Friday 1 November 2002
Weight loss update: today’s weigh-in:
Weight loss update: today’s weigh-in: 13st 0lb! yay! 2lb lost! only 1lb more to go!
Actually the needle rested slightly below 13st, but let’s not get too excited yet.
But at this rate, next week I’ll be able to eat my first pie in nearly two months!
Interesting article although it doesn’t
Interesting article although it doesn’t touch on what I think is the biggest issue facing the UK housing market (both for purchase or rental), which is the supply side issue. House prices are likely to remain high, as changing demographics and social norms in the UK mean that demand continues to exceed supply in most areas.
Not good. Not good at
Not good. Not good at all.
You know how you get
You know how you get to learn the order that the tracks go in on your favourite albums, so that you can be listening to it and start singing the next tune as it starts? Oh, just me then.
What’s really worrying is that I’m now able to do this with large chunks of radio grayblog. Really must add more tunes.
Claire by Gilbert O’Sullivan. Warm
Claire by Gilbert O’Sullivan. Warm fluffy song about babysitting, or something more sinister?
Saturday 2 November 2002
Pet hates: People who say
People who say they will telephone, and then don’t.
More than once.
I get the feeling I’m being messed around. And there is nothing that I have less patience for.
The West Cornwall Pasty Co.
The West Cornwall Pasty Co. (no home page?) have opened a branch that is conveniently located on my main route into and out of the city centre. They sell very fine Cornish pasties. They are the perfect food for people who have been traipsing around the city centre on a very wet Saturday morning and are feeling a bit sorry for themselves.
Another thing that is good for people who are feeling a bit sorry for themselves is shopping. And this morning I have purchased a new shirt and a tie in the sale at Army and Navy, a pair of shockingly (for me) trendy jeans from D2 and a highly exciting diary insert for my filofax. And in my travels, I bumped into Nikki and was treated to a laugh and some sympathy for my woes, which was good.
Our very own Lord Percy
Our very own Lord Percy needs to go and teach our very own Dave a lesson or two about dairy products.
Yay! At last! Brighton have
Yay! At last! Brighton have finally broken their run of 13 (or is it 14? I’ve lost count) losing games with a 3-2 home win over Bradford. That in spite of keeper Michel Kuipers being sent off and conceding a penalty for a professional foul. Plank.
ChilledBeats.org – bloody excellent. Bookmark
ChilledBeats.org – bloody excellent. Bookmark it now!
Then amble over to radio grayblog where you lucky people will find that I have added another nine (count ‘em!) new tracks. Playlist update to follow very very soon.
Sunday 3 November 2002
Going out with fifty quid
Going out with fifty quid and coming home with fifteen is not good.
Nor is going out with a bad attitude and coming home with friends who are now pissed off. Sorry guys.
Anyway, vodka and slimlines tonight with Polly, Abby, Sarah, Paul, Guy, Paul F, Malcolm, Mark, Clive, Matt, Kearn, Hamish, Ruth, Tim W, Alex, and assorted others.
Positive thinking…. positive thinking.
There are two guys outside,
There are two guys outside, with a Ford Transit precariously parked on the kerb, attempting to unload an enormous piece of awkwardly shaped and evidently heavy furniture of indeterminate purpose.
The Ford Transit has so many connotations in the English psyche, right from White Van Man driving like a lunatic as he hares around the suburbs making deliveries, through to the rusty vans in The Sweeney that always seemed to end up exploding in a quarry somewhere.
The one outside is definitely nearer the exploding-in-quarry end of the spectrum, being quite well dented, and with the windows down the side covered over with floral print wallpaper taped on with brown parcel tape. To hide what, I wonder?
Staying in Jack Regan’s world…
Staying in Jack Regan’s world… Sweeney Pong.
The radio grayblog homepage is
The radio grayblog homepage is now updated, including improved listening instructions after one or two people reported problems, and a fix for a broken link. The playlist now includes yesterday’s new additions, and these and future addiditons are/will be highlighted with the word "new" in red.
As I say, one or two people have reported problems with getting radio grayblog to work. The new instructions on the homepage should make it straightforward enough, but if you really can’t figure it out, just open Windows Media Player (assuming you are on a Windows PC), click on “Open URL” in the “File” menu and enter “http://www.live365.com/play/295011″ – and Bob’s your uncle.
Beer tonight with Bren, Greg,
Beer tonight with Bren, Greg, Paul F, Paul the other one and Ted in Aldwick at the Ship. A good night.
Monday 4 November 2002
As usual, something in my
As usual, something in my life isn’t working out the way I had hoped.
Best just go to bed really.
With possibly the most transparent
With possibly the most transparent piece of obfuscation yet seen in blogging, Rodney hints at a pending announcement, for which much backslapping, cheering and firm handshaking is called for.
Oh, and if any of
Oh, and if any of you were worrying about me this morning, don’t bother, as I’m developing (well, actually I’ve had it for most of the weekend) a potentially dangerous gung-ho attitude to life and "stuff" that, most likely, will all end in tears, but might be fun whilst it lasts.
Just so that you know.
