five gold rings…

By amy ~ December 5th, 2023 @ 8:14 pm No Comments »

Well it is the fifth day of Christmas after all, and I am freshly back from a good singsong at the Felix Project carol service in South Ken last night (which has given me an irredeemably sore throat today and necessitated a bit of a rest, but not to worry).

Some (very) quick updates then now December is here! My Christmas tree is on the way – Tree’s third Christmas sharing my living room is likely to be her last (since she’s getting a bit big), so I will be going all out with the baubles as befits the occasion, and next year we can start all over again with a little one! ETA is on Friday at a time anywhere between 9am and 6pm, so anybody wanting to book might wind up helping…

Like many others I was poleaxed by recent news that not just the Caramac but the red Bounty bars are no more – and efforts to build a stockpile of either have sadly been fruitless – but the growing stash of Christmas chocolate is building nicely alongside everything else, and preparations for a bit of a break are ticking along too. I have decided to flirt with disaster again by ordering New Year food from Waitrose even after they sent me away without the main components last year, and all travel, activities and other Christmas must-haves are booked (I think).

As we can see above, the Christmas blog page is up with available dates and details, and the next two-and-a-bit weeks will (hopefully) be calm, peaceful and relaxing. There is some more exciting news on the way but it can all wait, and it’s business as usual for now! I will be here all weekend for a change, so anybody at a loose end on Saturday is welcome to get in touch too.

A classic to get the Christmas Songs Of The Week started; even though Club Tropicana is my preference and one of the greatest songs ever recorded </gavel>, but it’s not really appropriate here.

More soon! I’ll try to keep everything posted as and when so we all know where we are, and for everything else there’s text messages.

I went, I saw and I conquered!

By amy ~ November 29th, 2023 @ 8:40 pm No Comments »

And some pictorial proof above from the top floor of One Canada Square and with even more thanks to everybody who contributed; 48 floors and 1031 steps later we have (so far) raised £470 for the Felix Project, and with a bit more to come in yet! For the stats fans, I did it in twelve minutes and twenty three seconds and I have no idea how either. The promise of mince pies, crisps and beer at the top played it’s part.

It’s been a lively couple of weeks, with the stair climb spliced between the Chemical Brothers at the start of the month (OK, but I left early after giving up trying to see past the 6’4″+ bloke who wound up immediately – and I mean nose-between-his-shoulder-blades immediately – in front of me no matter how often I moved), a good few cinema trips including more Nicolas Cage, and the highlight last weekend with my enduring favourites Prodigy, all the way up at Ally Pally.

I think it’s ten years at least since I last trekked up to AP, but it doesn’t get any quicker or easier for anybody who doesn’t live within a few minutes’ walk and having jumped up and down a lot for almost two hours at the end of an already-long day I then had the monumental pain in the arse of a ninety minute journey to do the six miles home. It was still worth it, even if I was more tired the following day than I was after the stair climb.

Christmas is creeping up on us all; I will provisionally be here and available until end of play on Thursday 21st December and then back from Friday 29th/possibly late afternoon Thursday 28th if all goes according to plan (if I get to it I’ll stick the Christmas hours page up too). This does not mean I will be sitting around the flat in my work clothes with everything primed for bookings any more than I do the rest of the time – the ‘now?’ brigade have been out in force this week, and be assured it will get you nowhere. I would include a reminder for Adultwork users to just try reading the bloody page properly and then you’ll likely get what you want, but as ever, there is just no point.

I also managed a trip over to the West End to see the Christmas lights and Selfridge’s windows; a lengthy ride on the 139 bus and a lasagne at Waterloo later I was definitely ready to get festive. A free mince pie workshop at Bread Ahead followed last Sunday, and this coming week includes the Felix Project Carol Service and the tree lighting over at Trafalgar Square (availability permitting) – I will endeavour not to burn out too early, but given that I spend most of the actual day on the sofa eating my body weight in pretty much everything, Christmas activities need to be worked in in good time.

Song Of the Week is a necessity for all of those who will never go to see Prodigy live because it encapsulates exactly what doing so is like; this clip is one of my favourites even though it’s not that recent, but it always makes me smile to see Keith Flint again and there are plenty from last weekend on YouTube. I wasn’t at this one, sadly.

More soon! The heating is definitely on…

and (as promised) the winner is…

By amy ~ October 31st, 2023 @ 10:00 pm No Comments »

…Grazer! All hail the fat bear Queen!

The annual cinema-fest which makes up October is at an end, and with a side trip to the opera too! Despite the appalling weather, I wasn’t going to pass up a half price ticket to the opening night of La Traviata at the Coliseum, especially when the finish time coincides neatly with the nearby Itsu’s daily half price hometime sale. Sushi for everyone!

Film highlight of the month has certainly been Late Night With The Devil (which will hopefully get some distribution so I can see it again), although FrightFest’s Halloween offering managed a few crackers over last Friday night and all day Saturday. I even stayed for the last film instead of bailing and was glad I did, even if it was mostly to try and avoid the rain (had I left early I would have avoided the Central Line night tube though, so it was all a bit academic in the end and Soho on the nearest Saturday to Halloween is pretty good value in itself, after all).

