Monday, 30 December 2013

Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes How do you measure, measure a year? In daylights, in sunsets In midnights, in cups of coffee or my year in Meetup

So 2013 comes to an end , life has changed so much over the past 12 months . I changed jobs at work learned to drive and dipped a tentative toe into the world of internet dating. However more than anything i got out and met up , dressed up , met people , made some great friends and met some lovely people and boogied the night away I saw parts of the day I'd forgotten existed and stumbled out of taxis in the wee small hours, braved night buses and made mad dashes to Euston station. So in a spirit of reflection this was my year in Meet Up

23 x sorties in fancy dress
2 x braving roller disco
2 x canal festivals
7 quiz nights
2 lots of bingo
1 ghost bus tour
9 x trips to the Theatre
1 to the O2
2 lots of Zombies
lots of face paint
31 trips out with Watford Social
31 with Alternative Nightlife

How do you measure a year indeed?

Maybe in Decades

For example my first meetup with Alternative nightlife was the Leyshon Brothers which was Victorian so 1837 -1901

Next in chronological order was  a trip to the 1920's in fact more than 1 in fact 1920's must be in fashion as

Black Cotton Club
Die Freche Muse
Herr Kettners Cabaret

all covered the 1920's  with music , dancing , cabaret and  general air of decadence

Blitz Party did double duty for the 1930's and 1940's swing dancing the night away in some atmospheric railway tunnels

1950's was covered by Joe's Camden , a few drinks to some tunes in a 50's bar

1960's was somewhat more problematic however did listen twice to a very good cover band the Slaves at a local pub which played music from the Beetles and the Stones

1970's was covered by several visits to Disco Inferno at Watford Colloseum

1980's was covered by a visit to Cannon Street to Strictly Electric 80's dreams and a step back to 1984 with Future Cinema as I stepped back into the realm of Ghostbusters

How do you measure a year? In inches, in miles, in laughter, in strife
In five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes
How do you measure, measure a year in the life?

In fancy dress costumes maybe

January we had a quiet Month on the fancy dress
February 2nd I joined Alternative Nightlife and started as I meant to go on with something vaguely victorian or a pair of braces o-:-)

Slow to get going March saw a trip to a Tikki bar and a Hawaian theme shirt

April saw a trip back into the 1970's with Disco Inferno

May was a missed opportunity with no fancy dress opportunities at all

June however made up for a slow start to the year with:

1) The Black Rabbit at Rumpus
2)RAF at Blitz Party 

3)A trip back to the Circus as a Ringmaster/ Lion

4 and a trip back to Disco Inferno

July saw a touch of Vintage Glamour with Black Cotton Club and Die Freche Muse 

August was again quiet 
September however was another bumper month

1) with Zombie Karaoke 

2) International talk like a Pirate Day

3) another trip to the Circus as a Zebra / Ringmaster
4) and a touch of Japanese for Imaginarium  as a sailor/tiger

October being the Month of Halloween saw a Myriad of Costuming opportunities

1) Zombie number 2 at World Zombie Day 

2) Something vaguely Fashionable at the Katzenjammer club
3)Leopard/Robin Hood at the :Last Tuesday Society 
4) Zombie Steampunk  Highlander Redcoat Soldier at White Mischief

November saw a few late Halloween shenanigans with

A fox / Hunstman at TG
Another trip to the Circus this time as a Ringmaster / Leopard
a vaguely germanic soldier at Herr Kattners

December saw a final pair of outings

with a Huntman at the 5th Anarcho Dandyist Ball

something vaguely inspired by Magnum PI for Future Cinema
and a schoolboy for School Disco in Watford Colloseum

So a mere 23 opportunities to slip into costume and be someone else for the night

Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes
Five hundred twenty-five thousand journeys to plan
Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes
How do you measure the life of a woman or a man?

How else to measure my year in Meetup 

In competitions?

1 lot of Boogie Bowling
 7x Quiz Nights
Butchery and Musical Bingo 

In truths that she learned
Or in times that he cried
In bridges he burned
Or the way that she died
In Music or Theatre

This year I saw through Meet Up

The Bodyguard
War Horse
Singing in the Rain
Eddie Izzard
Westside Story
Perfect Match
Robin Hood

I saw the Slaves twice, Romeos Daughter and went to Rockeoke and performed my first ever public kareoke performances twice both time Bon Jovi and both times in Fancy Dress

Or Festivals 

2 x food Festivals , 2 x Canal Festivals, a Beer Festival and Notting Hill Carnival 

 or how about through  the medium of Dance

2 x Roller Disco  evening of Swing Dancing

or How about some Random events

2 trips to the Zoo 1 to the Science Museum an Evening of list making and 1 or Film Soundtracks and a day of listening to hits from West End Shows in Trafalgar square , a night of Erotic readings and trip on a Ghost Bus  a Literary Death Match and the Funeral of Jack the Ripper

Inumerable nights in the pub or bar

It's time now, to sing out
Though the story never ends
Let's celebrate
Remember a year in the life of friends

And on that note we come tomorrow and the Years End  with a Black and White Ball at Bodegas with Friends

From Loseville to a night at the Ball it's been one hell of a Journey and 1 hell of a year.

5th Anarcho-Dandyist ball

I wasn't going to go to this event but I'm glad I did. We got their slightly after 9. The event was at the Bloomsbury Ballroom which is  my most frequently visited  venue I've been to with Alternative nightlife. Despite the fact that it's basically a large box it always feels slightly different. Some of this is down to them letting us in via different entrances maybe the rest is down to the layout.

This ball felt a smaller more intimate space than normal  maybe because the other bar was shut and maybe because of the tables dotted round the outside. It felt like stepping into a scene from a PG Wodehouse novel. The only anachronisms were the occasional camera phone and the range of clothing .It was all vintage but it ranged from the Victorian explorer in his pith helmet to a sole RAF officer.

The entertainment started with 2 dancers , rendered slightly amusing by the fact we had inadvertently heard them  discussing their routine  "backstage" as we queued to get in .

Which reminds me as we came in from the cloak room we bumped into " Viv the Spiv"  An authentic WW 2 South London So if who I'd seen around at previous WW 2 events. He offered to sell the ladies in our group some nylons personal fitting thrown in for free.

The crowd was warmed up by the third member of Terpsichore a cheeky chalky in loud check jacket and a Sun helmet. He started the crowd off with a Charleston  then proceeded to get every one doing the Lambeth Walk compelled by a conga line which several of our party joined in.

Then their was a bit of general dancing  of t he swing dancing . Some of the more talented proponents  of which could be on the dangerous side if you weren't on your guard. With arms and legs flying about at quite a fast pace.

After that we were treated to a rendition from Sir Henry at Rawlison' s End . My hat goes off to Mike Livesley who peformed a half an hour at least of comic monologue complete with changes of , costume, character and accent  as well as various songs with musical accompaniment including two instruments which I'd never seen before. One involving a hose pipe and a funnel and another which was a distant relation to the accordion family which appeared to have started life as a wooden drawer.
Unfortunately he wad let down by his microphone and the general background noise from seven eigths  of the attendees who weren't paying attention.

