Sunday 1 December 2002
Gah. I’m sure, in "the
I’m sure, in "the good old days", things were never this complicated.
Sports news: cricket: England -
cricket: England – gah.
football: Brighton – gah
This is not a spirit-reviving morning so far.
Ok, so life may be
Ok, so life may be complicated. But it seems it can still be good.
Blimey, what an exhausting weekend.
So, anyway, what have you lot been up to?
Monday 2 December 2002
Hmm. I’m going through another
Hmm. I’m going through another of my not-very-interesting phases again here. Sorry, regular readers – I notice from my stats that readership has fallen off by around 20% in the last five days, so you must be bored rigid (even more so than usual). I guess talking about trains, cricket and the good old days just doesn’t make for exciting reading. The trouble is that life is packed at the moment, albeit with lots of good things, but things I can’t talk about here at the moment. Consequently, I don’t have much time for long (semi-)interesting rambles and updates (not even updates to radio grayblog), and the stuff that is going on can’t be spoken of.
So, I advise you to keep checking back here in case the situation changes, but in the meantime check out some of my current favourite reads (this list changes daily, so no offence to anyone who has been missed out):
Cult of Robyn
The Yes/No Interlude
Shock news for the day
Shock news for the day is that Zachary Merton hospital is to close and be demolished. Zachary Merton has been an old folk’s nursing home for many years, but before that it was the area’s maternity unit and is the place where I, my brother Tim and lovely regular reader Charlie all made our debuts into this world (not at the same time, obviously).
Tim and I have joked for years that it would be quite fun to end life in the same building we had begun life in, and should do something about booking our seats now. But it seems that that is not to be. I’m tempted to go down there soon and try and get a few photos of the building where I was born, before it is crushed into rubble. If I do, I’ll post them here.
Sometimes the Beeb gets just
Sometimes the Beeb gets just plain weird. Flash5 needed.
How strange. I had a
How strange. I had a conversation over the weekend about caviar and sturgeon, and today there is an article on BBC News about the sturgeon being doomed in the wild.
hmmm. A Tweedy from the
This is one of the
Tuesday 3 December 2002
AFF: 7 points. Not very
AFF: 7 points. Not very good, but better than last week.
I’ve just entered a competition
I’ve just entered a competition to win a weekend for two with flights and four star accomodation in Paris, Rome or Madrid, as part of a promotion by our carriers, ANC. Winning would be good – very good indeed.
Strange goings-on in Colombia at
Strange goings-on in Colombia at the trial of the three alleged IRA members accused of training FARC guerillas, as reported by Denis Murray. It’s hard to imagine such a thing going on in the UK in court, although with the media scrum that any moderately high profile court case attracts these days (think Paul Burrell, the Soham murders, Paul Whiting) and the frenzied cries of Rent-A-Mob, all just outside the door, I fear it may only be a matter of time.
Today, I shall mostly be
Today, I shall mostly be infuriated by Blogger.
UPDATE: problem solved after much muttering and cursing. Actually, it wasn’t the fault of Blogger, but of my hosts who had sent some misleading information.
Happy birthday to big brother,
Happy birthday to big brother, [cough] years old today!
Lots of articles in the
Lots of articles in the media today about the UNMOVIC inspection of the Iraqi "presidential palace" – wow!
Of course, this leads to lots of questions about the Iraqi leadership’s spending policies in times of supposed economic hardship resulting, they say, from UN sanctions – I’d love to hear people like George Galloway MP explain this one away. But even so, this is clearly an utterly fantastic building, or complex of buildings, with stunning architecture and what appears to be very high quality materials and fittings. I’d love the chance to have a look around.
Wednesday 4 December 2002
TFF: a not-very-exciting 24 points
TFF: a not-very-exciting 24 points this week, taking my total to 434.
- Dudek (no surprise there)
- J Cole
- Kewell (the one bright light in Leeds)
- Jensen (budget limitations force me to look at the weaker teams)
- Henry (a bit overdue – he’ll probably be jinxed now)
"More Colombian links!" I hear
"More Colombian links!" I hear you cry.
Well, let’s stick with the facts shall we? Or at least the CIA’s interpretation of the facts, which always makes for amusing reading.
