Saturday, March 14
Southwark Street, 14:30
FutureFest is being held at Vinopolis, which is a couple of hundred metres from London Bridge tube station. To get to it you have to turn right down Stoney Street, which takes you right past Borough Market.
I made it on time and entered a warren of passages linking odd-shaped spaces. With the posters and semi-darkness and occasional lights it took an hour or so to work out where everything was.
I watched some “performances” involving data gloves that reminded me of every other performance I had seen involving data gloves.
I watched a lecture about the future of confectionery. Apparently we have spent the last thirty years innovating with flavours and now it is time to innovate with textures. We were told to imagine an ice-cream cone made with the texture of a a bagel. I dutifully did so but left as the room started to imagine spoons with the texture of crumbly bread. Apparently they will fundamentally alter our experience of soup.
At lunchtime I wandered into Borough Market which has become appallingly trendy. There were numbers of stalls with large queues selling two oysters and a glass of champagne, as well as plenty of opportunities to buy hand made cheese sandwiches, filled with artisanal cheese and pickles, and sold by the hipster who baked the bread.
I walked to the end of the road and turned right into Southwark street and entered The Southwark Tavern which had not suffered any refurbishing or rebranding. I had a sausage sandwich and a pint of Tailspin beer. The pub was full of ordinary people.
Now I am walking back. Over the road there is a long line of the bikes you rent. Behind them is a long queue. I can’t be bothered to cross to find out what they are queuing for. I assume it is either coffee, oysters or brunch of some kind.
I will spend the afternoon watching a lecture about happiness; a panel discussion about the economy, which I spend glancing at Vivienne Westwood who is sitting opposite me; and some more performances of the sort you get at events like this. I will also attend a panel discussion about infinite music.
I will return to Clapham and decide to eat at the Pizzeria on the Green, where the waiter, sunglasses on the top of his head, will do a very accurate impersonation of Al Pacino impersonating an Italian waiter.
The pizza will be okay.