Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Sgt Pepper Party - Chapel Street

Twas here almost exactly 45 years ago (19th May) that Epstein hosted a party to launch the Sgt Pepper album. Fascinating ? Absolutely ! Took a few snaps half expecting the Belgravia private police force descend on me at any moment but seemed to get away with it.

Is this the drawing room... with the mantle ? and the LP ? and the second meeting of Macca and the American photographer ?

Stay away from the balcony John

A very pleasant pub just down the side alley called the Horse and Groom - a candidate for Pubs Where They Supped ? Just how many times did they visit Eppy at this address ?

Monday, April 16, 2012

West Malling - Magical Mystery Tour

Dehydrated after a bit of session the night before with friends previously seen a quarter of a century back, I made my way back on Saturday morning, rather gingerly, from olde Folkestoneium back into the the heart of ancient Cantium stopping briefly in West Malling  for purposes of re-caffination. But not Kings Hill - even I could not bring myself to search out that Durello Spot again. No, no, no. Just thought I'd spend a moment in the High Street and observe the Baldocks clothing emporium where, during the filming of MMT, Ringo bought a few items of groovy gear (and possible the Lennon hat). Then perhaps observe once more the shop front where Ringo bought the MMT ticket from Lennon. Now the Rain Grill (see below)

But wait ! I said wait up there ! What in the name of Boutros Boutros Ghali is going on here ???? A Beatles Weekend ? Yes ! Let excitement be unconstrained ! The MMT coach is making the journey from Newquay to West Malling next week and all local Beatle Nuts and any locals who recall the Fab days in West Malling 45 years ago are to be made very welcome. I'm excited, I'm excited.....

But wait a second. How will this work ? "Hello, I like the Beatles, do you ?".."Yes, I like the Beatles, too.".."Which one did you like best ?".. "Well, they were all good, but my fave was John Lennon..." Awkward silence. "They were great, weren't they ?"   Silence...Maybe, urmmmm...

Here is the view from the MMT Ticket Shop to the Trouser Shop. What the hell is happening to me ? I could be at home with kids...

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Help ! It's the Antrobus Hotel

Enough of this introspection already...back to the eponymous boy band.

Long story but stopped at Antrobus Hotet in Amesbury near Stonehenge yesterday as this was the place the Fabs rested for a few days and nights during the filming of the Salisbury Plane scenes in Help ! The receptionist was very helpful in leading me to the bar 'open to non-residents' and when asked in my most cringe-worthy fake innocent tones 'I read somewhere that the Beatles stayed somewhere around here back in the day..." she enthusiastically told me about the 'Beatles Suite' dedicated to the FF available at a very reasonable £110 per night for two including breakfast. All good stuff but the real joy was when she pointed out the well thumbed copy of 'Now Those Days Have Gone' book in the lobby. What the heck is this ? How come a fanatic like me has not heard of Michael Peto and his excellent (truly excellent) record of the Beatles in 1965 ?? It includes many photos of the very hotel I was standing in - I was looking at JL sipping his afternoon tea then looking up from the book to see the very same spot in front of me. Incredible. I though about slipping book into briefcase but resisted and retired to the bar for a small pint of Upham Ale.

This was great end to an otherwise forgettable day. I wished I could have taken a few more shots but did not want to appear a complete freeeeko. Maybe return in a few weeks.

The book is out there somewhere on the Information Super Highway - but very much limited edition - cost about £450.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

I hate you Myers-Briggs - Belfast

The thing I most hate about Myers-Brigs is that it's taken as a green light to those normally exhibiting good ol’ British self control to start self-obsessing all over the place.. "I thought I was a non-feeling person but turms out I really do care !" or "Don't mess with me coz I'm an ESTF !"....What ?! What did you say ? Stop right there, I don't give a damm about your stupid letters and stop talking about yourself ! It's deeply, deeply unsettling.

