Archive for the ‘movies’ Tag

Weekend Runs 28-29 October 2017   1 comment

 

The weekend runs were both early morning affairs this week. Saturday, I left before dawn for an 11.4 mile trip to Shepherd’s Bush to pick up some items at the butcher and the fish stalls in the market. While the butcher opens at 7, the market officially opens at 9 and I didn’t want to wait around till then.

I was listening to some mp3 files from NPR and learned that Robert Blakely died. No, the name meant nothing to me, either, until the announcer explained that he designed the Fallout Shelter signs that most Americans grew up with (at least the ones 15 years either side of my age). There were huge Shelters everywhere. In Griffin, Georgia there was a massive one with the marked entrance by the old (former) library adjacent to what was then the High School; me and some track mates found another way in by the cemetery on the other side of the campus and used it as a place to drink and smoke pot. In Athens, Georgia, I went on a tour of the one under the north quads; it must have been suitable for 5000 souls. Food, mechanical ventilation, and electrical gizmos complemented the submarine-style sleeping quarters. Who would’ve thought those memories would seem so current just one President ago?

 

 

 

The time change occurred and Sunday I didn’t need a torch when I left the house at 6 am for the 23.3 miler to Morden. It was fairly uneventful and reasonably pleasant — there was even a steady wind at my back more-or-less parallel to my course. Passing through Kingston-upon-Thames early enough that other runners were only starting out, I spotted this domino effect public installation involving phone boxes (below). In a related side note, on the ride home I noticed that the Vanguard building near Perivale (which has had a fighter jet mounted on the roof for as long as we’ve been here) now has a TARDIS on top.

 

 

 

I managed to stop in for a lovely Black Dragon Cider at the Nonsuch Inn (write-up here) as I made the final turn toward Morden Station. Passing the George, I figured it was worth a punt, too. “Is the bar open?” I asked at the bar.

“Yes, of course.”
“Excellent. I’ll have a pint of Doom Bar.”
“Oh. We don’t sell alcohol until 11.”
“Then, the bar is NOT open?”
“Yes, but not for alcohol.”
“Thanks, but that is not a bar.”

 

 

I caught the Northern Line tube soon after, changing to the Charing Cross branch at Kennington then transferring to the Central Line at Tottenham Court Road Station. This was the biggest coincidence of the weekend for me:  Jackie had never seen American Werewolf In London so we watched it the night before as part of the Halloweekend rituals.  This station features in some of the first night of the full moon gore and it was kind of a treat to be in there early enough on a Sunday that it was almost deserted save for a busker playing some Bach on guitar.

 

Fuck around, more like

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Posted October 30, 2017 by Drunken Bunny in Obits, Running

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London A to Z Runs : L   3 comments

 

Going into the International Workers’ Day Bank Hol, the London A to Z Runs continued with L for The Ladder in Harringay, a series of streets so-called because it looks like one.  I checked it out on an Ordnance Survey map and found that it was on generally flat land to the eastern ‘leg’ of the ladder rising steadily to the southwest as you ‘descend’ below Effingham Road.  The full ladder path from Turnpike Lane Underground with a final dash to Manor House station would give you a little over 8 miles with some decent hill work for London but for an old, lazy man such as myself there is an alleyway called the Harringay Passage that bisects the ladder allowing an easier path.

 

I hopped off the Tube at Turnpike Lane during rush hour and the platform emptied quickly.  I was hustling along with everyone else, eager to start the weekend and the run when I noticed one of the air vents in the station (above) had a grate that depicted the old toll gates when this was a carriageway (horse and carriage, that is).  Lovely detail, there.

Just out of the station you might be disoriented but the top of Duckett’s Common should set you on the path along Turnpike Lane (one of the few ‘rungs’ in the Ladder that isn’t named for a military man … unless the Pike in Turnpike is the one from Dad’s Army).

