Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Sunday: On Blake's Steps, etc.

The last episode of the five part Torchwood screened last week, I missed it on Friday so watched it on the iplayer. Really got into it, the way the government is trying to cover up for itself in the eerie plot (involving aliens forcing the UK government to give up 10 % of its children, and the government deciding that underperforming schools should go first) is obviously taken from real life to some extent:

Funky old Redchurch Street:

Rivington Street:

The John Snow in Soho, a favourite haunt:

and around the corner to On Blake's Steps, a fairly eccentric gathering of young and old poets reading a few of their poems, poetry fans and Blake heads on the steps of the (modern) house that stands on the site of the house William Blake was born in in Soho (around the corner from Carnaby Street). My friend and old B'ton buddy Naomi Foyle read a poem about her mum's death (exactly 15 years ago), a poem by her mum who was also a poet and a poem by someone she was with on that day, very poignant, unfortunately I was lost in the moment and didn't take a photo. This is Jeremy Reed:

The "eco poet" Helen Moore reads a poem that contrasts the infinite intricacies of the natural world with the financial jargon of the banker (read by Niall Mc Devitt):

Jeremy Reed again at the end, this time with partyshades:

Niall then took the group on a little history tour around Soho pointing out the various residences of the Blakes, Shelley's house and eventually Blake's residence in Poland Street, three doors down from the Kings Arms pub that he used to frequent. In the upstairs room the ancient order of druids was revived around that time and that's where the gathering ended with some more poems and talks and discussions about Blake, by that point history seemed to have come alive out of the books and words, it almost felt like a seance communing with the spirit of Blake and his legacy:

graffiti in the gents at the KA:

Niall Mc Devitt in the historical upstairs room at the Kings Arms (now, of course, the unofficial London bear pub)

with Naomi in Thai Metro in Charlotte Street, always tasty, reliable, and in an ok location where most of the restaurants are more expensive:

aboriginal art gallery on Charlotte Street, I saw a few new galleries around there that I hadn't noticed before:

Soho Square:

later at 100% Dynamite, the excellent monthly reggae/dub/dancehall Sunday all dayer put on by the Soul Jazz Records crew and co, at the equally ace 1001 cafe off Brick Lane:

Brick Lane, going home:

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