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


Crawling through technology, life and love

Contact me:
hotmail
home


Listening:

Playing:
Pool Paradise - GC on Wii

iTuning:
Podcasts - Chris Moyles, Mark Kermode and Stephen Fry

Reading:
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
News
IMdb
The Register
Hacks
Recent GBlogs
Arsenal FC

Some blogs I enjoy:
bboyblues2000
bitful
blogadoon
brainsluice
chig
groc
minkered
scally
sparky
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, August 29, 2008
Electric Picnic...
The flights from Spain went fairly smoothly. The Dublin weather that
greeted us was very warm - unlike the chill we felt when our airport
taxi driver started on his xenophobic rant. If only we'd had the
courage to not tip him.

Staying at the Dylan Hotel again, we had easy access to Temple Bar so
it seemed rude to not pop into out for a beer last night. I do love
Dublin. Such a friendly place (certain taxi drivers aside).

This morning we're hiring a car for three days so we're free to drive
out to the Electric Picnic festival - it should be about an hour and a
half from Dunlin (festival traffic permitting). We'll be staying at an
organic farm in Coolnowle so no tents for us. Apparently it's muddy as
he'll so we'll be buying welly boots en route.

As our objectioable cabby commented yesterday, "sounds like shit and
bollocks in a field to me."



Thursday, August 28, 2008
Transit...
Today we're off to Ireland for the second leg of our European jaunt.
We're flying back to Gatwick first and then taking another plane on to
Dublin. Quite why I organized two flights rather than one is frankly
beyond me though.

Our last night in Sitges was fun (hello Ian, hello Simon) and all the
boys gave us a good send off. Maybe the slight fuzziness I feel today
will help me relax.

Adiós Sitges.



Wednesday, August 27, 2008
Open...
Stu and I are really having a fab time here in Sitges. Nice to have
Andy and Kevin and Andy and Tim and David and Marcus and Pano and
Mikey and (as I've just discovered) another Marcus with us here too.

It's our last night so Parrots, El Horno and then Argentinian steaks
are ahead of us.

Behind us is last night however. I must say we did have fun bar
hopping. We're a little worse for wear though. It is important to be
open about these things.



Tuesday, August 26, 2008
Church beach, factor 30, sandals...
It's been a busy couple of days here, dear reader. What with the
endless fun tantalisingly just beyond the fingerstips, the promise of
a better time to be had just around the corner. It's been hard to know
which way to turn at times.

Pertpetual tireness is a necessary evil of beach holidays of course so
it is with a slightly heavy sigh I launch myself afresh this morning -
the product of this merry cycle of too late to bed, too early to rise,
under sleeping and over tiredness.

At the breakfast bar it seems like it's all decisions, decisions,
decisions. Which beach should we go to today? Factor 15 or factor 30?
Sandals or trainers?

After the second bitter coffee the answers to these questions flow
slightly more easily though. The day is looking slightly more bearable
now caffeine has kicked in. The smile is reapplied and it's off the
face the world one more time.

So it's church beach, factor 30, sandals. It's a tough life.



Monday, August 25, 2008
Spectacular, spectacular...
We arrived safe and sound in Sitges. Greeting us was probably the most
spectacular firework display I had ever seen. The local patron Saint
was having a party. On the Sunday the festivities continued with yet
more fireworks - this time aimed fairly and squarely at the watching
crowds. Health and safety anyone?

Today we sat on the beach rather than by the pool. Clouds soon drove
us to the nearest bar.

Then it was down to the usual round of sun, beer, snooze, beer, food
and more beer (repeat until holiday ends).



Saturday, August 23, 2008
Paul Cézanne...
Taking a break from holiday packing, yesterday afternoon I went with my Mum, Dad and niece Charlotte to The Courtauld Gallery in Somerset House to see the special Paul Cézanne exhibition.

As it says in the blurb, it is "a small gallery that has one of the world's finest collections of Impressionist paintings." And I can't argue with that. For me the high point of the Cézanne was The Card Players.

We also stole a look at some of the other gems in the gallery. Of note were; Manet's Bar at the Folies-Bergère, one of the two versions of Le Déjeuner sur l'Herbe, Van Gogh's Self-portrait with Bandaged Ear and Gaugin's Nevermore.

Here are some snaps I took.


Friday, August 22, 2008
Sun, sea, sand and Sex Pistols....
Tomorrow Stu and I are off for a double-ended holiday to Europe. Firstly we are off to join the boys in Sitges for five days to enjoy a bit of sun, sea and sand. And then next Thursday, after we're returning briefly to Gatwick, we're heading to Ireland for five days. First staying in Dublin for the night and then penetrating deeper into the countryside for the music festival Electric Picnic where the headliners are the Sex Pistols. Really looking forward to it.

There is a slight dark cloud on the near horizon though. It may be a full twenty-four hours before our first flight but I'm bricking it already - perhaps for obvious reasons.


Thursday, August 21, 2008
The Nominees...
Tonight at on FX at 10:30pm we meet Daniel Sims, Ja'mie King, Pat Mullins, Phil Olivetti and Ricky Wong; The Nominees.