This was even more s shame because when he switched  from his head mike to the free standing mike for a rousing rendition of ginger geezer he was very audible.

After this masterpiece a short while later we had a wobbly knee competition which was keenly contested

Next up was Mr B the Gentleman Rhymer who brought a very funny British sensibility to Hip Hop. His version was called Chap Hop and was all about scones, cricket, wearing tweed and the sartorial faux pas of buttoning the bottom button of your waist coat

I highly recommended you check him out on You tube.

He had the crowd eating out of his hand with his Banjulele playing. Especially his intepretation of early 90's rave music :)

It was an enjoyable evening and highly recommended.

Unfortunately the wonderful system which our Train network was playing up so I had to leave like Cinderella at Midnight arriving at Euston  at 12.15 just in time to sit on the 11.44 train for 15 minutes while someone pulled the emergency cord and then sit for 5 minutes 10 minutes out of Euston while someone again pulled the emergency cord after  which I can only assume the offending individual was ripped to shreds by his or her fellow passengers who were anxious to get home . Finally got home just after 1:00 having spent  about 50% as much time travelling as I did at the venue.

However it was well worth it .

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Zombie Walk 12th October

Myself  and 3 intrepid companions took to the streets of London  along with 1997 other people approximately to walk from Marble Arch to Denmark Street dressed as zombies and raise some mony for St Mungos Homeless charity.

We set off from Watford Junction having rendezvoused there. Me and my friend Heken had walked as Zombies from her house. I felt a little guilty as we'd made a small child cry just by walking past him.

Although as you can see we were a fairly scary bunch

We proceeded to Marble arch gathering ? vote zombies as we went.
Marble Arch itself  was a sea of zombies of all shapes and sizes from zombie Jesus to zombie Winnie the pooh via zombie decorators and zombie  parrots.

The zombie walk is basically a long fancy dress pub crawl combined with a chance to scare the be need is out of the tourists.
While waiting for  the off our small group managed to find out what it must be like to be a celebrity.

Maybe we looked more approachable than most or maybe it was our location but we got flooded with requests to have our photo taken.
Including by a very straight laced looking Asian matriarch. Which goes to show you shouldn't judge a book by its cover.

The walk itself was  between various waypoints. A waypoint was an opportunity to head for the nearest hostility . Given numbers this was a mad dash to be through the door first and to the bar before the rest of the Z o mbie swarm.

At one point our Watford Zombie cohort got pecking so when we reached Piccadilly circus we made a break for the nearest Macdonald s.

I resisted asking for brains from the server who took a mini invasion by zombies in his stride. Mainly on the principle of don't ask don't tell. Macdonald may contain things you don't want to study too closely . So why tempt fate. It was a somewhat surreal experience.

We had nt got our tickets for the after party so we  left the main horde drinking in Leicester square and made a dash to Denmark street and the intrepid fox.

To get our tickets before the main rush.

The intrepid fox has always intrigued me and the interior matches the exterior. It's a proper metallers pub.

At the pub we had a few drinks saw a live band upstairs.

We finished our zombie experience with a trip  to the church opposite  where we listened to some more live music which had several lyrics you wouldn't expect in a church but it was all for a good cause so respect to them for being flexible and open minded.

We finished the day with a trip to KFC in Leicester square another somewhat surreal experience but very satisfying after a hard days zombieing.

Monday, 2 December 2013

Inspired by Literary death match and a conversation on the way home from it

To the tune of Ruby don't take your love to Town

Outer greater Zone 8 London Blues

The end of the night
Is drawing near
It's the early hours in London
But it's another hour of traveling till my beds in sight
The shadow on the wall
Tells m e it's the beginning of the day
So Boris
Send the tube my way

I could of course
Go out in Watford sure
An occasional trip is fun
But London has so much more
And yes it's true
That in 2015 the tube  Will run 24 hours a day
But still the tube won't run my way.

It's hard to get home now
There's a nightbus to Stanmore
But it's still an hour's travelling and  a 20 quid taxi
Till I get to my door
It's so hard to get around
So Boris
Send the all night tube to Watford town

The last train from Euston' s heaving
And you have to sit on the floor
It's 2013 in the nation's capital
A 2am last train is poor
And if I could move I'd leave zone 8
Somewhere with a24hr tube line would be great
So Boris
Send the tube my way
Even watford 's own nightbus
Woul d  really make my day

Monday, 21 October 2013

Katzenjammer Saturday 19th October 2013

So Katzenjammer was a little bit of a late decision to attend as I had a family do int the daytime and didnt know if I would be able to make it or not. Fortunately the family do turned out to be at lunchtime although it was in Wokingham so timing was always going to be a bit tight.I barely made the 8:03 from Watford with seconds to spare . Now those of you who have met me out and about know that i have a slight flamboyant trending towards exhibitionist streak alongside a bit of a creative side. Because I find it hard to find stuff my size fr fancy dress I tend to have to improvise.  This time I decided to sortie with my yellow Blazer (former labcoat died yellow  with trim added from a very fetching scalloped blue underwear elastic.) I have recently been experimenting with dying stuff in a quest to create a redcoat uniform for White Mischief . The results of that were shall we say interesting if not sucessful.  I decided to try some machine die with the aim of turning a white  labcoat yellow . Think Hi de hi  which was my intention. Although i now need to find a 1960s styled event to wear it to . Also I may wear it for school disco in December as   a "blazer". If you want to stand out in a crowd how do you manage it when everyones in "uniform"  Wear bright yellow is  the answer.

Anyway on to the event . Apartment 58 was a nice little bar the emphasis on little. There may well be appartment's of a similar size. The event wasn't bad to be honest. It was the launch night and the first time the venue had done something of this kind. There was nothing wrong with the content at all. It was interesting and varied what it wasn't always was visible. I missed at least one act queuing for a drink and abandoned my place at the bar to see another act , which meant i'd wasted half an hour of queueing time.

The best thing about the event by far was the music because by the time it played the crowd had thinned and the staff cleared the floor somewhat. The venue was billed as multi floor which was technically true. In that there was a basement with the toilets and cloakroom and a balcony which was restricted to a private party who oversaw the proceedings like a drunken Statler and Waldorf.

From a personal point of view it was a mixed evening. Nothing to do with the entertainment. A young lady  expressed an  interest in me  which hasn't happened when out and about since I was at university while i was dressed as a crayon. (don't ask I was in a sports team we did these things,although it may explain my slight fetish (who am i kidding large fetish for fancy dress) ) Then I was a perfect gentlemen  and didn't even try and give Sarah  the young lady even a good night kiss (something I regretted as there was looking back there was an opportunity) although we did go on a few dates that didn't go anywhere.  At Katzenjammer I think i may have swung much a bit too far in the opposite direction in terms shall we say public displays of affection. Fortunately a good friend stopped me from doing anything I would regret. The young lady in question (actually she was probably at least my age but i'm in denial about my age) was being very affectionate but I suspect her level of alcohol consumption meant anyone male would do which I observed later in the evening. So the evening was  bittersweet, leaving me frustrated, confused , feeling a bit guilty and more than a little relieved. It would to be nice to think that the young lady would have liked something long term but i suspect she was just out to scratch an itch which left me also feeling slightly used. Oh well you can but chalk it up to experience. Sometimes it does feel like I'm doing a lot of the thing this year I should have done when I was 18.

