World of Bile

Thoughts, pics and links from me to you.. Read on...

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Location: London, United Kingdom

I hope you enjoy this as much as I enjoy writing it.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Head and shoulders above the rest..

video

Here is another one of those exhibits sometimes installed on the South Bank of London for the benefit of the tourists and the artier amongst the locals. Like a cross between 2001 and Close Encounters of the Third Kind, it sucked in the young folk who you can see cavorting amongst the pillars here.

Anyway, onto 'Cass'. I took Mark to the media screening of my brother in law's film the other week at the uber-trendy media offices of the Moving Picture Company in Soho. It's the story of Cass Pennant, 80s football hooligan turned author whose story proved to be intriguing viewing. The audience was a mixed bunch: pastel clad print journos and new media sorts with oversize headphone mixed with middle aged East End boys in snug pink polo shirts and tattoos down their arms. Cass is of a similar vintage to the mature crowd, an enormous man clad with a shaven head and tinted shades - he exudes a sense of presence as he works the room and you get the feeling that you just wouldn't mess with him. After our gratis Polish beer we all rolled into the viewing room, lights dimmed and the credits rolled....

There have been alot of football hooligan type films which may have passed the uninitated by: Football Factory and Green Streets being but two of them. Cass stands out in that it is based on the biography of a real person, an orphaned black child called Carole who was brought up in East London during a time when racial diversity was not as embraced as it is today. Yep, alongside the violence and the (admittedly amusing) cockerney humour 'Cass' deals with issues which your run of the mill mindless violence fest refuses to address. Racism. Family. Loss. And it stands out from the crowd because of it.

Admittedly the cache of 6 foot 10 inch, mountainous black actors must be sort of limited (bar the big dude out of the Green Mile) but the choice of Nonzo Anosie as Cass is a pretty good one. He holds himself with a sense of dignity and compassion which is almost Shakespearean at times, but just doesn't fully convince as the hard man. The supporting cast are the amiable cockney scallywags you'd expect - Leo Gregory as the weaselly looking Freeman has the greatest line in the whole film which made me chuckle:

'Tell your Millwall boyfriend I've done his Reene up the 'arris... again'

If you need a translation for that - you'll have to go elsewhere. Sorry.

Still, 'Cass' is very much worth the watch. There is enough violent titillation for those who want it, and plenty of geezerish humour too. However the thoughtful aspects of this movie make it stand head and shoulders above the rest of the British celluloid fayre of late.

Id give it a 7.

Cheers,

Alex

Friday, June 27, 2008

Takin' Care O Bid'ness..

I feel guilty... 3 posts in two weeks... in my defence I have been very preoccupied...

I love Summer. The wather has stayed distinctly changeable over the last couple of months (climate change for you), but we've still had some moments of seasonal enjoyment. When I wake up at 7.00am and its dark and wet again, certainly won't be happy..

Everything around here is so.... green! The rain falls freely and the sun shines brightly straight after. The picture above was taken on an early walk I took through a place called Molesey one morning: the heavens had opened the previous night and the sun was there to turn the pools of water into vibrant reflective mirrors soon after.

Another first for me. Visited a sushi bar in uber-trendy Wardour Street in Soho, centre of London. I found the conveyor belt of oriental treats just too tempting to resist - all you gotta do is reach out and grab the next succulent bowlful which catches your eye.. ingenious!

Till next time..

Alex

Monday, June 23, 2008

A sure-fire way to get a woman's respect:

Here's my secret....

When helping her assemble flat pack furniture - do as you're told and do not complain.

It. Never. Fails. You don't have to schmooze her or treat her well - just do as you're told!

I am kidding by the way..


Feel guilty as I haven't written anything for a while. My regular visitors keep on logging on and Ive been disappointing them of late.. so sorry..

Anyway, hope you're all doing good. Im writing this tucking into a pizza when I should be deeply asleep - giving you an update is that important to me. Tonight I visited my mate Dave down in Guildford: a town where the high street estate agents advertise properties valued in the millions instead of the hundred of thousands of pounds. I felt like a character out of Oliver Twist pawing at the windows of a bakery whilst staring with greedy fascination at all the goodies inside. The piece de resistance was a huge Georgian marble pile in the deepest, darkest countryside of Surrey for 9 million quid. No starter home crap peddled here, and when you're in a town with more coffee shops than fast food outlets, its not really surprising - is it?

Off to a movie screening on Thursday of a film called 'Cass' - and its actually directed by my brother in law! Ill tel you all about it next time.

Till then!

Alex

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

'Pure alcohol doesnt thrill me at all...'

