Saturday, six hours in Soho.
First we went to the ticket shop to pick up our tickets for The Flaming Lips concert tomorrow night. Then we wandered the laid back streets and alleyways of record, sex, comic book, and fashion shops, the delicatessens and cafés, bakeries, galleries and niche stores all the with the faint hint of pot and pastries floating in the air. Yes, Soho will always be my favorite part of London.
As we were passing Old Compton St. we stopped into our favorite Italian delicatessen, Camisa & Son and bought 300g of parmesan and fresh pumpkin ravioli.
Stopped for dinner at Sri Thai since we heard from friends that it was good. We each ordered Tom Yum Soup (hot and sour) with prawns to start. Main courses were Lamb Masaman (mild and slightly sweet curry with lamb, potato and peanuts) and Kaeng Moo Fakhong (mild curry of pork with squash, topped with crispy shallots), which we split between us. They were excellent, some of the best (and more unusual) Thai curries we've eaten. Prices were reasonable, although typically for central London restaurants they get you with the drinks.
Just over a year ago several boxes of Max's were stolen out of his parents' car. They contained books, casette tapes, photographs from his trips to Morocco, and cdroms. A few weeks later he received a call from the Southampton police saying they found the stolen boxes in the bottom of a garden and were able to identify them to Max through an old chequebook. However, we have tried to get them from the police station several times in the past year and each time we were told there were no police in the station to help us. Finally Max's parents were able to retrieve them last week so we drove down on Sunday to pick them up. There's a lot of water damage, some of the cassettes and cds are smashed to shit, all of the books are missing, but thankfully all of the photos are intact. We found one cdrom containing an old website of mine and his old copy of Quake (which I've been jonsing to play lately so we installed it on my pc and the laptop to play against each other).
Long time friends of Max's family, John and Vadna, were visiting. They were two of the few who were able to make it over to the states for our wedding. Max's father, Philip, met Vadna while in the police force where she gave training courses to senior police officers. She is a beautiful and charismatic woman from Guyana and is also immensely intelligent with a sharp, critical tongue. Philip and Vadna get on famously, despite their many opposite opinions. John is her soft-spoken husband and to me he resembles a jolly gnome. He is kindly and I felt immediately comfortable with him.
Jackie cooked an early dinner of roast lamb and chicken with vegetables, which we had with some good bottles of red wine (the best being the Chateau Neuf Du Pape and the other was an oaky Moldovan). Over dinner Vadna told me how to cook some traditional Guyanese dishes, which were simple enough that I was able to memorize them easily. One was a Guyanese thyme (which they gave us a plant of, the leaves are thick like a succulent plant) marinade, another marinade for grilled beef which she cooked the day before our wedding, and the traditional Guyanese christmas dish - garlic pork.
After dinner we ate some cheese (roquefort, brie, and a mysterious Spanish one), then raspberry cheesecake and coffee. A few hours later we said our goodbyes and drove back home listening to XFM's The Rinse.
I spent about 5 minutes trying to remember my custom controls for Quake.. that game brings back so many memories. Interesting to think I'd probably have never met you or Max without it.
yeah, fancy there not being any police officers in a police station. ;)
First person games have come such a long way in the past 6 or 7 years, it's difficult to go back. I managed to find a cheap copy of Duke Nukem 3D recently and just couldn't play it. Quake is probably marginally better, though I remember that elevation doesn't matter: you can shoot way above or below a target and register a hit. Quake II is as far back as I'd be willing to go these days, I still play Half Life every now and again.
That Thai place sounds interesting. We're looking for somewhere different to go on Sunday (celebrating flatmate's payrise) so that's a possibility.
I find Doom, Quake, etc. fun to play occasionally, probably for more nostalgic reasons than anything. Just as I like to play old console games, even if they suck by today's standards. Also, our laptop isn't very high spec, so Quake is one of the few games we can play on it against eachother until we get another monitor for my pc (we're using a kvm switch right now).
