Monthly Archives: April 2011

Food Revolution #228 – BBQ for the Royal Wedding

Originally posted on My Food Revolution.

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‘Lovely service Vicar’ rang through my head all day. And what a day to be British. Big street party tonight, so was time for a BBQ. Sausages, burgers, chicken thighs, and a carvery gone half nine with the best pork I’ve ever tasted. Top day.

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Food Revolution #218 – Sloppy Joes

Originally posted on My Food Revolution.

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A very British take on Sloppy Joes. Made up a beasty BBQ sauce – garlic, fennel, chilli, onions, lime juice and other titbits, and then fiend off some mince into it alongside some beef stock. In a roll, and done. Very sweet, and filling, but really, really nice.

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GMOAI Style: Ch-Ch-Ch-Ch-Chinos!

Originally posted on General Musings of an Idiot.

There was once a time, lovely fashionistas, that chinos were known as something called ‘uncool’. That time is not now. Oh no. Definitely not now.

Chinos used to be something your dad would wear alongside a horrific purple blazer and deck shoes in order to go to some poncy restaurant. Mine did anyway. And the answer, when I said he looked dreadful, was ‘They’re smart!’

No, Dad, they’re not smart. They’re fashionable.

And just like brogues are when I blogged about them a few weeks back, a splash of colour and a dash of wonderfullness is exactly what is needed in order to make you the Cock of the North. Or South.

So, what can you get? Where can you get it? And Adam, what is dead cool this season?

Well, wonderful people, this is what you can expect from S/S ’11……

Ralph Lauren Suffield Tissue Chino

These are yours for a cool £85. Don’t be put off by the old man in them – I saw these in the flesh in the week and they are unbelievably good value. For some strange reason, they’re incredibly soft and larvley. And you can buy them from the official Ralph Lauren store.

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Denham Mohawk Army

These come to a total of €179.90, so about £150. And compared to some of theothers you can get, not worth a penny more. The stitching across the legs is a bit different and adds something else, but don’t do it! *pleads to the world* If you must…. Get them from the official Denham store.

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Burberry Slim Fit Cotton Chinos

If the Denham pair weren’t worth their money, these are. At £125, I’d raid Coutts for a pair of these. It’s described as ‘ink’, but they’re more of a navy colour. Beautifully made – saw these last week as well, and they’re so well put together. Me wants. Buy buy buy from the official Burberry website.

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Acne Guy Diamond

I know I know, the name is dreadful. And the colour of these is the definition of vulgar. But colour blocking is in, so wear these right and y’never know… The shape of these is top drawer too; very slim and on the money for this season. Yours for £160. Go get ’em from the official Acne website.

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H&M Chinos

Does exactly what it says on the tin. If the last few seemed a little too expensive, that’s cos they were. I’ve got a pair of these, and have worn them to death since they arrived, and they’re still amazing. Love them to bits, and only £14.99. Go buy at the official H&M website.

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Topman Blue Vintage Washed Chinos

Now I’m very anti-Topman. I don’t like the idea of walking into a shop, looking exactly the same as everyone else in there, and coming out with the most generic clothes known to man. But these are amazing. At £32, they’re a bargain too. Blue looks great with the majority. In fact, I’m wearing all blue right now. Anyway…. Yours from the official Topman website.

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Gap Twill Slim Fit Khakis

For some strange reason, these have some strange name. But, as some of you may be aware, I have a secret love affair with Gap, and so these have to feature. These are in the ‘grass’ colour, and look gobble-worthy. As in eat gobble, not chicken gobble…. Yours for £32.95, from the official Gap store.

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HEbyMango Thema Trousers

After the lovely Poppy Dinsey‘s storming Thursday night performance for Mango at their flagship store, where it sounds like she’s made hundreds of new friends/worshippers, I felt an homage to them was necessary. Was meant to go an’ all, but this virus took a hold on me so I was cooped up in bed… Anyway, these lovely grey chinos appear, and they really are nice. A little steep compared to the last few, at £39.90, but worth it, seeing as they’re Mango. Buy from the official HEbyMango website.

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Tommy Hilfiger Pumice Chino Pant

King of the Chinos? Well, Tommy may as well be. These are ours for £95, but are worth it. Always made from the best stuff. Tried some on the other day, bearing in mind my wallet is running on empty, and were so well-fitting. Go buy. Honestly. From the official Tommy Hilfiger store.

