February 2017 Favourites

Glen wearing his Thinking Bob medal. Gold surrounds a white circle in the centre, which contains the text My Clever Medal - thinkingbob.co.uk

Hello again. My second busy month in London has passed already, so it’s time for my next update. Just like in January, my main focus has been a variety of social events with the Thinking Bob group, which have helped me to build up my confidence in an enjoyable way. But I also went out with my Aunt, who showed me around an area that’s fairly local to me, there’s a little update on how my mother and I are settling in at home, and I mention a few more TV shows I’ve been watching. So I hope you enjoy!

Contents

Settling In

Things are still going well in our new home, as my mother and I continue to clear stuff out and make the place our own, and we’re adjusting to new routines like putting out the bins on a different night than we used to in Devon. We’ve also been making progress on selling our old house too, as the estate agent’s been looking after it for us since we moved.

One of the most important things, however, is that we’ve had an assessment with our local Sensory Team, which was very interesting and reassuring. As well as providing us with our disability registration cards, explaining how Mum can get her Blue Badge (which she received very quickly after we applied), and arranging for Mum to have a bit of equipment to help her out at home, they also gave us a lot of other useful information.

For example, among other things, they gave me leaflets about ELVis (East London Vision) and their related local group VIPON (Visually Impaired People Of Newham), both of whom I think I had heard of already, either through last year’s Sight Village or elsewhere. So I contacted a lady called Bhavini to register with them, and she told me a bit about the social events and meetings they do. Plus I met up with a lady called Kim this month, who I had exchanged details with when we were at the British Museum focus group last month, and she’s a member of South East London Vision, so it was great to hear about the events she’s been on with them. Hopefully I’ll be able to get together with the East London Vision group soon, it does sound like fun.

We’ve also been told about places like the Theatre Royal Stratford East (which I walked past this month as you’ll see later in this post) and, in particular, the National Theatre, who do audio described shows and touch tours, allowing you to go behind the scenes to handle the props and meet the cast. So that sounds pretty cool, it might be worth trying that.

Apart from that, we’ve also chosen a new washing machine. Mum and I went to John Lewis and managed to find a Hotpoint machine with dials and no screen that looks very suitable. We had found a similar washer dryer at first – i.e. a washing machine that also had dryer options – but the member of staff we spoke to pointed us to the cheaper model that was just a pure washing machine. He was very helpful, and it was good of him to take us to something that was £100 cheaper. Not all salesmen would do that! We haven’t ordered it just yet though, because we may need an extension hose for it, which our builder left behind for us when he set up the plumbing, and we’ve been advised to get him to do the installation, as John Lewis don’t install machines with extendable pipes. They’re not recommended, but a lot of people use them as it can’t be avoided, as in our case. So we won’t order it until we know when our builder’s coming next. And besides, the machine’s out of stock at the moment anyway! But at least we know which one to get when the time is right.

Thinking Bob

I’ve continued to enjoy meeting up with the social group Thinking Bob this month, because they have such a variety of activities on offer. You can find out more about them, and the first set of events I went to, in my January Favourites post. But here’s what I’ve been doing with them since then.

Tubeopoly

This was the best event of the month, as it was a fun treasure hunt around the Tube. I was with Nick, who I had been on a team with at the Big Bob Quiz Of The Year last month, plus a new Bobber called Richard. We were actually meant to be in teams of 5 – and we thought we had that when a couple of German people got happily chatting to us, but it turned out they had mistaken our group for a walking tour they were looking to go on! So they had to leave and we ended up as a trio, as all the other teams of 5 were sorted out with nobody left over, and we called our team the Two Lost Germans as a result! We still managed fine though.

We were given a printout of a Monopoly-style board, containing 16 property spaces, organised into 8 coloured pairs (each colour representing a Tube line). And like a Monopoly board, the values increased as you went around. Each square represented a station within Zone 1, but you had to solve the cryptic clues to find out what they were. Then you had a take a team photo at as many of those stations as possible – bearing in mind you might not be able to get to all of them in the time available (about 2 hours). You would only be awarded the score for that station, however, if you got both stations in that coloured pair. If you only took a photo at one station in a pair, you got nothing.

