Monday, 28 June 2010

Black Keys, Roundhouse 23.6.10....

....Rich, Liam and I went to see the Black Keys last week. We kicked of with a vast tasty pizza at La Porchetta over the road, before heading to the gig.

As they took to stage, I hardly recognised singer Dan Auerbach, as his huge beard and long hair had been cut off. Along with drummer Patrick Carney, the two make up the band, in a sparse, but noisy blues-rock White Stripes-esque line up.

I like the band when I listen to them on record, but tonight, live, I wasn't really feeling it. The scuzzy guitar and thumping drumps left Auerbach's vocals with little cut through above the din. not so bad I suppose, when the riffs are memorable like some are.

Eventually songs seemed to blend in to one another, but for stand outs like, 'I got mine' and 'Busted'. Definitely my least memorable show at the Roundhouse, which is a shame because I do rate the band, but maybe they're better listened in, than out.

The art of fiddling....

....Ok. So not a post I am necessarily proud of, because 'fiddling' - of ones hair - , (as I call it), should not still be done by any 29 year old man. But it is something I have done since a baby and a habit I just can't kick. Usually brought on by tiredness, Kelly's lack of complaining to date means it is becoming all too regular. But oh, how I enjoy it.

Dad, in print....

....Not only is Dad capable of writing complaints via the medium of newsprint, he is also a man that can compose worthy articles, printed in Newcastle's daily, The Journal, regarding local trade. Click the image below and read along, (and check out the pic of dad in the bow tie - bet he sent that one in himself!)

England 1-4 Germany....

....And then it was over. For England, the 2010 World Cup has come to an end. Yesterday, we were well and truly and totally deservedly stuffed by our oldest foes. We remained short of ideas and technique, whilst also largely statuesque in defence, as Germany rampaged through us on the break.

Of course, there was the 'goal that never was', but it wouldn't have had any bearing on the final result. The best team won. I will not go in to player descriptions, as it is totally inconsequential now.

We, (and Capello, above), need to go back to the drawing board, whilst I wish Germany the best of luck in the remainder of the cup.

Unfortunately, the proud flag flying atop the Spanish City, at home in Whitley Bay, will have to be taken down. But didn't it look nice there, proudly flapping in the salty sea air? Hmmm.

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

England 1-0 Slovenia....

....So, we're through. And football wise, it was a good bit better. Particularly the first half.

Gerrard was the man we've come to expect in big games, but also, unfortunately Lampard, as he does in big games, went missing. Capello's big decisions, however, paid off - Milner providing the teasing cross for Defoe's goal, whilst at the other end, Upson made a match saving challenge within his own area with minutes to go. Now we can go back to believing we can win the world cup again. But the reality is, we can't.

We have, (potentially), Germany, then Argentina, then Spain before we reach the final. To be fair, if we can beat them, then we deserve it! Today's afternoon kick off meant that I watched the game in the bar at work. As did everyone else.

A great atmosphere, willing the team on.....and it worked. Next!

Monday, 21 June 2010

Bill Penman....

....This was my late Grandpa's name. Well, William Penman Armit to be exact. (Unless he has another middle name, mum?!) Anyway, I digress. I love the name. Particularly Penman. A good while back I stumbled across this odd soviet font and had wanted to get decals made up in this name, to stick on my bike. It never happened, beyond the design that Lorenzo kindly did.

They had since been filed away, but I love them and wanted to show them off. (Incidentally, my brother in law, Andy, also took to the name and founded his recruitment consultancy called Penman Executive).

Sunday, 20 June 2010

Nana Barker's birthday....

....Kelly and I visited Nana yesterday and took her out for her birthday. We had a lovely lunch at Piano Cafe in Southwell, whilst the girls became new best friends! Happy Birthday again. x.

England 0-0 Algeria....

....After reflecting on the last game and watching several of the stronger nations also struggle, perhaps England's previous performance wasn't that bad. This one, however, was truly awful.

There is not a great deal to say that hasn't already been said, but there was no spirit, no adventure and no hope in their play.

We have one last game to save ourselves and progress through to the next stage. My only comfort is in remembering a similar run of results in the 1990 World Cup, and we went on to the semi finals that year. C'mon boys.

TBC Regents Park Relay II....

....The annual event is now in it's second year and despite a poor turnout, (for a variety of reasons), we pushed ahead with the race. With the prospect of food and drink in the park afterwards almost too appealing to wait for, we decided to simply compete in a single sprint of the inner circle. Fastest wins.

As per previous competitive TBC events, Chris took the honours, his saddle bestrode by some marvellous blue lycra. Gosh, he deserved it for fashion prowess alone. (Although Richie's rugby / lycra hybrid and Nick's Etonian cutting dash, were very close behind).

We retired to park for typically British nibbles, befriending local wild fowl and basking in a glorious sunset on the way.

The night went on later and boozier, but the photos stop there. Good stuff.

Bugsy's BBQ....

....Kelly, Nick, Ems and I were invited to join Bugs, Joce, Marcus and Becks for a BBQ at their house on Tuesday.

Bugsy was the master of the grill, with an incredible shoulder of lamb and also pork and dried apricot skewers that got more Mmmm's than you could imagine.

In the tranquil and seemingly secluded tree covered back garden we feasted and drank til our hearts were content.

We finished with a messy, minty, but moreish Eton Mess that sat splendidly in an array of Royal themed china. Yar Yar.

Thanks Bugs. Awesome.

Sunday, 13 June 2010

No you didn't....

....A classic front page from today's New York Post. Over enthusiastic, or just confused?!

EDIT: It seems in fact that the American's aren't as daft as the headline suggests. See here. And thanks to the 'anonymous' commenter, below for the tip off.

England 1-1 USA....

