Sunday 1 April 2001
note to readers: the “bastards”
note to readers: the “bastards” referred to in the previous post are not the other ukbloggers, but those shove-a-coin-in-and-get-expensive-web-access machines at Victoria. note to self: do not attempt to update blog whilst pissed at Victoria.
will give a full update
will give a full update on the blogmeet in the morning – too tired now. but it was good fun.
yesterday’s blogmeet in summary: attendees
yesterday’s blogmeet in summary:
attendees included Brooke, Katy, Kylie, Catherine, Tom, Tom Ewing, Steve, Nick, Cal, Luke, Daveo, Rodney, Paul, Vaughan, Dan and Mo.
conversations included gatecrashing other people’s weddings (Cal), the explosive properties of olive pits (Mo), diagonal knitting (Brooke), breasts (Tom, perhaps surprisingly), how the parents of students can bribe them to visit home frequently by installing ADSL (Katy), digital photography (Nick “It Has To Be Done” Jordan) and being a blogging landlord (Vaughan).
most amusing moment for me: discovering that everyone (well, Cal and Tom at least) thought that this blog was a spoof and that the picture had been clipped from a Next catalogue! um..thanks guys! no, it’s all real!
there was also much talk on the subject of the location of the ukbloggers and what to do with the information I gathered in the survey. no real conclusions were drawn however.
I seemed to be the only one tackling the beer with any great gusto, and no vodkajellies appeared before I departed, which was a shame!
headed back a bit early as I didn’t want to get caught for another huge taxi fare, plus had a vague idea of making it back to the bar in time for last orders – but due to delays and diversions on the trains, I didn’t make it. guh.
the photos from last night.
the photos from last night. Official: Nick is worse with a camera than Meg knows how to be, from a subject’s point of view. bastard!
Monday 2 April 2001
the sun is out, it
the sun is out, it is warm, and I am in a blindingly good mood. look out world!
the more I think about
the more I think about last Thursday’s date with Sarah, the more I think that it went astonishly well. In fact, I think it may have been the best date I have ever been on. In fact, I am beginning to think that the only reason I didn’t feel really happy about it straight away was because I had decided before I got there that I wouldn’t feel happy about it. Damn.
Which merely goes to prove that the more you feel that something isn’t going to be that great, the better it will be. And, it seems, the reverse is also true (big hugs to Meg).
Staying with the subject of dates, one or two of my regular readers know that I had a date scheduled for last night. Well, it didn’t happen, as the lady concerned (lady? how do I know if she’s a lady if I haven’t met her?) was delayed travelling home from her parents, so we have rescheduled for next Sunday. However, she did call me, and has quite possibly the sexiest voice of any woman I have ever spoken to! Further bulletins as events warrant.
how long can you stay
how long can you stay at this website without needing the loo?
Blogger is being bizarre in
Blogger is being bizarre in the time department. I’ve just posted one hour in the future. Is Ev a timelord?
Just received an invitation to
Just received an invitation to a seminar: “Skate parks – the hottest thing in urban teen provision”. Presumably the dress code includes wearing a baseball cap backwards.
compare and contrast: a family
compare and contrast:
a family friend recently died. He was cremated. His wife and brother recently collected the ashes – in a plastic bag inside a tupperware type container. They then went and scattered them in a local church, at the beach, and, upon finding some leftover in the bag (“a whole handful” according to his widow), under the rose bushes.
a family friend’s pet dog died recently. He was cremated. The ashes were recently delivered to our friend’s home – in a smart wooden casket complete with brass nameplate. He will find a resting place in the garden he played in for most of his life.
I knew there was something
I knew there was something else that had put me in a good mood – on Friday, Arron said that he thought I had lost weight. I thought he was talking bollocks (we were in the bar, and bollocks is usually spoken in that place). Anyway, last night I stepped onto the scales, and somehow, during the last fortnight, six pounds have gone missing. Now how the hell did that happen?
in an email conversation with
in an email conversation with a very good friend today, I have come to the realisation that I need some bedroom action.
of course, I am usually fairly incapable of dealing with BA unless it comes with emotions attached. it’s a terrible affliction. but I deal with it. so the quest continues – to find that elusive combination of head, heart and body satisfaction. any leads?
Tuesday 3 April 2001
blimey – what a great
blimey – what a great day yesterday was – it was sunny, warm, I was in a good mood all day, I got loads of work done, including some of my college homework, AND I arranged a second date with Sarah.
yeh, ok, maybe seeing someone who lives five hours away is a bad idea, but I’m willing to give it a go and see how we get on. we had quite a chat last night, and I’m more convinced than ever that she is cool.
in other news: I’ve decided
in other news: I’ve decided to redecorate my bathroom and kitchen. I have most of the materials already, it is just a case of getting on with it! so I’ll be quiet on Sunday, wielding a paintbrush. Any volunteers to help me?
I have a thermal transfer
I have a thermal transfer printer here at work. It is a particularly obscure piece of equipment. It is also particularly cantankerous. I hate it.
hmm – today’s discovery…if you
hmm – today’s discovery…if you clean pieces of office equipment, they tend to work better. You wouldn’t believe the colour of the crap that I’ve just cleaned from the printhead of the thermal transfer printer. But it does now seem to be working.
[this is not the most exciting of blog entries, is it?]
had to give a lecture
had to give a lecture this evening in Henfield, to an audience who seemed to be struggling to stay awake – they didn’t laugh at my jokes and I only got one question at the end. Although that may just be because I am a boring speaker – who knows?
Anyway, I over-ran by miles (coupled with a late start) and now I am exhausted and have no time to finish the college homework that is due tomorrow. bugger.
still, the good mood persists.
Wednesday 4 April 2001
Meg suffered at the hands
Meg suffered at the hands of a migraine yesterday. Thankfully, I’ve never been a sufferer, but I did have a broadly similar scary experience a few years ago.
I think I’ve said before that I run a few plant fair type events as a bit of a sideline. I used to get really really really stressed about them (now I just get really stressed). I ran a particularly large one (well, large if you are running it all on your own) at Parham House. It was the first morning of the event, and I had been up since 4.30am, stressing big time. I had done pretty much all the preparation I could do, but I was looking at the sky and worrying about the clouds (rain is the greatest enemy of an outdoor event). I was stood on the main entrance driveway, overseeing the car parking stewards as they set up, and directing exhibitors as they arrived.
As I stood there, worrying where the late arriving exhibitors were, worrying about the weather, worrying if any visitors would turn up AND feeling very very tired, my vision began to blur and darken. I just stopped what I was doing, stood still, and blinked a lot. But the blurring and darkening got worse, and quickly, and was coupled with a very sharp pain down my left side and a tightening of the chest – so tight I could barely breathe.
So I started thinking – “shit, what the hell’s this? can’t be a heart attack – I’m 24 for god’s sake! [at least I was at the time]“. and then…”I can’t afford to be ill, there’s only me to run this thing, if I go it goes wrong, shit shit shit shit.”
I just sat down on the grass where I was and took a few deep breaths and closed my eyes for a couple of minutes. Thankfully nobody came along at that moment, and, for once, the two-way radio was quiet for a while. After about ten minutes, I got up and carried on with the rest of the day, and the sun shone, everybody was where they should be, and 6000 visitors came through the gate.
But that did scare me. Ever since then, if I feel myself getting stressed, I convinced myself that it is not that important really, and there are more important things, like life, love and family to consider. Some people have asked me in the past how I can have such an “I don’t really care” attitude towards some things that really stress them out – well, the reason is the scare I was given that day.
Here is a list that
Here is a list that I am glad I didn’t make it to. Although I share (most of) Tom’s sentiments regarding Katy, probably because of the Daisy Duke top she wore on Saturday which not only made her look most attractive, but also reminded me of youthful days watching telly.
considering that I am forever
considering that I am forever ranting on about Chichester for some reason or other, it is pretty shameful that I failed to mention that yesterday was the feast-day of St Richard of Chichester and was only alerted to the fact by Luke. His tomb is no more than 400 yards from my front door in Chichester Cathedral, although I’ve not noted many miracles taking place recently.
I just know I should
I just know I should be worried by this. Will somebody please persuade Meg to take a timeout?
Nick has pointed out that
Nick has pointed out that many UKBloggers play a musical instrument, but thinks that a UKBlogger band would be a bad plan. I think it would be a great idea! But what would it be called? Suggestions puhleeze.
