D4D

You look like one of them, but talk like one of us

Archive for the category “Single Life”

Slow Days

This month, I’ve come to the conclusion that taking days off (or even having days of doing Not Much) are actually bad for my health. (Note : This post is slightly tongue-in-cheek)

I know I’m renowned for keeping on going, for doing lots of idiot stuff all the time and staying busy. I do also regularly think that I’m doing too much, and need to slow down a bit.  However, when I do so, I get massively hit with illness and general ill health.

The weekend before last, I took a day off, doing very little (still maintaining my step count, but not much else) which was much needed.  However, that kind of day lets me relax, and my resistance becomes massively lowered – so this time I went down with a stinking rotten cold that hit me like a hammer. which lasted into this week.

This weekend, I did very very little on the Sunday (after a significantly hectic week) and came out of it with the start of a gout attack (happily now faded) and a whole set of aching bones, and an even worse night than usual.

The gout in particular was absolutely my own fault, due to the excesses of the weekend and the fact I hadn’t really planned of prepared for it at all in the ways I normally would. I’ve been able to recover from it quickly this time, because I do know what works and what I need to do.

But all told, I’m pretty sure that days off are just bad things for me.

[NOTE : I actually do know I should slow down more so that things aren’t quite as hyper and exhausting in general. It’s just that I’m incredibly bad at doing so, and this year’s showing no real signs of letting up on that score)

Bo Bech at Bibendum

Last week, Claude Bosi (one of the chefs I follow on Twitter) announced that one of his good friends, Bo Bech of Copenhagen’s Geist would be cooking at Bosi’s restaurant at Bibendum in Michelin House in London for one night only, in support of Bech’s new book, published that day. And I was lucky/early enough to get myself a table.

The event was last night, and it was epic.

Me being me, I turned up a bit early – I’m always happy to sit at the bar or whatever – which meant I also got to go into the kitchen, meet Chef Bech and his crew, and have a quick chat. Pretty impressive in and of itself!

As part of the price of the meal, all diners also got a signed copy of the new book “In My Blood” (which is beautiful, and brilliant) which added to the event as well.

And the food itself was spectacular.  Things that just shouldn’t go together (Duck, Pumpkin and Coffee? Shouldn’t work. Does.)

All told, it was one of the best meals I’ve had – and that potato mash with caviar is definitely the most decadent course! – and it was just spectacular.

So now I need to organise a city break to Copenhagen and go to the place itself.  And there’s a couple of other restaurants there I want to try as well. That could be a very expensive weekend…

Autumn Clearout

Every so often I get to a point where I just mentally say “Right, time to get rid of some stuff“. Last week I hit that point, so over the weekend I got rid of some stuff.

During the week I’d bagged up some clothes and other fabric bits (an old duvet cover, sheets I didn’t use any more etc.) to take to the recycling centre, and on Saturday I also chopped and bagged up all the stuff in the yard that hasn’t grown this year.

That’s been a bit ruthless – the weather this year has really not been conducive to new stuff growing, and there were a number of plants that just didn’t make it.  It’s been annoying (and kind of expensive) but there we go, sometimes that crap happens.

All told, it meant I had a car-load of stuff to take to the recycling centre (or “tip”, if you prefer) as well as hoying another load of stuff into the usual bins, clearing out old papers and magazines etc.

None of it was hugely challenging, but the house and yard – and brain – feel significantly clearer as a result of my work.

There’s probably still another load of stuff I could get rid of, but it’s not as clearly visible, and will survive until I get to another “Right!” moment. But for now I’m happy with the extra space and having a little bit less crap in my life and in my house.

Aussie Masterchef (Again)

Tonight, one of my favourite cooking shows is back on TV for another year.

No, not Great British BakeOff (although I may watch that as well) – but Masterchef Australia.  It’s the only Masterchef version I still bother with, mainly because it’s just so different from all the others.

As the Guardian says in this article, Aussie Masterchef is a huge commitment – it’ll be something like 65-70 episodes all told – but it’s also a joy. (Other than the opening credits/intro, which is truly fucking awful) It’s utterly Australian, with a real focus on people pulling together and supporting each other rather than it being a cut-throat competition. The judges aren’t as aloof as in other versions, and generally are more friendly and supportive.

Hell, even the guest chefs come across better than they do in other things. I’ve gained more respect for people I previously couldn’t abide – Marco Pierre White is the primary example here, a man with a reputation for being an utter tosspot, who instead provides constructive feedback and help to the competitors. (However, even Aussie Masterchef can’t make Jamie Oliver into anything other than a lisping Mockney twat you’d never tire of punching)

So yeah, I’ll be watching again. It’ll mean other TV things take a bit of a back seat for the next few weeks, but I can catch up on them when Masterchef Australia is over and done with.

Bat Out Of Hell, Dominion Theatre

Last weekend, I went to see Bat Out Of Hell, the juke-box musical based on the Bat Out Of Hell trilogy by Meatloaf.