I feel really tired, which
I feel really tired, which is not good as I have to go to a CIM presentation this evening, where I will be called upon to look and act smart, network, socialise and generally stay awake.
Lonnie Donegan, RIP.
Lonnie Donegan, RIP.
Just got back from the
Just got back from the CIM presentation, where my hatred for being the subject of photography was reaffirmed. Cicestrians should get to see some of the results (a picture of me, Hev, Libby, Paul and Nicola) in the Observer
this week next week (probably).
The presentation itself was not very exciting, although praise was heaped upon the recipients (which included me) which is always nice. Heather was given an armload of silverware, although she had to give the biggest bit back, as she gained the highest results in the region.
We decided not to stay for the talk that was given afterwards, as just about three quarters of the assembled guests scarpered after the presentation and sandwiches. Hev also noticed that the vast majority of the recipients of awards were female and wore dark suits – in a way, it was a shame I didn’t get to network more, but there was gossiping to be done with Paul and Nicola.
However, amongst the people we did meet was grayblog reader and occasional comment author, Robbie Boy, who seems a very good egg indeed.
Tuesday 5 November 2002
Today’s horoscope is one of
Today’s horoscope is one of the best I’ve had in ages:
Certain people or circumstances could create some seductive illusions. Living in the moment sounds like fun, but you may end up flinching as you look back on today’s deeds. Better to be safe than sorry right now. Messages from your libido are not to be trusted. Making a romantic move at the wrong time could result in much less than you’d hoped for. Better wait this one out for now. Tonight, hasty words are likely to get you into trouble. Think very carefully before you speak.
In other words, keep my trousers on and my mouth shut!
It’s gone 4pm, and I’ve
It’s gone 4pm, and I’ve not felt the need to rein in my libido yet. I am beginning to suspect that my horoscope may be wide of the mark.
<elton>little bit of politics</elton>…. Nick
<elton>little bit of politics</elton>….
Nick Assinder on IDS’s appalling leadership of the Tories
Matthew Tempest, perhaps predictably taking a broader swipe at the Tories
ITN lists the rebels and abstainers from last night’s vote
Gary Gibbon suggests that IDS’s strategy will buy him neither time nor peace
"If we do not show a semblance of unity, we will be seen as having lost the plot and not fit or worthy to govern."
More links tomorrow, when the dailies have published their editorials.
Didn’t I say the Tories elected the wrong man? Yes, I did.
My opinion (still forming): the Tories are currently not following the right strategy. They say that they want to create policies that “reflect Britain as it is today” and not as it was 20 years ago. But the actions of the leadership do not reflect this intention. The vote on adoption underlined that in the view of electors across the country – the Tory leadership is not aware of the “real” world.
IDS’s handling of the rebellion is also weak. He has not shown that he is a strong and commanding leader with the power to unite his party when he needs to, nor the self-assuredness or strength of character to give his party its head at times (do you see Blair or Kennedy throwing a wobbly when a few members do not follow the party line? and what of IDS’s own track record? it smacks of hipocrisy).
Since the Tories’ humiliation at the polls in 1997, and their subsequent lurch to the right, we have seen the LibDems under the redoubtable, affable and generally likeable Charles Kennedy surge in popularity and fill the middle ground, to such an extent that they seriously threaten the Tories as the main party of opposition. They appear more credible and cohesive. They also have policies and ideologies that are in tune with voters. Not bad for a party with a leader with red hair (remember the last red-haired party leader!).
In my view, unless the Tories adopt a more social liberal conservatism (and you all know who I’m talking about here) – what I always used to believe in as Conservatism when I was younger and voted for them (i.e. small government, allowing people to live their own lives, encouraging entrepreneurism, helping those genuinely in need, robust fiscal policy), and effectively tackle the government’s multitudinous failures (immigration, education, rural affairs – the list goes on) – and not employ a strange mixture of being the government’s hyperactive yes-men (particularly in the field of foreign policy, where the tactic seems to be to agree with everything that the grinning fool says, only more so) one moment, and then disappearing off into a Never Never Land of Daily Mail style politics the next (adoption) – unless they adopt social liberal conservatism, then they will become marginalised and unlikely ever to form a government.
The question is, can the Conservative Party survive? I honestly doubt it, at least not in its present form. Unless there is the chance of the party being successfully led by the “dream team” of Clarke and the now-almost-respectable Portillo (in the roles of leader and chancellor respectively), and if they have the support of the majority of the parliamentary party, then I think it is unlikely. Why? Well, it’s the nature of the beast really – it doesn’t matter if the left or the right of the party have control, the opposing faction will be snapping at their heels the whole time. The party is simply too factional, a situation that has existed since Margaret Thatcher really started to lose the plot, if not long before then if truth be known. There will always be some issue to fight over, be it benefits, spending, social inclusion or, worst of them all, Europe.
