Monday 1 October 2001
Gah! It’s October already!
Gah! It’s October already!
Mood enhanced this morning by
Mood enhanced this morning by a chirpy email from someone I’ve not heard from in a while (hello Liv!), something that swiftly dispensed with the merlot-induced fuzziness that I was suffering.
I like nothing more than
I like nothing more than making people happy. And never more so than when the person concerned is particularly lovely.
There is a competition on this page. It’s not hard to find, though it isn’t obvious (mainly because I can’t afford to give out too many prizes!). And it isn’t easy either. ‘Ave a go, if ya fink yur ‘ard enuff.
college tonight followed by beer
college tonight followed by beer with Paul F, discussing ideas. Dave, Teresa, Phil and Tim all sighted – which is unsurprising.
Tuesday 2 October 2001
It’s chucking it down. A
It’s chucking it down. A very wet pile of fur that used to be the cat has just walked into the office, leaving a trail of wet muddy footprints across the floor.
AFF – I almost feel I can talk about this again, having scored an almost respectable 12 points in week 6 to take my score to 22, lifting me, Southampton style, from last place to very-nearly-last place in the league. Still need to do some transfers though.
UPDATE: So, imagine yourself as a cold wet cat. You need to get warm and dry. Where do you go? Ah yes – you go and sit on the lap of that nice warm person working at his desk. It doesn’t matter that, by doing so, you will make said warm dry person damp and wet. Oh no. grrr.
It may be wet outside.
It may be wet outside. It may be grey. It may be windy and thoroughly unpleasant.
But in this office, it is a warm summer evening, sitting in a smart bar in some classy Mediterranean city, looking out over the harbour and people watching, courtesy of Monkey Radio who are playing some very cool tunes this morning.
I have suffered the Blue
I have suffered the Blue Screen of Death six times in the last 48 hours on my work PC, which I find more than a little unsettling. (cue: lots of remarks in the comments about how, if I had Linux, none of this would happen. smartarses.)
Forthcoming event: Michelle’s last night
Forthcoming event: Michelle’s last night behind the bar in W2 on Friday. Regulars be warned!
The promised marketing page is
The promised marketing page is now online. I’ll be adding to it over the next few days.
Wednesday 3 October 2001
Remember how, last week, we
Remember how, last week, we were having problems with one of our business partners.
New week. New customer. Same partner. Same problem. GRRRRRRR!
Given that you know I
Given that you know I am in a bad mood from the post below, I’m now going to go off on one. Be warned.
There is something unpleasant about UKbloggers at the moment. As with the schoolyard politics of any large group of people that are only tenuously linked (we have blogs – what else do we have in common?), there is a tendency for subgroups and cliques to form. This is not unusual, and in many ways should be expected. Nor is it necessarily a bad thing.
One or two members of the group (meaning, in particular, users of the UKbloggers mailing list) have been keen proponents of the warm and fluffy idea of “community”. Now, whilst I feel that this is a noble ideal, it strikes me as thoroughly impractical, given that people naturally form alliances with others who are either geographically, intellectually, professionally or emotionally local to them. Combine this with the universal desires to belong to a group and be identified with it, the desire to have power, and a need for strong identity, then it is only inevitable that some sort of struggle for dominance or assertion will arise, leading to an inevitable conflict within groups and between them.
Besides, with little in common aside from blogging, what is there to bind a such a large and heterogeneous community together? Geography? – no. Background? – definitely no. Social class or status? – no. Age? Politics? Religion? Beliefs? Sexuality? Aspirations? – absolutely not. We can’t even agree on where and when is a good place/time to meet for a beer!
It strikes me that this is what is happening in UKblogging at the moment. Some groups have formed. Each group thinks it is better than the others. Some people do not belong to any of the groups and feel excluded. They then berate and deride the groups for being “cliquey” or “A-list”. Some groups set themselves up as “rebellious” or “better than thou” – somehow more cool than other groups. Some of these groups are quite large, others may only consist of two or three people.
This conflict has become spiteful and divisive (if there is anything that can be divided). UKbloggers are now almost expected to take sides. The young/naive are rejected and ostracized. If you don’t belong to a group, then you don’t belong here.
And what is the result of all this? Animosity, anger, exclusion, discouragement, dismay. I know of some people who feel that they do not want to go to “blogmeets” (for want of a better term) because they don’t want to handle the politics. Others are so dismayed with the whole atmosphere that they have considered giving up blogging, giving up trying to be part of this group of people.
The solution? I’m not sure I know. Disbanding the UKbloggers list is probably not the answer, although I’m sure it has been/will be considered. Setting up smaller groups to serve just the individual “tribes” is a process that is already beginning, but I’m not sure that it helps with the exclusion problem. The only real answer is a spot of behaviour and attitude modification, but the cynic/realist in me knows that that is simply not going to happen.
I used the phrase “schoolyard politics” at the beginning of this rant. That’s exactly it – schoolyard. Some members of the UKbloggers cabal are behaving like spoilt schoolchildren. My respect for them diminishes daily.
TFF: a disappointing 26 points,
TFF: a disappointing 26 points, taking my score to 170.
I win today’s award for
I win today’s award for upsetting the most people with a single blog post.
