Saturday, December 30, 2006

Best. Piece. Of. Internet. Ever.

My head hurts. I can't take anymore. No more boozy nights. No more. Enough. No more staggering through Clapham in the early wee hours, clutching our heads/a bottle of JD/the pavement. No more waking up and wondering who I am, where was I and what became of dignity etc. No more dancing to Xanadu. No more losing the ticket to the cloakroom. No more hurling money at McDonalds staff for 'food'.

Liver says no. Please no.

I never thought I would say this, but thank goodness 'party season' is nearly over and we can all make a pretence at sobriety for ten minutes in January. Please. The toilet can't manage much more of this madness...

But! Thanks to stumbling across the marvellous Blue Cat, I have come across the funniest bit of the internet. Ever. It's about that tornado that hit North London (Capital city. Not a lot happens here, you know) and can be found here.

Please, I urge you to read it. But not while drinking anything or trying to get any work done.

Can't form sentences. Laughing too hard. There are so many lines of pure genius in there. What got me were the thick Edwardian walls, which tells you a lot about me, I think.

I demand pictures of Happy the cat.

I am vanishing off to darkest Norfolk for NYE 2006. Best Friend and I had a plan to always spend NYE abroad and on foreign soil. This has lasted now three years. Norfolk is, after all, practically another country.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Back passages (titter ye not)

Londonist is mapping London's alleyways and passages, go here.

I love this bit of code, and the way when you choose one it brings up a picture. V good. I shall be cross-referencing (pauses to push NHS specs back up nose) with this, which I am reading at the moment (when the vicious Christmas elves leave me in peace for five minutes, which hasn't happened much lately. Oh my liver, Oh.):

It's a fascinating read, though a little bit all over the shop in terms of the writing (get me, literary critic extraordinaire). It is furnishing me with lots of 'Did you know's' for impressing people at Christmas parties (pushes up specs again).

We've had a lot of fog around these parts of late. I found myself quite literally whooshing over to Oxford for a work meeting this week, and some of the countryside looked beautiful, emerging slowly from the prevailing fog, with a thick frost layering across it. What has happened to any semblence of sentence structure? Well. Here's a badly taken and almost blurred-to-the-point-of-incomprehension cameraphone picture of ther aforementioned ground conditions, to compliment the imagery.

Do enjoy.

Todays mission: wrapping papper.

What do you mean, I'm leaving it to the last minute..?

Saturday, December 23, 2006

HRRNNKK!! Non-festive post alert!

This advert is brilliant, but makes me want to cry a little bit, and just generally take care of the ASIMO. What if someone's mean to it, or it gets lost!? I feel this even more after seeing this news story.

I'm pretty sure that a lot of the advert has been shot at the wonderful Science Museum. I used to love going as a kid - and pressing every button I could get my hands on. I remember it so clearly.

However, I made the mistake of taking my nephew once and trying to share this with him. We got there just after it opened and headed straight up for the top floor, where they keep the medical science collection.

It was very creepy, with all the mannequins and pointy instruments, and total lack of anyone else being around. Uncle Boz was trying hard to keep a lid on his mounting terror. The nine-year old was less bovvered.

Anyway. Whoever is doing Honda's adverts, is very clever, and clearly well-paid. Well done there.

But neither advert are as good as this much, much cheaper one for Travelocity, which has me in tears of laughter:

"Hi. I'm Carl and I just wanna take care of you..."

Now. Must get on. The final of Strictly Come Dancing is on. I didn't think I would get into this. But, d'you know, I have.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Christmas Wrapping: Musings on festive gift shopping

I have discovered five cardinal rules of Christmas shopping. They are thusly:

ONE: Never beat yourself up for instantly forgetting all those wonderful things you saw throughout the year that made you think "Ah! That would be perfect for X!" or "Y would just adore that, and think me the most witty, stylish and thoughtful of friends!".

For starters, you should stop making friends with people whose name is but a single letter of the alphabet; they are only trouble. But secondly you should remember that chances are even if you could remember them, they would no longer be on sale or available, and should you have bought them when you saw them in July and stored them away for Christmas, mold/mice/moths/nephews would have reached them. And no one likes people who are that organised anyway.

Likewise, get over not getting down to it sooner. You had important appointments with bar people, dammit.

TWO: Time is limited - pick one good part of town and do everything there.

People are far more easily pleased than you would imagine. Not every gift has to be the pinnacle of sophistication, originality and taste. you are only setting yourself up for failure and unobtainable standards. Do not fear the request for receipts, nine times out of ten it is a sign that a person feels comfortable with you.

Likewise, try not to have some kind of breakdown if the branch of the shop you have visited doesn't have the thing you wanted. Remain polite and dignified at all times. Elegance is our watchword. Your inner-shopper will be distracted by murderous thoughts of lairy shop assistants.

And when you get home and discover you have separately bought three things that could have been part of a 'three for two' offer, remain calm and remember that worse things happen at sea.

Being trapped on a cruise full of cheerful octagenarians learning how to rhumba, for example.

THREE: Always get a few generic spare presents. The horror of being presented with a hand-wrapped gift from someone who you had relied on to dish out nothing more than a nice card is a challenge for even the most socially capable.

The phrase that runs through my mind on such an occasion is "I bet this never happens to the Queen-slash-Elton John...".

FOUR: Seek guidance.

I would love to think I am a 'down and with' uber-cool uncle ("Nang! Book!" Oh ask a kid...). I'm not really, and that's fine. Therefore, it's advisable to consult a parent, co-parent or handy under-ten for advice on at least part of the present. Better still - ask the child itself what it wants. Spending insane quantities of money of a gift your inner child things is really cool may not result in yelps of happiness from your local eight year old. Chances are your inner child is at least twenty years out of touch.

Don't even think about an ethical gift for anyone under twenty, unless they really are going through 'that stage' and have specifically asked for a goat to be sent to an African village. Even then, buy them a book to wrap up. Otherwise save all that for events outside of Birthdays and Christmas.

And don't go expecting a nice thank you note. Weep tears of gratitude at an SMS message and shush.

FIVE: When the wholenerve-wracking, Krypton Factor-esque endurance feat of tghe shopping day itself is over, never, ever, EVER tally up what you have spent. You will only want to cry. And then you'll only feel crap about feeling guilty about how much you have sepnt. It's an ever decreasing circle of latter day self-loathing about conspicuous consumption.

Remember, conversion to an alternative religious bias is always an option, and will get you out of this hidesously ruinous and sticky experience in time for next year. But where would be the fun in that..?

Someone always has it worse than you, and this piece by Lucy Mangan made me laugh like a drain, as my flatmate will testify.

I can say all this in the smug knowledge that I have just finished all of my Christmas shopping. And I did the last bits in a small piece of heaven found in central London, Hatchards Bookshop.

Don't get me all wrong, the rather biblically proportioned Waterstones down the road is just great, but there is something magically homely about Hatchards. It's like shopping in a bookshop created by your Great Aunt. I kept expecting one of the staff to offer me a mince pie and make a disparaging comment about the length of my hair/trousers/nails/conversation.

Oh yeah, and the books are fantastic too. I could have strayed through the sections for hours...

I bought a copy of The Big Issue on the way home, to reduce the fear of a karma imbalance leading to an Act Of God that would wipe out all my hard work.

Mince pie, anyone??

Saturday, December 16, 2006

It killed the cat!

You curious internetters, you. I won't tell you what I do. Shan't.

Let's just say broadly communications and leave it at that, shall we? Oh the irony. In consolation, I have two things:

THING ONE: This How To on Blogging by the v good guy Browning. And I quote:
" It's never a good idea to blog about your workplace. When you complain about your boss doing nothing at work, you'll soon find the one thing he makes sure he does is read your blog."



I thank you. In a mature and dignified manner.

I think it's the yule spirit. It's getting to me. And we're about to 'do' our tree. YAY!!

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Literally neither hither nor thither

First weeks in new jobs are always a bit stressful, aren't they? Mine is certainly no different, and especially at this time of year, when everyone is rushing around trying to organise Christmas*.

But thankfully everyone is really nice. Not 'nice' twee nice. Just really cool and sound NICE. Which is good news. And the induction programme they have is fantastic, so I'm feeling well eased-in.

Loads to do though. Big project next week. Eeek.

Tonight is the first night I've had free this week. I'm sitting inside, all toasty warm, writing my Christmas cards and listening to the beautiful sounds of Anthony and the Johnsons.


I'm very relaxed. So I'm bound to have forgotten something crucial.

So you'll have to excuse me while I make a nice cup of tea and catch up with the rest of the internet.

* I have not gone to work for Santa, alas.

Sunday, December 10, 2006


Following this rather sad episode in the history of this very blog wot you is reading now ("hello"), my mum came to see me this week - and look what she bought!

It's Geoffrey Casherelle II - and he is two, as two branches appear to be growing from one avocado stone. Brilliant! The Parentals found him on in amongst the compost on their allotment, in deepest, darkest Wiltshire. It's probably on a ley line or something. Or I could be fostering another Audrey II. Little Clapham Flat Of Horrors?

I don't know what to call him. It can't really be Geoffrey Casherelle again. I need something new. Any ideas, internetters??

Also, while tripping through town Crimble shopping - and nursing a not unconsiderable hangover from Christmas and Birthday parties in South London last night - I saw this in Waterstones - which just made me laugh:

Hee hee hee!

You'll be pleased to know the hangover has subsided somewhat now. Making difficult decisions about the colour of baubles was not easy earlier. Not easy at all. And I think their was a roll-over effect as Friday's nights leaving drinks were also plentiful.

I'm having a quiet one this evening, with m'flatmate. New job starts tomorrow so I need to be bright and perky.

Eeek! Browning pants as we speak...

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Goodbye Kitty

I'm having a very stange day.

I have just arranged to have my sister's cat cremated.

As a Christmas Present.


Sunday, December 03, 2006

Frosty Boz Choons

Don't know why I haven't blogged much this week. Not much to say. Which is almost world-first. And it's not like there's nothing going on. Christmas shopping... family stuff... changing jobs a week from tomorrow... (bricking it...)

It's all been A Bit Much.

So instead of a proper post - Drumroll please! As promised, here are the results of my compilaion of a Winter-esque batch of music for my iPod to help me along the way as I bimble around town in a state of mild and disconcerting panic.

Yes, it's...


I'm excited. Are you? Let's begin:

1. The theme from a Box of Delights (which the internet tells me is by Victor Hely-Hutchinson)
2. A Camp - Silent Night
3. RJD2 - Silver Fox
4. Flevans - Smalll Room Syndrome
5. Aim - The Girl Who Fell Through The Ice
6. Goldfrapp - You Never Know
7. Rufus Wainwright - Poses
8. Donna Summer - Winter Melody (c/o Old Cheeser)
9. The Pretenders - 2000 Miles (c/o Doris)
10. Love Unlimited - It May Be Winter Outside (But in my Heart It's Spring) (c/o Old Cheeser again)
11. U2 - Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) (c/o JulaBerry)
12. Frost - Endless Love (Royksopp remix)
13. Yann Tierson - Comptine d'un autre été - L'après-midi (from the Amelie soundtrack)
14. Saint Etienne - I Was Born On Christmas Day
15. Scissor Sisters - Kiss You Off
16. The Pogues - Fairytale of Old New York (c/o Gareth et al)
17. The Cardigans - Great Divide
18. Barry Adamson - The Big Bamboozle
19. Massive Attack - Two Rocks And A Cup Of Water
20. Sébastien Tellier - La Ritournelle (Sven Love & Catalan FC Remix)
21. Quantic - Time Is The Enemy
22. The League of Gentlemen Christmas Special Theme

So there you have it. This is whats filling my ears at the moment. Not exactly Christmassy, but certainly Winterish.

