Tag Archives: Relationships

Evans and Peel, Much Ado About Nothing, Oddisee and long term confusion.

12 Mar

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EAT: Evans and Peel Detective Agency has been on my London to-do list since… well, since about 6 years ago when I moved here actually. So, I suggested a speakeasy style bar and restaurant where you have to make up a fake case for a detective before you’re allowed in and my friend Jude didn’t need any further convincing to come.

We arrived and buzzed: by the time we got let in (they open at 5pm – had to call for a reservation, old school) there was another 4 pairs of people waiting for their 5pm appointment. So, after waiting for the guys ahead of us to finish their chat with the detective, we were let in.

So, the story we decided to go for (I say we, Jude had nothing to do with it although he did a good job at playing along and not being embarrassed by me) was that we wanted the Evans and Peel to investigate the suspected Ghost Brothel next door to my flat. I was pleased to see a genuine look of confusion on the woman’s face when I presented this, but she played along well – asking how we knew they were ghosts and/or prostitutes, had we heard any noises coming from next door? Etc. When the play acting was finished (it lasts about 3 minutes) our case was taken and a bookshelf swings open to reveal a dimly lit, prohibition-era bar. In we went.


Jude and I went all out – cocktails, beers, mains, dessert. Mainly because the atmosphere of the place was wicked – fantastic music (instrumental of course and perfectly in keeping with the prohibition style of the bar) and we basically just wanted to hang around for as long as possible! The menus are delivered to our table by a server, in plain brown envelopes (but the fancy kind which you have to loop string around in order to close them) and you’re also kitted out with the likes of a magnifying glass too.

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For mains, we went for burgers. The menu is a little limited – but not bad at all (see above) – and standard London prices. We also had a couple of beers to see us through too – again, limited selection, but a GOOD selection, which is the key thing. The burger was good. The way it’s cooked (on an old fashion grill or something) means you can only have it medium well done. It actually comes out medium which I wasn’t loving, but I ignored as most people like their burgers this way and it was still a tasty burger. Chips were solid too, as were the sauces; nowt ground-breaking (Patty and Bun have nothing to worry about) but you do get bacon and cheese with it, as well as coleslaw. All in all, a good burger.


Where Evans and Peel really shines is the spirits. The cocktails are pricy (£7-£15) but worth splashing out for just once. I went for a fruity one (passion fruit, egg white, rum) and Jude selected a Bourbon from their EXTENSIVE whiskey and bourbon list. They have stuff on there which is £25 a shot (seriously), so make sure you grab the magnifying glass and have a look!

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When I said we went all out, I meant it. I also opted for dessert (as did Jude) and we both went for the ice cream cookie sandwich – blueberry ice cream with jam sandwiched in between two chocolate chip cookies. SO GOOD. I warned Jude not to try and bite the bloody thing because it would go everywhere… which it totally did. Tip: eat one of the cookies first and then you can bite your way through. Super simple, really yummy.

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Basically; I loved Evans and Peel. It’s a KILLER date venue –  a little bit different, off the beaten track and the vibe is perfect for some romancing. It’s also a great place to catch up with friends. What it’s not is a place to ‘go out out’ for pre-drinks. Just sayin’. Seriously – go. It’s a place you’ve got to try while in London; I’m gutted it took me so long to get down there!

SEE: My favourite Shakespeare play is Much Ado About Nothing. I’ve seen it performed countless times, abroad, in London, in Stratford. And the latest production, currently showing at Theatre Royal is a really strong production. I should know… did I mention it’s my favourite Shakespeare play and I’ve seen it countless times? Yup? Cool.

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The setting is Autumn 1919, with the soldiers (Benedict and Claudio) returning from the war. The staging is simple – all the action takes place in a few different sets and, I admit, it got off to a slightly slow start. Benedict was fantastic the whole way through though; the scene where he overhears that Beatrice loves him was fantastically funny and I think the actor carried Beatrice a little bit at times, to be honest.

That’s not to say Beatrice wasn’t good, but the comic timing just wasn’t there at some points. The actor totally nailed the ‘give a shit’ disposition of Beatrice, but the scene where she overhears that Benedict loves her was lukewarm, with all the actors not really going as all-out as the male cast members had done.

For £10 however (which is how much I got my ticket for) it was a fantastic production and I can’t recommend it enough. Go!

LISTEN: I went to see Oddisee at the Islington Assembly Hall last weekend. I’ve seen him before, a few years back at the Jazz Café, but this time he was playing to a significantly bigger crowd, with a live band and a kick-ass new album.

If you haven’t heard of Oddisee, how can I describe him? He’s for people who want Drake to rap about something meaningful and put some thought into his music. BURN. But seriously; Oddisee blends hip hop, soul, funk and thrown in a hint of pop on a track here or there.

