Tuesday, March 30, 2010

A Dove In The Hand Is Worth Two In The Bush

Many moons ago a few of us from work went to watch Mock the Week being filmed at Television Centre.  I'd been on another all day InSite mission so by the time I turned up they were all inside waiting to be called.

I took my audience number, found the others and had to hope that I'd be called in to join the audience, my number was a lot higher than most of theirs.  Sadly I didn't get called but neither did Andy so we decided to go for a couple of beers in Vesbar.

As we were leaving we walked past a queue of people who wanted to be added to the BBC/SRO audiences database with first option to a later series.  Neither Andy or I were bothered about this so we headed straight past them.  As we got to the door the rather camp bloke who had been ushering people here, there and everywhere asked why we were leaving.  We told him we didn't want to be added to the list but he obviously took a shine to me!  He was adamant that he wanted to take my E-mail and promised NOT to send me photos of his willy!  The queue of people, but especially, Andy loved that!

The upshot of this was that last week the I received an E-mail about joining the audience for a new series of Channel 4's Evo Music Rooms, and it turns out that that doves will be playing live.

I'm pretty sure you didn't need the whole back story but it's written now so it's staying!

SB (and most other people) will testify that I'm an unashamed doves geek so I'm pretty excited about Thursday night.  It'll tide me over nicely until I drag SB to another doves gig at the old Commercial Road Troxy cinema in May.

Surely they have to play Andalucía.  It's the only new track on disc one of their soon to be released greatest hits album The Places Between and will any b-sides get an airing?  Jimi, Jez, Andy (and Martin), Darker, just for me, pleeeease!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Let Them Eat Cake

I bought SB a cake tin for Christmas (really pushed the boat out didn't I!) and she finally got round to using it yesterday!

She'd seen it on an episode of Nigella's Christmas Kitchen and it seemed to strike a chord.  So much so that even I couldn't miss this open goal!  It was a bugger to find until I cracked the name, bundt pan, not cake tin!

SB will do anyting to put off the Uni work she has to complete over the next few weeks so after moaning about the clocks going forward, having breakfast and watching a bit of TV she decided to make a cake.  She'd not made one since this little beauty a couple of months ago:

MMMMM, yum :)

So down came the tin, pan, whatever, and soon after (don't worry everyone, I did help) it was full of lemon and orange cake mix:

Then 45 minutes later it was done:

One peak lemon, one peak orange, and so on, and a few minutes later we settled down with a cup of tea and helped ourselves to half a peak of each.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Gourmet ou Gourmand?

After a couple of beers in the Village after work on Friday I met up with SB on Threadneedle Street at 19:20.

I was twenty minutes late but considering I didn't leave the bar inside the 'gated community' until 18:40, I made it from Earl's Court to Bank via Holborn in pretty good time.

We headed straight into the restaurant and were shown to a nice table for two.  There were four or five tables already occupied but over the course of the meal the place filled up and by the end of the meal it was pretty much full.

The restaurant is on the ground floor of the old London Stock Exchange with the entrance on the passage way between the redesigned LSE building and DTZ's 125 Old Broad Street office.  Handy for lunches when you're in the City eh SB!

Rather than describe the interior, here is a photo from the website:

On the walls there is a poem by Jean de la Fontaine called Le Corbeau et le Renard, the Crow and the Fox.  The crow has a cheese in its beak which the fox wants so the fox flatters the crow who goes to speak, well crow I suppose, and drops the cheese.  SB was quite impressed when I said it's like someone saying that your phone is nice, you letting them have a look at it and then them running off with it!  (Over-)proud iPhone owners beware!

Whenever we go to France we HAVE to bring back some Rillettes de Mans, shredded pork that is made into a paste, similar to pâté.  It was on the menu so it was no surprise when SB chose this for her starter.  I had a sausage salad from the specials board.

