I RETURNED to my roots last week. Nothing to do with my hair, just a weekend back in my home town.
Birmingham of course wasn’t where Mr F began life – he was planted and nurtured in Greenford – but he knows my home town almost as well as me and incidentally does a mean Brummie accent.
Because of our regular visits up the M40 over many years we were very surprised when the friends we were staying with, told us they were taking us somewhere we’d never been before.
Described as the ‘Midlands’ Best Kept Secret’, Akamba turned out to be an African themed garden centre and was full of artefacts, a Caribbean restaurant amid bamboo, palms, and a collection of rusting, but beautiful, life-size metal animals. Strange, but interesting.
It’s always good to be taken aback, and this week I was pleasantly surprised again to read about Hillingdon Artsweek, which runs from May 25-June 2. There’s so much going on, from folk to jazz, dance, theatre, film and art.
I fancy going to My Favourite Words where local people will read their favourite piece of prose and poetry, and a Lunchtime Singalong, both on May 29. Check out www.hillingdon.gov.uk/arts and see what floats your boat.
Akamba’s selling point was ‘Paradise is closer than you think!’ but I would say my visit on Thursday last week to the David Bowie exhibition at the Victoria and Albert museum was closer.
I spent two hours walking round an array of brilliant (sometimes crazy) costumes, posters and records, with a headset squashed firmly on my head.
This responded to sensors, and the commentary not only informed, but provided us with the great man’s music at appropriate moments. I just hope I wasn’t singing Space Oddity aloud.
I was particularly interested in the inclusion of Bowie’s rough pages where he had first scrawled his lyrics. His self-editing was impressive and to see how numbers such as Life on Mars evolved from raw beginnings was really fascinating.
Tickets sold out long ago on the internet to the exhibition, David Bowie is.., but a few are available every day if you turn up in person. Do go if you can – it runs until August 11.