Quote Of The Day

"Victory goes to the player who makes the next-to-last mistake - Chessmaster Savielly Grigorievitch Tartakower (1887-1956)"

Friday, January 27, 2012

New Trend...

Funny new trend at work. People putting names on food in the fridge.

Today I had a cheese and pickle sandwich named James.

Thursday, January 26, 2012


Of the 59 Scottish MPs currently 41 are Labour & only 1 is Tory. So if Scotland leaves the UK can Labour ever win again in UK? I'd have though the Labour Party would fight tooth and claw to keep those Scottish Labour MPs and the the Conservative Party would be happy to see them go. Just saying...
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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Secret Cinema...

At last we can talk about it! Last month Stu and I went to the Secret Cinema to see a film that had been kept secret (duh!) but with loads of cryptic web sites, fake telegrams, emails and photographs as clues. The eagle-eyed amongst us had discovered what the film was in advance but for the rest of us it was baffling and great fun at the same time. The idea was we went along dressed as if we were living within the film. It was to be an immersive experience.

We had to be in a certain place (Barbican tube) at a certain time, dressed in a certain way (late 1940s attire) and were to follow a certain person (a woman with balloons) which in themselves were all clues as to the film we were to see. We were lead through Smithfields past a dramatic funeral to a series of buildings which were each dressed as post-war Vienna. British, French and Russia sectors, a police station, bars, a night spot, a cafe, a hotel, a post office, a consulate, a laboratory and all manner scenes had been recreated from the film we were to watch later.

It was impossible to tell who was part of the cast and who was a punter. An amazing feat which got everyone acting at their part.

We had to buy money at the bureau de change which we could use to buy drinks and food. Under the buildings were a series of interconnected caverns like sewers with running water and men in white overalls chasing us about.

We watched little scenes being played out in every part of the venue - sometimes micro-performances for just we two such as outside the consulate and sometimes big dramatic affairs on a stage. Everything was a scene, or an extension to a scene, from the film.

And it turned out everyone was either mourning or looking for... Harry Lime. Because, yes, you guessed it, the film was The Third Man.

The film itself was shown in a large shed towards the end of night. And as we watched it Stu and I were nudging each other as again and again we recognised what we had taken part in earlier was now being shown to us on the big screen. Great fun. Deffo going to the next one.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012


Sarah and I went to see Shame last night at the Curzon Renoir in London glitzy Brunswick.

It was a brilliant film and Michael Fassbender is brilliant in it. It's both moving and sad. You feel overwhelming sympathy for a character so filled with self-loathing and disrespect for himself that he can care so little for others. He is compelled to seek the only affection he can think of to fill the void inside. The only love that he can accept for himself is the love that is all too fleeting, the love that is gone in an instant, the ultimately unfulfilling act of physical intimacy. And with each new sex act his character descends into a deeper despair. He picks up people on the subway, the office, in bars, on the street. He pays for prostitutes, Internet porn and even goes to a back-room in a gay bar to find what he seeks. And with each orgasmic rush he realises he can't stop himself. Like a drug user he is hooked and tragically he knows it. It is this knowledge that  makes him die a little on the inside. As if to prove a point at each moment of conquest you see his expression change from ecstatic cum-face contort into a terrible death mask. Never has the expression la petite mort been more apt.

Oh yes and Carey Mulligan is great in it too. The self-loathing sister to Fassbinder's self-loathing brother. She too feels empty inside. They obviously share some trauma from the past. But her method of finding love is to draw attention to herself through her singing, her flirting, her nakedness, or indeed her simple need for a hug. They are both incredibly damaged people and our heart goes out to them.

Oscars all round I think. And as I say, brilliant film. Go see!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Dawn, Jo and Lynda's 40th...

Last Saturday night Stu and went to help Dawn, Jo and Lynda celebrate their joint 40th birthdays at a party at the Chapel Bar in Islington. It was a fancy dress party with the theme being Carry On films. Stu went as a doctor and I went as a patient. It was great laugh. In fact we laughed and laughed all night. Stu's idea to take slide whistles was a brilliant one. More photos here.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Matilda The Musical...

