Sunday, 30 November 2008

Mallowy goodness

Back in Glasgow last night for The Mighty Boosh at the Clyde Auditorium. Parked the car in a street filled with young girls in tutus with glow sticks. We had been wandering what the crowd would be like at a Mighty Boosh gig and were rather surprised to find the street filled with under agers in tutus, jabbering excitedly whilst buying glow sticks from various vendors set up at different points over the street. We entered the large red tunnel red tunnel, which crosses the Clydeside Expressway, amongst loitering policemen, in throngs of younger folk who looked slightly inebriated. I had not expected such a young mental looking crowd but it wasn't until we got to the lights at the end of the tunnel that we seen the signs for Clubland 2008 in the main SECC building. This accounted for the glow sticks at least, not sure about the tutus. After a brief run around inside the Armidillo trying to find our way we eventually took our seats. Vince and Howard both swept on to the stage singing about sailors from the future with the help of The Boosh Band who hid behind the main stage back drop for a good fraction of the whole night. The comedy was great and at it's best when Vince and Howard were out on the front section of the stage, infront of the closed curtain, squabbling and trading both thoughts and insults. The internal monologues of Howard's mind were particulary hilairious. Plus the inclusion of the infamous Hitcher. The strange green creation of Noel Fielding with green skin, a big nose and thumb, dressed in black with a top hat and voiced with a gnarly cockney accent. A brilliant show if your into the Boosh.
Woke up late this morning after having a wee glass of wine once we arrived home last night. Wine accompanied by a bit of Editors and Roxy Music. Today, here has not seemed to have broke yet as a thick white mist has hung over the streets of EK all morning and afternoon. I can barely see the opposite end of the street from the window. I'm half expecting a long line of mysterious shapes to emerge slowly from the mist and drag me away into the fog to a sorry, icy fate.
Evening now. Had to go and so the shopping there. Curse those money hungry supermarkets! Coaxing us in with their 2 for 1s only to get us to spend the saved money on other things. Other things such as Tunnocks Teacakes. Just had one with my tea. The first in years. Full of chocolatey mallowy goodness. Brilliant.

Friday, 28 November 2008

I like to move it, move it

Travelled into the rain soaked streets of Glasgow to see Roisin Murphy at the ABC in Sauchiehall Street. Decided to drive as the weather was so poor and could not find a parking space anywhere in the Sauchiehall vacinity. Eventually got parked on the other end of Blythswood Square, the Square that used to be notorious for it's ladies of the night. Trailing through the sheets of rain the show proved to be well worth the effort though. What a star Roisin is! It was the first time I'd seen her live after having listened to her and Moloko for so many years. Together with Murphy's weird but strong voice the music of Moloko appealed to me for it's brilliant, sometimes haunting, tunes that swing between pop, rock and dance beats. With the latest album 'Overpowered' Murphy has well and truly hit her mark as a solo performer, and was a job she does live too. Belting out her hits with her trademark whacky dress sense and fantastic band who helped the songs glide voraciously quickly over two hours. Excellent stuff.
Tonight Ka and myself sat and watched 'In Bruges'. A tale of two hitmen sent out to Brussels to escape the London authorities after a mission goes wrong thanks to the new start of the duo, Colin Farrell. Brendon Gleeson suffers as his mentor and Ralph Fiennes puts in a great performance as the angry, highly strung, crazy eyed boss who ends up joining them in Bruges. A great character piece with some brilliant moments. Missed it in the cinema so it was good to finally see it. Definately one to see if you haven't done already and contrary to what Farrell says I think Bruges looked quite nice! The city square especially reminded me of Prague with it's cobbled paving, old town houses and it's bell tower.
Tomorrow night it's off to the Armadillo, or the Clyde Auditorium as it is properly known, to go and see how Vince and Howard are doing. Before that I'm tiling with Dad. My Mum and Dad have decided to regenerate their whole kitchen space and have combined two rooms to do so and I, whilst feeling generous with my time, volunteered to help out with the tiling duties. Not that I've ever put up kitchen tiles in my life so this should be interesting...
Ka, meanwhile, will be going out with her Mum, sister and niece to watching a bunch of rabbiting African animals
with American, Hollywood star, accents singing, dancing and generally goofing around. Again, maybe with the odd long forgotten hit suddenly made popular again but this time for kids half the age of the original audience.
Talking of Africa, Harry Hillwalker is just back from a trip to South Africa and sent me some collections of the shots he took over there. Some great pictures and fabulous scenery. Whilst driving through the rain tonight it kind of made me feel more than a little envious.

