I have at last joined FareShares, which is going through a transitional phase, you might say. In order to facilitate more relaxed and happy communications at its meetings on the 15th of each month, I suggested that we hold these meetings up the street, at 184 Crampton Street, aka the Pullens Centre and serve food. Specifucally, borscht.
|Bootiful borscht with perfect purple ladle|
Back then, some seven years ago, Prince was in London, playing his legendary 21 nights at the O2. Tickets for those shows were notionally priced at a very reasonable £31.21 - '3121' was the name of the album Prince was promoting and a copy of it, as I recall, came free with each ticket. However, all 21 nights sold out before I got my act together and so I was obliged to work the secondary market, via eBay, or go the traditional route, bunging a wad of cash to a tout outside the venue. Either way, it was loads of hassle and would've cost the best past of an 'undred quid to go on my own to see the little man in a big arena and so, one way or another over three weeks of 02 nights, I passed up the opportunity to experience Prince in the living moment and, boy, do I regret it. It's never the Prince shows one catches that are regrettable.
|posh bowl by Daniel Reynolds, Reynoldsware|
In FareShares, I've joined a volunteer organisation that's demoralised by a long-running battle between an increasingly isolated individual and the collective, which seems to be leading inexorably to that individual being excluded. With my own history of exclusion, I would hate to see that happen. We should all be able to get around a table and talk reasonably about our differences. I found through the Soup Kitchen that soup has highly conciliatory properties. Perhaps it has to do with water being such a resonant vehicle for intentionality, so that one can literally taste the love in food that is deliberately made as an act of devotion. I talk of borscht.
|standing in your purple moccs|
What's further enhanced the quality of my life over recent months is tapes of Prince's gigs with his latest group, 3rdEyeGirl. It's a female power trio, like a funky Band of Gypsys, with Prince wailing on guitar. If you are unaware of Prince's status as a guitar slinger, watch this take over of a supergroup salute to George Harrison. Observe the expression on Dhani Harrison's face at 4:46!
Now Prince is in London, playing shows around town while I am making a fresh vat o' borscht with Lincolnshire-grown beets, plus one Bramley apple per kilo to add a certain jaunty juiciness. Last Sunday, Prince played the Shepherds Bush Empire, but I did not stir my stumps. This Sunday, Prince played Koko in Mornington Crescent and I did make it up there, but baulked when I saw the length of the queue. Someone tweeted that four hours queuing + £70 cash on the door was generously repaid by a stunning, intimate three hour show, but I no longer have the stamina, sadly, to hack that. I have a gammy left foot that can't take too much standing around, even for His Badness. So I may have to reconcile myself to missing his purple nourishment this time around, too.
The previous day I had concocted a hearty purple borscht for the sake of FareShares. The trick to emulating beefiness in a vegan borscht is to mince field mushrooms and sweat them in the base so that they disappear into the soup, leaving their boskiness behind. That and a dessert spoon of yeast extract per litre of bouillon. We shared it, along with other offerings that made up a really good meal, actually, before conducting our monthly FareShares business meeting.
Pullens Centre next Friday night?