Wednesday, 31 December 2008
Monday, 29 December 2008
Saturday, 27 December 2008
Monday, 15 December 2008
Great news for anyone from planet Yorkshire who have stepped out of their comfort zone by visiting 'Rat Race' London - "I could never live in London, I much prefer the poverty of ambition in Yorkshire!".Anyway Stef's Italian restaurant in Soho now have a 'Special Yorkshire' Menu More details on Stef's HERE
Friday, 12 December 2008
Sunday, 7 December 2008
Saturday, 6 December 2008
Tuesday, 2 December 2008
Monday, 1 December 2008
Tuesday, 18 November 2008
Thursday, 13 November 2008
Saturday, 8 November 2008
Brian Blessed recalls the director who taught him to play the fool
The Guardian, Saturday November 8 2008
When I was 11 I played the part of Rumpelstiltskin and my teacher told me I would make a great actor. But I was the son of a coal miner and I had to leave school when I was 14 because my father had an accident. I became a plasterer and I did amateur theatre at night. It was there I met Harry Dobson.
He got a hold of me and guided me from then on. He was the best director and teacher I ever met; he was of the same stature as Peter Hall and Trevor Nunn, or at least would have done as well as them had he not stayed in amateur theatre and helped people like me.
Harry was a great bull of a man: he had a huge physique with sausage fingers and a penetrating gaze. He rode a motorbike and wore leathers and said things like: "Give yourself the luxury of making a fool of yourself!"
He thought the greatest risk in life was not going for the adventure and told me often that my determination was getting in my way and that I should lighten up and ease up on myself. He taught me not to try too hard, and that I needed to get out and have fun.
I went through a phase when I became uncaring, the way teenagers do. I was horrible to my parents and to everyone around me and Harry was appalled. One evening I was talking to him in an offhand way and he slapped me straight across the face. It stung, it was powerful and it almost unbalanced me. "You uncaring bastard - you're forgetting everyone who has done so much for you, you're big-headed and egotistical!" he roared. "You can bugger off; I don't want to talk to you!"
I got a fever that night that lasted a couple of weeks. I apologised to my parents for my behaviour and then I went to see Harry and told him I was back to myself and apologised profusely. He hugged me and said, "Come here, you great ape!"
I kept in touch with Harry. When I was in Z-Cars I got a message that he was in hospital with cancer. I rushed to his bedside and there was this bull of a man now about five stone with wires coming out of his nose. I was crying my eyes out, but he reassured me. "Oh Brian, I'm having the most wonderful dreams. You go for it and don't let the bastards grind you down." A few hours later he was dead.
I always feel when I play parts that he's watching over me, saying: "Give, you bugger, give!" and as a result in rehearsals I always make a fool of myself and throw myself into it, trying new things out.
Wednesday, 22 October 2008
Must remember to make a list of the ingredients here to make this over the weekend.....
Recipe: Roasted Stuffed Pumpkin
Time: About 2 hours
1 6 1/2- to 7-pound sugar pumpkin, or other pumpkin suitable for eating
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, 2 minced, 1 halved
1 cup dried cranberries
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon saffron threads
Finely grated zest of half an orange
2 cups basmati rice
4 cups vegetable stock
1. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Fill a kettle with water, and bring to a boil. About an inch below the top of the pumpkin's "shoulders," about where it would be cut to carve a jack-o'-lantern, slice a lid from top of pumpkin, and set it aside. Remove seeds and fibrous flesh from inside.
2. In a large saucepan over medium-low heat, heat the oil, and sauté the onion until it is softened. Add 2 minced garlic cloves, and sauté for 30 seconds. Stir in the cranberries, ginger, allspice, saffron and orange zest. Add the rice, and stir until it is glossy. Pour in stock, and bring to a boil. Cover, and reduce heat as low as possible. Cook for 15 minutes. Meanwhile rub the inside of pumpkin with cut garlic clove, and rub with some salt to taste.
