Quote Of The Day

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

Friday, December 30, 2022

“this is what happens when you don’t recycle pizza boxes” Burn! Don’t mess with GT!

Andrew Tate is bad man* He’s also a wanted man**
He also got into a spat with Greta Thunberg bragging about how many polluting cars he has. GT teased him with a funny email address to tell her more. AT replied with a sexist video reply but in his video was a pizza box. 

The rumour is that the authorities noticed the pizza box. Contacted the pizza company. Tracked the address. Arrested Andrew Tate. Hah! I hope that’s true! 

GT’s reply? “this is what happens when you don’t recycle pizza boxes” Burn! Don’t mess with GT!

*look it up
**people trafficking 

Thursday, December 29, 2022

Air Fryer…

“Have you got an air fryer?”
“This is the 17th time you’ve asked”
“I’ve got one”
“I remember you saying”
“It’s great, I love my air fryer”
”I know, you said”
“You just stick food in and…”

Yes, you guessed it, I gave Stu an air fryer for Xmas…. πŸ˜† 

Wednesday, December 28, 2022

This is where our grandparents James & Alice Green died…

This is where our grandparents James & Alice Green died. A flying bomb hit their house in Solon New Road, Brixton on 25th June 1944. 

Friday, December 23, 2022

A Streetcar Named Desire @AlmeidaTheatre ... Review ->

Last night Elliot and I went to see the latest revival of Tennessee Williams's iconic masterpiece A Streetcar Named Desire at the Almeida Theatre in London's glitzy Islington.
Quick review: good but not great. Come for Paul Mescal.
On a street in New Orleans, in the blistering summer heat, a sister spirals out of control.
Starring Paul Mescal as the violent and brutish Stanley (yes, him off of Normal People), Anjana Vasan as his wife Stella, and Patsy Ferran as the spiralling sister-in-law Blanche DuBois - we had high hopes for a great night of Southern-style heat, steamy repressed sexual tension, and great acting. And added to this, this was director Rebecca Frecknall's first production at the Almeida since her multi-Olivier Award-winning production of Cabaret. So, it should have been great.
The night started a little sadly though as due to illness one of the parts was to be played by the director herself; this coming with the added knowledge that due to an injury, Lydia Wilson, who had originally been slated to play Blanche, also had to drop out. The curse of Williams’s plays!
The show was just fine however. More than fine perhaps. Good. Yes, let's call it good. A sparse production with a spartan set in the round, the first half was a tad too slowly paced but things, rather like the chairs were, picked up in the second act.
As was reported in Popbitch yesterday, “Good reviews are coming in for Paul Mescal as Stanley Kowalski in Streetcar at the Almeida. He was so immersed in the role last night that he chucked a chair off stage and nearly hit a woman in the front row with it. Very dramatic!”
And indeed, the acting was very good. Paul Mescal was magnetic; you couldn't take your eyes off him.  Well, Elliot and I couldn't.
But something was missing. Maybe it was the open and the spartan staging - where was the play's physical and (for Blanche) inner claustrophobia? Maybe it was the fact that Mescal is an excellent 'internal actor' rather what Stanley deserves - an animalistic Neanderthal whose violent actions and seething emotions play all too clearly on his face? Or maybe it was that Ferran's Blanche is just too pretty and not the faded flower that Blanche should really be?
The curtain of falling water that surrounded the stage at all key moments (with the distinct waft of chlorine rather like at the National's The Crucible in the summer) did little to help draw us in either.
That said, things did improve towards the end (it was a nudging 3-hour show) as Stanley stalked closer to Blanche's truth, and her fragile world began to fracture. Indeed, if the final 15 minutes where reality and illusion collided with a violent conflict had powered the slower first act I might have had nicer things to say about the night. But it was all a little too late.

Maybe as the run progresses these wrinkles will get ironed out. I hope so. Because it’s 5-star play and deserves a 5-star production.
So, if you do go, if you can get the ticket, go for Paul Mescal. He's very good. But be warned, it's long play, and not a patch on the Young Vic's 2014 production starring Gillian Anderson and Vanessa Kirby. 
Completing the cast are Eduardo Ackerman (making his professional stage debut), Ralph Davis (Much Ado About Nothing), Janet Etuk (I, Joan), Gabriela GarcΓ­a (West Side Story), Tom Penn (Midnight Movie) and Jabez Sykes (Rock/Paper/Scissors).
The creative team features set designer Madeleine Girling, costume designer Merle Hensel, lighting designer Lee Curran, sound designer Peter Rice, composer Angus MacRae and casting director Julia Horan.


Wednesday, December 21, 2022

FIFA Officials Open for 2030 World Cup Bribes...

