Thursday, December 24, 2009

Day Twenty Blinkin' Four - "Twoots" (Tweets and Hoots, you see)

Well look at that! The end of Further Advents 2009! Okay so I missed a few days here and there along the way.. SUE ELLEN ME.

All that remains is to wish you all a very, very Merry Christmas. I honestly hope you have a brilliant one, you lovely people.*

I'll probably muster up some kind of 'this was 2009' type post in the course of the next week. But for now, I wanted to shamelessly nick stuff from that other place - whisper it! - Twitter, for my final Further Advents post. It'll probably have been replaced by something else by this time next year, and I don't trust twitter with some of my favourites, you see, so they need to be recorded for posterity somewhere.

I realise this is bit like reading them out into a cassette recorder.

I'M SUCH A HOARDER!!

So, here are some of the best Tweets I've seen in the last twelve months. I would link to the author's Twitter account. Only I can't be arsed, you see. And no I haven't put the date and time of each tweet, but they are in reverse order, from now back to January.

It's all very fly-on-the-slice-of-life here today, you see.


Here we go now, 2009 - A YEAR IN TWEETS:

@sueperkins Pamela Anderson and Vivienne Westwood; the yin and yang of skin tone...

@patroclus Trying Google Wave again. It's like the internet imagined by Chris Morris. "To read through unread blips in a wave, hit the spacebar." What?

@annapickard Phoning boyfriend (currently in Suffolk) to find out if he knows where my shoes (currently within a 10m radius of me in San Francisco) are.

@EmmaK67 Zoe Lucker looks like a pregnancy testing kit

@caitlinmoran CRISIS! Watched first 4 eps of Criminal Justice at the weekend = brilliant. Just watched the last one now and it's a bit ... meh. Noooo ....

Apart from ANYTHING ELSE, I'm 600 words into calling it the best drama of the year. I'm going to have to do some sharp cornering tomorrow

Two wheels off the ground, airbags inflating, screeching brakes, kids crying in the back, etc. "MUMMY'S REVERSING A REVIEW!"

@DerrenBrown Just spent 5 mins looking for my slippers to find I was wearing them. Don't tell anyone, it doesn't fit the brand at any level.

@caitlinmoran Just had a coffee so strong, all I can do for the next hour is sit on this chair and scream like Bacon's Pope Innocent X

@OyeBilly In 1984 I was hospitalised for approaching perfection.

@RealBoswell Am Packing for London TRIPPE: Flintlock, Bible, and loading iPod with Greatest Speeches of Lord BUTE. Also Shortbread for DEMPSTER.

@BDooley I just caught a few minutes of Loose Women while looking for the remote. Emmeline Pankhurst must wonder why she bothered.

@patroclus I realise that 'the poshest house in Penryn' is a bit like saying 'the most expensive item on the McDonald's menu'.

@caitlinmoran Contrary to everything I'd believed before, it turns out that drinking until 5.28am is a terrible idea.Literally re-writing my own rule book.

The rule book entitled "What The Fuck, Blarp, There's Definitely A Bottle of Rose In The Crisp Cupboard, Let's Dance!", published 1993

@caitlinmoran When I watched Home Alone aged eight, I rooted for the kid's inventiveness, and nerve. Now, at 34, I just see Joe Pesci's osteopath bills.

@geoffwetblanket Just bought Simian Mobile Disco & Calvin Harris CDs. I am 47.

@caitlinmoran It's now nine days since Simon Schama friended me on Facebook, and we've still not hit the clubs and got messy. No shots. No Lucky Voice.

@bobbyllew My dreadful son is saying, 'The MacBook air is not as thin as they say it is.' How can he be so cruel?

@bebopboy dear apple, if you get a spare moment, would you be a dear and buy and knock into shape adobe's apps. someone's got to do it. thanks a mil!

@caitlinmoran A re-Tweet from Maggie Philbin! *air punch*

@delrico had no idea how many of my Twitter friends worked in Soho til someone decided to burn it down. I'm only up the road in smoke free Noho!

@BDooley I have returned from Hot, where I had a case of Legs.

@mermhart Just walked past a horse. It looked at me then farted. I farted back.

@bebopboy are hotel websites the last hold-outs of flash intro screens? it's 2009 - stop it at once

@calvinharris Well I've never done a gig with my house keys in my pocket before.

@IanMartin My Dansette was made in 1963. The 21st Century can fucking EAT MY STYLUS. 'Sound'? I've got ON/OFF & extra treble if you leave the lid up.

@NotTinyFey Oh you kids these days. I can't tell which one is a hipster and which one's a hobo. You're all wearing beards, plaid, and riding a bike.

@BettyUtility Hmm, Diversity on BGT appear to feature a miniature Zadie Smith ...

@BeBopBoy attempting to make dinner for six tonight. on the menu: mild panic, arm flapping and a side of pans crashing

@emilybell My mum would like to be digitally included, but she would prefer a hip replacement #digitalbritain

@patroclus Trench update: mother-in-law issued instructions for it, husband dug it, I admired it, baby ignored it, father-in-law fell into it.

@james_blue_cat Got married, had pasty xx all.

@LeighHolmwood Have had to de-follow Carol McGiffin. Couldn't bear it any longer

And finally, quite literally my favourite of the year:

@emilybell LEAVE HIM CHERYL! sorry - got carried away #brits


In short: I hearts Caitlin Moran** and some other peoples. Oh dear. SYCHOPHANCY R US.

Also, I am now alone in the office crying with laughter at my desk. Oh dear again.

Phew! Settle back in the holiday, Blogosphere, and have an amazing Christmas.


* Apart from the spammers. Obvs.

** Catch her now, before she vanishes behind a pay wall!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Day Twenty Two - A Plea

Today's advent contains nothing more than my heartfelt plea to ignore every piece of advice found in this piece.*

Get over this one as well, while you're there.

I'll be stuffing myself silly, until I have sprouts coming out of my ears. Because it's traditional.**

Marvellous!

* I know. The DM. Sozza.

** This sounds pretty selfish since there are people starving in the world, I know. But it continues in the vein of my long-running campaign that food is once of the last pleasures humanity has. Enjoy it while you can.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Day Twenty One - Cake!


From possibly the most brightly coloured shop in the world.

Still. Helps Monday pass deliciously.*


* Where did all this work come from? It's supposed to be quiet this week, n'ah?!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Day, Er, Twentine - "Stuff"

Everyone should read this. Good reminder of the junk science we've been fed this year. Go Goldacre!

And for no reason other than it was on the same page this piece took my fancy. Where's a flashmob of painters led by Hannah Gordon when you need one!?

And an extra dose of "Oh I say!" as I missed yesterday.

I'm drowning in red wine. Someone please help.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Day Seventeen - all decked out

We decorated the flat last night.

The Christmas tree me and my flatmate have is adorned with some very tasty but sparingly-used Habitat baubles. V classy, like.

But further upwards, the tree has a touch of Doctor Who about it...

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Day Fifteen - The Letter X

I'd type some copy here, only I'm too busy drooling... arggllllgghgglll....

Monday, December 14, 2009

Day Fourteen - Just Utter Brilliance

While I was perusing the weekend papers - pain au chocolat in hand, sophisticated Radio 4 chit-chat on the background, a mere hint of Monster Munch flavouring the air - I saw this very interesting article. It explores the idea that toys and stuff for little girls has become overwrought with sugar, spice and all that's nice. Well, pink mainly. I can see their point. There's nothing wrong with little girls liking girly stuff, if that's their desire, but not everything has to be lurid pink, right?