Sunday, 29 September 2013

The Story so far....

Warning this post contains soul searching

So it's been about  a year since I decided  to try and get out of my shell and change things up.

About this time last year I'd just had a week's holiday at home. A week spent mostly on my own where I did some soul searching.

I realised that I had very few friends  locally and none to go out with .That the last time I'd been out on a Saturday night was 3 years ago. Having been mugged just before leaving university  I d stopped going out after dark where I could help it. Mostly subconsciously. I hadn't been on a date  in 8  years again not much opportunity when you don't get out a lot .

 Plus my mugger had been a 5 ft something female drug addict armed with a broken bottle s which had given me issues  with going out but also meeting females. Plus it had shaken my confidence as a bloke being mugged by a female doesn't help your ego. Even if you know deep down that someone hopped up on drugs and prepared to gouge your face we with a broken bottle  is going to be a challenge whatever your size.

I hadn't been on holiday for a while since my holiday company reserved right to Chuck overweight people off the coach.i just couldn't risk the embarrassment.

So it's a year later not having been out to London for a night out I'm now a regular for nights out in London.
I 've made some great new friends. Which have been a lifeline. Last Halloween I went out on my own Fed up of being stuck inside with no one to do things  with. This year I'm hosting a meet up..

So 've lost over 2 stone, learnt to drive , changed jobs in an upward direction. Despite being petrified no one would employ  me because I'm too fat. Mostly down to my dad telling me at the age of around 20 that no one would employ fat people as they were fat and useless. He was trying to encourage me to lose weight in his own way.

Lots of changes my weight is the last barrier I need to deal with.

I was at event recently last night in fact and I had a lot of time to think when I was on my own . I'm never going to be one of the sexy beautiful people. Is it worth trying , will I ever find someone , am i destined to remain alone.

 I 've tried dating this past year and been on about 8 first dates and one second date. The second date I was really hoping would  turn into a third.  With someone who I thought it might work out  with . This possibility since December got me through a lot of first dates which didn't get anywhere. However months of hope were dashed last Thursday.

Modern internet dating is cruel . You can chat with someone for weeks even months. Then first date  and they don't like the look of you and that is it. No more contact in a lot of cases, not even a sorry there's no chemistry.

I have  come to somewhat of a dead end. I've  exhausted my possible contacts online and emailing another 40 or 50  women hoping to strike a rapport seems daunting at this point.

As for meeting someone in an another way  I tend to automatically friend zone  my female acquaintances convinced that they don't find me attractive. If they did they'd probably have to use a skywriter to get my attention.

As for meeting someone in a club my lack of confidence combines with my chivalrous bent. I do sometimes wish i was a bit more of a cad or at least more confident.

I am kind of stuck on what to do next. Part me is considering giving it all up.That there is no point and that no will ever find me attractive

There is one possibility Club Indulge which is apparently for larger folk or though I suspect it is mostly for BBW  . i'm a little scared of the idea of going it alone and as a last resort that either I still wont find someone or i will bottle it and not talk to anyone

Monday, 23 September 2013

A life on the Ocean Wave - International Talk Like a Pirate Day at Bar & Co

This was a very pleasant evening that could have been a great one.

First the negatives , despite being in Time Out only a couple of dozen people attended by the time I left. Secondly the first DJ who was one of the DJ 's who plays want they want despite requests and had decided that 3am chill out music was the way to fill the dance floor. Given that she'd had  a couple of dozen people to work with  and they were making requests it should have been easy . Give people what they've requested and people are going to dance .
Thirdly at a very  early part of the evening I recieved a it's not me it's you text from someone I thought I'd had reasonable chance of establishing a relationship and previously had chemistry with. Not really helped the fact that it was very practical if not tactful and was along the lines of "it's mostly you." This meant that the night would have to have had free rum and real mermaids to cheer me up and allow me to have a good time. However the company was pleasant and the second DJ took my request and played Living on a Prayer by Bon Jovi a song guaranteed to cheer me up   and get me on the dance floor. (pirate boots are very good for pivoting and heel tapping by the way )  Other song guranteed to have the same effect are "wake me up me up before you go go " by Wham and  "Don't stop me now" by Queen  what can i say I'm a child of the 80's .

Anyway the evening was partially saved by the company very pleasant and fun and we must have made a fine sight travelling in convoy in costume from Euston. We chatted with some of the other attendees . One who i met as a Gypsy at Dark Circus two nights later. It's  a small world. The stunning views and the location a genuine converted sailing ship of some kind possibly a large sailing barge.

Oh the shark babe has such pretty teeth, dear And he shows them pearly white 12th September It's Your Funeral

It's Your Funeral was the  absolute  opposite of my previous spur of the moment event. I'd wanted to go on a previous occasion bit was put off by the time it would take to get there according to the National Rail website, over an hour from Euston to Bethnal Green.  As a resident of Outer Greater North London zone 27 or Watford as us locals call it my geographical knowledge of London is still growing. I really wanted to try this event so investigated further and found the websites estimate included over an hour to get from Euston to Liverpool Street possibly by crawling .

Now knowing that all i needed to do was get on the Central line I set off.  All I knew was that it was similar in some way to the New Orleans Jazz style funeral, mourning as a celebration rather than a sad event. What it turned out to be was  good ole I suppose cabaret or maybe vaudeville mostly themed around the Funeral of the great but unlamented Jack the Ripper

First up was the suitably creepy compere Bang Crosby to introduce the acts

 The first act was a mime a creepy monochrome monster of a mime.  Not bad mimes are creepy even when they're not trying so one that's actually trying to be creepy was particularly effective.

Next up we had a songstress Carmen Mon Oxide who had a wonderful voice

Then we had a very random act. A window washer who to strains of George Fornby  proceeded to down the contents of his windowlene bottles having mimed washing some windows. This ability to consume large amounts of liquids in a short space of time must be a staple of cabaret as I saw Chrisylis do something this time with "a bottle of wine" while dressed as a pig at Dark Circus. I guess it's just packaged differently and I suppose the mock suicide attempt fitted with the macabre theme. I've seen an act somewhere possibly from a film with a man and a broom allegedly sweeping the stage and then turning it into an act. Answers on a postcard if you can tell me where.... I guess the idea here was the same something to fill a gap while there was a costume change or something happening behind the scenes. Well I hope this was the case  other wise the poor lad really needs to work on his act.

Next up we had the Late Night Shop cabaret collective who I could easily follow round London just going to events they're attending formy alternative fix. having  seen them 2 or maybe 3 times if it was them doing a really creepy lending library at Rumpus.