The most likely outcome? A split in the party, I believe, into those who are truly right wing (IDS, Howard, Davis, etc. aided by Thatcher and the Chingford Skinhead) on one side and the more centrist members (Clarke, Portillo [although he is fairly right-wing himself, but seems to have developed something of a social conscience], Maude, Heseltine and the suddenly famous Bercow – aided by a few famous former MPs like Chris Patten) on the other. Which will of course mean that neither group will be big enough to form a government on its own, but may be able to wield power in the (pretty unlikely) event of a hung parliament and a coalition, messy and unpleasant as that inevitably will be. In other words, they will only ever be marginal players.
Which leaves a fairly stark choice, one of the few things that IDS has correctly identified: the party must “pull together” or “hang apart”. The question is, pull together behind whom?
Wednesday 6 November 2002
Do we need more evidence?
Do we need more evidence? Cal is evil with his new lyric quiz.
AFF: a respectable 14 points.
AFF: a respectable 14 points.
TFF: also respectable, with 27 points.
In both instances, the result of good defending, not goal scoring.
More politics…. Patrick Wintour on
Patrick Wintour on the Conservative Party’s past and future
Ed Vaizey emplores the party to stop fighting, although I’m not sure about his statement that IDS has embraced social liberalism. If this is the case, why on earth impose a three line whip over the adoption bill?
Telegraph opinion implores MPs to back IDS and warns that to fail to do so will result in death of Conservative Party by 2025.
Slightly barmy article by Janet Daley which raises some good issues (poor party management, definition of "nice" and "nasty" and wondering what exactly is IDS’s direction) as well as a few simply strange ideas (suggesting the gay community were driving the argument – muh? Ken Clarke is not well known as a gay rights activist!).
Ben Macintyre looks at IDS’s psychology – "IDS’s desperate day was desperately weird".
Mrs T: the Tories will never die.
Urf. On Lemsip due to
Urf. On Lemsip due to sore throat and general feeling of malaise.
I’ve also noticed that when I go on a political ramble here, hardly anyone ever comments. Yet, if I were to talk about cheese…
Worrying news from Charlie this
Worrying news from Charlie this evening, who is in hospital, but is going to be ok. I’m not really in a position to go hospital visiting at the moment, as this cold is getting worse, and not better, but I shall think of something.
Be well very soon, babe.
Thursday 7 November 2002
I’m not even going to
I’m not even going to mention the test cricket. gah.
More politics: Clarke says IDS’s
Clarke says IDS’s woes self-inflicted.
Sniff. Cough. Urg. And I
Sniff. Cough. Urg.
And I have to give a talk tonight to the assembled masses of Ferring. Plus ready myself for a very long day tomorrow.
I’ll be very surprised if my weight-loss programme has reached its goal by tomorrow’s weigh-in – sugary cold remedies are not good for that sort of thing, plus I’m inclined to feed myself properly whilst I’m ill.
English law – we love
English law – we love it.
Expect much silence tomorrow (unless
Expect much silence tomorrow (unless I can be arsed to use Waplogger) as I traipse to Birmingham by train (complete with phlegm and snot) to wear a particularly ridiculous hat and gown, shake someone’s hand, get given a rolled up piece of paper, and then traipse back again. There may be piccies if you are very unlucky.
Saturday 9 November 2002
Yesterday’s weekly weigh-in: 13st. No
Yesterday’s weekly weigh-in: 13st. No change. So it looks like I must diet for another week to shed that final pound.
Yesterday’s CIM graduation ceremony: Well,
Yesterday’s CIM graduation ceremony:
Well, I must admit that I was slightly worried that it might be a rather long and tedious affair. But it wasn’t, and I am really really glad that I went.
We (being me and my parents) set off early by train for Birmingham (leaving around 7am to go via Southampton) and arrived at Birmingham New Street with plenty of time – I’m glad we took the train, even though the journey home was pretty bad (late and hugely overcrowded, at least until we got past Reading), as the weather was grim and driving would have been pretty unpleasant, especially with the cold I’m still suffering with. We found the Symphony Hall easily, and I set about registering, getting kitted out in my robes and mortarboard and getting my photo taken. There are some photos we took on the digital camera too, and I’ll pick out the best one or two to put here in the next day or two (yes, new piccies for all you graypies to admire!).
By this time I’d met up with Frances, Libby, Heather and Leigh. Charlotte was running late due to a puncture, but made it on time, and I saw her briefly after the ceremony. We grabbed a bite of lunch, then hung around waiting (we had figured it better to be early than late and flustered) until we went into the hall for the ceremony.
All the diplomates were seated in alphabetical order, so I was some way from the others, but had some great neighbours in my row, and we instantly started chatting and laughing about the whole thing (hi to Veronica Staar – good luck wth finding new work, and to Claire and Debbie Spencer – there were more Spencers present than any other surname). Once we were all seated, there was some organ music (jokes about “Here Comes The Bride”) and then the CIM top brass filed in. After a couple of speeches, the presentations began, with us being filed out of the hall and back in through a stage door as each name was read out – top marks to the MC for confidently reading so many difficult and foreign names (I think he was glad when he got to our row as we were easy to say!). It’s an awfuly wide stage to walk across when you are wearing silly garb, everyone is looking at you and applauding, and you have to not fall over your own feet and succeed in smiling and shaking two people’s hands!