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Special delivery

Today I came home, tired and worn out to find a package from America waiting on me. It was my copy of David Byrne and Brian Eno's "Everything That Happens Will Happen Today". Fantastic. Purchased and downloaded from the official website around two months ago, the hard copy, the good old fashioned CD, can now be purchased in the shops. Nice package and good music.
Congratulations should go to Martin and Claire who now have a little baby in the house. Olivia Danni Dunn is now home.
Richard Serra is the topic on tonight's Imagine, the BBC's art documentary series presented by Alan Yentob. Serra is a true giant in Art and Sculpture so this should be a good one! Off to watch it now...

Sunday, 23 November 2008

Kind you'd like to meet

Congratulations to Craig and Gillian for their engagement and the success of their engagement party on friday night. We all had a great time in the Rolls Royce club. A few drinks, a few dances and a few songs. Everyone was there to wish Craig and Gillian well. At first it seemed like a reunion night for Ka's work colleagues, past and present, but I soon relaxed as they're all a cool bunch. Maybe I relaxed a little too much as, for some reason, after a couple of beers, I plucked up the courage to get up on the dancefloor and perform 'Oh Pretty Woman' through the karaoke machine. Unfortunately, mike in hand, I felt the need to try and get the dancefloor shy relatives up and asked for all those accompanied by 'pretty women' to get up on the dancefloor with their own 'pretty women'. None of the relatives moved. Failing this I then shouted, 'get off your arse and dance!' at Craig and Gillian's relatives. Needless to say they did not look very appreciative of my comments, some of the older guys growling from behind their pint glasses. I'm not even sure if Gillian and Craig appreciated me shouting at their aunties and uncles in such a fashion. I suspect not. I think I just got a little too carried away. The girls at the ELU, including Chris, Margot, Amanda, Roslyn, Cheryl and the rest, helped me out though and filled the dancefloor the best they could. I'm not sure what possessed me to get up and sing karaoke as I was not even drunk and usually hate the bloody things. Looking back I suspect it was the fact that it was the same few people on the dancefloor all the time and stupidly thought I could do something about it. What a time to suddenly gain a rockstar ego! Feeling slightly embarrassed afterwards I ran for the safety of our tables and hid for the rest of the night. I did receive some compliments with regards to my singing talents, however. Maybe I should try X Factor next year?
When last orders were shouted and everyone started filing out we piled into Chris' car. With Margot, Bev, Ka, Amanda, myself and Chris driving we set off to the forever excellent Centre Point. When I say forever excellent I am of course being sarcastic - but it was a last resort. However, once inside we ended up having quite a good time, dancing to classic tunes of the nineties. Rhythm is a Dancer, Everybody's Free, Key the Secret, mixed in with some Prodigy and such like. Some really good tunes so a complete surprise to go into Centre Point and enjoy yourself. Almost weird.
Ka and myself met the great Martin Darcy with whom I used to work behind the bar with in the Auldhouse Arms many moons ago. Leaving Ka in the taxi queue I ran down to the nearest grease shop and ordered a portion for us to share. A comment was made over my shoulder whilst I stood waiting, leaning on the warm metal counter to which I looked round. I knew I was in trouble. His name escaped me completely and he had to gently remind me with the help of some swear words and the odd barrage of abuse. He was not best pleased but he got over it when he met Ka outside at the bus stop and started accusing her of insanity for agreeing to marry such a person as myself. He was having a laugh, of course, and let us escape to a taxi.