The clues to the different Tube stations were as follows. I’ll give the answers after I finished talking about the game, so have a go and see if you can solve them first!

  1. Gross Car Chin, in a muddle.
  2. Like Natwest, but inside Emment
  3. You and me inside a public school.
  4. Difficult to get around this road – it must be where rabbits live?
  5. Gormley’s favourite sculpture perhaps?
  6. Where the money is.
  7. Yappy little dog without first name, not cool.
  8. Red cheese, perhaps cut into this shape?
  9. Find a secret agent on this road perhaps?
  10. Holy man and you in the middle of friends.
  11. Maybe this would have been a better name for Pudding Lane?
  12. Wild shout followed by a conflict with potassium?
  13. Other suggested name – bombard boulevard?
  14. I or cat confused – it’s after 6.
  15. A sluggish Boleyn maybe, multiplied by herself.
  16. Seville oranges with bread seem to sell well around here?

We managed to solve all of those and visit stations 1 to 10, giving us £900. Suffice to say there was a lot of energetic walking around and squeezing on to trains on various lines!

We also had to visit our Union Boss, called Bob Rook, outside the Royal George pub near Euston station during our journey, to do a trivia quiz (each team was questioned separately). We got 9 of the questions right, giving us £50 each, plus he gave us two extra £50 bonuses for answering a couple of the harder ones quickly, so that gave us £550. He also told us to pick 2 or 3 opportunity cards, and we went for 3. My one resulted in us losing £50, but Richard and Nick managed to pick two that gained us £250, so we made £200 extra. So we came away from meeting Bob with an additional £750. It was also a handy way to get us to ‘touch out’ of the stations on our Oyster cards, because if you stay within the Tube network for too long without touching out, you get charged a penalty fare. So that was a good way to avoid that.

There were also other challenges we could complete for bonus points if we wanted to. Each was worth £100:

  • Take a team photo with a TFL staff member. We did this, and the guy in question was very friendly and happy for us to do so.
  • Take a team photo with someone wearing red on the Central Line. We didn’t find anyone to do this with unfortunately. The only person we spotted was a kid, and we felt that wouldn’t have been appropriate. We saw a dog in a red jacket as well, but that wouldn’t have counted! I think there were one or two other people wearing red that we passed, but they either didn’t look approachable, or we didn’t have time as we were just about to get off the train.
  • Tweet Thinking Bob with a Tube related poem. We couldn’t find one on the Tube itself, so Richard posted one that he found on TFL’s Poems On The Underground site. Thankfully Thinking Bob liked the tweet and our quiz master accepted it, so there was no issue there.
  • Tweet Thinking Bob with a team photo. I took this on my phone while we were waiting for a train, and tweeted it from my account.
  • Take a photo of the secret Portcullis House entrance at Westminster. We didn’t do this.
  • Take a photo of the original Grand Central tile signage at Marylebone. We didn’t do this one either.
  • Take a photo of the longest escalator on the Tube at Angel. This one we did do. In fact, that was probably our most rewarding station, as we also took the photo there for one of the cryptic clues, and had the TFL staff member photo taken there.
  • Take a photo of the World Time Today clock at Piccadilly Circus. We didn’t do this one.

We got to the final pub – Ye Olde Cock Tavern in Fleet Street – about 5 minutes earlier than the allotted time. Teams running late would have been docked £100 for every 5 minutes over, so we wanted to avoid that. And luckily a text was sent to all of us during the latter half of the game, alerting us to the change of venue compared to what was written on the game sheet!

In any case, 2 hours may seem like a long time to dash around the Tube network, but it really flies by! And you have to make sure you have enough time to get to the halfway pub for the trivia quiz, as well as getting to the final pub at the end.

We all gathered in a room upstairs in our teams, where the host came round to each of us, so he could see our photos and verify our scores. We got £900 for the stations, £550 for the quiz, £200 for the opportunity cards, and £400 for the bonuses, giving us £2,050 in total. In the end, that placed us joint second, as 3 teams all had the same score! The winning team somehow managed to get £2,700, so were quite a way ahead! Apparently they did really well in the trivia quiz, and must have got more stations and more challenges done by running rather than briskly walking a lot of the way. So they got a certificate and medals each.