A huge thanks to all those who suggested tracks. Sorry to Old Cheeser - I couldn't bring myself to include The Waitresses Christmas Wrapping, simply because the Spice Girls once covered it.

And I can't find anywhere an electronic version of Tony Robinson's Christmas Wrapping song, which I loved as kid.

Sunday, November 26, 2006


Saturday afternoons

in a Clapham pub with Mark

when it's raining outside

are great.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Me vs. "Radio 4"

I love a bit of Radio 4, me.

I can go all funny listening to the dulcit tones of Charlotte Green. The minx. And the shipping forecast is in my mind pure poetry, and reminds me of home and childhood.

Regular readers will know I'm a bit of a closet fan of The Archers, though I don't often get the chance to listen in.

However. I spotted this opinion poll on the programme's website today:

Last week's vote
Should Adam and Ian "get married" in a civil partnership?
70% said Yes they should
9% said No, because they are not suited long term
21% said No, because the process is inappropriate for same sex couples
Total votes cast: 6680

Now then.

It is a delightful and wonderful thing that 70 per cent of respondees backed Lovely Adam and Lovely Ian all the way down the aisle. Hurrah!

I'm not even too bothered that 21 per cent said that same-sex unions are heinous and abhorrent (I'm reading between the lines here a little).

After all. Radio 4 listeners are radical free-thinkers who may choose to hold certain personal opinions - to which everyone is absolutely entitled - but probably without coming over all Nazi-ish.

Should they bump into the lovely Sandi Toksvig* in the local corner shop for instance, no doubt they would congratulate her on Chairing The News Quiz and make friendly and polite small talk about the weather or the price of orange three-quarter length trousers. Well-bred Radio 4 listeners could doubtless even willingly particpate in debates and discussions on the subject matter while respecting the thoughths of others and without calling down hellfire, dammnation and exhibiting signs of utter physical revulsion**.

But there is something that really, really, yanks my crank about this jollty little survey; why did anyone at Radio 4 decide to put two quotation marks around the words get married. As if two blokes getting married is somehow not a real marriage, like it's all pretend. The sentence reads perfectly well without them. They are totally superflous to requirements and it belies a hint of Daily Mail about the whole thing, if you ask me.

It really "F*&KS ME OFF".

Am I overeacting?

And as for the evil nine per cent who said Adam and Ian are not suited long term. How very dare you.....

* There is talk of bringing back Tiswas. WHATEVER. Number 73 is one of the defining pieces of my childhood and should be reinstated and made compulsory viewing for everyone under th age of 18 immediately. The Toksvig is ACE.

** Raising an eyebrow and making a 'tsk' sound.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

...but do come back afterwards...

Posts about failing to post any new blog posts are soooo uninteresting.

Normal* service will be resumed shortly. It's just been one of those weeks.

So in the meantime I just wanted to say I'm still looking for Winter-esque, not-exactly-Christmassy-but-maybe-a-bit-cheekily-festive song suggestions for my iPod's winter playlist. I have had a few excellent sugggestions from Old Cheeser and the lovely LaLa (U2, of course).

Don't force me to make a mood board, peoples. Thanking you in advance! I will post up the tracklisting here thereafter.

* i.e. infrequent, flatulent, badly typed and quite often utterly and incomprehensibly banal

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Get the heck out of here!

Well. I've alphabetised my blogroll list* (sorry Zefrog). For some reason this has made me enormously happy.

I've added a few new ones in too. Go on. Give them a little click. They are all more interesting, wittier and better written blogs than this one, and very worth a visit or several. So get surfing!

Well? What are you waiting for!? GO. Mrs Slocombe has heard the news, and she's telling everyone....

* It's been a difficult week....

A thing.

A Lot To Learn waved me in the general direction of this fascinating piece on Blog trends and usage.

It has a minefield of information on the Blogosphere, but this really caught my eye:

"Today, the blogosphere is doubling in size approximately every 230 days."

Wow. Can this carry on? Will we run out of space? Will the start of our blogs start disappearing into the ether?

It's these questions that keep me awake at 3am, but I'm sure I'm worrying over nowt.

Wow, though. 57 million blogs. That's a lot of blogging. And all of them talking about Tom and Katies' wedding...

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Uplifting verse

There is something wonderfully poetic about the spam email for Viagra that uses Shakespeare extracts to get past my work email's spam filter (although pretty much everything bypasses this anyway..).

But surely an opportunity is being missed here. What if those rogue web traders reverse this, and use Shakespeare to sell Viagra directly.

What better endorsement could there be than one of the world's greatest writers...?

"Be great in act, as you have been in thought."
King John, Act V, Sc. I

"Every man has business and desire,
Such as it is."

Hamlet, Act I, Sc V

"This is the short and the long of it."
The Merry Wives of Windsor, Act II, Sc. II

"I have not slept one wink."
Cymbeline, Act III, Sc. IV

Hahahaha! But then again...

"The devil can cite Scripture for his purpose. "
The Merchant of Venice, Act I, Sc. III

Exit. Stage left.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Just because

Coming out of the stationery cupboard

Secretly, I quite like filing.

It's one of the least stressful sections of my job, and if there's time to do it, then generally that means there is no looming deadline, no constant squeal of the telephone, no urgent semi-panic on.

Unless I'm just in denial.

Plus I'm a stationery freak. I love pencils. Neat packs of marker pens. Blank notebooks full of marvellous potential. Carefully labelled dividers. The moment the ink sinks softly from the pen, into the quiet absorbancy of the paper.... uugghhhhhhh.

Today seems to be one of those days in the office when, by general and unspoken consensus, everyone is having 'a bit of a quiet one'. This must be contributing to my mood, because I'm feeling a bit... well, it's too early to be Christmassy, so lets say Winter-esque.

Every year I create a mix tape/CD/iTunes playlist (times - they have a changed!) with a wintery feel, and I reckon it's a good time to start the 2006 one.

Any suggestions..? If so - I'll let you know what final tracklisting I decide on.

Saturday, November 11, 2006


Makes me laugh.

Amnesty International - working to protect human rights worldwide.

How to make Christmas even camper. Now with added vocals.

Everyone, it seems, is jumping on the Bond bandwagon.

It seems pretty obvious that Casino Royale is going to be 'a bit spesh'*, and probably one of the cooler Bond films in yonks. Ditching the reliance on clunky special effects. Hopefully losing some of the double entendres and replacing them with value-added coolness.

Bonusdoubleplus. And so the crowd follows.

For starters, Scissor Sisters have chosen to style their latest video with the look of a 007 credit sequnce.

Very good, very good.

See Land of a Thousand Words here.

Already we're bombarded with themed adverts for all the products oh-so-carefully endorsed in the film itself**, but - and here come the handclaps - only Marks & Spencer of all places has one of the orignal and best Bond ingredients for its Christmas campaign:


For give the shouting and multiple exclamation mark madness, but this is not just any James Bond tribute advert, this is the M&S James Bond tribute advert. You can picture the scene. It's 3am. The boardroom of the 'Creative Department' of the M&S ad agency. Tension is mounting, like a string section from a Hitchcock film. When suddenly, from a dark, smoke-filled corner: "Get me The Bassey's agent! IT! SHALL! HAPPEN!!"

I'm sure they would have settled on Charlotte Church. From The Valleys With Love.

See the ad here, in all its silly glory, From YouTube With Love***:

She doesn't get winched up out of the stage as her entrance, but she should, dammit. And what is that she's singing.. nooo... they can't have got her to cover a PINK song, can they....??!!

Quite ironic really, that as there are several very real conflicts going on out there, right at this very moment, that the Western world has a very active part in, we are choosing to lose ourselves in a bit of fantasy spywork. But spys are just double-hard bastards and coooool, right??

Alright. not always... well. it's Bond. He's back. And it's only a bit of fun. I've got my Casino Royale ticket. Yay!!!

Now, MoneyPenny, bring me the microfilm recovered from the body of spy working at the Ambassador's office and put the kettle would you, pet? Could murder a brew.... no...?

* as opposed to SMERSH. Aha. Oh wait. They've cut that out. Okay then. Carry on.
** Vodka. Watches. Cars. What I want to know is where he got those swimming togs from.
***Stop this. Now. Serious...

I have been a non-passive participant in a piece of site-specific theatre. Say that after a few glasses of sherry...

I had an amazing experience on Tuesday, and shoving it under the label of 'theatre' doesn't quite do it justice.

Under cover of a darkening sky and a shadowly moon, I and my fellow theatre-goer hastened to Wapping - truly a place of dark deeds and mysterious arts. And warehouses converted into trendy yuppy flats. We went to see the Punchdrunk production of Faust.

(Background to the Faust story c/o Wikipedia here.)

Now then. Punchdrunk are a theatre company who, according to their ever-so-slightly-spooky website, "create a theatrical environment in which the audience are free to choose what they watch, where they go... Punchdrunk rejects the passive obedience expected of auidences in conventional theatre."

And they ain't just whistling dixie, friends. Although I would argue that good conventional theatre is anything but passive, this was breathtaking.

Upon reaching Wapping we made our way to a former archive building, supposed a secret location, fitted out across five floors to represent the heaven and hell of Faust's tale. Starting in a good-time American bar created from scratch somewhere on the ground floor. The 8pm entry group, including us, were made to don white masks, so we looked like something out of Eyes Wide Shut. I took this picture of me wearing mine the toilets, so you can get an idea of what we looked like.

We were shuffled into a service lift, away from the most direct light we would see all evening, and various groups dropped off at different floors of the building.

And then, you see, we joined the rolling production. We could go where we wanted and when. The story was happening all aroud us, all of the time.

All I know is this - it is all still running round my head today, like hot blood dripping of a steely knife.

Utterly amazing. The more you put into it, the more you got out of it. You could follow one particular character, or wander off and wait for some action to reach you, or even investigate the many rooms and corridors, all imaculately decked out.

I drifted into a small, dark room with candles and a statue of the virgin mary, with a small, white coffin laid out upon an alter. All of a sudden one of the characters rushed in to the room, hotly pusued by one other audience member, and approached the coffin. After a few moments she turend and looked us both dead in the eye, rent with despair, not a metre away. It was electric!

The atmospshere was incredible - helped with the amazing sounds and music, both recorded and sung by the performers. There was so much I must have missed, with everything happening at the same time, but equally there was so much that practically only I or a few other people saw. Wicked. I know from speaking with my companion afterwards there was a lot he caught that completelly passed me by.

Equally there were scenes we both saw, such as the dance and wicked jiving with most of the cast and the 'finale' in the basement, that we were both in the same room for and had no idea.

Masking the audience is clever - as soon as you see a face you know they are a character. But even if you are taking a break from the action, just wandering around the room and taking in the scenery was more than enough. When on my own (again - some of the characters took quite a lot of keeping up with, and more than once did I collide head on with a spectator going energetically in the opposite direction - whoops!), I discovered a floor I hadn't been on yet, containing a dark cornfield, and suddenly there was one of the leads running through it, who I followed through the field, but then lost in a maze and barn, and then I was in an archive room with a single set of shelves lit up and piles of old manscripts...

Also in the building were an entire forest, an office, several bars and houses, a cafeteria, a hotel, a dusty field, a collapsed church and a cinema. So you can see there was alot to keep us busy.

Now if only I had given my coat to Jed...

Trippy. Like a dream. Not much talking - and believe me it didn't need it. Wish I could go again. As soon as the service lift door opened, there is nothing that wasn't part of the experiece - either planned, improvised or in passing. I cannot begin to imagine how long it must have taken to put together. I can't really do better at explaining it than this review from The Stage.

And. On the way out, we spotted one of those old-time, green screen, all-in-one-unit computers, the like of which is no longer seen by man nor beast. Unless it's a retro E4 advert or something. Kewl.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

In your face, Rumsfeld!

No long political posts here. But what good news.

Excuse me while I take time out to eyeball the members of the UK cabinet with a Meaningful Glare, waving a copy of the day's papers and mumbling in a vaguely threatening manner...

Talking of people no longer in positions of power, the blogosphere has already renamed Kevin Federline, aka K-Fed, as Fed-Ex. Hahahahaha!

Oh it's wrong to laugh at any kind of marriage breakdown obviously. But, was it me or did everything have a hunch it was just a matter of time?

Did I actually just go from the international politics to Britney's divorce?

By Crikey, I think I did.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Adventures in YouTube: 5 November 2006 (Sex and the Matrix)

Must have missed this one first time round.

This looks good.

Ahhhh. Betty Boo. Thems the days.

Heee. Lar. Reee. Ous.

Hellishly funny.

New York City Boy(s)


Manhattan, my friends: it's wicked.

I did keep a few jotted notes from the trip, which I am grateful for now - although not a full blown journal that I usually keep on big new trips. When our lady lately of Peru found out I wasn't taking anything to write notes in, she advised me to take something "Leather bound and lovely". Well. Quite. That could have raised a few eyebrows at customs so I stuck to SimpleClassyPlain notebook from Muji.

As usual I was stupidly early to arrive at LHR. But. Ignoring any mad wittterings that may lie ahead, online checking-in, mi amigos, is the future. Embrace it. It is wise. Pick the seats yourself and yes, we'll have a window view thanks very much!

Spitting in the face of DVT, we had a glass of vino to celebrate the holiday when we got airborne. Yippee!

I'm not going to bore you with a long list of what we did and didn't do. But More or less everyday we kicked off with a few touristy bits and bobs, and then devoted the rest of the day to shopping, browsing, drinking or relaxing. And maybe some dancing.

Our hotel, The Gershwin, was as you can see, pretty cool. Pop art adorned the corridors and rooms, and they were dead helpful. It was perfectly located for exploring the island, on East 27th street, just off Fifth Avenue.

New York city is ace.

We did a few of the tourist biggies - The Empire State Building (VIEWS!), Central Park (TREES!), Times Square (TOO MANY F-ING PEOPLE!), The Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island (IMMIGRATION!), the UN Building (DIPLOMATS!), the Guggenheim(CULTURE!)) and the stunning Grand Central Station (TRAINS!). But to be honest the best experience is just checking out each of the island's best areas. SoHo, Greenwich Village, Upper East Side, the financial district - all very different but very interesting. It is exactly like the movies.

Every morning we would go and have breakfast on Cafe 28 - I really miss this already.

Enough of my dull rhapsodies. Here are some pictures...

I can't be arsed to upload more - so check out the little FlickR digerywhatsit on the sidebar to see some others!

We did, of course, also spend about fifteen minutes blocking up the sidewalk* and generally making tits of ourselves while we executed exits from Trump Tower, a la The Apprentice USA.

Shopping on the last Sunday was rudely interrupted. Half of Fifth Avenue was closed while Will Smith filmed a bit of his new movie. The cheek of it. Dammit, man. Doesn't he know I have quality jeans to purchase? Hmmm??

The food was excellent. Not least the mouth-wateringly exquisite steaks we had at The Strip House**.

I will definitely be going back to New York City. Didn't even scrape the surface of some of it - The Bronx, Brooklyn etc. One thing I'll say though, the London Underground feels a lot nicer than the NYC subway. But hey - it got us around, so I'm not complaining.

I also got totally hooked on Project Runway while enjoying an afternoon siesta in the hotel. Hah!

They played Breakfast at Tiffany's on the flight back. I nearly cried.

Although knowing that NikeTown is next door takes the shine off it a touch. Would Audrey pop in for a chi-chi pair of Nike Air Max? No. She wouldn't.

And finally, I have to say a massive thank you to one of the bestest traveling companions ever. :-)

* Picking up the lingo, you see.
** Not what it sounds, trust me.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Happy Birthday, Evil Edna!

Who I see from this shiny Will O The Wisp website has been upgraded to widescreen.


Wow! I've had the NYC pictures done and they are pretty brilliant (for me, anyway. Annie Leibovitz's reputation is quite safe.).

As soon as I bash out a post they'll be with you and FlickR.

This is what is called a teaser campiagn. Do you see.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Stop the press! Forget Autumn - Yule has landed.

Service announcement peoples: Hold the phone.

It is Sunday 29 October 3006, and I have just seen my first full-on, properly made for Christmas, Christmas advert on the telly.

It was for Argos.

Bloody Argos. I sincerely hope they won't be making my Christmas wishes true.

I still haven't developed the New York pictures, obviously. I shall do so this week. I'm sure. I am highly organised and efficient and anyone who says otherwise could face a Boz meaningful glare.

If anyone fancies something chuckle-worthy from today's lefty papers, Lucy Mangan is rapidly becoming my favourite wry-take on life funny ha ha columnist. Find out how difficult it is to join a British library here.

It is clear I am not alone on this, and that she gets caught up in insanely long sentences too - yey! It's not just me. Maybe one day I could be being paid for boshing out this prattling witter.

Check out some more of Lucy's stuff over here. I will be.

Um. She isn't paying me, by the way. And I really must stop talking about The Grauniad on this blog.

If reading is far too much like hardwork this Sunday afternoon - the new Justin Timberlake video (watch it here) is very pretty. And a bit naughty (he makes ""a very large hole" in the tights of a nice dancing lady - though it didn't look like she minded very much). Boz is vefry much liking the waistcoat, tie and chunky trainers 'look'. Though strip lighting enoucarges skin cancer I'm told - so it's not all good news is the message here. Oh and the song is alright too. Sortofthing.

