Sunday 1 July 2001
eeep! it seems I have
eeep! it seems I have inspired someone else to start blogging! I have days like this as well! scary.
I’ve updated the Graybiography again,
I’ve updated the Graybiography again, adding “ten pearls of wisdom”. Comments welcome.
Blogging news: Matt renames, thereby
Blogging news: Matt renames, thereby moving himself from first to second in my alphabetical link list; Rodney gets added to said list; Dumb Things looks suspiciously like it has died a blogging death; and I *still* love this site.
Book review: Three To See
Book review: Three To See The King by Magnus Mills.
This is an excellent, if unusual book. The setting and prose are both spare, with many mundane aspects of the story not even touched upon (suspension of disbelief in full force – where does the narrator get food and water from? where does the tin for building the homes come from?). But it is an interesting and, at times, funny look at several issues – religion, the cult of celebrity, the nature of friendship, how men interact with women, solidarity and insularity.
In a way, I actually found myself identifying with the narrator – or at least admiring him. He deals with a series of issues in ways that I have dealt with similar issues myself – or would do if I encountered them. As such, an impression is gained that the author himself is well versed in life – I know that sounds airy, we are all well versed in life after all – but not only is he well versed in life, he also has a knack for putting that down on paper.
So, once again, my advice is – go buy, read, enjoy.
Beer tonight with Paul F,
Beer tonight with Paul F, Arron, Aris, James W and his lovely laydee, Helen, as well as a few of his mates. James and Helen are moving to London to set up home together – good luck, my friend, and stay in touch!
Monday 2 July 2001
My horoscope for today:The only
My horoscope for today:
The only way to make sure that you don’t keep making the same mistakes over and over again is to learn from the ones that you’re currently making. Take some time to reflect on your past virtues and misdeeds. In the final analysis, nobody loses if everyone learns something. As you move on from here, accept that most people are completely unpredictable. Your flexibility is requested — if not required — as the price of admission to today’s events. Be ready to bend with the wind.
I think the astrologer is having a bit of a laugh at my expense. “Learn from the mistakes you are currently making” indeed!
Holiday news: and it isn’t
Holiday news: and it isn’t good. I’ve decided to postpone my holiday for a while, for several reasons, the principal one being that I got my bank statement on Saturday and also checked my credit card balance. There are other factors too. But I think I might just hold off for a while – I have a little money shoved on one side, and if things go well, I might call on that towards the end of the year for some sort of spectacular break. It depends, if you get my drift.
And some kind soul has
And some kind soul has used the Atomz search function thingy to tell me this: “I think you’re really pretty, why don’t you get a webcam please” – aw, bless! Anyone want to subsidise a cam?
and in poll news, I’ve
and in poll news, I’ve stormed ahead of Brooke and Bella – which I find shocking, as I’d much rather see one or both of them naked than see myself in the mirror in the morning.
Can’t say I have any
Can’t say I have any plans for a GrayboNakedCam. But if the masses demand it…..
There has been much discussion
There has been much discussion in nerdy blogging circles recently about the need or otherwise of making your site look anyway half decent in old browsers. I’ve just taken a look at my viewer stats, and 10% of people visiting here are using cranky old Netscape Navigator 4.x. One person uses NN3 and another Explorer 2. This would suggest that a small chunk of my audience wouldn’t have much fun looking at this site if I made it very heavily CSS dependent.
The question is this: why do some people use such ancient browsers? Downloads are readily available for newer versions of these browsers, and surely they would make the whole internetwebthang experience more..um..fulfilling? Do you use an old browser? Why?
I have spent the last
I have spent the last hour or so sitting in Priory Park with a good paperback and a drink (only mineral water, since you were wondering), reading, people watching and enjoying the superb view of the guildhall, the tiled roofs of St Martins and North Streets and, beyond that, the striking verdigris roof of the cathedral with the spire towering above. Even a grey squirrel, salvaging discarded chips from a nearby bin, seemed to pause for at least five minutes, taking in the view bathed in the evening sun.
I love Chichester.
Advice for today: don’t drink
Advice for today: don’t drink four Aftershocks on a Monday night. Not condusive to a Tuesday morning.
Beer (and Aftershock) tonight with Paul F, Mick, Phil, Paul S and sightings of Steve C and a few others.
Read here to find out
Read here to find out why I take great satisfaction and comfort from living in a beautiful, peaceful city where nothing is more than ten minutes *walk* from my front door.
Tuesday 3 July 2001
I feel that I should
I feel that I should be doing *something*, but I’m not quite sure what. The usual dilemma.
I haven’t posted any stupid
I haven’t posted any stupid stories from Ananova for a while. Here’s a few for you:
- Sweet nothings should be whispered into left ear. How useful.
- 60 hour singing marathon fails to win back lover. A mad Romanian. Bless!
- Doctor invents device to give women multiple orgasms. Better than 30 men, apparently. Well, 30 Romanian men.
- Battle to host Dracula Land theme park.
A morning spent in the
A morning spent in the company of the Man From The Ministry, including a discussion on the potential problems that could be caused by Orthachaeta dissimilis, the merits of various varieties of Hedychium and Callistemon, and the thorny issue of pub licensing regulation in and around Chichester.
It’s too hot to do
It’s too hot to do anything other than stress. At the moment I am stressing internally about just about everything you could imagine to stress about. You name it and I am sure I am stressing about it. Of course, the heat means that I am too hot to do anything about any of the things that are causing me stress, which gives me further cause for stress.
In an internal, sedentary kind of way, of course. It’s too hot to stress proactively.
Search Google for mug tree
Search Google for mug tree and guess what site turns up at number 7? Sorry, no mug trees for sale here, but if you click on “Grayblog merchandise” in the sidebar, you can buy some lovely mugs to put on your mug tree once you get it!
Wednesday 4 July 2001
To a barbeque last night
To a barbeque last night in the grounds of the splendid Shopwhyke Hall, hosted by Kearn and featuring Paul F, Ian, Sacha, Arron, Matt, Paul C, Chris and his girly, DA, DAGS, Kev and Andrea. It was a good evening, although I wasn’t in the most cheery of moods, spending most of my evening waiting for the phone to ring – which it didn’t. sigh.
One or two people have
One or two people have reported problems viewing this site – the sidebar seems to disappear for some people. And what do you all have in common? Ah yes, old browser syndrome, especially those using Macs. Go here to get NN6.01 which *should* render this page correctly.
The long period of hot,
The long period of hot, sultry, humid, rainless weather has finally broken this morning, with a long, rumbling storm. There is a very fresh smell from the rain – you can almost hear the plants heaving a sigh of relief.
Thunderbugs are ickle. And bloody
Thunderbugs are ickle. And bloody irritating.
Another evening spent in Priory
Another evening spent in Priory Park, reading, watching the world and a cricket match. And thinking – a really bad habit that I should try to break, as it never seems to get me anywhere.