But there was also a medal left over for some reason, which the host gave to our team, as we had done well considering we were only a group of 3, rather than 5 like all the others. Richard and Nick both said that I could have it, which was very generous of them, so I am now the proud owner of my first Thinking Bob medal! Not a bad achievement after only a month with them!

We stayed in the pub for quite a while too. The Six Nations rugby was on the TV Screens (albeit with no sound), so the three of us in our team sat and chatted over drinks while that was on. Then, after some people had started leaving, we had 3 people from another table come over to join us. And then, eventually, a group of about 11 of us pushed our tables together to all sit as a big group. I didn’t always have much to chip in with, as is common in these kind of situations, but I did chat to people here and there, and it was enjoyable. I had 3 bottles of Rekorderlig cider during the hours I was there too, which were nice. And I eventually left shortly before 10pm.

So it was a long day, but a very enjoyable one. Tubeopoly is a great game that was put together really well, and it was fun dashing around the Tube!

Now, before I move on, did you get the answers to the clues above like we did? Here they are…

  1. Gross Car Chin, in a muddle.
    (Charing Cross – Anagram of “Gross Car Chin”)
  2. Like Natwest, but inside Emment.
    (Embankment – contains “Bank” in the middle of “Emment”)
  3. You and me inside a public school.
    (Euston – contains “Us” in the middle of “Eton”)
  4. Difficult to get around this road – it must be where rabbits live?
    (Warren Street – because rabbits live in warrens)
  5. Gormley’s favourite sculpture perhaps?
    (Angel – because he designed the Angel Of The North)
  6. Where the money is.
    (Bank – self explanatory)
  7. Yappy little dog without first name, not cool.
    (Russell Square – “Jack Russell” without “Jack”, and “Square” means uncool)
  8. Red cheese, perhaps cut into this shape?
    (Leicester Square – “Red Leicester” cheese in a “Square” shape)
  9. Find a secret agent on this road perhaps?
    (Bond Street – because of James Bond)
  10. Holy man and you in the middle of friends.
    (St. Pauls – “Saint” plus the letter “u” inside “Pals”)
  11. Maybe this would have been a better name for Pudding Lane?
    (Baker Street – because bakers make puddings)
  12. Wild shout followed by a conflict with potassium?
    (Southwark – Anagram of “shout”, plus “war” for conflict, plus chemical symbol “K” for potassium)
  13. Other suggested name – bombard boulevard?
    (Cannon Street – alternative words for “bombard” and “boulevard”)
  14. I or cat confused – it’s after 6.
    (Victoria – VI for 6 plus “I or cat” rearranged)
  15. A sluggish Boleyn maybe, multiplied by herself.
    (Sloane Square – Slow Anne Squared
  16. Seville oranges with bread seem to sell well around here?
    (Paddington – because of his marmalade sandwiches)

Archimedes Inspiration: Leo’s Path

This is the second escape room I’ve done, and finding the building was the first challenge. I gather this is the case for many escape rooms, and the ClueTrace one I went to last month is very easy to walk past if you’re not careful. But Archimedes Inspiration (also known as AI Escape) is particularly well tucked away, so you have to do a bit of research first. Finding the site on which it’s located isn’t too bad, just down the road from Bermondsey tube station. But there are loads of buildings on the site, and you’re looking for a basement door at the bottom of one of the tower blocks.

Thankfully, in their online FAQ, under Accessibility & Special Requirements, I found a link to their Access Statement, which includes a map of the site and photos of the building and door you’re looking for (along with other useful information). So that was a massive help – though you wouldn’t know it was there on the website if you didn’t look in the right place! And even then I was hindered by the fact that a huge part of the site was blocked off by a wall, presumably for building work. So the direct route I was planning to take didn’t exist, and I had to find my way around it. I managed it after a few minutes of trial and error, but it wasn’t pleasant in the rain!

Once you get there though, the hosts are really lovely, friendly and welcoming. And the game itself is also really nicely put together. It’s completely different to the Mind Crime game I did last month, and the two more experienced players I was with – Jody from last time & a different Louisa – noted how original it was compared to others they had played before. So here you have a lovely story, with a good variety of interesting and clever puzzles. And there are no padlocks involved, it’s all very nicely automated. Plus if you get stuck, the hosts are very helpful – again giving you time to do things by yourself, but they will send you a message if you ask for assistance, or if it’s clear to them that you’re really struggling (which we needed a few times!).

