Saturday, 27 December 2014

Belated Happy Holidays.....

Hope the baby Jesus came up trumps and you all had copious amounts of Baileys in your Xmas socks.

December has been manic as far as organising my move and avoiding injury from a cheeky kitten has been concerned.  Packing and cleaning will be a short-term thing.  Blood-letting and scarification may last a bit longer.  I'm currently sitting here with Savlon covered legs and a plaster on my arm.  If I go septic, it was nice knowing you.

We survived another Xmas.  Had a nice visit at Mum's in Newbury.  The market place was crazy as ever with I think 2 people passing through when we were there.  Partook in my first mullage of the Winter, at a lovely little Xmas food market & had lunch at the new Bill's Restaurant.  (That small, large chested woman was Melinda Messenger Mother!).  To Rushall after, for a big family lunch, and a couple of days with my antique little girl, Gran.  Xmas Day was spent here as usual but a kindly friend came and cooked the most amazing lunch.....take that Jamie Oliver....thanks Ali, it was blinking marvellous!

Apart from packing, it appears that all I've done this month is eat & drink.  Hey ho!  I will get healthy again when I've moved....just you wait and see!

Lunch with my long-lost boss & friend, Andrea on Monday.  Lovely to catch up.  Lunch with Laurie on Tuesday in Brighton at Burgers & Cocktails.  Burgers?  Cocktails?  Both together?  What's not to like.  Recommended.....Banoffee Popcorn Sundae.  Also recommended, White Russians in Twisted Lemon!

Sooooooo.....just a week until myself & Coco the kitten (aka Gremlin) move down to the seaside.  Am making the most of the view of Alexandra Palace at the moment as my view in Hove won't be quite as lovely.  Will be spending the next week steam cleaning everything within an inch of it's life.  When you read this next, I will be all unpacked and Coco will be enjoying a bit of outside space.

Happy New Year kids xx

Sunday, 30 November 2014

Getting things sorted....

It's a bright, sunny day here in Crouch End and I can see Alexandra Palace through the gaps in the trees.  I'll miss the view but will enjoy the new ones I'll be having from January.

Social life is on hold for the moment pretty much but fear ye not, I will be back in 2015 with tales of pie-based cocktails, ill-fitting shoes, and all that jazz.  I did have a lovely afternoon in Soho yesterday though - lunch with the ladies in my favourite Mediterranean Cafe' and a new experience, Bubble Tea!  As I leave, Soho is changing, Berwick Street is being dug up, Walkers Court (so I've heard) isn't what it used to be, and Madame JoJos has been shut.  What a sad state of affairs.  Sad I missed the "Funeral for Madame JoJos" yesterday.  I'm glad I've been able to experience the real Soho while I've been here.  Listen up Council, Listen up Developers, touch Trishas and I'll be after you....just saying.

One eye on the tv as I write this - once ex-Crouch End resident Matt Willis is on.  He escaped N8 for St Albans.  I think I win on the new home town Matt!

I found a new home in November, in Hove Actually.  So, as it happens, I'm not actually moving to Brighton, I'm moving to Hove.  Much of a muchness.  I got lucky with my new home - a supposedly brilliant landlord who I know will look after the place (& me, should I need it).  I've got a tiny patio space and a tiny utility room.  Not as big as my current place but not as expensive obviously.  Swings & roundabouts.  As I begin to pay £700 a month from January, the new tenants here will be paying double. 

2 flats in Brighton but none before in Hove.  I'm happy with the location - close to the station and, more importantly, close to the trillion charity shops in George Street, which I will be raiding as often as I can no doubt.

To go with the new flat, I have a new friend....a new furry friend, although enemy is probably a better word this morning as I've feared for my life.  New furry friend is a little black & white kitten which I've named Coco (a.k.a Gremlin more often then not).  She's a typical kitten & a right little Jekyll & Hyde character.  For all the reading up I've done on kitten behaviour, I think she's just normal, playful....and quite often dangerous!  Kitten is currently asleep on the sofa, on her blanket, next to me, good as gold....last night was a different matter....lucky to have survived it.  When I say "don't jump on my head", I mean it GREMLIN!

Sunday, 2 November 2014

Turning my Heartbeat Up....

