Friday, 27 February 2015

Kia Sorento - Interim Verdict. Plus Thoughts On Capital Food.

Our Kia Sorento (aka Canyonero - check out The Simpsons episode 193, The Last Temptation of Krust) is almost a year old and had its first service today. No problems, in fact no bill because I got five free (well I suppose I paid for them but not much) services as part of the deal. It is not a Range Rover but then again it is less than half the price of a similarly spec'd RR so who's complaining. It drives nicely and copes with any conditions I might care to throw at it. And they even sorted out the problem with the radio on service. Result. Recommended? Definitely - and a word for the dealers, Sutton Park Kia, who have been a pleasure to deal with.

It's taken me a few days to get round to recording it but we had a nice weekend in London. We did rather more eating out than is good for waistline or wallet and because it's what I do, I will give you my prĂ©cis of the experience. I've expressed pleasure before about the Prince of Wales Feathers, the pub over the road from Helen's flat, so I won't do that again. But new destinations were: the Fig and Olive, Islington (Saturday night); Dishoom, King's Cross (Sunday breakfast); and the Phoenix in Cavendish Square (Sunday lunch).

Fig and Olive - crowded and lively. Service friendly if a little chaotic, first bottle of prosecco on the tepid side, but all redeemed by a fabulous main course shin of pork. 6.5/10. Fig and Olive

Washed down with a Bloody Mary
Dishoom - a modish 'Bombay Cafe'. This place was good - a tasty fusion bacon and egg naan roll with a side of chicken livers, a very creditable Bloody Mary and good coffee. 7.5/10. Dishoom

Phoenix - well I only had fries and dips (perfectly fine) but there was a nice atmosphere and the service was notably cheerful and efficient. Provisional 7/10. Phoenix     

Friday, 20 February 2015

Livin' La Vida Loca

Or to keep up the foreign theme, we're terribly Maison Jardin at number 7B. Special Overgraduate merit points to the reader who correctly identifies that lyric.

None of which really has anything to do with what I'm going to write but the muse is, you will clearly divine, with me this fine day. In fact I've been in a goodish mood for a week or so which is a long run for old misery guts here. But the trouble is that all this relative happiness leaves me in rant deficit. And what am I without going off on one?

I've been out running four times in the last eight days and have only a stiffish back to show for it - not even the hint of a calf strain - says he touching the wooden top of the table. Mens sana etc.

But pull yourself together Dave. Very well, here goes.

Isn't this prolonged election campaign horribly tedious? Can you seriously imagine Ed Miliband as Prime Minister? He makes Cameron look statesmanlike. I can feel my mood lowering as I type this.

Putin v Obama - who would your money be on in a fight? The answer is terrifying for the West. But never mind, America is already gearing up for a presidential election and we have the prospect of a battle between another bloody Clinton and yet another bloody Bush.

So on balance, perhaps things aren't as good as I had allowed myself to believe. As John Bon Jovi would have it - keep the faith.

Saturday, 14 February 2015

An Upward Curve

I think we will have some good news to share in the near future but I must keep quiet for now. Suffice to say that the week started as gloomily as do most but got better as it progressed. Plus, I swam 750 metres yesterday and ran a couple of miles this morning. My back is stiff and the troublesome ankle is still a little tender but the new tights and the Oakleys are doing their job and protecting me from other injury.

Spring is just around the corner and a gentleman's thoughts turn to Cheltenham and then to amateur dramatics. The Festival is less than a month away and it can't come soon enough. Mind you if it arrived any earlier that would mean that I was out of time to learn the bucketload of lines I have to master as Rafe Crompton in Spring and Port Wine. Intimidating but another cracking part. Best line - 'I'll thank you not to dip your nib where there's no ink.' Once again I play a somewhat forbidding and grumpy middle-aged man. It's a bloody good job that casting directors can see past my benign exterior.

Happy Valentine's
And to add to the joy, I have in prospect an afternoon of Six Nations rugby and an impudent little prosecco. As for that rugby, another important afternoon in the development of this English side. Italy will be doughty and obdurate but England need to be putting them to the sword to back up the outstanding win in Cardiff. Later on we have the beautifully coached Ireland against the plain bonkers enigma that is France. Cheers.

Friday, 6 February 2015

An Englishman Abroad

Well not quite abroad but Wales. Wales 16, England 21.

I had a rather queasy feeling about this game in advance. Wales have a raft of strong players (not enough is made of just how good Toby Faletau is) and for all the talk of  English strength in depth, the injury list left England looking exposed. But instead of defeat what we got was a performance of mental and physical substance. Not perfect by any means but good enough to defeat a one dimensional Welsh side.

Wales should be worried. They have those good players I talked of but they are somehow becoming less than the sum of their parts. Plus, their coach is a bit of a prat. We had the facile mind games during the week and then a childish attempt to leave England alone in the tunnel prior to the match. Hang your head in shame Gatland - you have a talented group of players and you are in danger of wasting them.

A good night to be an Englishman abroad.

Monday, 2 February 2015

Twin Peaks On Sea … Series The Second

You may remember me raving only recently about the first series of Broadchurch and looking forward not  a little anxiously to the second series. Well, I gave it a few weeks but I have to break cover and say that my anxiety was well placed. The second series is really rather pants. Only the excellence of the first tranche has kept me loyal to the second. Overblown, hysterical and weighed down with implausibilities the killing blow in the latest instalments is the utter inaccuracy of the legal procedure. You can forgive some licence but this is just unmitigated bollocks. Sorry. Very disappointing. Oh well I'll get over it.