His latest album, The Iceberg is fantastic. Stand out tracks include Hold It Back, in which challenges inequality between women and men in the workplace, which refers to the current political climate; “We gon’ push the demons deeper in the closet, It ain’t no secret they just seeping out regardless, We’re keeping logic hostage”. Another of my favourite tracks is You Grew Up, which tells the story of Oddisee’s childhood friend. His (the father’s) friend loses his job, blames ‘immigrants’ like Oddisee’s father for it and their friendship has to end. Forward a good few years and we learn that his childhood friend is another white cop guilty of killing an innocent black man. There’s some ACTUAL shit going on in this album, but it’s thoughtful. It hasn’t been thrown together in anger; Oddisee is interrogating the situation with his lyrics and putting them against a blend of funk, soul, hip hop music, all played by an actual band rather than a Drake 808.

Cannot recommend the album enough. And if you love The Iceberg and Oddisee, check out the rest of his tracks on Spotify. I have a soft spot for ‘Miami’ – an instrumental off his album Travelling Man. For now, I’m going to leave you with a recent track: Like Really.

LOVE: So, I’ve been on a few dates with a few people over the last couple of months. And something wasn’t sitting right with any of them. That was, until the last guy I dated – then boom. It hit me.

The guys I meet online and usually on Tinder (so you can never tell if they’re looking for anything serious, but they’re usually not). Or, they’re on OK Cupid and they’ve listed ‘Long term relationship’, ‘Short term relationship’, ‘New Friends’ and ‘Casual Sex’ in their ‘Looking For section to make sure all bases are covered. Which is fine.

But now, I’m filtering out the guys who include ‘Casual Sex’ and ‘Short term relationships’. Because I’ve realised I want something a little more significant than that. I only realised this when I was sat with a perfectly nice, attractive, intelligent guy on a date, but who I know has just got out a relationship and isn’t looking for anything serious.

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Which is fine. But when I left the date, I realise I just want someone I can rely on to do stuff with. Hence why I’m not removing ‘New Friends’ from my OK Cupid searches – I want someone who will go to gigs with me. While I vent about my day to. Who wants to explore new restaurants in London. And I either need them to do this as friends or as someone I’m in a more long-term relationship with, because that’s the only way you can totally be yourself, right? If you’re dating someone short term JESUS it’s exhausting. The conversation, having to rock up looking great, having to always plan ahead in terms of what you’re doing. Second guessing the way they respond to you or touch you. Take all that crap out of the equation and I want a friend with time for me to explore London or I need to get past all that stressful dating stuff and just be comfortable.

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So, all this dawned on me. And I turned the last perfectly nice, intelligent, attractive guy I went on a date with down when he asked for a second date because ‘we want different things’. At least he knows his thing is sex. Mine? As you can tell from my rambling, I guess I’m still not 100% sure. Ho hum.

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Dominic Ansell Bakery, Stour Space Gllery, Ice Cube and the definition of pedantic.

9 Feb

EAT: At long last I made my way down to the Dominic Ansell bakery near Victoria Bus Station in London. For those of you not in the know when it comes to all things baked good, Dominic Ansell is a chef from New York who came up with the ‘cronut’ (croissant combined with donut). As a result of this joyous invention, his bakery in New York has now found its way to the UK.

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The seating area in the café if small (and it is a café, not a restaurant) but service is reasonably fast, depending on what you order. I went for a green tea, cronut and cookie shot cup. So worth all of the calories – totally could have gone for their banoffee paella (all sweet, no meat, don’t worry) if I felt I could have justified it!

The cronut was delicious. Flaky and sugar-crusted on the outside, soft and creamy on the inside. The lemon icing complimented the vanilla frosting on the inside perfectly and it’s basically as good as it looks/you imagine.

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And then there’s the cookie cup: a dark chocolate chip cookie turned into a gooey vessel, filled with vanilla milk. The cookie stays strong enough to hold the milk for a good while, but once the milk is gone it’s all nice and gooey. Yes yes, it’s essentially milk and cookie, but the novelty factor paired with the fact it tastes great make it well worth a shout.

I only have one negative about the experience (it’s absolutely not the desserts) – the service wasn’t great. Once you order, you’re given a number and your desserts are brought to you. I got my cronut right away and had to ask twice over the course of 20 minutes for my cookie cup. It rocked up, eventually, but only when I accidentally caught the manager and told her ow long I’d waited. That aside, I pretty much want to eat EVERYTHING there and I have no doubt that I’ll head back at some point to try one of their main dishes (macaroons, flowering hot chocolate) or one of their specials (the banoffee paella looks insane).

SEE: If you actually bother reading my blog on a regular basis (unlikely) you may remember that in my last post I mentioned Hackney Wick – I headed out there to visit the Olympic Park. Well, last week I went back out East again to go to an exhibition that caught my eye at the Stour Space – part creative space, gallery and café in Hackney Wick.