Incidentally, I do not play a musical instrument, so if the band ever got together, I’d just have to do the promotion. Or be a roadie.
ah, but where did he
I think I’ve mentioned it
I think I’ve mentioned it before here, but go take a look at these brilliant cartoons. Businessman Billy has the coolest laugh of any cartoon character (hnyah hnyah hynah hnyah!). And Super Suzy Rocker Chick is dead foxy. Episodes seven and eight come highly recommended. Flash and a fast connection are useful.
ok – let me set
ok – let me set a few things straight. or one thing at least. judging by the things that people have been attempting to communicate by means of the Atomz search function, a few people think I have a thing for Meg. I would like to make clear that, whilst I admire Meg’s writing, enjoy reading notsosoft each day, and, based on the one time we met and a handful of emails and AIM conversations, found her to be most personable, I do not, repeat NOT, have a thing for her.
In fact, at the moment, I do not really have a “thing” for anyone, although I’m pretty excited about meeting up with Sarah again in a few days time. Maybe, given some time with her, I’ll develop a “thing” for her. Time will tell.
Now, to those people who thought that there was something to gossip about, and also the saddos who insist on communicating via the search function – GET A GRIP! guh.
Thursday 5 April 2001
pearlescent jism??! um….I can control
pearlescent jism??! um….I can control myself. just.
this morning, on arriving at
this morning, on arriving at work, we all took an extended coffee break before doing anything – and sat watching Postman Pat. Absolutely bloody hilarious – we were laughing so hard that tears were rolling down our faces. For those that know their Pat, this was the episode where Ted Glen makes a motorised parcel delivery scooter so that Pat can deliver all the parcels that have resulted from Sam’s mail order catalogue. This stuff should be on prime time.
forgot to do the TPL
forgot to do the TPL update yesterday: yet another good week (I’m on a roll here) with a pleasing 45 points, bringing my total to 821. I’ve rocketed up the league in the last few weeks to sixth place (as of last week), and I reckon I should have moved to fifth this week.
momblog uk becomes tired lil
momblog uk becomes tired lil brit girl – ah, bless!
Robyn is upset that I
Robyn is upset that I seem to get all the action from the search engine terrorists, so head over to her blog and terrorize her engine (fnarr!).
and, in answer to a few recent terrorist comments, yes, I do know what an angry fruit salad is, no, not everyone thinks I am boring, and yes, some people have said my picture looks like it is from a Next catalogue.
and to make life easier for you, here is an email link. just click it, type, hit “send”. easy, huh?
I saw a man selling
I saw a man selling skulls in Camden market once
Once, I nearly ran over
Once, I nearly ran over Simon Callow on my bicycle
ok. the truth is out.
how is it that you
how is it that you can get so down after meeting someone only once?
Sarah called me this evening, and cancelled our date in a permanent kinda fashion. And sensibly too, based on the fact that we are four hours apart. She was lovely – saying how she didn’t want to do it, but she couldn’t really see how we would work when we lived so far apart.
So tonight, Matthew, I’ve been feeling pissed off over someone I met only once. I really felt that I was turning a corner. But I’ve been tripped up.
Friday 6 April 2001
truism for today: things look
truism for today: things look better in the morning. and they do look better today.
that is in no small part due to my splendid friends who leant support either by email, phone, IM or in person. thanks guys. and yeh, I know, keep it in perspective. having thought it through, I think it is true to say that I am more upset at losing someone I’d thought I had found rather than actually losing Sarah. she is lovely, and I’m disappointed, but I can’t say that I felt anything for her as we had only met once.
so, it’s back to looking again. there is someone I’m interested in, but I’m not sure. as usual.
Charles Johnson dies.
decided last night that having
decided last night that having a style sheet for life would be brilliant – if there was anything you didn’t like, fiddle with a bit of code and BAZAM! it’s improved! such a neat idea.
The Post-It 653 – an
The Post-It 653 – an ickle piece of stationery.
I really should be very
tonight, Radio4, 6.30pm, Dead Ringers
tonight, Radio4, 6.30pm, Dead Ringers – compulsory, or Mr Perkins will get you.
Saturday 7 April 2001
the decorating is progressing slowly
the decorating is progressing slowly but surely. last night I had a polyfilla frenzy and filled all the holes created by removing the huge ghastly mirrors in the bathroom (feel free to burst into song now). tonight I have to wash down the ceiling and walls before starting on the sealing of the ceiling and painting tomorrow. and a survey of the kitchen reveals the need for similar work there too, it seems.
(incidentally, whilst looking for a link to The Beat, I stumbled across this site – I mean, like, um, what?!)
after the polyfilla sesswion, I
after the polyfilla sesswion, I headed out to the Nags for beer with DA, DAGS, Paul F, Mandy, Sacha, Ian, Kearn, Tanya and Jim. Ian bought me a triple vodka and red bull, which I can still taste now! After that, we headed back to Ian’s, drank all his beer but rejected the vodka (lacking any mixer) and listened to his CDs after he and Sacha had gone to bed (accompanied by much sniggering from those of us left downstairs!). I left at 2.30, but Paul, James and Mandy were still going strong.
The walk home was bliss – the city was being washed by a light drizzle, and was totally silent and completely deserted. I love walking home when it is like that – not a single car passed, and the only people I saw were a couple walking in the distance, enjoying the night as well. Chichester is rarely quiet, and certainly isn’t during the day. Sometimes, it isn’t even quiet at night – but if ever it is going to be quiet, it is at 3am. There have even been times when I’ve even been known to sit on the bench outside Marks and Spencer on East Street at 3am, purely to savour the solitude and silence.
had a strange conversation with
had a strange conversation with my mum earlier.
she was talking about a neighbour – their daughter is getting married today for the second time.
suddenly, she came over all reflective and started talking about failed marriages, especially those of her brothers. then she said:
“sometimes I think you have the best idea, playing the field”
I was mildly shocked by this. I’ve never considered myself as a field player – my total number of girlfriends to date is still in single digits. yes, I might flirt a bit, but nothing more. maybe I should?
I’m more tired than should
I’m more tired than should be permitted. And I could really use some quality contact.
But at least the sun is out now.
Cal’s “is Mo human?” poll
Cal‘s “is Mo human?” poll is turning up some not entirely unexpected results. it has to be said, that stopping smoking has unlikely to humanize him either. but he’s still a top bloke.
ukbloggers – obsessed with other ukbloggers? yep, I reckon so.
beer tonight with [deep breath]:
beer tonight with [deep breath]: Kearn, Paul F, DA, DAGS, Tanya, Matt, Clive, Ian and James. Also witnessed were Catherine (long time, no see), DJ plus Al, Bruno and the delightful Claudette. And new bar decor, Jenny – nice (-:
am really tired tonight, and not a little spikey – need to sleep, so will do that now. long day of decorating ahead tomorrow.
Sunday 8 April 2001
considerably less spiky today, no
considerably less spiky today, no doubt helped by the sunny weather.
actually been positively saintly today, getting up just after 7am (I think the residue of spikiness I felt when I woke up was a spur to get some stuff done) to clear the remaining clutter from the bathroom (i.e. the last of the shampoos and the shower curtain and rail) and begin painting. By 9am, the ceiling and walls had been given a coating of damp proofer where it was needed (most of it), and I was changed into clean clothes and heading for the station.
Of course, I forgot to take my Network Card, so had to pay full fare to get to Brighton (guh – but it’s only a saving of about £3). Arrived there before the shops opened, so had an espresso and bagel in Starbucks. Also had a chat with Sarah on the phone (have realised that I refer to my friend Sarah as “Sarah”, and also Sarah-who-I-went-on-a-date-with – note that in future, Sarah-the-date will be referred to as Sarah W for clarity) whilst on the train to Brighton.
Anyway, post-coffee, I shuffled round Borders (not inspired), Habitat (£104 – mirror, towel rail, bathroom light, nightlights), Primark (very uninspired, but cheap) and Gap (nice stuff, pretty good value, but nothing that really grabbed me) before shuffling back to the station, just in time for a train to get me back to Chichester by 1pm. Then, after treating myself to a cab home, I went back out to look for two 9W SES tungsten energy saving bulbs (no hope), a bottle of white spirit (though prob too late to save this morning’s brush – I used my crappiest one deliberately), a CD-ROM drive (Dixons out of stock, everywhere else shut – guh), some flowers (both of my favourite florists closed – bah), a new book (Amaryllis Day and Night by Russell Hoban) and lunch (chicken in herb bread thingy, root veg crisps and choc wafer from Costa).
Just eaten lunch, about to have a coffee, then daub more paint. Not sure whether to get on with the ceiling or the wall – will probably do the wall, as I reckon it will take two coats to cover the ghastly peach-with-sage-green-sponge-pattern that I’m trying to get rid of.
