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
Tuesday, September 30, 2003
David Blaine (again)...
We went down to have a look at the PR stunt that is David Blaine the other day. Yawn. Thank God silly season is over.
Now what for me would make this publicity stunt far for interesting would be if he wasn't actually in the box at all. He had slipped out in a Houdini kind of a way and was traveling around the world getting his photograph taken in say Australia, China and Brazil with that day's newspaper. Then he slips back in the box just before the 44 days are up. Then after he's come out of the box, done the talk shows and stuff he suddenly declares it's all been 'magic', and sells the story/video footage of his trip and makes a bundle.
Actually I'm a bit surprised that someone hasn't come up with a fake photo with him in Paris or something yet. Or 'I saw David Blaine in our chip shop'. Or 'I saw David Blaine when I was on holiday in Thailand'. His PR machine have missed out on a trick there. Fake photos or stories planted in the press might reawaken interest. Or not.
Shame he won't still be in his box on November 5th, Bonfire Night.
Monday, September 29, 2003
My Birthday meal: The Pictures...
We went out for a drink or three and a bite to eat on Friday. Click on any image for a bigger version.
Friday, September 26, 2003
Time Out (London) have currently got a promotion that offers 60% off the cover price including free delivery. That's 85p rather than £2-20 an issue. So I've taken out a subscription as a treat for myself. Bargain!
Happy Birthday to Me (or I'd Like To Thank My Mother)...
According to my mother I was born at 7:30 in the evening on 26th September 1961. I say 'according to' because despite being there at the time I remember little about that evening. I was born at home. My brother and sister were in bed asleep in the next room at the time but apparently when they woke up in the morning they both tried to offer me their woolen blankets. And we've been a close knit (geddit?) trio every since.
Apparently I was a very good baby, I didn't cry much and was always smiling. So there was no early sign of the violent mood swings and temper tantrums that were to follow, then :)
I'm the youngest of three. My mother had her three children when she was just 19, 20 and 21. Young by today's standards but not so then. And I'd publicly like to thank her for having us so early. It's meant that we've all been able to get to know her and my Dad as adults before they got too old and crinkly. And it's been great fun. So thanks, Myrtle.
The plans for today are low key however. Cream cakes for the guys and gals at the office. A drink after work and then a bite to eat later. When you get to my age there's little to celebrate... Right!
Thursday, September 25, 2003
Are you tyrnig to tlel me soemhtnig?...
Qutie a few pepole hvae been sedning me smilair msesgaes to the one beolw. Are tehy tyrnig to tlel me soemhtnig aobut my stnadrad of sepllnig, I wnoder? :)
Aoccdrnig to rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoetnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be at the rghit pclae.
The rset can be a total mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but
the wrod as a wlohe.
Wednesday, September 24, 2003
Ady's 40th Birthday Party...
A couple of weeks ago it was Adrian's 40th birthday. We spent a lovely time having a barbecue and playing Eyetoy and dance mats games well into the night. Here are some of the pix from that day.
The Answer to Life, the Universe and Everything...
Thank you to the various people who sent me text messages the other night wishing me a Happy Birthday - making me slightly older before my time. My birthday is actually this coming Friday when I shall reach the grand old age of... 42.
Tuesday, September 23, 2003
You Got Mail...
I had 4,568 e-mails waiting for me in my inbox when I got home from my week away. I really need to get a life. Or better yet some anti-spam software.
Monday, September 22, 2003
Got back from Sitges today. Tired but happy. Had a great time. More details later. But what is it with this weather? It's freezing! And we got drenched on the walk back from the tube this afternoon.
Wednesday, September 17, 2003
Sitges: Life“s a beach...
Having a fab time in Sitges romping in the surf, soaking up the rays and watching the boys go by. Off to Barcelona tomorrow for a whirlwind tour and more mischief planned for later in the week.
Nice to bump into Jeremy and Bill - now who could have told them we were coming? Hi Bryan! :)
More later OYH fans. Off to watch Arsenal play.
'Horse bomb' hits Colombia town. A bomb strapped to a horse has exploded in a market in north-eastern Colombia, killing at least eight people, including a two-year-old child. Tragic news. But at the same time (I know this is so wrong) it made me smile. I do know it's wrong, I really do. But we're so used to hearing about and seeing the terrible effects of car bombs it just seemed to be funny to hear of a horse bomb. What next? Dog bombs? Cat bombs? Cow bombs?
Monday, September 15, 2003
Marky and I are off to sunny Spain today. 8 days in (hopefully) sun drenched Sitges. Mark's never been before so he's really looking forward to it.
Over the weekend we went to two fantastic birthday parties. Darryl's 30th on Friday night at the RVT and Adrian's 40th barbeque and games night on Saturday night. We have a great time at both and took lots of great photos too - I'll publish some of them when I get back.