In it's native Australia it was called We Can Be Heroes: Finding The Australian of the Year but here it's called The Nominees. It's an excruciating comedy starring and produced by the wonderful Chris Lilley introducing us to five afore mentioned nominees, five unique Australians, who have each made a large achievement and been nominated by friends and family for the Australian of the Year award.

It's not quite as good as Lilley's later Summer Heights High but in the same vein and well worth sticking with.


Wednesday, August 20, 2008
"I am so f***ing happy"...
Poor old Auntie Beeb. Expressing her delight at clinching a bronze in the dramatic windsurfing competition in Qingdao, British Olympic medalist Bryony Shaw told the nation "I am so f***ing happy" on live TV. Quick apologies from BBC.


Techy Talk...
The unpopularity of Microsoft Windows Vista is rife. Apparently over a third of Vista PCs have been 'downgraded' to Microsoft Windows XP. Looks like they'll have to wait for Windows 7 for their next stab at hearts and minds. In the meantime my mind (if not exactly my heart) is wandering over to Ubuntu.

Shame there's no Windows Server 7 due either but simply a Windows Server 2008 R2. Hey ho.

Some good news for the Microsoft users amongst us though. They are relaxing restrictions on moving virtualizing Microsoft server applications too. About ruddy time.


Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Squaring numbers...
What with Gary Glitter out of prison and probably on his way back to Blighty it reminds me of an old gag: squaring numbers is like sex. If they're under sixteen, just do them in your head.


Monday, August 18, 2008
Darren's Birthday...
On Saturday Stu and I joined the marvelous Mark, ravishing Rachael, comely Chris, handsome Hudd, perfect Patrice, equally comely Christopher to help celebrate goregous Darrens's birthday. Great fun had by all. More snaps here.


Arsenal 1-0 West Brom...
Arsenal kicked off the new Premier League season with a win over West Brom as Samir Nasri scored on his debut. Good start but not decisive.


Friday, August 15, 2008
Everything That Happens Will Happen Today...
My Life in the Bush of Ghosts is one of my favourite albums of all time. So it is with some excitement that this Monday sees the release of David Byrne and Brian Eno's new project Everything That Happens Will Happen Today. There is a review of it in today's Guardian. And here's what it says on their web site:
Brian Eno and I recently finished our first collaboration in about 30 years. For the most part, Brian did the music and I wrote some tunes, words and sang. It's familiar but completely new as well. We're pretty excited. The name of the new record is Everything That Happens Will Happen Today and the music will be available on this Web site on August 18th, free for streaming and available for purchase as both a download and in physical formats. In September I will begin a tour, on which I will be playing music from the new album as well as music from our previous collaborations - 3 Talking Heads albums, Bush of Ghosts, etc. Click the Tour tab above for dates and venues. If you'd like to be updated as this story unfolds, and get a free download of "Strange Overtones", one of the songs on the album, please add your email address via the box below (we will not contact you for any reason other than to tell you about this David Byrne and Brian Eno project and the tour and we promise not to give or sell your contact to anyone else or even to the government). Come back on August 18th to check out the record.
More news to come.
David Byrne
Midtown


Arsenal's New Season...
It's the usual mixture of excitement and nervousness that we enter the new Premiership season. Will 2008/2009 be our year? Things kick off tomorrow with West Brom at home for a lunchtime game (thanks Sky).

I pretty much agree with this guy's thoughts on where we are as a team. I just hope we manage to pull something out of the hat for our midfield which is looking a bit ropey from where I'm sitting.

The game on Wednesday against FC Twente didn't really bode well either - even though we got a 0-2 victory that stands us in really good stead for qualifying for the Champions League. The second leg of that tie is at home on Wednesday week. Fingers crossed.


Thursday, August 14, 2008
Let's Do The Time Warp Agaaaaain...
Looks like they are remaking The Rocky Horrow Picture Show. Can't be any worse than that dire Rocky follow-up Shock Treatment, can it? Can it?! And the cynic in me says that Richard O'Brian is holding out for more cash too.


Wednesday, August 13, 2008
What Colour is Electricity?...


On the pavements near where I live are hundreds of brightly coloured markings. Above is a snap I took of those right outside my place.

The pavement slabs are about to be replaced and so a guy from the council has been around with a weird metal detector/paint dauber marking the slabs in different colours identifying where all the under-pavement pipes lie so the layers don't drill into one of the pipes. What is interesting me was what colours means what?

Green
White
Red
Yellow
Blue

I'm guessing each colour represent one utility; gas, water, sewage, electricity? cable TV? telephone? Anyone know which colour actually represents? I think blue means water.


Tuesday, August 12, 2008
Rain, Rain, Rain...
What shitty weather it is in London? And they say it's going to rain all week. Bah!


Mad Cow...
Is this the maddest person on the Interwebnet? Ticks all the boxes; mad, paranoid, delusional, litigious and (let's not ignore) anti-EnglishBritish.


