Girls, travel, rockets, transport, hotels, films, Martinis, wine, music, food and ranting!

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Brande Roderick: Californian Wine Girl

We haven't had a babe on the site for some time, surprisingly, and all this talk about Pinot Noir means that the most appropriate pictures are of Playboy Playmate Brande (why can't Americans spell?) Roderick in a Californian vineyard.

This was certainly an inspired idea by the art director of this shoot. The concept of taut young girls with bare legs treading squishy grapes is a strong one but these seem to be the only such pictures on the net, although there was an enjoyable girlie grape treading scene in one of the later pink Panther films. Agent Triple P thinks that there is a window for a specialist erotic website here. You can have Californian girls, Australian girls, French girls, Italian girls, South African girls etc. all getting nice and juicy in their home vineyards. Grapetastic!

We wonder how much it would cost to get a tub of grapes delivered to our hotel suite next time we are in California so we can get S and A to crush them?  We are sure that at a good Beverly Hills hotel like the Beverly Hilton or the Beverly Wilshire they could arrange it for you.

We'd like to see S and A just wearing little white cotton vests and nothing else, we think. Ideal treading attire.  We're not sure whether these grapes are Pinot Noir or not.

Here are some real Pinot Noir for comparison.

Californian born Brande was born in 1974 and was twenty-six when she appeared in Playboy in 2000 for this pictorial.  As a result she was hired by the producers of Baywatch, which was then very much on it's last (tanned) legs and had moved location from California to Hawaii after the eco-loony Australians stopped the planned filming near Sydney because of potential damage to the envionment.

She was elected Playboy Playmate of the year, the first Baywatch girl to actually achieve this even though previous Playboy Playmates had been centrefolds (Erika Eleniak, Pamela Anderson, Donna D'Errico).

She married a former American football star and plans to live in Hawaii.

Gallo Turning Leaf Pinot Noir 2005

Agent Triple P fancied a Californian Pinot Noir last night but it isn't easy to come by over here. The new posh wine shop in the village (most wines start at £10 a bottle) only had one American red before Christmas and that was a Virginian (!) Cabernet.

We picked up the Gallo in Tesco for £6.99 and it wasn't bad. Didn't have great length but it was definitely a Pinot Noir with a nice cherry taste. It had what is technically known as a Stelvin closure (i.e. a screw cap) which we are coming to appreciate more and more as a sensible way to seal wine bottles.

All this interest in Californian Pinot Noir is down, of course, to S and A our naughty Californian friends. It takes a girlie (or in this case two) to get us to try something new (!). We have always had good experiences with girls who like red wine but there are still a depressing number who only like white. Ever since VA (a Rioja girl) and SC the paratrooper's daughter (a Southern Rhone girl) we have realised that red wine girls are more likely to be that little bit more interesting. Perhaps it is because red wine is a more sensual experience than white and, therefore, the girls who like it tend to be more sensual and passionate (that is certainly our experience anyway!)

Lip Balm

We were in Brighton yesterday walking along, in their rather depressing shopping centre, when the woman walking across Triple P's path stops dead so suddenly that we nearly collided with her. Actually she was rather nice, in a kind of tennis mum sort of way. It was a near enough miss that she smiled and apologised, anyway.
But what was it that caused her to stop dead in her tracks like that? She had to reach into her handbag, get out a silly little tube and apply lip balm! So does it go: "Walk walk, swing the hips quite nicely, think about a new handbag, clip clop along in my nice suede boots and black tights, make my skater skirt swirl and then BANG! EMERGENCY! STOP! I need to put on lip balm!"? Did she suddenly feel her lips cracking? Did she realise that she hadn't put any on that day? How do women's minds work (if they do, at all?)?

What is lip balm for, anyway? Women seem to use it all the time. The only time I used some, when somewhere very cold in Canada (and only because S made me) it felt like having slimy scum on my lips. A horrible sensation. It's one of those things only girls do; like eating yoghurt, putting their mobile phones on the table next to them when they are out and thinking that shoes are interesting.
It's just another useless product invented by multi-national cosmetics companies that you don't need but they can persuade you to buy anyway.

