Monday, 9 March 2009

And You Might Have To Plan For The Weekend Wars

And so Thursday reared it's cloudy skies with the sun just peeking through.

Being the clever soul I am, I decided Doc Martins were the footwear of choice that day, and I gave myself a giant blister on the back of my heel, pretty much guaranteeing that along with my knee being bummed to the max - 'torn ligaments a go go' my legs were not going to appreciate this trip. That's ok. Derby Weekend is about brain nourishment - the body can go fuck itself for all I care.

I arrived on the train with minutes to spare, a classic Katie moment if ever there was one. I was a dullard on the train however, so we won't even talk about that. Skip forward to Derby train station, but at the same time, not passing the opportunity to thank Mr Savager for carrying my suitcase for me. Much appreciated laddie.

I will note now, so I don't have to mention it again. I was shit at rolling cigarettes this weekend. Mike - Thank you for the papers, and the tobacco, and the lighter on more occasions than I would like to recall.

The Taxi to the hotel pretty much set the tone for the rest of the trip. 'Sometimes, I think about the digestive system being reversed'. A little gem from my mind that should probably have stayed there. I actually found out yesterday that this was actually on an episode of South Park. Apparently, my thoughts aren't as original as I had hoped.

After a quick settling in at the hotel, and a small uproar (I like to call it a grown up paddy :p) about the so called Free Interwebs that had been much mooned over, our group, which consisted of Myself, Jean (Roomie!), Adam, David, Keita and Mike journeyed out of the hotel, and onto the mean streets of Derby without a map for guidance. We soon found the Adult Shop. A place of wonder! Never before have I seen such a vast array of.. Ick. From fingering penises to pills that promised to make you 'Cum Harder, Cum Faster and Cum More!', it was a learning experience I shall never be able to scour from my mind. Onto the curry house! Dinner consisted of many topics, each one getting progressively lewder. It started off innocently enough, with Captain Tourettes and I trying to give our team-mates Superhero names. I think we established Twitch, and that was it. Onto a recap of the sex shop, the delights of two girls, one cup and then comparison of tub-girl to a champagne enema. I'm glad to say that no one appeared to be put off their lovely curries by all this. Perhaps it was the indian version of the twelve days of christmas that we were being serenaded by? After much too-ing and fro-ing about how much lager David wanted in what size glass, the meal was over, and we were joined by Carey.

Back to the hotel to let our stomachs settle for a few minutes, and then to an Art Party. That's the only way I can think to describe it. Always the idiot, I got my forehead stamped, and then took the lift to be greeted by what can only be described as LOUD NOISES. There was a stack of televisions on one side of the room, each showing films made from short videos and photographs. In another corner was a projector, showing photographs from Magnum photographers. Oh. The word to describe the party would be pretentious. Never in my life before that point had I heard such silliness spouting from peoples moves. It was all very 'Oh Darling! Have you seen this photograph, it's just beautiful, think about the subtext' Blah Blah Blah. Come on people! There's music and Alcohol! There should be dancing! Not art bollocks. The blue room was awash with Chandeliers and Primark. Beautiful. I learnt that sitting in the middle of the floor to get off my knee for a bit did not equate to the coolness I had hoped. It was with some disappointment and pain that I stood up 4 minutes later. More booze would probably have changed my thinking, but I had a reputation to make! Another Double Whiskey and Lemonade? I think so. I liked the band. They were called the Dust Collectors and the guy with the trumpet was rocking OUT. He looked silly for sure, but isn't that the point of being in a band? They had a cool video alongside their set too. No-one else seemed to enjoy them though. That made me a little sad. Nobody that is, except for the very very tall man, who danced in the middle of the floor on his own. He made my night, and I feel in love with him a little. So the band finished, more noise happened, and the smarter people made their way back to the hotel to sleep up for the day long lecture tomorrow. Not I! Keita, Mike and Myself trawled (I say trawled, we actually didn't go very far at all :p) the city to find a pub that would let us in for free. We did. It was called Flares. Flares is a 70's themed disco bar! But it had 2.99 doubles, and at that price, who cares what music is playing! We didn't stay long however. Just long enough to discover that dribbling was a definite sign of drunken-ness, and that the dot sticker I had been bequeathed by the lovely man running the art party earlier glowed in UV Light. I didn't learn this till we were back in the hotel however. By this time, I'd already made a tit of myself. Bad Times.

The beds were awful. I didn't sleep much with my coat wadded up to form some kind of pillow. Throwing my laptop on the floor didn't help.

Roll on 7:30, and I felt like death. Not from the hangover - No. I am wise, I drank 3 glasses of water before I tried to sleep. I may have had 3 hours sleep that night if I was lucky. That is what hurt me. Breakfast was unremarkable. Mostly because we were all so tired. The tea was piss poor however.