Anyway, the point was the piece was illustrated by one of the most awesome poster adverts I have ever seen. T'is found here.

How totally cool and awesome is that little girl??!

And them. And these two.

Brilliant! Totally makes me think of my childhood. And my older sister.

I'll say it again. Lego was one of my best toys EVER. My youngest nephew is just getting into it, and I'm proud to say that some of his huge pile comes from my stuff and my sister's. Which means some of it is over thirty five years old. How's that for longevity!?

This Christmas I shall mostly be looking forward to making some Lego sets becauseofcoursehecan'tdoitsowhydoesn;tUncleBozjusthelpyououttherehmm?

Amazing.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Day Thirteen - Shall we wait for vicar..?

Another inspired piece of nostalgic advertising c/o TV Cream and TV Ark.



Saturday, December 12, 2009

Day Twelve - Gentleman Rhyming

I don't listen to much Radio 6, but I caught a bit last night and something came on which totally fired up my Amazingness Alert.

Ukuleles!

Gentleman rapping!

Ladies and gents, may I present, the awesome sonic stylings of Mr.B (Gentleman Rhymer):





And there's a Christmas song to download free at his MySpace site (check out I Say, You! while you're there).

Toodle-oo!

**UPDATE**

Found the link on iPlayer to the BBC 6 show. It's here for a limited time only, refunds not available etc etc... check out 48 minutes in...

Friday, December 11, 2009

Day Eleven - Obscura

This has been something of a busy week at work, with lots of traipsing to and from meetings across town. Quite satisfying to get a lot done though. But it does feel like I've lost touch a bit with everything else - and I certainly haven't had any time to sit and just *be still*.

Also, it being the season, my liver is working at full capacity. She cannae take much more cap'n. And the alcohol is playing havoc with my emotional state. Last night I almost burst into tears twice at the theatre.

And now for something completely irrelevant; a selection of random pictures from my iPhone:










There we are then.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Day ten - continuing yesterday's theme...

It's only funny because it's true.

What's that about a fine line between comedy and tragedy..?

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Day Nine - the ghost of Christmas past..

I used to be retail bitch. A checkout Charlie. A stockroom stooge.

All these things and yet more. I won't say exactly where.* But during Uni, and a couple of years after Uni I worked in retail, which included the Christmas period.

I am in no way getting snobby. Everyone does jobs like this, at any stage of life, that may not exactly their dream career, and those who haven't should do. It's like a kind of national service, where you're forced to experience the business end of the Great British Public for a few years to really SEE what we're like. Anita Roddick once said "show me someone with a deep loathing for all humanity, and I'll show you someone who works in retail" and she really wasn't just whistling dixie.

I have some awesome memories of those jobs. Mostly about the other people and the drinking because quite often we were all bored to tears, but it taught me stuff I still use in day-to-day life and my work today. So ner. Yes, I know I sound like I'm about to say "what you need is a bloody good war". But sometimes that's a little what it felt like.

Especially at Christmas.

So for today's advent, let's all take a few moments and spare a thought for the good people of retail who are generally Making Our Christmas Happen For Us. The bar people, the supermarket bods and all the people we hand cash to in return for some things we give to other people.

Because it's not a great time of year for them. Working right up to Christmas Eve setting up stuff for the sales after the shop closes, and being back in on Boxing Day doesn't leave much time for stuff with family or friends.** The hours are long, the pay is usually fairly rubbish and sometimes it can be another form of care in the community for the regular customers.

Ages I shoved on here my "light-hearted" guide to Christmas shopping, but please spare a thought for the person who's helping you shop. Not only are there millions of us, we're quite grumpy and demanding. And we hate queues. And we'll get in a right tizz if that store doesn't happen to have the plates in the right colour, or this dress in the right size. trust me on this. I had people spit at me.***

What's more, by this time of year they are already note perfect on the Christmas CD that's been sent by Head Office that year. And never, ever, want to hear any of it again. It's never the the good Christmas music, it's always, always some disco version of Little Donkey that was released in 1973.

So, take a moment and say a nice thanks to the next person that helps you out with something for Christmas. G'waan.****


* Happy Holidays! Would you like a gift receipt or gift box with that turtle neck jumper?

** I have never understood this country's obsession with getting up early and going shopping the day after Christmas. Are we, like, mad? There's telly on. And more food. And fami.. ohIseeeee.

*** And old ladies throw handbags at you before flashing you.

**** Even you smug types that have "finished" all your Christmas shopping. You still have food shopping or something to do.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Day Eight - Cok!

No, nothing like that behind this blog-door, thank you.*

This kind of Cok.

(c/o Bertie Deane.)**



* Mind you, let's not rule anything out once we open the festive sherry, what?

** What do you mean, "I'm just raiding my Twitter favourites for stuff to bung up on the internets?" This is carefully selected, hand-crafted blog material from the finest purveyors, I shall have you know. Quality posts, honestly priced.***

*** IE, free.****

**** I have reached the point where the footnotes are bigger than the post. I think I may be in web-nirvana.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Day six - ehhrrm, summery music...

We'll just move right along and forget about day five, shall we? Shall we lets? Hokay then.*

So. Advent day six. I'm not encouraging you to go and spend money, but this is very good.

You can have a bit of a listen here and also here.

Hooray!

And now back to Sunday.


* Abject, abject failure of the exercise...

Friday, December 04, 2009

Day Four. Over-excitement.

You know how some Decembers you really feel Christmas, and others you don't?

This year I am really feeling Christmas. By the time the actual thing comes around I could well be a gibbering, shaking wreck of tinsel, wrapping paper and fairy lights.* I'm very much in danger of boring people a bit, I think.

I'm already so excited I actually baked actual mince** pies this week. Actual. Mince. Pies. And they weren't bad either.***

So today's advent is the recipe for, that's right folks, mince pies. I found this on the intermawebs c/o the lovely BBC here.

I'm sure I'm not the only one champing at the Christmas bit, either. It's been a rubbish year for a lot of people, for a lot of reasons. I think everyone needs an excuse to have some fun.

I shall stop there, for fear of turning my diatribe into that of an elderly and well-meaning parish vicar..

Mince on!


* And that's before the parental homemade wine comes out.
**Stopit.
*** Okay the second batch weren't bad. The first were.. a touch crispy.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Day Three and already we're stealing YouTube clips

Weeeellllllll it was only a matter time before some YouTube goodness popped up. And I'm shamelessly stealing from another adventy-themed undertaking form the spankingly marvellous TV Cream.

Some 1980s' Christmas telly adverts? Oh I think so.

(Personally, I think that Mandate one looks a bit, well, assault-ish, if you ask me. Also I think we've found out what the Oxo mum has been doing when that family finally get out of the house.)

Muppets on Christmas? Go on then.



(originals are here and here and really you should also be following TV Cream on Twitter).

Tia Maria, anyone?

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

But on the second day there were two discoveries

Two revelations for the second day of "festive" blogging:

1. Kylie Auldist (who I have my flatmate to thank for). Check out Ship in a Bottle on her myspace page. Or if you're fancy you can spotify her*.

2. It turns out I'm not the 30x32 trouser size I thought I was (or was certain I was a decade ago). I's a 32x30! I'm actually shrinking and expanding! This may explain the technical problems I have been having when buying jeans.

