Thursday, 30 August 2007

It'll close in 6 months

Tuned into see the new BBC2 food show "the restaurant" just to give at chance, the annoying food fight ads had put me off. Sadly as a switched over they were showing a scene of a women crying, assuming it wasn't because her Hollandaise had split I immediately turned back over. I mean all this sub apprentice/F-word nonsense is totally boring, yes have programmes about restaurants but why show people crying, food should be a pleasure not a trauma.

I know this won't catch on but as Mark Twain said about the police anybody who wants to be on reality tv show should automatically exclude themselves from selection. Bill please!

Crazy show biz names

Saw a poster for the new French version of lady chatterly , 2 marvelous names caught my eye:
Ladies and gents may I present Hippolyte Giradot and Jean-louis Coulloc'h. Excellent exotic names chaps, but come on Hippolyte do they not have bullying in french schools? We had a lad at our school called Jarrod and he had a bad time, I think t'old Hippo would not have lasted 5 mins. At our school I think even the teachers would've have taken the mick.
As for Jean-Louis it's " ' " that's mysterious I fear it's a French sound we anglos have difficulty making like the rolled R in regla (ruler). Anyway just thought you'd like them .

Posts have been tricky lately as my lap top died so doing them on the hop watch out for an avalanche of vinyl I bought the other day, anytime soon. * crosses fingers*

Tuesday, 28 August 2007

Free Bruce

The Guardian have a free new track from Mr Springsteen for you to download. Which is always interesting to hear also for an online offer you don't have to sign in or give them any details at all just click and download Hurrah! It's the sort of thing that could win you over to a paper.

Speaking of which does anyone else think slightly less of the Happy Mondays and especially the Bunny Men for being given a way free by that "paper of record" The Star. I know Shaun and Bez appeared in Penthouse but I had the Bunny Men as slightly classier somehow.

Saturday, 25 August 2007

Come Home to a REAL Arcade Fire.

The Arcade Fire have just been on tv . Now I really like the 'Fire and live they are awesome, my only doubts about them is and this might not be a problem, but are their hyper chaotic cult like live performances manufactured? The search for the REAL in rock is an ongoing problem and might be a Willow 'o' wisp, does it matter if they mean it MAN? The ' Fire performance from the Reading festival was as intense as when we saw them at Glastonbury , so do they tap into some primal force every night or is it an act? If they are acting does it matter? Does it have to be real to be true? I'm not sure, the effect of the audience is almost unnerving, where does it go from here? How many times can they rip loose like this? Anyway let's not think too much and just enjoy the moment.

Putney Sunset's fine

Took this last night after some great fish and chips and before some excellent beer! Good company too cheers E,R,R&S! I think you are all nice pieces.....
title: Putney Bridge about 7.30 pm panorama

Friday, 24 August 2007

She Fits the bill

Eglantine Rembauville Internet Hot Desk

There’s been a lot of traffic (for me) to the blog, checking my stat meter it seems a lot of people are looking for “Eglantine Rembauville”. I only mentioned her the other day because of her crazy name.

With all the interest I did some more searching of my own which is the Eglantine everyone is looking for, could it be this one ?

No maybe this one, or again not

Maybe just maybe it’s this one, oh now I see.

Apparently She’s been in the Bill and played a student in the Da Vinci code (which contains disturbing images, violence, some nudity, thematic material, brief drug references and sexual content).

So to save time here’s your one shop stop for all your Eglantine Rembauvile needs
IMDB info
Her crazy myspace site
In her own words
Only bad people go here
Or here
Scenes of a sexual nature
sounds good I'm afraid it's a crap lottery film nobody went ot see
Personally I’d download the font and save your eye sight.

Thursday, 23 August 2007

Credit where credit is due.

It’s easy to whine about poor service but in the space of 20 mins and a horrible downpour today, I received friendly and helpful services from the following:

Cornflake: who usually want to sell you drool worthy high end Hi-fi kit, sorted out a part for my turntable, with ease and charm, for a very fair price too.

The friendly chap in PC Amigo (who was pleasingly Spanish (?) ) answered a lap top question in simple terms and didn’t try to flog me anything in fact the reverse told me how do something for free.

Even the guys in the games shop CEX dealt with my enquiry in a jolly and friendly way. So Ladies & Gents of the Charlotte st Noho techy triangle cheers.

Wednesday, 22 August 2007

Jamie at Home

Finally got to see an episode of “Jamie at Home” (or should that be “down the allotment”) and was pleasantly pleased, it’s just what I want from cooking show. Good food, cooked by someone who gives a damn. The set up is only marginally post modern, Jamie’s stuck in a strange Garden of Eden minus Eve (Jules) and cooks stuff there on his own, except for a gardener who wanders about a bit in the background.

