Thursday 1 March 2001
Meg inadvertently posts a link
Meg inadvertently posts a link to a site about the XB-70. I’ve been fascinated by this aircraft for years (reaches for anorak) – designed at the height of the Cold War, it flew at supersonic speeds by riding on top of its own shockwave (the wingtips fold down to ride on the cushion of the shockwave), the intention being that it could “deliver” a nuclear bomb to Moscow from very high altitude, and yet be halfway back to West Germany before it hit the ground. Awesome. But what is most fascinating is that there was a passenger version planned, which would have been around three times faster than Concorde (if my memory serves me well, around 2000mph!) and quite a lot bigger.
Of course it was scrapped, for three reasons – the tragic accident that is documented at the site, the fact it was costing billions of dollars (probably enough to feed the entire third world for a year) and also the advances in missile technology which allowed a small, disposable “vehicle” to do the same job at a fraction of the cost.
The remaining aircraft is in a museum in Dayton, Ohio, and apparently is still capable of flight – now that would be something to have a go at!
Stephen’s posts from the last
Stephen‘s posts from the last couple of days have elevated him to “preferred blog” status at this site. Welcome to the permanent link list, mate.
NASA scales down plans. Which
NASA scales down plans. Which is rather sad – just when it looked like we were getting into the most exciting phase of space exploration in years.
Joseph Cyril Bamford dies. Wouldn’t
Joseph Cyril Bamford dies. Wouldn’t it be great if, in fifty years time, something was known to all and sundry as a GHS? That would be quite cool.
I’ve updated the “about” page
I’ve updated the “about” page so that it now matches the main page and archive in style. Will do the same for the “CV” page and also “meetlinks” in the next few days. Incidentally, if anyone has any new meetlinks links to add, let me know.
it’s not just me then.
it’s not just me then. big hugs to Marcia.
Friday 2 March 2001
Us? Suckers for a
Us? Suckers for a meme? Never!
We’re a little tired, stressed, depressed and edgy this morning, so this sort of thing is just the ticket to cheer us up and set us thinking about things which are even less important.
People who have been reading
People who have been reading Grayblog for a long time may recall that we used to feature links to news stories from Romania on a regular basis, especially those of an amusing nature. We’ve been considering choosing a new nation for inclusion in the all-new Grayblog that you are now looking at, but can’t decide on a suitable candidate. We’ve considered China, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Japan, Australia and even Lebanon. But none of them seems to come up to the mark. So, which country would you like to see featured?
Well, the inevitable debate has
Well, the inevitable debate has begun – is International First Person Plural Awareness Day a good laugh or sheer stupidity and wank? We think it is probably the latter, but we’re in the mood for the former, so don’t care. Normal service will be resumed tomorrow (thank god).
what do you get when
what do you get when you mix Meg’s head with vodkajelly and testtubes of evilness. We think that we all know now. At least it explains everything.
Saturday 3 March 2001
today is my very very
today is my very very very good friend Sarah’s 30th birthday. HAPPY BIRTHDAY! warm hugs and much much love to you.
new word for today: ignboring
new word for today: ignboring – the act of ignoring someone to such a huge extent that they get bored and piss off. I’m an expert.
you know you’re getting old
you know you’re getting old when you buy jazz compilation CDs. next thing, I’ll be listening to Radio 2.
Sunday 4 March 2001
today I seem to be
today I seem to be plumbing new depths of despair. Wonder if I will *ever* get over all this. guh.
Robyn is great and is
Robyn is great and is cheering me up hugely with an IM discussion about pretending to be a tiger, instant coffee, Japanese girls, music teachers, singing sea shanties in the round, and other picture postcards.
For a big, 6ft1in, grown
For a big, 6ft1in, grown man who is only a few weeks away from his 30th birthday, I spend far too much time crying.
Respect is due to my
Respect is due to my friends for not throwing up their hands, rolling their eyes and walking away. You guys put up with so much, yet you’re always around, making sure I’m ok. Am I worth it? Probably not, but I try.
Monday 5 March 2001
yesterday was a bad bad
yesterday was a bad bad day. Today on the other hand is a good one. I’m in a positive frame of mind, forward looking and (moderately) cheerful. Probably to do with the fact that I don’t have a hangover, the sun is shining and I got a nice chirpy e-mail this morning.
another cheery thing was that
another cheery thing was that last night I went to see Paul F and Could Be Good play the newly refurbished and reopened Nags Head. The band were good, the beer was good and the pub looks good – so why were so few people there?
In common with several other
In common with several other UKbloggers, I’ve been getting increasingly bored with Ananova‘s sensationalist tabloid style of reporting. The BBC Online news service is certainly superior, but I also rate the Telegraph‘s offering, even if you sometimes have to grit your teeth at the horrendous anti-European political bias. It does have the advantage of showing the work of Britain’s best newspaper cartoonist.
Meg gets a pressie after
Meg gets a pressie after praising e-street.com – given my previous post, I’m now waiting for nice things from BBC News Online. And, should they need help with suitable present ideas, they should look here or maybe even here.
I’ve just eaten a plateful
I’ve just eaten a plateful of pork spare ribs in fivespice sauce. Tasty.