It hadn’t been super-high on my priority list, but a friend of mine is running the lighting desk, and it was also in consideration as something to take my mum to later in the year, so I picked up a ticket to see what it was like.

I didn’t really know what to expect – and in many ways, I’m glad of that.  While I did enjoy it, it’s not one I’d go and see again (and also I’m not convinced that mum would like it) so it was definitely worth seeing as research first.  In fairness, a lot of people really like it and have seen it multiple times – and Meatloaf himself saw it a couple of days before I did, and seemed to be pleased with the entire thing.  It just didn’t really do it for me – it’s a subjective thing, and I’m never going to say to anyone “Don’t go”.  It just turned out to not be my thing.

The staging, set, lighting and so on are great, the music performances are pretty good – but the story itself is woeful, and seems to be there just as a kind of bare basic scaffold on which to hang the songs.  (I’m no expert on juke-box musicals, so this could be the case with all of them, I don’t know – and I’m not going to generalise based on a sample of one!)

But still, it was entertaining enough, and kept me amused.  I didn’t come out thinking I’d wasted my money, or disappointed in the production – but I still wouldn’t want to pay to see it again…

 

Busy Busy

I slacked off from writing posts last week – primarily just because I was ridiculously busy, and didn’t get round to it.

The week before had already been daftly busy, including travel to Newcastle for a couple of days, and then social and busy bits on both weekend days.

I can’t even remember now what I did on the Monday – I know I was out, I just can’t recall where/why. That can’t be a good sign.

Then Tuesday evening I was seeing The The at the Royal Albert Hall, and on Wednesday evening seeing them at Brixton Academy, as I may have mentioned before (on more than one occasion)  Both nights were great, but on neither occasion was I home before 1am, nor in bed before 3am. And also working during the day.

Thursday was no better, although at least it was more local, by going to the local Geek Night for a bundle of presentations and connections.

And then Friday was supposed to be quieter, “just popping out” for food at a local event, that then meeting friends and chatting, meaning I didn’t actually leave ’til gone 11pm.

Saturday was a day in London, starting with cocktails and lunch at one of my favourite places, The Alchemist in Bevis Marks (near the base of the Gherkin) followed by a play called “Sancho – An Act of Remembrance” at Wilton’s Theatre.

And today was another food event in Milton Keynes, and this evening I’ve finally stopped and been able to relax a bit.

So. That’s my reasons for not updating over the last week.   I think it’s a pretty good list, but other opinions may differ. 🙂

 

Danny Baker, Northampton Derngate

Seeing Danny Baker on stage was never one of the things on my to-do list. I’d never been overly taken with his character, or the (very little) I knew about him.

But last weekend, I heard an interview with him on the radio, and he seemed… less of a dickhead than I’d previously thought, and actually with a pretty interesting life.  So when I got home, I had a look at details for his current theatre tour, and saw that he was playing in a week’s time in Northampton. And there were still seats available.  So I thought “Well, why not? The most that can happen is I decide I still don’t like him“.  Ticket booked, and on Saturday evening there I was. In Northampton.

As it happened, the show was a lot of fun. And bloody long.  He’d said in the interview (and at the start of the show) that he’s taken over the mantle from Ken Dodd and so on for marathon shows.  (My parents used to say about Doddy telling the audience “I’m the only one who knows when you’re going home”, and this was much the same)  In this case, he started off at 19:45, there was a 15-minute interval at about 21:30, and he finally left the stage at 23:30. Pretty good going.

Also, it’s worth noting that this is the third tour of tales about his life, and by the end of it we were only just getting to where he started in radio at the age of 30. (He’s now 61)  So I’m pretty sure there’s material for a few more tours in him as well.

As it was, a good portion of the first half was concerned with filling out the information from previous tours, so people knew what and who he was talking about during the second half.  The entire thing was accompanied with photos to illustrate the events and places – all with bits being pointed out by the snooker cue he was using as a pointer throughout. He’s also incredibly energetic, constantly walking across the stage. God only knows how many miles he’s covering every night – but it’s certainly not an insignificant number!

The stories he told were pretty epic, with a fair amount of name-dropping and so on – but they weren’t all about being the Big I Am. Obviously there’s a degree of this, as it’s Danny Baker telling The Tale Of Danny Baker, but it’s not excessive, this is the stuff that has happened, and he’s the first to admit he’s been incredibly lucky along the way, along with not always being the hero of his own tales.

Not always funny (although more often than not) the entire show came together really well, and the only thing that actually made it feel as long as it was (Steady on, Matron) was that the seats at Derngate get bloody uncomfortable after a while.

I can’t deny, I really enjoyed the entire thing (poxy seating notwithstanding) and came out with a better impression of Danny Baker than I’d had on the way in.

If the tour is playing anywhere near you, it’s worth seeing.  And if he does another one, the odds are that I’ll go along again. It might even make it onto the to-do list!

 

 

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