However, I personally struggled with the game in general because of the lighting, as it was just too dim for me to be of much use. They do give you torches, but they’re only small things and not very powerful, so while they helped a little bit, they didn’t make a big difference for me personally. In the context of the narrative and the puzzles to be solved, there was good reason for the lighting to be done that way, so I’m fine with that. It just wasn’t suited to my eyes, that’s all, and I probably would have avoided it if I’d known ahead of time. Sure, I could have rung or emailed ahead to check stuff like that, but i didn’t think of it to be honest, as I simply had no idea what to expect. And besides, I just wanted to give it a go while the opportunity was available, to satisfy my curiosity, so I didn’t mind if it didn’t quite work out.

And in fairness, I was able to make an important contribution to the first puzzle (a colour-coded jigsaw), even with the light as it was, and I was able to chip in occasionally as we were going along. So I wasn’t dormant during the game. But for a large part of it I was just observing what Jody and Louisa were doing, much more so than had been the case with Mind Crime the week before, because they could see crucial things that I couldn’t and act on them quickly. So I felt very limited as to what I could do and the help I could give them. Had I been able to see things better, I may have been able to offer more useful assistance, and so I like to think we could have finished quicker (we got out with just over 4 minutes to spare). Then again, I might have been none the wiser, it’s impossible to know for sure!

My playmates were really lovely as well, it must be said, so I have no problems with them whatsoever. Louisa in particular was very chatty, and was describing everything she was looking at – partly because she knew I couldn’t see well, having slipped that into conversation earlier on, and partly to communicate to the group in general anyway, as that’s what you’re supposed to do with these games. So I was able to follow along with what they were doing and understand what was going on for the most part. There were one or two bits I didn’t quite fully understand or see in the end, but nothing that stopped me following things as a whole.

So I enjoyed the story and felt the puzzles were cleverly done, and the hosts were really nice too. They even did a little walkthrough with us afterwards, which was very nice of them, and further clarified one or two things for me. It’s just a pity I couldn’t contribute to the puzzle-solving as much as I’d have liked. But I am still glad I went regardless.

Indeed, I’m pleased I’ve been to two escape rooms now. I was hoping they would be different, to give me a good sense of how varied these kind of games can be, and I certainly got that! At this early stage in my London adventures, it is all very much a learning experience for me, so things like this were always a gamble, and I knew that when I signed up.

So while it’s a shame they’re not always as accessible as I would like, they’ve been worth trying to see what the fuss is about. They are impressive, and very much recommended if you have the sight to play them. You just need to think carefully if you haven’t got perfect eyesight. If you have enough eyesight to be able to read some regular size text, even if it has to be held close up or read through a magnifier, and if you’re able to navigate an unfamiliar space comfortably and deal with potentially variable light levels, then you should be ok. But if your vision is more severe, you’re likely to struggle. It’ll be a very individual thing though. And if in doubt, contact the venue first, which might be what I do if I visit more escape rooms in the future, which is still a possibility. Now I’ve had a taste of it, I would like to do more of them, if I can find suitably accessible ones.

Cards Against Humanity

I had another fun night playing Cards Against Humanity this month, at The Blue Lion near Chancery Lane station. The hosts were Owen and Shannon, and I knew Shannon from the New Members event I first attended, so it was good to see her again. Owen recognised me as well when I was trying to find the group in the pub initially.

I was on a table with 4 other people to play the game, and halfway through the evening some people were swapped around by the hosts, so we didn’t play with the same people all the time. The exception to that was Jitendra, who I’d met when playing the game last month (which had been the first time for both of us), so it was nice to play with him again, given his sense of humour. The first 3 people we played with included Louisa, who I played my first escape room with last month, as well as an American girl and another guy. I can’t remember everyone’s names, inevitably! But those latter two were then replaced by a lady called Brenda, who was new to the game but soon got into it, and another guy.

