My Sunshiny Life

{March 8, 2010}   The Parlour

MIEN Magazine presents The Parlour

Pop up places are all the rage, and with all the empty shops at the moment they seem to be popping up (ha) everywhere!  I went to the Parlour last night in Clerkenwell.  The Parlour was created by Mien Magazine, in association with the council and a charity called Restore. 

The Parlour is all about nostalgic fun and civilised merriment, without the modern accoutrements.  Cell phones and laptops are left at home, meaning you actually connect with the people that you’re there with. What a quaint notion.

The space is fitted out with vintage, art deco type furniture, which is actually for sale from the charity Restore.  Go there for a cup of tea and some board games and leave with a fabulous wardrobe, chess table or couch!  What’s not to like? 

There was a real community lovely feel there last night, with people sitting in groups chatting and others playing board games. 

We had some herbal tea in gorgeous old fashioned tea cups, some of us (not me) had some delicious cupcakes from the Vintage Patisserie and everyone LOVED the entertainment from Barry’s Lounge Spins. 

It’s open until the 10th of March, so get down there quickly to get a taste of old fashioned, relaxed parlour living.

The Parlour 97-99 Clerkenwell Road, EC1R 5BX


After seeing such extraordinary shots in last year’s show I couldn’t wait to go back and see this one.  Again, the standard was excellent and I still can’t get over how much patience and skill the photographers have to get the perfect shot.  Some of the entrants are children as young as ten. 

Going to the exhibition made me appreciate my little snappy snap Canon Ixus 200IS even more.  I was a little bit naughty and put it to good use in the gallery.  I’ve only just noticed that I didn’t have to be all secret agent, quickly taking my photos without the attendants catching me, as there is an online gallery on the Natural History Museum site.  I did quite enjoy my covert spy activity though and think I’d make a sterling secret agent.

~ Overall Winner ~ The Storybook Wolf by José Luis Rodriguez

Ice Fox by Henrik Lund

Flight of the Locust by Chris van Rooyen

White Water Fishing by Eric Lefranc

Respect by Igor Shpilenok

These two monkey ones are my favourites.  I’ve always been a big fan of monkeys and love the human expressions on their faces.

Borneo Baby by Brian Matthews

Water Fight by Andrew Forsyth

The exhibition is on until the 11th of April 2010, get your tickets here.

{December 24, 2009}   Shunt Money

I’ve long been a fan of Shunt Lounge which is located in the cavernous underground tunnels of London Bridge.  It’s a collective that gives new artists the freedom to display their experimental work.  One night you could go there and it’s light displays, abandoned cars and pictures falling off the walls.  Another night it might be ‘drugged out’ hippies or a voyeuristic display in a man’s bedroom.  Yes, it’s always interesting.

The same collective that runs Shunt Lounge also does large scale theatrical performances and the latest one is called Shunt Money.  You need to book tickets, I’d chanced it once and just turned up, but they’re normally sold out.  You can book tickets here

Money was inspired by Emile Zola’s novel L’Argent, which in turn was inspired by the events surrounding the collapse of the Union Générale – a nineteenth century French banking fiasco.  How very topical, even 100 years later.

Dolce and I arrived at a warehouse in an industrial part of London Bridge.  We made our way to the bar, whilst looking over nervously at the MASSIVE construction in the middle of the warehouse space.  Taking our drinks, we settled at a table and looked up to see a storm trooper standing with a bunch of balloons.  As they do. 

As with all the Shunt performances, the audience is involved and we were all herded over to the outside of the machine which was now showing signs of activity.  Men were climbing around it and scary looking characters looked like they were trying to escape. 

With some trepidation we followed the rest of the group into the machine.  We were directed into a room and stood there milling around nervously with everyone else.  THEN the room went pitch black.  The noises that the ‘machine’ emitted were scary and it felt like the whole thing was going to lift off.  Picture standing in the dark with a room full of strangers, surrounded by loud grinding, graunching industrial sounds, with an occasional burst of steam escaping, like a high pressure valve about to blow.  There were shrieks and nervous laughter from the other members of the audience.  I was clutching at Dolce by this stage on the verge of a laughing, yet slightly hysterical panic attack. 

The lights came back on and we were in a room that was totally different to the room we entered.  You’re constantly surprised in this show.  There are people in the audience that are part of the show, the floor moves, people just pop in through the ceiling.  You move upstairs and around the interior of the machine as the story progresses and you can see from the top down three stories – right through all the floors to watch another scene. 

The feeling that you’re Alice stuck down the rabbit hole is magnificent.  With most performances you know the routine; first half, intermission and a quick glass of wine and then the second half.  Hang up your sense of normality at the door before entering this production and let yourself get swept away, just like Alice in Wonderland.

The show’s run was meant to finish by New Years Eve, but it had sold out every night, so they have a second season running from January to March 2010.  If you live in London you simply must go.  Go.  It really is very good.

Speculation, why does the word frighten you?

Speculation – why, it is the one inducement that we have to live;  it is the eternal desire that compels us to live and struggle.  Without speculation, my dear friend, there would be no business of any kind.  Why on earth would you have me loosen my purse strings and risk my fortune, if you do not promise me some extraordinary enjoyment, some sudden happiness which will open heaven to me?

