Crawling through technology, life and love
Pool Paradise - GC on Wii
Podcasts - Chris Moyles, Mark Kermode and Stephen Fry
Bits and Bobs:
Gerry's Lyrics Pop Quiz
Sites I like:
Top 40 Singles
Some blogs I enjoy:
Books recently read:
Time Out Guide to Havana (and Cuba)
And The Hippos Were Boiled In Their Tanks - William S Burroughs and Jack Kerouac
At My Mother's Knee ... and Other Low Joints: The Autobiography - Paul O'Grady
Star Maker - Olaf Stapledon
My Booky Wook - Russell Brand
When You Are Engulfed in Flames - David Sedaris
Then We Come To The End - Joshua Ferris
A Spot of Bother - Mark Haddon
The End of Mr. Y - Scarlett Thomas
I Never Knew That About London - Christopher Winn
The Arsenal Miscellany - Adam Gold
Young Hearts Run Free: The Real Story of the 1970s - Dave Haslam
Magical Thinking - Augusten Burroughs
Veronika Decides To Die - Paulo Coelho
Time Out Guide - Amsterdam
Lillian's Story - Kate Grenville
The God Delusion - Richard Dawkins
Schott's Original Miscellany - Ben Schott
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - J K Rowling
A Gay History Of Britain - Matt Cook
Time Out Guide to Madrid
Time Out Guide to New York
Kingdom Come - J. G. Ballard
The Hours - Michael Cunningham
Mutants - Aramand Marie Leroi
A Young Man's Passage - Julian Clary
Growing Pains - Billie Piper
The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath
Wild Swans - Jung Chang
Highbury: The Story of Arsenal N.5 - Jon Spurling
Red Carpets and Other Banana Skins - Rupert Everett
Affinity - Sarah Waters
Lighthousekeeping - Jeanette Winterson
Tipping The Velvet - Sarah Waters
The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
Of Human Bondage - W Somerset Maugham
Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
Lucky Man - Michael J Fox
Labyrinth - Kate Mosse
Fingersmith - Sarah Waters
The Night Watch - Sarah Waters
The Pedant's Revolt - Andrea Barham
The Republic Of Trees - Sam Taylor
Written On tbe Body - Jeanette Winterson
Untold Stories - Alan Bennett
The Plot Against America - Philip Roth
Read All About It - Max Clifford
The Folding Star - Alan Hollinghurst
Thursbitch - Alan Garner
Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim - David Sedaris
Staying Alive - Matt Beaumont
The Bookseller Of Kabul - Asne Seierstad
Harry Potter and The Half-Blood Prince - J K Rowling
A Short History Of Nearly Everything - Bill Bryson
Count Karlstein - Philip Pullman
The Shadow Of The Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood
The Spell - Alan Hollinghurst
The Double Life Of Daniel Glick - Maurice Caldera
The Smoking Diaries - Simon Gray
Straight- Boy George
Digital Fortress - Dan Brown
Deception Point - Dan Brown
The Ladies No. 1 Detective Agency - Alexander McCall Smith
Angels and Demons - Dan Brown
Sydney - Time Out Guide
Oryx and Crake - Margaret Atwood
Eleanor Rigby - Douglas Coupland
The Scarecrow and His Servant - Philip Pullman
Tha Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown
The Perks Of Being A Wallflower - Stephen Chbosky
Planet Simpson - Chris Turner
The Line Of Beauty - Alan Hollinghurst
Barcelona - Time Out Guide
The Closed Circle - Jonathan Coe
The Clerkenwell Tales - Peter Ackroyd
Copenhagen - TimeOut Guide
The Butterfly Tattoo - Philip Pullman
The Broken Bridge - Philip Pullman
In Search of the Pleasure Palace - Marc Almond
Brick Lane - Monica Ali
Vernon God Little - DBC Pierre
Last Exit To Brooklyn - Hubert Selby Jr
You Shall Know Our Velocity - Dave Eggers
Touching The Void - Joe Simpson
Life Of Pi - Yann Martel
Istanbul - Time Out Guide
Millennium People - J G Ballard
The Duchess Who Wouldn't Sit Down - Jesse Browner
Hey Nostradamus! - Douglas Coupland
Eats, Shoots and Leaves - Lynne Truss
The Wind-up Bird Chronicle - Haruki Murakami
Our Man In Havana - Graham Greene
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time - Mark Haddon
Lyra's Oxford - Philip Pullman
Doran - Will Self
Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
Middlesex - Jeffrey Eugenides
the book, the film, the t-shirt - matt beaumont
High Society - Ben Elton
Man And Wife - Tony Parsons
I Was A Rat - Philip Pullman
Harry Potter: The Order of the Phoenix - J R Rowling
Great Apes - Will Self
Barrel Fever - David Sedaris
Round Ireland With A Fridge - Tony Hawkes
Close Range - Annie Proux
The Third Way - Anthony Giddens
dot.con - John Cassidy
The Salmon of Doubt - Douglas Adams
One Hit Wonderland - Tony Hawkes
The Thief Lord - Cornelia Funke
The Corrections - Jonathan Franzen
The Cloud Sketcher - Richard Rayner
Keane: the Autobiography - Roy Keane
A Wasteland of Strangers - Bill Pronzini
The English - Jeremy Paxman
How to Lose Friends and Alienate People - Toby Young
Dead Famous - Ben Elton
The Amber Spyglass - Phillip Pullman (again)