Last night he was barbequing and keeping to tradition it did with gusto, having “found” a clockwork rotisserie he cooked a delish looking leg of lamb followed, by some juicy ribs and some corking lush crispy skinned salmon. The only problem with the new series is that he still caters for a school; he looked at bit sad munching through his feast on his tod. I am pleased he still seems enthusiastic about food and this comes over in the programme.

I have only a couple of caveats firstly he has started slipping in to the staccato shouty delivery t’old Gordo uses and also his random use of phrases is getting worse, every noun last night seemed to have “bage” at the end as in “ a load more herbage on the top”. Also this organic thing is little over the top with him insisting on “organic” ketchup being added to a sauce, along with “organic” salmon whatever the hell that is. So, on the whole good stuff, if only I had garden to smoke sea food in.

Tuesday, 21 August 2007

Oh no Bon(o) Mots!

Some days when things aren't going well and you need some reassurance, some inspiration, it can be hard to find.

Who should you turn to: your friends? (they've no time),your family ? (they don't understand you) or maybe your local religious leader? (too out of touch)

No, go right to the top, yes on God's right hand sits his Holiness Paul Hewson or to use his chosen name BONO.

He can help his wisdom and compassion knows no bounds, his words can heal at a distance, he's made the blind see, he's made the deaf thank the lord, he's ... I'll stop know!

To read his thought for the day (and receive some succour) pop over here to Miss Deadlines site. Enjoy!

Monday, 20 August 2007

Festival checklist.

Anyone who's packing for Reading or Leeds or any festival really, why not download this what to pack for a festival checklist over 250 music fans can't be wrong. have a good one!

Test Department

Test, if you can see this ,the post function IS working , which means my hilarious bit on "comedy" celeb names is being blocked by the CIA.

Update 5mins later : Ah ya see I called the CIA's bluff and they backed down, fight the power!

Notable show biz names of the day

From today's G2:
Ladies and Gentlemen may I introduce the rising actress Mme Eglantine Rembauville (she's in the Bill!) and the up and coming Film director China Moo- Young.

Q: Do these names pass the Mark Radcliffe test? As in "hello Mrs Rembauville is your Eglantine playing out?"
A: Probably not, god love 'em.

Sunday, 19 August 2007

Comet St Balloons

On the way to the market I saw this field of Balloons it made me smile so I made a film for you enjoy!

Saturday Sun (?)

To Deptford market for good deals on a hands free kit, some corn on the cobs and a particularly delish melon. I also swung past the flea market and got a quids worth of vinyl, which I’ll tell you about when I’ve burnt a few tracks. On the way home I stopped in the little park near my flat. The sky was flat grey and I had the place to myself. So I listened to the radio and munched my sarnie.

A few things occurred to me whilst I listened and chewed:

Fat fighters:
Two examples of the battle against obesity, one more destined to succeed than the other, firstly Greggs the Baker has started selling fruit salad! Before you start it’s not wrapped in pastry and called a “turn over”, but your actual apple and grapes etc. So have one of these, a cup of tomato soup, a juice and veggie pasty and you’ve had 4 of your portions of F’n’V for the day or may be not…

The second tactic in the fight against the flab was the young kid who I saw cycling round the town and who joined me in the park. Now we know cycling’s good for you but this poor blighter had had his seat pinched and so was riding permanently out of the saddle he must have legs of steel, we should sign him for the Olympics.

Get the Flock outta here:
Apart from me, and Deptford’s answer to Miguel Indurain, also in the park were a flock of 50 – 60 pigeons. Not an uncommon sight but they were engaging, pecking away at seeds and insects and the crumbs from my lunch. Looking at them more closely I was struck by one thing, why are pigeons not all the same colour?

In this flock there were black, white, mottled grey, variations on the standard pigeon plumage and a whole variety. So what, well have you seen such variety in robins, magpies, or even seagulls? The answers no, normally in wild animals they all look very much alike. The variety we see in domestic animals is only transitory, leave two fancy gold fish in the same bowl (even ones with outlandish ones with long tails or bulbous eyes) and they will interbreed and return to a common ancestor.

The same goes for dogs and cats. So why haven’t all these wild pigeons breed back to a common cliff dwelling ancestors’ plumage? Well 2 minutes on the web and I have my answer, I won’t rehash the facts but basically in towns not many things eat them, there’s plenty of food so birds of a feather flock together and they tend to mate with similar coloured birds.

Just as I finished my musing on pigeons Northern sky by Nick Drake came on the radio and after it had finished, I collected my bags and wandered home and fished out this tune for you.

Elton John Plays Way to Blue (1972?).
Sorry I can’t remember which site I got it from.
I’m not the world's biggest Elton fan I always think the idea of his recent albums sound better than the actuality. But this version of “Way to blue” is interesting and does have some good piano work on it, see what your think.

Saturday, 18 August 2007

Toxteth O’Grady: a small snippet of Fry not Laurie.

