// May 2008
Last night, Other Rob and I met up to paint the town a gentle shade of pink and discuss the future of the Vauxhall Griffin quiz which is – if all goes as planned – due a little shakeup.
Thus I found myself standing gormlessly in Frith Street whilst Rob outlined the various culinary options available to us, and we jointly settled – through curiosity mainly – on a visit to Garlic and Shots.
It has to be said that it’s possibly the most baffling and perspective-shifting meal I’ve ever had. The menu is incredibly literal: if it’s not a shot of alcohol it has garlic in it. Lots of garlic. (And even some of the shots have garlic in too.)
We both settled on the beautifully named “Garlic and Chilli Concoction of Beef Meat in a Pan” which turned out to be exactly as described: a large, garlic and chilli heavy splat of meat in a pan with nachos, cheese, a cob of corn and various salady items to take the edge off the spice.
I must confess I’m not sure it justified the price tag, but it was very very good indeed. Washed down with some not unpleasant house white I felt quite replete.
But it was the deserts that finally caught us out. We felt we had to try really, and it was telling that Rob and I simultaneously took a bite of our puddings, paused, and looked each other straight in the eye with that sort of shocked expression you get when you realise you’re further into your overdraft than you thought.
“Yeah,” Rob said, chewing thoughtfully “that’s definitely got garlic in.”
Strange though it sounds, “Cocoa and Butterscotch Garlic Toffee cake” isn’t actually at all unpleasant. In fact it’s really quite nice, it’s just a major struggle to get past the idea that you’re eating a desert which tastes quite identifiably of something you don’t normally have in such quantity.
Or, in the case of the “Garlic Honey Ice Cream with Chocolate Dipped Garlic Cloves”, whole.
Still, I certainly feel richer for the experience and can heartily recommend it – even to my friends. Please do give it a try if you ever have the chance.
(Although it may not be an ideal place to take a date…)
I am, at this moment, mightily – and irrationally – annoyed with the TV Licensing people.
It’s not that the TV licence itself is a bad thing (if it keeps me in Doctor Who and QI then I’m more than happy to pay it) but that the TV Licensing organisation is apparently run by idiots.
We have, naturally enough, a TV licence. However, it is – as it has been since before I moved in with him – in the flatmate’s name and we have seen no reason to change this whatsoever.
But over the last year I have had no fewer than five letters from TV Licensing demanding that I get a TV licence because I’ve purchased some piece of equipment (the last one being a freeview box) and they have no record of me having a licence at this address.
And each time I have responded with a telephone call pointing out the existing licence code which covers our house and they have gone “oh, okay” and shut up for a bit.
But because of the Freeview box I have had yet another letter and I have to admit I’ve kind of got fed up with them. Perhaps it’s because I’m in a sort of computers and database solutions capacity myself but I honestly don’t understand why they find it so difficult to remember that someone else is linked to the address. All it would take would be a couple of additional fields in the database, after all.
But no, apparently it’s easier to assume everyone’s a criminal and treat them as such, which kind of annoys the merry heck out of me.
I feel a little persecuted to be honest and suspect I am dangerously close to being very ratty next time I ring them up…
One or two of you may have noticed that for the first time since the series’ return I haven’t been posting up episode-by-episode reviews of Doctor Who this year.
This is basically because I’ve suddenly realised three things:
- I’m happiest watching and enjoying the programme (many times, many many times) rather than picking it apart ad nauseum;
- My views on each episode are really no more interesting than anyone else’s; and
- Even when it’s deeply flawed its pluses still outweigh the minuses.
So… as we find ourselves hurtling past the half-way mark (and because evil sodding Eurovision is giving us a week off in which to draw breath) let me say just this:
I’m enjoying myself enormously, and I hope you are too.
Recently stumbled across this little gem on Edison’s All-Electric Interweb: a comic strip entitled “Worst of the Time Lords“.
Featuring an obviously depresssive tenth Doctor I find I’m enjoying it enormously.
Favourite panels so far include:
- On the TARDIS
- On the Universe
- On Gallifrey
- On the End of the Universe
- On Time Travel
- On Humans
- On Rose
- On Donna
- On Jack (and again)
- On Torchwood
It’s sort of how I’d play the Doctor if I were, through some freak accident of supremely stupid casting, I were ever given the role.
This site is so added to my favourites list.