Friday, 21 November 2008

Black and white

Weather. Always a good conversation piece for folk when your struggling for subjects to talk about. On my way to work today it very much felt like winter was most definately here. The sky was clear with only the occasional strip of cloud hiding the luminous pale blue hanging overhead. These are the kind of winter mornings I like though. Freezing, but light and clear with the sunlight streaming through the tree tops over the edge of Calderglen. The sunlight in stark contrast with the cold temperatures. It is not as cold as it will get though. Today it has been around 5 degrees celcius but tomorrow the weather report is saying it will be more in the region of 2 degrees celcius but with less cloud. It is strange how I feel more at home in the winter weather than in the sweltering heat of a good summer. Perhaps I was an eskimo in a former life... or a penguin. According to religions, such as Hinduism or Buddhism, a human is supposed to be a higher form of life than the animal which would mean I must have been a good penguin in the former life. Maybe I caught lots of fish and shared them out to all my penguin pals. Not everything's black and white though.
The BBC Trust have finally got round to giving their final decision on the Russell Brand/Jonathan Ross nonsense stating there was no justification for the errors that were made in the production of the programme concerned. Really? No way! Who pays these people? Oh, yeah, that's right. US. It's been over three weeks for them to state the obvious. As the 'innocent' female concerned said on the news tonight - we are all so bored of this story. Why is it still in the news then? As I said when it first blew up in the gutter press three days after it actually happened - get over it. There are more important things to concern ourselves over. Getting Ross back on the telly! I've got to go out tonight now because there's no Jonathan Ross on!
Charlie Brooker's Screenwipe had a great ten minute piece on it, on Tuesday night, in his usual entertaining, sarcastic, indomitable way. The guy is a genius. Another guy with a similar humour is the brilliant Jack Dee whom I just happened to catch getting interviewed on This Morning yesterday. Not that I usually watch this Morning or anything... I was just finishing my breakfast tea with a bacon buttie. He was talking about his new series of Lead Balloon, his drama comedy series on BBC Two. Regretfully, I've not caught any of this series yet but it looks pretty good. May have to check it out.
The new car is flaimin' filthy. How come dirt on a car shows up more on black paintwork? You'd think it would be the opposite wouldn't you? I always thought it would be a nightmare owning a white car. JP says it's the salt on the road. Salt on the road? Haven't even seen any salt spreaders on the roads yet, firing it's load of grit at your windscreen. Soon we'll be scraping the ice off the windows and getting high on de-icers again. Could the snow be on it's way?

Thursday, 20 November 2008

Lost Ian

Well, we've lost Lost Ian. Rather unexpected twist to the redundancy horrors with the loss of our very own Lost Ian. The main crossword keeper. The fellow sci-fi buff with whom I talk Lost, Doctor Who, Spooks and generally anything a bit cultish in the TV department. Lost Ian, along with another colleague, Gordon Brown, (no, not the much maligned Prime Minister!) will be leaving S&UN at the beginning of the month. It's a right pi**er, to be frank and a devastating blow to us crossword crusaders who get together at tea breaks and lunches at the round table, talking our general nonsense whilst trying to suss out the answers to the devious Daily Mail's crosswords, codewords and connections. Lost Ian has been a good pal in there and I'll miss him as well as his DVDs! He must lend me a DVD every month. I'm going have to go and join a video shop now! Sorry a DVD rental shop. Actually, I'm a member of the Calderwood Square one already, but the women behind the desk scare me a little and they all look very alike with their milk bottle glasses. They probably have those glasses from watching too many DVDs. Anyway, the mood was sombre yesterday. You didn't know whether to be glad you still had your own job or depressed for those that lost theirs. Then we got news of Trinity Mirror putting a nationwide freeze on wages. Things can only get better...maybe.

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Whatever happens

A rather pensive, grave day in the office today as we all know that we find out our fates with S&UN tomorrow. Nobody opted to volunteer for the redundancies so now it's up to the management. We are having individual meetings throughout the day now that the busiest part of the week is over. Speculation has been a bit rife but at the end of the day we can't do anything now. At dinner tonight in the small kitchen/canteen I was wondering if it would be the last Tuesday night with a microwaved dinner in the S&UN production centre listening to crazy talk, my colleagues' life problems and stresses and the desperate scrambling with the final clues for the Daily Mail crossword. Andrea was stressing about a Hitler look-a-like who has been employed by Hamilton Asda as a security guard who seemingly follows her around the aisles. Gareth was moaning about opening his front door this morning only to find an old fellow pissing in his tenement close. Creamy Chicken John was devouring one of his homemade chilli con carnes while Lost Ian was wondering what the connection was between Charles darwin and Queen Victoria. The joys of break time. One thing's for sure, tomorrow will be no joy, whatever happens.

