Tuesday, June 30, 2009


My flatmate puts together a damn good dinner...

Sunday, June 28, 2009


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?. *


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."


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?' "


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: "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?"



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


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.