 

The neighbourhood is fairly heterogeneous in population, a mix of youth and age and a variety of shades and ethnicities but Green Lanes, itself, is home to some of the best (I’m told) Kurdish and Turkish food outside of Ankara.

Moving south down the Harringay Passage it DOES seem to be used by younger and less upscale residents but I’m certain I was the only tourist there.

 

 

 

The Salisbury was my main goal on the run and I even dallied a bit — the Sally has late doors for a city pub — at the Toll Gate but still arrived before they lifted the gates for evening trading.  Damn…what a grand looking house, eh? It features in scenes from The Long Good Friday (1980) and Chaplin (1992), for you film buffs (and was on my shortlist for the F is for Film run last autumn but too far away from other good sites to make the final cut).  Rather than wait for open doors here, I pushed on to the Old Ale House and finished off the run at the Finsbury.

 

 

The last real ‘rung’ of the ladder is the London Overground railway (below) so you can’t really count it for the run.  You could, technically, use the Railway Fields Nature Reserve but I wasn’t sure I could get out the far end without wading the creek so decided to call the Ladder ‘finished’ at that point.

 

 

On the straightaway leaving the ladder, you pass the baseball field of the London Mets (that’s the Meteors, not the Metropolitans for you completists), the top flight baseball team in town.  Not exactly Shea Stadium (but then again neither is Shea Stadium), this is what we baseball fans (we few, we…happy few) are reduced to in England.  More on this in the summer:

 

I’m Happy To Hear You’re Doing Fine   Leave a comment

 

We watched a shitload of movies, a couple of baseball games (Go Cubs Go), an episode of Black Jesus over the Easter holidays largely because Jackie was especially ill most of the weekend.  The highlight of the film fest for me had to be A Dove Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence [En Duva Satt på en Gren och Funderade på Tillvaron (2014)].  This was transformative for me the way Eraserhead (1977) and The Discrete Charm of the Bourgeoisie (1972) were in their times.  Breathtaking.  Or, while I’m quoting the movie (as in the title of this post), “of course.”

 

I also cooked a batch of banana muffins from an old recipe that uses sesame seeds to form an edible muffin cup (I have a similar one for carrot cake muffins that uses poppy seeds the same way).  I forgot the sugar whilst mixing everything up and, since they were muffins and shouldn’t get mixed to completely, I just stuffed a measure of dark sugar into the tops of the dough.  Not too bad.

Limping Lotta’s Banana Muffins’ recipe

1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp grated orange peel
1/8 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 egg
50 grams softened butter
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 tsp almond extract
1 squished banana
1/4 cup strong coffee

Additionally, get out a bag of dark brown muscavado sugar from which you intend to extract a half cup, firmly packed.  Mix the the wet stuff, then dry stuff, then dry with wet till it holds together…just. Lump this stuff into muffin pans that have been wiped with butter and dusted with sesame seeds. Remember, then that you forgot the dark brown sugar and sprinkle about a tablespoon on top of each muffin, pushing a little down into the dough with your finger. Gloat that this will actually work despite being a little less than 1/2 the sugar prescribed in the original recipe. Bake at 170 C for as long as it takes.

Posted April 17, 2017 by Drunken Bunny in Recipes

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Black Prince, Lambeth, London   1 comment

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I sat down, inexplicably, next to four Americans in the Black Prince.  Three of them were trying to explain who Elian Gonzalez is to the fourth one and eventually one of them did the whole, ‘poor kid, he was probably scarred for life by what happened.”

“I wish I could get scarred that way. He’s minted.”
They turned to face me so I continued.
“He’s a fucking tourist attraction, now. Probably runs his own hotel. Fer fuck sake, I wish I made out as well for every time someone stuck a gun in MY face as he probably has.”

 

black-prince-lambeth-bar-1

 

A fight did not occur and, in fact, the older guy (I’m reckoning 10 or more years younger than me) and I wound up having a conversation of sorts. Turns out his daughter and her partner have taken a few months to do the Grand Tour and somehow Lambeth was on the itinerary (or maybe these guys were just here because the Air BNB was up the street). They were also in town for an American football match, so my first instincts — that they are undesirables — may well have been right.