Sunday, 16 November 2008

Headaches and children

Another weekend almost over! They whizz by like a chettah on heelys. Wish they wouldn't do that as it always makes us smack into the brick wall of another Monday morning. A bit of a quiet one again this weekend with more painting yesterday afternoon and then a movie last night. Chaz appeared at the door at around half eight with two carriers full of crisps, chocolate and corona and joined Ka and myself in watching the brilliant 'Training Day'. This movie I've been meaning to watch for at least two years and with Ka and Chaz settled down to watch. Denzel Washington was indeed great in it and deserved the oscar he received for the role afterwards. Conversations ranged from Costco, Corona's need for a good bit of lime, the Wispa bar to relationships (that old chestnut!) and redundancies.
This morning I awoke to a neighbour piling some empty glass bottles into the bottle bin downstairs, each clatter and smash echoing through the close up through our letterbox, down our hallway, in to the bedroom and directly into my right ear, through a slightly diverted route in the channels of my brain and out my left ear, continuing from then to the nearest wall and bouncing back off the brick, making a disasterous u-turn hurling back towards my right ear again. Trying to ignore the signs lighting up in my head telling me it was time to get up I did manage to go back to sleep until Ka woke me with a glass of orange juice. My head was aching and I had not thought I'd had that much to drink last night. In fact I know I hadn't. Six bottles of beer. That was it. Is that what it takes to gain a hangover these days? That's got to be a sign of getting old. Forcing myself up though I went straight to the gym and forced the alcoholic blues straight out of me and after an hours workout, a quick swim and a short time in the sauna, felt brand new again. I say quick swim because everytime we go to the pool on a sunday, for some demented reason, we end up going in when it's 'family time'. Yes, family time in the pool is when young kids flock in with their mums, dads, grandparents or all of them, to jump about on giant planks of polystyrene that the kids themselves only take up a fraction of space on. They glide these straight across the surface of the blue water, giggling and laughing whilst aiming straight for the side of your head. If it's not one of those butting into your body parts, or at least into your swimming path, your sure to get a ball or hoop of some description slung at you from the other side of the pool while the parents just jump about not giving a hoot. Sorry, I didn't realise I was really intended in life to be part some kind of aquatic fairground attraction. I'm half expecting a loud alarm to go off and Derek the lifeguard to come out from his viewing point with a stupidly large cuddly toy the next time a plastic beach ball bounces off my head.
Talking of fairground attractions Ka was driving today. Only kidding. Ka is a great driver, not at all like a dodgem... or a roller coaster. It is amazing how many a**e's you get up your rear bumper whenever they twig there's a learner infront of them though. You'd think a learner plate is a license to distress and agitate the attached vehicle for some drivers out there. This, understandably, stresses Ka out a little but not only do they put the rear end of my new car at risk but they also put their own car at risk, not to mention the other drivers behind them. Ignoring that though, Ka will undoubtedly be passing her test shortly.
We were dropping a painting off to Angela and Steven's today. A belated engagement present/early wedding gift. The grey rose seen here. We then went home to EK only to find the same Angela and Steven, with Morgan, in EK Sainsburys, suspiciously close to the alcohol aisle. After meeting our pal Martin, who is currently a security guard in the supermarket, and getting an update on the pregnant Claire, I managed to get myself a bottle of Jack Daniels for £13. I'll call it an early Christmas present to myself. Unfortunately there was a slight casualty in the trip as Morgan managed to fall flat on her face after I, yes me, told her to go and get her mum after she had spied her near the checkouts. She broke into a run on my words and ended up sliding down the floor of the CD aisle head first. She got up from the floor screaming and shooting blood from her mouth after puncturing her top lip in the fall. Needless to say I felt very guilty and will do for the rest of my mortal life no doubt. Hope your lip gets better Morgan. Martin told me determinedly that I would not be babysitting his child when it arrives. I nodded in agreement.

Thursday, 13 November 2008

Eat more cake

More job losses in BT now? Will this ever end? Things seem to be getting more and more depressing with all the redundancies and recession talk.
On a happier note it was my wee cousin, little Lauren's, birthday today. She was three. Ka and myself popped round to Laurence and Maria's after the usual Thursday night gym workout to deliver her present. We walked in to discover my Dad, Mum and Gran already there, lounging on the couch eating pizza and drinking Laurence's very own brewed beer while kids ran about the living room, followed by the two cats and the dog, Taz. Named Taz presumably because of his Tazmanian Devil tendencies of which I seen no sign of. He seemed perfectly at ease and calm, except from getting a bit 'excited' when Megan, Lauren's bigger sister, started having a tickling competition with Ka. Megan fell to the ground at one point only to be jumped on by a, let's say, over enthusiastic, Taz. Needless to say Megan made sure she quickly escaped. Lauren had her birthday cake presentation after Maria eventually had the lights put out for the full candle effect and everyone helped themselves to cake. Even though I was driving I did have a brief swig of Laurence's self brewed beer. 40 pints for a tenner, apparently, and not bad at all. Will maybe consider that for our tightened purse strings Reid Christmas (damn, said the 'C' word again). The other, younger, Michael, Laurence and Maria's eldest, disappointingly had not made another chocolate cake for us all and was annoyed that his mother had went out and bought one. Got to say, so were we all. At Megan's birthday a few months back, her big brother had made two giant, gorgeous cakes that Nigella Lawson would have been proud of. My mum used to be great at making cakes, especially of the birthday variety. She used to make us themed cakes of whatever we were into at the time. Lynsey Ann always got chocolate cake extravaganzas. Kenny, my brother, I remember, got specially constructed Thomas the Tank Engine cakes, castle cakes and a football pitch complete with players. Or maybe the castle was mine... anyway, she was an expert. Mum must have had a lot of time on her hands in those days as she doesn't bother so much anymore. Maybe it's more because of the fact the three of us are, or are approaching, thirty years of age though.

