Searching for Sugar Man at Gate Cinema, Notting Hill

A quick glance at the title and you could mistake it for a documentary on Lord Sugar’s softer side. That or something creepy which I will not delve into. But anyway, Searching For Sugar Man –  which made its debut at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival – is quite the tale, which follows a man only known by the vague name of Rodriguez. He was a global rock star that never was – shunned in his native US before apparently shooting himself onstage because of his commercial failure.

On the other side of the Atlantic in South Africa, the apartheid was in full throttle and the state was censoring whatever they could find that could disrupt their control. But, like a miracle, Rodriguez’s Cold Fact album managed to slip into the airwaves and blossomed into the soundtrack that inspired the people of South Africa into an equal era of peace and democracy. As a result, some of his fans began to trace the man that helped liberate their country and find out if his ending was truly tragic.


I’m not normally a documentary-film kind of guy but this film will definitely encourage me to see more of its kind. Helped with the fact that the music by Rodriguez is excellent. Who wouldn’t groove along to I Wonder?

You can book tickets here.

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Note: I am not associated with Gate Cinema in any way or form. Just your average cinema-goer who loves his favourite and local cinema.

Gate Cinema
87 Notting Hill
W11 3JZ
London

Book by phone: 0871 902 5731 (10p a minute from BT landline)

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Films and Food In Wonderland | BeingBikeminded

You can follow my day to day cycling activities on my bike blog, beingbikeminded.tumblr.com

It has been an exciting month in terms of cycling this past month. If you caught the Tour de France, then you would have heard that Bradley Wiggins has become the first Briton to win the world’s most challenging road race.  And the icing on the case was  that fellow Briton Chris Froome took second place. Congrats to both of them and here’s hoping their success becomes the catalyst to make the UK a truly great cycling nation.

Closer to home,  I’m now the social media guru for Sustrans, the UK charity responsible for creating the  National Cycle Network and encouraging people to get on their bikes or walking shoes.  Great place to work because the office isn’t about suits, ties and paperwork. More like bikes, e-mails, calls and more bikes. There’s a collection of Brompton folding bikes near the entrance which are used whenever an employee needs to get to meetings in other parts of the city. Cool, huh? If you’re on Twitter, follow both @Sustrans & @GetActiveTravel.

Ahem,  the Olympics: am I allowed to type this out without fear of a squadron storming into my office or desk, accessing my files and delete anything I have that has something to do with the Games such as this?

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BIKEMINDED.ORG: CYCLE SHORTS 

Bikeminded Cycle Shorts Competition

Last Monday, Bikeminded treated us to a screening of Cycle Shorts, a collection of 1m 30 sec videos with the theme of encouraging people to cycle submitted by members of the public.

The director of the acclaimed 2010 film The Special Relationship judged the entries and deemed Cycle of Life the worthy film for its narrative.

Personally I found Made For 2 and Learning To Cycle excellent due to the former’s comedy and getting hold of SW6’s legendary blue parrot man and the latter’s heartwarming story. Nevertheless, congratulations to all entrants, directors, producers and other team members for their hard work. Believe me, it takes ages to make a film, even a one and half minute clip!

By the way, if anyone at the screening wondered what happened to the meatballs and chicken at the buffet, I apologise for me and my friend’s food raid. Haven’t eaten anything since noon at the time!

For the Cycle Shorts shortlist, click here.

ALICE IN WONDERLAND

This tour is probably a perfect example of the phrase never judge a book by its cover. I had an eyebrow raised when I first saw this crop up on the website. But when I arrived at the meeting point (several minutes late. Apologies) at Cremorne Gardens, I felt the need to slap my forehead.

Alice In Wonderland was an interactive play on two wheels, effortlessly incorporating the Royal Borough’s back streets and parks with wonderful acting…..and cake. From Cremorne Gardens – located at the corner of the borough, we cycled to the ever popular Brompton Cemetery, Cromwell Road, High Street Kensington before finishing up at Holland Park.https://twitter.com/_Nielsen/status/225701633840005120It was also nice to catch a few familiar faces as well as new ones. Good to see bike mechanics and marshals Phil and Peter – the latter donning a strange hat. Pretty sure I saw Fiona Wood aka Kensington Doll but a bit uncertain if it was her so apologies if I didn’t say hi!

Finally, thanks for the bike lights. Actually needed them since my current set died!