The exhibition was all about the song by Ice Cube, ‘It Was A Good Day’. Basically the song is about an amazing day that Ice Cube had, and someone actually worked out the only possible day Cube could have been talking about was January 20th, 1992. The blog post below is printed out for you to take, and also framed to start the exhibition.

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Essentially, a series of artworks which directly relate to the song have been curated and displayed. The song mentioned basketball, so there’s a fantastic screen print with gel of a basketball on display. I also really liked this ‘Saw the police and they rolled right past me’ print – there was also a collage about this particular line too. The blimp was represented too (in the song, Ice Cube sees a the Good Year blimp which says ‘Ice Cubes’s a Pimp’ (cue huge print of this blazoned on a blimp).


Most of the artwork was literal and it was quite an amateur exhibition, and I really enjoyed it. I admit, it could have been improved by having the song played in the area the artwork was presented in, or having the lyrics somewhere so it’s easier to understand the links between the artwork and the song. But, that aside, it was a different kind of exhibition and the Stour Space is a little hidden gem.

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In fact, I loved the café there so much I’m bunging my lunch into the ‘See’ section of this blog post. I had butternut squash and coconut soup with sourdough bread which was absolutely beautiful and SO filling. Amazing quality (and quantity!) for a fiver. I also indulged in a hot chocolate rather than going for one of the many delicious cakes they had on offer. The café space is a fantastic place to free-range too – people were in there working, reading the newspaper, stopping off on their dog walk… it’s well worth a visit. Especially when the sun is out, as they have a terrace right on the canal with a view of the Olympic stadium. GO!

LISTEN: Had to be this. Enjoy.

LOVE: I’ve reaslised I really like having my relationships defined. Not in a ‘so what are we, where is this going, wah wah wah’ way. It’s an internal definition which allows me know where to draw the line with guys and how to prioritise.

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Guys I date usually fall into the following categories:

‘Someone I’m casually sleeping with’ – regularly not leaving the house – to the point where we don’t ‘go out’ on dates. Super casual.

‘Someone I’m casually seeing’ – early on, may not have slept with them, but have been on more then five dates and we actually go out (restaurants, exhibitions etc) – making memories and having experiences together outside the bedroom.

‘Seeing someone’ – the above, with sex, but has been going on for months rather than weeks. Could turn into something, but not in a relationship (so can see other people but might not have the desire to do so’.

‘Boyfriend’ – the above, but monogamous (stop dating other people unless we’ve agreed to be in an open relationship) and don’t have to think twice about messaging them first and all that kinda dating crap you go through on dates 1-5.

Anyone else compartmentalise dating in the same way? I find I have to otherwise it gets too complicated. Especially if I’m ‘casually seeing’ two people, for example. I’ve only really had these descriptions set in my mind for the last year, but they seem to work. Plus, so long as I know where we’re at, I just don’t feel the need to ask the guy who the hell he thinks is going on until we’re verging on ‘boyfriend’ stage. Which NEVER, EVER happens. Pretty much gonna be in perpetual ‘seeing someone’ mode I reckon, haha.

Unlimited Tapas, basketball, trying to make a change and opposites attracting.

5 Feb

So over the last two weeks loads has been going on: I’ve been sick for starters. Kids: the flu SUUUUCKS. No longer will I avoid the flu jab (I hate wasting NHS resources if I don’t need to) but being confined to my flat for 5 days has made me think I should get vaccinated. Usually I keep the vaccinations or when I visit other countries (well exotic) but next year, Imma get a shot for the dangerous ol’ UK.

So, before I got sick (and part of what got me sick) I spent the weekend with my family – my mum is adopted and her biological father (Ken) and his partner (Merry) were in London to come and see us. Unfortunately, my biological grandpa got flu on the first day we met and was hotel-bound for the rest of the trip, which was SUCH a shame. Mum stayed in and spend a bit of time with him but his partner is a lot like me (redhead, colourful clothes, passion for travel) so wanted to explore London. Which I was than happy to help her do!

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We visited the Churchill War Rooms (not a fan of the man myself, but Americans LOVE him), and I learned a lot about Churchill’s life and learned more about the Second World War. We also went to a pub (well English), did a tour of Soho (showing Merry my usual haunts) and ate at Brasserie Zedel – always a big hit with parents and grandparents – plus did the following!

EAT: I found an all-you-can-eat Tapas place. Yes, you heard me. And not only was it a reasonable price, but the food was also good. MASSIVE WIN. (All photos aren’t taken by me because I totally forgot to take photos. So I’ve hyperlinked through to the owner of the photo – all photos show food that we ordered.)

Canas y Tapas does all-you-can-eat lunch for £14.95 and dinner for £19.95 and it’s a 5 minute walk from Angel tube station. This doesn’t include drinks, but it does include as many dishes of tapas as you want from an extensive menu. Only catch is that you have to order three dishes per person at a time (so if there are two of you, you can order 6 dishes at a time).

