Quote Of The Day

"If you haven't got anything nice to say about anybody, come sit next to me - Alice Roosevelt Longworth (1884-1980)"

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Sam's Exhibtion...

Sam had her first exhibition opening on Monday at The Modern Pantry. It was great. I bought two pieces. No, not these two idiots - the ones below.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Jean-Paul Gautier Exhibition...

Last Sunday Stuart and I went to see the Jean-Paul Gautier at the Barbican Art Gallery. It was amazeballs. The mannequins had video projections of faces on them that were sexy, creepy and funny all at the same time. Some winked, some talked, some sang. Oh and the clothes weren't bad either. And we got to see Madonna's conical bra outfit.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

FA Cup Semi-Final...

Last Saturday Sam and I went to Wembley Stadium to watch Arsenal FC take on Wigan Athletic in the FA Cup semi-final. It was an awful game. We played terribly - just managing to squeeze a draw towards the end of normal time. After extra time it was still 1-1 so it was decided on penalties. Luckily (and I mean that) we scraped a win. They say that victory should taste sweet - but this one left a sour taste in the mouth. Oh well, into the ballot I go for a chance to watch the final on 17th May. Let's hope we pull our overlong red and white socks up by then.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Sophie Eliis-Bextor...

Last Friday Darren treated me to a trip to London's glitzy Union Chapel to see Sophie Ellis-Bextor.

In fine voice she treated us to an hour of her fab new album Wanderlust and then half an hour of crowd-pleasing disco stompers.

As the end of the set approached and in the throws of a fist-in-the-air-pumping-ecstastic move her eyes bounced heavenward and she squealed, "God loves DISCOOOOO!"

A nice coda to the evening was her rushing up to the upper tier of the chapel and under the gaze of a single spotlight she sang us a beautiful a capella farewell ditty. She was quiche.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Cheek by Jowl: 'Tis Pity She's a Whore...

Last night Stuart and I went to see John Ford's 1629 play 'Tis Pity She's A Whore performed by Cheek By Jowl at Barbican's Silk Street Theatre.

Violence, tragedy, blood, death, incest, torture, rape, drugs, bullying, treachery, straight sex, gay sex, nudity, dancing, singing... and that was just in the foyer bar.

It is a great play and this was a great production of it - sure all the female characters come out of it dead, mutilated or worse - but then so do most of the male characters too. 

The production was sexy, visceral, funny, shocking and a definite crowd pleaser. Declan Donnellan's show was a triumph.

They say try everything once except incest and folk-dancing. Well, all I can say after this production is, try both!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Grand National...

Tim and I took a punt on the Grand National last Saturday. We had £10 each way on 10-1 favourite Teaforthree.  Despite shouting at the telly to "move your blooming arse" it fell at one the minor fences. Pah!

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

A Small Family Business...

Last Thursday Stuart and I went to the Oliver Theatre on London's glitzy South Bank to see a rival of Alan Ayckbourn's A Small Family Business.

A comedy/farce it's set in the late 1980s and tells the story of a man, Jack McCracken (Nigel Lindsay), who takes over the running of his father-in-law's family furniture business only to find every one of his extended family is on the take. Stuart seemed to be laughing harder than me at this fact. I wonder why? :-)

Jack compromises more and more until gradually we see him become as corrupt as the rest.

The staging was great - a complete replica suburban house had been built. The acting was sure-footed too - the numerous cast members were very slick at delivering their lines. And the play was good - but only 'good', not 'great'. Sadly I think the source material isn't as shocking or as funny as it was back in 1987. Post-Thatcher and post-MPs expenses scandals we know everyone is on the take.

Monday, April 07, 2014

Lest We Forget...

Last Tuesday Darren and I went to the Barbican Theatre to see the English National Ballet perform Lest We Forget commemorating the centenary of the First World War.

Using contemporary choreographers and performing three new pieces (and one revival) this was not the ENB we were used to. This was a bare-footed ENB, a future-looking ENB, an exciting ENB - bravo say I.

Liam Scarlett’s No Man’s Land: The Ballet boy showed us women working in a munitions factory and the men at the front who did not all return. Very moving.
George Williamson’s Firebird: Sleek and sure-foted it was perhaps a piece that wasn't needed in the evening
Russell Maliphant’s Second Breath: A beautiful dream-like piece.
Akram Khan's Dust: A sensational, visceral piece that had the wow factor as Khan gyrated and convulsed about the stage and the company pulsated along with him.

Three cheers.

Friday, April 04, 2014

20 Feet From Stardom...

Last Friday Stuart and I went to the Hackney Picturehouse to see the Oscar-winning documentary 20 Feet From Stardom.

A joyous film it celebrated the life of the backing singer - often women, often black - who sung on all the hits and all the tours you could imagine. Criminally overlooked these people could sing, could dance and knew how to work as a team. Not all of these artist wanted to be stars in their own right - some like Lisa Fischer - were happy with their lot. But the film highlighted a few that had tried to break the mould and step into the limelight but for a number of reasons had failed. Darlene Love, Merry Clayton, Judith Hill had tried (and still are trying) to make it big but a mixture of controlling producers, bad luck, poor material and mismanagement are holding them back.

As Bruce Springsteen said, "those 20 feet from beside the drum kit to the front of the stage can be a long walk."

Following the screening we were treated to a Q&A with one of the films stars - Judith Hill. Gosh, she can belt them out.

Thursday, April 03, 2014


To spice things up I put Ginger in the stew last night. Shame really, I loved that cat.

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Another Country...

Last week Stuart and I went to see Another Country at the Trafalgar Studios in London's glitzy Westminster.

