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Jeff Stein

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Everything posted by Jeff Stein

  1. Already happening. Went into the B&M in Stowmarket yesterday to buy some litter for my Mother's cats and the two pet food/litter/bedding aisles had been completely stripped.
  2. Delighted to finally see Dinner for One on Sky Arts tonight. Apparently only the second time it has been shown on British TV but it has been shown in Germany every year on New Year's Eve since 1963. It was made by one of the regional channels in Germany NRF but apart from an introduction it is in English. It is a two hander between an aristocratic lady and her butler on her 90th birthday. The butler must play her dinner guests who had actually all died many years previously. As he toasts the hostess in place of each of them he gets more and more drunk. It was laugh out loud funny. A real treat
  3. Enjoyed the first Goes Wrong Show. After seeing a couple of their specials before you can see the gags coming, but it is still done with some panache and I laughed out loud a number of times. Otherwise managed to give the TV a complete swerve over Christmas and don't feel worse for it
  4. I got a fascinating looking book of photographs of Bangkok in the late 50s by an Italian photographer called Fabrizio La Torre (who incidentally served in Buster Crabb's divers unit in the war). Also got the third volume of Jonathan Sumption's history of the 100 years war. By total coincidence I had been flicking through the Weatherspoons magazine when in one of their branches at lunchtime and there was the lovable Tim Martin penning an article attacking Mr Sumption as a white middle class elitist for stating his pro EU views in a newspaper
  5. No. The only place in New Zealand where league may be the dominant code is the west coast of the South Island, but that has a fairly small population and is pretty remote.
  6. Dark beers tonight. Nethergate Dark Shadow in the rather dismal surroundings of the Cricketers, the Spoons in Ipswich. They keep the beer well but it is otherwise a grim experience. Onto the St Judes Brewery Tavern for a pint of Cabin Pete's Porter, which is a brewery in the mighty metropolis of Bildeston. Very tasty
  7. Entries in the latest Good Beer Guide (out last week) for Lincoln are: Adam & Eve (25 Lindum Road) BeerHeadZ (4 Eastgate) Cardinal's Hat (268 High Street) Golden Eagle (21 High Street) Joiner's Arms (4 Victoria Street) Jolly Brewer (27 Broadgate) Ritz (143 High Street) - the token Spoons Strugglers Inn (83 Westgate) Victoria (6 Union Road)
  8. Last time I was in Lincoln (admittedly over 20 years ago) a lot of the pubs were tied houses for the Mansfield brewery (and therefore outlets for Marksmen as in the defunct team). Ghastly beer. Given the history of that brewery, that might mean that there are a lot of pubs selling Marstons there now.
  9. After the death of Dr John, a bad month for New Orleans music has tuned into a really rubbish month with the passing of the great Dave Bartholomew yesterday. One of the most important names in the Crescent City scene as bandleader, producer and composer, particularly in partnership with Fats Domino.
  10. Traditional joined up thinking. Our line into London is shut this weekend for yet more engineering works so it is a tedious trip instead on the rail replacement bus. Fortunately one of the utilities has decided to make things even more enjoyable by choosing this weekend to dig up the approach road to the station and put in a threeway traffic light system, which paralyses the town even on a Sunday morning. Given that for the last two years the railway has been shut at weekends for 6-7 months every year, surely it could not have come as a shock that this might be the case?
  11. 1971: Never a Dull Moment by David Hepworth. Went to the launch of his latest book at some trendy pub in Islington but got this instead at it. Always enjoyed his commentary so this did not disappoint, albeit at the back of my mind I thought there was a bit of facts being made to fit a theory. Basically that is 1971 is the greatest year in recorded popular music and everything in the music industry since originates from that year. A few interesting opinions that I would necessary have expected in it too ie Rod Stewart great; Marc Bolan a bit pants.
  12. As he just announced his retirement. Wales' second most famous rocker https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aEsr0HhsELo
  13. Recently read Paul Theroux's Deep South - highly recommended
  14. The Chitlin' Circuit and the Road to Rock'n'Roll by Preston Lauterbach - A history of the southern club circuit that spawned some of the greatest musical icons of the 20th century such as BB King, Little Richard, Ray Charles and James Brown. It mainly covers the period from the 30s to the mid 50s and portrays as much as the musicians the promoters such as Denver Ferguson, Sunbeam Mitchell and the scarifying Don Robey, who appear to have generally not been far off gangsters. There are portrayals of the main centres of Houston, Macon and, of course, Memphis, as well as rather more surprisingly Indianapolis. It is always interesting what is left out: not much on New Orleans - in fact more on the great Dave Bartholomew than his most famous employer Fats Domino. Bizarrely little on Ray Charles too - in the notes the author says his story is too well known to go over again! At times I found the author's style a bit dry and overly chronological, but he cuts loose with an essay at the end of the book, which covers the marvellous Hi Records, the almost hidden from mainstream eyes modern circuit of artists such as Marvin Sease and Bobby Rush and the destruction of Afro-American downtowns such as Beale Street after de-segregation in the name of urban renewal.
  15. A Rising Man by Abir Mukherjee. Some detective series can be a bit wobbly in the early books, but this was a really strong start, particularly from a debut author (he got his publishing deal through winning a Daily Telegraph competition). The story is set in Calcutta just after the Great War and follows a Metropolitan Police detective damaged by the War and the loss of his wife to the flu who tries to escape his demons in India and occasionally in opium. The crime he investigates is the murder of a high ranking British civil servant in the "native" part of town. It had me guessing to the end and there were plenty of interesting insights into the Raj, not a topic I had particularly read about before.
  16. Always found Dugan pretty unappealing. When did he last pass the ball?
  17. Wonder where they are going to evacuate the good burghers of Jaywick to?
  18. Watched it on iplayer this morning. Thought it was excellent.
  19. I thought this was a fascinating account of that great stronghold of NZ rugby league: the West Coast (although I thought it had within it the West Coast team of the century in it when I first read it - perhaps my mind is playing tricks on me) http://www.stuff.co.nz/sport/league/70918696/west-coast-rugby-league-celebrates-100-years
  20. It's been on a few times. Best mute Bono when he turns up
  21. Watched Chris Tarrant's Extreme Railway Journeys tonight. Not a fan of his at all but I thought he dealt with the death railway section with real dignity. I went along the section of railway shown a couple of years ago and the points he made rang true. I was quite touched by the scene at the cemetery at the end of the line in Burma, which looked just like the ones in Kanchanaburi (where the Bridge over the River Kwai is).. The part of the programme about the Burmese railways was great too. it really does look a fascinating country and there were some very funny sections such as when the train had to go over tracks with no ballast. The film really made me want to visit the country, hopefully once the last vestiges of the disgusting regime there has gone.
  22. The Golden Scales by Parker Bilal. I'm a sucker for detective stories set in exotic locations so when The Times on Saturday gave the fourth Makana instalment a cracking write up I thought I would start at the beginning. It has not disappointed as yet.
  23. We're going to trundle over to that after the Broncos semi. Feel we need to see some decent rugby during the weekend. I'll be getting my Welsh 2000 World Cup shirt out of mothballs!
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