ZURICH—Looking ahead to the future after concluding the 2022 World Cup, FIFA officials announced Tuesday that they were officially open for 2030 World Cup bribes. “Given the time it takes to prepare to host a sporting event of this magnitude, the FIFA selection committee would like to accept a winning bribe as soon as possible,” said FIFA president Gianni Infantino, adding that the organization was thrilled to accept joint payola from the U.S., Canada, and Mexico to host the 2026 World Cup and hoped to get an even bigger kickback from a nation or nations looking to host in 2030. “As stewards of a global game, we’re always looking to expand the World Cup to other regions of the world, and we would be very interested in a bribe from a country in, say, East Asia or Northern Africa. We understand that not every potential host can pay off FIFA at the scale we require, but there are many nations out there that could certainly afford consideration by sending a few sweeteners our way.” At press time, FIFA announced that the bribing window was closed and that it would hold the 2030 World Cup on Jeff Bezos’ Beverly Hills estate.

Tuesday, December 20, 2022

RIP Terry Hall. What a bloody hit list. Every one a winner. A soundtrack to my misspent youth. Will miss you TH, you clever, brilliant manic genius...

RIP Terry Hall. What a bloody hit list. Every one a winner. A soundtrack to my misspent youth. Will miss you TH, you manic genius. 

[The Special A.K.A.]

[The Specials]
"A Message to You, Rudy"
“The Special AKA Live! Too Much Too Young"
"Rat Race”
"Do Nothing" 
"Ghost Town”

[Fun Boy Three]
"The Lunatics (Have Taken Over the Asylum)
"It Ain't What You Do...." (with Bananarama) 
"Really Saying Something" (Bananarama with)
"The Telephone Always Rings"
"The More I See (The Less I Believe)"
"Tunnel of Love"
"Our Lips Are Sealed"

[The Colourfield]
Thinking of You

Monday, December 19, 2022

The big defrost targets it’s final victim….

Kerry Jackson @ Dorfman Theatre…

A week or two back Stuart and I went to see writer April De Angelis’s new comedy Kerry Jackson at the Dorfman Theatre in London’s glitzy South Bank. 
We enjoyed it. Mostly. The play starts well enough with a good idea behind it. It’s funny too. But perhaps in the end I felt it doesn’t quite explore the characters motivation quite deeply enough much beyond their basic sit-comedic value. 
Kerry (Fay Ripley) is a working-class Essex woman who has gathered enough money to open a would-be Spanish restaurant in gentrified Walthamstow. She a right-winger, has the gift of the gab, and has little time for slackers.  Rather surprisingly in real life, but not in sit-com world, Kerry falls for left-winger neighbour Stephen (Michael Gould), who teaches philosophy at university. At first, it seems their love manages to bridge the gap between their views, but when she fails to feel sympathy for the fate of homeless person Will (Michael Fox), their differences become overpowering.
Thankfully, the comedy is top-notch. With one witty line after the other, Kerry is a volcano of energy, and Ripley’s portrayal is virtually flawless. Hers is not an easy character to portray, but she steals the show whenever she’s on stage. Her chemistry with Gould is also excellent; their banter is lovely, and while it’s a pity that this isn’t examined more closely, it is still one of the stronger aspects of this show.
Director Indhu Rubasingham’s production is also fantastic, featuring stunning sets and costumes by Richard Kent with gorgeous detail that hit the mark exactly. 
In summary, a little refinement to highlight the stakes more in-depth, rather than in breadth, would work wonders to make this a great piece of theatre a remarkable one.
(And all the overly negative reviews can do one.)

Saturday, December 17, 2022

Avatar: The Way (Too Long) of Water… #Avatar2 #AvatarTheWayOfWater Review->

***Spoilers*** (But nothing too detailed, just the basic plot outline)

I should perhaps say from the get-go that I am a fan of Avatar (the 1st film) and was very much looking forward to seeing Avatar 2. Yes, I’d watched the Avatar 2 trailer so more or less knew what to expect and that James Cameron hadn’t really stayed too far from his winning formula from the first one.

And Darce had very kindly bought me a ticket at the Odeon Leicester Square in the glitzy West End of London no less with its posh recliner seats. Fancy.

So, what could be better? As the lights started to dim and the excitement rolled over me - watching a big block-buster film on its day of release, in a big posh swanky cinema, with my buddy bursting with excitement in the seat next to me.

There’s a hush. Then the film starts.

Oh, the 3D looks a bit off. (Adjusts glasses). Hmm. Oh well. But it looks like that setting on modern TVs they tell you to turn off. Only James Cameron hasn’t. “Motion Smoothing” or something. The characters all look like they are performing in different sliced zones layered from foreground into the background. Odd. Oh well. Maybe it’s just me.

But Ok. So here we all are again. Back in blue cartoon land.

And the plot starts. Well, not so much start as slowly move off from a stationary position.

Tall Blue Cartoon People are with their bows and arrows once again swinging through the forest trying to avoid the Sky People with their big guns and big military vehicles. And once again the trees take the lion’s share of the collateral damage. Yes, we’ve seen this all before I think.

