Friday, November 26, 2010

*waves*

Seriously. What the hell am I going to get my dad for Christmas?

And what is this obsession that blokes all want hip flasks. Hip flasks!? Really? Is this the best retailers can come up with?

I've used one once. In my whole life. That's not an ideal return on investment.

So. To look at my dad's interests in turn:

Golf: But he hates golf things.
Science / astrophysics: Great. I'll get a timeshare on a quark.
Books: He has loads he has not read yet (also, did that for his birthday).
Growing vegetables: He used to be a farmer. There's not much he needs or needs to know about.
Films: Already got a DVD as a joint Mum and Dad present.
Music: Under embargo since the year three of us bought him the same Jools Holland CD.

He's really not going to be impressed if I rock up with a scarf. We all bring booze home for the holiday anyway, so a bottle of something just screams 'I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT TO GIVE YOU'. He doesn't collect anything.

Please do not misunderstand me; he's a fascinating and lovely man. But Dads just .. don't seem to fit the consumer matrix.

So I'm turning my baleful, puppy-like eyes to the internet... I can has halps, pls?

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Scotland!


My photos from my trip to Edinburgh are up on my sporadic Flickr account.

I went up with my Mum, and was too lazy to plan anything. So I crowdsourced my holiday. I know! HOW MODERN.

Friends, colleagues and Twitter all came up with some ace suggestions, including:

Delicious breakfast at Urban Angel (try the porridge with heather honey).

The beautiful Museum of Scotland - we only managed two floors as it's packed with stuff, doesn't preach in its explanations and is housed in some stunning buildings.

Excellent food at The Outsider, with outstanding views of the castle.

This is why the internet is a Good Thing: I would never have come across some of these without the help of people I know and do not know.

We also really loved checking out the fine prints and paper goods at The Red Door Gallery and the mighty good food at Valvona & Crolla. And a cosy glass of mid-afternoon wine in the cellar of Whighams, which was conveniently close to our hotel. Staggering distance, some might say.

Brilliant city. Felt like it had real attitude, but a hugely welcoming one. So much to do, but also exactly the kind of place to settle down with a coffee and watch the world go by. Oh yes. I will be going back.

AND on top of all this, I got to meet the very lovely GreatSheElephant. We had coffee, like proper people and eveything. And she knows where to find the finest ground beans in the City. It was brilliant to properly meet the person behind the blog. We nattered away merrily.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Hard as.

(Well something had to shift Ginger, Sporty and the other ladies off the top spot. They were beginning to get on my nerves a touch.)

So. This week, for the first time in almost twenty five years, I had to cut my nails. All ten of them.

I was a bit rusty. It took a few goes. And I bet I'm not the only one who visibly winces every time those clipper things ping bits of your keratin plates off and into the dark recesses behind the toilet seat.

You see, I've been biting my nails since I was six. They've more or less been my main source of protein during that time. Seriously. Recycling or what? I've often bitten them so low they bleed. Or hang. Or hurt because I've done that thing where you bite a tiny bit off the end but then pull that up to peel a wee thin layer of nail stuff off the front right down to the root, and when I've pulled it off a weird slip of it still remains underneath the eponychium (thank you, Wikipedia). Or ripped off surrounding bits of skin. Eeeeeech! Sorry.

Nervous tic, I suppose. They've definitely always suffered more when I'm stressed or worried. It's quite disgusting, really. In moments of panic, I've had half the fingers of one hand wodged into my frantically chewing gob. Ur.

And even when I have managed to proudly garden up three or four, so they at least have some white at the tips (usually under threat or bribery from my gran), they've been so flimsy and thin they break really easily. Which is disheartening. So I gave up trying. I even got to quite like the taste of that stuff you could paint on to make them taste yucky. Pavlovian response or what.

As a consequence of all this, I've always found blokes with good, solid, well kept but not overly fancy nails strangely attractive..

But then, while I was on holiday a few weeks ago, I just stopped.

Just like that.