It's all very weird!

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Pork Pie

Christmas isn't Christmas without pork pie. You can keep all your cold Turkey and cold bacon rolls (which always turn the consistency of leather anyway) but pork pie is something else.

Of course, we shouldn't eat it and we were planning to be good but our miserable Christmas lunch made us want to get something nice, at least, this holiday. We are not one of those people who worries that it's made from pigs' ears and what not; after all if you are happy eating cow's arse what's the difference in eating pigs snout, trotters or ears? Let's face it the Germans eat all the peripheral bits of a pig in a soup. Er, yes. Maybe a point there, after all.

Never mind, we have bought a Tesco Finest Melton Mowbray pie which cost a fortune compared to your bog standard one. We hope it's worth it! We will have it with wholegrain mustard and pickled onions. Excellent!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Get a bloomin' move on! 2

I was in Waitrose today, queuing up at the delicatessen counter to get some chorizo and some sunblush tomatoes and some old person was holding everything up. There was only one girl on the counter and this idiot was buying four ounces of cheddar. So she has to unwrap, it move it to the cheesewire, ask him how much he wanted, he then changed his mind three times before deciding. Then she had to cut, it wrap it, bag it, weigh it, print a label and stick it on the bag and return the main bit of cheese to the counter. Then he wanted five (five?) ounces of Red Leicester. For heavens sake. The whole procedure all over again. Then three slices of ham. How thick? etc etc. Then eight slices of corned beef. The a dozen olives. GOOD GRIEF!!!!!

They have all this stuff ready wrapped or in a can in the main part of the supermarket. Get your frackin' cheese and corned beef there!! It's not Harrods food hall; it's a supermarket! Fair enough on ham, I suppose, but not all the other stuff. It's cheaper and probably fresher from the shelves. Don't tell me it's because you are poor either and can only afford five ounces of cheese and not eight. If you were poor you wouldn't be shopping in Waitrose you'd be in ASDA of Morrisons!

By this time there were five people waiting. Don't you have any sense of embarrassment? Sixteen minutes it took!

Get a bloomin' move on!

Get a bloomin' move on! 1

I was out driving Christmas night at about the time Dr Who was on so, of course, there were hardly any cars on the road. So it was really annoying to get stuck behind cars going really slowly when you could see they had completely empty road in front of them. Why do people drive slowly when there is nothing ahead? Not just stick to the speed limit slowly but well below the speed limit slowly. 30 mph in a 40 mph zone. Grrr. Driving isn't fun (not that sort of driving anyway) it's a method of getting from A to B as quickly as possible. Don't you want to get to wherever you are going quicker? Why drag it out even longer by going so slowly?

My father always reckoned that the slowest drivers on the roads were the drivers of sludge covered Austin Maxis. Yet in this area you get old people with new Mercedes and BMWs driving them as if they were old Morris Minors.

Get a bloomin' move on!

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Christmas stuffing?

Agent DVD employs a Christmas chef for a good stuffing

Well, Agent Triple P had the most austere Christmas lunch imaginable outside of the Sudan. One slice of turkey, one dessertspoon of dry stuffing and ten sprouts. No wine either. Hey ho! We don't feel too upset as my normal eating habits and venues make it seem like Christmas every week. Nevertheless we are tempted to see what Christmas treats are in the sales given the calories we have saved today. A nice game pie keeps floating into my consciousness.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Ho! Ho! Ho!

Actually there are four of them so it should be Ho! Ho! Ho! Ho!

Agent Triple P hates Christmas and given he has to drive tomorrow he can't even have any wine from A's large cellar. Grr! So he has bought himself a nice bottle of Californian Shiraz and some rather nice cheese to have tonight.

Alesha Wins!

Agent Triple P is delighted that Alesha Dixon has won Strictly Come Dancing. For once the right person won a reality show. We are looking forward to seeing a lot more of Alesha's bubbly bust on TV over the next year. Rumour has it that she has already been signed up for Chicago in the West End. Slinktastic!


