Saturday, August 10, 2013
Sunday, September 23, 2012
2. Piramis - Mondj Egy Mesét (English version in link).
3. Illés - Goodbye London (Hungary's premier Schlager band).
4. Fonográf - Társasjáték.
5. Locomotiv GT - Ezüst Nyár.
6. Omega - The Man Without A Face.
7. Skorpió - Döntsd El Végre Már.
8. Quimby - Toast (Ska-prog).
9. Piramis - A Fénylő Piramisok Árnyékában (This could've been the score for any Dirty Harry film).
This podcast is designed to whet your appetite, or not. You be the judge.
Monday, July 18, 2011
Thursday, December 23, 2010
Tuesday, June 01, 2010
Monday, May 17, 2010
Wednesday, May 05, 2010
Friday, April 16, 2010
Friday, April 09, 2010
Saturday, March 20, 2010
More pictures here.
Monday, March 08, 2010
In the event of a tie-breaker, please complete the following statement:
"I want to have a fat arse and a spotty face this Spring (because / to / for / so that*)...."
*Delete as neccessary.
Send your answers with your name by email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Thursday, February 25, 2010
Friday, February 12, 2010
Wednesday, February 03, 2010
It's not that I'm a shyster (ahem), it's just that I have limited time to discover the joys and woes of England. Leaving at six in the morning, it took me a whole hour to get from Croydon to the other side of the Blackwall Tunnel as the northbound approach of this river crossing was crawling at a snail's pace. Sunday wouldn't have been a problem but I left the start for the following day, so is it any wonder why I don't like Mondays? Once I'd passed that, I watched as the miles of traffic shifted slowly into the capital from the M11; I was escaping to the north and there were more than two chevrons apart between myself and the vehicle in front. Luxury.
After consuming a reasonable fried breakfast at some faceless motorway service station, I arrived in Lincoln at 10.00am. Lincoln is a small city that fits the 'quaint' description but there's two sites that you need to make time for. Lincoln Cathedral looks awesome from the front; it's just like any other cathedral on the inside mind, but worth a mooch just for the stylish wood carvings depicting the Twelve Stations of the Cross. The second sight is the castle, which is a two minute walk from the cathedral. This place held more historical interest for me; it used to be a former womens' prison and is still used as a county court. But the jewel in its crown is that it holds an original Magna Carta and I was eager to give this important document a butcher's. Unfortunately I found out that the original charter was away on tour and replaced with a copy, similar to the one that's displayed in in the cathedral. AWAY ON TOUR! Now why didn't they tell me this in the first place? However, the surrounding exhibition more than made up for the disappointment and also on display is the ancient Charter of the Forest (not a facsimile), written on animal skin and dating from 1217, this was still in use up until 1971 making it the longest remaining statute that was in force in England. The explanation of how both charters came into existence is simple to understand, beautifully well presented and therefore an ideal day out for children. I was in my element.
It's possible to devote an hour to the cathedral and another to the castle. I decided on a time limit for both based on how much loose change I had for the parking ticket machine and besides, I wanted to do lunch in Hull.
Following the signs to the Humber Bridge, I climbed northwards until I drove around an unassuming curve on the A15 where I was suddenly greeted by the imposing sight of the bridge itself. Even in shitty weather this particular structure looks damn impressive; it's no wonder that Phil Brown was eager to come here. The Humber is a large body of water and it's more enjoyable to cross compared to navigating the Severn bridge (note: the tolls do not discriminate against Ford Escort vans by doubling the charge). On arrival at this fishing village, I made my way to the old part of the locality, had fish 'n' chips in a restaurant set aside for tourists - I was the only one there - and saw some typical Northern sights (see below):
Dusk was closing in as I navigated the pitiful rush hour on exiting but I felt slightly dismayed at not having visited two of Hull's prime sights: The KFC Stadium and The Welly Club (the latter being the city's top live music venue which has hosted famous artists like The Housemartins and Cool To Snog), I'll put them on my 'places to do' list for next season.
In no time at all I was cruising along the A165 up to Scarborough which marks the start of the North Yorkshire Moors. There was just enough daylight left to appreciate this vast National Park, the scenery augmented by patches of snow that had not yet melted. Halfway through the Moors and I'm in Whitby; Dracula's English connection. Being pressed for time meant no stoppages but I did get a glimpse of the old abbey as I drove over the town's main road bridge which overlooks the harbour. This is the place to go for Whitby jet.
It was dark by the time I reached Middlesbrough and the only reason I had to stop was to take a piss. This particular city looks quite boring at night but I'm told that it's a veritable disaster area during daylight hours. I'm not sure which time of the day I'd choose if I were to visit again, but I shan't be putting it on the list unless it becomes part of a sporting away fixture. Why else would anyone go there?