However, I stand by it. No specific allegations were made against anyone – deliberately. What I said is, admittedly, based to a large degree on hearsay, rumour, allegation and general “feeling” and perception. And it isn’t just about things that have happened recently – more about things that have taken place over weeks and months.
I just wanted people to read it, think about their own actions, think about what they have said on the ukbloggers list, elsewhere online and offline in that rarified place known as the “real world”.
Nothing improves a day like
Nothing improves a day like having a good haircut and a bottle of merlot with good friends. Kudos to Jo and Nigel.
I note that I’ve drifted through 30,000 on the visitor counter thing (whether or not it is accurate), a target that has been reached only with the aid of mentioning Osama bin Laden and by being controversial.
Now about to munch an over-priced pizza, then head out to “Open Stage” night at the Four Chestnuts in the company of Paul F and Liv. And, bizarrely, I’m looking forward to it, even though “open stage” nights are *never* my scene.
In pub listening to local
In pub listening to local bands. Not bad! Great to see Liv again. More later.
Apparently, me and Rachel (from
Apparently, me and Rachel (from Friends) have much in common. (cheers to jen-x for that).
Thursday 4 October 2001
[The post that was here
[The post that was here has been removed and the comments retracted following discussion with Meg. Remind me not to read things when I'm tired and ratty, as I am prone to misinterpretation. And, for those that were wondering, Meg and I remain friends. Whatever, as far as I am concerned, the subject is closed. Today is a new day. And as Dan and others have pointed out, there are bigger things to worry about.]
Meanwhile, back in normal life….
Meanwhile, back in normal life….
I had a lovely evening this evening, drinking beer with Phil, Paul F and the Nags posse before heading to the Four Chestnuts with Paul F to meet Liv and some of her friends to listen to live music by local musicians. Paul sang, and a good, relaxed, casual, issue-free night was had by all.
Not very talkative today. This
Not very talkative today. This may be due to being tired, or perhaps is the result of my new haircut. I could “do a Vaughan” and post pictures of kittens or something. Maybe what I need is a Grayblog “testcard”.
Actually, I *have* got some
Actually, I *have* got some news now, and it’s just the sort that I can’t write here – which I’m sure is very frustrating for you [evil cackle] – if you care, of course.
Beer tonight with Arron, Paul
Beer tonight with Arron, Paul F and Aris, with sightings of Tim, Paul S and Gary.
Friday 5 October 2001
Lamb recorded live set currently
Lamb recorded live set currently on Radio One. But I need to sleep! gah!
Feeling sleepy today, and, once
Feeling sleepy today, and, once again, not very talkative.
But things are good, so rest assured.
Added a few updates to my marketing resources page for those that are interested.
And the sun is out, which is nice.
Protests over copy-protected CDs. I’ve
Protests over copy-protected CDs. I’ve never copied a CD, but I do like listening to them on my PC at work occasionally. And, it seems that my 11-year-old CD player that sits in my bedroom might struggle with protected CDs. Why should I still pay full price for something that is not fit for purpose? Is this an infringement of trading standards laws?
Saturday 6 October 2001
Nobody has had a go
Nobody has had a go at the secret competition yet. OK, so it is a bit of a two-parter, the first part being that you have to find it. But it is on this page (assuming you are still reading this whilst this post is on the front page and not fallen off into the archive. In fact, you should even be able to find it in the archive if you look closely).
So go on – have a go. I know at least one regular reader of this site who should know the answer. And there is a *prize* after all!
I’ve had a strange sort
I’ve had a strange sort of 24 hours, and I’m in a strange sort of mood.
I spent this morning tidying the flat, and feel much better for doing so. Then I went shopping, bought a treat for myself and a treat for someone else.
I spent the afternoon enjoying myself. A jacket potato and good conversation can make all the difference to a day.
The first part of this evening was spent enjoying the treat I bought for myself.
The latter part of this evening was spent having beer with a whole bunch of people that included Kearn, DA, DAGS, Phil and many more.
I’m tired now. And I’m thinking. Which is usually a bad combination. And there is a thunderstorm outside.
Sunday 7 October 2001
I forgot to do a
I forgot to do a beer report for Friday – guh! Well, here it is (and I know you like to be kept informed): beer with Paul F, Kearn, Arron, Mich, Tanya and Claudine. Others were sighted.
Apparently there is some confusion
Apparently there is some confusion about the competition. It is nothing to do with the line in the title of this site (“I don’t know you people, why are you here?”) which is from Orbital’s “Middle of Nowhere” album. Keep looking…
I really can not recommend
I really can not recommend John Simpson‘s “autobiographical writings” highly enough (which was the treat I bought for myself yesterday).
In them, he comments on the increasing homogeneity of the world, and his feeling of being a citizen of the “global village”. I was pondering this as I travelled to work this morning (a tortuous and extended journey, thanks to engineering works – but nothing compared to travelling through the Hindu Kush in a Russian jeep.). In a way, we bloggers are members of the global village too, but only in a half-way-there kind of way. By that, I mean that on a daily basis I communicate through my site and also by email and instant message with people in all corners of the globe. I share my experiences with them, and sometimes I am lucky enough that they share theirs with me. But I am only half way there because I am still immersed in my Cicestrian life, not part of life in other places, not experiencing those sights, sounds, smells, sensations – not really feeling what the other cultures on the planet are really like. I can only imagine, creating an impression based on the little I learn though other people, be they those that correspond directly, or those that I read and hear and see in the media.