Training for the Santa Stair Climb continues despite the endless rain; the stairmaster at the gym will never be a favourite of mine and I won’t be sorry to see the back of it, but as anybody familiar with the Felix Project will know it’s for a very good cause. Thank you again to everybody who has donated – I’ll be getting some far more enjoyable exercise on Saturday courtesy of the Chemical Brothers over at the O2 – it’s been far too long, and I cannot wait. Bring on the lasers!

This week has also seen the traditional pre-Christmas clearout and eBay sale/charity donation/recycling drive get properly underway; all was going splendidly until Lego decided to mock and torment me by releasing the brand new Natural History Museum set early. A combination of two of my favourite things is going to be seriously difficult to pass up, even if it means having to build it on the floor just for the space (and having just disassembled the Palace Cinema I do have a little bit of room), so some avoidance of Lego related anything will be the modus for the next few weeks. Or I could just jog my memory by looking at my AMEX bill.

My plans this weekend mean a bit of availability on Saturday for a change – let me know! Next week may be hit and miss for reasons beyond my control, but I’ll do my best and in the meantime, I’m going to have yet another crack at some new pictures if the sun comes out again – getting up in daylight over the last few weeks after weeks of the alarm going off in pitch darkness has been delightful, even if it won’t be for long. C’est la vie (and the onset of Autumn Proper suits me just fine in every other conceivable way, to be fair).

Song Of The Week is a month late, but the 30th anniversary of In Utero – which I remember queuing to buy in Andy’s Records obviously without knowing it would be the final Nirvana album – shouldn’t go unmarked, especially when it provides a chance to watch one of my favourite live performances of all time. A little solemn, but bliss nonetheless.

Halloween is done with, the clocks have gone back (so the blinds are being drawn at 4pm) and I will be doing a lot of hibernating – come and join in!

More soon…

stairs, premieres, & very fat bears…

By amy ~ October 8th, 2023 @ 7:47 pm No Comments »

And it’s October! I began the month with a visit to the Lookout at 8 Bishopsgate, one of the newest ways to take a long ride in a lift and with a lovely view (although sadly not of my building, unlike the Walkie Talkie’s Sky Garden); the viewing gallery at the Twenty Two has opened since which is higher still, but fifty floors up is fine to be getting on with.

No stairs were involved either on the way up or the way down so an impromptu rehearsal for the Santa Stair Climb wasn’t on the cards, but I can live with it. Training continues and the total raised so far is now over £250 – to everybody reading who has contributed, it makes a huge difference (and to anybody who hasn’t – I will point out that I’m going to Canary Wharf so you don’t have to). If nothing else I’ve rediscovered my love of the spin class, which is a bit like clubbing during the day and for the middle aged (coincidentally daytime clubbing is exactly what I will be doing the very day before the Santa Stair Climb, timings being what they are).

The 2023 London Film Festival began last Wednesday, but due to various spanners in the works and general annoying circumstances I’ve yet to see a single festival film! I will be getting straight into the spirit of things starting tomorrow with a two film day; dashing between different venues to make a second (or third) festival film has always been one of the fun parts and I’ve yet to mistime it, although getting from the BFI to the Ciné Lumière in South Ken on forty minutes a few years was a very close call (I made it, but only just).

It may yet be a three film day since my second venue is the Prince Charles Cinema, and if I’m walking out of there around half past eight I may as well give my Cineworld Unlimited card a flex. I had idly planned rounding off the evening with the chirpy-but-nasty Saw X, but after deciding to down tools early on Friday I’ve both already seen it, AND followed it up with apple pie and custard in the café a few minutes away which cost less than an ice cream would have been at Cineworld – result. The LFF itinerary for the rest of this week is mostly evening screenings and I’ll be here on Saturday too, so business will be pretty much as usual if a little earlier for the daily cut offs (definitely on Tuesday, at least).

Apropos of nothing in particular, over in Alaska it turns out that Fat Bear Week is drawing to a close – with heartfelt thanks to the person who drew it to my attention and brightened up my day. My vote has stayed with Grazer (bear 128), but only the fattest bear can triumph, and I will be following the results with keen interest (I promise to announce the winner here; I sincerely hope the prize is salmon).

Song Of The Week is from one of my all time favourites Do The Right Thing, which I last saw on the big screen in the pouring rain at the much-missed Summer Screen, Somerset House’s best event ever (and therefore obviously at the top of the list of things to cancel). DTRT is screening again this week for Black History Month, presumably to demonstrate that in the almost twenty five intervening years the progress towards racial equality has been precisely zero, and arguably into the minuses.

More soon! I’ll see you on the red carpet…

Further Reading

five gold rings…

I went, I saw and I conquered!

and (as promised) the winner is…

stairs, premieres, & very fat bears…

well, that was odd…

I don’t care what the weatherman says…

think pink!

2023: heatwave #1

here comes the sun!

the end of an era…

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