Naturally the game got funnier as the night went on, as having the drinks flowing (I had 3 pints of cider altogether) really helps to lower people’s inhibitions and get the game moving along nicely. There are so many combinations of cards, and it always generates amusing conversation, so we all had a really good laugh, including those who were new to the game. I’m certainly glad I’ve tried it out, and I’m not surprised it’s one of their most popular events. I’ll definitely be going to more of them – not every month, as it would get repetitive then, but certainly every so often if I can.

Pizza & Jazz

This was an enjoyable gig at the Pizza Express Jazz Club in Soho, where a group called The Hot Club Of Jupiter were doing a performance to launch their debut album, Monsieur Le Robot. They had CDs on sale there, although I didn’t buy one.

Having never been to a jazz gig before, I was hoping it wouldn’t be some of that weird, abstract, modern jazz that you hear about. But I checked out a song by Hot Club online before signing up to the event, so I felt sure it would be fine – and it was. The music was very tuneful, catchy, feel-good stuff, so I found myself tapping along to most of it while eating my pizza, which was served while they were playing, after an initial starter of dough balls, and I had a Coke to drink as well. The pizza was very nice too – I had Barbacoa Romana, described on the menu as “Smoky, spicy and full-flavoured: pulled Barbacoa beef, spicy chipotle salsa, garlic oil, mozzarella and tomato with a fresh finish of tomato, red onion and coriander”.

There were a few tricky aspects though. Firstly, there were engineering works on the District Line that forced me to take a slightly longer route. And then finding the venue, while I knew where it was, also required a bit of re-navigation, as some areas around Tottenham Court Road station and Oxford Street are boarded off for more work (probably Crossrail related I expect). But I found it alright. Finding the stairs inside Pizza Express down to their Jazz Club was a bit tricky at first too, and down there it was very dark – but the staff were very helpful, so I was fine.

There were only 3 of us there after all. I was with a guy called Luke, who joined Thinking Bob in January like me, and Ed, who I’d met once before and was our host for the day. It hadn’t been a big list of people to begin with – it had started off at 5, but a couple had to drop out. But it was fine having just the 3 of us, as we had a nice chat before and after the performance, and during the interval. It turns out Ed has an eye condition as well, whereby only one of his pupils dilates, so it can look like one eye is smaller than the other sometimes. What with that, and a guy called Chris having aniridia like me, it appears that people with slightly wonky eyes in Thinking Bob isn’t quite as unusual as I thought it might be! They were interested in hearing about my eye condition as well, like others have been, so that was good too. It hasn’t freaked anybody out or made anybody feel uncomfortable yet, at least not as far I know! So all in all we had a nice time on that Sunday afternoon.

Steak Night

This social gathering centred around a very nice dinner at The Meat House in King’s Cross. I had a medium-well ribeye steak with chunky chips, and a Passion Fruit Rekorderlig cider to drink. The steak was very nice, and the others also enjoyed their meals too. Some had burgers, one had a T-bone steak, and another had a mixed grill, from what I overheard. It wasn’t cheap – my ribeye steak was about £24, plus £4.50 for the drink, so I paid £30 to include my contribution to the service charge as well. But it was worth it for a treat.

I didn’t really feel engaged in the conversation during the evening though. I was sat at the end of our long table with 3 girls, who were all very nice but were happily talking about all sorts of things that I couldn’t really get involved with, be it the Fifty Shades Darker film, or the food they’ve tasted on holidays in exotic places, the mental health work and studying that one girl does, or other medical things like cancer, dentistry, skin problems, etc. So I was basically just listening in for most of the evening. But still, like I say, I did enjoy the food, and it was nice to get out and be around people once again.

Curry Night

Following on from the first curry night last month, I made a return visit to the Standard Balti House in Brick Lane for a meal that was again hosted by Chris. When the weather’s nicer in future months, he has said he might take people along the street, so we can see if any other restaurants are offering good deals to try out, but the Standard is evidently always a good place to go to, and I enjoyed the food again on this occasion.

I had lamb tikka for my starter again, but instead of a balti for my mains I had a Murgh Makhani (butter chicken, with a lovely big slab of meat in it), accompanied by coconut rice and cheese naan bread, washed down with a bottle of cider I’d bought in he off-licence across the road.

