Tuesday 1 May 2001
Thinking about the anti-capitalist protests
Thinking about the anti-capitalist protests taking place in London today, isn’t an “anarchists meeting” a contradiction in terms? Wouldn’t it be chaotic? How would any decisions be made?
I have to say what
I have to say what a brilliant book Anthropology by Dan Rhodes is – much kudos to Vaughan for recommending it and Meg for giving it to me. For those that haven’t seen it, it is a collection of …um… well, anecdotes really. Each is only about a hundred or so words long, and reflects on some sort of (usually slightly unusual) aspect of a relationship. Some are funny, some sad, others uplifting or heartrending – and I think that the sort of emotion that you are likely to gain from each tale will depend almost entirely on you – your experiences, your viewpoint, even your mood – I think if you read a story one day, and then read it again a week later, your response to it would be different. And it is just great for dipping into at the breakfast table before work.
Advice: go buy it!
me me me me me.
me me me me me. Cripes, imagine being so vain as to have a website all about yourself.
oh. yeh. right. ahem.
Duck-based silliness. Thanks Mike.
Duck-based silliness. Thanks Mike.
I refuse to be drawn
I refuse to be drawn into commenting on the May Day protests. I don’t think my views would necessarily be compatible with some of those of my readers. I am, after all, a businessperson and a marketer.
Wednesday 2 May 2001
What your favourite vegetable says
You have to laugh.
You have to laugh. No really, you do.
TPL – an absolutely dreadful
TPL – an absolutely dreadful score this week. 2 points. guh.
I’m feeling decidedly lacklustre today.
I’m feeling decidedly lacklustre today. Anyone got any ideas on how to perk up?
oh, and in other news,
oh, and in other news, Brighton and Hove Albion have won the Division Three championship after beating Chesterfield last night. Note that they would win the championship even if Chesterfield had not had nine points deducted for financial irregularities. It’s the first time Brighton have won anything in my lifetime. Good stuff.
Regular readers will know that
Regular readers will know that I have a deep love for my city. There are some moments when Chichester is just fabulous, and just now was one of them. I’m not quite sure what it is – probably just a combination of a good mood and good surroundings. But I was just walking back from college, having eaten most of a pack of Waitrose caramel hearts (which I highly recommend – naff packaging, lovely chocs!) and I’d had a bit of a laugh with my college friends. So I was in a good mood. It was surprisingly warm, and calm, and the air had that gentle “spring softness” (god, I sound like an ad for fabric conditioner!), the city looked beautiful in a cool blue twilight, and the cathedral bells could be heard drifting across the city (Wednesday is practice night).
It really combined to put a big smile on my face and generally make me feel pretty damn good. I’m so lucky to live here.
Some of you will know
Some of you will know that I have been considering changing over to Greymatter to power this site. But I’ve been thinking about it. Blogger has been behaving itself much more lately (famous last words), and seems to have a secure future. Whilst I can see numerous benefits to using Greymatter, I think that Blogger shows more prospect of continuous development and improvement in the future. That is not intended as a criticism of Noah Grey, because I think he has done great things in making the Greymatter software available. But I think Blogger finally looks like it has a sustainable business model in the making, and that lends a degree of security and the prospect of development.
So I intend to add a comments gizmo to Grayblog and stick to Blogger – at least for the timebeing.
Music review (rare thing here,
Music review (rare thing here, I know):
Zero7 – Simple Things.
Go buy. It’s brilliant.
Comments function now live, courtesy
Comments function now live, courtesy of BlogVoices. I did look at the possibility of using DotComments but decided not too, mainly because it would mean renaming my index file, and therefore changing umpteen links and possibly leaving a few people with broken links on their sites.
Thursday 3 May 2001
bloody hell, it is totally
bloody hell, it is totally manic here today. I’m rushing around like the proverbial decapitated avian. So please excuse the paucity of blogging. Maybe go take a look at some other blogs and see what they have to say.
total, utter, class.
total, utter, class.
Friday 4 May 2001
go buy the May 3
go buy the May 3 issue of ComputerActive, for no other reason than the fact that this blog is featured. If I find time in the next week, I’ll scan it and post it.
beer on an empty stomach.
beer on an empty stomach. bad plan. anyway, after college tonight, beer in the fine company of James W, Paul F, and Aris. A good evening.
The Secret Diary of Tony
The Secret Diary of Tony Blair. Very good. I guess we will see a William Hague equivalent soon, but I don’t think the Charles Kennedy version is ever likely to catch on.
Saturday 5 May 2001
Beer last night in the
Beer last night in the company of Paul F, Julie (Mrs Aris), DA, Kearn, Paul C, Simon, Clive, Arron, Sarah and her new fella Andy. Paul S was also spotted, so a full compliment of Pauls.
Andy seems a nice bloke – obviously a bit hard to judge based on half an hour in the pub – he also seems remarkably tolerant of Sarah even when she has half a dozen Becks inside her.
didn’t leave work until 7pm.
didn’t leave work until 7pm. And tomorrow, I have to leave for a plant fair at 7am. guh. So I’m tired now, and by this time tomorrow, it’ll be even worse.