They did a comic skit with Jack the Ripper stalking  a prostitute complete with authentic period teeth .It had  a feel of a silent movie or mime because of the  actors movements  big telegraphed and very amusing . With Jack pulling various implements out of his bag being caught doing so and then having to mime hammering down the floor boards or pull out his own teeth with pliers in order to allay the suspicions of his intended victim. He succeeds in murdering her and disembowels her pulling out a string of sausages.

We then had a dramatic monologue by Tom Baker who peformed it with verve, elan and applomb.  He gave us with great stye the   Ballad of Mad Carew or The Green Eye of the Little Yellow God .

You may have heard the opening words before  I have although I'm  not sure how or when. Having thought about it I may have heard it playe on a loop long with such things as Albert on the Lion on my radio headset on a flight somewhere. 

There’s a one-eyed yellow idol to the north of Kathmandu,
There’s a little marble cross below the town;
There’s a broken-hearted woman tends the grave of Mad Carew,
     And the Yellow God forever gazes down

It is set in Nepal ("to the north of Kathmandu"), during the British Raj and tells the tale of a wild young officer known as "Mad Carew", who steals the "green eye" of a "yellow god" (presumably an emerald in a gold statue) in order to impress his beloved. He is wounded in the course of the robbery, and later murdered, presumably by a devotee of the god for the theft, who returns the jewel to the idol 

Tom Baker would have been fine on his own but his words were given dramatic emphasis by a lady playing that most difficult of instruments a saw. Her accompaniment  was perfectly timed and had just the right emphasis and the two of them were probably the best act of the evening

At some point we also had a rendition of Mack the Knife , actually I believe it was while waiting for the main act to start right at the beginning. We also had the  Rum Buffalo Funeral Band  
playing musc on and off throguhout the night as an accompaniment to when Jacks coffin arrived and then at interval throughout the evening.

We also had Snake Fervour another act which I saw similar at Dark Circus which obviously has a very high pain threshold and a grim determination to let everyone know about it. It was  a hide behind the sofa peek through your fingers act . She proceeded to stub cigarettes out on her tongue walk on razor blades and hang a heavy bag off her self via hooks inserted in parts of her face. Not something to watch with you local health and safety officer.

Next we had Jaz Delorean who handled the accordion with skill and half hadme wanting to rush out and buy one of my own.

He proceeded to put a "spell on us" before playing us a ballard of losing his love to a Gypsy King. His voice was so gravelly Network Rail could use it to resurface their trackbed

Mary Beth Morossa was up next. A story teller, performance artist, dancer difficult to categorise. She to a taped monologue telling us the Story of Edward and Virginna  proceded
to act out of a young girl walking home at night , a shadowy figure stalking her, their encounter and it's tragic end. All via the medium of dance the encounter was equated to a tango it's movements more macarbe than sensual. You could almost see the london fog and her shoes evoked high heels on cobbles as she tap danced. Another standout performance.

The last performance I saw before I had to make a mad dash for the underground was the Fabulous Bakewell Boys . (a play on the fabulous Baker Boys) They were two comedians from oop North  possibly Yorkshire but Bakewell is in Derbyshire so I'm not too sure. For some reason they had on burberry balaclavas?? or some kind of mask.  They're comedy was very amusing and all the better  for avoiding trying to be rude. Their act was two nice but dim Northern lads. An eccles cake short of  a picnic perhaps . They  were very amusing with a comedy fire eaters act and  the odd comic song.

The night was more macabre comedy than actual New Orleans style funeral but all the better for it.

If the opportunity arises I will definitely be going again even if i have to suggest it on meetup myself

I think this may be one that like Dark Circus will become a regular feature on the calendar.
  the l

Velvet Tongue

    This was a rather spur of the moment decision . I'd spent the weekend  and August had been a quiet period for my adventures . As regular followers of my blog might have noticed.. I know there's at least one of you.  So is probably mentally editing this as she reads :) (I blame the kindle.)

    My day had not been going well as with an uncanny sense of timing I'd decided to combine breaking in some new boots with work giving a pedometer to all staff as a healthy living which may be slightly floored as they have introduced a competitive element but minimal  oversight. I suspect several staffs dogs will be getting a new collar accessory over the coming weeks. Personally i wil treat it as an opportunity to do more exercise . To cut a long  story short by the time work finished I'd acquired 3 blisters and  a limp. So I decided to  head for home rather than hop on a train for a change of shoes. Having missed Herts pride at the weekend  and having regretted it  having heard great things about it I decided to head out.

   Having had dinner some painkillers some plasters  and a change of shoes I set off with 40 minutes to get from my closest station to Shoreditch.The gods of transport smiled on me and  a little judicious use of online bus planners meant I made it to Bar Kick  by 7.35.

   Bar Kick was a I guess a table football bar. It had a vague continental cafe bar feel. Reinforced by the fact they sold Orangina. However having followed a chalked notice and slipped behind a curtain I entered a whole different world.  As my money was taken by a lady in nipple tassels I wondered if the bar patrons knew what was happening  beneath their feet.

The actor kicked off with a man doing a reverse cross dressing striptease transforming from a naked man to a fully dressed women.It was well done in time to the music and with subtle touches of humour. Alas twas the highlight of the evening

You know how their are comedians who equate being rude with being funny well this show equated being naked with being erotic.  Some comedians get away with it and I'm sure some acts do to alas their weren't any in that night.

   We had a couple of clothed acts . A diary reading  Sorry an erotic reading by some guy  which ran too long by a considerable margin and  a lady who heavily influenced by cabaret
performed a silly song  with the help of 4 audience members. The crux of her act was that in English Whoopie can mean  sex and also a whoopie cushion. So she invited members to volunteer to help her make whoopie.

We also had a brace of transexuals . Whose act was basically  suprise I'm not a man anymore!! The first was apparently a Jewish man  Lazlo Perlman  he came on and proceeded to seek to confirm every positive  stereotype of the wisecracking new york jew. He gave out donuts to all the Jews in the audience and thenwhen those ran out to anyone who  wanted one. He then told us stories of his childhood and his mum . Who would seem to have her picture next to the dictionnary definition of sexual liberation. He told us some other stories of his life growing up as a Jew  .  He was quite amusing and gradually removed his clothing for his big reveal that he was no longer a man.

The other transexual recited a poem about "no one loving a fairy when she's forty " it was quite tragic really

This was in the second half which was open mike time. The amateurs were a mixed bunch including a german who told a story about baking being racist and had  a carrot up his ass which he used to stir his drink.

A man who very matter factedly told us he was a sadist and  recited us some poems which were fairly brutal.

The evening was I suppose all embracing and it was nice to provide people with a safe environment  the felt they could share in but I dont think I'll be going back for round 2

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Musical Bingo

Apart from the kids song I am stumped on a song relating to bingo. Suggestions on a post card please.

Now my previous exposure to musical bingo had been at a local pub competing for a pint glass full of pound coins. So I had the basic premise you heard a song and ticked  it off your bingo card.