Plans for the rest of the day? Laundry, dinner (ham and eggs) and then off to the bar for a beer and chat with Paul F tonight. And I’ll have AIM turned on all afternoon, so if you feel like saying hello, feel free to do so – but if I take a while to get back to you, that’ll be because I’m up the ladder with a brush!
right – first coat of
right – first coat of ivory now shoved on the walls of the bathroom – it is definitely going to need two coats, as the sage green shows through in places. As the coat applied today will not be thoroughly dry before about midnight, that is all I can do today. Tomorrow evening I plan to do the ceiling and coving, although I think I need to borrow my dad’s leadlamp, as the lighting in my bathroom is best described as poor (hence purchase of new light fitting today). Then on Tuesday night I’ll do the second coat of ivory on the walls, and Thursday night the woodwork and radiator with white (unless something comes up in the meantime – I’ve got the day off on Good Friday and was hoping that a good plan for Thursday night and/or Friday would be made). I can always put off doing the woodwork and rad until a later date, although I’d like to get it done fairly soon. The other problem I have is that I can’t use the bath or shower until the decorating is done, so will have to make use of the facilities at mum and dad’s, or maybe give Sarah a call.
next on the agenda – defrost the freezer and sort out the laundry. then do the washing up and cook dinner. then head to the pub. no rest!
oh, and thanks to the
oh, and thanks to the people who sent encouraging messages. I mean, I was only painting! Imagine if I’d been performing open-heart surgery or something!
book review time, you lucky
book review time, you lucky people. and guess what? – yep, double dose, as I never got round to posting my thoughts on Blue Light.
Blue Light by Walter Mosley was, for me, an intriguing and yet ultimately disappointing book. It’s is a strange combination of science fiction, 60s nostalgia and crazed drug trip. I felt it was a bit slow to start, and I only really got into it after 50 pages or so, but even then you wonder if there are bits of the story that the author has felt he has to tidy up in some brief way because he can’t see how to carry it on. The climax at the end is actually somewhat dampened by the epilogue, which puts a downer on the whole thing, And, as I am fascinated by human relationships and other people’s take on them, there was little in the book to challenge me, in spite of claims on the cover to question “identity, race and humanity”. nah. don’t bother.
Twelve by Vanessa Jones, on the other hand, comes highly recommended. Any comparisons to Helen Fielding undervalue this book by miles. This is much more about human interactions and emotions than pathetic cigarette counts and glasses of Chardonnay. The characters are totally believable (I know some people like them!) and the setting is convincing too. Recommendation: buy it!
beer tonight with (as promised)
beer tonight with (as promised) Paul F and the ever-youthful Aris.
Monday 9 April 2001
go to work on an
go to work on an egg – in my case this morning, a seven-minute soft-boiled goose’s egg. yum!
I have an inner warm
I have an inner warm feeling this morning – probably the combination of drinks and a good chat with friends last night, that delicious egg for breakfast, and the feeling of satisfaction with the decorating progress made yesterday. My flat has just been improved considerably – when I went in the bathroom this morning, the bright and clean look of the room was very very encouraging. With plans to finish the bathroom and do the kitchen over the next couple of weeks, plus the replacement gutter to be installed on Good Friday and new windows sometimes soon (note to self: must chase the District Council about that), things are very encouraging indeed.
Simon says. me and Meg
words and phrases that have
words and phrases that have been used to describe me lately:
- a good kisser
- a good laugh
- funny (in the strange sense)
- a good mate
- a broad thinker
- bloody awful (as in “you look bloody awful” – thanks Matt)
ok. I’m in a good
ok. I’m in a good mood. That’s all I can say.
Don’t say that you are not kept informed about these things.
[note: yep, I even keep some secrets from my blog. And, no, don't bother to ask, ok?]
the perfect way to waste
highlight of the day so
highlight of the day so far (well, at least the highlight that is for public consumption): buying a new loo seat. Granted, today has not been the most exciting of days.
how to instil a huge
how to instil a huge sense of self-doubt in someone: lesson one:
make that person ponder whether or not they are, in fact, dull, living in the dullest place on the planet, leading a dull life, even if, previously, they believed they were not dull (well, not entirely), the place they lived in wasn’t dull (not very exciting, granted) and their life wasn’t in the least bit dull (hey! I bought a loo seat today! and ate a goose’s egg!).
my confidence has just been zapped.
in other news: painted the
in other news: painted the bathroom ceiling (dull, yeh, I know) and continued to attempt to get my new PC to work, by adding a brand new CD drive (yup, dull again). sigh.
Tuesday 10 April 2001
my mood is no better
my mood is no better this morning, due in no small part to the fact that I had a crappy night’s sleep. I think it was probably a combination of paint fumes, over-tiredness and a head that was far too full of stuff. I slept only fitfully until about 4am, then solidly until 7, then dozily until after 8. Consequently, I was more than half an hour late for work this morning (although I did stop on the way to sort out some recycling and get together some decorating detritus to go to the refuse centre).
I really want things to work at the moment. But I mustn’t try too hard. And I must also accept, that sometimes, things don’t work. *And* I mustn’t be negative.
the about page has been
the about page has been revised slightly. feel free to wander over and refresh your memory on the subject of “who is Graybo?”
Graybo states the obvious: Meg
Graybo states the obvious: Meg would feel less tired if she went to bed earlier.
Yesterday, somebody found my site
Yesterday, somebody found my site by searching for fruit salad plants. Genetic engineering gone mad?
time for a rant: I
time for a rant:
I think it is high time that we followed the Dutch and others and legalised euthanasia. It seems utterly preposterous to me that humans are kept alive artificially with often unbearable pain, complete loss of dignity and at great expense both financially for the community, and emotionally for the patient and their loved ones. Yet, at the same time, once our pets become seriously ill, we are ready to ease their suffering and provide a painless end to their misery.
The Dutch approach seems sensible to me – a regulated system that should (hopefully) prevent abuses. But I doubt that this sort of legislation could ever be passed here – too many people (the sort my father would call “do-gooders”) would object on whatever grounds. The churches would certainly not tolerate it – they would come out with the argument that it is not God’s will – but is it also not our duty (if we are believers or not) to alleviate pain and suffering where we can, and are we not fortunate to have the skills and technology available to do that?
I should like to record here, publicly, that if ever I am unfortunate enough to be in that position, I would rather my life was ended than for me to suffer and cause suffering to those around me.
sports news: you’d think, to
sports news: you’d think, to be honest, that by the time you are ten-nil down by half time, you’d just put all eleven men on the goal line and try and save some face.
more sport: as a Brighton
more sport: as a Brighton and Hove Albion follower, I really must not think uncharitable thoughts about this story. (Chesterfield head Division 3, Brighton are currently third)
the house that blogging built
new word for today: ramblong.
new word for today: ramblong. shorthand for “long and rambling” as in the phrase “last night I sent a ramblong email to her, but I don’t think it helped any”. I may start a dictionary page.
on the subject of dictionaries,
on the subject of dictionaries, I recently signed up to dictionary.com‘s word-of-the-day service, and as a service to readers, I’ll attempt to use each day’s word in the course of my blogging.
Today’s word is distrait, which is actually pretty appropriate for me today.
tonight’s plan: go to the
tonight’s plan: go to the refuse centre with my decorating detritus, visit Waitrose, paint the second coat of ivory on the bathroom walls and then, if energy permits (as I’m reallllllly tired), head down to The Fountain around 10-ish to see Paul F and the band. Phone calls/IMs/emails of encouragement always welcome (though if I don’t answer right away, I’ll be up the ladder – but I will get back to you, I promise!).
bit worried about Seamus (the
bit worried about Seamus (the nursery cat) – looks like he has hurt his tail. off to the v..e..t.. tomorrow methinks.
I’ve just done something I
I’ve just done something I have always wanted to do. Along with my decorating detritus, I have just taken an old TV belonging to my parents to the refuse centre. Chichester refuse centre is great in that you park your car alongside a low wall and throw your rubbish over it – to a 15 feet drop below.
Now I have always always always wanted to do one of those television-dropped-from-a-great-height things that you see in films where the telly goes bang, so I was really looking forward to that. But when I threw it over, it rolled over as it fell and landed on its back. No spectacular “bang”, merely a muffled “whump”. The tube remained intact.
Almost as disappointing as the fact that the council don’t have recycling facilities for these things.
hurrah! At last my new
hurrah! At last my new (to me) PC is up and running. Almost sad to see my old one go – it has been a loyal servant for around 5 years, at work before I brought it home. Now, sadly, it is destined for the scrap heap, although I’m half tempted to give it to mum to get her to try the interwebnet thing.
I’m tempted to upgrade this machine a bit. The processor is upgradable (currently a P1 133) and there are acres of spare slots in the box – so a faster modem is on the cards, more RAM and probably a sound card – the modem and sound card will probably be the first additions.
