Le Mercury, Islington

Described as French…ppppffh! We laugh in the face of this establishment. It looked quaint from outside, and the menu seemed good value for money. How I was wrong. Started off with Calamars Fris (Deep fried Calamari with tartar sauce), I was presented with what can only be described as miniature car tyres, overly salty and insidiously chewy. Suffice to say it went downhill from there. My girlfriend was visibly aghast. When asked by the waiter dude, how was the meal, she told him the truth. I can honestly say, the waiter missed the point, he just went on and on about the restaurant being there for some 30 years. Who cares! People stay away, food’s a joke, service was sinfully substandard. Remember cheap isn’t always good. I leave you with the following adjective: woeful.

Kilis Kitchen, Highbury & Islington

 

This little Turkish gem is rather lovely. The food is cheap, plentiful and delicious. Sometimes in life you’re after that no fuss, tasty and thrifty meal, well ladies and gents, Kilis is the place. Three course meal for under £13! Yep and it really is that good. The decor is inviting and during the summer months, the sun’s rays spill through the windows gently hugging every table. My girlfriend and I visited two days in a row – shucks! But sssshhh don’t tell too many people – we want to keep it on the Q.T.

Lord of the Flies, William Golding

This book is proclaimed as a twentieth century classic and is used ardently in schools across these British Isles. Golding tells the tale of a group of schoolboys who crash land on a tropical island and grapple amongst themselves to form an orderly society. The boys fail to keep order and quickly descend into juvenile savagery. Fixated on the hunt, and the need to acquire meat, the schoolboys divide – one side lead by Jack, who eventually orchestrates cult like murders. I can see why this book is popular, and undoubtedly has an appeal to a male audience (but not exclusively). Golding is descriptive, thorough and has an obsessive like for the word ‘ululation’. I was hotly surprised at some of the racist undertones, in particular a reference to savagery being akin to a group of black people! You are the judge, I leave you with the following quote from the book: ‘Which is better – to be a pack of painted niggers like you are, or to be sensible like Ralph is?’

The Dark Knight Rises, Cineworld Woodgreen

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I finally got round to seeing this movie after all the hype. In short, this film was just ok. I expected a little more punch (literally), given the rave reviews. Batman’s formidable enemy Bane was incredibly entertaining and convincing, the dialogue between the two kept you locked in, although subtitles would have helped as the two actors were intent on mumbling their lines! For those of you, yet to see this film, just wait for the DVD release, or borrow it from a friend. Worth seeing, but save your hard earned cash where possible.

The Children of Sisyphus, Orlando Patterson

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Hmmmmm…I’m torn. First published in 1964, this book is written well, very well. The patois is accessible, true and accurate. The narrative however is unquestionably grim, so you’ll have to be in the right frame of mind. Set in the slums of Kingston some time ago, the story circles on three characters who desperately seek a way of escaping their sad and grubby existence. They never make it! The author – Patterson, starts you off on a low and takes you even lower. If you’re into Rastafarianism or Revivalism then this may appeal to you. I found a copy of this book in my mother’s loft in a state of decay – needless to say, I shall be placing it back!

The Lonely Londoners, Sam Selvon

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A wonderfully written account from the perspective of new arrivals from the Caribbean in 1950’s London. Selvon provides an unforgettable narrative detailing a perspective of what our parents and grandparents were likely to have endured in London having made the long trip from the islands. Selvon is able to capture the dialogue and accents so accurately, leaving you smiling and grinning at the expense of Moses and Sir Galahad. Fantastically entertaining and easy to follow if you’re from the Caribbean. Grab a second hand copy and pass it on.

Wicked The Musical, Apollo Victoria Theatre

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Dear lord, why hast thou forsaken me? I have suffered at your hands, yes, it was torture having to endure the dire spectacle that is Wicked. I was internally pleased when we arrived outside the Apollo Victoria Theatre, having not known where my girlfriend was taking me. 20 minutes in and my world plundered into an internal plight as I battled to stay awake. This production can only described as juvenile, dull, uninspiring, woeful, tired, foolish…words fail me so I’ll just finish with garbage! One cannot begin to explain this pointless spin-off narrative – based on the original Wizard of Oz. The story is based on…blah blah blah…who cares! I should have retreated as soon as I sat down. The half empty theatre was a sure give away. You’ve been warned people, stay away!

Ghost The Musical, Piccadilly Theatre

Absolutely stunning. Visual, creative and inspiring. I scored some points by taking my girlfriend to see this last Valentines as a surprise. I’ve seen a few musicals in my short life, but this has to be up there, right at the top. No exaggeration, the performers, music and set were out of this world. The audience were locked in, the men humbled by the sight of their crying partners, as the performance worked it’s magic. We all know the story of Ghost (don’t lie now), the Piccadilly production do a splendid job of adapting this classic movie for the West End stage. Take your mum, partner, mistress, lover, ex, granny or friend and you’ll be loved. Pricey but well worth it.

Seeking A Friend For The End Of The World, Cineworld Enfield

Where do I start? Well, my girlfriend’s handbag was searched on entering this lame multiplex. But given recent events in the states I can’t blame them for not trying, (even though their screening process was completely random). Anyway, to the film, which was completely and utterly pointless and boring, I none-the-less enjoyed the sweet popcorn and trailers. Keira Knightly came across as a complete novice and grossly uninspiring. I like a film that leaves an impression, one which you mention at least once after leaving the cinema. Classified as Comedy, Drama and Romance, I can confirm none of the previous apply. Save your hard earned money, hire a DVD or just go for a walk. (P.S. My girlfriend picked this lame film for the record! Sorry had to slip that in at the end).

Making Noise Quietly, Donmar Warehouse Theatre

So incredibly dull. So dull we walked out during the intermission, a first for me. The performance is split into three sections, exploring the effects of war on ordinary lives. Lots of meandering chatter that simply left me dying in my seat. To be honest I should have known better, as the boring title should have served as the give away, or yet still, the lame poster (see above). There were even old people openly falling asleep in the audience! So I ask myself, why did I take my girlfriend to see this play? The plentiful marketing ads and 4/5 star ratings served as an attention getter.  I’ll never forget, that moment, at intermission – when we looked at each other momentarily and decided promptly to make a quick exit, fleeing like two scurrying squirrels. Stay away, all ye of good taste.