Agent Triple P hates Christmas and all the ghastly commercialism and consumerism attached to it these days. Everyone knows what Christmas should be about. Televison. Yes, the greatest joy of TV past was all the blockbuster films you would get on over the Christmas period and this is what made the double Christmas edition of the Radio and TV Times the most exciting magazines of the year. Now, however, with video recording and DVDs of blockbusters out within months of them being on at the cinemas (you used to have to wait three years before they appeared on TV) most of the fun of Christmas has gone.

Now it's all just a nightmare of present buying and tedious wrapping for people you'd rather not get presents for at all. Particularly, when you know you are spending much more on them than they are on you. How, then is this an exchange?

So, given this, what has happened to the material that literally holds Christmas together? Sellotape.

Sellotape (or at least adhesive tape) was, we are afraid to say, invented by the French, in the 1930's. The patent was purchased for the UK in 1937 by Messrs Gray and Kininmonth who invented the name Sellotape (it was made from applying rubber resin to cellophane film). It is now, in Britain, a classic genericised trademark (like Hoover) although not in the uncivilised bits of the world.

This is all very well, but the key things we remember is that if you bought any other manufacturers' cheaper sticky tape it was not as good as Sellotape. It would break off awkwardly and leave you scratching around looking for the end on the roll or tear lengthwise so you would end up with a long thin strip coming off. Sellotape was thicker and more reliable.

Today, however, Sellotape is just as useless as everyone else's. It's thin and brittle and tears in all the wrong places. Why is this?

Our theory is that since 2002 Sellotape (which used to be made in Acton) has been owned by the Henkel company from Dusseldorf. Now as the Krauts have a strange love for environmental issues (given that their motor industry churns out huge numbers of vast petrol guzzling monsters every day) we are sure that they have changed the composition of the tape to make it more "green" (shudder). So, whilst it may be more biodegradable it is useless for wrapping purposes.

Surely there is an opportunity for Chinese industry here? Go and produce non-biodegradable sticky tape which doesn't fall to pieces as you try to get it off the roll. Then we can all have a slightly less annoying Christmas. Rubbery!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Traffic Lights: the North Korean Alternative

We had a visit from a group from North Korea this week. Always slightly scary to know that you are on their database.

We have never been to Pyongyang (although we nearly did once) but apparently they do not have traffic lights there. Instead they employ rather smart uniformed girls at every junction. They don't seem to have any protection from the traffic, they just stand in little circles painted on the road, blow their whistles and wave their batons in a pre-set way which indicates the equivalent of red, amber and green. Indeed, North Korean drivers have to learn these signals as part of their driving test.

Presumably they use girls because they are cheaper and quicker to replace than traffic lights if they get hit by a large lorry carrying yet another statue of the Leader.

Shut the door!

As Agent DVD has pointed out, why don't people close the doors behind them when they are the last ones to get on trains in this freezing weather? Yes, we know that they close automatically but even ten seconds with the door open in this weather can reduce the temperature in the carriage considerably, Brrr! think about someone other than yourselves poo-heads!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Dead Strange from Italy

2007 Calendar: fetching top hats

The lovely B sent me a link to an Italian Coffin manufacturer's calendar.

2003: Their first calendar. Oh dear, I think they must have had an art director for this one.

Only in Italy would they stick girlies next to coffins but Cofanifunebri produce one of these every year, it seems.

2006: Girls, bondage, coffins. What's not to like?

What is even more odd than sticking scantily clad girls next to coffins is why B was looking at coffin manufacturers' sites at all.

And just in case you thought it was a fake:

2008 Calendar: going all up-market
For next year's calendar the girls are looking what passes for sophisticated in this sort of photography (not that there is a whole lot of girls and coffins photography out there).

2005: Hand built by rather ropey looking girls

For 2005 they went into their own workshops to demonstrate how their high quality product was produced by low-rent looking girls.

2004: words fail me, actually.

The 2004 edition was still bi-monthly and looked like a rather cheaper effort than 2003. Not the coffin, the girl.