The Subtle Knife - Phillip Pullman (again)
Northern Lights - Phillip Pullman (again)
The Bear and The Dragon - Tom Clancy
101 Reykjavik - Hallgrimur Helgason
Forward The Foundation - Isaac Asimov
Carter Beats The Devil - Glen David Gold
The Tin Princess - Philip Pullman
Atonement - Ian McEwan
The Tiger In The Well - Philip Pullman
The Rotters Club - Jonathan Coe
Generation X - Douglas Copeland
Perfume - Patrick Suskind
All Families Are Psychotic - Douglas Coupland
The Shadow In The North - Phillip Pullman
No Logon - Naomi Klein
The Dirt - Motley Crue
Miss Wyoming - Douglas Coupland
The Amber Spyglass - Phillip Pullman
The Subtle Knife - Phillip Pullman
Northern Lights - Phillip Pullman
The Ruby in the Smoke - Phillip Pullman
The Sandman - Miles Gibson
Blood and Gold: The Vampire Marius - Anne Rice
The Actrocity Exhibition - J G Ballard
Shameless - Paul Burston
Sing Out! - Boze Hadleigh
Brilliant Orange - David Winner
New Boy - William Sutcliffe
London - Peter Ackroyd
Wonder Boys - Michael Chabon
One For My Baby - Tony Parsons
How To Be Good - Nick Hornby
White Teeth - Zadie Smith
Lust - Geoff Ryman
Tulip Fever - Deborah Moggach
Dead Souls - Ian Rankin
The House Of Sleep - Jonathan Coe
A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius - Dave Eggers
What a carve up! - Jonathan Coe
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay - Michael Chabon
The Grapes Of Wrath - John Steinbeck
Heartwood - James Lee Burke
Cryptonomicon - Neal Stephenson
Man and Boy - Tony Parsons
The Map Of Love - Ahdaf Soueif
e - Matt Beaumont
The e Before Christmas - Matt Beaumont
Friday, June 28, 2002
Quote of the day...
Well not really quote of the day - more quote of the load. Inspired by David's random image loading I thought I'd install a random quote script. It turns out that inserting random text in a quote of the day fashion is one of the most common requests by newbies (i.e. people like me) to Java script libraries. So there you go. Pearls of wisdom by other people. If you want to see the next quote then simply hit 'refresh' in your browser.
25 hour day...
I want to start a campaign for a 25 hour day. Let's face it we could all do with an extra hour a day to get stuff done. Or an hour's more sleep in the mornings, an extra hour in the evenings to go out, more time to stay in and read or just more time to watch TV. We would have to be able to insert the extra hour at any time throughout the day of course. What would you do with your extra hour?
- inserted it between alarm going off time and getting up time? (one for David I think!)
- use it to double your lunch hour at work?
- use it to have a longer evening session in the pub with friends?
- stay up an hour later?
- an hour's extra 'snuggling' with your partner?
- save your unused extra hours and redeploy them to extend the weekend?
- sell your extra hour to other people for cash? Time is money after all
It would certainly add more meaning to the term "flexi-time". Einstein had the right idea.
On Monday one of the CowParade cows made an unscheduled appearance in Berkeley Square. Today another joined it. I have a feeling Westminster Council might be rounding them up. Berkeley Square would make a perfect coral.
I wonder if when they fall asleep can you push them over like real cows? (OK, you can tell I was born in the countryside with little else to do!)
Thursday, June 27, 2002
Spunk lifts a funk...
According to a report in New Scientist:-
Semen makes you happy. That's the remarkable conclusion of a study comparing women whose partners wear condoms with those whose partners don't. The study, which is bound to provoke controversy, showed that the women who were directly exposed to semen were less depressed. The researchers think this is because mood-altering hormones in semen are absorbed through the vagina. They say they have ruled out other explanations. "I want to make it clear that we are not advocating that people abstain from using condoms," says Gordon Gallup, the psychologist at the State University of New York who led the team. "Clearly an unwanted pregnancy or a sexually transmitted disease would more than offset any advantageous psychological effects of semen."
London siege at Amex office...
My friend Sean works at the Amex exchange office in London's Haymarket just round the corner from our offices in Mayfair. It turns out it's under siege and has been since 10am this morning! Yikes! I'd better not call him as it might cause problems! "Trained negotiators are holding face-to-face talks with a gunman who is holding a woman hostage at an office in central London." So it's not Sean then. Phew. But poor woman. I hope she gets out OK.
UPDATE: The woman's been released.
BBC rapped over George Michael video...