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Bikeminded is a 3 year cycling initiative that is raising awareness about the benefits of cycling and encourage more people to swap four wheels for two. Follow the hashtag, #bikeminded, to follow the campaign.

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Graduate insights: How to save money as a student

Hello! I’m Chris, recent Leeds uni graduate and current SEO. After reading Nielsen’s blog and noticing the “posts from other students who want to have a crack at blogging” clause in his sidebar, I thought I’d get in touch and offer a post. He nobly obliged.

So here I am, offering my insights into simple actions students (and indeed anyone) can take to:

a) Save money
b) Eat healthily
c) Get fit

Tip one: Buy a bike

The initial expense of a bike may seem counterproductive to point a), but if you add up the cost of the bike and the basic equipment and divide it out over a year, it almost certainly works out cheaper than alternative travel:

£500 (bike) + £30 (helmet) + £20 (lights) + £10 (high-vis) + £30 (lock) = £590, or £11.35 a week

Often you can break the repayments up over a year (or longer) as well, and depending where you buy from you can get 0% interest so you’re not getting stung on the repayments. Not only that, but cycling is fun, social (if you participate in cycling groups or events like Critical Mass), and great exercise (point c)).

Tip two: Spend thrifty

Fairly self-explanatory on the surface: spending less equates to saving more. Knowing where you can save money is the skill, though. As a student I spent a lot of money on microwaves, kettles, toasters and whatever else when I moved from halls in first year to houses thereafter (stingy landlords, you see). In retrospect I could have saved a lot of money by shopping at stores who have special student deals.

You can also save money by pausing before each purchase and asking yourself ‘do I really need this?’ – another relatively simple but surprisingly effective technique to achieve point a).

Tip three: Eat soup

Soup is great. Get pretty much any combination of vegetables, perhaps some lentils, a sprinkling of assorted herbs and spices, blend it up, and you’ve got soup. You can either follow recipes (my favourite) or experiment and come up with your own. Depending what you include, you’ll be on your way to point b) if you make your own soups, and also well on your way to point a) – 8 portions worth of the soup I gave the recipe for previously cost me just over £3 – that’s a week and a half’s worth of lunch for around 38p a day.

Souper (if you’ll pardon the pun).

Chris

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Free screening of Electrick Children at Gate Cinema, Notting Hill

Summer holidays are here (or a nearing) and….well, we’re spending it indoors. Bloody rain. But I guess there’s a silver lining: Gate Cinema is offering us broke students shelter and a free movie!

Electrick Children follows the tale of mormon virgin Rachel who finds herself pregnant after listening to a forbidden tape recording of The Nerves’ Hanging On the Telephone. Rachel flees to Las Vegas after she is unable to confront the shame and forced marriage and goes off on a search to find the man behind the song.

 

To get yourself a free ticket as well as an E4 Slacker’s Card pop down to Gate Cinema at any time with a NUS card or college/university ID. With your new clubcard, you can visit any Picturehouse cinema to watch the month’s free feature films – in this case, it is Electrick Children. You would have to be…well, not a student to miss it. That or you have bottomless funds. Or a job.

For more information and additional viewing times and dates of Electrick Children, visit the Gate Cinema website.

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The Slacker’s Club is a collaborative scheme by E4 & Picturehouse Cinemas to showcase the latest independent/ alternative film.

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Gate Cinema
87 Notting Hill
W11 3JZ
London

Book by phone: 0871 902 5731 (10p a minute from BT landline)
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Locals Lynsey and Laura learn to cycle for charity

If the London to Oxford bike ride is enough to make me, a regular cyclist, squirm, I can’t imagine what the feeling must be like of taking on that route when you’ve just learned how to hop on two wheels. A few of my friends who can’t cycle (the urge to namedrop is strong) will probably laugh at any suggestion to even attempt a 1 mile ride in the safety of Kensington Gardens.

You have to be crazy or brave to even think it. Or both.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Or you can be Lynsey and Laura, two newbie cyclists in their twenties who have “decided it was about time we got our act together” and learn how to cycle (It’s never too late to learn!) in order to with tackle a 260 mile cycle ride across Romania all in the name of charity. They are hoping to raise money for the kids who are chronically ill in Romania, where they have to endure a poor quality of life and treatment.

In preparation for their ambitious trek, they’ll be doing other rides in the UK such as SkyRide London, London to Cambridge, London to Oxford and New Forest.

And you all thought I was the mad cyclist in London. Tch!

Catch their updates on their fab looking website.

