Quote Of The Day

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

Wednesday, August 31, 2022

Tuesday, August 30, 2022

Hampstead Heath...

Stu and I had a nice walk up to Hampstead Heath yesterday to revisit some of my old (ahem) cruising grounds. It was quite exhausting - so, get your mind of of the gutter, those are sweat stains!

Monday, August 29, 2022


I really wanted to like it more. It could have been great. But... nope.

Structure seemed a little wrong; which left a big plot hole. If it was about a certain theme (exploitation leads to disaster) it could have been more consistent. Its like it had all the right ingredients but didnt quite combine them right.

It was too M. Night Shyamalan and not enough Spielberg for my taste.

And the baddy looked like a plastic bag at the end :-)
Get Out and Us were both much better.

Arsenal 2-1 Fulham...

Well, that was a good result last Saturday. Beating Fulham 2-1 was perhaps a little more hard-earned than we might have hoped. The Arsenal chants were excellent though.
Since 2006 I've not been to many games at the Emirates with such an amazing, LOUD atmosphere. Singing, cheering, laughter…  Everyone was turned up to 11. 
My watch gave me noise exposure warnings throughout! Especially in the second half. When the Arsenal winner went in, Block 6 were SCREAMING with utter joy. 

I love this club ❤️
#ARSFUL @Arsenal.  We are top of the league!

Friday, August 26, 2022

I’m so fucking Islington, me...

I’m so fucking Islington, me – home-made orange/lemon mix marmalade for breakfast, then made origami flowers, and then Couch to 5K in leafy Highbury Fields. Am currently reading a book on midlife wellness. 

No doubt I will have metrosexual sun-dried tomatoes, champagne socialist humus, and quinoa-encrusted artisan sourdough for lunch. 

When my therapist said ‘try concentrate on yourself a bit more’ I’m not sure this is what they had in mind!

Thursday, August 25, 2022

Mark’s Fond Farewell was utterly beautiful. Lots of tears. Lots of love. ❤️

Yesterday was an emotional day. Thank you Toby and Darren for all your hard work. Mark’s Fond Farewell was utterly beautiful. Lots of tears. Lots of love. ❤️

Wednesday, August 24, 2022

Farewell Mark…

Today we say farewell to our funny, beautiful, stylish, loyal, caring, thoughtful, friend. I shall miss you more than I can say. I love ya. #origamilove 

Monday, August 22, 2022

Manning’s 2nd Birthday…

Lovely afternoon celebrating my grandnephew Manning’s 2nd birthday. Thank you Mummy Charlotte, Bubba Joanna and GG Myrtle for all the food, booze and laughter.

Friday, August 19, 2022

The Sandman. Episode 6. The Sound of Her Wings. “It made me gasp. It made me cry. It warmed my heart. And it is very, very clever.” @neilhimself

No spoilers.  It may be triggering, but The Sandman Episode 6 The Sound of Her Wings is one of the best hour’s of television I think I have ever watched.   

It made me gasp. It made me cry. It warmed my heart. And it is very, very clever.

Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Cruise @ Apollo Theatre “full of charm, empathy and energy…. A thrilling tour de force”…

Last night Elliot, Jonathan, Darce and I went to see the powerful 80s AIDS one-man show Cruise at the Apollo theatre in London’s glitzy West End.
The same show Stuart and I saw last year, which we rather cynically dubbed "It’s A Sin : The Musical", Cruise is sort of set in contemporary London but also on February 29th, 1988 in Soho, London.
Recently nominated for the 2022 Olivier Award for Best New Play and following rave reviews, this is the true story of what should have been Michael Spencer’s last night on earth. It’s great. Better than great. A thrilling tour de force.
When he’s diagnosed with HIV in 1984, Michael is told he’ll have four years to live – at most. So, with the clock ticking, he and his partner Slutty Dave decide to sell their house, flog the car, and spend everything they have to party like it’s the last days of Rome. When Dave dies two years later, Michael doubles down on his hedonistic ways, spending what little he has on drink and drugs.
On the last night of his four-year countdown – the 29th February, 1988 – Michael decides to go out with a bang. He puts on his favourite jacket, heads for Soho, and embarks on a long night of farewells. He says his goodbyes, dances, sings, and says yes to everything and everyone. Then, with all his affairs taken care of, Michael promptly… survives.
Michael got lucky. He’s been given the gift of life; but what kind of life can he now live?
Written and performed by Jack Holden (War Horse, Ink) with vast charm, empathy and energy, Cruise is a celebration of queer culture; a kaleidoscopic musical and spoken word tribute to the veterans of the AIDS crisis; an urgent piece of theatre, with an irresistible 80s soundtrack. We laughed, we almost cried, but certainly were inspired to live every day as if it’s our last.
The show is directed with inventive control by Bronagh Lagan and features a pulse-quickening, period-pastiche electro soundtrack performed live by John Elliott.

