Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Grace Is The Place

Yesterday evening I went to see the iconic, irrepressible legend Grace Jones at The Royal Albert Hall. Wow, what a show. What a woman! She's 54 and looks fantastic. She is completely unique, bizzarre and original. You can see where Lady Gaga stole all her ideas from. The grandoise theatricality, the insane, outrageous costumes! Amongst other things Grace wore: a shiny zebra catsuit and a white wig that looked like she had a dolphin on her head. A skin tight black castsuit that was part catwoman part blood smeared octopuss. A massive pom pom esque backless dress in which she was butt naked underneath to the audience's delight. A cheeky number that was pharoah slash dancehall queen. It went on... The hats, the wierd, hilarious entertaining commentary between songs. She did a set of mostly new tracks but there were some old favourites too. Slave to the rhythm, Pull up to my bumper and of course her wonderful version of La vien rose. The quality of her voice remains. I was struck by how good she is live. Grace is a kind of weather made of storm and strange. Sexually magnetic and primal. She prowled the stage yet simultaneously seemed to be crawling through the skin of audience members, a mood staking claim. Fantastic.

Sunday, 25 April 2010

Medicine For Melancholy

I really like this indie movie directed by Barry Jenkins. It's a love story about two African Americans getting to know each other post their one night stand at a party. It also highlights the issue of being black in an increasingly gentrified San Francisco. I like the cinematography, its not in colour but not quite black and white either which seems to be a reflection of the city. The performances are great,lovely dialogue. It is a beautiful,nuanced film. I don't think I've mentioned it before but I'm more than a little in love with Wyatt Cenac,not only is he great in The Daily show but also in this gem. He's cute,geeky,funny and quirky.Tracey Heggins is gorgeous,she gives an understated,elegant performance.

Friday, 23 April 2010


I resisted watching Glee for a while because I figured there was so much hype about it it would probably be a disappointment but... Since I've been watching it I'm hooked, it is hilarious! It has me rolling on the floor with laughter. Jane Lynch who plays twisted, demented coach Sue Sylvester is my favourite character, she is comedy genius and gets the best lines. "I'm engorged with venom and triumph" Brrrrriliant.

Thursday, 22 April 2010

Volcanic Ash Havoc

I was caught up in the volcanic ash madness having been abroad at the time. Holidays are interesting because I find no matter how good they are, after about a week or two you actually want to get back to your life no matter how crap that is. When you find yourself in the crisis of being stranded abroad with the possibility of that continuing for months... A desperation to get home takes over by hook or crook. This is my travel route home. From Tavira to Faro,Faro to Seville in Spain, Seville to Madrid, Madrid to Barcelona, Barcelona to Portbou, Portbou to Lagrasse in the south west of France, Lagrasse to Calais, Calais to Dover! I travelled by overnight coach, trains,car and ferry. It was exhausting, frustrating and frigthening but along the way I did see some gorgeous sights. I went body boarding(similar to surfing in the sense that you ride the wave but only lying flat on the board) at a beach in Tavira. Barcelona is a great city, artistic, vibrant and colourful. I only spent a night there but I visited Park Guell, a fantastic garden complex with incredible mosaic elements designed by Antoni Gaudi. Lagrasse is also wonderful. It has an Abbey, tiny medieval streets, vineyards, rivers to dip in for a swim, bridges that sprout out like limbs.One of my highlights was driving through this incredible road in Portbou. I have no idea what this road is called but the view was genuinely stunning. It felt like we were driving up a mountain, we were so high up this winding steep road! The sea shimmered silver and blue below catching the light so well it appeared to be glazed with sunlight. I kept thinking one wrong move, a swivel too far right and we would go tumbling down into the sea. And cyclists! Madness! Doing a marathon, flashing past us every other minute, as though they were blinks from the sky.

Tuesday, 13 April 2010


Okay so yours truly is in Portugal. First Lisbon and now Tavira. This trip has been both good and disasterous in several ways. I wont elaborate... But suffice to say my grasp of this language is limited to...Obrigado! Meaning thank you. I notice that when I ask people questions here, a lot of the time they just nod so I can go away. They have no idea what Im talking about, but hey there is a language barrier so I understand! It's funny being black in certain countries in Europe. You still catch some people staring as though they've seen a unicorn dressed in a tutu. The sense of being made to feel "other" sits at the back of your mind although most of the time I don't allow it to hinder my enjoyment of a place. Tavira is lovely, it grows on you...The scent of orange blossoms lingers in the air, there are colourful patterned tiles everywhere,nice walks, the buildings have an old world charm and beaches stretch for miles.The Algarve was once occupied by the moors... Interesting non? I mention disasters becuase there have been times on this trip when I wanted to crawl into a hole and not come out.But...I think you really get to know yourself when bad things happen. When really lousy, unfair occurrences come thick and fast,choosing you as its target,you get to know what you're made of. Im choosing to be philosophical about it all. Lady luck owes me but Im certain there millions stuck in that same que. Soon come.
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