A Grim North

Musings from a northerner living in the deep south…

Archive for April, 2010

Lock in at Pure Groove

Posted by Alan on April 30, 2010

Got your hopes up there? Nope not a real lock in… I still haven’t made a pub my proper local enough to be invited to a lock in (and I certainly wouldn’t be writing about it online if I did!!)

Thursday night this week I took a bunch of work mates and some CAMRA crew down to Pure Groove near Smithfield Market, for Fordy’s lock in (as well as the beer festival that has been going on all week).

Matt Forde

Matt Forde & Romesh

Somehow we ended up on the front row. Normally a bad idea for a comedy gig – but this time we didn’t come in for any flack! (Win!!). The basic premise of the night was that of a lock in – people talking over a few beers about their most embarrassing stories etc.

This worked well for the first half…then the beer started to show a bit…

Romesh and Jon Richardson

Romesh and Jon Richardson

…at which point were weren’t really sure if Matt and John Robbins had got into an arguement…

Romesh, Robbins and Fordy

Romesh, Robbins and Fordy

…still seemed to work out OK in the end 😉

Beer wise the event was a bit of a let down. Pure Groove seemed to have gone for the quantity over quality approach – given the place can probably at best hold 120 people, 8 ales as well as the bottles/wines/spirits seemed a bit optimised. I would have much preferred 4 good ales instead of the 8 flat ones that seemed to be on offer…still I hope they carry on an try again. I’m sure I’ll pop in from time to time and if I ever get a turntable again look at the music they sell – the prime reason the place exists!

Advertisements

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Pure Groove and SMWS London

Posted by Alan on April 27, 2010

This is totally a post for one of my other internet presences – @pigsearcamra on twitter (stop reading now if you don’t like beer… or whisky for that matter…)

First up I called into Pure Groove tonight – a record shop/label come club come beer festival. Well, this week anyway.

Record Decks and Beer Casks

Decks and Casks @ Pure Groove

All this week they’ve got a whole host of stuff on – so if you have some time to spare an you happen to be in EC1 check it out. Beers are a reasonable (for London!) £3/pint.

Then… I got invited over for a wee dram at the Scotch Malt Whisky Society, London.

Whisky in a nosing glass

I'll have a wee one please...

Again, seriously worth it. You might have to find a member to get in though…

Posted in CAMRA, Culture | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

2010 London Marathon

Posted by Alan on April 26, 2010

Not in the mood for lots of words tonight… so here’s a pictorial review of the London Marathon from the shots I got.

London Marathon, Near Tower Hill

London Marathon, Near Tower Hill

London Marathon, near St Katharine's Dock

London Marathon, near St Katharine's Dock

Beware the flag!

Beware the flag!

The Fastest Man

The Fastest Man

Many Runners

East Smithfield - Many Runners

Caterpiller chain

Nothing but the road

Nothing but the road

The Angel of the North

The Angel of the North

Richard Branson, Butterfly

Richard Branson, Butterfly

Getting there...

Getting there...

I took a ton of photos – the full set is on flickr but I’m going to add a second post here soon – with some of the elements of the marathon less celebrated – the support crews captured in action.

Posted in Charity starts at home, Photography | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Suits, Cakes and Shakes

Posted by Alan on April 25, 2010

With my role at work changing slightly over the next few weeks, I decided it was probably time to pick up a new suit. For me this means a trip to Slaters who never fail to disappoint… unfortunately there isn’t one in London. Cue day trip to Canterbury!

From our part of East London… that means we get to try the new high speed train from Stratford “International” (no  international trains go from there of course!). It’s right in the heart of what will be the athletes village – a serious building site at the moment so they won’t let you walk from the tube. One convoluted bus ride later, we were in the middle of it:

Stratford Athlete Village

Stratford Athlete Village

Stratford Athletes Village

Stratford Athletes Village

Stratford International Station

The vast expanse of Stratford International Station

I don’t think they get many people through at the moment – and security didn’t even flinch as I wandered through with my SLR out!

Fast trains break Ruth's eye's!

The train was so fast it broke Ruth somewhat...

In just under 1 hour we were in the glorious sunshine in Canterbury at which point we felt it was definitely time for an afternoon snack – we took in a recommendation and went to Boho, on the high st.