The conference was buzzing with excitement. I poured free coffee down my throats and grabbed any freebies lying around before making my way into the lecture theatre. To sum up, here are my exact notes from an hour in 'I'm falling asleep at a conference.
I'm tired and confused.
My knee hurts.
I shouldn't be here..
Oh Bother, Oh Bother, Oh Bother.'

I'm clearly a poet!

Victor Fucking Burgin. You are an arse of the highest caliber. Stop using long words, stop being so dull. Just stop. You don't impress me. Not one bit. I don't wish to hear about the Aesthetisisation of Misery. BAH! Look at this gem from his wikipedia page 'the anachronistic daubing of woven fabrics with coloured mud'. This is how Mr Burgin summarizes painting. But he can't say painting. He has to use a million pompous words. You metonymic twit. Habitual Pictorialist my foot. This did make me giggle like a child though..
'When I was a little girl, my mother caught me masturbating. She told me to never do it again, as it was a sin and God was watching. Now I do it just for him.'

Martin Parr - I love you. You completely made my day. Thank you for not shooing me away when I asked you to sign my pack. Srsly, you have no idea how much that has changed me. It sounds lame, but had Adam not forced me (in a nice way), I would have gawked at him like some kind of demi-god. Eric Baudelair and Donavon Wiley were also rather lovely to listen to. It was interesting to hear about individual artists takes on film and photography. I got many many ideas during the conference, I am yet to sift through them properly. The lack of sleep was painful at points, but I persevered. Lunch was yummy. Posh ham sandwiches, Tirrells crisps and macaroons! I couldn't have picked a better lunch if I tried, and by the time it arrived, it was well appreciated. All that sitting around and learning is hungry work. Perhaps giving me a bottle to fiddle with was not your greatest move though, but I shall not hold it against you.

From the conference, we were handed coloured raffle tickets and loaded onto buses to the University of Derby. There, we were greeted with free alcohol. Perhaps a mistake when we consider the mess that was David for the rest of the evening. I decided to be miserable, as opposed to actually looking at the exhibitions, but I did look at some, and what I did see, I liked. I wish I could remember one guys name, but It's completely escaped me. On the way back to the City Centre, we spotted the most appetizing take away ever, and it went by the name 'NADS'.

Oh! How I got this far without mentioning the 60's style threads of one Mr. Fifield I will never know. It was very uncomfortable, though maybe that's just me. Please never dress appropriately again. Even when you get married. It throws me.. The yellow sweater was nice though.

Hungry once more, we roamed the city centre for an eatery. After much walking, and many people being difficult in regards to their food choices, we settled on Thai Food. Again, a new learning opportunity for me. I love thai food now. I wish I could have it everyday. Thank you for sharing with me Nick, it was yummy! David was somewhat naughty, and came to the restaurant with no money. And drunk. And he stole my prawn. Don't read that wrongly children, I know where your minds go! But, more exciting than any of this, was my birthday. Yes. Adam, who demands all the praise for this, told the lovely waitress/hostess (I'm never sure >_<) that it was my birthday. I like to think this was to cheer me up after my miserable afternoon. We did this, because earlier that night, we'd heard a birthday song. The greatest birthday song you will ever hear. There may be video at some point, but for now...
After we were all full from the yummy spicy thai food, the song burst from the speakers, and from the doorway, a giant bowl of ice cream, lychees and candles was carried through and presented before me. I danced. I'm ashamed to say it, but I carried on the pretense that it was my birthday, and I ate the delicious birthday ice cream. I blew out the candles, and pretended I was 21 that night. Alas, back in Hereford, I am once again 20. The birthday song spawned a monster in the 'How Big Is My Bowl' Song. Shamefully, there is also video evidence of this. It is worth noting at this point that we were luckily put in a room on our own upstairs, and away from other customers who would only have been annoyed/irritate/put off their food by the ridiculousness that was our conversations. The point where I shouted 'Cock' when the hostess was wandering through collecting cutlery was a low point.. Lychees feel like eyeballs, and Nick is mean for encouraging me to eat them. Blechs. Once again, a wonderful evening was had.

After a far more restful night came a 2 hour breakfast. There, I stole Cereal and Jam for reasons unknown to even myself. I forget what we talked about, I think it was mostly slagging off Old Vic. The rest of the day was spent looking at photography exhibits. I don't really have exciting things to say about this. But perhaps when I get the photos from Adam, I'll be able to expand on this more. We caught the train home at around 1ish, and we chatted to resist the need for sleep creeping over us once more. Nick told us of the FlatPack Festival in Birmingham this coming weekend, and I am excited for it already! He also regaled me with tales of all the exciting bands he works with... I was most jealous. I will have to go to the festival me thinks. I need to soak in all the inspiration I can before it's dissertation land. During our brief stop in Brum, Nick showed us a cinema that his friend owns. It looks gorgeous! I really want to go someday. This time, Adam needs the thanks for carrying my suitcase. Really guys, you were so nice to me, even though I was hobbling like a cretin and almost certainly irritating you all with my slowness. Thanks for not showing it :)

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