Wednesday, 26 March 2014

James Rhodes The Pianist of our modern era - Soho Theatre

A dear friend of mine from Berlin alerted me back in January to buy tickets for James that time I have not heard of him at all, but I always fully trust Alexa's taste, thus I bought the tickets for Tuesday 25th March at the Soho Theatre.

Finally Alexa arrived to London and we agreed to meet at the theatre.

Soho Theatre
Soho Theatre front
Soho Theatre
Soho Theatre Bar
Soho Theatre Bar

Soho Theatre Bar
Soho Theatre Bar Soho sign
I was way too early, but after some moment people started queuing up in front of the stairs leading to the basement. Even though one of the organiser announced many times that there was no queue, people just did not move.

James Rhodes Tickets at Soho Theatre
 In the end it was good that I 'queued' in the non-existing queue because I could put dibs on a really good seat in the front next to a round table. My friend arrived, we talked a little and then once everyone sat down Mr Rhodes came on stage. He sat down in front of the piano and started playing.

James Rhodes at Soho Theatre
The first 'foreplay' as he then referred as, was one of Chopin's masterpieces.
What made the whole concert more engaging was that after playing the song, he stood next to his piano and told a short introduction before each piece.

Mr Rhodes illustrated that rockstars back in the days were not like nowadays, sitting in singing contests and being on the cover of Heat magazine. Those days being a rock star was: sex, drugs, rock and roll!
Well many of the names, he played yesterday, lived in squats, in vile circumstances and had some sort of venereal disease. The songs and their background were almost carefully chosen focussing on STDs... Maybe it suited to the location of the venue being in Soho...
After some witty anecdotes about the venue and the night he then started introducing the next piece. Unfortunately I cannot recall the title of the song but it was from Schubert!
Schubert with his 156cm (5 ft 1) having syphilis was not the best party. Though he had students...and he fell for one of them, who probably would not have a 2nd view at poor Schubert. Nevertheless he wrote one of his beautiful plays for this girl.

Schubert: Staendchen (please note I am not sure if this was played by James Rhodes yesterday, if someone remembers the song I'd be happy to amend it here)

The next element of the concert also had another venereal disease story. The virgin Chopin, at the age of 20, left Poland to go to Paris, then on his way somewhere between Wien and Munich...he met a prostitute, Teresa, from whom he received an unforgettable souvenir... gonorrhoea.
He then decided to go to Mallorca for a bit of a climate change with his friend George, but the accommodation they had was so disastrous they ventured further to stay at a monastery which was 20 kilometres away and only approachable by donkey.
Mr Rhodes's point with this little story was to outline, artists those days, got inspiration and worked even amongst the worst nightmares...and such masterpieces like the No. 3 Ballade from Chopin, were composed in those woeful environment.

Chopin: No 3. Ballade

The 4th piece was by Blumenfeld and yet another STD story...Apparently Bluemenfeld was a handsome man courting with many women, thus it was inevitable to catch syphilis in that era, which left him paralysed on the right side of his body and right hand. Nevertheless he had overcome this problem and composed the Study of the left handed, which then when was played by Simone Barere in front of a blind man. The blind man might be that I'm blind but not a fool - insinuating that it was unbelievable to play this piece with only one hand. Then Simone Barere's answer was 'my friend, hold my right hand and I will play it for you again, to be sure that I am only using my left hand'.

Blumenfeld: Stduy of the left handed by James Rhodes

After the 4th piece he left, but he returned to play 2 more songs, from which, one was a transcription...we can say a 'cover' these days in the world of pop music.

Grieg: In the hall of the mountain king

The 6th and last piece was also by Chopin.

James Rhodes Piano at Soho Theatre
The night was very intimate with a concert, which truly was a concert sprinkled with some stand up comedy teaching.
I listen to classical music CDs, however I have almost none musical background and only a little classical music concert experience, so I felt very inexperienced in the rows, thus I cannot comment on how James Rhodes performed that evening. Whether his playing technique, his movements, were great or not, whether he's as good as Chopin, but his approach and attitude made this evening special! 
He seems kind of an ambassador of classical music who wants to spread the word and music amongst even those that usually don't listen to classical music. The plays combined with the factual background is a great way of putting it out there! Raising awareness, engaging the audience with the funny stories about the artists and plays he was about the play to us. His humble self, with a gorgeous, kind of innocent smile makes him even better for this task. He is here, in the real world, trying to help poor students and schools bringing back the importance of musical education to Britain. 
If you have any musical instruments in the attic or just want to donate yours for a good cause please get in touch with him via his Twitter account: @JRhodesPianist !