More links soon.
ahhhh. It’s stopped raining and
ahhhh. It’s stopped raining and the sun is out – good things. And I have the prospect of attractive women running their fingers through my hair later.
Life is good. Groove Salad is pouring forth from my PC’s speakers and I’m almost being something approaching productive. Almost, mind you.
Comment writers are generally being quiet around here lately – so, if you have something worth saying, go ahead and speak.
Thursday 5 December 2002
Two good things today -
Two good things today – firstly, taking the time to reorganise my finances this morning so that Christmas will be adequately funded by Messrs Barclays (in expectation of significantly improved income from February), then ruining it all by going to Reading with Bren for a day of Christmas shopping. Failed miserably in the present buying department (just a small one for mum) but very successful in buying the most pimp-tastic jacket ever. I want to show it to someone before I describe it here, but if I can find a pic of it once I have, I’ll post it here – or perhaps even treat you to a photo of me modelling it. It’s fab!
Great. It seems that if
Great. It seems that if I want broadband at work, I need to get a Boeing 747.
Read an article in The
Read an article in The Times today about greatboyfriends.com, wherein women recommend male friends (principally ex-boyfriends) to others via the wonderful medium known as the web. This does seem slightly odd and not a little dysfunctional. But what is more worrying is the implication of the "I’m a Guy" page that suggests that, if you are a single bloke, you get your mum to vouch for you. Surely that is the ultimate in desperation??
Colombia link for today: Colombia
Colombia link for today: Colombia Update – independent voices on Colombia is a collaborative weblog on Colombia and issues surrounding that country.
Friday 6 December 2002
brrr. It’s cold. Doesn’t look
brrr. It’s cold.
Doesn’t look like there is much going on in Bogota this morning, either – although it is 5.15am there as I write this. (ooo – I just saw a bus!)
Lots of emphasis is likely
Lots of emphasis is likely to be placed on the effect that the Government’s proposals for a civil partnerships register is going to have on homosexual couples. But I don’t think that the impact on heterosexual couples should be understated either.
I’m not so sure that it is really undermining the institution of marriage in any way. Many couples underwrite marriage with a pre-nuptial agreement these days anyway, which seems to me to speak volumes about the practical weaknesses, not strengths, of marriage as an institution. The civil partnerships register is almost akin to a pre-nup without the ceremony of marriage, so it can’t possibly have the same status or gravitas that marriage has.
In a way, there is an argument for actually having both institutions running in parallel.
Tired Lil Brit Girl to
Tired Lil Brit Girl to close. Shame, it was good, but Angie seems to have moved on to far more important projects.
Is it me, or is
Is it me, or is the process of extracting useful information about local services from nhs.uk unduly slow, complicated and useless? As a test, I tried searching for a hospital in the PO19 postcode area (my postcode at home). The results failed to return St Richard’s Hospital (Chichester’s main hospital, just 500 yards from my front door) but did give me the details for hospitals in Kent, London and the Wirral. Crap.
UPDATE: oh for fuck’s sake! The wsussexhealth.org.uk website includes a link for bloody live cricket scores, but nowhere does it have even a phone number for the hospital switchboard! Unbelievable!
FINALLY: local people might want to bookmark this because finding it by any other means is next to impossible.
A post on barnacles….Imagine
A post on barnacles….
area with contagious melodies, harmonies, and a driving rhythm section.
The question is: are barnacles the ultimate accessory?
Saturday 7 December 2002
Quiet beer last night with
Quiet beer last night with Bren and Greg, with sightings of Hamish, Ruth, Terry, Dave, Gary, Malcolm, Phil, Tim, Kristian, Leah and countless others – an evening that featured the debut of my pimptastic jacket!
Shopping this morning that successfully
Shopping this morning that successfully netted two Christmas presents for myself (jeans and a shirt) and half a present for the sibling and his other half.
Too knackered by that now. I really should do some work, but I’d rather just flop. Ugh – most motivate self.
Colombian news sources round-up (all
Colombian news sources round-up (all Spanish only, I’m afraid – if anyone knows of a good English language news source for Colombia, let me know):
An away draw for Brighton
An away draw for Brighton at Sheffield Wednesday today – good, but not good enough, especially as we were in the lead until the 90th minute. We now have a whole shedload of matches over the next four weeks, and we desperately need to win every single one.