A little rant: Was it really necessary to repeatedly put up a caption telling us that the wingnut next to the large vase of flowers in "we all love Stephen Fry show" was Prince cocking Charles the Prince of Darkness sorry whales" surely the only sodding benefit of the royals is we know what the tossing heck they look like!

Can’t fault the choice of shows, in the rest of the strand. I’m always surprised how much of Blackadder, etc I know verbatim. The Fry and Laurie’s we learnt from the script books (yes, we were that sad) Blackadder goes forth is just perfect. I seem to know every second of the Young Ones mainly because everything we said during break at school was from scripts recited until they entered out very DNA.

The bit where they rush off to station whilst Motorhead play the “ace of spades” is the most perfect collision of rock and comedy ever. The only time a truly dangerous band joined forces with a bunch of dangerous comics both at the height of their game.

Lastly, I’m not taken with Wilde, It’s meant to be this great part but by the end we know very little about Oscar apart from he’s horrible to his wife, he occasionally say’s something funny and just seems to moon about. I would much rather watch one of his plays.

Apparently Channel five is doing the same for Hugh Laurie by showing endless episodes of House….

Friday, 17 August 2007

Last knockings (for now) in the Indie city

We are meant to get have five portions of fruit and veg a day, 100ml of fruit juice is only meant to count as one portion. This is plainly tosh you can never have too much juice especially ORANGE JUICE. Simply Thrilled Honey 1983(?)
In this rather obvious but wonderful video we get at least 1,000 portions hurrah!

Just like the four top I just can’t get enough…..

Just a few drops more of Edwyn in a
brilliant interview in the paper, his first since his stroke. A note to any repressed northerners (guilty ya ‘onour) it’s quite moving and there’s a real “oh I’ve just got something in my eye” moment towards the end, so don’t read it on bench in busy square, next to a load of builders in Hi-vis vests.

Thursday, 16 August 2007

Still no pity in Indie city pt 4

Orange Juice: Rip it up. 1982

What can you say, apart from watch out for the guitar solo! oh and Edwyn's new album.

Spam Haiku of the Week:

One in the eye for Cromer:

To be a proper Haiku I think this would need a description of nature but it does contain a season, a place and a description of an action so it’s almost there. I’m not sure of the Fall delights of Hastings, adding a knackered wistful seaside town with the most wistful of seasons could be more coastal melancholy than even Mr “look at that gnarled groyne, isn’t it wonderful” BLTP can stand.

Autumn Hastings: it can also add excitement

Wednesday, 15 August 2007

Aint no pity in the indie city pt 3

The Wedding Present : You should always keep in touch with your friends 1987

I love the Wedding Present, there I've said it, they were great, I love their fast guitars, Dave Gedge's flat vowels and stumbling northern angst. I love this super 8 film, look out for original bassist Grapper in his comedy flat hat. I think you should stop being unreasonable now and fall in love again with the weddoes..

We love it when our friends are successful!

It started off on a mattress in alley just off the Ramblas and ended up in a hole in the ground in Galway

Declan and Billy are 2 of Ireland’s leading archaeologist and as well as the usual digging and scraping they have been at the forefront of proving that good old beer is at the heart of mankind’s development from random berry picking bison bothering hunter gatherers to the wonderful civilisation we have today.
Their latest project: making ancient beer in a hole in the ground. It seems to have worked better than expected.

No doubt it will all be another tale to add to their very long list of anecdotes. If you are in Galway and bump into them (not as unlikely as it seems) get them to tell you the one about the guy who measures kids for a living oh and the nuns in Uganda and Billy’s castle and and…..
Go to the Moore group’s excellent website for loads of details and pictures.

We love it when our friends are famous the Urban Woo had being singing the praises of middle age beef cake in 'graph!

Tuesday, 14 August 2007

Hell Fire!

Today’s story of fire on a oil rig (thankfully no one was injured) reminded me of the classic oil well fighters Red Adair and his side kick Ansger “Boots” Hansen. Boots Hansen in particular became a strange folk hero at the time of the piper alpha tragedy at our school, partly because we had a kid called Hansen in our class but also Boots is a cool name and it was on newsround every day.

Boots Hansen struck a particular chord with me and my brothers, as one of our favourite films was John Wayne’s Hellfighters 1968, which was a fictionalised version of the life of Red Adair. This late 60’s tosh for some reason appealed to us , we drew pictures of the strange cranes they used to fight the fires. It was Thunderbirds but with real people! I think we also liked the fact they blew out the fires with explosives which being pyromaniacs we thought was cool. It’s funny what you think of watching the news.

Aint no pity in the Indie City pt 2

Talulah Gosh : Talulah Gosh circa 1986

The winners of the non more indie awards 3 years running Talulah Gosh were the acme of this brand of rocky/pop. This vid is excellent containing the best indie disco dancing ever enjoy!