The Broadcasting Standards Commission (BSC) has upheld 68 complaints about a George Michael video shown on BBC1's Top of the Pops. It said the controversial "Freeek" video contained "sexual images that should not have been shown before the 9pm watershed without a warning. The video contains erotic images, suggestive movements and scenes of bondage". Oo er, missus. Anyone know when the new album is out?
Ha bloody ha...
Last night we had dinner with some friends. The topic of conversation came round to that gay man's favourite the 1977 production of Abigail's Party (soon to be on at the Hampstead Theatre). What were the characters called? We could get all but one and it was bugging us - big time. I texted both David and Ian not realising (stupidly) that they were out on a bar crawl together. So perhaps their answers were inevitably the same. Not only that but Marcus also chipped in with the same answer confirming that he was with them (and he wasn't even asked the question!)
My question: Sue, Abigail (who we never see), Ange, Tony, Lawrence and ...?
The boys' collective answers? Tibuktu (!)
Do you know the correct answer? (of course you do, that's her in the red dress, the monster)
Wednesday, June 26, 2002
Jonce and The Angry Abscess...
Last Thursday I had an itch on my groin. Well I say 'groin', actually it's just below my waistline about where that little pocket is in the front of your Levis. And I say 'itch' - it started out as a mosquito bite but soon became infected and has how swollen and become an abscess. Big, red and painful. I showed a doctor and yesterday afternoon found myself in the Accident and Emergency Department of UCH being stared at by two (rather giggly) doctors. "It's very red, isn't it?" they said. "Yes" I said. "Is it painful?" they asked and poked it very hard. "Ouch! Very!" I said. "Hmm," they said. "We don't like to lance these things when they're hard like yours as it can lead to more infection so here is a prescription for two different types of antibiotics. It should just go away gradually over the course of the treatment. But if it doesn't or the redness and swelling starts to spread across your stomach or down your legs do come back, won't you?" "Absolutely!" I said. So your hero is left with taking a bucket full of anti-bios and a bucket full of painkillers for a week. I just hope it goes away. Quickly. It's crippling my love-life!
Before I went to A&E I popped into Mortimer Market to see if they could do anything about the afore mentioned abscess (they couldn't) and also to have a full STI check up while I was about it. I go for these things annually just as a health check. Besides which I quite fancy the nurses in there. Two hours after arriving I'd been poked, prodded, councelled, scraped and pricked. I was quite glad to get to A&E to be honest!
Rusty Is A Homosexual...
Rusty nervously dialed the number. "Hello, Gay Hotline?" he said. "My name is Rusty White. I'm 9 years old. I'm a homosexual, and I want to marry a fireman. Everybody hates me because I'm a homosexual: Mother, Father, sister Sue, Officer Plotchnik, and all the kids at school. I tried to run away but a man tried to buy me ice cream, and I kicked him in the balls. I tried to kill myself but the driver stopped and gave me your number. What should I do?"
Go read the rest of Rusty Is A Homosexual - a sweet story of a little boy who falls in love with a fireman.
[Thanks to Katia for the link]
Tuesday, June 25, 2002
I know I'm boycotting Big Brother but...
On Little Brother's Big Brother on E4 last night Spencer seemed to be so pissed off to be out you could help but smile. And later on Big Brother the new "let's all gang up against Sophie" game seems to be thriving. Again, it brought a smile to my lips. There's nothing quite like watching the proud fall.
(Damn this boycott. It seems to compel me to watch it even more!)
Cats (as I have realised that some of my recent posts have been somewhat racy)...
This is one of my brother's cats. Nice sweet little innocent rescue cat. Aww.
And this is my brother's other cat. He has a name. George. George is also a rescue cat but likes to think he's Blofeld the villian from James Bond. He just sits there - planning world domination.
Monday, June 24, 2002
Porn actor's blog site...
The other day I came across a blog site of a guy called Drew Warner. And he happens to be a porn actor. He also happens to live the livestyle of a porn actor. And how. I quote... "I headed over to my new **** buddy **** place to play the other night. **** is a hot Texan with a tight muscular body, thick **** and great hands! Franco played with my **** and **** for an hour before he finally stuck his **** into my hungry ****. He worked me over good before pulling out and began sticking his *** deep inside my **** and stroked my **** until he made me **** everywhere. What a way to celebrate the premiere issue of Inside Porn Magazine going to press!"
Perhaps he blurs fact and fiction a little in places but then again I guess that's forgiveable in his line of work.
Saturday, June 22, 2002
Welcome home boys...
Friday, June 21, 2002
I know I'm boycotting Big Brother but...
When Spencer was told that he was being evicted tonight what was the first thing he did? Accept a glass of wine, accept a fag and then break through the perspex barriers to the forbidden rich side and nick all the chocolate from the fridge! Excellent.
Lunch with Parky...
I've just got back from a charity lunch with Michael Parkinson at the Royal Lancaster. It was a Marie Curie Cancer Care benefit where he gave his services free and we stumped up 250 squid a head to eat, drink and be entertained. And entertained we were. He was very funny - as you might expect. As it was all in a good cause, work was happy to let us stay there as long as we liked - hence the crawling back after 4pm a little bit worse for wear.