Good commentary on the Iraq
Good commentary on the Iraq weapons inspections by Ben Brown.
Sunday 8 December 2002
ooops. Spent too long in
ooops. Spent too long in the bath, and now will have to rush to get the things done that I need to do before I go out in ..um… less than an hour.
Listening to radio grayblog, I
Listening to radio grayblog, I note that Live365 have added a new advert for Nokia. Do all Americans say Nokia as “no-kee-er”? I’ve always said “nock-ee-a”.
Monday 9 December 2002
Colombian link du jour, supplied
Colombian link du jour, supplied by stevem: Znet Colombia. Interesting, if a little radical for me. I’m not entirely convinced by all the arguments here, but they provide an interesting counterpoint to the traditional media links I provided the other day, and thus a good starting point for discussion.
Flaming cold this morning as
Flaming cold this morning as I stood on a train platform, staring at the screen that said “due to a temporary fault we are unable to provide train running information”. This in spite of the fact that I was wearing my new pimp-tastic jacket (a.k.a. the dead dog).
“Sack Duncan Smith”, says Hezza.
“Sack Duncan Smith”, says Hezza.
I think he’s right, but I don’t think this is the way to do it.
BBC report. Independent: interview with Hezza, analysis and editorial.
UPDATE: good interpretation and analysis by Nick Assinder, which I think is largely about right, more so than the Indy editorial.
Tuesday 10 December 2002
AFF: a shockingly good 13
AFF: a shockingly good 13 points, one of the best scores in the league this week, pushing me 17 places up the table. Not sure how I did that, but it would be good to do it again next week!
Steve updates his site via
Steve updates his site via WebTV, and creates one of the funniest posts I’ve seen in ages.
Ah! how useful! An online
Ah! how useful! An online resource for witches, pagans and heathens in Colombia.
192 directory enquiries to be
192 directory enquiries to be replaced. This doesn’t seem a good idea to me – looks like it will simply offer not so much "choice" as confusion. Besides, with full and complete phone listings available for free at services like ukphonebook.com, it seems hard to understand why anyone who has net access would use 192 (at 40p per go) at all.
192 is free when dialled from a payphone. I once was in an estate agents here when one of the staff members got up, went to the callbox immediately outside, and came back a moment later. I asked if there was a problem with the phone on her desk. "Oh no – we just use the payphone for 192 because then we don’t pay for it!"
Dow Jones to be sued
Dow Jones to be sued in Australian courts for defamation. Does this mean than Afghan citizens will be able to sue American warbloggers under Islamic law, for example? I think, more than ever, one needs to be careful about what is written.
UPDATE: legal implications fleshed-out a little by the BBC.
My feet are freezing. I’m
My feet are freezing. I’m seriously considering just clambering under the duvet when I get home and not coming out until spring.
I’ve been very good and
I’ve been very good and placed my order for my Secret Santa person. Have you?
I must be very boring.
I must be very boring. I’ve just been on the phone to someone who has gone to sleep at the other end. Now that takes real talent, I think – not just your ordinary level of boring achieves that.
Wednesday 11 December 2002
Interesting meeting with an accountant
Interesting meeting with an accountant this morning, which has provided a little food for thought and given me a few things to work out.
Yes, I used the words "interesting" and "accountant" in the same sentence. Don’t be shocked.
For some reason, the Bellamy
For some reason, the Bellamy Brothers’ classic hit If I Said You Had A Beautiful Body [Would You Hold It Against Me] has been running round and round inside my head this morning. This can not be a good thing.
Colombia link for today, for
Colombia link for today, for all you numismatists out there: Tokens of Colombia. Actually, if you’re interested in social history, I recommend you read this site, as it’s pretty interesting, relating the use of trading tokens in Colombia during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries as a substitute and supplement for the official currency, particularly in poor and provincial communities.
Submitted your Mayfly Project submission
Submitted your Mayfly Project submission yet?
TFF: just 21 points taking
TFF: just 21 points taking my score to 455.
In other football news, Brighton are, at long last, off the bottom of division one, even if only just. I think the rest of the season could be quite nail-bitingly stressful for Seagulls fans.
