May. 24th, 2017

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I went to the Michelangelo & Sebastiano exhibition at the National Gallery Saturday before last with M and Cousin A; it should perhaps have been titled "Sebastiano and how Michelangelo Influenced him" as the latter was largely represented by some sketches and drawings, some (very impressive) copies of statues and the odd letter; still, it wasn't bad, although the subjects of the works got pretty samey after a while. M and I dashed home, tarted ourselves up, then headed back out down to South West London and the gothic grandeur of the Royal Victoria Patriotic Building for the evening of J&J's wedding, who we knew separately (she went out with M's brother at medical school, I was friends with him at LMH) but had met online; we'd been slightly dreading not knowing anyone else there but they were actually a friendly and interesting bunch.

On the Sunday I nosed around the Photographers' Gallery with N (the short-list for the Deutsche Borse prize plus some 60s realism from Roger Mayne), which was not somewhere I ever go and well worth it, then in the evening saw Frank Turner at the Roundhouse with M&E: it was the third of his four-night residency there and the acoustic set. Beans on Toast was almost inevitably supporting, with a whole bunch of new songs actually, which was great, then a chap from Frightened Rabbit. Whilst I'd see Mr. Turner in full-on band mode for choice, it was good to have a different kind of experience from him and hear a load of songs he probably wouldn't usually play.

Last Tuesday I met up with Kiki before she moves back to Sweden after 17 years in London: she was pretty much my first new friend here when I moved down so it'll be a shame not to still have her around but we had an almost idyllic evening, taking out curry from Drummond Street, eating it in Regent's Park's rose garden and then wandering up through the park and Primrose Hill in the evening sunshine.

N came over on Wednesday and then Thursday I headed down to Brighton for The Great Escape, the new music festival around all the pubs and venues there. I'll inflict all the bands on you in a separate (easily skippable!) post but I had a really nice time. It chucked it down on the Thursday, then started to get really nice from Friday lunchtime onwards, at pretty much the point that A arrived to take up my spare ticket [well, technically the spare I had bought after selling my spare, following some communication drama] and it worked really well: it was great to hear all A's stories of a life fully-lived and she seemed pleased that I had a schedule mapped out she could just follow. I didn't do quite as much hanging out in Brighton's cafes as on previous visits but it's always a lovely city to spend time in, with the month-long cultural festival, some kind of Morris Dancer convention and much else besides going on in addition to TGE. I was back in the same hostel dorm room in Hove that I'd used last time for the first two nights, then it turned out there is a handy 4am train back to London so after the last band finished at 2 on Saturday, just down the road from the station, I just waited for that and was in my own bed shortly after 6.

Once I had emerged on Sunday, N and I poked around the British Museum's little queer history exhibition and accidentally stumbled upon what's left of the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus in one of the back rooms (Oh in here? Just all that remains of one of the Seven Wonders of the World) which I'm not sure I even knew they had. We hung out in Russell Square for a bit, found that one of my LMH contemporaries had done the piece of public art outside the Crick Institute and generally ambled around in the sun before parting ways.

I walked along the river to Book Group after work on Monday (The Power by Naomi Alderman, generally well received), went down to Lewisham for board games in place of Aberrant last night and have been spodding at home this evening after strolling through a particularly verdant-looking Hyde Park on my way home to give myself the impression I'd spent at least some of the current heatwave outside.

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