Without even trying or thinking about it. All ten fingers. In the past I've always allowed myself the thumbs or forefingers as sacrifices to try and keep my mouth away from the others.

These are strange times.

And they are quite strong. Only one broke, and it grew back really quickly.

Which means I've been able to discover something; nails rock! No, really. I know most of you already know this, but you can use them for loads of really useful things.

Like;

- opening cans and tins that have ring pulls, without the aid of nearby teaspoons
- scratching bits of you
- picking at stuff (accidentally gave myself a nosebleed...)
- scraping off stuff
- doing that tapping your nails thing when you're bored or thinking like they do in films.

They're brilliant! Rev! Va! Lation!

Then yesterday, I realised that I've started pulling out individual facial hairs instead of biting my nails.

..Bugger..



In other news; I'm thinking of setting up shop again with a new blog, amended identity and general fresh start. Lots has been happening lately I need to write about. Watch this space. I AIN'T DEAD!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Channeling the Force


It could have all been so different.

I remember when Channel 5 started. Long before it went all Five up in our faces. There was an amusing one-off Hospital thing with Celia Imrie in funny nurse hats... and the endless showreel loop before the launch...

You can tell what era it was by the clip above.

But anyway. Reading this is interesting. What's that? IBA recommends a channel situated somewhere beyond Birmingham?* And only now are the Beeb doing the decent thing and upping sticks (in part) to different parts of the country.

Don't get me wrong, I live in the centre of the Universe (or London as we let it be called elsewhere), but contrary to all popular thinking, other stuff happens elsewhere. The London experience is not everyone's experience. Why did EVERYTHING have to end up here?

Roll on the BBC Provinces channel.


* Surely no.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

A different kind of Chap.


"Well to be honest, after years of smoking and drinking, you do sometimes look at yourself and think, you know, just sometimes between that first cigarette with coffee in the morning to that 400th glass of corner shop piss at 3AM, you do sometimes look at yourself and think...this is fantastic."
Bernard Black

...I never said they had to be real. And grumpy people are funny. And funny is cool.

Monday, June 07, 2010

Here come the Chaps! (ba-ba-bap-a-ba-ba! ba ba-ba ba ba bah! etc.)

Ma-ha! A blog post! Now you weren't expecting THAT, were you, Meeester Bond?

Let's get thematic. Seems as if GQ magazine have published some kind of list of The Coolest Men.

Hmm. Well. Let's sweep straight over the fact that there are least three people on that list I'm totally unfamiliar with, and head straight into the territory marked "surely I can do this better".

I mean. Prince Harry. Really?

So I'm doing my own list. In stages. Bite-sized-blog-chunks, or 'Blunks' if you will.


Boz's List of Ice-Cold Chaps

In at Ten, it's Alexander von Humboldt.


Once at a party, long ago, a delightful woman turned to me on the topic of en-famed baby names, and queried "Do you know of any great Alexanders?". Being the smart-arsed little oik I am, I was quick to point out the obvious one she had omitted.

But if I had waited a few more years, then upon reading Alain de Botton's The Art of Travel, I would have had a better answer.

Namely, that one of the greatest of Alex's is Mister Von Humboldt.

Why?

1. He got everywhere. The man must have had enough passport stamps to warrant their own museum.

2. He has a type of penguin, lily, squid, skunk and various tress and shrubs named after him. In fact, he gets his own wikipedia page of things named after him.

3. He called the last decade of his life his "improbable years", which is delightful.

4. The man was a bit ahead of his time on the whole holistic approach to nature business. If alive today, one suspects he'd be the kind of bloke amiable talking around people like BP into cheerfully reorganising themselves into Butterfly Protection plc.

5. Explorer, diplomat, artist, scientist... A bit of a polymath, he had a truly global outlook on life and acquired a vast mass of knowledge that he carefully wrote down to leave to the rest of us.

Finally, and I do not have anything on hand to prove it, but I strongly suspect he was a humanist. IE, not one of those terribly British pricks who went about the world conquering and raping "Johnny Foreigner". I mean, he couldn't have been anyway, because he was German, but you catch my drift. Less gung-ho, more gung-hello-nice-to-meet-you.

Fab. Just fab.

Surely it's time to celebrate the man's life in a graphic novel, or some kind of Dan Brown book using the various statues of him littered around the known world, no?

Men nine through one to follow at my leisure. Any suggestions..?


PS: Look! Quinquireme has blogged too! *SCREAM!* and then *runs off to read*

Thursday, May 06, 2010

The view from here.

Vote. Go on. You know you want to.

I know this is not going to make any kind of difference, as I suspect almost anyone likely to come across this blog will have already done so. But do, really. Do.

It's a bit trite, but I've been trotting out the line that various people in history have died so you could do what you can do today. It is a fundamental act of our democracy.

So there.

Rock on!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

An Education, thanks

This month I paid off my student loans, as those of you on Twitter might have seen.

Sorry, I'm just going to type that out again because it hasn't quite sunk in yet.

I paid off my student loans.

It's taken a decade. Well over three times the length of time I was at Uni.

In the grand scheme of stuff, I was pretty lucky. Being one of the last ILEA kids, I also went though Uni just before tuition fees came in. So I left with just under £5,000 of debt.

Just to say again, it's taken ten years.

Okay, okay. Anyone with half their wits can see I'm not very good at budgeting or handling money. I'm first to admit that. Me? Money? Generally pretty hapless (although I do have a pension. MADNESS.).

But it never really bothered me when I left education, as everyone I knew was in the same amount of debt, and it would be ages before we had to think about paying it off..

It's at this point that I have to mention that most of the people leaving Uni I speak to now, leave with well over £20,000 of debt.

Which, at the rate I went, would take somewhere between thirty and forty years to pay off. Thirty years of guaranteed debt. Debt that's normal. Expected. Run-of-the-mill.

Yeah. Not sure I'd go to Uni now either.

Friday, March 19, 2010

I feel like the Word Warlock


All thanks to the amazing wordle word cloud machine.

Purty.

In other news, if Blogger serious do not sort out all these spam comments, I shall flee this place. I just deleted thirty. THIRTY.

Third coffee in

Today I am wearing my new yellow shirt.

THRILLS.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Sweet disposition.

What.

What?

What is it?

Stop looking at me. I'm not doing anything.

Yes I know I haven't blogged for a while.

I'VE BEEN BUSY.

Well, work. And stuff. You know.

Yes I know I still manage to find the time to watch Doctor Who trailers and follow Glee. What of it?

Don't look at me like that. I have nothing to say.

No, really, my mind is blank. I have nothing. No. Thing. Nada..

No I'm not going to blog about Glee and Doctor Who.

Because I think there enough people out there doing that, and more engagingly and amusingly than I wou.. what do you mean "that's never stopped me before"?!

I'm not, until you take that back.

Well for someone who just wants me to play you've got a funny way of going about it. that's all I'm saying.

No I'm not grumpy.

I SAID I'M NOT BEING GRUMPY.

...

Okay.

Well.

There you are then.

Yes, okay, I love you too.

Yes I meant that.

No, really, I did. No honestly!

Look me in the eyes! I really did! I'm just.. grumpy...

Well okay then. So long as that's sorted out.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Yeah but who listens to TEENAGERS?!

Yes, but.

I think that means I'm officially in the same category as 33 and third RPMs and platform shoes.

Aces.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

"Now apply the ointment twice daily, and if the swelling persists after a week, come back and see me again."

I've been tagged by the Patrician known as GreatSheElephant!*

I love this. It's old-skool blogging practice. You can't really tag someone on Twitter.

The gist of the jolly wheeze here is to identify a character in a novel you most resemble.

Hmmmm. Toughie.

I can think of some charcters I'd like to be associated with.. but one that I think is like me?? Heavens.

It's a bit worrying that I've been thinking about this for a week and got no further. Novels are supposed to speak to one, aren't they?

Right.

First choice: The male protagonist in Sarah Waters' The Little Stranger. Partly because of the era, and because I think if I was born a hundred years ago or whatever, I would have been that second-son type, shuffled off into the clergy or medicine. If I were not a modern day urban twit, a rural GP's life for me.

