Monday, 16 August 2010

Banksy, Dune, Barbecues and Salsa...

I was about to leave Segun’s barbecue when someone, I can’t really remember who, called to tell me my twin had just arrived. Yaaay! I had a ride home. I got teased a little for saying goodbye and coming back but hey what did I care? I had been rescued from the two hour train traverse home.
Gently reflecting on the past week, I made a conscious decision not to fill up my week so much ever again. The week had begun pretty normal, or so it seemed, as Monday gave no clue as to what was to come. My cousins were in town for a short while and one of them was due to go back to Lagos on Thursday.

Filled with glee, I booked dinner at Floridita, a restaurant reputed to emulate the 1930s style of the legendary El Floridita; it promised an enticing, out-of-this world menu, live band playing while you ate and crazy energy. Even the reservations line had vibrant salsa music when you rang in to book a table; needless to say we cancelled and opted for cheap Chinese in Harrow. My sister had a late meeting and I was gutted.
Salsa took up a part of my never ending week for my class had become everything to die for! My hips had actually found rhythm, they had started to sashay to the sensual Cuban sounds amidst counts of 1,2,3… 5,6,7. Bliss!

I had dinner with T again; he had told me a few days ago that he was really getting to like me. Noooo… please don’t do this! We have an uber-cool relationship and you’re married! I told him off sternly. He concluded I had a thing for bad boys and if he was one, I’d have been head over heels for him. I duly advised it wasn’t the case and I just knew I deserved better than to be with a married man, it was that simple.

Friday evening was the highlight of my week. My cousin and I graced ‘Park Night’ at the Serpentine gallery (tea at a cafe along the Serpentine, first, of course!) where we listened to a reciprocal talk by Enrique Vila-Matas & Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster. Dominique was an interesting lady who came across as dark, a visual artist, clearly creative. A lot of her work was centred around the apocalypse and the one phrase she constantly vocalised was “Tout finit mal”, which translates to ‘everything ends badly’.
The rationale being that everything ends badly otherwise it wouldn’t end. Enrique on the other hand was a gentle, elderly writer, extremely positive and spoke with a lot of depth. He had written about Dominique and some of her exhibitions at the Tate, his tales were of the weather and the times and carried a certain ‘something’ that melted my heart. His retort to Dominique’s; “Tout finit mal”, was simply we live in the best of the worst' so we should be thankful!’ It was most fascinating watching the relationship between them, she; enthralled and magnetised by his presence as she explained how he had guided her through some of her darkest days through his books and he; simply enjoyed the sheer force his writing had on his subject. It almost felt like they were making a kind of love as they spoke of experiences and the shared impact on each other’s lives. I was awed and impressed!… The aisles were filled with art students and 'Enrique' Fans as my cousin and I stood out like sore thumbs… ‘Where did other people of colour go for fun?’
The night ended with dinner at Pizza Express. It was a kaleidoscope of beautiful activities and had made me smile, again! ….

I made my way to a five hour Salsa workshop on Saturday, after stopping at the Royal mail depot. Aah, I thought as I received my beautiful dune 'decoy' sandals and ‘Banksy’s’ fallen angel on Canvas, I smiled. I was so elated; the nightmarish delays on the Northern line couldn’t erase the smug look of joy I was carrying. I loved ‘Blek Le Rat’ and a lot of Banksy’s work is rumoured to be inspired by this artist’s work.
I still think every lady should take up Salsa. There’s something about half twirls and being led by a man that activates a smile, it’s synonymous to a single-click button that releases ‘happy feelings’… hmm!

I had my evening all planned till I picked up my blackberry, *sigh*, Tunji had left me a message; it was his leaving do in East London. Well! There goes my quiet evening. I left Salsa an hour earlier and headed home. Effortlessly Chic clearly had nothing to do with the amount of effort that is actually put in, right? An hour and a half later; black Skinny jeans, ‘marl’ vest and matching ‘marl’ heels covered by a black Mac formed my attire for the evening. I walked into the picturesque apartment to a game of Whit Alexander and Richard Tait’s Cranium. It set the mood off with laughs as we attempted to solve hilarious puzzles.
Seeing old friends, great wine, brilliant food and amazing hosts, I had irresponsibly stayed till 1 a.m.

Naughty! Determined not to spend another £40 on a cab, I got Tunji to drop me off in Central London. I set my feet on the strand at 2:00am as I got out of the black Mercedes. ‘I love London’ was the singular thought that combed my mind. My heart raced, pulse quickening with Euphoria as I took in the much organised chaos and silent noise the city reverberated with. I quietly sought out another adventure after all I had my super Mac on, we could brave the threatening howl of the wind!

I sought out a map, it duly advised that I’d find my way North at Bus Stop ‘T’. I had never taken a night bus. bracing myself as the N13 came to a halt, I hesitated lightly.  I wish I could word the excitement, fatigue, singing and tales ravers from all nationalities felt and uttered. I was there to people watch. The momentum held from the strand to Golders Green and then to Edgware as the N5 snaked through quieter roads and beautiful houses. I smiled till rosy cheeks pleaded with me to stop. The energy was surreal and I was in a heaven of my own!
3:14am, I unlocked the door, washed melted make up off my face and fell asleep while watching what was left of ‘The Practice’.

Midday; I carefully contemplated attending Segun’s leaving do/barbecue. It was going to be one of the few chances to see him before he left. It was Sunny; there was no excuse to stay indoors. I wanted to see some more old friends and send Segun off!.
Opting for linen pants, a sleeveless, cream empire waist top and slip-ons, I targeted casual and happily made my way to Orpington.
We played and talked, ate and caught up like we’d parted only days before, you’d never have guessed that the majority of us hadn’t seen each other in 10 -13 years. It was fun trying to figure out who was who, trying to remember what had shaped each of us and guessing and missing each other’s names as we married them to memories we held. It was great to see everyone doing well as we thanked that one bond that united us, College!

Yomi, Akin, L and I laughed all the way home as stories of the fashion world, politics, Central St. Martins and ‘Ed’ (hmm! To come!), gently ended the night.
It was midnight. I was exhausted but glad; I had made new friends, reconnected with old ones, had good food and met an exciting, creative architect who shared my love for all things APPLE (Software&Hardware)  he had promised to call today. It was all completely worth it…


musco said...

Where exactly do I start from? I'm going back to read again!

Am I first?

YankeeNaija said...


Ok, back to why I'm here. Dang, you have way more fun than I do. Your adventures are akin to sex and the city, minus the sex. lol.

T.Notes said...

I sooo bloody hate you!!!!For writing so dang good n soo dang suave!!!

YN put it perfectly, it has that Sarah Jessica Parker (Sex n the city) kind of "feel-good-thingy"!

I covet your skill!!!

inStilettos said...

@ musco: yes you are lol
T-notes and YN: Guys I'm so humbled, I absolutely heart candace bushnell and SATC I know you didn't say I write like her but sounding SATC is like the biggest compliment ever... Thank you guys!

inStilettos said...

oh and T-notes I'm still waitng on that e mail! :)