Sunday, 1 December 2013

A pinch & a punch......

It's December which means not celebrating Christmas for the 2nd year running....or at least not celebrating Christmas in the "traditional" way.  I'll see my family in a fortnight, we'll exchange presents and I'll call them on Christmas Day but there will be no tacky tv, decorations, or Xmas Dinner.  I will be in Crouch End doing what I want, eating what I want, and enjoying it!  Don't think I'll be lonely, depressed or bored.....I certainly will be none of those things!!!!

Anyway, what went on in November that I can write about on here?

We had another Dear Catastrophe Waitress night which was fun as ever.  The club is on a little break at the moment, until we know what we're doing regarding a venue & availability etc.  Bear with us - we'll be back soon I'm sure.  In the meantime, have a Mojito, put on a Style Council track, dance around your lounge and pretend you're there!

There was another Carnaby Street 20% discount night/Grab all you can & go night in our case.  I might have imagined it but there didn't seem to be half the freebies there are normally & it was quite a chore trying to find a shop that would give us free anything!!!!!  I think I probably had a cocktail, probably had a prosecco and probably pretended I was "really interested" in those "ever so fashionable" party dresses.  Off to Trishas afterwards, and Bar Italia for night-time coffee & cake.

To Brighton via the rail replacement hellish bus in mid-November, for a few very important things - to visit Miss C-J and the lovely Dolly and to be part of Suse's 40th birthday celebrations.  30 odd of us went to the North Laines where we all had a well-overdue catch up, the biggest Sunday Roast you have ever experienced in your life, and a bottle of the bubbly stuff.  Well done for getting us altogether Mrs Bentley - you did a great job.  Hope you enjoyed your birthday shenanigans!  Off to Hove actually the next day....lunch at a lovely little cafe' called LaLas in George Street, then back to Miss Thomas's (no longer) new abode by the sea, for tea & cat action.  We treated ourselves to some drinks at the Hotel Pelirocco before our night out & very nice it was too.  I havn't been there since my 40th birthday when I stayed in the (sadly named) Modrophenia room with a certain pretty little danish boy.  I seem to remember nice drinks were consumed then too.  Brace yourselves Frock fans....the reason for staying over in Brighton was to see......da da da.......5ive.  We all have our guilty pleasures and 5ive are mine.  We laughed, had a whole row to ourselves, danced to every song and indeed did Slam Dunk Da there!!!!!

Nearly up-to-date now - hang in there!!!  By now, you know my drinks of choice are mainly cocktails.  We checked out a new place in Camden last week called Simmons which was lovely!  Done out in retro style, with a whole range of lovely drinks, it was a nice place to spend an hour or two.  Opposite Koko, you can watch the queues of little girls going to see bands you have probably never heard of.  Make friends with the little barman - he might do you a deal like he did us.  To Proud Camden after for a Boosh exhibition & signing, which was frankly so boring, I won't bother to write anymore about that.  Finishing up in new private members' club, Record Club.  I've been lucky enough to be given a 3 month trial and I will be using it to the max.  We had a fantastic night & I can't wait to go back.  No, it's not cheap kids but if you too are lucky enough to go, treat yourself!  Lovely, lovely staff, a good location and drinks that are so lovely you have to have 7 at least, what's not to like?

Finally and most importantly, I'm trying to adopt a house-cat & need all the money I can get to pay my landlord's required damage deposit (darn them!).  I'm begging, stealing & borrowing to get the money together.  If anyone reading this is a cat-lover, enjoys what I write, and would like to donate any pennies at all to my cause, I'd appreciate it very much.  Here's a link to my little page....

Thank you x 

Sunday, 3 November 2013

Newcastle & Northern Soul.....

Happy Movember folks!  Once again, I personally won't be growing any facial hair this month but good luck to you that are...hope you raise a ton of money.

Last weekend saw a trip up North via the wonder that is the Megabus, to Newcastle (£12.50 return I'll have you know and that includes a booking fee).  I'd love to be able to visit my Northern friends more often but work and other things get in the way too much these days. 

After 7 hours on the bus, I was famished so a trip to the Sky Apple Vegetarian Cafe' was very welcome.  I've mentioned this little cafe' before I think but here's a link for anyone that might be interested in checking it out.  We managed three courses like the food heroes we are and I'll look forward to visiting next time I'm in Newcastle.  From what I've seen, Sky Apple gets pretty busy so book a table if you're going later in the evening.

