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, August 31, 2007
Overyourhead is off on it's hols today; Sitges for a week. So if you see me on the beach say hi.
It's all happening up the Arse...
So we're in Group H of the Champions League with teams we've never met before; Steau Bucharest, Slavia Prague and either Sevilla or AEK Athens. It remains to be seen what they're like.
And in unrelated news David Dein has sold his 14.5% to a russian, Alisher Usmanov. Hmmm.
Thursday, August 30, 2007
Arsenal 3-0 Sparta Prague (5-0) ...
Paul and I went to the game last night. It was fun but a bit of a walk in the park. So now we're through to the Champions League group stages. Yay!
Brain Teaser Answer...
The two sons rowed to safety first, one son rowed back. John rowed to safety and the other son rowed back to the island. The two sons rowed to safety first, one son rowed back again. John's wife rowed to safety and the other son rowed back. Finally, the two sons rowed to safety.
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
Last week John and his wife found themselves stranded on an island. Unfortunately, they were also stranded with their two sons, with no clear means of rescue. Luckily, John came across an old rickety boat which he knew could carry either one adult or two children. How did he rescue his family?
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
I don't whether to laugh or to cry. I Feel Love, You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real), Boys Boys Boys (Summertime Love), Showing Out, Don't Go, You Spin Me Round (Like A Record) and a bit of KLF, Frankie et al. Oh yes, they murder all the 'classics'. One wonders whose tongue is in whose or which cheek. They are Dutch though so we can perhaps forgive them much.
Monday, August 27, 2007
Madonna - The Beat Goes On...
You heard Madge's new single yet? A co-lab with Pharrell Williams. I'm not very impressed. Maybe it'll be a grower. On and on the beat goes, on and on the beat goes etc etc. I hear we can expect her next LP to be an R&B album featuring Felix da Housecat, Timbaland and Timberlake.
UPDATE: Oh dear. I dreamed about this song last night. So looks like it's in my brain already. Curses!
Sunday, August 26, 2007
Arsenal 1-0 Man City ...
Yesterday Paul and I went to the game. "Top of the league? You're having a laugh. Top of the league? You're having a laugh." Not after Fabregas's late winner they weren't. We went bonkers. Naturally a trip to Duckie was in order.
Friday, August 24, 2007
Thursday, August 23, 2007
Last night the lovely Sparky and I met up for a coffee and a bite to eat. It was good to catch up, hear his plans for staying in the UK and, I confess, to spend time with someone who is "dorkier than me by half". And hey, I now know what a glyph is (think 'hieroglyph' with less of the sacred 'hiero'). We bumped into Guy and Cesar too. And why not go marvel at Sparky's new typeface, Gina.
Brain Teaser Answer...
Name Current pet Previous pet
Becky hamster hamster
Kevin dog cat
James mouse dog
Rebecca cat mouse
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
At a recent Pets Anonymous reunion, the attendees were discussing which pets they had recently owned. James used to have a dog. The person who used to own a mouse now owns a cat, but the person who used to have a cat does not have a mouse. Kevin has now or used to have a dog, I can't remember which. Becky has never owned a mouse. Only one person now owns the pet they previously had. Rebecca said very little throughout the meeting and nobody mentioned the hamster. Can you determine who owns which pet and what they used to own?
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
George Michael - The Road to Wembley...
The other night I watched something I'd recorded from last Sunday night, a documentary called George Michael - The Road to Wembley. It was basically an interview with the man himself, some behind the scenes footage in the build up to the show and a number of songs from the live concert itself. The stage looked amazing. How did they do that stage / projection? He sounded great too.
But the jaw dropping moment came during the interview conducted by that idiot Chris Evans. When taking about the previous times George had performed at Wembley - Live Aid, Wham The Final, Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert, Nelson Mandela's 70th Birthday Tribute concert in 1988 - Evans questioned him about the Mandela concert in more detail.