Ha ha ha...
First look at www.introducingmonday.com
and then at www.introducingmonday.co.uk.
Even funnier with sound.
[Link from eatmypiano]
England vs Brazil...
We're reached the Quarter Finals! In 10 mins we play what may be the biggest challenge of the competition. Brazil are the favourites in the World Cup. Marky and I sitting on the sofa at home trembling with excitement and expectation. It should be a great match.
UPDATE: YES! Emile Heskey plays a diagonal ball forward to Michael Owen. Brazil defender Lucio fails to control and Owen seizes his opportunity, speeding forward before chipping the ball over Marcos from nine yards. England are in the lead after 23 mins. 1-0.
UPDATE HALF-TIME: Brazil have just pulled one back to make it 1-1. Rivaldo in the 47th minute. Pah! The commentators estimate that 30 million people in the UK are watching the match. That's half the population.
UPDATE: An exciting start to the second half. Brazilian Ronaldinho has just scored again 5 minutes in. Direct from a free-kick. It was a very good goal. So that's 2-1 to Brazil.
UPDATE: Then 7 minutes after that the ref sends off (completely unfairly in my opinion) the Brazilian scorer Ronaldinho for a stamp on Danny Mills. Brazil are now down to 10 men. I think we have 12 men on the pitch (as they say).
FULL-TIME: Despite a good second half we failed to pull back at equalizer. So we're out. Well played lads!
Now to head off into the delayed rush-hour.
Thursday, June 20, 2002
David Beckham naked?...
Footballer David Beckham is one of the most sexy and attractive men on the planet. It's not only that he plays for England, but he's a good clothes-horse in anything and whatsmore is very gay-friendly. 'Gay-friendly?' I hear you ask. Well, how else could you explain the photo spread that he did for Arena Homme Plus last year. Homoerotic, or what?! Click on any images below for a larger version.
Does anyone know anything about the XDA? I want, I want, I want.
Wednesday, June 19, 2002
Davo leaving. Again!...
Last night was Pop Quiz at the Retro Bar. David and I didn't win - but we didn't mind as the real reason we were down there was to bid welcome (and indeed farewell) to Davo - fresh back from the European leg of his "Sex With Barnyard Animals" World Tour - and today off to plough his furrow deep through the warm, rich field that is the New York livestock swingers scene. Aided, abetted and hosted by the rather wonderful Sparky.
All the bloggers you could possibly want to shake a stick at where there last night to make sure Davo actually left for good this time (namely: Michael, Simon, Tom, Meg, Ian, Luke, Catherine, Scally, Iain and me.)
I took some more snaps at the pub and I've used the Windows XP slide show wizard (lazy git that I am) to make an ickle slide show of the rest of the pictures. Bigger versions by request.
The New Soft Cell Album...
The Theatre of Marc Almond web site has some good news for we eager SC fans.
"The new Soft Cell album 'Cruelty Without Beauty' will be released on September 2nd on the Cooking Vinyl label. The single 'Monoculture' will precede the album with a release date set for August 19th. Both will be world-wide releases, further details of the release territories and the respective labels can be seen on the Cooking Vinyl web site:
The track listing for the album is:
3.Le Grand Guignol
8 Whatever It Takes
9. All Out Of Love
12.On An Up"
The Cooking Vinyl details on Soft Cell seem to be a little out of date I think. It states, "In April this year Mercury are releasing a TV advertised collection of remixes including a Gorrilaz (sic) mix of "Tainted Love". The only previous remix of the song went straight to number one in 1991." Which I'm not sure is strictly accurate.
Tuesday, June 18, 2002
Apparently last night's episode of Six Feet Under was to feature a erect penis of a dead body - due to post mortem muscular spasm or what the professionals call "angel lust" - but it was cut before transmisssion.
Man bites dog...
Have you ever actually eaten dog? What does it taste like?
I got a begging letter through the post from MIND the other day. I opened it and a blue balloon fell out. "Don't read this letter until you've inflated the balloon and don't tie a knot in it", it said in large type. Not wishing to ruin any potential surprise I duly blew up the balloon to reveal large white words printed on it DIVORCE, STRESS, HEALTH, MONEY, UNEMPLOYMENT, MORTGAGE, BEREAVEMENT, FAMILY. "To you", the letter said, "these are just words. But to some they are at the heart of a nervous breakdown". I studied the balloon for a bit and read on. "Just as the words grow larger with the balloon, so someone's problems can seem greater as the pressure increases," it said. I skimmed through the rest of the letter "...halfway-house...suicide...helpline..." and after the final plea for money there was a PS: "You can let the air out of the balloon now. As you do so please think about how quickly the pressure of someone's problems can be released with the time, care and special understanding your gift can give today." I let go of the balloon and it rocketed round the room for a few seconds like a madly farting bluebottle before hitting a window pane and collapsing to the floor in a wet heap.
I resolved to put a couple of quid in a MIND tin next time I saw one.
Monday, June 17, 2002
Separated at birth?...