After we left the stage, we were given our diploma in a side room before returning to our seats. Once everyone had been presented, there were a couple more speeches (including a rather rambling one from Dianne Thompson of Camelot), before the national anthem was played and everyone filed out for a glass of wine before leaving.
There was quite a change in the atmosphere – before the event everyone had been a bit blasé about it, but afterwards, the sense of pride in our individual and collective achievements was quite palpable. There were really quite few young diplomates there – most were in their late twenties at least, and some were much older. We’d all juggled work, social and family lives to finish our diploma, and this day was the end result.
I was certainly proud. In fact, I caught myself grinning.
Afterwards, parents and I retired to a really good restaurant next door to the Symphony Hall for dinner, before heading back to the station. I certainly was very tired when I got home, but it was definitely worth it.
I’ve just been reading Robyn’s
I’ve just been reading Robyn‘s about page (which reminded me how terribly out-of-date mine is), which I note has been updated since I last looked, wherein Robyn talks about her family being full of firsts.
I was wondering what claims I might have to firstdom – I think I have the first postgrad diploma in the family, but that’s about it. However, I could become the first to completely fail to take a golden opportunity because I completely failed to put any effort into it at all. I’m working on an amazingly important document for it at the moment, but so far all I have is a cover, a contents list and the line
More effort required, methinks, especially as the document must be ready by Friday morning.
Sunday 10 November 2002
Let’s consider it an extension
Let’s consider it an extension of my graduation celebrations, shall we?….
Tonight, drinks with Arron, Brenda, Greg and Guy, followed by dancing at Thursdays (yes, *that* Thursdays) with the beautiful Claire (happy birthday!) and the splendid Gilly until 2am. With sightings of (I’ll never live this down!) Jo, Andy, Nikki, Helen, Kirsty and several other regular faces.
God. Me? Dancing? My reputation is in tatters.
Strangely enough, I feel quite
Strangely enough, I feel quite tired today. I wonder why?
As promised – me in
As promised – me in silly garb:
Competition – best PhotoShopped version
Competition – best PhotoShopped version of the piccie below will be posted here and will earn its creator a firm handshake and a packet of pickled onion flavour Monster Munch.
Send you submissions now!
Well, today just has to
Well, today just has to be one of those object lessons in life – get over-optimistic, and things will definitely not turn out the way you hope. No major setbacks, dear reader, just a bunch of small minor issues. But cancelling tonight’s firework party due to the awful weather was really just the icing on the cake. Except that icing and cake are nice.
I’m going to head down to the bar later to see if the Herbie Mash Trio are playing, although I haven’t quite figured out what I might buy any drinks with. Gah.
In the meantime, I guess it is back to The Document.
And, of course, I’m sure things aren’t really that bad, but just feel like it at the moment.
When you listen to Chill
When you listen to Chill Factor 100 over at Chilledbeats.org, you can view a real-time playlist on their homepage. The stream is on Live365, like radio grayblog, and the information is obviously culled from Live365 but does not include the Live365 links. And it can be viewed without using the Live365 player.
Any coding genius out there want to help me set up something similar for radio grayblog? I’m afraid that there wouldn’t be anything in it for you other than maybe a few beers and my eternal gratitude, but I’m hoping someone will take pity on me.
The Herbie Mash Trio were
The Herbie Mash Trio were playing an awesome gig in W2 tonight before a capacity crowd. Banging tuneage abounded!
Monday 11 November 2002
China: the world’s factory floor.
China: the world’s factory floor. And the moral of the story? Start learning Chinese, because I predict that within 20 years they will be the world’s greatest economic power, way ahead of Japan or the US.
Made some progress with The
Made some progress with The Document last night. It is in nine parts, and I have now written parts 1, 2 and 3. Parts 4 and 5 should be fairly straightforward, with part 5 being the real substance of the document, laying down the principles and ethos of the new business. Part 6 will probably read “more research required”, as I don’t have sufficient knowledge to do that bit without getting some professional advice, but should include some vague ideas and my current gut feelings. Part 7 will be the all the numbers, and will probably also have a few blanks in it for now. Part 8 should be reasonably easy. Part 9 will be vague waffle (my favourite part!). All-in-all, I expect it to run to about 25 or 30 pages.
A fine example of when
A fine example of when a marketing department gets stuck on one promotional idea and just flogs it to death. The trouble is that by doing what they have done, AOL are killing a perfectly effective and legitimate promotions tool by overkill.
Well, Lord Percy has done
Well, Lord Percy has done us proud with not one, not two, but three submissions for the graduation photo contest. And he has promised another. Entry/ies also promised by Bella.
So, I’ve set up a page to post them all on. The best will be put on the grayblog front page and win the Monster Munch. Send your entries now! I’ll choose a winner at the weekend.
UPDATE: new entry added by CSide.
FURTHER UPDATE: new entry supplied by Arseblogger.
Lots of thought fodder to
Brighton drew away to Wolves
Brighton drew away to Wolves tonight. Not a bad result, but a pity that we were ahead for most of the game and couldn’t hold out until the end. Judging by the text commentary on the Beeb, I think we did well to get a (very valuable) point.