Further to my earlier comments
Further to my earlier comments about using old browsers, if you use an old browser, please read this and act on it.
Thursday 5 July 2001
Thanks to Reblogger, the comments
Thanks to Reblogger, the comments function is now back and active. Unfortunately, with the apparent demise of BlogVoices, all the old comments have been lost, but at least you now have the opportunity to easily interact with Grayblog once more.
So don’t be afraid to speak up!
A steady light rain outside
A steady light rain outside of those fat, round, lazy raindrops that only fall on hot, still, sticky, humid, sultry nights in the English summer – the type of rain that seems to evaporate before it hits the ground, but can still soak you to the skin in an not entirely unpleasant way. It’s the sort of evening when I should be out there walking with someone lovely, but instead I’m sat in here, wondering what CD to put on next, hoping the phone will ring and trying to summon up the energy to cook dinner, wash-up, do the laundry, hoover the floor or something.
I’ve always found that warm summer rain in the evening is a great mood enhancer. It doesn’t matter if I’m feeling happy or sad or depressed or whatever – that feeling will be increased by rain like that which is falling right now. Even more so if I were to go out and stand in it. But at the moment, I am (reasonably) content to sit here and listen to the cars swishing through the water outside my windows.
Friday 6 July 2001
At 7pm today, UKbloggers
At 7pm today, UKbloggers up and down the land will begin a raindance. Hopefully this will bring on a storm, and, even better, stop just about every blog from being filled with moans about the weather. Alternatively, it’ll just give onlookers a bit of a laugh.
Poll news: it’s very tight
Poll news: it’s very tight indeed! A fierce battle is being fought for fifth place, with Bexta being challenged by Matt, Mo and myself, as well as the resurgent Brooke. Poor Bella is (unfairly) languishing in last place, whilst, at the top of the table, Katy is extending a well-deserved lead. It’s all just sooo darned exciting!
Get your votes in before Cal decides to close the poll.
Today is National Kissing Day,
Today is National Kissing Day, apparently. Chance would be a fine thing.
Well, doesn’t look like the
Well, doesn’t look like the raindance has worked. I kept up my little precipitation jig for 45 minutes, but the sun persists in beaming down on Chichester. I’m awaiting reports from around the country to see if it has had effect in other areas – there are a lot of bloggers in London, so maybe their joint blogging-dancing aura might have had some sort of impact on the heavens.
And I’ll refrain from talking about the other thing that is on my mind, for various reasons, not least that it seems to bother this man and I don’t want to get overly friendly with any plate glass windows.
I hear the pub calling
I hear the pub calling … LOUDLY.
Lazarus wasn’t grateful for his
for another chance to watch his chances fade like the dawn
and me: I can barely tell you just how pale I get without you.
I’ve been a mess since you’ve been gone
What were the first words that the crowd heard him speak?
I bet he was cursing at the sky
I bet he wasn’t turning no other cheek
but was there still hope and desire left in his heart for the last word in love?
I’ve been a mess since you’ve been gone
Your beauty is just a slap in the face that’s gonna bring me back to life
back to another sky that’s blue
it’s gonna turn me into another great American zombie
so hungry for you
I’ve been a mess since you’ve been gone
American Music Club: I’ve Been A Mess.
Catches my mood really well.
Beer tonight with Sarah, Andy,
Beer tonight with Sarah, Andy, Arron, Helen, Steve and Simone. Also witnessed were Steve C, Declan, Graham VS, Bek, Joel, Tanya, Anne, Paul S and one or two others. I needed that.
Saturday 7 July 2001
My mood has just been
My mood has just been enhanced (-: – and I mean in a positive way.
A strange ol’ day. More
A strange ol’ day. More non-ringing telephone time was punctuated by a trip to the shops, a poke about some of the Chichester Festival Fringe things going on around the city centre (all completely mad and packed with people – so gave up), lunch in St Martin’s Tearoom and an afternoon spent reading a book and watching a cricket match in Priory Park as a thunder storm rumbled around the city.
Still, beats the pants off going to work, and is also relatively inexpensive.
Sunday 8 July 2001
Another odd night. Beer (and
Another odd night. Beer (and chocolate- thanks Arron) with Paul F, Arron, Matt, Stein, James, Jayne, Dom and Emma, as well as Simon, Claudette, Graham VS, Joel and several others. Few people in anything approaching a cheery mood.
From my own perspective, the day was not enhanced by the Orange network being knocked out locally by a lightning strike – guh.
Orange still down this morning.
Orange still down this morning. Bit of a hangover. Tired, not helped by being up half the night installing NN6 on my PC (it seems “OK” – no better than that).
Hmmm. I’m having a whole
Hmmm. I’m having a whole communication crisis at the moment – Orange is down totally in this area (the transmitter that stands in the field next door to work is also not working, but I got a bit of a signal on Chichester railway station this morning – just enough to know that nobody has sent me any text messages or left anything on my answering service – siiigh), MSN Messenger hasn’t worked for days for me (“the service is temporarily unavailable – please try later” – anyone else having this problem?) and my email box isn’t working (“the POP3 mailbox for grayblog.co.uk is not responding: retry?”). I’m feeling a bit cut off at the moment.
There is an interesting article
There is an interesting article in today’s Sunday Telegraph (not on their website yet, so no link) about the “Surrendered Wife” phenomenon, and more particularly, the new book that is coming up by the same author (Laura Doyle), The Surrendered Single.
For those that are not familiar with this work, the basic premise is that men don’t know how to handle modern women, and are daunted and intimidated by powerful, successful wives and girlfriends. This, the author believes, is a barrier to a successful, lasting, loving relationship, and is the cause of many divorces and failed relationships. What she goes on to suggest is that wives and girlfriends should adopt a more submissive role, almost to the point of becoming doormats. The new book will essentially advise single girls to adopt similar tactics in order to get the man they want.
The Telegraph amusingly does two things with the article. Firstly, to get the male point of view, they interview one man. Just one. A 32-year-old city lawyer, clearly representative of the male populace at large (not!). And judging by what he says, and his photograph, he is clearly a complete wanker. His advice is that women shouldn’t “scare the poor bugger off” by being too assertive – he says this as he relaxes in a recliner in his garden, peering over the top of his sunglasses, smoking a cigar as a “blonde bit” brings him a beer. Tosser.