Windows XP Service Pack 1 (SP1) Preview...
Due out in the Autumn is WinXP SP1. A full preview is here. But the main highlights are:-
- All security and hot fixes and compatibility updates since XP RTM
- Windows Messenger 4.7
- Support for Tablet PCs, Freestyle PCs and Mira display hardware
- Support for USB 2.0
- Optional .NET framework support
- Ability to access (i.e. hide) Microsoft middle-ware settings (IE, OE, Media Player etc.)
I hate carrying cash. By that I mean change. Coins. Coins feel uncomfortable in my pocket, stretch my suit (when I need to wear one) and are generally fiddly and hard to use in the sort of places I frequent (the dark and twisted places anyway). So what I generally do when I crawl home from wherever I've been out is to empty my pockets and sling the change into a cup on the mantelpiece. I tend to pick out the one pound coins and the silver to buy my lunch the next day so generally it's just the coppers that are left.
When the cup got full I put another next to it and started using that. When that got full I used a clear plastic sandwich box. And when that got full simply piled it up wherever there was room.
Last week we decided to have a bit of a tidy up and part of that was to bag up all the loose change and take it to the bank. It took us four hours for the two of us to do and in the end we discovered we had thousands of coins. Many 1p and 2p pieces. I almost injured my back carrying it all into work today. The bank teller wasn't too happy as she had to weigh each bag to make sure we had counted them correctly. Luckily we had. And we ended up with over two hundred and twenty pounds worth of coins. Yikes!
Saturday, June 15, 2002
England vs Denmark...
The match kicks off at 12:30 London time today. We have to win to make it through to the next round. Hopes are high but Denmark are a strong team (they came top of their group). We're having some people round to watch the match and have some food. Should be fun.
UPDATE HALF-TIME: Wow! We are winning 3-0. A lucky, messy goal by Ferdie after 5 mins, a brilliant left-footer by Owen and then a classic one-two from Beckham to Heskey's right foot. Denmark are in tatters. The rain is pouring down too. The shirts are clinging to their torsos. A match for everyone! Can't wait til the second half.
UPDATE FULL-TIME: YES! We won 3-0. Going out for a beer!
Friday, June 14, 2002
A little respect...
Erasure join 80s musical bandwagon. Vince Clark and Andy Bell are the latest 80s has-beens to look to the stage for career salvation. They are looking for financial backers for a musical in which Andy would play a man coming to terms with his sexuality during the late 80s.
Alison Moyet is being lined up to play Andy's mother. The trio are apparently working on an album venture together as well.
Belinda Carlisle to play London Mardi Gras...
London Mardi Gras is on Saturday 6th July this year and is Europe's largest pride festival. This year, Mardi Gras will be held at the enormous Hackney Marshes in East London, almost three times the size of either Brockwell or Finsbury Parks. Whether that will be a good thing remains to be seen. Attractions include an Indie Stage, Classic FM Stage, Radio 1 Stage, five dance tents, comedy, cabaret and a sports arena. Oh and lots of drunken poofs and dykes roaming about.
You can buy normal tickets for 17 quid or VIP tickets for 75! Stone the crows!
On the plus side however joining Ms Carlisle on the Main Stage will be H & Claire, Atomic Kitten, Misteeq, A1, Abs from 5ive, Alcazar, 3SL and Allstars. Whoopie! Now that'll be worth seeing. No honestly. It will.
I'm such a fag at times.
This is someone I went to school with...
In brief, since leaving school I have worked myself up from nothing to extreme poverty. On top of that I am now fat and bald. But there is more.
I am currently getting my life back together training to be a monk, in Tihsllub monastery, Cyprus.
Great to know so many of you are doing so well, and are so successful.
I however, took lifes rocky root,(and I don't mean doing boxing films!)
After leaving school I fell into bad company, robbing old ladies, telephone and charity boxes, etc, finally getting caught and being put away. In prison I made friends with a 'Mr Big' in the crime world. When we got out I went with him on to bigger jobs until we did the one that set me up!! (There's still gold stashed in Stevenage!)
I then moved to Brazil, while the dust settled. Unfortunately, the underworld still appealed to me, I ran hookers, drug cartels, dry-cleaners and printed funny money. On a 'trip' to Nigeria I found my salvation in the 'Impala tribe' (I supplied them with guns + bombs for their struggle to become a republic) here I teamed up with a mercenary, Georges Flopadopalis, we became good friends. After the republics fight was won, he invited me back to run his kebab shop in Cyprus. Serving doners and shish in Slapper Nappa I reflected on what a boring life I had led. In the year 2000 what does a 38 year old virgin do?
I decided to turn to God and have now found myself. I have realised the error of my ways and as part of the cleansing of myself I would like to apologise to all the people I upset while I was at Longmeadow and Alleynes.
see you all in heaven!! remember Jesus Loves You and so does Stuart!!!!!!!!
Can you believe it?
Thursday, June 13, 2002
Her name was Lola...
