So the secret thing on last Saturday, was due to Sara tigerpig calling me up about a month ago and asking if I was doing anything on the 21st of June. I said I didn't think I was, and so she extended to me an invitation to the Sandhurst Military Academy Summer Mess Ball. Her friend Susan's father teaches there, so there is presumably an allowance of tickets to let the staff's children and their friends come along, so they don't want around going "OMG, WTF" by themselves. The ball (evening/night) is a black tie thing, but there's a polo match (!) in the afternoon, that we were supposed to dress "casual" for. The problem here is that the definition of casual there is probably a notch or two above my definition of "formal". My clothing follows one of two tracks: buy combats/t-shirt/pseudoconverse/coat (or jacket in summer) and wear them until they fall apart, then a bit longer, and replace OR 12 jumpers that I've carried around through several flat-moves. Seriously, have any of you ever seen me in a jumper?
So, I went shopping on Friday, and picked up what is in fact a linen suit. And on Saturday, met Sara to head up to Susan's in Harringay, and on the way discovered that in fact we weren't going anywhere. We still went and met Susan and her boy Ian for lunch and light swearing (I believe there are photos of us in our "casual" clobber in existence), then I got to come back into town and unexpectedly visit Sarah atommickbrane's birthday party. Which was nice, and I got to see two ILX offspring for the first time: Tom freakytigger's Lytton, who seemed quite happy to be there, and had some fine contemplative stares that he's clearly been working on, and Harry, scion of jauntyalan and jauntyemma, who spent most of the time looking very very surprised by everything
Not much happened on Sunday, until I headed down to Crystal Palace to the Sunday Night Adventure Club, which was faring badly against the prospect of being outside in the sunshine. We (me, Ewan hoshuteki, and five or six others) in fact got treated to a free, shortened show, which the participants used as an opportunity to try out new stuff with no pressure, quite handily for them with the pre-Fringe season that's in it. It was a bit ramshackle, and to be honest a few of them failed utterly to engage, but that's only to be expected. The great news, though, is that the Behemoth (IE Luke Roberts and Nadia Kamil) were there doing a mini-preview of their new show and it was great, so it's completely safe for you all to go buy tickets now. I did feel a little awkward due to the fact that my, er, full-flavoured laugh can be a bit much when there's sod all people in the room, so at times it felt like a personal preview.
Out on Wednesday again for the School for Gifted Children, the science-based comedy night hosted by Robin Ince. It was less sciencey than last time, missing both Simon Singh and the Guardian's Ben Goldacre, and also less completely packed. It started out oddly enough, with Robin Ince briefly (but repeatedly) turning into a Jason Rouse-like shock comedian, followed by Andrew Collins talking about terrorism as it is reflected through disaster movies, and Waen Shepard reading some stories that he'd written as a tiny. Then it got stranger, with a short play about Phlogiston, and Jo Neary's infectiously neurotic married marm (I've forgotten which classic of literature this is inspired by, I've probably not read it anyway). Then towards the end we had the three comediennes who'd been hanging around in one of the side-booths all evening: a fairly haphazard Josie Long, Christina Martin (who I'd not seen before, but seemed quite together