That boy can dance! I wish I could move like that. But in my head, my choreographed world is a bit like this, so maybe it's a good thing I can't...

Break out Mrs Harridan's special crumble, Vicar!

Anyway. I don't just like pop music that has a 'face' attached to it. I am pleased to say that a lot of the music I like is put together by people who could pass me in the street without raising so much as a flicker of a shadow of the merest hint of raised oeyebrow. Especiallly as my radio station of choice these days appears to be Chill. I must be getting old.

What a random post this is turning out to be. It'll be Horlicks and slippers next, you mark my words. Shoot me now, before it's too late! Though before you do, can you turn a stylised image of the old Horlickls factory in Slough into a TrendyCool t-shirt design for me? Thanks. Great.

Goodnight children, everywhere.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

"Everything looks niiiiiice. But if you look twiiiiiiice."

Yes yes yes. Obviously the mandatory post about NYC is on its way, just as soon as I remember to take the buggering films to the developers. I know 35mm isn't exactly 21st century whizzbang shiny HappyNice technology, but no old school film, no Lomo pictures. And we love the Lomo. Oh yes.

Although in a complete modern day style, I don't bother actually getting pictures any more. No - just the digital images on CD* and the negatives in case I want to make enlargements**.

Isn't hummus amazing?***

Anyway. In celebration of being back in LDN, here's something else weirdly brilliantly-brilliant half-inched from crank up the speakers and create your own London Underground Experience.

My favourite is number eight - which for some reason always reminds me of the District Line and childhood visits to see my Gran.

Going away is brilliant. Coming back home is good too. Because you can start planning the next trip away.

Damn, Is it too late to wangle in something about normal trains, because the only picture I have is actually from Clapham Junction station and therefore nothing to do with going away or tube sounds....

*Compact Disk, Gran. You remember you saw them on Tomorrows World.
** I reserve the right to still find this word mildly amusing.
*** Very easily distracted at the moment. LOOK! FANNY!

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Mac Mecca

I am in the Apple store on Fifth Avenue (just near Trump Tower - we shall be practicisng our Apprentice style exits v shortly...). There is so much beautiful and gorgeous technology around I could weep.

We had to fight our way through here - half of Fifth Avenue was closed down for a bit, while they filmed some of a Will Smith movie.

New York. Is. Brilliant.

More when I return to Blighty.

Monday, October 16, 2006

"Gordon, Burn Everything Before The Tories Get Back In!"

Right - way behind the divineMister Coates on this, but everyone's favourite poltical and social conscience has been out and about on the streets of London.

Mark Thomas is holding a series of 'mass lone protests' to highlight the stupidity and ridiculousness of the SOCPA laws.

The first set kicked off on Wednesday 11 October, and had a piece in The Grauniad the following day.

Obviously there is a very serious and, in my mind, highly valid point about civil liberties and freedom of speech being made. But also, some of the more spurious demonstrations made during last Wendesday were, in a word, hilarious, as can be seen by someof the banner titles and explanations from Mr Thomas:

Give MI5 a nameplate!
MI5 has no sign outside of it saying it is MI5, and I am convinced that they are not getting all of their post.

Stop Patricia Hewitt Speaking Like a Patronising Tw*t!
"What are you demonstrating about?" grumbles a rather fierce-looking elderly gent with glasses and a frown that suggests he once worked in a prep school. I hold up the banner."Oh, I quite agree. She's awful," he says before getting on a red omnibus home.

Demonstration to demand Trolls for London Bridges
Stopped by the police, who check permission. Cross the bridge shouting, "We need trolls! We are overrun with goats! These goats coming over here, stealing our jobs, getting the best houses! It wouldn't happen if we had trolls. And I bet they would keep the underside clear of dead Italian bankers, too." I really should get a proper job.

I have to admit I share the view that Mark Thomas is a bit of smug prat sometimes, but I seriously admire the man for standing up and trying to make a differemce about stuff that is going on under the noses of most of us. There is a reason why satire is satire and not slapstick, but that's not to say that satirical comment cannot be extremely funny.

Right. Anyway. I'm off to take Jocasta and Joshua off to Prep school now, before popping of to Waitrose to stock up on extra virgin olive oil. In other words, enough of my middle-class sensibilities.

Am off on holiday on Wednesday - yey! Will try and squeeze in another nonsensical post before then.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Peformance art or a monumental waste of coke

Although, in my opinion, this is by far the best thing to do with Diet Coke.

Monday, October 09, 2006

One reason I do not like Robbie Williams

Maybe I'm innocent. Maybe I'm an idiot. But I feel compelled to bring to the world's attention (all six of you), that the new Robbie Williams single, Lovelight, has already been released by someone else.

You know, I am aware this sort of thing happens all of time. I'm not stupid. I know how the pop world works. It's not like it's even a 'cover' - I mean, no one was bothered that the first Girls Aloud single had been recorded by another group, Orchid, some months previously, were they.

But, dammit, I liked the original version of Lovelight, and now it's being touted by... by... by him.

Should you want to - you can listen to a little bit of the original here. Or you can pop along to the (UK) iTunes store and purchase it for the princely sum of 79p. Go on. You know you want to.

End of minor rantoid.

Go team South.

My legs hurt today. They hurt because yesterday I ran the Nike 10k - Run London. Well. Run Hyde Park, more accurately. On the winning team, as it happens.

I didn't do quite as well as last year, but I'm really chuffed. Life has been a bit too crazy for any training* and I was only four minutes slower - at 1 hour and 45 seconds. Nay bad! Plus, I enjoyed it a lot more this time around. It was a beautiful day for it and it was fun to spot all the orange runners on the way to the Park.

Oh blimey. I sound a bit evangelical, don't I? Shurrup shurrup shurrup.