But I’ve also just had one of those life-enhancing moments when a great truth has been revealed to me…..namely, spare ribs are the most pointless food ever. Any food that is around 75% bone has to be of questionable value. It certainly is a pain to eat the damn things, especially if you plan to eat them without covering yourself and every nearby horizontal and vertical surface with whatever sauce they are covered in.
So, I have decided. I intend never to eat spare ribs again.
Don’t get me wrong – kudos to Waitrose for selling very good, tasty spare ribs. But in future, I want my meat in convenient slabs, thank you.
Tuesday 6 March 2001
apologies to the person I
apologies to the person I so expertly ignbored in the red Peugeot 205 who hooted her horn and waved vigorously at me this morning as I walked past the Job Centre on my way to the station. Sorry, I was in a foul mood. Besides, I couldn’t see who you were for the sun. Although you did seem to be female and possibly blonde, so do get in contact!
my stomach is convinced it
my stomach is convinced it is lunch time, even though that is not for another hour and a half.
this is proving to be
this is proving to be a long day.
I’ve read this site once
I’ve read this site once or twice in the past, and stumbled upon it again today (it’s almost too embarrassing to say how, but I’ll tell you anyway – it was via this site). I read this post, and I have to say that any prospective partner who reads the whole site is likely to be absolutely terrified! I know I would be. Anyone like Lyssa would scare the pants off me, but then I’m a timid country fella, even if I do wear a lot of black clothing.
nice site. I like these
nice site. I like these people. or their products at least.
both the “about Graybo” and
I don’t mean to start
I don’t mean to start a rush or anything, but I was in Waitrose here in Chichester earlier – and they have had a delivery of (whisper it) meat. So now have stocks in the fridge of beef and gammon. Nice. I’ve also picked up a great recipe card from Waitrose for chicken in wild mushroom and champagne – sounds delicious and very healthy apparently. Just need someone to cook it for (serves two!) – any volunteers? You will, of course, have to fulfil the usual criteria.
Wednesday 7 March 2001
wish list for today’s budget:
wish list for today’s budget:
- dramatic cut in income tax, say by 10%
- make CDs zero-rated for VAT
- cut tax on beer and wine by 50%
- extend tax rebates to all single people, especially those who live in one bed flats
Of course I believe in prudence, so I’d pay for all this by cutting all expenditure on ministerial salaries. I’m sure that with a manifesto like this, I’ll be swept to power in a landslide!
TPL update: a mediocre 25
TPL update: a mediocre 25 points taking me to 733 in total.
not had much to say
not had much to say today, but one thing I wanted to record yesterday (but didn’t) was this:
announcement heard on train on way to work:
Customers for sunny Bognor Regis should change at Barnham.
Customers for …. [insert long thoughtful pause here] …Littlehampton should also change at Barnham.”
Littlehampton – a place for which there is no suitable adjective. Unless you can come up with one.
Thursday 8 March 2001
Time for a disclaimer methinks:
Time for a disclaimer methinks:
contrary to any rumours that may or may not be circulating, Robyn and I are not an item. Never have been, are not, will never be. Very good digital friends, yes. Item, no.
And incidentally James, don’t you think that “you could do worse” is a bit of a lame compliment to Robyn?
As an aside to that, all single girls reading this should note that, unlike the aforementioned orbynmeister, I *am* single *and* looking. apply here.
I’m actually in a brimmingly
I’m actually in a brimmingly good mood this morning, in spite of the fact that it is grey and miserable outside, and that I know I’ll have to work through until around 9 or 10pm today. Fingers crossed that this continues.
What is it that sometimes
What is it that sometimes provokes us to remember things from yesteryear? I remembered an incident the other day which occured when I was around six or seven. I was on holiday with my family in Norfolk. We were staying at a cottage that belonged to a neighbour in Swaffham. On this particular day, we had gone to the market in the town (we led adventurous lives) and I was fascinated by the huge array of wares on display. I’m still fascinated by markets now, and could quite happily spend hours wandering around somewhere like La Boqueria (and have done so).
I stood before a particularly large stall which was weighed down with every variety of nut, bolt, screw, nail and other fixing you could imagine (where are stalls like that now? all you get these days is old tat). I was utterly transfixed by this. As I stood there, I reached out and took my father’s hand, and stared at all the boxes of steel, iron and brass.
I must have been like this, mesmerized, for three or four minutes, not letting go of Dad’s hand. I noticed someone close by was laughing, and turned to see that the hand I was holding wasn’t Dad’s, but was that of a older man, a total stranger, who was smiling at me. His wife was standing next to him saying something along the lines of “How sweet!”.
Panic. I looked round and couldn’t see my family, so started running in the general direction of the cottage where we were staying. And then I heard my Mother’s voice calling my name and ran towards them. I was in tears by this point and blathered some gibberish about “you weren’t there, and there was this man, and .. and..”
Mum produced a nectarine from a bag (I’ve always loved stonefruit) and I was soon appeased. I was angry they had walked off without me (they insisted they had called after me).
Looking back on it, wasn’t it good that you could let a child out of your site in a crowded place, and be pretty sure that no harm would come to him/her. Of course, plenty of children did have a terrible fate befall them in that sort of circumstance, but it probably didn’t cross my parents’ minds that such a thing could happen to me. Today, most people I know who are parents would be terrified to think that their child was somewhere like that and alone. That’s a sad reflection on life today – not so much that these horrible things happen (I’m sure they are not a new thing, merely better reported), but that we fear them so much.