On Friday, the heavens opened, Louise's dome umbrella died a death, and my new desert boots leaked.  We braved the vintage shops and had a bargain lunch before heading back to dry off for a few hours.  Man about town & near neighbour, Bob Stanley (he of St Etienne and many a BBC3 appearance) was djaying at my old club, Pop Klubb, in the evening.  Really proud of what the club has achieved and the fact it's still going strong 7 years on.  I will never forget that hilarious first night with Your Favourite Question playing a gig to probably 20 people (and the look on their faces when we walked into that funny old social club to soundcheck that day).

On Saturday, the sun came out and we headed to Tynemouth for a nosey round the flea market (which I love!) and a few shops.  The flea market is fantastic - everything from cupcakes to Nazi memorabilia (yes really) and you can come home with a few bargains.  I couldn't resist (another) new handbag.  Well it would be rude not to wouldn't it?  To Whitley Bay afterwards, for vintage shops and a (half-hearted) vintage tea-room.  I won't write a bad review of it quite yet as they'd only just opened but if I return next year and see it's still full of Cath Kidston, I will be having words.

I'm hoping that next time I visit, it'll be warmer, longer days and we can go to the coast again.  It really is the most beautiful part of the world, with long sandy beaches, tea-rooms lost in time and fresh air.

Saturday night saw a trip to the "That Beat 'n' Rhythm Soul Club" at the same venue as Pop Klubb, Retreat.  What a fantastic night they have going there.  We arrived at 8.30 and the place was practically full, with a full dancefloor too.  Really great tunes and some old favourites of mine, which meant I got to dance for once.  If nothing else, I would recommend going purely to watch the 12 year old dj dance!  He's an absolute star, mature way beyond his years and can out-dance anyone in that place.  I'll be returning just as soon as I can.

From North to South....this weekend I did a "Wiltshire visit".  Unfortunately due to being overloaded with work, I didn't get to experience the village coffee morning nor get a walk down to the church (where I still feel uneasy since the ghost incident) but I did eat lots of good food and get to spend time with my Gran.  Animal fans - I missed the friendly hedgehog but saw two horses.  Yes, that's the limit of Rushall news for you. 

With that, I'll love you & leave you with....with the news I'm getting a cat!!!  Watch this space.

Sunday, 20 October 2013

Winnings & Westfield.....

The heavens have opened & Crouch End appears to be flooding.  I will now hibernate for the rest of the day after updating you all on October goings on.

The beginning of the month saw a night out at Rough Trade East off Brick Lane, for the launch of A Scene in Between by Samuel Knee - a lovely book about the early 80s indie scene....think bowl cuts, think anoraks, think a great time in music.  Apart from my friends who were lucky enough to be in bands during that period (that's you Katie Courtney-Jones aka Stephanie Bass Drum from The Pooh Sticks and Bridget Duffy from The Sea Urchins), various folk from the time were in attendance, although I have to be honest I wouldn't have known them from Adam if I hadn't have been told.  Notable males included Bobby Gillespie, Stephen Pastel & "that bloke from the Jesus & Mary Chain"!!!  If anyone (note for my Mother) would like to buy me the book for Xmas, I'd be a happy lady.

Another Dear Catastrophe Waitress on the following night where much dancing & consuming of the usual Mojitos took place.  Lots of interesting plans for the future to be discussed including a possible alldayer, a possible festival and a possible new venue (?).  Watch this space.  Thank you in the meantime for your continued support & lovely comments.

We ventured to the Vintage Classic Car Boot Fair on the Southbank last weekend and much fun was had.  Lots of folk selling vintage out of their vintage vehicles sounds like a winning idea to me.  I rescued the world's most beautiful dress for a fiver.  The lady selling it was a bit tearful as it was apparently her going away outfit after her wedding in the 60s.  It'll never fit me but I'll love it on her behalf.  There was a great atmosphere at the boot fair - lots of interesting people to look at, lovely tunes being played from the top of a double decker bus and good food/drink.  Roll on next year which will be even bigger & better I'm sure.