The second thing about the article is the little panel giving “Doyle’s Advice For Singles” (meaning single girls), reproduced here:
- Let him ask all the questions
- Talk about his interests
- Let him reveal what he wants to…. don’t press him
- If he offers you a compliment, accept it gratiously
- Don’t try to change him
- List the traits you like in him
- Never ask him out
- Bite your tongue even when you really disagree with him
- Don’t list your achievements, you will make him feel inferior
- To get a second date, offer him your telephone number
- Think: “There is no such thing as the perfect man, but there are lots of imperfect men to have wonderful relationships with”
I can actually see quite a bit of truth in all this. The part about not trying to change your partner is true – that works both ways. In my experience, if you try to change someone, you just cause resentment and friction. What usually happens is that some of you rubs off onto them, and vice versa, and that is how you both change. And the part about there being no “perfect men” is also true. It applies to women too. There are no “perfect” people – I know I’m far from perfect (a few people believe that I think I’m perfect, but my true friends know that I have a whole bunch of faults and insecurities).
But I also see some serious pants as well. Why shouldn’t a girl be proud of her achievements? OK, bragging endlessly about them is irritating, but that applies to anyone, not just lovers. Bite your tongue?? – why shouldn’t you have an opinion? I always respect opinion, provided it can be backed up with good reason. Let him ask all the questions? – pressure on or what?!
And as for the thing about giving your phone number to get a second date – I mean, say what?? How else do you get a second date? Stalk him??? Hang around outside his flat until he invites you in?? Or am I missing the point here?
And “never ask him out”??? So how exactly do you show your interest?
I’m always fearful that girls I meet aren’t interested in me, so some sort of positive sign is always welcome. Yes, a big, full-on, “shag-me-now!” approach does tend to cause me to back off rapidly, but you can make your feelings obvious without going that far.
Powerful and successful girls can be daunting. But the doormat approach is not the way to a successful relationship in my opinion. The best way is through sharing, mutual respect, understanding and communication – and plain old lust comes into it too. Put all those things into a package, add that “certain something”, and then you get “love” – or something like that anyway.
Or am I too much of an idealist?
The cathedral bells were being
The cathedral bells were being rung as I walked through the cathedral close on my way to work this morning. I was listening to a discussion on the radio the other day about church bells – the argument was “is this music, or just cacophany?”
I think the jury is out on that one, but it is certainly a striking sound and it does have a certain beauty. The thought that occured to me this morning was that, when the cathdral bell tower was built, the sound must have been the loudest thing (aside from the roars of thunder and wind) that the Cicestrians would ever hear in their lives. It didn’t have to compete with the background rumble of traffic, trains and industry, the blaring stereo from the passing car or even the incessant ring of mobile phones.
It is no wonder that the church had such power and influence over a poorly educated populace. It was the centre of knowledge, erected massive buildings, made enormous noise and had great power and wealth. The populace must have been cowed into submission and subservience – the church was the embodiment of the “fear” of God. Now the roles are reversed, and the church seems weak in the face of commerce, industry, education, wealth and noise of the populace.
And on the subject of musical impressiveness, I defy anything to beat a cathedral organ. When I was on holiday in Lisbon a couple of years ago, I happened to be in Se cathedral just as an organist was rehearsing for a recital – it was fantastic, the enormous (and beautiful) building almost shaking with the sound. What was even more remarkable was that the organist was a girl of no more than 14 or 15 – she was tiny in comparison to the noise that surrounded her.
You have no new calls
Please hang up.
They might just as well replace the words “new calls to return” with the word “friends”. And get Anne Robinson to record it.
Monday 9 July 2001
The GBlogs recently updated list
Bit quiet today on the
Bit quiet today on the blogging front as I get to grips with a long-overdue redesign of the work website. It’ll not exactly be all-singing, all-dancing, but it will use a lot more CSS and some of the tricks I have learnt in keeping Grayblog going for ten months. I’ll let you know when the new version goes online.
I can’t believe that nobody
Spent a large chunk of
Spent a large chunk of this evening in Priory Park with a paperback. The evening had a slightly depressing feeling – the light, filtering through clouds that promise rain, had a definite grey quality. Even the kids playing cricket seemed a bit lacklustre, not enjoying themselves as much as you think they should. At least the limes and maples that surround the park kept the worst of the steady breeze away from my usual park bench, where I stretched myself out for more than an hour to read, people-watch and wait for my mobile to ring (it didn’t, needless to say).
However, on returning home, I got this from the BT Disembodied Voice:
The caller withheld their number.
Speculated causes: someone secretive, an ex-girlfriend or someone trying to sell me something. Or possibly someone that falls into all three categories.
hmm. MSN Messenger is *still*
hmm. MSN Messenger is *still* not working properly. At least all the other communication channels seem to be functioning – it’s just that nobody is using them.
Must add this site to
Must add this site to the music resources list in the navbar. There are more music links here than you could shake a whole bunch of sticks at.
Tuesday 10 July 2001
Not very cheery today. Serves
Not very cheery today. Serves me right for thinking that things were getting better.
But I’m being productive at least. And I know that some people are having a far worse time of things at the moment, so I really need to get a grip and put things in perspective.
The GBlogs recently updated list
The GBlogs recently updated list is back up-and-running.
I was going to post
I was going to post this, but Jen beat me to it.
Why Nick is like he
Why Nick is like he is. All is revealed at last.
This is sooooo true! (Runs
This is sooooo true! (Runs for flame-proof bunker)
As a marketer, I find
As a marketer, I find this article interesting. But I do not agree with Paul (who has made his anti-mass-marketing opinions clear before now) about the gullibility of the public at large. Yes, people may be tempted to respond to a brand, but equally, people are *not* stupid. Every successful brand (Amazon is a prime example – what assets do Amazon have? A brand and a mailing list. Other than that, nothing) must be backed up by a good product and/or service (and I won’t bore you by getting into a long discussion about whether or not any distinction still remains between product and service). Customers will not buy into an empty brand in just the same way as they will not buy an empty cornflakes packet – what the Guardian experiment demonstrates is the first stage or two of the basic marketing model known as AIDA – Awareness, Interest, Desire, Action. The experiment create Awareness (people saw the ads) and a few people got as far as Interest (they contacted Joy by phone or web to find out more). But to get to Desire or Action, you need a lot more than a smart logo and a hairy man.
But, that does not mean to say that branding is not important. As with all transactions, there is something in it for both parties – the organisation, and the customer (and I use the loose definition of customer here). Let’s take a practical example that you might have experienced – I shop in Waitrose. I buy all my food there. I have an account card. I refuse to shop in Tesco. Why? The tins of Heinz beans on the shelf in Waitrose are not different to the tins of Heinz beans on the shelf in Tesco. In fact, they are usually a little more expensive in Waitrose. So why shop there? Because of the brand, and brand means more than just the logo on the carrier bags. Brand is about an idea, an emotion, a feeling. I shop in Waitrose because I know I am getting a good quality product. I know I will get good service from the staff. I know the shop will be clean and smart. Tesco do not have that image – they work on the basis of providing value for money, although you sometimes wonder where they are going with their conflicting ranges of “Value” products (cheap, no-frills) and “Finest” (premium price, premium quality). Beyond them are stores like Aldi and Lidl, who work on providing the cheapest possible option – no smart shelving – the goods are stacked on pallets and you help yourself from there.
