Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Prop stars....

....Alicia is interning at Faye Toogood, (actual name!), and in the last couple of days has been visiting various prop hire warehouses. Here's a small selection of many curiosities that she stumbled across.







Pancakes & Fleet Foxes....

....Shrove Tuesday had a good look to it. Alicia and I dashed home and got straight to work on making ourselves several pancakes. Alicia's plum filling the undoubted success whilst I took the honours in the flipping contest. (Alicia didn't even try, so I won by default!)





We then hopped back on our bikes to the Roundhouse where Fleet Foxes were performing their final gig of a three day residency. The band have only one critically acclaimed album, but it was enough to see them through over an hour on stage. Easily. In short, they were incredible - Robin Pecknold stealing the show with an unbelievable vocal throughout. Two thirds of the way through he even played acoustically without a mic and was left alone on stage by the rest of his band to serenade a stunned silent audience. His band were not short on talent either, bringing impeccable harmonies and an almost vulnerable humility to the masses.



We had a great night and cycling home agreed that it was a superb gig - one that far outweighed my own expectation. To celebrate we had a midnight beer and pancake and rolled in to bed.

Fleet Foxes: Mykonos. Live @ the Roundhouse 24.02.09

Sunday, 22 February 2009

Coffee @ last....

....I posted a little while ago that my favourite local independent coffee shop had closed it doors. Well, now it's back, under a new name. Same same but different. Brick Lane Coffee, (website soon to launch), has a cleaner look, but otherwise the same great coffee, food and comfy sofas. Get in.

Model cyclist....

....Ruth & Andy unexpectedly bought me a little gift after seeing it in Paul Smith, (of all places) and knowing my obsession for bikes. It is a scale model of a fixed gear bike, (similar to mine), that has fully mobile parts......and even tiny toe clips! They can also be bought online here, should you so wish.



Oliver!...

....Ruth & Andy had bought Alicia & I tickets to accompany them to Oliver! as a Christmas present. Yesterday was the date booked and we headed to the Theatre Royal Drury Lane to take our seats.



Alicia and I love musicals, although I was a little unsure of the Oliver! story line other than the famous, "Please Sir, can I have some more?" scene. I enjoyed the show - particularly the first half, where the stage design and art direction was incredible. However, from the start I was disappointed by the performance of Oliver himself. Perhaps I'm being a little harsh on the youngster, but he looked lost, dazed and confused on stage whilst others around him stole the show. In particular the Artful Dodger and Fagan, (played by Rowan Atkinson in a blend of Mr. Bean and Blackadder comedy), were triumphant.



Nancy brought a mockney, (almost Eastenders!), quality to proceedings and displayed a huge vocal talent. I was less familiar with the second half of the show - much darker and less comedic as it is. As a result I left the theatre slightly underwhelmed and was baffled by one or two attempts at a standing ovation. It was good, but not that good.

Sleepover....

....Alicia's little sister, Xochitl, stayed with us on Friday. She and 'Lic went to The Museum of Childhood in the daytime and made me a fantastic pair of Elton John-esque glasses. In the evening we ate pizza and stayed up late watching films, then we spent the following morning at Hackney City Farm and a playground nearby.


Roy / Elton


Xochitl attacking the trampoline


Alicia rolls back the years

Basking....

....London was swathed in sunlight and Spring-like warmth yesterday. This cat on Columbia Road took advantage of a car roof, whilst basking in the moonlight is this long standing graffiti by Sweet Toof.



Adam's bearded aftermath....

....Adam Blencowe decided upon the strangest decision last year - to ride solo from London to Delhi on a 125cc motorbike. Well, before christmas, he made it and is now residing out there with his girlfriend Hannah. Amazingly, she has allowed him to keep the beard that he cultivated along the way too! More photos here.



Billy Elliot....

....I haven't watched it in years, but claimed back then, that it was one of my favourite films. After watching it again on Friday, nothing has changed - in fact it's got better. And I've got weaker. I was reduced to tears yet again. "Ballet?! Ballet?!..." Gan on Billy lad!

Online....

....A few weeks ago I posted some photos of me, taken by a friend, for Levi's Dockers. There was an outside chance that these images would make the website, but as the stylist was having an off day and made me look ridiculous, I had hoped they wouldn't.
Well tough luck for me - I'm published! (If you so wish to see them at first hand, then from their home page, click 'main menu', then 'your style'.)

Running Man....

....I was made aware of this blog recently. No one I know, a little odd, but actually a very nice idea. The sandals / giant calf muscle combo is a little scary though!

Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Fixation continues....

....Even in this tough economic climate, (and perhaps as a result of it), bikes are more popular than ever. Like skateboarding 20 years earlier, fixed gear cycling is the current trend that shows no sign of abating - and I'm well and truly hooked. The latest venture to spring up is 14 Bike Company.



