Eat/See/Listen/Love: 27/04/13

27 Apr

I’ve been reading again. It’s been a long time. I did an English degree and for three years I was ‘forced’ to read a book, numerous essays and even more poems every single week for around 3 years. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed my course, and I loved reading – but something about the necessity of having to read so many texts sucked the fun out of reading for quite a while. I’ve read, approximately, two books a year since I graduated. That’s something I’m pretty ashamed of and I’ve realised that my lack of reading has actually made me less articulate, eloquent (and, in my opinion, intelligent).

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Part of it is my profession I suppose. Working in social means I spend a lot of time reading small chunks of information – tweets, web pages, short articles. I tried reading a book online and it’s not a pleasant experience. There’s nothing to really get my head around when it comes to the text, not necessarily the content, that I’m reading.

So, I’ve started reading again. I’ve started with Radiohead and Philosophy. Fitter, happier and more deductive. I’m then going to re-read my favourite book – Jane Eyre. Then I’m going to move on to my old Literary Theory book. I miss learning – I want to learn for myself, for the pleasure of it and not for my job (that’s a far more specific kind of learning, I find).

Any way. There you have it. I’m going to get smart again. I hope. I miss being able to articulate my point like I used to be able to. I used to be able to say “True, I’m not pretty, but at least I’m smart” – that’s slipped away from me somewhat recently. I’m going to try my hardest to get it back.

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EAT: I live in Clapham Junction – not the ‘cool’ part of Clapham, but it actually has some cool places around. My housemate and I went on a wander last weekend and discovered Battersea Rise. A street full of eateries which I’ve decided to try to work my way through.

We started with The Dime Bar (they used my favourite pin-up image on their menu, the one on this blog’s header, so naturally I was drawn to the place). We went for brunch, so no alcohol was consumed – however, I must point out that their cocktail menu looks incredible. It also has a dedicated karaoke area downstairs, as well as regular theme nights. The Dime Bar is decked out as a rock and roll bar – retro bar stools, music memorabilia and neon lights. The atmosphere is good, the size of the place is great and the music was awesome (plenty of hip hop and indie rock going on: Jay Z followed by Vampire Weekend is all good by me).

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Unfortunately, the food wasn’t up to much. My friend had a veggie burger which was pretty dry and didn’t have anything in it to make it stand out. Fries that came with our meals were fine, but nothing out of this world. I had the California Club Sandwich – sliced free-range chicken breast, cured bacon, lettuce, tomato & mayo. Bacon was nice, but had far too much fat on it. The sandwich was actually just three slice of toast with everything bunged inside, and the toast was burnt in places. Good toast isn’t hard to do and I am ALL about the golden brown.

Anyway, food isn’t worth the money, drinks look amazing and the place itself seemed pretty cool. I’d certainly go back for drinks, but never again for food.

SEE: Have you seen the dating adverts on the tube? The ones which show an amazing view of St Paul’s from a rooftop bar. Well, I TOTALLY WENT THERE. It’s called Madison and it’s actually pretty cool.

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Music was so-so, however the view was incredible. It overlooks St. Paul’s and the city – in the distance you can see the Eye and Big Ben. For a place which such a great view it’s actually not pretentious. I always expect that anywhere with a ‘premium’ location will probably attract some rather undesirable types. However, everyone seemed pretty chilled. Even the bouncers shared a joke with me and a lady in the bathroom complimented me, haha. I had a cider and it was £6, which is less than I was expecting.

Madison also has an outside section, which I’ll be visiting when it gets a little warmer. There we go. That’s my comprehensive review. Hope you liked it.

LISTEN: I went to see a band called Daughter last week. I have decided their lead singer should be a friend of mine – she seemed lovely. However, before I befriend her and contemplate having a fringe as neat as hers, I should probably compliment the music too.

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The gig took place at Oxford Town Hall, which is an amazing venue. The architecture is absolutely stunning and the acoustics were great – the sound was crisp and just the right volume – for such a large room the bass really made an impact too (place was bloody boiling though!)

The lead singer, Elena Tonra, has a beautiful voice. Her voice has the soft, indie tones of Laura Marling, but with a little more emotion to it I find. The overall sound is fairly stripped back – however from time to time they sound a lot like the XX.

Anyway, my favourite song is Candles. You’re too old to be so shy. Indeed.

LOVE: My favourite film is When Harry Met Sally. I’ve always wanted a relationship which was more than two people meeting up and getting together with the aim of having a relationship. Seems so… forced.

I re-visited Annie Hall for the first time in a long time: I’d never made my way through it, but I did the other night (what can I say, I’m a sucker for a rom-com with neurotic, unconventionally attractive male leads set in New York). One quote from the film struck me more than the others.  Woody Allen’s character is propositioned by a beautiful girl and he makes up an excuse not to sleep with her. He considers why and comes up with this:

“Is it that old Groucho Marx joke? That I don’t want to belong to any club that would have me as a member?”

Yes, I think it is.

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