And, yes, I’m prepared to pay a little extra to get the Waitrose “offering”.
So what is the exchange that is involved? Well, Waitrose earn a little extra money for each product sold compared to their competitors. In return, as a customer, my needs and wants are satisfied – not just the basic “need” for foodstuffs, but also my “want” for good service in a smart environment, and the knowledge that the product is of high quality.
But Waitrose (and the others) have earned their reputations over a long period of years. Their brand symbols (racing green text, very solid and dependable looking) are as much a reflection of what they stand for as a means of promoting those values.
So what do you do if you are a new player in a market place? You have no reputation on which to build, but you want to create an image which promotes certain ideas and emotions to your audience. This is when brand design can come into play – by using symbols and words that play on the experiences and feelings of your audience, you can create a feeling, a desire, an impression in their minds. Remember the old Alliance and Leicester adverts – Stephen Fry saying “never invest in a bank with orange in the logo!” – well, people actually do feel that way. Colours and shapes do convey feelings with people, and we have preconceived ideas about that. It is no coincidence that Waitrose, Marks and Spencer and even Harrods all have dark green logos – dark green (in England at least), usually conveys feelings of quality and dependability. Would you invest in an online bank that used Comic Sans for the text on its homepage? Doubt it. Buy fast food from an outlet *without* red in the logo? (Don’t ask me why – it just is, ok? – take a look at Burger King, MacDonalds, KFC, PizzaHut….). Employ a funeral director that had orange hearses? (actually, there could be a gap in the market there!! – it was my idea first! EasyDeath!)
Do you get my point?
So don’t berate the brand. It does an important job, and offers something to you to the customer as much as to the owners of the brand. And it certainly is not going to go away.
Beer tonight with Aris, Paul
Beer tonight with Aris, Paul S (and friends), Paul F (alive and well – good) and Simone. Also seen were Trev and Anne, as well as Hayley, Terry, Leah, Tina, Ginny and Kristian.
when bloggers get bored
Wednesday 11 July 2001
Actually, Waitrose does have a
Actually, Waitrose does have a good record on social and environmental issues, having won Organic Supermarket Of The Year for several years running, producing a huge amount of produce on British farms (including a huge swathe of Hampshire that is owned by the John Lewis Group) as well as “fair trade” goods, having an excellent record on staff relations and welfare and largely shunning out-of-town car-dependent Tesco-style locations for central stores that form a part of the community – take a look at the branches in Chichester, Burgess Hill and Romsey as examples.
Yes, I’ll admit to being a fan of Waitrose. Yes, they are a supermarket, and not a small independent (and yes, I use independents where I can and where they offer something I want to buy with a service that meets my needs), but, in my experience, they offer a far better product and service than their competitors, and I am prepared to pay for that.
And yes, beans is beans is beans. That was actually the point of my post – I was trying to highlight the importance of brand to differentiate one offering from another (very similar) offering.
Just as the late afternoon
Just as the late afternoon and early evening were seeing me descend into a state of utter despondency, a single word and an “x” have lifted my mood considerably. Whilst there is no cause for celebration yet, hope is far from lost. But then, hope tends to spring eternal around here – it has to.
Well, there is a first
Well, there is a first for everything. I’ve seen warnings about products containing nuts. I’ve seen warnings about products that contain sesame. But tonight was the first time I opened a pack bearing this legend:
WARNING: This product contains cinnamon sticks
Whoa! Have the authorities been keeping the dangers of cinnamon sticks hidden from the public? Consumers of Waitrose chicken pasanda demand to know!
Thursday 12 July 2001
Looks like I should expect
Looks like I should expect a knock at the door from the police any day soon. They are taking DNA samples from all men aged 25 to 35 living in the centre of Chichester, particularly those with stubbly beards – that’ll be me then. It’s all part of the hunt for the “Thursday rapist” who has carried out several attacks in the Chichester and Bognor Regis area over the last couple of years.
Let me tell you a
Let me tell you a story of bad customer service:
Last night, I used Novatech‘s website to check availability of a memory upgrade I need for my PC. It showed the item to be in stock. So, today, I drove 25 miles to their shop, which they encourage people to do, in order to purchase said item, rather than going through the rigmarole of setting up a corporate account and waiting for it to be sent – I wanted to do this, even though they offer free delivery, because I didn’t want to be delayed. No problems so far.
On arrival, after queuing for five minutes or so (queue of about 7 or 8 people, one person serving, two others chatting in full view of waiting customers – not good), I explained what I was looking for, only to be told that it was out of stock. Thinks I: fair enough, these things happen. So I asked if I could pay for the item, and have it sent on when it was available again.
Graybo: What?? No??
N: Well, you can, but there is a delivery charge of £4.95.
G: But your website says you deliver things for free.
N: Yes we do, but only if you order it online.
G: So, even though I’m prepared to pay you now, in cash, and even though you offer free delivery if I order online, AND even though your website told me the item was in stock in spite of the fact that it isn’t ….. you won’t send my DIMM for free?
N: That’s right.
G: That’s ridiculous.
There are little puffs of steam coming out my ears at the moment. I’ve just fired off a terse missive to their customer service department (how strange – their website seems to have no place where you can make complaints or offer feedback). For a business that claims to be so very customer oriented, they really are not. Maybe I should offer some consultancy services?
UPDATE: I’ve just had a telephone call from Novatech. They are going to send me the memory upgrade, carriage free, and are happy for me to send a cheque to them rather than set up a full corporate account. I’m appeased.
You remember the dancing crabs?
You remember the dancing crabs? Well, meet Hitler crab.
Debauchery? In Chichester?? Whatever next?
Debauchery? In Chichester?? Whatever next? [I'd be interested to know where Paul's friend went].
People do come down here to die, but if you want to see a lot of old people, Worthing is the place to go to. They have even more old people (as a percentage of population) than we do here.
But life isn’t exactly wild here, it has to be said – although it can be. You just have to know where to look. And I like it that way.
As for being Chichester’s Love Machine – hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.
I linked this when I
I linked this when I first started playing it, but I have to say that, in spite of really finding football very boring indeed on the whole, itsagoal.com is completely addicitve. My team have scored three wins in a row, and moved from 20th in division 17 to 11th. You do need to spend about five minutes a day managing your team and making sure your squad is in top form, but it’s easy to use, and best of all, is free. Not sure where the business model is for this – maybe it’s just been built for kicks (ask Mo, who has his finger on the pulse) – either way, I like it.
all that she said was
all that she said was true
give her some time
give her some space
all that she said was true
all that she meant was good
all that she meant was good
give her some time
give her some space
all that she meant was good
how you reacted was right
how you reacted was right
give her some time
give her some space
how you reacted was right
Björk – You’ve Been Flirting Again
Friday 13 July 2001
Beer tonight with Aris, Arron,
Beer tonight with Aris, Arron, Paul F, Nick and Anne. Also seen were Paul S, Simone, Claudette and Joel.