"Did you meet Mr Mandela. On the day?" asks Evans.
George completely dead pan says, "Well, he was still in prison."
Evans smiles weakly, "Oh, was he? So he wasn't there..."
Squirm along 2m 30s in to the video.
Monday, August 20, 2007
This weekend just gone Stu and I went to Cork to see the lovely Clodagh. The equally lovely Heather was also over from the States from Kansas City (that's Kansas City, Missouri not Kansas City, Kansas as she pointedly pointed out). We had a great time sampling the local ale in the odd Irish snug bar by night and wandering around the shops in Cork's fair city by day. We also found time for some great meals out and a tour of the Jameson distillery at Midleton. Luckily Helen was back in time from her Croatian cruising to join us on the Saturday night which was great.
Below are a few snaps of the trip. You can see more by clicking here.
Friday, August 17, 2007
Radio 1's New Covers' Album...
Anyone who knows knows I'm partial to a cover version. So it is with some delight I see that Radio 1 is releasing a covers' album to celebrate its 40 years on the air. The idea was that each band had to pick a hit from each of the past 40 years. So for instance Robbie Williams got 1970 and decided to record Lola by the Kinks - doing it with Guy Chambers too which is nice. Album's out in October I think. Here's the full track listing:
1967 Flowers In The Rain (The Move) covered by The Kaiser Chiefs
1968 All Along The Watchtower (Jimi Hendrix Experience) covered by The Fratellis
1969 Cupid (Johnny Nash) covered by Amy Winehouse
1970 Lola (The Kinks) covered by Robbie Williams
1971 Your Song (Elton John) covered by The Streets
1972 Betcha By Golly Wow (The Stylistics) covered by Sugababes
1973 Youre So Vain (Carly Simon) covered by The Feeling
1974 Band On The Run (Wings) covered by Foo Fighters
1975 Love Is The Drug (Roxy Music) covered by Kylie
1976 Lets Stick Together (Bryan Ferry) covered by KT Tunstall
1977 Sound & Vision (David Bowie) covered by Franz Ferdinand
1978 Teenage Kicks (The Undertones) covered by The Raconteurs
1979 Cant Stand Losing You (The Police) covered by Mika
1980 Too Much Too Young (The Specials) covered by Kasabian
1981 Under Pressure (Queen & David Bowie) covered by Keane
1982 Town Called Malice (The Jam) covered by McFly
1983 Come Back And Stay (Paul Young) covered by James Morrison
1984 Careless Whisper (George Michael) covered by The Gossip
1985 The Power Of Love (Huey Lewis & The News) covered by Pigeon Detectives
1986 Dont Get Me Wrong (The Pretenders) covered by Lily Allen
1987 You Sexy Thing (Hot Chocolate) covered by Stereophonics
1988 Fast Car (Tracy Chapman) covered by Mutya Buena
1989 Lullaby (the Cure) covered by Editors
1990 Englishman In New York (Sting) covered by Razorlight
1991 Crazy For You (Madonna) covered by Groove Armada
1992 It Must Be Love (Madness) covered by Paolo Nutini
1993 All That She Wants (Ace Of Base) covered by The Kooks
1994 Youre All I Need To Get By (Mary J Blige) covered by Mark Ronson
1995 Stillness In Time (Jamiroquai) covered by Calvin Harris
1996 No Diggity (Blackstreet) covered by Klaxons
1997 Love Fool (The Cardigans) covered by Just Jack
1998 Ray Of Light (Madonna) covered by Natasha Bedingfield
1999 Drinking in LA (Bran Van 3000) covered by The Twang
2000 The Great Beyond (REM) covered by The Fray
2001 Teenage Dirtbag (Wheatus) covered by Girls Aloud
2002 Like I Love You (Justin Timberlake) covered by Maximo Park
2003 Dont Look Back Into The Sun (The Libertines) covered by The View
2004 Toxic (Britney Spears) covered by Hard-Fi
2005 Father & Son (Yusuf & Ronan Keating) covered by The Enemy
2006 Steady As She Goes (The Raconteurs) covered by Corinne Bailey Rae
Brain Teaser Answer...
