When I heard that Arthur Smith was going to be appearing at my very very local pub a couple of months ago, I bagged me and The Man a couple of tickets immediately.
I have been to a few of the gigs put on by lovely compere Susan Murray as part of the Guffaw Comedy Club at Ye Olde Rose & Crown Theatre Pub – and I have seen some great stuff, including Richard Herring TWICE!
Susan Murray was on especially sparkling good form (perhaps because it was her birthday and her parents were in the audience – although we never heard/saw any evidence of said parents, so perhaps they were made up!).
Next was Grainne Maguire – Irish (obviously), self-deprecating, unique, extremely likeable, and ‘not very rude’ as she kept pointing out. She actually had the audience in the palm of her hand, expertly playing us until we were almost weeping with laughter – a class act!
It seemed like there was going to be an Irish invasion, as next up was Rory O’Hanlon. Unfortunately, as it is now a week ago, I can’t remember much about Rory, which is rather embarrassing – but I know that he was very amusing.
Canadian Ryan Cull made a rather brief appearance next, and as happens often with foreign acts, he pointed out the funny things about us Brits – which is always completely hilarious. He had a ready smile, and was quite cute – and he was only on for about 15 minutes…he couldn’t go wrong really, could he?
Finally, it was time for the main attraction, the wonderful grumpy old man that IS Arthur Smith – the Night Mayor of Balham (luckily I’d recently had my shots, so couldn’t catch anything from this particular specimen from South of the river!) I have a real soft spot for Mr Smith (ooer) – grumpy old man he may be, he’s never ‘nasty’, and he’s got that voice, that wonderful gravelly voice. Not only do a listen to that voice almost every night when I go to bed (he does the continuity for the Comedy Zone on Radio 7…10 til midnight – yeah, OK they now call it 4Extra, but it will alwyas be Radio 7 to me!) but I was once fortunate enough to talk to the man himself on the phone – back in about 1994. Oh how gooey I went at the sound of that voice!
Arthur was a wonderful mix of observations and old favourites chucked in for the kitsch factor.
I have to say, every single one of them hit the spot and made for a fantastic evening where I sniggered, chuckled and indeed guffawed happily.
I believe Stuart Lee and Richard Herring are due to appear in the summer, so we’ll be looking out for those!
You might have noticed that I post quite a lot of book reviews. I also post whether I have read the book as it was chosen as part of our E17 Book Club. I think that this has provoked quite a lot of publicity for our book club as I have received many requests over the last year or so by people who would like to join.
We are obviously a rather literary lot in Walthamstow!
Turnover of members of our book club is rather low indeed – we ‘allowed’ a couple of newbies in when one member left in September, but the number of people asking to join and being turned away is growing weekly.
I am sure that there are probably others, and if you know of them please do let me know.
However, my point for this post was to suggest that maybe someone sets up another Book Club (or two!) in Walthamstow – there are obviously enough people interested to fill them (we have found that about 10 people at any one meeting is kind of the upper limit…and about 14 on the list tends to get 8-10 each meeting).
I have quite a large number of people ‘in my archives’, so, if anyone wanted to set something up, I would be happy to get back in touch with peopel that had contacted me in the past and asked to be put on our waiting list to see if they would like to join.
So, come on, is someone going to stand up to the mark and say “YES! *I* will start organising a new book club in Walthamstow!”.
(PS – we now have no idea who ‘runs’ our book club…once you get a few meetings out the way, the members kind of look after it as one.)
***UPDATE*** Someone has kindly taken on the mantle of setting up a new book club, which will meet once a month at The Chequers. Let me know if you would like more details.
Also, as per Jenny’s comment below, there is a book club set up that meets in The Castle once a month!
We really, really are a well-read bunch in E17!
I am very excited to have received the email above from the organisers of World Book Night. For some reason, because I was successful last year when I gave out 20 copies of Good Omens by Neil Gaiman (which was my first choice as it is one of the best books EVER!), I thought that it would be weighted against me and my application wouldn’t get through for this year.
I have to admit to not being quite as excited by the shortlist this year as I had last year, and I wondered what had happened to all the ones I had voted for, but The Knife Of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness is definitely a book that I voted for through the whole process, and as you can see, it was my number one choice (you can see my review of it here).
I was a little wary at first as this is the first book in a series of three AND considered a ‘young adult’ book, but then I thought that was what would make it perfect to get people reading even more that don’t necessarily read usually.