Obviously those of you in the know will realise from the title of this week's blog that I went to see the LONG LONG LONG-AWAITED "Northern Soul" at the Arthouse Cinema last weekend.  Well worth the wait as it was blinking marvellous!  Made by someone who actually knows about the scene they're talking about and who spent many a moon getting it just right for the big screen has made one hell of a difference.  As far as I know, the film has sold out pretty much every screening on small screen cinema around the country and more than deserves it.  Great soundtrack, great acting.  I don't really have a bad word to say about it.  What Quadrophenia did for mod all those years ago, Northern Soul has done for...umm, Northern Soul.  Just praying it doesn't mean a badly researched range for M&S or "Keep the Faith" t-shirts in Primark. 

Crouch End was lucky enough to get a Q&A session with the two main male actors after the screening.  I say lucky enough as my friends in Brum got someone's cousin I think!  Was so pleased to hear that they actors have actually really become interested in Northern Soul and still go dancing!  It'd be a shame to waste all Keb Darge's teaching after all!  Lovely boys who will no doubt go far!

Back to Brighton on Tuesday for an almost summery day with a boy in a suit.  Lunch at Las Iguanas (We might have had two cocktails), AMAZING gelato at Gelato Gusto (pear & parmesan and black truffle).  NO to Black Truffle though!  Too weird even for weird old me.  Victorian Penny Arcade fun (if only all the machines worked) and more fun coin pushing like children in the 'musements.  I can see how people get addicted to gambling - very hard to drag ourselves away from the 2p machines! Final cocktail in Twisted Lemon.....Banoffee Pie Martini you say?  Oh go on then.  As always L, thanks for a fun day.  A photo for you:

As my whole life appears to be revolved around eating & drinking, I wouldn't want to let the side down so yesterday was a few hours spent in the company of the lovely Brum ladies & Ali (who is also lovely I should add!!!).  Lunch in Chipotle (top points for you Miss Kitty La for suggesting this), ice-cream (again) and a cheeky Smirnoff Ice in The Gay Hussar.  Most hilarious observation of the day - ham in a cone.  Nope?  Me Neither.  "My ham in a cone brings all the boys to the yard".  Thanks for a lovely day ladies.

One final blog mention as it's important.  30 October saw 6 years since my friend Jonnah took her own life.  I'd just left Stockholm and it's in my diary - so I never forget.  Her family & friends remember every day though I'm sure.  We'll make sure none of us ever forget Jonnah!

Thursday, 9 October 2014

Big Plans....

Hello October

I'm sitting here in thick cardigan, with the heating on, watching the rain fall and the leaves drop off the trees.  I can nearly see Alexandra Palace.  Must be Autumn.  My thick black tights have replaced the glossy ones....they're like old, welcoming friends who I havn't seen since Spring.

I had a birthday since I last wrote this.  I am old.  That is all.

Not much has been happening socially due to lack of funds & lack of enthusiasm!  I did go to Brighton last weekend though, which was nice.  Lunch for 10 of us at The Fountainhead, warm enough to sit outside for a while, rummaging round Snoopers Paradise, and catching up with folks.  All good....apart from the dentist....which is never good.....or getting water in my shoes, which is also rubbish.

Day off with Laurie on Tuesday on a miraculously dry day.  We went to the Imperial War Museum, which I was SURE was in Greenwich (!!!!) which turned out to be quite fascinating.  It's been re-designed apparently and is huge.  I forced myself to go round the Holocaust floor.  About as intense as intense can be, and we came out with huge headaches.  One of those things that you do have to force yourself to see I think.  Culture was followed by cheap as chips lunch at Maries, a nosey round What the Butler Wore & Radio Days, and a sneaky cocktail in Cubana.  It'd be rude not to.  Thanks for a lovely day Mr Hyde-Smith. news.  A lightning bolt hit me and, after a great deal of number-crunching and planning, I've decided I have to move back to Brighton.  I will miss Crouch End & London hugely but I'm drowning in expenses here and need to do something to regain my financial freedom.  I'll make the move after Xmas and will pray that I can find a new home that's even half as nice as my North London flat.  I'm sure it will be, I've loved all my homes.  Looking forward to a New Year and a new start.  I'll be keeping my London work on....nothing much will change....except my location.

Wish me luck kids....and line up those seaside hugs.

Monday, 15 September 2014

"Jane Says"....