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We went for SO many dishes: padron peppers, chicken with caramelised onions, sauteed egg and patatas bravas, calamari, grilled vegetables, pork tenderloin and Iberian ham on flatbread topped with raisins, walnuts and drizzled with balsamic vinaigrette (this was a fave), olives, battered veg with aioli and MORE. The menu is here – as you can see, pretty extensive and the portion sizes are really good!

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The best bit? THE DESSERT. Omg the desserts were amazing. You can only order two types of desserts as part of the all you can eat and they were both absolutely incredible. Seriously; one day I’m going to go in there and just 7 portions of these desserts for 90 minutes. Dessert one is churros (donuts dusted with sugar and served with chocolate sauce) – the donuts were warm and the chocolate gooey… honestly, they were a total dream. The second dessert was pastry bas filled with cream and served with some cream and chocolate. The pastry was really light, the crème DELICIOUS (so soft and light and taaaasty)… seriously, don’t go and not get dessert, ok?

As for the restaurant itself – it’s fine. It’s not quirky or anything and the staff are fine, but nothing special. I can’t complain about the service at all, the music was fine… you’re really there for all you can eat Tapas. SO EAT IT ALLLL.

SEE:  as I’m writing this, it’s Superbowl Sunday. Now, I don’t really give a crap about the Superbowl (analysing the adverts aside) – and, of course, the tall, hot men running about. Another sport I’m also not hugely fussed about is Basketball… again, the tall, hot men running about are about as interested as I can get.

So why the hell did I go to see the London Lions play the Worcester Wolves a couple of weeks ago? Well, my grandparents are American and we had a museum-heavy weekend, so we thought it best to include some sport in the activities so that my brother and grandpa could enjoy themselves.

However, with my grandpa being ill the whole weekend I was left with 6 tickets to the basketball and a bizarre determination to go. So, me and my grandpa’s partner, Merry, decided to suck it up and see the game.

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The game took place in the Copperbowl Arena in the Olympic Park. I’ve seen the Bulls play in Chicago and the Nicks play in New York and this was nothing. at. all. like. American. basketball. I must stress, it WAS enjoyable – the guys playing are clearly passionate and the crowd were fired up. But at the end of the day, American sports are designed around adverts and entertainment, and neither of things were present at the London Lions game. Well, aside from some English cheerleaders who couldn’t bring themselves to be as, err, American as the American cheerleaders. Does that make sense? Probably not.

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HIGHLIGHT: the London Lions have a lion mascot. I got to give him a high-five (because Merry shouted at him to come over and see me, hahaha). The game got off to a slow start but there, genuine, flashes of brilliance from both teams. There were also some really stupid mistakes made… such is sport.

Overall, it’s £10 a ticket and it’s a different way to spend the weekend. I’d say it’s worth going to see for the experience – I actually really enjoyed myself – and I’m a fan of the Hackney Wick area, especially in summer, so even if you get bored during the game, there’s plenty to explore nearby.

LISTEN: Small hands, big lies, must lose.

Donald Trump has been President for less than 3 weeks and has already been a total nightmare. So, the first week of his Presidency, I went on a march in London to protest his scaremongering misogyny and racism. Since going on the Women’s March on Jan 21st, Trump has brought in the ‘Muslim ban’, there have been countless more protests and the Muslim ban has been declared illegal. It’s hard to say if the protests have made a difference, but I think it’s essential to stand up and make your voice heard when there’s injustice of this magnitude taking place.


So why am I putting this in the ‘listen’ section of my blog post? Because I want you to listen to Tupac’s ‘Changes’. Yes yes, I’m sure you’ve heard it. But this song, recorded in 1992, bears terrifying relevance today. Things have not changed.

“Cops give a damn about a negro, Pull the trigger kill a nigga he’s a hero”
– Despite the numerous killings and shootings of innocent black people over the last 12 months, Trump has not announced any plans to address the institutional racism in America’s police force. In fact, he’s easing laws on background checks, making it easier for people to wield guns.

“I see no changes all I see is racist faces, Misplaced hate makes disgrace to races”
– Trump’s constant scaremongering has made an enemy of innocent Muslims, and pits people against each other, rather than encouraging people to work to together. Misplaced hate is SO relevant right now.

“It’s time for us as a people to start makin’ some changes.
Let’s change the way we eat, let’s change the way we live, and let’s change the way we treat each other.”

– so that’s what we’re doing. We’re protesting. We’re trying to get those in power to change, trying to get the people who voted for them to change. Trying to make the world a better place.

LOVE: How many times have you been told that ‘opposites attract’? It’s everywhere – yet, when you actually look at everyone in long-term, solid relationships, they usually have plenty of similarities.