EvilDuvet II was using all
EvilDuvet II was using all her powers this morning. Or maybe it was last night’s beers.
Hurrah! The wonderful Brenda has
Hurrah! The wonderful Brenda has fixed me up with a ticket for tonight’s Real Ale and Jazz Festival in Priory Park – just when I had pretty much given up hope of getting one.
She’s a star. Full report later.
Marketers are becoming less popular
Marketers are becoming less popular by the day. Particularly in the techie community.
Saturday 14 July 2001
My horoscope has me in
My horoscope has me in stitches this morning:
This morning, I am wandering
This morning, I am wandering aimlessly around the flat, muttering “ooooooooh miiiiiiiiiiii god” over and over.
So it was a good night, as you can imagine. The Ale and Jazz was somewhat lacking in jazz (it was tribute band night, featuring the Strolling Bones and Utter Madness – so it was rock followed by ska – not a note of jazz was played all night) but made up for that by offering plenty of ale, which was supplemented by a bottle of wine when we got back here (we being me, Brenda, Greg and the lovely Donna – also seen in action were Sarah, Andy, Fi, Alison, Matt, Rachel, Tanya – oh *EVERYBODY* was there!).
A mighty hangover is evident. And I have to go to work shortly. guh.
Beer tonight with Arron, Nick,
Beer tonight with Arron, Nick, Helen, Steve, Claudette, Michelle, Matt and Clive. Quiet in the pub, as many of the regulars will have been at the last night of the Ale and Jazz festival thingy.
And after last night’s shenanigans (I may tell you about it one day) I’m absolutely knackered. Plus a long day at work. But I’m in a good mood.
Sunday 15 July 2001
Beer tonight with Paul F,
Beer tonight with Paul F, Aris, Arron and the delightful Simone, an evening replete with blue jokes. Arf.
And in other news … well, there is other news.
Monday 16 July 2001
Visitor number 20,000 should pass
Visitor number 20,000 should pass through today. If it is you (look in the navbar to see), please say hello.
Here is a little story
Here is a little story to put a smile on your face and make you say “ahhh, bless!”.
As you will know, my friend Paul F sings in a band (Could Be Good) that plays blues covers. This weekend, the band was playing at a wedding. The gig was going along nicely, Paul had just finished a song and was giving the old “thanjewverrymush” when he felt a tugging at his trouser leg. Looking down, a little girl of about 3 or 4 was tugging on the knee of his trousers to get his attention (bear in mind that Paul is a big tall bloke with a big deep voice – but kids at that age have no fear). Paul bent down and said “hello”.
Little Girl: hello, do you know ‘The Wheels On The Bus Go Round And Round’?
Paul: yes, I do.
LG: will you play it for me?
P: well, I’m not sure if the boys in the band know it. I’ll ask them.
P (to band): boys, do you know ‘The Wheels On The Bus Go Round And Round’?
Band: yeh, we can play that.
P (to Little Girl): yes, we know it. Would you like us to play it for you?
LG: yes please!
P: ok, but I’m not sure if I know all the words, so you’ll have to help me.
LG: ok, I’ll get my friend too.
So whilst the Little Girl went to fetch her friend, Paul announced to the guests: we don’t normally do requests, but we have a special one we are going to do now.
Then, crouching down with the two kiddies, they played the first verse of the song. And then, as the guests all stood around watching, all the other kids went up and joined in, singing along and doing all the actions – “The mummies on the bus go yak! yak! yak!, yak! yak! yak!, yak! yak! yak!….”
For anyone who has ever seen Good Be Good play, this must be quite a picture. The sort of picture that makes you go: “ahhh, bless!”
Excerpt from an email from
Excerpt from an email from my bestest pal, Sarah:
Sarah – the girl with the pear-shaped bum. arf.
Tuesday 17 July 2001
Plans seem to be well
Plans seem to be well advanced for the UKBloggers Party in the Park this Saturday. Mo has irresponsibly suggested that those people who would have gone to the cancelled Love Parade should turn up at the PITP instead. Thankfully, I think we can rest assured in the knowledge that whilst 250,000 people might travel to Newcastle to see the UK’s finest DJs, I think I’d be impressed if 2 people turned up in Hyde Park to see the UK’s worst bloggers.
Anyway, I’ll be there. I’m currently working on a plan to have lunch with my lovely cousin Gemma beforehand, giving the opportunity to catch up on gossip about our lovelives (hers seems sorted at the moment, mine is just a source of amusement!).
Sometimes, having parents is like
Sometimes, having parents is like being an MP – I’ve just being given an envelope full of cash from my dad. Not quite sure what I’ve done to deserve it, but it is appreciated.
And on the subject of
And on the subject of MPs, I’m sure that lots of Tory MPs read this site daily. Well, to you I say – make Ken your leader! If you want to get back in to power, and be respected by the public, do NOT elect the greasy slimeball or the bald oddity. People like fat blokes who drink whisky and smoke cigars. Whilst not everyone will agree with what Ken Clarke says, they will respect his conviction, his honesty and his straight talking.
No variety of love is
and the not-so-great bloggers.
Following on from this post,
Following on from this post, I’ve been pondering the idea of a BlogParade – ukbloggers on flatbed trucks with PCs drive through the centre of London to an all-night blog session in Hyde Park. Mo would have a stealth truck so that nobody could guess his true identity. Cal would conduct a poll to see which was the best float. Nick would take pictures of everything.
What would the other floats look like?
I’m in a very good
I’m in a very good mood this evening. So good that I’m going to stay in and go to bed early. I’ve the day off tomorrow, and my good mood means that I’ll spend it cleaning the flat and doing laundry. I may even go and buy some groceries.
Wednesday 18 July 2001
Well, I certainly have packed
Well, I certainly have packed a lot into my day off so far, and I have yet to get as far as the pub. Here is the day so far in bullet-points:
- Got up late, but not too late (good)
- Tidied all the papers that were strewn across the floor of my bedroom and actually filed them instead of pushing them into a pile in the corner (very good)
- …but it took much longer than anticipated (bad)
- Went to the bank and took steps to sort out my ailing finances (good)
- Then went and bought some clothes in Next (oh dear)
- …some bedlinen in Army and Navy (very bad)
- ….and a new saucepan (siiigh)
- …and a CD in MVC (very very bad)
- Went shopping in Waitrose for food and provisions (good)
- Bought lunch (necessary)
- Bumped into Alison (always a pleasure)
- Tidied the living room (good)
- Did some laundry (fluffy warm towels – hurrah!)
