Public Holiday

Nicholas Quirke was intending to relax on 5 April 2020 but it seemed Peng had other ideas. Admittedly the morning was slow and relatively peaceful, though keeping up with the blog was a paramount concern for him and he downloaded video and photographs and attempted to get everything in order. There was another Chinese restaurant Qiye Jordan chan that was using plant-based meat in its recipes and anxious to try out their style of dishes they were going to a Hopson One mall in the west of the city. The meal was served with a seven up with a salted lemon. Quite a taste sensation. He had a logon berry sorbet at Savage Mill then went to the cinema They were seeing ‘Eleven Chapters’ at Daguanlou cinema, located in the middle of Dashilar Hutong. It was China’s first picture house and was opened by Ren Qingtai, a pioneer photographer who directed China’s first film and founded the country’s first movie studio. The first film, Dingjun Mountain, was an excerpt of Peking opera and was screened at the historical cinema in 1905. Interestingly he noted that its sound equipment was made at 718 Factory – now the 798 Art District., Remarkably he was able to see a film in the same spot and he felt himself commingling with the ghosts of turn of the century China. The cinema had a similar aura to his beloved Duke of York’s in Brighton and he was excited to be attending. It was then with a heavy heart and a sigh that as the film began they discovered there were no English subtitles. He tried to follow the action but it was a film full of talk and he was lost. He doubted that he could sit in incomprehension for two hours and disappointed they left. Thay walked round the hutong and discovered a Peking Opera Theatre theatre and to the amusement of onlookers he posed as an artist. They were close to the Changxiang Hutong which Peng had never been to and for once Nicholas was able to act as guide around the streets of the waterside hutong and he even discovered some sights some very inappropriate that he had not seen before, including a visit to a public toilet that he thought he would never want crouch and use. It was a good day for a walk, the temperature was high and sky blue and they took a leisurely stroll home stopping to buy some snacks for the evening movie. They discovered that a restaurant they used to get vegetable Roujiamo (Chinese burgers) were now doing a plant based filling and they stopped to sample the new delight. The movie they watched was the Oscar nominated ‘Mack’ a film he loved because its subject was the writing of Citizen Kane and was a history he was more than familiar with. The black and white cinematography echoed the wonderful revolutionary work of Greg Toland, Peng however had never seen Orson Welles masterpiece and despite Gary Oldman’s great performance, a cracking script and the style he was bewildered by it and if the manner of telling a story leaves the audience puzzlers and unsatisfied it can’t be doing its job. Exhausted by explaining the film he was relieved to finally go to sleep.

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