All very Avatar. This goes on for about an hour. Where's the water?

Ah. Here it is. The Tall Cartoon Blue People decide to go to the seaside on their holidays. Looks like a nice pace. Blue water. Sandy beaches. Only the Tall Green Cartoon People who live at the seaside don’t seem to be particularly pleased to see them. So, the Blue and Green kids flirt a bit and then all have a rumble.

A sort of Wet Side Story. This goes on for another hour.

Shifting about in my seat now. It’s getting a bit boring. Where's the jeopardy?

Oh. Then a whale turns up that seems to be able to do sign language. That’s fun. And then the Sky People turn up again. Yay! Only they don’t seem to be very happy and everyone shouts at each other. And then everyone shoots at each other. This is better.

Only this goes on for yet another hour. I counted 40 or so baddies but the baddy body count must be over 200 by now. Are they getting up again? Come on guys. Just kill everyone!

And then the film turns into Titanic for 15 minutes. Or is it The Poseidon Adventure? Yes, The Poseidon Adventure but in this instance, I don’t really care if it’s Captain Pugwash and if these Tall Blue Cartoon people live or die because the film has been going on, and on, and on for what seems like days.

And then it ends. Hurray.

Fun. But blimey my bum is aching.

Review Bullet-points: -

- Waaaay Too long
- Wow factor is missing somewhat
- 3D looks a bit weird
- It's a cartoon with live action characters. A sort Who Framed Soggy Rabbit?
- There are lots of nods to Cameron's others work; Aliens, Titanic, and The Abyss which are fun to spot.
- I didn't really care about anyone. I sort of wanted the Talk Blue Cartoon people all to die. Which I really don’t think is what Cameron was going for.
- All least when the Sky People army types with their guns and they’re harpoons were on screen and blowing things up or killing things it got a bit more exciting.
- The experience is a bit like watching someone else play a big flashy video game. Which can be fun. But you end up wanting to say things like - “what do you do that for?” “why didn’t you go there?” “I’m bored now”

So, my advice, if you must see it, is go see it in 2D, don’t have anything to drink for 3 hours before, and expect a very similar film to the first one. And I think you might enjoy yourself.

πŸ’§ πŸ’§

Friday, December 16, 2022

Imitation of Life @ Cinema Museum…

Last Sunday night Darren, Toby, Stuart, and I went to the fabulous Cinema Museum in glitzy Kennington to an LGBT film club showing of camp, tear-jerker Imitation of Life. Great evening. Fab film. Great venue. Fab company. Illuminating post-film discussion. 

Thursday, December 15, 2022

The Arsenalisation of our Xmas tree continues unabated...

The Arsenalisation of our Xmas tree continues unabated πŸŽ„πŸ”΄⚪️ #Arsenal #ChristmasTreeDecoraring


Wednesday, December 14, 2022

Tree decorating. Stuart’s favourite Xmas activity. 🌲-> πŸŽ„

As we get older, we have to come up other ways to get our tree home. Next stop - decorating!

And tree decorating is Stuart’s favourite Xmas activity. 🌲-> πŸŽ„

Tuesday, December 13, 2022

My Neighbour Totoro (at last)…

When Stu’s mum fell ill obviously all theatre trips were cancelled. Stu was particularly gutted that he missed seeing My Neighbour Totoro - a show based on one of his favourite films. And sadly the whole run sold out months ago. 

But guess what? I managed to wangle us two tickets for last Saturday's performance. And after what has frankly been a fucking shitty week Stu is beyond excited. 😁 #boyfriendwin

Saturday, December 10, 2022

By Air Mail…

It always makes me feel excited putting By Air Mail stickers on envelopes. Makes me feel like Joan Collins or a 1950s celebrity; like I should be carefully applying them while wearing evening gloves and a sparkling diamond ring.

Friday, December 09, 2022

Jacks Bar Closing…

Shame it couldn’t wash its face. Having an LGBT+ bar in Islington must have seemed like a no-brainier. I tried to support it when I could but the numbers just weren’t there. 🏳️‍🌈

World Cup 2022: 'Being gay should not stop me supporting England'...

“England fan Darce shares his experience of the 2022 World Cup as a gay man travelling in a country in which same-sex relationships are criminalised.”

Very proud of you matey. You have exposed the real experience of going there. The joy of the football vs the reality of the homophobia. It will be seen by a wider audience than any social media post! 

Wednesday, December 07, 2022

Today is Stuart’s mum Brenda’s funeral. RIP Brenda.

Today is Stuart’s mum Brenda’s funeral. A very sad day. But also a day to remember her fondly and to celebrate her too. 

Brenda, you were a lovely woman. And lovely to me. 

When Stuart first introduced us 16 years ago you welcomed me into your home and into your family. I knew we would get on at that first meeting when we shared a joke at Stuart’s expense! And we haven’t stopped laughing since. RIP.