....In light of press reports that referees at this summer's World Cup had each learned 20 English swear words in order to crack down on player abuse, Liam, Doug and I then tried to list those profanities on our kitchen blackboard. We succeeded. And following last night's abject draw with the USA, each of them is a fair description of England's goalkeeper Robert Green.

After a clanger, he has been made the scapegoat for England's unconvincing display, but in truth, in a match where Emile Heskey was our best player, there must be some other problems on the pitch. After a bright start, Steven Gerrard gave us the lead, but plenty more possession led to little more threat and after Green gifted Clint Dempsey their equaliser just before half time, we weren't able to finish off the USA.

I wasn't surprised. I'd be more surprised if England fans are surprised. But, equally, I am not too worried. We are fortunate to be in a weak group and to me it is inconceivable that we do not progress in to the last 16. Beyond that? I am not sure. My original prediction was a Quarter Final loss. Following last night's display, that hasn't changed.

Saturday, 12 June 2010

List my photo : update 4....

....An update of some of my more considered photos are on my other blog for your perusal.

Friday, 11 June 2010


....Ben & I coincidentally donned denim shirts yesterday. Our mugshot had some familiarity about it.

That's right.

Artists and lovers, Gilbert & George. Hmmm.

World Cup 2010....

....We have lift off in South Africa. I am more excited than a 29 year old should be. C'mon England!

Andreas' place....

....The warehouse he's lived in for the last 5 years is incredible. You'd think I was used to it now after at least four visits, but I find myself recording it in anyway possible each time. Here it is, in a video edit. Spare five glorious minutes of your time please.

Americana in London....

....Lorenzo missed my birthday, (he wasn't the only one!) and suggested a dinner for him, Madeleine, Kelly and I by way of apology. (Not that I required one).

Madeleine & 'Zo

Having not long returned from New York, I can't help but notice little American traits and styles springing up in my London path. We suddenly have a greater affiliation with brunch for example. And this dinner was a very New York affair, with burgers at Byron.

It is a chain, (not that I knew), with this the latest opening in Islington. The restaurant itself is very style conscious and very deliberate with it - all distressed walls, exposed brick work and chipped paint. In fact, maybe they hadn't finished it after all?!

The burgers we had were good - y'know from grass fed, free roaming cows and all that. But which aren't nowadays? Yes it was good. And decent value too.

After dinner we continued the USA feel with drinks in Slim Jim's Liqour Store. The name alone is clue enough for this deliberate reincarnation of an LA style dive bar. Sure, there was dirty walls, scuzzy rock music playing and dim lights - I liked all that. And I liked the drinks too, a good whiskey sours was my tipple. But when a self styled dive bar exists on Islington's Upper Street and whose clientele are men in suits from local estate agents, you feel the bar is failing at what it is trying so hard to achieve. Fortunately on this night the bar was sparsely populated enough for that not to be a problem. I would probably go back, but early in the week. And never, ever a weekend.

House of wax....

....A 24hr power cut through Tuesday led to a romantic, candle-lit night in for Doug, Liam and I. Out came the cards and black out spirit!

Kabuki, Sadler's Wells....

....Richie took me for a birthday treat, (yes, it rumbles on!), on Monday. We went to see Kabuki at Sadler's Wells and neither of us were entirely sure what to expect, thinking perhaps it was almost a circus-like act. It was in fact far more subtle and gracious than that.

Dating from the early 17th century, Kabuki is a highly stylised Japanese artform that employs flamboyant costumes, elaborate make-up and exaggerated body movements to create a sense of the spectacular. So, whilst beautiful, it was actually a much slower pace than we had anticipated. The complimentary earpiece that provided a translated commentry was invaluable for getting to grips with traditional show.

Richie has written more insightful words on his blog but it was a welcome and insightful introduction to Kabuki, with the make up and costumes alone a sight to behold. A pleasure.

Monday, 7 June 2010

Birthday Breakfast & Birthday Bond....

....To celebrate my 29th birthday with friends, I decided to get everyone to breakfast at Hackney City Farm, on what turned out to be a beautiful morning. I don't think I've ever seen so many fresh faces at 10am on a Saturday morning.....we must be getting old and dull!

Seated out the back, in the sun

Enough people showed to afford me a smile!

Just one fine example

Clem plays hide & seek with her shadow and some water biscuits!

Harrie, back in London and Karen leaving Mark in Rye.

Richie and Aimee, as Clem pilfers out of shot!

Funny bones of Richie and Lynn

We stayed rooted to our al fresco spot for long enough to decide that we should head over to Victoria Park for the afternoon, to carry on the eating and drinking. We got in some food, blankets, drinks and a football. All set. Picnic.

Same sun, new location.

Natalie, Sandra, Simone and Sarah joined us for the picnic.

It was great to see Kev for the first time in a while too.

Ed missed brekkie to get a new tattoo, but made it over for the picnic.

Joss treated me to a sausage roll from the wonderful Ginger Pig

As the clouds gathered and threat of rain appeared greater, we retreated to the Crown pub over the road. By this time, some of us needed to eat again(!) Others just needed to drink.

From the pub it was time to move on to the second birthday celebration of the day. Mr Bond was celebrating at the Charles Lamb pub in Islington that evening. The weather held, more people gathered and it was a great evening. (And we liked the pub more, as unbeknown to Rich, they had bought two of his screenprints and had them proudly framed and hung on the wall).

Bond's birthday blue eyes

Ross cat naps as Harrie, Doug & Aimee lap it up.

Lynn and Jimmy share a joke (in front of a glimpse of Richie's print)

A great daytime celebration for me - thanks all for sharing it - and a fun evening for Bond. A great day all in all.

(The full birthday reel of Boundary Rooftop & Birthday brekkie / picnic):