Aristide Saccard – L’Argent

{December 2, 2009}   La Clique

Roll up, roll up, come one, come all to the most spectacular show in town!  Or something to that effect.  It was billed as a heady cocktail of cabaret, new burlesque, circus sideshow and contemporary variety, and it didn’t disappoint.

On the La Clique website they say the show is impossible to describe and it’s kind of true, which makes writing this a little bit difficult.  The first act up were The Wau Wau Sisters who put on a smoking (literally) trapeze act.  Acting like stoners, complete with beer can and spliff, they put on an amazing acrobatic performance.  It’s not surprising they’re sisters, the total confidence in each other had to have been built up over years of performing together. 

Check out a montage of their performances below. 

 Another stand out act for me was Mario the juggler. He actually seemed to make time stand still, randomly selecting balls out of his juggling formation and tossing them high in the air, all while keeping the others under control.  I’m not selling him well enough, he was brilliant. He made time stop for goodness sake, what more could we ask for!

Marawa burst on to the mini stage with her hoola hoops and roller skates and was a bundle of energy throughout her whole routine.  I can’t even keep a hoola hoop up for 10 seconds (and that was back in school), so I had the utmost respect for her as she spun hoola hoops off every limb, around her body and neck.  Her whole routine seemed effortless and most importantly she looked like she was having a fantastic time, as did everyone in the audience.

There were a couple of acts that were not up to par – the stripper for instance.  She was not burlesque in any way, shape or form.  She pulled red hankies out of god knows where and there was a collective cringe from the audience during her act, which might be better suited to Stringfellows. 

Karl, the swede from Ikea was quite funny the first time he came on, bumbling about and giggling his inane giggle.  But when he came out the second time I got the feeling he was a filler act.  After looking at the website again I realised there were quite a few acts we didn’t get to see, so I’m not sure how they work out who is going to perform on what night as not all the performers did.

Slight grumble about two acts aside, the rest of the show was absolutely amazing and I’d recommend it to anyone for a fabulous night out.  Don’t worry about where you book your seats either, the Roundhouse is so small you’ll be able to see well from wherever you are – although I wouldn’t be that keen on the bar or standing area, just because I wouldn’t want to stand for 2 hours.

We’ve all had relationship break ups, but we probably haven’t coped with them the way that Sophie Calle decided to.  Upon receiving a rather odd break up email from her lover ‘X’ this french woman didn’t sit at home eating her way into another dress size, she embarked on a project to decipher the meaning behind it, asking a bunch of women to interpret the words. 

My interpretation of the letter… X is a self serving narcissist who focussed on his own feelings in the letter.  When they embarked upon their affair he’d promised to stop seeing the ‘others’.  Apparently he had four on the go at once.  He left them for Sophie and then realised his fan base just wasn’t big enough with one woman.  Breaking up over email is a cowardly act anyway and the fact that he focussed on his own feelings throughout, still professing love to her, but unable to change his alley cat ways to be with her showed a lack of strength and integrity.  Then at the last minute, as if realising that he actually had someone else to consider in the breakup other than himself, he urged her to take care of herself.  Twat.

The whole idea makes for a fascinating, if slightly indulgent art exhibition, as 107 women share their insight into the letter, alongside their photograph and job title.  The women were from diverse backgrounds, from a stay at home mother, to a judge, sub editor, scientist, police captain, dancer, actors, sms text translater and even a parrot.  I loved the response from a rifle shooter, delicate pellet holes punctuated the love letter which was mounted on a backlit board letting white light shine through.  The responses were presented in a variety of ways, some chose photos, some text and some were filmed.  An Italian woman read the letter while peeling onions, pausing every few sentences to weigh in with her opinion.  She finished her film segment by blowing her nose on the letter, blaming the onions as she wiped tears from her eyes.

A perfect bite sized gallery visit and I’ll be back on another day to see her other exhibition called Talking to Strangers.  Check it out for yourself at the whitechapel gallery.

{November 28, 2009}   Avenue Q – Puppets Gone Wild

I LOVED this show, it had me laughing from the very first minute and all the way through.  Sometimes in the theatre I’m wondering when the show is going to finish, but I didn’t want this show to finish.  The set up is perfect for those with limited attention spans.  Short, punchy, VERY funny scenes and songs, with sweet life messages littered throughout. 

Princeton is a graduate fresh out of college with a BA in English, which he’s now discovered makes him qualified for absolutely nothing.  He is unemployed and broke.  The rest of the cast are also finding their way through lifes trials, with a happy skip and a cheeky tune.  The actors who control the puppets are brilliant – with Kate Monster and Lucy the Slut being played by the same girl, Cassidy Janson.  The two character voices are poles apart and she does them incredibly well, slipping into each persona with ease.  Daniel Boys was the other main lead, playing Princeton and the uptight gay Rod who is in love with his room mate Nicky – much like Bert and Ernie, but out of the closet!

