Monday, 30 May 2011


....We all sat down to watch this documentary tonight, pop corn and all.

Many people had talked about it, not least Kelly, so I was looking forward to discovering what it was all about.

The film contains entirely real footage, shot over a nine month period, after film maker Ariel Schulman sensed a story unfolding in his brother's, Yaniv, online relationship with a family in Michigan. Everything was not quite as it seemed. It is an absorbing 90 minutes, highlighting both the terrifying power of the internet, but also the deepest of human frailties.

Ultimately it is a rewarding, always intriguing documentary that is on the verge of exploitation on every level. The title of the film comes from an analogy made toward the end, explaining that Catfish are tactically placed in long haul transportation of Cod, to keep them nimble, fresh, on their toes - so they're still tasty on arrival. To me, it is a fitting analogy, relevant to both Yaniv and his online contact - they needed each other just as much, certainly over the course of the nine months documented.

Fascinating. Go and see it.

Quoc stop & plums tart....

....After a lazy morning, an unexpected call from Quoc dragged me out of the house and to lunch, at Food Hall in Old Street.

Lasagne / Sausage casserole

It was lovely to catch up, his shoe business still going very well, and his presentation is more like an English gent each day!

Quoc serves. Liam looks adoringly!

Afterwards I cycled up to Stoke Newington to meet Kelly at Gemma & Nico's house. We had a cuppa and talked babies and houses, (Gemma is 4 months pregnant), before the plum tart was pulled out.

Gemma, Nico & Kel

This pleased me a great deal, (as you can imagine a dessert does), so it topped off a rather lovely afternoon. And with only a 3 day week in store, I'm slightly giddy all over again.

Julie Cockburn....

....Recently I decided to buy another piece of art. Usually I go for editioned prints, but after commissioning an original from Mark Warren Jacques, I decided to go for another.

Hero I, 2011

This time a wonderful one-off by Julie Cockburn. I have been fascinated by her collage, cut & paste photographic found images for some time. My purchase, 'Hero I', 2011, was a favourite from a recent set seen in a collection of the Photographers Gallery.


I haven't found it a wall space just yet - I think I'll leave it until we've a new house, with a new wall to suitably adorn it.

Dave Gorman's Screen Guild....

....Last night Liam and I went to Hoxton Hall to see the third in a series of comedy nights curated by Dave Gorman.

His 'Screen Guild' is a lovely, intimate event where he comperes, before introducing four lesser known, (to us, but liked by him), acts.

Hoxton Hall

Gorman himself is a very endearing character, an observational comic with a great deal of his material streamed from the internet. Tonight he introduces a new format, (and soon to be tour), involving PowerPoint as an aide. It works.

The acts were similarly good. Ed Gamble opened, whose fruit allergy acronyms stole the show. Next, Morgan & West, 'Victorian Magicians', delighted with their involving, intriguing and great set.

Morgan & West

After the break Tom Wrigglesworth took to the stage and after a shaky start involving a bit too much race and religion, won the crowd over easily. Last on the bill, and the only woman, was Helen Keen. She probably had to work the hardest of everyone, but that didn't stop an assured and funny performance.

Tom Wrigglesworth

All in all, a great night, in a great setting, curated by a man with more strings to his bow than you could imagine.

Sunday, 29 May 2011

Cherubs and the Champions League for Champions....

....Kel and I started off the day with long overdue Skype call to Ruth, Andy and baby Jude - now over 10 weeks old.

He was on fine form, managing to be sick twice and plenty of drooling during the short conversation!

[a more serene Jude from earlier in the week]

Then we were treated to lunch over at Matt, Fiamma and little Wolfe's house in Upper Clapton.

Fiamma & Wolfe

Wolfe's latest toy obsession is the hoola hoop, so Kel and I were treated to many demonstrations of his new found talents!

All the while, Matt was rustling up a fantstic pork chop with pollenta & sweet potato mash, and Fiamma topped it off with an amazing apricot & raspebery flan. Yum.

Soon after leaving, the realistaion, (for me, not Kelly), and excitement of the Champions League Final was kicking in. Retreating back home, Doug, Liam and I decided such an occasion should have food fit for champions.

We started with mixed salads, a charcuterie board, olives, anchovies and other tapas. And as we rolled out in to the second half, we brought out a marvellous cheese board, garnered from Neal's Yard Dairy.

All washed down with some marvellous pinot noir, it made for a brilliant accompaniment, to a fantastic game of football.