For the main we both had a 10oz steak, (gourmand?!?) with SB having a dark chocolate slice and me a rhubarb and custard cup for desert.  Pretty good value for £52 I think :)

We didn't go to Abacus.  Instead we headed back to the Bush and had a pint in The Green.  Not one of the most salubrious boozers in W12 but it serves a decent pint of Kronenbourg and doesn't have twats on the door (or inside) like the 'tarted up boozer' across the road.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Grubs Up!

I'd not been to the City for well over a year and like buses two, in this instance visits, have come at once.

Yesterday morning I was at a client site by Southwark Bridge installing an update to the GIS system they take from us here at CACI Towers and tonight I'm off to the new Brasserire Blanc that is opening up on Threadneedle Street.

SB works for DTZ who have an office on Old Broad Street, next to latest addition to the Raymond Blanc empire, and a couple of weeks ago she received an E-mail giving staff the opportunity to have a sneak peak of the new place and get 50% off the total bill.  RESULT :)

Might see if SB wants to pop into Abacus after the meal to see what the City's most celebrated meat market is up to.  It made for pretty interesting viewing last time I was in there with Gabs and Londra ;)

Failing that I might be able to taunt a few of the eastenders who will surely be heading down to TW8 tomorrow afternoon watch Leyton Orient pit their wits against the Bees.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Signed, Sealed, Delivered

The loan transfer window closes today we've added two players to the team.

Lewis Grabban has signed from Millwall but the big news is that Pim has signed until the end of the season AND we have agreed a fee with Ipswich for a permanent transfer.

Lets hope that personal terms can be agreed once the curtain is drawn on the 2009/10 season.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The Joy Of Six

So then, Colchester!

Before last night we'd only scored ten goals away from home so we go and score three!  Not only that but we went two up in 17 minutes before managing to surrender the lead before half time!

After the break we went 3-2 up but were again pegged back and the match finished 3-3.

Bees blogger David Hunt had an eventful night.  He scored the opener from the edge of the penalty box and then scored an own goal.

We would have taken a point before the game but having had a two-goal lead there is a twinge of disappointment.  Still, we’re up to 13th and have two games in hand on most of the teams around us.  Poor Carlisle and Yeovil, we’ve got three games in hand on them ;)

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Bees Edge It At Edgeley

The Bees are in action again tonight.  Their third away game in 8 days takes them to Colchester to face a team battling to secure a play-off place.

At the weekend the lads got back to winning ways at Stockport County.  The pitch was nothing like what can be seen on the left as a brief look though these pictures will show.  Harsh winter + rugby union on a football pitch equals the perfect argument for a plastic pitch!

Since beating Gillingham on 6th February we've only managed three draws in five games so it was good to get another three points tucked away.  Four more wins and we should be safe I reckon.

Can't see us getting one tonight though!  Colchester have won 13 and drawn two of ther 17 home games so getting a point there tonight will be a decent result.  Still, here's hoping.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Back for Good?

After a couple of weeks off it's good to see the Chronicle back through my letter box.

No idea why the paper went AWOL for couple of weeks, and seeing as the same thing happend last month, I wonder whether April will fair any better.

Here's hoping!

Pims O'Clock?

The word on the street, well, here, here and here is that the Bees are going to re-sign Ipwsich defender Pim Balkestein on loan with a view to a permanent move when the transfer window opens again at the end of the season.
Before he was recalled to Ipswich at the end of December Pim played 8 games for us and played a big part in the upturn in results.
It has also been reported that Toumani Diagouraga will be released by Peterborough in the summer.  He's been quality in midfiled since joining us on loan, another one close to the top of Andy Scott's chopping list I hope.

I Heart US Sports!

When Setanta went under last June I was worried that that could be it for sports on Virgin Media.  I've had NTL/Virgin, cable, in the flat since October 2005 and when Setanta Sports was added to the XL TV package I was, as a sport loving bloke, more than a little happy.

Although I never really watched that much of the Premiership coverage; I was either at GP or some far flung northern outpost for the Saturday tea-time games and the Monday night games weren't usually up to much, it was nice to have the option to flick the cable box to 538 or 539.