Furthermore, for me, it was also an exceptional thing to sit so close that I could see all the delicate muscle vibrations in his hands, showing what human beings are capable of. At some point he was playing so eyes lost clear views of his moving hands.

And yes I will...
While I was queueing I had a short chat with the couple standing behind me. The girl asked me whether this was my first time. I told her it was... then she said her first time was 6 months ago when and elderly gentleman sitting next to her had told her that she would come back for a 2nd, 3rd etc time to see James Rhodes' talented persona again and there she was a good start!...And is true...I will go back again to see him in concert when he is in town! :) 

Monday, 24 March 2014

Upcoming plans! Busy busy busy!

From this coming Friday onwards I am going to be extremely busy...well at least this is what I thought...
But in the turned out that without having any communication from my 'then best friend', suddenly he got in touch with me and turned up at my flat that he needed a shelter for one night, because he had just moved out but not yet moved in to the new place.

So where are his better friends when he really needs them?
It still seems that a friend in need is a friend indeed...huh and that one and only night, he mentioned...became 6 nights....

So me being busy started last week...


tomorrow 25th March - I am going to a concert :) will write about it Wednesday!

28th-30th March: Claire and Paul are staying with me again :)

5th-8th April: a friend from Hungary is coming and staying with me :)

10th-15th April: my cousins are coming from Germany and staying with me :)

17th April: Part II of no Barking aRt - Material World Exhibition :)

19th-22nd April: Whoohooo finally something when I go away! Stockholm here I come! :)

24th-28th April: my best-friend from Portugal is coming and guess what? Staying with me :)

3rd-5th May: Yippie! Planning to finally visit Claire and Paul up in York! :)

The following weekend hopefully be empty and I will just relax in bed :)

15th-20th May: my cousins are coming from Hungary staying with me :)

24th-26th May: The plan is to go to Bristol and Cardiff or Amsterdam, this one is not yet finalised...but definitely want to go somewhere!

And of course in the meantime, I try to go to concerts, exhibitions and eateries in London :) keeping you entertained!

Lastly be happy and listen to Pharrel Williams' Happy song from Hungary!

Pharrell Williams - Happy ( WE ARE FROM BUDAPEST ) Official #HAPPYDAY

Friday, 21 March 2014

The Lost Lectures landed in the Big Apple!!!

Hello Sentimental 'Lostlings'!

Save the date! 25th April 2014 New York

I brought a great event for you all! This is for those living in the Big Apple! :) So all New Yorkers if reading this blog, if you can, grab a ticket immediately for The Lost Lecture's New York show! If I had the time to fly there I would probably go too!

I can assure you, Dear Sentimental Reader, that the venue will be fantastic!

Some of the speakers will include:

Dev Hynes (Blood Orange)
Choire Sicha (Awl Founder)
Barbara Nitke (Acclaimed Pornography Photographer)
Marc Abrahams (IgNobel Scientist)
Deirdre Schoo + Flex is King Street-Dance
one secret speaker 

If you want to buy tickets, you can do so from their brand new website:!

The Lost Lectures Logo

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Pump the iron Baby! :)

Well well well!

Last year in May I made a vow for myself to look as good as possible in my 30s! So far with healthy eating I lost 10 kilograms, and then in November I started to go to the gym!
For me, who has not done any exercise in the past 16 years...was a real challenge to start it again, I started with maybe 5 minutes running feeling extremely exhausted and breathless...

...but now...
I can jog for 20-30 minutes on the treadmill
I can cycle through a full spinning class without stopping

In December I also started pumping the iron...only repeating what I saw in the gym, or what I remembered from friends doing them.
So I completed only 2x8 lateral raises, shoulder presses, anterior raises, incline chest presses, seated pull downs, leg curls and some ab exercises. The weight used to complete these was only 2.5kg in each hands.

I must say I am improving quite fast, because now I not only do 5x10 from the aforementioned, I also increased the weights, by a lot!
For my arms I now use 5kgs in each hand and for anything done with cable machines I use between 23-27kgs. For legs I also upped it from 14kgs to 27-48, depending on what machine I use.

Further on I started doing barbell squats 5x10 and lunges with dumbbells, plus walking lunges with dumbbells.

And guess what, last time I went to the gym, one woman who was superfit with a superfit huge bodybuilder man, gave full marks for my walking lunges! :) She said that I was doing it very well and my endurance was very good!

So let's hope that my body will be transformed nicely in the next coming year :) I will do everything I can from my end!

What do you think of the below woman?
Anna Virmajoki Mike Siren from here.

Anna Virmajoki Mike Siren from here.
Anna Virmajoki Finnish Bikini Pro. Well, as much as I adore people with the strength and willpower they have, to build their bodies up to look like hers, I don't feel the power in myself to reach this type of body size and shape, but it gives me a kind of goal to set myself.