If you need a recommendation of a good restaurant in London try Lola's. It's in Islington at the The Mall and it's a winner. Marky and I treated Nikki to a birthday meal there last Sunday and at just 15-50 a head for a two course meal it's a bargain. But of course you pay more than that when you see the superlative wine list and the excellent desserts! The Hot Cuban fondant is the best dessert I have ever eaten. Bar none. Hmmmmmmm.
The Boycott Big Brother campaign starts here. The UK Big Brother 3 is boring, boring, boring. The producers have chosen the wrong people. They all either want out or are so mind-numbingly dull that we want them out. The audience viewing figures may be up but here's one viewer who's switching off.
Angus Frances Bamford Green (in pictures)...
Wednesday, June 12, 2002
The most beautiful thing ever...
This Japanese singing kitten animation is the most beautiful thing. EVER!
[Link from Popbitch]
The Monster's Ball...
On Sunday afternoon we went to The Electric Cinema to go and see The Monster's Ball. Billy Bob Thornton was gorgeous. Not sure whether Halle Berry deserved the Oscar though.
Overall: great cinema, good film, shame they cocked the tickets up so we couldn't sit together though.
England vs Nigeria...
We need to win or draw this match to go through to the next round (unless Argentina lose their match against Sweden being played at the same time). It's an early game so Marky and I are watching it at home before going into work.
UPDATE: Half-time score is 0-0. England are playing OKish, Nigeria quite well. Crumbs! It's tense knowing that we are so close to qualifying.
FULL TIME: Still 0-0 which means we qualify! Hurray! Next match will be against Denmark this Saturday @ 12:30 lunchtime.
Tuesday, June 11, 2002
Six Feet Under...
Six Feet Under started last night on Channel Four. A tad over-hyped but still very good. Derivative but very watchable. It reminded me of Harold and Maude (a good thing). Shame it's on so late though: 11:10pm.
That time of year...
Talking of birthday's it was Gordon's 40th birthday on Friday and Nikki's on Sunday. Both were having parties on Saturday night so in true social butterfly style we went to both. First was Gordon's which was held at their lovely luxury Clerkenwell apartment (that often appears in adverts), buckets of champagne, posh nibbles, a doorman with an earpiece, friends mixing with family members and a very swish waiter service. After a couple of hours we moved on to Nikki's do at the Grafton Arms near Warren Street. The place was packed, we drank beer, ate chips and crab sticks, indulged in much drunken revelry with loads of laughing friends. Both very different events and both great fun. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU BOTH!
We'd got chatting to a guy, Brian, at Gordon's do earlier and he asked if we were going out later. I gave him some directions to somewhere we might end up. He didn't seem to be taking it in though. Later that night after dropping Nikki off after her do with armfuls of presents we just so happened to pop into this place that I'd mentioned to Brian earlier. And he just so happened to pop in there too. Which was nice. Coincidentally there was a 40th birthday bash going on there too.
Bizarrely we all ended up playing iSketch (don't ask). I have David to blame for my reawaking to that particular time-wasting activity!
Drew was with us too and he and I stayed up later playing Fusion Frenzy on the Xbox till the sun came up. Top night.
Three months, ninety odd days, a quarter of a year...
It was my best friend Kit's birthday last Friday. He's three months older than me (and boy do I make sure he never forgets it). HAPPY BIRTHDAY, YOU OLD FOOL! :))
Monday, June 10, 2002
I was sitting on a packed tube train reading my book the other day when a women got on and stood in front of me. I glanced up quickly. Dilemma: should I stand up and give her my seat? I guess she was quite young so I thought perhaps not. My eyes flicked up again and I noticed she had a bump at the front. Pregnant, I thought. But then again perhaps she was just plump? My eyes flicked up yet again a couple of times and I thought about it for some more. Did she look the greedy type? Was she giving off signs of being pregnant? She noticed me flashing looks at her. She turned away from me. By the time I'd decided that she was definitely well-fed rather than with child it was my stop anyway. So I stood up. And she turned round and said genuinely, "thank you" and sat down in the seat I had just vacated. Rather embarrassed, I hovered round by the open tube doors - but didn't get off. Otherwise she would have known that I was neither gallant nor gentlemanly. I ended up travelling on to the next stop and then returning in the reverse direction. I hate it when that happens. I feel so stupid.
Saturday, June 08, 2002
Split me down the middle Big Brother...
We've just got back from the pub and been watching Big Brother. It's later today that the remaining 10 housemates will have to contend with a new challenge - the division of the house into two. Prison-like glass bars will separate one group of housemates, who will live in luxury, from the other group - who will have to survive on subsistence rations. The five winners of Saturday evening's task, a basketball hoop challenge, will enjoy comfortable furniture, the better bedroom, the pool and a £400 housekeeping allowance, as well as hot water in the morning and evenings. But the other five will have no cash and no hot water - and will have to depend on the vegetable garden and their chickens for eggs, to supplement basics like rice and pasta. "When we said Big Brother was getting tougher this is what we meant," said Phil Edgar-Jones, the show's executive producer. Maybe it'll liven up what is actually becoming a rather boring show at times.
