Sunday, November 11, 2012

Things I have enjoyed recently

I think it's fair to say I've been a bit lax at updating this blog recently. Near on three months without a post certainly counts as "a bit crap". So, more for my benefit than yours, here's a round up of some very lovely things that I've had the good fortune to read/watch/experience in the intervening period, in handy tweet-sized slices...

Andy Murray winning the US Open
AMAZING. Listening to 5Live deep into the night gave it a real 'event' feel, and #takeyourtimeyoudick is undoubtedly the best hashtag of the year.

Sam Fletcher at the Hen & Chickens 
Bad magic and counter-intuitive inventions have rarely been so fun. Sam has bags of charm and loads of ideas - basically it's a big old smile of a show.

Rubicon by Tom Holland
The real triumph of this book - which covers the transition from Roman republic to Roman empire - is that you actually care about the people involved. Cicero has been murdered? NOOOOOOOO!

Treasures of Ancient Rome on BBC Four
Fortuitous timing meant I watched this while reading Rubicon and it was BRILLIANT. Who needs characterless Greek sculptures when you can have flabby old Pompey?

The Sound Of The Life Of The Mind by Ben Folds Five
BFF are back together! Hooray! Til their Brixton Academy gig in December, we've got this little gem to keep us going - Away When You Were Here is my favourite by a mile.

The last ever Karaoke Circus
Let's hope it's not actually the last ever, but if so, Chris Addison singing The Rainbow Connection followed by Pappy's leading the audience in Take That's Never Forget is a good way to go out.

The Thick Of It on BBC Two
Another 'last ever' that might actually come back with a special edition every now and again. Brilliant dialogue, incredible performances, something to say... an important bit of TV, basically.

Tony Law's Shitbox at The Lion
Mr Tony Law trying out some new stuff, the Behemoth performing an extended version of their Stand By Me sketch and Tom Bell throwing out bad Stag do ideas like MEATHAMMER. Nice.

The Time-Traveller's Guide To Medieval England by Ian Mortimer
This book doesn't tell you one thing that "happened" in the Middle Ages. Instead, it tells you how people lived - what they ate, how they earned money, what they spent it on. Really different, and really good.

Jack White at Alexandra Palace
The former White Stripes dude is a proper rock star who would have shone in any era, and while Ally Pally isn't great for the vertically challenged, just hearing Hardest Button To Button live is enough.

Fresh Meat on Channel 4
I completely missed the first series, but have caught up since the second has started airing, and it's just so much better than a comedy-drama about a bunch of students has any right to be.

Djokovic vs Tsonga at the ATP World Tour Finals
Live tennis! At the O2!

Neil Hannon's 42nd birthday gig at the Royal Festival Hall
A teeny-bit-tipsy Neil Hannon is a wonderful thing, and even better when combined with fluffed lines, Promenade from start to finish with a string quartet and appearances from Tom Chaplin (below) and Alison Moyet.