I'm back Frock Fans!  Quite a few weeks have passed....soz and all that!

Summer has just about been and gone but it's been a pretty good one.

A few weeks back, myself & the lovely Northern lass went to see Jane's Addiction doing the "Nothing's Shocking" album and all the classics, in Brixton.  Perry Farrell, even nearing 60, is still the best front man there has ever been in my opinion....and also quite attractive if truth be known ;)
A great night....lots of memories from my dreadlocked years....and a good time out with Miss Whitwell. 

I cannot believe I'm writing about another August Bank Holiday in Brighton so soon again.  It's just flown by.  Thanks to kindly relatives, I got to stay in a lovely little b&b this year....Coward's Guesthouse in Upper Rock Gardens.  Take note's a fantastic little find and a real bargain.  I will be returning!  As always, the mod weekender is the best opportunity to catch up with people you don't see very often (if ever!), do a bit of mod bothering, a bit of dancing, and a bit of general people-watching.  Controversial but contrary to other reports, I actually do think that there were a lot of horrendously dressed folk this year...more than normal....but hey, what do I know?  I'm hoping that someone will tell me if I look ridiculous.  For example, I have knees like tree trunks.  This is not appropriate for white tights.  Just saying.

Needed to do quite a lot of staying local following the mod rally.  Eating rubbish for 3 days costs a lot you know.  However, yesterday was probably the last day out of Summer....and as it's always one of the best days out of the year, there was no way on earth I was going to miss the second Modcast Boat Party of 2014.  Oh how I love going up and down the Thames on a sunny Sunday afternoon, dancing to Gil Scott-Heron, and returning to the Southbank during a beautiful sunset.  If you're getting sick of London, take a trip down the river, you'll fall in love with it again, guaranteed.  Big love to Laurie, Gumball Milly & Kitty La in particular for making the day fun as always.  No big love to the sex pests or the midget dj who bothered us immensely ;)

Enjoy the last days of Summer kids.  Autumn isn't all bad though....conkers, boots and that.

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Summer Stuff.....and Mod Bothering

London's  I won't complain as before you know it, it'll be a distant memory.

July is nearly over but lots has been on, visitors have visited and days out have been had.

My swedish friend Louise (more english than swedish if truth be known!) was in London for a few days so we ventured out to the Bar Italia 65th birthday party.  What a day!  Frith Street was closed to traffic, the sun shone and we had the best afternoon ever.

We got all cultural,  listened to opera and drank Aperol spritz.  We watched The Soho Hobo do his thing (one of my current favourites), Suggs do "Baggy Trousers" and Adam Ant be all gorgeous.  Not bad for an afternoon's free entertainment I say.  Soho's characters were out in force....the man with the glass on his head, the Italian pensioners dancing like they were 25 again, the middle-aged fashionistas who showed everyone else up.  People danced, drank and hung out of Soho windows.  Belated Happy Birthday Bar Italia....thank you for the good times and all the coffee!

What else?  I took a brief trip to Worthing.  No near death events thankfully this time.  Moving on.

Last weekend, the sun stayed out and we went to the ModernHistory day in Lower Marsh, Waterloo.  A real contrast to last year's damp experience.  Found a gorgeous dress in the little vintage market, looked at some lovely black & white photos, visited the ladies in What the Butler Wore, drank Strawberry Coladas, got confused in the pub that didn't serve cider nor know how to make lager & lime, danced a bit, and Emma got her bum pinched.  (Sex pests, they're everywhere).  A good turnout of scooters for Scoot the Thames too.

Had a day off and a day out in Soho yesterday....too much to mention but included Peckham Rye, Babette and small dogs at The Society Club Shop, Bar Italia (again), Liberty (my first time), Golden Square, escaping Carnaby Street as quick as we can, lunch in Pollo, and a pointless visit to pointless Covent Garden.  Thank you for a lovely day Mr Hyde-Smith, this is for you:

Friday, 4 July 2014

June & July jubilations....

Happy 4th July blog-reading folk. 

June has been a crazy old month and July is going the same way.  I don't mean crazy in an unhinged sort of a way....just crazy busy.  Good busy too though.

We had a day to get over the Modcast boat trip and then headed off to the London Welsh Centre for the launch of the lovely Saint Etienne photo book.  What a strange old place the Welsh Centre is.....lots of people in national costumes holding daffodils, talking about popty pings and pysgod wibbly wobblies.  Ok, so it wasn't quite like that but wouldn't it be great if it was? 

