Viva España

We recently headed off for a well deserved break at our usual spot in Spain, Casa Grandina, Huerta de Ranea. First stop after the airport, Torremolinos and  El Sardina, our favourite spot for Sardines a la Plancha, Boquerones, nice cold cerveza (sin alcohol) and a great view of the beach. Despite being early in the season, the restaurant was packed as usual – unsurprisingly as the food is delicious. Bellies […]

Sulphur Spring


Kamping in Kessingland…

…A much needed long weekend and an excuse for a campervan getaway to Kessingland in Suffolk. Never heard of the place before this trip but have enjoyed stays in the general area before. Predictably for a public holiday weekend the weather forecast was shite, and predictably for a public holiday weekend, the forecast for shite weather was accurate. We arrived at the campsite a couple of hours before Africa Alive, […]

All that Jazz

Had the pleasure of going to a couple of great Jazz gigs recently… First up the fine, mellow, and melodic Alison Rayner Quintet aka ARQ. Alison on double bass, Steve Lodder piano, Buster Birch on drums, Diane McLoughlin on saxophone, Deirdre Cartwright on guitar. These guys are all superb and have got playing together with feeling cracked. A joy to watch. I’ve  also enjoyed following Alison, Deirdre and Diane in […]

Ode to Janis Joplin

This month saw the UK general release of Janis, Little Girl Blue, a film about the late, great Janis Joplin whose untimely  over 45 years ago  at the tender age of 27 was a big loss to the world in my humble opinion. Looking forward to seeing the film which by all accounts is fantastic. In the meantime opted to see the brilliant production, Janis, Full Tilt at the Theatre […]

Two weekends of great…

… theatre… One of the bit pluses of living in the big smoke. Theatres coming out of your ears and great productions abound. Last weekend it was Richmond’s fabulous little Orange Tree Theatre for The Rolling Stone, a Chris Urch play about Uganda’s anti gay laws. This weekend it was August Wilson’s absolutely fantastic Ma Rainey’s Bottom at the National. Totally concur with The Guardian review. I can’t think of many […]

David B and Christiane F

The recent news of David Bowie’s death took me back to the film Christiane F which Bowie wrote the soundtrack for. The film really affected me when I saw it back in the early ’80s, and no less so almost 25 years later when I watched it again recently. Without doubt one of the best films I have ever seen. A most realistic portrayal of the true story of 13 […]

The traveller

Feeling a lot happier now we’ve got our first short trip of the year in a few weeks booked. Looking forward to feeling some warm rays on my bod. In the meantime speaking of travels, I did so vicariously by going to a fantastic performance by Baaba Maal and friends including Mansour Seck –  in London promoting his new album The Traveller (Do you see what I did there? Do […]

Baaba Maal and band on stage


Got the new year off to a sobering start by seeing this excellent, moving and anger inducing film about climbing Mount Everest. For a change, told from the point of view of the Sherpa community. (most) Westerners come off looking pretty shabby to put it mildly – both the mountaineering “clients” and the mountain expedition industry that supports them. Many of the clients expose themselves as shallow, disrespectful, spoiled children […]

Cycle Revolution

Very pleased to report that my favourite cycle shop exceeded its crowd funding target so now stands a great chance of staying open and remaining in the area. That’s good news for cycling, but not such good news for Jim’s big ginger beard… In a completely unrelated coincidence London’s Design Museum is currently showing Cycle Revolution,  an exhibition on cycles and cycling. I was completely absorbed and easily whiled away […]

Save Brixton Cycles

I’m a massive fan of the folks down at Brixton Cycles. Great bikes, great helpful, friendly and non-patronising service, way more than just a local bike shop (they’re not even local to me but I’m more than happy to travel to go wild in their shop). So, it would be a great shame if they had to go. Spread the word that they’re under threat and if at all possible, […]