Friday 9 March 2001
Barnham now has a speed
Barnham now has a speed camera – the most exciting development in the village since the arrival of the cash machine at the NatWest. Be still, my beating heart.
Bad day: yesterday my brother
Bad day: yesterday my brother dropped something onto a can of luminous yellow spray paint that was in his car. The can ruptured. The inside of his car and everything in it is now covered in yellow paint.
Moral of the story: do not carry cans of yellow spray paint in your car without making sure they can not be damaged.
If things go as well
If things go as well as I hope they might, then I may just get to be in an even better mood than I already am at the moment. I’m not prepared to say any more than that at the moment, because I don’t want to count my chickens before they hatch, but things are, as they say, looking up.
highlight of the day so
highlight of the day so far in a work sense – the man from the Ministry dropping by to check us out for noxious pests. Looks ok, so that’s good.
Today is one of those busy days in which not a great deal is actually achieved – I need better time management. Or a holiday. Not sure which.
Saturday 10 March 2001
I love piccalilli
I love piccalilli
last night: drinks with DA,
last night: drinks with DA, Kearn, Paul F, Paul C and a couple of their mates. nice, to use a well-worn word.
today I went to St
today I went to St Albans to give a lecture. quite good, although I’ve got a feeling I may have got myself a speeding ticket as I rushed up the A3 – bummer. at least there was a guy with a speed camera, and I was doing 85. not good.
St Albans is an interesting looking place – it was Sarah’s home town when she was small. Roman ruins, a cathedral, a bustling market, and a distinctly unchanged-for-years feel to the city centre – the branch of Marks and Spencer has very old-fashioned neon sign, the sort that the branch here dispensed with years ago.
oh, and for those who
oh, and for those who are wondering, I’m trying to be a cool cucumber at the moment.
Sunday 11 March 2001
A grey and not particularly
A grey and not particularly cheerful day outside, but inside, the good mood marches on.
Last night I went for beer with Fi, Alison and Sarah, as well as a few of their mates, and also bumped into Arron and GSWUTWBTB in W2. The triumvirate returned here for coffee post-pub and we discussed rye biscuits – it was one of those nights. Today we’re meeting up for lunch.
Yesterday, I finished reading A
Yesterday, I finished reading A Sweetheart Deal and cried for most of the last two chapters. It’s a brilliant book, certainly Ben Richards’ best so far. If you haven’t bought it and read it yet, go and get it now. Sorry – you can’t borrow my copy as I’ve loaned it to Fi.
Inevitably, as soon as I’d finished it and got through an entire pack of Kleenex (I’m *such* a softy), I zipped down to Waterstones in search of new entertainment, and emerged with Atomised by Michel Houellebecq. Any book which has a picture of a near-naked woman on the cover and is described by the Independent as “gloriously, extravagantly filthy” has to be worth a look. Seriously though, I read his previous novel (Whatever) and enjoyed that, and this book focuses on relationships and interaction with the world – which if you have looked at the novels I’ve been reading in the last few months, you’ll know is a theme I’m always returning to. Will report back as I progress through the pages.
But do go and buy that Ben Richards book … no, now! go on…! go!
very very big grin.
very very big grin.
just been for lunch with
just been for lunch with Sarah in the Nags, which was excellent, and bumped into Paul F whilst there. Also bumped into Tim. So many friends, life is damned good.
(incidentally, this post is in no way related to the one below)
just updated my Amazon wishlist.
just updated my Amazon wishlist. Go spend money.
Monday 12 March 2001
happy birthday Meg (deliberate link
happy birthday Meg (deliberate link to Meg’s homepage to encourage you to read stuff other than her blog!)
last night, went for beer
last night, went for beer in W2 with Paul F and Aris, then Paul and I wandered down to the Nags to have beer with Kristian, Leah and also Bora.
must say that the new barmaid in the Nags is *most* decorative.
today is one of those
today is one of those very long and particularly unexciting days. and it’s raining.
in order to defeat the
in order to defeat the dullness of the day, I’ve just been and thrashed some cash at lush.co.uk – which has to be recommended.
can’t decide if I think
can’t decide if I think Atomised is a good book or merely self -indulgence on the part of the author. Guess I’ll have to read it through to the end to find out.
this evening looks like it
this evening looks like it is going to be long one. Maybe I’ll just go to bed early, I am pretty tired.
Tuesday 13 March 2001
having just re-read yesterday’s entries,
having just re-read yesterday’s entries, and decided that they were the epitome of boring, I’ll try and give you stuff today that is more worthy of the term “content” without the adjective “crap”.
MEME ALERT!! I tell you,
I tell you, by the end of the day, EVERYONE will have one of these!
contrary to my earlier post,
contrary to my earlier post, it is approaching the end of the (working) day and nobody seems to have one of the below-mentioned doohickeys.
which merely goes to prove that nobody reads my blog.
why do I bother?
I take it all back
a few people have commented
a few people have commented (thanks Luan) that I don’t write so much about me here anymore. Well, it’s true, and there are several reasons for it:
- I’ve not had too much to say
- I figured people might be getting bored of reading about me all the time
- sometimes it is best to keep quiet.