I will probably be foisting them on random people in the Rose & Crown like I did last year, but if you are in Walthamstow, and would be interested in reading this, let me know and I will reserve you one of the 20 copies!
Roll on Tuesday 23rd April!
This wonderfully designed poster is up in my local chicken shop, that gourmet extravaganza ‘Tasty Chicken ‘N’ Pizza’.
I have many friends who are trying to convince me (VERY unsuccessfully) to get married in Vegas – but why the hell would I do that when I could have such amazing catering for my wedding right in Walthamstow?!(Note: I realise it’s probably just a poster for a separate catering business, but come on – it’s amusing!!)
This is going to take place in the Red Room at Ye Olde Rose & Crown pub on Tuesday 11th October from 5pm – 9pm. If you’re in or around Walthamstow and love reading, please do come along and show your support (I will be helping out on the night – whta more incentive do you need?!)
Further to my very brief forray onto the E17 Art Trail on Friday, on Saturday I decided to go down to the library to hear some of the artists talking about the works that they have on display there.
We started off with the Knit A Year project, and saw Jay actually finish her last stitches.
You can see her blog here, capturing a year in her life with lots of photos of the yarn she’s used and where she did her knitting. We all wondered what she was going to do next. “Sit down and have a cup of tea”.
Next we moved on to Peter Kyte’s display of photos of Walthamstow Market as he explained the world he sees through his camera lens and gave a talk about how he frames and structures his photos.
Next we went out into the foyer where Ron Bowman is exhibiting his latest watercolours showcasing “London: It’s places and people”. I stupidly didn’t take any photos of the woork he has on display – but do go and have a look!
Even better, he gave us some tips and a quick demonstration, saying “Absolutely anyone can do watercolours – you should give it a try!”. I beg to differ, I have no creative ability at all!
Next we went to the stairs where Mark Burton and Katherine Green are showing photos of local voluntary and community organisations “Voluntary Action in Waltham Forest“. I have to admit, this was the exhibition I had mainly wanted to hear the talk for. I had seen some of Mark’s work before and was once again looking forward to hearing his thoughts and experiences as hearing him talk adds SO much to the actual photos.
I had already seen some of Katherine’s work hanging in the Waltham Forest Credit Union and she really manages to get in amongst her subjects and capture some amazing very ‘personal’ shots.
What I found particularly interesting was that Mark’s photos were about a special day arranged by the Women’s Interfaith Network where women of different faiths spent a day visiting each other’s places of worship. This was an amazing story, and people kept pointing out how unusual it was to have so many people of different faiths and backgrounds together in that way – and yet as I looked at everyone sitting on the stairs listening, there was such a wide range of races, colours and (obviously) faiths sitting together praising the work!
After that, we went upstairs to where Amanda Doidge was showing some of her experimental ceramic work – this was a piece about Socrates – and it was fantastic hearing her thinking behind the piece, and the process that she went through to create it.
It really brought the whole thing to life – and even sparked a discussion about Socrates!
Then we were back downstairs to hear from Eliana Parra Rodriguez and her love of colour which has moved her to create some gorgeous colourful abstract pieces.
It was great to hear her explain so enthusiastically about how colour moves her, and how the colours she uses are dictated by her moods.
We ended at the bottom of the stairs where we saw the works of Tayyaba (I hope I have spelled her name correctly! I will have to check today), and her mix of paintings from her home and from the UK – showing great contrasts.
It was a great way to spend more than 2 hours, and I think it added so much to our appreciation of the work and experience. This is one of the greatest things about the Art Trail – it isn’t just about goign around and looking at a few pictures and things, it’s a chance to actually meet the creative people in our community. Loving it! Now that The Girl is back home, we will be goign around a few places today!
It actually officially started yesterday and will go on until Sunday – but yesterday I was at work all day and then out in the evening (I will post about the fabulousness of THAT later!). However, I still managed to see a couple of things – that’s the beauty of the art trail, if you live in Walthamstow, then there is always something you can pop to see just around the corner!
On my way to work, I managed to see most of the Poetry Trail. This really is ingenious — in Walthamstow, it is often a point of annoyance that there are simply SO many estate agents on Hoe Street – particularly between the station and the top of the market. The Poetry Trail though has embarced this fact, and the majority of the estate agents have handed over prime ‘selling space’ for the period – disaplying poems in some of the holders where they usually show the house particulars in the window!