Friday, June 07, 2002
Billie Ray Martin / Repulsion...
On Sunday night Marky and I went to The Electric Cinema courtesy of the wonderful Darren to see Billie Ray Martin do a live scoring to Polanski's 1965 B/W horror classic Repulsion.
The Electric is quite something. Since the recent refit it now has leather armchairs with leather footstools that you can slouch in with tables for food and drink. It has a bar inside the auditorium and you have loads of room to move about. On Sunday it was a bit like travelling first class rather than steerage.
Billie Ray Martin herself was sensational. The film's sound was muted completely and Billie Ray and her pianist performed all the mood music and songs to accompany the narrative. Catherine Deneuve's slow decent into madness was gleefully supported by Billie's haunting renditions of Your Loving Arms, Talking With Myself, Solitaire, This Town Ain't Big Enough For The Both Of Us and (perhaps inevitably) Losing My Mind and Crazy.
We came out of the cinema beaming. A great venue, a great film and a great performance by La Martin. Thanks, Darren.
That's three female icons I've seen singing this week alone. A diva a day keeps the blues away.
England vs Argentina...
At 12:30 London time today 20 million people in the UK will be glued to their sets. That's one third of the population. I only hope the result is a good one.
UPDATE @ 13:20: It's now half-time and England are 1 up. Owen tripped and was awarded (falsely in my opinion) a penalty and Beckham hammered it home. We're watching it in the boardroom at work and we went mental. Can't wait for the second half.
FINAL SCORE @ 14:25: 1-0 to England! WE WON! WE WON! WE WON! WE WON! FANTASTIC! Everyone at work has gone bonkers. The last quarter of an hour of the game was torturous. We just needed to defend our goal. The seconds seemed to go like minutes and the minute like hours. But it was worth it. We won.
It's a boy...
I'm an Uncle again! Angus Francis Bamford Green was born on 6th June 2002 at 17:53. He weighes 8lbs 13oz and both mother and baby are doing fine. Marky and I had been on tenderhooks all yesterday as little Angus was two weeks overdue and Dawn had to go in for an inducement on Wednesday. She had been in hospital for over 24 hours before labour finally started poor lamb. Everything has turned out fine though and there was much celebrating last night. I really, really pleased. For Dawn abd especially for Simon, my brother. It's his first kid and I know how much he's wanted kids. I'm really proud of him. Of both of them. And I can't wait to see Angus, the little mite. :)))))
Thursday, June 06, 2002
This is fun. A search engine for the visually minded.
[Link from the Guardian]
On Tuesday afternoon to celebrate the Queen's Golden Jubilee we went to the Bartholomew Fair that was held over two days. Barts Fair was started by Henry I's court jester like a zillion years ago and has recently been revived. It was a right royal knees up with a Golden Jubilee Street Party, 1950s street scenes and actors, Pearly Kings and Queens, magicians, fortune tellers, make-up artists, gourmet food stalls, craft stalls, a food court, numerous bars, all open in and around Smithfield Market. They had a carousel, a big wheel, children's rides, a big TV screen showing national events, a youth swing band, a calypso and skiffle band, a bollywood brass band and a dance exhibition and classes to learn the jitterbug, jive and skiffle.
We had a lovely time. We went down there with Chris and Stu and really got into the party atmosphere. Thanks to Marky for taking the snaps.
Later on we went back to the boys' flat where Tim joined us and we watched Concorde and The Red Arrows fly over head. Quite a moving moment. And I have to confess that when the Queen appeared on her balcony waving to where the masses below sang Land Of Hope And Glory it brought a tear to my well-jaded eye.
How dio you spend the Jubilee?
The other diva on stage last Saturday at Purple In The Park was Grace Jones. She was headlining and so due on last. We gathered round the main stage waiting for her to come on. And waited. And waited.
Someone said that she had been known to be three hours late. Pah!
As we waited her stage was gradually erected. A giant black staircase lead from stage-left up to stage-right with just five large steps. A massive drum kit was put up on one side and a percussion kit on the other. Still we waited.
Eventually she arrived. Looking, I have to admit, quite fabulous. She commanded the stage and strutted about like she owned in. She wore a different hat for each number and quite amazing they looked too.
The running order held no surprises but was well received. She started with Nightclubbing, a rather fumbled Slave To The Rhythm, a lovely Walking In The Rain, a big cheer went up for La Vie En Rose, the sublime Pull Up To The Bumper, my favourite I've Seen That Face Before (Libertango) and a rousing singalong to Warm Leatherette.
Wednesday, June 05, 2002
On Saturday one of the acts performing at Purple In The Park was Yoko Ono. Now she has been known as a bit of a mad old fox at times so it's good that we will get a chance to reassess her work via her recent Greatest Hits/Dance Remix project. I'd heard that she'd played at Crash the previous week and apparently cleared the dance floor so our hopes weren't particularly high. I'd hoped she would perform Walking On Thin Ice too but sadly she stuck to her new dance mixes of Open The Box and another one, the lyrics of which I didn't quite catch (!) To be quite honest Ian and I were more than impressed simply that a) she turned up at all (let's face she doesn't need the money) & b) she could still screech the house down like a banshee. Full marks to her for effort though - even if it all fell on rather deaf ears on Saturday. [And thanks to Marky for taking the pix!]