Anyone who has my mobile number and fancies sending a txt msg tomorrow to keep me going will earn brownie points and a smile.
Is there anyone that reads
Is there anyone that reads this that knows anything about the behaviour of breakfast cereals? Muesli in particular. I keep my muesli (Waitrose Luxury Fruit and Nut) in an airtight jar. So every time I take a serving from the jar, the jar gets tipped on its side so that the contents can pour into my bowl. You would think that this would lead to a mixing of the contents, but no. Instead, I always end up with the nuts and raisins at the top of the jar, and the oats at the bottom, with the coconut mixed fairly evenly throughout.
Bizarre. This is the sort of thing that preys on my mind.
Another thing currently preying on
Another thing currently preying on my mind at the moment is Colgate Herbal Toothpaste. No, really, I saw it in Waitrose the other day. It has camomile, myrrh and eucalyptus in it. It sounds absolutely disgusting.
beer (briefly) tonight in the
beer (briefly) tonight in the company of Clive, Matt, DA, Kearn and James, with guest appearances by Claudette, Michelle and Steve C. To tired to stay any later – plus early start tomorrow.
Sunday 6 May 2001
…obscenely tired…must sleep…
…obscenely tired…must sleep…
Monday 7 May 2001
OK – not sure about
OK – not sure about posting this, but I wanted to see what other people felt about it. I’m prepared for some flak.
The Daily Telegraph reports today that AOL Time Warner are to prevent the broadcast of some Bugs Bunny cartoons because they might be deemed as offensive in their portrayal of black and American Indian characters. They have decided this in spite of a pledge by the Cartoon Network to broadcast them late at night and with a warning.
This has long been a problem with cartoons – they are a reflection of the attitudes that prevailed at the time. There is, famously, a cartoon made by the Warner Brothers cartoon studio (and directed by Bob Clampett who also made many of the Bugs Bunny cartoons) that was a parody of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs – it was entitled “Coal Black an’ de Sebben Dwarfs“. I kid you not. And many of you must have sat watching Tom and Jerry cartoons and wondered why the musical score seemed to skip – the reason is that the BBC cut sections from the cartoons that they think might offend (though usually only the visual portrayals of black people – they leave in the Maid saying things like “Thomas! If yoos is a mahs catcher, then ah iz Lana Turner, which ah ain’t!”. And they leave in all the gratuitous violence. Two faced?).
My question is this: is censorship of this nature necessarily a good thing? Don’t get me wrong, I am not a racist and do not condone racism. But (to paraphrase), if others can control what we see and hear, surely it is only a matter of time before they control what we say and think. Exactly what is “obscenity”? What is “offensive”? By what standards do we judge? And is there not something to be gained by looking at the attitudes that prevailed before us, and not sweep it under the carpet? Isn’t there the danger of some sort of revisionism?
I should state that I adore vintage cartoons – I possess a number of books on the subject (there is another on my wishlist at the moment) and a pretty good knowledge of them. I think they are a great record of life at the time, showing the more everyday side of life (prevailing language, lifestyle, humour, attitudes) that was rarely shown in mainstream cinema of the time, as well as some brilliant slapstick humour, great scripting, amazing artwork and…well…they are just great fun. As a child, I was always called in from playing outside whenever a cartoon was on – we would pore over the programme schedules and all stop to watch them. Even now, I can still laugh so hard at a cartoon from that time (the early 1940s) that I ache and there are tears pouring down my cheeks.
Paul speaks wisely on the
An interesting site – if
Currently seeking:claritywarmthtouchwords softly spokenproximityinteractionrest that
- words softly spoken
- rest that merits that name
Antonov 225 flies again. This
Antonov 225 flies again. This thing is enormous, but also a serious bargain at only US$20million, principally because the Russians tend to build things with just enough bits to fly and no fancy gizmoes that the Americans are obsessed with.
When technology goes too far.
Tuesday 8 May 2001
My horoscope for today:You might
My horoscope for today:
You might be thinking about a possible vacation today — and for good
reason too. Anything seems better than what’s going on around you. You may not have a lot of energy and it’s possible that even your closest friends suddenly seem like a drag. Make sure you don’t let it get you down. Subconsciously, you may be working out some things that you need for the future. Sit back and take it easy. Work on ordering your finances, or cleaning up the office while you let the day run its course.
Yes, sometimes friends can be a drag. But invariably they are doing what they are doing for the best reasons in the long run. I’m very lucky – my friends are brilliant. Recently I have made one or two very good new friends through a combination of circumstances. I wouldn’t want to be without any of them.
Wednesday 9 May 2001
gah. Blogger offline for most
gah. Blogger offline for most of today, so only now getting the chance to post.
TPL update: a not-very-good 25 points, taking my total to 938. With only two weeks to go, reaching 1000 points could be a struggle, especially as my team seems to have suddenly lost its oomph.
joy! John Peel just dedicated
joy! John Peel just dedicated a record for me! hurrah! (of course, I could just be being a sad git for writing in!)