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ASOS

But I can’t mention chinos without bringing ASOS in. Below is a spangly slideshow of chinos from their site, cos there are too many to list. So, in order…. The first pair are a sky blue set of Polo Ralph Lauren Preppy Fit Chinos, which aren’t cheap, at £155, but look great. They’re the perfect style for this season. Then we’ve got a pair of ASOS Lightweight Carrot Chinos, and these are great. Great style, great colour, and will go with everything. And at £32, you’ve got a bit of a barg on your hands. Our third pair are some Humor Santiago Chinos, and aren’t bad for 60 quid. Not a big fan of drop crotch trousers, but these are in neon blue… So you can’t ask for more. Pair number four are the Selected Cotton Chinos, which are 45 squigglies. They’re red, so be warned – they’re not for the faint-hearted, but if you can pull them off, do it. Our fifth pair are a set of Sparks Anders Chinos, in peach. Yes, peach. But they are amazing – the models wearing neon green socks and they’re still cool. All yours for £65. Final pair from ASOS are their own-brand Slim Fit Chinos. So simple, so clean, so cheap! £30 and they’re at your door in a week. Genius.

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Chinos are in all spring, and all summer. And they don’t show any sign of slowing up either. But remember, colour blocking is in too. Be careful, mind you, you don’t wanna look like a dressed up lemon. ShortList have put together a very handy style guide for colour blocking, so have a nose at that. But have fun with your clothes! That’s what it’s all about, so be different, be unique, and ultimately, make yourselves look the cream of the crop.

In fact, whilst I’ve been writing, I put my chinos on to go out. Now that’s dedication for you.

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The BBC at MediaCity:UK – A Good Idea?

Originally posted on General Musings of an Idiot.

So far, we’ve seen both Sian Williams and Chris Hollins, two stalwarts of the Breakfast sofa, turn down a move to Salford, which is understandable bearing in mind both have families. Susanna Reid and Bill Turnbull will stay with Breakfast, both citing ‘a challenge’, but over half of all BBC Breakfast staff will leave before the big move to Salford in April 2012, leaving just 46% of those who work for them currently. As many have said, moving to Salford will also change the set-up of the show. No longer with the Prime Minister be able to jump in a car and discuss yesterday’s speech, and the A-List celebrities will stay in London, and not jet into Manchester Airport to make a quick-fire dash to the red sofa.

It all seems a little crazy to me – I understand why it is being done, and I appreciate the fact that by decentralising a fair chunk of the BBC’s output, more jobs are created. But take BBC Sport for example – why move the whole department a year before the greatest sporting event of all-time hits, ironically, London?

Surely it makes more sense for them to stay in London until after the Olympics? I can already see the Daily Mail headlines, moaning and groaning about the cost of travel and accommodation for all the staff back down to Stratford…

Likewise with Radio 5 Live. Understandably, moving BBC Sport up north would leave Five Live with not a lot of other options, but again, leaving London could prove a bit mistake just before the Olympics. Big guests and big names are scattered across the Five Live schedule – and already there are ‘casualties’. Richard Bacon has decided he will only commute to Manchester, as opposed to move, and Gabby Logan will finish her show later on in the year before the move takes place. The majority of sport takes place in London because it is our capital, and thus is a hub for sporting competition and news. For instance, London hosts Wimbledon, Twickenham, Wembley Stadium, five Premier League clubs, Lord’s cricket ground, the Boat Race, the athletics at Crystal Palace, and an annual NFL game, to name but a few. And did we mention 2012? I know that sport happens up and down the country, but London is, and will remain, a centre of sporting excellence.

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Or what about Children’s TV? There are some rumours circling that Blue Peter, after 43 years on BBC television, may be moved to a digital channel, in order to ‘cut costs’. This comes after the news that Andy Akinwolere will leave the show before it moves to Salford, and Helen Skelton may also go. It will also bring an end to the now world-famous Blue Peter Garden, which is currently in the process of becoming a Grade II-listed building, through English Heritage.

