Archive for September, 2007

Middlesex?

Firstly, I have to say as far as I am aware, Cockfosters is not in Middlesex, in fact its in a different direction I think.

Like in North London, instead of West London which is where Middlesex meets sleepy Ruislip and then turns into Hounslow (euck) until you are safely back in the smog filled haze of West London. No Cockfosters is definately not Middlesex. But that is where Middlesex University is.

You probably guessed I just enrolled there and I am finding it VERY disorientating, and not just because it is in the wrong place. Being on the wrong side of 25 (just) and joining a tribe of 18 year olds is freaky. I feel old. I felt very young until last Monday and I believe it is THIER fault.

THEY are everywhere. I never noticed it before, but today on the tube from the gym (and its only one stop) THEY were on the train, drunk, and singing about having only having 2 more stops to go. and I am nowhere near either Middlesex or Cockfosters. THEY are bunging up the streets looking lost and countrified and scared and blocking the cash machine. THEY are in ikea, buying out the whole store in groups of seven and eight and stealing all the nice shelves.

THEY are students and they scare me and I just became one of them. Help……

Shakespeare but not as you Know it

A friend of mine is appearing in an alternative production of ‘Midsummers Night Dream.’ It’s only on until tomorrow evening before it goes on tour so catch it while you can!

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End of an Era

I’ve been away so long Tony Blair was still PM. I’m sorry. There has been a lot going on in my life and its all taken priority over pretty much anything else.

You see in less than maybe as little as a fortnight I’ll be a Dad. I know! Me too.

On that passing of one age to another today was the last chance you’d be able top eat Gammon, Egg and Chips along with Apple Pie with Custard for as little as maybe £6. Yes, the New Piccadilly Café & Restaurant closed its doors as developers finally killed off originality on Denman Street. The café has been there since my own parents were barely kids and now its gone. With original fixtures & fittings as well cups and glasses it forever seemed to be holding back the passage of time.

Alas, today Lorenzo called it a day and quiet possibly had the busiest day in years. I went there maybe five times in total and of course wish I’d known about it earlier, but that’s life. I’ll miss it, as will all those others who made a pilgrimage through its doors today one last time. Ciao.

Now, to fatherhood….

Something for the Gals

For those chicks still wondering what to do with their Friday night, here’s an evening that I’ve been recommended by some groovy girls that I know. Purrr is a new monthly play club for women taking place tomorrow night at The Fortress, 87 Fortress Road, Kentish Town, London, NW5. I must admit I’m not a great expert on lesbian events but I’ve been told by those that are that Purrr is glamorous and sexy fun.

According to their website (www.purrr.co.uk):

Purrr was created for women who do SM play with other women. Purrr is unique in that we offer the only regular late night women’s monthly play club. Where you can learn, share and explore with other women your interest in BDSM sexuality, based on a consensual exchange of power between partners. It’s a safe, relaxed and friendly atmosphere intended to encourage an attitude free fetish environment.

Purrr welcomes newbies and experienced players alike or indeed women who just want to watch or socialise. There is no pressure on anyone to do anything, so it’s an ideal event to just come and see what’s happening without having to take part. However, if you wish to learn new skills or try something new then there are experienced Dommes available to answer your questions and help you.

The theme tomorrow is Medical Fetish. I’ve just got my nurse’s uniform in the post and am raring to go!

Another fab London attraction

Forget family fun at the British Museum’s exhibit of terracotta warriors — take the kids to this week’s London Arms Fair!

You might as well, since you paid for it: four million pounds of our tax dollars are being used to police it. Thank god our money is going to such worthy causes as arresting peace demonstrators.

The Independent reports,

The exhibition organisers say the event is “not an arms fair”. A spokesman said: “You can’t just walk in off the street and buy weapons.” He stressed that only a small proportion of exhibitors sold actual weapons and that the majority were concerned with such areas as disaster relief, peacekeeping and humanitarian activities and homeland security.

You certainly wouldn’t know it based on the fair’s home page, which prompts gleefully: “CLICK HERE FOR Night Vision, Electronic Warfare,” with no mention of humanitarian products.

An interesting overview of the latest arms trade news, including the BAE bribery scandal, is on the Guardian website.

Next time you go to the polls in your borough and for mayor, remember who opposed this travesty in our city.
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I left my heart in Euston Road

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You know the big building on Euston road with the science-themed neon sculptures in the window? Bus riders from King’s Cross into the West End will know the one I mean. That’s the Wellcome Trust, the world’s largest private biomedical charity.

It was founded by a guy (Henry Wellcome, natch) who was a mad collector of all sorts of things, but particularly medical items of all kinds. He was also a mega-rich pharmaceutical entrepreneur, which allowed him to purchase all the cool stuff he wanted, like Napoleon’s toothbrush.

The Wellcome Trust is has opened a museum to show off all of Henry’s treasures, and the first exhibit, The Heart, is fantastic. Lots of cool stuff: I liked the comparison of hearts from various animals, from an ENORMOUS leathery whale heart, down to a tiny shrew’s heart.

There’s also a human heart, from a still-living transplant patient, and the Fortean Times reports that she went down to have a look at the little guy.

As you might imagine, she found the experience very odd and moving. “Seeing my heart for the first time is an emotional and surreal experience. It caused me so much pain and turmoil when it was inside me. Seeing it sitting here is extremely bizarre and very strange. Finally I can see this odd looking lump of muscle that has given me so much upset. It’s tremendous it has become an object of fascination and will get people thinking about the disease, heart transplants and organ donation.”

Go now! The Heart closes on September 16 and it’s totally FREE!

Via BoingBoing

Steamboat Willy

thumb_7_1.jpgMy neighbor is right into human power. So much so that he and a group of mad students have built Steamboat Willy, a human powered hovercraft. I’ve actually peddled it myself and managed to keep it up for 15 seconds, which is pretty good for an out of shape bird like myself. It’s an amazing site to see. You can check out pics and videos on their website. They sometimes launch from the Southbank, so check out their schedule to see one of London’s truly unique attractions.

Food, Glorious Food

pigeoneating.jpgSo, I read the article in the Guardian the other day about bin diving at Marks and Sparks. Apparently, it’s the new hobby of middle class foodies whose food budgets are being subsumed by their mortgages. In a nutshell, M&S throw away perfectly good but nearly expired food, and the bin divers show up, pick through the goods and then invite everyone round for a not-just-any-food-but-M&S-food dinner.

What a great idea! Imagine how much money I could save if I could cash in on this. I want in.

So, I run round to my local M&S dumping ground in Covent Garden and ask the security guard what the deal is with bin diving. Seems, they did have a team of divers coming round, but there were complaints. Now M&S have to dump their food directly into the industrial sized bin that is locked up like Fort Knox. Damn! I don’t know who to be angry with: M&S for wasting all that good food or the security company for not letting the divers in.

When I was a kid growing up in Southern Louisiana, my momma would not let us get up from the table unless we had finished our dinner. It wasn’t that we were being overstuffed, it’s just that we didn’t fancy what mom had cooked. “There are children starving in Africa,” she would scream. “Well, send the food to them!” we replied back dryly.

So, M&S, why can’t you send that food to Africa…or at least down to the local shelter…or just give it to me. In this day and age, we cannot afford to waste anything…least of all food.

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