Finally some decent stuff

on the Dutch telly.

BBC Worldwide has announced multiple sales from across its catalogue to each of the Netherlands’ major broadcasting groups NOS, RTL, SBS and Talpa totalling over 170 hours of programming.

NOS has gone for dramas and comedies, comprising the new series of Extras (hilariously funny, with Ricky Gervais, see it, is all I can say), Life on Mars (with a very interesting actor : John Simm, check him out) and Doctor Who (well well, you are going to get David Tennant served too ).
And last but not least, you lucky potatoes : included in the agreement are two Stephen Poliakoff dramas, one of them being Gideon’s Daughter.

And I read in a comment somewhere:
Belgian Canvas (previously BRT2) is going to broadcast The Girl In The Cafe.
Better late than never I would say.
Tune in on April 11 at 21.35.

Now this does interfere with my project a bit maybe, but Dutch people waiting on the list who want to be taken off the list after seeing the film on tv, give me a buzz.

The Restaurant At The End Of The Universe

I'm just a cosmic girl

Well, since people seem to be in a Hitchhikery kind of mood, I thought this one would be appropiate today:

You know those sleepless nights
Things orbiting my head
The restlessness, the turning
I’m messing up the bed

I walk towards the window
I’m trying to find Mars
I think about my life
While you arrange the stars

I watch the lights, the planets
The galaxy, the moon
The luck I had to find you
How we’ll be meeting soon

I made this reservation
I’m no longer in reverse
I’ll see you in the Restaurant
At The End Of The Universe

The Milky Way

The Milky Way

I drink milk, and a lot of it. In my tea, but also pure. And so I went to the supermarket for some milk. And again – I couldn’t believe my eyes. I am used to buy my milk in a 1 liter carton, or if I’m really thirsty I sometimes buy a 2 liter one. But you can’t find 1 liter cartons in the UK, and no 2 liter ones either.

But they have 1.136 liter ones, which is exactly 2 pints, according to the English.
Or 2.272 liter, which is 4 pints, if you wanna have a milk party.

Think about how confusing English cows must be with all those extra decimals !
You gotta love them, the English. I know I do.

Territorial Army

Territorial Army

“A lot of people think that the Territorial Army are not real soldiers. We are. We are well trained, highly disciplined fighting machines ready for war. We’re just not available during the week.” – Gareth from “The Office”

I think I am going to join, they are just around the corner where I live. And if you can meet types like Gareth there, who knows what might happen …

V for Vendetta (8.5/10)

V for Vendetta (2005)V for Vendetta

Tagline: A shadowy freedom fighter known only as V uses terrorist tactics to fight against his totalitarian society. Upon rescuing a girl from the secret police, he also finds his best chance at having an ally.

To be honest, I had no intentions of seeing this film, I thought it was just one of those crash-boom-bang films. The reason I went to see it anyway was it’s rave reviews. Maybe there was something anyway.

Here are 5 reasons why you might want to see it:

  • The screenplay is written by the writers of the Matrix trilogy. And the story is much more interesting and intelligent than you might think at first, or than I thought at first. It’s actually an excellent story, and it makes you think about things, a lot.
  • The film shows a future version of the UK. Call it science fiction, but it’s maybe not that far away from how things could develop. Not only in the UK, but in the world.
  • The film is partly filmed in London, and is also about London.
  • They blow up the Houses of Parliament and the Big Ben, which is a pretty impressive scene to watch.
  • It has Ben Miles in it. Why I like him ? I saw him live on stage in Richard II with Kevin Spacey, and he is a great actor (Ben Miles that is, and Kevin too of course).

Directed by James McTeigue
Cast Natalie Portman, Hugo Weaving, Stephen Rea, Stephen Fry, John Hurt, Ben Miles

See it ? See it ! (8.5/10)

The Thames

The Girl and The Thames
The Girl and The Thames

This is the Thames. And when you look at it, the water doesn’t really look clean. But clean or not, this is the water I get out of my tap at home. We get our drinking water from the Thames up here. And it looks clean coming out of the tap, and it tastes good too I can say.

Now a lot of people think that it rains all the time in London. But the thing is, it doesn’t really rain enough. For the first time in 15 years, Thames Water is implementing a ban on sprinklers and hosepipes from the 3rd of april 2006. This means that people no longer may use sprinklers to sprinkle their garden, or wash their cars using a hosepipe. You may still wash your car using a bucket of water though, or sprinkle your garden using a watering can or bucket. (Water restrictions – frequently asked questions)

Why all this ?
It hasn’t rained enough in London the last years !

And so I made a phonecall (yes to him), and later that afternoon:
London Rain
You worship the sun, but now can you handle the rain ?

A pleasure to help London, and apart from that I love rain. Isn’t it a beautiful sight ?