Thursday 10 May 2001
You can now not only
You can now not only get in touch with me on AIM (ghspencer) but also on MSN (graybouk). Go ahead – communicate!
oh, the temptation. The postman
oh, the temptation. The postman yesterday tried to deliver a parcel but I’d already left for work (special delivery too), so this morning I went to the sorting office to pick it up. It’s from Amazon, so I imagine it is in some way related to my impending 30-ness. Now I must sit and look at it until Saturday morning. ….must….resist….
Sunday 13 May 2001
Today turned out to be
Today turned out to be one of those rare, overcast, long and sultry days that British springs only turn up once every few years. It had a strange and peculiar libidinous quality, the atmosphere oozing sex: the plants bursting full of flower and sexual activity at a slow vegetable pace; animals mewling and growling in the shrubbery; long knowing glances cast across bars and restaurant tables between people who understand, yet don’t understand why…….
The air has a thick liquid quality, and I could almost feel the lust brushing against my skin as I walked through the city tonight, touching the skin on my arms and face as I pushed through the warm sticky air. The atmosphere has a latin, mediterranean feel to it. It reminds me of evenings walking in holiday cities, Barcelona or Lisboa, looking up at birds circling in the light of the streetlamps, voices echoing off the walls of the narrow streets, music gently rolling across the rooftops from bars and tavernas.
I long for those walks now. The gentle touch of a soft hand on my sleeve, a warm breath by my side, a heartbeat walking beside me, soft hair resting against my shoulder, a smile and tender moist eyes.
There is a storm brewing.
originally posted 10 May 2001 at 11:59pm
Beer this evening in W2
Beer this evening in W2 with Arron, Cat, her date Mack and the briefest of appearances by Al. Nice.
originally posted 11 May 2001 at 12:06am
According to my referrer stats,
According to my referrer stats, Zannah has linked to me. This is clearly not the case. Does anyone out there with an understanding of how referrer stats work have any idea how this sort of thing happens?
Also, for the person who found this site by searching Google for “Postman Pat tight t-shirt” – say what?!
And apologies for the lack of the comment function at the moment. Blogger is messing about. Normal service will be resumed shortly (I hope).
originally posted 11 May 2001 at 10:13am
Today is the last day
Today is the last day of the 30th year of my life. Tomorrow, I cease to be a twentysomething. Normally I have a bit of a mental review of life around the time of my birthday, but this year it seems fitting to have a bigger mental review. The last ten years have been great – I’ve achieved a lot, done lots of things and, in my opinion, become a much better and more rounded person. When I look back at myself at age 20, I cringe. I’m sure on May 11 2011, I’ll look back at today and cringe too.
But just thinking about what I have done and some of the things that might have happened in the last ten years makes for a pretty interesting list:
- I’ve run my own little business
- I’ve travelled a little bit
- I nearly became a dad
- I nearly got married
- I’ve loved some fantastic people
- I’ve even been loved too – and learnt what a great feeling that is
- I’ve made some brilliant friends
- I’ve lost a few friends too, some of whom I regret losing, others I don’t
- I’ve learnt a lot – about people, work, the world, myself
- I’ve come to realise how much more there is to learn
- I’ve been hurt, sometimes badly, by friends and lovers
- I’ve been happy too, sometimes so happy I could burst
- I’ve been on TV, radio and in magazines (and I don’t just mean John Peel’s show!) – which taught me that media people are just ordinary people with public jobs
- I’ve discovered that there is much more to the world than me, although I’m not sure that my ego has diminished any
- I’ve become a homeowner
- I’ve developed an appetite for life, but discovered that sometimes you need means to satisfy that desire
And I’m looking forward to the next ten years. If, at the age of twenty, you had told me even a few of the things that I would do and experience in the years ahead, I would never have believed you. I have no idea what the next ten years will hold, or even if I’ll complete them (I intend to!), but I’m going to try and enjoy as much of it as I can, grasp every opportunity and be positive throughout. It will be a bumpy ride at times, I’m sure, but I think I like it that way.
originally posted 11 May 2001 at 11:38am
How to win friends and
How to win friends and influence people (No. 437 in a series):
Go to your local truck hire company. Hire the biggest truck you can with your driving licence. Drive it to Orchard Street in Chichester at the peak of the Friday evening rush hour. Park it on double yellow lines so nobody can get past. Walk off and watch from a discreet distance.
[insert evil grin here] hnyarr hnyarr hnyarr!
originally posted 11 May 2001 at 5:44pm
I’m tired, hungover and a
I’m tired, hungover and a little maudlin.
Yesterday and last night were brilliant – great company with brilliant friends, lots of lovely pressies (full list and thanks will follow later) and lots of beer and crisps. We kept going til late, there’s been a pistachio explosion in my living room and there are holes in my memory.
But this morning I woke up on my own, nobody in the flat but me, no cup of tea on the bedside table, no smiling eyes looking gently into mine, no tender fingers caressing my body awake. sigh
And today’s horoscope:
Something changed when you weren’t looking, but you can’t put your finger on what it is exactly. All you know is that old familiarity is lost in new weirdness. This could be a good time to open yourself up to new possibilities. Oddities appear around every turn, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be a bad thing. You may be out of the loop today, but tomorrow could find you back in the center of things. Live in the moment while you have the chance.
