The Cafe is threathened by closure

New Piccadilly Cafe, Denman St, London W1
New Piccadilly Cafe, Denman St, London W1

More and more rumours are going around that the Cafe, yes the one and only THE CAFE, is closing. The owner is facing another raise in rent, and he is not really willing to settle for that, so if things are not getting in place, they will close this summer.

I haven’t been there for a while (and I feel pretty bad about that right now), so I will go there tonight, and I hope to hear from them that things are going to be fine. It would break my heart if they had to close.

But (and this might be a last attempt), go visit the Cafe, if and/or when you are in London before it might be too late. It is a really nice place!

New Piccadilly Cafe
8 Denman Street
Piccadilly Circus
London, W1

(Here it is on a googlemap)

And some links:
New Picadilly
New Piccadilly on design classics

The Sultan’s Elephant is coming to Antwerp

The fantastic Sultan’s Elephant theatre spectacle will be coming to Antwerp between July 6th and 9th.

If you want to experience this forty-foot high mechanical elephant, the little girl, and the time-travelling Sultan , well then you know where to go.

I would really really recommend to catch this spectacle. And to all the Dutch people reading this, this is your chance. Don’t miss it.

Douglas Adams – The Salmon of Doubt

The Salmon of Daoubt - Douglas AdamsThe Salmon of Doubt is a must read if you are a fan of Douglas Adams. It contains interviews with, and articles written by Douglas Adams, and it gives you quite some personal background about Douglas Adams as a person. It’s difficult to base your opinion on books only, but I think it is safe to assume that Douglas Adams was a very witty man to be around. And how weird to read his half finished last Dirk Gently chapters, knowing the book will never be finished. And to read that he was actually considering writing a 6th Hitchhiker book, which will never see the light of day either.

Here is a bit about tea, I especially like his remark about social (in)correctness.

Some people will tell you that you shouldn’t have milk with Earl Grey, just a slice of lemon. Screw them. I like it with milk. If you think you will like it with milk then it’s probably best to put some milk into the bottom of the cup before you pour in the tea.(1) If you pour milk into a cup of hot tea you will scald the milk. If you think you will prefer it with a slice of lemon then, well, add a slice of lemon.

Drink it. After a few moments you will begin to think that the place you’ve come to isn’t maybe quite so strange and crazy after all.

1 This is socially incorrect. The socially correct way of pouring tea is to put the milk in after the tea. Social correctness has traditionally had nothing whatever to do with reason, logic or physics. In fact, in England it is generally considered socially incorrect to know stuff or think about things. It’s worth bearing this in mind when visiting.

The whole Tea article is available on h2g2 (the website h2g2 was once started by Douglas, but is now run by the BBC) which is a good source for all kind of Douglas Adams and Hitchhikery related articles.

Imagine Me & You (8.5/10)

Imagine Me & You (2005)

I was in a very bad mood, went into the cinema, and came out with a very big smile on my face after seeing Imagine Me & You. This not so typical (but still) rom com turned out to be a real mood booster. No one makes better rom coms than the Brits.

And Anthony Head (I never saw Buffy, but did you see him in Dr. Who ?) has now definetely reserved a place on my dreamcast list. He has a delicious voice, can play a charming Brit as nearly no other, and he is very very funny.

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Big Ben – a poem

I have a weakness
For tall guys
You know the types
With twinkling eyes

This one has charm
And he has grace
Watching the city
From his space

I know,
it’s only just begun
But he’s towering
facing the sun

His classy suit
Not hard to see
Why, from day one
He captured me

Talking to me
Around the hour
Always on time
That is his power

I try to see him
When I can
Who wouldn’t fall
For
the Big Ben

The Girl In The Cafe on her way to Denmark

The Girl In The CafeKarin, from met-k.com has written a very nice review about The Girl In The Cafe (both in English and in Dutch !), which is of course a very nice start of the week for me.

