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
Saturday, April 29, 2006
What I'm Listening To...
Thanks for David for getting me on to LastFM. It tracks what you're listening to on your PC and publishes it on your blog.
Friday, April 28, 2006
Eat, Sleep, and Wii...
Nintendo's next-generation console won't be called the Revoultion after all. It's been renamed the Wii (pronunced "we"). Tee hee.
"Wii can easily be remembered by people around the world, no matter what language they speak. No confusion. No need to abbreviate. Just Wii," reads the announcement on the Nintendo's website. What's that you say? 'Just Wii'. Tee hee. Are they taking the piss? Just Wii in this pot, will you? Tee hee. Purile? Me?
Ever Get Filth In The Post?...
You may think your postman is an lazy over-paid git. Or indeed think him a wonderful human being doing a tireless job for a pittance. Either way, some things he draws the line at delivering to your door. In fact The Royal Mail has a comprehensive list of things it just will not carry: including dry ice, weapons of war or indeed 'filth'. So now you know.
Paddy's Triva Quiz Answers...
09. Grand Central
10. Groundhog Day
11. B - 35
13. chloe, claire, caroline, carly, courtney
14. toothbrush, food, cigarette, foot, finger
15. shoes, socks, gloves, twins, boobs
16. church, concert, bath, school, car
17. letter, box, window, drawer, tin
18. William Tell, Sir Issac Newton, Adam and/or Eve, Granny Smith, Steve Jobs
19. C - £800
20. The Italian Job
23. Queen Elizabeth I
24. He ran it backwards
25. The Needles
26. A - 3
27. Alton Towers
29. Albion (or Britannia)
30. All Creatures Great And Small
32. B - Flogging
34. Heather Mills McCartney
35. BBC Radio Two
36. Edward Heath
Thursday, April 27, 2006
My Life In The Bush Of Ghosts...
One of my top ten favourite albums ever has just been remastered, reissued and has 7 extra tracks: My Life In The Bush Of Ghosts. Exorcism to a disco beat. Wonderful.
Wednesday, April 26, 2006
Jeff Wayne's Musical Version of The War Of The Worlds...
Well, what a mighty struggle it was between two mighty foes last night. Naturally the best team won in the end. But it went right down to the wire. Arsenal vs. Villarreal? Oh no. I'm talking Earth vs. Mars. (Although I was getting regular text messages from my nearest and dearest. Roll on Paris!)
There's been much talk of Christmas in my world recently. On Monday night Stuart was talking about his recent Christmas do. Drew gave me a belated but rather lovely Christmas present on Sunday. And last night Paul gave me his Christmas present... which was a trip to Wembley Arena to see Jeff Wayne's Musical Version of The War Of The Worlds. I've long been a fan of the original disco concept album of JWMVOTWOTW - which has been in the UK charts for over 300 weeks and sold in excess of 13 million copies worldwide. But this was the first ever live production of the album. H.G.Wells meets disco meets Martian world tour.
And quite a spectacle it was: crashing, bashing, smashing action from opening scene to mind-bending climax. Full orchestra, 70s disco funksters, space ships, explosions, smoke, flashing lights and Richard Burton (resurrected and in fine fettle). So we got both cheese AND ham!
And a good result too. Earth 1, Mars 0
Yay! Simon's started a blog. Welcome to blogspace, Si.
Tuesday, April 25, 2006
Size Isn't Everything (Apparently) - The Devil is in the Detail...
Over the weekend I went to stay with Ady and Carl down in Oxshott. They live in such a lovely part of the world and I'd resisted invitations once too often. So it was with some excitement I headed down there on Saturday. We had a great time playing games and just hanging out. It's always nice to catch up with the boys and they were perfect hosts.
Star of the weekend was however their new massive TV.
Naturally I was suitable impressed with their new 42" whopper. I'd perhaps been rather more modest when I bought mine and stuck to 32" (which had arrived on Friday). Ady and I had in fact been chatting about new TVs for some time and had both decided to go for one of these big LCD HD-ready jobbies. He'd plumped for a Sony whereas I'd gone for a Samsung (after doing some research with Ali and following his recommendation).
