Friday, 29 May 2009

Tornados blown away....

....Last night Tornados played their final game of the season. In a final. Our opponents, Phibbers, were already league and double cup winners and we had the task of halting their haul of four trophies. We battled, we ran tirelessly, we put in a performance to be proud of, but in the end, we didn't have enough. Tornados 0-2 Phibbers. The best team won. It's been a fantastic season, in comparison to last, and a pleasure to play my 4th season at the club.

Half time. 0-0.

On my toes.

'Lic came and watched the final, threatening to make a banner to wave on the sidelines. She did make a banner, but in her wonderfully artistic and humorous way, she made something fantastic.

Within an inconspicuous matchbox. Is another box.

Within which is a miniature scroll banner.

Unroll the scroll.... reveal 'Go Roy and the Tornados'


....I cycle through red lights every single day, so I guess I had this coming to me. The frustration is that today, I didn't jump a red, yet a jobsworth Policeman - the type that was bullied at school and needs a job in power to feel good - pulled me over and fined me! Even more annoying that despite the light blatantly being amber, he also 'only saw' me, despite me actually being just behind two women who were (not) guilty of the same offence. Unless I fancy a date in court, I cannot appeal, so have to take it on the chin. Just for good measure I made sure I ran every single red light for the rest of my journey to work. And yes, it made me feel good.

Look out. Jobsworth approaching.

Sunday, 24 May 2009


....I am Newcastle, born & bread. But cut me and I bleed Aston Villa. Woops. Blame a rather nice kit design 20 years ago and a stubborn nature not to give up on them. Today, Newcastle United needed to beat Aston Villa to stay in the Premiership. Sitting amongst my friends and Toon Army suporters, we watched them fail to do that and as a result be relegated to the Championship. Once again, sorry.

Sorry Alan. You're shit.

Eight again....

....20 years ago I began kicking a ball around on the street outside my house. It carried on for years, perfecting my keep-up skills, practising with my wrong foot, smashing a window or two. Today, on the final day of the Premiership season, I was doing what I know how to do best. Mucking around with a footy outside my front door - there is still no greater joy.

Keep Ups from Roy Barker on Vimeo.

Saturday, 23 May 2009


....Lic and I went to see the new film from Director Gary Hustwit, who brought us the typographic cult film, 'Helvetica'. His latest, 'Objectified' , concentrates on our relationship with industrial and product design and is not quite as compelling as it's predecessor but still a great insight to our interaction with all that surrounds us. Their was even a little cameo appearance from old college pal, Byron Parr.

Dinner with the Palmers....

....Only a matter of days after Palmers Senior, (Joan & Eric), had entertained mum and dad over dinner, it was the turn of Alicia and I to catch up with Palmers Junior. Only we had three to contend with - James having returned to the UK permanently after his dalliance with Boston, and soon to be newly weds Ian & Susie. We decided on a BYO Vietnamese on Kingsland Road and then a local roof terrace for a quick digestif.

TBC Wednesday....

....Once again TBC came together and once again it wasn't Thursday!

Ed's top tube

With Quoc in town, (and three people present wearing his new shoes), we decided for food instead of cinema and headed to the Chippy on Poland Street. Everyones budget meant we all plummeted for Coley, which I had never heard of before. It was superb and even better wedged between chips & mushy peas and washed down with London Pride.

We then headed to the nearest, quietest square in Soho, where we could piss about on our bikes and drink a beer or two. Which we did to much enjoyment.

A local and his honorary 'display'

Trackstand Twister

Lorenzo lights up the night

And then it was all over.

Monday, 18 May 2009

Tornados FC end of season awards....

....On Saturday my football club celebrated their best season since my arrival 4 years ago, with an awards ceremony in East London. I was responsible for the playlist, which went down remarkably well and I even managed to snag a token award - for reaching 50 games for the club. It was a great night, with WAGs joining us to spice it up!

Thursday, 14 May 2009

Awkward family photos....

...This site is classic. Take the time to scroll through and really cringe at this lot. Here's a taster.

Wednesday, 13 May 2009

Quoc Pham fixed gear shoe....

