It's coming... o v e r y o u r h e a d . . .

Crawling through technology, life and love

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troubled diva

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


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Monday, April 30, 2007

Arsenal 3-1 Fulham...

Drew and I went to the game last night. We had the run in the first half but Fulham fought back in the second. It was not their night though and the result was fair. Just two more games to play this season - the next being Chelsea at home next Sunday. Can't wait.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Three Things about me you may not have known...

I got this 'chain letter' from my sister. It's a rather old fashioned thng to do - but great fun all the same. Feel free to forward to three of your mates, answer here etc. Here are my answers

Jobs I have had in my life:
Screwer (AirWick)
Engineer (MOD)
IT (Oil company)

Three Places that I have lived

Three TV shows I like to watch:

Three places I have been on holiday

Three of my favourite foods:

Three places where I would rather be right now:
At work (no, really!)
Amongst friends
In a taxi

Three fantastic memories:
A night out in Tokyo
Hearing “I love you” for the first time
Heaven night club one Sat in Nov 1987

Three people I think will respond

Ohh! The pressure for you three

Now, here's what you're supposed to do... And please do not spoil the Fun.
Hit forward, delete my answers and type in your answers. Then send this to a whole bunch of people you know INCLUDING the person who sent it to you. The theory is that you will learn a lot of little known facts about those who know you. Remember to send it back to the person who sent it to you.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Little Shop Of Horrors...

Mum, Dad, Stu and I went to see bit of nonsense that is Little Shop Of Horrors again last night. It's now transferred to the Duke Of York's. Alistair McGowan has now joined the original cast of Sheridan Smith, Paul Keating and Mike McShane.

The transfer has been largely successful. A few more bells and whistles. But the sound was much better when we went to see it at the Chocolate Factory. Still, we enjoyed ourselves.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Credit Card Crazy...

I've gone a bit credit card crazy recently: applying for three of them that is. Why? Well, they all offer such great deals that's why and they're free. (It should also perhaps be noted I collect BA miles.)

With my new British Airways American Express Credit Card each £1 I spend gets me 1 BA mile (3 BA miles if I buy BA flights and products with it).

With my new Tesco Clubcard Credit Card each £4 I spend gets me 1 Clubcard point (5 Clubcard points if I buy Tesco products). And Tesco Clubcard points can be converted into... (you've guessed it) BA miles.

And with my new Arsenal Rewards Credit Card I get... er... well... not much really apart from a few reward points to buy tat (a-hem) but I do get that nice feeling of having a a bit of Arsenal plastic in my back pocket.

I'm not actually planning on running up any debt as such just seeing if I can get some 'points'. And this from the man who has 11,495 Boots points and 34,137 Nectar points unspent.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Happy St George's Day...

St George's Day 2007: Trafalgar Square will host a free programme of classic film and television comedy on Monday 23 April, as part of the Mayor of London's St George's Day celebrations, which will culminate in a special screening of Monty Python and the Holy Grail, and a 'coconut orchestra' world record attempt involving cast members of West End hit, Monty Python's SPAMALOT. The supporting programme from the BFI National Archive will also feature silent films showing London across the 20th century alongside a selection of comedy silents with a Python-esque theme. At 6.45pm, cast members from SPAMALOT will teach members of the public how to ‘clip-clop’ with two halves of a coconut, in time to the Monty Python classic 'Always Look on the Bright Side of Life' prior to the 'coconut orchestra' world record breaking attempt, due to take place at 7pm. The current record holder is New York, where 1,785 people took part in a similar event last year, and at least 2,000 people are expected to help set a new world record in London. The Guinness Book of Records are being invited to verify the numbers taking part - coconuts will be provided! Participants should register by 6.30pm in order to take part in the ‘coconut orchestra ‘world record attempt’. The climax of the evening will be the special screening of Monty Python and the Holy Grail (15 certificate) at 7.30pm. This classic example of Monty Python’s own brand of comic lunacy is a tale of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table and their quest for the Holy Grail.
Entry: FREE

Classic English Comedy on Screen
Monday 23 April 2007, 12:30pm-9pm
English humour is recognised and enjoyed throughout the world and what
better way to celebrate St George’s Day than with a dose of collective
laughter. See a selection of English comedy shorts compiled by the BFI
plus a special showing at 7.30pm of Monty Python and the Holy Grail (15)
on a big screen in Trafalgar Square. As Monty Python's SPAMALOT delights
audiences at the Palace Theatre, come to the Square and see the classic
film from 1974 that inspired it! Arranged in association with Monty
(Python) Pictures Ltd.
PLEASE NOTE Monty Python and the Holy Grail carries a 15 rating.