Had a night out with the visiting Newcastle folk at the Earl Haig Hall down the road....this time for a pub quiz.  What a fun night that was.  We came joint 2nd I thanks to me.  They didn't have one single question on skinny swedish bands or Adam Ant.

A lovely night was had at the Genesis cinema last week for a screening of the Adam Ant documentary, The Blueblack Hussar.  A great little place in an interesting area....Ant fans mingling with muslims heading to the mosque next door.  Will go back and explore some other time.  The screening was the final night of the East End film festival, which looked fantastic I might add.  Once again, something to revisit another time.  Free fizz and snacks were on hand, there were comfy seats and "hubby" looked pretty blinking gorgeous.  What's not to like?  An interesting behind the scenes look at Mr Ant's comeback tour/s.  All good stuff.

Crazy days by the seaside last weekend thanks to friends old & new.  A sunny day spent watching the world go by and laughing our heads off.  Nosh at Idyea, fizz at The Dorset, cocktails at Twisted Lemon, near death events in Worthing.  Lovely times. 

July sees much of the same but as always, don't expect any indepth reviews about anything much!!!!

Happy weekend folks!

Monday, 16 June 2014

A night with Jarvis...and some other stuff

Hello folks

Another month with lots of things happening.

Although our little club, Dear Catastrophe Waitress, is on hold for the time being, we were asked to provide the tunes for a lovely lady's 50th birthday party at the Great Northern Railway Tavern.  For anyone that thinks us middle-aged folk don't know how to have a good time, I will introduce you to her!  Dancing from the second the djs started, until 2am when the place closed.  Long past my bedtime I might add.  Although I didn't stay until the end, I did make good use of the buffet and consumed at least 400 spring rolls that evening.  Thank you John & Jenny for asking Darren & Nick to dj for you.  We do love a buffet.

This month, I finally got to visit Crouch End's lovely new Arthouse Cinema - very impressive it is too.  We sent to see the Pulp documentary - Pulp: A film about life, death & supermarkets.  This first screening involved cinemas around the country showing the film at the exact same time, with live footage from Sheffield and a Q&A session with the band.  I would recommend you see this if you havn't already.  Even if you're not particularly a Pulp fan, I guarantee you'll fall in love with every single character in it.  It didn't make me want to move to Sheffield but it did make me want to meet them all!!!!

Crouch End Festival took place since I last wrote.  The Zombie Walk and outdoor screening of Shaun of the Dead proved particularly popular....with (once) Crouch End's own Simon Pegg introducing the film on a big screen.  I don't like zombies and aren't particularly interested in Shaun of the Dead but well done Crouch End for what seems like a successful night!

Soho days/nights twice this past week.  Dinner in one of my favourite cheapo eateries, Pollo, and on Saturday, a trip to the lovely John Deakin & The Lure of Soho photo exhibition at The Photographer's Gallery, lunch at Wahaca, coffee at Bar Italia, and drinks at The French House and The John Snow.  What's not to like about a sunny Saturday in Soho?  Apart from maybe too much unpleasant flesh on show on the Naked Bike Ride.

One of my favourite days of the year yesterday - the Modcast Boat Trip.  Oh what fun we had.  A bigger boat for us this year and a fair few choppy moments on the Thames but no-one vomited, no-one fell out the window and all was well.  No PC Carver or Matt Berry this time for Emma to bother in a bothersome way, but Rick Buckler instead.  I should have asked him if he did indeed live down the road from my Gran in her tiny hamlet, and practice his drumming in the village hall.  I guess we'll never know.  Highlights of the trip (among many) - the whole place singing "Town called Malice" (probably to Mr Buckler's embarrassment) and lots of Tony Class classics being played.  Next one in September - see you there shipmates.

Sunday, 18 May 2014

Brick Lane, Bingo, Brighton....All the B's

It's hot out there I tell you, hot!  The streets of Crouch End are no doubt full of Birkenstock-wearing folk and there is probably way too much inappropriate flesh on show.  I'm having an enforced "staying in" weekend so the general public have been spared my pasty white legs and ridiculous sunglasses.

