Monday, October 31, 2005
Scenes from Soho Thursday 23:29. After failing to get into a pub on the Southbank where an Australian TV programme was being filmed, Ad and I walked back into Soho and went to a more familiar bar that had a much more cheekier display. The bar dancer moved like he was imitating a spin cycle on a front loader, but the punters seemed to like that anyway...
Saturday, October 29, 2005
Paul: I live near Tooting Bec Common now
Fa: Well you will have to get yourself a dog so you can walk it in the common
Paul: Yes I notice that dog walking or walking small children is the popular thing to do there
Fa: Hmm... I would just stick to the dog...
Thursday, October 20, 2005
Her best advice though was to bring your cashmere sweater when coming to Britain. Of course it is worth noting that cute little outfits that cost a fortune carry no cachet with Londoners. Dress shabby.
And of course customer service here IS rubbish. I used a pretty lousy minicab service the other night to get to SW2 and was charged an extra £5 for carrying luggage. Ok so it was a little TV, a monster suitcase and a few boxes but I still thought that was outrageous. I suspected I was being scammed here but in the end I couldn't be arsed to haggle over it. I just made a mental note to write about it on the blog and to avoid that company in future…
Tuesday, October 18, 2005
Monday, October 17, 2005
Sunday, October 16, 2005
Indeed there were a lot of typically British things on display including:
- A passionate love for not killing animals
- Overzealous gardening (and it all looked very organic)
- Upper class twits and eccentric town folk
- Edwardian terrace housing, and
- The usual red telephone boxes and post boxes
The other downside to seeing it at the cinema was that you were inflicted with a very bad computer animation featuring penguins that apparently was a plug for the upcoming release of Madagascar on DVD. It was loud, noisy and looked like rubbish… I think one kid in the entire audience laughed at it (presumably she has special needs).
Golders green station
Originally uploaded by kirwilliam.
Northern Line trains being refitted with safety equipment at Golders Green.
This week everyone has been an expert on trip-cocks and other things that stop trains when tube drivers do a SPAD. The Northern Line resumed a very limited service tonight for the first time since Wednesday evening. But it will be another few days before there is anything like a regular service… A good time to be on holiday…
This week my flatmate R was also at home on holiday so it was a bit of the idle life this week. R and I were reflecting on the past few months this week and I would have to say that my time here has been the best of all my living experiences in London. No prissy queens, no heavily medicated boyfriends, just good sensible living, with a smattering of gentlemen callers. Actually this week it has been more like lashings on R's part I don't know how he has the stamina to keep up, but I digress…
Reflecting on it all R mentioned that he had sussed me out pretty quickly, but what I didn't mention to him was what made me interested in this place. I remember that day in February well. Checking out the flat I went to the bathroom and noticed skid-marks in the toilet bowl. I figured that if somebody was that casual about not cleaning the toilet when strangers were coming over to check out their place then they couldn't be all that bad to live with. So that is my flat-hunting tip in London – check the lavatory for skid marks.
Monday, October 10, 2005
And speaking of Boy George, there is the tragedy of his arrival at Heathrow yesterday. After wondering for years why he wears all that hideous makeup the truth is that he is concealing an even more hideous reality. He looks like the rough trade you find at The Black Cap on a slow night… Put the makeup back on!
Sunday, October 09, 2005
Ad: Well Austria's greatest contribution to society was Hitler wasn't it?
Austrian Woman: You are so rude!
Paul (to the woman): Yes he's terrible. And if the drinks weren't so expensive I'd tell you to throw your glass of wine at him…
At the time I thought it was just because I was seeing a taping of Celebrity Mastermind which made it dull, but this was an odyssey too. It was one full of bad jokes (the warm up man used the line "dirty stinkin' gypos" which I thought surely wasn't very BBC-ish), hideous sets, and endless repeats of poorly arranged songs. Just when you thought it couldn't get any worse, they managed to find an arrangement to do so.
Television is a curious thing as well as what makes it what it is, is local celebrities and local in-jokes, so it is a difficult thing to appreciate culturally as well if you have not had the years of exposure to it. The host was a typical garden variety smarmy type who had hosted several game shows and curiously seemed to be well-liked by the punters. It must be something about the magic of television that I wasn't getting here, or there was a cultural gap...
Having said that, on the plus side, there was very little of the usual Musical numbers that I feared (although they may have recorded those Phantom and Les Miz numbers in previous episodes). Two numbers – a jazz version of "Summertime" and a club-act style version of "What I did For Love" actually sounded pretty darn good too. It wasn't bad hearing those twice, but for the remaining four-and-a-half hours it was less torch song and just more torture.
The recording was made for a series to be aired in January on Saturday nights on BBC1, so it will be perfect for that sort of timeslot when everyone is at home and miserable so why not inflict a cheesy show on the punters – well the ones that can't be arsed getting out on a Saturday evening….
Friday, October 07, 2005
This version was set in a Ukrainian-style country where an English conman was mistaken for a UN inspector looking into the country's human rights record. Michael Sheen was quite funny as the bumbling English conman but every once in a while the comedy ground to a halt when someone's tongue was ripped out, or people were killed. A little bit too black and not enough comedy perhaps. Also at nearly three hours, it tended to drag a bit.
Geraldine James as the President's wife was also particularly amusing, although A suggested that Jewel in the Crown and Gandhi were the days of her better work, but I suggested her best work surely has to be in the second series of Little Britain where she breast feeds her son (aged forty)… Well, it is a popular show here anyway.
Wednesday, October 05, 2005
A: Thanks for washing them. What washing powder do you use they smell terrific?
Paul: Why I use Fairy… Non bio…
At this point Paul does not mention the M&S fabric softener as A is too busy cracking up…
Tuesday, October 04, 2005
I told him that there was nothing to fear as if by chance he saw something that took his fancy I would rush to the bathroom or make some sort of quick exit. Of course Saturday and Sunday mornings in Soho are not the places you are going to find the most eligible men in the city so I figured I would not be making any quick departures…
On Sunday Ad had the skirt steak and it was a source of much discussion as to what part of the animal this came from. The waiter was none the wiser on its location. It was of particular discussion as Ad said it was tough (and it looked like old tyre tread). The waiter agreed and he suggested to Ad that he feed him something else next time. I wasn't quite sure what exactly he had in mind but I think the lesson of the day was to avoid the skirt…
Sunday, October 02, 2005
Meanwhile closer to WC1, there were plenty of punters out and about as Oxford Street closed to traffic so there could be a street party. The effort was to boost sales that have been sluggish even before the July bombings.
No number of street performers bussed in from Covent Garden can conceal the fact that Oxford Street is a bit of a disaster. The shops east of Oxford Circus are mostly rubbish, and what is west to Marble Arch you have to fight through the crowds on poorly maintained footpaths. Oxford Street is really something to cross to get to the gym, to get to Soho, or to go anywhere else…
Later in the day the punters were out at the Astoria in force as Robbie Williams was doing what was described as "a small preview concert" of his latest album. Who would have thought so many females under 25 could be concentrated around such a small area of Tottenham Court Road?