How cool is that? I think it’s a brilliant idea – and fairplay to the estate agents – I think there are about 10 of them taking part. There are poems by members of the Forest Poets, but also by 6 and 7 year olds from local primary schools. And I have to say, THIS one was my absolute favourite.
And then on my way home, I went into Le Delice to check out Martin’s underwater photos as I had been really looking forward to seeing them! They are out the back in the ‘Moroccan Room’, so make sure that you go back there if you’re out and about. (I’m actually posting this in Delice now, and a couple oand their two young kids have just gone back there and the kids LOVED them!!)
I am not sure what else I am going to do today – I want to go to Emma & Steve‘s launch party, and I am thinking of going to the talk in the library this afternoon. It’s all just so busy, and I have had an exceptionally long, tiring week! Wish me luck!!
A couple of years ago, me & a couple of mates went to three or four screenings of short films at The Rose & Crown pub. We saw some really great films there, and we were quite disappointed when the monthly event just seemed to stop (we were never quite sure why).
A couple of weeks ago, I happened to read this blog post by someone I know and realised that they were once again short films (I have to admit, I don’t know whether it’s the same people hosting it or not – it could well be someone completely different).
So, me and a friend went along last night to see what it was like.
Instead of being in the old, sticky, stinky room above the pub that has been done up as a theatre (where I have seen a few things), it is now held in The Red Room (which is no longer red) which is nice enough, but a bit noisy and very small. That helped make it feel rather crowded, even though there were less than 20 of us!
Most of the people there were actually involved in the production of the various films, so I did make a point of saying that we would be their audience
As before, there was a huge variety of films, but I have to say the quality was far better than it used to be!
There was animation, humour, documentary, drama, arty – a whole range of different styles…definitely something for everyone. We got to vote for our favourite at the end and both my friend and I discovered that we’d voted for the same one – The Cable, a documentary piece about a 50 year old zip wire in Colombia 1300ft over the Rio Negro used by villagers that takes them 27-30 seconds to complete and saves them walking 2 hours to the next town.
It was amazing – and happened to have been produced by someone who I met while volunteering at the Respite Centre! You can see more on the wire here, including a documentary that was NOWHERE near as good as the one we saw last night, but unfortunately I don’t have a link for
At £3.50 entry including a bag of popcorn and/or sweets and a chance to meet the film-makers, it was a brilliant evening’s entertainment. I can’t wait for the next one, and just hope it doesn’t get TOO crowded!
This will be the first year that I am going to take an active interest in the E17 Art Trail. This isn’t really a surprise as it is less than a year since I first started gettign more involved in what was going on in and around Walthamstow. I remember picking up a guide last year, but didn’t really have anyone to go round with – and I was sulking cos my mate had just moved out from the area. this is actually the 7th year though and I have absolutely no excuse at all for why I haven’t ‘done’ it before!
This year, I have heard so much more about it as I know quite a few people who will be exhibiting and i am really ratehr excited – I have even taken 3 days off of work when I COULD have got someone to look after The Girl on the last days of her summer holidays if I’d really wanted to!
So, what is the E17 Art Trail? It is an opportunity for local artists (of all types) in Walthamstow to display their work – whether it be within a local business premises or their own home over a period of 10 days. You can read more about it here. It is amazing what an arty lot of people there are in Walthamstow though – over 1200 artists are displaying their work in this time – from sculptors to painters to photographers to knitters to filmmakers and poets, a real bringing together of all that’s arty!
How amazing is that??
Even more amazing, The Girl is a guest blogger on the offical E17 Art Trail blog, and has made her first post today – proud mum moment PLEASE do go and have a look (and comment) – she would love to feel she’s ‘famous’!!
I went along Sunday before last to the warm-up in the town square, where there was the opportunity to pick up a guide and meet some of the artists who were going to be exhibiting. It was a beautiful day, and Mark Burton (the photographer whose exhibition I went to a couple of months ago) took loads of photos which you can see here (and I am actually one of the ‘people in frames’!).
It is really hard to decide what to go and see – the guide is full of intriguing stuff, and there’s even a fantastic E17 Art Trail App that I’ve downloaded for my phone! Of course, I will definitely be visiting exhibits by people I know (obviously) – and here is a quick snapshot of those: