Real meals: Cereal Killer Café

To the Cereal Killer Café on Brick Lane in Shoreditch – at the very epicentre of London’s hipsterville. Yes, yes, I know, I probably should have hied me hither a few weeks ago, immediately after the establishment had been subjected to an all-out attack by two hundred anarchist rioters wearing pig masks and carrying flaming brands, who threw paint and, err . . . cereal at the whacky eatery. I hung fire because I suspected the cereal riot might be the beginning of a widespread revolt against foodie absurdity, and why waste ink and pixels on such a sideshow when Nigella Lawson, Jamie Oliver and Gordon Ramsay would soon be flambéed at the stake in Trafalgar Square?

Arsenalna, Kyiv: the deepest underground station in the world

Here’s how Louis-Ferdinand Céline characterises travel in his trippy 1932 novel, Journey to the End of the Night: “An infinity opens up just for you – a laughable little infinity; and you fall into it.” Maybe so, yet sometimes – just sometimes – the falling into that laughable infinity is enough to justify all the very grindingly finite journeys we take in our lives; for if one thing seems beyond dispute, it is that no sooner has the circumnavigation of the kitchen table been completed than the man-haul to the kettle begins.

Real meals: macaroon madness

Whither the macaroon? I concede that, for those of you condemned to the provinces, this may not seem a pressing concern – unlike being forced to accept elected mayors with spurious powers so that the Chancellor of the Exchequer can burnish his credentials as a devolutionist. However, in this metropolis and many other cities besides, the worst has already happened in terms of local governance, while the bourgeoisie are ascending in a giddy, spiralling fugue-state of hyperglycaemia caused by overindulgence in small, almond-flavoured sweetmeats.

The madness of crowds: Stewart Lee and audience approval

one a fair amount of solo performing throughout my career – in fact, I started out as a stand-up comedian, and from time to time I revisit that sort of shtick, doing little gigs in the upstairs rooms of pubs. But mostly I do “shows” of one sort or another to support the publication of my books. Time was when these public readings were convened in the big chain bookstores: Waterstones, Blackwell’s and – before its demise – Borders. Audiences might be relatively small, but they had usually chipped up because they were interested in the writing; the live act was just an add-on.