Mama mia!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

New Line Announces The Hobbit

New Line Cinema and Peter Jackson have patched up their differences and have announced today that they will be making a film of The Hobbit for release in 2010 with a "sequel" dealing with events between The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings being released a year later.

Agent Triple P loved the three Lord of the Rings films for many reasons but principal amongst them was the fabulously realised design and art direction. We are delighted that the same attention to detail and craftsmen will, hopefully, be involved in The Hobbit as Peter Jackson will be Executive Producer.

Miss Belgium in trouble over bad language

"Hroot, toot vandernoot!" "Quoi?"

A big Belgian theme today as that's where we are supposed to be today, Brussels, but am not for various reasons. This does get us out of dinner with the terrifying A, we suppose.

Well, Alizée Poulicek, the new Miss Belgium is in trouble as she doesn't speak Flemish and was booed by the Antwerp crowd, during the competition, for conducting her post winner's interview in French. You would have thought that a country that has taken six months to form a government would have other things on it's mind but no, language is a key issue in the home of Godiva.

The main thing we would have been concerned about is that Poulicek is really a Czech; only her mother is Belgian and everywhere on the net she is described as "Czech model" Alizée Poulicek.

The key issue of course is that Belgium isn't a proper country! It's a bastard Frankenstein creation that's only existed since 1830. Everyone knows that Belgium only has two purposes: to produce over-priced chocolate and to be a jolly good battlefield. Chop it in half and give one bit to the French and the other bit to the Dutch (and a little bit to the Germans if you are a completist) we say!

Godiva Card

Now, as a diabetic you wouldn't think that Agent Triple P would have any need for a Godiva loyalty card but one arrived in the post this week nonetheless. In fact, of course, if you add up the number of women we routinely upset and need to apologise to or try to seduce then it requires us to buy quite a lot of Godiva; we calculate about £50 a month.

So, we are very pleased to be building up useful little chocolate points towards dealing with future indiscretions of whatever type.

Monday, December 17, 2007

New French Presidential ride

No, not the official car; we assume that President Sarkozy is still using the dull Citroen C6 (let's face it no-one else bought one), but the news today that the fifty-three year old leader of Frogdom has dumped his wife Cecilia and now is being seen around Euro Disney with serial old rocker-bonker Carla Bruni (39).

Fair enough, says Agent Triple P, Miss Bruni has just the sort of figure we like. We hate to admit that anything a snail-muncher does is superior to anything an Englishman does but just contrast the vision above with the apparition below. It's obviously not just your National Anthem that's better, my little froggie chums.

Sulky Come Dancing

Tetchy twiglet Camilla Dallerup apparently threw a strop after being chucked out of Strictly Come Dancing with Gethin Jones at the weekend. Seems the skinny Scandinavian really wanted to be in the final. Never mind Camilla, why don't you cheer yourself up with a nice big box of chocolates? No, celery won't do!

Gethin at least can console himself with more jigging time with Welsh lovely, Katherine Jenkins.

Milkshake, Gethin?

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Fontainebleau Hotel, Miami Beach

The characteristic curve of the Chateau Tower.

Agent Triple P was recently in Miami Beach, where he had to stay for a day whilst waiting for a flight back to London.

The Fontainebleau in the opening of Goldfinger

We were impressed by the city and had always wanted to stay there ever since we first saw the opening titles of Goldfinger. This featured a wonderful tracking aerial shot (in the days when aerial shots weren't that common) of the hotels along the beach which then zoomed around the hotel Fontainebleau to the pool area, perfectly synchronised to a man diving off a high board, where the key scene with Goldfinger would be played out. And all to John Barry's swaggering Into Miami theme: a perfect piece of cinema!

The Fontainebleau Pool from Goldfinger

Actually, of course, only Cec Linder, playing Felix Leiter, actually went to the Fontainebleau; Connery and Gert Frobe shot their scenes on a recreation of the pool area at Pinewood, hence some very dodgy back projection. Sadly, the original pool is no longer there having been replaced by Hilton when they owned the hotel a few years ago.