I always think that in order to reach a bigger goal we have to first set up and reach smaller goals that would eventually pave the way to the final target!
For example my little goal for next week is to carry on with my gym, not only going the usual 3 times a week, but 5 times and repeat Miss Virmajoki's work out plan!
Telling the truth, with many of these names of exercises I was not even familiar and did not even know they exist, thus I am eagerly searching on Youtbe and watching these exercise videos, to be able to carry them out when in the gym :)
I appreciate that she does not only share the exercises, but telling how many sets she is doing, and the weights are up to us and out own strength. I am so looking forward to it!

Anna Virmajoki's Work Out. Original source from

 Monday: Legs
  • 5 X 15 Leg Extensions
  • 5 X 20 Shoulder Width Leg Press
  • 5 X 15 Switch (Jump) Lunges
  • 4 X 15 Narrow Stance Squats
  • 4 X 10 Walking Lunges

Tuesday: Shoulders/Triceps

  • 4 X 10 Shoulder Press
  • 4 X 10 Barbell Press
  • 4 X 10 Rear Lateral Raises
  • 3 X 8 Arnold Press
  • 3 X 8 Lateral Raises
  • 3 X 15 Rope Pushdowns
  • 3 X 10 DB Skull Crushers
  • 3 X 15 DB Kick Backs

Wednesday: Back/Biceps

  • 6 X 8 Pull Downs
  • 6 X 8 Seated Cable Rows
  • 4 X 12 Barbell Rows
  • 4 X 12 One Arm Pull Downs
  • 5 X 15 Hyperextensions
  • 5 X 15 Supermans
  • 4 X 8 Preacher Curls
  • 4 X 12 Seated DB Curls
  • 4 X 15 Incline DB Curls

Thursday: Legs

  • 5 X 15 Leg Curls
  • 5 X 12 Squats
  • 5 X 12 Weighted Step Ups On Bench
  • 5 X 12 Seated Leg Curls
  • 5 X 12 Stiff Legged Deadlifts

Friday: Chest/Shoulders/Legs

  • 5 X 12 Pullovers
  • 5 X 12 Incline Chest Press
  • 8 X 8 Side Lateral Raises
  • 5 X 15 Leg Press
  • 5 X 12 Walking Pump Lunges
  • 5 X 15 Cable Squats
  • 4 X 20 Hyperextensions

Saturday and Sunday

  • Rest day
So let's get up from the couch and do some more exercise! It's beautiful spring time outside, so even if you don't have a gym membership, you could still occupy the green parks where you'd be surrounded by gorgeous flowers and their amazing smell :) hmm even think of it sounds good!
Do go out and embrace the moment!

xoxo to all of you out there!

Sunday, 16 March 2014

Saturday Outings! Vintage! Spitalfield! Brunch! Cinema!

What a beautiful day today again!!!! Sunshine and yes spring is definitely here with all the blooming magnolias and other beauties of nature!

East London Magnolia Spring

Reading Mandy's bicycle tour in Berlin from Movin 'n' Groovin I also felt like be out and since in London I would not dare to cycle I just thought let's have a nice walk in the sun! Inspired by her advertised app komoot, I also downloaded an app for tracking the route for walking! I do walk a lot in London but never really measured how long and where exactly. I am so far loving it, though it does not count the length of the route as accurately, but at least gives a guideline! Mapmywalk it is!

Map My Walk App for Iphone and Android

Map My Walk - My Walk today!
So first of all I started in East London, because this weekend was the big Poundsale in East End Thrift Store where they sell all kinds of vintage clothing. The closest tube stations were closed today, because of engineering works, thus it was a bit of a walk to get there...and well I have never been to any of these kind of events, it was easy to find as on the way close to the place itself, the pavement was full of with young girls carrying massive bags filled with clothes!

East End Thrift Store Sale
East End Thrift Store Vintage PoundSale
Well I had all the intentions to enter these sales, but I never would have thought about queuing to gain entry! The queue was massive full of with hipster youth of the east end, all thirsty to grab a bargain here today!

East End Thrift Store Sale Queue

East End Thrift Store Sale On the way

East End Thrift Store Sale On the way

East End Thrift Store Sale Queue

After seeing the street-long queue I decided to leave and maybe come back another time to the store itself when it is not as busy as now!

So I started walking towards Aldgate and to Liverpool street in a slow pace, taking photos enjoying the sun!
My first stop was the eucharist St Botolph Church with these huge plants in front of! :)

East London St Botolph Church

In front of myself there was a strange wooden seems like a house built in floodplain areas, to avoid water coming in the flat ruining the possessions. I got an explanation from someone that these buildings represent the 'then' (couple of hundred years ago) townhalls of London and these can be found across England in other cities too. Well after reading the plate on the ground...I am not sure how accurate this townhall theory is, but it definitely marks the historic Aldgate, where Chaucer lived.