To be more exact overyourhead has joined the High Definition Age with not one but two new gadgets. To twit:
- Samsung LE32R41BDX 32" Greenwich II LCD TV HD Ready with Built in Digital Freeview
- Telewest TVDrive
And I have to say. They are both excellent. HD is indeed very impressive but I guess we'll have to wait to see when the new content actually starts getting broadcast. Sky may be up and running before Telewest I suspect.
Monday, April 24, 2006
Dylan, Eve and Lola...
Yesterday I went to see Ben, Sarah, Dylan, Eve and Lola. I'd not seen them for weeks as I'd been away and the triplets have really grown. It was so much fun seeing them all. They are being tried out on solids now so quite a lot of it comes back up but that's to be expected. They are looking so cute in their new romper suits.
Friday, April 21, 2006
This just in from my friend Pete who is in Sydney, Australia:
"get this... some random person in the 7eleven came up to me today and said "you look like overyourhead"... of which I replied "no thats Jonathan".. he repeated it again.... as did I.. I'm sure his mind was well fucked over by the incident.. and the fact that you were my friend. too funny!! x"
Thursday, April 20, 2006
I'm With Stupid...
Thanks to David for sending me a link to the new Pet Shop Boys video clip to promote I'm With Stupid. Very funny.
Last night Guy, Mario, Ian, Paul, Drew and I went to see Erasure at the Shepherds Bush Empire.
We all met up in the Defector's Weld first for a few swifties and then over to the gig proper.
Andy and Vince were promoting their acoustic Union Street album (crashing into the charts at number 102 last week if you please). The album, and indeed the set last night, showcases Vince and Andy song writing talents over their twenty-one year career together. They have picked songs from various albums and reworked them as acoustic numbers often in a yee-haa country and western stylee. Indeed, Andy insists one motivating factor behind Union Street was to "show the songs in a different light, and show that they could work on whatever instrument, synthesizers or guitars. Vince agrees: "We just felt there were songs on our albums that had been missed as songs."
So the gig last night was an experiment I guess. Would this all work live? And for me the answer is a resounding 'yes' but with perhaps a couple of caveats. Standing in the stalls makes you realise how much people chat at gigs when "a slow one comes on". Worse still, when a gig is 80% slow ones they just chat 80% of the time. So short of punching the noisy fucker next to me I resorted to blowing smoke in his direction and staring at him. Shut the fuck up, you git! The other slight issue is that Erasure gigs are all about dancing. The many times I've seen them before we danced from opening track to mind-bending climax. But last night was mainly about swaying. Good though it was I was left wanting to have danced more. Though it was great to bop a bit to country versions of Blue Savannah Song and Chains Of Love.
Erasure said on the ITN News last night that this wouldn't be a change of direction for them and that the album they were working on next would be full on synth based. So perhaps we can allow them this slight indulgence and revel in Andy magnificent voice as it soars with a solo guitar accompaniment.
'Natch I've already ordered the concert CD from LiveHereNow.
Wednesday, April 19, 2006
Paddy's Triva Quiz at The Green...
Last night Mike, David and I went to The Green to take part in Paddy's Trivia Quiz. And guess what? We won! Sadly not the big money but a bottle of champagne.
Why not have a go yourself?
01. Where does gorgonzola come from?
02. What was Thor Heyerdahl's craft called for his 1947 Pacific crossing?
03. Which country has won Eurovision more than any other?
04. Which Spanish city hosts the famous bull run?
05. What is the proper name for German Measles?
06. What are the short Bavarian trousers better known as?
07. What is the highest mountain in Africa?
08. What is the chief export of Colombia?
09. What is the name of the large station built in New York in 1913?
10. What do the Americans call 2nd February which is also the name of a film?
11. What is the minimum age of a US President? A - 30, B - 35 or C - 40?
12. What do Americans call undertakers?
13. We asked 100 people to name five girls beginning with C. Name any two of the top five.
14. We asked 100 people to name something you put in your mouth. Name any two of the top five.
15. We asked 100 people to name things that come in pairs. Name any two of the top five.
16. We asked 100 people to name places where you hear sing. Name any two of the top five.
17. We asked 100 people to name things you open apart from a door. Name any two of the top five.
18. We asked 100 people to name people associated with an apple. Name any two of the top five.
19. How much on average does each man, woman and child spend of gambling in the UK each year? A - £8, B - £80 or C - £800?