Second choice: Mr Topsy-Turvy, c/o Roger Hargreaves and my youngest nephew.

I'm going to keep thinking about this one..

* Incidentally, one of my favourite Patrician moments in the Discworld books is the delightful revelation that he does not listen to musicians, but prefers to read the neat order of sheet music. Sublime. ***mentally sets aside time to re-read Discworld novels***

Thursday, January 21, 2010

And I get to snack as much as I like!

I'm working form home today.

It's great!

Even the smallest achievement warrants playing this really loudly and running around the flat with my arms aloft.

THEY WON'T LET ME DO THAT IN THE OFFICE.

I may have to calm down slightly when the man arrives to repair the boiler.

Although I am being very productive. Maybe I should start getting over-excited in the workplace..

Friday, January 15, 2010

Possibly Overheard*

"So it turns out he wasn't self-harming at all, just trying to get a splinter out. We're off high alert and the marigolds are back under the sink."

"Where do they get all these people in the sofa and bed sale adverts? Where do they find them? Darling it's simply too Basingstoke. So distressing."

"You're so much more entertaining when hungover."




* Because there is little point in having all this at home on bits of paper.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

This is not going to become one of those dull torso-related perving blogs..

I promise.

I'm not going to start posting up pictures of celebrities with their tops off, along with variations on dribbling sounds or 'pwoar'. Who I do or do not have small daydreams about is less interesting for anyone else.

However, exceptions have to be made when it's a hitherto undiscovered BBC Weatherman.

I mean, wow. That's a whole lot of impressive gym work right there.

But it's so unexpected. It's like finding out that your account has superpowers, or that Terry Wogan is secretly running the UN.*

Bet he's getting some stick in the BBC office today, though.

It comes hot on the polished middle-class heels of this piece in yesterday's Times2, which explores the male obsession with having a six pack and perfect abs. Which is quite a good read, if a bit, well, 'dur'. Vanity is hardly a new sin, is it.

In this piece, Men's Health claim they don't 'editorialise' for gay men. I'm sorry? Come again? It does smack slightly of saying the party line through gritted teeth, without wishing to alienate all the hetero audience (who probably don't give a monkeys anyway if they genuinely spend time in the gym). But have you seen the adverts in Men's Health!? WHO ARE THEY KIDDING? It's either the female gaze or the gay gaze at work..

Now, I stand here** as someone who has recently started going to the gym again in a big way. I know. Hypocrite, right? But I'm not kidding myself. While there is caramel shortbread and bacon sandwiches in this world I am never going to be that person.

BUT HOLD THE FRONT er BLOG POST.

Turns out Mr Schafernaker is far more endearing on other counts, not just his impressive physique. He gets the giggles. On an epic, Charlotte Green scale. Brilliant!

Check out his unfortunate Glastonbury forecast. And then there is this glorious video clip...

Tomasz Schafernaker has even spawned his on fan blog. Amazing.

I'm predicting a hot front coming in from the south...

In summary: Nawwwwwww.

* Although actually I do firmly believe our work accountant does have superpowers. He's the most sorted, sane, with it and nice guy you'll ever meet. The rest of us are barely able to hold it together.

** Sitting, ackshully. Don;t believe everything you read on the t'internets, kids!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Disney WIN as far as I'm concerned

Bit behind the times with this one. But this rather cool video clip shows that Disney was way ahead of us all on the whole recycling thing.

Oh c'mon. We've probably all done the creative equivalent of a bit of copy and paste at times, right?

(See also the email viral doing the rounds at the moment showing how Avatar is plotwise rather similar to Pocahontas. But it's the way you tell 'em, surely! There are only seven plots or something anyway, I'm told..)

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Friday, January 08, 2010

Less flattering lighting..? Shoddier props..?

I'm suffering a sever attack of spam commentators. Which is pointless because I have moderation on the whole time anyway.

