Loves, Darlings...Mmwouah! Kisses and Hugs. Mmwouah!
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Diary and Notes
I saw an interview some years ago with a notorious luvvie droning on about how hard it is being an actor and that the common people just don't appreciate the struggles he had to go through getting into character for his latest rôle and how acting is the hardest thing he's ever done (no doubt having spent thirty years sponging of his rich parents in Maidenhead). Most of what he said was complete drivel and I began wondering why people consider acting to be a profession worthy of any respect (in Shakespeare's time they were considered about as highly as prostitutes and toilet emptiers) or even call it a profession at all when morons like him were able to succeed in it, when he said something that actually made a little sense.
A gem of philosophical wisdom perhaps to raise him to the heights of Aristotle, Lao Tse and Ralph Waldo Emerson?
Not really, the interviewer asked him why luvvies like him were always hugging and kissing each other and acting like a bunch of complete nancies every time they meet. He explained that due to the nature of the theatre you get to work with people for about six months at a time in a quite intense environment and then don't see them again for another three years. There's a sort of continual transient friendship going on and when you meet people from your past you are always really happy to see them. I didn't think his explanation was good enough to justify Kevin Spacey but it did make a bit of sense.
This sort of lifestyle isn't restricted to the theatre however and many careers have customs associated with them caused by this meeting people and not seeing them for some time. For instance, sales reps tell jokes to keep their bonds strong across time and space - go into any Travel Lodge or Four Seasons and the lobby will be full of men in suits telling risqué jokes and reminiscing about the last time they met at Eurocheese 2003 in Bremen.
It is the same with scientists who meet at conferences and workshops and then don't see each other for a while. Science is in many ways a small world and in every field every scientist will know who the other people are - and usually have gotten quite drunk with them. For this is our custom - booze - the oil which lubricates the wheels of academia. I have quite a few friends I've met at various science type thingies and when we meet we always go out for dinner and get completely steaming drunk. If you haven't guessed, this is why I didn't cook dinner for myself today and also took a day or two writing my blog because I had such a throbbing head - booze and science.
A fellow mathematician (who misspells his name John with an H) from Loughborough was giving a talk here in Exeter and we decided to go out to Red Square, Exeter's only Russian restaurant for dinner and to have a few beers and maybe a glass or two of vodka. I've been to Red Square once before, and though a little expensive and the portions a little small, the food is good and the atmosphere conducive to good chitter chat.
My dinner consisted mainly of a variety of dumplings - and a little more would have been good. The little boiled palmeni to start we excellent and my stuffed cabbage balls for a Main course were also good. I managed a few Baltika number three beers, a glass or two of Stolichnya Gold and then we went to the Angel to listen to open night folk music and drink local beer until neither of us could walk. Fortunately I didn't have much to do the next day - poor John was off to Bristol to give a talk. I wonder how he fared?
Mango ice cream cup - with a little sparkly stick in it.
Shreeded Cabbage and Carrot
Mango Ice Cream