Unfortunately, although I did touch up the ceiling paint that I applied last night, I haven’t made any time to put the second coat of paint on the walls in the bathroom this evening, and I’m supposed to be going out to see Paul and the band – hmmm. Well, I suppose I could go and quickly slap some on…
wow! what a productive evening.
wow! what a productive evening. Not only did I sort out this PC, but I also painted the bathroom walls AND made it to see the last 40 minutes of tonight’s gig by Could Be Good. Paul splendidly came up with a new version of Walking The Dog, since I was there: yes, laydeeez and gennermen, tonight saw the world premiere of “Walking The Blog”. Cheers mate.
So, all that remains is to sit and listen to the last 45 minutes of John Peel (excellent Low track just been played), poke about the net for a while, and then go to bed. I’m in a remarkably good mood, partly because of Paul’s song, partly because my optimism has been renewed (not sure quite why!), partly because I got so much done again this evening, and partly because I’ve had two pints of good beer. I hope you’re feeling good too.
Wednesday 11 April 2001
I’m beginning to think that
I’m beginning to think that Amaryllis Day and Night is going to be an excellent book – and I’m only on page ten:
TPL update: a feeble 5
TPL update: a feeble 5 points (mainly due to most of my team not playing) taking my total to 826. Transferred Solksjaer and Rowett out yesterday (just in time for Solksjaer to score a goal last night – guh) and replaced them with Stewart and Silvestre.
it’s funny how things sometimes
it’s funny how things sometimes do not turn out how you hoped, but actually don’t turn out too badly. I’m in that situation today, and I feel ok about it. And who knows what’ll happen in the future? Whatever happens, I know a strong friendship and bond is being cemented at the moment, and that is a good thing.
watched the BBC news at
watched the BBC news at lunch time. The national news featured a Mr Fudge (a solicitor, would you believe! I mean, if you were up before the beak, would you feel happy with Mr Fudge on your case?) and a Mr Ferret (representing the interests of country folk in the New Forest). Fudge. Ferret. Well, it made me laugh.
“Plug and Play” modem, my
“Plug and Play” modem, my arse. Just spent the last hour fiddling with a freshly purchased modem, trying to get the thing to work. It seems to work fine up until the last stage of the installation of the driver, when it asks for the “region” that I am in so that it can set up the dialling parameters. It offers a pull-down menu of options – or at least, that is what it should do. Only the pull-down is empty, and it will not let you bypass the window to the next stage of the process, or manually type in your location. Pants. And, to top it all, the box says there is a telephone helpline – however, it fails to actually give a number. Customer service at its finest, I’d say. There is a number for head office of Modular Technologies, but when you dial there is only a machine – “we are open from 9am to 5pm” – so will have to call them from work when I do not have my machine in front of me to describe the problem. Pants.
somebody on the missouri.edu server
somebody on the missouri.edu server has searched my site for “three Sarahs and a Sacha” – sure enough, you’ll find them here (actually more than three Sarahs), but I’m not sure in the context that you are looking for. Unless of course somebody has described Grayblog to you as “a site about three Sarahs and a Sacha”. Although I’d hope that there would be something more memorable than that about my site (like, for example, “the picture looks like it was scanned from a Next catalogue…no, really, it does!”).
Friday 13 April 2001
Seamus update: he has a
Seamus update: he has a badly bruised tail, possibly broken. He is on antibiotics for a few days. Hopefully it’ll clear up and he’ll get full use of his tail back, but there is a possibility that he may have to have his tail docked at the point where it is injured (about a third of the way up). Let’s hope not.
originally posted 12/4/01 at 10:19am
Last night, after fitting my
Last night, after fitting my new loo seat and scrubbing the bathroom from top to bottom, I lit a whole load of candles, filled the bath, threw in a bath ballistic, set a large glass of cranberry at hand, turned the radio on low in the next room and clambered in. At first my head was full of thoughts about the day, the week and things that have happened in life and in my head, but then as the warm water lapped around me, the gentle light of the candles flickered against the wall and the soft sounds floated in from the living room, tiredness took over and I laid back, relaxed and dozed for nearly an hour. Absolute bliss – there is no finer way to end the day (although a massage would have really been the icing on the cake).
originally posted 12/4/01 at 10:21am
There are things I’d like
There are things I’d like to say here, but it would not be politic to do so.
Originally posted 12/4/01 at 11:07am
Several people are discussing communication,
Several people are discussing communication, and the inherent problems that communicating has. My advice to all is this: decide what your message is (which is often the hard part), and then communicate it using an appropriate medium in the simplest terms possible.
If only I followed my own advice.
Originally posted 12/4/01 at 11:52am
Neddie Seagoon dies. One of
Neddie Seagoon dies. One of the most distinctive voices and laughs you will ever hear.
Originally posted 12/4/01 at 2:14pm
One month to my 30th
One month to my 30th birthday. Don’t forget.
Originally posted 12/4/01 at 2:26pm
There is a void inside
There is a void inside me.
Those who have read this blog for some time will know that I have had voids before. And dealt with them.
But this one is different.
In every previous instance, the void has been created by something leaving my life.
In this case, the void has occured because something hasn’t entered my life.
Not yet anyway. I maintain that hope.
It’s a void. A lack. A phantasm. Anti-matter for the soul.
And I’m not sure how to handle it.
I have questions. I can’t ask them. I can’t get answers. I’m not sure I’d want to hear the answers even if I could ask the questions. And I think the void has questions too.
Distractions? None found so far.
Fantastic – today’s word of
Fantastic – today’s word of the day is internecine. There is certainly conflict of an internecine nature going on within me at the moment. Head or heart will be sacrificed in the slaughter. Maybe even both.
Today saw a trip to
Beer briefly with Paul F
Beer briefly with Paul F on my return. Tonight’s topic of conversation – “gusset” – a feminine word that you just can’t love.
Talking of voids (you’re still
Talking of voids (you’re still with me on this, aren’t you?), rush out now and buy As She Climbed Across The Table by Jonathan Lethem. I picked this up in Waterstones this afternoon, and perched myself on one of their sofas to read. Within no time at all, I was up to page 60 – had to buy it – and progressed to chapter 24 on the train on the way home. So now I have two books on the go at once – never a good plan.
questions: do I say too
do I say too much here?
am I too open?
should I play my cards closer to my chest?
or is it best to be open?
or am I not open enough?
do I obfuscate?
do I think too much?
Saturday 14 April 2001
maybe I’m just too tired.
maybe I’m just too tired.
Things usually look better in
Things usually look better in the morning, and today they do. Probably because I slept well and had a few positive thoughts from friends. Also, Seamus’s tail seems better too, which is very good.
Philosophical Health Check – link
It has turned cold, grey
It has turned cold, grey and miserable. guh. But I’m determined not to let it sap my spirit, especially as have been feeling a bit more upbeat this morning and I’ve also been productive. Upbeat and productive? …no wonder it’s raining.
[post deleted due to severe
[post deleted due to severe bout of self doubt. or common sense. not sure which.]
I need positive thoughts and
I need positive thoughts and actions – I’m going to start by going home in a few minutes, flopping onto the sofa, cranking up WagonChrist to full volume (well, at least as loud as the neighbours will tolerate) and reading my book with a large mug of tea.
I’ll probably switch the PC on and leave AIM running, so if anyone feels like saying “hello”…
At least, it’ll be on until I head to the pub around 9ish. Then I suspect there will be some inebriated post-pub blogging around midnight.
At least that is better than if I blogged about my exciting new guttering above the front door ….oops!
I can’t believe it took
I can’t believe it took me so long to figure out why I was feeling down. And after I spent all that money on retail therapy yesterday! Chocolate deficiency. So simple. And so easily rectified by a large bar of Cadbury’s finest. I feel much better now.
You will probably have noticed
You will probably have noticed that I’m not a great sports fan. I enjoy cricket and follow test matches avidly (Test Match Special is one of the best sports programmes going, mainly because they spend most of the time talking about anything other than cricket) and watch the motor racing (unfashionably, I think that Michael Schumacher actually is the best driver – it isn’t cool to say that – a bit like saying that you support Manchester United really). But football leaves me mostly cold. However, I’ve long followed the fortunes of Brighton and Hove Albion, and today the won promotion to Division Two – hurrah! Seeeeaaaaaguuuullls! Seeeeeeaaaaguuuulllls!!!
bizarre moment of the day:
bizarre moment of the day: sitting here just now, I heard the letter box rattle. Excitedly anticipating some sort of letter or note through the door, I ran to the doormat to find….half a sandwich. Opened the door – nobody in sight. Figure that out.
My new PC at home
My new PC at home lacks anything exciting on the desktop. If anyone has a really alternative image, perhaps something design oriented, that would make fabulous wallpaper, please send it.