I let one through the other day, because it sounded like my mum telling me how good my blog is. Naww. But now I can't find what post it was attached to to point this out to people. Damn.

This morning, this was waiting for my approval:

Any idea how credit crunch affected porn?

In other words, has it suffered a "down turn". BOOM BOOM.

The mind boggles. I suspect it's a fairly strong industry at the moment. Well, with all this snow and people trapped indoors with nothing to do.. draw your own conclusions, if not the curtains.

I wonder what out of work pronstars do next...

No. I have to stop thinking about this.

It's not as if they invested much in the script for these things in the first place, so there's no money to be saved there. Which would frankly make all the difference. Even in British Pron.

It's all a bit grubby around here this morning, isn't it?!

**HEATING UPDATE**

Turns out the boiler has leaked all over the tea supply in the kitchen. DISASTER. CODE BROWN, CODE BROWN!!

Luckily we have lino. "We have to be able to mop, with Dad's habits..."

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Lord of the Trims: The Return of the Gym

**cue 70s Japanese cinema-style gong noise**

I upped and went to the gym this morning. In a slightly undignified these-shoes-were-not-designed-for-ice manner. First time there in I would estimate four months. And before work. Get moi!

I lasted less than fifteen minutes on the treadmill before I wanted to chunder.

However, I made free with the showers afterwards, which was lovely as ours is still not back up to full working order. Tomorrow morning: The Return of Barry.

Does it show that I have not yet turned on Twitter in 2010? I'm enjoying the lack of distraction. Think I'll have to be more disciplined about things this year.

(Mahahahahahaha).

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Some things in life are simply undeniable

Looking for certainties at the moment.

Suffering under strange bout of knackeredness syndrome after festive period. Maybe it's cold turkey from drinking and OTT foods. Sleeping like a dog every night. Feels like January is some kind of halfway-house twilight zone.. strange weather, civic upheaval, odd programmes on the telly.

I'm fast retreating into a world of early nights and good books.

So it's good to know that there are still some certainties in life a post-modern gentleman chap can still grasp hold of.

Namely, Moira Stuart is just quite simply cool as fuck.

Leg. End.

(I'm clearly feeling a bit studenty-militant today. Hence the swear. Sozza'bout that.)

Monday, January 04, 2010

Christmas 2009 - an addendum

The festivities came to a momentary halt at the Boz family home this year:

"That Harry Potter figure given to youngest nephew is very accurate."

"Yeah, but he's much shorter than that in the films."

"Yes, but, it's so detailed you can tell which way Harry is dressing."

Pause, as 80 per cent of the family momentarily fall silent and stare at the figure clutched by blissfully ignorant five year old.

(To the right, it turns out.)

The Sn4wmen

Our boiler has broken down. Some kind of pump malfunction. Up to this point the Worcester Flyover Combi thing has been ever reliable. Now it can heat water, but not transport it anywhere around the flat. Which is annoying.

The boiler man (Barry) is coming around today. In the meantime we bought a small fan heater at the weekend, to help keep us alive. We quickly monikered this Fanny. It's the only time in the last ten years I've been interested in anything with this name.

But now we are very interested. Wherever Fanny goes, we follow. It can only heat one room at a time. IE, the one we are in.

Yesterday I went to the gym to use the shower, due to the lack of hot water. I'd just changed home branch, so I had to go and find where it exactly was, first. I 'fessed up to the nice lady behind the desk and said I was only there to get clean.

The evening before, we both went to the cinema to keep warm. We watched Sherlock Holmes, which ripped along at a firey pace, and was quite good. Am I the only person that thinks Downey Jnr sounds a bit like Sean Bean in Goldeneye, though?

"Closing time, Watson!".

At the cinema, I noticed some things about the current Clapham popluation:

1. All the men above thirty take all their style cues from whoever the current male lead in Spooks is.
2. All women want to be Florence from Florence and the Machine.
3. Many women have no idea how big their handbags actually are.

I am hoping the boiler man can fix the boiler today. Please please please.

On the plus side, this is probably helping my pledge to cut down on energy usage this year.