My winning streak from my part time comping hobby continues.  My haul in September included some Jamie Oliver cookware, a meal for two, and a holiday essentials package worth £300 consisting of a Kindle, digital camera, Ray-bans etc. etc, which I promptly flogged!  This month saw bigger & better - a £1,000 shopping card for Westfield.  No, I couldn't believe it either.  Two trips later and I still have £450 odd left to spend when the time is right.  I've realised pretty quickly that shopping malls the size of Westfield and me just don't get on.  I struggle to find things to buy of any use & the crowds annoy me hugely.  Last trip I came away feeling violent.  This trip I came away feeling less violent but with a huge haul of goods......and I might have bought some Baileys too....just cos I can.  All essentials on my list now purchased, the next time I go I can relax and just buy whatever the hell I fancy.....if there is anything I do fancy.  I have to say that Greggs was looking mighty fine today ;)

With that, I will love you & leave you.  I'm off to visit the Newcastle crowd next week for a few days and will report back on Pop Klubb, my first ever northern Northern Soul night, and Megabus stories.

Bye for now Frock fans x

Sunday, 29 September 2013

Lovely Autumn, Lovely London

I survived another birthday!  My boobs appear to be in much the same place as before I hit 47 and I havn't lost my faculties overnight so all is good with the world.

In commiserating said birthday, Mum came up to the smoke to take me out.  My birthday, my choice apparently.  She survived my choice/s like a martyr.  First stop was The Clash Pop Up exhibition in Berwick Street.  The whole of London must surely have checked it out by now.  If not, why not?  Oh it's closed!!  Lunch at the lovely Wahaca in Wardour Street where I forced spicy foods & cactus things on Mum.  I like Wahaca a lot - it's a bit manic in there but the food is great and pretty cheap for central London. 

After lunch, we dropped in at the Carnaby Echoes Exhibition in Fouberts Place.  Lots of lovely pics & interesting films about Soho.  I only saw about half of it I'm sure but I'll return and watch the rest.  Coffee in Bar Italia?  Oh if you must.  Photographers Gallery after a cappuccino break, for the Mass Observation exhibition (which Mum knew all about but I hadn't heard of before), and finishing up in Pattisserie Valerie...for birthday cake you understand.  T'was a lovely day.  Thanks Mum x

Sunday saw the long awaited Modcast/Acid Jazz Rare Mod Boat Party.  Lifejackets & sea legs sorted, we left from Festival Pier at 2pm for a fun-packed day cruising the Thames and back.  This must have been one of the highlights of the year & I'm still laughing about it now - from the slightly choppy river moments to a drink flying out the window, to DC Carver being bothered by everyone (bar me) on that darn boat!  Lovely to see Mr Piller looking so well, and lovely to run into old Blow Up regulars.  We laughed, we danced to some fantastic music, and we planned getting tickets the second they're released, when it's time for the next one in May.  Well done Modcast crew.  A memorable Sunday afternoon.

It appears to have been a busy old time since I last wrote this.  Pah to old age I say!!!!

Back to The Golden Bee on Wednesday for Mr Hallam's belated birthday shindig and the launch of the Countdown book "From Ronnies to Ravers - Personal Situations in London Clubland".  The Golden Bee is always enjoyable.....despite extortionate drinks and a happy hour that finishes at silly o'clock.  Great tunes from Norman Jay & Gary Crowley as ever.  Thanks on this occasion goes to Tim for buying us 2 (yes 2) bottles of champagne on work expenses and hello to Rob who I hadn't seen in 27 years!!!!!

Bear with me Frock Fans....I've nearly finished!!!!  A lovely sunny Saturday yesterday and lunch with a visiting swedish friend at the Mediterranean Cafe' in Berwick Street.  I have no idea why this place isn't constantly packed.  Their lunchtime 3 courses for £9.95 is a great deal and everything I've had there has been delicious (and I've been there a LOT!).  To the French House for a cheeky glass of rose' afterwards.  Now THIS is the real London readers....and this is MY London.  I'll be having none of this silly Oxford Street stuff thank you.  Finishing up the night with a bottle of rose' and a good friend, and now Sunday is here again.

I'll leave it there now as I'm sure you all need to get back to Dog the Bounty Hunter (or something).  I'm now a professional comper so need to get back on the case.  See you in October! xx

Sunday, 15 September 2013

Nearly very old.....

It's my birthday on Thursday.  I'm scared.  On Thursday, everything will go south, and I'll probably need to pop down to the chemist to stock up on Tena Lady.  Oh well, onwards & least I still have my hair.

Anyways.....what's been happening?