Cheesecake and 'shake

Cheesecake and 'shake

And so onto the nub of the trip, buying the suit. Slaters as usual…excellent. Free tailoring and since we’d come down to Canterbury specially they waived the courier fee which is pretty awesome. I really do recommend finding one if you need a suit!

After a potter around the shops and a pint of Shep Neame in a pub garden it was time to head home. Definitely somewhere I’d go back to again… The full set of photos are on flickr.

Posted in Buildings and Places, Photography, Travelling around | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Up the Orient, Down the Pond

Posted by Alan on April 18, 2010

Yesterday was pretty good day. The sun was shining (and still is). There were no vapour trails in the sky (Thanks volcano – I wonder if our air quality has got better?!).

We started the day here with the arrival of a new TV. This is about 4 months late but a failing on my part to actually pick one to buy! Never mind… it’s here now and last night we could finally tune into HD via freeview.

Come lunchtime it was time for some Saturday afternoon football. I’m not really a football person but when it was suggested at work I thought why not. We started with a pre-match pint in the William IV, Bakers Arms and then headed for the game.

Leyton Orient

Leyton Orient Football Ground

Pie at half time and we watch Leyton beat Stockport 2-0. Not a huge surprise since Stockport are going to be relegated anyway… a post match pint in the lovely beer garden at The Birkbeck, Leyton gave us time to enjoy the sun and the sky. (Sadly the Supporters Association at the Orient who have an awesome bar wouldn’t let us in…)

Lastly… I went down to the pond in the fading sunset light to see if I could get any decent shots of the birds on the pond and practice a bit more with the D-SLR. I think perhaps an hour earlier would make a lot of difference but here’s the best few.

Eagle Pond

Do not feed the birds!

Snaresbrook Crown Court

Snaresbrook Crown Court & Eagle Pond

Canadian Goose

Canadian Goose

Swan

Swanning About

Pond and Bus

Passing the pond by W12 bus

Leaves

Leaves

Sometimes I do have the remind myself I live in Z4 and not in the vast countryside of Essex…

Posted in Culture, Photography | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Bomo Barcamp

Posted by Alan on April 10, 2010

OK, so some of you have questioned my ridiculous early start this morning. Well…  Today I went to the Bournemouth Barcamp.  Barcamp (also known as an unconference) is basically a gathering of people (mostly nerds/geeks/iPhone users) to talk about stuff.  There is no set agenda, though people arrive with their topic for discussion.  In my work with the BCS YPG, we’d decided that we would put a presence at the event (via sponsorship) and attend to understand a bit more about just what a barcamp actually is.

So quite simply… Bournemouth is a really long way from my flat.  I’d got to Waterloo before most the food shops were open (BK provided a dreadful ‘bacon butty’) but Smiths was open so I could at least indulge in a grauniad for some comment on the way down.

The Barcamp itself was pretty good fun.  I managed to fit in some “learning” around encouraging creativity/innovation, a little about accessibility and a lot about the wonderful world of chat roulette (we had a fairly low rate of wankers at only 7.5 in 40 minutes!).  So if you fancy a good geekout… find a Barcamp near you!

(I also made it onto internet radio via http://g3show.gamingradio.net/ with some brief rambling (I tried to be balanced!) on the Digital Economy Bill for those who like internet radio!)

Posted in Geek Streak | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Do Do Do The Conga

Posted by Alan on April 2, 2010

If you’ve been in London this week you may have been asked for some loose change by people with buckets. The Easter week sees Meningitis Research Foundation descend into the city with a few students and a lot of enthusiasm. This year they managed an awesome £50K but still had some energy to expend with a conga.

St Pauls and the Millennium Bridge

St Pauls and the Millennium Bridge on a typically grey day

Sometime after 12 we form up ready to start. And off… mid bridge we stop and time warp for just a few seconds…

Time Warp and St Pauls

Time Warp

And so 40 or so made it to the north bank without any sway of the bridge and another year was done. With thanks to Ragabonds for organising the conga again.

Full flickr set of photos is now online…

Posted in Buildings and Places, Charity starts at home | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »