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So, on Friday I decided to go and see Tracks at the Arthouse, a film about a young woman who decided to walk 1,700 miles across Australian desert accompanies by camels. The film's promoters worked their fluence on me by publishing an extract from the book on which it's based in last week's colour supplement, and sure enough the idea took root. I pretty much enjoyed the film. It's mainly feel-good and scenic with minor dramatic content, but I didn't check my watch once during the whole thing, so I must have been gripped. The venue is a miracle of miniaturisation and works pretty well. I was sitting in the upstairs live space, directly between the surround sound speakers, so the ads for BMW beforehand with the engine noise pinging across behind me were borderline dramatic. A couple of people nearer the front did move seats to avoid sitting behind a hand rail, which may be a tad too high to see over properly.
From the bar I chose Kamiya Red, which was an excellent choice and tasted good even from the auditorium friendly plastic.
Saturday evening was the time to try the Ohba Leaf, the current incarnation of what was until recently Nakama. The new layout enables a few more tables to be set out, but without overcrowding. There were customers in at 6:30 ish when we went, and several tables were 'reserved' so there is some atmosphere. Meals are reasonably priced, which I think may be a good thing so we had two starters (edamame beans and chicken skewers), sashimi bento and egg noodles with tempura for main, and banana tempura for afters , all for about £35, though admittedly there is as yet no liquor licence so we were drinking tea. I will certainly go back.
The reason for dining early was to get round to the Three Compasses swing evening - a jazz band and Swing Patrol and Choir. The place was packed and Swing Patrol always means a jolly crowd wearing Glenn Miller period outfits. The Orchid mild was a good pint too. The Three Compasses continues to provide many evenings of entertainment, including a fundraiser for Haringey Foodbanks on May 10th.
All this just a few yards from my front door! and entirely without the aid of a Festivall