You haven't got anything in satanic black...

More Oxford street I spy: these are more niche types so 40 points a piece:
A technogothic character on the tube a face full of piercings, those expanding ear rings to make a big hole in your lobe, spikes in his lip the works. He was in the full fig as well, a combat jacket with deaths head buttons, complicated combat trousers and those stack foam heeled “2000 AD Judge Dredd” trainers. He was the last survivor of a phuture nuclear war, Mad Max’s wacky sidekick, good to see then that he was carrying his sarnies in a Marks and Spencer’s bag for life. The revolution won’t be televised but it will be well catered for, you know some of those hot smoked Arbroath salmon flakes and some Italiany lentlily salads…..

Careful now.
Someone had taken the severe weather warning seriously, this morning on the Jubbly there was a youngish guy who had heard the reports of rain and wasn’t going to be caught out: he had a full on mountain waterproof cagoule, nylon over trousers, gaiters and a jaunty yellow vinyl walking hat. Meanwhile the shop worker next to him was in a skimpy vest top, a pelmet of a skirt and her only concession to the rain some Ugg boots.

Aint No Pity In the indie city part 1

The recent news may have made we wistful so I've been looking up some gems from when Jangle was king and before Ameilia from Talulah Gosh was a chief Economist at the DTI
The Shop Assistants Circa 1986

Monday, 13 August 2007

This totally sux !! :) IMHO

Anything to add?

I was looking at the tributes on the BBC website for Tony Wilson, nothing out of the norm just everyday people trying to express themselves, never an easy thing where death is concerned. The one standout comment was something along the lines of “I’ve actually never heard of the guy”. Now my objection to this isn’t on the grounds of speaking ill of the dead, or even good taste, (T W wouldn’t have minded a bit), it was more, what was the point of making the comment? It didn’t add to the debate or give insight into the situation, other than the obvious idea that not everyone in Britain has heard of an independent record label boss/local TV presenter. It not like it was a person to person conversation where a reply is needed. This guy was online (and went through the rigmarole of logging into the BBC site) and thought he should join the conversation at randomly by telling everyone he had nothing to say on the subject, brilliant.

This leads me to all pointless comments on youtube and the like you know the insightful reviews like “this rocks” “smokin’ vid” “LOL dude” etc. Now putting aside the banality of it all (when people say LOL do they mean it, I’m jolly person and laugh quite a bit, but a book or a website has to be pretty good to get me to laugh out loud , RWS “raised weak smile” is the usual response. That’s unless it’s film of cats falling off things of course).

Now, I know bloggers may be on thin ice in this area, but putting aside the mental torment this nonsense produces what about all the carbon used (go here for the skinny on carbon production and pc use ) I’m not being over the top am I to say that the merest drop of molten ice cap isn’t worth passing any of these empty pointless opinions?

Sunday, 12 August 2007

New Gold (coast) dream

Operator Please! Just song about ping pong! Brille (2006?)

The weather’s not as hot as it should be, you’ve too much washing to do, it’s too long to pay day so do yourself a favour and check out this lot out. They come over like some thing from the children’s film foundation (which ones Tiger?). But the song which in the best tradition of pop is written in pure gibberish does contain the most perfect line I’ve heard in a while.

“Bet, you know beef jerky has an aftertaste!”

The seem to be formed from an Australian youth orchestra if that’s the case all I can say is "get upstairs and practice that viola young lady!" Poptastic.

Kermit better than Melvin?

Buddy Rich Vs Animal
further proof if it was needed that when it comes to vital perforamnces the Muppets make the South Bank Show look like X factor. Remember next time you see Westlife get a big cheer for standing up halfway through a song what performances use to be like on kids telly.

Catch a falling star...

I saw two shooting stars last night, I wished on them......

Saturday, 11 August 2007

Really Sad News

Tony Wilson
20 February 1950 – 10 August 2007

I don’t know what to say really, so here’s some examples of how much Tony Wilson and the bands he inspired, enraged and promoted have effected my life. Growing up in Yorkshire not the North West I’ve rarely seen him on local TV so that side of his life had little impact on me so what follows is was mainly about the music.

FACT 100: The first gig I ever went to:
The first proper gig (not someone’s school band) was an anti-apartheid gig at Sheffield City hall in around 1985. The two main attractions for me and BLBW were Billy Bragg and NEW ORDER. The London Gospel Inspiration choir where also on but were not my cuppa of tea at the time. I and BLBW had got seats in the balcony, (I don’t think we knew what stalls and circle meant). I remember sitting transfixed for 2 hours. Billy was a great, a one man punk band (I don’t think I’ve seen a bad gig by him)

Then New Order came on. People moshed, people danced and shouted, Hooky played his bass nearly on the floor. Barney tried to sing and play at the same time, I have feeling Gillian was a little hidden at our side of the stage and Stephen was a whirling drum machine in the centre. The whole thing was great, I was buzzing the next day walking to VI form in my “Soweto don’t mourn mobilize” t-shirt.