I never cared for Quake II, but I replay Half-Life. I think it still stands up as a good game, even if HL2 makes it look positively archaic. :)
I'm not sure if Sri Thai is somewhere I'd go for a special occasion dinner, but the food was reliably good and the prices decent (service was slightly rushed though).
tom yum soup is my favourite. there's a little chinese place in paris (somewhere in les halles, i think) that we went to when hayley was over there durnig her degree course that did it really well.
i'm all for 'interesting' shoes, but who do they think will buy these??
The tom yum was good at Sri Thai, but it wasn't amazing.. I guess it's a dish that's probably difficult to either fuck up or make fantastic. But it was warming and tasty, which was why we ordered it. Next time I'd like to try some of the more unusual dishes, like the sea bream wrapped in banana leaves or the "jungle curry".
btw, do you know of any good Vietnamese restaurants in London? I have been dying for a good bowl of pho.
I don't know, but remember what I said about fashion disasters in London? ;)
there's a place called "the opium den" in oxford that does a mean tom yum, by which i mean: it has slices of really really hot chilis floating in it and the heat is just about bearable if you're careful to avoid them. it certainly fires you up on a cold day, though!
i don't know of any vietnamese restaurants....anywhere, actually. i only mentioned the place in paris to look cosmopolitan and now it's backfired on me! ;)
it's still amazing just how far people will go in the name of fashion.
wow, sounds spicy (which is good in my book!) I want to spend a weekend in Oxford sometime soon, so I'll have to check that place out.
hehe. well we did a search tonight out of curiosity and it looks like there's a good Vietnamese restaurant in Mornington Crescent and another in Knightsbridge.. mm pho.
I quite like those wraaasling boots - is there something wrong with me? No idea what I'd wear them with though. Mark, my business partner, is friends with the guy who set up Accupuncture, and another friend, Sean McLusky who runs Sonic Mook Experiment organised the launch party for Accupuncture's new line of wrestling boots - Mark went but I was gutted to be stuck in Sheffield at the time. Lots of dodgy womens' wrestling and general 70s sports madness.
Ahhh, Quake. Tempted to try it again sometime - I do like those old games. I think I may have already mentioned to you the Doom WADs I once wrote - I dug them out and played them recently, loads of fun. If you still play it, I'll send them over and you too can have fun running around under Hieronymous Bosch skies (although I've a feeling that the version I have here is not the final one, with the second level monster-bash and the labyrinth walls scanned from a psychedelic 70s Milanese textiles manual).
i bought a pair of acupuncture trainers once and they only lasted about eight months before the soles started coming off at the front. they weren't stitched on but glued. even after re-glueing them myself they still fell apart soon after. happy i was not, having spent a fortune on them. the dcs i have now were cheaper, look better, and have lasted me nearly two years so far and the only wear i can see is on the inside where my heels rub against the back.
Yup, I wouldn't really go to Accupuncture for quality. The first batch of trainers they ever sold were actually re-badged Nikes. I forget whether they were seconds or end-of-lines, but basically they were ones that some factory in the far East, who supplied Nike, couldn't get rid of - they sold them all as a job-lot to Accupuncture, first of all planing off the sole-patterns so that they couldn't be identified.
Nothing wrong with you, although I don't think I could ever take them seriously. But maybe that's the point. :)
Womens wrestling.. that's funny, I just put "fashion wrestling" into google and it came up with this post on your site! I remember reading something about fashion wrestling before which is why I was searching for it, but it wasn't from your site. Can't find it now..
I'd love to play your Bosch levels! I think we have a copy of Doom around here somewhere.
The fashion wrestling was great fun. There was an article in FAD to accompany it too, here. The bare bones were written by my partner-in-crimes Mark Westall, I filled in some details and "styled" it, the idea being that it came across in a sort of semi-SMS semi-drunk semi-rambling style that very much suited what we felt that night.
Mmmm... those Doom levels, gets me all nostalgic, I was going to post about them on my blog, then I realised that I already did last year.