Last weekend, a couple of us had a pre-birthday night out, beginning with Joes in Chalk Farm.  I really do like this place.  It's a bit rough around the edges, they're not great at opening on time and you have a few randoms in there, but the music is good and the cocktails even better.  Happy Hour is every day from 5 til 7 cocktail fans....go and fill your boots.  To Soho next, for dinner at Pollo.  I do wish they had never "refurbished" the place and got rid of the lovely plastic booth seats that had been there since way back when, but needs must I guess and nothing lasts forever, especially with Soho rents.  Pollo is a favourite with a lot of people.  Don't expect cordon bleu but do expect huge portions at low prices & wine in plastic cups.  Cath's tip of the day:  Don't order garlic bread as a starter unless you're not intending to eat anything else - it's the size of a large pizza, and more.  The night ended in Trishas.  The place was empty when we arrived which meant we got to have a nice chat with Trisha herself - a lady full of stories.  A black & white 60s photo of her is on the wall & very lovely it is too.  A typical night was had at Trishas really & tonight's characters included a pretty gay hungarian boy (whose "friend" proceeded to have a domestic with him as he was ignored for us, 3 ladies of a certain age, old enough to be his mother, and straight!), a man from the Cotswolds, wearing a mankini & on his stag night, and Paul who had been to our club the month previous.  You never know who you're going to see in Trishas but if you're annoying and likely to offend me in any way whatsoever, please don't try and find it eh?

Wednesday saw a night out at Proud Gallery in Camden, for the "For You I Was a Flame" exhibition. A preview of previously unseen photos of Amy Winehouse, celebrating what would have been her 30th birthday this week.  Particularly worth a mention were a set by Dean Chalkley, who a lot of you know.  Beautiful photos.  Her family & friends should be very proud.  Great dj set by Carl Barat (ex of The Libertines).  Dear Carl Barat - if you happen to read this, please come and dj at our club.  Thanks.  This blog wouldn't be me unless I mentioned we went for cocktails before the Amy preview.....Fifty Five Bar in Camden, we love you & your 2 for 1 before 8pm offer.  Espresso Martinis, Lemon Meringue Martinis, and Apple & Blackberry Mojitos.  That'll do nicely thanks.

T'was a rainy old Saturday in London but off we went to the MODern History SE1 day down in Lower Marsh Waterloo.  Lunch first in Maries where I was disgusted to see a cuppa had gone up to 70p or the like - shocking inflation!  (She says sarcastically).  Lovely Maries, where you can get a 3 course meal of "proper grub" or thai food should you so wish, for less than a tenner.  Scoot The Thames preceded the day down in SE1 and despite the weather, I guess around 60 scooters turned up there.  Gone are my days of taking photos of scooters.  I miss my Lambretta.  I miss my Vespa.  Please buy me one someone - one I will ride just around Crouch End and no further as London traffic would terrify the life out of me.  Had a nice time catching up with folk, particularly the lovely "What the Butler Wore" ladies in their fab new premises.  Sad that the old-fashioned food stalls didn't happen, nor the 60s shop fronts, but I enjoyed the djs, wearing my previously unworn brown shoes (!!!!) and listening to some good tunes.  Hopefully next year will be sunnier which will make a world of difference.

With that, I'm off to start the countdown to old age....see you on the other side x

Sunday, 1 September 2013

Some sunshine, some seaside, some mods.....

A pinch & a punch for the first day of the month.....and all that jazz.

Ah....September......the month when Autumn starts (I do love a cardie!), I have a birthday, there are mod boats to go on, cocktails to be drunk (again), Amy Winehouse to be remembered, and vintage shenanigans to go to.

August was an enforced quiet month after a week in Stockholm.  Needs must.  Dear Catastrophe Waitress continues to get better & better (in our minds anyway!) and we must nearly be a year old now mustn't we Darren?

Trying not to repeat my blog from this time last year regarding the Brighton August Bank Holiday mod weekender.......however, apologies if my grumbles are much the same!!!!

This year meant a longer than usual visit to the seaside....a mix of dentist stuff (big yawn), visiting folk and cat-sitting.  I got lucky with an empty flat for the weekend.  Perfect!

Day 1 (Friday) - Dental hell, followed by drinking smoothies through a straw down the Laines with the ladies......followed by drinking prosecco through a straw outside The Dorset.  I realise that if you sit outside The Dorset for long enough, you see everyone you know/knew ever!  Pretty sure I saw my once Pop Klubb colleague from Newcastle too.  Brighton is a small town.  Plenty of people start to arrive for the weekender on Friday...and plenty of lucky devils it seems had booked The Grand for the duration too.  Oh to be flush.