3. When rice has cooked for 15 minutes, it will be damp and not very fluffy. Adjust seasoning to taste, and spoon into pumpkin cavity. Press lid firmly on top. It may sit above stuffing a bit like a jaunty cork. Wrap bottom two to three inches of pumpkin in a double layer of foil to protect it from contact with water during baking. Place in a roasting pan, and add about 1 inch of boiling water to pan.
4. Bake the pumpkin until it is tender when pierced with a knife, about 1 1/2 hours. (If there is resistance when pumpkin is pierced, allow more baking time.) To serve, remove pumpkin from pan, and allow it to rest for about 10 minutes. Discard foil, and place pumpkin on a serving platter. Slice into segments like a cake. Place a wedge of pumpkin on each serving plate, and mound with rice stuffing.
Yield: 8 to 10 servings.
Saturday, 18 October 2008
1. John Carpenter - Julie 2. Fenonomen - Pacific Memories 3. Télépopmusik - Don't Look Back 4. Afterlife - Lovedub 5. The Album Leaf - The Outer Banks 6. Ganga - Hi-Fi Love (Kenneth Bager Re-edit) 7. True Stories - Crazy Girls 8. Dousk - Anagram 9. The Album Leaf - Thule 10. Bent - Beautiful Otherness 11. Abakus - Under The Stars 12. Caia - Le Telecabine 13. Sundial Aeon - Azure Aquarings 14. Tennishero - Alone 15. Electronic - Free Will 16. shiveringgoat - Bad Wind And Other Stories...
Wednesday, 1 October 2008
Turn terrorism comedy into movie!
"We told you that Chris Morris' terror cell
comedy had been rejected by a fearful Channel 4
and BBC. It seems they have a history of
this. Muslim comedian Omar Mazouk was to
present a mockumentary about misguided
suicide bombers for BBC but this was also
nixed. He took the idea to a TV network in
Denmark instead, where it's getting rave reviews.
And putting two fingers up to TV commissioners,
Morris is turning his Jihadi sitcom into a
film. He's got producers at Warpfilm and a
distributor. All he needs now is enough money
to make the film. Which is where we come in.
Popbitch readers donating between 25 and 100
quid to help get the film made will get the
chance to be in it. So get out your cheque book
and burkha and email:
Chris would not deny or confirm that recruits
who sign up will also get a free al-Qaeda
Chris is asking for donations to finish the film email firstname.lastname@example.org
I emailed them and got this back;
"Thanks for your email offering support for the “Four Lions” project.
The response so far has been extremely encouraging and our next move depends on numbers. We won’t ask for your money until we have enough people involved to make the system work.
So whether you want to be in the film or just fancy a binge of coin chucking, please spray the news around.
And if passing this on seems like a bit of a hassle? Well think about it. Yesterday, over a hundred thousand people - alive and breathing and not passing it on just like you are thinking of not passing it on - died. It’s unlikely they were all wiped out precisely because they weren’t passing it on but its not impossible is it? Not totally statistically unimaginably impossible. Run that by yourself a couple of times before you decide not to pass it on.
Thursday, 18 September 2008
it like a data stick except it works by WiFi - you can share the
public folder with an ip address to anyone on the internet so they can
drag files from your iPhone onto their computer or really handy if you
want to totally secure and password protected. Amazing and free too,
just wish they would allow you to attach to email as I carry around in
my phone all my important docs - scans of birth certificate etc in
case I forget who I am or what sex I am etc.
Sunday, 14 September 2008
I love reading the New York Times online - its full of really great stuff and one of the chef's on there Mark Bittman makes a great contribution every week you can check out his page HERE there is some great videos there too with simple but great cooking. He has also written a really thorough Vegetarian cookery book which I cannot recommend highly enough its one of the best books I have used packed with hundreds of recipes - 600 pages!HERE
Friday, 12 September 2008
Great night tonight at the penultimate night of the 2008 Proms - Beethoven's glorious 9th Symphony - what a great performance by the BBC Philharmonic! Gianandrea Noseda was the lightening conductor, Emma Bell soprano Jane Irwin mezzo-soprano Timothy Robinson tenor Iain Paterson bass City of Birmingham Symphony Chorus.
They play same program in Manchester 26th September.
