Monday, August 26, 2013

Cotching with the Kids

Everyone has a guilty pleasure. Chocolate. Cigarettes. Crystal meth.

Mine is somewhat less hardcore. Children’s films. Yes, I can recite every word to ‘I’ll make a man out of you’ from Mulan. I know where the sexual innuendos are hidden in the Little Mermaid and the Lion King. I was the only person over the age of 20 in the Ritzy cinema (without a child) that went to go and see Tangled.

However, with films like Shrek and Toy Story, kids movies are a far cry from the cutsie Bambi and even have a few dirty jokes hidden underneath a layer of icing. Sometimes even without the double entendres and inside jokes the years have brought you, it’s just an excuse to giggle freely at silliness.
Despicable Me 2 was first on my list to see. Naturally, I had already seen the first film. I had been introduced to the adorable children (IT’S SO FLUFFY I’M GOING TO DIE) and watched them slowly transform Gru into a nice person and loving dad. 

This time the film’s unique selling point was that of the minions, which, for me, was an exciting prospect. The only slight downfall with this change in focus was the lack of structure for the main storyline. But I still giggled, along with all the other 8 year olds in the cinema.

The other great thing about this film was the one-liners that you cannot stop repeating afterwards, which has now started to jeopardise my career.

A girl at work, who shares my love for children’s films, now ambushes me in meetings, in the kitchen, at reception or anywhere she finds me with ... LIPSTICK TAISER.

Another classic, when work gets just a teeny bit dull, is to sit across from my boss and giggle ‘Bottom. Hehe.’ Cheap thrills.



Where: Cineworld in Wandsworth
Price: £10.50 (241 Orange Wednesdays)
More info: www.cineworld.co.uk www.despicableme.com
Rating:

Taste the Rainbow

People of all castes and creeds congregate along the banks of the River Ganga in Kanpur. The shops are shut. No business this evening. The full moon hangs bright and round in the dark sapphire sky. People below dance to Hindi songs and drums. They chant to the beat as their bodies writhe beautifully to the music, saris sparkling in the moonlight. Hands grab at bowls full of powder paint. Yellows, blues, oranges, reds, pinks. Paint covers the crowd as if a rainbow had burst.

They are rejoicing the victory of good over evil and the start of spring.

Now let’s take you to a slightly different place. A car park outside Battersea Power Station.
Here, a DJ’s beats pound from a small stage. Countless ciders and beers are consumed. Londoners compete to see who can attack the other with more paint.

They are rejoicing the victory of good over evil and the start of spring? 

Except it’s August.

Holi festival was originally a Hindu festival to celebrate the new season, fertile land and religious stories about some colourful characters called Hiranyakashipu, Prahlada and Vishnu. It has now reached the shores of Europe in order to celebrate, well, a good time basically. The Festival of Colours is organised by three young Germans who set out to deliver the meaningful Hindi message of equality and throw a good party.

I went to the event with four of my friends on the first day it reached London on 10th August.

The music was good and there were small attempts of bringing the original Hindu message to the fore with Indian dancers. The event is still in its infancy but I think in a few years it might be one of the big contenders of the summer festival circuit. In the mean time, it was great to splatter paint on people.



Word to the wise, don’t bring friends who won’t get down and dirty – although Cheska for Made in Chelsea made an appearance (Oh, yes – celeb spot of the month). An hourly paint-throwing countdown ensured that the crowd (all dressed in white) threw their powder up together to get covered by a cough-spluttering cloud. You literally cannot see your hand in front of your face (a perfect opportunity for a friendly grope of the very attractive man you have been staring at all afternoon – good over evil and all that).

Definitely worth a visit, but only if you’re happy never to see your outfit again. If you missed out on this one, you can wait until next year, or catch up with them somewhere round Europe.

Where: Battersea Power Station
Prices: Early bird £29.44; Regular ticket £43.70. Colour powder can only be bought on site
More info: www.holifestival.com
Rating:

Drink, Shop, Don’t Mind if I Do

The LGC is back and this time we have gone for the unconventional activity of building Lego. Drink, Shop, Do is located near King’s Cross St Pancras and looks rather unremarkable from its small exterior.

Once over the threshold, I was greeted by friendly staff and an array of bright, colourful and cheekily offensive tea towels and knick-knacks that are available to buy. I was shown to our table and, as I was the first to arrive, had a few minutes to take in the cafe-come-cocktail bar-come-nightclub.  The dome ceiling was beautifully decorated with origami birds and art work, with a giant spider peeking in from the outside. Everything that you can see and touch is up for sale, which made me take a second look at every item and think how it might fit in with my decor at home.

I was shortly joined by the rest of the crew and we settled down for the night’s events. We were told that we were to make a robot out of a big pile of Lego that was chucked down onto the table – it needed a name and a special power. 