So the explosion in media and communication that has occured in the last one hundred years, and particularly in the last 25 years (email celebrated 30 years of existence just the other day) is a good thing in that it allows ordinary people (if there is anything other than ordinary people) like me to experience and get a sample of life in other places and cultures. But on the flip side, as expressed by John Simpson (and I implore you to read his books to see what I mean), that explosion of cultural dissemination, communication and movement has resulted in an increasing homogeneity, the erosion of local unique cultures. Entire political and cultural ways of thinking and acting, whole belief structures have disappeared or become diminshed and diluted. The number of communist states is a tiny fraction of what it was 15 years ago. The number of dictatorships and autocratic monarchies seems to get fewer every day – multi-party democracy, with all its faults, is seen as the more successful model, and either nations move towards that model of their own accord, or have it foisted upon them by the western powers. The increased veneration of cash and wealth and power seems unending. And yes, dare I say it, “globalisation” has a part in this too.
Clearly, all of these changes have benefits and disbenefits. It is probably true to say that, on balance, the benefits outweigh the disbenefits. I’d like to think that this is the case, at least, and I hope that if it wasn’t, the global populace would try to stop the process in some way.
I’ve lamented on this site previously about the almost total disappearance of some regional dialects (I referred to the Sussex dialect in particular). I can see this process being repeated and enhanced globally in the next century or so, and not just impacting on the way we speak, but on the things we do, our beliefs and customs, the way we think and act. Travel, television and film have been the main factors so far. The internet, especially when sound becomes more integral in websites, will further hasten the process.
Make the most of the variety that you see before you now. Parts of it may not be around for much longer.
A dark night, in every
A dark night, in every sense of the word.
I’ve just enjoyed a lovely dinner in a warm and safe home. I have a glass of good wine by my side. But I can’t help but think about all those who are not enjoying and will not enjoy those luxuries tonight.
A variety of news sources can be found on my marketing resource page.
Monday 8 October 2001
What the hell does this
What the hell does this mean?
If you’re happy with the way things are going, don’t be afraid to let your feelings be known. Unless you speak up, people will assume that you’re bored or unavailable. When the Moon is in its current Sign, the Bull understands a good deal better than most. Once you open the door for it, change will enter and redecorate your house. Don’t put limits on the things you do tonight. Let things happen naturally, and in their own time.
So, should I take a course of action, or a course of inaction? Answers on a postcard please.
In a scary development, Meg
In a scary development, Meg threatens to hunt your down and spank you. Thankfully, I don’t have any down. I’m a bit hairy in places, but that is probably too much information for you. However, I think that eider ducks should be warned of this development, and take appropriate precautions.
I’m not sure that
Guesses for the competiton received
Guesses for the competiton received so far:
- The Clash
- Fairground Attraction
- Mark Eitzel
All good guesses. All wrong.
Oh, and it must be artist *and* title to get the prize.
Tonight at college, I was
Tonight at college, I was elected as Student Representative for our class. I’m not sure quite what this means or entails – it probably sounds far more important than it actually is.
Oh, and “elected” is probably a misnomer. It was more a case of:
Eric (tutor): “You all need to nominate a student representative.”
Students (as one): “Graham. He should do it.”
Actually, I’ve already been told by my fellow students what I should do if I get the opportunity – go to a meeting, get bolshy (which I’m good at) and demand a good student bar. Give me the chance, and I’ll gladly oblige.
Interesting search referral for today:
Interesting search referral for today: “things you don’t do in a pub or bar“.
Well, I guess there are plenty of those things listed here.
Worrying search referral for today:
Worrying search referral for today: “attacks UK london october 13th“.
You heard it here first.
Tuesday 9 October 2001
AFF and TFF: no score
AFF and TFF: no score this week, due to there being no Premiership matches as a result of the England v Greece match.
However, I have applied for five (count them!) transfers for my AFF team, as follows:
OUT: Paul Jones (Southampton)
REPLACED BY: E van der Sar (Fulham)
OUT: Jamie Clapham (Ipswich)
REPLACED BY: Dominic Matteo (Leeds)
OUT: Matt Elliott (Leicester)
REPLACED BY: Rio Ferdinand (Leeds)
OUT: Wes Brown (Manchester United)
REPLACED BY: Olaf Mellberg (Aston Villa)
OUT: Gustavo Poyet (Tottenham)
REPLACED BY: Robert Pires (Arsenal)
Hopefully, this will move me up the league from my current last-but-one place. “Hopefully”.
More guesses for the competition:FaithlessDub
More guesses for the competition:
- Dub Pistols
- Red House Painters
All wrong. Keep trying. Don’t forget – artist *and* title.
If nobody gets it by the end of the week, I’ll post a clue here.
“Virtual” products may soon float
“Virtual” products may soon float in stores. I’m struggling to see the point of this. Why can’t we just actually see the real thing? OK, so maybe people remember it, but surely that is just because of its novelty value – that tends to wear off very quickly, in my experience.
Someone I know needs to
Someone I know needs to read the “ten pearls of wisdom” over at the Graybiography. It might be you, so go read it anyway.
Nico suggests Chris Rea or
Nico suggests Chris Rea or Dire Straits as possible solutions for the competition.
I mean, credit me with *some* good taste, puh-leeze!
Wednesday 10 October 2001
Wednesday morning in Chichester: the
Wednesday morning in Chichester: the sun streams down from a perfect blue sky. A gull perches on the cathedral spire and calls out to the whole city. An argument leaks from an open window – a man is shouting through sobs. I take a shortcut across the dew-laden cathedral green, then stumble down South Street, passing someone I should really have said ‘hello’ to. But I don’t realise until it is too late – she seems to have a ‘morning head’ on and doesn’t see me. At the station, an impossibly thin woman queues for her newspaper before me. The train is late.
The BBC is currently running
The BBC is currently running a reduced front page on its online news service due to very high demand. It covers all the stories concerning the “war on terrorism” ….and the cricket score. Yet another reason why it is great to be British.
Some stories are just too
Some stories are just too good to miss. Girls – would you wear the WonderBum?
This may become compulsory reading
This may become compulsory reading for British bloggers, for whom life revolves around each other.
Urf. Well, when life throws
Well, when life throws a confidence-sapping body blow your way, I recommend consoling yourself with chocolate, a new CD, good food and follow all of that by heading out for a beer or two with some good mates. Which is exactly what I am doing now.
China to send probe to
Thursday 11 October 2001
Our family tends to make
Our family tends to make a conscious effort to avoid contact with one another. Not the case for Angie.
My Life As A Plumbee
My Life As A Plumbee by Rodney Breen.
To quote a Garfield comic
To quote a Garfield comic strip from around 1983, I hab a code.
This cold started out as an irritating, but not especially debilitating, sore throat – the sort of thing that you know will go away in a couple of days. And yet, this morning, I woke up to find myself to be unbelievably snot-ridden, experiencing great difficulty in breathing, and talking in a most amusing manner. Well, amusing for everyone other than me, of course.
What a strange night last
What a strange night last night was.
I ambled down to the Nags at around 9.30, as usual, only to be berated by Paul F for being late. I’d arranged to meet him there “at the usual time”. Well, I’ve been ambling into the pub around 9.30 for the last five or six months, in an attempt to save money by reducing the time I spend in there, so it wasn’t really unusual. Oh well. He seemed pacified when I bought him a pint.
The usual crowd were in the Nags, and I had a chat with Paul F, Ted, Phil, Tim and Clare, and did cast admiring glances at Emma, the attractive new barperson. Paul decided to head home, so I chose to amble along to W2 to see if Arron or anyone else was out.
W2 has been “losing it” in recent weeks, but I must say that I sense that it is beginning to improve now that recently-imported Dutch barperson Hilje (pronounced Hill-yer) is settling into her stride.
Nobody (apart from Steve – sans Helen) that I really knew was in W2, so I fetched myself a stool and the newspaper from the rack, and decided to kick back, catch up on global events, enjoy a quiet pint and get in a spot of people watching. I had a brief chat with Dan (who is working his last shift on Saturday) and Steve, and was settling into a quiet period of reverie, when I spotted a couple of blokes that I know (names withheld until next of kin informed) chatting with a couple of girls, one blonde and one raven haired. I waved greetings in the general direction of the blokes, and smiled at the girls. I looked back a few minutes later to see how they were getting on (usual bluster, it seemed to me).
Then next thing I knew, the blonde, who turned out to be called Sue, was stood next to me, apologising profusely – I’m not really sure what for. Sue, who at first claimed to be from Birmingham, but is in fact from Tamworth, is a nurse and not unattractive by any means. Well, to cut a long story short, we all ended up going back to the house of one of the blokes, drinking his beer. Sue was pissed as a fart, so much so that she actually gave me a snog – although she didn’t seem particular about who she snogged, to be honest. Then we all moved from there to the home of the other girl, Fleur. By this point I had just about had enough, and could see which way the evening was headed, and that, most likely, it wasn’t going to involve me, so I headed home and got in just before 1am.
The question is – why do I always get into situations like this?
Brighton and Hove Albion FC
Brighton and Hove Albion FC supporters and fans will have been totally dismayed that the team’s manager has left. But that’ll be nothing compared to the dismay that will abound if the rumour that ex-Leicester boss Peter Taylor is on his way to the Withdean. gah!
(No, I’m not interested in football. No, really, I’m not.)
Friday 12 October 2001
Beer tonight with Arron, Hilje
Beer tonight with Arron, Hilje (“I like you because you are safe” – um…thanks, I think), Chas, Kearn, DA, Jeff (“I was, like, born in Hull”), Tim, Cat and Cat’s mate Sylvia. Good friends.
Moon soil samples reveal history
Moon soil samples reveal history of lunar formation. Cool stuff.
It had to happen, I
It had to happen, I guess.
Finally, the mainstream media have
Finally, the mainstream media have caught up with a story that has been running around the web for days. Osama Bert Laden.
More competition wrong answers:AswadMonacoThe PoguesA
More competition wrong answers:
- The Pogues
A clue will be posted here tomorrow morning.
I’m up for it.
If you think the weather
If you think the weather where you are is bad, be glad you’re not on Mars.
