragged there kicking and screaming yesterday morning because he hated Ikea so much. What’s actually happened is that he’s realized Ikea is the cheapest date he can take me on. The shuttle bus from Port Authority is free and has fine Manhattan views and very effective air conditioning. The breakfast at Ikea is a mere 99 cents and they even have a jazz band (of sorts) playing in the restaurant. Plus, I can never decide what furniture I want so it’s not like he has to BUY anything. The suggestion that shelving can now be ‘acquired’ stealthily is just an added bonus.

Met my match last night. Dinner with our best man Harry (who’s staying with us this weekend), and his friends in Chelsea. One of his friends the feisty and clearly impossible Misty. We bonded. Big time. We will make much mischief together. Of that I am certain.

Neighbour update.
I watched the DVD of ‘Rosemary’s Baby’ yesterday morning.
For it is they.
We need a door chain.
Mrs. N. has been round four times in the last three days. And that’s the number of times we’ve actually answered the door to her, as opposed to the number of times she’s rung the bell. We now have a whole closet of donated towels. The sort of towels you wouldn’t dare use on account of them having a dangerous fringe thing going on which seems to consist of Christmas tree decorations. Just what you don’t need in a towel.

A word about the lovely Amy Kohn. Her gig on Friday evening was just gorgeous. Even though I’ve known Amy for many years, I’ve never before managed to catch her performing a whole show of her own and I was knocked out. Her compositions and arrangements are complex and extraordinary – with influences from classical to jazz and much in-between, and when you add this to her soaring, impressionistic vocals and instantly recognizable voice, the resulting music is totally unique. Even though this was only a duo gig, Peter Hess provided very creative accompaniment on a variety of instruments – saxophones, whistles and percussion, implying much of the harmony of the full-band CD arrangements. But above and beyond all of this, Amy has that rare indefinable charisma, which reminds me of the time when I first saw Jamie Cullum perform (in the Spiegeltent in Edinburgh many years ago - to an audience of five!) – she comes totally alive on stage with the conviction of a true artist unconditionally committed to and at one with her music – she’s witty, charming, talented and enthralling – and you simply can’t take your eyes off her.

Executive summary: Amy Kohn gig, neighbour visitations and Ikea revisited.          


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