Day 2 (Saturday) - Vintage market in the Western Front, and coffee at a new place to me - The Marwood Coffee Shop (  Very "me" - vintage furniture, relaxed atmosphere, good cakes.  'nuff said.  Saturday afternoon is always an afternoon outside The Volks on the seafront, where everyone congregates, has their photos taken (whether they like it or not), listens to very young bands, who are no doubt trying to following in The Strypes' footsteps, and dodges the showers under dome umbrellas!  If the whole weekend just consisted of sitting outside the Volks, I'd be a happy woman.

Unfortunately, as the sun the idiots come out.  After last years' Saturday night of plastic white boots, overweight middle-aged blokes on speed, and general annoyances, I probably shouldn't have risked it again.  Still, I never learn!  I feel for my dj friends who have to put up with the randoms asking for The Snake every 5 mins, people falling on top of their decks and generally being a right pain in the posterior.  This year we had to contend with "John Travolta baldy bloke on Class A drugs, getting more frantic as the night went on", Zumba class women taking up the whole dancefloor, a BIZARRE group of people in parkas, Nirvana patches & totally inappropriate clothing (my theory being that they were a coach party who got lost on the way to Wookey Hole).  I'm sure there were more but that's enough for a grumpy old woman like me.  Can we have a door policy next year please Modesty???  ;)

Day 3 (Sunday) - Sunday lunch with the ladies at The Dorset (yep, I know....might as well move in or get some kind of advertising commission here) then down to The Volks for the scooter cruise etc.  One of these days I will take a helmet and will get a lift.  I'm fussy mind though lift-offerers....if you're lacking in hair in the right place or your stomach is hanging over your trousers, I'd have to turn you down...sorry and all that.  Oh, and none of those new-fangled "pretend" scooters thanks.  Just remembered, my moan of the afternoon actually - someone wearing a "Mrs Paul Weller" t-shirt.  Yep, you love.

We headed down to the beach later that evening, to watch a preview of the new Small Faces musical - All or Nothing.  Now, I really don't know how to write about this without upsetting people who may see it but truth has to be told I say.  I don't know the people who were involved in the production personally but I know lots of you do.  This is not just my personal opinion - this is the opinion of lots of other folk too, lots of other folk who are too embarrassed to tell you what it was REALLY like!

Where do we start?  Well, there was the annoying compere bloke whose other job was obviously at Butlins, trying to get the audience to chant "We are the Mods" and failing.  If the sound had gone off at this point, the crowd would have been more than happy.  Then there were the horrific so called "60s styled" women in bad wigs, dancing like idiots, in fancy dress clothes.  Why oh why didn't you just use people that were REALLY into it, really loved the music, really loved The Small Faces? Arrggghhhh.  The script was all over the place....didn't know what the hell was going on from one moment to the next as the sound was tripping out.....all night.  Danny Dyer reading from a piece of paper, looking uninterested himself, The Small Fakers looking uninterested, the random actors probably wishing they'd taken that part in Hollyoaks after all.  Now I know that some of the well-known actors had done this as a favour to the producer but they must be cringing!  Excuses of only 4 days rehearsal and the sound problems "not being their fault" are really not good enough.

This was your chance to preview your show to people who are passionate about the era, passionate about the Small Faces.....unfortunately many, many people walked out that evening....we probably should have followed.  Mr Marriott - I hope you weren't watching down on Brighton beach that night.

As much as I might moan about lots of people that frequent the Brighton weekender every August, if I missed it, I'd hate it.  15 years or so of going and not missing one.  I still love you Brighton, and love my friends even more......but if you could stop any idiots at the station gates next year, I'd appreciate it.

Yours, grumpy of Crouch End x

Sunday, 4 August 2013

Crayfish times....

Happy August!

It's been a while (again) but as I'm sure you don't want to hear about what I've watched on tv or where I've been working, I've been quiet on the old blogging front.

Since the last ramblings, I (along with a few thousand more people) managed to get my sticky mitts on a free ticket to see Elvis Costello & Ray Davies in Hyde Park last month.  Originally to be headlined by Elton John (who later cancelled), it was a fairly civilised affair, with nice toilets etc.  As much as I enjoyed seeing most of Elvis Costello's set and Ray Davies doing the classics, the evening was rather ruined by the rucksack contingent (one of my most hated things as my close friends will know) and drunk over 50s acting more ridiculous than any teenagers that were there.  WOO YEAH...GO DORIS......WASN'T THIS RAY BLOKE IN SOME BAND OR OTHER BACK IN THE DAY?  Aargghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.  Enough said.  I do like a freebie though as you know, and there were probably worse things I could be doing than sitting in a sunny park in London on a Friday night.