You don't get any fog in the Tyne Tunnel, besides which it would've sounded strange to sing: "Fog in the Tyne tunnel is all mine, all mine...", just doesn't work, does it? I'd be bypassing Newcastle for the time being, heading instead to Northumberland.
I took time out to rest, explore the locality and catch up with friends.
I woke up this morning and soon got the blues. My newsfeed reported that Crystal Palace FC had gone into administration and further more, Victor Moses would not be in the squad for tonight's match. Financial problems at the club had been on the boil for quite sometime so it was no great surprise that it would spill over like this. In addition to all our troubles, Newcastle have been top of the table for, ooh, ages and we had a tough challenge ahead. Traveling the half hour journey to the centre on the Tyne and Wear Metro from Whitley Bay was made shorter by a friend wishing me well despite the foregone conclusion. The end result wasn't too humiliating; our lads put up a spirited fight and we've since made up for what has been a miserable week by beating Peterborough (as well as Wolves). Then again, Peterborough have been bottom of the table for, ooh, ages.
St James' Park ratings:
Stadium - in very good nick as it should be for a club this size. Away supporters are ushered to the seventh level (no lifts) of the Sir John Hall stand in an effort to knacker them out so they won't be able to cheer their team on.
Security - that'll be the local constabulary. Tough Geordie coppers on tough Geordie horses telling southerners "if yuz tek anuffa sip o' that drink yuz gettin' banged oop". Like I'm dead scared.
Transport - Tyne and Wear Metro to St James station which stops right outside the ground. Well done, Geordies.
Food - I wasn't that hungry.
(Newcastle United 2 - C Palace 0. Attendance: 37,886)
The journey back south included a pleasant four hour drive on the M1. There's a point on the journey just as you cross the Durham / Yorkshire border where you can see the North Yorkshire Moors to the left and the Yorkshire Dales to the right at the same time (although this might involve a spot of head turning unless you happen to be an eagle or a hammerhead shark). Not long after passing an industrious looking Sheffield, a slight detour was made towards Royal Lymington Spa in Warwickshire (Shakespeare's country). This is quite a posh place, nice, clean, all white Georgian architecture, it's so polite it's offensive. As darkness had already descended on what was a drizzly day, I decided against an exploratory amble about town opting instead for the warmth of the nearest pub just across the road from the venue. The band I had booked tickets for were playing in The Assembly, which was recently given a major overhaul by top bordello make-over man Lawrence Llewelyn Bowen. Give the fella his due, he's not done a bad job and now that the smoking ban is fully enforced, the white architrave should stay white for quite a while. It's a superb place to see a live act as it's a 1,000 seater (or should that be standing?) venue, intimate but at the same time you have lots of room to breath. Either that, or the band could've sold more tickets. I won't go into the merits of HMHB as it's ground that's been covered before but a special HMHB podcast featuring Howesy can be downloaded here and a review of the Leamington gig can be found here.
Setting off towards London on the M40 I thought I'd be home free in a couple of hours. Wrong.
Somewhere between junction 9 and 8a, I feel a slight pop coming from the gas pedal. Odd. I press down with my foot and quickly discover that there is no power. This presents me with a challenge: I'm in the third lane struggling to overtake a petrol tanker who is needlessly hogging the middle lane and to make matters worse, another vehicle decides it would be fun to sniff my arse at high speed (otherwise known as tailgating). Trapped but moving. I have to get over to the hard shoulder and I'm constantly slowing down, this is not good.
85...70...60mph and getting slower.
It's too dark, where the fuck am I?
I know exactly where I am, I'm in the middle of fucking nowhere and about to get stranded. Bollocks! Why didn't I renew my AA membership?
Hazard lights are a miracle of modern times. Apply them and watch how people give you a wide berth. Bye bye petrol tanker, bye bye coffee breath sales executive in a Mondeo rushing home to his wife, hello hard shoulder. As I'm cruising along trying to find the widest spot to the left of the motorway, I see in the distance what looks like a van at a standstill, all indicators blinking simultaneously. That'll do for me, Tommy. Hazard lights are a miracle of modern times.
The two blokes in the van are waiting for the arrival of the breakdown service, which gives us something in common. Barely thirty minutes goes by when this knight in a shining armoured patrol car turns up, deals with the blokes in the van first and then me. The bonnet is popped open to reveal a broken connection between the accelerator cable and the gubbings which lets more fuel into the engine. An improvised running repair with cable ties is hastily made and off I go, which means no two hundred and fifty quid towing fee to fork out = result . Fears of kipping in the car with high speed traffic dangerously whizzing past on a shivering cold morning are thwarted, as for that night only, the county bestows me with the title of Oxfordshire's Jammiest Git of the Month.