FAC 63: Britain’s most dispersed art gallery.
In a world of instant music the idea that people would stand staring at record sleeves for 10’s of minutes over a number of days before buying it may seem bizarre. But Factory Record's records sleeves were so wonderful, it’s not over top to say they were a little stack of modern art, freely available to anyone, in my case in the delightfully named Casa Disco. I would stare at the colour blind test inspired sleeve for Temptation for ages; it took me a while to see the title embossed in the cover.

I know Pete Saville designed the cover, as well most other one’s worth looking at since the early 80’s, but Tony Wilson saw his potential, put up with his whimsy and time keeping and encouraged the whole wonderful Bauhaus inspired modernism look of factory. These records where different, enigmatic, unobvious, it may sound pretentious but they were one of my entries into the whole world of art and design, of alternative thinking and ideas.

FAC 73: I remember spending some of my Christmas money one year on Blue Monday, my family were perplexed by this text less blank record that wasn’t an album and wasn’t a 7” single, that had the same track on both sides (one minus vocals of course, the Beach was my fave) my Nana's confusion made the record better in my eyes. You had to know what it was about, to be cool, to be on the inside. And yet Blue Monday got played at school discos, it sounded best in our chapel hall at the monthly under 16 discos. New Order played it live on TOTP and were rubbish and even that WAS COOL.

FAC 51: The Hacienda: I only ever went the once but it was at the height of Madchester. Unlike the rest of the club I was just very drunk. We went with some super cool friends who wrote fanzines and had a good night in the sparsest most expensive (to run) extended anarchist philosophical joke going. Afterwards we went to someone's flat and watched the sun come up sat on their slate roof.

FACT 14 onwards: Coming up up to date one of the best gigs I’ve been to, was the Durutti Column (Vini Reilly) at Ronnie Scott's a couple of Christmas' ago. (Wilson mentored and promoted Vini’s beautiful enrapturing music for years). We got to Ronnie’s in plenty of time but all the best seats seemed to have gone, so we sat at the side of the stage. When the band took the stage, Vini as always seemed so introverted and shy. Halfway through the first song he turned sideways and played the rest of the show directly for us, 15 feet away. There legendary drummer Bruce Mitchell even joked with us at the end, excellent!

So Tony Wilson has directly and indirectly influenced my life in so many ways: I have about 2 ft of Factory vinyl, I’ve travelled 100 miles to gigs, downloaded fonts, had dodgy hair cuts, even worn baggy flairs all because of his bands . My blogging name even alludes to a New Order song.

Whenever you saw Tony on TV he was funny, annoying, witty, stumbling, blunt and smart. He wasn’t afraid of intelligence but hung out with BEZ. This is all without starting on FAC 13: (dancing to Joy Division in the dark in my room)or FACDVD 424: “24-hour Party People” one of the best pop films ever made.

So my condolences go to his family and friends who have lost someone close to them and as for the rest of us, the world in general has just got that bit less interesting.
Cheers Tony and god bless

Factory catalogue.

SAT 11th Update
national noon news didn't cover TW death apparently the BBC think Big Ben being cleaned is more important. Nice film here though . One amusing thing is that the fictional TW from Michael Winterbottom's film seems to be being mixed up with the actual man himself, the sort of post-modern collision that Tony would have enjoyed.
Sun 12 th update: FAC 183 bothsides!: Last night, played out to the clear darkening skies of Crystal Palace by the enviously gifted S and G. They even sound good acoustically
Sun 12th evening update: Here's Paul Morley on TW and Kevin Cummins on the visual side and a bit grumpy about the new Joy Division film Control

Friday, 10 August 2007

I can hear music sweet soul music

Northern Soul: the Movie

Found this can’t remember how, it looks great. Tried to find out more about it ended up at my space which as usual was a deeply annoying experience and a completely useless exercise so you’ll have search it out yourself.

I nominate Alan.

In an interview in Word, Alan Carr slags of Big Brother
Hurrah I like Alan Carr and like his bits on Friday doo dah night but despaired of Channel 4 for shoe horning in random big brother contestants so good on you Alan, BB sucks!

Worst name in Rock?
Got an email from ticket master today the usual one going “don’t miss….” This time it was “Don’t miss HIM”… (no me neither) what a rubbish name, what next a band called “HER” or what about one called "Them "oh yeah, that’s one already gone .

Place fish on plate eat fish!