But, just to appease those people, here is a snapshot of my state of mind:
- yes, I’m still furious at what happened. It hurt. Bad. But I’m content to ignore and avoid the people involved and let them get on with it. I’ve got my own life to lead, and I’ve spent too long in the past chewing over “stuff” when things have gone wrong. I’m trying to move on and move forward, and lately I’ve been feeling pretty good about it. There have been a few positive things happening, and hopefully one day something good will occur (don’t worry, when it does I’ll be so full of myself that it will all be related here!). That does not mean that I am going to forgive the people that were involved in the bad stuff – in fact, I think I can safely say that nothing is less likely to occur. Other than me winning to lottery perhaps.
So: it’s forward looking, positive, happy, cheerful things going on around here and in my head. Further bulletins as events warrant.
apologies to Marcia. apparently she
apologies to Marcia. apparently she blogged the virtual host thing last week. guh. and to think I thought I was first. note also that I have added her site to the favoured blogs list.
Wednesday 14 March 2001
happy birthday to Angie! I’ve
happy birthday to Angie!
I’ve not read Momblog UK before today – it’s good! go read it! (although a bit loved-up for us sad single people!)
busy day today, lots to
busy day today, lots to do. But feel free to send me happy chirpy e-mail. I’m not sure what sort of mood I’m in this morning – wavering between a happy one and a less-than-happy one. So cheer me up, ok?
TPL update: 3 points, total
TPL update: 3 points, total now 736 (not many matches at the weekend – only three of my players involved).
mood update: it’s just radically
mood update: it’s just radically improved.
Catherine blogged the virtual host
Catherine blogged the virtual host thing too – on Feb 26th. I feel so outmoded.
unusually, I can actually empathise
unusually, I can actually empathise with Tom at the moment, although it sounds like he has made a bit more progress than me. To Tom, my advice would be this – find a particularly trustworthy and patient friend and use them to offload all your unrequited phone calls and emails. That theory is working for me right now – hopefully, that friend will be able to give you good advice like “chill out, be cool, take it easy” and so on. This course of action will save you from appearing to be excessively “keen”.
Thursday 15 March 2001
We’ve been getting a lot
We’ve been getting a lot of junk faxes at work lately. They usually offer us things we don’t want, and even if we did want them, we’d have to dial a premium rate number to get them.
Today we received two faxes offering to get us off the junk fax distribution lists. Sounds good so far. But how do we achieve this? Ah yes, by dialling a premium rate number.
On the subject of junk
On the subject of junk faxes, my friend David tells me: “Our company spends over $750,000 every year in fax broadcasting (junk faxes as you call them). They bring in over $2.2m in sales.”
But they are still a pain in the arse.
I’ve heard this morning that
I’ve heard this morning that the CIM have sent out our exam results today by first class post. Which means they should arrive just before I leave for work in the morning. So expect my mood to be either bouyant or bad tomorrow.
Vaughan takes a break. Nice
Vaughan takes a break. Nice idea, but I don’t think I could ever trust anyone else with this site. And who would do it? Actually, I can think of a couple of people who might volunteer!
Friday 16 March 2001
Waited and waited for the
Waited and waited for the post to arrive this morning, but decided I could wait no more and had to get to work. So I should have my results waiting for me when I get home. Will post the outcome here.
Went for beer last night
Went for beer last night with Phil from college, Sarah, Paul F and Ian, and later met up with Paul S and his mate Mark. Admired the barmaid’s “attributes” in the Nags, but otherwise uneventful.
do good deeds with other
do good deeds with other people’s money:
visit Mo and give £1 of someone elses money to Comic Relief.
alternatively, visit Richard and give 50p of his money.
better still, give some of your own money by whatever means you feel to be appropriate.
gah. exam results *haven’t* arrived
gah. exam results *haven’t* arrived here yet. humph. so I’ll have to wait until the morning to find out how well I did. or worse still, they won’t turn up until next week, if at all – which, knowing the CIM, wouldn’t surprise me one bit.
oh, and in spite of
oh, and in spite of the lack of exam results, I’m in a fairly good mood. not sure how good the mood should be at the moment, as I’m having doubts, but hey, enjoy it whilst it last.
[more cryptic that the Times crossword, eh?]
possibly a bad plan, but
possibly a bad plan, but I’ve started snooping around other people’s Amazon wishlists (here’s mine, since I know how generous you are) in order to get some sort of insight into the minds of their owners. Here’s a random, but revealing, selection:
Monkey! (I can imagine Robyn running around the playground in her youth shouting “haaaar! munkeeeeeeh!”, much as I did with my mates)
Fat Harry White (Mo turns on the luuuuuurve in his Bedford Rascal)
You Are Being Lied To (makes me wonder if I should ever believe anything I read at Tom‘s site)
Bob the Builder (you begin to wonder how much of this is for Harvey, and how much is actually for Angie!)
Harry Potter (Richard clings stubbornly to his youth)
Not sure what, if anything, can be read into this, but an interesting exercise nonetheless.
Saturday 17 March 2001
exam results in – a
exam results in – a pass and a credit, which is good, and at least means I don’t have to do them again! now I suppose I should focus a bit more on the current studying.
went for beer last night
went for beer last night in the Nags (briefly) and then headed down to W2, in the company of Arron (who is off to St Lucia for a week – envy!) and Sarah. The girls behind the bar (Claudette and Michelle) had dressed up for Comic Relief – or should I say, “undressed-up”. Al was wearing the loudest shirt in history as well, which, to be honest, was much less easy on the eye than the girls’ attire! I don’t know how much money they had by the end of the evening, but at around 10pm Michelle told me they had collected more than £300, which is pretty darned good.
