Posts from 2005

Dec 05

ghost squad update

Do You SeePost a comment • 479 views

in last night’s ep there wz just the most ulp-OMG-how-tha-FVCK moment of acting i remember in a copshow EVER: the lead villain-cop’s malleable g/f — who wz some sort of rape-counsellor/community-liaison blah blah — had bin caught mulin druqgz for him, and wz defendin him under interrogation, and stonewallin, except she wz bein persuaded to shop him and JUST AT THE POINT she did, she let two tears leave her brimmin eyes and actually run down her cheeks

like a kind of physical-symbolic release


The Brown WedgePost a comment • 367 views

Whatever happened to Uncle?: fine article from the Economist on the neglected children’s classic beloved of some Freaky Trigger writers. I think they’re basically right about the books and why they don’t sell – Uncle is a very ambiguous character, and the ambiguity provides a big part of the joke, and that did go over my head when I read the books as a kid.

What I took from Uncle was JP Martin’s prodigious imagination for nonsense – tunnels made of cake and fantastical swimming pools and so on, they all seemed wonderfully tempting. The subtleties of Uncle’s struggles with Badfort were kind of lost on me. Maybe there’s been a decline in kids’ appetite for nonsense stories – I can’t think offhand of any other great postwar nonsense tales, and the Uncle stories were actually written much earlier than their (posthumous) publication date.

The sad central truth of Uncle: the Bad is generally funnier than the Good.

Dec 05

THE FT TOP 13 ENDINGS: 8: The Ending of TV Serials You Never Saw

Blog 7Post a comment • 425 views

There was a time when if you missed a telly show, you really MISSED that show. Even when domestic video recorders came along in the late 70s this didn’t really change things that often. If you’d missed something there was never a way to find someone who had coincidentally recorded that show, and by a stroke of luck they had a Philips Video 2000 recorder too. To make things worse (and going even more TV Cream on you) the long running serials for kids that they showed in the 70s during the summer holidays were not programmed to take account of the fact that some regions went back to school at different times. And it doesn’t matter that someone told you how it ended in the playground, you have to see it, cos anyway they are rubbish at explaining it, and the magic just doesn’t work without the colours and the moving shapes…

Now there are cheap-ass DVD manufacturers churning out all this telly from the pre VHS era, and not just the classic Quatermasses. Things like The Omega Factor (British 70s X-Files sort of thing), The Tomorrow People (homo-erotic kids sci-fi with amazing theme tune), The Children of The Stones (another 70s fantasy show obsessed with standing stones). And I’m willing to bet that for every one of these sold to someone with fond memories of the whole show, there are FIVE poor bastards who only want to watch the last episode, to finally get it out of their system 30 years later.

Of course this is just the closing step in the capitalist trap of the serial story, Dickens blah blah, that seems to be coming back into fashion with big telly serials of late (24, Lost, Dr Who). But there is a real swizz factor with these pricey DVDs. Thank heavens for stealing telly via BitTorrent, eh readers? And although the real trick in selling a serial would be to never let it end, a part work of the infinite, it is the discontinuity of an end, even worse, an end you never actually see, that endures in the memory.

I have now finally cauterised those open wounds, those missing telly finales that I have been carrying around in my head all this time. I know how Sapphire & Steel end up looking out of a cafe window into the star-field in the title sequence, trapped in infinity with no way out. I know that the girl in The Changes pleads with the spirit of Merlin trapped in a rock to return Britain back to its modern ways. I’ve seen how The Children of The Stones ends with the double-whammy “Did it all really happen?” + “It is starting again” combo (for both of which see the Top Endings later on I’m sure).

They were all crushingly disappointing of course. Readers – do not do as i have done. Leave those endings a mystery and you’ll be more the happier.

THE FT TOP 13 ENDINGS: 9: You Have Been Watching

Blog 7Post a comment • 364 views

It is the last minute of Are You Being Served. Captain peacock appears to have ended up in a ridiculous situation, and Mrs Slocomb has mentioned her pussy. John Inman makes a double entendre and the studio audience go wild. Good luck to them all. And then the theme tune kicks in, all Pink Floyd cash registers but better.

And what does it say on the screen?


This perturbed me much as a child. How did they know that I had been watching. Did it say it when I was not watching. Soon the relatively simple philosophy behind the presence of the phrase unraveled to me, I realised that if I had not been watching I could not see the message. It was almost as if this statement, conditional on how my presence, had a mind of its own. It fascinated me.

And then my Dad told me it referred tot he cast. I had been watching John Inman, Wendy Richard and all the girls who played Old Mr Grace’s helpers. Nevertheless, I prefer my reading, and have been looking for plates ever since which say “You Have Been Eating” on the base.

