Friday, 16 February 2007

Will Young and Mexican Wrestling

Yes. I decided to do one of those tabloid headlines that will get you reading, but this is not a story about Will Young grappling in the ring so to speak, oh no, its two separate stories tantalisingly linked by the gift of the English language.

So... Last week, I was in a meeting in Manchester, and as my train pulled in I walked to the end to get on my carriage and Will Young jumps out. We briefly clock each other, him admiring my hair, me horrified at his awful bucket hat.

Remember this bit, I'll come back to it. This is indeed a sad "I saw a celeb" story, but not as sad as what I just wrote.

So this weekend, on Sunday, after the Arsenal, I agreed to meet up with Des and Mel, over from Ireland, who were celebrating their engagement. Also, Martin would be there, a quiet, quick witted, engaging and observationally astute chap who seems to know some amazing places to visit in London, like the flamencgo tapas bar he took us to at 3am just off oxford street one night I've never rediscoved, like it was some sort of beer mirage....

We all went to a little french place on the Essex Road. And Martin had us captivated, apparantley there is a restaurant in Clerkenwell where you are led through progressively darker rooms draped in thick black curtains to get you used to the darkness, until you come to a final room.... which is pitch black.

The waiters and waitresses are apparantley blind, and this restaurant is supposed to enhance the eating experience and your sensory perception (other than sight of course - durrr!) i.e smell, touch, taste, hearing (does food make noise? If alive I guess... or is it because there is a killer in the room who whispers something grim in your ear as you sneakily nick a spring roll from your neighbours plate?).

Anyhow, we discussed "What is the point?". Apparantley there is the middle class reason on sensory deprivation/enhancement, yeah yeah, but also its meant to be a good laugh. If I want to live as a Morlock I'd just sell my house and pitch up in a sewer trapping rats to be honest, not for me I'm afraid.

So, "What is the point?" - I don't know is the answer, I don't know if this place even exists. And I probably wouldn't go there as I'd be kicked out for bringing in a torch and shining it under my chin and screaming "woooooooooooaaaaaaaaarrrrrrghhhhhhh!!!" to make the other diners jump.

Des, being a pragmatic miserable Irishman was equally bemused by the concept, as was his fiance Mel, who is a french lady, not a miserable pragmatic irishman.

So anyway, then Martin mentioned that his old flatmate asked him whether he wanted to go "Mexican Wrestling" with him a couple of weeks before. I have to say it sounds brilliant. Not to compete, to watch. You get a discount if you go dressed as a superhero or something unusual and the place is full of tattoo's, piercings, burlesque dancers with swirly tassells on their nibs, PVC, glam and cyber-goths.

Is anyone up for an evening of Mexican mayhem? Get a group together.... a superhero group... yeah!

So anyway, after the French restaurant, we went to the theatre bar in Islington, another little London gem offered by Martin, a rythym and blues band were tuning up in the corner, it had a homely ambience and one of those old fashioned ornate mechanical tills. If I was an eccentric millionaire, I would buy one! The pub was full of all ages, old locals with rollies, young dapper 60's throwbacks, and a bunch of people there for the beer and music.

We perched ourselves near the fireplace to dry our wet clothes (for it was raining outside) and lo and behold... Will Young squeezes past me to get to the bar. He was wearing a trilby this time, much nicerer than the abomination he had on his head the week before. He clocked me again, and my hair, I clocked him, I nudged the other three who were visibly unimpressed, especially Des, and then we all went out separate ways after finishing our drinks.

And if I had a mexican superhero wrestler costume, it should have a gap for the head to allow my mane to flow when I'm gliding effortlessly through the streets to catch villains. Oh and a cape, I must have a cape, and boots. With knives that come out of the front. And a fake six pack.

That is all. I'm off to Grenada next week to put on a stone and a half. I've mentioned to Deb that if Will Young is in our hotel, then clearly our destinies are somehow entwined. She has been warned.... but she didnt seem that bothered about losing me to a pop star.

Adios from this Mexican Wrestler.

El Fatso Diablo, the Dashing Blade

Thursday, 8 February 2007

Winter Ramble in the Woods

I worked from home today, the snow was teeming down and having no meetings it all worked out quite well. After a busy morning and afternoon, took a late lunch and wandered down into the moors and woods with me other half who was also snowed in, only a few minutes walk from my house.

I got an opportunity to wear one of my favourite hats (of which I have several). One I keep for Arctic Explorer weather.

First stop - the goats, or sheep, or whatever they are. They look delicious though.

