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Monday, June 27, 2011

Rosie Huntington-Whiteley at Transformers 3 London Premiere



The lovely, lovely Rosie, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley was looking imperiously elegant at  the premiere of the new Transformers film in sweltering London last night.




She certainly scubs up nicely and her extremely slinky midnight blue Burberry frock was just the thing for our current mini-heatwave.  It was over 28 degrees yesterday and a predicted 30 degrees plus today.  Even with our French windows open it is 30 degrees in Triple P's study this morning (10.15am).




Rosie, Rosie replaces pitted-cheeked Megan Fox as the obligatory tottie for the older boys who want to watch a film that flogs Japanese toy cars.  Fox blotted her copybook with producer Steven Spielberg (who should be ashamed for involving himself in this tripe) by referring to director Michael Bay as "like Hitler".   Super-sensitive about anything to do with the Nazis, Spielberg gave Fox the boot and replaced her with lovely, lovely Rosie, Rosie.


Huntington-Whiteley on the cover of GQ


The film company's publicity machine has been working at full blast to promote Rosie, Rosie (actually to the point of neglecting to say anything about the actual film) who has become fairly ubiquitous in the press of late.  Never mind, Triple P is always happy to gaze upon someone so lovely; the ultmate presentation of whom, so far, is the current cover of GQ where she looks absolutely edible.




This is a magnificently sensuous photograph which is all about that swathe of fabric between her thighs and that point where the inner curve of her right thigh swerves into her bottom.  In fact, we think this has replaced the famous cakes picture as our favourite Rosie, Rosie image.




Now, we wonder whether she can actually act...?  Not that it matters, really.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Calendar Girl June 2011: Audrina Patridge



For June we have another young lady we had not previously heard of, one Audrina Patridge.




Audrina, it seems, is one of those girls who is famous for being famous (well, not that famous, obviously) originally coming to prominence on an MTV series called The Hills.  Now, MTV, Agent Triple P would suggest, is almost singlehandedly responsible for the death of popular music in that it shifted the music industry's approach from aural to visual, resulting in the current crop of beautifully filmed but musically barren material that passes for popular music at present. 




It has meant the inexorable rise of interchangeable, attractive (Lady Gaga excepted), no-talent girl "singers" and a total lack of musical creativity; possibly, for Triple P, reaching its absolute nadir with an excruciating piece called Like a G 6 by Far East Movement  (the Far East movement in question obviously being one from the bowels, having eaten some dodgy fish bladder soup in Vietnam, or some such).  This inexplicably popular track features a woman speaking a very limited lyric in a flat monotone over some random key board noises that appear to have been recorded from a Major Morgan the Electric Organ toy.




Now just in case it is thought that Agent Triple P thinks all modern dance music is utter rubbish and there has been no worthwhile popular music since 1985 (largely true) we did enjoy the recent hit by LMFAO, Party Rock Anthem.  It made Like a G6 look like Mahler's Third Symphony in comparison.




Anyway, we digress.  Miss Patridge first appeared in the MTV show The Hills a "reality" show which purported to show the lives of several young women living in Los Angeles.  The fact is, of course, all these people are hired and paid a salary to appear so perhaps the term "alternate reality" might be more accurate.

Miss Patridge, who was born in Placentia, California and is now 26, was working as a receptionist at a film studios before appearing in The Hills.  Having appeared in more episodes than any other "character" she is trying very hard to break into acting; the highlight being, so far, the straight to DVD sequel to the dire Into the Blue (only worth watching for the scenes of Jessica Alba swimming underwater) called, naturally, Into the Blue 2.




A number of modelling assignments, minor TV presenting and internet presenting (oh dear) jobs have followed.  Currently she is reduced to a projected new reality show showing her life after The Hills.




She also appeared on Dancing with the Stars in the US in 2010 (she came 7th out of 12).  This is a re-make of the BBC series Strictly Come Dancing where a lot of C-list celebrities try to revive their careers by becoming the country's favourite ballroom dancer.  Audrina seems to be attempting to by-pass the becoming famous bit by jumping straight in to revive a career that never really took off in the first place.



