Over one week in November, three British-Chinese actresses are bringing you In The Mirror in Central London – telling British-Chinese stories of identity, politics, belonging (and not) and parenting. And given that I know at least two of the three performers involved (at least via blogging), I’m pretty confident that it’ll be free of the cliches that does tend to surround British-Chinese theatre.
I’d go, but I’ll be in Hong Kong, irony of ironies.
I realise that alongside transport discussion, talking about house prices in London is one of the dreariest middle-class things one could possibly do in London, but since we’re looking for some kind of dwelling that has more than one bedroom to accomodate a screaming child, I’ve been taking more than a mild interest in property prices.
So when I noticed a “For Sale” sign besides a derelict building on the same main road as work, it perked my interest. Sure, the house was huge but on the minus side, it was on a busy road opposite a shopping centre and car park, in a fairly dodgy area of West London and in an era of falling house prices. It can’t be that expensive, surely?
Nope. To buy a derelict house that requires extensive renovation, on a busy but dodgy and certainly unglamorous part of West London, would set you back the not-inconsiderable price of £785,000. Sheesh.
So the long search for a 2-bedroom flat in an area with a nice school within an hours’ commute of Shepherds Bush continues…
HyperHam and I were headed into Central London last night (for a thoroughly enjoyable Airplane! Q&A, as it happens) when our bus hit gridlock around Oxford Circus. I’d assumed it was general Christmas shopping traffic, until I saw the cars on the other side of the road replaced by a crowd of protestors waving placards and marching headed in the other direction.
Once we turned the corner and were headed down Regent Street, the marchers seemed to get a bit more demonstrative, and some of them started throwing orange barricades into the road, presumably to impede the progress of the police vehicles ahead and behind them. But given there were a pile of bricks on the road, they could have caused much more damage if they’d have wanted to.
Thankfully for us, they didn’t. Although since Prince Charles and Queen Camilla were apparently down a side street heading for the theatre (which we didn’t know at the time) maybe their attention was elsewhere.
Anyway, here’s some blurred shots of what little action we saw on Regent Street around 7.25pm.
Ob. disclaimer – we went to a Qype event and the soft opening of the new Hawksmoor in Covent Garden
Good luck on actually finding the place (psst: it’s pretty much opposite the famed Pineapple Dance Studios) – and once you do, you’ll find a very imposing set of double doors.
But get past those and there’s a friendly host who offers to take your coat. Not many places do that these days for free, so there’s a good start!
Down the steps, and as someone else mentioned, it’s a throwback to urbane 1950s New York, with a dark bar thronged with people supping cocktails and generally being fabulous. There’s not really any such thing as a bad cocktail, but the Hawksmoor Julip was tastily bitter, and the Concealed Weapon certainly was.
The bar snacks on offer are highly recommended – the lobster roll are oozing in gorgeousness and something slightly Oriental, while the lamb cutlets were very easy on the stomach.
Of course, all it did was whet the appetite, and we’ll have to come back one night for the steaks in the dining room, which looked opulent, spacious, gorgeous and well-lit.
Definitely somewhere you’d take Christina Hendricks on a date *swoon* and far more visually impressive than its predecessor.
American friends of mine tell of strange legends whereby if you show you’re a Mayor at certain locations, the staff there look kindly upon you and give you a bonus. But I thought that’d never come here.
Until I heard that the West12 Shopping Centre in Shepherds Bush is offering a free SuperShake to the Mayor of that location in any one week. They’re incredibly active on the social media front, what with having a Twitter feed and a Facebook page.
Unfortunately, social media can only go so far. The reality of the West12 Shopping Centre is that it was a slightly dowdy and dying shopping mall even before the heavy big-guns of Westfield moved in opposite. There’s a gym, a supermarket, a cinema and a pub but most of the units are to let and there’s nothing there to draw people in aside from for the basic needs of the week.
So how are companies in the UK actually using FourSquare? Or is it doomed to go the way of the even more pointless Twitter game Spymaster, which at one point everyone seemed to be playing until they all realised it was useless and had no end goal?
As soon as I walked in, I knew it was my kind of pub. Huge screens, games to be played, drinks to be consumed, and a feeling of space. The main problem was a distinct lack of chairs – but if you’re playing, why are you sitting down?
There’s even a tiny back garden with some faux grass if you need a sense of fresh air – or you can stand outside the pub itself, which has plenty of space. There’s even a wonderfully decorated basement with all sorts of nick nacks and decoration touches.
On the night we were there to look at Windows Mobile phones and gaming, there was even a very knowledgable cocktail meister serving some delicious cocktails (we counted watermelon and ginger amongst the ingredients) and some oh-so-juicy burgers. Nom om om.
I was handed a surprisingly svelte’n’sexy Windows phone to play with for five minutes. It had a very whizzy user interface that begged you to swipe and swipe away, and it’s certainly come on leaps and bounds since my last-thwarted attempt to get a Windows phone to work with me, back in 2008. The games looked fun, the screen looked bright and colourful, and the interface seemd incredibly responsive to my touches. Aside, that is, from the touch-screen keyboard which was responsive but just couldn’t quite cope with my drunken attempts at writing a text – but then again, I’ve never gotten on with touch-screen keyboards generally.
If only there was a way to actually try a phone in the real world for a while before you bought one – I’m in the market for a new phone, but have yet to find a cool phone with a physical keyboard – and touch-screen keyboards and I just don’t seem to get on yet. And yes, I’ve been told that I need to train touchscreen keyboards to respond to me – but quite frankly, if I have to train an input device, then something’s gone wrong straight away. I already know how to read and write – I don’t need to adjust my reading skills for a different book, do I?