The First Annual Edmonton Burlesque Festival, chaired by Olwen the younger, who was ably assisted by some wonderful Canadians – a number of whom we had the pleasure to meet – was simply fabulous sweetie sweetie dahling! The audiences just loved the shows, and I was as amused watching the audiences’ reactions to the performances as I was watching the performances. Never seen so many tassels, tattoos, tushes or corsets in one place in such a short time! Bought one myself – a corset that is.
Back to the daylight hours – Edmonton is the most sprawling, flat city I have ever experienced. Copenhagen is flatter, but you don’t need a pick-up truck to get to the other side of the street. Without a vehicle here, you are totally stymied. In fact, I felt as though I was travelling through a Hitchcock movie – no pedestrians, all the houses pretty much identical with a basement, two storeys above that and a peaked roof; unless you’re in a condo, then its four storeys, flat roof and neighbours watching the comings and goings because there’s nowt else they seem to do. The furniture in the entry lounge – accessed through two security doors – was securely fastened to the floor. Right.
The locals were also gearing up for Halloween. They take it really seriously here – saw skeletons emerging from front lawns, cadavers swinging from porches or trees, more tombstones at crooked angles than in the local graveyard, cobwebbing draped everywhere by the meter, and there had to be a special on pumpkins. The bigger the better. Including inflatables. With lights. The Edmonton Art Gallery (an amazing building in itself) had a special exhibition ‘The House of the Spider Lady’ … an artistic installation that one wandered through: part horror house, movie set, sculpture, gloomy lighting … the most impressive section was the vermin extermination stall, with a string of desiccated rat corpses. The staff were trying to argue that the timing of the exhibition had nothing to do with Halloween. Hmmm. Try convincing someone else … I found it a bit try hard. One redeeming feature of the gallery was a lovely exhibition of watercolours from the Victoria and Albert in London. Just as well I saw them here, because they won’t be there at Christmas when I’m in the UK.