Archive for October, 2005

The history of the universe in an evening…

Stephen Hawking will be speaking in WC1 tomorrow night. He’s just written ‘A Briefer History of Time’, an even more accessible history of the universe, and will be enlightening the rest of us from 7 pm.

It’ll be an odd event, to be sure, but he’s a legend, and this is one of those things that (even if I doze through it, like my old science lectures) I’ll be damn proud to have done.

Tickets are

Mobile Musings

It’s not that I object to people talking on the mobile in public. I do it myself. But things went too far on the #1 bus to Canada Water this afternoon when a gentleman put his caller on speaker phone and conversed for 20 minutes. This is just not right. More annoying is that I couldn

No sense at all

Lets get this straight. The plan is to bring in 24 hour drinking in city centres and elsewhere. Now, however, the plan is to ban drink on buses & trains. How about controlling source rather trying this finger in the dyke approach. Sure, its sensible to encourage responsibel drinking, but at the same time you encourage round the clock wall to wall drinking. It just not rocket science that this cockeyed from the very start.

Metro gig

A couple of weeks ago I went to see the Mules – Goran Bregovic meets the Pogues – at the charming, if somewhat seedy, Pleasure Unit in Bethnal Green.

To my delight, the Mules weren’t the only ones worth checking out, that night: the band headlining the evening (although I believe they were supposed to be 2nd on stage, originally) called, rather obscurely, Scarla O’, proved to be equally enjoyable- if not more.

Afterwards, I was thrilled to find out that said Scarla O’ are set to play again next week, on Friday 4th of November, at the Metro Club 19-23 Oxford Street – a spot that, I must confess, I have never had the chance to visit before, in spite of the fact it won Time Out best venue award last year.

If you are on the constant lookout for new bands to get excited about – to then show off your acumen, like I do, once they become big – then I can’t but recommend this one.

Aleister Crowley

And, really, who isn’t fascinated by the Beast? Christina Oakley, the owner of Treadwell’s Bookshop, is giving a fun and detailed talk on Crowley’s life in London.

She’s spent an ‘obsessive’ (her word, not mine!) amount of time going through primary sources, both his diaries and London property records, to figure out exactly which of the many London boozers that claim his patronage really did host Unkie Al…

The evening promises lots of photos and entertaining anecdotes and should be a source of useless trivia for those looking to impress their friends with their knowledge of London’s occult history…

Wednesday, 2nd November, at the Devereux pub (20 Devereux Court, WC2). Meet from 7 pm, talk starts from 8.30.

Halloween Weekend! Oooh, scary!

HarryPotter1.JPGHalloween is the best holiday. That’s right: THE BEST.

It’s totally dedicated to candy, dressing up, partying, and pranks. There’s no heavy emotional baggage: no one cries because they’re not with their family for Halloween. There’s no religious stress: no one goes on the radio to complain that we’ve forgotten the true meaning of Halloween.

Even Bonfire Night, as excellent as it is to set the local park on fire, doesn’t have the full dressing-up/candy angle, and there is some debate whether it’s an un-PC anti-Papist hold-over.

So here are some inspirations from the spiritual home of Halloween, North America. Let us follow their shining example (in this and huge, inexpensive pizzas only).
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WPY Sale (another expensive day out…)

A bit far in the future, but worth pencilling in… The Natural History Museum, for the first time ever, will be selling off the prints that they created for the Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition. (Does everyone remember that unbelievable eagle image from last year?) Apparently they;ve made a zillion prints over the past 5 years, to loan out to other Natural History Museums around the world, and now they’re flogging them.

It’s 24 – 27 November, at the Flett Theatre (in the Natural History Museum). It’s all very expensive – but, in many cases, cheaper than going directly from the artist (as in the case of this year’s Sky Chase).

Or, if you’re doing the sensible thing… just go see the exhibit and buy a poster for a fiver… (I did)
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Where am I???? and why?

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pic submitted by mr Wheately.

Some Light Reading

Just polishing off the Observer Magazine from Sunday. I suppose you’d call “Dear Mariella” a highbrow agony aunt. I personally prefer the slappy ones in The Sun, but this week’s Mariella really got me to thinking. The reader asks advice concerning her husband who, adhering to an earlier agreement with said reader, doesn

Penguin Donkeys

A Penguin Donkey has appeared on eBay for the third time in as many months. These are silly little free-standing bookshelves, that got up their name because Allen Lane fell in love with them on sight, and gave them free advertising in Penguin books.

Unfortunately, WWII interrupted the first run of Donkeys, and only a hundred were made of the original, curved design. They’re lovely, and impossibly expensive. As beautiful examples of Isokon design, however, you can see them on display in the V&A and the Design Museum.

The one on eBay is the Mark II – a slightly boxier version that was created in more substantial supply in the 1960’s. They’re less sweet, but still better than the terrifying Mark III, which is a freakish abomination (ok, a bit harsh, but still… yuck).

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