I know. Do try and carry on as normal after the shock.

Yes I know they are neither of them festive. What do you want to me to do? Say it with tinsel!? "TINSEL".

* I don't quite understand spotify yet. I'm sure I will. I'm a Last.FM bod you see - come friend me up!

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

On the first day of Christmas...

...my true parents gave to me, a big pile of crap belonging to me!

I'm not kidding. My dad took me to visit my Gran this weekend. Mother phoned me a few days before hand to ask if it was alright if he dropped off one or two books of mine that were still at my parents place.

Of course not, I said.

Foolish, foolish error.

Turns out that "a few books" equates to six boxes, seven bags and my parents rubbing their hands with glee. I am literally surrounded by tat and toot. My bed is marooned in a sea of cardboard.

I have NO idea where I'm going to put this stuff. Books, children's books, old toys, school uniforms, exercise books, a disco ball, LPs... it goes on. Oxfam and Save The Children on Clapham High Street are going to get a sizeable chunk, I reckon. It's time to say goodbye to a few things.

The posters are worth a special mention. Some awesome Tim Hunkin ones I wouldn't mind seeing framed, but a whole LOT of 90's music posters. Mostly free ones that came with Select. Ash, Sleeper, Boo Radleys, Oasis... am I too old to put

Don't blame the parents though. They live in a tiny wee place, and my stuff cluttering up their space is most unfair. It's going to be interesting sorting out the stuff here where I live, rather than under their roof. Some tough decisions will be made.

And now to Freecycle, to try and find some shelves...

**UPDATE**

I'm two boxes in and already have genuine fear. Turns out keeping everything I've ever been given and everything anyone ever sent me may not have been such a tip-top idea. People, I'm a hoarder...

**SECOND UPDATE**

I thought I'd unpack all the books, to see if I can group them together and just sort of see where I am. Unfortunately it turns out there where I am is surrounded by piles of books and having a small nervous breakdown.

Monday, November 30, 2009

We are a GO for seasonal merriment! Launching mince pie rocket guns!

I still enjoy pottering about here.

So, brace yourselves, I think I'm going to do the Further Advents thing again (click the tag below for more seasonal drivel) and see if I can blog SOMETHING every day up until Christmas.

I know it's still a bit early. But our neighbours put up their Christmas tree the third week in November. So we had them shot. Obviously.



* How very Churchillian. Someone told me the other day that David Cameron's lead speechwriter is 27. I may vomit.

Friday, November 20, 2009

The Conversation

Over recent days several important family phone calls have happened that often take place at this time of year.

Mum phoned me and just HAPPENED to mention there is a Simon Callow thing that looks quite good.

A day later I phoned mum to ask IF she was coming down to London around her birthday in December, could she CONFIRM the date.

Mum phoned back to CONFIRM what date she would be coming up to town around her birthday. I am pleased. Mother also happens to mention that I should call my sister to find out what she wants for Christmas.

Dad phones to tell me about some funny pictures he has caught while on a trip to France (well done, dad):



I phone my sister to find out what she wants for Christmas. She has no idea what she wants for Christmas, but informs me that she has already bought Mum's birthday present and one of MY Christmas presents. I panic slightly. Sister also goes on to outline what The Wonderful Nephews want for Christmas.

I call my bank manager.

Mother calls to ask why I haven't told her what I want for Christmas. I say I will think about this.

Some time later I call sister back to find out what she is buying Mum for birthday and Christmas. Sister demands to know what I would like for Christmas. I say (somewhat triumphantly) that I actually have a LIST. Sister is pleased but on top deck of bus with a five year old who is apparently trying to 'encourage' OAPs to join in his game with a plastic dinosaur, so cannot write a number of highly detailed and specific items down. OAPs appear frightened.

I am required to email my Christmas wishes to the females I share my genes with. In practical terms, this means emailing it to the members of the family who DO have email addresses; eldest nephew and father.


IN SUMMARY: This could all go horribly wrong and I will get socks again (although, if mother is involved, they are likely to be fairly awesome socks).

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Coat? Check. Scarf? Check. iPod? Check.

It's been a good while since I posted one up here, but every year I do a winter playlist for m'AYEpod.

I'm not sure why.

Maybe it's because I like the cold and the way it makes me feel. All very melodramatic I'm sure but I do like swooshing through fallen leaves feeling morbid and gloomy.

I have just completed this year's playlist, thanks to some help from The Twitterati and recent people on Teh Blogz. ANDITGOESALITTLESOMETHINGLIKETHIS..

(in no particular order - shuffle being the order of the day. Or commute.)

(Yes. Spotify. I know. I'm very not of this year. Sorry chucks.)


White Winter Hymnal - Fleet Foxes (c/o Prompt Communications
Sometimes in Winter - Saint Etienne (c/oProject76 - and it turns out the Etienne crew have written a WHOLE lotta songs about this time of year..)
Sylvia - The Antlers (c/o Mr Worth
Million Dollar Bill (Freemasons Remix) - Whitney Houston (c/o BeBopBoy)
To Build A Home - Cinematic Orchestra feat. Patrick Watson (c/o the King and Queen of Crystal Palace)
The Redeemer - The Underwolves
Symphony #69 - Pogo (c/o Last.fm)
Empire State of Mind - Jay-Z feat. Alicia Keys
Ike's Mood I - Visioneers (c/o Shazam)
Forever Young - Youth Group (c/o some random CD in the office)
Sprout and the Bean - Joanna Newsom (c/o the same CD)
Moonlight Serenade - Glenn Miller
You've Got The Love (XX remix) - Florence + The Machine (c/o Delrico
I Can't See Nobody (remixed and reimagined mix) - Nina Simone
Finished Symphony (Deadmau5 Remix) - Hybrid
Two Weeks - Grizzly Bear (c/o Mr Henry)
The Fear (Doctor Rosen Rosen Rx) - Lily Allen (c/o The Guardian Guide, if I'm honest)
The Girl and the Robot (Radio Mix) - Röyksopp (feat. Robyn)
The Greatest Story Never Told - Murray Gold
Winter - Tori Amos
Season Song - Blue States
You Can't Always Get What You Want - The Rolling Stones (c/o Mum and Dad))
Hearts Collide - Little Boots (c/o my work Mac)
Tell Me the Worst (Fred Falke Remix) - Will Young (c/o my homosexuality)
Andvari - Sigur Rós
It's Not Easy To Be Human - A Camp (c/o BeBopBoy again)
Jack - Michael Nyman (c/o the Wonderland soundtrack)
Song for Bob - Nick Cave & Warren Ellis
The Grand Finale (Edward Scissorhands) - Danny Elfman & Shirley Walker
Suite for Solo Cello No. 1 in G Major - Yo-Yo Ma (c/o the knitting teacher, some time ago)
Bulletproof - La Roux (c/o studio line from L'Oreal??)
Bright Young Things - Pet Shop Boys (c/o the lovely Tom)
The Mojo Radio Gang - Parov Stelar
A Hazy Shade of Winter - Simon & Garfunkel (c/o The Lady Donna)
My Moon My Man - Feist
Aerodynamic - Tom Hodge

-End-

Awesome weekend checking out the Turner Prize shortlist and the very visceral Anish Kapoor. Both extremely interesting.*


* If I could find a way to get someone to pay me to fire red wax cylinders at a white wall with glee I would be happy as Larry.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Took ages to glue that ferris wheel together

Having enormous fun with this online tilt shift thing. Which as far as I can make out is just that trendy way to make pictures look as if they are of very small things that seems very 'in vogue' on adverts and things at the moment.

I took this picture on the flight back into London from India, and used the online thingy to shuszz it up:


MODEL LONDON! Amazing.

If you're a proper computer bod, unlike luddite me who just bashes keys until the right things happen or bits fall off*, then there is a Photoshop Tutorial here.

* Not really I love my mac laptop. LOVE. But only use approx 0.1% of its magnificent power and capabilities.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Revolution without a head

I've updated my profile picture so all my various, badly-maintained social network 'thingies' are on-brand.

It's only taken my four years.

Kuh.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Me me me me me.

Surprisngly relaxing weekend at my parental home, despite the usual rivers of red wine (which is most certainly not some Nick Griffin-esque speech, I assure you).

I think the clocks going back has done wonders for me. After weeks of being tired and running out of rope, I seem tuned to the right universe. Ahhh! I was temporally challenged, clearly.

But. And anyway.

The delightful Great She Elephant (who sounds nothing like an elephant. I know this for I have spoken to her on the phone and she sounds.. well. All I'm saying is that Charlotte Green is in for a run for her money and certain gentleman callers might be persuaded to part with a lot of money.) has just completed a Meme which I am stealing from her blog.

Have you had sex in the past 24 hours? Not consciously.
Are you gay? Buh-LEEVE it, SISTAH! Um. Which actually means yes, I am indeed.
Do you have hairy legs?Yes. I am told this is fairly normal. But it doesn't mean I'm about to whip out the shorts at the smallest ray of sunshine.
Do you smoke anything? No. And I saw Whitney on X Factor recently.
Do you like monkeys? Never understood what's so great about them above any other animal, really. Cats is my bag.
How many fillings do you have? Two. I had others. They fell out. They or the tooth.
Would you rather swim in the ocean or a lake? Ocean. I find it harder to trust still water.
Have you ever licked one of those square batteries? Yes. Peer pressure at uni because they found out I hadn't as a child. Isn't the British educational system a marvel?? Still. That's a red brick for you..
Have you ever read the Bible? No. Chewed some it? Yes.
Did you ever go to Sunday School? No chance. Resoundingly atheist parents, you see.
Do you wear a lot of black? No but I'm considering more. Have too many light threads for winter. Doesn't go that well with my brown-ish-ginger-hinted hair though..
Did you ever bring a weapon to school? I had nothing to declare but y genius. Which may have explained the forthright actions of the school bullies.
Have you ever hugged a tree? Hell yeah. And not regularly enough for my liking. Trees are ACE.
Do you know what a sphincter actually is? Intimately, and with all the surprises that such a position can throw up. (Sorry Gran).
Describe your hair? See above. It does its job. Quite thick. If I could be arsed to go to the cutting place more often it might be better, but it's mine so huzzah!
Are you a wildbeast? I cannot better GSE's answer: "No I'm a pedant - I think you mean wildebeest."
Do you like to have fun? (eyeing meme up and down) What did you have in mind..?
Do you like drama? Ohhhh yes.
Have you ever taken a bong hit? A million years ago when all this was fields.
Do you like mayonnaise? I can take it or leave it. Nice on chips, but really I'm a tommy k and brown sauce kind of dude and no that is no kind of euphemism.
Are you afraid to die? I'm afraid of an unpleasant death involving cheesegraters, but far more frightened of others around me dying.
Do you like playing in leaves? Only if they are properly attached and covering all parts that should be covered.
Have you ever peed your pants as an adult? Oh my word yes.
Have you ever thrown up on somebody as an adult? I don't think so. Just me.
Are you an adult? How long do you have... I tell you what. Just have a flick through some of my previous posts and make your own mind up.
Ever won a spelling bee? Yes. I called him Harold.
Do you ever eat because you’re depressed? I don't think so. But if I'm happy I worry about it less. Food is one of the last great enjoyments we have. Relish it.
Are you a television addict? Yes. But not about to go to any meetings about it.
Do you think OJ was guilty? Do bears hit up Mass?
Do you enjoy spending time with your mother? Yeah. She's a hoot.
Have you ever had sex in a hot tub? I tried, vaguely. I was kindly turned down. I was okay with that because I would have worried about howe to clean it afterwards.
On a swing? Not quite sure of the point of sex swings.
Do you like Elvis? He's not on my list, if that's what you mean.
Do you enjoy watching animals “do it” on the Discovery channel? No. Because they always seem faintly embarrassed by the film crew.
Ever been hit on at a zoo? I don't think so.
Have you ever had sex with a total stranger? Oh, my dear. None of us are strangers in this world. And not telling.
you enjoy the calming effects of turkeys? Can't abide turkeys. Never a turkey round our way come Christmas. We do things with pheasants and venison instead. I say we. I mean my parents, who are more creative in the kitchen than I am.
Does your mom think someone is hot? If she did I'm not sure she'd tell me. And that's fiiiine.
Are you a sugar freak? Yes, but I'm also a savory freak.
Ever been arrested? No.
Ever commit a crime and get away with it? Once, I didn't wash my hands after peeing.
Do you like orange juice? Yeah. Nice and fresh and cold. Cuts through a fuzzy head like nothing.
What sign are you? That sort of special movement friend's make when someone asks an awkward question about someone's partner at a party. Eyebrow's down, cutting motion with the hand..
Ever do the party boy dance in front of the elderly? I have no idea what you;re talking about. Which is probably right and proper as I'm past thirty now. I have my own kind of party boy dance.
Where do you wish you were right now? NYC.
Did you enjoy this? Well, it was fun, but it's not up there as one of the greats. You've certainly diverted some of my attention this morning, for which I am grateful for. But really I'd rather be finishing off The Camomile Lawn. Don't take it to heart though. Darling, you did your best...

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

What's in a name..

Piddling around on the internets at work I found a list of some of the acronyms used by Marketing people to describe certain demographic audiences.

Some of them are absurdly specific: "ORCHID: One Recent Child Heavily In Debt. With a newborn in tow 'orchids' have limited capacity to spend or travel – an image in contrast to the exotic flower that describes them.

I suppose, somewhat depressingly into the GUPPIE category: "Gay Urban Professional. Like yuppies, but with longer-term high‑spend potential because of the guppie’s reduced likelihood of having children to look after. Alternatively, a “green yuppie”..

I don't want to be like Yuppies, thankyewverrmuch. I think of myself as Single Homosexual Inner-city Toiler, thanks. And I demanded to be marketed at as such.

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Empire State of Photography

Here are some random pictures from the recent trip to Nooo York City.

I borked my digital point and click camera during my birthday (unfortunate conjunction between camera, my bum and a hard surface), so I was using the old 35mm SLR my parents bought me for my 18th birthday. I'm pretty pleased with how some of them came out, because I hadn't used it properly in years.









I'm currently trying to work out how I can move to NYC without having to marry someone for a green card, as part of a five year plan. Any ideas?!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Bookmarks relied on in even the gravest "there's nothing interesting to look at on the net" crisis

One day, the internet will cease to exist.