May isn't over yet but I've had a month of "things beginning with B".  Wondering if a prize win to Barbados might top it all off.....but will more likely be Blackpool.

 My Aunt Linda came over on her yearly visit from the States this month.  I was given the job of arranging a day out for her, her friend & Mum.  They were lucky I didn't choose my favourite Saturday things or they'd have gone home with a bag full of cocktail umbrellas and twitching from too much Bar Italia coffee.

So......Brick Lane & Spitalfields it was.  Yes, yes, yes, I know Shoreditch is hipster-central but it's a fascinating area, full of art & things to look at all over the place.  I'm presuming that the local council turn a blind eye to the graffiti as it's a hell of a lot more attractive than what's underneath.  I avoided the vintage shops but we did go and ogle lots of food stalls instead.  Go early before it's all been man-handled - loads of choice and it looks fantastic! 

Spitalfields happened to have a vintage wedding fayre.  Amongst the tatt, there were still lots of nice things to look at and interesting people to spy.  Lunch in The Real Greek which I'd recommend....big portions so no room for dessert (What? I hear you cry) and not too expensive.

....slightly distracted here as it sounds like my washing machine is about to spin it's way through the floor.  Sorry neighbours.

Next on the B list....Bingo!!!!!  Hannah & I donned our bunny ears, downed a few Malibus and headed to Wood Green with our dabbers.  Only some of these things are true.  It appears that Bingo is no longer for old (or mad) folk....nor is it full of hen nights (thankfully).  It's all very technical these days I'll have you know and there's no messing about.  Keep up or lose!  I learnt all the basics from Bingo Queen Hannah, and also learnt that perhaps I havn't got a loud enough voice for Bingo.  I could have won the huge sum of £30....if only they'd had heard me shout.  You'll all be doing it soon....mark my words ;)

and B-related things......Brighton!  Lunch with the ladies & Dolly (who is also a lady but a small one) at The George (not impressed George people, not impressed) then a night at The Pelirocco.  Fond memories of staying there once with a skinny danish person in the Modraphenia Room.  Poor Mr Piller got stuck with it this time round apparently....hope you loved the target duvet Eddie!!!  (She said sarcastically).  I digress.....anyway, there this time to see a couple of films about the current mod-scene....specifically in Glasgow & London.  Luckily our appearances were very, very fleeting!  Lovely to meet the producer Emma-Rosa, have a dance, catch up with various folk, and consume "Del Boy" cocktails, complete with tacky umbrellas and foliage.  Thank you Brighton friends, old and new......I had a lovely time.

Cheerio for now....and good luck Crouch End Fun Run people.....just remember there are doughnuts at the finish line!!!!

Sunday, 20 April 2014

Greetings from the Easter Bunny....

Happy Easter folks!

It's been a while, the clocks have changed, the sun is (occasionally) out and there's been lots going on.

Back in March we went to the Bare Groove Northern Soul night down the road in the Earl Haig Hall.  A busy night with lots of dancing, which is rare these days.  I hope they keep these nights going - it was packed out and obviously a popular option for a Crouch End night out.  Makes sense don't you think Earl Haig?

15/16 March saw the Classic Car Boot Sale back at the Southbank.  The one day last year now increased to a whole weekend.  It's a great day out even if you don't buy anything.  Lots of lovely old cars & scooters, great music from the djs playing on top of the open-top double decker bus and good food/drink.....and obviously great for photo opportunities/people watching.  I didn't buy anything this time round but my BEAUTIFUL £5 candy-stripe 60s dress from last year made up for that!

Back to Wiltshire at the beginning of April for my Gran's 91st birthday.  Ventured to the village coffee morning, chatted to a young lady vicar (good for her I say!) and got a book on Victorian photography for the bargain price of 50p.  The country is good for things like that!

We got to see the beautiful "How we used to Live" film at the Curzon in Soho this week....colour footage from times gone by, with a soundtrack by St Etienne.  A stunning film with footage I'd never seen before.  With all the film that's out there, that's quite unusual these days.  If you're interested in old footage, London, or both, try and go and see it.

Up-to-date now with this weekend's goings on.  Yesterday was Record Store Day.  Yes yes folks, I know we're in England and we have Shops not Stores!  I was quite surprised by comments on Twitter that some people weren't aware it was happening or what it was.  Different lives and all that.  I wasn't so surprised that people had been camping out on the streets of London all night in none too warm conditions - more surprised that lots of those people had been camping out for a limited edition Ghostbusters fluorescent 45!!!!

