EDitorial ± 29-Nov-2019

I Play The Street View

Darn chilly biking back around 6pm. Glad of me gloves. That'll learn me to still be wearing three-quarter shorts in late November. Let us now both compare and contrast with June this year when me and the boy Andy had un moment tres agreable at The Green Room, Ipswich's new funky French food place.

Like what I wrote at the time, there we were, awaiting our dejeuner, when who should drive by but Sergey Brin himself, the 10th richest man in the world. You'd recognise his little car 'cos it's got a big old Instamatic on the roofrack. Bonjour, Street View. Ca va?

Well, they've now got the film back from their local Boots and put those 6x4s online. I remain unashamed to have chased that car around the block. Go take a look yourself here. Andy's in the shades and short sleeves. C'est moi in the gilet bleu, bien sur.

— Bike —

Pictured: Saracen's House and St Margaret's church

Securely locked to a handy, er, bus stop is the current bicyclette, an ultra hi-vis Raleigh Strada. With, note, my bike helmet draped over the handlebars. Safety first, kids.

— Green Room —

Pictured: The Green Room Cafe & Atelier

Right to left shows YT, Andy the original Eco Warrior, a regular enjoying his coffee, plus his dog. And his mobility scooter that we'll all be driving one day. NB, had a lovely coffee and croissant breakfast at The Green Room last week prior to dropping off My Art. As you do.

— Manor Ballroom —

Pictured: The Manor Ballroom

Everything is connected, no? The Manor Ballroom is a regular table tennis haunt but, more recently, was the mid-size venue for Sound City. Loved those Plastic Mermaids. That aside, I'm patiently waiting outside thinking that SV car would turn left. Instead, it turned right, leaving me stuck on the pavement.

I derive much amusement by looking at The Manor Ballroom lettering on the wall above the entrance. As of June 2019, it read "THE MAN_R _ALL_OO_".

— Car Wash —

Pictured: Hand Car Wash

Used to be an old car showroom or garage (Revett's?), I believe, on St Margaret's Street or Plain. Included an odd little layby where people would sometimes park.

After its final use as an exhaust centre, it became derelict and was razed to the ground. There was a brief time when that offered a decent view towards the houses at the bottom of St Margaret's Green. Now there's a delightful blue painted fence housing a car wash.

You see that Street View camera, you owe it to yourself to run alongside.

EDitorial ± 25-Nov-2019

Art & Bobby & Ed & Frank

Art must be beautiful, artist must be beautiful. So said that Marina Abramovic, Roman's aunt, furiously brushing her hair. Loves a bit of the old art, does I. About to leave a small exhibition in a scout hall at the end of November last year (2018), I made an enquiry: how do I get involved with this next year? Just give us your email address, they said, which I did, and forgot all about it.

Mid July, an email arrived from the 13th Ipswich Scout Group saying "We are pleased to invite you to exhibit at this year's event". Gosh. Late August, I replied with my details stating my intended number of exhibits, 4 (four). Meanwhile, actual number of art pieces sitting in Broom Acres ready to be exhibited, 0 (zero). There followed some extended teatimes of the soul while I pondered my medium. Would I paint? Would I sketch? Would I sculpt?

Realistically, only one medium was ever going to win out, one I used when I briefly became a local contemporary artist. Great. You're gonna use Lego. What exactly is it you're going to depict? Then, struggling to get back to sleep one September night, four names came to me:

  • Art -- 'cos it's that type of show, innit?
  • Bobby -- still adored by everyone round here, football lovers or not
  • Ed -- ubiquitous local boy done good: Chantry Park gigs, Yesterday, Mansion exhibition, Ketchup, GoT, Brendan Biederbecke
  • Frank -- star of this year's Being Frank doc, the incomparable Mr Sidebottom

Me being me, I kept all of this under wraps, naturlich. I bought large base plates, tried to find decent images that would translate well to no more than two colours, sprayed those bases in the shed at the bottom of the garden, and realised that even I did not have enough of the right Lego pieces. Mysterious packages began to arrive from Mr Ebay: a typical envelope might contain 50 red bricks, all 1x1, type 3005. So began many evenings sat in the loft while I contemplated the shape of Ed Sheeran's (Tom Davies) glasses. I won't go into the problem of finding frames to fit, suffice to say that a craft knife was involved.

The entry instructions were straightforward: "Friday 22nd November, delivery of work to Rushmere Road HQ between 10am and 3pm". That was me mid-morning, biking with one hand while the other struggled to hold a huge bag4life crammed with my masterworks. Van Gogh never did this. Such a relief to arrive and finally hand them over for hanging. And much fun on Saturday afternoon to suggest to G. that we pop in to a little art fair, her browsing the catalogue as walked around. Hang on, is that you?

Very pleased to have entered, and very pleased to have sold one of them -- Ed, of course -- apparently to a local optician. As Ed said, "if things go right we can frame it and put you on a wall."

EDitorial ± 22-Nov-2019

Ipswich Lunches: Hullabaloo

For my benefit, here are the most recent winners of the "best cafe / tea room" stroke "best coffee / tea shop" category in the Suffolk Food & Drink Awards (FADA):

All hail Hullabaloo. Didn't the veggie venders do well? So well, in fact, that they've risen from their undead Cemetery Road stonemason's HQ to hit The Saints, as I believe we're now meant to call this lit bit of town. Far easier to find, nearly opposite the mighty Applaud (see above), and they've managed to preserve that raspberry conserve colour scheme.

Stacks more seats and sofas, including some round the back, and, like The Greenhouse Cafe, they offer a bunch of tantalising "plant-based" platters. Right-hand side of today's board had the following:

  • aromatic apricot koftas with beetroot mahamara, tahini dressing, winter roast vegetable, lentil and quinoa salad with tamerind dressing — 8.5
  • sourdough toast topped with mixed garlic mushrooms, tarragon spinach, porchini cream and roasted hazelnuts — 8
  • sweetcorn fritters topped with scrambled tofu, spinach, tamari seeds, sweet smokey beans and mayo — 8
  • roast cauliflower & jerusalem artichoke soup, topped with truffle oil & cream — 6.5

Koftas for me, mushroom toast for Andy who's somehow parked right outside even without his blue badge. Plates are a riot of colour and textures. Coffee and cake can't be faulted, either. Place is buzzing, too. Come and see what the fuss is all about at Hullabaloo.

If it was a car -- Polestar 2.
If they were passing by -- Bill Murray.