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Archive for the category “London”

Drinking and Don Juan

On Saturday, I went into London for the day. The primary objective was seeing David Tennant in Patrick Marber’s “Don Juan in Soho” at Wyndham’s Theatre. However, that wasn’t til the evening, so I had time to walk and be bad in the meantime…

So, having driven down to North London, I took the tube down to Old Street (which is the laziest I’ve been in a long time, as I usually only get to Euston then walk) and visited Blues Kitchen to try their new special.

Then a walk back towards Soho, and the newly-discovered joys of Chick’n’Sours, where I had their special of Bang-Bang Chicken strips, which is all kinds of awesome. And alongside that, a couple of cocktails – with hindsight, a bit of a bad move, but well, it was par for the course.

After that, it was time to meet the people I was going to the play with – first of all, M, and then (later) two of her friends. In between, we had another drink, and then when the other friends arrived, they decided they wanted cocktails.   I know just the place, said I, and lo, back to Chick’n’Sours, where a significant number of cocktails were consumed…

Before the play, we’d got reservations at Marcus Wareing’s new place, Tredwell’s, and so that was where we ended up next, and more drinks were had as well as decent food.  The final bill was higher than I’d expected, but I’m assuming that’s down to a) drinks, and b) possibly not taking advantage of the Prix Fixe menu.  (I’d need to go back in order to figure things out – I failed to keep the receipt, so can’t check , and honestly don’t really care all that much)  It was good though, and all four of us enjoyed it.

By the end, I was… somewhat the worse for wear, although not ridiculously or dangerously so. Besides, by the time we got to the theatre I was already sobering up.

The play itself was thoroughly enjoyable – as always, I didn’t really know what to expect, and some of it was a bit odd (small dance scenes and the like) but all told, I really liked it.  Tennant himself is obviously having a great time playing the vile and reprehensible Don Juan, and the supporting cast were all pretty damn good as well.  It’s on ’til June 10th, and I’d recommend it if possible.

However, the seats at Wyndham’s are some of the most uncomfortable known to man.  A two-and-a-bit-hour performance was more than enough time to spend with my knees wedged into the back of the seat in front of me.

And then, once everyone else was on trains back to respective stations and homes, I took some time to return to the station where I’d parked the car.  I was completely sober by the time we’d got out of the play, and the extra time/walking boosted that even further.  If I’d been in any doubt, I’d have waited at the car, or found somewhere to get some food.

Then a quick drive home, and all good.  All told, a decent way to spend a Saturday…

 

PIDU : Missing the Main Attraction

[PIDU = People I Don’t Understand]

There are many, many types of people I don’t understand – or at least whose thought processes are beyond me. That’s the theme of the PIDU posts (as mentioned here, although I’ll probably repeat this a few times) and may also become a bit of a throwback to the rants of yore. It may also just fade out. We’ll see.

Anyway, one of the many things that are beyond me are the people who turn up for a concert – indeed, a performance of any kind, really – or a film, and then keep on going out, or chatting, or really doing anything that doesn’t involve focusing on that main act.

In the cinema, it boggles my mind. People will rock up late, when the film’s already started. They’ll sit for a bit, eat their sodding popcorn, slurp their bastard drinks, and before you know it, they’ve got to go to the toilet. (I assume.  They never come back having purchased more food or drink, anyway)  Seriously, what the hell is wrong with people, that they can’t manage to control their bladders for a couple of hours so they can sit and watch a film they’ve paid good money to see?   Personally, I don’t think I’ve ever had to walk out of a film in order to have a slash. Even in the five-ish hour Alien/Prometheus double-bill the other week.

I get it, some people have bladder issues, or continence issues, and there are other complaints along the way.  But I haven’t been to a film in years where no-one walks out at some point in the showing, and then comes back.  Yes, those issues exist, but a) so do preventive measures and things to cater for those issues, and b) I truly don’t believe that the issues are so prevalent that it affects that many people in Milton Keynes.

And then, of course, we get to the fuckknuckles who go to concerts and performances, and chat to their mates all the way through – a lot of the time barely even looking at the stage.  If they are looking, these self-absorbed vacuous twatwoggles are filming the performance/act on their bastard phones and tables, and screwing things up for everyone behind them.

What’s the point? Why would you pay £20-50 per head to go to a concert and then not bother watching/listening?  If all you want to do is drink beer and talk bollocks, you might as well save the ticket money, and fuck off to the pub. Let more people in that want to see the actual gig, rather than making them listen to your braying laugh and piss-awful “banter”. (speaking of which, anyone who uses the word “banter” or “bantz/bants” to describe their interactions with friends is a fuckwitted jizzwizard by definition)  Just cock off and spend your money on lukewarm piss at a Wetherspoons round the corner.

At some point, it’s all going to annoy me enough that I walk up to one of these spaffbuckles and just ask what went through their minds, why they decided to go to a gig and then ignore it all, and just chat.  It’s happened before, and all I got in return was a look of blank incomprehension (I’m pretty sure it was their default expression, in fairness) but it fascinates me, I want to know why they’ve decided that those actions are a good plan.