Courtesy of the sparkling form of Sebastian Crawford I was, on Tuesday night, to be found merrily ensconced in the Royal Albert Hall enjoying the second and last night of “Chess in Concert“. Anyone who know me will know that it is my personal favourite musical – let’s face facts: Benny and Bjorn of ABBA are the finest tunesmiths ever to grace this earth – and so when faced with the offer to attend it was the moment of but seconds to go “well, duh – yeah!”
It was a night not without its problems for many of the attendees apparently. The Royal Albert Hall, oddly enough, seems to be a difficult venue for sound. I keep hearing reports that most gigs or concerts have dead patches where the acoustics are so bad you just hear an indistinguishable wall of sound, and the two nights of this event were apparently no exception for many of the attendees.
Thankfully I wasn’t one to suffer from this. Apart from some dodgy amplification on Idina Menzel (as Florence) for her first couple of songs, it was all crystal clear and hugely enjoyable from where I was sat and just re-enforced my feeling that it is truly one of the richest scores I know.
For me, Josh Goban as Anatoly and Adam Pascal as Frederick put in what I consider to be the definitive performances of “Anthem” and “Pity the Child” respectively. And David Bedella gave a richly satisfying performance as Molokov, with Idina Menzel and Kerry Ellis putting in a fantastic “I Know Him So Well”. Menzel’s “Heaven Help My Heart” and “Nobody’s Side” were also particularly of note, as was Ellis’ wonderful rendition of “Someone Else’s Story”.
I’m really hoping this gets a West End revival soon. Its about time this cult musical finally made it back in a definitive version after its varied history.
That said, they were filming it so hopefully a DVD release is on the cards which will keep me going in the interim.
Sadly, Chris and I have been informed by our Landlord that he’s having his house refurbished and therefore needs our flat back for three months while it’s done. And so, once again, we find ourselves looking for a place to live.
And therefore back facing the same sorts of difficulties we faced before. The whole “yeah, but this bedroom could only fit a double bed if you took a chainsaw to it” thing is much in evidence, which is terribly frustrating – although at least this time we have only encountered one case of “which part of ‘must have a garden’ do you not understand?”
God I hate this process. It’s utterly soul destroying.
This time round, it has to be said, Foxtons have upped their game considerably and have been very helpful and efficient, not something I’ve encountered from them before. Sadly in the last year prices have gone up rather a lot (as the sales market slumps) so we’re going to be paying a premium rate but there’s not much that can be done about that.
One thing that has made life easier this time, though, is the fact we’re already in the sort of area we want to be in, so we’re no longer travelling for 45 minutes each way to view properties. It’s been quite nice taking a short walk in the sunshine to get to the places we’ve viewed so far! It’s just a shame the search is so far proving so fruitless.
My stepmother – Shelley – has many virtues, but all too often it seems that the ability to form a watertight argument isn’t one of them. Indeed I once found myself in the position of watching her conduct a monologue in which she decided to stop taking the car to school of a morning but ended up with her deciding against it five minutes later.
No other person got a word in edgeways, it was a pure case of managing to talk herself out of something entirely unaided – quite a fascinating thing to view in many respects.
She is also able to sound off for ages on the evils of immigration whilst conveniently forgetting that her own mother – sadly recently departed – was born and raised in Holland and only popped over when the Second World War kicked off.
Last weekend, however, she outclassed herself. First, whilst merrily beavering away over a pile or ironing, she put forwards the view that a couple of generations ago people were able to live longer. She then put forward a load of caveats that would have prevented this, which it seemed was destined to become pretty much endless.
“So,” I said, after a moment’s pause in the speech, “what you’re basically saying is: in the old days people used to live longer as long as they survived?”
Best was yet to come though. She later took the opportunity to blast my father for his dependence on powered transport to go anywhere. “I mean,” she fumed, “you’ve got all these opportunities around for nice long walks but you never do any bloody exercise do you? All you do is your keep fit!”
Dad looked over at me and I’m afraid to say I just dissolved into a fit of giggles which took me a good five minutes to recover from and were in serious danger of damaging me.
Thankfully she is able to recognise these flights of self contradiction and laugh about them or I guess evenings at home would be quite frosty at times.
Hello there – and sorry to those few people (bless you) who were worried by the extended maintenance mode time since last weekend. No need to panic, it’s just that I’ve given the place a bit of a lick of paint to make it a bit sexier. (And, indeed, less “corporate” as one person described it.)
Hopefully you like it and it works in whatever browser you have as your preference. Seems okay in IE, Firefox, Camino and Safari anyway.
Hope you’re having a lovely weekend and enjoying the sunshine – nice out isn’t it?