Anyhow, having been appointed recently to the role of Generalist Extrodinaire which comes with the keys to the executive loos, I was mortified upon discovering that the 'higher echelons' (cough, cough) are expected to engage in a focussed programme of self awareness in order that one might become an even greater leader. Gosh and gosh again. What exactly might this programme be ? Surely just a quick speed-read of a few of the latest trendy management books ? "Good to Great and Back Again", "The Allure of Toxic Leaders" (like the sound of that one) etc etc but no ! I've gotta a tree-hug and 'share' with fellow pretentious non-entities that line the corridors of make believe power. God, I hate being in a club that accepts me as a member

So we start with Myers-Briggs. I don’t want to fill in this bloody form of 80 questions that reduces every single human being on the planet into one of 16 personality types. How in the name of Nelly Fertardo could that possibly be ?!. One tick in the wrong box and I could suddenly discover I am a psycho - Go with the flow. Go with the flow. Don’t over reveal, steady as she goes boy. Play the game – remember the executive loo..And so into analysis with my 4 meaningless letters of ESTJ (deep down hoping that my tendency to obsession is not about to be revealed to all) But wait, the more enthusiastic members of the non-entity club have spotted these 4 letters of mine and one complete burke (who has worked with me for a quarter of a century) shouts out – “He’s not an E ! He’s and I”. “What the f** are you dribbling on about ?” say I trying to maintain a passive aggressive level of detachment and the same time inwardly panicking that ‘I’ is bad. At this point the ridiculously overpaid consultant / facilitator starts telling us all we are expected to act as One Team and that we are there to support each other. Bollocks, bollocks. He then turns to me and says “Well, what do you think you are ? An I – introvert, or an E – Extrovert’. So I blurt out “What the hell do you mean !? How dare you insult me with your bloody 4 letter bollocks ! I am obviously an E !! An E !! I am an extrovert !!” Then to my extreme displeasure, the masses start discussing my E/I balance as if I am not there.. “Listen to me ! I spend half my bloody life standing in front of the masses telling about things ! Of course I am an Extrovert “. Then a moment of silence. The consultant turns to me and with a pained expression of sympathy he says “But do you enjoy it ? Is it what you wanted to do ?”. He’s got me on the back foot but I come back fighting.”What the hell has that got to do with the price of eggs ! I do it coz I have to !” It’s weak and I know it. The caring, sharing team then spend the next half an hour trying to coax me out from under my desk. When I finally emerge, I wipe the tears away and sign the form in blood to confirm that, deep dowm, I am an ‘I’.

But there are some upsides. Our ‘One Team’ is sent to Belfast for a tree-hug with our NI cousins. And over a few beers in our hotel (which has the unfortunate record of being the most bombed hotel in Europe) we agree not to discuss Myers-Briggs (for fear of further kafuffle) and so focus on the ever-interesting pub staple topic of ‘My Favourite 3 Songs’. So what’s it going to be ? Do I reveal myself even further to this new set of friends ? “Well,” I start without really thinking this thing through properly “It’s going to be tough because there are about 250 songs to choose from of course..” Raised eyebrows around the table..”I think about this all the time..” Some start to shuffle a little..”but I would have to go with Sexy Sadie, A Day in the Life and err...probably In my Life”. One of them then mumbles “So, you’re a Beatle fan then..?”. Then they spot my Beatle cufflinks, then notice my tie has a pattern of (subtle, I think) little Apples. The person opposite then points out that my socks say Yeah, Yeah, Yeah. As I walk back to my hotel room I swear I hear one of them whisper “I knew he was an 'I'”.
I read that it is important to humour the ISTJ otherwise they are prone to dwell and obsess on memories and past events. Surely not ?

Later, I seek re-assurance from the kids. I tell them about this stupid, stupid thing called Myers-Briggs and that they should never get involved with it coz its like witchcraft. Should not have said that of course as this stirred their interest. The eldest (always least sympathetic) asks for an example of the type of question so I oblige "Well, for example, there is one question which goes like this ..'When you are with friends, do you find you are the one who normally gets the conversation going ?'". The youngest then looks at me and says without intended malice "Which friends are you talking about ?"

The therapy will be long and expensive