23 May 2008

Once you get down Lambeth way...Every evening, every day...You'll find yourself...Doin' the Lambeth walk...

Seeing as I'm now an official card-carrying comrade of the Castle climber cogniscenti so I decided to eschew the bowling-alley funk of the rental climbing shoes and acquire some footwear befitting my new-found status. Catch me on Monday nights getting my vertical freak on in a hotrod red pair of Hot Chillis which not only look super sexy and profesh but also have velcro straps. Velcro! Nothing takes me back to '85 like velcro straps...back when I was writin' ryhmes with Lee on my legs and Adidas on my feet and nary a shoelace was in sight. In addition I also picked up a rather sexy climbing harness which is basically a waist strap connected to two leg loops with some clips for hanging your carabiners (or 'biners as they're known in the bizz) off of. I picked up a 'biner and a Thingy (technical term for a belay device, the thing that you feed the rope into which acts as a brake for the descending climber and a veritable goldmine of purile puns like "belatio"). So now I look like either a) a complete professional or 2) a complete wanker, depending on your perspective. But regardless of which I still cut a sexy figure in all my sore-toed gonad-hugging glory.

Speaking of gonads, I picked up my new mountain bike this week, woo hoo! So there's plenty of testicle thrashing action on the cards as I get used to being on a bike again after all these years. I'd feel sorry for my poor balls if not for the fact they're purely ornamental. I love my new bike! I call her Sweaty Betty and she's soooo sexay and she'll treat me right, not like all those real girls. "It's ok, baby," Sweaty Betty purrs. "I'll treat you right...forget about those other girls, they don't love you like I love you. You can ride me anytime you want for as long as you want. You want to ride me for 5 minutes then have a nap? That's ok with me cos I luuurve you, baby." I luuurve you too, Sweaty Betty. "Shutup, baby...I know it."

I finally got to sample some more decent Thai food. It's impossible to get into my favouite Thai place in Soho as there's always a line, but because it's London Restaurant week (which goes for a month...derr!) there's plenty of restaurants which offer super deals, so I managed to find another Thai place in Soho which I was initially dubious about as it was down a back street and was the size of a bread box but surprisingly the food was awesome. They had me at "complimentary appetiser" but we got three courses for £30 plus a bottle of house white (not a carafe, a bottle...I know!) and it was just a continual up up up and away on the culinary roller coaster with no sign of a downward plummet. Plus, there were two roudy tables then when we arrived but they left after about 10 mins so we had the place to ourselves. Talk about atmos...sprechen ze sexy! It's one of very few places in London where I'd can enthusiastically say I'd go back.

Speaking of food, my flatmate Sarah works for this food magazine, right? Well they have this readers panel where they get people to test drive recipes and write about it for their magazine and they're after more blokes to be part of it. She nominated me and they've accepted! They'll send me recipes every now and then and pay for the ingredients and I just have to cook it and write about the process and the end result. How awesome is that?

Last Sunday Staci took me back to the Stadium to watch her beloved Fulham play Portsmouth on the big screen. CUHM OHN YUUUU WOITES! There was a suprising number of people there in an unsurprising state of drunkeness. I thought last week was a do or die affair but because this was the last match of the year and the closeness of the three teams at the bottom of the table and the other two teams having won their matches, Fulham absolutely had to win or they would drop down into the next division. After feeling somewhat like a tourist the previous week, I was determined to learn at least one song. The one I liked most was to the tune of 'Volare' and is sung each time the owner of the team (Mohamed Al-Fayed...yes, Dodi's old man) is shown on the screen. It goes like this:


He wants to be a Brit (clap, clap)
And QPR is shit (clap, clap)

So after a sloppy yet nail-biting nil all affair for most of the game, Fulham bagged one in the 76th minute off the head of Danny Murphy (Oooooh Danny Boy! He plays he plays for Fuh-hul-am!) and the whole place erupted. Cheering, screaming, drinks thrown to the floor, drinks thrown into the air, people hugging and jumping around. It was unbelievable. You've never seen so many people get so excited about their team finishing fourth last. Grown men were weeping! The mighty Cottagers managed to hold on to win the match, at which point everyone repeated the going off dance accompanied by an ear-splitting chorus of "WE-ARE-STAYIN'-UP...WEARESTAYINUP!" I found out that there's a New Zealander in the team (Simon Elliott) and an Aussie (Adrian Leijer), so there's a spiritual connection for me now. I have also gained further respect for Billy the Badger when I learned that he was sent off during a game against Aston Villa for breakdancing in the corner of the pitch after the referee had commenced the game. He blamed his badger hearing and eyesight for the incident, and apologised to referee but personally I think he should have just bitten the dude on the torso. Stoopid ref...

I headed down to Portobello Road to the Craze Gallery to check out Paper Wars which was a bunch of life-size weapons made entirely out of paper. Seriously, they had a full size paper howitzer just sitting there surrounded by AK-47's and Uzi 9mm's and grenades and everything. It was SO cool! You could even buy the kits and make them yourself but I didn't cos, like, 20 quid? I'll just take pictures, thanks.

Much to my delight, The Cans Festival which I missed out on a couple of weeks back was still there in all its glory. It was curated by Banksy inside a disused railway tunnel in Lambeth with pieces by stencil artists from all over the world. There was even a section where you could bring your own stencil along and they'd give you paint to put your own piece up. Awesome! Almost every square centimetre of tile and stone was covered with spray paint and everywhere you looked elicited gasps of amazement and delight and "fuken cool!" whispered under the breath as some new visual gem or clever pun was discovered. No doubt it will slowly succumb to the ravages of the elements and the tagging of adolescent bmx hoodie gangs but somehow that seems a fitting denoumont for a semi-permanent art form; an apt testament to the temporary nature of the ouvre. The calibre of the work was astounding and, in some cases, breath-taking. Stencil artists are some of the most imaginative artists and trenchant social commentators in these post-modern times so it's remarkable to see what they can accomplish when they're given time to focus on their work instead of looking over their shoulder for the Filth. And apart from anything else, it's nice to finally see some imagination and humour from the English (although admitely a lot of them were Europeans). I took plenty of photos so just follow the link on the left-hand side. That one there. No, not there...THERE! Down a bit...too far! That's the one!

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