Black and blues

A blue rose this time. Today I've spent the day painting. A new rose, this time in blues and blacks. It's going quite well and now has all the basic layers in place and in colour. It is another rose but the way I see it, every rose I have done in the past year or so has been an original in itself. Although the basic form is the same they all contain different shades, shapes and tones. Last week I completed another, very different, painting entitled 'Angel or demon'. A female angel but with a fiery elemental look about her which could give the idea of her form being a deception - the fiery look being at odds with the angelic image (like some women I've known!). I've yet to put it up on Reidnet's gallery.
Have been listening to Roisin Murphy's latest album whilst working. There are some great tracks on it including the brilliant discoesque You Know Me Better. Great to jive to around an easel!

Saturday, 8 November 2008

A Brucie bonus

Picked up the new car on Thursday and it smells lovely. Drives good too. It's wonderful, truth be told. Nice to drive a car that doesn't have a leaking roof like the clio did. I used to have to drive the clio, whenever it rained, with a mini umbrella propped above over my head which wasn't good for when you had to make a manoeuvre. Looking through the back window was slightly tricky. Two years old but with only 2000 miles on the clock. Fantastic. Chaz reckoned the older couple that owned it before only drove it to church and back every sunday. I wonder how long the new car smell will linger. Even though it is 2 years old, somehow, Chaz's garage has gave it a new car scent. Perhaps they have a cannister of 'new car smell' in the garage. I wonder who bottles that? A strange, sweet, leathery, polish like smell. Chaz came with me to pick the vehicle up from his showroom and had the car all ready on the showroom floor, covered with a silk merc cloak and with one swish revealed my new mode of transport. The other car salesmen around paid little attention to his Bruce Forsyth impression, working away at their computers as news of the interest rates came through to which Chaz coincidentally remarked it was a 'Brucie bonus'. One of his car salesmen colleagues was quite happy in that he was going on holiday on Monday to Spain, only quite, he informed me, as he was unfortunately going to be escorted by his lady wife.
Friday was drab - nothing to report. Tea went cold twice. There are few occasions when I let my tea in work go cold. Friday it happened twice for some reason. Mind must be on other matters.
Today, early Christmas, sorry, c word, shopping. Never say the 'c' word before December. That's been a moral of mine for a while now but unfortunately I've even fallen into the horrific shame of it all. Managed to get a few pressies while I have the money though so that has to be a good thing. I hate doing the 'c' word shopping early as well. Once again I'll blame the media!
Tonight, vodka and butterkist popcorn with a movie.

Thursday, 6 November 2008

An American dream

So America has a new President at last - and not a moment too soon. Hopefully he will live up to the expectations. Did not see any of it live, for the simple reason of being asleep, but did catch some of the replays on the breakfast news this morning. The momentous gathering in Chicago seemed more like a concert than an victory speech. Ecstatic crowds swarming the streets of the cities of America. People shouting with glee into cameras and mikes. It's difficult to believe how McCain got any votes watching those pictures. Barack Obama has made people sit up and listen, take notice of the state of things and show them that there really is the possibility of change. Looks like they have grabbed that opportunity with both hands. But will it mean a whole new world..? It's one hell of a job he has on his hands.
On the same day as all the good news over in the States, contrastingly we have found out, in our ad team, that two have to go. They need two redundancies and it has been opened up to volunteers. Not good news...

