Thursday 27 August 2009

Och aye the giggles.

First of all, I have awesome news! Remember how back in June I was whining about having to revise for a tedious exam and also posting a lot by way of procrastination? Well.... I passed! (Kind of set that up at the beginning of the paragraph) This is kind of a big deal because it was my third shot at the module so I was really really sick of it, and also because it means I NEVER HAVE TO DO AN EXAM AGAIN. Hells yeah.

I just got back from the Edinburgh fringe festival, which was incredible. Edinburgh is super pretty.

Whenever I tell people I'm off to edfest, they often assume that I'm going to camp and see bands and get muddy and gross. This is not what Edinburgh festival is about at ALL, which you probably know. But in case you don't, it's not.

The Fringe lasts for the month of August, and is a showcase of theatre, music and comedy in Edinburgh. Venues, pubs, church halls, random social clubs and fudge shops all over the city let performers through their doors to, um, perform. You can see all sorts, but it's really all about the comedy. Every comedian of note is in Edinburgh during August. Last year I bumped into David Cross from Arrested Development and Kristen Schaal from Flight of the Conchords. This year, Rhys Darby from Conchords was doing a show up there too. It's where pretty much every comedian - at least in the UK - got their break. The Mighty Boosh started up there, for instance. Russell Brand, Jimmy Carr, Simon Amstell, the cast of Mock the Week... they've all done or are doing shows.

My friends and I normally go for a long weekend and try to cram in as much as possible. Normally we make it there over the last weekend, because it ties in nicely with the bank holiday, but this year we went on the second-to-last weekend. Which means I am hurrying to get this blog post up this week (seriously, I have half-written posts from June that I need to get up at some point) so I can recommend things in the hope that maybe someone going this weekend will see this and go to them!The Hotel (The Assembly Rooms, £13)
This wins the prize for the weirdest thing I saw this year, but also the most memorable. My mind is constantly returning to it because it was so damn
interesting. Directed by Mark Watson, it's part art installation, part performance art, part comedy theatre thing. You meet outside the Assembly Rooms (tickets in hand) and are led round the corner to a small hotel. It's staffed by a team of actors and stand-ups, including Dan Atkinson, Lloyd Langford and The Penny Dreadfuls. Apparently Tom Basden, Tim Key and Mark Watson himself have also been amongst the staff during the run. And then you're let loose to explore, if you're not dragged into the restaurant and away from your friends as soon as you enter (this happened to me = was terrifying. But ultimately, hilarious). I don't want to give any more away, but it was incredible - if you get a chance to go, go. It might take you out of your comfort zone, but trust me, you'll remember it.

Jon Richardson - This Guy At Night (Pleasance Courtyard, £12)
He's just been nominated for an Eddy! And he's hilarious. And generally a rubbish human being, which in comedy, is always the best kind. If you've never heard of him, you should listen to his 6Music weekend show, and then you'll be all like, 'I want to see this guy do standup!' This is ALL TRUE.

Richard Herring - Hitler Moustache (Underbelly, £10.50)

Herring grew a toothbrush moustache as a stunt for his show. Yeah, it was a stunt, even though he called it research. But interesting, because he talked about the reactions to it and how he was trying to reclaim it in the name of comedy. Because comedy did it first - hi, Charlie Chaplin - before evil took over. Yep, Adolf, that's you. It was very funny, but also very well researched and well done. He talked a lot about racism and perceptions and also had a long rant about how the BNP got voted in by the backdoor in the recent European elections. Made ya think. Anyway, I recommend. I'm sure he'll tour it.

Daniel Kitson - We Are Gathered Here (The Stand, £10)
Kitson is often regarded as one of the world's best stand-ups. I've only seen him twice, and he's fascinating because he's so different. He's got a stammer, he shuns TV (he was in Phoenix Nights, which was apparently such an awful experience that he swore off it forevermore) and he thinks nothing of calling out an audience member for being overly drunk or having an annoying laugh. Anyway, his show this year was all about death, but really it was all about him, and his life, and it was funny. Just go and see him, if you ever get a chance, promise me that? He's brilliant. Plus, he has a beard.

I wish I'd seen...
Fordy's Lock-in
Because I love the indestructible team of Matt Forde and Jon Richardson. Who is not always there, but I think mostly is.
The Interminable Suicide of Gregory Church by Daniel Kitson
Because 66a Church Road was amazing, and so is Daniel Kitson.
Mark Watson's 24 Hour Show
24 hours, people! Apparently he got Simon Amstell onstage to tell showbiz gossip, but it was too scandalous to repeat. Lame! But amazing.

If you are going to Edinburgh this weekend, firstly, I hate you. And secondly, have fun! And thirdly, you should go to some or all of the shows I recommend. If there are tickets available, because hype is a bitch.

Have a good bank holiday everyone!

Tuesday 11 August 2009

We're gonna party like it's your birthday...

So about a week and a half ago, it was my birthday! I am officially old, as has been proved by the fact that I today had to throw away my young person's railcard. Sob. Is that a grey hair?

(No, it totally is. I have a whole bunch, thanks to rotten genetics. I found my first one when I was 19!)

Aaaanyway. My lovely friends and family got me lots of lovely stuff for my birthday.

BIRTHDAY! Don't you just want all that stuff? Blackadder! Arthur Rackham (oh, the drawings, they are so pretty). Earrings! Books! The little camera is my gift to myself, albeit purchased with money given as a birthday present, so I guess it's really more from my parents and my grandmother. It's a good little camera, though - a Samsung ES55, which was kind of a bargain and it comes in PINK. But I got black. Like my soul. It's all cute and little though, and perfect for when I can't lug my Nikon around. And after using my Nikon, I'm not horribly disappointed with the pictures, which is kind of a huge compliment (this is why I can't use my phone camera any more).

(I also got a beautiful book and FotC, but they only came today and I'd already written this post. But I love them!)

Also, as my last post made obvious, I'm a bit obsessed with cupcakes right now. CUPCAKES. Anyway, I discovered that I've made my feelings clear to those who love me.

Um. Yes. The thing is, this was actually my most coveted present and one that I was sooo happy with. It's just a shame that I have three very brilliant thoughtful friends who pay attention to my hinting (I was really only hinting to one of them, too!).

I celebrated my new cookbook with my niece (who also just had a birthday - more on that soon) and made Sugar Cookies! Mmmmm, Sugar Cookies.

Hearts, stars... and dogs. The perils of letting a six year old choose your cookie cutters.

These were SO good, though. They tasted like less sickly shortbread, and I don't like shortbread all that much because it's too sickly, and I could not get enough of these. I had to take them into work in the end so I didn't just sit in my house and eat them all. I can see this cookbook having an adverse affect on my waistline.

Let me know if you want the recipe!

Thursday 6 August 2009

Cupcake obsession: Post the First.

A couple of months ago, my friends and I went to visit the famous Hummingbird Bakery in London. You know that phrase that's become so popular on the internets - 'OM NOM NOM'? Yeah, totally invented for this place.

Cutest boxes ever. And big enough for two! So you can share. Um, yes. Share.

Black bottom cupcakes. Um. Wow.


© Essbeevee | Hertfordshire, Buckinghamshire, St Albans, Tring food, lifestyle, & parenting blog. All rights reserved.
Blogger templates by pipdig