Monday, August 11, 2008
The (not so) Wonderful Wizard Of Oz...
Well what a load of crap that was. Three hours of my life I'd like back please.

It was at times; boring, frustrating, twee, badly acted, cheaply realised and a waste of effort. We just didn't care about anyone on stage. Even the 'flying' monkeys looked embarrassed.

With such a strong identity as The Wizard Of Oz with its Dorothy, Tin man, Scarecrow, cowardly Lion, Wicked Witches and ruby slippers it couldn't fail, right?

I chiefly blame the piss-poor production values for the awfulness of it all. A twister as a spinning graphic, anyone? An Emerald City as a crude squiggle on a projector screen? I don't think so.

All involved should be thoroughly ashamed of themselves.

The best thing in it (which isn't saying much) was Toto. But small wonder the dog playing him was so fat. They had to bribe him with food to do every little thing so he all but waddled. Apparently they rotate the dogs so by October they'll be four fat dogs looking for gainfully employment.

We should have walked out along with all the other people at the interval but, no, we stuck it out. At ?50 a ticket (plus booking fee) we felt it couldn't get any worse. How wrong we were.

Dismay turned to derision in the second half as we either groaned or snorted at each ill-judged stumbling step down the increasingly pallor yellow brick road.

God, we were pleased when it finished (stopped?) The audience rose as one and scrambled for the nearest emergency exit like survivors from plane crash. If only we'd had oxygen masks dropping down it might have saved us from the stench coming from the stage.


Friday, August 08, 2008
We're Off To See The Wizard...
Tonight Stu and are going to see The Wizard Of Oz on the South Bank. The reviews haven't been that good (so might have a beer first).


Take A Seat...
RFID-controlled robot chairs can follow you around the library. Spooky.


Thursday, August 07, 2008
Curtains for Windows...
Looks like it might be curtains for Windows.


Brain Teaser Answer...
"Try to understand"

and

"Back soon"


Wednesday, August 06, 2008
Brain Teaser...
Can you make sense of these two?

stand
try2


and

noos


Tuesday, August 05, 2008
Brighton Pride: The Details...
Brighton Pride was great fun. The hotel we stayed in, Square Brighton, was really cool - clean, stylist and comfortable - so we've booked for 2009 Pride already.

On the Friday night we met up with all the boys for a beer or three in the Amsterdam bar. We wanted a good night's sleep so we didn't stay out too late. Good intentions being as fleeting as will-o'-the-wisp we ended up sleeping in on Saturday morning anyway. We must have needed the sleep I guess.

It was drizzling with rain when we did eventually get up so we made a diversion to TK Maxx (my first time in one of those, honest guv) to buy a cheap water-resistant hoody which delayed us even more. When we did make it to the parade it was up to its normal high standard but seemed way shorter than in previous years. The rain did let up a little bit so we all trouped off to Preston Park to begin the festivities proper. For 'festivities' read 'drinking'.

As it turned out we spent most of the day at the Bear Bar chatting with all and sundry. We did do one quick saunter around the park to loo for Charlie on the Glug stand but failing in that mission simply bought overpriced burgers and chips and ended up having barbecue sauce rolling down my chin.

Despite putting in a good show Stu was feeling a little tired late afternoon so he went to have a lie down back in the room. I carried on at the park for a wee while longer - well, until we were swept out with the trash at just after 8 o'clock. Stu was happy to extend his nap to a full blown 'staying in' so I joined David and for a bit of bar-hopping in town - Dr Brighton's, Legends and The Star Inn - before turning in.

On Sunday we went over to see Dave, Hari and little Rudi in Hove. The rain threatened (and then delivered) so the Bulldog street party later that day was a bit of a wash out. We returned to the Star Inn for some sanctuary with the goregous Darren, the hunky Chris and the handsome Hudd.

Stu and I headed to the station for the trip home later Sunday evening a little bit worse for wear but having had a great weekend. Till next year!


Monday, August 04, 2008
Brighton Pride in Pictures...
We had a great time at Brighton Pride. Fuller story later but for now he's some of the snaps I took. More here.




Friday, August 01, 2008
Brighton Pride...
Stu and I are off to Brighton this weekend. It's Brighton Pride (or Pride in Brighton and Hove 2008 to give it it's proper name). It's always a giggle. It claims to be the "biggest (and best) Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Trangender Pride Festival in the country" attracting more than 100,000 people. And who am I to contradict them?

We're getting the 18:17 Brighton train from Vauxhall tonight and staying at Square which gets good reviews. The parade itself starts tomorrow on the sea front near the Palace Pier on Maderia Drive at 11am sharp and then trails up to Preston Park for the festival at 2pm. I wonder if the cabaret tent will have Dame Edna as their climax or whether she's swanning up to Edinburgh early.

Last year we had great expectations of our stay in Brighton but the hotel we stayed at was an utter disaster (as my pix show and other people on Trip Advisor attest). Not that we didn't have fun eventually though.

Previous years have always been good at Brighton Pride - especially in the golden years 2004, 2005 and 2006.


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