Friday, September 12, 2003
Exeter / Stonehenge: Picture gallery...
Last weekend Marky and I went away to Devon with Ben and Sarah to celebrate their wedding anniversary. We stayed in the Barcelona Hotel in Exeter and had a great time. Here are some of the pictures that we took:
Thursday, September 11, 2003
Guy e-mailed me a little while ago with a shortcut to an article in today's Sun about the H-List - the well hung list of Hollywood's (and other place's) best hung men. Included is, of course, our own, our very own Freddie Ljungberg (pictured left) the new face (?) of Calvin Klein.
Yesterday in Sainsbury's all the copies of the Daily Mirror had been snapped up before I got there. Freddie was no page 3 in all his skimpy glory and according to the checkout person I spoke too some people were buying two copies.
Interestingly The Sun article also mentions that Marks and Spencer are bringing out a range of underwear called Urban Survivor that will... er... enhance what appears to be on offer in the trouser department (pictured right). I guess sales of M&S socks will plummet then!
Not that we larger boys need such help of course but just in case anyone else wants to try them out they go on sale later this month.
Yesterday was Drew's 25th birthday and so we went out for a meal at Eco in Clapham and then on to the Kazbar for an after dinner snifter. Here are some snaps from the night. Oh and Spencer (faithful reader, all round cutey, pictured with me bottom left), the answer to your question last night was... his name is Jonnie :)
Wednesday, September 10, 2003
Can Microsoft become the good guy?...
[controversial mode on]
I've noticed an interesting trend in the magazines articles, newspapers, newsletters and e-mails I read and from the people I speak to. Not so long ago, most things I read had a decidedly anti-Microsoft slant. Issues like it's monopoly over the world's computing systems, the ropiness of Win XP SP1, the effects of MSBlaster, the RegWorm, and hardware compatibility problems made Microsoft public enemy numero uno. What's interesting is that this isn't the case anymore. There's a new bad guy on the block, and many people despise them a lot more than they ever did Microsoft.
So who's this new bad guy? The RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America). There's a real, visceral hatred for this group. For some, the RIAA is put in the same category as the Inland Revenue, war criminals, virus writers/hackers and child molesters.
And by some strange twist of fate Microsoft has the opportunity to be the world's good guy here. They're already turning things around with Windows XP's newfound stability and reliability (but let's face it they still have a lot of work ahead of them). One thing they can do to become the good guy number 1 is to hold them in distinct contrast to the RIAA.
How? Knock support for DRM (Digital Rights Management or "scumware") on the head. That's right. Bag it up, kick it out the door, and send it to the place where all the other anti-consumer rights ideas go.
Can you imagine what would happen if Microsoft came in on the side of the consumer in this debate? Droves of former Microsoft haters would turn on a sixpence. They'd say Microsoft really is listening to their customers. They'd say that Microsoft was doing the right thing. They'd say the world is changing for the better and Microsoft is leading the way. They'd say that Microsoft is a White Knight coming to their customer's rescue.
Can you imagine? Maybe it's a pipe dream. But, there are thousands of really good, honest, upstanding, and hard working people at Microsoft (no, honestly!). Whenever I happen to talk to a Microsoft employee at work, he or she is usually polite and thoughtful and always really wants to help, (I'm not talking about those off-shored, outsourced, helpdesk contractors), I'm talking real Microsoft employees. Compare these Microsoft folks with the cracked and whacked out people who get the attention at the front end of the music industry.
Microsoft can show everyone they're the good guy, they just need to take one bold step.
So come on Microsoft. Show us what you're made of. Dump DRM.
[controversial mode off]
Tuesday, September 09, 2003
Erasure release a new single, "Oh L'Amour (August Mix)", on 13th October, taken from "HITS! The Very Best of Erasure", out on 20th October. On the same day, Erasure release their DVD compilation, "HITS! The Videos", which features all thirty-five of the band's promo videos plus a second disc featuring over two and a half hours of extras including TV performances, alternative videos, live performances, interviews and hidden extras. To receive a slipcase to house the two CDs and DVD single (UK and Ireland only), visit the Erasure Information Service web site
A stern talking to...
When we were down at City Hall last week we saw the crane that David Blaine was going to use for his 'stunt' of being suspended for 44 days over the River Thames in a plastic box. I don't really have much time for this kind of nonsense but was slightly amused by the widely reported fact that missiles were being thrown at him and a drummer had been playing for him - very loudly.
Police said on Tuesday officers had been called in to deal with one man who was throwing eggs at Blaine's transparent box late on Monday evening. "The man was given a stern talking to. But he was not arrested," a police spokesman said.
