Google Nexus 7 inch 3G Tablet wt Wi-Fi

WOW! My new favourite toy by far…. loving my Google Nexus. I debated for a while what the point in having a tablet was….especially as I already have a smart phone. But, as I researched the craze of tablets and what the best were on the market, I totally found myself with Nexus envy!

I ended up holding out for the release of the 3G version of the 7 inch Wi-Fi…and a big 32GB! It was only a little more expensive and probably of better use in the long run. Since I’m still waiting to connect to 3G, I have been hanging out in coffee shops and bars, downloading all sorts of apps and a plethora of music while catching up on all the goss with friends and new acquaintances!

The music – OMG – the music is the best. definitely recommend the Bit Torrent app mixed with the KAT (Kick ass torrent) site for awesome and fast file sharing…. my music collection has jumped by almost 200 albums in 2 weeks! Great for long train and plane trips and the odd house party! Essential Mixes anyone?! But anyway, seriously, ditch the PC or laptop and grab a tablet! I love the fact it is small enough for a few jacket and jeans pockets, but plenty big enough to work off.

The resolution, pixels and colour is great, the sound good (I plug in high def headphones or speakers instead so my ears dance) and it weighs nothing! For the avid traveller, blogger and lover of beautiful and useful gadgets, this is the ultimate. Nothing in the same range really compares for me….. keep the ipad mini…. the Nexus doesn’t even have to be a ‘mini’ – it just IS! Oh, and keep the Kindle Fire HD….. I like Amazon, just don’t want to be married to it! Android software really is killing it in every way…. I suppose I get the best of both worlds… my smart phone is an iphone 4s….. between the 2 devices, i am set…. so I’m happy!

It really is crazy to think about how the world of travel and the technology we have has changed the way we connect with the with people, ourselves and the world itself. I’m totally happy and embracing the ‘new age’, as it were…

https://play.google.com/store/devices/details?id=nexus_7_32gb_hspa

What’s HOT in London theatre right now

Visiting rainy London in the next few months?  

Head indoors and catch a show (not a cold!)

SEXY & FUN

CABARET – A very limited run (15 weeks) at the Savoy to shake off the winter blues. Starring none other than Will Young, this latest adaptation is fun, sexy and camp…. guaranteed to titillate with innuendo and gratuitous nudity…. what else would you expect – Life is a cabaret old chum!

SPECTACULAR & SERIOUS

WAR HORSE – Even the Queen has seen his! Steven Spielberg recently made it into a film…don’t let that stop you from seeing this truly spectacular masterpiece of puppetry and storytelling…. a fine achievement and must see – book ahead!

FAMILY FAVOURITE

SINGING IN THE RAIN – A dominant theatre position in the West End, if you are a tourist you will find this with ease! A classy production with old school romance and charm – perfect family fun and a great intro to London musical theatre

MONSTER MUSICAL

WICKED – the runaway smash hit continues to pull in the crowds. Clever, witty and well staged account of life before Dorothy & the Wizard of Oz.  A multi award winning production and firm crowd favourite with an infectious spirit!

HIGH BROW

TWELFTH NIGHT or RICHARD III – what better city to see Shakespeare in than London?! For proper culture vultures, these two productions in particular feature the amazing Mark Rylance. The Apollo Theatre is hosting these two Shakespeare’s Globe productions – beg, borrow or steal tickets if you must, you’re in for a treat

Tales from Las Fallas Festival, Valencia

woman fire e1301561101677 Tales from Las Fallas Festival, Valencia, 2011

Guest blogger Ryan Bennett from HostelBookers’ contracting team has just got back from the loud, proud and crazy Las Fallas Festival in Valencia. He reports from the front line about what there is to see…

I’ve heard about this epic fire festival for years and I’m wrapped to have finally seen it. Las Fallas runs for a few weeks in March, but the last few days are the main event and not to be missed.

inc 225x300 Tales from Las Fallas Festival, Valencia, 2011According to the roughly 300-year-old tradition, the festivities begin on the first Sunday of March at 5am. Brass bands parade through the streets with a wake up call (La Desperta), and continue every day until the final burning.

This year the main event ran between 15-19 March, with the final night including ‘La Crema’ – the burning of all the ninots (Valencian for puppets).

We got a cheap flight into Valencia on the main day (Saturday morning) ready to party the weekend away.

The night of the burning is what I really wanted to see, but there is so much more on offer.

Things to see

As the festival centres around tradition, expect to see beautiful Valencians parading in costume, floral offerings from the ‘city virgins’, fire processions, children running amok with firecrackers and delicious churros and chocolate on every corner.

crazy fallas 225x300 Tales from Las Fallas Festival, Valencia, 2011There are little children’s ninots everywhere and the corresponding giant falla (big figures) are protected by barricades.

The falla at Plaza Na Jordana is always spectacular – they’ve won the major artistic merit prize for creativity and originality a dozen times. This year did not disappoint – a giant skeleton/reaper with sheath sitting on a tomb. The theme was hell and it was designed to burn slow.

The main falla I saw was a majorly quick burn – the heat that came off it was searing.

If you’re going to view it first hand you may as well get in early and take front centre. As you can see, these giant paper mache figures are stuffed with fireworks, blown up and burned. There is so much art, love, life and light everywhere.

Check out my awesome vid

Pyromania at Las Fallas 2011!

Safety

Being in the front row we were warned to get back, but the crowd was huge and we had nowhere to go. Luckily for the more dangerous burns they have a fire truck nearby to douse the flames quickly should it get out of hand.

The cost and prize

man 150x150 Tales from Las Fallas Festival, Valencia, 2011Some of these giants, depicting comical figures, take almost a year to complete only to be sacrificed in a blazing inferno. Competition is fierce for the winning figure – and expensive.

Neighbourhoods can spend over €200,000 on their 20m, spectacular creations and use many a great artist to design these feted monuments.

The City Council does give grants, as the festival attracts huge crowds and is great for business. However, raising

fire 150x150 Tales from Las Fallas Festival, Valencia, 2011the rest of the money is usually from sponsors and donations.

While there is a monetary prize, it is definitely not what drives the festival which is awash with passion, fun and mild danger for all us pyromaniacs!

Gunpowder, rockets, bonfires, parades, tapas, sangria and mischief is in abundance, yet there doesn’t seem to be any serious trouble at all.

Why?

While the Valencians come out in force to celebrate the passing of winter, the festival is mostly in aid of their Patron Saint of Carpenters, St Joseph.

There is much folklore surrounding where, how and why the celebrations began. But the best part is that it does still revolve around tradition – taken to the highest extreme and turned into one of the best pyrotechnic displays in the world.

Simply awesome!