As I’m getting older, and dating more men, I’m realising that opposites can attract, but it doesn’t usually work out. Key word there: usually. I believe that people can absolutely get on if they’re different and that there’s more that unites us (as people) than divides us. But this doesn’t usually translate when it comes to romantic relationships.

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However. My grandpa and his partner, Merry, are SO opposite in all of the areas I consider important and areas where I’d usually assume I couldn’t compromise on. They’re on opposite ends of political spectrum. Merry loves to travel, Ken does not. Like… seriously, Merry spends her life travelling and Ken just doesn’t have much desire to do so at all. Merry likes dressing up and going to nice restaurants, Ken would far rather head to a sports bar and not don a suit unless he has to. Merry adores museums, Ken isn’t a fan. Ken is a massive sports fan and Merry couldn’t be less interested.

Recipe for disaster, right? Well… no. They totally work. I don’t know how to describe it, but they even each other out. She talks and he’ll happily listen. She gives great advice and seems to make decisions about what they should do, and Ken likes letting someone else organise things. It’s those really broad personality traits that means they work well together, despite their passions and interests being opposite.

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I guess I don’t have a specific conclusion to draw from my rambling. Just that I should perhaps be a little more mindful of the fact that despite differing opinions and opposite interests, I shouldn’t totally write someone off. Because when it comes to opposites attracting, it really works for some people.

AMAZING burger pop-up, the history of the universe, Passing Clouds and what I don’t want.

9 Oct

Long time (well, kinda) no speak! I’ve been reasonably busy over the last few weeks… mainly heading on three holidays in September, so don’t feel sorry for me. But it did mean I was a bit slow updating the ol’ blog as I now have just TOO MUCH to chat about. So: I’m going to do a bit of a London update and then next week I’ll write up my September holiday highlights (Berlin and Barcelona – both places I’ve been before). Until then, enjoy reading about some of the things I’ve got up to recently!

EAT: A few months back I blogged about a Malaysian pop-up at Soho pub, the Sun and 13 Cantons. It was epic. And now, another can’t miss pop-up has taken residency in the kitchen of the Sun and 13. Chef Adam Rawson won the Slider Decider award and he’s brought his burgers to Soho for a limited time. And fuck me, they’re delicious.

If you’ve even read this blog ONCE you’ll know I’m a burger fan. So when I saw ks_ate_here (delicious food porn from around London) Instagram a gorgeous looking burger at the Sun and 13, my lunchtime was sorted. As was the lunchtime of half of the people of work with because we all follow ks_ate_here… and the Sun and 13 Cantons is about 30 seconds from my office!

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So, this is the deal: the burger above is the Pan Con Chicharron (Aged Galician patty, smoked cheddar, aji  rocotto ketchup, aji Amarillo mustard, salsa criolla & crispy pork ). The only side available (which OF COURSE I got as well) are onion rosemary and aioli chips. The chips were really good – very strong aioli, which I loved, and a generous helping of the stuff too, balanced nicely with the rosemary so it isn’t completely missed. Plus, crispy onions which are always welcome. True, no rosemary chips will ever beat Honest Burger’s in my opinion, but these were damn good.


The burger was one of the best I’ve ever had in London. The patty was thick and flavoursome – juicy so you can get a perfect bite with the brioche-esque bun, and it wasn’t overpowered by all the yummy extras. The onions were SO SO GOOD (plus, c’mon, really pretty) and the bun held together really well. One of my colleagues had the veggie options (Crispy aubergine, truffle aioli, wild rocket, gorgonzola & balsamic onions ) which looked packed and not the rubbish excuse for a burger some veggie options are – again, loads of filling and sauce, paired nicely with the right about of crispy aubergine.

Finally, anyone who tried both my burger and the Global Traveller said the Global Traveller was better. Don’t get me wrong, my burger (the Pan Con Chicharron was DAMN GOOD… but the Global Traveller is really damn good, basically. It comes with Aged Galician mince, truffle aioli, wild rocket, gorgonzola, Balsamic Onions & Pancetta.

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Go while you can, eat allllll the things and then go back again to eat everything you didn’t try first time around. It goes without saying I’ll be returning to feast on the Global Traveller burger! Burgers are between £7.50-£9 and chips are £3.50.

SEE: My Dad got me tickets to see Brian Cox live, and I found myself on a Saturday night learning about the cosmos, how many universes there are (hint: loads), learning about the big bang, how the universe is expanding and how bloody wonderful Einstein’s theory of Relatively is as a model. Plus, there were loads of stunning photographs and simulations of our solar system which I loved.

I was actually really happy to see a packed theater (about 1,200 people) paying £30 to sit and learn about physics on a Saturday night… it gives me hope that we’re not all happy with settling for dumbed-down X Factor as our Saturday night entertainment. And it WAS entertaining; Brian Cox is an engaging speaker anyway and he does a good job of making things simple enough for people to understand. I reckon I probably ‘got’ about 50% of it which, honestly, I’m very happy with! Plus, Robin Ince was there to break things up and give a little comic relief in parts, which worked well.

