Club Django and More



Last week a friend (actually, two separate friends, who both know me well)  invited me to come along and hear Club Django. I do love hearing bands play live and I particularly like this kind of music but sometimes it seems like too much trouble after a  long day at work and the concept of coming home and going out again seems unbearable.

Still, as noted here before, I find Klezmer (or so-called ‘Gypsy Jazz’) especially cheering and these past few weeks, I have been feeling super down and questioning almost everything I usually find enjoyable. That sounds bad and it hasn’t been as bad as all that, but I’ve been embroiled in my past and I feel so stirred up, I have not been sleeping and I’m overwhelmed a lot of the time.

So, on impulse, and despite the fact that The General was just as happy not to attend, I decided to accept after all and headed out at the especially odd time of 2pm, out of the glinty sunshine and into a darker venue to catch Club Django in concert.

And from the opening notes, I was so, so happy that I did.

The high-octane, soaring guitars matched the swinging violin beat for beat ( I couldn’t take my eyes off the technicolour hatted Rodion Boshoer, who was playing like he had been recently set on fire) and I felt absolutely transported; I was also amused to note that there were several extra, extra large coffee cups by the band’s amps.  Abbey Sholzberg’s energetic skill with the double bass was both lively and impressive, his faux-leopard vest charming and suitably quirky; basically, it was impossible not to be happy in that room and the crowd was loving it. I was so glad that I was there and that I had forced myself to come out.

Django himself,  would be well pleased. Continue reading




I was just stretching luxuriously in bed, thinking I would get up in a moment or two since I was feeling so uncommonly refreshed, when The General told me it was 1 am.

He then promptly went back to sleep.

After trying everything I could (and feeling guilty for disturbing the cat, who was cuddling with me in a perfect donut-shape) I decided to get up and try to make the best use of the time, safe in the knowledge that  I would be wrecked by lunchtime and feeling/looking like a zombie.

Creeping about an old house without making a sound is an art form and I zig-zagged my way down the hardwood stairs, with Dresden following dutifully behind (I never realized that cats do actually frown) and then, once installed on the main floor, I decided to bake the cake for my niece’s birthday this week. After a while, the cat decided it was obviously just a really, really early start to the day and demanded breakfast (kedgeree, broiled kidneys, lightly coddled eggs but settled for FancyFeast in the end) before trying to make his usual routine fit, which to be honest, is just a quick wash and then more sleep, although at least he wanted to be in the same room as me.

And I appreciate that support. Continue reading

A Handbag?



I cannot imagine the following anecdote ever happening now, (especially when I consider the many superior ‘Yummy Mummies’  I often encounter) but back in the day, one of my own mother’s favourite go-to activities to amuse me (in a pinch) was the privilege of reorganizing her handbag for her.

I know, I know; but I really liked doing it and felt important knowing that I had been entrusted with such an intimate and grown-up task.

Once I had corralled together all the rumpled tissues that were still scented with Chanel No.5  and  helped myself to a stick of Wrigley’s spearmint gum, I moved on to the trio of lipsticks found in one of the pockets.  The trio seldom varied and obviously, I tried each one (this goes without saying) but I assessed the packaging first, deciding which was the most elegant, the slimmest, the most bejeweled.

The names were also of great import to me and I think I can safely say, that I trace back my fascination for getting just the right name for a colour (something my friends universally tease me about even now, asking what colour their dress is and then saying “Oh, come ON – aren’t you going to say Electric Tomato or Cant-Elope with Me” etc.etc.).

Maybe I should have been in marketing for OPI nail polish – we just don’t know — but  I can say with some conviction that it all began with these few lipsticks found in the scented depths of my mum’s purse. Continue reading

The Joy of Soy



Anyone who dismisses the notion of  The Full Moon having an undesirable effect on people should consider working in a public library for just a few scant hours.

This past week has been especially trying and I confess that I have been fantasizing about wine at an hour that many would consider a bad sign …

Yesterday I had a (seemingly) very nice gentleman present himself at the reference desk in a dapper, tweed jacket and matching trilby. He smiled and said he wanted to know exactly what becoming a “vegan” might entail.

This is not an unusual question at all and since I also have a particular interest in food myself, I wasted no time in steering him to my favorite vegan cookbook writers, noting the most popular vegan restaurants close by and generally offering up any other suggestions that I could think of.

Fortified with this information, here is how our conversation went: Continue reading