Quote Of The Day

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

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Technically Correct...

Had argument today.
Them: "you are technically correct."
Me: "which is the best kind of correct."

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

If You Lose One Sense...

If you lose one sense, your other senses can be enhanced.
That's why people with no sense of humour have an increased sense of self-importance.

Monday, January 28, 2013

The Mikado...

Last Friday night Stu and I went to see Jonathan Miller's production of The Mikado staged by the ENO at the Colesium in London's glitzy West End.

Essentially it was Mr Selfridge The Musical. And none the worse for that. Three little maids from school are we...

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Friday, January 25, 2013

JLS Perfume...

Yesterday Stu unexpectedly handed me his new JLS perfume and asked me to help him open the cellophane seal all around the cardboard it was in. Luckily I had a pair of scissors to hand so was able to instantly chop all my fingers off.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Arsenal 5 - 1 West Ham...

A stuttering first half which saw the Arsenal struggle somewhat against West Ham United to level the score at 1 - 1 saw a blistering start to the second half with four goals in ten minutes. What a game!

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Wednesday, January 23, 2013


Last night returning from a business trip in Holland I was caught out by the bad weather.

Originally booked on a 21:00 BA flight leaving Schiphol bound for Heathrow I discovered – quite by accident – that the flight had been cancelled. No explanation was given but I assumed it was due to the snow.

I dashed to the airport early trying to change my flight to another one. The only other one to Heathrow was at 19:30 and luckily I made it there in time. Well, my luck was running out as this flight was at first delayed too and then cancelled altogether due to a fault on the wing.

The last flight leaving Schiphol for London was a flight to Gatwick so I managed to get transferred to that instead. Of course that also was delayed due to hitherto unknown to me issue - frost on the wing. “British Airways pride themselves as being a ‘clean wing’ airline”

The plane taxied to a part of the runway before take-off where we were sprayed with super-heated steam from cherry-picker type machines. It was a bit like Thunderbirds.

Eventually we were given the all clear and took off. Luckily I managed to call my driver ahead of time so he was waiting for me at Gatwick instead of Heathrow I got back home by 23:30 - after 7 hours of travel. Phew!

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Monday, January 21, 2013

Harry Potter Studio Tour...

On Saturday Stu treated me to a trip to the Harry Potter Studio tour at the Warner Bros studios in Leavesden. It was amazing. So much to see. Props, sets, costumes, designs, video clips, effects, photos and make-up. Very well put together and 3 hours very well spent.

Hop on Stu we've missed the Knight bus.
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Thursday, January 17, 2013

Arsenal 1 - 0 Swansea...

It was freezing at the Emirates Stadium last night at the FA Cup replay. Jack left it to the 86th minute to score saving us all another 30 minutes of extra time in the cold.

We made hard work of it, but fully deserved to win the game. Wilshere absolutely outstanding, earned that goal. What a player.

Next stop Brighton.

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Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Les Misérables (My Review)...

In a word the Les Misérables film was excellent. All the leads acted their socks off. Anne Hathaway particularly so (Oscar winning I imagine.) I burst into tears 7 times. The first occasion was at the ticket prices!

And let's get this out of the way, Russell Crowe singing isn't that bad actually. But expectations were low!

The strongest element in the production for me was the brave (and ultimately triumphant) live singing / close-up camera work. It was very effective. You could see every emotion playing across their 40ft high faces as they sang which really had you in the palm of their hands. You could almost see into their minds.

I thought Eddie Redmayne was fabulous. Empty Chairs and Empty Tables had me at the first line. He was convincing, handsome and tuneful. And Amanda Seyfried was a revelation. Never really rated her in stuff I'd seen her in before - especially Mamma Mia. But she really carried it off well. She sang beautifully, wasn't too coquettish, and above all carried off that love-at-first-sight thing that the love interest in musicals generally have to go through.

Samantha Barks as Éponine was good too. Had me in tears - twice.

But we do need to talk about Hugh Jackman. He was... er... well... 'good'. He acted well. But.. he did have a few duff lines in some of the songs and didn't quite carry off the part as I had hoped. I wanted a better singer I think. Our Hugh kept singing vibrato which was a tad annoying! Hold a note man!

Sacha Baron Cohen and Helena Bonham-Carter as les Thénardiers were great too. Funny, wicked and actually able to sing!

The producers could have so messed it up this film as many stage to film musical adaptations do (yes I'm looking at you Hair, Evita, Phantom et al) but they didn't. Faithful yet innovative.

If you do go take tissues. (And in this case it's not a euphemism - really take them!)
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Saturday, January 12, 2013

Gangster Squad...

"I'm on the phone with the studio right now! They want to know the title! Yes, right now! Come on, think!!" "Um, uh...Gangster Squad?"
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Friday, January 11, 2013

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

If It's Tuesday, This Must Be Belgium...

I've just got back from a whistlestop trip to Holland
London => Brussels, via Calais => Rotterdam => The Hague 
The Hague => Rotterdam => Brussels, via Calais => London. 
4 countries 1 day. All via train. I hate flying. This way I get home quicker too!
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Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Funk & Ride...

Last Friday night Stu, Darren and I went to Fred Mann's Funk & Ride club at the Barracuda Club under The Famous Cock in London's glitzy Highbury.

We bobbed and boogied to Northern Soul, 60's Girl groups and rare beats. Great fun.

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Saturday, January 05, 2013

Girls on Film...

Watched 3 films on Friday today.
Girl With The Pearl Earring i.e. Girl on canvas (biopic) 5/10
Steel Magnolias i.e. Girl in grave (weepy) 6/10
Sucker Punch i.e. Girl in asylum (SFXfest) 4/10

Friday, January 04, 2013


Last Friday Stu and I went to see the play Constellations at the Duke of York's Theatre in London's glitzy West End.

Constellations was first produced in January 2012 at the Royal Court as part of the Royal Court's Jerwood New Playwrights programme. The play is a two hander about free will and friendship - played here by Sally Hawkins (Jane Eyre, Made in Dagenham and Golden Globe winner for Best Actress in Mike Leigh's Happy-Go-Lucky) and Rafe Spall (One Day, Channel 4's Pete Versus Life and Ridley Scott's Prometheus.

The play is told in multiple over-lapping strands with many possible outcomes of each scene being played out back to back. A sort of love affair in a quantum multiverse. And it was glorious; funny, poignant  bright, witty, tragic. What more could you want? We loved it.
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Wednesday, January 02, 2013

New Year's Eve Drinks...

Before heading out to the RVT on New Year's Eve we popped round to Darren and Mark's for a splash of bubbly.