Sarah came back to mine for coffee and we chewed the rag. I wasn’t in the most bouyant of moods, and can’t say I feel much more cheerful this morning (which is not helped by a hangover and awful weather). However, the new issue of wallpaper* arrived this morning, and that has helped.
Sunday 18 March 2001
tonight, I have been reminded
tonight, I have been reminded of some of the conversations that took place on Thursday night with Sarah, Paul F and Ian. and, no, I’m not going to repeat them here. cripes, I must have been really pissed!
drinks last night in the
drinks last night in the company of Sarah, Kearn, Jim, Jayne, DA, DAGS, Paul F and Dom. Tim spotted in the distance. A most mellow evening.
However, today I’m not in the mood for a Sunday at all – maybe it’ll improve.
Well, I’ve finished Atomised. It
Well, I’ve finished Atomised. It is certainly a disturbing and thought provoking book, with added touches of melancholy and black humour thrown in for good measure. As you get in to the book, you begin to wonder if the fairly detailed accounts of gratuitous sexual activity are merely self indulgence on the part of the author. Perhaps they are, and yet they do have relevance to the ultimate goal of the story, which is not actually revealed until the final pages, and is disturbing in itself. If you read this book, prepare to have some of your ideas challenged, and others reinforced. But beware, as the book occasionally trips over into pretentiousness, although more often than not, that is a deliberate ploy on the part of the author to further ridicule and parody the progenitors of the ideas that are the target of his polemic.
“Light reading” is not a description that could apply to this book. Equally “compulsory”, an adjective applied in the Time Out review, is possibly going over the top. But from me it gets “recommended”.
My new book, freshly purchased
My new book, freshly purchased this morning, is Blue Light by Walter Mosley. Here’s the cover blurb:
Narrated by Chance, a half-black, half-white follower of the Blues, the novel traces their desperate conflict with one of their own, a man who – struck by the light at the moment he died – has become the living embodiment of death.
Blue Light refracts questions of identity, race and humanity – hallmarks of Walter Mosley’s writing – through a gripping adventure that puts a dazzling new spin on the relationship between the past, present and future.
I will, as usual, report back.
Also freshly purchased is the
oh, and in other news:
oh, and in other news: there isn’t any. well, not that I’m confident enough about to report anyway.
simple pleasures: baked beans on
simple pleasures: baked beans on buttery brown bread toast. highly recommended.
Monday 19 March 2001
I’m concerned. When Meg gets
I’m concerned. When Meg gets herself a fella (which can’t be far into the future), will she be less prolific at notsosoft? Hope not.
busy busy busy today, hence
busy busy busy today, hence sparse blogging. will try to do some at home tonight.
dilemma. I’ve been eyeing up
dilemma. I’ve been eyeing up my quote at the head of the blog (the one about “if at first you don’t succeed…”) and thinking about changing it. today, two ideas have presented themselves:
from Ian: “the grass always seems greener on the other side, but you still have to cut the grass”
and from Rachel‘s sig file: “that which doesn’t kill you makes you stranger”
you decide: Ian’s idea, Rachel’s idea, the status quo or perhaps you have an idea of your own?
Tuesday 20 March 2001
it is cold and wet.
it is cold and wet. I wonder if spring is ever going to come this year.
I feel cheated
well, the snow that was
well, the snow that was falling earlier has now turned to rain with a dash of sleet thrown in. it is still cold. I want to go somewhere warm and sunny – would anyone like to whisk me away?
Wednesday 21 March 2001
out last night for beer
out last night for beer – on my own. ho-hum. did bump into Paul F and Ian briefly in the Royal Arms on the way home. and also had a chat with the eternally lovely Simone, Becs and Claudette in W2.
how much rain did we
how much rain did we have last night?? lots is the answer to that, all on top of the snow which fell late yesterday. And all this just as workmen have begun removing the network of pipes around Chichester – I checked the level of the river on my way in to work this morning, and it is just at the bottom of the flood marker, but it will take a day or two for all this water to filter down through the chalk and into the river itself. Parts of the A27 around Westhampnett were coned off this morning, and there were great floods across the road in places. Not good – just when things were starting to dry out a little. Certainly the level of flooding here at the nursery is approaching the levels we saw in late December.
TPL update – a really
TPL update – a really very good 40 points, taking my total to 776. No matches this weekend. This score combined with recent performances by my team could see me vying for a Champion’s League place, although I’d have to return some stunning results to get anywhere near the top spot.
ooo – and it is
ooo – and it is Fi’s birthday today! happy birthday mate!
hmmm – FTSE100 down 130
hmmm – FTSE100 down 130 points, on top of all the falls over the past few weeks. I wonder if it is such a good idea to have my endowment and pension both linked to shares? Guess I should be taking a long term view, and besides, what would be the point of cashing in now? Would just compound my losses, so best to sit on it and hope things improve.
global branding is a trend
global branding is a trend that has been growing in recent years, from the ubiquitous golden arches through to the renaming on Marathon as Snickers to suit the American market. In the last few weeks, I’ve noticed that Jif (the household cleaning products) has been rebranded as Cif. Now I can understand that Jif might be a problem, particularly in hispanic countries (“Hif”), but isn’t Cif going to have similar problems. I’m sure that in some languages the “c” will be hard,and in others it will be soft. The Portuguese would pronounce it differently again (but there is not accounting for them).