It was a fresh production of the 1981 classic that back in the day made stars of Rupert Everett, Kenneth Branagh, Daniel Day-Lewis and Colin Firth.

Telling the story of spy Guy Burgess the play is set in the 1930s in an English public school for boys. Guy is openly gay and his friend Judd is a Marxist. Both are outsiders and they rear up against the blatant hypocrisy and snobbery they see around them.

The young and good-looking cast delivered the lines as sharply and as crisply as the day they were written. The scenery was great too - the wooden panelling serving as a powerful metaphor for the claustrophobia both our heroes experience.

It asks a number of questions of the class system too; namely whence comes it's power to force conformity, who runs it's Old Boys' Network that holds the inalienable right to administer career, privilege and position, and why do people caught up in it fear change so greatly.

The answer that Guy finds seems to be 'play the game' but betray it. A conclusion we can perhaps not sympathize with but certainly understand.

Great show. Go see.

Tuesday, April 01, 2014


  • Treated my mum yesterday with an overnight stay in Norwich. Breakfast inbred.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Lunchtime Walk...

I went on a local walk this lunchtime as part of Baker Street Quarter Partnership's free walks series.
I ended up doing a salsa dance class, going to an art gallery, visiting a c18 real ale pub and then in the Monocle cafe. Highly recommended.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Monday, March 24, 2014

Secret Cinema 21...

On Saturday night Stu, Darren, Tim and I went to the latest Secret Cinema in the old Town Hall in London's trendy Crouch End. We'd been told what to wear, where to go and who to meet - but were a bit surprised (and mildly disappointed) by the film. It was a 'classic' - just a not very good one!

The 'business' beforehand was excellent would with all the actors playing their part very well.

Still worth a punt on SC even if the film choices can be a bit variable.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Friday, March 21, 2014

Before The Dawn...

OMG! Kate Bush has announced some gigs. Called Before The Dawn they will take place at the Hammersmith Apollo Eventim in August and September.

Before the Dawn

I am delighted to announce that we will be performing some live shows this coming August and September.
       I hope you will be able to join us and I look forward to seeing you there.
          We'll keep you updated with further news on the web site.
                  Meanwhile, all details of concert dates and tickets are in the note below.
                    Very best wishes,

Before The Dawn at London's Eventim Apollo, Hammersmith 


Tuesday, 26th August
Wednesday, 27th August
Friday, 29th August
Saturday, 30th August


Tuesday, 2nd September
Wednesday, 3rd September
Friday, 5th September
Saturday, 6th September
Tuesday, 9th September
Wednesday, 10th September
Friday, 12th September
Saturday, 13th September
Tuesday, 16th September
Wednesday, 17th September
Friday, 19th September


Tickets will go on sale at 9.30 am (GMT) on the 28th March 2014 and will be available exclusively from the following agents:


Please note that tickets are not available directly from the venue Box Office.  Additional order enquiries should be directed to the Eventim customer service department at: 
customerservice@eventim.co.uk or 08443760021

Ticket purchases are limited to a maximum of 4 per order.  For example, you can try to purchase up to 4 tickets for just one of the 15 concerts, or 4 tickets for 4 separate shows.

The name of the lead booker will be printed on the first ticket.  As the number of tickets is limited they will be allocated on a first-come first-served basis.

Tickets cannot be resold or transferred under any circumstances. If the promoter reasonably believes this to be the case the barcode on the ticket will be voided, prohibiting entry to the concert.

We hope to see you there.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Cum Again?...

The lubes has been squeezed. The knuckles shuffled. The results are in. And it looks like straight men last longer than gay men. Left-handers cum quicker than right handers. And 10.5% of straight men wank with a mate.

A few years ago adult shopping site LoveHoney.co.uk "...wanted to find out the average number of strokes it takes a guy to ejaculate when he masturbates. The Shootout Survey was a rigorous scientific study that involved more than 1,000 participants." Check out the full The LoveHoney Shootout Survey here.

And in case you couldn't guess, the average strokes to cum? 59

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Cosmic Inflation...

When I was an Uni studying cosmology the idea of cosmic inflation was first put forward. We thought it was nuts. "Space expanding faster than light? Ha!" Well, they've only gone and proved it. And found those elusive gravity waves first predicted by Einstein. And confirmed that the total energy in the Big Bang is consistent with just the four main forces we see around us. Nobel prizes all round I think.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Monday, March 17, 2014

Johnica's 40th...

We had a great time at John's 40th birthday party on Saturday night. Monica had organised a photo-booth which was great fun. Dave Marshall bought his awful coat - so we all took turns wearing it in the booth and giving it the exposure it so richly deserved.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Blithe Spirit...

Last night Stuart and I went to see Blithe Spirit at the Gielgud Theatre in London's glitzy West End.

When Noel Coward wrote it in 1941 is was the height of sophistication - a comedy of manners concerning an upper class couple milling about in their country house with their skeptical friends who start by engaging a dotty clairvoyant for researching a book but end up communicating all too directly with the dead.

Many am dram productions later (I was a rather limp wristed 'Charles' in the North Herts Youth Theatre production back in the early 1980s) and we see this revival hit the Gielgud starring Angela Lansbury as the eccentric medium Madame Arcati (played by Margaret Rutherford in the film version.)

Lansbury makes for a fine Arcarti dressed in garishly vivid oranges and purples. She stalks the stage... like a tall garish orange and purple stalking thing.

The rest of the cast gamely acts on; Charles Edwards good as Charles, Jemima Rooper very good as Elvira and Janie Dee excellent as Ruth. And the play is amusing. Funny, even, in parts. But it perhaps suffers the fate of all start vehicles. You are constantly aware that it is Angela Lansbury up there on the stage - not least because she gets a round of applause at every entrance and exit!