We’ve had a very similar
We’ve had a very similar problem to this on the nursery. It’s incredibly infuriating, as the police can check the vehicle details but can’t do anything about it unless it is stolen or not taxed, and the local authority has to serve a notice and then wait seven days before they can act. And why would anyone dump a car like that?
Oops. Left my heating on
Oops. Left my heating on all day whilst I was at work. Oh well, at least it is cosy.
BBC News linkathon…Butterflies flight may
BBC News linkathon…
- Butterflies flight may lead to flying micro-machines – get that extra-large Chistmas stocking ready, kids.
- Ken Clarke – "I can still be PM". His reaction to Hezza’s outburst this week: "I put the answer machine on."
- America gives the toys back to Yemen – yesterday’s "intelligence coup" is today’s legal cock-up.
- Colombian leader murder plot foiled – a bonus Colombia link for you, to make up for the lack of such linkage on Sunday.
Thursday 12 December 2002
Some festive soul has put
Some festive soul has put blue tinsel on the speed camera in Barnham. Bless.
Call me a curmudgeon if
Call me a curmudgeon if you like, but I think the BBC would do well to spend less resources on fawning praise for the new Lord of the Rings film (are they paid to do this? no. so why turn bbc.co.uk into an advert for it?) and more on the useful and intelligent in-depth features they do like the current one on EU enlargement.
I can’t believe it is
I can’t believe it is only Thursday. I woke up this morning utterly convinced that it was Friday.
Still, I can look forward to seeing Donnie Darko tonight, which I’ve been looking forward to for ages, and which has finally made it to the New Park. I hope it doesn’t disappoint.
Staying with cinema, the cinema section at colombia.com looks good, covering Hollywood and local releases. And, according to IMDB, there are over 400 Colombian films.
I can see that I’m going to have to learn a little Spanish. I need to gain some language skills to go with everything that is happening at the moment, and I’ve been thinking about learning Spanish anyway, as it is probably the most useful holiday language for a hispanophile like me.
At the request of my
At the request of my family, who generally admit defeat when it comes to knowing what to buy me for Christmas, I’ve just written a lengthy gift suggestion list that features a rather large number of CDs.
If any of you are feeling
stupid generous enough to buy me a gift, then haste ye to my Amazon wishlist.
Friday 13 December 2002
Donnie Darko was really good,
Donnie Darko was really good, although I’m not sure that it would rate as the best movie ever, which is how some people see it. But the cinematography was excellent, the characters generally very good (especially Donnie) and there were moments of great hilarity and moments that were very touching.
Anyway, followed the film with the briefest of appearances in W2, sighting Arron, Greg, Ruth and Hamish. I haven’t been out much this week, which means I haven’t seen much of people, but I do have more than the usual £3.50 left in my pocket on Friday morning. Considering the size of my credit card bill, this is a good thing.
May go out tonight, more likely tomorrow.
Go buy Dave a drink
Go buy Dave a drink – it’s his birthday.
Saturday 14 December 2002
A brilliant but busy day
A brilliant but busy day doing not a lot.
I’m officially the happiest Graybo.
Beer with Kearn, Matt, Stein,
Beer with Kearn, Matt, Stein, Arron, Dave, DA and Nikki.
Sunday 15 December 2002
This morning, I have mostly
This morning, I have mostly been ambling around the flat, cursing my boiler that will run the central heating but refuses to provide any hot water (hey-ho, time to call out an engineer – that’ll be £75 at least) and singing Trio‘s classic 1982 hit Da Da Da.
This is probably not a good thing.
Who knew that broad beans
Who knew that broad beans could be so tasty and addictive?
Been slacking on the Colombian
Been slacking on the Colombian links for a few days. Following a conversation yesterday, I’ve found a site with some traditional Colombian recipes, including something called ajiaco, which apparently is the dish to have, if only you can get hold of the ingredients, particularly guascas.
Well, I’ve done a bit of research on this. Apparently the botanical name for this herb is Galinsoga parviflora, and it grows wild in England – although it is not very common according to my wild flower book. It is a daisy known as Gallant Soldier. The book suggests that it is locally common in some parts of the south-east of England, and I think I’ve seen something that looks like it when I’ve been out walking. The trouble, I guess, is spotting it and being able to collect enough of it – it’s only an annual, so no point in looking for it at this time of year. Maybe it would be best to find a plant in seed (too late for that now), harvest the seed and get a patch going in your own garden.