The Chairman of the Board wasn't far off...

First of all, apologies for the political rant last post around. Noone wants to hear someone mounting their soapbox on such a tedious issue. So will keep future posts full of wit and whimsy, I promise.

Anyway, I've had a revelation of sorts over the last couple of weeks. Since my formative years I have been rolling down the boozer of a weekend, knocking back a hearty share of booze before unsteadily weaving my way home to wake the following morning with an addled brain and a pocket full of change and receipts. It seemed that the larger the pile of change, the heavier the night was - know what I mean? However recently the drinking holes have lost their attraction and the shots which I used to drain with a macho abandon have lost their lustre. This will disappoint some: I'll get accused of being dull Im sure... but it's true!! I was out on Saturday and the first two pints of Frulli slipped down like the fruit flavoured soft drinks that they are. The JD and coke and sambuca that followed, stuck in my craw a little - leaving me befuddled and unsteady.. whereas my friends ploughed on seemingly renewed. My bed was calling whereas my nearest and dearest seemed intent on painting the town an alluring shade of Red Bull.. therefore I lamely made my excuses and left...
Hell, I'm exploring territory in my life which was previously undisturbed - things which fill me equally full of excitement and trepidation, but I didnt expect the slippers/cardie/Antiques Roadshow transformation to be so rapid and complete!
On another note. Film recommendation for you: Crash from 2004. A movie that plays on introspective identity themes like American Beauty whilst adopting the narrative style of a movie like Magnolia. Its also one of the most emotionally manipulative films I have ever seen - Crash left me emotionally wrung out, I saw all the hacky plot devices coming from a distance but nonetheless enjoyed every moment of it. Check it out...
Cheers,

Alex

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Dont want WoB to be just for my ranting..

But, we'll come to that in a moment.

Morning to you. I thought it was time for another post, however as I consumed a bottle of that ready mixed G&T stuff last night, my mental processes are feeling sluggish today.

Remember my friend James? He tied the knot with his fiancee Charlotte amongst much flinging of woo recently, I think they went off to Thailand or somewhere for the honeymoon - must've been sweet. However I'm gonna be very surprised if the person who checked my blog from Bangkok in Thailand was James, whilst he was away! I'm flattered to think that the words I write here could distract anyone from palm trees, sandy white beaches and a loving new spouse. If/when my time comes, you won't be hearing from me for a couple of weeks, period!
Anyway, the two blips of football and politics have been featuring of my radar of late. The European Championships are currently taking place in the twin soccer powerhouses of Austria and Switzerland. And thankfully, without the English team there, we don't get the hype, the arrogance and the hubris which my country takes to some major sporting events. I've put a tenner on the Germans to win at 4-1 so await the outcome with considerable interest.
As for the political stuff: Parliament has just passed a measure to allow 'terrorists' to be held 42 days without trial. This bill was apparently passed by the Government giving possible dissenters whatever they wanted in order to get them on board. Which makes me wonder, why is Gordon Brown so desperate to get this Bill passed? Why will the extra 14 days make all the difference? If the Lords does give it the green light, we'll have the longest period of detention without trial in the world. Even more than the Chinese government, and we all know what happens to people who disagree with them!
The Shadow Home Secretary, a bloke called David Davies, resigned from the Conservative Cabinet on the basis of this. I urge you to read his speech and chew over the ramifications of it. This Government is so inept with the sensitive information it has acquired, would you really trust your own personal information to be safely looked after? Under a blanket of fear mongering we are being cajoled towards a state where our freedoms and privacy are being steadily eroded. And this must stop...

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Boys Toys

I'm findng the pace of life has increased to an even more frenetic pace recently. On completing a job from my mental checklist, a further 3 related tasks seem to appear to replace it. I need a PA, anyone interested?
With my winnings from the other week I have purchased a spanking piece of audio kit. Its the Sony NWZ -A828 and you can play music on it.

Mmmm, shiny!
It holds 8 gigabytes of music (that's alot), plus movie and audio. It's a blokey matte black colour, the size of a credit card and the depth of a small packet of matches. Also on the plus side it has Bluetooth headphones, so no wires - I've been walking into work wearing what looks like a pair of techno earmuffs. Nifty huh?
After finally working out how the bloody thing works (the instructions should've been in Klingon for all the use they were), Ive managed to put most of my musical collection onto it... And what an old fogie I must've turned into! When you start listening to Johnny Cash and enjoying it, y'know the cutting edge of musical appreciation is disappearing into the rearview mirror of life.
And thats about your lot for the moment. Here's a link I found on youtube for those of a motoring persuasion. I hope it amuses and entertains you as much as it did me.
Catch you soon.
Alex

Sunday, June 08, 2008

He's certainly got a nice smile..