However I'd heard interesting things about this version that made the one I'd played seem like a pale imitation, a greying faded photo copy.

So work having finished I hopped  on the train and headed for Euston and then Old street. This was my first venture into Shoreditch proper. It turned out I was a little early and they weren't letting people  in . So I decided to wander round Shoreditch. More specifically Box park which had been recently on the Apprentice.  As the idea had been suggested as a solution to the relocation of Watford market I was particularly interested..
Now Box Park seems a very good place to find an ethically sourced , hand crafted statue of an elephant, or vintage fashion but I find it difficult to  visualise of someone buying 3 pounds of spuds from a shipping container.

Anyway back to the musical bingo. The event was at a basement basement bar Concrete and  I could not accuse them of false advertising . There was a lot of concrete and exposed ducting. It was sods law that on one of the hottest days of the year so far. I was spending the evening in a slightly damp windowless basement .

We were still a little early so we got a sneak peak at the gospel choir that was doing round 2. The decor was  sort of Italian bistro crossed with military bunker. Lots of as i mentioned before concrete and also exposed pipework.  Our table was a long plywood one with a couple of  communal benches which wouldn't have looked out of place in a soup kitchen but is probably cutting edge shabby chic.

Now the bingo rounds were themed , the three rounds were weather, religion and  music from round the world. Prizes were for one line , two lines , three lines and full house.

There was a hostess compering, whose name escapes me but apparently there are 3 on rotation who take it in turn. For each round she changed into an appropriate costume ranging from nun to holiday maker.

Musical Bingo is like the name says on the tin bingo with music what added the fun factor was what happened when you got a line especially if you drew with someone else who had a line. i cant remember all the various challenges but they included chubby bunnies, a game which consisted to stuffing more and more marshmallows into your mouth and repeating the phrase chubby bunnies. One guy in this round must have been part hamster as he managed to put away a surprising amount of marshmallows before being declared the winner. Another round consisted of two people being given lipstick and told to kiss as many people as possible.  One guy was very enthusiastic if not particularly accurate as he kissed the tops of people's heads and ears, sadly without leaving a lipstick mark. In the end it didn't make much difference as the winner was decided by the crowd yelling out if they'd been kissed

The crowd got in the spirit of it and by the end people were singing along and dancing while sitting down on their benches . The gospel choir was very good and their version of living on a prayer by Bon Jovi was well recieved amongst others. Unfortunately i had to dash off to Euston so missed one of group winning the full House on the last round and getting the grand prize of a deep fat fryer on the hottest day of the year so far!!!

Saturday, 3 August 2013

We decided to whip in and pick up some chow at the old home fill er up and keep on truckin cafe -Truck Stop

     In a slight deviation to the normally advertised programming I headed out with meet up to a food themed event .  And a very pleasant diversion it was too. Truck Stop is not as you might think from the name anything to do with artery clogging fried food  to keep our truckers rolling through the night served at a tired and slightly run down service station next to a  claw machine  with a random selection of stuffed animals from last year's summer blockbusters which you need to be Derren Brown to have the slightest need to obtain.

      No Truck Stop happened in the fairly pristine location of Canary Wharf or more accurately Wood Wharf . Wood Wharf as the name implies was historically used for the storage of  timber and the repairing of ships.  This lasted until the 1970's . Currently the 20 acre site is occupied by a mix of light industrial buildings and vacant or derelict land. Plans are afoot to develop it  but apparently not until other office developments in the area are full. Thank you Wikipedia. Wikipedia entry a side the semi island was a lovely tranquil location.

The bit Truck Stop was occupying was a stretch of tarmac presumably a car park normally surrounded by some unfeasibly verdant grass.  This we found was due to some very enthusiastic gardening staff with either hoses or sprinklers.  So despite being the hottest day of the year . The grass was sodden and in some places positively marshy. Despite this it was crowded with people . Either that or we managed to pick the only spot in permanent shade which hadn't dried out.

The damp clothing was compensated for by being right next to a group called the Trouble Notes which provided a very pleasant soundtrack to our evening.

After that slight deviation into the historical and geographical the reason we were there . The trucks ,Truck Stop is a food festival where all the vendors must sell there food from a truck or van or in one case  horsebox

Now  the events iconography is unashamedly American however the undoubted hero of the event is very definitely French. The Citroen H van , you might not know the name but it's the corrugated one with the funny nose. You've got it  the stalwart of French farmers and street markets seems to have taken to the street food scene like a duck to water or a canard a l 'eau. Other vendors had converted ice cream vans and former USA army ambulances.

Which brings us to the food.. Having wandered round the whole site I decided on mother cluckers as the source of my dinner and very nice chicken burger it was too  succulent and plenty of it. . The bread could have been better. Maybe next time I'll go for the  popcorn chicken bites.

Now where the vendors have missed a trick at an event like this is people can only handle 1 or maybe 2 mains if they're very hungry. Now a nice big filling value for money meal makes sense if you're pitched up on your own or with a couple of other vendors. Ho w ever where there is so much choice tapas style nibbles would have tempted people back for  multiple bites at the street food cherry. .

On top of the chicken burger I had bbq  corn on the cob   and some of  Mama s jerk station s plantain sold from the back of a milk float. My choices mainly influenced by the small portion sizes .

Another category largely overlooked was desert fortunately Fishdog selling from what else a Citroen H van had stepped into the breech with some very tasty churros style doughnuts.  With a  very tasty salted caramel sauce that you could dip them in or quite easily have eaten up with a spoon.

A quick mention of the drink . Your online booking got you 10 truck stop dollars. Given that the ticket was 10 pound plus online booking fee you pretty much got your money back in alcohol. Beers were mostly a fiver ant the pint sized festival sized cocktails were a tenner. I decide to try my first ever mojito and very refreshing it was on a hot day.

Truck stop is definitely worth a second visit and it will be back on the  first Thursday and Friday of September.

It was a very pleasant evening and food buying finished we sat on the grass late into the evening chatting , admiring the sun glinting off canary wharf and later on the twinkling off the buildings lights , listening to the music and inhaling the stray scents of food as they drifted our way and making the most of a great summer evening.

It seemed a shame that it wasn't Friday and we had to drag ourselves back to reality and go to work the next day.

Goodbye to the circus We hope you enjoyed the show Now it's nearly at the end But it will be back, you know

So Dark Circus, I got a wee bit lost finding the Princess Louise which was where we were going to meet. Which turned out to be one of those bars that is subdivided into sections .a bit like the cheese holder in trivial pursuit.

 Despite this I was still early . Having not been brave enough to venture out from the suburbs in costume I decided to seek out the toilets to complete my transformation. I'd decided dark circus meant , circus with a twist so my converted red lab coat (what industry needs red lab coats) was teamed with lion face paint to create a human tamer costume,    so armed with a poundland mirror a container formerly containing chinese takeaway ( for the hot water ) and  a picture printed off the internet for guidance and inspiration, I disappeared into a cubicle to transform myself a bit like a very warped version of superman.