East London Wooden Building
East London Wooden Building
East London Wooden Building

Then walking further I noticed a sign...I have never seen any similar to this in west London, but okay it is better to keep this in mind and better be self conscious than be surprised...

East London Sign Not everyone is as nice as you
The East End was always the lower end of London where poverty was ruling. These days with lots of investments it started to become an up and coming hipster area, however some of the streets are still mirroring what it was.
Some snapshots below about a general street in the EastEnd.
Council estates, graffitis and derelict buildings in contrast with the City's shiny skyscrapers in the neighbouring areas.
East London buildings
East London Buildings
Really loving these letters on rolling-shutters of east london shops.
East London Graffiti Letters
East London Graffiti Letters HAPPY
This is a bar or club or pub, I have no idea. This time it was closed, but when I was here last time, there were many people in the door smoking, drinking, so definitely something is going on inside!
East London Pub
Zoomed in, the head note on this pub/bar/club is quite funny! I don't feel like I want to kill anyone today! Well I would hope so! :)
East London Pub Sign: I don't feel like I want to kill anyone today! :) Lucky!
Still at the same place...luckily I had a glance backwards and noticed this rat graffiti, which I believe is made by ROA a Belgian graffiti artist. He has already left his unique styled graffitis on many of the walls here in east London, mainly on Bricklane's sidewalks and backwalls.
East London ROA graffiti

East London Poster
Around Petticoat Lane market.
East London Petticoat Lane

East London Petticoat Lane Graffiti
This picture shows quite rightly the differences in this neighbourhood...
East London Contrast 
Derelict building-front on Toynbee street, which is a shame in London. How can these buildings left alone to leave it to mother nature to take them back, when in the meantime there are so many people struggling to afford accommodation.
East London Derelict Building

East London Derelict Building vs Porsche
 Now in better and well known part of East London...Spitalfields.
East London Spitalfield
 Christ Church Spitalfields
East London Spitalfield

Finally, before I left for home, I had a late brunch in Cafe Daily Grind. Well it was a big disappointment.
From the outside it looked such a cute and typical to this area type of Cafe...but when I enthusiasm immediately dropped. I stayed though...don't really know why...even after when they told me that they ran out of salmon, what I initially wanted...
So all in all the food was okay, the hot chocolate I had...well was just pure cocoa with lots of froth though :) and my banana cake has never made it to my table...the cutlery was dirty and the service was average.
And strangely I had this 'get out of this place as soon as I can' feeling in me...this place tries to be a hipster place in Spitalfield, but though they had some statement pieces in the decoration, like that golden steam punk style coffee machine something, the rest... is disappointing...the fake flowers in the vases...the lamp pole and fake windows in the wall. Truly some of the items they had I would like to own, but I had a feeling they were just thrown next to each other in a one after the other order...

So all in all..this place is not what you would expect it to be...
...though on the positive end...if you want a nice smile from a cute Italian then do go in :)
Spitalfield Daily Grind Cafe

Spitalfield Daily Grind Cafe

My breakfast at Spitalfield Daily Grind Cafe

The steampunk style something at Spitalfield Daily Grind Cafe

Spitalfield Daily Grind Cafe

I had to be fast and rush my walking a bit, because finally after 5 months waiting to see what The Grand Budapest Hotel by Wes Anderson is about, today was the day!

I was going to the Electric Cinema in London Portobello Road to watch it!

I always wanted to go to this cinema, but since I don't really have time to go to the cinema, never really went....
This must be the movie I had to watch there I thought!
The movie was great! I knew it though! Great rating on imdb....I like Wes Anderson's movies, I have seen so far...the cast is smashing!

Electric Cinema The Grand Budapest Hotel

Electric Cinema The Grand Budapest Hotel

Electric Cinema The Grand Budapest Hotel

The inside of the cinema was luxurious and it was a bit of a timetravel to the time of the Great Gatsby, with comfortable armchairs, sofas and beds to have an exclusive cinema experience.

Even the average guidance what to do before the movie e.g. switching off the phone, showing the toilets, turning down the volume of your hair :) was filmed with real actors and actresses...with one of them being the more and more famous and handsome Cumberbatch himself.
Electric Cinema Inside
Electric Cinema Inside

Electric Cinema Inside

Electric Cinema Inside

Electric Cinema Inside

Electric Cinema Inside

Electric Cinema Bar

Electric Cinema Bar

Electric Cinema My brownie and camomile tea :)


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...