Puppets get away with a lot and the swearing and sex scenes were disturbingly hilarious – it’s a must see show.  The stand out songs for me were It sucks to be me, Everybody’s a little bit racist sometimes and It’s only for now.

Here they are so you can enjoy them as well.  Make sure you go and see the show, you won’t be disappointed. 

Bunny, you’re weird, how can you not have enjoyed this show? Puppets, sex, life lessons – it’s a magical combination!

{November 21, 2009}   Breakfast at Tiffany's

A girl’s night out at Breakfast at Tiffany’s, the London West End play, followed by cocktails at the Connaught is a lovely way to spend a night.  

The movie is one of my favourites and I expected the play to follow the same story line, but it was a little bit different.  There were more obvious references to the fact Holly Golightly gets by financially by taking money from her social companions.  The male lead (Joseph Cross) did a good job, but he was totally miscast and no match for the dashing George Peppard from the movie.  Anna Friel played Holly Golightly, in what I’ll always think of as Audrey Hepburn’s role, but Anna did an amazing job and made the role her own on the stage.  This girl has some chutzpah, to be up on stage buck naked, with only a towel draped loosely across to give her some degree of modesty.  But seriously, if I looked like Anna Friel, I think I’d walk down the street naked.  From 3rd row seats I can report, no cellulite and a fabulous figure.

I’m not sure if it was a conscious decision to have Anna’s hair dyed blonde, but it was for the best, as quite soon into the show I stopped making comparisons to Audrey and just enjoyed her performance.  The play has been slated by some and I think the male lead might be the reason, but I enjoyed it and would highly recommend you go and see it.

{November 11, 2009}   Shoot Experience 9-5 Prize Giving
I was invited by the lovely Shoot Experience folk to their prize giving for the 9-5 competition they were running.   The competition was an opportunity to showcase a day in the life in your office, the funnier the better.  There were some brilliant photos, that were both creative and clever.  The winning ones were also my favourites.
Home time, surely?

Home time, surely?

Lyndsey surrounded by her adoring fans

Lyndsey surrounded by her adoring fans

Roll on 5.30

And my number one fave 'Roll on 5.30'

 The best thing about the party was that we got to play dress ups and get our photo taken.  There’s nothing like a dress up box to unleash your inner 5 year old.



{September 14, 2009}   Brick Lane Festival

I’d been looking forward to seeing Norman Jay at the Brick Lane Festival, but we arrived way too late, with only 20 minutes of his act left.  So instead of rocking with Norman, Dan, Kylie and I just walked around soaking up the atmosphere. 

These guys were fabulous and got the crowd going, a real ‘yay I love London’ moment.

I’m not sure if the ‘stalls’ are there every weekend but there are loads of people that lay all sorts of tat out on blankets.  I really mean it when I say tat too, I know they say one man’s junk is another man’s treasure – but really – who needs a second hand action man, one boot or some forlorn teletubbies!

Kylie considering an Action Man

Teletubbies past their prime

These guys embodied the feeling of the day.  They were stoked that we wanted their photo, happily busting out a pose.  They almost make me want to wear a hoodie and low slung jeans.

The friendliest hoodies in London

We’d left the food stalls too late and they were packing up, just as my appetite was kicking in.  Only one thing could tide me over until salt and pepper squid at the Drunken Monkey – Lip Lickers, they tasted as good as they smelt.

Lip Lickers Doughnut Heaven

 Next year we’ll come earlier, so we get to see Norman AND so we get to eat all the fabulous food.

{August 17, 2009}   Kate Miller Heidke

I blogged about Kate not so long ago  and was so enthusiastic about her that I booked tickets to her gig at Barfly. 

Kate’s support act was interesting to say the least.  If you’ve ever seen Chris on Youtube, the young man from ‘Leave Britney Alone’ fame then you’ll have a fair idea of what the emo support act was like for Kate.     

Think emo, with a double helping of misunderstood.  Then add lyrics that I’m sure were soulful and philosophical when composed in the safety of his bedroom, but which sounded like ‘teenage angst, I have no idea about life, poor me’ when bleated out from the stage.  Lyrics like ‘Where’s my stapler, sticky labels, get your shit off my table’ which described a 9-5 job he’d once held down.  I think the title was ‘textbook life’  Where’s Simon Cowell when you need him!

The crowd shuffled around awkwardly, not wanting to look each other in the eye, it was that cringe worthy.  The other four in my group, who had trusted me blindly with this gig, had no idea about Kate’s music and were now starting to give me pointed looks.  Oh. My. God, what had I got everybody in to!

There was no need to worry though, Kate was brilliant and I was like a very excited groupie.  She put on an excellent performance and won the crowd over with her irreverent sense of humour and absolutely flawless performance.  Her vocal range is amazing and I love her lyrics.  Her husband is a very talented individual too and they have a lovely chemistry on stage.

Kate Miller Heidke

Kate Miller Heidke

Ok, I’ve hit gush mode and I was in a similar mode when I got her to sign my CD, saying ‘I think you’re lovely’  like a moron.  I also asked her to pose for a photo with me and here it is.

Kate and her groupie

Kate and her groupie

Yes, I am very cool.

et cetera