My bad: I did indeed miss one update last week, and I honestly don’t have a particularly good excuse.
It did help me remember that.. the whole point of this year long challenge is to explore the concept of fun: what fun means to me, what new ways can I explore fun, and that also means finding out what I don’t find fun.
There were a handful of fun things I could have told you about last week: but the actual idea of sitting down to write, record and edit a podcast… sounded terribly un-fun.
Which taught me something new:
Fun fluctuates. What sounds fun one day – or even most days – may not be fun on another.
And this level of instinct: of going with what feels good for me right now and paying attention to what my body is saying – rather than my dictator-like mind that so badly wants to follow the script and do what my Asana calendar says – this is something I’m really working on right now. Practising, may be a better way to describe it.
But here we are: I’m back in a more inspired mood, ready to fill you in on my latest fun adventures.
This is a bit of a controversial one, but I’d love to ask you dear listener: what comes to mind when you think of going to the cinema – or ‘the movies’ if you’re stateside – all alone?
For a very long time, this was a total no-go for me. As much as this introvert embraces virtually all solitary versions of activities… with some exceptions – seeing a film alone was just not on the list of fun.
Until… I was travelling solo in Avignon, a few years back, and I found myself rather bored on a rainy day. And I just happened to be right by their trendy artsy cinema, which was showing a film in English (with French subtitles.)
And… Yes, I felt a bit awkward for all of 5 minutes, until I realised how brilliant this was. I mean, it’s the perfect solo activity because what kind of maniac speaks in the cinema? Bad form. Compare that to a meal, where talking to your buddy can enhance the experience – well, if you like commenting on your food as much as I do…
In addition, I could cry without holding back! Which has become a habit of mine, almost regardless of what film I’m watching – I can’t seem to control my emotions in my old age, and have even been known to cry in trailers. Doesn’t take much.
OK so: the cinema: a fun activity, in my opinion regardless of companionship.
I actually managed two cinema trips in the last fortnight, one solo, one with friends.
One experience cost all of £4, one cost over £65.
Which was more fun?
The £4 experience was the solo trip. I happened to be in Worthing, an arguably sleepy town not far from my place in Brighton, and I thought it would be a nice end to a rather high-adrenaline morning (I taught a workshop that morning) plus the theatre itself, called the Dome, is really quite charming looking, and I figured it would be worth a look inside at least.
Now I had no idea you could still go to the cinema for less than £10 in the UK. But £4 tickets that – get this – included a free cup of tea or coffee… well, that is still blowing my mind.
And the theatre itself is genuinely lovely – much nicer than the big multiplexes we have that cost a fortune and have sticky floors.
So that was a success. I watched the Shape of Water, which I adored, cried heartily at, and have continued to argue with my loved ones about. That’s the other part of the solo cinema experience: I thought I’d miss the long debates I have afterwards discussing the film, but more often than not, your mates will at some point see it too even if you go separately. Plenty of chances for film debates.
Ok so cinema experience #2: the £60-odd quid experience, was a bit more unique. This is the Secret Cinema: which is basically an immersive experience where you go to some warehouse in the arse-end of nowhere, which has been decked out to look like you’re on the set of a blockbuster film.
I’d been to a Star Wars themed one before, which was amazing, but this one was Blade Runner.
Now, I’m a fan Blade Runner, both the original and the revamp. I even tolerated Ryan Gosling for 2.5 hours.
And this experience was – I think it’s the first fun activity I’ve spoken to you about – which involved my actual real life friends. Who were by far the highlight of my night: the actual Secret Cinema itself was… underwhelming.
It was kind of fun being in this seedy world of neon lights, actual rain even though we were indoors, strange laboratories, a kind of strip club…. Sure, they did a good job.
When it came time to watch the film, you sort of forget what you came to do. And despite paying through our noses for tickets, you didn’t even get a free tea.
Honestly? I’d take a quiet afternoon in the Dome over Secret Cinema any day.