That’s exactly how I feel.
Monday 14 May 2001
present list tomorrow – too
present list tomorrow – too tired now.
But a great day, in the company of Sarah, Andy, Tanya, Ian, Sacha, Matt, Tim (my brother), Jane P, DAGS, Gary, Alex (bless! – only 4 months old!), Arron and later Paul F and Aris. A great day, made noteworthy by our stunning skills with my purple Frisbee, a warm sunny park and good friends in a bar that is a second home.
Still suffering slightly from that maudlin feeling from this morning. So need someone to snuggle with – I know, I’m an old softy, it’s the way I am.
originally posted 13 May 2001 at 11:59pm
The present list, as promised:MVC
The present list, as promised:
- MVC vouchers, from Tim
- Waterstones vouchers, from Jane P
- The Jubilee Line Extension, from Nick
- Don’t Tell Me The Truth About Love, from Vaughan
- A nice cheque from Dad
- Another cheque from my uncle
- A stone elephant and a mouse nightshirt from Sarah (don’t ask)
- A hipflask filled with port from Fi and Alison
- A beer monster glass tankard from DA and DAGS
- A very expensive bottle of red wine from Al and Arron (need a suitable dinner guest to share that with. volunteers?)
- Home made goat’s cheese (and some cash) from Jane G (using milk from her own goats – how cool? – the cheese that is, not the cash)
- Monkey Business – the Life And Times of the Marx Brothers and Chairman Blair’s Little Red Book from Gary, Sue and Alex
- Chocolate from Mum
- A groovy shark-shaped foil cutter from Sacha
- Classic Superman cartoons on video from Ian (to be watched at the parent’s house)
- plus the pressies from Mo and Meg that you already know about
- and three birthday cakes!
Thank you everyone (hope I’ve not missed anything!!). My birthday was utterly brilliant (the bits I remember). Apparently I was utterly offensive, totally incoherent and generally unpleasant, so just like a normal Saturday night really. There are enormous holes in my memory, probably due to huge quantities of beer on an empty stomach – I’ve had to ask Sarah to help me fill in a few gaps.
Present for the beerfest on Saturday were (deep breath): Sarah, Andy, Nick T, Phil, Jane G, Ian, DA, DAGS, Matt, Arron, Al, Fi, Alison, Paul F, Bora, Neil, Helen, Steve C, Kearn, Claudette and probably a bunch of other people that I was too drunk to remember. gah! We all got bladdered in the Nags, then W2 and finally back here until godknowswhen. Highlights (I don’t remember most of them, but everyone else thought they were funny) included me leering at Claudette (sorry hun), Matt and Ian doing goldfish impressions, the lightswitch game, Bora’s spliff, me telling everyone that Nick fancied Sarah (sorry mate), the phallic elephant discussion and Sarah insisting that I should walk the mile to her house with her and Andy and then get a cab home from there, ignoring the fact that I was home already (did she have other plans I wonder?? the mind boggles!).
Sunday involved returning a huge hired lorry to the hire company (no way I should have been behind the wheel!), doing the recycling (how many empty bottles???) and popping to Waitrose to get kitted out for an afternoon of leisurely picnicking as described below.
I love my friends – they’re great!
originally posted at 8:25pm
Here is an mpeg of
Here is an mpeg of me cutting my birthday cake (one of them) during the picnic in Priory Park yesterday. From left to right: me, Arron (behind me, but you can hear him talking about getting up at 5.30am to take a pill), Matt, Tanya, DAGS, Sacha and Ian (who doesn’t like icing). The famous purple Frisbee is on the ground behind the wine bottle. Be warned – 5.24Mb file.
originally posted at 9:14pm
Today I had to drive
Today I had to drive over to East Sussex and Kent on business (and get back to Chichester by 4.30 for an appointment with Jo – who is, officially, lovely. She is my hair stylist in case you were wondering/had forgotten.) I love that area – there are some beautiful villages, and the trees and fields were looking very lush and fresh and green. But it is a strange place, in that it has a rural atmosphere, some rural characteristics (such as the profusion of small local shops for local people – though, sadly, three of the ones I regularly visit had closed since August when I last went that way. Hey Mr Blair! come take a look at the real rural economy! come see how many rural votes you’re going to get! none mate! not one! [stop ranting Graybo!]), but is also only a short journey down the A21 from London, so is commuterville. So you have this strange contrast – small country shops, local country pubs, and then little bijou design shops in the middle of nowhere. Not that rural people don’t do design, but as a rule, they are more inclined towards function first, form later.
originally posted at 9:57pm
And in other news, Nico
And in other news, Nico becomes a dad. Congratulations!
originally posted at 10:14pm
The impact of past relationships:I
The impact of past relationships:
- I now only like girls with good teeth
- I now eat Peperami
- I like Andy Goldsworthy’s work
- I hate Laura Ashley
- I hate Robbie Williams
- The Eurovision Song Contest will always be associated with pushing my face into thick black curly hair to kiss a soft neck tenderly
- I avoid drinking neat vodka after 2am
- I avoid Luton
- Poodles make me laugh
- Distance is an object
- A warm soft voice will break my heart
- I know what I like (insert knowing look here)
- I know that every person is new and different
What has been the impact of relationships on you?
Tuesday 15 May 2001
Should we worry about Marcia?
Should we worry about Marcia? I mean, where does she find this stuff???
gah. Only just finished working
gah. Only just finished working – didn’t get home from the office until well after 8pm, but brought work with me. Now must sleep. Minimal blogging tomorrow too, as I have to go to Bristol to give a lecture. Normal service will be resumed just as soon as I can.
Wednesday 16 May 2001
I first read this site
Still impossibly busy. Today was
Still impossibly busy. Today was a busy day with few highlights. This morning I bought a new duvet because the one I have is just too darned hot for summer use (I know, this doesn’t make for exciting reading). Then I went to a place just outside Bristol to give a talk on hardy Geraniums (they’re plants, ok).
The most interesting part was finding that rural Somerset is beautiful, and very possibly a future short break destination – looks like there is plenty of good walking (once the paths are open again), plus nice towns and villages and no small number of good looking country pubs.
Thursday 17 May 2001
Still busy. Still tired. The
Still busy. Still tired. The effort required to crawl from beneath EvilDuvet II this morning was almost as much as I could muster. Has to be said that EvilDuvet II is an improvement on its predecessor in that I wasn’t frighteningly hot in the middle of the night. Hopefully that will help me sleep a little better.
There’s loads of stuff floating around my mind at the moment, clouding my thoughts and perhaps my judgement. It is not anything in particular – just an aggregation of work, money, health, college and love worries. I’m feeling very embattled.
Robyn has had a little
The impact of past relationships,
The impact of past relationships, part 2 (part 1):
- I know that sometimes things don’t work out, but that does not mean to say that it is not worth trying.
- I know it is still possible (and justified) to feel sad about things that didn’t happen.
- I never learn. All this crap about learning from experience is complete pants. I make the same mistakes, over and over and over.
- I’ve learned that deliberately running over a rabbit in your car whilst your (newly acquired) vegetarian girlfriend is sitting next to you is not a good plan.
- I’ve found that sometimes it doesn’t pay to stand on ceremony.
- I know that slagging off your loved one’s family is something that should be left to your loved one.
Seamus (office cat) is in
Seamus (office cat) is in a funny mood today. He’s pacing around, poking about where the building work has just been done (door replaced by wall), sniffing everything, but refusing offers of food or attention. Any experts on cat psychology here?
Friday 18 May 2001
Beer tonight in the splendid
Beer tonight in the splendid company of James W (sing: he’s a rhinestone cowboy), Aris (still youthful), Paul F (doesn’t think German can be sung effectively), Sal (still smiling – does she ever stop smiling?), Kristian (pondering life), DJ (pondering beer) and Joel (a.k.a. Tintin). A top night. I’m very tired. And need a hug.
Less than cheery today. *sigh*
Less than cheery today. *sigh*
But anyway, a busy but hopefully profitable weekend looms large, replete with opportunities to reduce my credit card debt. You can help – if you enjoy gardening and are anywhere near Pashley Manor in East Sussex on Sunday, buy yourself an entry ticket and come and say hello.
If you are female, single, 30-ish and reasonably good looking – even better.
The impact of past relationships,
- I have found that generally you need something to look forward to in order to keep a relationship from stagnating, although I’ve yet to figure out how you sustain that. Maybe the perfect relationship is one where you don’t need that.
- I prefer black and silky to white or lacy, and certainly am not a big fan of thongs.
- I know that a moment holding your loved one close is worth hours in bed and years-worth of expensive dinners.
Happiness is completing Inland Revenue
Happiness is completing Inland Revenue form P35 with the word “nil” in box Z.
Therapy in MVC: Mark Eitzel
Therapy in MVC:
Mark Eitzel – The Invisible Man
Orbital – The Altogether
To Rococo Rot and I-Sound – Music is a Hungry Ghost
…..all purchased with the vouchers Tim gave me for my birthday. They came with a note saying “spend well”. I think I’ve achieved that.
When the boy with the
then you stand up to cheer.
That boy really knows how to accessorize
it’s the best look we’ve seen all year.
And he raises his hammer to the magic act
who gets all mad and says: “I should be in Vegas”
says: “You don’t need to know how to breathe fire
to see a hunger for pain that’s endless”
and then the Mill Valley Man starts tap dancing to “Midnight Cowboy”
and suddenly there’s sirens outside
but it’s only someone’s family home burning down next door.
Don’t worry people – no need to hide.
And then the Colonel starts playing tambourine
- it was so funny we were rolling.
We were laughing in the face of the pain of the family next door
too fucked up to feel anything.
If that’s what you want – well it’s nothing.
The boy with the hammer in the paper bag is feeling lonely
- gee, I wonder why?
He says: “Bring me the head of Alfredo Garcia”
staring at the stripper
reflecting only sky.
But he was really harmless;
he only used the hammer to smash the windows of the parked cars on his way home
that look back at him in accusation and say:
no one’s gonna catch you when you fall all alone.
But if that’s what you want, it’s nothing.
Mark Eitzel: The Boy With The Hammer.
Saturday 19 May 2001
Beer tonight with (deep breath)
Beer tonight with (deep breath) Tim W (happy 40th birthday mate!), Paul F, the ever-youthful Aris, his even-more-youthful wife Julie, Sacha, Ian, Tanya, Kearn, Arron, DA and DAGS. Seen in the distance were Steve C and Patrick, as well as briefest greetings with Al and Michelle. One of those nights when it was really relaxed and easy-going – I think we could do with more nights like that.
Fruit Pastilles – great post-pub
Fruit Pastilles – great post-pub fodder, but almost certainly a friend to tooth decay.
Heard about 20 minutes of
Heard about 20 minutes of the yet-to-be-released new album by Air – yup, it’s been added to my wishlist. It sounds excellent, and in the head-to-head battle with Zero7, I think it’ll be hard to choose.
gah! forgot this week’s TPL
gah! forgot this week’s TPL update: 8 points, taking me to 946 with just one week to go.
Looks like the Nursery Arms XI (my TPL team) will have a home next year in Nico‘s league, so I’ll be able to bore you all year long with updates on my team’s performance.
Almost ready for a very
Almost ready for a very long day ahead tomorrow – a 5am start for the Pashley Manor Gardens Spring Plant Fair. I’m the organiser for this event (have been doing them for eight years now), and so it’s mildly stressful – although not too stressful, as I’ve done it so many times that it is almost routine. The main factor is the weather – and the forecast for tomorrow is good. So, if lots of visitors come through the gate I should get to pay a few debts, which will come as a relief, although my neighbour is scheming a scheme to help me part with cash in order to repair the guttering on our building.
You know, it seems to me that the more money you have, the more you have to spend, and you are never really any better off.
My new issue of Wallpaper*
My new issue of Wallpaper* arrived yesterday – in a plain wrapper. Naked breasts on the front cover! Shocking!
OK – all you politicians
OK – all you politicians out there – I think I’ve decided how to cast my votes on June 7th here in Chichester West electoral division:
County Council election: Liberal Democrat.
Parliamentary election: spoilt paper.
Politicians: you have eighteen days to change my mind.
Sunday 20 May 2001
“Well, fuck that.” A profound
“Well, fuck that.”
A profound profanity, or profane profundity? (Nice one Arron.)
Hello, this is Appleblossom, and
Bora. We love him.
Today: up at 4.30 (no
up at 4.30 (no really) to go to work at the Pashley Plant Fair. A reasonably successful day (certainly a long one), followed by dinner with my mate Kev McG at The Bear in Burwash. Got back to W2 at 10.20 for a quick beer with Joel, Jenny, Sal, Paul F and Arron. Time for bed.
Vivendi buys mp3.com. Vivendi Group
Vivendi buys mp3.com. Vivendi Group also includes Connex railways. Draw your own conclusions.
Monday 21 May 2001
A few days ago, I
A few days ago, I posted a link to this site. It turns out that this site was actually a hoax – or perhaps “fabrication” is a better word – which I find incredible. I tend to believe a lot that I read, but I’ve also been using the internet for long enough (nearly six years) to spot a hoax when I see one – but I did believe this one fully. I’m still not entirely sure what motivated the creator of this site. Either way, I don’t think it’ll change the way I use the internet.
Anyway, you can read more here and here.
Looks like I’ll be working
Looks like I’ll be working until 9 tonight, after working 17 hours yesterday – and guess what? I’ll be working until about 9 again tomorrow. I’m soooo tired I can barely keep awake. Somehow I have to schedule in time in the next three weeks to revise for my exams, deliver a big order to London, work every day at the nursery, get down to the Loire to visit a supplier (not a pleasure trip – overnight ferry, long drive, bed and breakfast, long drive, overnight ferry – ugh), collect a big order from a supplier, sleep, eat, clean the flat and maybe blog a little. Some effort to keep my social life from dying completely will probably be justified as well.
Bring on the Red Bull.
Tuesday 22 May 2001
It’s been pub refurbs a
It’s been pub refurbs a go-go in Chichester lately – the Nags, George and Dragon, White Horse, Hogshead and Globe have all be refurbished, mostly going for the wooden floorboards/leather sofas thing. The George and Dragon is the latest, and is, in terms of distance at least, my local, being not more than 200 yards from my front door. It has changed from a very loud, student-oriented bar, with lots of dance music echoing up and down North Street into a much more sober traditional pub with hanging baskets outside. I’ll stick my head in somewhen and take a look, but it seems that it is Chichester Establishment 1, Chichester Students 0 – as usual.
Witnessed last night: bloke, in
Witnessed last night: bloke, in his late twenties, sitting in a car in North Street. Silver car pulls up behind it, and a tall woman in her early thirties wearing a very revealing top and short skirt gets out and walks over to the man’s car and gets in. No prizes for guessing what was going on there.