Rick Stein: God of Food.
A while ago I wrote about not liking Gordon Ramsay mainly because he doesn’t seem to like food. So it’s good to have Rick Stein back touring the Med showing Mr grumpled chin how it’s done.
A food programme about food who knew. Last night we met a Sardinia sausage called figatellu which sounded delish. Tonight a sort of medieval pressure cooked wild boar and tatty stew which also looked excellent. Rick did slip up a bit whilst having some suckling pig he thought we might not like the ember cooked stuffed pigs intestine, (which looked great) er Rick isn’t that just sausage?

It helps that Rick is a grown up, who has read something more than the latest Aston Martin catalogue. Tonight he was in Corsica and Sicily and showed more good food and simple recipes. Smoke eel, a lemon granita that looked gorgeous, even some veggie fare that looked great.

The most telling comparison with Ramsay is that Rick bumped into someone who had bumped into his old mate Mathew Fort (I do think it was an accident) who was writing a book in Sicily. These 2 old friends met up and enthused about food for a five minutes mid show. Gordo would never have a better chef than him on his programme, but Rick regularly lauds other chefs and writers. T’old Gordon’s idea of a special guest is Victoria Beckham, a women who doesn’t eat.

Ps. why is the bbc “ home of 2 million repeats of 2 pints of cocking lager” chucking away Rick’s series by cobbling together 2 episodes clearly made as half hour shows? Presumably they need to free up the schedules for more of their in-depth animal shows, sorry feature length adverts for a randy toffs private visitor's attraction sorry Animal “look the monkeys got a poorly paw sodding” Park.

Meanwhile Miranda was down town....

Unsolvable minutiae of everyday life pt 73
Without coming all over Carrie Bradshaw, here’s another thing to ponder. If in a chain coffee store (it was a meeting I had no choice honest) you ask for a coffee and reply “no” to a chocolate dusting. The staff member then gives you one, in the shape of two entwined hearts is this a come on?

Have you tried a Florist?
I was checking out my site stats when I found the following search which had lead someone to my site “flowers bloom Matthew” no I have no idea either but good luck
to them and welcome if you came back.

Scouting for Girls?
One of my favourite sights up town, is a bunch of vague looking foreign scouts, complete with scruffy uniforms and an anxious leader a surprisingly more common than you might think. Now things have changed a lot since I was scout but is the centre of London the normal place of for an outdoors organisation, maybe a trip to a museum is a good idea or perhaps a quick hour’s souvenir shopping but I think the group I saw this afternoon down the ally outside Raymond revue bar having their picture taken may not have read Baden Powell’s book too carefully.

Wednesday, 8 August 2007

London Peculiar

On the way to Fulham Palace for a picnic and a game of boule , my mate S from Dodgy Boozers pointed out this hidden gem of a row of beautiful alms houses, nestling at the edge of the park.


To Earl's Court to the Great British Beer Festival with “Britain’s Second Best Beer Drinker and leading beer writer”. For one week the GBBF is Britain’s biggest pub and counter to all the nonsense we read about drinking also the safest pub in Britain. I doubt there were any arrests, just loads of people having a real (ale) good time. As BLBW pointed out the tshirt to the left isn't a joke it's just a fact!
With 300 plus beers on sale there is something for everyone.

We had good session ale from Barnsley, an interesting stout flavoured with coriander, a lovely IPA from an America, an alright milk stout also from the USA. My favourite beer of the night was Marston’s IPA which was excellent. You can have 3rd of pint measure so you can taste lots of beers without getting too drunk.

Great straightforward snap as well pies, pork scratchings etc. With a few more seats it would be perfect. Me and BLBW bumped into Stonch while we where there.
Go here for loads of his beer blog stuff. Shame that the BBC chose this evening to repeat an hour long film about French wine La Lucha continua!

Update 9/8/07 For another view of the GBBF and beer in general try Melissa Cole's blog (in her own words " a girl's guide to beer")

Tuesday, 7 August 2007

paint on paint off

Oh, " IT" boy practising your moves on Canada Water Station East London line platform, give us a break. You didn't look hard just daft, you'll never be the Karate Kid and yes you are going bald...

Watch this Film

Here are a couple of late night films which were above the usual straight to video fare.

First up was Open Range by the much maligned Kevin Costner (2002).
An excellent elegiac western. It’s a retelling of that eternal western story, the gunfight at the Ok corral. Costner plays a civil war veteran who has teamed up as a cattle drover with an aging trail boss played by Robert Duval. After an opening rainstorm a member of Costner’s group of drovers is murdered by ranch hands working for (a hammy) Michael Gambon as the evil Irish American ranch owner. So the classic battle between the open range drovers and the ranchers begins. The conflict escalates when the youngest of the party is injured and Duval and Costner seek refuge in a town. Here they meet Doctor’s wife Annette Bening who tends for the boy and for whom Costner falls for, all of which leads to a final reckoning

The whole film is shot beautifully, it’s a rainy western, and the rain is just part of nature and not some heavy handed metaphor. The acting as you would imagine from Duval is excellent, but Bening is good, playing the aging frontiers women well. The film presumably deliberately has strong links to John Ford’s masterpiece My Darling Clementine (1947). Costner’s use of landscape, the eternal ragged western town, the middle aged world weary protagonists, the slow deliberate pace echoing the expanse of the west is very much a nod to Ford. So if you like a western why not mosey on down to Open range (sorry).
We need to talk about Kevin...
Mr Costner isn’t to everyone’s taste and is the butt of a few media jokes, I’m not sure why, yes he takes himself seriously but which film star doesn’t. He appears in grandiose genre films hardly a crime. I think his main crime as far as the media is concerned is that he’s a star in spite of what they think and that he makes films which hark back to the unfashionable 50’s instead of whichever era is the current fave.