Thursday, August 16, 2007
Mock the Week...
My mate Ben is on Mock the Week tonight. BBC2 9pm: "Dara O'Briain serves up another topical buffet for Frankie Boyle, Hugh Dennis, Russell Howard, Andy Parsons and guests (Ben Norris and Ed Byrne) to fill their satirical plates. Adult humour." And guess what? Ben is on IMDB! Yay!
Peru capital rocked by earthquake...
Oh blimey. My just turned seventeen nephew is in Lima at the moment about to fly back to the UK. Hope he's OK.
Update: Just heard. He's quite safe. There were two quakes apparently. It might delay return flight home though.
What is represented by these letters?
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
The Simpsons Movie...
We watched The Simpsons Movie over the weekend. The 'overheard on the tube' section in Time Out got it about right: It's like two good Simpsons episodes and one crap one.
28 Weeks Later...
And we watched 28 Weeks Later too. Nah. Preferred the first one.
And also I found time to watch Transformers. Total crap.
And to round the weekend of film watching off we went to see Hairspray. Not as good as the stage show but we laughed and laughed and sang along. Travolta was the worst thing in it! Shame they had all but cut the best song Mama, I'm A Big Girl Now too.
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
Lunch in the Garden...
Sheila and Marrtin bought their lovely four month old daughter Lily over on Saturday afternoon. Stu cooked lunch and we went for a walk in Southwalk Park. Lovely.
More snaps here.
Monday, August 13, 2007
Arsenal 2-1 Fulham ...
Just fifty seconds in to the first game of the season and Jens Lehmann's dreadful error left us one nil down. Paul and I were in despair. Still, we pulled a couple back in the end to get a much deserved win.
Paul and I have moved seats - we were up in the Gods - now we're behind the goal at the clock end and a very exciting place to
More snaps here.
Friday, August 10, 2007
The Good Doctor Life...
Tom! Barbara! Oh Toooom! Barbara! Margot! Jerry! Tom! Barbara! Jerry! Doctor!
Brain Teaser Answer...
Newsagent, crocodile, collision, classroom, encourage, hairbrush, otherwise, closeness, lightning, margarine.
Thursday, August 09, 2007
A Fair(y) Use Tale...
Clever use of Disney characters to make a point about fair use.
Wednesday, August 08, 2007
Below, 10 nine letter words have been broken into chunks of three letters. These chunks have been mixed up, no chunk is used twice and all chunks are used. Can you determine what the 10 words are?
ent sen oom ush ile cro
cla rbr ise lis ssr lig
hai mar htn age ess new
sag clo gar ion ing oth
enc ine col our erw cod
Tuesday, August 07, 2007
Brighton Pride: the good bits...
The hotel saga aside we did have a fab weekend. Spending time with Tim and Andy and Michael and Andrew and Gary and Nau and Fabio and David was great. We had nice meals out, great fun bar hopping and of course the parade was simply brilliant. Naturally I took loads of snaps so feel free to browse here or watch a slide show of them all here.
Monday, August 06, 2007
Brighton Pride: The hotel saga...
This weekend just gone Stu and I went down to Brighton Pride. We had a lovely time all told but it wasn't without it's ups and downs. More later about the ups but first let me tell you about the main down. Our hotel.
The afternoon journey down to Brighton started with only a slight niggle. We missed our train from London Victoria. No biggy really. We just took the next fast train, got off at Hove and walked along the front to our hotel in Brighton proper. Well, I say 'hotel'.
The place was without doubt the shittiest place I had ever set foot in. Yes, I name and shame you The Brighton Charter Hotel. It was run down, there were no staff that we could find. "Call in at the bar next door" the sign said. We did. Rude dismissive barman called over some woman who proceeded to fleece us for the full room rate up-front (one hundred and forty eight pounds if you please) and take a fifty pound (yes, fifty pounds) deposit for the key. Well, really!
