Friday, 1 October 2010

Saturday, 21 August 2010

Break Up!!

Between 1995 and 1996 numerous young girls were dragged through the torment of Take That breaking up, the news showed girls screaming and crying devastated by the break up their favorite act. In the summer of 2010 a much more heartbreaking break up has occurred, you may not have even noticed, you may have been too busy moving house and settling into a new job, all with sounds of luscious disco remixes whirling in the background.
Take That fans after the break up.
Aeroplane have broken up. It's true. It's so so sad. All just a few weeks before their debut album is about to be released, and I'd imagine it'll be the best album of the year. That's what I expect from them and I'm sure that they will deliver on. Here is a small selection of my go to guys for disco. They are all brilliant, including the one from the imminent album called we can't fly. I'm afraid I got told off so the mp3s are no longer on this post.

Aeroplane no longer a duo
NB. Apparently one of them is continuing as Aeroplane, but no longer as a duo.

Friday, 13 August 2010

I don't really understand but.....

This is absolutely brilliant and incredibly bizarre.

I don't know if this counts as a flash mob or street theatre piece or music video or what but it's brilliant and it's from Belgium.

Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Ouch and Oooh!

The cycle joys I think always outweigh the cycle pains but today the pain was absolutely massive. I was involved in a road traffic accident in the City of London today where the passenger door of a mini opened up into a cycle lane in front of me and completely took my off the bicycle. I hit the door (the edge) really hard whilst freewheeling down the hill, went completely head over heels over the handlebars, bicycle and car door and landed in the middle of the pavement next to the car. OUCH!

That really, really hurt. What emerges from the door but a little guy probably only 10-13 years old profusely apologising and asking if I am ok! At this point I wasn't too sure if I was ok, I was still lying on top of my bicycle in the middle of the pavement saying quite loudly, "Aaaaaarrrrrgghhhhhhaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhoooouuuuccccchhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!" Although I did realise that I wasn't dead and that I didn't have any immediate concerns that I was taking my last breaths.

So I manage to raise myself from the floor at this point, thankfully for the child I don't verbally lay into him or take my frustration out on him; I tell him that I am OK and accept his apology. My anger I focus on the driver of the car and mother of the child. She wasn't particularly helpful but I have her phone number and will hopefully be getting her to buy me a new bicycle, although who knows if you can make a claim against a driver when you're a lowly cyclist? Watch this space because I am definitely going to try.

This driver had already managed to mildly upset me by pulling a u-turn into the cycle lane just a few seconds before, I had slowed down and waited for her to do this and she had still not seen me. She then continued along the road before hitting the traffic jam and the car stopped. With no indication that she had pulled over to let anyone out, and leaving a gap of a cycle lane between her car and the pavement, she let her young children open the door into the oncoming traffic of bicycles, which unfortunately today was me! She should be relieved that it was the door I hit and not her child, imagine the force of a fully grown person, moving reasonably quickly attached to a framework of steel ploughing straight into a child of that age. Not really worth thinking about, obviously unless you're the type of person who lets their child step without looking into a busy cycle lane in Central London!!!

I will do my upmost to try and get CCTV footage of the incident, hopefully this will be possible and if I do I shall post it on here for you all to see.

In the meantime we will have to say a goodbye to a beautifully complete frame and forks of a 1950s BSA Golden Clubman.

Here is what I always imagined I would restore it to, if I ever got hold of the time and money to do so.

Ah well, that bicycle, which really was my first long-term true love in the world of cycling is going to end up being a confused amalgamation of new and old, some weird hybrid freak of a bicycle that has seen well over 50 years of tinkering, changing, riding and now a good old crash with a mindless driver. Sob.

Here's some photo's of the old steed when it made the conversion from a dysfunctional geared bicycle to a super slick single speed.

So for the cycle joy back in your life, watch this advert. It makes me want to drink Super-Alligatorjuice or whatever it's advertising. It features Victoria Pendleton (Olympic Track Cycling gold medalist) and a top UK trials rider called Ali Clarkson, it's worth every single one of the 63 seconds of it's duration. Enjoy!

Sunday, 30 May 2010

The Inflated Price of Childhood Regression for the Middle Classes, Yeah?

Wake up. Hangover, Grotty feeling in the stomach. Fry up, greasy spoon. Cafe.

Easy choice to make, wake up with a hangover in East London and you'll never be too far away from a place that specialises in making eggs on toast with all trimmings.

Venturing into Hackney Wick these days can bring all sorts of joys, you can find interesting things going on, artists having open studios, music, flea markets with Dinosaur Jr. T-shirts and warehouse parties. Basically a good place to go if you don't mind the 'creative type', being achingly cool and having a lot of good fun.

However creative areas, self confidence and a distancing from reality can lead to some bizarre choices you have to make. For instance, you've wondered up to the flea market, had a look around, decided to sack it off and find some scrambled eggs on toast. The first stop is the Hackney Pearl, a cafe / bar in the Wick that hopes to 'become a lustrous gem nestled in a rough exterior'.

I walk in, thinking eggs on toast, I walk out and start to breathe more easily. So many things were wrong with the situation, firstly there was nobody in there who was morbidly obese. To get an English Breakfast there must at least be an approximation of somewhere between 10-50% morbidly obese people sat around. Next there were two achingly cool (twice in one post!) skinny girls with enormous sunglasses sat in doors playing cards, except the cards were MASSIVE, A4 sized cards (maybe the cards had to be so large so that they could make them out with their sunglasses on?). For some reason I still hadn't realised that the only place to go from here should have been the exit and fast! I walked up to the counter and stared at what, to be fair, looked like the 2nd nicest carrot cake I had ever seen, one slice was priced at £2.70, next to this was a very sorry looking cup cake, with no icing, the size of a malnourished poverty stricken eight year old girls fist, priced at £1.70. Looking up to the board with the breakfast options listed there I spotted it, scrambled eggs on toast £4.20. Bugger. No thanks. Left. Phew!