Tuesday 12 November 2002
Working until 0:15 on The
Working until 0:15 on The Document makes for a sleepy Graybo. However, progress is good and I’m pleased with it so far. I may even get it finished in time.
You too can be Peter
You too can be Peter Snow with the BBC’s handy Iraq Navigator. How handy.
Just received a rather disturbing
Just received a rather disturbing email. I wouldn’t normally publicise this sort of thing, as so many of these messages are hoax, but it comes to me from a very reliable source and seems, sadly, to be very plausible.
I have been told by [name deleted] in Finance that her friend’s drink was laced with GHB (Date Rape drug) on Friday night in Tiger Tiger. She was taken to hospital after collapsing in the club where it was confirmed that she had GHB in her blood. Once there and questioned by police they revealed that this is on the increase in Portsmouth. This is also the second person she knows that this has happened to – the other person’s drink having been spiked in Jongleurs recently. Keep an eye on your drinks and who is buying them for you peeps.
Sound advice. I haven’t heard of any cases in Chichester yet, but I guess it is just a matter of time.
Lord Percy has sent the
Lord Percy has sent the first animated gif in for the photo comp. Keep the entries coming!
Spot On? Ummm… nope, don’t
Spot On? Ummm… nope, don’t think so.
New photo competition submissions from
New photo competition submissions from Vicky and ML. Not sure that either of the comparisons are flattering!
UPDATE: And Dave.
Coffee, choccies and flowers this
Coffee, choccies and flowers this evening with Pete and Charlie (on the mend – yay!).
Wednesday 13 November 2002
AFF: a mediocre 10 points.
AFF: a mediocre 10 points.
TFF: a much better 40 points. yay!
Interesting if you’re a blogger/personal
Interesting if you’re a blogger/personal publisher or generally involved in web site design and maintenance.
The photo competition is proving
The photo competition is proving to be one of the most popular things I’ve ever done at this site. Excellent new entry from Ade now added, as well as another from the prolific and completely barking Lord Percy.
Time for more entries yet – I’m going to make my judgement on Saturday.
Burny-burny hot hot!. And, sticking
Thursday 14 November 2002
Have been working on The
Have been working on The Document all evening. Am exhausted. Not finished, but must sleep. Damn – I’m nearly there, but have a few gaps to fill, and sections 8.1, 8.2, 9.1 and 9.2 to write yet. And the newly created section 1.2 too. And I’m hoping to drop it into the powers-that-be tomorrow so that they have a chance to read it before our meeting on Friday morning. Hopefully, I can fill a few gaps tomorrow morning at work (just don’t tell anyone that I’m not doing nursery work!).
Have two new pics from arseblogger. Will post them tomorrow night, but they provided moments of humorous interlude, so thanks mate!
I’ve been invaded by the
I’ve been invaded by the cat as I sit at my desk this morning. He has installed himself in my lap, and is now fast asleep. I’ve also just realised that I picked up a smart sweater this morning by accident (it is a black Gap sweater, just like my less-smart black Gap sweater that I often wear to work, only less faded) and that he is moulting all over it. Still, he’s warm, and it is pretty cold and wet outside, so it wouldn’t be fair to turf him off.
Of course, having said that, Dad has just walked into the room, and since it is Dad that usually feeds Seamus, he’s suddenly woken and got up, just on the off chance.
I’ve just got Office 2000.
I’ve just got Office 2000. And I thought the version of Clippy in Office 97 was annoying! Argh! Must switch the annoying digital bastard off!
Two new photos on the
Two new photos on the photo comp from Arseblogger.
You’ve only got until Saturday to get your entries in – so hurry!
Finished The Document this afternoon,
Finished The Document this afternoon, after another four hours or so, and delivered it ready for tomorrow’s meeting – 25 pages of glorious perfection, or something. Tonight’s task is to organise my files and get an early night.
I haven’t said anything about
I haven’t said anything about the current fire brigade strike yet, although I’m sure you can guess my opinions.
However, what is really cheesing me off at the moment is the way that some sections of the media, and particularly BBC TV news (much less so online), keep going on about how inadequate the Army’s “Green Goddess” fire engines are. I’m sorry, but that is total rubbish. Clearly they are not going to have the same kit that a modern engine has, but they are excellent tools – the average age of the fleet might be 50 years, but the average mileage on the clock is just 300. Of the Army’s fleet, all but one is in perfect working order. They have all-wheel drive, a feature that regular fire engines do not possess. And, as any resident of Chichester who escaped the floods of the last few years will tell you, they are extremely effective and you’d be bloody glad to see one when you needed one!
Additionally, the retained (part-time) firefighters are still working, with their full training and modern kit. And there are RAF and Royal Navy crews with the very latest kit too.
I honestly think that a lot of this media coverage is the result of FBU spin doctors, trying to make out that we can’t survive without firemen, inflating their own self worth.
Oh, and for my next rant: the firemen have a legal right to strike, fair enough, but why does that mean that the fire appliances, owned by the local authority and paid for out of our taxes, have to be left locked in the stations?
Friday 15 November 2002
Weekly weigh-in: 12st 12lb. Woo!