“The film moved me and let me think. About life and it’s chance meetings. How people seem to meet and go together in their journeys and stay or leave. Laurence is the shy and insecure man who feels trapped in his life and job. And Gina is just pure and wants to live in the purest of ways. Eventhough she takes risks. Eventhough she might lose the things she loves so much.”

Read her whole review at met-k.com. A big thank you to Karin for participating !

The Girl will step on the plane again soon and fly to Denmark, where she will accompany Bjoern for a while.

~~~~~~~

If you would like to participate in The Girl In The Cafe on tour project, you can read about it here, and join. (It doesn’t matter where you live).

All it will cost you is a stamp to send the film to the next person, 2 hours to watch this beautiful film, and 15 minutes to write a review about it.

If you want to know where The Girl is, has been or will be going – check here.

Love can’t change
what’s wrong in the world.
But it’s a start.

makepovertyhistory.org

Stomp, Vaudeville theatre, London

You have to know that all the theatreshows in London are being advertised as “The best show in London” and “Not to be missed” and then the name of a newspaper and the obligatory “*****”.

So I went to see Stomp, in the Vaudeville theatre on Strand. Because I like drums and percussion and rhythm, and can remember very clearly how extatic I got watching Yamato – The drummers of Japan, when I saw them in Aarhus a while ago.

So Stomp: “Stomp is an explosion of movement and rhythms that is at all times entertaining and on occasion amusing or thrilling.”
Sounded interesting. And it was fun in the beginning, but after 15 minutes I got kind of bored. The show is basically just one long chain of people hammering on stuff. On sweepers, on wood, on metal on everything. And they do it in a very rhytmic way, and the audience loved it, I could tell. But I wasn’t too impressed. Maybe because I have seen so many cool things already here in London (Blue Men and big Elephants had no problem whatsoever to impress me).

But after them banging on for a while I got irritated. The next act began. A few people entered the stage with newspaper. And I thought – if they are going to make noise with them too I am going to bang my head against the chair.

So today I have a headache.

If you want to see concept theatre, go see the Blue Man, if you want to see a decent play, there are plenty to pick from, and I don’t mean We Will Rock You or Mama Mia. My ticket for Kevin Spacey’s The Moon for the misbegotten arrived in my mailbox yesterday, and I can’t wait to see him. I’m convinced that he is going to be really good.

What’s in the girls mind

Well not much at the moment. Or maybe too much.
It is funny, this process of writing. I have a long list of things to write about so it’s not that I lack any ideas. I could write about the man in the park, about a funky tower in London, about how I was woken by the Big Ben this morning (too late though and I missed my Caterham train again – but waking up by Big Ben talking to you is kind of funky isn’t it) or how I seem to be ending in some kind of warp hole when it comes to writing right after posting a picture of a certain Brit actor (I guess I understand what “Bill posters will be prosecuted” means now, they come at night and vacuum clean your brains for any creativity if you don’t obey. This is the second time it happens.).
To cut a short and uninteresting story even shorter, I can’t get anything decent out at the moment.

So instead go enjoy the weather, or watch a football game, or try to imagine how I get treated at work for having my orange “Hup Holland Hup” sign up, being amongst a couple of hardcore football fanatic Englishmen.
I’ll be back. If they don’t kill me that is, those Englishmen.

Interplanetary problems

This was the second time I had problems with my Oyster card. I paid for it on the internet, but somehow that information couldn’t get through to the card itself. Which meant I couldn’t get through the gates of the underground. So I went to the information desk (I am a regular customer there). And the queue was long, and I was going to be aggressively late for work. Again.
When I finally stood in front of the small glass window (no voiciliciousness this time either) I explained the problem. He did something with his computer.
“I need your password” he said.
“Right” I said. This had to come one day, and today was obviously that day.

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The Fool On The Hill


I know I complained about it, but even though the weather was as good as it can be, I stayed inside to watch Holland – Serbia/Monte Negro at 3pm. 3pm UK time that was, which was about an hour too late, so I missed the first half. I keep forgetting that I am living in another timezone now.

After this act of misplaced nationalism, I needed some fresh air. And I knew where to get it. Hopping off at Belsize Park (Northern Line), I began walking, on my way to Hampstead Heath (a big park in the north of London).