12.30pm - Classic television comedy clips representing the best
of English Humour. Selected by the BFI

1pm-2pm - 'Futtock's End' (1969) written by and starring Ronnie
Barker. With permission from Digital Classics

2pm - 5pm - Historic silent films from BFI National Archive
revealing London across the 20th century

5pm - 6.30pm - Selection of comedy clips (see 12.30 - 1) and BFI
archive programme

6.45pm -7.15pm (Register by 6.30pm)
Monty Python's SPAMALOT, the London stage production inspired by
the 1974 film Monty Python and the Holy Grail will lead on an
attempt to break the world record for number of people playing
in a coconut orchestra, currently held by New York with 1785
people. Registration from 5pm onwards. Coconut Orchestra
rehearsal at 6.30pm. World Record attempt at 7pm. Be there to
guarantee your place in history. Coconuts will be provided!

7.30pm – 9pm
Screening of Monty Python and the Holy Grail. (15) With its
byline 'Makes Ben Hur look like an epic', this tale of King
Arthur in medieval England is packed with Monty Python's unique
brand of comic lunacy. (SUITABLE FOR OVER 15s ONLY)

[Thanks Rog]

Friday, April 20, 2007

The Lives of Others...

Last night Stu and I went to see the Oscar winning film The Lives of Others at the Vue N1. It's original title was Das Leben der Anderen i.e it's a German language film (not that it said that on the poster mind you and as a joke some wag in the cinema groaned loudly when it started in German).

It was a good film though in that it seemed a truthful representation of the East German Stasi in 1984 and now they snooped on people all the time. Perhaps the Stasi might have been a little bit meaner though and there was no violence or fabricated evidence which I find hard to believe. There was a little bit of a Hollywood ending too but enjoyable all the same. God, the GDR looked grey back then.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Booze worse than Speed or Acid shocker...

So recent research from the Lancet magazine suggests a better way to categorise drugs is based on the harm they do to the user and to society more widely. The final list put heroin at the top, alcohol was in fourth place, ketamine in fifth, and tobacco in sixth. Cocaine was at number two followed by barbiturates. Cannabis kept its mid-rank position at number 11. Bringing up the rear were khat or qat in 20th place and amyl nitrates (poppers) in 19th. Ecstasy was the third least dangerous drug, according to researchers. So there you go. Think I'll stick to a good strong cuppa.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Gas Bill...

I know the warmer weather is upon us at the moment but memories of last month's chill came back when I got my three monthly gas bill recently. This time last year it was £132. But this most recent one was over £455! Either I've turned into a gas guzzler this past three months, they've made a mistake or gas prices have shot up (which everybody tells me has indeed happened). Wait, it's probably all three. Let's hope me turning the heating down, having it on for less time and British Gas's recent price drop will help with next year's winter bill.

I feel like a pelican. Everywhere I look there's a massive bill in front of me.

Arsenal 3-1 Man City...

Yay! We're up to third (for the moment at least). It was an exciting yet frustrating game to watch at the Emirates last night though. We just don;t have the strikers available. The law of averages (should such a thing exist) meant that if our midfield got it up to their area it had to go in eventually. Three times as it happens. And Lehmann is a ruddy liability at times. But the biys played well and the scoreline reflected the game we watched.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

It's Gym Space, But Not As We Know It...

I've final taken the plunge (quite literally as it has a pool) and joined our local gym. Highbury Pool Highbury Leisure Centre has just had a £1.6m refit and now sports a pool, three gym rooms, two studios and a sauna. I've not actually set foot inside a gym in over three years but the double impetus of an ever expanding waistline and slight wheezing after walking up even the shortest flight of stairs has spurred me to think again. Heart attacks before you're fifty are so last century.