When they left, the rest of the bar filled in their spaces and the convo went back to Labour’s recent travails and the 3rd runway at Heathrow.  All was right with the world, once more.

 

black-prince-lambeth

 

Posted October 30, 2016 by Drunken Bunny in Pubs

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Jolly Gardeners, Lambeth, London   1 comment

jolly-gardeners-lambeth

 

The old guy at the corner was giving me the snake eye (or is it the evil eye) as I tried to photograph the Jolly Gardeners (for another view of his perch, there’s currently a good google street view here).  As I tried to enter, he fingered me in the chest and jerked his head back at the place.

 

“This is a listed building!”
“It’s grand, yes,” I answered and tried to continue in. He gave a blank look and shook his head almost imperceptibly.
“It’s spectacular,” I tried again. Nothing.
“Good? Can I say it’s ‘good’?” Still blank. I gave a goofier than normal grin and put both of my thumbs up by my face.
“This is a listed building,” he informed me, but this time he gave me more to work with. “Grade 2, it is. They can’t do nothing to the outside or change its name or nothing.”
I pointed to the Zeitgeist logo in the window.
“They call that ‘the inside.’ And, it’s all German in there.”
“They should list this building. I’ll see you in there.”

 

jolly-gardeners-lambeth-detail

 

He was as good as his word, though.  It was all German inside with 20 taps of nothing but German beer (and very good ones at that).  Generally, they are £5 per pint but there is a beer of the day each day that is only £4 (I didn’t think I wanted a Franziskaner until I spotted this discount).  They even serve German grub: I saw a fantastic mound of sausages on cabbage go to a table near me.  Definitely on my short list (and I’m sure I’ll see my buddy there again…he’s been using this pub as his local since the early 60’s when it looked more like this linked photo).

 

jolly-gardeners-lambeth-bar

Posted October 30, 2016 by Drunken Bunny in Pubs

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Lamb Tavern, City of London   1 comment

lamb-tavern-city-of-london

 

At the bar of the Lamb, I pushed ahead of some suits filled with two indecisive wankers that had just tried to mow me down outside while I was taking a photo of the place.  I ordered an ale as they cowered (probably afraid the sweat from my arms was going to ruin the mock vicuña of their jackets).  Generally, this seemed less like the sort of place a John Wayne character would get into a fight than the sort where some snarky comment about your BMW being over a year old.

I took my glass upstairs where it was largely abandoned.  Above the din, I could hear the soundtrack: really good mix of old R&B…Sam Cooke, Wilson Pickett, Marvin Gaye, etc.).  It’s a Fullers, so probably not a bad spot for lunch (just don’t come in during the after work rush).

 

lamb-tavern-city-of-london-from-upstairs

Posted October 30, 2016 by Drunken Bunny in Pubs

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The Covent Garden Pub, Covent Garden, London   1 comment

the-covent-garden-was-the-globe-frenzy

 

I went to the Covent Garden because the Nell of Drury Lane was closed and the CG also fit the theme of the day’s run (and, in fact, was another setting in the same film).  I had also bypassed it in the first place because of the name change from “the Globe” but I’m glad I was forced to double back.  This despite the £5 price tag on a pint (but, at least there were several real ales to choose from and the one I settled on was perfect).  It’s just what the cost of the neighbourhood dictates.

 

the-covent-garden-was-the-globe-frenzy-bar

 

It is a grand old house with a great smoking porch upstairs, netted in to protect from pigeons or gulls.  I’d love to go further upstairs and have a poke around (this is the midst of the theatre district, too, so any windows would be worth parking in for an evening’s viewing of foot traffic below, as well).

the-covent-garden-was-the-globe-frenzy-smoking-porch-upstairs

Posted October 30, 2016 by Drunken Bunny in Pubs

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