Tuesday, August 16, 2022

All of Us @ Dorfman Theatre "a furious drama of disability, politics and society"

Last Thursday night Stuart and I went to see All of Us at the Dorfman Theatre in London's glitzy South Bank.
“Do you wish you were normal?”; this blunt question is put to Jess, the therapist at the heart of Francesca Martinez’s All of Us. It prompts a sharp intake of breath around the auditorium. What a question to ask of anybody, and what assumptions it contains — who is to define “normal”? Moreover, this is a man with a mass of problems who has arrived at Jess’s door asking the question because she has a visible disability.
All of Us is a state-of-the-nation play: a frank, often funny, often shocking drama about what it is to be disabled or have a chronic condition in contemporary Britain. It’s the latest in the National Theatre’s cumulative examination of who we are, which has roved from Andrea Levy’s Small Island to Alecky Blythe’s Our Generation, which brought teenagers’ voices to the stage.
It’s also the latest drama to demonstrate that having differently abled actors on stage can be not only inclusive but also expansive and enriching, often revealing new dimensions to a play.
At the Dorfman, Martinez’s Jess, played with great warmth and wit by the author in Ian Rickson’s staging, has cerebral palsy (though Martinez prefers to describe herself as “wobbly”). This means that Jess has a PhD in psychology and an important job as a therapist but needs help to open a packet of cereal or do up her buttons. When an inexperienced official reassesses Jess’s Personal Independence Payment (PIP), she ends up losing her Motability car, her work and her patients. Her friend Poppy, played by the excellent, ebullient Francesca Mills, is a sweary, sexy, funny 21-year-old who wants, like so many people her age, to live a little. But cuts mean that she loses her night-time carer and so is put to bed, in a nappy, at 9pm.
The humiliation of this, the reduction of vibrant people to statistics and problems, the “othering” and the “us and them” thinking, come bursting across the stage. Martinez’s Jess refuses to get angry; her play, on the other hand, is very angry. It is at its best when it sticks tightly with its characters, showing us, rather than telling us, the details of the grim impact of government policies, cuts and shortages.
At times the play expands to encompass a whole raft of other issues too: the raft does at time hit choppier waters though, as there are long sections that tend to be more political rant than political play. That said, the play is a serious and important work that concerns all of us. And it's quite funny too.


Monday, August 15, 2022

The Gunpowder Plot: The Immersive Experience "Woeful. Save your money. Go see the excellent War of the Worlds around the corner instead"…

Last Friday night Stuart and I went to see The Gunpowder Plot immersive experience.

Where to be begin?  Unlike the excellent sister production War of the Worlds this was just woeful. No glitz here to be found here.

A bad idea, badly executed. The story was confusing and boring, the production half-assed, and the particular session on the night we went - a mess. Too many people were pushed into our group so there weren’t enough robes or headsets to go around. 
The first VR on a 'zip wire' was fun - the rest was ropey at best. 
We thought we were in the Matrix - we saw big green squares blocking our view and also a large shining cage column of orange that meant we couldn’t see to our left. 
The script was laughable - and that’s exactly what people in our group did - they laughed at it. 

Hiding and bored in a Priest Hole I was all for bursting out, shouting SURPRISE! and singing Happy Birthday To You to liven things up. (I didn’t though).
Save your money. Go see the excellent War of the Worlds around the corner instead.
We had fun in the robes though!

Friday, August 12, 2022

British For Foreigners Lesson #84 "I beg your pardon"

Meanings of "I beg your pardon"
1. I didn't hear you
2. I apologise 
3. What you're saying is making me absolutely livid

Thursday, August 11, 2022

The War of The Worlds: The Immersive Experience “dazzling, loud, great sets, funny, professionally done, and highly entertaining”

A couple of weeks ago Stuart and I went to see the immersive War of The Worlds show (or to give its full title - Jeff Wayne’s Musical Version of The War of The Worlds: The Immersive Experience) in London's glitzy Aldgate.
The show was fab; dazzling, loud, great sets, funny (if a little hammy) acting, professionally done, and highly entertaining.
It combines immersive theatre, virtual reality, augmented reality, holograms and cutting-edge technology, all set to Jeff Wayne's iconic score; giving us the chance to live through the Martian invasion of 1898. Remember that?
The VR was great (you put on headsets at various points). Half way through the show there is a bar so you can take a breather (and it's the rare place you can take photos). 

Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Evelyn "Champagne" King @ Jazz Cafe…

The Sunday before last, Darren, Stuart and I went to see the fabulous Evelyn "Champagne" King at the Jazz Cafe in London’s glitzy Camden.   

Grammy-winning R&B vocalist King who is without question one of the disco world's true icons.   

We were treated to hits like I’m In Love, Betcha Don’t Love Me, Get Lose, the fabulous Love Come Down and of course her stomper hit Shame.  

We sang along, we danced, we marvelled at her amazing vocal range and dance moves.

Great night.