Saturday 13 October 2001
In the time-honoured tradition, beer
In the time-honoured tradition, beer with: two Pauls (F and C), two Julies, two Fionas (ok, admittedly I only saw one Fiona briefly), Simon (have a fantastic wedding!!), Jeremy, Dave, Gary, Tim, Jackie, Clive, Hilje, Arron, Helen and countless other people. A good night, although free of scandal.
Not one, but four competition
Not one, but four competition clues:
- a band, not a solo artist
- male vocalist
- from an album released in 1994
Keep the guesses coming. Band *and* title needed to win the prize.
Having just enjoyed lunch with
Having just enjoyed lunch with my sister-not-in-law, Jane, I faced a choice, Michael Buerk stylee:
- do the washing up
- defrost the freezer
- clean the flat
- head to the park with a good book to read, peoplewatch, and enjoy probably the last sunny and warm Saturday afternoon of the year
OK, not the toughest choice I’ve ever faced.
Following on from my comments
Following on from my comments earlier this week, W2, *has* seriously lost it. Tonight, Oasis was being played on the stereo at full volume (bad), the draught beer was off (like, all of it, not just one variety – very bad) and the place was full of blokes who can only be described as “wankers” (very very bad).
So, beer in the Nags with Dave, Tim, Terry, the delightful, if dimunitive, Cath (hi!), Paul F, Cat and numerous other volunteers.
Someone I converse with on
Someone I converse with on AIM, who I think should keep her current site and stuff the people who know her that read her site. I do. It doesn’t bother me.
Sunday 14 October 2001
A long and fairly unexciting
A long and fairly unexciting day that saw me get up late, go to work and then on to Maidstone to give a lecture, then drive back through driving rain to a large heap of washing up (serves me right for being lazy). And some college homework. Guh.
Must. Force. Self. To. Act.
Monday 15 October 2001
Busy this morning, so no
Busy this morning, so no updates so far.
And nobody has had a go at the competition since the clues were posted.
Vaughan begins year two with
Vaughan begins year two with a new look and new job. Nice.
Why don’t I ever get
My class at college tonight
My class at college tonight has been cancelled (after we had all arrived – grr!), giving me an opportunity to do the homework which is due tomorrow, and which I did not do last night as a result of being bone-idle.
Latest guess for the competition:Blur:
Latest guess for the competition:
- Blur: Parklife
I occasionally have nights like
I occasionally have nights like this, except without the duvet sharing. A certainly without the work colleague – I work for my parents for goodness sake!
We are not alone.
Tuesday 16 October 2001
AFF: only 3 points, in
AFF: only 3 points, in spite of my much-trumpeted transfers, taking me to a pathetic 25 points and leaving me firmly rooted in second-to-last place in the league. At this rate, I’ll be in the Conference next season.
I’m not entirely sure why
I’m not entirely sure why this is newsworthy. Businesses have been targeting their products and services at so-called special interest groups or segments since the dawn of commerce.
nearly forgot: happy birthday to
nearly forgot: happy birthday to Paul F. Beer later in the Nags.
Wednesday 17 October 2001
Beer tonight with Phil, Dave,
Beer tonight with Phil, Dave, Tim and Paul F, with guest appearances by Alison, Teresa, Ian, Aris, Kearn, DA and Paul C. All good fun.
TFF: a dismal 14 points,
TFF: a dismal 14 points, taking me to 184. Where is that transfer list…?
A busy busy busy morning.
A busy busy busy morning. And everyone is in a blindingly good mood. It’ll never last.
TFF transfers: OUT: J Clapham
OUT: J Clapham REPLACED BY: A Cole
OUT: P Frandsen REPLACED BY: H Kewell
OUT: P Jones REPLACED BY: N Martyn
OUT: E Heskey REPLACED BY K Phillips
Should improve things a bit.
Not had much to say
Not had much to say today. Nor, it seems, have you lot – nothing in the comments, and silence in the email inbox. I guess I need to say something controversial again to stir you all up.
Thursday 18 October 2001
If leaving him is easy,
You long to be back in his arms, but be warned…
It’s your first Saturday night home alone since you broke it off with him. At first, friends rallied round and you made a special effort to get out and enjoy yourself. But now, a few months later, the dust has settled and the impetus is gone. Was he really as bad as all that, you wonder, as you look through the pages of your diary, only to be struck with snow blindness. Maybe if you call him you could catch a film or have a drink. What could be more innocent?
You miss him. Perhaps he misses you too. Were you a bit hasty finishing with him? He could be so nice, sometimes….
Laura Marcus discusses this dilemma with girls who have been down this road. Their stories need to be told.
To find out what happened, call 09060 100 117 from your fax, press start and it will print out. Calls are £1/min and last 5 min to fifteen min.
Oh, the wonders of premium rate fax services.
Actually, if anyone is prepared to stump up the £5 to £15 needed, I’d love to find out what happened next!
Do you have a library
Do you have a library book borrowed from a Singapore library? Forgotten to take it back? Fear not! You can renew the loan of the book and pay the fine from the comfort of your own home just by sending a text message. What will they think of next?
Britain could do with a
MAJOR NEWS: a reader of
MAJOR NEWS: a reader of this site has got the correct band and album for the competition, but can’t remember which track, but it can only be a matter of time!