Eventually some other more efficient and clever form of storing and sharing information will replace it, like the telephone replaced telegrams. And it will look like a quaint, old fashioned way to communicate. A mythological infrastructure rendered pointless by the living chips in our head that allow us to place thought directly into the minds of those we're connected to, from our eco-bubble body units that gave up the need for legs some time ago. Physical boundaries and distances having been replaced for centuries by a society that effectively exists as one in the common cloud of information and feeling and entertainment and learning. Like dust in a beam of sunlight, itself forgotten because we won't need light anymore. It'll be as irrelevant as horse-drawn carriages.

So the internet, a dusty, jammed, neglected collection of physical wires and satallites will slowly die, until the last forgotten computer light winks out, deep underground and alone. And the once flood of information and adverts and spam mail will fade out of existence as if it had never been.

When this happens, Lolcats will be the last thing that fades from the last cracked CRT screen..

Friday, September 11, 2009

For no other reason other than it's a damn Friday


Nineteen glorious seconds of pure ROFL. Thank you Harry Hill and team.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

It's all a bit self-pitying here today


Well I've just spent six minutes and thirty seconds looking at Derren Brown's balls, and I'm none the wiser. But then there's the fun. I look forward to the Friday programme where he explains all - like some illusionist Johnny Ball. S'very clever.*

Anyway, I'm packing my bags (nearly), readying my foreign currency (almost) and hot-footing it out of here (sometime next week, in fact).

I'm off on my holibobs again. And I can't begin to explain how ready I am for them, not least because the last time I went away was the last time anything interesting happened on this blog. But darnit I shall try.

Why I am ready for parts foreign (by Boz, aged thirty and a bit)

1. Work has been 'a bit busy'.
2. I have been punishing my poor body with late nights and booze.
3. I have not had much time to generally kick back, relax, enjoy a slice of cake and bit of hush.

The results of this is my body springing it's usual physical equivalent of defcon three, ie a cold sore.

There is nothing nice to be said for a cold sore. They are not pretty. They are not fun. But it's sort of my own fault for running myself down a bit. I'm like one of those hypochondriac patients in Carry On Films. "Woe is meeeee! Matron!".

So very shortly, I'm abandoning these shores - with their gloomy news, befuddled seasons and wearisome deadlines - for New York City.

I've been before so have done most of the touristy stuff. Anyone got any tips for what next? MOMA is on my list..


* FULL DISCLAIMER: I slightly fancy Derren Brown. I know, right, a bit unusual, yeah? I'm sure it has all sorts of Freudian undertones. But there we are.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Traumatised by Ghostwatch, for starters

An important revelation about telly has arisen following the second blog* meeting between me, James of Blue Cat fame, Billy and Jayne.

There was talk about telly** and it struck me ("ow") that a lot of the TV that I really like and has really influenced me, was the stuff that I was not allowed to watch when I was younger.

I was a bit weedy and wet as a child (IN A GOOD WAY). So a lot of scary stuff was right out almost immediately (actually this might not just be telly - a Radio 4 Edgar Allan Poe adaptation had me literally shaking once). Anything I was shuffled away from has been the subject of endless interest as an adult. I think mum had a pretty good sense of the things that would cause sleepless nights (for me and therefore her) so would firmly switch over, off or the subject of our focus. But now anything sci-fi-ish and properly creepy I think is brillig.

And I have very deep memories of my sitting up in bed and hearing my parents and sister next door, laughing hysterically to Blackadder, which I had been summaraily dispatched to bed before the start of. I crept along the hall, knelt down beside the battered church pew*** and sat by the - firmly closed - living room door hearing them laugh their heads off.

"That must be a good thing," thought little I. Thus an obsession was born.

Of course, there was also always the lingering sense, the unspoken rule, that anything on ITV was somehow not quite the done thing. So clearly I can also blame/thank my parents for some of my strange class preoccupations, coupled to a socialist soul.

So I worry about my nephews, who can more or less watch what they like, will miss out on the life-shaping habits created by someone saying "No, not for you". Mind you, as the youngest one is still fairly preoccupied by DVDs of steam trains - and I mean ANY DVD of steam trains - I'm not sure there's too much of a problem there.

Anyway. I'm off to try and find a copy of this, on sound recommendation.

* Which was a much soberer affair than the last one, because we all had some proper grown-up things to do the next day. Like making presentations, meeting new people and trying to overthrow Slough.
** One of my BEST types of talks.
*** Don't go there. We had two. And screaming atheism.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Things I Have Learnt About Being Thirty

1. No one gives up their seat for you on the bus. Yet. "Tsk".

2. That burgeoning spare tyre around the waist gets harder to shift, but I have come to accept that I will never be one of those people who can go to the gym three times a week.

3. The balance between risking offending people and making sure your friends are okay shifts towards the latter in the previous decade.

4. I'm never going look like I did when I was twenty (Thank God).

5. Life does seem to in a vague, ambling curve of generally getting better.

6. Therefore I am very lucky.

7. I still have the capacity to cock things up quite stupendously.

8. The next ten years feel potentially as open as field.

9. It is still acceptable to laugh at jokes about pooh and dance around your bedroom to music.

10. Blimey, I do witter on sometimes.

11. People buy you lots of skin care products for your thirtieth birthday (this is a good thing).

12. The things that were important to me at 18 are still the things that tend to matter most. I wish I had known this at 18.

13. Heaven is still a deep blue sky.

14. It seems I have been reading liberal lefty publications for quite some time...


(Cheers Mum)

UPDATE: Also, I am still totally incapable of buying trousers that are the correct length.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

"Yeah I think we missed the turn-off for the point some miles back, Dave."

Oh look. Stop it. Just stop it.

Monsieur Ambassadors, with news stories like this you are forcing me to go all Yummy Mummy on Yo Ass*.

Surely this is taking 'missing the point' to a whole new level. Are they trying to get this to be added to 2012 as a new Olympic sport? HELLO?

I try to buy organic food when I can afford to. I do not do this because I think an organic banana is going to be healthier for me* per se, I do this because I believe it is going to be less damaging for me.

And yes, I've already had Ben Goldacre waved under my nose. All this is well and good, and an interesting deconstruction of the argument. BUT. I still don't want artificially created pesticides, fertilizers or hormones cluttering up the stuff I eat. Because that stuff hangs around in the ecosystem, and no amount of argument will convince me that it isn't doing dodgy stuff to my body - which is already fighting pollution, chemicals in soaps and all the other Bad Stuff we fill the world with.

Also, organic food just tastes better.

I say this as someone who has just returned from his parents house, and enjoyed the plentiful organic goods of their allotment. MmmmMMMMM!

Anyway. That's today's rant. I'll try and frame a fw more posts in a more positive mental attitude..

ALSO. I love working in an office where someone approaches the workplace HiFi with a dark glint in their eye, murmuring the words "There can never be enough Fleetwood Mac in the world.."

* And I live in Clapham, where Yum-Mums actually are a growth industry. I'm knee-deep in Kath Kidston and how.

** Particularly as said banana has a good chance of ending up as, say, oo, I dunno, banana cake. [cackles]

Friday, July 24, 2009

Fun To Be Had In Scottish Cities

I've never been to the Edinburgh Festival. I wish I had.

But.

If I were going this year, I would definitely check out the most excellent and amusing Frisky & Mannish, who I first saw some while ago at a secret and not-to-be-talked-of event*:



The Pussycat Dolls and Kate Bush renditions are particularly noteworthy. Any act with the balls to combine Girls Aloud with The Wheels On The Bus should be wildly applauded.

