Mr hoare, the tempest and a blood pudding

Our bank is C Hoare & Co.  Not only did C Hoare & Co resist the temptation to invest all their money in mortgages for trailer parks in Arizona, not only are they unfailingly sympathetic about little upsetting things like overdraft limits, but sometimes they give us treats,.  Last night they took some of their customers to a performance by Jericho House of The Tempest at St Giles Church, Cripplegate.

It would have been wise to look up the story on Wikipedia first.  Doing that today revealed that some liberties had been taken and that at least one character, whose role in the dynastic struggle I thought I had sorted, had arbitrarily changed sex.  Also some important bits of business disappeared behind the woolly head of the C Hoare & Co customer in front of me.  We were sitting in church pews, and they don’t have pulpits for nothing.  But it was a vigorous production and it looked lovely.  Ariel bore a disconcerting resemblance to an old girlfriend, not only her features but her habit of flying through the air.  This is forgivable in a spirit; less so in a girlfriend.  Her – the old girlfriend’s – ability to levitate was usually fuelled by rage.  I will never forget the sight of her flying towards me, crouching/hidden/whatever dragon-like, arms akimbo, Doc Martens travelling unerringly towards my knees. The better half (they made common cause for a time) remembers her levitating in rage over a suitcase that she was unable to close on account of having bought a quantity of new clothes.

Favourite title for a CD: Old Girlfriends and Other Horrible Memories, by John Fahey.

A wonderful CD too, dark and mischievous, from a great man.  Not his best, but the one I play most often.

Favourite title for a book: How Bluegrass Music Destroyed My Life, by John Fahey.

Anyway, revenons à nos moutons, as the French say, not necessarily or even ever, as the evangelical American lady explains, in the context of actual sheep; it is a figure of speech.  Prospero buried his staff, ceased to be an egotistical colonialist, changed into a sports jacket so that he suddenly resembled Roman Abramovich, and sought our release, which we freely gave him and left the church into the night.  Finding St Giles Church, Cripplegate, like anywhere else in the Barbican, is an Arthurian quest, but getting out is simple.  Suddenly we are on the street, next to the offices of a large and grim firm of solicitors.  Getting in and out of the Barbican is just like a Shakespearean comedy: bewitchment, resolution, back to the real world.

If we shadows have offended, think how much worse it would be if you worked for Linklaters.

We decide to walk home, me, the better half and our friend Mariana.  Inevitably we end up in St John’s Bar.  Mariana ordered the smoked mackerel.  I had a bit of it on a fork and it would have brought tears to my eyes if I cared about food.  Beginner’s luck on her part, I say.

I had blood pudding.

My friend Jason, incidentally, to whom I have introduced this blog, mocks me for talking about food.  ‘I ate foie gras with champagne,’ he cries, in a satirical voice.  I wish.




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