… to put away childish things

Blog 7Post a comment • 286 views

“While boys often expressed nostalgia and affection toward Action Man… renouncing Barbie appeared to be a rite of passage for many girls”

Dec 05

Wot I Ate and Drank This Weekend

Pumpkin PublogPost a comment • 336 views

On Saturday I ate:

Bacon Sandwich
A pint of Young’s Winter Warmer
Venison, walnut and beetroot salad*
Game pie (with veggies and tatties)*
A glass of champagne*
Wine to the max*
Water sucked through a marrowbone*
Eccles Cake and Lancashire crumbly cheese*
Emmanuelle’s cornbread and guacamole (spicy as…)
A pint ov Landlord
Lots of wine
Two shots of not num num aquavit and one shot of really horrible Cyanar (the cyanide artichoke liqueur)

On Sunday I also ate

Lentil, pea and lime salad**
Spanish tortilla**
Chorizo in red wine**
Spanish rice with morcilla and ham**
Beans, ham & sherry stew**
Patas Bravas**
A few different Serrano hams**
Pickled Garlic
Capers as big as yer eye
A cheeseboard of some wonderfully ripe Manchego and others
Amontillado Sherry to the max
Requisite amount of bread
Mulled wine
Tracer Hands Bourbon Balls
Emma’s lovely chicken live pate on inappropriate walnut biscuits
Too much mulled wine
And Marks grebt ginger cake

*Nice St John’s people

**Cooked by me. I think I am missing somthing here as well.

Dec 05


Do You SeePost a comment • 290 views

(sadly the site this came from is in german so i cannot properly credit the artist, who may or may not be called kati)
(kati likes BUFFY tho so WE LIKE HER)

Dec 05

cooking dos and don’t w.r.t. the HOTNESS of HEAT!

Pumpkin PublogPost a comment • 277 views

even if you have probs in the past bein gloopy and more liquid than firm – requirin more time in the oven to sort – DO NOT poke the top of yr gingerbread as it emerges after 50s mins

not only is it PIPING HOT it is also PIPING STICKY and will adhere to yr PIPING FINGER ow ow ow ow

Dec 05

The Beauchamp Tavern, Knightsbridge

Pumpkin PublogPost a comment • 287 views

Knightsbridge may not strike you as the happiest hunting grounds for a good boozer and in the case of the Beauchamp Tavern you’d be right. Why mention it at all? Because it’s such an object lesson in how not to do a hybrid bar/pub. Its hybridity was why my colleague picked it – something to satisfy the bar types and the pub types, right? Wrong. The Tavern is pub-shaped and has a (meagre) selection of beers on tap and recognisably pubbish tables but the bar-style decisions it has made show no understanding of how pubs – or bars for that matter – work.

The interior of the Tavern is a big square space dotted with large pillars but with no dividing walls or partitions to create booths or nooks or subdivide the drinking area. This makes it seem bigger than it is, which isn’t necessarily a good thing. Cavernous pub spaces are often said to ‘lack atmosphere’ which means both that they’re not particularly cosy but it also means that it’s hard to create atmosphere – such places tend to have pretty bad acoustics. Without subdivisions and partitions everybody’s noise tends to mingle and it’s hard to have any kind of non-shouted conversation: loud music obviously adds to this. This puts a strain on the kind of group conviviality one associates with the pub: you have to lean in close and shout to be heard.

In a bar there are generally good reasons to make the space noisy and demand this kind of intimacy – bars are often designed as places to meet strangers (& cop off with them) whereas pubs are mostly not. So the open space and close contact works in a bar. The Tavern makes a second big mistake with its choice of furnishing – very large chairs which each take up a lot of space. So a table of seven or eight people occupies a huge chunk of the pub floor. In itself this isn’t a bad thing, the chairs are actually very comfy. But the extra length of each chair – opposed to a normal pub chair or a stool – makes moving around the Tavern between tables quite difficult. Which wouldn’t be all that much of a problem, except the Tavern has table service – another bar import – and so is employing people to move around in exactly this way all the time.

None of the decisions the place has taken is a bad one in and of itself, but together they make for a stressy, irritable drinking experience. Though some would say that if you insist on going for a drink in Knightsbridge you can’t expect much better.


Pumpkin PublogPost a comment • 2,512 views

ALPINE BLOODY LAGER????? i mean , i’m not a lager drinker by any stretch of the imagination, but Sam Smiths have now finally lost any sembalence of the plot. the MAN is still there, though, of course, no longer in his box, but where it used to say AYINGERBRAU, it now says (in case you hadn’t guessed) ALPINE LAGER????

also, it’s not this, so they could be in trouble anyway…

clearly SOME ACTION needs to be taken, and just ordering AYINGERBRAU will only wind up the long-suffering SS barstaff. where is the all-party parlimentary beer group when you need them??? i DEMAND questions in the house!!!!