In March 2008 some of these nude photos of Audrina appeared on the internet resulting in the usual American starlet disclaimer.  In Audrina's case she said they were taken just after she left high school when she was starting off as a model and that she was "naive" when they were taken and was worried about what her "young fans" might think.   Wouldn't it be nice if once in a while someone said "yes, I posed nude and I looked absolutely amazing, so there!"  The real issue, of course, is that apart from worrying about upsetting notoriously conservative US TV "family values" (do American families not walk around nude at home?) they don't make any money from the release of  pictures.  We also wonder exactly how naive she was given that they were, apparently, specifically taken to be submitted to Playboy (they were rejected). 

One result of the appearance of the pictures was that everyone said that it was obvious that she had had breast implants; something she denied.  In fact, she denied having her nose and lips done, she never specifically included her bust in this denial. 

Recently, it has been suggested that she has had bigger implants and the calendar picture at the top of this post seems to confirm this (compare with the picture underneath it).

Whether we will hear any more of Miss Patridge seems doubtful (unless one habitually watches dismal American "reality" TV shows) although we have to give her credit for trying hard.

Never mind, her calendar shot is quite nice and it is always pleasing to see a brunette rather than yet another bleached blonde, so we have enjoyed having her on our wall this month rather more than some of the previous entries this year.



Monday, June 13, 2011

This Week's Films: 6

Most of Triple P's recent viewing time was spent finishing Spartacus: Blood and Sand which we will look at another day.  However, we did watch a couple of films and only bought one (A French Mistress).

Blue Murder at St Trinian's (1957)




The story

Following the imprisonment of their headmistress the school is under the control of the army for the protection of the rest of the country. The schoolgirls cheat in a national schools competition so that they can win a trip to Italy where they have been told by Flash Harry (George Cole) that a prince is looking for a wife and will consider the girls as candidates.  Meanwhile a jewel thief (Lionel Jeffries) is forced to pose as their headmistress on the trip.

Seen it before?

Once, on TV in about 1975.

Any good?

A worthy sequel to The Belles of St Trinians although Alistair Sim (apart from a small cameo) is missed.  The trip to Italy opens the film out somewhat and Terry-Thomas is a great addition as the unscrupulous owner of a coach company. 


Sabrina

 
Notable for...

Being a sequel at all in the days when a successful film almost never provoked one.  The first use of the words of the St Trinians school song with words by producer Sidney Gilliat:

          Maidens of St Trinian's, gird your armour on.


Grab the nearest weapon; never mind which one.
The battle's to the strongest; might is always right.
Trample on the weakest; glory in their plight.

St Trinian's! St Trinian's! Our battle cry.
St Trinian's! St Trinian's! Will never die.
Stride towards your fortune boldly on your way,
Never once forgetting there's one born every day.
Let our motto be broadcast: "get your blow in first!"
She who draws the sword last always comes off worst.
Gilliat's other lyrics were a little more highbrow, as he wrote the libretto for Australian composer and former Master of the Queen's music Malcolm Williamson's opera Our Man in Havana, based on the novel by Graham Greene.


Lisa Gastoni


Any good girlies?

Definitely more big girls in small school uniforms than the first film.  Honours are shared between the buxom Sabrina and the lovely Lisa Gastoni.


The French Mistress (1960)




The story

The new French master at an all boys school turns out to be a mistress, in the glamourous shape of Agnès Laurent with predictable but amusing results.  The headmaster's son (a young and miscast Ian Bannen) takes an understandable shine to her but an incident from his father's past threatens their burgeoning romance.

Seen it before?

This is another film fondly remembered from Triple P's childhood but we probably hadn't seen it for over thrity five years.

Any good?

After the huge success of their previous film, I'm all Right Jack, this gentle Boulting brothers comedy, based on a play by Sonnie Hale, received rather lukewarm reviews at the time and is certainly less frenetic in tone than the St Trinian's films.  However, there are some wonderful performances by the likes of James Robertson-Justice (before he became a complete caricature of himself), Raymond Huntley and, as the ever baffled headmaster, Cecil Parker.  The film is stolen by Irene Handl's bolshie dinner lady.

Notable for...

An early appearance by Jeremy (Boba Fett) Bulloch as one of the schoolboys.


Agnès Laurent with Scott Finch (who later appeared in 633 Squadron)


Any good girlies?

Agnès Laurent is delightful in this and we wonder why she never lived up to her billing as the next Brigitte Bardot.   She made fifteen films between 1956 and 1961 and then disappeared.  She died last year.

 

Belle Epoque (1992)




The story

A young deserter from the army is taken in by an artist in 1930's Spain (actually filmed in Portugal) and is seduced by the man's four gorgeous daughters.

