As close to drinking heaven as you might imagine (and I am no fan of bourbon). The work it takes is utterly worth it.

1 brown sugar cube
few dashes of Angostura bitters
1 large paring of orange rind, 5???8 cm long

Woodford Reserve, Maker's Mark, and Buffalo Trace all make good old-fashioneds. The glass to use has the same name as the drink ?????an Old Fashioned glass ?????which is a short, heavy tumbler, often beautifully engraved.

Put the sugar cube in the bottom of the glass and soak with the bitters. Add half a teaspoon of water. Crush the sugar cube with the back of a teaspoon and mix it into the liquid so that it starts to dissolve. Add the orange to the glass and use a pestle (or the teaspoon again) to bruise it to release the essential oils from the skin. Now start stirring. And keep stirring. The idea is to dissolve as much of the sugar as possible before you begin to add the whiskey, and as you do this the citrus peel will slowly release its flavour into the drink. After a couple of minutes add about half a centimetre of whiskey. Keep stirring until all the sugar is dissolved, which will probably take another five minutes. Finally you can start dropping in the ice ??? as many cubes as you can fit. Continue stirring as you slowly top the glass with whiskey. Drink with gravitas.

??? From Victoria Moore's How To Drink.

Buber and the interhuman

By the Jewish philosopher Martin Buber, from a piece entitled Elements of the Interhuman

Let us now imagine two men, whose life is dominated by appearance, sitting and talking together. Call them Peter and Paul. Let us list the different configurations which are involved. First, there is Peter as he wishes to appear to Paul, and Paul as he wishes to appear to Peter. Then there is Peter as he really appears to Paul, that is, Paul’s image of Peter, which in general does not in the least coincide with what Peter wished Paul to see; and similarly there is the reverse situation. Further, there is Peter as he appears to himself, and Paul as he appears to himself. Lastly, there are the bodily Peter and the bodily Paul. Two living beings and six ghostly appearances, which mingle in many ways in the conversation between the two. Where is there room for any genuine interhuman life?

A moment

From the BBC's The Man Who Shot the 60s (about photographer Brian Duffy):

"I tell you the thing I've always been amazed at … is looking into a camera lens at someone, and they just change. And then all of a sudden you see something. And you're not sure if you'll discuss it because you're not sure if you're drunk or anything. I always think of a photograph, if you look, you realise that in front of it, in time, there was something not very interesting. The photograph is absolutely interesting, and a fraction after it's not interesting. There's a moment, you think, 'what was happening at that very moment?'. If a photograph doesn't have that in it …" [shrugs shoulders] ?????Brian Duffy The Man Who Shot the 60s

Lil is watching this programme, looked up and said something like, '… the photograph that you pick off a proof sheet … is the moment when that image [the image that you 'choose'] is the moment when that image poses a question, or makes you you ask, "What was happening in that moment?"'. The photograph does not provide the answer, and a caption only provides one of many possible answers.'

She then read from 'Hackney, that Rose-red Empire', where author Iain Sinclair quotes photographer Stephen Gill: "You learn to think in images. And in the strategic arrangement of images. Language is imprecise. It muddies the water."

For Lil, Stephen Gill is suggesting the opposite of Brian Duffy. In other words, Lil's take on Duffy is that he is proposing that the image-question affords the possibility of a language-based 'solution', but with Gill language gets in the way of the 'solution'.

I like the idea of images provoking questions (this is rather obvious given that I am, after all, a choreographer). I also like hearing about the imprecision of language (mostly because I get rather tired of hearing just how precise and transparent language is). But, I suspect the thing that really drives me is the possibility of developing work in which the interplay or enfolding between image and language produces both clarity and questions.


A letter from my council (verbatim) ???

Dear Resident

Re: Items in communal area ??? Rocks Lane

During a recent health & safety inspection, I noted that are a number of bikes being chained to the communal stairwell of the block.

I ask you not to do this out of concern for the health and safety of all our residents and it is vital that the communal areas and exit routes, especially stairwells, are kept clear at all times.

These bikes have been stickered with our 48 hours warning notice however when we come to remove them, they are no longer there.

Please take this letter as warning that we will not be stickering any further bikes at Rocks Lane and any found at the time that we visit will be removed immediately.

Should you have any further queries about this or any other matter, please contact me or our customer service centre on 020 8404 5500.

Yours sincerely

Aside from the super-duper English, why could s/he also not have thanked me for removing my bike as soon as it was 'stickered'? It might have been far more cordial ??? to say the least. Incidentally, my bike was on the very top landing and in no way did it impede us getting out of the flat (and nor was it in anyone else's walking space). I wonder, also, if the rubbish bags that people leave outside their flat doors were 'stickered'?

Bitter? Me? Nope, not at all.

Loop – Jose Vidal Company

Jose Vidal Company
The Place
Friday 11 June 2010


The floor is a white square, about 6 x 6 metres, surrounded in black tarket which, in turn, is enclosed by the audience on all four sides (not unlike a boxing ring). This is Chilean born Jose Vidal’s Loop, a work he describes as a “live performance and art installation”, and that is part of The Place’s Square Dances series. There are eight performers – dressed thickly in winter coats, jackets, scarves and trousers – and a small stuffed monkey. Together, the dancers lurch and morph from one loaded stillness to another (passing the monkey). The shifts from kinetic to potential energy (and back again) are exquisitely honed as the dancers brace, turn, duck, and then swarm into what become increasingly known formations – ‘known’ in the sense that the loop in the work’s title is as descriptive a title as one could imagine. We see multiple performances of the same (perhaps 2 minute) set of actions, but with each iteration rotating around the performance square to ensure we are witness to all the edges, curves and angles of the loop. In this sense, “Loop” is frighteningly formal (mirrored by the stark smokey lines of Gareth Green’s lighting design), almost a conceptual game, and just as the repetition starts to tire me, the loop begins to stretch, vibrate, thrust and puncture, all whilst maintaining the structures and rhythms that my experience of the work begin to depend on. The baseline loop becomes my lens, the thing I rely on in order to start to notice the differences. And these differences are in turn spectacular (breath pouring out of the dancers towards the stillnesses), silly (the slightest of pelvic thrusts), and bizarre (matador and bull). In the meantime, the monkey’s trip throughout the work is a delightful divertissement and he (she?) even seems to smile a little when the party version of the loop gets going. The dancers, working hard, but clearly enjoying the ride, are sweating, and becoming increasingly fleshed as they find ways to strip others of clothing, or cajole their own limbs out of their own trousers, skirts, and shirts. I feel filled with a remarkable experience, in which the slightest (for example) tonal change fills the same basic pattern with an enormous alteration in ‘content’. Loop is deftly handled, brilliantly executed, and immensely pleasurable.


Choreography: Jose Vidal & company
Performers: Cristobal Muhr, Giuliana Majo, Kirsty Arnold, Jack Webb, Juan Leiba, Robert Mennear, Lea Tirabasso & Pepa Ubera
Lighting Design and Technical Manager: Gareth Green
Sound Design: Alex Anwandter
Company Manager: Montse Ventura