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, October 31, 2006
Arsenal 1-1 Everton ...
Sarah and I went to see the game on Saturday. Great to show Sarah the Emirates Stadium. Shame we were so frustrated on the pitch though. Oh well. Next time.
Monday, October 30, 2006
I'm back in Rijswijk now for four days this week on business. Bah!
Stu took me to see Wicked at the Apollo Victoria Theatre last Friday.
Wicked it wasn't. Technically impressive but just lame. Shame.
Friday, October 27, 2006
Hey, do you dress up your pet all funny for Hallowe'en? No, I thought not. So pity these poor kits and mutts. I have to say I did spit my tea out with laughter at some of them though. See all of them by clicking here.
Thursday, October 26, 2006
BT Digital Vault...
BT have finally launched their digital vault service. I had been testing their business version a couple of years back and they had promised a consumer one was to come. The vault is basically a free hosted storage service (2Gb for free or 20Gb for £4.99 a month) with a web interface for uploading files in the free version and a backup program (for PC only so far) for the paid-for version. It's a great way of storing/backing up files/music/photos off site in case your PC crashes.
Wednesday, October 25, 2006
Mad About the Boys...
On Saturday Stu, Sparky and I went to see the film of Alan Bennett's The History Boys. Part school days nostalgia trip, part gay-themed drama.
And boy did it bring back memories; being at a boys school, A-level results, gay teachers, 7th term Oxbridge entrance study, the pressure from the Head, the exam and the Oxbridge interview.
It's a great film and definitely recommended viewing. Hey, if a film can pull off a scene entirely in French, challenge you to sympathise with casual paedophilia, make you think and make you laugh it gets my vote.
Tuesday, October 24, 2006
I got a call from Sparky on Friday, he was coming up to London so of course I invited him to stay over. We spent the day together on Saturday roaming around book stores and "new" Brunswick Centre (lick of paint, anyone?). He also joined Stu and me for dinner and a trip to the movies. Lovely to see him and he's looking very well.
Monday, October 23, 2006
Not without it's faults, but as you can tell I loved it.
Here's some blurb about the series for those unacquainted:
Torchwood is a British television science fiction and crime drama created by Russell T. Davies and starring John Barrowman and Eve Myles dealing with the machinations and activities of the fictional Torchwood Institute. An initial 13-part series was commissioned by the BBC as a spin-off from the long-running science fiction series Doctor Who.
An in-house BBC Wales production for digital television station BBC Three, it is the first television spin-off of Doctor Who since the unsuccessful pilot of K-9 and Company in 1981 and the first to be commissioned for a full series. The Canadian network CBC is co-producer of the series, with exclusive rights to broadcast the North American premiere of the show.
The title "Torchwood" is an anagram of "Doctor Who". (The name was used as the "codename" for the new series of Who while filming its first few episodes, and the name was subsequently used in the series, leading to this spin-off.) BBC Wales Head of Drama Julie Gardner serves as executive producer alongside Davies. Torchwood premiered on October 22, 2006 at 9pm BST on BBC Three and was followed immediately by episode two. According to the website of John Barrowman, who plays Jack, the series is to be repeated on BBC Two every Wednesday at 9pm BST. This is confirmed by the Radio Times.
Friday, October 20, 2006
Lost and Found on Sky One...
So Sky have bought seasons three and four of Lost in the UK. Like 24 before it, that'll probably kill it. The "previously on Lost" videos for season three on the Lost web site do look good though... Hey ho. Roll on Ugly Betty.
Thursday, October 19, 2006
Monty Python's Spamalot...
Last night Stuart, Paul, Ian and I went to see Monty Python's Spamalot at the Palace Theatre in London's glitzy West End.
It was bit like going to see a late night Rocky Horror Picture Show screening; there was Tim Curry on there on stage, we had people dressed as Monty Python character's sitting behind us (a knight, a man in a white rabbit suit, a peasant etc) and many of the audience shouted out the lines of the more famous sketches before the actors did. It all had the feeling of a (very expensive) end of term show. With drunks in the audience. A sort of pantomime.
But don't get me wrong. It was fun. Fun and funny. Silly, fun and funny. But it wasn't quite the brilliance we had hoped for. For example some of the songs didn't travel too well from New York (You Won't Succeed On Broadway with the lyric changed to West End jarred a bit and the rather bizarre song called something like Get a Jew was a little lost on a UK audience I fear). And rewriting the script to include (un)cultural asides about Jade Goody will soon wear thin I suspect.
But having said all of that it is a rather fun piss take of all the musicals you've ever seen - with some oblique and some not so oblique references to Andrew Lloyd Weber, West Side Story, Camelot, Fiddler On The Roof, Les Miserables etc. And the Monty Python humour does shine through if some of the targets are a little broad.
Now if it hadn't been for the inherent sexism of the Python's original material (did they actually write any parts for women that weren't just big bosomed non-speaking roles?) I'd have said it was a fun night out for all to enjoy. Sadly even having a 'gay element' couldn't quite save it from the PC crowd’s frown.
But we did laugh though. A lot. And it will no doubt run and run. As they say (and sing at the beginning of Act
Wednesday, October 18, 2006
Footballer's Wife's revenge...
Be careful what you send people. If you later split you can't unsend it. And it may just find it's way onto the Interwebnet. As Middlesbrough defender Matthew Bates found out to his cost.
Tuesday, October 17, 2006
Yesterday I found myself traveling to Rijswijk - a suburb of The Hague in The Netherlands - on a business trip. I'm here doing a reckie for a couple of days sorting out IT and hotel services for a more extensive work trip in a couple of weeks time. I can't really recommend the place as a holiday destination to be honest. Bit of a desolate place. But the hotel is nice and it's got a well stocked bar. Hurrah!
Monday, October 16, 2006
Myrtle's 70th Birthday Party...
It was my mother's seventieth birthday on Sunday so we had a family get together for her thrown by my sister Joanna and her husband Martin at their place out in Benington. It was so lovely to see so many of my cousins, nieces, nephews, aunts and uncles together. And I think my mother had a good time judging by her big smile she had on her face all day. And in case you were wondering, our nickname for her is Myrtle (although her name is actually Kathleen).
I took loads of pictures most of which you can see here.
Friday, October 13, 2006
New York, New York...
Moby's new single New York, New York is released in the UK on the 30th October and features the wonderful Debbie Harry on vocals. It's a promo single for Go - The Very Best of Moby. View the rather fine video in Windows Media or Real Media. It's a sort of Scissor Sisters-esque disco stomper. I quite like it.
Brain Teaser Answers...
1. 12 hours. Rate is 1/18 + 1/18 - 1/36 = 3/16 = 1/12. So time is 1/rate = 12 hours.
2. Border becomes boarder.
Thursday, October 12, 2006
The other night Stu and I went to see The Queen. Great fun. We were amused. It was all about the seven days following Diana's death in 1997 and the Queen's reaction to it. Royal week, Royal weak.
Wednesday, October 11, 2006
1 James and Steve were busily emptying their book shelves from one room to another. James on his own could have cleared the room in 18 hours. Steve also would take 18 hours. Unfortunately, John was moving the books back into the first room from the second. He could fill the first room in 36 hours. How long will it take the three of them to complete the task?
2. Can you find a word that means perimeter and by adding a letter A another word is formed that means a lodger?
Tuesday, October 10, 2006
Google gobbles up YouTube...
As Google has gobbled up YouTube for £883m I thought I'd link to two of my favourite YouTube videos: Male Restroom Etiquette and Evolution Of Dance - the second of which I understand is to be made into a film.
Monday, October 09, 2006
Ljungberg Denies Gay Slur...
Arsenal's Fredrik Ljungberg has laughed off reports in the Swedish tabloid newspapers that he is a gay homosexual. Ljungberg has stated that despite the fact he is not in a steady relationship at the moment, he is still 100% heterosexual. The stories are believed to have eminated from the internet.
'Gay Slur'? 'Eminated from the internet'? Is this 1996?
Friday, October 06, 2006
On Tuesday I went over to see Ben, Sarah and the triplets; Dylan, Eve and Lola. And they were all looking fantastic.
You can look at the full set of pix I took here.
Thursday, October 05, 2006
Last night Stu and I went to see Jocelyn Brown at the Jazz Cafe.
Perhaps most famous for her 1984 hit Somebody Else's Guy Brown is a belter in the old school mode. She has a pair of lungs that could power a wind farm. Brown has had a diverse career being used as a backing vocalist on John Lennon's Mind Games, touring with Luther Vandross and working with Todd Terry on a number of dance tracks including Keep on Jumpin'. Indeed it was this hit that she opened her set with last night.
And it was a trifle indulgent set list to be honest. In the first half hour we had just four songs. Eight minute versions of classics can be fun but it does give you time to hear the song, go for a wazz, get a pint and fight your way back to your spot for the final five minutes.
I'm sad to report that Brown has actually lost some of her power. Her voice was good, but not that good. She seemed to be struggling with some of her trademark vocal gymnastics. As Stu put it, "that song should have made the hair on the back of my neck stand up. It didn't."
But we had a good time. We sang along. We danced.
Highlight was probably her belting out No More Tears (Enough is Enough) "for the girls out there... and the boys".
Lowlight was a song called Always There - was that an unrecognisable version of Always There (her hit with Incognito)?
I was secretly hoping Right Said Fred might pop out for the encore of Don't Talk Just Kiss but it was not to be.
Wednesday, October 04, 2006
Brain Teaser Answers...
1. 44. Twice each hour equals 48, less one between 2:00 and 4:00 and one between 8:00 and 10:00 for both a.m. and p.m. Or thinking of it another way - the hour hand caches up with the minute hand once every 12 hours so you lose 2 right angles every 12 hours. So losing 4 right angles in 24 hours. 48 - 4 = 44.
2. Look before you leap.
Tuesday, October 03, 2006
1. How many times per day do the hour and minute hands of a clock form a right angle?
2. What is represented by these letters? lookbebebebeuleap
Monday, October 02, 2006
I took Stu to Sitges for the weekend just gone - his first time - and we had great fun. Gary had very kindly agreed to let us stay in his place so we just had to pay for the flights. Ostensibly we were going to welcome Paul and Simon's move back from Valencia to Sitges. They now have a new pad even more central than before.
Below are a couple of shots from the weekend. Click here to see them all.
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