So what should they have called it?
“DIF – not the same as other brands!”
“WIF – smells good!”
“NIF – with new lemon fragrance!”
“BIF – hits germs where it hurts!”
seems lately that whenever I
seems lately that whenever I post to this thing, I have to come back later and edit it for typos. I really must read what I type more thoroughly.
“Meanwhile, back in Communist Russia”
“Meanwhile, back in Communist Russia” has to be the best name for a band I’ve heard in ages. They sound pretty good, not unlike Arab Strap, who I have a soft spot for.
I sense an improvement in
I sense an improvement in my mood. Will have to see what develops.
Meg (yes, Meg again) seeks
Meg (yes, Meg again) seeks a secret monk. These are odd times in which we live.
Thursday 22 March 2001
You know, I am sure
You know, I am sure that in ancient times, if the populace had been faced with such a long, grey, wet, unpleasant winter and early spring, they would have been out sacrificing a few virgins to appease the gods. Having woken to yet another grey drizzly morning, I’m willing to try anything.
one or two of you
and on the subject on
clearly a virgin has been
clearly a virgin has been sacrificed somewhere, as the sun is now out, the sky is blue with those fluffy cotton wool clouds (cumulus is the proper term, I believe) and it is actually, dare I say it, quite warm.
“In the long term, the
another great name for an
another great name for an actual band that already exists: Large Mound.
don’t you wish you’d thought of that first?
Friday 23 March 2001
clearly someone forgot the virgin
clearly someone forgot the virgin sacrifice this morning
You could almost shed a
You could almost shed a tear for the end of the Mir space station. I was just fifteen when the first section was launched, and I’ve followed it with some interest for all those years. I think that we underestimate the size of the feat of engineering that was Mir – we are all too ready to compare it with the shiny and impressive Space Shuttle craft, which we see on TV each time one is launched or lands. The millions of hours of experiments that took place, the knowledge that was gained of deep space through observation (clear telescope images long before Hubble was launched), as well as the experience gained by cosmonauts of long missions in weightlessness are more than worth every single rouble that was spent on the project.
The question that remains is “what now?” – the Russian space programme is cash-strapped to say the least. A few years ago it was conceivable that some of those people might have gone to work for NASA, but that organisation is also the victim of savage budget cuts. Which leaves the commercial sector. MirCorp are still floating about with lots of cash (I believe), and then there are the commercial satellite and communications companies. But with rapidly plunging stock values, you have to wonder if they have the resources for any serious investment. I think that we have just seen the end of one of the richest periods of space exploration, and we are about to enter one of the poorest periods since Gregarin.
what a long afternoon, with
what a long afternoon, with only the failure of the phone system for three hours to break it up (and it is still messing about now – bloody BT). guh. and now it is raining AGAIN, just in time for my walk home.
but, on the plus side, tonight I’m going to the pub for drinks with Fi and Sarah. fab!
why do people do this
why do people do this sort of thing? It irritates the hell out of me. What are they trying to prove, and to whom? Do they think they look clever? or hard? phooey. Go cheer up Marcia by sending her a nice friendly happy message.
Saturday 24 March 2001
a very VERY late night,
a very VERY late night, featuring large volumes of alcohol, as well as Sarah, Fi, Helen, Steve, Kearn, Tanya, Tam, Paul F, Paul S, Daryl, Sacha, Ian and sundry others. not sure if wise to venture out again tonight, but will anyway.
had some very good news
had some very good news this morning. full report towards the end of the week.
file -> print
as you will probably have
as you will probably have realised, I am mostly drawn to personal websites – the ones where the authors bare their souls from time to time. But I also quite like sites that involve some good design, and, better still, good photography. This is a good one, and may be only the second US-based site to be added to my must-see bloglist in the navbar.
Sunday 25 March 2001
Meg is clearly an inveterate
Meg is clearly an inveterate liar.
to submit, or not to
to submit, or not to submit – that is the question.
must say I am dead
last night: beer with Matt,
last night: beer with Matt, Tam and Kearn. very pleasant.
this morning: bumped into James and Bern (his new paramour apparently) on the train. He had failed to remember that it was Mother’s Day – nice one mate.
hmm. Irritatingly, Blogger does not
hmm. Irritatingly, Blogger does not allow me to alter the times of newly posted entires to BST – if I switch to GMT+1, it alters all entries, new and old. So, the time stamp at the foot of each entry now bears the suffix GMT.
crews of council workmen are
crews of council workmen are roaming the city this afternoon gathering sandbags. All the pipes have been removed from Market Avenue. Chichester is gradually getting back to normal – next week they are going to remove the temporary bridge from South Street, probably the most potent symbol of the flooding threat. It will be strange with it gone.
Frannie, my upstairs neighbour, is
Frannie, my upstairs neighbour, is a practising Christian. She is currently listening to Songs of Praise at full volume. I am fighting back with To Rococo Rot. On the first day of 2000, I was rudely woken at about 3pm by Cliff Richard‘s Millennium Prayer on auto-repeat at full volume for nearly an hour. Frannie’s great.