No website as yet, but plenty of chatter on forums, blogs and some photos here.



Fortunately, I can wander around the corner and judge for myself - it seems the shops has opened at the back of the Truman Brewery, just off Brick Lane.

Sunday, 15 February 2009

Keith Haring....

....I've posted before about my love for Keith Haring's art and now I have just spotted that a documentary film was released last year about him. Directed by Christina Clausen, 'The Universe of Keith Haring' gives a glimpse in to his transition to a world famous artist.

Joaquin who...?

....Joaquin Phoenix is either in the middle of a huge breakdown, or taking the piss out of Hollywood by adopting a new persona. 
He's gone from this



To this


St Valentine....

....I'm not a believer, Alicia is. Cue a power struggle on Valentines Day! We reached a compromise and began the day with breakfast at Hackney City Farm.


Just before the Big Farm Breakfast rendered us silent

Our day lost it's course a little as the sofa swallowed us up following the short walk home, but it allowed us to plan the next most important part of the day - dinner!


At the 10th attempt it was funny

After the food shop we indulged in a quick game of Scrabble - my usual dominance quashed with an overwhelming defeat. I was reduced to playing, 'YEP', as a word. Is it?!



Cooking began and we decided to go with a recipe stolen from my mum, who in turn stole it from Nigella - ham cooked in Coke. I actually used a slightly alternative recipe, found by scouring the web. 


Baste!


Carve!


Coke ham, roast potatoes & butternut squash, minty mushy peas. DONE.


Oh, and a home made apple & rhubarb crumble with ice cream for desert.

And so, to bed.

Alicia is 25....

....Last weekend 'Lic celebrated her 25th birthday. No big frills, just dinner and drinks with friends. Oh, and a fantastic Betty Boop cake made by her little sister Xochitl. Lovely.


Opening ceremony



Betty by Xochitl for Alicia!


Saturday, 7 February 2009

Wahaca....

....For Ivvet's birthday yesterday, she planned a low key dinner at Wahaca before the debauchery tonight at Boogaloo. After hearing a lot about this restaurant through others I was glad to get a taste of it myself. I was warned that as there is a no booking policy, we could expect a wait to be seated - I hadn't, however, bargained on that taking over an hour.



Fortunately there is a small bar in the entrance where you can have an aperitif, but even that was overcrowded, and to the all male bar staff I was rendered invisible. The only thing keeping my, (and Alicia's) spirits up, was the impressive design - not necessarily the interior design, (which was typically canteen-like, modern and inoffensive), but more the paraphernalia. By that I mean the menus which took the form of fold out pamphlet's on recycled paper.


'Ola London!

Well thought type has been used and illustrated articles sit alongside interviews and of course the menu itself. (A bit of research tells me that BuroCreative are responsible.) Wahaca's business cards take the form of a book of matches, only to reveal they are removable sticks of card from which you can grow your own chilli plants. Alicia, (our Mexican in residence owing to her dad's birth place), also complemented the authentic furniture that resided around the entrance and stairwell.



And so to dinner. I chose a slow cooked pork burrito with frijoles & chorizo on the side. Served by very friendly and prompt staff, the dinner was fantastic - not the chilli and cheese drenched food I had very wrongly associated with Mexico! A couple of the dishes we received came out cold, but they were soon replaced and taken from the bill. 


Kat, Ivvet, Alex



Nisha, 'Lic, Roy


For desert we all tucked in to churros y chocolate and left with a (guilty) smile on our faces.

Wednesday, 4 February 2009

New toy....

....I've succumbed to a new camera. A better camera. A beautiful camera. Ok, so it is a cheap man's Leica, but at a fraction of the cost and still with a Leica lens. This is the Panasonic Lumix LX3 and I cannot wait to start a brand new photographic collection. Plenty more pics to follow.



Roy by Joss....

....Here is the cleaned up portrait that Joss took of me, days before I had my permanent front teeth put in.

Monday, 2 February 2009

Six feet under....

....Well, not quite. More like six inches. Of pure driven white snow. In London! Certainly the most I have ever seen. As expected, it caused chaos - including trains and busses out of service and a day off work for many.





Slumdog Millionaire....

....Alicia & I took advantage of a snowy Monday to finally see this much hyped Danny Boyle film



It has been billed as the 'feel good film of the century', which quite honestly baffled me. There were some pretty gritty scenes throughout and only toward the very end was there any real positivity. The direction from Boyle, particularly in the opening half hour, was superb - sweeping cinematography through Mumbai slums, artistic use of subtitles, (with, gasp, a good font!), use of stop-motion photography and scenes shot as though using positive slide film. I enjoyed it, even though the ending was 'written' from the start. Top marks.

Sunday, 1 February 2009

Mum & Dad....

....have been in London this weekend. Amongst other things, they drank from named mugs and took Ian, Susie, Alicia and I out to dinner. Good times.