That's my exercise done for the next six months then. Hooray.**

* Okay, clearly what I really mean is that I'm a lazy arsed layabout.
** I actually mean this. It's cold outside now, thankyouverymuch.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

"Jane Eyre! Jane Eyre! Jane Eyre and the manic torch(erer)!"

I have a new addiction for Sunday nights.

Suprise suprise, it doesn't involve me venturing out into the ever-darkening wilderness of Clapham. Instead, I am strapping myself into my sofa, brewing up a mug-o-tea*, and sharing time with these two:

Yes. It's only bloody Jane Eyre.

I was v dubious, as the trailers made this look, fwankly**, a bit rubbish. Seriously, like it was set in a residential care home. But I sweep these away with a wave of my pale, sun-deprived arm.

It. Is. Brilliant.

I remember reading the novel when I must have been about 15 or 16. Actually I have no idea how old I was, but I was reading it in the back of my parents car going somewhere, so chances are I was about that bracket. Totally engrossing. No exteriour shot left un-brooded, no costume left un-flapped.

I also love the character of Jane Eyre in Jasper Fforde's fabulous book The Eyre Affair. She gets kidnapped from the pages of the novel itself, and all merry hell ensues. Great fun.

My feelings on Toby Stephens (back to the Sunday night version - keep up would you please) were dubiosity itself, as he was almost laughably as the smirking, snarling Bond vilian in Die Another Day, but he is triffic. Just the right amount of uncontrolled beastliness, doom-laden Master of the Manor affectation, and despairing.... despair.

It is beautifully shot and directed, and as usual with Aunty, sumptious on the old peelers

Not bad for something that is essentially To The Manor Born (but only if you lose the Manor). But without Penelope Keith.

Ohhhh, Penelope Keith. The campaign to have more Penny Keith on the telly box starts HERE. We love Penelope Keith.

The last Jane rounded off a spectacularly, wonderfully lazy weekend. I have been to the cinema not once but TWICE. To see The Queen Wears Prada and The Devil. Or something. Oh you work it out. Helen Mirren and Meryl Streep going head to head anyway and MY MONEY IS ON THE MIRREN. Factoid.

Oh look. I'm rambling. Marvellous. And just to prove I'm hip with the Literary crowd, darlings, don't get me started on Gilbert and Gubar and mad women in the attic in general.

A gold star to the first person to get the inspiration for this post's title.

* A friend told me yesterday she has gone right off tea. I nearly cried.
** Sorry. Barbara Windsor moment there.

Service update

Yes it's high time I wrote another blog post.

No I haven't done one yet.

(Raspberries to you, internet!)

Saturday, September 23, 2006



I know there is a lot of this kind of stuff on YouTube, but this is really compelling. Noah has taken a picture of himself every day for the passt six years. Watch it. It's amazing. You are watching someone age and change.

My blogging tech skills let me down here - it's worth going to the YouTube link and watching it in the slightly smaller screen size, to get better definition.

Thanks to Elroy's blog for finding this.

That is all.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Boz is engrossed in...

Embers by Sándor Márai. S'triffic, since you ask. Very atmospheric.

I did look at Amazon's site and try and dig out the little blog doo-hickey thingummyjig that would mean I could just shove this sorta post into a little thingy thing in the sidebar ( -------> ), but it all got a bit confusing and complicated.

So I gave up.

Look, two posts in a day, what more do you want? Blood? Tears? Intellectual stimulation, accurate spelling and interesting blog posts?? Don't be silly. I rely on elaborate quips and pictures. There be no actual content here. BEGONE DETAILED AND INTERESTING BLOG SEEKER.

Am I getting carried away? Possible. I shall now divert your attention with a short series of mildly amusing alterantive highway signs... stop me if you've had these on an email attachment before... oh you can't... carry on...

Flashback: 1996. I'm wearing black denim. There is probably a bad indie track playing in the background...

I am (once-again) mostly very happy today.

This time it's because of this, this and this.

It's back! For a one-off! The Beeb better not screw this up. Hopefully this is unlikely as it is being put together by the same original team.

So many questions... Are Anna and Miles together? What happened to Egg and Milly? Will there still be ginger plumbers to shag in the shower? Have they finally taken that Portishead album off of the house hifi?? Did Millly ever get out of the bath?!

Okay. So the lives of a bunch of lawyers and hangers-on in a huge shared flat in London should, on paper, sound like a complete TV disaster. Or at worst a bad Friends rip-off But This Life was so flat-out funny, irrevereant and quick to jump hurdles to wedge in a bit of shagging, flirting, infidelity and foreplay among the shared living spaces it was ACE. I really cared about the characters. even when they were royally screwing up their lives or treating each other like shit.

The episode title's alone were fantastic: From Here to Maternity, The Bi Who Came In From The Cold, Apocalypse Wow, One Bedding and a Funeral...


Anyone who wants a goodly catch-up and briefing on this seminal piece of telly box magic should visit here and here.

Warren: What we need is to draw up some ground rules.
Anna: Rule number one - No anorexic bimbo blondes.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Must. Stop. This. Obsession. Okayonemorethen.

From today's Grauniad:

"The florescent ghost of Dame Barbara Cartland loomed large in Reader, I Married Him (BBC 4), a whirl through romantic fiction. Meredith Etherington-Smith - no, honestly - was scathing. "A lot of romantic fiction is extremely badly written. Think about Barbara Cartland lolling around on a sofa in shocking pink with three Pekinese lolling about the place, dictating those things to secretaries. Poor secretaries doing all that Pitman's. Just think about it!" I think about it. In one portrait Dame Barbara is in soulful focus but the Peke on her knee is a blur. It has clearly launched itself straight at the photographer."

We love Nancy. Babs scares us somewhat.

I must be getting old though. I'm finding BBC 4 very... soothing.

Note to self - must clean camera lens...

Avast, me hearties!

