Thursday, October 23, 2003

"If you see him in the clubs, stick out your belly button and hand him a hot dog. I’m sure he reward you with some smooth moves on the dance floor!"

Meet Gay Marvin, member of hot new pop band Hussey...

(I stumbled across their ad in an industry mag yesterday, and just had to check out the site today... you'll see why!)

Monday, October 20, 2003

Got lots of moving done over the weekend, especially on Saturday - which meant I was dead on my feet by about 5 pm. As I was on my own, I settled down for a rare evening in with a takeway from Nandos and a decent bottle of wine.

By 9 pm, I had watched a dvd and played some records, and I was ready for something else. Hmmm. Saturday night telly it was then. And good lord, was it dreadful. I haven't watched it in ages - or at least not beyond 7:30 or so before heading out. With the crap that was on, no wonder the streets of Manchester are teeming with people who prefer a night at Brannigan's.

The absolute worst had to be Grease Mania on ITV at 9:30. Althought the performances were crap (what is with Gareth Gates' hair - it's a mullet gone wrong, like some sort of squashed rug on his head!), they were no worse than an episode of Stars in Their Eyes. Oh wait, Tony Hadley's version of "Beauty School Dropout" really *was* diabolical. But mostly, it was the bits in between that really did my head in.

First problem: it was presented by that bint Amanda Holden, who spat our her cue card lines like a first year media student with a boot leather tan. As soon as she screeched out her opening line ("Are you ready, Pink Ladiiiiiiies???") I knew it was going to be torture.

Second problem - the incessant cutaways to interviews with ITV "celebs" (D-list presenters, Simon Cowell and a few Corrie stars) and, for reasons that were completely lost on me, Ann Widdecombe. Do we really want to hear Ann delivering deadpan lines about John Travolta's bottom? With her strange blonde hair?

Please, if I ever say I'm thinking about staying in with Saturday telly again - do whatever you have to to get me out of the house, even if it's to Jumpin' Jaks.

Friday, October 17, 2003

So yes, I'm busy lugging stuff from the old flat to the new, especially as I'm on my own this weekend, as it's a good chance just to get stuck in. But in order to not totally burn out I have this routine now where I go straight in after work, carry as much as I can until my arms start to drop off and then reward myself. No, not with Baileys. Last night, I treated myself to Eastenders with a cup of tea, and then onto the stronger stuff - a couple of glasses of Burgundy chardonnay and some DJ practice.

I really can't beat mix at all yet, but I'm trying to do more than just play records one after the other. I'm managing to mix in things nicely during the fadeouts, and for the first time, trying out speeding or slowing records down so they match up better. I did do one sort-of beat mix using Olivia Newton John's "With a little more love" into Dusty Springfield's "All cried out", which actually sounded pretty good. Maybe I have a future as a 60s meets 80s bootleg mix maker... anyhow, it was fun and made me want to sort out another night in Manchester at long last. We'll see.

Speaking of records, a bit of a plug - I'm pleased to announce that my boyf's new label, Northern Comfort, has its first release out - "Rhythm and Bass", a 70 minute mix of dub reggae classics from the likes of King Tubby, Horace Andy and loads of others. You can get it round Manchester from Piccadilly, Vox Pop, Pelicanneck or Fat City, by mail order from said shops or by visiting the Northern Comfort website, where you can snap it up for £6 postpaid via Paypal.

You can listen to samples of some of the tracks on the Fat City site here. Alternatively, if you happen to be getting your hair cut at Barbarella (Nicky the hairdresser, based in Pop Boutique on Oldham Street) I've given her a copy to play in the shop... (heh!)

Thursday, October 16, 2003

Sorry, things are a bit hectic. Again. I feel like a broken record! But yes, I'm a bit busy with moving house. Again. It's a long story, but despite the stress I'm very happy so it's all ok.

Had a gorgeous meal at the Market Restaurant last night, as a celebration for the start of holidays (have fun in Stockholm, you...) Puddings are still only £1 until the end of October from Wed-Fri nights, so if you fancy cinnamon pavlova with dark chocolate sauce don't say I didn't tell you.

Feeling quite sleepy today - when I have lots to plan (e.g. this move), I tend to sleep very lightly because my brain is plotting endlessly. Add that to the loser who started bellowing Manchester City chants (well, if you call "Ciiiiiiiiiity" a chant, maybe I should say grunt) outside our window at 3 am and you've got one groggy girl.

Wednesday, October 08, 2003

It's Canadian Thanksgiving on Monday (wahey, we get pumpkin pie earlier than americans!) and I'm in a slightly homesick mood and craving comfort food - so here are some links to good thanksgiving recipes.

Some different ideas instead of traditional turkey, gravy and desserts...

An extravagant pumpkin pie recipe (pumpkin pie puree can occasionally be found in big Sainsbury's, and Selfridges definitely stocks it...)

Thanksgiving links aplenty, pictures of autumn leaves and a moose. What more could you ask for?

Monday, October 06, 2003

It's decided - no more trips to London for a while. They just take too much out of me. It's mainly the travelling - even going one stop from Kings Cross to Euston involves descending into the inner pits of the tube to get to the Northern line. You could probably walk faster, and we would have done if we didn't have cases to lug around.

Anyhow. We went out shopping on Saturday, walking from Euston to Soho, then onto Covent Garden. The Soho bit was mostly quiet and nice, but CG was heaving as usual. By three o'clock we were so shattered that we could barely keep our eyes open, despite me having two double espressos (one from a lovely Italian cafe on Beak Street in Soho - the other from the truly wonderful Monmouth Coffee on, err, Monmouth Street in Covent Garden).

For dinner, we ended up in Hoxton - making it the second time I've eaten out there in two weeks. (I had an amazing lunch at the Real Greek when I was Actionetting.) So yes, the whole Nathan Barley thing there is annoying - but frankly, you see just as many Northern Barleys around Manchester these days, and if you just ignore them... ok, actually that's easier said than done. We did manage to long enough to enjoy our meal at (I think) Siegfried's in Hoxton Square - really good swordfish with homemade tartar sauce and hand cut chips. Sadly the music changed from chilled dub and reggae to 80s cheese when a Flock 'o Seagulls stylee DJ started up. We soldiered on, but when one bad song followed another and said DJ's sweater-dress-and-legwarmer'd girlfriend started that annoying swanning around the place 'NOTICE ME but I will not cast a glance in your direction' thing, we'd had enough. Besides, we had plans - onto Camberwell for someone's birthday drinks. On the last tube back into town. we played a drinking game minus the alcohol (think we'd had enough!) to pass the time - and you know, it really did work.

On Sunday, there was time to look round Spitalfields Market - hadn't been in ages. I noticed that Comfort Station is gone, having presumably moved up in the world. Lots of the stalls now seem to be run by Japanese girls selling customised t-shirts, and I could have easily snapped up a few. However I'd promised myself I'd only buy one thing - so I opted for an elegant neck scarf made by a girl who sources vintage silks. We caught our breath on a bench in the food hall and agreed that in this case, London top trumped Manchester - I really wish we had our own version. The Manchester Craft Centre is a bit too pricey and unchanging; Afflecks a bit too crap (with the odd exception!)

Then it was onto Northern Star, a bar tucked far away behind Angel tube, for an afternoon of DJs to accompany your Sunday roast (or half a bitter, in my case.) We whiled away a nice couple of hours before heading to Euston for a typically delayed and long Sunday train back, made sweeter by an increasingly necessary upgrade to first.

Fun - but I can't remember the last time I was so happy to be back home.