Phewwwww! The genius of Stanley Kubrick, Hurricanes at Hard Rock, LGBT life on London’s Rainbow Crossing – and then, the sweetest icing on the biggest cake, literally bumping right into the one and only Paul Weller!
If Carslberg made Birthdays then they would have smashed it with this little beauty.
My annual celebrations started as usual with the obligatory City Break. As much as I love my time in our town, I also love the London life, and as my darling daughter Chels is living up there, it would be rude not to.
Friday night saw me settled in Hackney living it large with the locals. Chels lives in a block that’s full of culture, community and camaraderie…remind you of anywhere?
Saturday saw us hop on the Tube to suss the sold out Stanley Kubrick exhibition at the ever striking Design Museum.
Like the talented Tarantino, I love all his films from Full Metal Jacket to Space Odyssey 2001 to Eyes Wide Shut. But it was definitely The Shining section were I loitered the longest…that’s a bit weird, yeah I know.
A quick nip home to the East End to get suited and booted and we were off to the bright lights of Piccadilly Circus to check out London’s newest Hard Rock.
As a Gig Girl, Hard Rock is heaven to me. Love the memorabilia, love the Merch, love the vibe, love the food, and am quite partial to their colourful array of cocktails too.
Lazy like Sunday morning saw me strutting like a boss across the UK’s only LGBT Crossing, at Herne Hill. I was so proud to do that.
Lunch at my Fullers fave, The Mad Bishop and Bear before back on the train home…and the dreaded announcement of a bloody replacement bus from Bristol.
I grumpily stomped off with all my stuff, hurried through the concourse, glanced up quickly and…saw my dream come true walking straight towards me…Oh My Fecking God, it’s THE MOD FATHER!
I said, ‘Paul?’… he said, ‘Yes Darling’ and the rest is history.
Here was my all time fave, ‘Woking Class’ hero who I have idolised since I was a teen, whose voice can send shivers down my spine, and whose lyrics resonate with me more than any other musician ever.
There I was standing with the man who formed the ‘best band in the f*cking world,’ who controversially and courageously broke up that band, The Jam, to start the sweet and soulful Style Council. And when they packed up, followed a unique and experimental musical journey which he has had the guts to never stray from. Respect.
Music is what feelings sound like and this man has written, and is still writing, the soundtrack to my life for God’s sake!
Mr Weller is also, without doubt, the Coolest Cat alive and is bloody lush too. Believe me, he even smells sexy…I would.
Paul was very gracious and charming which was just as well really because, to be honest, I was an emotional wreck with verbal diarrhoea who just wanted to grab him and never let go…was almost tempted to lick his face at one point.
He then had to hold the Phone for the obligatory Selfie as my hand was shaking so much. And that was just before I got the beautiful Birthday kiss, cracking Cwtch and very warm wishes for the future.
Poor bloke only went in for a train ticket!
Still buzzing though! If I live to be a 100, this year’s celebrations will always rank as one of the bestest.
And make no mistake, SVJ’s Birthday 2019 will forever be remembered as the one where I kissed The Modfather.
Thank you Universe!
Sue Vincent-Jones, writing as Mrs SVJ, is a Barry born journalist, editor, and communications specialist. She blogs about Barry – and her life in the wider world, through the eyes of a, quirky and queer, local girl done good.
The dedicated community supporter, passionate arts lover, and award-winning queer activist, can be contacted here.