The end of July meant finally I could return to my beloved Stockholm....this time my beloved VERY SUNNY different than my last trip in April when there was still snow on the ground and I nearly got trench foot from the constant rain and water in my shoes!

No apartment for us this time but instead a budget hotel called The Alexandra in Soder.  If anyone is particularly interested in my feelings about the hotel, feel free to read my Trip Advisor review here  A perfect location - 10 mins to my favourite haunts - hence saving money on travel during the week.  A past review had apparently said the hotel customers were "dangerous".  I'd use the word "special" but that's another story.  Breakfast was always an interesting experience to say the least.  Think League of Gentlemen (but in German) and you'd know what I mean.

So, lovely Stockholm.....What did we do?  What did we see?  How many crayfish salads did we eat?  All exciting stuff I'm sure.

Day 1:  Cafe' String, Carmen, Mosebacke Terrassen (with the BEST view over Soder), finishing up in my new favourite place - Garlic & Shots Downstairs Bar.

Day 2:  Vintage Shops, Louie Louie, Debaser Utservering, Garlic & Shots Downstairs Bar!!!

Day 3:  Loppen nr. Kungstradgarden (excuse spelling) where Diane bought someone's Gran's beautiful vintage jewellery, dodging the sudden thunderstorm, an evening at the mod club "Club Hide & Go Seek" where we caught up with old friends and made new ones, had a dance, and enjoyed the view by the water.  Diane waved at sailors on a boat leaving the dock....I knew they were real ones and not gay Diane!!!!  Finishing up at Garlic & Shots Downstairs Bar (yep I should be on commission) where the dj played Crazy Horses to a room full of teenage metallers!

Day 4:  Coffee at the Abba owned Hotel Rival, Mariatorget, and a tourist boat trip which was huge amounts of fun. By the end of the hour long trip, the swedish announcer lady had obviously run out of things to tell everyone about and started repeating herself....practically finishing up with "and on the right is where my Mum lives - she has a cat you know".  I'd never fancied doing the tourist thing before but guys, you have to try the Hop On, Hop Off Boat trip for 100kr at Slussen!  Finishing up with coffee & a veggie meal at Hermans Restaurant....which, once again is a lovely location and a nice end to the day....when we didn't end up in the Garlic & Shots Downstairs Bar.

Day 5:  We got sick....after meeting Helena for lunch.....yes sick!

Day 6:  We came home.  We did make a friend on the plane in the way of the air steward but nothing much to report on day 6.  We also made a friend in the way of the air steward on the way out too.  Air stewards like us.

With that, I'd now better find some suitable photos to post on here.  I love you Stockholm...thanks for a nice trip.....Ses Snart!

Sunday, 7 July 2013

Sunshine, more sunshine...and snails

I take back everything I said....Summer is well and truly here.  The windows are open, the thick black tights are on hold for the moment, and Factor 3700 sun cream has been purchased.  Am definitely going to make the most of this Summer - they get shorter by the year.

Dear Catastrophe Waitress (the July session) took place on Friday.  Not a post-menopausal troll in sight this time thank goodness.  Instead, lots of lovely friends (old & new), superb tunes, and drinks of the coloured variety.  We're never really sure who turns up for the night or who turns up just because it's a late-night bar, but if people enjoy the music, we're happy.  I personally am even happier if there is dancing!

Breakfast at Haberdashery on Saturday warded off any cocktail effects from the night before.  On to the Carnaby Sound day in.......umm....Carnaby Street.  Bar Italia first for a pear & ginger smoothie concoction, a wander round the shops which were supposed to have free things but strangely didn't, a vodka & tonic at The White Horse, a quick glimpse of The Last of the Troubadours, and a late lunch in Itsu.  What happened Carnaby Sound organisers?  Where were the bands that were supposed to play on the roof of Libertys?  Where were the free things?  If I could review you on Tripadvisor, it'd be a bad one!

Finally, to end this lovely weekend - Soho Festival.  I love Soho Festival.  Unfortunately, this time, there wasn't an impromptu performance by Mr Ant but instead we enjoyed a cheeky Kir Royale, some Pimms, some of the lovely Eve Ferret's performance (complete with mange tout), Dudley Sutton, Beryl Marsden doing some 60s classics (with John Spencer in attendance), various tug of war competitions & lots of people watching.  I love Soho and it's characters.  Today we saw a woman who had knitted "children" in her wheelchair,  some extremely camp pensioners in sparkly pink outfits, Mark Powell in bad shorts, and various people we thought we knew off the telly but probably didn't!  (Oh and Diane, the band whose name I forgot was The Correspondents).  The only disappointment from today was not winning the raffle (it was a fix!) and somehow missing the snail racing (every hour on the hour you know!).  Apart from that, bravo darlings!  (As it would be a tad rude to steal Diane's photos of today, I'm instead posting a photo of Beryl Marsden looking gorgeous).