I know a fair few people who work for the BBC – some in notable roles – and there are only a couple who believe this move is a good thing for the corporation. One guy was in the meeting when Director General Mark Thompson announced the move to Salford, and posed the question ‘Well, if we’ve got to move to spread our coverage, why not move the headquarters?’ Quite a valid question, I figured. But supposedly he smiled and said that it ‘wasn’t possible’, maybe proving that this decision is to please those who wanted to decentralise, as opposed to actually being of any necessity.

However, there are a lot of positives. The development will create over 10,000 jobs, and add an extra £1 billion to the regional economy over the coming few years. It will give people up and down the country an opportunity to be involved in the best media outlet the globe has ever seen, and inspire people around the world to come and work for them. Seeing as I count myself amongst the latter, I am truly excited to see if this works. And, should I get to work at MediaCity:UK for the BBC Sport team, then it’s a dream come true. And I’m closer to Old Trafford, too.

But should Television Centre be sold, as some are speculating, then that is an absolute travesty. Possibly the most iconic media building of all time, TV Centre should remain precisely that, even if used for a different purpose. Turning it into flats, or flogging it for retail space, or making a big office out of it was not, and is not fulfilling its purpose. The BBC need to think long and hard before deciding the future of a building that still gives journalists butterflies. I visited little over a month ago, and it made me crave a job at the BBC. Not only that, but the minute I saw it, I smiled. That’s the effect that majestic building has on people.

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Also next year we will see the opening of the renovated Broadcasting House. Not only will it now house the whole of the BBC Radio output, it will be home to BBC News, minus Breakfast, and include the world’s largest newsroom. It will be something else that the BBC can be very proud of.

So, where does that leave us? Personally, I think spreading the BBC’s output across the country is a great idea, but I don’t think moving these departments is a step in the right direction. I would love to be proved wrong, but surely moving Sport, Children’s, Breakfast and Five Live outside of the capital of this great nation is a very sheltered decision? The whole point of moving them in the first place was to create much better, quality programming that could be recognised as exactly that. But if the staff themselves aren’t willing to move, then I’m sorry, but this could be a massive, massive mistake. Mark Thompson has tried to make the most of a bad situation in this economic climate, but moving arguably three of the BBC’s biggest departments to Salford, 218 miles from London, will make drastic and dramatic changes to programmes that don’t necessarily warrant nor need a change. I just pray and hope that this turns into the best decision the BBC ever make.

Agree or disagree with me? You can comment using the boxes below, Tweet me on @Adam9309, or drop me an email by clicking here. Would love to hear your opinions on it all!

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Kylie At The O2: Promises Broken, Dreams Fulfilled

Originally posted on General Musings of an Idiot.

I’m sat typing feeling very summery. The sun has just set, there’s cider flowing, and I’m wearing my pinstriped-blue Hollister shirt, tucked into my new chinos with plaited belt. Just thought I’d share.

So, last night, Isobel and I finally got to see Miss Kylie Minogue at the O2 Arena, in London. But it wasn’t without plenty of drama.

We tried to get tickets in the original ballot, in September, with no luck. We nearly got tickets in the second ballot, but Isobel ran out of time on the Ticketmaster page, and it froze her out. Then we did get tickets, through Viagogo, on New Year’s Day – a late Christmas present to myself. At £85 a ticket, it was a steep asking price, but worth it to see Kylie. Risky, going through a third party, but nevertheless, we trusted them.

Fast forward three months, and on the 28th March, our tickets were on their way, and on a UPS van somewhere. Or were they?

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After a week, the tickets were still at the Tamworth depot. We got in touch, and it turns out they were probably stuck down the side of a transit belt. Simple, you’d think. But oh no, not to UPS. They wanted to do a full physical search, which would take eight business days. Eight. How does it even take you that long to look down the side of a belt?!

So I persisted, but so did they. At the rate we were going, there was no way we would be able to go, seeing as the tickets weren’t ‘showing up on their system’. Despite speaking to several people at UPS – all as useless as the last – we had to give up.

But the legends at Viagogo managed to get hold of two replacement tickets for us. After 25 emails, four hours’ worth of premium phone number phone calls, and four endless days of worrying, we got our tickets.

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And what a night it was. Having said the same in my Elbow post, this trumps it – best gig I’ve ever been to. We stood six deep from the stage, and were 20ft away from the goddess that is Kylie. Every song was just brilliant – I didn’t see a single person who didn’t smile during the whole of the gig. She was on a good two-and-a-half hours, and it just oozed gay. Not in a bad way – the people there last night were some of the kindest, sweetest people I’ve ever met. But bloody hell, it was Dale Winton’s wet dream.