Two points: firstly, that sort of thing doesn’t often happen in Chichester (the wife-swapping, as in all conservative towns and cities, usually takes place behind the net curtains, out of the public gaze). Secondly, if you were conducting a secret liaison, would you do it in North Street, right outside the Old Cross pub? I don’t think so.
Work continues apace in Chichester
Work continues apace in Chichester to make the city centre more “pedestrian friendly”. The main problem is South Street and West Street, which are mostly open to traffic. Well, after the works have been completed, South Street will be closed to all traffic except buses and loading vehicles, and West Street closed to everything except buses east of the junction with Chapel Street. This leaves one big problem though – the buses. There was a case last year when an elderly man was knocked over by a bus going round the corner by the Cross – I have no objections to only buses using that road, but if they are going to make it truly pedestrian friendly, the buses have got to slow down!
Had a call today from
Had a call today from a planning officer at the district council. At last they are going to respond to my enquiry about the need for planning consent for replacing my windows, and now it seems they want me to get planning permission, because flats do not benefit from permitted development rights, whereas houses do. This I find a bit annoying – I wonder if I could challenge that under human rights legislation? Why should flat dwellers be discriminated against? Any legal whizzkids read this?
Anyway, the need for planning permission means that the whole window replacement saga, which I kicked into motion back at the end of last year, is going to drag on for at least another two or three months yet. This is annoying in the extreme – my windows are disgusting, rusted, paint flaking, seized shut – if there was a fire in the flat, I’d be stuffed. Replacing them has been something I have wanted to do ever since I moved in, but because the building lies within the conservation area, the planning authoritties have to be involved in just about everything.
I really want to get them done before the autumn – several of the panes are cracked or broken, one of the fanlights is jammed open, and another has a hole in it from where a stone flew up off the road outside. Doing the windows would make the building so much smarter, and would add major value to the property.
Anyway, the council are going to be writing to me in the next few days, after the officer has consulted with the head planning officer. I shall keep readers informed.
Overcome with the desire to
Overcome with the desire to spend money on other people? Need an outlet for your frustration? Then go here!
Wednesday 23 May 2001
This morning was one of
This morning was one of those morning when EvilDuvet II was really doing a good job of keeping me in her grasp (must be female, as I usually only stay in bed late when I have a girl there!). I was unbelievably comfortable, having had a very solid night’s sleep (due to being exhausted after another late night at work). The duvet had moulded itself around me, my head was deep into the pillow, and another pillow had slid round and was snuggled against my back (god, how I miss having that sensation).
It was almost painful to get up. I wish I could go back there now.
TPL update: 19 points. Final
TPL update: 19 points. Final score in TPL for the year: 965. So I fell short of my 1000 point target, and I’m a long way behind the team that won the whole thing and the £50K. Ah well, maybe next year?
IMPORTANT NOTE: the “comment” function
IMPORTANT NOTE: the “comment” function is down at the moment. Hopefully it will be back online soon – it’s all out of my control I’m afraid. In the meantime, please don’t be afraid to use email to send your comments and reactions to anything you read here.
today was one of those
today was one of those days at work when a hell of a lot was achieved, although it was decidedly stressful and very very very hard work. But I feel fulfilled. If only I was better paid too, I’d stick at it and not be thinking about changing career.
Just listened to the very
Just listened to the very excellent Stakka and Skynet session on John Peel’s show. Why isn’t their album, Clockwork, on Amazon? If it was, it would be on my wishlist.
Thursday 24 May 2001
hmmmm……my visitor numbers seem to
hmmmm……my visitor numbers seem to be down – there are about one-third less people reading Grayblog than there were three weeks or so ago. I wonder why?
- Is Grayblog less interesting?
- Is the weather too nice to sit inside reading Grayblog?
- Is it because I’ve been updating less frequently, so have appeared on the GBlogs updated list less often?
- Is it because I have had less scandal going on in my life? (although that is not without lack of trying, I assure you)
Do you still read Grayblog? What would you like to see here? (Although please remember that this is my blog and I do it for me – but perhaps there is something I used to do here that you miss?).
How I wish I could
How I wish I could pigeon-hole myself and neatly fix a label on. But self-knowledge comes too late; by the time I’ve known myself I am no longer what I was …
Some people would do well to bear this in mind. Me included, probably.
A lovely warm evening, punctuated
A lovely warm evening, punctuated by the smell of barbeques, the sound of birdsong, and the cries of children playing in gardens. Summer is great, especially early summer when everything is still lush and fresh and green, and hasn’t taken on the washed out dustiness of July and August, when the countryside seems a little tired and limp.
Pity this lovely evening was spoilt by having to go to college. I think I’ll head to the bar to make up for that.
Friday 25 May 2001
God. I’m knackered. I’ve been
God. I’m knackered. I’ve been out of the office all day, delivering and collecting plants. Hence, no blogging. And I’m too tired now, so this is all you’re going to get today.
But I’ll leave you this thought to ponder – why do male (mostly) drivers always let blondes in convertible cars pull out in front of them? I’ve been known to do that myself, but have never gained any favour, monetary, sexual or otherwise, from doing so. So why bother? You tell me.