But just before the real climbing began (I was heading for Parliament Hill) I needed some water. And how convenient – I passed a Marks & Spencers.

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Step into another world : The Mandir, London

Mandir temple, London
You have to jump on the tube, and take a long journey North West to visit the Mandir temple. You reach areas where the underground changes to overground, and you get off at Stonebridge Park (Bakerloo Line). When you leave the train you can see the impressive Wembley Stadium which is currently being rebuild, and delayed, and on walking distance from this station.

But this wasn’t the reason for my trip in this direction of London.

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United 93 (10/10)

United 93 (2006)If you would ask me how I felt after I saw United 93, I would say: I felt like if somebody had hit me very hard in my stomach. More than once. I had problems breathing and I couldn’t move the first 5 minutes after the film.

If you can handle that, you should see this film. Filmmaking doesn’t get any better than this.

Tagline: A real time account of the events on United Flight 93, one of the planes hijacked on 9/11 that crashed near Shanksville, Pennsylvania when passengers foiled the terrorist plot.

Directed by Paul Greengrass (a Brit, you might know him from Bloody Sunday or the Bourne Supremacy)

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

I picked up reading again after I came to London. There are several reasons for this.
One is I like reading. Give me a good book and I am out of this world and into the book, and I don’t hear anything happening around me. Another reason is that I need to train, feed and grow my English vocabulary. I love to learn new words like “mindboggling” and learn expressions like “Putting the kettle on”. For obvious reasons.
A third one is that I sometimes like to sit in a/the Cafe and watch people. And listen to what they talk about, and make some notes about that in my notebook. But I still feel silly sitting in a cafe on my own, and having a book with me somehow makes that easier.

So I installed the Now Reading plugin, to clutter the already cluttered sidebar on this blog even more. And started out with buying books. I could write a long rambling story about which books I bought and why and where and for how much, but I won’t.

I am just going to write that the last book I read was called :
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.
And that it is written by Mark Haddon.

And that it is one of the most amazing and original books I have read. Ever. And that I think you should read it.

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time is a murder mystery novel like no other. The detective, and narrator, is Christopher Boone. Christopher is fifteen and has Asperger’s, a form of autism. He knows a very great deal about maths and very little about human beings. He loves lists, patterns and the truth. He hates the colours yellow and brown and being touched. He has never gone further than the end of the road on his own, but when he finds a neighbour’s dog murdered he sets out on a terrifying journey which will turn his whole world upside down.

Find your shorts

London Weather

No need to escape to Turkey, Barcelona or Rome. London has it all, even fantastic weather.

And of course we are playing a football pool at work (even though a swimming pool would be more appropriate with this weather). The way we play it here : the 32 teams went in a Bobby hat and everyone could draw 3 teams from them. The person having the winning team gets all the cash.

I am quite happy with my three teams, because I managed to pick Holland (yay, and everybody knows that they are going to win this year, at least that is what I have been bragging about to my colleagues, so they better play well), France and Mexico. It could have been worse. I am not a football addict, but I like to watch things like the World Cup.

Stay young, don’t get old

The man in green

I saw him struggling with his rollator on the wobbly pavement in Croydon, he was an older man and had problems walking. I passed him carefully, and a few seconds later I heard something fall down behind me. His rollator wouldn’t go up the curb, it had folded together, and he was laying on the street, struggling to get up again. I went back and helped him up.

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Easy like Sunday Morning


Imagine this : at 5.00 am, when London is quiet and empty and beautifully peaceful, and the sun is about to rise – you are sitting on the first floor of a red doubledecker, in front of the window. This bus takes you on a fantastic ride through slowly awakening London. There is nearly no traffic, St. Pauls is as beautiful as ever in this shimmering morning light, and suddenly standing up this early wasn’t bad at all. I might even do it again.

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