karohemd: Gentoo penguins in Antarctica, by me (Hungry)
On Saturday I met up with [livejournal.com profile] skorpionuk at Jose Pizarro's sherry/tapas bar José for lunch. I had been to Pizarro (his restaurant) before and loved it but I fancied more variety this time. José is on a corner on Bermondsey St. There aren't any tables with chairs but counters along the windows with stools and a few tall bar tables as well as the bar itself. It's open all day on Saturdays from 12 noon and it will be packed very soon and it became apparent why very quickly.
Our first pick was "Pluma Iberica", seared iberico pork served rare. This might sound unusual or even dangerous but the quality of the meat is so high that the rawness is no cause of concern. On the contrary, cooking this superb meat any further would be a crime as it is wonderfully tender and flavoursome, almost melting on the tongue.
The other dishes we shared was a salad of radicchio with walnuts and blue cheese (well balanced flavours), sweet and tender squid with allioli and chilli, gently cooked chicken livers that were almost like paté and a fillet of seabream with morcilla (Spanish black pudding) and red peppers. The final reward was Crema Catalan, equally as good as the one I had at Pizarro. Everything was perfectly cooked, flavoured and seasoned, a joy to eat.
With two glasses of sherry and good conversation, almost two hours went past very quickly indeed.
Apologies for the lack of photos but it was a bit cramped and the food and company were just too good that I forgot, despite actually having a camera with me.
karohemd: Gentoo penguins in Antarctica, by me (Hungry)
On Saturday I met up with a friend at Jose Pizarro's sherry/tapas bar José for lunch. I had been to Pizarro (his restaurant) before and loved it but I fancied more variety this time. José is on a corner on Bermondsey St. There aren't any tables with chairs but counters along the windows with stools and a few tall bar tables as well as the bar itself. It's open all day on Saturdays from 12 noon and it will be packed very soon and it became apparent why very quickly.
Our first pick was "Pluma Iberica", seared iberico pork served rare. This might sound unusual or even dangerous but the quality of the meat is so high that the rawness is no cause of concern. On the contrary, cooking this superb meat any further would be a crime as it is wonderfully tender and flavoursome, almost melting on the tongue.
The other dishes we shared was a salad of radicchio with walnuts and blue cheese (well balanced flavours), sweet and tender squid with allioli and chilli, gently cooked chicken livers that were almost like paté and a fillet of seabream with morcilla (Spanish black pudding) and red peppers. The final reward was Crema Catalan, equally as good as the one I had at Pizarro. Everything was perfectly cooked, flavoured and seasoned, a joy to eat.
With two glasses of sherry and good conversation, almost two hours went past very quickly indeed.
Apologies for the lack of photos but it was a bit cramped and the food and company were just too good that I forgot, despite actually having a camera with me.
karohemd: (Photo)
Thanks to a friend who works at BT I had the opportunity to go up the BT Tower. It's not open to the general public these days, only for private events or during the Open Days in London. The "Tower Flight" I attended is usually reserved for BT employees but they can invite family and friends so that's how I got in. They have quite tight security with handheld metal detectors. The sweeping lobby looks rather swish and has obviously been updated since it was first built in the 60s.
The lift are rather small and have room for about 8 people but they go up at breakneck speed (7m/s). Despite this, it was probably the smoothest large scale lift ride I've been on, you don't really feel the acceleration, just your ears pop about halfway up. The ring room on the 34th floor used to house a regular, public restaurant but these days is only used for corporate events etc. It's glazed from floor to ceiling and rotates slowly (stopping for while, rotating again) so once you've picked a spot, you can just stay where you are.
Stupidly, I'd forgotten to pack my polarisation filter (and when I remembered this morning I couldn't find it) so taking photos through the glass was a bit tricky but not as bad as I feared. Here are a few examples:

Up the BT Tower

Up the BT Tower

Up the BT Tower

Up the BT Tower

Up the BT Tower

Up the BT Tower


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Saturday

23 May 2010 05:08 pm
karohemd: by LJ user gothindulgence (Default)
Got up around 10:30 and send my setlist to [livejournal.com profile] alixandrea but soon almost fell over so went back to bed for another snooze (until 1, oops). I'm really getting old...
Made a first start on the Sacrilege photos and then headed down to London to meet up with [livejournal.com profile] ginasketch at wahaca in Covent Garden for nommy food. A fantastic ceviche of scallops and shrimps, deeply flavoured chicken mole and surprisingly tasty grilled cactus (which I ordered simply so I could say I've had cactus but was positively surprised) and a portion of churros with excellent chocolate to finish.
We then wandered around Covent Garden a bit where we had a fun conversation with the fossil man (I didn't buy anything despite being tempted because I have too much crap already) and made our way to the Spice of Life.
Grabbed a drink and met up with [livejournal.com profile] sea_of_flame, [livejournal.com profile] davedevil, [livejournal.com profile] civi and [livejournal.com profile] nadriel before making our way downstairs for the Bitter Ruin release party.
The venue is tiny and on two levels which makes it hard for most of the people on the top level to see the stage but I had a reasonable spot at the bannister.

The support band (whose name I've forgotten) from Brazil were fantastic and played some sort of swing and blues inspired cabaret music. The singer had a fantastic, strong voice that sounded at least 20 years older than she was. They also had a skeleton on drums and an upright bass. Excellent stuff.

Then Bitter Ruin came on and they were amazing as usual. The new songs are brilliant and expand their repertoire wonderfully. Amazing what you can do with just one acoustic guitar and two voices.
They finished around 10:30 which meant I was able to catch the 11:15 train and get home before 1.