Hang on – what in
Hang on – what in the world is “shameful” about not leaving the Sussex town (or city) where you grew up? From what I have seen, London is not all bright lights, trendy bars and happy people – it certainly is not the be-all and end-all. There is something to be said for living in the area where you grew up – in my case, many of my old friends are still around, I’ve made many new friends and I’ve had some great experiences. You don’t have to move away to experience life. If you do, your experiences might be different, but I am not convinced that they are necessarily better.
I just know that my
I just know that my sister-not-in-law will spend hours playing this.
Friday 19 October 2001
Beer tonight with Arron, Paul
Beer tonight with Arron, Paul F, Dave, Phil, Aris, Tanya, Steve C, Tim, the lovely Helen (hi!) and her friends (sorry if I have your names wrong!) Anita and Rebecca. Several others sighted. I’ve come home in a very good mood, but I need to sleep now.
As someone who works with
As someone who works with and loves plants, any effort to protect and preserve the fynbos is a good thing.
In a shocking oversight, I’ve
In a shocking oversight, I’ve completely failed to report some brilliant news from a few days ago – my friends Louise and Phil have become (very proud) parents to Anna Beatrice, born on 10th October weighing in at an admirable 8lb 14oz. All three doing well, by all accounts. I’m looking forward very much to meeting the new arrival.
Oh. My. God. There are
Oh. My. God.
There are very few people who have seen me naked, certainly in recent years. They all have two things in common. The first is that they are all female. The second is that they were all naked at the time too.
On the subject of searches,
On the subject of searches, some people come here by the most bizarre means.
Well, I’m glad someone has
Well, I’m glad someone has got the message.
This is just about how
Saturday 20 October 2001
I’m not brimming over with
I’m not brimming over with cheerfulness at the moment. I’ve spent the evening being injected with a massive dose of realism from various people that I love. I thank them, but it still isn’t a good thing.
Anyway, beer tonight with Paul F, Aris, Julie, Dave, DA, DAGS, Tam, Dom, Em, James, Jayne, Sacha, Ian, Tanya, Phil and Tim.
Sights seen this morning:Kiddies carrying
Sights seen this morning:
- Kiddies carrying Marks and Spencer balloons
- A man dressed as a banana
- Faces staring in my window as I stare back out, as the number 60 bus crawls through the queues on Orchard Street
- The boarded up doors at the front of Marks and Spencer in East Street, the second ramraid in Chichester in the last ten days (typical of Chichester that even the criminals are about ten years behind the fashions)
- An army of teenage girls handing out leaflets in North Street – but more concerned with chatting amongst themselves than actually doing what they were there to do
- The Boots cosmetics counter assistant calling to me three times before I responded (I was stood in the queue to pay and was oblivious to the fact that she was stood at a till without a queue)
- A letter from my bank telling me that I’m a very naughty boy, but not quite in such Python-esque words
I’m in a better mood this morning. Things aren’t so bad really. I just wish one or two things would click together at the moment, and preferably click together fairly quickly. Maybe they will yet.
I’m currently sitting at my
I’m currently sitting at my PC with a very large bag of ready-to-eat mixed salad, chomping away and making Popeye-eating-spinach-style mnyom-mnyom-mnyom noises. Ahhh, simple pleasures.
On the menu tonight at
On the menu tonight at Casa Graybo – pan-fried chicken and chorizo with rustic tomato sauce, served with a green salad and fresh bread. yum! I really should make more effort to cook for myself, rather than always eat readymeals, especially when the results are as good as this.
First it was Afghan refugees,
First it was Afghan refugees, now it is ants – no peace for Australia.
Sunday 21 October 2001
Beer last night with Paul
Beer last night with Paul F, Ian, Sacha, Tam, Dom, James, Kearn, Matt, DA, Dave and Tim. Ian, Sacha, Paul and I headed back to Ian’s for pizza, and whilst Paul and Ian were big kids on the PlayStation, Sacha and I played chess. All very cerebral, especially after several pints and a large glass of red.
“As a result – cranial
Make it stop!
Monday 22 October 2001
I did something last night
I did something last night that was either very honourable or very stupid. Can’t say more at the moment. But events over the next few days will show whether or not I did the right thing. Fingers crossed.
Left-handers can remember events better
Enjoying some chilling time with
Enjoying some chilling time with FreeZone 4 on the stereo, having decided I’d rather relax and kickback than go to all the effort of cooking dinner. Yep – even appetite sometimes surrenders to laziness.
Tuesday 23 October 2001
I could do with a
I could do with a little encouragement at the moment – I’m filled with doubt.
I knew I should have
I knew I should have had dinner last night. I’m starving now. Well, obviously not actually *starving*, but certainly quite hungry.
HELLO ITS ME CHARLOTTE &
HELLO ITS ME CHARLOTTE & I’M GETTING MARRIED 2 GAVIN. I WANT 2 KNOW WHO GRAHAMS NEW WOMEN IS?
Note to self: never show someone how to post to your blog from your mobile phone, as it may adversely impact on editorial standards.
However, huge congrats to Charlotte and Gavin on their engagement. Most of the men in the western world are now crying into their beer.
Oh, and another thing – there is no new woman. If only, eh?
Remember my Amazon wishlist? I’ve
Remember my Amazon wishlist? I’ve added a couple of new items recently, and I’m broke, a bit downhearted and greedy – so you know what to do.