We were shown how a bowling ball and a feather fall in a vacuum (so, how gravity actually affects the motion of masses without pesky air resistance getting in the way). On top of this, we were told about how far back we can see in space (basically, no more than 30,8 billion years because before that point the atoms in the universe were opaque, and not transparent, so light couldn’t get out). True, I may never use that fact again. But that’s not why we learn – it’s to pique our curiosity and to have a better understanding of the world… galaxy… universe… etc.

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One of the highlights for me was the Cosmic Calendar. This is our universe, but shown as an Earth year. Basically, our galaxy has only been around since September (when Earth was formed). Complex organisms (predators, animals with eyes and teeth) evolved on December 17th (my birthday, whoop!) Dinosaurs became extinct on December 30th. And humans rocked up in the final seconds of New Years Eve. Which is a lot to get your head around and exceptionally humbling. It’s fascinating that our galaxy has been ‘stable’ (in terms of temperature and no supermassive black holes massively fucking things up) for billions of years, which is a key in factor in why life on Earth was able to evolve.

Anyway. I’m rambling and not explaining anything anywhere NEAR as clearly as Brian Cox did. But it was a great show which I’d recommend seeing – or, catch him next time he tours, for sure. It’s a great way to spend a Saturday night.

LISTEN: I went to a march a few weeks back to show Hackney Council, London and the rest of the UK that London cannot keep losing venues of such community importance as Passing Clouds. The venue was sold by their landlord to a developer who is going to strip away my favourite venue, a place with live music, poetry, dance classes, community projects, charity work and more, to be turned into yet more dull offices.

Trying to stop my spiritual home from being taken away @itspassingclouds #savepassingclouds

A post shared by Hannah (@hannahlujah123) on

So, I marched. I marched from Shoreditch to Haggerston, along with hundreds of other people, peacefully protesting the closure of the venue. We also marched to raise awareness of Passing Clouds, as they are trying one last thing: they’re applying to Hackney Council to become a listed place of community importance. Which, honestly, it is. They give up and coming artists and musicians a stage, they run soup kitchens and other charity initiatives and it’s the most inclusive and colourful/safe space I’ve found in London to go out.

If you would like to help, you can do so by simply signing the petition (for Hackney Council to list Passing Clouds as a place of community importance) here. Thank you. x

LOVE: So it’d been a fair few months since I’d been on a date (I decided to take a break and head to the gym instead), but in September I thought I’d give dating a bit of prioritisation (after food, sleep, holidays and work, lol) and I dating three different guys over the course of the month.

And in September, I realised a few things about what I want in a person. So, although I didn’t meet anyone who was right for me, I’ve learned some things which aren’t right for me. So, here those things are (mainly for my reference so I don’t make the same mistake again!)

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  • Much as I respect people’s choices, dating someone who is not only vegan, but also a tee-total anti-capitalist was a bit much, I Cannot stress enough that I have no issues with any of those things. And if he’d only been vegan/only been tee-total/only been anti-capitalist, I think it would have been fine. But as a meat eating, drinking woman who works in the advertising industry, there just wasn’t the meeting of minds that there needed to be to progress to a second date.
  • Dress sense matters. I happen to dress very colourfully and, much as I love a guy who embraces colour, I’m realistic and can happily deal with jeans and a white t-shirt. However, when someone rocks up to a date dressed like a pimp (velvet jackets, purple silk shirt, chain) AND then starts on men at the bar, it’s all a bit much. (This happened.)

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  • I hate the world spark. I really do. But if whatever physical thing you need to want to sleep with someone isn’t there, then it isn’t there. I think I have to admit that looks DO matter… what kind of looks I don’t know, but someone could have an amazing personality and want the same things as me in life… but if I don’t want to jump them, then there’s no point persevering with the dates.

So there we go. I learned a lot and had some interesting dates with some lovely men, but it just wasn’t going to work out. Onwards and upwards. Well… onwards, at least (I’m being realistic) 😉

Rotary Bar & Diner, The Box Soho, Quadron/Bear & the Woods and do first, demand later

21 Nov

It’s been a strange week. Or two. Or three. In this time period I have been to a gig which my ex attended and didn’t punch him. I was also the recipient of hug therapy. I decided upon my tattoo and have sent my ideas to the tattoo studio. I went to a Soho sex club and got so drunk I mistook a t-shirt and phone charger for fireworks (don’t ask).