Tuesday, June 04, 2002
Party at the Palace...
Last night's overlong Party at the Palace was sycophantic nonsense. That said we were in hysterics at some parts. What a wonderful celebration of great British acts, I say ironically. The evening began on stage with Ricky Martin - that well-known British act. The average age of the artists must have been over 60. They dug up Rod Stewart (to cover his own song), Elton John (to promote his new LP), Queen (to promote their new musical We Will Rock You), Paul McCartney (to embarrass himself, us and the Queen), Tony Bennet (old crooners never die it seems), Tom Jones (like watching your grandparents have sex), Cliff Richard (another sexless pensioner), Joe Cocker (still singing that one song are we?), The Beach Boys' Brian Wilson (lost the plot), The Corrs (waste of space), Bryan Adams (don't do anything for us ever again!), Annie Lennox (ok-ish) etc..
Vaguely watchable bits were Will Young (he can sing at least), S Club 7 (best pop song of the night with Don't Stop Movin'), Blue (started a competition in our house to think of all the bands that had colours in their names; Black, Green Day, Yello, White Town, Simply Red, King Crimson etc etc) and Ozzy Osbourne (bat munching show stealer).
The one saving grace was at the end though. The night finished with a spectacular firework display from the top on Buckingham Palace which was really quite amazing. At one point the palace almost seemed to be on fire. Ha! Now that would have been an ending worth watching.
Despite all my carping though I do have a little bit of bonhomie for the monarchy. It's just the way these Royal events get celebrated I find a little crass. A bit more irony wouldn't go amiss.
Monday, June 03, 2002
The Breakfast Club...
Sunday morning we got up early (how exactly I'm not sure) to cook breakfast for the 5000. We'd invited any footie fans we knew round to watch the England-Sweden game and promised them all breakfast. Some turned up early, some turned up late, some turned up with champagne, most turned up with hangovers. The party was a success. The match less so. We drew 1-1 which was frankly a disappointing result. We'd dominated the first half and should have scored more than our single goal. The second half was sad to watch. We let change after chance slip away and Sweden started to take control. After they scored their equalizer in the 60th minute our goose was cooked. We have to play better against Argentina and Nigeria if we stand a hope of getting through to the next round.
The breakfast party continued well beyond the end of the match and soon the beer and wine started to flow. The last person left at 4:30 and I headed down to the RVT to give Marky a chance to get his head down for a couple of hours. The RVT was rammed so I sat on the grass and caught up with Ian, David, S-BOD and Andy. Come 8:30pm it was time to head off again to go meet Marky and see a film. More of that later.
Purple In The Park...
This weekend promised to be a corker as a) we have four days off work, and b) the weather was promised to be good. And sure enough on Saturday the sun was beating down and the everything was set for Purple In The Park. First off though I went down to see Adrian and Karl's new gaff in Brixton Hill for a BBQ. I'd lost touch a bit with Ade over the last year or so as he and I used to meet up every Wednesday evening for a games night. Their place is more of a house than a flat with a really nice garden too. More importantly he has Super Monkey Ball for his GameCube which I've not seen yet so Ade and I have promised to get together this week for games. Watch this space.
Marky came down to Brixton a bit later in the afternoon and we met up to wander over to Brockwell Park where the main festivities were taking place. The queue was enormous (some people said later that they queued for over an hour to get in) which was odd as a few hours later the place looked rather deserted. It was 20 squid to get in (slightly cheaper in advance) but we had sorted out freebies so were spared that expense at least. The drinks were all by 'Bar Tokens' which regular readers will know I have complained about before. 1-50 a token, 2 tokens a drink. RIP OFF!
We wandered around the tents; Crash, Heaven, Popstars, Coco Latte, Salvation and through some of the stalls occasionally bumping into people we knew and stopping ang chatting. It was all pleasant enough but somehow pervaded with this feeling of 'we've done this so many times before'. It was especially nice to catch up with Michael and Tim though as we hadn't seen either of them in ages.
After some frantic texting and phone messaging we eventually met up with Ian, David and S-BOD (aka Marcus) in front of the main stage. The five of us watched Angie Brown, Rozalla and Kim Mazelle prance around to rather lame and aging dance material before we all wandered off in search of something more stimulating.
Later on we reconvened back in front of the stage again to watch first Yoko Ono and then Grace Jones. More on them later.
By 10:30pm everything was over and we decided that an early night was in order and headed off to Brixton tube. Along with thousands of others. Luckily we hopped on a bus, sneaked in the tube station quite easily and were home within the hour.
Ben had just got in from a gig and a couple of bottles of vino and so he, Sarah, Marky and I stayed up chatting, drinking and playing games until the wee small hours. I say the wee small hours. What I mean is at 3:30am we decided that we'd all better go to bed as we were throwing a party the next morning!
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