But ooo! I’ve found a commercial source of seeds here (a company we use for seeds at work) – pity they only offer 25 gram packs – I’ll ask them if they’ll offer smaller packs.
UPDATE: following an exchange of e-mails, Matt at B&T World Seeds has now put up a page about guascas which includes the ajiaco recipe and links to order the seeds (which, following my interest in it, he is now offering in smaller quantities from 1 gram).
Monday 16 December 2002
Not much to say today.
Not much to say today.
Minor irritation for the day is the number of items of junk mail that are addressed to work that do not carry the correct postage, meaning that we incur a charge to the Royal Mail for getting something that we didn’t want in the first place. How annoying is that? I’m almost tempted to send an invoice to the sender for the 99p that we have to pay for today’s item, plus a £20 handling charge.
Christmas shopping – thank goodness
Christmas shopping – thank goodness for online ordering!
Tuesday 17 December 2002
AFF: 5 points.
AFF: 5 points.
I spent a large chunk
I spent a large chunk of yesterday evening babysitting. Well, when I say that, I mean that I was helping to babysit, which for me means sitting on the sofa offering advice on how to get the child to sleep, drinking beer and nipping out to the Chinese for supplies.
I wonder how many children in England today do not have any toys that use batteries? I’m sure I didn’t have anything that was battery-powered until I was at least ten (I’m sure my brother will leap in and correct me here, as he was surely much more hard-done-by than I was). I think that toys that spoon-feed a child’s imagination like that, with lights and noises, can not be as good as actually having to improvise and create using the things which were at hand – none of which were battery powered, had flashing lights or made noises more than the occasional parp or squeak (plus the odd snap and rattle when it broke). Having said that, I was undoubtedly extremely fortunate to be brought up in a comfortable house with a large garden situated next to open fields – heaps of opportunity for play, exploration and discovery, the building blocks of my current love of the countryside and nature.
This train of thought actually follows on from a conversation I had last night. The reason for the babysitting was that the parents of said child were going out to see the new Harry Potter film. Now I’ve not seen either of the films, so am not really qualified to comment, but the report we got at the end of the evening was that the film was really good, but don’t all the amazing CGI special effects, stunning sets and amazing costumes really detract from the power of imagination? In a way, I’m not sure I want to see the films, as I really enjoy the books, and I’ve built up my own picture of the way that Harry, Hagrid, Dumbledore et al look and behave, as well as a mental picture of Hogwarts, Diagon Alley and all the other scenes. And I’m pretty sure a lot of children who have read the books have too. Somehow, I’m sure that, in at least some ways, I’m going to be disappointed by their celluloid incarnations.
Not ordered your Lush products
Not ordered your Lush products for Christmas yet? Today is your last chance to stock up on bath ballistics. [hint]
Brian worries that people might
Thank you for calling British
grrr. fume. seethe. not even put in a ****ing queue!
UPDATE: still getting the brush-off message. It appears you can register at the gas website house.co.uk and request an engineer appointment there – assuming that you can actually get the registration procedure to function. grrr again.
All I want for Christmas is hot water. At this rate, I may be forced to decamp to another abode. At least the heating still works (famous last words).
Maybe I’d have more success in Colombia?
These Colombians, they are the
These Colombians, they are the craziest peoples!
I’ve just been offered a
I’ve just been offered a job. Well, kinda. Either way, I think I’ve inadvertently created a useful new contact. It’s amazing where broad beans will get you.
Wednesday 18 December 2002
Busy. Been at a meeting
Busy. Been at a meeting all morning, then beginning preparation of the 2003 price list for the nursery, and now hurriedly writing Christmas cards.
woo! yay! Just managed to
woo! yay! Just managed to get through to British Gas, and they are sending an engineer out to me tomorrow morning. Let’s just hope he can fix my boiler straight away. Having gone through the diagnostic procedure in the manual, there are two likely causes for the problem – either some debris in the system that is blocking it, or (more likely) a defective thermostat. If it is the thermostat, I guess there could be a delay if parts are required.
What else can I tell
What else can I tell you at the moment….?