This lovely page has details of the Edinburgh gig.


I thank you. Silliness ahoy, Midshipman Banana!

* Which involved bingo. I'm just saying.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Oh Arse

I've completely forgotten how to write interesting blog posts that are not just a collection weakly strung together links.

Damn you Twitter!!

(Shakes fist at blogosky)

This requires some work...

Name, Number, Address, Email, Blog... who really still uses fax machines?

Two features on business cards hit my desk within hours today. The first from The Financial Times, and the second from On Office (which annoyingly appears not to be on the website.

FULL MARKS to Lego, who let you have your own little Lego man with your contact details on. Amazing!

Once you start looking, there is no end of imaginative designs for them.

My work one is a sort of blue/purple affair. Maybe I should head to Moo and make my own ones using my photo collection. Only that probably would not do a lot for my "professional" reputation. After all, your business card says a lot about you (and your brand).

This is why I could never start a business. I spend all my time on the business cards and stationery. I'd not get any work done.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

"It's Just! (Just!) A little Trust! (Trust!)"

Am really enjoying this opinion piece by Charlie Brooker on how we have little faith in our traditional institutions.

And one of his comments left me wondering, if we can;t trust the WI then who can we trust? WHERE ARE THE WI WHEN WE NEED THEM?

Quick. Someone parachute a member into every Government department, bringing practicality, common sense and damn fine baking!

All of which is really just a tenuous excuse to show this:



Nothing from me this weekend, apart from on Twitter, as I shall be busy volunteering and raising awareness of a health-related issue at a music fetsival. More on that after the weekend...

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

But there were disappointingly few car chases

My brain is in a strange place. I'm having lots of very odd dreams. Last night seemed to involve a plot nicked from a Zoë Heller novel, where I had an affair with someone, then ended up looking after his bitter partner into old age, until she eventually had me run over by youffs on bicycles on a sodden English country lane.

To fill the time in between there was much angst and confrontation in various European cities.

Also a sub-plot about a missing jewel.

When does the cheque for the films rights arrive in the post, do we think..?

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Four Square Eyes

As my tech-guru flatmate has pointed out, it really shows that it hasn't had squillions of earth pounds spent on it, but I am beginning to get quite attached to Channel 4 On Demand. (aka 4od.... "Fodd"? "Four-rod"??).

Mostly, because I can rediscover stuff like Ultraviolet and Drop The Dead Donkey.

It's like the TV channels are in a giant conspiracy to stop me going outside...

Monday, July 06, 2009

The Alternative UK Citizenship Test

I'm sure these will spring up everywhere. But having failed the test questions for being a UK citizen because they asked inane things about road speeds (I don't drive), the number of young people in the UK (with proportionally minor differences between the four choices) and where I go to find out about local training opportunities (I'm a lazy bastard), I should like to suggest alternative and more accurate questions to identify the people who want to be here and have been paying attention*:

1. What is the correct way to prepare a cup of tea?
- Milk in first
- Boiling water in first
- Moving widdershins around the cauldron while chanting hymns to the monkey gods.
- In the advert break.

2. State the correct number of times EastEnders is broadcast each week:
- Once
- Twice
- Three times a Barbara Windsor
- Four and half thousand
- Half

3. The Union Jack is only so-called when..
- Raised.
- Flown on a boat.
- No one really cares about the answer to this you smug git.
- Adorned on a BNP supporter.

4. If someone jostles you by accident in a popular drinking tavern, the correct response is..
- "Oh I am so sorry my dear Sir/Madam/Transgendered person, I do apologise. the fault was all mine. Please allow me to replace your spoilt Babycham."
- Heatbutting.
- Crying (it's been a long night).
- Pregnancy.
({Participants note, the answers to this question depend on the part of the country you are located in, and your social class. If you do not know your social class, please consult the arbitrator's copy of The Daily Mail.)

5. London is the capital of...
- The World.
- The Universe.
- The Empire.
- Starbucks.
- FM.

6. Typically, Christian UK residents buy Christmas presents..
- Rarely.
- At Christmas.
- In the sales.

7. Sir Alan Sugar is..
- Grand High Overlord of Great Britain
- Getting a bit tired now, to be honest.
- The Queen's husband.
- A queen's husband.
- Not as good as Margaret Mountford.

8. The British countryside is where..
- We shoot things.
- We shoot things to actually eat them.
- We go to patronise inhabitants of conurbations of less than 50,000 people.
- Messy.
- We go caravan baiting.

9. The most important UK resident is...
- Gordon Brown.
- Simon Cowell.
- The Queen.
- The man who runs the corner shop.
- Gordon Ramsey.
- Sean Connery.
- Barack Obama.

10. Your local Doctor is available..
- By Calling NHS Direct
- By tuning into BBC One on Saturday evenings
- When the happy pills have run out
- Never

11. A traditional British meal includes...
- Beans.
- Sausages.
- Beanz.
- "Vegetables".
- Plastic cutlery.

12. TRUE or FALSE, a motorway service station is not what you're thinking?

13. You are entitled to a free subscription to Heat magazine...
- When Kerry Katona says so
- When Jordan says so
- When Katie Price says so
- When the women at Tescos says so
- When the Man from Delmote says so
- When the Gold Blend couple say so
- On Tuesdays
- Upon the birth of your sixteenth child

14. Finally, John Lewis is...
- Where posh people go to buy haberdashery.
- Related to Peter Jones.
- A Blue Peter presenter.
- A porn star.
- A long-running drama on Radio 4.


Am I being snobby? I'm probably being snobby, aren't I. eeek!

More suggestions in the comments please!


UPDATE: I must belatedly thank Mr. Dennis for this post, as it was his Tweet that pointed me at the UK citizenship Warm Up Test. And his questions in the comments are far funnier than mine, dammit.

(The British - shocking manners....)


* I'd also quite like to end this sentence

The planets must be "all funky", as Sir Patrick would say

It has been an odd week so far;

1. Octogenarian grandmother went head-first through a glass coach window (she's fine - more damage to the coach and the coach driver she was sitting behind, as far as I can make out).

2. Pacifist sister got into a fight.

3. Great Aunt kicked the bucket. I did not know her very well, but she was officially a fab old thing and my mother is extremely saddened.

4. Unfortunately (for her) she is not officially 'dead' as her three doctors* can't agree on a cause of death and are refusing to sign the death certificate.

5. I opened a kitchen cupboard a day ago and discovered it had filled up form the inside with pools of a strange black liquid...**

6. Father suffering from bout of gastroe...gasteroenteri....that bad stomach virus thing.


What do all these strange augers foretell??



* I don't know why either, although I suspect she may have been pulling a fast one with prescriptions for the happy pills, gawd bless 'er.

** Which subsequently turned out to be a forgotten bag of potatoes on the top shelf that had liquified, but I don't mind saying it gave me a funny turn.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

I can neither confirm nor deny at this time that I was pretending to be Shirley Bassey

I love the internets. Who knew* there would be an entire website out there devoted to opening title sequences.

Brilliant! On a hot day like today, I recommend a dose of Edward Scissorhands. Most refreshing.

Which reminds me of my youngest nephew on the recent trip to the London Transport Museum, enjoying his very own Goldfinger** moment..





* I suspect the answer is most of you. I'm usually a little behind on these matters. And have a memory like a.. like a... whataretheycalled...