Plus Field of Dreams is ace.

The French are known for their sexy seductive films, that have added to the myth of French as top chien in the world shagging stakes. I have my suspicions they talk about it more than they do it. They do however treat sex in an adult way. Very few British films treat sex as an important or normal part of life. 9 songs by Michael Winterbottom attempted to do this but was essentially a French style film that happened to be set in Brixton.

Which brings me to UNE LIAISON PORNOGRAPHIQUE Frédéric Fonteyne, France, 1999.
The title probably harms the film more than it helps explain its content, making it sound like some dodgy channel 5 fair, it would be better described as simply “the affair”. Basically two 40’s somethings Nathalie Baye and Serge López meet each week in a hotel (via a contact ad), to have no strings sex. In a nice touch Fonteyne reveals the explicit (but mild) scenes slowly, at first everything is done behind closed doors.
This being France there is plenty of time for earnest coffee stirring and a “meaningful” commentary by the characters to their respective shrinks/confidants. Gradually the “just sex, no emotion” pact crumbles and a relationship develops.

Several things make this an interesting film firstly its characters are middle class, like they are in many of the best French films. Not the posh middle class of Richard Curtis or linentastic toffs of Merchant Ivory but normal middle class types. In France these are the people who go to see films and want to see films about themselves. In Britain the sort of life most people life or aspire to life isn’t shown on film. We have loads of the heroic Poor, Mike Leigh (his middleclass characters tend to be wanky or cliched) or Ken Loach and of course endless toffs but not the people in the middle.

The other striking thing is that if not exactly hideous gorgons the lead couple are average looking types with the odd wrinkle and the hint of a gut. In the UK if anybody gets laid they are usually floppy haired hotties or American.

The film although not a masterpiece (it’s slightly spoilt by the desperate urge to be meaningful) is worth watching.

If you like this you should check out the much better if more abstract and the bleaker Vendredi soir . This 2002 Claire Denis film is a modern classic genuinely sexy but dark (in every sense of the word) less revealing and less desperate to impart heavy handed meaning than Fonteyne’s film. Maybe you could have a double bill.

Also in a similar vein is Eric Rohmer Les Nuits de la pleine lune, (1984)
a period snap shot of Parisien life, as a young women Pascale Ogie tries to decided between two lovers Tcheky Kayro and Fabrice Luchin one rural, one urban. Worth seeing, Rohmer although not to everyone’s taste has a distinctive eye and has moments of brilliance.

Monday, 6 August 2007

Sad News

Lee Hazelwood (1929-2007) has finally succumbed to the cancer he had been fighting for the last few years. Not much to say really other than go and listen to his life affirming, innovative and funny music. Check out his top advice to Nancy Sinatra on how to sing "these boots" in his obit.

But its soo slow....

Unsolvable minutiae of everyday life pt 56

Am I the only person not to concerned/slightly spooked by how slowly Nat west bank machine return your cash card compared to HSBC ATMs ?

How much if at all do you tip the pizza delivery man?

How come some people choose not to lick the lid of their yoghurt pot?

Can the cakes, brownies etc in chain Coffee shops get any smaller £2.50?

and the living is easy....

Watch this Film: an occasional series.

After braving the sun this morning I headed idoors, my flat’s not large but it’s sunny. With the windows open the sun light through the ash tree outside and breeze stirring the leaves. it’s most pleasant. While I pottered and F1 cars whizzed around the sounds of summer came in. I was about to turn the box off and listen to some tunes, when a film came on, I didn’t know what it was but the opening shots of Venice and the appearance of Kathryn Hepburn made me watch more.

The film turned out to be Summertime (1955) by David Lean.
It was fresh gem to me, it’s the classic story of a repressed American (Hepburn) brought to life by exotic foreigners. This would be a clichéd tale but for a few things firstly David Lean shoots Venice lovingly, it looks marvellous and beautiful. With long shots of churches and canals (you know Venice), close ups of statues etc. The pension Hepburn rents has one of the best views in the world!

