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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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

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Marc Almond
Top 40 Singles
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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, January 29, 2010
Last night Stu and I went to see Jerusalem at the Apollo Theatre in London's glitzy West End. It was long play with three acts, two intervals but gripping and very, very funny throughout. A sort of 'Shameless in the woods'.

In Jerusalem, Mark Rylance portrays Johnny Byron, a local man who finds himself in high demand in all corners of the community and not for good reasons. The story takes place on St George’s Day in which a fair has arrived in town for all to enjoy – but with everyone wanting a piece of him, it is only his children that want him to go on the rides. A look around town will highlight the local police, who are after Johnny to put him behind bars for what they perceive to be the activities of a modern day Pied Piper. Elsewhere, the local council wish to have him evicted from his home; Troy Whitworth wants to provide him with a good beating and even his friends are in on the action, wanting to get hold of him so that they can provide him with the normal cocktail of booze and drugs.

The staging involved live chickens, a live tortoise and goldfish and several real trees surrounding an onstage caravan.

Highly recommended.

Thursday, January 28, 2010
So, the Jesus tablet is finally upon us. Apple announced it's long-awaited iPad yesterday in the States. It's feature set looks interesting - but not revolutionary. Will it change the world? Probably not. Will techies want one? Of course.

The specs are:
9.7 inch (25cm) multi-touch display
1 GHz Apple processor
16, 32 or 64 GB of flash memory
0.5in (1.25cm) thick
Weighs 1.5lbs (0.7kgs)
Wi-fi, bluetooth and 3G connectivity
Speaker, microphone
Accelerometer, compass
Battery life of 10 hours? We'll see on that one.

The cheapest iPad, which will come with 16GB of flash memory and wi-fi will cost $499. The most expensive version, with 64GB of storage and the ability to connect via a mobile 3G signal, will cost $829.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010
Lou Reed had ECT for being 'gay'...
Born in 1942 into a Jewish family in Brooklyn, the teenage Lou Reed was subjected to electroconvulsive therapy to “cure” his homosexuality. His parents ordered this as they were "disturbed by his developing homosexuality."

Reed wrote about the experience in his 1974 song, "Kill Your Sons" and also is quoted as saying, "They put the thing down your throat so you don't swallow your tongue, and they put electrodes on your head. That's what was recommended in Rockland County to discourage homosexual feelings. The effect is that you lose your memory and become a vegetable. You can't read a book because you get to page 17 and have to go right back to page one again."

Reed we went on to work as a house songwriter for Pickwick Records before finding cult fame with art-rock band The Velvet Underground. Post-VU, he released a succession of acclaimed albums, most significantly 1972’s ‘Transformer’, whose themes of drug use and cross-dressing chimed with the mood of the glam-rock movement spearheaded by his friend David Bowie.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010
Four Lions...
Chris Morris, the genius-man behind The Day Today, Brass Eye and Blue Jam, has spent the last few years researching and making a film about some hapless British would-be terrorists. The film is called Four Lions and has premièred at the Sundance Festival in the States.

Monday, January 25, 2010
Goldfrapp - Rocket...
Fantastic early '80s American synth-driven singer/songwriter mid-tempo pop; Christopher Cross's Ride Like The Wind, Van Halen's Jump and Journey's Don't Stop Believin'.

Radio Gaga...
Some's having fun with Lady Gaga

Friday, January 22, 2010
100 Games Cup Cakes...
Can you guess the 100 games represented on the 100 cup cakes?

Thursday, January 21, 2010
Banksy - Exit Through The Gift Shop...

Arsenal 4 - 2 Bolton...
Sam and I went to the Emirates last night to watch Arsenal make a brilliant comeback from 0-2 down to win 4-2 and so go top of the Premiership League. Goals came from Rosicky (43), Fabregas (52), Vermaelen (65) and Arshavin (85).

Wednesday, January 20, 2010
Stu, me and the gang went to see a 3D cartoon last night - James Cameron's Avatar at the BFI IMAX.

Starring the rather lovely Sam Worthington (as Jake) it tells the story of him 'becoming' an Avatar and using it to interact with the Na'vi - a tall blue computer-generated race who inhabit the strange blue computer-generated planet of Pandora. Initially Jake's working for the evil RDA trying to exploit the ridiculously named mineral Unobtainium but then he inevitably goes native.

Ok, so the plot is thin as paper and the film way, way too long but it looks great.

Reminded me a bit of Titan A.E.

A sequel or two in the offing? As Cameron said last week, "Yes, there'll be another."

Tuesday, January 19, 2010
You say potato, I say ghoughpteighbteau...
Ghoughpteighbteau? It's an example of a constructed word, used for illustration of irregularities in spelling in English. It is a respelling of the word 'potato', and like potato is pronounced /po??te?to?/.

It has:
gh, pronounced /p/ as in hiccough /?h?k?p/;
ough, pronounced /o?/ as in though /ðo?/;
pt, pronounced /t/ as in ptomaine /?to?me?n/;
eigh, pronounced /e?/ as in neigh /ne?/;
bt, pronounced /t/ as in debt /d?t/;
eau, pronounced /o?/ as in bureau /?bj??ro?/.

Monday, January 18, 2010
Goldfrapp - Head First...
Goldfrapp's new album Head First will be out in March - preceded by the single Rocket. Like Felt Mountain, Head First will feature 9 tracks. An unmixed version of the album will be sent to journalists this month.

Here is the track-listing :
1. Rocket
2. Alive
3. Believer
4. Dreaming
5. Shiny and warm
6. I wanna life
7. Head First
8. Voicething

Friday, January 15, 2010
I Protest!...

More here.

Thursday, January 14, 2010
I Promised Myself...
I love this song! Starting with the Nick Kamen original here are just some of the versions I've found. Enjoy!

Nick Kamen's original version

Jose Galisteo

Dead Or Alive

Nick Kamen (2004)

A*Teens (love this camp boys' mime)

John Davies


Tuesday, January 12, 2010
Magic Roundabout...
Only in the United Kingdom would you find a large roundabout with five mini-roundabouts. (Not to be confused with the "Magic Roundabout"s in Colchester, Hemel Hempstead or High Wycombe – or, for that matter, this "Magic Roundabout".)

In 2005, it was voted the worst roundabout in a survey by UK insurance company Saga Motor Insurance. In September 2007, the Magic Roundabout was named as one of the World's Worst Junctions by UK motoring magazine Auto Express. In December 2007, BBC News reported a survey identifying The Magic Roundabout as one of the "10 Scariest Junctions in the United Kingdom". However the roundabout provides a better throughput of traffic than other designs and has a better safety record.

Only in the UK, right?

Monday, January 11, 2010
Very funny spoof of Space:1999.

Friday, January 08, 2010
Sunday Madness...
Last Sunday Hudd, Mark, Andy, myself, Chris, Andy, Tim, Guy, Darren, Stu, Bryn, Kevin, Michael and Andrew all went out for a bite to eat. But it didn't stop there! Great fun.

Cirque Du Soliel's Varekai...
Last night Stu and I went to see Cirque Du Soliel's Varekai at the Royal Albert Hall. We'd not seen a CdC show before and I hope I don't damn it with faint praise by saying that it was exactly what I expected it to be. A circus show. A spectacular circus show.

The Evening Standard review summed it up very well; At its best Varekai is an exhilarating experience. It has dazzle, imagination, gravity-defying stunts, even a smattering of eroticism. What it needs, perhaps, is more soul.

Apparently Varekai is the Romany word for "wherever", and this characteristically elaborate spectacle by the Canadian company Cirque du Soleil, written and directed by Dominic Champagne, plays with traditional imagery of wandering, rootlessness and flight. The show in fact begins limply, with some charmless clowning and a squeaky-voiced sprite thanking the corporate backers. It relapses a couple of times into mediocrity, notably when yet another clown turns Jacques Brel's imploring "Ne me quitte pas" into a piece of spotlit slapstick. However, there is a huge amount to admire: beautifully costumed by Eiko Ishioka, the production features thrilling trapeze work, moments of balletic poise, a man on crutches moving more athletically than anyone on Britain's Got Talent, and a juggler who treats Panama hats as if they are boomerangs.There may be a story of sorts - loosely connected to the myth of Icarus - but the emphasis is on acrobatic moves and slick choreography. The cast's physical feats are so accomplished that one can lose sight of the risks they involve. Some sections are overlong, and the soundtrack, reminiscent of Claude Challe's Buddha Bar compilations, is cloying. But the visual feast is rich.

The highlight for me was the brothers Andrew and Kevin Atherton, swooping dramatically from the roof on lithe elastic straps.

Thursday, January 07, 2010
Hypnotic Tango - My Mine...
I've always loved this song. Even with it's much-sampled chorus.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010
28 Days Later in one minute, in one take...
I so love this clip. And the music. The best of the 'in One Minute' movies IMHO.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010
New Year's Eve 2009...
Stu, Darren, Mark, Chris, Hudd and I had a fantastic time on New Year's Eve. We celebrated at home first with some dinner, then headed into town for midnight. The Duke Of Wellington was our first and, as it turns out, our only port of call in Soho. My high point - dancing to I Gotta Feeling.

On the way home we decided to pop into the King Edward VI in Angel for a snifter. Messy? Sure. But fun.

Below is a montage of some of the snaps I took. Click here for bigger versions.

Monday, January 04, 2010
A tribute to all those films that try to 'enhance' the impossibly blurry surveillance footage.

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