Last night Darren treated Stu and I to a meal in town and Matilda The Musical at the Cambridge Theatre in London's glitzy West End.

The show was written by Dennis Kelly and the rather fabulous Tim Minchin and commissioned by the Royal Shakespeare Company. The stage version has been hailed by one critic as "the best British musical since Billy Elliot." And I'm inclined to agree.

Matilda tells the story of a bullied little girl, unloved and despised by her parents who attends the horrific Crunchem Hall Primary School. There she is further bullied by an ogre of a headmistress Miss Agnetha Trunchbull. Things come to a head when Matilda discovers she has psychokinetic powers and uses them to reveal a secret and force Trunchbull out. It's a kids story sure but it also covers child abuse, death, suicide and mental cruelty on it's journey to enlightenment.

The kids in it are great, the set perfectly fits the story and the songs are as witty as they are catchy. May it run and run.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Petr Cech...

Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech has gradually been exposing himself to be the evil galactic super-villain Darth Vader that we always knew he was.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Christmas Headgear...

Darren and Mark came to stay at Christmas. So needless to say we took every opportunity to put things on our heads. It's what Santa would have wanted...

Monday, January 16, 2012

Sunday Lunch with the Boys...

Last week we went out for a belated New Year's Day Sunday lunch with the boys. Good to catch up with everyone after all the Christmas / New Year's malarkey


Friday, January 13, 2012

Two Mini Film Reviews...

Two mini film reviews:-
1. War Horse (aka Saving Private Equine): Way too syrupy. Curtis's script pulls the heart strings to breaking point. Spielberg snaps them.
2. Cowboys & Aliens (aka Close Encounters of the Western kind): Takes itself way to seriously as a Western and not seriously enough by half as Sci-Fi. I was rooting for the aliens.


For a belated birthday present Stu treated me to the musical Pippin last night at The Menier Chocolate Factory. I'd like to say it was fab. Hey, I'd even like to say it was good. But it wasn't. It was just awful. Such a waste of talent. Brilliant people trying to polish a turd.

 I 100% agreed with the Telegraph review, "The music ranges from soulless rock to sunshine pop with a lot of mawkish ballads thrown in, urging us to discover where our spirit can run free. The exit seemed the best chance of achieving this happy result, but on your behalf I glumly stuck it out. It’s all excruciatingly fey. Give this insufferable show the widest possible berth."

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Christmas in Hornchurch...

Last month we had a great Xmas afternoon out with all the gang the Essex gang in a pub in Hornchurch. Grumpy Santa made his annual appearance too. Taking it all very seriously!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Thierry Henry...

Thierry Henry came off the bench last night and scored the winner for us against Leeds in the FA Cup third round home tie at the Emirates Stadium. We. Went. Mental. It was a dream return to the team he loves.

Monday, January 09, 2012

Five Minutes...

Sitting with my coat on I've finally worked out that Stu's "I'll be ready in five minutes" is the same as my "I'll be home in five minutes"

Friday, January 06, 2012


Ah, the joy of setting up one's parents new home computer... Three hours in and I begin to realise what an underrated virtue patience is.

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Film Reviews...

Over the past couple of nights I've been catching up on quite a few films that I'd recorded over Christmas. Here are my pithy reviews of:

One Hour Photo (Robin. Snaps.)
Bolt (CGI bark vs byte)
Repo Men (sub-Philip K Dick heart-stopping credit crisis)
Jackie Brown (Quentin re-launches Pam's G-rier)
Centurion (Fassbinder gets Pict apart)

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Arsenal 125th Anniversary...

Last month it was the 125th anniversary of Arsenal Football Club. They put on a bit of a show with brass bands, Arsenal Legends and a couple of cannons on the pitch for good measure.

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Arsenal Unlucky At Fulham...

Arsenal were really unlucky at Fulham losing 2-1. And Craven Cottage is such a shit ground - the floodlights can't even cover the pitch!

Monday, January 02, 2012

Feeling Better...

Feeling much better today. TFFT. Think we'll have our New Years celebrations *next* weekend instead!