Sunday 15 April 2001
rules of blogging: 14a: never
rules of blogging: 14a: never blog after you have been to the pub and drunk three pints of Staropramen, two vodka red bulls (no ice) and two butterscotch schnapps.
but rules were made to be broken.
a fine night in the company of Paul F, the ever-wonderful Tam and the ever-black-sweatered Matt. Later we saw Paul C, Stein, Tanya and Kearn as well as guest appearances by DJ, Tina, Marc W, Lynne, Arron and a host of household names.
and yet, in spite of this, something is missing tonight. So I guess it is time to go and rest my head on the pillow, and let unconsciousness drown those thoughts. Until tomorrow at least. Sleep well, dear reader.
Chichester, Easter Sunday, 9:15am…. a
Chichester, Easter Sunday, 9:15am….
a souped-up purple Ford Transit van with twin chrome exhausts, tinted glass and orange-flame on purple paint job, bearing the moniker “Vanimal” (I kid you not), roars past the bus stop bearing stickers promoting the “Mayday Monopoly” protests. The cathedral bells toll their beautiful irrelevance out across an otherwise deserted city, as I plod my way down South Street towards the railway station. An alcohol induced buzz whirls around my synapses, accompanied by memories and thoughts of the night before, words which might best have been left unsaid. But then again, who knows?
My head is too full. I need an outlet. And I need more than that. I need contact. Friends are brilliant, but sometimes they are not enough. Sometimes I need that soul, that understanding, that insight. And sometimes the deserted city brings out those feelings in me. It did last night as I walked home from the bar, and it did again this morning as I walked to work.
I’m struggling with today’s word:
I’m struggling with today’s word: I’m not sure that I’ve done anything in a furtive manner for a good while, other than maybe steal the odd furtive glance at things and people. I’m generally not a furtive person, mainly because I’m simply too obvious about just about every aspect of life. And you wouldn’t believe the problems that can cause.
I am not a fast
I am not a fast reader. I’m not one of those people who can scan a page/screen of text and ingest the meaning. I have to read each word carefully, sometimes seeking inferences that perhaps are not there to be found.
So when I read a whole novel in a day and a half, you know that it must be something special to take my attention and hold it for so long.
This morning I finished reading As She Climbed Across The Table by Jonathan Lethem. I haven’t been so gripped by writing in years. This is an utterly fantastic book, one of the very best I have ever read. It features not only an interesting and gripping plot, but also cleverly worked insights into the workings of the mind, into relationships, desire, love, infatuation. You can not help but turn each and every page in succession, until you reach the end. Like Lack, the centre of the story, the book absorbs you totally and utterly.
This is one of the most fantastic books I have ever read. My words are totally inadequate to describe it and the feelings it creates. All I can suggest is that you go and buy it. Now.
further to my comment below
further to my comment below about not having words to describe that book, I sometimes really get frustrated by not being able to express my thoughts in the way I want. It’s not that I don’t have the vocabulary – I’m actually pretty proud of my wordage – but I’m just not adept at using those words effectively. I tend to use a lot of visual cues to get my message across – if you ever see me talking, especially if it is a subject about which I am passionate, I start gesticulating – a lot. So much so that I’ve been warned that I might take off one day and fly away. In fact, I was asked once, by my oh-so-funny friends, to try and talk whilst sitting on my hands. Needless to say, I couldn’t.
Monday 16 April 2001
In news tonight: a: I’m
In news tonight:
a: I’m worried. Something is up. I hope it isn’t me.
b: beer tonight with the delightful Tam, the blue-shirted Matt, Dom, James, Sacha, Ian, Bora, Chris and Karen. Must update the “about” page to reflect additions/changes to the cast.
c: trouble at Woodies tonight. Thankfully I was in the Nags (sorry Paul, but you could tell there was some shit about to go down in Woodies, so left the gig and headed for a quiet beer). I don’t think it was anything major, but as usual the Chichester police over-reacted and five police cars turned up and two ambulances. Meanwhile, all was serenity in the Nags.
now I’m really worried. Sometimes
now I’m really worried.
Sometimes I really wish I said nothing, thought nothing and was generally invisible.
I care too much.
thought for tonight: things always
thought for tonight: things always look better in the morning.
so, subject to being able to sleep, I’m going to bed in the hope that I can fast-track to morningspace.
it’s too quiet this morning.
it’s too quiet this morning.
I don’t like it.
Something is wrong, and I think it may be me.
have updated the about page
Vaughan links the world. Once
Vaughan links the world. Once again, Vaughan shows us all how it should be done. I particularly like the Desert Island Clicks idea, although I don’t think I’ll make a submission as it might just give too much away.
congratulations to Grayblog visitor number
congratulations to Grayblog visitor number 10,000 (a Mac user) who has just passed through, having been referred by the updated GBlogs list. Your reward is a firm handshake which you can collect next time you pass through Chichester.
I’m not sure what is more scary – the fact that this site has had ten thousand visitors since I started on the original version (exactly seven months ago today), or the fact that I’m so fascinated by my visitor stats.
I’m relieved. Apparently, it isn’t
I’m relieved. Apparently, it isn’t me. At least, not entirely. So I think I’ll step back a bit and concentrate on work, reading my novel, fighting the new modem at home and cooking a lovely dinner for myself tonight – when in doubt, always go for good food. And a long soak in the bath. And an early night. All these things should keep me occupied: more occupied = less thinking = a good thing, probably.
Blogger and Trellix sign deal.
Blogger and Trellix sign deal. A secure future for Blogger? Let’s hope so. But let’s also see what it means for users – looks like BlogSpot might be scheduled for demise, and I wouldn’t mind betting that a fee for Blogger usage might be on the cards. But then, as I have said before, that would not be unfair.
Tuesday 17 April 2001
I am noted for not
I am noted for not taking good advice. Stuff like “look both ways before crossing the street” or “you really shouldn’t get together with her, it’ll be bad news”. For some time, the advice-that-has-not-been-taken at the head of this site has been:
“If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. Then quit. No use being a damn fool about it.”
Some advice which I received from Sarah last night was this (with apologies for paraphrasing):
Sometimes it pays to think less and act more. You won’t find out unless you actually do it.
But my favourite newly received advice that I will not take is this:
“Never play cards with a man called Doc. Never eat at a place called Mom’s. Never sleep with a woman whose troubles are worse than your own.”
-Nelson Algren, A Walk On The Wild Side
Minimal blogging so far today
Minimal blogging so far today due to workload – I haven’t even been able to come up with a way to incorporate today’s word of the day.
As an aside, if anyone lives near a branch of IKEA or is likely to be visiting said store, and could do me a favour that would save me a 100-mile round trip just to get two light bulbs, I’d like to hear from you.
In other news, you’ll notice that I’ve finally got round to using my proper email address – please update your address books.
Sign seen in cafe window
Sign seen in cafe window in Chichester today:
Fresh baguettes prepared INSTANTLY while-u-wait
hmmm. I often seem to be waiting for something to happen instantly.
Went out today and purchased
Went out today and purchased the India Arie album, Acoustic Soul, and, although I’ve only got to track 6 so far, I must say that it is pretty darned good. So I can scrub that from the wishlist.
However, just when you thought it was safe, those evil people at 4AD have licensed a remix of the Cocteau Twins‘ track Cherry Coloured Funk and shoved it on the new compilation Quiet Life, which, having heard three or four tracks from it whilst stood in MVC, is definitely going to be added to the wishlist.
Wednesday 18 April 2001
TPL update: a really quite
TPL update: a really quite good 68 points, taking my total to 894.
Luke gets visitor 50,000. I’m
Luke gets visitor 50,000. I’m glad I’m not the only one who spends too much time looking at his own stats.
I’m in a very good
I’m in a very good mood this morning, the result of good vibes and sunshine. And when I’m in a good mood, I tend to be more productive, so I’m storming through my work this morning – a bulk mailing (including printing the mailing and the labels, stuffing the envelopes and sticking the stamps), dealing with the customers, labelling plants AND drinking coffee. busy busy busy. And you want blogging too??!
India joins space race. All
India joins space race. All good stuff.
This man does nothing to
This man does nothing to improve the standing of landowners in the mind of the public-at-large. In spite of the court order against his company, I’m not surprised to see on today’s BBC local news that his company has failed to remove the obstacles that block the footpath that runs across his land.
I’m not a fan of the Ramblers Association (I don’t think a “right to roam” is a good idea), but in this instance I think their campaign is fully justified. Landowners and walkers can co-exist (look at Arundel Park as a good local example) – it’s a matter of cooperation and dialogue involving all the parties concerned.