Again it was a bit difficult to get involved with group conversations sometimes, but Neil was there (who I met at the New Members Social and the Kensington Gardens walk last month, so it was good to see him again, along with a couple of other people who recognised me. But the food was great and I enjoyed the evening overall.

Pancakes

My final Thinking Bob social of the month was at the pancake restaurant My Old Dutch near Holborn station with 8 other people. I was able to get a little bit more conversational with 2 people next to me compared to some food events I’ve been to, so I had fun chatting to them about some of the events they’ve been taking part in.

The pancakes we got were really big, in terms of having a wide diameter. I had the pancake named after the restaurant, which was topped with smoked bacon, chicken, ham, sweet pepper, mushrooms, sweetcorn and cheese. And it was nice. Not out of this world, but still tasty and filling nonetheless. The only real gripe I had, that the guy next to me agreed with, is that they didn’t seem to spread the ingredients out very well. A lot of the bacon was all clumped together by the edge, for instance, rather than being evenly distributed. It’s like they just throw the stuff on to it without really trying to present it. But it’s a small issue really. I suspect there are better pancake places, or creperies, out there, but it was well worth a go with some good company.

Stratford Walk

As well as all the people I’ve mentioned meeting already, my Aunt also offered to show me around Stratford, as it’s not far from me and there are loads of shops there. So we spent a nice couple of hours together.

We got off the Tube at Stratford station on the Jubilee line platform, and from there we walked straight ahead and down a long corridor to the Westfield shopping centre. On your left as you enter is the Marks & Spencer food hall, and in the centre of the lobby is the concierge desk for getting help with your shopping. I’d wanted to know where that was in case I needed it, hence that had been our first destination.

We didn’t go very far into Westfield, as that wasn’t what we’d come for. Instead, we got the escalator up to the next floor, and used the exit there, thus taking outside the main entrance to M&S. From there we walked over the footbridge, away from Westfield, and down the steps, where my Aunt showed me the black cab rank on the left, just over a side road. It’s more expensive than the taxi company whose number she’s also given me, but could still come in handy. The Stansted Express coach leaves from a stand next to the taxi rank as well. On the opposite side of the bridge steps from there is another entrance to Stratford station, which is best for the Central line, and in front of that is the bus station.

We went straight ahead from the bridge steps though, across a pedestrian crossing to the Stratford Centre, which is the old shopping centre. It’s very nice in there too, with lots of big shops that we might want to go to. My Aunt showed me where the loos are as well – just a short way down on the left – which is handy to be aware of. We didn’t spend ages in there, we just took a walk straight through, taking note of some of the shops on the way past. There are plenty of places to eat, as well as a large variety of other stores.

Out the other side, we turned left to walk down a big street called The Grove, passing a church on the right. There aren’t so many shops down there, but there is a nice big Wilko store, which might be worth looking into. There’s also a Maplin electrical store and an Argos.

From there, we turned right to cross a road to Morrisons, which is a huge store. We didn’t stay in there for long – my Aunt just showed me where the toilets are (to the left as you get through the entrance) and where to find the café (which is to the right next to the checkouts). There’s also a button to call for a cab just inside the entrance area, so you could do a big shop to fill up a trolley, then call a taxi and wait with the trolley outside for it.

On the outside of the building, there are Amazon lockers for picking up deliveries, which could be very handy to know – although when I searched on Amazon’s site later, I discovered that there are more lockers inside the Stratford Centre itself, which is even closer to the station. The only difference between the lockers is that the Morrisons ones are open 24 hours a day, because they’re outside, whereas the ones inside the Stratford Centre are only available until 7:30pm at night, as they’re limited by the centre’s opening hours. But in any case, it could be a handy option for picking up deliveries, if having things delivered at home is ever difficult. Swinging by Stratford on the way home from somewhere might be convenient.

Going over a different crossing on our way back from Morrisons, we walked down Great Eastern Road, going past the Stratford Picturehouse cinema and the Theatre Royal Stratford East, the latter being where we used to go to pantomimes many years ago. And the cinema is reasonably priced as well apparently – my Aunt has a membership there, which gives her 4 free films a year, plus discounts on others. Looking on the website, you do get quite a few perks, so if I feel like going to the cinema more regularly in future, that might be worth considering.

