Regular readers of this page will know that I love Coventry. Celia and I visited on Friday. She hasn’t been there since her teens, so her memories were hazy. My enthusiasm for the place had, I hope, inspired her, but it was mainly because we had seen and enjoyed Where Light Falls, in London, and knew there was a sister event in Coventry, that we got our acts together and bought train tickets.
I am evangelical about Coventry since it entered my consciousness a a few short years ago, thanks to Sarah Moss’ wonderful novel, The Tidal Zone. Why the city isn’t more widely celebrated I don’t know. I somehow doubt it is in the top ten places visitors to the UK have on their Must See lists. That may of course change in 2021 when it becomes the City of Culture.
Power Up Coventry
The light show was not due to start until five in the evening, but we arrived shortly after eleven in the morning. Somehow, I imagined we’d have loads of the to explore.
Our first goal was the Pod Café which I had read about in a magazine called Be Kind I picked up at VegFest in September. We strode through the town, knowing that on Fridays the Pod closed early. I fully expected that we would be back, meandering and wandering the area near the station before we went home. But the day flew by.
The Pod was great. There was only one choice for lunch so we had that; a vegan pancake stuffed with a variety of vegetables and spices. delicious. I had a hot chocolate made with almond milk and Celia had a latte made with another milk alternative. We browsed the bookshelves; admired the pottery; agreed with the board that talked about the importance of mothers.
The Pod Shelves
The Pod Bookshelf
The Pod – Lunch
For this post I am going to try to eschew politics as I feel I am going to tip over the edge soon. I believe it was Harold Wilson who said a week was a long time in politics, but here in the UK five minutes can be enough at the moment to find the world you thought you knew has been turned on its head. So let’s have a break from Brexit, though like some ghastly ghoul in a B movie we know it’s going to keep coming back. Like hiccoughs. Only worse. Much worse.
Fortunately, there are parts of life that continue affirming, and often unexpected. I was about to go to bed on Friday when I received an offer of tickets to a performance of Beethoven’s 6th. A couple of texts back and forth established it was local, no charge, and in a multi-storey car park. Who could refuse? Certainly not I, but it turned out lots of my friends who had a bewildering array of entertainments booked for Saturday could, while I had just planned to be at home with MasterB. Note to self: get out more. Steph was free and not only embraced the offer of a spare ticket but offered champagne chez elle before the event. I had to pass on that as I was working and would need all my time available to get to the gig for the appointed hour.
God, I love London. I know the venues around the multi storey car park: Bussey place, the Peckham Plex, but somehow Bold Tendencies had not registered on my radar. Thank-goodness for B&J, sometime and future cat sitters who had bought the tix. We met at Frank’s Bar, a rooftop space with jaw-dropping views and a large clientele. As Steph said when she arrived shortly after I did, “Where the fuck do all these people come from?” Steph says fuck a lot.
A bar with a view
B&J’s glasses were empty. They had been there a while. Steph and went to the bar. The queue was six deep and a mile sideways. I have no bar presence whatsoever so my expectations were low. I come from a long line of publicans, and some might think that would mean an advantage when it comes to getting the attention of bar staff, but I think it must be indelibly written on my aura that my role is collecting empties and wiping tables. Much to my surprise we were served within a few minutes, minutes during which Steph talked about the mud at this year’s Glastonbury. Mega mud. Continue reading