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

Crawling through technology, life and love

Contact me:


Pool Paradise - GC on Wii

Podcasts - Chris Moyles, Mark Kermode and Stephen Fry

All 24 25 Tintin books

Bits and Bobs:
Wish List
Gerry's Lyrics Pop Quiz
Minipops Quiz

Sites I like:
Marc Almond
Top 40 Singles
The Register
Recent GBlogs
Arsenal FC

Some blogs I enjoy:
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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Friday, May 30, 2008
Last night Stu and I (and everyone else from my office) went out to celebrate the seventy-fifth anniversary of the founding of the company I work for.

We had drinks and dinner at the Ritz followed by a show - Hairspray at the Shaftesbury Theatre in London's glitzy West End.

We had both seen Hairspray before. Twice. Once in New York and once in London. But it was just as good as ever. Leanne Jones was still pumping out the energy as Tracy Turnblad and Michael Ball was still hilarious as Edna Turnblad.

We sang, we laughed, we sang some more.

Thursday, May 29, 2008
Giant 'telescope' links London, New York...
The vision of Victorian engineer Alexander Stanhope St. George had finally been realized. No really.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008
Brain Teaser...
A car covers an outward journey at 70 mph. It returns over exactly the same distance in heavy traffic, at only 28 mph. What is the car's average speed over the entire journey?

Tuesday, May 27, 2008
Give It 2 Me...
Rather like Madonna's last album Confessions on a Dance Floor where I prefered Sorry to Hung Up on her new album I prefer the second single Give It 2 Me to the first outing 4 minutes from Hard Candy. Very Gwen Stefani. Which is a good thing.

Monday, May 26, 2008
Emma and Carolina's Wedding...
Last Saturday Emma and Carolina held their Civil Partnership at Westminster Town Hall and afterwards upstairs at The Railway Tavern in Liverpool Street. Friends and family joined them on what was a lovely day. Below are some snaps from the day. More photos here.

Friday, May 23, 2008
Wright Hassall...
Solicitor's can be a Wright Hassall.

Thursday, May 22, 2008
Terry's All Gold...

A Streetcar Named...
Now I've finally got rid of Bessie I've joined the car club Streetcar rather than replacing her. Seems far more environmentally friendly for a low user like myself. It was very easy to join - took just five mins. Whatsmore I told them I'd read the Islington pamphlet last year encouraging people to give up their cars that had a five free hours offer on it so the guy gave me £24.75 free on my account as a Member Welcome Credit. Cool. I've got my first trip booked for Sunday so I'll let you know how I get on. They say that car pooling is the future. Well, perhaps for us city mice anyway.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008
Goodbye Russell, Hello Steven...
As has been widely predicted, after the upcoming four specials Russell T Davies is to step down as executive producer of Doctor Who to be replaced by Steven Moffat. Moffat has written some of the best episodes of Doctor Who in recent years including The Girl in the Fireplace, The Empty Child and the super creepy Blink (for which he picked up the best writer Bafta early this month). So I think that season five in 2010 will be in a safe pair of hands.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008
Sweden tipped to win Eurovision
It looks like Sweden is going to win Eurovision this year. Well, according to a pre-voting competition anyway. And we'll probably be smiling and waving and coming in second to last.

And Popbitch has a Eurovision guide this year too.

Monday, May 19, 2008
Divert YOUR course...
The following is the transcript of an actual radio conversation in October 1995, between a US Navy ship and the British authorities off the north coast of Scotland. The transcript was released by the MoD on the 10/10/95.

BRITISH: Please divert your course 15 degrees to the South to avoid collision.

US Navy: Recommend you divert YOUR course 15 degrees to the North to avoid collision

BRITISH: Negative. You will have to divert your course 15 degrees to the South to avoid collision

US Navy: This is the Captain of US Navy ship. I say again, divert YOUR course.

BRITISH: Negative I say again divert your course.


BRITISH: We are a Lighthouse.- F*ck off !!

If only it were true...

Friday, May 16, 2008
Yazoo on Jonathan Ross...
Yazoo are on tonight's Friday Night with Jonathan Ross.

Are you British in bed?...
KY have launched an web site. I'm 82% French in bed apparently.