So last June when Setanta went into administration I thought that was it for sport on cable bar Eurosport.  What I hadn't accounted for was that ESPN, the huge American sports broadcaster, would step in and bring with it so much more that the occasional decent game of footie.

OK, having had a grandmother from County Clare, an extended family dotted all over Ireland and mates who are big fans of the other Munster Counties, the loss of live Hurling and Gaelic Football was a blow but this has more than softened by what ESPN has brought into my living room.

I'm still not watching much of what I often hear is the most exciting league in football but there is so much more on offer.  At the moment I've got 'College Hoops' on.  It's the second day of the 2010 NCAA Basketball Championship, which is known across the pond as March Madness.  For some reason I've always liked Villanova, hopefully they'll reach the Final Four for the season straight year.

When ESPN started broadcasting last August the MLB baseball season was heading towards the play-offs.  Sadly 'my' San Francisco Giants missed out on the play-offs that each Autumn; or Fall, if you're that way inclined, lead to rather the grandly named World Series.  It was however a real treat to be able to watch the conclusion to the regular season and then the postseason in W12.

The NHL ice hockey season has picked up where the MLB left off and has brought the world of checking, fighting and power-plays into my living room.  Team wise it's better news this time round because the San Jose Sharks are well on course to reach the Stanley Cup play-offs.

The NBA season is also in full swing.  Unfortunately the Seattle Supersonics franchise morphed into the Oklahoma City Thunder in 2008 and I just can't get on the bandwagon.  However continuing my Bay Area theme to picking teams I've taken the Golden State Warriors under my wing, lucky them!

Sky have the rights to the NFL but I still keep an eye out for San Francisco 49er games on Channel 5.  The memories of three Super Bowl wins in the 80s and with one more in 1994 are fading but an 8-8 season last time round is at least a sign that the team are heading in the right direction.

The down side to supporting west coast teams is that when they are on ESPN, they are on late.  The good news though is that there are numerous magazine shows that give me the chance to catch-up.  Thanks goodness for my V+ box and series links for SportsCenter, NHL on the Fly, NBA Fastbreak and Baseball Tonight.


Sunday, March 07, 2010

Les Gets West London Buzzing

Today Brentford played away at Elland Road.  Did I go?  Of course I did, always good to get another ground ticked off.  Got back to the Bush at just after 21:00.

Travelled up with two of the usual Griffin Park crowd.  I was meant to meet the lads in Northfields but I didn't account for the Piccadilly Line being shut this weekend between Hammersmith and Northfields!

In the end Paul picked me up from here at around 11:00 and we were in Leeds for 14:00.  Three hours there, three hours back, not bad going at all.  The things people do for 90 minutes of football!

The match ended 1-1, a result surely all Bees fans would have taken before the game.  I reckon we deserved the point and having taken the lead there is even a tinge of disappointment that we didn't take one of the chances we had to go two up.  Let's not get too greedy though eh!

Well over 2,200 Bees fans made the trip and for many, me included, it was a first trip to Elland Road.  Not suprising as we last played a league match there in 1953/54 season!! Chant of the day was 'is there a fire drill' to the Leeds fans streaming out of the ground early ;)

Changing the subject, I'm sure you're all wondering where I've been seeing as my last post was a couple of weeks ago.  Say that again SB, what do you mean nobody reads this shit?!?

SB and I (ooooooh, get me!) were in France riding ski lifts up mountains and then sliding down them on, no not our bottoms, thin strips of plastic!  We went with five others to Les Gets which is a small town in the Haute-Savoie department.

We stayed in a chalet called Ysopes which we shared with two married couples.  They had been to Les Gets many times, at least 15 they told us.  In fact they used to own a chalet between them, nice!!  The week passed without incident and we were even treated to a homecoming party for Déborah Anthonioz who hails from Les Gets and won a silver medal in the snowboard cross.