With slight trepidation I ventured back upstairs to the main bar. Spotting a group in circus attire I ventured over to join them only to discover after 5 minutes conversation including . Why a lion /ringmaster, the answer to which was the not very original why not . It turned out  they weren't with meet up but their for some ones birthday.

Having finally spotted some one I recognised I prowled over to the rest of the group.Also in a variety of circus costumes. We headed over to the Bloomsbury Ballroom a very nice art deco building.

Now I had . A great night  I suspect that it was more down to a) the company b) the fact I was I n facepaint which allowed my inner exhibitionist come out to play. I certainly wouldn't have spent quite so much time spinning round a pole in the centre of the venue  if I was in plain clothes or squeezed into a cage near one wall. I also had my photo taken various times quite easily into double figures  by various people.

To be honest the cocktails were  nice but not spectacular. The entertainment was good particularly the sword shallower and the compere could have stepped out  cabaret cabaret.

For me however I think the evening was made  by the other people who had made the effort, I guess the people attracted by the  torture garden   being joint organisers are used to making a bit of an effort. Also the size of the hall meant adequate room for dancing. Towards the end of the evening I discovered a completely new room  with a bar at the back of the main room which intriguingly had two cargo nets and a rocking horse but by the point of the evening where I found it was just another bar. This must have been where they were doing the classes in costume makeup but their was no sign by the time I got in there.

On my next visit I must check it out earlier in the evening .

The evening drew to a close and the bouncers started to shoo us out . Fortunately there was a long queue for the cloak room which gave me time to De lion myself before with some make up wipes while I waited.

I was planning to venture home by night bus for the first time so didn't want to stand out too much . Fortunately the bus stop was quite near by in red lion square a location I was previously aware of  because of work. Having had to venture up to holborn a coup l e of times for co n references  in a building opposite. On my way to the bus stop I discovered a 24hr convenience shop and a McDonald's that were open.  Given that holborn seems quite quiet after dark where they get enough customers from to make it worth there while is a mystery. But it was lucky for me as it yielded an orange juice from maccy d' s and when I staggered round the corner a flapjack  from the convenience shop. I stepped onto the bus which wasn't as scary as I'd imagined and an hour later I was in Stanmore   which is unfortunately the closest I can  get to Watford. By night bus. I think I feel a letter to Boris coming on . For some odd  reason  stanmore station has a taxi office perfect you think which is indeed open in the wee small hours , the light is on the desk is staffed. However it would seem that the staff remain on duty solely to tell people that there aren't any taxis to 6am a job which could be achieved equally well by a sign post . Having been back to stanmore a couple of times now I have learnt that there are taxi firms at bushey (with no night bus) wh I ch have taxis at this time of morning between 4.30-6am  and in stanmore itself . Stanmore station terminus to a night bus route h as instead rather than the oasis of a open and operating taxi company a cruel mirage which lures you in with a friendly light only to dash you  on the rocks like a Cornish wrecker operating a fake lighthouse.

Anyway the taxi arrived from bushey and I got home and collapsed fortunately at this point face paint free. My feet did ache some from wearing my pirate boots. This time as ringmaster boots a slight heel makes a big difference to the feet and I can only imagine the agony that you ladies must suffer in your stilettos, kitten heels and other permutations of female foot torture inflicted on you by society and the fashion industry.

Monday, 29 July 2013

Willkommen, bienvenue, welcome Im Cabaret, au Cabaret, to Cabaret- Freche Muse

         So Freche Muse , the night got off to a little bit of a shaky start due to the great British weather. I left the house when it was overcast, with a supposedly water proof coat and before i'd reached the end of my road the heavens had opened and i was soaked through. To add insult to injury I got splashed twice enroute by cars which soaked my lower half which until then had been relatively water free. I got to the station and  reached the relative safety of the platform shelter. Only for the train to pull up at the wrong platform. Necessitating a mad dash through the rain, down the stairs along  a corridor and up another set of stairs before reaching the train. Fortunately the driver wiated for us all to change platform. I did get to experience anew sensation on the train which was to sit  in the loo desperately trying to dry my shirt under one of those hand dryers which is part soap dispenser part dryer and part tap. If your hand strayed too far you activated the water which I managed to do thus negating a large part of the drying process. The result of this dampenig did take some of the buzz off my pre coming out alcohol Home made lemonade and peach schnapps is very pleasant and doesn't taste alcoholic. But guess what , if your ever told to take a cold shower to sober up well it works even a fairly humid one.
           So between desperately trying to dry off and googling 24 hour laundrettes in euston/dalston just in case , as white shirts plus water are not a good look unless you're female and fairly nubile.   One thing i did find out in my travels is Boots in Euston does sell umbrellas but at £15 pound a go. I decided to risk more rain.  I also found out that no one sells towels after 6pm or no shops that sell towels are open to be more accurate.  I did however find a general store that sold me a red and white tea towel for 99p . With which i was able at least able to make myself more human.

            This was my first trip to Dalston and it appears fairly cosmopolitan and from the shop fronts i guess there is a substantil Turkish population. So we met up at Bar 23 , a pleasant open fronted bar with some vintage touches in an old gramophone and a vintage radio on display. Also Rekordeling  at a reasonable  £4 a bottle another drink where you cant taste the alcohol.
            Now don't know why as normally a couple of drinks make me feel quite merry but maybe it was the unexpected  drenching but the alcohol didnt seem to have the desired effect . After a brief burst of 80's pop  from the bars resident DJ  rendered somewhat surreal by our 1920's attire (maybe a niche their 70's clothing to 1940's music or vice versa  , mix and match club nights.) we made our way down to Dalston Boys club.

The entrance is on what would appear to be an average residential street in fact we weren't sure which direction to turn until the bouncers ushered us over. How could they tell !!

The interior was basically a church hall  in form, a description which does not do the decorations any justice. From the stuffed fox to the painting to the creepy doll peering down from the mezzanine , to the wooden sideboard doing duty as a bar . As Jamina pointed out the place had a feel of an Evelyn Waugh novel .  It could have been a 1920's party full of young and carefree London aristocrats and bohemians. In fact the events host known for the evening as Baron Von Sanderson could have stepped out of the pages of a Waugh or PG Wodehouse novel . Heir to a fortune , organising bashes for his friends  and hangers on. 

The hall was a private residence so when in search of cooler environs we descended to the basement we discovered an indoor smoking area , a shock which goes to prove how effective the smoking ban has been and how are expectations have changed. A dark smoke filled basement with vintage porn from presumably the 1920's playing on a roughly whitewashed wall . While cooler the smoke son drove me back up the decidely rickety stairs

The entertainment was spread through out the evening every 15 minutes in the same way manana means tomorrow in Spanish. Starting with a chanteuse  who did some to start off depressing songs before moving into some more upbeat numbers  the entertainment grew more risque and more visible as the numbers thinned out. We were treated to a variety of burlesque acts including a fire eater, a strip tease act , although they were all strip tease acts but I suppose in the words of "Gypsy"  In burlesque "you gotta have a gimmick" The climax was a rendition of salome involving a grotesque decapitated head fortunately fake lots and lots of glitter fans and angel wings.