- I’m in an incredibly good mood. Life is generally going along very very very well indeed, in just about all respects. This is, undoubtedly, a good thing, particularly as that is something that I’ve not always been able to say over the last couple of years.
- I’m concerned that I’m not getting Christmas cards by the dozen at the moment. So far, the tally (excluding naff work type ones from van hire companies) stands at a somewhat paltry nine cards, which does not compare favourably with the 23 cards that I have already sent, not to mention the additional fourteen that I have yet to write. And e-cards don’t count.
- I’m just about to eat a very large bowl of Scottish mussels in garlic and white wine sauce.
- radio grayblog kicks ass, even if I do say so myself, and even if I haven’t updated it in ages. Must remind Charlie that she promised me a tune for it.
- My new pimp-tastic jacket is definitely must-wear clothing during the current chilly spell – I’m so glad I was wearing it whilst standing on Worthing railway station this morning.
- TFF: 28 points. Not very exciting.
- New Wallpaper* arrived today – woo! yay!
John Peel’s annual Christmas knees-up.
John Peel’s annual Christmas knees-up. One of the radio highlights of the year, with Belle and Sebastian messing about in a brilliant way.
Thursday 19 December 2002
Excellent service from the British
Excellent service from the British Gas engineer this morning – he arrived promptly, checked the system over and repressurized it – that cured the immediate problem. And, because it only took a minute, he’s going to show the visit on his records as “customer not at home” so that I won’t be charged (phew! £96 saved). However, he did diagnose a problem with the printed circuit board – he said it’s probably just a dirty connection, but that if it got worse, the PCB would need to be replaced, which would cost £250. I said I could live with it for now, which was exactly what he recommended me to say!
Friday 20 December 2002
Mo Morgan – proud to
Mo Morgan – proud to be a chippy again.
Sorry, not much to say
Sorry, not much to say again today. Normal service will be resumed when I feel more talkative. But be assured that all is well in grayboland.
How bizarre. Live365 insert adverts
How bizarre. Live365 insert adverts into the radio grayblog broadcasts. I’ve just heard one placed by the Federal Voting Assistance Program or something, extolling listeners to use their vote. Ironic that the US government should now embrace online radio as a medium, when it wasn’t so long ago that parts of the administration were trying to effectively shut it down.
There you go – a
There you go – a festive header.
Beer tonight with Peter, Paul
Beer tonight with Peter, Paul F, Arron and Dave, with sightings of DAGS, Tanya, Mich, Kristian, Nikki and several others.
Something, or someone, was missing.
Saturday 21 December 2002
All I want for Christmas
All I want for Christmas is for O2 to answer the phone.
oh – now they have. Hurrah – new phone ordered, which is a good thing, as my old handset appears to be dying (regular callers please note – if I don’t answer you, I’m not being rude, just incommunicado).
Elsewhere today (can’t say where for obvious reasons) an amazingly good shopping experience where I was called by my name and concluded the transaction with a handshake – how rare!
Haven’t had a Colombia link
Haven’t had a Colombia link for a few days, so here is one for you. The politics of the country seem incredibly complicated and fraught with conflict. I don’t pretend to fully understand it, but there is much interesting reading to be found at the Center for International Policy’s Colombia Project, which includes information on the peace initiatives, an overview of US involvement and useful background on the people and events of the unrest.
Today has mostly been spent
Today has mostly been spent buying, wrapping and giving presents to people I love. This has to be the ultimate way to spend a day.
Chichester was great today – very busy, but not uncomfortable. The array of buskers and performers in the streets was dazzling, particularly the four blokes who played xylophones and glockenspiels all day at the Cross. Everyone seemed chirpy and cheerful, even the Big Issue vendor in East Street, who was still smiling in the drizzle amid the cacophany of buskers, children and shoppers.
During the day I’ve bumped into friends and acquaintances, old and new, ranging from a mad Cambodian about to head home for three weeks to a gay shaman who plans to demolish North Mundham and open up a reiki centre for gay bikers.
Actually, I’ve generally noticed that a lot of people are smiling at me lately – either they are reflecting the big smile that is glued on my visage at the moment, or I’m really funny to look at.
ick. damp out. Beer tonight
ick. damp out.