“your eyes require very little
“your eyes require very little digital editing” – let me note that line down for future reference.
British space science. (Thanks Ian)
British space science. (Thanks Ian)
Today I have been witness
Today I have been witness to an excellent example of why the internet can, at times, be a hopeless mode of communication. I’m thinking particularly of email and instant messaging, and I feel qualified to comment as I have been an intensive user of the net for nearly six years.
The reason it is hopeless is, in my view, the result of its predominantly text-based format and its instantaneous nature.
The only way to communicate is through the word itself. There is no intonation or inflection, no smile or frown, no waving hands or folded arms, no touch or stance. Consequently, perhaps less than half the message is actually communicated, and it is left to the reader to put their own interpretation on the words, to flesh out the bones of the message, something that may be coloured by past experience, their surroundings, their mood, even the weather outside.
Compare the telephone – there at least you have the intonation, the change in the tone of voice. You really can hear a smile or a frown in someone’s voice, and, with someone you know, get a feeling for their mood – happy, depressed, upset, jocular.
The instantaneous nature of the net then provokes a prompt response. And this is where the internet differs greatly from the printed (or written) word. It has been said that the greatest strength of the net is its rapid interactive nature, but I also believe that it can, at times, be its greatest weakness – all you have to do is hit “reply” or the “mail me” link and off you go, pounding your keyboard with your rapidly formulated response based on your ill-informed perception of a poorly phrased communication. It is even worse with instant message services. And, worse still, is any attempt to inject humour – what might be funny or tongue-in-cheek to you may be quite offensive to the person reading your message, even if offensiveness was not your intention.
Compare the printed/written word. You have the opportunity to read and re-read many times, to chew it over, consider the message, roll it around in your mind, get an impression of what was truly meant. And when you’ve done that, you can then take up your pen or turn on your PC and write a considered reply. Unlike email, there is no pressure to respond quickly – that is not the expected norm.
Another issue with the internet is its youth. I mean that in two senses: it is a relatively new mode of communication, especially as many of its users have only been introduced to it in the last twelve months or so. Many people are still not adept at communicating over the internet – they do not understand the nuances and pitfalls of pure text communication. Also, many of its users are young people, and please, do not think that I believe people younger than myself are useless communicators, or, for that matter, that after thirty years I am by any means the world’s greatest authority, a pillar of wisdom. But, it has to be said that the younger web users can, at times, be a little impetuous and testy, too ready to either take offence, offend or flame. Perhaps their impassioned idealism is something the rest of us could learn from, but equally I feel that a little pragmatism is a quality that a few web users would do well to acquire.
Maybe I’m just being cynical. And don’t get me wrong – I love the net – look at this blog as proof!
But today I witnessed people who I had previously considered to be friends have a fairly public falling out on the web. I hope it is only temporary, and given some considered time and a spot of non-net communication, the people will resolve their differences and understand what has happened and the causes.
But, to my eye, the principal cause was the weakness of the net as a mode of communication.
“Grahambo”??!! I think I’ll stick
Thursday 19 April 2001
I’ve had a mostly restful
I’ve had a mostly restful evening, consisting of sitting around doing very little, reading, playing games, looking at other blogs, cooking and eating, chatting with a couple of friends. I even managed to spend most of the evening offline.
I’m still tired.
My head is still full.
I had the chance to go to the pub this evening for a quiz, but felt a bit too tired and certainly too skint.
But maybe I should have done. Yesterday I went through most of the day feeling a bit melancholy, and ended the day on a bit of a high. Today has been the other way round. I started off feeling great and kept that going for most of the day. But now I feel a bit….feh.
And no lottery win tonight either. guh.
I’ve thought a little more
I’ve thought a little more about my earlier comments about the weaknesses of the net as a communication tool.
Whilst I stand by what I said, I feel I should add this qualification: the net is no different to any other tool. It is only effective in the hands of a skilled operator.
Handy analogy: think of the internet as a big bag full of builders tools. You could use those tools to form materials (your thoughts and ideas) into something beautiful, like a lovely home, a super extension or even just a smart set of shelves. But to do that, you need to know how to use those tools effectively. Otherwise, the result will be a bloody mess at best, or dangerous at worst.
I suppose what I am trying to say is this: the internet, including email, instant messaging, websites, blogs, e-commerce – the whole lot – is simply a tool. It is a means. It is not an end in itself. It is, without doubt, a very exciting, innovative, constantly changing, hugely mutable and malleable tool. But, in the end, it is only a means of getting a message across.
You must decide what that message is – it could be that you want to entertain, educate, promote, market, inform, humour, excite, titillate, provoke. But these are all forms of communication, and that is what you do with the net – communicate. The net is not the end – the message is the end, the purpose. The net is merely a method of getting that message across.
And, just like our analogous builder with his set of tools, you need two things – the correct, good quality materials and the correct tool for the job. You might have the most wonderful piece of wood in the world for making your shelf, but if the only tool that you are willing to use is a chainsaw, it isn’t going to look that good when you’re done.
So the value of what you do with the net depends on two things – the quality of the message that you send in the first instance, and the way in which you send it.
If you forget that, then you are pissing in the wind.
so much blogging – so
so much blogging – so little time.
This morning, as I walked down South Street on my way to the station, I passed a woman walking the other way who was clearly in tears. She was smartly dressed, on her way to work – I’ve passed her most weekday mornings. I wonder what has happened in her life today?
The parlous state of my
The parlous state of my finances has been made much worse this morning by the arrival of a bill I should have had in September – for my college course fees. Perhaps I shouldn’t have gone on that retail therapy session last week, as now I have to find £335 from somewhere, and quickly. Anyone need a lecture on plants given any time soon? My rates are very reasonable!
Following on from my long
Following on from my long and late-night ramblings about the nature of the net, I notice this morning that Meg has posted the initial conclusions of her thinking session. Conclusion #1 encapsulates what I was trying to say, applied to notsosoft.com:
This site is about me. Don’t forget the crucial “about”. It’s a little word, but it makes a big difference. I am not my website.
That is something that applies to everything on the web, particularly blogging – or at least, it should do, in my opinion. The web is about communication, not about the web itself.
Plaudits should be given to
Creator of BBC test card
Creator of BBC test card dies. (thanks David)
further to the current train
I’ve just done something very
I’ve just done something very enjoyable. For a long time (more than three months), my camera has sat on my shelf with a part-exposed film inside of a holiday I’d rather forget. I’ve been pondering what to do with it – discard the film or expose it. Well, tonight was a superb sunny evening (if a bit cold), so as soon as I got home I went out and used the last 24 frames around Chichester. I’ll post the results here (subject to editing) once I have got them processed – I’ve hoped to have caught a little of the atmosphere and character of the place, right from the more touristy stuff like the cathedral spire, down to the minutae of the front door of the archdeanery, through to the contradiction of the Shippams factory in the city centre and the betting office and tattoo parlour next to the old chapel in North Street. Anyway, I’ll post the best pictures on here and you can judge for yourself.
I have AIM on my
I have AIM on my PC at home, but it is freshly installed and I haven’t got round to customising the standard setup. On my PC at work, when one of my “buddies” logs off, I get a cheery “goodbyeeeeee!” courtesy of Bugs Bunny (yeh, I know – I’m a big kid). The standard AIM sound is a slamming door. I hate it. It seems sometimes to be a personal comment, a door slammed in anger, perhaps even in the face. Especially when the person who is leaving is someone you’d really like to be talking to, but feel that you should wait for them to initiate the conversation.
Friday 20 April 2001
Here’s an interesting project. Looks
Today’s blogging (and good mood)
The preferred blogging list (in
Website Malkovichator – utterly brilliant
oh bugger. my head has
oh bugger. my head has slipped into neutral. must be Friday.
sorry – not drunk enough
sorry – not drunk enough tonight for proper drunken post-pub blogging. Financial constraints meant I only shuffled out late for a quick couple of pints in the company of Paul F, Brenda, Greg and Dave (landlord of the Nags). Discussion (started by Brenda, honest) focussed speculation on the size of Rebekah’s nipples. hmm. Large possibly, although I am not convinced (Rebekah is the barmaid in the Nags, and has the biggest breasts of any woman I have ever met). Anyone know for sure?
Saturday 21 April 2001
I have an evil duvet.
I have an evil duvet. Every day, it’s grip on my body seems to get stronger. This morning, I had to summon all my will and strength to fight free of its grip and drag myself into the waking world. I need to sleep more.