With that, I will love you & leave you.  I hope your weekend was as marvellous as mine.  Next stop....Stockholm baby.

Sunday, 23 June 2013

Who are you?

Afternoon Frock Fans!

It's a breezy old day in N8 - sunshine & showers, showers & sunshine, on repeat.  I'm happily full after a veggie roast at The Railway large I couldn't finish it all....and believe me, that's saying something!

I was lucky enough to be given a free ticket to see The Who's Quadrophenia concert at the O2 last Saturday. 

I'd seen The Who twice before (once on the never-forgotten holiday we won to Los Angeles for the Tommy concert, then to see them at the Hollywood Bowl) and at a tiny little venue in Shepherd's Bush (that for the life of me I can't remember the name of) where I went to a fanclub event and they turned up and played two foot away from us.  Amazing!  We headed up the unfortunately named "Entertainment Avenue" first, to Las Iguanas for a meal & cocktails.  "Entertainment Avenue" is basically a huge street of places you wouldn't really want to go to....or at least I probably wouldn't.  I had never been to the O2 before and had no idea it was so close to a certain stop on the Jubilee Line that I'd been to on more than a few occasions.  As easy as it might be to get to, I'm not sure I would choose to go back again in a hurry.  The security at the venue seemed to be a bit slack....our two bag searches would have missed anything of any security risk whatsoever! 

So.....on to the gig.......having free tickets and not knowing the layout of the venue, I had no idea what it would be like.  We walked up and up and up (etc.) into the gods of the high up that we practically got nosebleeds.  I havn't had a problem with heights really for a long time....until that night.  Terror struck and within 5 mins, I nearly had to leave due to vertigo and sheer panic that someone might fall over the edge to their death, with not a single barrier to stop their fall!  I sat rigid in my seat for the whole show, terrified to leave for a drink or to go the toilet...incase I never made it back again!  The Who were without a doubt fantastic, certainly aren't the embarrassment that some bands of their age/ilk are these days, and went down a storm.  I was surprised that they didn't do the obvious Who classics in their set or their encore, and was surprised that they included "You better you bet" which I think was only liked by one person!  Loved the tributes to sadly departed band members, which I'm sure resulted in many a teary eye in the stadium.  Unfortunately the height issue did rather spoil the whole night for me, along with the drunken fat old bald specimens that are everywhere these days!

As I'm actually nearly having a panic attack even writing about the O2, I'll move on.....

Rain did rather dampen spirits at the Sounds so Good session yesterday afternoon.  We trekked to the back end of beyond, to The Stags Head in Haggerston (land of hipsters and men who don't wear socks with their shoes).  Loved the pub - it's proper old school with lovely bar staff and a nice beer garden - but the rain came and went so often, we stayed put indoors most of the time.  As we arrived, so did lots of scooters but they went as quickly as they came.  I'd have liked to have a dance in my lovely new dress from Retrobates Vintage...but I didn't want to have a dance on my own.  A shame.  I'd go again but perhaps when the weather forecast is a bit better!

Sunday, 9 June 2013

Roses of the Stone sort...and more

Hello June.  Hello some sort of a Summer!  Not quite warm enough to get overly excited that the attrocious weather has completely left us but nevertheless....

The June events page on Facebook has looked promising and we're now on the countdown to Stockholm Part Deux too.

Last weekend saw an evening out in the rarely visited Islington, for cocktails & tunes. Firstly to the Rattlesnake where I had something that I seem to remember was nice but what it was, I'm not sure, and then to some awful chain place where I had some apple crumble cocktail concoction. Next to the Mucky Pup (no, I'll never find it again guaranteed but it's apparently opposite a school where they filmed the "Another brick in the wall" video) where we listened to friends djaying alsorts of delights from "Vengeance" by New Model Army to"Oh Bondage! Up Yours" by X-Ray Spex.  A nice little pub but strangely quiet for a Saturday night - certainly not due to the music but probably the fact we had a sudden burst of sunshine and people stayed outside while they could.

