We went to see Dr John Cooper Clarke last night at the Glee Club in Nottingham – a venue I’d never been to before. I was expecting something more along the lines of Jongleurs, i.e. sticky floors, chicken in a basket and the kind of colour scheme last seen on a pair of Bermuda shorts from the eighties – all black with flashes of fluorescent pink, yellow and green. The Glee Club was thankfully nothing like that; it was dimly lit with a wall of mismatched mirrors, a faux mounted stag’s head and filament light bulbs suspended by chunky chains. In truth, I’m tiring of this style somewhat but it sure beats an eighties fluoro-fest.
Dr John had two support acts: Mike Garry, a Mancunian poet we’d seen before whose poems veer into the bleak but are nonetheless fascinating and stay with you long after the lights have been turned on again, and a lady called Toria Garbutt who’s a lass from Leeds whose poems are a lovely mix of comedy and tragedy delivered in a compelling style in her beautiful vernacular – definitely worth checking out if you’re into poetry or even if you aren’t.
And them, the main event: JCC himself. Whenever we go to see Dr John, its almost like his poems are just bonuses. It’s the little stories in between that are gold dust. He’s such a likeable, eloquent, hilarious man and would definitely be a guest at my fantasy dinner party (along with David Sedaris, Victoria Coren Mitchell and Elizabeth Alker of 6Music fame, in case you were curious).
Last weekend, we popped into Pets at Home to buy the whippet a new bed. He’s slept at the bottom of ours since we got him but he tends to wake in the night and pad about the bed, sticking his cold, wet nose onto any exposed flesh which in turn wakes Mr P who gets rather cranky if his sleep is disturbed. The whippet’s new bed is sumptuous, fleece-lined and super warm and comfy. Thankfully, he jumped straight into it when it was placed in situ at the foot of our bed so I think he’s sold on the idea of his own space too.
From there, we popped to our mate Ben’s pub for Sunday dinner. I love Ben’s place (The White Hart in Loughborough). It’s the perfect all-seasons pub in my opinion. It’s dimly-lit and cosy, an ideal spot to hunker down with a glass of red wine on a cold, winter’s night and then in the summer, the beautiful half-paved, half-grass garden could easily see you through a long, boozy afternoon into dusk where the party could continue beneath the canopy of lights.
I was really impressed by the menu as well. There was a good variety of both fish and veggie dishes (no boring veggie lasagna on this menu). I chose the smokey seafood chowder and whilst it wasn’t quite as good as Mr P’s, it was a hearty, creamy dish that came with a good amount of bread for mopping up the remaining sauce afterwards. Mr P and the F-I-L both had the roast beef dinner which was served pleasingly pink and came with mash, roasties, kale, parsnips, carrots and what Mr P assured me was a cracking gravy. Exceptional value and good food. It’s a great pub if you’re ever in the area.
Tonight, Mr P and I are meeting the F-I-L and the B-I-L for pie night at the New Local and this weekend, if the weather plays ball, we’re thinking about going to the point to point races at Garethorpe. Sunday is the Spurs vs Arsenal derby and then Monday, thankfully if we beat the gooners, is another Bank Holiday. Bliss.