Tonight sees a triple celebration:
Tonight sees a triple celebration: the splendid Ian’s birthday drinks part 1, the delightful Anne’s birthday drinks and the gorgeous Claudette’s farewell drinks. Ah yes, lots of drinks ahead. Thankfully, I have the day off tomorrow.
with tonight’s swansong for Claudette,
today has been a long
today has been a long day and I’m very tired. Quite how I’m going to stay awake through tonight’s celebrations, I’m not sure, and I have loads of chores to do at home first too, before I can go out. And my blog entries are getting boring as well. guh.
In spite of all that, I’m feeling really cheerful. Why is it that when you get cheerful, you’re too tired or busy to enjoy it?
It has been pointed out
Sunday 22 April 2001
post pub blogging. never a
post pub blogging. never a good plan. and I am soooooooooooooo tired.
anyway, before I go to bed, I thought I’d let you know that tonight, after doing laundry, washing up, housework, cooking and email duty, i had beer with [deep breath] Brenda, Greg, Paul F, Tam, DA, DAGS, Arron, Al, Ian (happy birthday!), Sacha, Anne (happy birthday!), Simone, Clive, Matt, DJ, Cat, Steve, Tim, Tanya, Claudette (we’ll miss you! sob!!), James, Jayne, Kearn, DJ – oh god, countless people. If I missed you, I’m sorry!
But I’m soooo tired, I need to sleep.
Incidentally, Vaughan has moved his blog but I am too tired, so will alter the link list tomorrow or Monday or somewhen. But go read his site anyway, because the man thinks.
he’s moved too.
he‘s moved too.
read this: rhizome. Now think
read this: rhizome. Now think about what is written here about the value of art, and apply it to the literary value of (certain) blogs. And, furthermore, what makes one blog more valuable than the next? Shouldn’t these literary works be preserved in some form other than the (often hard-to-search) archive files at the site concerned? what defines good literary art? who should decide? Let’s face it, Shakespeare was ridiculed in his day by many critics.
long day today: but tonight
long day today: but tonight featured beers with Matt, Ian (still celebrating his birthday), Paul F, Kearn, the pulchritudinous Tam, Sacha, DA and DAGS as well as Paul S, Kristian and Al (briefly). Pissed as a fart now.
I’d like to say that
I’d like to say that I have never shagged a Hula-Hoop sandwich.
ok, ok, ok – the
ok, ok, ok – the masses want to know what else I did today. It isn’t that interesting, really. I woke up early, had a bath, did the washing up, went to Boots to drop off a film for processing, popped into Costa for lunch, nipped into Sussex Stationers for a roll of brown paper, then, later, caught a train to London so that I could meet Meg, Davo, Luke, Catherine, Nick, Mo and Katie for beer and putting-the-world-to-rights. Satisfied?
Monday 23 April 2001
book review time kids!…. Russell
book review time kids!….
Russell Hoban’s Amaryllis Day and Night. Class reading. A strange sort of combination of bizarre fairytale, romance, science fiction (for wont of a much better category/pigeonhole) and Londonstory (in the current vogue) that manages to be plausible (in spite of the implausible storyline), entertaining (in spite of its introspective monologues) and gripping (in spite of its occasional arty-fartiness). Very very readable, and with a story that succeeded in keeping me interested right the way through to the last page (with an interesting though not entirely unexpected ending – in a way, I kinda hoped it would end differently, but then that may just be my maudlin nature).
Anyway, my overall one-word review: not bad at all.
as I travelled through the
as I travelled through the undulant Sussex countryside on my way home, I reflected on the rapprochement that has been created between me and some of the London bloggers.
You know, it is definitely easier to deal with these words two at a time.
A very large bumblebee has
A very large bumblebee has just flown into my office. It really was enormous, creating such a downdraft as it buzzed about that small pieces of paper skitted around. The great thing with bumblebees is they are slow, and relatively easy to catch safely with an old coffee jar and a piece of paper (two things that happened to be handy), which allows you to carry the creature to freedom and also have a good look at her. This one was particularly handsome, free from varroa and typically stupid – once I removed the paper, she just buzzed about inside the jar for a minute or so, before then deciding that she could get out after all, and lumber on her way.
St George’s Day today. Surprisingly,
St George’s Day today. Surprisingly, I haven’t seen this fact mentioned on any English blogs that I read.
Is there a patron saint of Europe? if so, who? and when is their feast day? answers on a postcard please.
tonight should have been spent
tonight should have been spent doing my college homework, and then having an early night. Instead, I got in from work and instantly collapsed into sleep on the sofa, then had IM chats with a couple of people, then browsed the net looking at old maps and stuff. Now I am doing my homework, washing up, cooking dinner and browsing the web at the same time.
Whilst browsing, I stumbled on this which succeeds in combining my love of good web design, good architecture and good blogging. May just get added to the navbar.
today’s blogging was brought to
today’s blogging was brought to you by the letter M, this book sent to me by this person. Life is good – my birthday is stringing out over several weeks. The longer it lasts, the better. Oh, and it isn’t too late to show how much you love Graybo.
Tuesday 24 April 2001
please excuse the low blogging
please excuse the low blogging volume today – I’m really busy.
Whilst you wait for me to grab a moment to say something, go take a look at a few of the very good blogs that I link to – they’ll love you for it.
questions for today: – why
questions for today:
- why is it that a pair of boots that you’ve had for ages, truly broken in, and find very comfortable, can suddenly develop a squeak? well, more of a creak really. but a noise, nonetheless.
- why do passport photos always look so utterly dreadful? Needing a new one for my replacement driving licence, I decided not to have one taken in a booth, but in a non-booth environment. Looks no better than a booth photo.
- why do bumblebees keep coming into this office? Or maybe it is the same one?
I know – it’s quiet
I know – it’s quiet here. Reasons:
- I’m very busy – lots to do at work, and just as much to do at home;
- I’m very tired – too many late nights, too many long days, not enough sleep;
- I’m working on too many projects – blog, homework, pub, redesigning work website, plant fairs, learning new software – the list is endless;
- I’m thinking about too much stuff – personal things, work issues, my finances, the impending 30ness, friends – another endless list.
I will endeavour to write stuff here – for my own purposes. Entertaining you is a secondary, but very important, part of why I keep this thing going. It’s just that I may not write as much as I usually do for a few days until I get on top of things again.
And no, Ian, I am not going to piss in my boots (some people!).
Wednesday 25 April 2001
TPL update: a not-very-impressive 17
TPL update: a not-very-impressive 17 points taking my total to 911. Only four weeks of the season left too; it would be great to reach 1000 points.
I really can’t think of
I really can’t think of any way to use today’s word-of-the-day in a useful sentence, but I really have to publish it in some way: hobbledehoy: an awkward, gawky young fellow. What a brilliant word!
Are you a hobbledehoy? Do you know any?
Meg attempts to get
Meg attempts to get yet more traffic at her site. And we all know she’ll succeed too. I’ll be there, as it’ll make a (not particularly good excuse) to stop working for at least a minute or two tomorrow.
Tonight was the first night
Tonight was the first night of college after Easter. Not terribly exciting (although it is always good to see everyone again), but made worse by the fact that Heather lost her keys somewhere between our class and the refectory, and couldn’t find them afterwards. Which is not good and she was understandably distressed. Hopefully, they will show up tomorrow.
Luke ponders ANZAC Day. I
Luke ponders ANZAC Day. I was in the Cubs too, and didn’t progress beyond them. In fact, I got chucked out for being too old in the end. I joined with my mate Glynne Stentiford (where is he now?) following a talk to our primary school by our local Akela, Mrs Cleall. Our pack held the record for the biggest number of brothers in the same pack at the same time – we even got on telly for it. Well, I say “we” – I didn’t, because my brother, being nearly ten years older than me, wasn’t in the Cubs.
Anyway, the point of this posting was to say that I did the parade thing too. I’m not sure if we ever did Remembrance Day (I’m sure we did), but I remember being the standard bearer for a St George’s Day service where the Cubs were represented by me and a handful of others (three I think – I can’t remember their names now, it is so long ago). I’m not sure if either of my parents were there – I’m sure one of them at least must have been – but as far as I am aware there is no photographic record of the event.
Our family isn’t very good at taking pictures of people. Pictures of plants – fine. Pictures of cats – no problem. But people? …hardly ever. Which in a way is a shame. There are some things that you want to have pictures of – there is, somewhere, a transparency of my very first girlfriend, Jill, in some obscure professional photo format that my brother took. That’s the sort of thing I mean – the sort of thing that your future wife could show your future children and say “my god – look at the sort of girl your father went out with before me!”
Worse still are pictures of me as a child. These are, mercifully, rare, so my parents haven’t had too much ammunition for embarrassing me in front of newly-acquired girlfriends. Rest assured that, if ever I manage to persuade some poor woman to be the mother of my child[ren], there will be plenty of photos to use as ammunition to make sure they (the child[ren]) don’t stay out too late, go out with that dodgy geezer/girl from number 43 or wreck the motor in their teenage years.