Friday, 5 September 2008
Wednesday, 3 September 2008
Hackney is changing fast. In 2001 when I first moved here the streets were awash with discarded fried chicken boxes, now the streets are littered with empty sushi boxes (Fairtrade!)
now there is a podcast pouring local information straight through your ooko and into your gullivar via the iMac...its all good news....very enjoyable - shame Jules Pipe wouldn't have inhaled helium stood on a see saw whilst he responded to the questions on the Olympics that would have been funny....
give it a listen....
Tuesday, 2 September 2008
Monday, 1 September 2008
Had a wonderful lunch at Brasserie Blanc yesterday and Raymond himself turned up - I have wanted to meet him for 10 years having being inspired by his book 'Blanc Vite' and my subsequent visits to Le Manoir and Brasserie Blanc's . I didn't take many pictures but here is some of Eric's superb cheese. For more information about Brasserie Blanc's click HERE and Eric's cheese which you can now order online HERE
Thursday, 28 August 2008
Sunday, 24 August 2008
Thursday, 21 August 2008
Monday, 18 August 2008
Hackney council are baffled beyond tablets after recently renovating the beautiful fountain and garden at Clapton Pond in east London.
Over the weekend several local residents reported seeing a 'Shoal of Hills' swimming around the pond in groups of up to 20 often late into the night. Baffled local botanist Dr Colin Basingstoke said that 'These look very much like the celebrated local journalist Dave Hill and it could be that he has been involved in some bizarre cloning experiment'. I managed to take a picture of 8 of them this afternoon.
We tried contacting Mr Hill but he was unavailable for any comments at this time, although it was reported today in The Hackney Gazette that a member of Hackney Council said that a Mr Hill had spoken to the council tax department early Monday morning asking them to clarify who is actually responsible for paying the council tax for extra people not declared on the electoral register in the event of some bizarre cloning experiment similar to this.
This is one of the most interesting stories to have graced E5 in many years, I only hope that Gordon Ramsay doesn't learn how to do this for the sanity of our glorious nation;)
Sunday, 17 August 2008
Had a wonderful gift brought back from France last week as my friend Stef was on holiday there with his long-suffering wife who deserves the George Cross at the very least. Can't wait to tuck into this tonight maybe I'll really get in the French mood by watching Cyrano De Bergerac and not wearing any deodrant, - thanks Stef:) - I'll bring you some tripe back when I'm next in Yorkshire! (By the way Stef has a great Italian Restaurant in Soho HERE)
Saturday, 16 August 2008
Even if you don't have an iPhone you can share your libraries via iTunes etc across the world!
The iTunes application for the iPhone & iPod Touch is here
This is the house on Evering Road just round the corner from where I live where in October 1967 The Krays (who I'm not really into but find local history interesting) lured Jack "The Hat" McVitie and murdered him - from Wikipedia "McVitie was lured to a basement flat in Evering Road, Hackney on the pretence of a party. As he entered, Reg Kray pointed a handgun at his head and pulled the trigger twice, but the gun failed to discharge. Ronnie Kray then held McVitie in a bearhug and Reg Kray was handed a carving knife. He stabbed McVitie in the face and stomach, driving it deep into his neck, twisting the blade, continuing as McVitie lay on the floor dying. Several other members of The Firm including the Lambrianou brothers (Tony and Chris) were convicted of this. McVitie's body has never been found to this day." Creepy! photo taken 10 minutes ago with my iphone 3g.
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Sunday, 10 August 2008
Thursday, 31 July 2008
Peter 'Hacienda™' Hook was in Broadway Market E8 tonight at Art Vinyl as part of a promotion they are doing with Hacienda™ merchandise it was good to catch up with the bassist of classic band Joy Division and arch enemy of Bernard Sumner™ ! Peter spewed some old Hacienda™ tunes out to a very eclectic™ crowd.
Friday, 25 July 2008
He has just signed with Tommyboy the famous New York label and his new CD 'Futurism' comes out in the UK August.