Wednesday 24 October 2001
One or two readers may
One or two readers may know that, a while ago, I went on a date with a lovely lady from Cambridge. Well, we are still in touch, and today she has sent me a note in which she is positively leaping up-and-down with excitement. She is a writer by trade, and has been asked to interview Bruce Willis for this website – how cool is that? She has already done interviews with Mike Figgis and Simon Beaufoy.
Meanwhile, I saw Patricia Routledge in the street a few weeks ago. OK, I’ll admit it, I can’t compete.
It was honourable *and* stupid.
It was honourable *and* stupid. OK, maybe not stupid – that’s taking it a bit far. Misguided perhaps.
It’s raining Hollywood-quality rain outside
It’s raining Hollywood-quality rain outside at the moment – real “stair-rods”. Flooding ahoy?
Bill Gates to star in
Bill Gates to star in Frasier – “Frasier visibly bored”.
competition news: no new guesses
competition news: no new guesses in days. Final clue – John Peel once described the band as “way ahead of their time”. If nobody gets it right by Friday, the prize will go to the person who has already correctly guessed the band and album.
The comments function is currently
The comments function is currently off-line. You can read old comments, but not post new ones. If I was clever, I’d write my own comments function. Hopefully, normal service will resume shortly. In the meantime, why not send an e-mail?
Several people have written recently
Several people have written recently about dreams. Never wanting to be left out, here is a dream I had last night: I opened my wallet, and found an old bank slip, three fivers and a tenner there.
I woke up and actually switched on the light to check my wallet. Damn. It hadn’t come true. I only had the old bank slip.
TFF: a much more respectable
TFF: a much more respectable 38 points this week, taking my total to 222.
AFF: 16 points, which is also much improved on recent scores.
Thursday 25 October 2001
ok. comments. guh. all old
ok. comments. guh. all old comments have been deleted (not by me), but comments now work. the guy that runs the comments function has been having a crisis, mainly cash induced. several users (myself included) have offered to help him out. I hope he accepts our help before this situation arises again.
beer tonight with (deep breath
beer tonight with (deep breath – hope I remembered everyone!): Marcia (happy birthday for Friday), Nick, Mo, Tom, Cal, Dan, Vaughan, Fraser, David, Marcus, Paul, Robyn, Jules, Rodney, Peter and Darren – fine folk all.
Got the last train home ok, but some bright spark decided to pull the emergency cord at Shoreham. However, this provided a fine opportunity to flirt with the lovely nurse sat opposite me. Every cloud …etc.
The answer is 42.
Well, I’m glad that mystery
Well, I’m glad that mystery has been solved.
Friday 26 October 2001
I really must go to
I really must go to the Pallant House Gallery, particularly to see the Art for All exhibition. Chichester is heavily populated by very eye-catching posters promoting this event, each featuring Blake’s ‘Babe Rainbow’ print.
Huge crocodilian ate dinosaurs for
Huge crocodilian ate dinosaurs for lunch.
Swedes munch their way to
Swedes munch their way to ready meal top slot. Since when has reading a packet been “arduous”??
Went into work as usual
Went into work as usual this morning, feeling slightly off colour, but attributing that to beer last night (with Sarah, Paul S, Paul F, Helen, Phil, Gary and the rest of the Nags posse). However, as the morning wore on, it became apparent that all was not well – or more precisely, I was not well. So I got a lift home, and have been asleep for the last six hours – the best escape from the migraine I was suffering, complete with blurred and clouded vision, stabbing pain and the feeling that my temples were being crushed in a vice. I know I had a few dreams as I slept, although I can’t recall them. I’m sure one of them involved a beautiful blonde tending my fevered brow.
Whatever. Tonight I was planning to go and see a fireworks display and then head to the pub. Instead, I’m going to stay in and go to bed early.
Saturday 27 October 2001
I feel a correction is
In much the same way
In much the same way as hurricanes get downgraded to tropical storms, yesterday’s migraine was downgraded to bloody awful headache by the evening. Today we just have a headache, which is the equivalent of a particularly blustery day, and results in us speaking using the first person plural (oh no, not that again).
OK – competition closed. I
OK – competition closed. I can reveal that nobody got the correct answer, although Brooke did recall that it was a track from Bark Psychosis‘s album Hex. The correct track was Big Shot. So, Brooke wins a prize.
Not sure if I’ll do another competition. If enough people ask, then I will…
This took place just 300
This took place just 300 yards from my flat.
Being a porn actor means
Being a porn actor means an eight-hour day, but apparently it doesn’t seem like work. Well I never.
It’s been a long time,
It’s been a long time, but they’re back! Yes, mad Romanians.
Like curry? Then look here.
Like curry? Then look here.
There are a lot of
There are a lot of aircraft flying in the same direction at very high altitude over here. It is very reminiscent of the build up to the invasion of Kuwait during the Gulf War, when there were aircraft passing over every minute or two. I predict that the US are about to step up their activities in Afghanistan significantly in the next few days.
How bizarre – my mum
How bizarre – my mum has just phoned me from the pub to see if I’m going out for a drink. Under normal circumstances, of course I would. But with the residue of my monumental headache of yesterday still rumbling around my synapses, I’m going to pass, curl up on the sofa, and have an early night.
In everything, there is an
In everything, there is an opportunity.
forgot to mention last week:
forgot to mention last week: t-shirt designs at my merchandise site have been updated, and grayblog boxer shorts now available! woohoo!