Sunday saw a quick visit to Soho, to visit one of my best friends who deserted me for the seaside - darn you Lee Thomas!  A cheeky rose' in my lovely French House, followed by a swift mooch round Dean Street Market where we discovered that meringues are popular and taking over from cupcakes!  You'll find out these interesting facts from reading my blogs, I can tell you!

Next up....AMAZING Espresso & Tiramisu Martinis at the Fifty Five Bar in Camden, and then on to the private view of "Set in Stone" - an exhibition of Stone Roses photos by Ian Tilton, at the Proud Gallery.  Nice pics, nice beer, nice venue.  You won't get any in-depth reviews on here kids.

Talking of the said Stone Roses, the world and its' Mother seemed to be at their gigs in Finsbury Park this Friday/Saturday.  Not one for big gigs, toilet queues and very possibly drunk middle-aged men with their shirts off, I stayed at home and listened to the gigs from the comfort of my own living room.  Very strange to hear all the words to lots of the songs being carried on the wind, and to the crowd singing along....but quite nice all the same.  I couldn't, however, say the same when Coldplay played last Summer!

and to today.....lunch in the UpMarket in Brick Lane, followed by the 10th Anniversary Art Car Boot Sale which was absolutely rammed with a capital R!  Peter Blake & Tracey Emin had sold out, probably long before we got there, and Billy Childish was nowhere to be seen, but it was a nice day nevertheless, with nice people, and Pam Hogg with her spectacular hair.  Celebrity points for spotting Richard E Grant & Kevin Rowland (dapper as ever).  I always wonder what the hell we would have talked on about on our tea date.  I will never know or be able to report back to you dear readers. (That's tea with Kevin Rowland by the way, not tea with Richard E Grant).

Ciao for now kids xx

Saturday, 18 May 2013

Ants & Art....Car(d) Trouble Oh Yeah!

Happy Saturday folks......and Glad Melodiefestivalen Dag! (for my Swedish friends).

I've decided that if I can get through this month without contracting Rickets, Trench Foot or boring old flu, I'll have done well.  I'd like to say I've been sitting out in the sun, eating ice-cream, and watching the world go by in sunglasses but I fear it hasn't happened. Enough now rain!

Last weekend saw my yearly visit from my NY friend.  We drank cocktails at Kiss the Sky, looked round charity/vintage shops, and had lunch in the scrummy Monkeynuts.  Pretty standard really - unfortunately all ruined by the fact I had my debit card skimmed from the the grand total of £633.  If you're reading this card skimmers, I got your description and the details of your car, and 'YOU'RE GOING DOWN'.  Just saying.  Hope you enjoyed your £58 worth of KFC and my cash, you thieving so and sos (who have no food standards I might add).  I would like to swear lots but my Gran reads this!

Despite card trouble, a fun Saturday night was had in Camden.  We tried Joes Bar ( and loved it.  Great R 'n B/Ska (and they even played 51st State by New Model Army) and even greater cocktails which are cheap as chips if you get them before 8 (or was it 9?).  I even faced my fear of midgets (nearly) when the infamous punk midget (normally seen lying in a gutter somewhere in Camden) sat next to us.  To the Roundhouse over the road afterwards, for Adam Ant's 35th anniversary concert.  Tickets sold out months ago and I'd been calling every day for a week to see if any spares came up....they finally did on Thursday afternoon - talk about cutting it fine hubby!  Although we had boring, old people, seated tickets, we managed to sneak into the standing area and got a pretty good view.  Visiting swedish friend who is at least 7ft tall (Joakim & Frida to confirm) had a better view!  Enjoyed the set very much and the two encores.  Top form Mr Ant!

On a very rainy Tuesday, we trekked down to Chelsea Futurespace ( for the Peter Blake Four Decades Private View.  The gallery is a bit hard to find but what a fascinating place!  It's actually a residential building with the entrance hallway opening out into the gallery itself.  Would love to see what the flats are like inside so if anyone who lives there is reading this, please invite us round for tea!  The exhibition itself was nice, Sir Peter turned up, we drank wine, ate snacks and played "now who IS that bloke who looks like Noddy Holder?".

And finally on this wet, grey week in North London, Dear Catastrophe Waitress #7 took place last night.  Something was missing for me last night, unsure what.  Hoping the hideous folk that came this time, don't next time.  Surely they have somewhere more suitable to go?

With that, I'm off to prepare for Eurovision and do some ebaying.  NB:  Only one of these things is true.