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Tuesday, 30 May 2017

Kingsman & Huntsman

The first thing every gentleman needs is a good suit.  By which I mean a bespoke suit.

Location: London, England
Address: 11 Saville Row
Date: August 2015
Website: www.huntsmansavilerow.com

  Saville Row has been the place for bespoke tailoring in London since the early 1800s.  Bespoke tailoring is a custom made suit that is cut to perfectly fit the individual.  Usually you buy a suit and they will take it in or let it out to make it fit better.  Bespoke is the high end of tailoring.  We visited one of the shops on a drizzly evening as we headed out for dinner.  We visited a shop called Huntsman, not for a good fitting suit, but for a different reason altogether.

Huntsman & Sons.

  The Hunstman shop at 11 Seville Row made an appearance in the movie Kingsman: The Secret Service.  In the movie the tailor shop is called Kingsman and houses a secret spy headquarters filled with gadgets and hidden rooms.  Harry Hart (Colin Firth) is a spy who wants to train a young lad called Eggsy (Taron Egerton) and brings him to the tailor shop.  Hunstman provided not just the location, but the suits for the fictional Kingsman.  Samuel L. Jackson and Michael Cane also get to dress in style as part of the cast.  Real life clients include the Royal family, Clark Gable, David Bowie and Ronald Reagan.

I Spy.

  The shop was closed when we visited or we may have attempted to venture inside.  We didn't see any obvious spy activity, except for the car (above) that turned on with no driver inside.  What will they think of next? 

Map of Our World
Huntsman & Sons
Post # 178

Saturday, 20 May 2017

The Safety Dance

A place where they will never find.

Location: West Kington, England
Address: Drifton Hill
Date: September 2015
Website: www.menwithouthats.com

  "We can go where we want to. A place where they will never find."  It may seem like an unlikely place for Canadian band Men Without Hats to film their Safety Dance video, but thanks to some internet research and a very informative blog, we paid a visit to this special place.

S...H...E...E...P...Y  Sheepy Dance.

  West Kington is a small village that is located north of Bath and east of Bristol.  We were traveling along the M4 highway and had a plan mapped out before we left.  We made a few wrong turns but eventually reached our first sheep filled destination.

Cause your sheep don't dance and if they don't dance, well they're no sheep of mine.

  Ebbdown Farm is in the background of the opening scenes of the video.  We don't recall seeing any sheep in the video, but when we visited they were everywhere.  If we walked close to a fence we would hear some baa-ing as they ran away on the other side.  The farm is located just a short drive from West Kington.

Sheep Without Hats.

  We drove our car up to a cattle guard at the gate of the farm.  Cattle guards also work at preventing sheep from crossing them as they have similar feet. Anyway, enough about the sheep let's get back to the video locations. 

We can dance.

  The video starts off with lead singer Ivan running through a field with a little court jester.  They go past this wall and then run down to the road that leads to the farm.

We can act like we come from out of this world.

  It is here that they are joined by a dancing girl and come to a crossroads.  You can't see the other road as it is hidden behind the hill and tree, but they choose the one on the left.  The action then moves to West Kington.

Watersweet Post Box.

   The jester and girl dance along beside Ivan as he walks past some houses.  The home above still had the same red post box in front of it.

It's The Safety Dance.
Everybody look at your hands.

  Next we come across the gate where they do The Safety Dance.  The utility pole in the background helped us know that this was the place.  To do The Safety Dance you use both of your arms.  Your left arm goes right over your head and your right arm goes left across your waist in a jerky motion.  Now look at your hands.  If you are doing it right it will appear like you just formed an S.

We can leave your friends behind.  Or maybe they should come party with us.

  A crowd of people dressed in costumes head across the little bridge and march down the street.  They were all dressed real neat from their hats to their feet.  They would be heading towards the photographer in the photo above.

Everything's out of control.

  They all seem to be going to a May Day festival which takes place in the courtyard of this building.  There are people dressed as barnyard animals (but not sheep), there is a Punch & Judy puppet show and lots of dancing.  We can dance!

They're doing it from pole to pole.

  A group of people are dancing around a May pole as Ivan continues to sing.  The party continues for the rest of the video.  The Safety Dance came out in 1983 and was one of the more memorable videos and songs from the 80's.  Thirty years ago we were wondering what those strange people in the video were doing.  Today we know first hand exactly where they did it, but we still have no idea what The Safety Dance really is.  Oh well! They can dance if they want to.

And we can dance. It's the Safety Dance.

Map of Our World
Ebbdown Farm , West Kington

Post # 177

Monday, 15 May 2017

The Blue Door (Notting Hill)

The Famous Blue Door.

Location: London, England
Address: 280 Westbourne Park Rd.
Date: September 2015
Website: www.visitlondon.com

  There is a famous film location which can be found on Westbourne Park Road in London, England.  It is located in the Notting Hill area and is from a film of the same name.  In Notting Hill, William (Hugh Grant) is a bookstore owner who lives in a flat with a blue painted door.  He lives there with his roommate Spike (Rhys Ifrans).  In the movie the door and pillars in the photo above are all painted blue.  At least when we arrived to check out this location the door was still blue.
  In the film, William meets movie star Anna Scott (Julia Roberts) in his bookstore and they start a relationship.  Things don't work out until suddenly one day Anna is there at the blue door.  She is looking for a place to hide out since some nude photos of her have surfaced in the press.  Will agrees to let her stay and they spend the night together.  The next morning the press has figured out where Anna is hiding and when Will goes to open the front door he is met with the flash of many cameras.  Anna comes to the door and is horrified to realize they know she is there.  Despite receiving a warning from William, Spike also ventures out in his underwear.  He loves all the attention and strikes a few poses before returning inside very pleased with himself.
  We played the part of the paparazzi and snapped a few photos ourselves in order to remember these movie moments.

Map of Our World
The Blue Door

Post # 176