Spring in London

London City Hall
London City Hall

On a day like today, where spring has arrived in London, I don’t need anything else than my book. a sandwich from Marks & Spencer (still waiting for love flowering at the counter for people with under 5 items though), and a bench in a park to sit on.
The sun is delightful, and I am sitting in Trinity Square Gardens, which is a little peaceful park in the middle of South East London, very close to Tower Hill tube station.
From here I can see the Tower of London, a piece of the impressive Tower Bridge, and the reason I went this direction in the first place: the London Cityhall (called the crash helmet by local Londoners).
I’ll read a few pages more and enjoy the sun, and then I will take a walk over the impressive Tower Bridge to have a closer look at the City Hall.
Local Londoners are complaining about the fact that it has been very expensive to build, and that it wasn’t really appropiate to have it build right opposite the Tower of London (modern architecture contra old history). I find it (from an architecture point of view) a very interesting and beautiful building.

It is very nice to explore London this way, not having to rush around as a tourist would do. What I don’t make today, I’ll do some other time. No need to rush.

And also this walking trip was for free. Hop off the tube at Tower Hill walk over the bridge, and walk along the other side of the Thames to London Bridge station where you can hop on the tube again. More pictures to come.

Tomorrow I am going to watch men in rowingboats. The very traditional and world famous Oxford – Cambridge Boat race on the Thames is held tomorrow at 4.35 pm. And that is something I have to see of course, especially when the weather is a nice as it is now.

Please don’t run

Please don’t run

Stay with me
I feel sad
When you run

Sands of time
Are lying
On my chest

Stay in bed
I feel sad
When you run

the lyrics are from Air – Run – a weird but beautiful song, and lyrics that couldn’t be more perfect for this picture.

if you are wondering what a “dangerous” place this really is – it is the path down to the trains on Croydon station. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I first saw it. As the whole slope is filled with these yellow warning signs (the other one being “please take care on this slope”. British Rail really wants to protect us from dangerous liasons on their stations.
Train and tube stations are heaven if you like signs like this. And I have more of them in stock, I love them.

4 weeks in London – a wrapup

London Cityhall
London Cityhall

Excuse me, I just need to clean my hands after having indulged my Chicken Teriyaki sandwich for lunch. Life is definetely not bad in London.

Well this is your weekly (long and boring) update about how things are going in London. 4 weeks, goodness, time surely flies when you are having fun. And if you want the whole long boring story, go on, and continue reading. If you couldn’t care less – I understand you completely, no offence taken.
Read More

Sigur Ros in Hammersmith Apollo

Just a short review of yesterdays Sigur Ros concert.

The good:
The Hammersmith Apollo hall is a fantastic concert place. Like Shepherds Bush Empire this is a concerthall with style, beautifully decorated and build like a kind of half circle around the stage. Excellent sound too.

Sigur Ros has one of the most beautiful visual appearances I have seen on stage.

They have a very faithful and enthusiastic audience in the UK.

Yes playing your guitar with a bow is very cool.

There were a lot of people on stage, a string quartet (playing on an electrical saw too), a 5 person section with trumpets and such, and the band itself, which, if I have counted correctly, has 4 (5?) members.

Some songs where shiveringly beautiful

The bad
They didn’t play Staralfur, which of course was a bad thing. How could they leave it out. It didn’t come completely unexpected though, as it hasn’t been on their setlists the last months.

Even though there were some highlights, the concert as a whole didn’t really have any surprises and did not impress me too much.

But all in all, it wasn’t bad for a first concert in London.

Sigur Ros in Hammersmith Apollo

I am off to this long awaited concert in 2 minutes from now. I bought the ticket for this concert on the birthday of the man who is the reason I discovered them in the first place. And at that time the concert was very far away, and so was my move to London. But now months later, the day of the concert has arrived, and I am very much looking forward to it. It is sold out. And it feels so good to be able to say : I’ll hop on the tube and I’ll be there 15 minutes from now.

If they are going to play Staralfur (The song from The Girl In The Cafe film) live I am going to cry.

Tsotsi (8.5/10)

Tsotsi (2005)

Tagline : Six days in the violent life of a young Johannesburg gang leader (Tsotsi).

Now here is a beautiful movie : Tsotsi. This movie won the Oscar for best foreign film, and even though that isn’t a guarantee for anything, in this case it is well deserved. The story might be on the edge of being sentimental, but the talented young actors are doing a great job in this film. There are beautiful shots from the slum areas in Johannesburg, and life definetely isn’t easy down there.

The film has some very violent and shocking scenes, but that is how Tsotsi’s life has been. There isn’t a real happy ending, happily I would say, and even though Tsotsi takes a drastic decision at the end of this film, you’ll leave the cinema with hopes for a better life for him.

See this film, it is beautiful, and a welcome alternative for the other overrated Oscar winning movies currently running in the cinema (Brokeback Mountain is an exception here).