Weekly weigh-in: 12st 12lb. Woo! yay! I’ve passed my target by a whole extra pound! The diet is officially over.
Now to resist the temptation to pig out on pies.
After completing The Document yesterday,
After completing The Document yesterday, in little under half an hour I have The Meeting. Hopefully, tonight I will have The Celebration. If not, then I will have Some Consideration.
Saturday 16 November 2002
The Meeting was very long
The Meeting was very long (seven and a half hours) but very successful, and so was followed by celebration last night with beer and champagne in the company of Paul F, Kearn, Lady Bren, Lord Percy and Kristian.
I can’t really say much more about the whole thing at the moment. Details will, undoubtedly, creep out over the next few weeks and months. We expect to go public with the whole thing in March, but before then it should be clear what is happening. I expect to make a couple of announcements later this week.
This could prove to be
This could prove to be intensely irritating and amusing in equal measure, and probably all too easy to take potshots at.
Lunch with Sarah and Paul
Lunch with Sarah and Paul in the Nags, with sightings of many familiar faces. Bumped into Nick and Anne on my way back here.
A late entry for the
The judges have spent many hours deliberating, and have chosen Ade‘s picture as the winner on the grounds of quality and humour:
He will receive a packet of pickled onion Monster Munch and a firm handshake when I see him.
Runners-up Julie (for highest quality submission) and Lord Percy (for just being plain mad!) will both receive firm handshakes. Thanks to everyone that took part!
Although the competition itself is now closed, don’t be afraid to send in any more submissions that you may feel inspired to create.
Remember when I went to
Remember when I went to the Wessex Branch CIM meeting? This is what we all looked like…
Yay! Brighton win! At this
Yay! Brighton win! At this rate, we might not finish last in Division 1.
Beer tonight with Tanya, Claudine,
Beer tonight with Tanya, Claudine, Paul F, Cat, Nik, Alex and Guy, with sightings of Ruth, Hamish, Leah and Clive.
Sunday 17 November 2002
BBC Online looks at the
BBC Online looks at the internet radio industry.
Origins of cricket may lay
Origins of cricket may lay in France. Preposterous!
Groovy fireworks at the AP’s
Groovy fireworks at the AP’s abode this evening for Dad’s birthday with the whole family present, plus Lord Percy and Lady Bren. Super!
I’ve also taken delivery of a new (to me) PC from Lord Percy, so shall spend tomorrow evening setting that up.
Monday 18 November 2002
AFF: 11 points. Fairly middling.
AFF: 11 points. Fairly middling.
I’m absolutely pooped this morning
I’m absolutely pooped this morning – I’m not even sure why, as yesterday was generally a pretty relaxing day – work was far from stressful, and the fireworks in the evening were a fun but gentle way of passing the time. Maybe I just need a break (fat chance of that!).
A great shame: no lottery
A great shame: no lottery money for the last airworthy Vulcan. I’ve seen VH558 flying – it is an awesome and beautiful sight (and sound), and a part of British military history that should be preserved, in my view.
Woo! Yay! Secret Santa is
Woo! Yay! Secret Santa is back! Go sign up now.
Mark Mardell on New Labour’s
He lives just down the
He lives just down the road from me (well, ten miles – but not far), don’t you know?
Tuesday 19 November 2002
Spent all of yesterday evening
Spent all of yesterday evening setting up a new (to me) PC that I have purchased from Lord Percy (the cheque’s in the post. Well, actualy, it isn’t. But you know what I mean) – and it seems to be running very smoothly.
Tonight, I need to make rapid headway on revisions to The Document following last Friday’s Meeting, as well as expanding and extending The Cash Flow Forecast.
Note to the franchisees for
Note to the franchisees for the refreshments trolley service on Wessex Trains: you’d sell an awful lot more sandwiches if your operatives didn’t STINK! Try issuing them with deodorant and a clean shirt.
James Coburn, RIP.
James Coburn, RIP.
Gah. There really need to
Gah. There really need to be better international standards for the construction of tankers.
Well, I think most people
Well, I think most people in the industry have realised this already.
If ever he had any
If ever he had any grasp of the plot at all, I think it is fair to say that the world’s most famous "creative visionary" has totally and utterly lost it.
Sorry that this site has
Sorry that this site has turned into a bit of a "Best of the Beeb" lately, but I’ve been a bit snowed under, which hasn’t left much room for the rambling melancholy introspection that I know you all love. I will restore normal service as soon as I can, although I’m not clear when that will be.
In the meantime, I’ve got to work on revisions to The Document as well as a detailed Cash Flow Forecast, and will get on with it as soon as I decide whether a vodka and tonic or one of my very last bottles of Sagres (aside: Oddbins in South Street finally closed their doors yesterday – a great loss) will be the best aid to concentration.
Very cool. Needs Flash and
Very cool. Needs Flash and not safe for any place where sudden loud music may offend (e.g. the office!).
Wednesday 20 November 2002
TFF: a pleasant 34 points,
TFF: a pleasant 34 points, taking me to 383.