** The Scissor Sisters also deserve kudos for this video, too.

Someone at Air New Zealand has too much time on their hands..



Very, very weird. Would love to have been there when the conversation happened...

I wonder if I could get away with doing my next client pitch like this..?

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Someone has tried to market stuff at me as a Blogger, I'm so happy I could weep!!

So. This morning, I cranked up my email and found the following email:

Hey Boz,

As a London-based blogger I thought you might enjoy the new animated video for my song “Goodbye London”.

It was animated onto photos of Camden, Hampstead Heath, Piccadilly Circus and other favourite parts of London.

The vid is here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o8nrDz1xNFE

I’d be delighted if you’d help me spread the word by posting it on your blog, Facebook, Twitter or myspace.

Sincerely,

Luke Jackson



Thrills! I don't care if some record label lackey picked up my blog from some long-forgotten blog directory I signed up to in an early fit of blogging enthusiasm. Nor do I care that the blogosphere is getting quiter by the day and they may be running out of London blogger to find.

HOW COULD A BLOGGER REFUSE.

It's such a well-written, open and dead straightforward email. I have to applaud it.

Luckily, the song and video turn out to be a bit nifty. And do actually have some of my fave bits of London in:



Thank you, Luke Jackson. How is also on Twitter here.

Proof that those that ask nicely get everything they ask for.

UPDATE: Although - anyone know how to make this video fit my woefully out of date blog template? It really is time to update this blasted thing. I'm just a-fearin' losing everything..

UPDATE AGAIN: Despite valiant efforts by my flatmate, the Patron Saint of Blogging has come to my rescue vis the YouTube video size. Huzzahs!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

OM NOM NOM

My flatmate puts together a damn good dinner...

Sunday, June 28, 2009

"ROFL"

An actual advertisement from the actual past, as found at the London Transport Museum.

I am very easily amused..

Friday, June 26, 2009

World's Smallest Blog-Meet

I done met another Blogger. He tells all here.

Well. Saves me writing a post.

In brief: the internet is not just full of weirdos, but nice people too!

Monday, June 22, 2009

"Third floor, handbags, haberdashery and the eighth circle of hell."

You'll need to crank the video up to full-screen for this.

The Standard Hotel in NYC has created a video installation in its lift based on Dante's Divine Comedy.

It's brilliant. Check it out:

Civilization by Marco Brambilla from CRUSH on Vimeo.



I cannot claim to have spotted this. But the most excellent person who chucked it my way will not let me link to them until their shiny new blog is up and running. I may do it retrospectively.

Monday. Good day for consideration of trips to hell and back.

I'm off to NYC in September. I shall be at the Standard... I can't afford to stay there, obviously, but I'll be going up and down in the lift a lot.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Television Shows They Wouldn't Commission Now (Part 1)

Why Don't You?. *

INT. BBC CENTRE.

BRIGHT YOUNG TELLY THING: "We've got this great idea, actually, for... what are they called? Children. Because the license fee says we have to put programmes on for them as well, or something, actually. Which is ridiculous because some of them can't even talk."

COMMISSIONING PERSON: "Hit me!" ***

BRIGHT YOUNG TELLY THING: "What it is, essentially, is a group of these "children", together, in, um, let's say an abandoned abatoir. And what they do, and this is the clever bit, is they make or do things that viewers have sent in as suggestions. Isn't that just chronically clever!? Jane thinks it's marvellous."

COMMISSIONING PERSON: "Big Brother with kidz. Viewers controlling their every action. I like it! It's got meaning. The location may need work. What's it called?"

BRIGHT YOUNG TELLY THING: " 'Why Don't You Just Switch Off Your Television Set And Go Out And Do Something Less Boring Instead?' "

COMMISSIONING PERSON: "Come again?"

BRIGHT YOUNG TELLY THING: "Janecameupwiththetitle."

COMMISSIONING PERSON: " ' Why Don't You...?' "

BRIGHT YOUNG TELLY THING: " '...Just Switch Off Your Television Set And Go Out And Do Something Less Boring Instead?'"

COMMISSIONING PERSON: "Right."

BRIGHT YOUNG TELLY THING: "Yes"

COMMISSIONING PERSON: "It's the bit about telling our younger consumer units to 'switch off' and participate in something 'less boring' that I'm sensing internal negative feedback from."

BRIGHT YOUNG TELLY THING: "Right. Yes. I see how that might not sit well with, um, our wider strategy. Sort of thing."

COMMISSIONING PERSON: "How about 'Stay In And Do Stuff We Tell You To?' "

BRIGHT YOUNG TELLY THING: " '...When This Programme Has Finished' perhaps? Or even 'When Your Parents Switch Off?' "

COMMISSIONING PERSON: "We'll abbreviate to "Stay In And Do". Love it. Here's £500,000. I want a pilot on my desk on Monday."

BRIGHT YOUNG THING" "Oh graaaaaaayt."

COMMISSIONING PERSON: "And no mistakes like last time. We had to promise British Airways a plug in The Apprentice to make them not go to the papers. Now where is my coffee and bagel??"

BRIGHT YOUNG TELLY THING: "Super. Yup. I'll call Jane now."

COMMISSIONING PERSON: "Also kids are expensive. Can we use dwarves?"

BRIGHT YOUNG TELLY THING: "I'll ask Jane.."

CUT TO:

JANE standing in a disused coal mine having kids throw things at her. She is crying.

CLOSE.


Incidentally, if anyone has read The Writer's Tale, it some interesting stuff on how Russell T. Davies slowly took over Why Don't You and subverted it into a ongoing drama. It sounded like a lot of fun.

I think this is part of my campaign to return an element of shoddiness to children's programming. It's all too Neat and Zappy and Polished these days. Bring back video clips going wrong on Number 73 and people harassing Five Star on Going Live. Right - can anyone find that clip of Yvette Fielding buggering up her pancake on Blue Peter?? BRING BACK GLITTER GLUE TO CBBC.


UPDATE: I'm beinginning to feel deja vu about this. Have I blogged about this before? Has someone else?? Have I fooled myself into thinking I came up with this idea when in fact it's the basis of a long-running show on BBC3?? PARANOIA.


* Also ooo look at that. TV Cream has gone to Beta. I turn my back for six months and eveything changes.**

** "And you gotta be ready".

*** I may have senior telly people confused with newspaper editors from the 1940s. The world of telly is not a world I move in, pass through or otherwise throw disco shapes in.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

"I'sa all sparkly!"

This is really old and everyone on the intermawebs will have seen this already, but I have only just been show the Star Wars parody from Robot Chicken. I laughed so hard I spat rice out of my mouth.

I recommend watching right until the end. Affectionate parodies are worth the time investment.

"That's... improbable!"

In summary: Go Seth Green!

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Grade II Fear (with Hons.)

It is this morning. I am standing in small room I have paid to be in. I am alone, but confronted by a beast from my past that I am here to prod gently, to see if it stirs.
I feel guilty because I "Haven't Been Practicing"..

...which is ridiculous, because I was last asked to do piano practice ooh a good fifteen years ago!

So it's like this. In darker moments of recent months, quite out of nowhere, I have felt a.. okay, I can find no better word.. yearning to play some notes on a piano. I know. It's all very middle-class, n'est pas?!

(And I mean piano. Not a keyboard, not an I-can't-believe-it's-an-electric-piano-piano*, not an organ (missus). A piano. It didn't need to be posh or fancy - a battered old upright would have done.)