Thursday 26 April 2001
problems encountered so far today:
problems encountered so far today:
- people trying to send faxes whilst the fax machine is away being repaired;
- my PC needing to be rebooted four times so far;
- Blogger faffing around;
- dysfunction of the laser printer just as I have a massive print job to do.
I guess the day can only improve.
I’m about to head homewards
I’m about to head homewards to then go on to college. My tiredness is reaching unprecedented levels. I plan to have a short catnap (ten minutes tops) on the sofa before jogging down the road to class. Any bets on how late I’ll be for class?
All quiet on the blogging
All quiet on the blogging front as the London bloggers get together for an explosive evening of beer and frivolity – a record turnout, my spies tell me.
The Chichester blogging massive has elected for a quiet night in and possibly getting to bed before midnight (shock!) in order to get sleep instead of contemplating his navel (and life) at 1.30am.
And, aside from that, I really have nothing else to say this evening. Other than the fact that I’ve (again) updated my Amazon wishlist – don’t forget: May 12th.
Friday 27 April 2001
Snoopy gets abusive. Was Woodstock
Snoopy gets abusive.
Was Woodstock the first cartoon character to use binary communication? “111111111111111!”
It’s Friday afternoon, so it
It’s Friday afternoon, so it must be time for some breasts. Actually, I often feel like it is time for breasts even when it is not Friday afternoon, but that’s just my nature. (Link nicked from the shockingly broad-minded Robyn who got it from the even-more-broad-minded Marcia).
books that might be of
books that might be of interest to somebody (but goodness knows who), recently published by Timber Press:
- Myxomycetes: A Handbook of Slime Molds – ideal for identifying that thing growing behind the sink in the bathroom;
- Plantae Wilsoniae: An Enumeration of the Woody Plants Collected in Western China for the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University During The Years 1907, 1908 and 1910 by E H Wilson – essentially a list of plants, in three volumes. yawn.
- Moss Gardening, including Lichens and Liverworts – more shades of green than you could shake a stick at.
- The Woody Iridaceae: Nivenia, Klattia and Witsenia – essentially funny looking Irises on sticks – ok, I’ll admit it, I’d love this book!
- Practical Protein Electrophoresis for Genetic Research – say what?
Saturday 28 April 2001
for the person who keeps
for the person who keeps using the Atomz search thing to hunt for lemurs, here are some lemur pics. Cute!
tonight: lecture in Findon (Worthing)
tonight: lecture in Findon (Worthing) which went well – nice crowd. Then back home and on to W2 for beer with Nick and Anne (good to see them again) and also Paul F, Arron, Brenda and Greg. Then home. Nice. More beer tomorrow planned.
watch out for Linfords.
yet another piece of equipment
yet another piece of equipment has malfunctioned – this time my printer/copier/scanner. Well, only the printing function, and that only due to a defective cartridge. But with no other spare cartridge available, all useful work has pretty much ceased. guh.
I’m having one of those
I’m having one of those despondent my-flat’s-a-mess-but-I-can’t-be-arsed evenings thinking about life-and-love-and-money-and-the-future-and-where-I’m-going-and-how-I-could-do-with-a-bit-more-money-no!-check-that-a-lot-more-money-and-time-and-um-”stuff”.
So I’ll employ an oft used solution – eat some Chinese food and head to the bar.
Sunday 29 April 2001
tonight: beer with Kearn (who
tonight: beer with Kearn (who apparently hurled royally last Sunday), Ian (who didn’t), DA (who baubled on and then thought about it later) and DAGS (so tolerant – how do you put up with it?) in the Nags. Also featuring a brief appearance from Paul F (in his new drug dealer shirt – noooo!).
One of the great pleasures of living so close to my favourite bars is that I can go to the pub, stay til the bitter end and *still* get back for the midnight news on Radio 4.
I’ve spent an age recently
I’ve spent an age recently looking for good American blogs. I haven’t found many. This is one.
Maudlin mood this morning, brought
Maudlin mood this morning, brought on by “doing the right thing”. guh. But I know that the right thing has been done, the right thing by myself and the right thing by other people.
Anyway, lunch with Sarah to look forward to – it is very true to say that nothing in the world beats good food, good beer and the company of your closest friend.
And my horoscope for today:
Your creativity comes to a standstill. Whether you are having trouble writing a novel or simply concentrating on the task at hand, isolating yourself is the worst thing you can do. People are your biggest source of inspiration. Everyone is different, but you gravitate toward those with whom you share basic values. Sharing your problem with the people close to you enables you to regain your creative thinking. Your latest revelation will impress at least one other person.
note to self. After (a
note to self. After (a splendid but largely liquid) lunch, do NOT go to ye olde CD shoppe. Purchased Zero7: Simple Things. sounds good so far.
bwuhahahaha! yes, my latest evil
bwuhahahaha! yes, my latest evil project is online. go see.
Monday 30 April 2001
tonight: beer with Paul F,
tonight: beer with Paul F, Kristian, Leah, Izzie (about to travel Europe), Aris and (new Woodies person) Sal. Until 12.40. Which is what I consider to be a top night’s entertainment.
Very, very tired now. And, quite possibly, in need of a hug.
No, it’s not so much
No, it’s not so much a case of “possibly”. More a case of “definitely”. Maybe with added “now”. guh.
hungover. maudlin. busy. A great
A great combination for a Monday.
oh class! This is the
oh class! This is the sort of thing that makes the whole web-thing so worthwhile: The Patron Saint Index. You, sir, the philatelist – you have a patron saint. As do you, the apiarist. And you, the Argentinian pelota player. And I’ve found the patron saints of Europe.
There is even a patron saint of chilblains.
following a typically off-the-wall conversation
following a typically off-the-wall conversation by IM with Robyn, I hunted around and found this source of oriental amusement, including a great article on a particularly foul sounding foodstuff. Have you tried it? What did you think?
What sparked the whole Japanese
What sparked the whole Japanese thing between Robyn and I was wondering what the heck Greenery Day is. Today is Greenery Day in Japan, a public holiday. Apparently it is normally the 29th, but was held over to today as the 29th was, of course, a Sunday. Well, now I know. Or for a more sideways view, refer to Tokyo Classified, which is definitely a cool site.
Meg posted some thoughts earlier
Meg posted some thoughts earlier on regional dialect. This set me thinking about the Sussex dialect. I posted this in her BlogVoices:
I’ve lived in Sussex all my life. My father’s family moved to the county around 1925 (from Windsor) and my mother’s family in 1941 (from Croydon, but we don’t talk about that).
There isn’t really a proper Sussex accent now (too diluted by northern immigrants who come here for the sun, sand and sea – oh, and the Downs – northern being a relative term of course), but there used to be, and just occasionally you meet someone who still speaks with it. Give me a few drinks, and I’ll do a reasonable impression of a proper Sussex accent. It’s a soft, slightly sing-songy sort of accent, typical of many rural parts of England, and bit like a softer version of the Hog (which, in case you don’t know, is the accent particular to rural Hampshire).
But the main thing about “proper” Sussex people is that they use local words. “I just saw Meriel wandering off down the twitten past the withy towards the rife” would make perfect sense to a Sussex person. Sadly a lot of these words are dying out now – there was a book of them published a few years ago, but I’ve not seen it for a long time. Wish I could get a copy, and write in proper Sussex dialect at Grayblog.
And now I think I’ve found the book which is published by these people. I’m not sure if this is a reprint, as I originally saw a book along these lines years ago, but I think it may be the one. And it is now on my Amazon wishlist, with just twelve days to go before my birthday!
Further thoughts on dialect and
Further thoughts on dialect and accent:
A hundred years ago, it would have been incredibly unusual to hear a French, Spanish, Chinese or American voice in the streets of Chichester. Now it is an everyday occurence.
With global travel and global communication now so very common, I wonder if, in a hundred years time, we will not only see the disappearance of some regional accents, but maybe even some national accents. Will we all speak American? Will anyone who doesn’t speak English (or at least Spanish or Chinese) be able to communicate with anyone outside their local community without an artificial aid (I hear rumours that IBM are working on a babelfish project – combining instant translation technology with speak-n-type software).
Isn’t this an absolutely horrifying scenario? I’m not too parochial (ok, maybe a bit), but the thought that regional identity might be lost in some way is not a prospect that pleases me. How on earth do we go about preserving such intangible assets?
But equally, should we resist change? If we had, we’d all go round using words like “forsooth” and “oddsbodkins” in every sentence, and moaning that nothing has been the same since the invention of the printing press. Perhaps this is just a natural part of the progression of our society, technology driving us towards increasing global homogeneity.