Best bit of the day
Best bit of the day so far has been bumping into the lovely Gill in the bakers this morning. Haven’t seen her for ages, so it was great to catch up.
Busy busy busy.
Busy busy busy.
Thursday 21 November 2002
Much fuss in the media
Much fuss in the media this morning about last night’s public post mortem, the first to be held in this country for 170 years.
I don’t really have an opinion on it, but I do wonder if the fuss is being driven not so much by the autopsy itself as by the fact that Professor Gunther von Hagens is such a showman – and possibly even your archetypal mad German scientist, a character type that has attracted the public interest right back to the time of Bela Lugosi, and Boris Karloff in the 1920s and 30s. Not forgetting Peter Lorre:
I also suspect that Prof von Hagens uses the same milliner as Herr Flick:
Always wanted to be Wile
Always wanted to be Wile E Coyote in a Dungeons and Dragons game? Well, now you can with Looney Tunes D&D.
Friday 22 November 2002
Is it me, my PC
Is it me, my PC or something else? It just seems that the web is being very clunky this morning.
I’m currently torn between a
I’m currently torn between a total bah-humbug mood and the desire to go out, get completely trolleyed and do something outrageous and possibly regrettable. The trouble is, when I get in a mood like that, I can be quite destructive and fairly unpleasant to be around. So friends should be warned to either steer clear of me or give me a swift kick up the arse.
Of course, my mood will almost certainly have completely changed by the end of the day.
Saturday 23 November 2002
Well, so much for being
Well, so much for being outrageous. Drinks tonight with Guy, Bren, Greg, Arron, Paul F, Nikki and several other favourites in W2 and the Nags.
Am pissed. Need hug.
hmmmm… a hangover. Now there’s
hmmmm… a hangover. Now there’s a shocker.
Off to The Smoke today, so expect a paucity of updates.
Sunday 24 November 2002
Really tired but very relaxed
Really tired but very relaxed after spending time with my cousin Gemma yesterday afternoon, followed by beers with Nick, Marcia, Mo and Katie. Hospitality from Marcia and Nick followed by greasy-spoon brekkie this morning rounded off a fine weekend. More details when I have more energy.
Monday 25 November 2002
I shouldn’t laugh, but natural
It seems that there is
It seems that there is hope for me yet.
OK, I know it’s been
OK, I know it’s been done before, but here is my weekend in links:
After arriving at Victoria and tubing to South Kensington, I got to the Natural History Museum and had a look at this exhibition of photographs. I then met up with my cousin Gemma, and went into the museum itself where we wandered around some of the galleries and listened to a really interesting lecture about dead whales, including the opportunity to discuss whale parasites and look at a jar of whale eyeballs. You had to be there, I guess.
After taking a coffee and crêpe, Gem and I parted. I wandered off to Piccadilly to amble around here where I purchased just one CD, then across the road to here where, somehow, I resisted temptation.
Shortly, I headed to this pub to meet with these four lovely people for drinks and silliness. Pity that more didn’t show, but I guess they have other things to do on a Saturday night.
At the end of the evening, I headed with Marcia and Nick to their place for late night coffee and chat and a good night’s sleep. In the morning we treated ourselves to a very unhealthy but tasty brekkie at a nearby greasy spoon before I headed back to the tube for the journey home.
Top weekend – great people, great beer and great eyeballs.
Just occasionally, local media can
Just occasionally, local media can produce something that is really excellent – well presented and thought provoking. I watch the BBC South news most lunchtimes at work, and recently they have been following a former serviceman who has returned to the Falklands for the first time since the conflict, as part of efforts to commemorate the 20th anniversary.
Today he reached the point at Fitzroy where the Sir Galahad was sunk after being bombed by the Argentine forces. It was packed with members of the Welsh Guards waiting to land, along with their munitions – more than 200 died, the biggest single British military loss since the Second World War.
In an excellent piece of journalism, the camera crew just trained their camera on the serviceman, as he stood on the beach, tears running down his cheeks. There was no other sound than the lapping of the waves on the pebbled beach. Then he began to speak, and recounted the horror of that day for the first time, having repressed the memory for twenty years. As he stared out over the water, he spoke of the horrendous flash burns on his colleagues faces, how he tried to help as many as he could, how the plastic waterproofs that they wore melted onto their bodies so that when they tried to pull them off the injured, their skin came away as well.
Then he stopped speaking, and pulled a tissue from his pocket. The cameraman asked if he was ok. He didn’t reply.
By this point, my eyes were welling up. You can’t possibly imagine how awful an experience like that could be. Whilst I fully believe that the British were right to fight to liberate the Falklands, it is the poor sods on the ground who end up doing the dirty work. Perhaps Mr Blair and Mr Bush should meet people like this serviceman, and his counterpart veterans from the Argentinian side.
Related: BBC guide to the conflict.
Look out world – here
Look out world – here comes rice that will not die.
Tuesday 26 November 2002
AFF. No points at all.
AFF. No points at all. Gah.
I’m beginning to develop a
I’m beginning to develop a deep loathing of Access. And it isn’t even midday yet.
