August 14, 2010

Friday night is ready-meal night. (Unless we’re feeling really rock and roll, of course, in which case it’s take-away night.) So last night, I picked up a rather splendid looking moussaka from the M&S Gastropub (TM) range. (Love that name – it promises the feeling of going out and rubbing shoulders with real people without all the inconvenience of actually doing it. After all, the idea of other people is often so much more pleasant than the reality.)

I followed the simple instructions. “Pre-heat oven.” There was a panel with the correct temperatures underneath, so I duly turned the dial to to 200C, and forgot all about it for a while as me and Steven caught up on the day’s events.

The little orange light on the oven clicked off, and I dutifully read the next instalment. “Remove sleeve and film.” Twas but the work of a moment. I turned to the last item on the list.

“Place on a pre-heated baking tray.” AAAARRRRRGGGHHHHH!!! Now you tell me. The stone-cold baking tray sat in front of me accusingly.

Dear Gastropublicans – instructions in chronological order, please.


(phone buzzes)

March 2, 2010

Sunday afternoon, and I’d been wanting to see Up in the Air for ages, it was hardly showing anywhere any more, but it was still on at the Vue in Leicester Square, so me and Steven headed into town. It’s not a bad cinema if you’re in Screen 5 or 7, but this was in one of the slightly rubbish basement screens that really don’t justify the Leicester Square tax. The place seemed kind of empty, we figured it was because of the torrential rain that morning, but then the woman who checked our tickets told us that it was a showing with English subtitles for the deaf. Not ideal, but seeing as we were already there we thought we might as well, so down the escalator clutching our overpriced snacks we went. You could tell the place was way past its glory days when the first two rows we tried to sit down turned out to have the bottom part of one of the seats missing. We finally found some proper seats, and after the usual 20 minutes of ads and trailers, the film started. Right from the start, the subtitles got in the way. Did we really need the lyrics to the opening song spoiling the carefully considered opening credits? And once the dialogue kicked in, the battle was on to try not to look at the words, which appeared just a little too soon before they were spoken. Even when there wasn’t any dialogue, we were subjected to bracketed annotations such as (phone buzzes) and (Alex giggles).

Still, we enjoyed the movie nonetheless, and afterwards we repaired to Cha Cha Moon, an old haunt we hadn’t visited for ages, for some restorative wonton. We sat on the high chairs (I like sitting on high chairs) and chatted about this and that.

It was all good quality time. Just quality time with unexpected subtitles.

No November

November 8, 2009


If you’re wondering why are so many no’s in the above flyer, cast your mind back to a certain nineties Eurotrash dance number…

It’s for monthly night Kiss & Make Up, which we attended on Friday night. A fair amount of lager and bourbon was consumed, we swapped Little Chef experiences with Stuart, one of the not-so-evil masterminds behind the night, Steven got “beard envy” after meeting some of the bear-ier gentlemen present, and as promised there were “spontaneous outbreaks of dancing”.

The next morning we were slightly worse for wear and headed down to our local greasy spoon. There we had a breakfast that in Steven’s words, left us “equally disgusted and delighted”.

The rest of Saturday consisted of Working Girl, Revenge of the Sith and X Factor. Each of which attained that same delicate balance between disgust and delight.