Waffle cake creator and lover of all things purple

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West Sussex, United Kingdom

Sunday, 6 June 2010

Rage against the Washing Machine

So instead of being in London rocking out with friends and seeing one
of the most noteworthy bands of the 1990's sticking it to the man, I'm sat inside feeing very sorry for myself.

The highlight of my day so far has been my trip to the laundrettes where I got to watch my washing wizz around in a blurry circle, not too dissimilar to how my head is currently feeling.
The soak and soap part of the wash is now over which would ordinarily lead directly into the "lug the sodden clothes into the next available clothes oven". Only it appeared that every single Worthingite decided to leave their clothes to simmer gently on a medium heat for the next hour. I was now stuck in a room, which I'm convinced reaches temperatures akin to the suns surface, with a heaped pile of what should now be wearable clothing but is instead a sea of damp man made threads, just praying that someone decides to come and claim their toasty undies sooner than they originally anticipated.

Then, as if an ethereal force had heard my whiney self important plea, an elderly gentleman slowly pottered over to his designated heat circle to examine his tea towels. I got rather excited about this. This could be the big break my clothes and I had been waiting for! I picked up the dripping basket containing my rather sorry looking fabric based skin coverings, ensuring I positioned myself in a prime pouncing position to claim this dryer as my own. The gentleman started to remove his holiday collection of cotton based dish driers when he suddenly paused. Pausing mid removal of items is never a good sign. Something was wrong! His towels were clearly not meeting with his expectations! This granddad had realised he was going to have to make the clearly impossible decision over which of these square sheets had not met the required temperature.

I would like to point out at this juncture, that tea towels are in a state of dampness the vast majority of the time. Unless you're middle class enough to have a machine which cleans your pots for you, or the nearest thing you come to class is insisting your guests eat their take away over the lid of a pizza box, you will know that however few your dishes are, when you come to dry them, your towel will be wetter than an English summer. Surely then, knowing that most humans have this scientific knowledge of the humble tea towel, please explain to me why this man decided to ponder for the next 10 minutes over which items he would return to the rotating jaws of the drying monster and then proceed to only put the dryer on for a further 3 minutes? I do not understand!

I was left feeling bereft of an opportunity to finally dry my belongings. The crumbly old man had taunted with the possibility of toasty dryness, and then made a fool of me as I was left to stand there with the mountain of my things which were still stuck in a state of clothing limbo. I can only imagine this is how the educational runts they picked for contestants on the Million Pound Drop show felt. I was almost expecting Davina to come into the laundrette, ready to point out the bleeding obvious but in a way that is supposed to appear comforting.

While the clock refused to tick, another gentleman arrived to check on his dryers. Yes. DRYERS PLURAL! The cheeky little cretin had taken up 2 of these heat spinners when it was abundantly clear that a queue of soggy sock laden people had started to form. Well ok, so he had set his stuff off before I got there, and the queue really only consisted of me, but I was certainly hacked off enough to generate the disgruntled atmosphere of an over crowded post office.

Time passed slower than a kidney stone and almost as painfully, until the first gentleman had finally managed to neatly fold every single one of his precious chuffing dish rags and place them into his rather twee looking wicker basket.

At last! I finally managed to put my clothes in to cook for 40 minutes!

By now the heat of the room as well as the situation had made me feel even worse than I did before. I was so sick in fact, that I found myself thumbing through the most monstrous of shiny sheet publications “pick me up”. This diabolical excuse for a magazine, known for its callous sensationalism of torturous heartache from people who aren’t usually bright enough to realise that bleeding their private lives in this format will only benefit the publishers, tends to make me very angry indeed. This pile of papery turd adds insult to injury by highlighting the most emotive sentences in the story, just in case the reader finds the rest of the English language too tiresome. Grrr! I didn’t manage to hold out for very long before concluding that I would rather gouge out my own liver with a paper clip than continue reading. Ironically, that will probably feature in next week’s double spread.

It was a further 30 minutes before I could reclaim my clothes from their ordeal and leave the laundrette of nightmares. I truly despise the experience every single time I’m there, but when you are poorly and instead of rocking it to the max you’ve found yourself in a room that time forgot, my deep routed hatred of the whole laundrette social narrative multiplies 10 fold.

I can not believe I have just managed to spew about 2 A4 sides worth of words about my afternoon in a laundrette. If you stayed until the end, good for you :o)

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Fringe preview: Kent Valentine / Fablemonger

Previewing his 5th solo show “Fablemonger”, Kent Valentine arrived at the Albion Hotel in Brighton to take part in the £5 Fringe. Kent is an Australian comedian who is renowned for his ability to immerse the audience in autobiographical narrative. As his own protagonist, he takes a handful of memorable moments from his past and weaves a tapestry of pithy prose.

Having no previous awareness of this particular comedian, I had no preconceptions of how this show would develop. As he took to the front, he appeared to be shrouded in self depreciation which made his entrance a little underwhelming. This filled me with the sort of unease you might experience when watching an entrant walk uncomfortably into an audition.

I was completely and utterly wrong.

From the moment Kent addressed the audience, his personality spilled out and engulfed the attention of the audience for the entire duration of his show. Although it may appear that Kent travels fairly light in terms of material quantity, the quality and level of detail he injects into each story makes “Fablemonger” truly compelling.

Kent manages to paint an emotional masterpiece of awkward, poignant and sometimes even explosive situations. We were taken on a journey through childhood foolishness, as well as more recent situations involving computer games, the creation of child and trying to pick the correct baby transportation apparatus. The dryly delivered descriptive commentary of these personal memories seems to open a window into the glorious yet rather insane logic of this witty man. He has developed the fine art of prolonging suspense until you physically try and hide yourself from the inevitable crescendo to the magnificently unbelievable finale of each story.

I felt Kent’s Fablemonger show was very well structured and beautifully delivered. I heartily recommend adding it to your list of shows to see at the Fringe this year.


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