They didn't actually show us up to the room. We found it on the first floor overlooking the street. Small. Miserable. Dirty. Smelly. Noisy. Rusty metalwork in sink and shower. Television held together with sellotape. Mouldy wall paper coming off the walls. Missing light bulbs. Twin beds that had all their springs poking through. A Yale lock on the door that had just a single loose screw in it so the door could be pushed open even when it was 'locked'. We almost turned on our heels and left. Almost. We debated long and hard and decided that we would give it a chance. God knows why we did. Maybe we're just not born complainers.
More pix here.
Anyway later that night when we returned to our room we had steeled ourselves for the worst. We had a few drinks, we both look a Valium and some painkillers and tried to settle down for the night. Needless to say, neither of us slept. To say the beds were uncomfortable is an insult to the word 'uncomfortable'.
Needless to say we checked out first thing the very next day. Saturday morning we found a lovely hotel just opposite; The Queens Hotel. OK, it was one hundred and seventy quid for just the one night but it was worth it. Polite staff, sea view and everything.
My advice: look before you book.
Thursday, August 02, 2007
We are heading down to Brighton later on today to stay for the weekend. Because it's Brighton Pride. Yay!
Do Elephants Really Have Long Memories?
In 1986, Mkele Mbembe was on holiday in Kenya after graduating from Northwestern University. On a hike through the bush, he came across a young bull elephant standing with one leg raised in the air. The elephant seemed distressed, so Mbembe approached it very carefully.
He got down on one knee and inspected the elephant's foot and found a large piece of wood deeply embedded in it. As carefully and as gently as he could, Mbembe worked the wood out with his hunting knife, after which the elephant gingerly put down its foot.
The elephant turned to face the man, and with a rather curious look on its face, stared at him for several tense moments. Mbembe stood frozen, thinking of nothing else but being trampled. Eventually the elephant trumpeted loudly, turned, and walked away. Mbembe never forgot that elephant or the events of that day.
Twenty years later, Mbembe was walking through the Chicago Zoo with his teenaged son. As they approached the elephant enclosure, one of the creatures turned and walked over to near where Mbembe and his son Tapu were standing. The large bull elephant stared at Mbembe, lifted its front foot off the ground, and then put it down. The elephant did this several times then trumpeted loudly, all the while staring at the man.
Remembering the encounter in 1986, Mbembe couldn't help wonder if this was the same elephant.
Mbembe summoned up his courage, climbed over the railing and made his way into the enclosure. He walked right up to the elephant and stared back in wonder. The elephant trumpeted again, wrapped its trunk around one of Mbembe's legs and slammed him against the railing, killing him instantly.
Probably wasn't the same elephant.
[Thanks for this heart warming story Simon]
Wednesday, August 01, 2007
Jonny Woo's Night of a Thousand Jay Astons...
Last night Andy got us tickets at the Soho Theatre to go see Jonny Woo's Night of a Thousand Jay Astons a drag lip synch musical about the alleged slutty one from Bucks Fizz (quite some title I think you'll agree).
JWNOATJAADLSMATASOFBZ has been around since last year and though it started as a straight musical about all of Bucks Fizz it soon found it's natural centre - femme fatale Jay Aston. As drag performance artist Jonny Woo says himself, "Jay wrote the book on how to pout. She didn't smile in a single Bucks Fizz photograph."
Although the show is based on fact it takes quite a few liberties along the way. Best though are the dance moves and all those Bucks Fizz classics; Run For Your Life, Land Of Make Believe, If You Can't Stand The Heat, Now Those Days Are Gone, When We Were Young and of course the fabulous Making Your Mind Up (complete with skirt ripping).
A great, but at fifty minutes let's not forget short, night out.
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