EAT: I’ve had my eye on the The Rotary Bar & Diner for absolutely ages, but I don’t find myself near Old Street that often so I haven’t had a chance to sample their amazing looking Fried Chicken Roll.

diner

This is no longer the case. My friend and I rocked up, sat down and had what can only be described as an amazing burger. The burger comes with ‘dripping chips’, which are essentially fries dipped in some kind of yummy goodness to give them a bit of an aftertaste. The Fried Chicken Roll comes in a brioche bun and includes, err, fried chicken, lettuce, red onions, American cheese and bun sauce (not sure what was in it, by my god was it good).

mess

The burger and fries are £12 and totally worth it. Unsurprisingly it didn’t really go with the rose wine we also had, but the oreo cheesecake we shared afterwards did. I have to admit, the oreo cheesecake wasn’t as good as it should have been –  the portion is big, but doesn’t taste of oreo or any kind of chocolate.

oreo

Should warn you that the service wasn’t particularly astounding. Everything took a very long time to come and there just weren’t enough people to cope with the diners. On the plus side, when the food did come it was awesome. Definitely worth going for a bite to eat – but hurry. It’s due to close in around 30 days so head over there as soon as possible!

SEE: I went to The Box in Soho and it. was. awesome. I was there for a Twitter event and as soon as I walked in with my work colleagues I was given a ginger cocktail of some sort and ushered into the main room.

The Box is essentially ” a place of mystique, mystery and sexual openness”. Before any of the speakers came on to the stage, a hoop was lowered from the ceiling and a performer in flesh coloured underwear climbed inside and twirled around for 10 minutes. Y’know – did the splits, looked sexy, lalalalala. the speakers included Alistair Campbell and the Creative Director currently putting together the strategy for Virgin Galactic and… some crap comedian.

After they’d done their bit, the open bar was pounced on and the entertainment began. The things I remember are hazy, but I know that the show was extravagant and ‘indecent’. There was an amazing singer basically followed around the room by burlesque dancers. This was followed by a ripped guy in tight pants gyrating on stage – who then proceeded to get into a hoop and gyrate some more (gymnastics stylee). The final act was sexy and very surreal. A woman comes on stage, dances a bit and then does a head stand. When she spreads her legs, there’s a head down there. As in –  a mannequin’s head, attached to her underwear, to look as though her pelvis it its neck.

She essentially walked around the stage on her hands, using her legs as arms and freaking everybody out. However, when she stripped off and started pretending to get intimate with the head between her legs… well, I was going to stay she started to turning everyone on, but I think everyone was probably too drunk to comprehend what was actually happening, let alone want to get involved.

Anyway, the place also has a beautiful carpeted hallway and staircase, dimly lit and leads to the secret room upstairs. I didn’t go in because this area is reserved for specially invited guests, who on a usual night at The Box are specially selected to watch a more ‘adult’ show.

Needless to say the place certainly has an atmosphere. The entertainment was one of a kind and not what you’d expect to find behind the unassuming wooden doors in a small Soho alleyway. If you get the chance to go inside, do so. It’s an interesting place to have a wild night.

LISTEN: I went to two gigs last week, so I’m going to post a short, SHORT summary of each followed by a video for your viewing pleasure.

First up: Quadron. Last time I saw Quadron Coco (lead singer) wasn’t anywhere near as sassy and confident on stage as she is now. She engages with the crowd more. She more sure of the songs and herself. The band now know how to put on a first class show. The music was amazing and Coco’s voice was faultless. The music can be best described as electro-soul. The tunes are catchy and the one below is from their new album Avalanche.

I also went to go and see a band called Bear & the Woods who describe themselves as Folk’n’Roll. The thing that strikes you about Bear & the Woods is how ‘real’ they are. On stage they drink, they cheer, they get the crowd involved – they love what they do but they also love interacting with the people they’re doing it for. Their lyrics are also insanely relate-able: they’re one of those bands where you can pick a particular line from any one song and it’s going to make an impression on you. Buoyancy Aids is a song which is written with a sense of humour: “I’m not clever and I’m not all there, I look a bit mental and I hope you don’t care. I can’t write songs and my lyrics are shit and half the time I’m stoned off my tits”. Trust me, the guys can write. Their first video is below.


LOVE: When people talk about love, sex, relationships the phrase “it’s all about give and take” is often thrown around. However, I’ve decided my attitude to sex needs a different line.

The line is: don’t think you’re entitled to anything unless you’re willing to provide it too.

(Yes I’m sure there’s a far better way to phrase that, but meah). Let me explain.

I once had a guy tell me that the only ‘demand’ he makes of women he sleeps with is that ‘they’re shaved’ (met him on Tindr, obviously did not sleep with him I’d just like to clarify). No problem. However when I tested him and said that’s all I demand too, the idea of him shaving off his leg hair, pubic hair and armpit hair (funnily enough) didn’t thrill him. Now, it’s not that I actually would have demanded that. But my point is that you absolutely cannot demand something of someone if you’re not willing to do the same.

Another example. The number of women I have spoken to, or overheard on the train, moaning about how they went down on their guy and then he didn’t return the favour. It amazes me when a guy is absolutely ecstatic when a gal gives head but doesn’t even make the offer of doing the same to you. Not only is it shitty of them and unfair, but it’s absolutely never going to result in good sex.