Soho was more packed than you can possibly imagine but everything seemed pretty well controlled, the sun was out and the Elvis dancers (as I call them) were out so all was well with the (Soho) world.  I watched The Soho Hobo (a.k.a Tim Arnold, a.k.a Kat Slater's boyfriend) while I was waiting for friends and I was impressed.  Might try and catch him again at some point.  Lunch at one of my favourite places, the Mediterranean Cafe', and then off to find space of some sort to watch Adam Ant do a few songs.  Despite the buggies & small children (possibly not the best day out for toddlers eh parents?), we managed to find a good spot and saw Mr Ant do 6 or 7 songs....some from Dirk Wears White Sox and some covers.  I cannot believe that man is going to be 60 this year.  Nuff said.

Finishing off the day with some drinks & big chips in The Swan in Hammersmith where we tried our best not to throw things at Keith Lemon & decided someone needs to invent a shazam type app for famous people you recognise but can't remember the name of - in this case, someone not as famous as I thought, Mark Ellis.  Finally, after months of waiting, to the Apollo to see Mr Ant do Dirk Wears White Sox from start to finish.  Marvellous it was too.....or as Simon puts it, "tasty".  A great value gig with not only the album but obviously lots of other classics too......well done hubby, you played a blinder.

With that, I'm signing go and eat some chocolate or a bun.  I'll leave you with a photo!

Sunday, 9 March 2014

Reasons to be Cheerful (part 3).....and a lot of rambling about Dear Catastrophe Waitress

It appears Spring has sprung....Crouch End is full of attractive types in unfortunate footwear, the sun is shining on Alexandra Palace and it's all gone a bit Al Fresco.  I won't get overly excited about this quite yet....but it's looking hopeful!

A few weeks have passed since I last wrote this thing and to be honest, not a lot has gone on.  We have, however, had two Dear Catastrophe Waitress nights in our lovely new venue - The Earl Haig Hall -  You surely must know about the EHH by now Crouch End folk (and beyond).  Very reminiscent of the Pop Klubb venue St Doms, the EHH is a British Legion Club just round the corner from the Queens pub.  I loved this place the first time I walked in.....the decor has been kept as authentic as possible, the acoustics are fantastic, the dj equipment works and there's a dance floor!  Ooh, get us!  An actual dancefloor!  Apart from our obviously great night (!), there are lots of family friendly events, band nights & a Northern Soul do which involves talc!!!! (I will be reporting back on said talc use in next time's blog).  There is also a scrummy menu which I'm yet to sample.

We had concerns about finishing our little night at midnight due to the EHH being in a residential street but it seems to work!  (Perhaps because we're all of a certain age and no longer want to stay out all night).  It's a bonus that people can still use public transport to get home and that KFC is open for emergency "walking home" snacks.  We seem to have gained some new dancing customers since our move, the feedback has been great and we're enjoying ourselves so all is good in the (N8) hood!

We've plans for 2014 (all to be discussed further) - DCW "Live" nights, Sunday afternoon socials, a daytrip to Brighton (ending in our club) and who knows what else?

And now for the sales blurb:

Our night is a friendly social event rather than a club night.  DJs play everything from 60s to 90s (think Mod to Soul, Punk to Post-Punk, Disco to Ska, 80s Alternative) and we don't have any music rules.  Lots of floorfillers, lots of "oh I remember that" tunes and a real mix so there's something for everyone.  You can find us on Facebook here and on Twitter - @anglosvensk.  Join us, follow us, tell your music-loving friends and come and say hello.  We'd love to see you there.

Sunday, 9 February 2014

A blog post full of nothing in particular.....

It's been a very quiet month but I don't want to let my blog disappear into the ether so here a few paragraphs about what's been going on (or hasn't).

Dear Catastrophe Waitress continues into 2014. We pulled in quite a crowd at the beginning of January....or rather Darren did as it was his birthday (which always helps!).  We're back next Friday but at a different venue this time.  After all the good reviews, we went to visit the Earl Haig Hall and what a lovely venue it is.  The Earl Haig is, what I would describe as, a revamped Working Mens' Club (slightly reminiscent of the Pop Klubb venue up in Newcastle).  They've already had lots of interesting nights on there since their opening back in November and we've been lucky enough to get the Valentines Night slot.  The poster for our "Anti-Valentines Night Affair" is below and if anyone could come dressed like that, it would amuse me greatly!