- Cleaned the windows (blimey! daylight!)
- Renewed my membership of the CIM (evil marketer alert! evil marketer alert! beyoop! beyoop!)
- Ordered two text books for next term’s course (using £50 voucher I won ages ago – two books for £7 inc postage – cool!)
- And finished the day off by ordering a new sexy black shit-hot frisbee (oh dear oh dear oh dear)
There was plenty more that I wanted to get done, but didn’t, but I reckon that is a pretty good show for one day.
Beer tonight with Paul F,
Beer tonight with Paul F, Paul S (ever so briefly), Phil, Gary, Joel, Claudette, Sal and Ginny, who was working her very last night behind the bar in W2 – we’ll miss her. Good luck with your new job!
Thursday 19 July 2001
So it’s started – with
So it’s started – with the forthcoming launch of the .biz top level domains, web hosting companies are clamouring for my business, by phone, letter, email, spam. They all want me to launch croftway.biz because it’ll make my website “much easier to find”. Bollocks. I chose a .co.uk address deliberately for work (and for this site too) because I wanted to highlight the fact that we are a British company, mainly serving customers in the UK. We don’t supply plants to customers outside the EU (due to plant health restrictions) – I didn’t want a .com address because it would lead to too many enquiries from American and other customers who we would not be able to serve. The same holds true for .biz. What’s more, customers search for our site by looking on search engines for our name or our products. And it is the body of the URL that points up your business – would bbc.com work any better than bbc.co.uk? Doubt it.
Friday 20 July 2001
Will I ever learn? Doubt
Will I ever learn?
Doubt it, and it’s much much more fun that way.
Mo reveals that he always
Mo reveals that he always carries a complete set of waterproof clothing with him at all times. This explains lots of things.
And the new frisbee has
And the new frisbee has arrived. It’s…um…black and …um…shit-hot. It will make its debut at the Party in the Park. Are you going?
I shall be in Priory
I shall be in Priory Park this evening, from around 6.15 or 6.30, conducting flight testing of the new frisbee. If anyone feels like helping, watching or laughing at my incompetence with the flying disc, then please come along.
What the hell is going
What the hell is going on at Cal’s poll?? I’ve rocketed up into fourth place in no time at all. I’m wondering if there is a conspiracy.
Saturday 21 July 2001
Right, time to pack my
Right, time to pack my bags, load up the camel train, and head off to London for the Party in the Park. The original plan to meet up with my cousin Gemma for lunch beforehand has been abandoned because Gem is actually down here this weekend to see her mum – another planning masterstroke! oh well – we’ve promised each other that we will meet up soon and compare notes on our love lives (which is always good for a laugh or two!).
Beer last night with Paul F. Brenda and Greg made a fleeting visit. Simone and Bek were out too. Strange sort of night – W2 was very quiet. I came home early, suffering from horrid toothache (a wisdom tooth, I hope), a blinding headache and chronic tiredness. I feel a lot better for a good night’s sleep (the toothache has eased a little too) and also for getting a couple of text messages (they work wonders).
Sunday 22 July 2001
Well, the Party in the
Well, the Party in the Park was excellent. Nobody so far has been brave enough to attempt to list everyone who was there, but it was certainly the biggest turnout at any blogging event I have attended so far. But, the following were in evidence (deep breath and lots of link hunting): Elaine, Meg, Jen, Bella, Rachel, Katy, Meghan, Heather, Robyn, Bexta, Mo, Paul, Paul, Paul, Tom, Tom, Nick, Nick, Drew, Rodney, Davo, Cal, Luke, Ian, Dan, Ken, Mark, Chris, Mike, Martin … there definitely were others – if I have missed you out, please accept my apologies and mail me.
Lots of photos were taken by various people. Links here as soon as they are posted.
UPDATE: pics now available at Nick’s site. In this picture, it looks like I’m about to give Meg a girly backhand slap across the face. I’d like to point out to readers that I did not, in fact, slap Meg. Nor did I beat up any small children. Talk about misrepresentation!
FURTHER UPDATE: more pictures at Meg’s site – utter class – I love this picture. Elaine has also posted some great pictures here.
Monday 23 July 2001
Frisbee flinging in Priory Park
Frisbee flinging in Priory Park yesterday with Matt and Ian (good muscles on my throwing arm now, but aim not improving), followed by a quick beer, chinese food, a snooze and then more beer with Ian, Matt, Brenda and Greg whilst listening to Paul F and the band in the Nags. Then crawled home and fell into a deep sleep. Still exhausted this morning though.
The funniest post I’ve read
The funniest post I’ve read on any blog in ages.
Vaughan is thirty today. Go
Vaughan is thirty today. Go wish him a happy birthday.
My new marketing texts for
My new marketing texts for the new term have arrived. Can’t say they look like thrilling reading, but then I thought that about Total Relationship Marketing by Evert Gummesson, which I actually got into. One of the books that has arrived today has bigger text and more pictures than the other – guess which one I’ll be reading first!
Tuesday 24 July 2001
Last night I left the
Last night I left the modem unattached, cooked myself a readymeal, poured a drink and just slobbed out on the sofa with some music and a good book. So why am I still so tired this morning?
I can’t say that feeling so tired for so much of the time really worries me, but it is beginning to get irritating. I’m wondering what is causing it – maybe I need a holiday, maybe a change of diet, maybe less beer. Perhaps more exercise – I should have my bicycle back on the road in the next couple of days, so at least that will get me both mobile and fit.
It must be said that it would be good to have a bit of “get up and go” again.
This from my inbox this
This from my inbox this morning from a Graypie:
A friend sent me a link to your blog because I couldn’t believe that anyone could seriously pride themselves on blogging. Sadly I am now a blog-a-holic. Not likely to start my own blog because even I couldn’t stand the tedium of revisiting my life online nor could I do it out of any spirit of generosity for the dubious gratification of people who I can only imagine reading my blog to feel better about their own hopelessly out of condition lives. However, I must now admit to an atavistic desire to spend my days reading about you (pl) and your disasters ….. and yes, the disasters are the best bits because they make me feel so much better about myself!
Well, time to hit the road (which is a step up on hitting another car as I did last week). Have fun with the frisbee and if you do accidentally decapitate anyone don’t put it up. You never know who is reading!
I don’t know quite how to respond to this. On the one hand I’m slightly flattered by the attention and pleased that the writing here is giving someone pleasure. But on the other hand….um…well, you decide.
And if I do decapitate someone with the frisbee, at least I can be sure that they wouldn’t be reading this!
As regular readers will know,
As regular readers will know, I work for my parents. My father is very conservative (and Conservative) and English. He sometimes irritates the hell out of me with his Europhobic, xenophobic, almost racist, little-Englander ideology.