Seen it before?

We have definitely seen it once but not sure where: maybe at Agent DVD's house.

Any good?

Drenched in Iberian sunshine this is a perfect film to watch with a nice cold bottle of rose Rioja and some tapas.  Touching and comic with wonderful performances throughout.  Delightful!

Notable for...

The second cinematic appearance by an eighteen year old Penélope Cruz.  Winning the best foreign language film Oscar 1994, although some felt it was a bit lightweight to do so. We disagree!


Maribel Verdú in Belle Epoque


Any good girlies?

All four actresses who play the sisters are delightful in their own, individual, way but the stand-out for Triple P is Maribel Verdú, later to be seen in the steamy Y Tu Mamá También (2002).

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Space shuttle Endeavour docked with the International Space Station



Agent Triple P loved this fantastic photograph of the Space Shuttle Endeavour docked with the ISS, which was published by NASA this week.   Given the Shuttle has flown to the ISS over thirty times (although that includes construction of course) it is amazing that this is the first picture taken of it docked to the space station.


Endeavour lands following its final flight


The photograph was taken on May 23rd this year, by Italian astronaut Paolo Nespoli, from a departing Soyuz space craft.  This will be the only way to move personnel to and from the ISS until Project Ares comes online in 2014 (if it ever does).  Mission Control Moscow ordered a 130 degree change in attitude so Nespoli could take pictures and video from about 600 feet away.  There was an equally striking photograph of Endeavour as it landed at Kennedy Space Centre on June 1st after its final flight.    After 25 flights, 299 days in space, 4,671 orbits and 122,853,151 miles flown the Endeavour is being retired to a Californian museum: almost certainly prematurely.  Now there is just the final Shuttle flight of Atlantis due to launch next month.  

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Martini of the Week 10: Saigon, Saigon Bar, The Caravelle Hotel, Ho Chi Minh City



During our visit to Asia a couple of months ago we stopped off in Ho Chi Minh City or Saigon, as most of the locals still seem to call it. Triple P was staying at another historic hotel there, the Caravelle, but historic for a different reason. Built in 1959 this was the headquarters, during the Vietnam War of the press corps with ABC, NBC and CBS all having their Saigon bureaux there.



Caravelle Hotel in May 1975 shortly after the fall of Saigon



Caravelle Hotel 2011


It was from the Saigon, Saigon bar on the top floor of the Caravelle (then the tallest building in the city) that the press corps watched the North Vietnamese army roll into the city. The hotel is now owned by the Vietnamese Government but if you are imagining some sort of Soviet Intourist look forget it. It is a quite splendid five star hotel that employs some of the prettiest girls Triple P saw in Vietnam and that is saying something!


Caravelle hotel staff wearing the traditional ao dai


The Saigon, Saigon bar is a great place to have a quiet lunch and a Bia Saigon overlooking all the manic traffic below.  In the evening, however, it becomes one of the places to be in HCMC crowded with a mixture of locals, hotel guests and American Vietnam War veterans.





Served by waitresses in fetching off the shoulder red tops it is one of the most characterful bars we have ever visited and must be on any must-visit bars around the world list. It's certainly more attractive than the nearby Rex rooftop bar which has equally strong Vietnam War credentials. They also have a great Cuban band playing from 10.30 on most nights.




Triple P's companion did not join him in HCMC as he was only there one night.  He arrived quite late so took a substantial snack to accompany our Martini.  The Saigon, Saigon Vodka Martini was large and cold (although not quite as cold as Agent Triple P likes).  It was made with standard Smirnoff and had too many olives, however.  Still, one of the better efforts we had in Asia. 

All in all we rate it 6/10

Monday, June 6, 2011

How much for a garden chair?



Here in "Britain's answer to Beverly Hills" we get a number of free "lifestyle" magazines posted through the door, full of advertisements for estate agents, interior designers, private schools, supercar dealers etc etc.  This month's Elmbridge Lifestyle Magazine had a feature on garden furniture.  Oh good, we think, we could do with a new chair for the garden so we can sit and read in the sun, especially as we have a heatwave predicted for this summer (although its actually raining today for the first time in weeks). 
,



The one at the top of the page is called an Altea chair and is made by Varaschin and you can pick one up in Modern and Classic Interiors in Esher, just down the road.  That is, you can pick one up if you have £11,638 to hand.  £11,638!  For a garden chair!  That's over $19,000!  You can buy a reasonable brand new Japanese car for that!  Good grief!