Beer tonight with Bren, Greg, Paul R, Wendy, Kearn and newly-engaged Matt (congratulations! you kept that one quiet!) with sightings of Kristian, Dave and Nikki. A good night.
Monday 23 December 2002
Yesterday, all I wanted for
Yesterday, all I wanted for Christmas was a hot meal in a café or bar at any time after 2.30. Unbelievably, in a town that was full of Christmas shoppers, none of the bars or cafés were prepared to bend from their normal routine to supply warm food to tired and hungry shoppers – and there seemed to be plenty of them. Why? Surely there was a demand there that could easily and profitably been filled.
Today, all I want for
Today, all I want for Christmas is to finish all the work I have to do today. I’ve got some complicated form filling to do and an incredibly important document to finish and deliver to the bank, both of which must be done today as I will not be in work tomorrow. Doesn’t help that I was an hour late getting here. oops.
All quiet here. I guess
All quiet here. I guess the usual comment authors have abandoned their PCs for fur trimmed red outfits and stockings (now there’s a horrifying mental picture!).
[insert gift wrapping noises here]
[insert gift wrapping noises here]
Tuesday 24 December 2002
Get all your Christmas goodness
Get all your Christmas goodness with Weebl’s Christmas special (not safe for work).
Spent all afternoon with red
Spent all afternoon with red wine and the Buzby and Blue crew: Chris, Nigel, Jo, Simon, Di, Robert and all the others – an excellent time. Bzzzzz.
This will most certainly be my last entry before Christmas. Big love to you all – thanks for being there.
Thursday 26 December 2002
For some reason, I feel
For some reason, I feel obliged to share with you a list of the gifts I received for Christmas:
- a very lovely pen fit for an Executive Director
- several bottles of wine
- lots of bath things
- some money
- tonnes of chocolate
- some clothes
- a concrete candle – no, really
- three CDs (including one from secret santa – thank you)
- some tea and preserve
- a beautiful book of cat photographs
- other lovely and thoughtful odds and ends
But that is only part of this Christmas. It has been one of the very best that I have ever had. So here is a list of the best bits of my Christmas:
- Christmas Eve seeing friends – DAGS, Tanya, Kearn, DA, James, Jayne, Jo B, Mandie, Arron, Nikki, Libby, Geoff and others
- Christmas breakfast in bed
- meeting and being accepted by important new people
- the love and company of my family
- seeing the face I love lighting up with joy, then later relaxed in peaceful slumber
- splendid food, silly games, a fluffy cat
I hope your Christmas was happy too, no matter how you spent it or who you spent it with.
I’ve just walked through the
I’ve just walked through the city, looking for food (bad planning there – no food in the house, and no shops open. Thank goodness for convenience stores and the people who work there over the holiday period) and passing the shoppers browsing in the few stores that are open today, when I noticed a small crowd stood by the Cross staring up at the Christmas tree which is stood there. As I got closer, I could tell why – a song thrush was high in its branches, singing at the top of its avian voice.
Minor irritation for today: when
Minor irritation for today: when companies take down their servers for maintenance over the quiet festive period, but don’t bother to put up a page to explain that to users. Securicor and John Lewis Accounts, please note.
A new "about" page: The
A new "about" page: The Six Honest Serving Men.
A long-overdue revision, I think you’ll agree.
John Peel’s Festive Fifty is
John Peel‘s Festive Fifty is on now. I get the feeling that I’ll be jotting down dozens of songs that I want to buy. Good job the sales start tomorrow.
Friday 27 December 2002
A veeeeerrrrrry long lie-in this
A veeeeerrrrrry long lie-in this morning. Now I’ve got several chores to hurriedly undertake before dashing out the door.
And where is my e-ticket from ebookers? It should have been delivered to me within eight hours, but I booked it more than twelve hours ago. I’m a little worried, as I’ve heard that some people have had problems and only discovered when they got to the airport and found that they didn’t have a seat on the plane. Still, I have twenty whole days to get it sorted.
Sunday 29 December 2002
All quiet around here. Saw
All quiet around here. Saw Neil on Friday for the first time in ages, which was excellent – he kindly gave me a lift over to Joanna’s, and remains one of the finest people I know. Also succeeded in recovering the small package I left in the Nags in my drunken state on Christmas Eve.