For the past year, we have had a German girl, Melanie, working here. Every now and then, dad will start going on about the Germans in some way, usually making reference to either of the two world wars, and usually when we are all sitting around having tea. Today he was waffling on about the Red Baron. Melanie takes it in good heart and usually plays along and sometimes gives as good as she gets, but it really can be cringe-inducing at times. Somehow, I’m reminded of Basil Fawlty.
Home now, then straight to
Home now, then straight to Priory Park to play with the frisbee with Matt, Ian and Sacha. Come along if you are around.
Wednesday 25 July 2001
Party in the Park update:
Party in the Park update: Davo posts his pics. What is Luke doing with his finger in his ear and his tongue in his cheek?
Hmmm. Today I have to
Hmmm. Today I have to get a ten year old dot matrix printer out of storage and get it operational. My horoscope warns of an impending crisis. Could these two things be linked? I’m just about to find out. (ok, not the most exciting thing I’ve posted here for a while, but I’m not ready to talk about the exciting things that are going on at the moment – just be assured that there are exciting things going on, and they are going well.)
Grayblog – the porn capital
Grayblog – the porn capital of the world wide web – for cheapskates, obviously.
Thursday 26 July 2001
Chichester Observer journalists are clearly
Chichester Observer journalists are clearly pants at maths:
A national survey has placed East Street … in the top ten per cent of the country’s shopping centres.
It has emerged in 67th place out of a total of 650 centres surveyed … moving up three places since last year.
OK, so I’m being picky. Sue me.
Meg linked to this and
Friday 27 July 2001
To quote Popeye: Something’s wrong.
To quote Popeye:
Something’s wrong. And whatever’s wrong, it ain’t right.
I just hope it’s all in my head.
This site is currently a
I am:hottiredboredstressing about something which
- stressing about something which is probably all in my head
Another Blog of Note: Paranoid
Another Blog of Note: Paranoid Girl.
Marcia points the world to
- in the last election, I spoilt my paper.
- I have met the Queen. Well, kinda. She walked past me, and I talked to the Duke.
- Ffion is actually not that unattractive. Unfortunately, she hangs around with a bald Yorkshireman. And she’s Welsh. (ducks)
It isn’t all in my
It isn’t all in my head. Why is it, as soon as I show even the faintest sign of optimism, something happens to really kick me in the teeth? Fuck.
Saturday 28 July 2001
OK – so yesterday I
OK – so yesterday I was grouchy. Then, later in the day, I got depressed. Today I am depressed AND grouchy. So tread carefully.
Haven’t done beer reports for
Haven’t done beer reports for the last couple of days: Wednesday was beer with Arron. Thursday was beer with Arron again. And last night was beer with Paul F, Brenda, Greg, Paul C, Kearn, Matt, Helen and Steve, with sightings of a whole bunch of other people. But my mood was far too dark to really enjoy it. Sorry guys – didn’t mean to be a downer.
I’ve seen Big Brother described
I’ve seen Big Brother described as “reality TV”. I’m sorry, but Big Brother bears no similarity to reality in my estimation. Reality is far more bizarre.
Book review: River Horse -
Book review: River Horse – A Voyage Across America by William Least Heat-Moon.
You may have noticed that this has been in the “current reading” list in the navbar for ages. I bought it a long time ago, a souvenir of what was, ultimately, a fruitless trip to London. It has taken me a long time to read for several reasons – partly due to distractions (work, other books, marketing studies and exams, beer) and partly due to the fact that it is not a slim volume that you can polish off during one train journey. But it is an excellent book, which I highly recommend.
Heat-Moon recounts his journey for New York to Oregon by boat – going across rather than around the lands of America, by riverboat and canoe on river, lake and canal, with minimal overland portages. For anyone who has read his classic work, Blue Highways, which recounts the story of a journey by road around the US, this journey is far more ambitious and challenging. The account not only covers the simple act of travelling, but also the people he meets, the places he visits, the country he passes through and an insight into the state of mind of the traveller. His tendency to use flowery and archaic language actually enhances the book rather than making a barrier to enjoyment, drawing the book closer to the journals of the pioneering explorers of the American west such as Lewis and Clark, who Heat-Moon clearly hopes to emulate. In many ways it reminded me of the writings of Ernest Wilson and Reginald Farrer, plant hunters of central and eastern Asia who documented their journeys so well.
You actually do feel involved in the journey, such is the intimate and personal style of storytelling employed by Heat-Moon – he manages to convey the exhaustion of the journey, the disappointment when a problem is encountered and the elation at journey’s end. Certainly, I think this book will do more to discourage anyone from following in his wake than encourage copycat travellers – the arduous nature of the trip is clear.
If you enjoy travel writing, read this book. If you enjoy reading about people and culture, read this book. And, if you read blogs and journals, then you should read this book also – many of the sentiments will be familiar.
ok. So it is hot.
ok. So it is hot. “Hotter than the holiday island of Hawaii” according to the prissy news presenter on low-brow ITV news at lunch time. Not only that, but I’m male. And single. And English. And still young (30 is young, dammit!).
But the good news is that, in spite of all those things, I am not likely to strip down to a pair of naff baggy shorts and horrid filthy trainers with no socks, and then walk around swigging beer and shouting “OLAAAAY OLAAY OLAY OLAY, OLAAAAAAY, OLAAAAAAAAAY!”
Ah, the English in summer. Is it any wonder that the rest of Europe looks at us and gets embarrassed?
(Actually, the beer swigging part is tempting.)
Japanese green tea junk mail?
Japanese green tea junk mail?
Whenever I step into Fujiko’s office I an overcome by a feeling of peace and calm. Fujiko Kinugawa, our Japanese Marketing Manageress, was a long-term pupil of a well known Tea Master in Kyoto. The principals of the “Chado Path of Teas” are still noticeable in Fujiko’s charisma, work and lifestyle even here in Europe.
So what is “Chado”? Where does the strength and secret of this philosophy lie? That is why I asked Fujiko to give us a small insight into this fascinating foreign world:
“In the beginning was the search for perfection. In Japan this path always led to the west – into the “Central Kingdom”. From their study trips in the 6th century, Japanese monks brought a wonderful herbal remedy – thea sinesis. At that time tea was prepared as a soup. The cultivation of tea bushes in Japan however began only after 840. So, this is how tea made its entry into Japan. However the actual breakthrough happened 400 years later. This time it was Buddhist monks seeking enlightenment who, on their return from China, brought a wonderful green powder with them which stimulated concentration for study and meditation: Matcha – pulverised green tea.
The preparation of Matcha Tea became an aesthetic procedure that deeply influenced the life and thinking of the Japanese. In the 16th century the most important tea master, Sen Rikyu, elevated “Chado – the path of tea” to a work of art.”
