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Sunday, May 17, 2009

Whilst hitting Amelie over the head with a rolled up envelope from the HR Department yesterday afternoon (not in such a way as to cause permanent damage, you understand), I discovered an amazing fact. She loves the word 'Donk'. At first I thought it was the action of beating her with my terms and conditions of employment which she found amusing, but no. You can stand motionless in front of her, say the word "Donk", and she bursts out laughing. Admittedly, Lisa's favourite traditional hymn is 'Little Donkey', but other than that, I can't explain it.

Am and I were left to our own devices yesterday, while Lisa took some annual leave and went out for the afternoon. She was taking a chance going out alone, as the mean streets of Eastern Road are well known as Brighton's capital of gun crime. Only two days ago, our good friend Mrs Bruno turned up here looking like the girl in the Timotei ad, after becoming the innocent victim of a drive-by shooting, courtesy of some youths in a chavmobile with a high-powered water pistol. I think that was the mechanical street cleansing the council were talking about.

So having waved goodbye to Lisa, said 'Donk' a few times, and tidied up my DVDs, I checked for the presence of prostitutes, and took Amelie to the Brighton Festival. We ended up at the Sky Mirror outside the Royal Pavilion...

The sky's the limit.
Although to be honest, it's more of a cloud mirror at the moment.

The Guest Artistic Director of this year's festival is world-renowned sculptor and Turner Prize winning artist, Anish Kapoor, creator of Chicago's famous Cloud Gate, and the ten-storey high Marsyas at Tate Modern. Although three weeks ago I'd never heard of him.

According to the Sky Mirror's entry on Wikipedia (because obviously it has one), the original sculpture in Nottingham is six metres wide. The one now installed in New York is more than ten metres wide. Brighton's is two metres. And it's only there for another week. But at least Amelie can say she's seen it.

Personally I preferred the view from the back...

The police are closing in.
He should turn it around and call it Earth Mirror.

A green balloon would have been better.So having enjoyed a bit of art for art's sake, Amelie and I headed through the Pavilion Gardens, looked at a couple of Fringe City events in New Road, passed a 'Mobile Champagne Bar' which was basically a burger van with bubbly, and ended up at a foodie event in North Laine where we got rained on for twenty minutes.

Food festivals are all very well of course, but top chef Phil Vickery assures me that Aldi has some of the best chocolate he's ever tasted. So we went there instead. Am was quite happy in Aldi, but the moment I started browsing the menswear in Oxfam, she started crying. Fortunately I had my secret weapon. I simply looked down at her in the buggy and said "Donk". She instantly stopped crying and gave a big laugh.

When I got home, I broke the news to Lisa and warned her not to abuse the power of the Donk. Use it sparingly, I said, treat it with respect, and above all, be sure to use its powers for good. Naturally she ignored me and started saying "Donk" every three seconds until bedtime. Amelie may have laughed constantly for a good two hours, but the reserves of Donk magic have been well and truly drained. Today it barely raises a smile. I'll be going through the dictionary with her later.