Big Breakfast of the Week 10: Le Beaulieu Restaurant, Metropole Hotel Hanoi



It looks like Agent Triple P is going to be off on his travels again later this month so it's probably time for a another foreign big breakfast review.




Le Beaulieu in the Metropole Hotel in Hanoi is a restaurant with a long heritage. The restaurant has been in its current location ever since the hotel opened in 1901. The hotel has recently been sensitively renovated keeping all of its colonial style whilst bringing the facilities up to a level that Triple P has rarely seen elsewhere.


Outside the restaurant is a pavement cafe: very French!


Normally we don't like hotel restaurants that have to serve breakfast lunch and dinner but Le Beaulieu doesn't have the canteen elements of many modern multi-purpose hotel restaurants and for breakfast the setting is exquisite with a cool and relaxing atmosphere. Less formal breakfast is available in the nearby L'Orangerie.

 


As usual, Agent Triple P likes to start breakfast with tea and grapefruit juice. This always throws waiters around the world who expect everyone to have coffee and orange juice, annoyingly! The grapefruit juice was, unusually, white but none the worse for that. The tea was nicely served but suffered from French style (UHT we suspect) milk.





Our companion's breakfast illustrates how she stays so slim and gorgeous!  The grapefruit segements were massive!  The usual selection of Asian, continental and cooked breakfasts were available.  The selection was quite good without being exceptional.  The sausages were slightly unusual in taste but were excellent.  The bacon was streaky but not cooked into carbonised sticks like most international hotels.  This is sort of the worst of both worlds.  Streaky bacon in the UK is largely used for covering a turkey to prevent it burning.  No self respecting English person would actually eat it!  Back bacon is proper bacon which is cooked so that it is still soft not crispy.   The baked beans didn't have that weird spicy taste you often get in Asia and the tomatoes, mushrooms and hash browns were just perfect.




 
Eggs were cooked fresh by a helpful young lady and were particularly good.  All in all one of the nicer hotel restaurants Agent Triple P has had breakfast in of late. A pretty good selection and excellent service let down by the strange milk and dubious bacon.

Still, gets a good 7/10

Saturday, June 4, 2011

The Bunnies are back in London!



The new London Playboy Club opens today and Hugh Hefner has actually got dressed and flown to the UK for the event.  On Thursday he recreated a famous picture from the past as he posed with some of the new London Bunnies on the tarmac of Stanstead airport.




The press over here reported that the picture was a re-creation of a famous one for when he flew to London for the opening of the original club in  1966.   In fact this shot was taken in Jamaica for the opening of the Ocho Rios club on January 1st 1965 but the effect is still striking.  Agent Triple P is not sure about the new opaque black tights the new Bunnies are wearing but I am sure the young ladies themselves find them more flattering.

Membership of the new club costs £1200 a year plus a £1000 joining fee and nearly a thousand members have signed up, a third of whom are women.  Today, however, feminists plan to demonstrate outside the club in a rather sixties style protest.  These women don't seem to have realised that many women today, from a generation that takes its freedoms and equalities for granted because of, admittedly, the work of protestors in the past, feel that one of those freedoms is to be able to openly flaunt their sexuality in a way that was previously only acceptable to men.  Playboy had a lot to do with this (although not quite as much as they tend to claim) in that it promoted the fact that women weren't just unwilling particpants in sex but did actually enjoy it themselves.  Agent Triple P can, himself, remember discovering with delight that, much to his surprise, the women he met at university at the end of the seventies had not been programmed, as he had been led to believe, to resist men because they only wanted one thing.  In fact for many of them that "one thing" was exactly what they were after.

Today's protestors seem to have missed the fact that whilst women, rightly, want equal treatment at work and by society generally they also want to be able to wear sexy lingerie, strip off on beaches and wear very revealing clothes (it's 24 degrees today and some of the outfits we have just seen on Walton on Thames high street beggar belief); in short be women but with the same rights as men.  The feminist groups objecting to the Playboy club today are arguing that Playboy as an institution legitimises pornography.  Do they not realise that most of the young women Agent Triple P knows enjoy pornography and do not think it is a bad thing at all as they are comfortable about their sexuality.  That is the real sexual revolution of the last decade or so, one these women seem to have missed.