20. Name the film that starred Michael Cain, Noel Coward and Benny Hill
21. What do the Greeks call a restaurant?
22. What is a male donkey called?
23. Who did Dame Judi Dench play in Shakespeare in Love?
24. What was interesting about Ron Austin's world record 6:23min mile in 1981?
25. What are the three rocks called that still stand off the Isle Of Wight that used to connect the island to mainland Britain?
26. How many houses are there in Downing Street? A - 3, B - 4 or C - 5?
27. What is the Earl Of Shrewsbury’s House now surrounded by?
28. What is the statue in centre of Piccadilly Circus?
29. What was the Roman name for Britain?
30. What long-running BBC series starred Siegfried, James and Tristan?
31. Where are the UK's Royal Botanical Gardens?
32. What was abolished in 1948? A - Hanging, B - Flogging or C - the Home Guard?
33. Where is The Royal Crescent - thirty great houses built in a gently curving terrace with huge columns?
34. What is Paul McCartney's wife's full name?
35. What can you pick up between 88 and 91 FM?
36. Who was British Prime Minister from 1970-1974?
What's Currently On My iPod...
- The Streets - The Hardest Way To Make An Easy Living (currently at number one in the album chart)
- Erasure - Union Street (we're off to see them tonight)
- Pizzicato Five - Made in the USA / Happy End Of The World / The Sound Of Music (thanks to Dave for getting hooked on them)
Favourite Streets line #1: "Don't Get Hammered If You Want To Nail"
Favourite Streets line #2: "Men Hanker After Panky"
Tuesday, April 18, 2006
It was a dirty weekend, wasn't it? Filthy, filthy, filthy. Easter may have been late and Spring may be officially here but it was filthy. It rained, it was windy and it was cold. Quite the dirtiest weekend in a very long time.
Changing the subject entirely I went away down to Hastings, St Leonards, Bexhill-on-sea and Brighton for four days over the weekend. Charlie, De La Waar, Eddie Izzard, Griffin 'themed' B&B; had a great time. Tee hee.
Friday, April 14, 2006
Last night the incomparable Ian, sexy Simon, adorable Adam and I went to London's glitzy Bloomsbury Theatre to see the rather wonderful Pam Ayres show In Her Own Words. No really.
She was hilarious. We laughed for two hours solid.
Of course she included the sublime Oh, I Wished I looked After My Teeth, Battery Hen, Will I Have To Be Sexy At Sixty but perhaps funniest was the finale They Should Have Asked My Husband.
Pammy Update: She was a member of MI5!
Thursday, April 13, 2006
The Photos From Oz...
I've taken advice and won't bore you with hundreds of photos from my Oz trip. So here's just one montage to be getting on with. I'll publish a few more in the next week or so.
You can also see this montage as a brief slideshow of selected highlights (just 16 of them) by clicking here.
Actually if you're really keen, or a stalker, then you can browse a lot more (200 odd!) by clicking here.
Wednesday, April 12, 2006
Was It All A Dream?...
Yesterday evening when I got in from work I was feeling tired. I put my head down on the pillow for what must have been five minutes. Long day. Jet-lag. Whatever. I needed a kip.
What seemed like moments later my mobile rang. It was Paul. "Where are you? Have you remembered we're going to David's 50th tonight?" Shit. No. I'd forgotten. Sorry. A few birthday drinks in town might help me sleep right through though. So I pull on some old jeans, a Tom of Finland t-shirt and my old dirty trainers and head on out the door. I call Paul back, "Where is it again?"
Half an hour later I'm just the wrong side of fashionably late. Gosh, this venue looks posh. The Wardolf Hilton in Aldwych no less. Maybe they're all in the front bar. So I ask at reception. Turns out I'm to head for Palm Court at the back. I eventually find it through a maze of corridors but the double doors are closed. So I gently push one of them open. It squeaks rather loudly.
Shit! There's 120 people looking back at me all wearing black tie and suits and sitting at tables. Shit! It's a formal sit down dinner. Posh as. Family, friends, the lot. I spring back out of the door again. Shit, shit, shit! What to do? They all saw me. My mind it racing. Flee or brave it out? My heart is beating fast. I look an absolute state. I can't go in can I? Can I?
I make my mind up. Go for it. I throw both doors open and march right in. All eyes on me I mince straight up to the cute host and give him a big full blown kiss on the lips. "Happy Birthday, darling! Where's the bar?!"
Four hours later I was still there, wobbly from the booze and having smoked too many pogged cigarettes chatting to a porn director and his impossibly handsome Dutch boyfriend. No one seemed to really care I was dressed as a tramp.
The moral I guess is: brave it out and you'll most probably pull it off. Missus.
Tuesday, April 11, 2006
Return From Oz...
Well, it's good to be back. Sort of. The jet-lags not been too bad (so far) and there haven't been any major disasters while I've been away. It's mildly depressing to see some of the same shit is still here but at the very least I shall try and bring a sunnier disposition to it if I possibly can. It was a great holiday and I can't thank Davie and Craig enough for hosted me.
Traveling teaches you a few things about yourself and life in general I think. For a start it gives you more confidence in yourself and your decisions. Even on a simple level of deciding what to do with your day. It definitely helps put things into perspective too. And it also teaches you some things about yourself - or perhaps just reaffirms some things you already knew. So all good really.
But there are probably two things I shall take away from this holiday: don't like others just because they like you - see something in them that's worth knowing, and sex on the beach is not just the name of a cocktail.
Monday, April 10, 2006
Notes From Oz #10......
Ended up in Phoenix (the way you do) / packed and headed off to airport / 23 hours later...
Still in the bloody air / finally landed 6am / now in the office... pah!
Saturday, April 08, 2006
Notes From Oz #9...
Sunbathing / Sunny Hill / Pier 26 / dinner & drag / Patsy Decline / laughing at / laughing with / gays vs. greys / attack of the lesbians / barricade
Gavin / Surrey Hills / G / Hertz / Ford Ghia / to Newcastle with Craig / Noah on the Beach / Darcy Street / Islington / Gateway Hotel / pub quiz / karaoke
Tour round city / shorts / Merryweather / ocean baths / Hunter Valley / wine tasting / Mr Spit vs. Mr Swallow / nominated driver / Lindemans Hunter Valley "Steven" Shiraz 1999 / The Cellar / self-saucing Belgian chocolate pudding with oozed maralade jam and ice cream / Scary Movie 2
Wine tasting at 10am! / Margan / Mr Swallow vs. Mr Spit / Blueberry Hill Chardonnay-Sauvignon mould-infected desert / Fresh Creek / Thomas Kiss / Keith Tulloch / Hunter Cellars (case) / drive back to Manly beach / rest / Colombian / Manacle
Wednesday, April 05, 2006
Notes From Oz #8...
Museum of Contemporary Art / bears parade / tour / Mike Parr / Masquerade / Sam Taylor-Wood / Beckham sleeping / nude man dancing / lunch with Davie / Jak & Dakster / Mexican with Rich & Steve / Newtown Hotel / heart to heart
Met Pete / Kings Cross / topless / Mrs M's Chair / Fleet Steps / Botanical Gardens / fruit bats / Sex+Death hedge / The Domain / Hyde Park / Oxford Street / Oxford Hotel / bus / train / Newtown / snooze / cab / Waterloo / Gary / "Brace yourself" / wash & go / Oxford St for beerages with Pete
Monday, April 03, 2006
Notes From Oz #7...
Pottered / Court House hotel for after work beers in garden / Zanzibar / Newtown Hotel with Davie / bumped into Russ and his flat mate Julian / no sleep!
Davie's birthday / mad taxi dash home for pancakes / gave D a video iPod so he can listen to music on way to college / Bondi Beach / posh nosh at Sean's Panaroma (sic) with Sue, Paul, Craig, Davie and me / Bondi Beach walk / C, D and I met Steve for drinks Newtown Hotel / Imperial Hotel / drag show(s) / dancing / 4am / v wobbly
Day in bed / Jak & Dakster / King St burgers / bumped into Aaron / early night / dreamt I was in Fraggle Rock the Musical but I got trapped in a cellar with hundreds of spiders at the audition and Aaron rescued me (go figure!)
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