Brian Trubshaw dies
Monday 26 March 2001
More on Brian Trubshaw. In
More on Brian Trubshaw. In particular, note how he dealt with a “trickier moment” – bear in mind that a VC-10 is about the size of a Boeing 737.
here is an insight into
here is an insight into what it is like to live in Chichester:
what does your local offer in the way of food? steak and chips? scampi and fries? ham and egg? well, I walk past ten pubs and bars to get to my flat from the station (a walk that lasts all of eight minutes), and outside one (The Fountain) I spotted this sign today:
“Served from 12 noon until 2pm:
Teacakes??? In a city centre pub? how very Chichester.
soon after seeing the pub
Tuesday 27 March 2001
really grey and miserable outside
really grey and miserable outside – enough to really sap the will.
rant. I was thinking about
I was thinking about Chichester last night, and made a few searches looking for good websites about the city – conclusion – there are no really good websites about the city.
But what I really got thinking about was the fact that we take so much of the city for granted – on my way to work I walk past a 900-year-old cathedral (so close I could touch it). On my way home (variety being the spice of life) I walk through the arches of the 500-year-old market cross. When I used to cycle everywhere (now I walk), I would lean my bike against the medieval wall at the back of my flat. Cicestrians mainly just walk past these places (or get drunk under them in the case of the Cross) without giving them a second thought, but if you stop to look at them, they are pretty impressive.
The problem for young(ish) people in the city is that all this antiquity is matched by little or no modernity. There are hardly any amenities for young people – ok, we have the Festival and Minerva Theatres, which are great but seen as largely inaccessible by many people under the age of 30. The New Park Film Centre is brilliant, showing many “art house” films that you are otherwise unlikely to see without a trip to London (which means driving 125 miles as the last train back from London leaves at 10.15pm – pathetic) – but we have no large multiscreen cinema (although that is soon to be put right). Bowling? nope. Nightclubs? one, two miles out of town, and generally rated as “crap”. Late licence bars? you are joking aren’t you?! And all this in spite of the fact that the city has a massive student population.
So, here is my shopping list for Chichester:
- people that appreciate what we have already;
- some large retail premises – Chichester is cursed by only having small stores;
- a decent club;
- late licences at the best bars;
- more for the kids;
- better rail services;
- more new buildings of high quality – less of the eternal sprawl of granny flats.
I’m sure I’ll think of more later.
I suspected as much. Sometimes
I suspected as much. Sometimes I am too damned perceptive for my own good, but that’s another story. Equally, at other times I can be as insensitive as a brick.
yet another loooooong day. I
yet another loooooong day. I think I’ll go for a beer tonight if I can rowse at least one or two of the troops, although I really ought to do some of my college homework somewhen, particularly as it looks like a hectic few days ahead. at least it has stopped raining.
hmmm – there is a millipede on the ceiling of my office – now where the heck did that come from?
Wednesday 28 March 2001
tonight – beer with Chris,
tonight – beer with Chris, Becs, Matt, Clive, Ian, Kearn and Al. Tired now – going to bed. But, if you are awake, send good vibes to Marcia.
more rain. guh. today promises
more rain. guh.
today promises to be another long day.
Amusing headline from today’s Brighton Argus, alongside a picture of William Hague: “BALDY WITH A FUNNY ACCENT” – hmmm, there is nothing like sensible mature discussion of politics.
Thursday 29 March 2001
apologies for lack of postings
apologies for lack of postings yesterday – this was mainly due to me having a fairly busy day at work, combined with the fact that my PC at home is in pieces as I upgrade. Further long silences are likely during the next two or three days as I am pretty busy both at work and out of work, and also as Blogger is going to have a spot of downtime. Now, if I’d actually finished the Greymatterization of this site, that wouldn’t be a problem.
forgot yesterday’s TPL update, but
forgot yesterday’s TPL update, but you all knew there were no games last weekend anyway, so the score for the week was nil.
Robyn has added an “about”
Robyn has added an “about” page to her site so you can now see what went into the making of one of the finest weblogging minds around – purple hair dye apparently.
much is going to occur
much is going to occur in the next few days. Watch this space for updates (technology permitting).
Rothko Room vs under-the-clock at
Friday 30 March 2001
ok, looks like Blogger is
ok, looks like Blogger is up and running again – it has been offline all day, so apologies for lack of updates today.
Well, one or two of
Well, one or two of you already know that the content of this blog is likely to change subtly. You’ve seen the loved-up, utterly devoted period. You’ve seen the heart-broken, devasted, “Graybo’s House of Pain”TM period (cheers Luke). You’ve seen the forward-looking, optimistic, I-can-deal-with-this period.
And now, Laydeeeez and Gennermen, I present to you: Graybo goes a-hunting! Well, not really. But one or two of you will know that I have been actively looking. Quite what I’m looking for, I am not really sure, but last night I went on a date. A blind one. Hence the obscure Waterloo clock reference yesterday – you did get that, didn’t you?
