A View From The Tower

My Cousin The Magician

March 21st, 2013 by Raven Garcia

Two weeks ago my cousin George came to stay for the weekend. I have to admit I’d been looking forward to this for a long time, seeing as how he is now legally old enough to drink I would finally have the opportunity to show him a bit of the London I know. (Technically speaking it isn’t the first opportunity, but we won’t talk about the last one which involved an unfortunate incident on a bus in the night time).

George’s latest thing is magic tricks. I’d been to stay at his new place in Chichester the previous weekend and he’d shown me a few of his tricks there, and I have to say he’s pretty good. I’m not just saying that because he’s my couz, he is actually really good. Half of his tricks leave me wondering how he does them and even the ones I have worked out he still manages to do in a way that captivates you. Read the rest of this entry »

Guitar Zero

March 13th, 2013 by Raven Garcia

When my cousin George came to visit me a couple of weeks ago, he pulled out the dusty guitar which has been lying under my bed for the best part of about five years now. After a few minutes of tuning he was able to breathe some life into the old thing, and we started busting out the tunes. It’s kind of made me think, I feel bad for neglecting my guitar. I really should find the time to practice on it a bit more. There used to be a time when I wasn’t that bad. I got carried away in the moment and began looking at some of the best alvarez guitars online, maybe I’ll take some lessons or something.

Raven On Camden Town

March 12th, 2013 by Raven Garcia

Raven On Camden Town: A Response To Alex Miller


So I’ve just read this article by Alex Miller, entitled “Lord, I hate Camden Town”. And I have to admit, I have mixed feelings about the whole NW1 situation. There’s a sort of civil war going on at the moment between the two sides of Camden, and I feel like I need to step in as some kind of peacekeeper or something. Read the rest of this entry »

What A Rack!

March 10th, 2013 by Raven Garcia

It is my stepdad’s birthday at the end of the week. After weeks of racking my brains trying to work out what to get him, I took a look at the piles of DVDs in the living room. He loves his films, and has hundreds of movies on DVD, which – untidy as they look piled up against the thing that holds the DVD player and skybox, he still manages to keep them in perfect alphabetical order. So I’m thinking I might buy him a dvd rack to store his collection in. It’ll look much nicer and he’ll still be able to keep them in order, if anything it will make it easier to do so.

London’s Best Watering Holes

March 1st, 2013 by Raven Garcia
A look at some of the capital’s finest drinking establishments, for whatever occasion.

My cousin George is heading into town tomorrow. Now that he’s legally old enough to drink, I can tell he’s like I was at that age – a wide-eyed teenager standing in the doorway of the candy shop of life. God that last line made me sound really old. And slightly strange.

Still, I digress. He has just sent me a link on Facebook of Time Out’s best bars in London. Now, I had a look through the list. I’m not gonna lie to you, I had only heard of three of them and none of them would be the sort of place I would frequent. They all seem “swanky”, “upmarket”, and some even bordering on “pretentious”. But they are all certainly “pricey”. I don’t know why I’m talking like “this”.

Now, as somebody with thirteen years’ experience of drinking in London, I thought I’d put together my own list to show George that we don’t need Time Out to have a good time in the big city. Read the rest of this entry »

Here’s To My Health…

February 13th, 2013 by Raven Garcia

Two years ago, I decided to knock the drinking on the head during the week, and only have a drink at the weekends. I lasted until July. We won’t go into what happened after that.

I say I lasted until July, I did slip up a few times. I won the pub quiz one night with Neil and Thespina so I thought I’d have a couple of pints to celebrate. Then I had a really shitty day which finished with Arsenal getting knocked out of the Champions’ League, so I cracked and had a few that night. That was my only major slip-up, to be fair. Apart from giving up on the whole thing in July. Read the rest of this entry »

When There’s A Wheel, There’s A Way…

February 12th, 2013 by Raven Garcia

I was playing Scrabble on my iPhone the other day (Well, it wasn’t actually Scrabble, it was the free rip-off version Words With Friends, but it’s basically the same game except for the double and triple word scores are more evenly spaced out). Even though the game is called “Words With Friends”, it still allows you to play people who aren’t your friends by using the “Random Match” feature. So I was doing this the other day as all of my real friends were busy.

I play this game quite often, and I am aware that there are ways in which you can cheat. I personally don’t use them because I like the mental challenge, cheating would take the fun out of it for me. Although I seem to be pretty good enough without them. But it does bug me when you are playing against someone who is blatantly cheating. This became obvious to me when the random person played the word “PHENOLIC”. Apparently it is a real word. I looked it up. It’s something to do with plastics they use for making a caster wheel, which if you don’t know is the type of wheel they use on office chairs.

Some people take winning way too seriously. I’ll stick with Angry Birds in future.

SH#3: Dark Times

February 12th, 2013 by Raven Garcia

Dark Times – Still Here #3

“Still Here” is a reference to Steve McQueen’s portrayal of the titular character in the film “Papillon”, particularly the scenes where, despite all of the ordeals he faces throughout the film, he looks defiantly up at the heavens and says “I’m still here, you bastards!!”

I may not have been through as many horrifying ordeals as Steve, but I’ve had my fair share of ups and downs, and I’m still here. his could loosely be called a collection of my memoirs.




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The Wheels On The Luggage Go… Over My Foot

February 11th, 2013 by Raven Garcia

I’ve been watching a lot of clips of “Russell Howard’s Good News” show on YouTube recently, particularly the parts where on the Saturday shows he invites an up-and-coming stand up comic to come on stage and perform a 15-minute set. My favourite ones so far have been Daniel Simonsen, who is from Norway, and whose droll sense of humour I found quite entertaining (although I appreciate it’s not everyone’s cup of tea), and also Nathan Caton, who had me in stitches.

One thing that for some reason has stuck in my mind though, was one of the comedians (a guy called Alun Cochrane), made an interesting observation about suitcases. He basically pointed out that suitcases and wheels have both existed independently for years, so how come it took the human race so long to put the two together?? For some reason I got thinking about this. I mean, I wonder if the concept of wheels on luggage would extend to something like a mens leather briefcase like the ones city boys carry. Saying that though, today at the train station a woman ran over my foot with one of those wheely suitcases. So maybe they should be banned. Maybe we should go back to carrying them after all.

Rock ‘n’ Roll Wedding

January 24th, 2013 by Raven Garcia

My good friend Billy is getting married next weekend. He and his soon-to-be-wife Vikki are tying the knot next Saturday.

I’ve known Billy for about 8 years now and I’ve got a lot of time for him. He’s a bit of a rocker like me so we’ve always got on famously. Even his wedding is a bit rockabilly-themed, you know, 50’s hairstyles and leather jackets, etc.

I’m agonising over what to get him for a wedding present. I wish I could afford one of those cool Jackson guitars. He’d love one of those. Instead I think I’ll just be boring and put some vouchers in an envelope or something. As long as it gets me access to the buffet I don’t mind.

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