Just around the corner The Wick Cafe.

Go inside, roughly 35% of the patrons are morbidly obese, there is a family sitting down for their Sunday roast, builders in high-vis jackets eating and reading the News of the World and lots of little notes, flyers and community news attached to a pin board on the wall. Sit down, scrambled egg £2.20, full English £3.95, Tea 50p. Winner. The food was bang on, the service was alright and we left with full bellies and a little bit less of a hangover.

During the egg fest we discussed eggs. How much does it cost to make scrambled eggs? 2 free range eggs 40p, toast 20p and probably about 5 p worth of butter. 65p what a mark up for the Hackney Pearl. What is the value of scrambled eggs, what increases the value, what doesn't? Has the Hackney Pearl become a parody of itself. Imagine one of the builders going into the Hackney Pearl and sitting down, spending a fortune for eggs on toast to be surrounded by people playing with giant cards.... It's a juxtaposition that just doesn't work and quite rightly so.

Eggs is eggs, it isn't a lifestyle choice.

Monday, 24 May 2010

My Sexy Ass Tandem

Approximately nine days ago a real beauty came into my life, it was love at first sight! And what's even better, Sophie doesn't mind, in fact she's in love too. We are now in a three-way relationship.

Myself - Sophie and :

Claud Butler Majestic Two (Nickname - Weasel Homicide)

1984 Claud Butler Catalogue

1985 Claud Butler Catalogue

1986 Claud Butler Catalogue

Here's some spec for the bike geeks!

So nine days ago we mounted our tandem and tried to cycle, we wobbled, we shouted, we suddenly remembered how bloody difficult it is to ride a tandem! After three hours of trying to find quiet roads in Cardiff (where we bought the bicycle) and get onto a road where we could start cycling to Newport we eventually started getting somewhere. We cycled through the beautiful meandering country roads along the Severn Estuary, when I say beautiful I mean semi industrial barren wasteland reminiscent of the final scenes of 'The Road', and started getting used to the bike. Phew!

By the time we reached Newport (which incidentally is where the photo in the Song of The Summer post was taken) we had to abandon our ideas of cycling all the way to Bath in favour of hopping on a train to Bristol and cycling to Bath from there. I know what you're thinking - easy option! Not so. Tandems and National Rail have a strange relationship, we bought our tickets, with the tandem in clear view of the sales staff, and headed for the train. When we got onto the empty train and placed our bicycle in the empty space for bicycles the Train Manager suddenly got all excited and started to tell us that tandems were not allowed on the train. Bugger. We thought we would have to change our plans and get a train to a different station on a service that did accommodate tandems but then decided to chance it with the next train and didn't have a problem at all. Despite this train having two bicycles and a buggy in the designated place we all managed to find space, get along fine and nobody was kicked off the train. Wooop!

So then to meet George, James and Chloe in Bristol and cycle back to Bath along the beautiful route along the disused railway track, probably the first time we started to realise the true potential of our tandem. (Before this point the most suitable nickname for the tandem was 'relate').
The Bristol - Bath cycle track.

This weekend however was absolutely magical. We cycled from London to Brighton on what was the hottest day of the year thus far. After extensive research we chose this route which I have to say was an absolute joy. Hardly any busy roads at all just beautiful winding country lanes through tree tunnels, past fields of bluebells and rapeseed with dandelion clock fluff floating past. It truly felt like being in a dream sequence.

A weasel

What's more our chosen destination was on top of the South Downs at Devil's Dyke where it felt like you were stood on the top of England with a view of the south of the entire country. Marvellous! For anyone who is considering a day ride in the countryside from London I couldn't recommend this trip more, it was mostly downhill, mostly easy, mostly quiet and mostly absolutely beautiful.

Friday, 14 May 2010

Song of the Summer?

So almost every year there are a few songs that can be touted as being the coveted "song of the summer".

You know the one, it's that song / track that comes on when you're at a festival trying to dance in wellies after being awake for 39 and three quarter straight hours and suddenly everyone goes wild, smiles and somehow finds a little bit of extra energy to jump up and down. When you trudge back to the campsite it's the beat that you walk / bounce back to the tent with whirring around your head, it's the track that every time you hear for the rest of the year you get taken back to that moment in the summer when you realised what a rather marvellous musical creation it was.

Last year (for me) it was a toss up between Dizzee Rascal and Armand Van Helden - Bonkers (particularly the 2many DJs mix) and Major Lazer - Pon de Floor.

The year before I think you'd be brave to deny the title to MIA - Paper Planes. Particularly after that video that recently came out!

I have no idea what it will be this year, you would normally have an idea by May but I'm really not sure, perhaps it's yet to be released? Maybe it's already been doing the rounds, as many previous ones have, before the summer has really started to rear it's head?

Will another 2many DJs remix get it? Crookers - We Love Animals perhaps?

Suggestions please!!!

Prestidge is suggesting: George Benson - On Broadway

DJ World Tour 2010

Having learnt that London is the only place in the world I have decided to embark on a DJing World Tour.

On the Friday 28th May I will be DJing at Noiseban in Cocomo.
FREE entry and it's on PAYDAY!
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Noiseban Blog

On Saturday 5th June I will be DJing at London Sunshine in the Amersham Arms in New Cross. This is with the Filthy Dukes and the Deptford Noise Team!
FREE before 11 and £5 thereafter
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New Cross is in South London, it is on the newly opened East London Line so you can see this as a trip on our new futuristic railway service!!

There you are a World tour, both East London and South East London.... is there anywhere else? By the way West London doesn't count!