The membership set me back the princely sum of £517 plus a £50 joining fee which I guess is a high enough price/incentive to keep going regularly. No point in wasting the fee. I've promised Stu I'll give myself ten weeks to get into it.

The membership I chose (Izz card Platinum) gives me access to everything for free so we went swimming on Sunday (Stu thirty lengths, me a paltry twenty) and last night I went to a step class (how 1990s?). I used to go to step three times a week yesteryear at the Y but I'd not done it in over a decade. It soon came back to me though; 'repeater knee', 'straddle', 'superman' and 'round the world'. And no, I wasn't the only man in the class. Just. God, I ache this morning. But I feel better.

Has anyone got any tips for starting out back at the gym?

Monday, April 16, 2007

Arsenal 2-1 Bolton ...

Paul and I went to see the Gunners play on a lovely sunny Saturday afternoon. It was our first win in five games. What a relief. Shame we had to come from behind again though.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

The Crimson Diva - Marc Almond remixed...

My mate Hanko had edited a video of Marc Almond's The Crimson Diva. Fab.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Gwen McCrae...

Last night Stu treated me to dinner, drinks and a show: the rather marvelous Gwen McCrae at the Jazz Cafe in London's glitzy Camden Town.

Due to turn sixty-four this year McCrae has lost none of her sultry sexiness. She oozed onto the stage cracking jokes, playing with the audience and rendering each of her songs note perfect. Buried amongst her hits Rockin' Chair, Funky Sensation, All This Love That I'm Givin' and 90% of Me Is You were a bit of Prince's Purple Rain and Hues Corporation's Rock The Boat. Fab.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Apple iPod Sales Surpass 100m...

Not that that means there are 100m owners mind you. I've bought four of them myself!

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Arsenal 0-1 West Ham...

I took my Dad to see Arsenal play on Saturday. A shameful performance by the Gunners didn't in any way dampen my mood. I do like my Dad.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Brain Teaser Answers...

Well we only had one entry this time round so maybe it was a bit too tough. I'll make it easier next time. Here are the answers anyway.

1. 72 people: we have enough room for 60 of these, expanding the 60 capcity by 40% will give us enough room for 84 - which we know is 12 more than the current count.

2. 4 people.
159 is the product of the number of people invited and the number of pages in each document. The only two numbers which, when multiplied together, give 159 are 3 and 53, which are known as its prime factors. So the number of people given documents was either 159, 53 or 3. It is extremely unlikely that Stephen would have had time to distribute 53 documents to 53 people (let alone 159) in the few minutes available, so he must have distributed three copies of the document, and each copy had 53 pages in it. His manager kept the original, making four documents for the four at the meeting.

3. The letter U

Thursday, April 05, 2007


Stu and I went to see 300 last night. Load of old bollocks. I almost fell asleep. Bring back Sin City (coming soon I hear). It made the 300 Spartans with their 1800 abs seem like homophobic homoerotic hypocrites. Bah!

Spartans, 300: Plot, Nil.

Calvin Harris 'Acceptable in the 80s'...

I so love this:

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Brain Teasers...

A slightly tougher set of questions this time round as it's Easter.

1. Our company has recently expanded and we can no longer accommodate all the staff in the conference room for a training course. Luckily 12 people do not need to attend the training course on this occasion so we are OK this time round. However if we increase the conference room by 40%, this will allow for everyone, plus enough room for the extra 12 people for future events. How many people work at our company?

2. Stephen has to take photocopies of the marketing strategy and personally deliver one copy to everyone who is coming to the management meeting at noon, and return the original to his manager. And he only has half an hour to do it. Stephen churned out 159 sheets of paper from the photocopier. How many people went to the meeting?

3. What occurs once in June, once in July, but twice in August?

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

The Apple of My i(Pod)...

Apple giveth and Apple taketh away.

Monday, April 02, 2007


I've now been in my current office for thirteen years. And for six years before that I was doing the same job for the same company but in a slightly different office across the road. So that's nineteen years doing the same job. Man and boy.

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