"We were watching him at home on TV and it was really dull so we thought we would come down and liven things up. I wanted to wake him up," impromptu drummer Shiraz Azam, 21, told London's Evening Standard on Monday.
Reports are also coming in of Mr Blaine's box being used as target practice by keen golfers. Apparently the golf balls make a great noise as they smash into the side of the box at close on 80 miles an hour. We at overyourhead could, of course, in no way condone such actions. Or indeed the use of any other missile, projectile, ballistics, ink, paint, effluent or dirty slimy noxious substance.
Monday, September 08, 2003
Last Thursday Marky and I went to City Hall. The Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, was hosting a party to celebrate the second anniversary of the London Partnership Registry and had invited 200 gay couples to join him for the booze up. We weren't quite sure what we would have to talk about with 400 random colleagues in gayness but we needn't have worried. As we had all been early adopters of the registry the fairly obvious question of "why did you both do it?" yielded conversations aplenty. Everyone seemed to have their own reasons. Mid-evening there were suitably rousing speeches from Ken, Stonewall and a representative from the DTI (no really!). The DTI are the people who are formulating the draft legislation for the real deal - the Civil Partnerships to go before Parliament 'in the near future' and have a fairly comprehensive consultation document which makes for interesting reading. By the way you only have until the end of September to lend your support to this idea. I'll publish details later in case you want to let the DTI know.
As the evening wore on and the alcohol kicked in so things got a bit more (how can I put it?) convivial amongst the assembled benders. This bon ami continued after we had drunk City Hall dry and had retired to a local ale house with a group of like minded
Friday, September 05, 2003
Out of Town...
I'm off to Devon for a few days and there will be a radio silence.
Thursday, September 04, 2003
UK record sales...
It's interesting that Universal are slashing the price of albums in the States by 30%. I'm guessing that won't happen here as, "UK album sales have been relatively healthy - a record 228 million albums were sold in the 12 months from June 2002."
Compare that with UK singles though: "singles sales down 37% during 2003 so far compared with 2002 - which already had the lowest sales for 25 years."
So albums are up but singles are down. So what does that tell us? People like album tracks? Or is it just that now Steps have split there are just no singles worth buying?
Wednesday, September 03, 2003
London is on high terror alert...
...According to Sir John Stevens, Metropolitan Police Commissioner. He goes on to say that, "a terrror attack by suicide bombers on a target in London is now almost inevitable."
Do I feel lucky today?...
Imagine that you are a South African bush pilot. You fly in some critical medical supplies and enjoy a quick lunch at the hospital. It's a stifling 100 degrees in the shade and you're eager to get back up to the cool, high blue yonder.
On the way back to your plane, you discover that the only bit of shade within a mile has become very popular...
You start calculating the distance to the plane door... and wonder...
Do I feel lucky today?
Tuesday, September 02, 2003
Sex and Drugs and Rock and Roll...
I'm getting too old for this. The weekend was an orgy of drinking and dancing and loving and living and I've come out of the other side with a number of war wounds to prove it. I found myself in Boots yesterday being directed to the makeup counter by a woman who was barely able to conceal her giggles. Even other customers were staring. I left blushing somewhat with Rimmel's Dermatological Blemish Concealer, a large tub of Nurofen and some cream for carpet burns in my bag. I leave you to fill in the blanks.
The weekend started innocently enough. Friday night I met up with David, Luca and his squeeze Stuart at Bar Code. Later we headed off to Crash, where we bumped into Mike, to see a bunch of bands play at The Cock: Live. The place was full of the usual freakoids (for that read electro-crash/retro/trash/punk wannabes with lots of eye-liner and plastic clothes). Synthetic Pleasures were on first. They were a tad tame/lame - despite one of the singers being a rough looking tattooed skin in a yellow rubber all-in-one (what's not to like?). The Readers Wives were on next. The usual high quality nonsense got the crowd dancing away. We sang along to Bitch At The Brits like the loyal fans we are. After that I rather lost my way / the plot amongst the mound of PVC. But was reliably informed the following night at Duckie by the lovely David-and-Jason that the two bands I missed, Atomizer and The Scissor Sisters, were "fab, fab, fab" and "in a class of their own; a proper band" respectively.
Talking of Duckie, the music on Saturday night was great (again) and the Readers Wives got a well deserved cheer at the end. The act was quite balloon popping-tastic - though thankfully the much feared vagina water pistol failed to materialise in the second half.
Somewhere in amongst all that mess I managed to fit in buying and installing a new dishwasher and also going to my parent's wedding anniversary lunch where we watched a naked man on video, saw a drunken woman flash her boobs and listen to my brother say "fuck" and "twat" a lot.
Monday, September 01, 2003
And this is how my brain feels this morning...
Check out more of these wooly pets (?) here.
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