Maybe one day I’ll find out. But I can’t see it being any time soon, because those doing it don’t have the introspection or self-awareness to be able to explain those processes.

Doing Less, Doing More

After this coming weekend, life calms down a bit once more. (I know, it’s a recurring theme)  From here, I’ve got fewer weekends with stuff already booked – at least until September, which is already idiotic. (Of which more later, or in a future post)

However, that doesn’t mean I’ll not be doing much.

Come the end of September, I’ll be walking a marathon distance, and I want to have an equivalent distance already under my belt by then, along with some other practice/training walks building up to it.  I did a half-marathon distance back in October, but then haven’t done anywhere near as much since, and I’m aware that I really should have done. Oops, as they say.

So in the run-up to the end of September, that’s (part of) what I’m going to be doing. Taking some time, some days out, doing a shitload of walking. It won’t all be London-based, although the majority will be.

I know I could easily just rock up on the day and complete the course – but I do want to at least appear to be taking it more seriously than that.

Less Massive

Well, that concert. It was good – it just wasn’t what was advertised.

As I said on Friday, it had been promoted as playing the whole of “No Protection”, with live dubbing. Which would’ve been fine, and was entirely what was expected.

Instead, while a fair amount of the album was played, there was also a lot of other new stuff, and really it was more of a normal/standard gig, rather than the presentation of a particular piece of work.

In fairness, if it had been promoted as “just” a Mad Professor gig, I’d have still got the ticket, and still gone to the gig.  It’s just that it was promoted as one thing, and turned out to be something else.

I’ve got in touch with Archspace about it, and it’ll be interesting to see what their response is to the entire thing.

All told, I’m still glad I went. I just wish it had been what they’d said it would be.

Another Massive Attack

Many years ago, in 1994, Massive Attack released their second album, “Protection“, which I love. The following year, it was remixed in a dub version by the Mad Professor, and released as “No Protection“, which is one of my all-time favourite albums.  I don’t know why I prefer it, but I do.

Earlier this year, Archspace, a new gig space in London, announced that they’d be doing a one-off gig of the Mad Professor performing “No Protection” live.

Yep, I got tickets straight away. The gig was originally lined up for the end of the month, but moved to the start of the month for some unknown reason.

Still, it’s all good, and I’ve been looking forward to it for a fair while.

And tonight’s the night, so it’ll be interesting to see how good it is. I’ll write more about it once I know, and have got home again.

Filling Time

(no, that’s not a euphemism)

So – this is a perfect example of how my life suddenly ends up getting busy…

As long-term readers know, I’m a regular at the Meatopia cooking festival at Tobacco Dock in London, which is usually on the first weekend of September. I’ve got tickets for both days (again, as usual) which would usually be enough to keep me out of trouble for that weekend.

Except now there’s a gig I want to see on the Saturday night, also in London. Which is also utterly doable – but makes for a rather busier and more complicated weekend, it’s safe to say.

So my plan was

  • Saturday
    • Drive down to Barbican, park up
    • Walk to Tobacco Dock
    • Eat Lots
    • Walk back to Barbican, check in to hotel
    • Travel to Camden for concert
    • Gig
    • Travel back to Barbican
    • Sleep
  • Sunday
    • Walk to Tobacco Dock
    • Eat More
    • Walk back to Barbican
    • Drive home
    • Die quietly.

Except it turns out my cat-carer can’t do that weekend. So….

It now consists of

  • Saturday
    • Drive down to North London
    • Travel to Barbican(ish), then walk to Tobacco Dock
    • Eat Lots
    • Walk/Travel back to Camden
    • Gig
    • Travel back up to where the car’s parked
    • Drive home
  • Sunday
    • Drive down to Barbican, then walk to Tobacco Dock  (or maybe get the train, depending on other stuff going on)
    • Eat More
    • Back to Barbican / Euston
    • Home, and Die Quietly.

And that is how my weekends suddenly get silly. (We’ll also mention that September already has every weekend booked with stuff to do)

Running Into The Flames

Following on from the stories about the terrorist attack yesterday at the Houses of Parliament, the BBC has a piece on the people from St Thomas’s Hospital (literally just over the bridge from the Houses of Parliament) who, on hearing about the incidents, ran to help.  And not just doctors and nurses – I feel a huge dollop of recognition should also be due to Tobias Ellwood, the MP for Bournemouth East, who went to help resuscitate the stabbed policeman.

I don’t care what the hell else is said about those events, but those people are heroes.  Stories like these always remind me of the speech from the West Wing TV Series, (The episode “20 Hours In America, Part II“, if you want to look it up) in the aftermath of another (fictional) terrorist attack …

… and two others are in critical condition, when, after having heard the explosion from their practice facility, they ran into the fire to help get people out. Ran into the fire. The streets of heaven are too crowded with angels tonight.

Gets me every damn time, the people who don’t stand and take pictures, who don’t run away, but instead run towards the danger.  I’d like to think I’m of a similar ilk – but who really knows, until that time comes?

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