I have never seen so many men with fake tans, peroxide blonde hair and low-cut vests. I’ve also never seen so many women let loose in one place. But we were all there, even the old people with sticks, the people who’d flown over from different countries, and the people who were trapped against the railings cos they sprinted in to see their idol, to see Kylie – the person who appeals to all.

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But, as was the talking point with everyone before the show began, what the hell was Kylie doing choosing the Ultra Girls as her support?! Utter drivel. One of them was flat, and one was gobby. And they were pretty much cheered off. One bloke just heckled ‘See ya!’ as they went off. That was the Ultra Girls for you. But really, they were God awful. Never go and waste your money seeing them.

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But go spend your money seeing Kylie. There’s still tickets available for Monday and Tuesday night’s shows at the O2. You won’t regret it. She flies above you, she sprays water at you, and she throws a carnival. Oh, and there’s minotaurs, Greek goddesses, and a fella with bad bowels. Well, there was near me anyway.

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You’ll see my very blurry photos throughout this post, and there are a few videos at the bottom for you to enjoy. There’s the rock version of ‘Can’t Get You Out Of My Head’, the mash-up of ‘Love At First Sight’ and ‘Can’t Beat The Feeling’, and a very quick video showing the fountains during ‘On A Night Like This’. And I mean very quick. But it was one of the best nights of my life – the atmosphere was just incredible.

And I’m still fierce and feeling mighty. I’m also a golden boy, and an Aphrodite. Alright?

It’s my new comeback. I’m gonna use it in another email to UPS.

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The Rooney Rant: Deserved of a Ban?

Originally posted on Stretty News.

Having had loads on my plate for weeks, it’s my first time to get back near a computer to properly write for StrettyNews.com. And I’ve walked in to a minefield.

So, what do we all make of this whole Wayne Rooney debacle? Personally, it’s a disgrace that the media are using him as a scapegoat. Again.

I understand that Wayne shouting expletives at the camera is hardly the greatest example to set to kids, and don’t get me wrong, I don’t condone it in the slightest. However, the fact that within hours of the final whistle he’d released a statement apologising, and has told plenty of sources at the club he regrets his actions, should have led to that being the close of the case.

But alas, the wonderful FA step in again. Having already banned Ferguson for five games, putting him in the stands for the whole of April, they do this to us. Now I’m not saying it is, but strange how the FA have time and time again attempted to screw United’s title chances, isn’t it? Just a theory….

But with Wayne being banned, does this open even further debate? Why, as Stretty pointed out earlier in the week, was Steven Gerrard able to get away with sticking two fingers up to the face of referee Andre Marriner? No investigation, no ban, no apology.

Or how about Manchester C*ty’s Micah Richards, swearing live in front of millions in a BBC interview? No investigation, no ban, no apology.

And then there was one of our own, in Edwin van der Sar. His expletives appeared after saving the penalties in Moscow in 2008. He apologised, but again, there was no investigation, and no ban. If you’re gonna penalise one, you have to penalise them all.

What about Neil Warnock’s alleged comments regarding El-Hadji Diouf? After breaking Jon Mackie’s leg, there was indeed an FA investigation. But no ban, and no apology.

Probably the worst of the lot was Joe Kinnear, in his Newcastle period. His four-letter tirade towards the Daily Mirror’s Simon Bird was publicised across global media outlets. Guess what? No investigation, no ban, and no apology.

Then again, Didier Drogba’s rant to the cameras after the game against Barcelona in 2009 was met by a UEFA ban. So it shows it has been done before.

We’ve also had these useless Twitter bans, notably to Ryan Babel. But surely this is where the use of personal thoughts and ideals come in? When the FA rule the roost, and ban people from having their own views, it becomes an issue.

Bring us right back to Ferguson, and his ban.

Something has to give. You hand out bans to all, or bans to none. Not only is this outing the FA as stuck in the Stone Age, but it also opens the debate to FIFA and UEFA to enforce these rules and legislation’s, and to push for each national FA to make sure this isn’t an issue in the first place.

Starting with goal-line technology.

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