The match itself saw a Barcelona victory over Manchester United, that for me, confirmed their superiority in the modern era of club football, if not the title of greatest club team of all time. A sight to be behold and worthy winners.

Monday, 23 May 2011

Nick's stag do....

....The weekend was spent at Far Moor End cottage, near Ennerdale in the Lake District with twelve guys and Nick, the stag. The rolling hills provided a stunning backdrop to our accommodation, as we dined al fresco on the Friday evening with a BBQ.

On the Saturday we went gorge walking, which was fantastic fun - I impressed myself by jumping of several ledges I thought I wouldn't. Our reward was a pizza night and a top up of booze.

[full slideshow]

A great weekend had. Now roll on the wedding!

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Adam & Eve Vs AMV Creative, football match....

....I managed to help organise a football match against former employers, AMV on Monday night.
It proved to be a fruitful evening as we ran out 5-2 victors and we uncovered a rather talented team at Adam & Eve. Get in there lads.

Monday, 16 May 2011

Wren Bicycles....

....New bicycle designs are ten a penny. Not so, good designs.

This, fortunately falls in to the latter department and is a lovely updated take on the trusty 'shopper' format.

Adapted for the City, the Wren launches at Look Mum No Hands next week.

Saturday, 14 May 2011

Matt Elliott Memorial Cup....

....This annual tournament is yet another telling tribute to the late Matt Elliott, (in whose memory, you'll remember, Kelly & I were afforded our South American adventure earlier in the year).

Rugger buggers

The day celebrates Matt's memory and in turn raises money for the charities, Kids Company and Skye Mountain Rescue. It is organised and hosted by Hackney RFC, the afternoon kicked off with an all ladies curtain raiser, before a round robin tournament ended with victory for Richie's team.

Richie's post-accidental-elbow wound

An all day BBQ, drinks and raffle preceded post match drinks and buffet in the Marina Bar, tranquilly located on the edge of the canal. A hugely successful, fitting and emotional day.

Rick Elliott, (Matt's dad), addresses the crowd

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Ian hits 30....

....So we celebrated with a now traditional dinner party. Ian and Susie joined Kel, Liam and I for a four courser at Goldman Close. It proved to be late and boozy, but as ever, a brilliant evening. Happy birthday.

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

iPad Nana....

....Nana, as ever, is well up on modern technology. Here she is with her new iPad2, you know, just (silver) surfing.

Monday, 9 May 2011

Congratulations Kelly....

....Kelly has followed suit, and decided to move to pastures new. After two years at AMV, she has handed in her notice, to join smaller, independent Analogue Folk as a Digital Producer. Three cheers.

Kel with her much deserved flowers from myself earlier today.

Saturday, 7 May 2011

Andrew hits 30....

....A weekend in Newcastle for a surprise celebration of Andrew's, (commonly known as Tuck), thirtieth birthday.
The day began with a few games of pool at Whitley Lodge Snooker Club, before friends gathered at Zonzo's restaurant in Jesmond.

Nick, Andrew & Tom find my cue action funny

The dinner saw 30 of us seated and very well fed, before Andrew was presented with a cake and a fairly woeful rendition of Happy Birthday.

Alice helps Andrew celebrate with sparklers

After dinner, we went on to As You Like It and foolishly, Aspers Casino after that. A late, but great night.
The following day, Robin, Hannah and I all went to visit Tom, Sarah and little Evie in North Shields.

Sarah watches Tom give Evie a lift

Some colouring, cookie eating and general shyness was done, before getting a piggy-backed farewell.

[Full reel]

Friday, 6 May 2011

Bank Holiday Monday in Edinburgh....

....Kelly and I stayed on after the wedding, in a little B&B near the park, with the intention of another day in Edinburgh. We paid an early visit to the family in the reception of their hotel, which included a long overdue second meeting with nephew Jude.

We left them behind for a walk around this beautiful City, (one that Kelly had never visited before), on a gloriously sunny day.
Taking in the familiar, (tourist), sites like the Castle and independent shops in the Grassmarket area, we had a lovely day.

We need to come back again soon and make a more thorough visit of it!

Sunday, 1 May 2011

Morag & Julie Civil Partnership....

....Day three of the long weekend, and a third wedding. This time the Civil Partnership of our cousin Morag, to Julie.

Both the service and reception were held at Our Dynamic Earth in Holyrood Park, with a ceilidh rounding off the proceedings. It was a really fantastic day - a unique one for many of us, as it was our first Civil Partnership - with Morag & Julie beaming throughout.