Mrs Hleb...
Alexander Hleb was drinking a beer with Arsenal fans at his missus's gym this week,
the Esporta in Swiss Cottage, but saying nothing about his transfer. A gym mole claims Mrs Hleb is leaving the gym. So that's that.
[Thanks Popbitch]

Thursday, May 15, 2008
Love letters...
...scrawled on the walls of the toilet. Bless.

Brain Teaser Answer...
The finances are stretched to the limit and the margin between managing
to repay the LENDERS and going under is a SLENDER one.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008
Brain Teaser...
Replace the blanks in the following sentence with two seven-letter words, the same seven letters must be used for both words. What are they?

The finances are stretched to the limit and the margin between managing
to repay the BLANK and going under is a BLANK one.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008
Is the earth getting warmer, or cooler?...
This is a really interesting article about the discrepancy between reported global temperatures. I don't think anyone is suggesting that global warming isn't happening - it's just that over the next ten years or so a natural thermal cycle will probably make the world cooler. And it's odd that NASA and the Met Office seem to have disagreed since 1998 on whether we are actually getting warmer or cooler. And NASA seem to be adjusting their old temperature figures down and their recent figures up. Very strange at a time when we need accurate information.

Monday, May 12, 2008
The Beat Goes On...
On Friday we went to the RVT to see Darren DJ at The Beat Goes On. Stu and I both really enjoyed ourselves (Stu loves them there 60s sounds), bumped into loads of people we hadn't seen in a while and got a bit squiffy.

More snaps here.

Friday, May 09, 2008
Getting rid of your car isn't as easy as I'd first thought. Actually I'd not really thought about it at all so actually my first thought was that it wouldn't be easy at all. As ever, the action is easy - but bureaucracy trails in it's wake like so much jetsam.

I'd called the scrapyard to arrange collection and they duly turned up on time and towed Bessie away. So far so easy. But a few telephone calls later and I realised that there was more to this than met the eye. How would I get my all important certificate of destruction? Nice name, huh? I'd heard various horror stories of people being hounded by the DVLA when they thought cars were still on the road and the car tax hadn't been paid. Even if they were now in itty bitty pieces. And a friend of mine had her car crushed (or so she thought) only to have the police turn up on her doorstep a couple of weeks later saying it'd been involved in a robbery. She had to persuade them that she no longer owned the car. A certificate of destruction would pretty much clear both these dangers up.

So I wanted to do this right. I did my research on the interwebnet and made a few calls. There were three organisations to contact:

Send them sub-form V5C section 9 filled in to say car has been given (OK, sold for a nominal sum) to a scrapyard. And also fill in form V11 and attach the old tax disc to claim back prepaid car tax (full months only mind).

Write to Direct Line to notify them that I want my insurance policy and breakdown cover to stop immediately. They rather gleefully informed me on the phone that I'd be liable to pay my premium for the rest of the current month plus one whole extra month cancellation fee. Really? Sounds like daylight robbery to me.

Parking Permit
Islington Council were a dream to deal with. Download a PDF form from their site, sign it and send it back with my existing parking permit and I get full refund plus £200 in vouchers towards a new bicycle or Streetcar car club for being green (or is that Green?)

Job done.

Thursday, May 08, 2008
The Beat Goes On...
Miss BeBe Beehive presents THE BEAT GOES ON, a multi media event with tributes to 60's musical movies, then be-bop the night away with DJ JUGGY JONES spinning Rock ní Roll, Motown, Northern Soul, Doo-Wop, and 60's Girl Groups for Cool Cats, Hep Chicks , Hipsters, Paper Shakers, Hair Hoppers, and Rock ní Roll Party Queens.

Friday 9th May
8 'til late
Show at 9.30pm

Dress up with 60's flare.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008
Two Years In...
It's Stu and my second anniversary today. The last two years has flown by.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008
Laurie Anderson Homeland...
On Friday night Paul and I went to see the truly wonderful Laurie Anderson at the Barbican Theatre. She was performing her new Homeland show. A show that has caused some controversy (does condemnation of the US invasion of Iraq still count as controversy these days?) with some people walking out. Hah! Screw them!