....Quoc is back in town and bringing presents. The first run of his limited edition fixed gear shoes have been introduced to my feet and they are very very happy. Soon to be at a good cycle stockist near you.

Alicia Matter's....

....Alicia is in the process of making a series of paper sculptures for club night Matter. Commissioned and latterly designed by Village Green Studio on their behalf, the work will feature in monthly flyers, beginning in June. It should look something like the images below. There will be a couple more flyers to come, each with a different paper design. (Click images to enlarge).



Sunday, 10 May 2009

Whitley Bay at Wembley....

....Today saw my home seaside town of Whitley Bay compete against the might of Glossop North End in the FA Vase Final at Wembley.

The Bay, supported by a blue & white army of 7000 strong, (including myself), ran out 2-0 winners and lifted the Vase. A great day for Whitley and for those that made the journey from the North East.

The undoubted highlight was an array of fine crowd chants including, "Shoes off, if you love the Bay. Shoes off, if you love the Bay......", to which several hundred shoes, (mostly Nike Air Max and Reebok Classic), were raised in to the air!

Saturday, 9 May 2009

When Clem blew raspberries....

....Paid a morning visit to Richie, Anne and Clem today. The latter was on fine form, displaying her latest talent of raspberry blowing, whilst saving plenty of time for beard fascination!

Toy Wonder

Hands on

Back to Bank Holiday....

....I did things last weekend - see!

A picnic in Bethnal Green Park followed by a trip to the Barbican to see Le Corbusier.

That evening we went to Max and Hannah's for yet another fantastic dinner party.

On Saturday I spent the day setting up my new laptop after my old iBook finally died. The following day, a few of us met up for drinks in East London in order to take advantage of a lie in on Bank Holiday Monday.


The professionals....

....At work we have a bi-annual football match between the 'Suits' and 'Creatives'. Much to my denial, I fall under the former category and have seen us lose the last two games, leaving us tied at 2-2 in the head to head. Yesterday saw the fixture move up a notch as we managed to secure the home of Brentford FC, Griffin Park, for our tie.

It was the biggest match of my life since I captained the Cubs 8th group to victory at Whitley Bay FC in about 1991.

Unfortunately I couldn't match the elation of that day, despite a consolation man of the match award, as we ran out 3-1 losers.

Thursday, 7 May 2009

Acorn House....

....Mum and Dad stopped over night last night on their way to Lille. They booked a table at Acorn House restaurant after meeting the Head Chef Arthur Potts Dawson in Newcastle during the 'Eat' Festival.

I remember reading about this restaurant when it first opened. It got a lot of media coverage due to it's eco-friendly sensibilities and seasonal local produce, (and if there were ever two buzz words right now to gain attention, they are 'eco' and 'local')! When we walked in, the place was near empty and the room was much more modern and sterile than I had hoped for. In fact throughout the meal, other than our own table, there was a distinct lack of atmosphere.

The service was attentive and informative, but often quite slow considering the numbers inside. The food however was fantastic - and aside from dad's raviolli - was hearty in portion. I started with black pudding, caremelised apple and dandelion which was incredible. To follow, gnocchi with oxtail and mint was probably more suited to a cold winter night, but proved equally as enjoyable. Mum, Dad and Alicia all enjoyed their food, and whilst it was not super cheap, it certainly wasn't over priced. Oh, and we get to feel all warm and smug for eating local produce and drinking carbon neutral wine. Yes, you read that right! I'm sure as numbers increase inside, (perhaps at a weekend?), the atmosphere will match the quality of the food. Take a visit for yourself.

Tuesday, 5 May 2009


....Last night Lic and I watched Steve Mcqueen's 'Hunger', a film based around IRA member Bobby Sands who lead a fatal hunger strike within the walls of a high security prison in Nothern Ireland. The film is unflinching in it's realism and brutality, but this is only acheived through exquisite cinematography and attention to detail. Single scenes span up to 10-15 minutes in length, tension mounting all the while. Not your usual Bank Holiday fare, but absolutely brilliant regardless.