Directed by Gavin Hood

Cast Presley Chweneyagae, Mothusi Magano, Israel Makoe

Lawless Heart

Love is the answer

You can pass her every day
on the street
or in The Cafe
drinking tea
’cause coffee – no
a bite to eat
a meal to go
you can’t really
take them apart
the girl’s a girl
she owns the heart
the question is
and here’s the mess
does it obey
or is it

(Notes: Picture taken passing an anti war demonstration in front of the Houses of Parliament. Lawless Heart is also a film with Bill Nighy, and a really good one too.
And to answer the question : it is Lawless).

TGITC – on tour – now in the USA

The Girl In The CafeAfter a short visit to my ex hometown (Aarhus), the Girl actually crossed the ocean, and she is currently staying with Jason in the USA, who is taking good care of her.

Jane saw the film, and wrote the following review:

Hugh Grant meets Bob Geldof

In what starts out as yet another romantic comedy vis-?-vis shy, slightly awkward man meets young girl, falls in love, overcomes various obstacles and all ends well, the viewer is mercifully and happily surprised when this film turns out to be highly political with a strong message that every voice counts in the fight against poverty in the world. According to the film it is a battle that can be won if the Western world sets its mind to it.

The message is delivered in an often fun and easy manner, which makes it less dogmatic and more agreeable, nevertheless, the subject matter is never taken lightly and it is clear that the problems of the world ought to be taken more seriously.

Having been pleasantly surprised by the quality and substance of this film I strongly recommend other ignorants to watch it ? sooner rather than later!

Having somewhat questioned Ingrid?s taste in films in the past; I will no longer treat her recommendations with a pinch of salt. Thank you Ingrid for giving us the opportunity to watch this great film.

Well what can I say, another person that seems to love the film, so I can’t be anything else than very pleased about that. A big Thank You to Jane for participating in this humble project.

If you would like to participate in The Girl In The Cafe on tour project, you can read about it here, and join. (It doesn’t matter where you live).

All it will cost you is a stamp to send the film to the next person, 2 hours to watch this beautiful film, and 15 minutes to write a review about it.

If you want to know where The Girl is, has been or will be going – check here.

Love can’t change
what’s wrong in the world.
But it’s a start.

Love thou underground

Going Underground

14 reasons to love the London Underground:

  • If you just missed a train, the next one won’t be far away.
  • You never really know for sure how the world looks like when you popup above ground again. Life is an adventure.
  • Yes sure there are delays sometimes. But I have never seen delays being notified so clearly. And why make a big fuss about them – when did 10 minutes extra suddenly make that big a difference in your life.
  • How can you ever get enough of “Mind the gap” and “mind the doors”
  • The new Oyster card is a genious idea, and many international cities could learn from it. Yes I am a proud Oystercard owner, and London is my oyster.
  • You can style your hair in the wind that is pushed forward by a train when it arrives. If you don’t need to style your hair, just let the wind touch your face. It is nice.
  • It is never cold, underground.
  • There is always funky live music on Piccadilly and Leicester Square station. It sounds good, underground, and sometimes it is more than funky.
  • The signing is so easy to follow that it is hard to get lost, or to get on the wrong train.
  • Take a closer look at the interior of the trains, and see how f.ex. Piccadilly Line (blue line) trains have blue frames, and Central Line trains (red line) have red frames. Someone has been thinking about things here.
  • No mobile phone noise in the underground trains.
  • Most tube stations are beautifully designed and decorated.
  • And the most important thing : it brings you around in London in a fast and convenient way

In other words : the tube is your friend in London.

Number of empty mountains

And now I am suddenly busy. I started my job which is nice, as it gets me into a more normal daily rhythm. Not that normal is good, normally it tends to be boring, but in this case it is good.

A few more days until I have my internetconnection at home, and then I will try to post some of the stuff and pictures I have been saving throughout the last week and a half. It is much.

In the mean time : I am currently working (at work that is) on a report called “Number of Empty Mountains”.

A big prize for the person who can guess what on earth that could be used for …

Bill’s are cool

Maybe it has something to do with the name. But this Bill is definetely one of the most funny Brits I have seen so far.

And yes he has a blog too. And no of course it isn’t updated.

But imagine having been hanging on your bed for 2 days eating apples and drinking applejuice, zapping around on the five channels my cheap low budget TV has (BBC1 + BBC2 though – hurrah !) and suddenly endup in the middle of his “Part Troll” show. Even though I felt like a sick dog, I couldn’t stop laughing. Absolutely Recommended English humour this is !

Oh and talking about English humour : The Armstrongs. Newspapers here in the UK have written that it is even more hilarious than the Office. Which is true, but the thing is that while the Office was acted, The Armstrongs are as real as it can get. Hilarious. Recommended too, and it doesn’t hurt at all that the other (or should I say The) Bill is narrating it. See it and laugh.

(Update: I just heard today that both Bill Nighy and Bill Bailey are casted for the new film from the makers of Shaun Of The Dead (talking about hilarious) called Hot Fuzz (expected release date – start of 2007) – how cool – or should I say – how Hot !).