Sunday 28 October 2001
Less than cheery today. Best
Less than cheery today. Best laid plans, and all that. Back to the drawing board, I guess.
John Simpson writes. And when
For those of us who
For those of us who like to get more than one version of the news, I heartily recommend OTN’s Afghan Media Monitor which is offering English language translations of news stories broadcast by the Afghan media, including the AIP (Afghan Islamic Press).
OTN’s reporting style tends to focus more on people on the ground than the wider politics. It can offer great insights. See their homepage.
Beer tonight with Mark, Ricky,
Beer tonight with Mark, Ricky, Gary, Arron, Joel, Anthony, Kristian. Final remaining plan now cancelled too, so a free agent tomorrow. I’m trying to come up with some unusual way to spend the day.
Monday 29 October 2001
My plans for spending the
My plans for spending the day in an unusual fashion have been shelved due to lack of funds. Instead, I’m going to tidy the flat, do some laundry, get lunch with Paul F, maybe go to Pallant House, nip to Waitrose and generally mess about and achieve little. Which is a good way to spend a day off work.
Not sure I agree entirely
Not sure I agree entirely with this article. It raises some significant issues, but surely this is only a transitory phase, and as technology improves, the sort of issues she raises will become less of a problem? And surely, picture editing “on-the-hoof” is nothing new – reading John Simpson’s autobiographies has shown to me how television crews have been doing on-the-spot editing for the last thirty years.
Well, I went to Pallant
Well, I went to Pallant House. And it was shut. gah.
So much for spending the
So much for spending the day in an unusual way. I spent most of it in the pub. But at least I got my laundry, shopping and other chores done.
Beer this afternoon with Tim,
Beer this afternoon with Tim, Gary and Paul F. More beer this evening with Annalee, Deb, the bescarfed Ali, Paul F and Aris. A mellow Monday.
Tuesday 30 October 2001
My flat is filled with
My flat is filled with the heady scent of a large bunch of lilies. This is a good thing.
I AM 10% GEEK. I
I wanna be a geek. But I’m not. Why would I even want to be one. Do I think it’s fun? I should try writting an online test application at 1am in my underwear.
Take the GEEK Test at Fuali.com!
I wonder why people bother to write these things. Or should I say ‘writte’?
As I walked into the
As I walked into the office just now, Seamus (who is the nursery cat) ran out. I had a fair idea what was going on. Inside, a local black and white cat, that we call Phil (it’s a long story), was cleaning up Seamus’s leftover lunch and eyeing a bag of kittybix on top of a cupboard. Needless to say, Seamus was less than best pleased about that. So, after I had chased Phil out, they are now sitting outside the door, about four feet apart, howling at each other. It’s actually quite fun to watch.
It’s good to know who
Why don’t BT provide reply-paid
Why don’t BT provide reply-paid envelopes for sending bill payments? All the other utilities that I deal with do. And why is the BT website so bloody useless? Rant!
A weekend at chez Coates.
A weekend at chez Coates.
1908 Siberian blast riddle ‘solved’
1908 Siberian blast riddle ‘solved’ – sounds plausible.
Wednesday 31 October 2001
Another of those nights when
Another of those nights when going out for a “quick pint” means staying out for four. Anyway, beer with Annalee, Paul F, DA, DAGS, Kearn, Matt, Ian, Sacha, Mich, Kristian, Joel, Tim, Gary with sightings of numerous others.
More evidence that parents should
More evidence that parents should be forced to apply for a licence before conception.
DA complained last night that
DA complained last night that I haven’t ranted about anything here for a while, or made revealing revelations (what other sort of revelation is there?) about my personal life.
Well, as soon as there is something I feel I want to rant about, I will. And as for my personal life, well, I am sure there will be revelations as and when there is something worth revealing – I don’t write everything here for obvious reasons (although I *do* write a lot, as you know).
In the meantime, here is a testcard. Well, several testcards actually.
Mediocre scores in fantasy football
Mediocre scores in fantasy football land this week. TFF: 21 points. AFF: 8 points. Not very good, but not bad either.
Poor Jen puts herself into
Poor Jen puts herself into enforced bedrest as a result of sneezing, but then finds a cure (partial at least) by being poked in the back of the head.
It’s a strange world.
Actually, I’ve been a bit stiff in my back and shoulders for most of the week, so if anyone lovely would like to come round and give a massage, just let me know.
Monkey Radio are putting out
Monkey Radio are putting out some ..err… boss tunage at the moment, as usual. About one track in five is already included in my CD collection, which is a good thing – it suggests (correctly) that the mp3J has similar taste to me. Consequently, I’ve already noted down a whole load of stuff I want to go out and buy. Or add to my Amazon wishlist.
There is a vicars-and-tarts karaoke
There is a vicars-and-tarts karaoke night at a pub just up the road this evening. The rest of the posse were trying to get me to go along, but somehow, it just isn’t quite my scene. So I’m going to wallow in the bath instead, with a good new book, lots of candles and a bath ballistic and there’ll be trouble if anyone interrupts me.
Ahh. So much for my
Ahh. So much for my grand plan. Arron has just called and asked me to go to the bar to sample his latest chocolate creation – Kahlua and caramel chocolates. Strangely, excellent homemade chocolates and beer wins.