I'm home free.
More pictures here.
Saturday, January 23, 2010
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
Monday, January 18, 2010
Here we are again with our second instalment in which we observe distant lands and the cultures contained within. Located approximately 220 miles west of Croydon, Plymouth is best known as a naval city similar to Portsmouth but, in football terms at least, is in a lower league to that of its coastal rival. In fact, you could apply that analogy not just to its sporting prowess, but to the actual feel of the place. You can tell how close to the sea it is by the amount of seagull droppings that can be found. The architecture resembles the modern bits of Ipswich circa 1960s and further proof, should you require it, can be found by Googling images of the city; make sure you just look at the sepia photographs as they accurately reproduce the tone of the buildings (any photographs you see in full colour are false, they've obviously used Photoshop to give the place some pizazz).
Local cuisine is served in the form of the humble pasty (coleslaw optional), a traditional food which is easily accessible and of reasonable cost. A medium sized steak pasty will set you back in the region of a couple of quid. Hint: seek out the Oggy Oggy Pasty establishment near the market. The market itself is there for you to whittle away an hour of spare time, selling bits and bobs such as wellies, pashminas, painted tobacco tins as well as livestock. It's similar to a festival bazaar with the type of goods for sale that can be bought at any decent outdoor music event selling articles that you'd have absolutely no use for once you get home.
Architectural blandness aside, I'm pleased to inform that the natives are a very colourful race; open, friendly, helpful and hospitable - in fact, they'll willingly give you their last-but-one pasty, providing it involves the exchanging of fresh blood. As I waited for the arrival of the bus to Home Park, I was approached by two rather jolly gentlemen proudly wearing their sporting colours. "GREEN ARMY WILL KILL CITY SCUM!" they shouted. I didn't bother to remind them of both sides' respective positions in the league table as it might have hampered their good spirits. Aviva's recent television adverts seem to be a winner with the natives; it puts them on the map. Unfortunately it's a map of a different planet. Even the bus driver - a comely wench with lots of blonde frizzy hair - enjoyed hollering local slogans such as "Geddon, ya Janner!" at every conceivable opportunity. How quaint.
Earlier in the day, I ventured into a HMV store to observe regional purchasing habits of cultural artifacts where I found this displayed on special promotion:
Many Plymothian women of "Amazonian proportions" were out in force on a Saturday afternoon for the gathering of clothes, pasties and, one presumes, DVDs. Amateur anthropologists should take note that over recent years, interbreeding with people from other counties (mainly those passing through on their way to Cornwall) occurred which subsequently has reduced any Norfolk-like features. Thanks to improved social linking services such as Facebook and Bebo, there now exists a wider variety of DNA in the Devonian gene pool than ever before.
Home Park is the only man-made structure in the vicinity to have a different colour other than grey and beige; you've guessed it...it's green. The favourable factor regarding Plymouth Argyle's stadium are the parking facilities. If you arrive a few hours prior to kick off, you'll be able to leave your vehicle just outside the ground with stewards in attendance and there's public transport conveniently close by which will convey you into the city centre; a type of park + ride for away supporters and a veritable advance of civilisation. This is an improvement compared with the situation at Reading and Swansea in terms of time spent waiting to exit post match. As soon as the stewards get out of your line of sight, there's a mad dash by all the front row cars as they head towards a rather narrow exit, which is potentially dangerous to the driver, but thoroughly entertaining to watch as a spectator.
Stadium - horrendous pitch but the ancient cowshed contributes much needed soul to the area
Stewards - drive around in tractors (as they do at Portman Road)
Transport links - satisfactory as described above
Food - Ginsters pasties (quelle surprise)
(P Argyle 0 - C Palace 1. Attendance: 9,318)
Friday, January 08, 2010
Good Day by The Chocolate Society
Hey, this effort is enjoyable! It's an ideal accompaniment for a hot mug of Earl Grey. Made of 40% cocoa milk, it's congenial enough without being overbearing which means it's gratifying for anytime of the day. Frivolous of gob (in a perky sense) and worth it.
Honeycomb & Vanilla by Kshocolat
This one's a bit strange; nice idea on paper but orally offensive. It decieves you into tasting the vanilla, but let it linger on your tongue for a little longer and what you're actually tasting is sugar. Not all that surprising considering that 47.3% of the total ingredients is sugar. One for the sweet tooths.