Continuing to walk past the cinema and theatre and around the corner then took us back to the entrance of the Stratford Centre, which we’d crossed the road to get into earlier, meaning we had gone round in a circle. It’s great that everything is close to each other there, you can’t really get lost, so I’ll have to go up there again by myself and have a more in-depth look around.

We then got the bus home from the bus station. I’m glad that it’s nice and easy to see the bus numbers, and on the bus itself it’s easy enough to know when to get off, because over the speaker and on a dot-matrix display you get told what stop is coming up, giving you enough time to press the bell. So it’s very much like the trains in terms of the audio announcements, and it was a nice quick journey too.

So it was a very nice trip out for a couple of hours, it gave me a good sense of where everything is. I then took my mother over there a week later, and we decided to have our first ever visit to Waitrose – which we knew was a fatal idea, because everyone we know who has ever been there has said how nice their stuff is, and we were there for a while looking around! We ended up getting a pack of breaded southern fried chicken (delicious large pieces they were too), some big Yorkshire puddings and pork chops, lasagne and cottage pie ready meals, and a few other bits and pieces. They had loads of other nice goodies in there too that were tempting, so it’s just as well it’s not too near home, otherwise we could easily be going in there a lot!

TV & Radio Comedy

Friday’s been quite a good night for TV recently, with new episodes of Room 101, Not Going Out, 8 Out Of 10 Cats Does Countdown,The Last Leg & QI, all of which I mentioned last month so I don’t need to talk about them again. But beyond those:

  • The Big Bang TheorySeason 10 has resumed on E4 after its winter break. This is the only live-action US sitcom I enjoy watching, as it appeals to the slightly nerdish side of me, and the characters keep evolving nicely every season as their lives progress, which helps to keep things fresh and interesting. I have all the series to date on Blu-Ray too. I will probably try out the series they’re doing about Young Sheldon as well, but I can’t see it being as good as this.
  • Alan Davies: As Yet UntitledSeries 5 started towards the end of the month. This is a very laid back show, and can be variable in places depending on the guests you get. But in each episode there are usually one or two guests I have a particular interest in, and there are some very funny and interesting stories that come out of their random chatter, so it’s worth watching.
  • Ant & Dec’s Saturday Night TakeawaySeries 14 has just got underway on ITV. The earlier series have been better than more recent ones, but this is still good fun for a Saturday night on the whole, as they always have a good variety of guests, surprises and music. Each episode always starts off with a game that shocks a member of the audience in some way, and they get a big prize for being a good sport. There’s also Ant vs Dec, where the hosts compete against other in silly games. And there’s Win The Ads of course, where a member of the audience can win the contents of one of ITV’s commercial breaks. And at the end there’s usually a big musical number or some other fun act that Ant & Dec get involved with. So it’s just a bit of a laugh for the weekend.
  • Just A MinuteSeries 77 has started on BBC Radio 4. It’s amazing to think that this show is 50 years old now, and still being hosted by the wonderful Nicholas Parsons. And it still works, because it’s a very simple concept. All you have to do is speak for 60 seconds without hesitation, repetition or deviation on the topic you’re presented with – but that’s nowhere near as easy as it sounds! So it’s a very entertaining and funny game to listen to, as they have lots of good guests playing it.
  • Still Open All Hours – I bought the DVD of Still Open All Hours: Series 3 that came out this month. This sequel to the classic Open All Hours isn’t as good as the original series by any means, but it’s still alright. I can’t actually watch the DVD on my TV until I get around to buying a new player of course, but that’s fine, it’s just nice to have it in my collection.

Conclusion

So there you go, I hope you enjoyed that. I still feel that I’m settling into London very nicely at this early stage, I’m pleased that I’ve continued to attend so many social events, and I’ve got plenty more planned in the weeks ahead.

You might also like to know that I’m now on Instagram, where I’ve been uploading some of my old photos bit by bit, and I may add a few video clips in there too if I can. Then I hope to keep adding new content to it in the future. So do go and follow me there as well.

But that’s it for now. I’ll see you soon for my next update!

Author: Glen

Love London, love a laugh, love life. Visually impaired blogger, culture vulture & accessibility advocate, with aniridia & nystagmus, posting about my experiences & adventures.

6 thoughts on “February 2017 Favourites”

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