Every week the Observer gets someone to tell us what’s on his or her cultural radar. There seems to be a standard of 7 items but it’s not clear how topical they should be. However my blog, my rules so here’s what came onto by radar between midday Sunday 27 Aug 17 and midday yesterday viz Sunday 3 Sep 17.
1 Music: the tribute to Staxx records at the Proms this week was the most wonderful example of music to smile to. It goes without saying that the music was super but the mix of originals and present day artists just made it extra special. I especially enjoyed the suits the guys wore on stage, the magnetism between the artists of different generations (especially between William Bell and Beverley Knight), the way that Tom Jones spanned the generations and the sheer professionalism of everyone involved. Truly music to smile to.
2 Sport: for some reason my allegiance whe it comes to sport at the national level is a tad fluid. Maybe it comes from being Welsh but I find it difficult to support England even when it’s the MCC. That means that in cricket I always root for the West Indies and it was a pleasure to see them win the 2nd test at Headingley. They were written off after the first test and I suspect many people expected them to collapse in their 2nd innings this time after being set a target of over 300 to win but they didn’t. It was good to see the foundations of victory being set by two batsmen in their early 20s. That augers well for the future of West Indies test cricket.
3 Food: I cook, sometimes. If there’s a recipe that looks interesting I go for it so last night it was monk fish with chorizo. Neither seemed to exist when I was growing up and the idea of mixing fish with meat has always seemed a bit alien to me but this dish works. It’s quick and easy to prepare and cook and although there might be some health downsides to eating chorizo at least there’s lots to be gained by eating fish.
4 Book: I’ve always read a lot although most of my book reading is bedtime nowadays. That means that books I get the most from have to be ones that I can read a few pages and put down and then resume a day later without worrying about the plot. John Grisham’s good for that: well structured, not too complicated and short chapters. The Whistler may not be vintage Grisham but it still does the job.
5 Restaurant: for once we had good weather for our bank holiday weekend and it extended into the Monday evening where we enjoyed an alfresco dinner with good friends Tony and Christine Halls at the Plough in Coton. It’s managed by the people who run Don Pasquale in Cambridge and it’s super. The menu’s simple but interesting, it doesn’t pretend to be top end gastro, the service is excellent and there’s plenty of choice on the wine list.
6 TV: I watch a lot of TV, generally drama or BBC4 standard fare. There’s been not too much that’s special over the summer but it looks like we’re about to be hit by the autumn schedules. First up has been the Beeb with Strike: the Cuckoo’s Calling. As with all good TV drama there’s much about it that’s incredible but you do have to remind your self that it is fiction. This one’s a three parter with episode 3 this Sunday evening.
7 event: I live in a pretty sporty community. There’s a busy Rec, a mammoth boys football club, at least two running clubs and the Histon & Impington Bicycle Club. I’ve been out on club rides with the bike club but they go a bit far for me, typically 3 hours plus. However once a year they run a big Stawberry 50 community bike ride. The 50 is for 50 miles but there’s a shorter option. That’s just 28 miles and that’s what I did this morning.
So: that’s what was on my radar last week. What will it look like this week?