Luckily there are no tube strikes planned for next Friday as what a pain in the posterior this weeks has been.  My favourite tweet regarding the over-crowded bus was "So packed on this bus that I fear someone may become pregnant".  Yep, that was about the extent of it.  I attempted to get from Crouch End to Brixton in one piece but failed dismally.  Well done to all of you that managed to survive the (what seemed like pretty standard) 4 hour journeys. My love for London buses declined somewhat this week.  (The photo below is my nearest tube station, which I luckily avoided).

To the "50 Years of The Who" private view at Proud Camden on Wednesday (thankfully a bus ride or two away, with no tubes involved).  If I were rich, I'd have taken a fair few of the prints home with me there and then, but I'm not so I didn't.  Always interesting to see who might turn up at these private views - this time it was Dave Davies, who seemed a friendly type, and didn't complain that everyone in Proud wanted a photo taken with him.

To make up for the enforced "staying in January", Friday was a night out at Bar Solo (Mint & Caramel Martinis, Espresso Martinis and Pina Coladas - oh yes) followed by Chris Sullivan's regular night "The Swag" at Camden Record Club.  Sadly my temporary membership expires soon but I might speak nicely to them and see if it can be extended as I love Record Club!  The venue is great, the staff are even greater, and it's a nice place to be.

With that, I will love you & leave you as I'm sure there's some fascinating Sunday programme on somewhere on Freeview, which involves Customs & Excise, police chases or obese people.

Cath x

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Good Morning 2014!

Happy New Year folks.  Hands up - Who's got a hangover?  Not me, that's for sure.  In bed by 10.45.  My block (and the one next door) obviously felt the same way as I didn't hear a single "Happy New Year" or have to endure some awful "experimental" music from 'him upstairs.

I'm not one for New Years' Resolutions, which is a good job as I've already eaten a handful of maltesers, sniggered at the joggers out in the rain, and bitten a nail or two. 

So.....2013.....What?, Where?, Who?  I'm sure it was a memorable one but without looking through all last years' blogs, I'm sure I'll forget some "highlights".

We're now into our second year of Dear Catastrophe Waitress.  Very few less than fantastic nights have been had and we have plans for this year....which *may* involve bands, and *may* involve Brighton.  For now, we're still at Kiss the Sky and keeping the same format as always - no music rules, just good tunes, good company and some bendy elbow dancing.  Thank you (on here as well as Facebook) to Darren (my club partner in crime), as well as Rob, Nick, Ian....and particularly Simon who treks all the way from the seaside with a record box that weighs a ton! 

I made it back to my second home TWICE this year.  Huzzah.  Stockholm I love you.  We saw two seasons - the rainiest winter and then the hottest summer.  Trench foot and heat stroke in two trips.  Lazy days and tourist boat trips.  People may have moved on since I lived there but I still love going back, and hopefully that spot by the window in String, and that larger than large crayfish salad, will be mine again soon.

March saw the loveliest "Antique Little Girl" (my Gran) reach her 90th birthday.  This should by my highlight of 2013 as I got to see my long-lost Utah-based cousins who I hadn't seen in over 25 years.  I know that right now they probably wish they could be celebrating New Year in Camden Town rather than Stateside but Heath & Scott....come back soon eh? 

Award for the "Most fun day out of the (late) Summer" goes to the Modcast Rare Mod Boat Cruise.  Who'd have thought travelling up and down the Thames on a slightly wobbly old boat on a grey day in September could be so enjoyable?  Still laughing now about the drink flying out of the window due to tidal turbulance! Thanks for a great day Mr Piller et al.

Lots of cocktails were consumed in various establishments throughout London/Stockholm.  No change there for 2014 probably.  Places of note:  Joes in Chalk Farm, Simmons in Camden High Street, Bar Solo in Inverness Street, and now the fantastic new private members' club "Record Club" in Camden.

Oh I'm sure there was lots more wasn't there?  Obviously not EVERYTHING can be written in a blog.

Here's hoping great things for 2014 - for you & for me x