T'is the nineteenth day of the month that be called September. The day all land-lubbers must talk like thar foul swash-bucklers of the seven seas!

In other words, International Talk Like a Pirate Day.

Find out more at yonder web-palace of wonderous delights, the like of which not even Davey Jones might know of.

Resist it at thy peril, ye bilge-rats!

Friday, September 15, 2006

Look at this!!

I'm all about the visuals this week. Check out the new Tory party logo below:

It's a bit 'local council' isn't it?! Looks like it should be on the side of a waste disposal truck.

Luckily they got the key people 'on message' about this exciting development, hey?

Oh. Whoops.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

NBS: A reminder of genius

Some of you may wonder why hence the brouhaha and obsession with the lady on the left here.

Quite simply, Nancy Banks-Smith is berrr-rilliant.

For the remaining unconvinced (fools), here are a selection of quotes that myself and The Good Mark have culled from her work.

Long live the TV Lady Guru.

“Midsomer Murders (ITV1) is an everyday story of country folk killing each other.”
Monday 4 September 2006

“There are few treats to equal the sight of Brian Sewell in a Rolls being superior about the difficult art of double declutching while kangarooing away with a crash of gears.”
Friday 3 December 2004

“William Shatner, you suspect, has always seen himself as a cheeky chappie, which is why he melded so well with Leonard Nimoy, who could go on as Eeyore without rehearsal.”
Thursday 25 May 2006

“Some say EastEnders has no sense of humour. Yes and no. Mainly no, of course.”
Saturday 1 April 2006

“The staggering thing about last night's Coronation Street (ITV1) was that absinthe was served at Shelley's hen party in the Rovers. This foray into sophistication stunned me.”
Tuesday 20 September 2005

“In Emmerdale (ITV1), Scott is spending the summer in a coma. Which is a bit of a blow to the lad, as he was expecting to spend it in California.”
Saturday 25 June 2005

“The best thing about The Apprentice (BBC2) is, of course, Donald Trump's hair. Does he have the lowest forehead outside the forest primeval where the orang-utan roam? Or does he just comb what is left forward? The one thing a rich man can't buy is a decent head of hair. It's God's little joke.
The next best thing is Trump's penthouse in Trump Tower. "I show this apartment to very few people. Presidents. Kings. They really can't believe what they're seeing." Now, that I can believe. Nero would have winced.”

Tuesday 5 October 2004

The woman is a legend. Check into The Guardian's website to keep up to speed with her pearls of wisdom, say I.

Coming soon: The best bits of Charlie Brooker and Jim Shelley... oo-er....

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Of witches and con-artists

I saw these posters side by side at Clapham Common tube station.

Did no one think this through, or is it deliberate..?

Spooky though, hey?

I suppose I should at least have the decency to include the links to London's staging of Wicked and The Alchemist at the National Theatre (which you can see for a tenner. A tenner!).

Friday, September 08, 2006

Bang! Crash! Zap! Kapow! And other jolly japes.

You know, I love arthouse films. International cinema. Films with subtitles. You name it. I'm a member of the glorious NFT on London's South Bank. The last film I went to see was the excellent Volver by the wonderful Almodovar.

Yes. Yes. Yes.

All this is well and good.

But, really, the brand new trailer for the next Bond film looks a bit jolly spiffing.

My. That is a big gun. Rock on, double-O. I think Casino Royale will be a blast.

If a blast is a bit too much, and you fancy more of a 'hoot', John Buchan's The 39 Steps is on at the Tricycle Theatre, away in Kilburn ("They said it was unstageable!" screams the poster).

It's at completely the other end of the spectrum. It carries the same look and feel as Hitchcock's classic first film version, but the stunning four-man (well, three-man and one-woman) cast play it completely for laughs - it's hysteriical. You cannot help but leave the theatre talking in the clipped, received pronunciation tones of 1930's BBC newsreaders. Fabulous. Rumour has it it is transferring to the west-end.

Hadn't been to the Tricycle Theatre before. It's great, and a good 'intimate' size. Although I was met with looks of withering disappointment when I suggested that the theatre, cinema and gallery venue was so-named because it was founded by three menopausal ladies. Oh dear. That isn't very PC is it?

It has been a busy couple of months. This may explain why my bank balance is a bit scary. Eek. Time to reign things in a bit maybe...

Khaki Day

Australians are to wear khaki on Friday in honour of the late Steve Irwin.

When I kick the bucket, let the population wear odd socks...

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Boz is reading...

And sighing wistfully lots and flitting around the house firing servants and peppering my cravat with eau de cologne....


That's a bit harsh. I'm really enjoying this, and it's very prettily written. But it can be hard to sympathise with someone who has it so easy, and I can't get the modern-day cartoon version from The Guardian Weekend out of my head at the same time.

Woe betide the middle-class massive.


Last night Mark and I happened to catch a repeat of an old episode of that laugh-a-minute comedy fest Spooks.

It was the one where Tiffany from Eastenders was rigged up to a bomb, counting down to explode in a fictional hospital*. Mark pointed out that, trying as the programme was, Ricky Gervais is right - Britain is never going to make anything as flash and wonderful as the mighty Kiefer Sutherland vehicle 24.

For starters, like Spooks, us Brits know that 24 is a far too optimistic timesacale. Even with Anna Chancellor phoning-it-in at the helm, we'd need at the very least a couple of days run-up at anything major. And biscuits. Plenty of biscuits and fag breaks.

Luckily - we don't need to make another 24 in the UK, because we put the world's greatest secret agent on screen years ago - and he's coming back.


He's terrific! He's magnifique! He's the greatest secret agent in the laaaaaand! (As sang Toyah Wilcox in the opening credits.)

Brilliant! Dangermouse was the best, when I was a child, and I for one will be looking forward to seeing him spoil the plans of Baron Von Greenback all over again.

Does Jack Bauer have a flying car? Does he? No. He doesn't.

*This may not be the official programme summary.