Then into the open field, where in the distance you can see the ghostly stooped shape of a snowman....

Must find snowman and pose next to him.... I look like I've got lady legs in this picture for some reason. It must be the snowman, I should carry one round with me, they are a good slimming accessory. I look like I'm about to mince. And yes, wellingtons, I love them, never thought I'd say that. Now I want a shotgun too. If I am destined to live in the country then I need to shoot things. Starting with this snowmans face. Smug twat. Boom! Smiling now you prick? Yeah? Yeah? Want some more? Boom!

I'm sorry to break the news guys, but one of your mates is .... dead. His snowman corpse is over there. Here's a couple of carrots to cheer you up, as I notice your noses are shit.

Moving swiftly on... the moors are criss crossed by streams, it's marshland after all and very boggy. The red tinge in the stream is because it has a high iron content, not because I've shot animals and people and dumped their bodies upriver.

In the olden days people used to bottle the water and sell it to people as a tonic. Now it is full of wee wee and radiation. Don't drink the water, it will make you insane and want to bum goats.

Here is a frozen boggy pond. Can you see the man scratching under the ice gasping for breath?

I'm so excited it's snowed.

Me after my snowman killing spree, looking relaxed.


Monday, 5 February 2007

Conspiracy Theories in Tesco

I bought some essentials from tesco the other day, you know, the usual, bread, milk, red wine, lobsters.

I never make an effort for tesco, I just look like I've got out of bed, which of course is usually the case. So I'm queuing up in a daze and bleary eyed in like a really shit outfit, blue tracksuit bottoms and a green jacket with a stupid brown beanie on (I mean colour clash, and white / red trainers too) and the lady at the checkout catches my interest.

She looks like a pensioner, but has dyed her hair jet black, she has ruby red lipstick on with a drawn on beauty mark on her left cheek. And no, I'm not saying I fancied her, far from it, but she was striking looking. How I'd imagine Robert Smith of the cure to look when he's 70, but a woman.

So anyway, she starts rabbiting on about shit, like they are supposed to do for "customer service" and I'm just going "yeah", "hmmm", "right" thinking about toast. But then I realise she is talking the most intense shit I've ever heard so I pay closer attention. She draws me in, like a supporting character in the X-Files, speaking quietly over the beep beep beep of the checkout in case some government agent is listening. I lean forward. She speaks slowly and clearly.

"I love the frosty weather.... the midges, and the gnats, they live in the grass... the frost, it kills them.... and those squirrells, those grey squirrells. They are invaders. I hear they are importing red squirrells from Germany to kill them all."

What fucked up weird shit. I was sort of scared that this 1920's goth progenitor was giving me this lowdown, but some guy with a mullett and a trucker hat was trying to pay for his six pack of Carlsberg special brew behind me and he had the shakes so I had to leave before she revealed more secrets. I must catch up with her again. See what other mysteries are occuring in rural Bedfordshire. Woooooooo!!!

Sunday, 4 February 2007

Jon Redfern @ The Spitz

Me, Ongey, Paul and Paul met up on Wednesday night to watch Jon Redfern at the Spitz, near Liverpool street.

The last time I was round Spitalfields market it was to play football a few years ago. I was surprised the see the pitches gone and the area completely renovated, not necessarily rejuvenated, but certainly gleaming and new. Coffee shops and trendy bars seemed to be the order of the day. However, there are still pubs with character, and the Spitz itself is a great venue. Resisting the urge to go for a curry down brick lane, we had our meal in the Spitz. And this time it was Ongey that played the faux pas much to the merriment of the rest of us. As the waitress was leaning over the table to place his starter in front of him, he shouted out "corrrr look at that!". He claims his eyes were fixed firmly on the chicken liver parfait, but it seemed like he was looking down the waitresses cleavage.

She scurried off, and after a moment of shock, we all p*ssed ourselves apart from Ongey who was already pasting big dollops of his starter onto crusty bread with a bemused expression as he rammed huge mouthfuls into his burgeoning cheeks.

The venue itself is great, intimate, good bar, great selection of draft beers and musically Jon Redfern really hit the spot.

He had a 5 piece band with him, and they played jazz tinged folk, although that is a lazy description by me. Easy on the ear, really tight and he has a magnificent voice. As a group, they looked the part, obviously this shouldn't detract from musicianship and songwriting, but when a band look cool, you feel good too. Well I do anyway.

We'll defo be seeing him again. Bought the album as well.

Till next time