Maybe dance music is not your thing but Danny is top of the game in this field, having remixed Yoko Ono, Madonna, Depeche Mode, Cher, Pet Shop Boys and Janet Jackson to name but a few.
here is the video for 'Space Dance' he looks like he's having fun!
Saturday, 19 July 2008
Il Bacio Express in Stoke Newington Church Street for me is one of the best pizza places I have ever eaten! Went there today for lunch and had the special 'Unichedda' £9 Buffalo mozzarella, tomato, rocket, pesto & sun dried tomatoes....what a beautiful summer combination! Sardinian pizza at its best with a carafe of light red Italian wine.... Mike C from New york came here and really enjoyed it! - Lee where are you?!! ...must bring Stef (B.B.B™) here at some point too www.ilbacioexpress.com
Saturday, 12 July 2008
Friday, 11 July 2008
Thursday, 10 July 2008
The new iPhone 3g comes tomorrow and the 2.0 software update that I managed to find before its on iTunes:) Amazing web applications like New York times news and loads more plus you can take screenshots like I just did here.
I cannot tell you how amazing this device is - its a laptop in your pocket, I've had mine since November and its never crashed once, really stable...shut up I'm turning into a nerd.......!! Good thing is I've got Brian Blessed wherever I go!...
Monday, 7 July 2008
Spending a few days in Snape/Aldeburgh 2 hours by train from London. Very peaceful here our cottage overlooks Snape Maltings concert hall - had a hilarious Saturday morning watching the middle classes drive in their 4x4's to the farmers market here!! - nearly every child was called Toby! some nice products there, Besides that nice walking and a great vegetarian lunch and dinner in Orford here and also in Aldeburgh here
Visited Benjamin Britten's home the 'Red House' and listened to the 4 Sea Interludes from Peter Grimes which sounded perfect in this small town which was the inspiration for much of his work (as well as chasing Peter Pears through the undergrowth in the middle of the night)
Chips and mushy peas with a gherkin from the Aldeburgh Fish & Chip Shop were great! Also bought some really hot smoked Chipotle Chilli Cheddar from here which was HOT! but tasty
Had a barbeque with paneer that I marinated in tandoori sauce a few hours before and made these great Kofta's from Waitrose's excellent site here
Friday, 27 June 2008
From the New York Times;
Trying to Save a Link to a Legend and an Era
By JAKE MOONEY
JOHN BENZ FENTNER, a lawyer from Unionville, Conn., is a serious Marx Brothers fan, if the word “serious” can properly be applied to devotees of that madcap comedy family. Mr. Fentner can name all six brothers — a true litmus test of Marx fandom, he said — and collects even underwhelming Marx Brothers movies like the 1968 Otto Preminger flop “Skidoo,” which featured Groucho as a crime boss named God.
So it was understandable that a few years ago, on a trip to New York with fellow Marx Brothers fans, Mr. Fentner found his way to 179 East 93rd Street, between Lexington and Third Avenues, to the stoop of the house where the brothers spent much of their youth around the turn of the previous century.
“It’s like going to Gettysburg just to stand on the battlefield,” Mr. Fentner said the other day. “There’s a slight difference in quality there, but it’s the same kind of pilgrimage. If you’re really interested in something, you want to go and stand on the ground.”
The house is one of the few remaining links to the brothers in the area, since the old theaters and vaudeville houses where they got their start are almost entirely gone.
Now, residents of East 93rd Street, unhappy about new development that they say is changing the character of the area, are seeking to have the block where the Marx Brothers house is located added to a nearby historic district to keep it, too, from changing.
Susan Kathryn Hefti, a chairwoman of the 93rd Street Beautification Association, hopes her group can persuade the Landmarks Preservation Commission to extend the Carnegie Hill Historic District, which currently ends just to the west of the block. And in a more symbolic move, the neighbors of the house hope to have the block ceremonially named Marx Brothers Place.
According to Ms. Hefti, the association formed in response to the demolition of two town houses from the 1880s that were across from the Marx Brothers house. A third house on the block was later torn down.