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Novice cyclist or lacking confidence when on the road? Kensington and Chelsea offer free cycle training whilst Hammersmith & Fulham ask a measly £5 to boost your cycling abilities. 

Get cycling tips and tricks with some added chic with Bikeminded.

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Highlight’s of the Chelsea Flower Show 2012

Originally seen on fulhamroad.co.uk – posted on 30 May.  Unknown writer.

Missed out on this year’s Chelsea Flower Show? Fear not! We’ve got a few highlights of 2012’s special floral festivities for you to peruse.

Here’s an excerpt:

 

 

The dust has settled over another memorable Chelsea Flower Show. 2012’s event saw the great and the good of horticulture gather, showcasing some of the best and most innovative garden designs, as well as some rather unusual plants which took years to breed.

Read the rest on fulhamroad.co.uk

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Coldplay at the Emirates

Nielsen, I’m going to kill you!” was the first sentence uttered as me and my friend, Christine, stared for the first time at Arsenal FC’s Emirates Stadium. I don’t blame her. Around the stadium, roughly 300 people were queuing out of a possible 60,000+ people at 12pm. The initial plan was the queue at that 10am. If we did follow that initial plan, Christine would have queued up with the tumbleweed and my mangled corpse.

But if anything were to die on concert day (Friday 1 June) it would be my feet and larynx from all the jumping, (bad) singing and the sheer excitement of being inches from the front. Quite few acts have the songs to construct a stadium gig and keep up with its demands. Clocks, Yellow, In My Place, Charlie Brown, Paradise, Viva La Vida, The Scientist, Violet Hill, Fix You – when you’ve got songs like these, you’ve guaranteed yourself a roaring response. The new songs, too, managed to blend naturally with Coldplay’s warhorses. Unsurprising as Mylo Xyloto sounds like a more layered and polished version of 2008’s Viva La Vida and Death and All His Friends.

And then there’s the four men. Will Champion, Guy Berryman, Johnny Buckland and Chris Martin – all four friends solid and energetic as their frontman. Martin engaged, jumped, crooned, swore, sweated (a lot), danced, pranced and skipped like a child let loose in a toy store and we, the crowd, ate it up.

It would be foolish for any Coldplay fan who hasn’t caught them on the road to miss out on their live performances!

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COLDPLAY SNAPS ON TUMBLR

Oh and of course I took snaps of the concert. You think I only took the two on this blog post? I took around 100+ snaps but like most shots taken by  amateur photographers, most of them were a blur and just a fraction was suitable for publishing. Yeah, need to upgrade my 5MP Kodak cam/ iPhone 4.

Peruse, like it, reblog it, tweet or just kindly nod and imagine you were there or something. Enjoy them!

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Jubilee party on Duke of York Square, King’s Road

Originally seen on kingsroad.co.uk – posted on 30 May. Rachael Grace.

Just over a year ago, Prince William and the Catherine “Kate” Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge, married and awarded the nation with a four day weekend. And now our precious Queen has ordered her minions to have an extra 2 days off along with a royal tea pardy on the King’s Road.

Oh how we Brits love our royals….and bank holidays.

Thanks, Ma’am!

Here’s an excerpt:

 

Modelled on the garden parties hosted by the Royal Family each year and in honour of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, Duke of York Square will be hosting London’s biggest luxury tea party on Sunday 3 June.

Read the rest on kingsroad.co.uk

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Snaps of Chelsea FC Victory Parade

Nothing is more depressing than a Gooner who can’t swim drown in yesterday’s blue sea that flooded King’s Road and Fulham Road. Still, it could be worse. You could be a Spurs fan.

That aside, snaps of yesterday’s Chelsea FC parade celebrating their FA Cup and Champions League victories are now up on Kingroad.co.uk’s Facebook page.

Congrats to Blues!

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Chelsea FC bid for Battersea

Originally seen on kingsroad.co.uk – posted on 4 May. Unknown writer.

Despite strong opposition from their fans, Chelsea FC has finally made a bid for the iconic Battersea Power Station site. However, it is reported that there are other bidders for the landmark.

Contrary to popular belief, Chelsea FC is located near the border of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, instead sitting on the Hammersmith and Fulham side of Fulham Road.

Here’s an excerpt:

Chelsea Football Club can confirm to our fans that we have today submitted an offer, with our property development partner Almacantar, to acquire the 39-acre Battersea Power Station site.

Read the rest on kingsroad.co.uk

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