The Chateau Tower today

The Fontainebleau hotel James Bond stayed in in the film had a distinctive, curved main building, the Chateau Tower. Opened in 1954 the hotel was designed by Morris Lapidus (1902-2001) it rapidly became the must stay at place in Florida for the likes of Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, and Dwight D Eisenhower and helped regenerate the whole area.

The hotel in the fifties.

The 22 acre site today

Lapidus had already designed five major hotels along the beach and designed several more, essentially establishing the character of Miami Beach. He wasn't always appreciated at the time as the architectural world was in the throws of brutal modernism and his more cursive style, which would later be called post-modern, was considered rather idiosyncratic. His reputation, particularly in Europe, has increased in the last ten years or so.

Lapidus wrote, of the Fontainebleau, that, "American taste was being influenced by the greatest mass media of entertainment of that time, the movies.... So I designed a movie set!" Indeed the hotel has featured in many other films including The Bell Boy, The Bodyguard and The Specialist (one of Agent DVD's all time un-favourites!) but is now closed (except for one tower which is not part of Lapidus' original design) whilst it undergoes a $1 billion renovation. This will see a nod back to it's fifties origins; nearly all the original interiors having disappeared, like the pool, in subsequent renovations.

Lapidus' interiors were what he was really renowned for and the current owners of the hotel are restoring key features like his famous bow-tie pattern lobby.

Designs for the new lobby

The original lobby

This is the reason Agent Triple P did not stay there on his brief (22 hour) visit to Miami Beach. It re-opens next year and so we will just have to ensure that our return is timed properly! The website for the resort has animations of the new hotel but it suffers from crass Americanisation which pronounces the name of the place as "Fountain Blue". Ghastly!

Friday, December 14, 2007

Strictly Katherine Jenkins

Camilla: Needs a good lunch or fifty.

Slightly annoying Taffy Blue Peter presenter, Gethin Jones, has to dance with the skinniest professional dancer on Strictly Come Dancing: underfed Dane, Camilla Dallerup. Interestingly his taste obviously tends more towards the Agent DVD-prefered profile as he has apparently hooked up with fellow leek-eater, warbler Katherine Jenkins, following her appearance on the show.

There'll be a welcome in the hillsides for Gethin

Nothing emaciated about Katherine, who consistenly showcases her fine pair of lungs whenever she is out in public.

Monday, December 10, 2007

St Trinians premier

Jodie Whittaker (25) looks quite splendid and Mischa Barton (21) looks quite cute in long socks in the new St Trinians movie.

Well, jolly annoyed today as Agent Triple P had to meet a couple of chaps in a wine bar in Leicester Square and just around the corner was the World premier of the new St Trinians film.

Newcomer Gemma Arterton not looking at all like a schoolgirl

Even more annoying was the fact that S had tickets to the premier! Grr!

Three fifths of Girls Aloud. Actually, Nicola (left) the famously "ugly one" is the only one here who doesn't look ropey.

Now on so many levels a remake of St Trinians should be an ideal film for Agent Triple P but we suspect it will be a stinker of such magnitude that it will make Nuns on the Run look like Some Like it Hot. Even the presence of Girls Aloud in the film (and, curses, on tonight's red carpet) will not, I suspect, make it a must watch; especially as its being done by the man responsible for the Spice Girls film.

Now these are naughty schoolgirls.

As Colin Firth (who's in it) said recently "I thought it would be really pervy until I saw the originals from the fifties and then I realised how mild it was". Indeed lots of blogs have been showing stills from the film and then agonising over it sexualising schoolgirls and the men (good grief) wh0 write them have been saying how they are not comfortable about it. For heaven's sake, they are twenty something actresses pretending to be schoolgirls! It will also no doubt be full of politically correct "girl power". That's not the problem. The real problem is that there are so many real schoolgirls today dressing in microskirts and looking like prostitutes that the whole image has no shock or indeed, we suspect, titillation value at all these days; for exactly the same reasons that a Carry On film wouldn't work now either.

Now these are women you want to see dressed as schoolgirls: Sabrina (above) and Lisa Gastoni (below).

Much better to stick to the originals we say!