But more on this subject in our next Venalicia Magazine. For now you can get a small insight into the unique varieties of Japanese teas at http://www.venalicia.com/?nl7
Since Fujiko moved in we have been enjoying our tea-time a little more intensively and taking our strength for the day from this – how about you?
God help us. The 24
God help us. The 24 hour blogathon is tomorrow. Very worthy and all, but I can just see the Blogger server collapsing under the strain. I think I’ll sit this one out in my exploding-server-proof shelter.
Another night of beer and
Another night of beer and silent telephones. guh.
Anyhow, beer in the splendid company of Jo and Wanda (so good to have everyone going “blimey – there’s Graybo with two stunning girls!”), followed by more beer with Arron, Tim W, Sal, Anne, Trev, Simone and other assorted miscreants. There was another plan for tonight (for once *not* involving a woman!) which didn’t come to pass (blame Paul F), but it wasn’t such a bad night after all. Add in long AIM chats with Marcia and Meg, and the whole evening just zipped by. Considering the crap going on, I’m in a surprisingly voluble frame of mind.
Sunday 29 July 2001
I’m in a dark mood
I’m in a dark mood this morning, brought on by
- a mild hangover
- a feeling of being fed up with things always going wrong
- listening to dark music
- pondering the fact that no matter how shit things are, someone always has to deal with worse shit
- the thought that I have to do something today I’m not really in the mood to do, but might possibly enjoy once I’m there (at least it isn’t work)
- the continuing silence of the telephone
- a dark book (slightly spoilt by this passage:
I took the fifty out of the change Albert stacked on the bar, then wandered over to the piano, where I stuffed it into the tip bowl, which caused a momentary silence.
“Play something you really like ma’am,” I said, then drifted back to the bar.
“Righto, old chap,” came a voice from the couples. “A delightfully wonderful notion.”
What the hell was a British accent doing in Kerrville, Texas? I asked myself, thinking I’d probably find out as soon as the camel-hair sport coat made it to the bar.
Say what??? I mean, even reading this sounds ridiculous. Clearly the author has never actually spoken to an Englishman in his entire life.)
So, it is out into the day, to tackle chores and obligations, delicate emotions and, quite possibly, another skinful of beer later.
I’ve just spent three hours
I’ve just spent three hours or so sitting in Priory Park, reading and people watching. The book is good – the people better.
Soon after I arrived, an attractive, tall and slender blonde woman, probably in her early twenties, came along and sat on a bench to my right. She was dressed entirely in black (something which always attracts my attention) and was carrying what looked like a magazine, probably a sunday supplement. She looked at me as she walked passed, then sat reading her magazine, holding it close to her face as if she needed glasses, and glancing over the top of it at the people in the park, smiling to herself, chuckling, reading some more, and then looking around again. She kept jiggling her left foot to such an extent that I thought the black mule that she was wearing was going to drop off. She seemed so nervous and flighty, expecting something, frightened of something, anticipating something, excited by something. She was barely still, noisily turning the pages of her magazine as she read.
After thirty minutes or so, she got up and left without a word, and walked across the park towards the Guildhall, taking a not particularly direct route and proceeding in an unhurried manner.
At about the same time, a couple arrived and set up camp to my left – he in generic Gap shirt and shorts, she in a summer dress that didn’t hide the impending third child, as the existing two ran around her feet. Daddy was carrying a brand new child’s cricket set – bat, soft red ball, tiny stumps – which he set up on the edge of the Priory Park Cricket Club pitch. I’m not entirely convinced that this toy was really purchased for Sam and Harry, but more likely for Daddy to enjoy. As he explained the rules to his bemused children, who I would guess were aged around 3 and 5, Mummy poured cold drinks from a flask. A gentle game ensued, and went on for almost an hour (“you and Mummy can be England, Sam and I will be Australia!”) until Harry got upset that he didn’t get to bowl all the time, probably induced by the realisation that his tiny younger brother was actually much better at hitting the ball than he was. Loud wailing sobs ensued, echoing around the park, until tired Mummy picked him up and all of the drinks things, and headed for home, with Daddy and Sam following.
I almost felt a touch of envy.
Meanwhile, across the park, a group of three men and a boy struggled to get a large kite aloft in the weak breeze. After struggling for nearly twenty minutes, they succeeded, and the blue and green square moved sedately about the sky, casting a rapidly moving shadow over the dozing bikinis scattered across the grass. The kite lent a sense of cool freedom to the heavy and sultry late afternoon, but a sense of freedom that was still tethered and controlled at the ground. Even the gulls folded wings on the cricket square and watched.
That they succeeded in bringing the kite down to the ground without wrapping it around one of the park’s trees, or worse still, a bystander, was fortuitous to say the least.
Another blonde woman walked past me to the bench to my right, this one in her mid thirties, less tall and wearing a baby blue top and shorts. She sat down on the grass by the bench, produced a cigarette, lighter, paperback and suncream and put them all to their correct uses, stretched out on the grass and constantly shifting position. I had to look at her very carefully, as she looked much like someone I met recently whom I have not seen for a while and would like to see again (only to talk to, you understand – I have a few questions that need answers). Looking at her from even the short distance that separated us, through sunglasses and in the glare of the very bright sun, I couldn’t be sure that it wasn’t her, but eventually I decided that that was indeed the case.
As she sat there, an elderly woman came and sat on the bench next to her, causing her to shift position and look up. The woman was probably in her eighties and had a thin bird-like frame, slack and wrinkled pale skin, and slightly unkempt white hair, all in marked contrast to the woman who lay near her feet. They exchanged a few words that I couldn’t hear, and then the older woman got up again and walked off, passing a huge black man with his thin white wife and two boisterous coffee-coloured daughters as they walked into the park.
I love Chichester. I love Priory Park. And I love watching people.
Blimey. As a byproduct of
Beer tonight with Arron, Paul
Beer tonight with Arron, Paul F and the eternally youthful Aris – the drinks poured by the lovely Simone.
Monday 30 July 2001
it’s hot. people are tetchy.
it’s hot. people are tetchy.
I am sooooo looking forward to going to the park tonight with a book and a bottle of water. It can’t come soon enough.
I’ve added a tailor-made 404
I’ve added a tailor-made 404 page to this site. Contain your excitement!
A new record was set
A new record was set for lateness of my train tonight – a journey that should take 7 minutes took 52 minutes due to “train crew displacement”. Actually, I’d say it was because my train ran through the station at 80mph instead of stopping (apparently it was faulty and was heading back to Westbury or somewhere for repairs). guh. I hate it when that happens.
Tuesday 31 July 2001
I got this email too.
I got this email too. So, that’s granite and green tea. What next? Gourds? Gorgonzola? Grease?
Beer tonight with Paul S,
Beer tonight with Paul S, Paul F, Aris, Kristian, Terry, Leah, Sally, with sightings of Leigh and Gavin. And a maudlin mood in the background – well around me anyway.