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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Calendar Girl February 2012: Emily O'Hara


Emily in her calendar picture


Well, we have just managed to get in February's calendar girl; someone who we have never heard of this month.  Indeed it is very hard to find anything out about Emily O'Hara other than she is a Page 3 girl (largely for the Daily Star) and comes from Warrington, Cheshire. Actually, she has a rather pleasing northern accent, as far as we can tell from a video we saw of her, but then we have fond memories of women from Cheshire!




Sadly, she is a WAG; being the girlfriend of footballer Tom Cleverley, who we have never heard of either.  Twenty four year old Emily doesn't even have a Wikipedia entry yet but we think she looks rather fine.  All she needs is a turn on Strictly Come Dancing or Dancing on Ice!





Saturday, February 25, 2012

Rocky the Giant Lobster



Agent Triple P, on the whole, does not like seafood but he is very partial to lobster.  He was intrigued by the story, therefore of the giant lobster caught in a fisherman's net off the coast of Maine.  Rocky, either named after the Rockland area where he was caught or because of his large claws (or both - no one seems sure), measured a whopping four feet long and weighed 27lbs.


 Rocky next to a normal lobster


Rocky was released back into the sea as large lobsters like this lay disproportionate numbers of eggs and help keep the stocks up, although whether Rocky was actually a Rockette is also not clear.  Lobster is expensive in Britain and most of ours come from Canada.  We once went to a lobster feast in Prince Edward Island where one of the inhabitants told us that when they were small they had to wrap up the remains of lobster they had had for dinner in newspaper before they put it in the rubbish as only poor people ate lobster and it would have been embarassing to have been caught doing so!


The kindly people at the Maine State Aquarium provided a snack for Rocky before releasing him


The best lobster we ever ate was in the Shanghai Court restaurant in the Grand Hyatt, Taipei. It was perfectly tender with none of that chewiness you can get from some lobster (which is why, incidentally, Rocky would not have made very good eating).  Rubbery! Or, rather, it wasn't.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Another Gold for Victoria Pendleton

Varnish (front) and Pendleton go for it!


Agent Triple P's favourite cyclist, Victoria Pendleton, won another gold medal yesterday in the UCI World Cup team sprint, along with Jess Varnish who produced the ride of her life to power the duo to a new world record. 



Unexpectedly beating the hitherto invincible Australians it was one of two gold medals for Britain's womens squad last night as the team pursuit trio beat the Canadians.


Vicki in full flight

 

This was the first event in Britain's new 6,000 seater Olympic velodrome and it augers well for the main event in August this year, especially as Pendleton has said she has had trouble motivating herself, lately.




Pendleton continues to model regularly although is surprised that she keeps being asked as she claims retouchers have to do so much work on removing her scars.  One of her crashes was so nasty she actually stopped breathing for a while.


The seat of her power


She got in trouble for posing for this picture for a session for the Evening Standard last year, enraging (probably flabby) feminists.  She doesn't seem to care much for the feminist cycling sorority however, thank goodness.




Congratulations Vicki!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The National Cafe: Triple P's favourite tea...gone!



Agent Triple P often needs somewhere to meet visitors in London when he is not in the City and a very good place for tea is the National Cafe at the National Gallery on Trafalgar Square.  Up until recently they have offered three set teas (over and above the basic cream tea):  The Classic Afternoon Tea for £15, which included sandwiches, a scone and some cakes, The Lady Hamilton for £21.50, which was the same but with a glass of Prosecco or a Bellini and Triple P's favourite, The Lord Nelson for £19.00.  This was rather different as it was more savoury and featured appropriately nautical crab sandwiches and a cheese scone with onion marmalade.  Triple P often used to share this with a companion who would eat all the cakes and pastries and leave the scone and sandwiches to Triple P.  Also include was a glass of Manzanilla or Tawny port which provided a very civilised finish to a late afternoon tea.


The National Cafe


Sadly, credit crunch rationalisation has seen the end of the Lord NelsonThe Lady Hamilton has been upgraded to a Champagne tea and the Classic remains the same but the Lord Nelson is no more.  Fortunately we immortalised it with our phone camera last time we had one.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Girls in Fur Coats


Warm top, cold legs


Triple P was at Waterloo Station the other evening when he saw a young woman (mid twenties, we would guess) in a mink jacket.  We can't remember the last time we saw a woman in London wearing real fur.  Then, three days later, we saw another one, this time in Cobham.

The only place we used to see lots of women wearing fur coats (other than Canada) was Rome and Milan in the eighties when, whatever the weather, they would appear in the evening given the flimsiest of social excuses.

In Britain it hasn't been socially acceptable to wear a real fur for many years.  When we were at Oxford we had a girlfriend who had a real fur coat and used to squirm about on it artistically but even in 1980 it was becoming unusual.

The fashion industry largely rejected fur until they realised that there was a whole new market of wealthy buyers who didn't care about the ethics of fur so they started to reintroduce it into their ranges again.  Frankly, if they thought that rich people would buy clothes made from live anti-personnel mines the fashion industry would sell them.  Triple P remembers reading the Jerry Cornelius novels of Michael Moorcock in the late seventies (one of which The Final Programme (1973) was made into one of Triple P's favourite films).  In the novels Cornelius sported a Panda skin coat which would no doubt be the ultimate for those with more money than taste.

The only thing we can attribute these sudden sightings of fur to is the number of Russians living in the area.  In the days of the Soviet Union Russian citizens were not allowed to live more than a certain distance from central London but now, of course, they can live anywhere; although most seem to choose to live around here.  People from really cold countries do not seem to worry about wearing fur, naturally.



Not long ago  a large house called Pinewood went up for sale here, which is situated about half a mile away, between Triple P's house and the station.  It seems to have sold, despite an asking price of £22million, so maybe that has been bought by Russians as well.  Can we expect to see more girls in fur jackets on the station if this is so?  Probably not, as anyone who can afford to buy Pinewood would travel by car (it has parking for twenty cars) or helicopter (it has its own helicopter pad).

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Calendar Plane of the Month, February: Vought Kingfisher

New box art by digital artist Adam Tooby


This month's Airfix calendar plane is the Vought Kingfisher, a model which Triple P remembers building in his very early days of model kit building.  The actor Robin Nedwell,  who starred in the TV series Doctor in the House, once said in an interview that he built many Airfix kits as a boy but had moved on from "model making to making models!"  We have had rather more construction kits than fashion models (although there have been a few!).
.

Original box artwork by Roy Cross


Triple P has always been fascinated by seaplanes, even though his personal experience of them has not been a happy one.  Indeed, we would say that it is abosultely the worst form of aerial transport for a nervous flyer.  Our last flight in a floatplane was flying back from Victoria to Vancouver in 90mph winds.  It is not often that Triple P takes a Vodka Martini at 4.00pm but on that occasion it was sorely needed.




The first Kingfisher, which was designed to be launched by catapult from a warship, flew in 1938 and the last in 1958.  Just over 1,500 were built but today here are just eight left (several installed on US museum battleships) but none in flying condition.

Triple P preferred to build models of fighters and bombers but made an exception for this observation aircraft due to its unique shape and the exciting original box painting by Roy Cross.  The kit first appeared in 1967 and we must have built it only a few years later (indeed we recall building another one a few years after that).  The model caused Airfix some design and moulding difficulties because of its complex shape.

Although Cross's version is more action packed we don't think Tooby's version suffers in comparison at all; it's a splendid rendering.