Saturday 26 May 2001
tonight: (that’s Friday night for
tonight: (that’s Friday night for the pernickety)
got home late. Slept in the bath and later on the bed before heading to the bar. A mostly cheerful evening once there, but decided to come home before closing time in order to get some sleep.
- barmaid in W2 who I always thought was called Jenny is in fact Ginny. Sorry!
- Paul F’s last night out before his family holiday starting Sunday morning.
- my friends are amongst the finest people you could know.
Tired now, time for bed.
This morning, the sky was
This morning, the sky was overcast and grey, and the cathedral spire pointed into a thin grey mist. Weather which perfectly reflects my mood.
I haven’t woken up feeling this down for weeks. I know why too. Somehow I have got to beat it, but I’m not sure how. And there aren’t many people around to lift my spirits tonight either. guh.
Once again, I feel we
This is still one of
This is still one of the coolest blogs I know.
I’d like to point out
Sunday 27 May 2001
Tonight (and I mean Saturday
Tonight (and I mean Saturday night):
beer with Arron, Cat, her mate Karen (hmm), Paul S, Tim W and, of course, Kristian, Al, Simone, Leah, Ginny (lovely!) and Joel. Mostly a relaxed evening. More tomorrow in lieu of revision, especially as it is Al’s last night in W2.
And anyone who doesn’t think that Meltdown (the last track on the new Orbital album) is the best thing since bread came in the sliced format is clearly sick in the head.
Classic TV moment: just caught
Classic TV moment: just caught the beginning of the Grand Prix as I went in to the house here at work to fetch my lunch. Martin Brundle on the grid at Monaco: “Oh look, there’s Puff Daddy. Shall we go say hello? How do we do this? ‘Hello Mr Daddy’?”
Utter class – one of the funniest pieces of sports journalism I have ever seen – tears were rolling down my cheeks.
Also, looks like a good day for Ferrari supporters (like me).
And, in the news tonight:Starbucks
And, in the news tonight:
- Starbucks are to open a branch in Chichester, in the old Granada rentals shop in North Street
- the works to make the city centre pedestrian friendly continue, but I can’t see much more friendliness yet, just a forest of signs
- I was wound up today online, twice
- I have a date for tomorrow
More bulletins as events warrant.
Monday 28 May 2001
Much talk in the media
Much talk in the media this morning about yesterday’s grand prix in Monaco. Here’s my opinion: David Coulthard and McLaren are sore losers. I think that Bernoldi was perfectly entitled to defend his position for two reasons – it gave a chance for his team mate, Jos Verstappen, to get ahead a little, and given that cars were falling off left right and centre, Bernoldi must have been in with a realistic chance of getting into the points. Coulthard has to face up to the fact that he does not have the right to barge past other drivers just because the defective technology in his car has left him at the back of the grid.
Beer last night in the
Beer last night in the company of Brenda, Greg, Al, Kearn and Stein, with glimpses of Bora, Zoltan (yes, that is his name), Paul S, Simone and Kristian. Very pleasant. And a good long slumber afterwards was welcome too.
Date update: got blown out
Date update: got blown out – a no-show. guh.
So, any offers?
Tuesday 29 May 2001
Further date update: she’s just
The jury is still out
The jury is still out on the whole believe her/don’t thing with my failed date from last night – with equal votes for both camps. My instincts say “don’t believe her” – I mean, how hard can it be to find a phone at a corporate event? But on the other hand, I am the world’s biggest softy and if she tried to arrange another date, I’d probably fall for it. gah.
Yet more date update: leaving
Yet more date update: leaving myself open to accusations of being a webfloozie, I’ve provisionally arranged a date with another woman for Sunday evening. There’s just no stopping me at the moment. Must be the weather or something.
I’ve been meaning to add
I’ve been meaning to add Paul’s site to the navbar for ages. Now I’ve done it.
ok. I’ll admit it. I
ok. I’ll admit it. I am a webfloozie.
To quote the little black duck: I can’t help it. It’s the way I am.
Wednesday 30 May 2001
Today’s blogging is brought to
Date update (this is doing
Date update (this is doing wonders for my hit counter!):
Looks like my date is on for Sunday. Also wondering about another person who I am quite keen on in a saddo online kinda way, with whom I have had several long and frank conversations. Further bulletins as events warrant.
And in other news, I
And in other news, I finally got some revision done last night for my forthcoming marketing exams (on 12th and 13th June) – I really need to get some cramming done!
more insect news. Not a
more insect news. Not a bumble bee, but the biggest wasp I have ever seen, is now resident in a jar on top of my printer in my office. Dad tells me that he heard an article on the radio about a European species of wasp that had got to the Sussex coast. It’s about twice the size of a normal queen wasp and apparently the sting is very powerful. I’m not inclined to let him/her out of the jar! It’s HUGE! I’ll see if I can find some online info about him/her, and post a link here.
Thursday 31 May 2001
Discussion of the insect has
Discussion of the insect has been settled. She is a queen hornet. So I’ve let her go on a pile of logs on the nursery where hopefully she will build a nest and raise plenty of young, as hornets are friendly creatures in that they eat insect pests, and only sting when provoked.