Choxi by Prestat
"Naturally rich in antioxidants" it says on the wrapper. We can deduce that Prestat are targetting the guilty by giving them a health kick in a product deemed a social leper at the local gym. This could be clever marketing but you'll need to eat 25g (or 2 squares) of the stuff daily to gain the benefit of the (supposedly) anti-aging ingredient. Each bar has 6 squares which should last the user for 3 days. Call the ambulance, I've just OD'd.
Milk Chocolate by Devine
Here we have the choccy bar that proclaims freedom from social guilt: welcome to the fair trade assurance (ie; made entirely without Oompa Loompa slave labour). Dazzle those supercilious dinner party guests as you wax lyrically about a cooperative of small holder farmers in Ghana that produce the finest quality of cocoa beans from Kuapa Kokoo, then watch as they make their excuses and leave you to mingle with other people. Speaking of wax, that's the after taste you'll get from eating this, which in turn will make you drop any trendy political pretensions as you bugger off in search of some Galaxy.
Lemon & Pepper by Kshocolat
Another oddball offering by a chocolatier who would be better off making crackers. White chocolate with lemon and pepper is an adventurous attempt at doing something different. Trouble is, most alternative confectionary usually tastes crap. This is just about edible but only if chewing on sweet plastic with a savoury kick happens to be your thing.
Emergency Chocolate by Bloomsberry & Co
Groovy marketing of a hip product: "For immediate relief of: Chocolate Cravings, Lovesickness, Exam Pressure, Mild Anxiety & Extreme Hunger". Swiss made 33% cocoa premium milk chocolate - not only should it sell by the bucketload, it'll also solve all the world's problems (or at least make them go away for a bit). The best of the bunch.
Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Swansea: a work in progress
Provisional towns; they're everywhere, just look around you! Why on earth would anybody want to save their hard-earned just to blow it on an all-inclusive fortnight to Benidorm when there are so many delights in the British Isles to explore? Sure, Benidorm's got sun, sea, sangria, excellent seafood and dubious entertainment for the over eighties, but apart from that, what have the Spaniards ever done for us?
Ok, let's forget the Spaniards for a moment and focus on the Welsh. Over quarter of a million of them live in a place called Swansea, which at first glance looks very town-like but has recently celebrated 40 years of city status. It's not the sprawling, towering metropolis that you'd imagine a real city to be, it's perhaps more like a cross between Basingstoke and Crawley with a marina shoved on the end of it. The surrounding countryside (which can be physically seen from some parts of the so called "city centre") is rather hilly and green. It keeps the sheep happy, and if the sheep are happy then so are the natives.
Swansea Transit Authority - Don't touch that handbrake
Bad sheep shagging jokes aside, this former Viking trading post has a rich culture of sorts, most notably it has been the home of classic writers Dylan Thomas (born and bred in Swansea) and Kingsley Amis (Swansea University lecturer). Other luminaries of celebrity who hail from these parts include Chris 'Cookie' Coleman, Micheal "Tarzan" Heseltine, and Lily Allen's dad. Fantastic - it's more than what Croydon ever came up with (Scouser Steve Coppell's makeshift centre forward Coleman was respected by the Selhurst crowd and they voted him as part of the Centenary XI in 2005).
Let's move on to the important tourist sights. Any self respecting day tripper should take time out to pay their respects to the Vetch Field, the former home of Swansea City AFC from 1912 to 2005. Holding a capacity crowd of over 30,000 at its peak, this historic stadium was named after a fruit (not Rob Brydon) that used to grow on the pitch. See it now in all its post glory gory before the local council flog it off to housing developers.
A natural progression after checking out the Vetch Field would be to take an energetic walk uphill to The Liberty Stadium which is the current home to The Ospreys as well as Swansea City AFC. The Liberty Stadium or Stadiwm Liberty as the locals call it, is in nearby Morfa, seats 20,532, cost 27 million quid to build and was made by Geordies. It's efficient, durable and above all else, soul-less which seems to be a prerequisite of every new stadium development. I'm sure the Swans' local rivals at Ashton Gate aren't in the least bit jealous.
Liberty Stadium ratings:
Entry price - is in GBPs
Transport links - chaotic post match exit of vehicles from park and ride facility
Stewards - bi-lingual; all staff are competent in Welsh and Bollocks
Steak slice - soft, elastic-like pastry that holds boiling hot Bovril
Beer - fizzy Carling, pre poured to ensure speedy delivery
Burgers - rank but still alive
Visit Swansea soon before it gets forgotten. Tell all your mates - the ones that have nothing better to do.
(S City 0 - C Palace 0. Attendance: 18,794)