Now. I only got as far as Grade Two, thanks to some rather futile years discovering I was basically awful at guitar. But I was curious to see if I could remember anything. And the desire kept recurring, despite not having touched one for a good decade.

So I arranged a marvellously cheap hour in a practice room and found out. It was so much fun! Turns out that with a bit of practice I could just about stumble through some simple stuff. And it was remarkable to feel that odd sensation of trying to coordinate two hands doing different things at the same time, like trying to twist your brain in two different directions, while emptying the washing machine. I haven't felt that in years.

I might try again. Stand back world.

I should, at this juncture, point out that I once made my piano teacher actually scream. Loudly. Really loudly. I dunno, something about not practicing some chords or scales or something...

Maybe I'll do less Bartok and more the theme form Ski Sunday this time. Maybe.


* Because I really can. And yes you can tell the difference. Listen to some of the stuff on the radio.

Monday, June 08, 2009

Geographic Locator Fail


Oh, Virgin Active, you big sillies.

I feel I have quite a lot of untapped anger bubbling away just under the surface these days. Small things set me off the most vitriolic of diatribes; Blogger making me log-in twice. Ripping a hole in my socks by accident. People mentioning the BNP. Commuters suddenly stopping in the most awkward of places to consult a map, their socks, the sky etc. People I* pay money to talking to customers a if we were in the USA.

Gone are the days of wry bewilderment. If this is nearly being thirty... I LIKE IT..



* Yes, OK, work, but it'snearly the same thing.

Friday, June 05, 2009

It's the hair pins left spinning in the air that really get me


I'm retreating into my childhood. Partly on the back of some reality TV programme I caught five minutes of where a Mum was inflicting her 70s childhood on her console-hybrid children*. Partly because I haven't been out much this week.

But it did make me think that everything is rather fast-paced now. Back in my mini-me days, the opening credits for 80 Days Around The World ran for a a minute and half, FFS. A minute and a half! That's longer than my attention span now!

Which led me to wondering where all the old cartoons went. And it turns out - the internet!

Witch Hazel and Marvin the Martian were my favourites, I think.*** (Although I couldn't find the one where WH tries to fly a vacuum cleaner - which made me howl with laughter).

So. Yeah. Thassall folks. Just me wallowing in my slower-paced childhood, but trying not to judge the modern world. After all, the the lucky buggers today have cool shizz like Yo Gabba Gabba!


* Look. I didn't like it either. But there were millions of children and they had a console *each* and it was quite interesting that the first thing they did when all their telly's were taken away was congregate together in the living room. All in moderation is what I'm aiming for, I guess. Which makes me a total hypocrite because I was that spoddy, game-playing, in-my-room teenager.**
** And against all expectations I quite like me.
*** No one say anything about identifying with the outsiders. Not. One. Little. Word.

Monday, June 01, 2009

Can't think of a title. Meh.

Oooh look, I've not been on here much lately, have I.

[Beats the walls to test sound and strength, looks under posts for build-up of dust, kicks bit of skirting that has always been loose].

I would blame Twitter, only really I just haven't had much interesting to say.

BUT. The legendary, much anticipated, whispered of in hushed tones by the photocopier Office Relocation has finally happened.

I am typing this from a W1 post code, under the stern, 1960's futurist glance of the BT Tower. Or Post Office Tower is you're being all retro. I've always wanted to see if there is anything left of the revolving restaurant at the top. I suppose I never will now.*

Thanks to the God of All Finance, the move itself has been surprisingly easy and stress free. But I don't think he could control our excited running around being excited this lunchtime..

Anyway. Until I find interesting things to witter about that other people haven't done a better job on, adieu.

* I'm not dying. Just quite lazy.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Things you never thought would be mentioned in a conversation with Elmo...


Lazy I know. But this post was brought to you by the bank holiday sunshine. And the letter T.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

So, in the middle of being all cultural and stuff, I'm floored

So, I went to the Corbusier exhibition at the Barbican some while back.* I have to say I was not overly impressed; there was a lot of room given over to his sculpture which didn't really 'fill my plinth' and I left without really getting a sense of Who He Was. But this didn't matter as I got to pootle around the wonderful Barbican Centre and generally bask in sunshine, watching neurotic art students frolic among the bricks and fountains.

Anyway.

One bit of the exhibition really did grab me. In fact - it blew me away. About halfway through the top floor, they had a cabinet of various writings and books. And one, Towards A New Architecture** was open at a certain page, and the text plucked some hidden chord inside:


"...great white marble space filled with light. Beyond you can see a second similar space of the same dimensions, but in half light and raised on several steps (repetition of a minor key); on each side a still smaller space in subdued light; turning round, you have two very small spaces in shade. From full light to shade, a rhythm. Tiny doors and enormous bays. You are captured, you have lost the sense of common scale. You are enthralled by a sensorial rhythm (light and volume) and by an able use of scale and measure, into world of its own which tells you what it sets out to tell you. What emotion, what faith!"



I know it's abstract, but it really caught me. The language is simple but powerful.


* I'm not all about shooty-shooty games and kittens here. Oh dear me no.
** 1927, Brewer, Warren & Putnam. Hey, I'm back at Uni with footnotes and such.

Friday, May 08, 2009

Pursued by a Bear

I think someone in the Grauniad's marketing team is possibly quite close to some kind of emotional breakdown.

Our thoughts are with you, dear person!

Performers though? Do budding actors look to their weekend papers for advice? What next, the Observer guide to being a Policeman??

I'm carping for no reason. I'm bound to read the things.

Darnit.

All the rage: flesh-eating diseases.

Right, seriously, just for second, what exactly is an image like this going to do to the average spotty fourteen year old's perception of what a normal body actually looks like!? What's that gonna do to your self-esteem, when this is beaming out from every magazine rack?


Unless there's some VERY SUSPECT PhotoShop action going on there (which I expect there is anyway), that bloke is not a normal shape. Right? Bodies don't really do that.

Shame on you, Men's Fitness. That has nothing to do with health or fitness. It is pure vanity.

I "go" to the gym every now and again. I guess it's a mix of wanting to be a bit healthier and, yes, some degree of concern about my physical appearance. But I think I have a more or less healthy attitude to life, food, Mars bars, and enough nouse to understand that big biceps and a stomach you can bounce rocks off, while yes all very nice 'n all, don't actually make you a better human being. Or a more fun one. And take a lot of time. Which could also be spent doing things like reading, enjoying Mars bars, watching telly, seeing friends, not taking steroids, enjoying another Mars bar, going to the cinema, having a walk, trying an Ice Cream Mars Bar, having a nice sit down, listening to music, volunteering work or other such productive activities.

IS ALL.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Marmite's Lemonaaaade. Marmite. Marmite.

Just me popping in to say how cool I think the new print adverts for Marmite Snacks are.

I particualrly like the twin square ones on the undergound, a bit like the one below, which change meaning depend on how they are rotated.


I am so easily pleased. If I was a graphic designer I'd probably be bandying words about like "clean", "understated" and "simple". But I'm not so I can't.

Here are some more of them.


FULL DISCLOSURE: I have had bugger-all to do with these adverts, either professionally or personally. So yah-boo-sucks. I just think they are pretty. But some Google Investigative Journalism find that this creative advertising agency appears to be responsible. Well done all, take ten points, clock off early etc.