The orthodontist has done a fine job!
So here's my take on the US Elections: a show that this time I've been glued to. It seems that the Republicans have opted for a personification of 'The Man' in 95 year old John McCain. Will American voters really fall for someone who is a paid up member of The Establishment? Will they really be cowed into submission with a further diet of militarism and fear? I hope not. I watched a snippet of this guy laying into Obama (the guy above if you didn't know) about the suggestion of meeting Cuban President Raoul Castro 'for talks': "what kind of message does this send out to people?" he asked? Welllllllllll.. surely the message it sends out is that the Democratic nominee is up for engaging people in rational discussion instead of threatening to bomb the cr*p out of them.. Sensible, no?
On the Democratic side, we had the struggle between two big hitters: Senators Obama and Clinton. Even though Mrs C is a paid up member of the left-wing establishment, it stunned me how much of a free pass her opponent seemed to get in the press. He's handsome, he has a pleasing, velvety baritone like Bill Marshall and I guess he hasn't been around for long enough for the sh*t to stick to him. Still, what is this 'Change' business I keep on hearing about? What makes him the breath of fresh air to make the pundits to be dribbling with pleasure - besides the fact he looks the part and is a black guy?
So Clinton has bowed out. Or, what was it? 'Suspended' her participation. What is it with the hubris of these people? Doesn't she know she's out of it? Still, I reckon it sounds like she's waiting for something unexpected - this guy isn't too impressed - and frankly, neither am I.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Any excuse for a piss up..

Evening,

Im pretty knackered today. My panda eyed doppelganger who stares back at me through the bathroom mirror looks in need of an early night. Will be happy to oblige him this time.



Our haystack haired Mayor of London instituted an interesting little wheeze as part of his 'law and order' strategy. As of June 1st 2008, consumption of alcohol was made illegal on all London Buses, the DLR and also on the Tube.

Granted, he should've given the Met Police a bit more advanced notice - but I feel the idea itself is sound. As a rule I consider myself a libertarian after formative years of woolly minded Liberal tree hugging tendencies. However after seeing this and this I realised my rabid Daily Mail leanings will just not go away!

Soap Box Time: I believe drinking alcohol should be treated with the same degree of disdain as smoking cigarettes continues to be. Booze tends to be just as detrimental and disruptive to people's lives as tobacco does. People need the smallest of excuses to get absolutely wa*kered and the 31st of May was a prime example. Not resorting to putting on my hoary old curmudgeon hat is a struggle at this point. All I will say is that when people get hammered at the drop of a hat pass out, get arrested and chunder everywhere Im either hopelessly out of step with the spirit (pardon the pun) of the day or people are more boorish and self indulgent than they used to be.

How measured was that mini rant then? Richard Littlejohn I aint! Despite my increasing reactionary hankerings to the contrary...

Till Next Time..

Alex

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Catchup...

So my gym assessment it was not to be..

I felt comfortable, almost smug, in my gym knowledge and skills. Could tell you which exercise worked which part of the body and stretch you into knots. However, when the correct barbell wasn't around for a shoulder press - it all went pear shaped. When it came to the spotting technique, I gave Dave (my guinea pig) a chunky, hard core lifting bar with 5 kilos on each end -it was all I could find! He gave it his best, face grimacing and arm muscles twitching like the best of them - but eventually my assessor came in and called an end to things.

You see, I did all the homework, genned myself up more than adequately. However, I didn't come around an hour early to have a good look, find the right equipment and to show Dave what to expect. I guess I reckoned gyms are pretty much identical to one another (mine has barbells on the floor everywhere you look). How wrong I was.

Still its a learning curve. I see this as a dress rehearsal for the real thing.

Won't be as complacent next time.
Anyway, time races by ever quicker. At the same time, the minutae of day to day life bog me down with increasing impact. I'm having my fun (some of it the best possible sort) but its seems less and less likely I can share it with all the people Id like to. Managed a rushed email exchange with my buddy Mark - he is settling into domesticity in Godalming with his usual enthusiasm for the simpler things in life. Meanwhile Dave's transformation is a revelation: the untamed boozer is moving to the country with his girl and talks of mowing lawns, cats and gardening!
There are so many others, and this would be my message to them: 'I miss you. It'd be great to catch up with and get some quality time together. I'll make every effort to do in the near future'.
Easy Vibe (as my oldest mate Jim T would say)
Alex