I’m also increasingly feeling the need to go on holiday. A short break in, say, Paris is mightily tempting. How I reconcile this with impending fraternal birthday present purchasing, imminent Christmas gift buying, forthcoming silly season drunkenness and my existing overdraft and credit card debt, I really do not know. A small cash injection from an unexpected source this morning helped, but it was pitifully small relative to all that.
Oh yeh, there is also the small matter of impending big-time debt that is related to The Document, but I’m trying to block that from my mind.
And why is it that I can never type
existng existnig exsiting existing correctly at the first attempt?
All morning……. all bloody morning…Hey
All morning……. all bloody morning…
People say we monkey around
But we’re too busy singing
To put anybody down
Just because I saw a bloke walking along my street as I left home this morning, wearing a hat that made him look just like Peter Tork.
From the Very Good News
From the Very Good News department: both Monkey Radio and Soma FM are broadcasting again, with both offering splendid listening, including 24k streams for those of us who don’t always have broadband access.
Wednesday 27 November 2002
Today seems like it is
Today seems like it is going to be one of those days when the best-laid plans come to naught.
Anyway, following my post last night about Soma FM and Monkey Radio, time to remind you all to listen to radio grayblog. I have a few new tracks to add, and may even find time to get some of them on there today. No promises, mind you.
And TFF: 27 points, reflecting my reliance on Liverpool and Arsenal defence.
Oh, the joy of getting
Just had a complete stranger
Just had a complete stranger call me from Germany, trying to contact Kristian at W2. They went to school together, it seems, and haven’t spoken for years. I provided the number for the bar, so hopefully they will get in touch.
Grayblog: just like Friends Reunited.
Thursday 28 November 2002
Two very important meetings today,
Two very important meetings today, although very different in nature.
And my mind is so not on this planet that I wrote that at 9am, and only hit “publish” now. Oh, dear.
you have an ominosity quotient
|you have an ominosity quotient of
you are somewhat more ominous than average.
One of the best quizzes I’ve seen in ages, via Dead Kenny.
Maybe my ominosity quotient explains why I’ve been wandering around today in a totally head-in-the-clouds fashion. I certainly don’t think it can be blamed on the one (quite small, by my standards) vodka and tonic I had at home last night. There’s too much on my mind, I’m sure.
As an example, I first wrote this with "balmed" instead of "blamed". I think I need to go out and get blammed.
hmm. Just tried to look
hmm. Just tried to look at the BBC News page, and it is completely blank apart from a zero in the top left corner.
As Nico just suggested to me, "P45" might be more appropriate than "0".
Obviously, someone at the Beeb is having the same sort of day as me.
Friday 29 November 2002
I’m inclined to agree with
I’m inclined to agree with Lord May – he makes a reasoned point, not least on the need for science to be open and look at wider ethical and moral issues. Only if it adopts such a "market oriented" approach can science hope to gain the trust of the public at large.
Following a tip-off, I feel
Following a tip-off, I feel that I must point out Weird Emma which is ..um… weird and about Emma. Worth a look.
Oh, and Graybo watchers will
Oh, and Graybo watchers will be pleased to know that both of yesterday’s very different meetings went well. Of course, as with all good meetings, I’m now left with a pile of stuff to do, but it is good stuff, and I feel that everything is proceeding well (famous last words).
……concentration …… levels ….. very
……concentration …… levels ….. very …….. loooow….
My mind is just wandering all over the place today. There is shedloads on my mind of all sorts. I’m actually looking forward to heading down the bar tonight – or maybe just collapsing on the sofa and sleeping. Then again, I might have to clean the flat.
Before I start this post,
Before I start this post, and particularly for the benefit of any new readers, I’d like to point out that I’m not a train spotter. Nor do I wear an anorak or NHS specs held together with sellotape. But I do travel on the trains every day, so it is natural to notice things about them. Ok?
Having made that clear, I’ll proceed…
Wessex Trains seem to be forever short of rolling stock. Usually, the train I get home is a reasonably modern two-carriage jobbie. Occasionally, we get a much older two-carriage jobbie that is incredibly noisy and uncomfortable, and it is on those nights that I am glad that I’m only on the train for eight minutes. But tonight, we were treated to something that I’ve never seen before in seven years of commuting – five old-style inter-city carriages between two diesel locomotives, and, as far as I’m concerned, they can run that all the time. That many carriages means no overcrowding (it’s normally packed) and the seats are HUGE – you could have a friend to share your seat and still not be uncomfortable! (ok, maybe that’s exaggerating, but you get my point).
One of the things I noticed about this train was that the locomotives are named. The front one was called Warminster – pretty unremarkable as names go. But the rear one was named Cerberus, complete with illustration of the devil’s three-headed canine companion. I reckon that’s a pretty cool name for a train.
Ok, I’ll stop now.
Beer tonight with Paul F,
Beer tonight with Paul F, Paul C, Arron, Malcolm, Kearn, Leah, Kristian and Nikki.
Saturday 30 November 2002
A full-on day of flat
A full-on day of flat cleaning today, so expect quietitude.
If anyone wants to come on over to lend a hand any time between now and 2, I’d never say no.