Basically: I’ll do what you want. Not a problem. Make your demands as crazy as you like. But you’ve just gotta promise that you’ll do it first. There’s an irritating number of guys and gals who’ll make demands and never volunteer. If you’re stuck with someone like this then there’s only one thing to say to them:

 

Eat/See/Listen/Love: 16/11/12

16 Nov

I’m useless at posting on here. I honestly don’t know where the times goes. That’s a lie, I totally do – I waste it doing things like my ‘Ultimate Bucket List’. I basically found a website called DreamBigly and added about 50 things to my ‘Life List’. These range from do a skydive and walk with lions (check, check) to own a house or see Lion King Sing-A-Long (why will NO-ONE come with me?!)

The site is in beta at the moment, but if it ever actually works (the link to my page doesn’t at the moment) I’ll post it.

EAT: On pay day this month I splashed out a bit and went to Mildred’s in Soho. Mildred’s is a vegetarian restuarant which also does a takeaway service. Dear GOD the food in there looked amazing. Quiches, salads, frittata – all made with the most incredible looking, fresh ingredients. As you probably know by now, I’m obsessed with halloumi, so I went for their halloumi burger and sweet potato chunky fries (£7 for all of it takeaway). True, the waiter handed my the wrong bag and I ended up going back to the office with some Mexican goodness – but after returning it to Mildred’s I was very quickly served and they begged forgiveness, etc etc.

The burger was awesome. It had a really zesty relish in there, halloumi perfectly golden brown, wholemeal bun slightly toasted with fresh salad and caramalised onions inside. The fries were sprinkled with spring onion and rock salt which made them taste SO good. I didn’t even need ketchup with the meal I enjoyed it that much. Trust me, that’s saying something. The place may be a little pricey, but when you take into account the quality of the ingredients and the fact it’s Soho, it really isn’t that bad at all.

SEE: I think, possibly, I might be coming around to the idea of visiting Australia. It has never appealed to me before, but with my old house mate and other friend out there (true, they’re only a Skype away) it’s becoming a little more appealing. Great Barrier Reef, Sydney, some great wildlife… I’m not excited/intrigued enough about the place to put it on the bucket list, but it’s something to think about.

LISTEN: Before he released an album, Kid Cudi put out the ‘A Kid Named Cudi’ mix tape. It’s approximately a million times better than any one of his albums – a lot of the songs on the mix aren’t well recognised at all. I’ve recently rediscovered it (I originally played it to death in my first year of Uni) and I thought I’d post a couple of stand out tracks for you.


If I slip away/If I die today/The last thing you remember won’t be about some apple bottom jeans/With the boots/With the fur/Baby how I dreamed of being free since my birth”

LOVE: It’s been an interesting couple of days. My ex invited me to meet him this week, so I agreed, hoping this would see us slowly starting to become friends after not the nicest break up in the world. We met in a bar and these two men started chatting to us. One guy was bragging about how he’d got a girl’s number, despite the fact he was married, so naturally I decided he was an absolute dick and let him know so.

Anyway it threw up a really interesting conversation about fidelity. The guy argued that it just isn’t in men’s nature to be faithful. Fine, I argued, then they shouldn’t get themselves into monogamous relationships if they’re just going to cheat. Just, you know, DON’T date someone who cares about you if you’re going to be unfaithful and break their heart. Makes sense in my mind, right?

Then we went on to what counts as cheating. Kissing, sex – all crossing the line. My ex (while he was with me) went to a rather infamous sex themed hotel in Brighton. He went with another girl. As ‘friends’ apparently. Obviously I didn’t know it was that hotel in particular otherwise I would have gone MENTAL. He also went to a nudist spa with her. He thinks all of this was totally normal behaviour. After we broke up and I found all of this out I asked him why he didn’t tell me about going to the spa with her. He said “I went to Brighton Pier too, but I didn’t mention that because it’s not important. Same with the spa”.

Seriously guys, I actually had to explain to him how fucked up this reasoning is. The guys at the table with us thought this was crossing the line (well, duh). Which I think threw my ex a bit because one of these guys was a total prick, so to even have him on my side kinda proved the point absolutely.

Anyway; I think the whole concept of fidelity is, of course, not black and white. Open relationships, totally fine with that. But if you get yourself into a monogamous relationship, that means no cheating. One of the guys I was sat with bluntly told me that as I get older (he was about 35) I’ll realise all guys cheat. He said that 90% of his married friends were in happy relationships, but they’d still cheated – but their wives didn’t know, so y’know, it’s cool. Pffft. That’s a very depressing thought and one I’d rather not become accustomed to.

What do you think? Would you rather believe you’re in a happy and faithful relationship, or would you rather know the truth? Personally I’m a big fan of the truth, despite how much it hurts sometimes. Something to ponder.