Watched Doctor Who while waiting for my bedroom to cool off before bed.
karohemd: (Photo)
After wandering around Canary Wharf last Saturday I went back into the city, walking from Borough High Street North over the river

A few more on flickr.

  
 
  

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karohemd: (Photo)
I wandered around the almost empty streets of Canary Wharf last Saturday. It's a pure business district where many banks and other financial instituions/businesses have their headquarters so the population drops drastically on weekends.
The light was reasonable, too, although a bit hazy at times.
Here are some of the results (even more on flickr):

  
 
  

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karohemd: by LJ user gothindulgence (AFP)
After sleeping in and getting ready, I managed to get the train I wanted and met up with [livejournal.com profile] ginasketch at Charing Cross station. We took the train to Lewisham and wandered up to the nice flat she's sharing with [livejournal.com profile] colonel_maxim. After dropping my bags and chatting a bit, we headed back into London, completely forgetting to check if there was any chaos on the Underground, which there was as we found out when we arrived at Victoria (neither Victoria nor Circle line were running). So several changes and the last bit by bus later, we arrived at the Union Chapel where there was already a huge queue so we decided to skip dinner.
We jumped the queue half way through as we spotted [livejournal.com profile] queenortart and [livejournal.com profile] fractalgeek. There was some random entertainment by a pianomobile (a real piano on a bicycle contraption that actually moved, AFP later said "I met this guy in Edinburgh where his piano was parked outside a bike shop) and the queue started moving soon.

The Union Chapel really is a beautiful venue (and an actual, working church). The floor with the pews is sloping downwards so even when sitting further back you have a good view of the stage. I'd wanted to buy a DVD but they didn't have any [left] (should have bought one during the webcast...), just a few t-shirts (No #LOFNOTC ones, either) and a poster (the crowd surfing one).

Support came from Polly Scattergood who wasn't bad at all but her voice was a bit flimsy for my taste. I kept thinking Lady Gaga, which Polly doesn't deserve.

After a very short break, someone (I forgot the name, but most likely Patrick Wolf) played a few rather marvellous sections on the chapel's organ which was great.

Then AFP took the stage, just stood there and then, without amplification and a capella, sang The Wind That Shakes the Barley. All I can say is Wow...
Then she took off her marvellous Kambriel coat to reveal a black/white striped dress, sat down on her Kurtweil piano and launched right into Astronaut. There was the usual mix of songs from WKAP, from the DD back catalogue and some awesome covers, interspersed with the usual rambling, Neil Freaking Gaiman appearing on stage to do a "hymn" (apparently, Derek and Clive's, Jump, it's on youtube already, this might get pulled soon because of NSFW language), two lots of "Ask Amanda" (questions from the audience you could drop in a box at the merch stall) and auctioning a painting that was being created live on stage during the show (started last night).
My favourite cover was a Tiger Lillies song from "Shockheaded Peter". I'm hoping they'll end up doing something together because I think it would work well. That said, the Tori Amos cover (Me and a Gun) was impressive as well.

It was a really really good gig, at an awesome venue with a fantastic audience. I don't think I've been to a gig where everybody was quiet and just listened during the songs, nobody was talking (which always annoys me immensly) and (at least around me or that I could hear) nobody was singing along, not even during the fun songs. That was a huge bonus.
On our way out I had to go back in because I'd left my camera pouch behind and when I returned [livejournal.com profile] bethofalltrades was randomly chatting to the others. Too bad she had to run off or I'd have asked her about her Diana...

I had originally planned on staying for getting my book signed but [livejournal.com profile] ginasketch and I were really hungry so stopped over at a South American place for much needed calories on our walk back to Angel. We made the tube to London Bridge and the train to Lewisham and decided to end the night with some crap TV and boy was it crap. Until Death with JC vanDamme was on FX, a film that didn't even match its synopsis on the TV Guide. I'll spare you the details.

First I slept really well on my air mattress but from about 7:30, I was constantly disturbed by the sound of the nearby trains so eventually decided to get up when [livejournal.com profile] ginasketch got up. We watched a few episodes of Attenborough's Life of Birds on Eden and then I made my way back with perfect timing this time (got a train just as I arrived at Lewisham station, made it onto the 12:15 from King's Cross and when I got out of Cambs station, the Citi 1 bus was there, too).

(edited for typos)
karohemd: (Photo)
I had a few minutes to kill before the Tiger Lillies performance so I had a look what was there to capture. Nothing special, just a few shots of fences etc.

  

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karohemd: (Photo)
at the New Players Theatre, London on Saturday, 16/05/09.
The Tiger Lillies are hard to describe, their music encompasses various styles from classic French chansons, Brecht/Weill style dark ballads, gypsy music and other influences. Have a look at their myspace and YouTube sites linked from the main website to get an idea.
The trio (Martyn Jaques on vocals, accordion and piano; Adrian Strong on drums and percussion and Adrian Stout on double bass, theremin and singing saw) are currently celebrating their 20th stage anniversary with The Songs of Shockheaded Peter and Other Gory Verses at the New Players Theatre in Soho, London. Well worth a visit, it's still on until the 23rd.

  
 

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The whole set is on flickr.
karohemd: (Photo)

I also wanted to take some long exposure traffic shots but I didn't find a place that would have worked. Either there was standing traffic or not enough...
karohemd: (Photo)
From Cambridge and London

 
  

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More on flickr

THIS IS

28 Jun 2008 12:26 am
karohemd: (Photo)
Sparta in London?


ETA: I'm disappointed in you lot, I expected shouts of "SPARTA!"

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