In capturing a louche , decadent night the effect had been achieved, I had a good night despite the alcohol having worn off. Although it did  mean that I wasn't tipsy enough to essay the more risque part of my costume taking the safe option.  But there's always next time. I hadn't dared wear it on public transport and when we arrived onsite the toilet facilities were very limited and i didn't want to go in there and get changed in fact the less time spent in the toilets the better particularly by the end of the night.

As you may notice I have managed to work out how to get photos from my phone onto here . So for your delight and delectation some rather risque photos of the nights entertainment entirely in keeping with the feel of the night. 

Monday, 22 July 2013

Those magnificent men in their flying machines.

It's July and that means the annual pilgrimage to the vintage aircraft enthusiast paradise that is Flying Legends . So last Sunday we set off with picnic in tow for a day of all things aviation.

For those who've not been you get for your £35

The museum itself with its  hangars and exhibitions
A good 3 hours of flying  including the finale or balbo which this year had 21aircraft
A mix of stalls selling everything from books to clothing , sweets to models
Singing from the Manhattan dolls
For an extra £5 you can do the flightline walk and get up close to the participants .

So  we arrived and unpacked the car and staggered off carrying directors chairs , the picnic, cameras, enough water to float the titanic.

Given the weather  we headed for a favourite spot under the wing of one of the airliners parked on the tarmac .  Base camp established we decided to treat ourselves to a cup of tea from one of the stalls.. Tea that you needed asbestos gloves to transport.

Tea drunk I set off to explore. Just behind us was a booth selling passes to the airliners on site. 10 aircraft for a mere £2.50 a bargain.

With the occasional side trip to the stalls who can resist reference books to a pound. I managed to to tick off  9 of the 10.

Concorde was  amazing but very small inside.

The air show itself was its normal fabulous self.

We had spitfire s mixing it up with ME109. We had mustang, we had a storch and a lysander, a B17 ,  a corsair.  A Hawker Demon or Daymonne as Bernard the French commentator called it.

His melodious tones and commentary make the e show. Not everyone s cup of tea  but  he has a certain charm.

Unfortunately one of my favourites the swordfish didn't fly.

Now the air show gets several thousand attendees at least so if you want to  get away in plenty of time you need  to beat the mad rush.

So after the main program while the balbo is forming up we as normal started moving up towards the rise by the land warfare hall affectionately known as the tank bank. This strategic location gives a good view of the balbo and is strategically close to the loos for one  last pre journey trip. It also puts you in a good position for the mad dash to the car park.

All in all a good day and for once didn't get Sun burnt.

Sunday, 21 July 2013

I know a whoopee spot Where the gin is cold But the piano's hot! It's just a noisy hall Where there's a nightly brawl And all that jazz

So for yet another evening I stepped back in time to the 1920's or 30's or 40's  according to the range of clothing on display.
Last night I ventured to the Black Cotton Club as hosted by the Bar Volupte. It is supposedly famous for it's burlesque but we were only there for the dancing part of the evenng.
The bar itself is tucked away in what would seem to be a primarily non residential part of Holborn.
The Bar itself is fairly small intimate venue. It has an extensive cocktail menu and downstaris is the dance floor where DJ's spin proper vinyl from and not knowing the music Id say a mix of 20 and 30's.
The people on the dance floor were mostly dressed up but it was a little weird to see a guy in shorts and a tee shirt showing off very good swing dancing moves . I think it was because he looked out of context but his dancing was very much in the venues context.
The venue was very hot, whether this was just due to the weather or its always like that with everyone crowded into the basement I couldn't tell. The place wasnt as full as I thought it would be. This wasnt a bad thing as the style and quality of dancing required a lot of room.
The vene did feel very 1920's and even the venues photographer was shooting with what looked like a 16 mm camera
In some ways you could have been on a film set.
There hints of the rooms other use as a burlesque house, a piano in a corner , a shoe in a display case, vintage erotic wallpaper in the bar upstairs.
It was well worth the visit and was a fun evening. 

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

So I'd like to know where, you got the notion Said I'd like to know where, you got the notion To rock the boat, don't rock the boat baby .

         So I've been  doing Ceroc for a little while now most Tuesday Nights. I must admit that it's good fun and a lot of it is the social side. The people I dance with are  a very friendly but I digress. Last Sunday I ventured to my very first Freestyle. As I set out I thought to myself I must be mad . It was one of the hottest days of the year and I would be dancing on a boat built in 1918 so modern air conditioning seemed unlikely.
          I must admit that dancing on "the Boat" HMS President was great fun. I arrived about half an hour before opening anxious to be first in what turned out to be a non existent queue.
           As we watched other people turn up their were a few with fairly professional looking dance bags which I had to assume probably held sate of the are bespoke 50 pound plus a pair dancing shoes. A little intimidated we decided now was a good time to board "the boat".
            I cant really picture what it must have been like when originally built but currently their was on the deck where you entered a sort of lobby with a very grand grand piano and a bar/lounge area which I was later to discover was dishing out free tea and coffee and cakes.
           On the deck above their was a largish hall with a stage at one end and behind that was a small bar with chandeliers and access to the stern.
            When we first arrived the hall was fairly empty and their wa sonly the 2 instructors warming up at one end of the dance floor. I was slightly worried that the combined distractions of Andy Murray and sunshine would keep people away but the hall slowly filled up.
             While we sat waiting to brave the dancefloor we saw a number of people vanish and reappear  with cups of tea and cake. These must have been regulars as I wouldn't have known about the free food if it wasnt for people bringing it up from below decks. It was I admit a nice touch and although in the sunshine I wasn't very hungry I can see to being just the ticket when the nights start to draw in later in the year.
              We kicked off the dancing with a short class where we learned 3 moves it was a good way to get people on the dance floor and I think from that point on the floor was fairly packed.
               Now there is a nack to dancing on a boat. Firstly because its bobbing about and secondly because the dance floor had a distinct camber and you were at points dancing uphill followed by down hillthen back up again. An interesting sensation but one which we quickly adapted too.

               I had a great time boogieng about the company was very pleasant , the atmosphere despite the heat very pleasant if ocasionally a little warm.
               One remedy for the heat was to venture through the bar to the stern of the boat. Now HMS Saxifrage as she was originally called was built a a Q ship that is a decoy designed to lull an enemy submarine into attacking on the surface before attacking it with hidden weaponry. Now any of the Kaiser's U boat captains spying the dancing around on the stern of the Saxifrage would have been very sure it wasn't a naval vessel and may have assumed it was under some sort of quarantine given the number of people twirling , lifting, and dropping in a 30 degree heat wave .
               I must admit it was one of the funnest Sunday afternoons I have passed recently. Dancing on aboat in the middle of London in the sunshine  with great views up and down the river watching and being watched by tourist and pleasure boat passengers was a great buzz. If you do like Ceroc or they host any other danc eevent I reccomend checking out HMS President as a place t dance away your blues and have a good time.


Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Underneath the Arches

So here's more from the Archives. My first event with alternative nightlife meetup was Leyshon Brothers. This was a pop up Victorian experience in a railway arch near London Bridge. There was great secrecy surrounding the location and a secret password . Anyway there I was at London Bridgestation with a bit of paper with a map on for the pub we were to meet in and a slight perturbation not knowing quite what to expect.. So after a slightly longer wander than expected, I located the pub . It was a smallish pub with tables round the outside outside of a square central bar  and desperately racking my brain to remember what my fellow attendees looked like. A task complicated slightly by the fancy dress birthday party that was occurring on the first floor . Although I have to admit  Spiderman doesn't look very Victorian. Although there is probably a steam punk version out there.

After a couple of drinks we set off for the secret location. Although the long queue of Victorian themed people at a scruffy set of green painted wooden doors kind of gave it away.

A quick note on period fancy dress for the beginner. Not wanting to spend too much I opted for a pair of braces over a white shirt and dark trousers . Now for those on a budget this can get you from Victorian Times to at least the 1950's by adding braces to items you already have in your wardrobe..

Now we stepped back in time to Victorian Times. Our first stop was the gin palace where a chatty / flirty to the ladies italian barman made us a gin cocktail. After this libation we wandered along a tunnel  past some Victorian style games of chance / fair ground slideshow type things.

At the top of the tunnel l was a I suppose morecworking class  Victorian pub. At least the drinks were sold in metal mugs.

There was a fortune teller but she was doing such a thorough reading that the queue was very long.

There was another slightly classier pub with attached music hall.

We  we're on the second sitting for the show.  The entertainment ranged from zither playing to a strongman act . Including a stripping magician, of the male variety.

As my first experience of alternative london it was mixed. I'd met some nice and interesting people. It was great to see a lot of effort put into costumes, it was an unusual use of a brown field site. Unfortunately the last one as the railway was reclaiming the land.

There could have been more to do, especially as it was the last one. Maybe more happened after I left. As I had to dash up the northern line. It was fun but I'm not sure I'd have gone back if it had been an option.

Saturday, 29 June 2013

Like a tiger defying the laws of Gravity

Friday 29th June was a funny old day . It was my last day in my old job . I had been doing the same or similar for 7 years so it will be and odd feeling on Monday. I'm still in the same company but in a different floor and department.  I think it will be fine once i establish a new routine.It will just be weird going from an expert in what i do to the new boy again.

Anyway back to the Tigers. Last night was my  second trip to Zoo Lates at London Zoo.  It reinforced my opinion that the only way to see it all is to treat it like a commando style operation . Set yourselves objectives and then charge round  avoiding any feeding times as they draw the crowds.  I suspect that their is probably a similar issue in the daytime but with more pushchairs.

It's a fun night but more about the craic than the animals unless you're particularly dedicated.

The highlight animal of the night was for me the Giant Anteater. Not sure why maybe it was the amazing tail , the unique look or the fact that they generally sleep 18 hours a day. Or the fact they curl up to look like a rock when asleep .

One of the Sumatran Tigers at the Zoo likes Old Spice according to the keeper on the tannoy. You do have to winder how this information was ascertained. Do aftershave manufactures hold animal focus groups . Do bored zoo staff test out various scents . 9 out of 10 tigers prefer old spice to CK 1  perhaps

London Zoo is obviously upgrading some of it faculties and all for the better . Penguin Beach (surely the name of  a really bad  daytime soap) is  so much better than the 70's style  white concrete  former penguin enclosure .  Which looks rather folorn  in it's empty state.

The vibe is  how i imagine the outskirts of a music festival . Lots of people in fancy dress wandring round in onesies and animal parephernalia  and facepaint.

Their was face painting on site  but either the people doing it are incredibly speedy and also from the ones i saw fairly talented or given that doors open at 6 and things wind down around 9 there were 100's of people in offices all round London hunched over the sink in the office bathroom with a printout from the internet and their starter set of Snazoo facepaint about 5 o'clock.

Given the proliferation of onesies and the signs on various  enclosures forbidding  any one in animal themed costume you do have to wonder if those who did dress up  were forced to wander from bar to food court  and back again  via the few animals who weren't traumatised by the site of people in all encompassing bright orange and yellow overalls. Which is basically what they are.

Although in te Monkey work round area the sign had obviously been ignored as there were loads of people in costume wandering through. It makes you wonder whether annoyed staff are secretly smiling waiting for someone  to be swarmed over by a monkey while dressed as a dragon. More cynically given the amount they must be making from animal ears, headbands ,tails  facepainting  ,masks etc. Maybe management dont enforce it as much as they should.

On a slight tangent this kind of thing is ripe for a film  to be made from it.  Either some kind of comedy  Night at the Zoo type thing or a Horror film  Late at the Zoo where a disgruntled  employee releases the animals to run amok.

"Carol from Swansea was warned not to wear her my little pony onesie into the tiger enclosure ..She didn't listen now she's tiger chow....."

Anyway it was a good night and for me only part one. I have turned into a meet up slut somewhat  and having booked Zoo Lates sometime ago to see a clash with our Local 70's when the meet up came through some weeks later was annoying .

However with the animals  going to bed at 10 and drinks at 9 for Disco inferno I thought If i left about 8.30 I could do both.

Unfortunately  being distracted by the animals and the company I didn't get away till later than planned.

However being more of a dancer than a drinker I did manager to catch up with my friends only 15 minutes after they enetered the Watford Colisseum a 1939 Assembly hall , recently refurnbished.

Now fortunately the London Zoo security check is looking for alcohol  and could be done by just feeling my bag so I didn't have to explain the Blonde rocker wig, waistcoat, purple sparkly shirt or white trousers with leopard print stripes.

As the previous time i'd been there I'd had my black Rabbit outfit ready for rumpus in my bag its very good that they could tell through the bag that i was alcohol free.

Anyway off i dashed down the Northern line and managed to get the semi fast down to Watford . Even better It wasn't one of the  very open long tubes that midland mainline run which meant that I could find a tran toilet to slip into at least the trousers of my outfit.  Stood up in a deserted First Class  I could slip on the shirt and waistcoat over  my teeshirt.

Ahh the Glamour of it.

Anyway caught up with my Friends at Disco Inferno. I think numbers were down on last time  as the place didnt seem as busy. In my old age I appreciate venues like the Colisseum . The main hall is vast and is basically all dance floor and therefore gives plenty of room for proper dancing  with twirly bits.  The costume seemed to go down well and  i was summoned to the stage to start the Love Train round the hall although two ladies  decided they wanted to be in front and who was I to argue.

It was a good night a little bit cheesy , lots of fun, brilliant company , great fun , some good tunes and an opportunity for fancy dress and proper dancing . Which is a great combination as both are when I'm at my most confident so the combination of the 2 is a killer . If only they allowed fancy dress and dancing in job interviews oh well one can but dream.