Well, I bet you are eager to know how I got on. We met in London, which in itself always presents a few problems, mainly transport related. Getting up there was fine, although I had to take most of the afternoon off in order to get to our meeting place by 5.30. Getting back was the problem. as usual, the last train back is ridiculously early – from Victoria it is direct, leaving at 22:17, but from London Bridge (which is where I was), it leaves at 22:10 and there is a change at Haywards Heath (not East Croydon – deliberately changed for the last train to catch out drunken bastards like me – but I was wise to that one!). As it was, I missed my connection at Haywards Heath because the train left London Bridge fifteen minutes late, so stuck with the train I was on into Brighton, figuring that there was a slim chance of picking up a train there that might get me as far as Barnham at least. However, once there I was advised that there were no trains until this morning, and I’d have to get a taxi. There are no Thameslink staff at Brighton, so nobody could authorise the taxi. Therefore I’d have to pay for it myself, get a receipt, and claim it back by post.
Cost of a taxi from Brighton to Chichester at 11.45pm? ….wait for it….£70!!
[insert expletive here]
Which would explain the happy demeanour of the cabbie as we drove along with him sitting next to seven crisp tenners freshly extracted from a cashpoint (he asked to be paid upfront). Interestingly, he didn’t know where Chichester was and had never been there before, so I had to direct him all the way when all I really wanted to do was kip – AND he had radio 4 news on REALLY loud. But he dropped me right at my door, and was pleasant enough, so can’t really complain.
Of course, I am now faced with the problem of extracting that money from Thameslink, which I suspect will not be easy.
Anyway, you’ll be more interested in the actual meeting. Well, I got there a bit early so went and mooched round a couple of gallery rooms (yes, opted for Rothko Room at Tate Modern as opposed to the decidedly cheesy Waterloo Station clock). Couldn’t really concentrate on the art as I was just a teensy bit hyper, as you might imagine.
So I wandered into the Rothko Room just after 5.30 (the agreed time) and she was sitting on the bench as promised (which was a relief). She (Sarah) is a occupational therapist living in Lincolnshire who happened to be at a conference in town that day. We introduced ourselves a little sheepishly and decided to go for a drink and maybe a bite to eat. So we headed round the corner to Vinopolis which is a very smart wine bar and restaurant, ordered a bottle of wine (she suggested a glass to begin with, but at those prices I thought a bottle would be better!!) and sat chatting.
Oh yeh – what did she look like – well, by her own description she has a size 14 top half and a size 12 below! A nice smile, friendly dark eyes, shoulder length dark brown (henna tinted) curly hair which she had tied up, about 5ft8in tall, and pleasantly “girl-shaped” – i.e. not too thin, not fat either.
We were both fairly open (I talked the hind legs off a donkey as usual – someday I really should learn to shut up and listen a bit more – topics of conversation included cats, pubs, friends, exes, blind dates, dating agencies, family, home, blogging and lots lots more) and we got on pretty well. I think that if we met a few times, regularly, something might just spark up. But I am not sure we “clicked” – I can’t put my finger on what was missing, but something wasn’t there, that “spark” thing. Also there is the whole Lincolnshire/Chichester issue too, both admitting that neither of us wanted to leave those places if we could help it (for those not familiar with UK geography, the journey time between her home and mine is about five hours).
Anyway, we had a meal, which was really lovely and not too expensive by London standards, then went to a pub next door for a couple of beers. After that I walked her to her hotel to get her case, and then with her back to London Bridge. Earlier in the evening, we had talked about previous dates, and she said that her last one had shaken her hand at the end of the evening and walked off, which she didn’t take to be a good sign. So as we parted on the concourse, I kissed her on the cheek – well, she was having none of that, and we had a good kiss! (-: “Goodbye, stay in touch”. I went off with a smile on my face and a spring in my step.
So it was a good night. I enjoyed it a lot. But I’m not sure. The distance thing is certainly a problem – if we do decide to meet again (which, as I say, I am not sure about to begin with), I think it could be quite hard for us to get to know each other really well. But it was good fun, and for a first date “back out there”, I couldn’t really have wished for anyone nicer – as Sarah said, “it took me a while to twig – it’s a dating thing! you’re supposed to meet lots of people! and hopefully, one of them will be right.”
I think I have made a new friend. That has to be a good outcome.
There will be others. I’m not prepared to say more, but I am not going to sit around waiting for girls to come to me – equally, I am not going to turn into someone who is blatantly desperate and needy, as that is one of the biggest turn-offs around. But I will keep you informed, dear reader, fear not.
Where UKbloggers live – survey
Where UKbloggers live – survey results.
Saturday 31 March 2001
beer tonight with Paul F,
beer tonight with Paul F, DA, DAGS, Paul C, Arron, Lynne, Paul S, Tanya, Stein, Kearn, Brenda, Greg. Good. But I am tired, so to bed…
Not before time.
just finished Blue Light by
just finished Blue Light by Walter Mosley – will post a review here soon, but no time now, as rushing off to get a train to get myself to London for a meeting with some food, some beer and some ukbloggers. A report on that will be posted here too.
My new book? (haven’t even got time to update the sidebar!) – Twelve by Vanessa Jones. Strapline: “they want a good time, all the time”, Sounded brilliantly naff in a fifties B-movie kinda way, so thought I’d give it a go!
stuck at Victoria having missed
stuck at Victoria having missed train, really missing having someone to hug, sigh. and these bastards are expensive!