Monday, 3 November 2008

A lack of exploding pens

After a week off I tired easily in work today. Andrea came to the rescue around eleven though with a batch of her sister's tablet. It was very nice but very sweet and did get us buzzing a wee bit with a major sugar rush. Coupled with the caffeine of the tea breaks I was wide awake again by mid afternoon, just in time for my surprise appraisal. Thankfully, that went fine. Considering the state of affairs nationwide at the moment I was glad to still have a job.
Last night we went to see the latest Bond flick, Quantum of Solace. An action packed, adrenaline filled movie sequel to the excellent Casino Royale. It was certainly entertaining and Daniel Craig was again very good in his version of Bond but the whole film did not feel like Bond. It felt more like another Bourne Supremacy. Most of the time it felt like it was just another spy thriller, a good thriller but nonetheless not quite what you'd expect for a James Bond movie. Casino Royale was a departure from the run of the mill Bond movies we were all used to with big changes and good changes. But, to me, Quantum takes it even further making it barely recognisable. Good film though and most of the stunts and action sequences just look great in the cinema. I do miss Q and the gadgets though. The exploding pens and remote controlled BMWs. Thought it would be quieter on a sunday night but the place was packed inside and out. Everywhere you walked in the Glasgow streets, surrounding the cinema, cars filled the parking spaces, alleyways, shop drives and straddled the kerbs of pavements. We were late, but unfortunately we still managed to catch most of the adverts trying to sell you cars, watches, computer games and aftershave showing large chunks of the film we were just about to see. Sometimes they ruin way too much with the overlong trailers. Not to mention the, now traditional, Orange adverts with the annoying Orange company boss and his minions taking the mickey out of some other contract quiet movie star. Ka hates them, as I suspect most people do. For some reason though I find them funny... is that bad?

Saturday, 1 November 2008

Practically perfect

Mr McKell has done it again. Chaz has found us a new car. A Toyota Corrolla. Ka and myself sat patiantly in a certain Glasgow motor dealership, drinking machine tea while Chaz finished another sale. He then came over and began by complimenting my new glasses. I told him he could dispense with pleasantries and was there to put him back on schedule, in getting us a new car. He took us out in a Toyota Corrolla which, although not as luxurious as the Audi Quattro, seems to be a very smart wee car. Well, when I say wee, I mean it's smaller than the Audi, but bigger than my old Clio. Although two years old it is in near mint condition with little mileage on the clock. Chaz informed us of the car's many selling points, including room and connections for baby seats in the back. Agreeing, I quickly pointed out that they would be good for Ka's niece, Morgan. After a ten minute test drive in the busy Glasgow city centre we stamped our names on it, considering it ideal and left as we had a pressing engagement.
Through to the traffic mayhem that is Edinburgh, Dad drove. Edinburgh traffic always seems so terrible compared to Glasgow with the sheer quantity of bus lanes, one way roads and road works that have been going on for, at least, the last five years. We spent Halloween in the Edinburgh Playhouse watching Mary Poppins with Mum, Dad and Lynsey Ann. The brilliant Cameron Mackintosh production version of the classic P. L. Travers tale about the weird, freakishly perfect nanny who gains employment in a troubled family's London house in 1910, eventually bringing the estranged family back together again with the help of dancing statues and suspicious looking bottles of medicine. The show was everything you'd expect from a Mackintosh production. Great music, fantastic sets, special effects, expert dancing, fun performances and a few surprise spectacles including Poppins gliding out over the stalls up into the galleries above, her brolley raised over her head. There was no tea party on the ceiling though which was a bit of a disappointment but there were a few scenes from the original book, missed from the 1964 movie, including a visit to Mrs Corry's magical Sweet shop in the park. She was basically a dealer based in the park. On one of the Banks' encounters with the Park Ranger he did start to go on about how he found many an odd person wandering around in the park. Bearing in mind the tale is set in London, I wondered if that included George Michael. Do you think George Michael, on being cornered by police and asked what he's up to, has used the excuse 'supercalifragalisticexpialidocious'? Maybe he claimed it only to be a spoonful of sugar? It was certainly a bit odd on leaving the theatre as we, and the rest of the Poppins mob, were surprised to find the street filled with drag queens. Apparently, or so we were to realise, the bar right next door to the Playhouse, the Cafe Habana, has a speciifc form of clientele. It's very popular in Edinburgh's gay scene and, since it was Halloween, the pub's crowd were taking full advantage of their mother's closet. Some of the looks on the older ladies and burly blokes coming out the theatre were a hoot. It was a bit like one of Mary Poppins' fantastical trips coming to life on Greenside Place, making our way through the wigs and feather boas to the car whilst people sang supercalifragalisticexpialidocious. Poppins was right, it does make you feel better!