“We were all out on the sidewalk,” Ms. Hefti said. “Most of us didn’t know about it until it happened, and most of us were just in a state of shock.” Without landmark protection, she added, “the Marx Brothers house could, theoretically, go down tomorrow if it were sold.”
That possibility was enough to alarm the filmmaker Woody Allen, who is a former resident of the area and a Marx Brothers devotee. In a letter to Ms. Hefti, Mr. Allen wrote that “in countries that place a high value on cultural contributions as opposed to simply bulldozing things in the name of progress, the Marx Brothers home would remain standing and affixed with a plaque.”
But Barry Rice, the architect whose firm designed the seven-story condominium that is replacing the three demolished town houses, said that extending the historic district might not provide the control over development that residents expect. New development in such a district is still possible, he said, if care is taken with design and scale.
“My conscience is clear,” Mr. Rice said. “I didn’t knock down the Marx Brothers house, and I think I’m doing something that’s in context with the street.”
Wednesday, 4 June 2008
Had a great night at L'epicerie at 56 a superb deli in E5, François (no relation to Truffaut), one of L'epicerie at 56's suppliers presented the evening tasting 5 wines from France & Argentina. It was a casual but very informative evening with cheese and watercress soup and Remy the owner playing an excellent host and doing a great job at keeping Mike™ away from his customers!;) The next one is in July and I will be there! - I recommend anyone living nearby to attend as its a learning curve in a relaxed and fun enviroment or to pop in and buy some amazing wine, some of it is organic and all of it is from small vineyards made by people with a passion for quality. It was a good turnout too, around 20 people it was a great place to meet new friends too. I cycled home across Hackney Downs a little merry and singing the music from 'Cyrano De Bergerac' with 4 bottles of wonderful French wine to descale my kettle with!
Thank you Remy! and good to meet Mike™
Here is some positive customer feedback;)
Tuesday, 27 May 2008
Tomorrow morning I will get up early and cut down the tree using a plastic butter knife I procured from a Little Chef on the A! just north of Stafford during a heavy storm in the mid 1990's so you can see a bit better.
Thursday, 24 April 2008
Wednesday, 23 April 2008
Thanks to my good friend Mike who was walking in Central Park NYC yesterday afternoon. He kindly sent this beautiful picture of spring flowers outside the restaurant where we had lunch when I got married in Central Park in 2006.
Many Thanks for this MIke, it is so different to when I was there just 6 weeks ago and Central Park was weathered from the winter...
Thursday, 17 April 2008
I am sat in a wonderful new French cafe/deli in E5. This place I think has been open around 6 months and is a welcome addition to the neighbourhood. They have a few seats outside and in and also a takeway deli for great cheeses and pastries, bread etc. I have been here a few times now its really great, they always have chilled music either classical or jazz and the quiche is a real highlight for me especially the vegetable. Today I had spicy parsnip soup with fresh bread the coffee is really good too. I am vegetarian and there's plenty of choices its great!
Staff are friendly and the owner/manager Remy looks like he cares a lot about his new venture which adds to the pleasure.
I believe they are starting cheese and wine evenings with their suppliers soon which should be well worth it, and soon they will offer a cheese or meat plate with wine during the day.
We bought some tasty piccalilli and took quiche and fresh bread (really well sourced) back home for dinner. The quiche to eat in is a bargain at 3.50 which comes with a little salad. They have a few good quality provisions - sun dried tomatoes and for this kind of place I found their prices to be reasonable, and because of the French connection it seems a real authentic experience.
They have free WiFi too, very fast and its a great place to go, have coffee and pastries or lunch, very relaxed.
I wish them well and I really recommend a visit
Also I commend Remy for managing to organise (Fairtrade) kangeroo's to run past the shop on the hour, every hour which must have been a nightmare getting the authorisation from Hackney council for this, (you can see in the top picture Hackney Council have gone to considerable trouble adding kangeroo warning road signs to Chatsworth Road).
I want to see more kangeroo's roaming freely around Hackney its adds even more to the atmosphere and helps enhance all our lives - why should Australia be the only place to see these things regularly? we all need to exercise our rights to bring more of these to E5 and possibly even E8, one day.
56 Chatsworth Rd