It was an emotional, heartfelt piece; at times angry and biting and at times satirical and witty. So the usual Laurie then. A gifted story teller we were treated to her reflections on memory, history, the stars, the war and billboard underwear models. The songs were beautiful, funny and one or two akin to club anthems. She all but got us dancing at one point. Her tape-bow violin solo as an encore made both Paul and I cry so tender was it.

Last month, Laurie Anderson married long term partner Lou Reed. "I was just walking down a street in California and I was talking to Lou, and we were always talking about getting married, and he said 'how about tomorrow? It was very nice. It was just him and me under a tree." Bless.

On Saturday afternoon Paul and I went to see Laurie again. This time a collection of her short films (including O Superman, Sharkey's Day, Language is a Virus and Beautiful Red Dress) and her new film Hidden Inside Mountains. She also gave a screen talk and took questions from the audience. She is as witty and enigmatic in the flesh as she is on stage or in film.

Monday, May 05, 2008
Arsenal 1-0 Everton...
On Saturday Paul and I went to the last game of the season which was pretty tame. We almost got a pack of cards out. It was nice to see Lehmann play on what was his probable swansong though. It was left to Bendtner's goal to raise the spirits in what was a pretty laid-back fixture. Roll on next season on 16th Aug.

Saturday, May 03, 2008
Boris the Buffoon...
So it looks like the capital has voted and we're stuck with a buffoon.

And a racist.

Friday, May 02, 2008
Lesbians turn on lesbians in battle of Lesbos...
Residents on the Greek island of Lesbos have declared that they alone have the right to call themselves lesbians, and yesterday launched a legal action against the Greek Gay and Lesbian Union (Olke) designed to wrest back control of the word from aficionados of Sapphic luuurv. Local activist Dimitris Lambrou states in his complaint that the "seizure" of the island's name is responsible for the "psychological and moral rape" of true lesbians, and reckons the case will come before an Athens court in June. Olke spokesperson Evangelia Vlam counterattacked with: "This affair is totally ridiculous. But if we are summoned by the courts, we will be heard."

iPlayer on Virgin...
iPlayer has finally come to Virgin. Just hit the red button when viewing a BBC channel and there it is. It works really well and is quick. Well done to all concerned.

Brain Teaser Answer...
40mph. Average speed is total distance/total time = 2 x Distance/((Distance/70mph)+(Distance/28mph))=2/((1/70)+(1/28))= 2/((70+28)/(70x28)) = 2x70x28/98 = 40mph

Thursday, May 01, 2008
Vote Early! Vote Often!...
Thanks to Bryan for pointing this Vote Match site out. Look slike I'll be voting for Ken and then taking David's advice and voting Green for the Assembly. Seems sensible to me.

RIP Bessie Boo-Boo...
The garage phoned yesterday. The gearbox trouble that my car was suffering will take £3,105.08 + VAT to repair(!) Or rather, it won't. The car is only worth £500 or so and it's not as if I use it much. So it looks like Bessie Boo-Boo is off to the scrapheap Authorised Treatment Facility after all to be recycled.

Those of you with long memories may remember when I bought Bessie back on 15th October 2002 I had very good reasons not to own a car. I reproduce some of those reasons here (most of which still hold true today) to make myself feel a bit better:

- cars are expensive to buy
- cars depreciate quickly
- cars are expensive to run #1 car tax
- cars are expensive to run #2 insurance in London is ridiculously high
- cars are expensive to run #3 need a parking permit to park outside own front door
- cars are expensive to run #4 petrol is expensive - working in oil I should know!
- cars are expensive to run #5 congestion charge
- cars are expensive to run #6 car parking / parking meters for very expensive
- cars are expensive to run #7 annual MOT
- cars are expensive to run #8 regular servicing costs
- I don't have a garage
- cars get scratched by yobs
- I can't drink and drive
- I can't drive a car to work
- there is very good public transport in London (taxis, buses, tubes and rail)
- I'm always too tired to drive after work or at weekends to drive
- I can never find anywhere to park a car anyway
- I rarely go out of London
- driving a car is dangerous (to me and to other people on the road)
- cars cause pollution
- London is one big traffic jam (and not just during rush hour)
- the new traffic calming schemes slow things even more
- London has road works aplenty
- bus lanes slow traffic to a stand still
- red routes mean you can't park cars outside shops anymore
- cars bring on road rage

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