Once we had purchased our big, icy delicious cocktails, we started building ‘Cockbot’. Before you pass judgment, Cockbot was a cocktail-making machine with buttons and wheels that churned out the most delicious cocktails by reading the mind of the client. Safe to say, this idea was not deemed arty or adventurous enough, and we were not even shortlisted for the prize (free cocktails for the group).

 
Me and the Cockbot


It was a great evening out, although getting there at 7 and waiting for the judges to decide on the winner at 10 was a tad too long when you are hungry and can’t really afford 3 hours of cocktails.

I might visit sometime soon, maybe for knicker embroidery or the Beyonce dance night or even to recreate Cockbot into something more trophy worthy.

Where: King’s Cross St Pancras
Price: Approx £9 a cocktail
More info: www.drinkshopdo.com
Rating:

7/8/13

Football crazy, football mad

After a slow day at work, nothing is better to liven up the grey matter and inject a bit of life into the commuter corpse than a good one-man play. Even better than that, is two one-man plays back to back.

I must admit, I was a bit dubious. Football is not a passion of mine. I just refuse to support a cult that is paying millions of pounds to people who kick a pig’s bladder around a patch of grass and, occasionally, to liven things up, bite an ear or two. But that is by the by. I was to be very presently surprised.



The first play ‘Only on Sundays’, written by Joe White and performed by Matt Jessup, followed the story of a young man, Dan, troubled by the secret feelings for one of the lads at his local football club. We watch the bittersweet story unfold as his secret world collides with reality. He must choose between the society-sculpted role of the heterosexual modern man or live freely as person who has found love where he least expects it.

The beauty about this story is your own confusion of not knowing when to laugh or cry, which is particularly well executed by Jessup when Dan kisses the man he loves in front of a judgmental crowd of his football lads and through the jokes with which Joe White has peppered the script. A heartfelt, comic tale of unwelcome love.

At the interval I was concerned that a) I was enjoying jokes about football and b) the next Act would not be able to live up to mark.

Once again, I was pleasantly surprised. Misconduct written by Dom Riley and performed by Alexander Forsyth was a lively depiction of a tale behind thuggish behaviour at football matches. Hilarious depictions of El Tel, Mickey and Richie were beautifully sculpted through the acting. My only criticism would be that Forsyth needed to be more familiar with the fast-paced story-telling to allow himself enough time for smoother transitions in-between characters.  However, overall it was a very touching, gritty and moving piece.

As it turns out, I quite like football.

Where: Waterloo East Theatre
Price: £10 (£8 concessions)
More info: www.waterlooeast.co.uk
Rating:

Tarts and vicars

A group of my girl friends from university organise a monthly meet up to discuss politics and history, particularly the suffragette movement, and to talk about the future of the youth of today.

This, of course, is bollocks.

We meet up to drink one too many cocktails and update ourselves on the latest love triangles and pervy bosses. We are part of an elite group called the LGC (The London Girls’ Club), who meet on the first Wednesday of every month in a new sophisticated location in the city. It is, of course, top secret and invite only. A new girl can be invited every month as long as she dresses appropriately and is willing to add enough fuel to the gossip fire.

Our first outing was at Reverend JW Simpson, a cocktail bar in Goodge Street. According to legend, it used to be the residency of a vicar until the late 1980s, but was then transformed into a gentleman’s club.*

The peeling walls whisper scandalous stories while you sit back and receive excellent service and a long list of cocktails. While you wait, a delicious taster is handed to you and a small bowl of nuts. There is a varied selection but drinks are expensive, as expected, and are probably more suited to the cocktail connoisseur than a bunch of ‘young professionals’, although they went down easily enough.

Good service. Nice place. But a bit empty and there wasn’t enough ambience or ‘je ne sais quoi’ for my liking. Just another pricey cocktail bar. I’m not sure the vicar would approve.

Until next month LGC. God bless.

Where: Goodge Street
Price: Approx £9 a cocktail
More info: www.revjwsimpson.com
Rating:

*brothel.

5/06/13

Update

I have been offline so long that I have logged up some reviews to post. So excuse the persistent blogging but I have tried to post them in the order that I went to the events. Happy reading.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Birth of a blogger

'Why don't you try squeezing something the size of a watermelon out of an opening the size of a lemon and see how hot YOU look?’ (Look Who’s Talking)

So here I begin my journey as a blogger. I am delighted to announce that I will be reviewing my cultured and not-so-cultured London experiences, with a little zest of lemon to add to the fun. If you get bored of the babble, skip to the end of each post and you will find a rating and a bit more info of the adventure at hand. Ratings:



1 lemon: Total disaster. I would prefer to stay at home and clip my toenails.

2 lemons: Could have been better. A lot better. 
3 lemons: It was good but I wouldn’t write home about it.
4 lemons: Great time well spent. Just needed a bit of extra seasoning.


5 lemons: Stupendous. Everyone pat themselves on the back. Please let’s do that again sometime.