The other thing that lifts the film is of course Kathryn Hepburn’s acting, she plays an ageing office worker on a long saved for tour of Europe. She is at once attracted by and repelled by the passion and beauty of Venice. Her awkwardness at dealing with travelling alone and yet reluctance to accept companionship and ultimately love is genuinely moving. This being the grown up 1950’s the film doesn’t settle for easy sentiment. If you’ve not seen it, search it out. Here’s a good article on it from a video club.

I know these tunes may be a bit obvious but they came up when I was looking for pictures for this post.

Ella sings Summertime
The Sundays sing summertime

Sunday, 5 August 2007

Harvest home!

Here's my second tomato! This time in a home grown basil wrap. Yes, it was small but it was lovely. Home grown toms do have thicker skins but the sweet taste is just wonderful. Best eaten warm fresh from the bush, the basil is quite peppery and has more texture than the over watered supermarket stuff.
Ps: thinking about it I'm not sure I removed the stalk Doh!

Saturday, 4 August 2007

The god is in the detail!

Found a wider template for my blog, so it should look a bit better, It looked a bit squished particulary on my widescreen laptop.

Friday, 3 August 2007

Aunty's dual personality

BEEB dichotomy: On BBC4 two excellent concert films from Bruce and Ryan(don't call me Bryan) Adams meanwhile on 3 they are making jokes about Anne Franks in preparation for 3 hours of 2 pints of bloody lager. On 1 it Ace cocking ventura pet arseing detective and yet they showed "voice of the beehive "at 1am the other night when I was crying with tiredness. Why not show the good stuff all the time?
ps. just looked up the pic for this post and Ryan's been hanging out/dating Parker "a mighty wind" Posey there by guaranteeing his jammy Get status. I'd hate him if his songs weren't so great, lucky bugger.

News From up Tarn!

White Rose, Red Blood!
Richard Hawley

I am very much looking forward to the latest Richard Hawley cd.

He’s talking with Alex from T’monkeys here. Two things occurs firstly he always looks wonderfully seedy. The greased DA haircut helps and the big gebs and this all mixes with his rock start pallour to make him look slightly dodgy, top stuff though.

Also top marks for use of the Queens English (i.e. Elizabeth 1st that is), nice use of "thine" in the interview.

" I remember it really well. I were nine, laying in bed at night quite late, arsing about with my guitar, as I always have and always will. So my dad came up and were right pissed off. "What are you doing still awake?" And I said, "I've got this tune and I don't know whose it is." I thought I heard it somewhere. So he said, "Well, play it me." And I played it him. And he goes, "It's thine. Now go to fucking bed." And he turned the light off, and I was laying there getting my head around the concept of making music myself. I make songs up in bizarre places. Pushing kids on swings. In the middle of Tesco's. "

Ps my spell check is obviously hopeless at editing sonnets (or even Heart beat!) etc as “thine” isn’t in the dictionary

Thursday, 2 August 2007

Home Grown!

3 Months in the Making!
My first tomato, grown inside on my window sill. It was delish, if just a mouthful, I should have wrapped it in one of my basil leaves doh! Luckily there's 3 more on the way and loads of flowers!

Britains Brainiest Bench?

The campaign for filling & nutritious lunch time reading
Can I claim a stake to have sat on the brainiest bench in London? Just had me lunch and all three people on my bench (in Hanover Sq) were reading. Nothing new there. But what books, no copies of Ok! , no Tabloids, no over long tediously popular children’s books being read by adults, no proper godamn Culture (should that be KULTUR).
The young woman at the end was most of the way through Crime and Punishment (he dies at the end); the young student type next to me was intently reading (while eating some excellent looking sushi) Non-places: Introduction to an Anthropology of Supermodernity by Marc Auge (Author), John Howe (Translator)

It looked very complicated; I just looked up a website about it all. Non-places are airport lounges, shopping mall walkways and I hope those greened up bits in the middle of traffic islands that I always thought would be a good places for building dens, when I was kid ( well I still do really ).

Oh and what was I reading well, I read the paper for a bit including some news, (a bridge has collapsed) and something about defence spending and then not to be outdone by my admiral fellow munchers and readers, I pulled out my emergency slim volume of Auden Poems. I know, I know but bear with me.
When his anniversary came up a few weeks ago I checked out my verse shelf and it was a bit empty of old crinkle features. So I bought a slim selection. Last week I was tiding up and was about to throw out a Borders bag and found the Auden. So to avoid reading about Lindsay Lohan in the free papers, I slipped it into day pack and have it to hand when inspiration or faulty doors on the Jubilee line strikes. You never know when you are going to need a poem about a quarry! The one from Four weddings bears re-reading as your race under Southwark too. And remember only in Britain would reading poetry (something we are very good at) in Public be seen as pretentious. So the campaign starts here once in while let’s put away the trash and forgo a suduko and read something different, something sustaining, something good.

Ps apologises if you already do, you can have badge though and membership card.

Want to make the best sandwich ever?