E-ticket still not arrived. siiigh. Looks like I’ll have to resort to the telephone tomorrow. So much for the wonders of electronic commerce.
For those wondering, I’m ok. Just quiet, contemplative and looking forward to 2003. Fingers crossed that it will all work out as I hope, which it probably will if it isn’t thought about too much.
The Independent makes its predictions
The Independent makes its predictions for 2003, and they are well worth reading: Part One and Part Two.
I’m not generally in the business of making predictions, as invariably I will be disappointed and/or surprised by the events that actually transpire (note my previous track record when it comes to the annual trip to Goodwood races). However, Grayblog readers should look out for my forthcoming review of 2002, as well as a new set of resolutions for 2003, and the obligatory set of wistful thoughts and ramblings that I know you all love.
Monday 30 December 2002
[Insert tidying noises here -
[Insert tidying noises here - New Year cleaning, if you will]
Scaryduck tells us about the
Scaryduck tells us about the true fate of Mao Tse-Tung.
woo! yay! My new phone
woo! yay! My new phone is on its way! According to their parcel tracking service, Securicor have tried to deliver it three times, including this morning. This is plainly not true, as I’ve been here all morning, and even on the days when I’ve not been here, no card has been left. However, they have helpfully promised to try and get it to me late this afternoon or evening, and if not, definitely by 10am tomorrow. We shall see.
Given that they won’t be here imminently, I think I’ll nip out for a cornish pasty.
My new phone has arrived.
My new phone has arrived. Expect nothing more from me whilst I play.
Tuesday 31 December 2002
Last day of the year,
Last day of the year, so time for the obligatory navel gazing that you all expect and love…
first up: a review of the resolutions I made for 2002, and some new ones for 2003…
- to take more exercise – hmmm. I did fairly well on this one, certainly whilst I was dieting. I think I could do better though, and as transportation is a minor bone of contention at the moment, expect a concerted effort to get my bike back on the road for some serious pedal-powered two wheel action.
- to be more proud of who I am – some would argue that I didn’t really need this, but I knew that, on the inside, I did. I’ve come a long way with this one, but still have a little way to go. Let’s say that it is ongoing, and not unrelated to activities currently being undertaken regarding my work status (more on that subject in the coming days and weeks).
- to stand up for the choices I make – this is related to the one above, and I reckon I’ve done pretty well with this one. Part of standing up for my choices is to do with thinking them through thoroughly beforehand, so that I have more confidence in them myself. Not only that, but putting past choices into perspective has been a good thing too – the bad choices don’t seem so bad now, mainly because in the long run, they either form the person that you are, or don’t really matter.
- to manage my money more effectively – well, I’ve got my borrowing under control and have managed it efficiently (switching to a personal loan and less reliance on credit card debt has been a good thing, coupled with using those 0% introductory deals on balance transfers to keep credit card debt costs to a minimum), and I’ve also reined in the spending (less CDs purchased this year than last, for example). Still could do better, although a boost to my income is what is really needed to balance my personal books, and that is something I am working on, as you will see.
- to finish doing up my flat by the end of the year – ah. hmm. yes. Well, looks like I’ll just move this one into the 2003 column. I have done a little on the flat, but unfortunately it is really too little.
- to see more films – at least I can claim success on this one, as I saw a pitifully small number of films in 2001, and have seen many more in 2002. I still think I could see more, and it shouldn’t be a difficult thing to achieve, what with the excellent New Park Cinema just ten minutes walk from here, and Chichester’s new multiplex opening at Easter.
As for the new resolutions for 2003…
- to finish doing up the flat by the end of the year, which needs doing not only for reasons of comfort and appearance, but also for financial reasons and with a view to what the future might hold.
- to get back into learning, which is, apparently, a very popular resolution this year. I’m definitely going to try to acquire some sort of language skills in excess of my pitiful schoolboy French, and there are a couple of other things that I might learn, if in a less formal environment than the college
- to be more organised, particularly in the areas of filing papers and running systems. This is going to be not only desirable, but essential, with everything else that is going on at the moment.
- to do more real cooking and eat fewer ready meals
- to watch my weight and not balloon back up to 14 stone like I did in 2002. I’m going to start a new diet after the end of the party-and-chocolate season, with a target of 12st 7lb (I’ve crept back over the 13st mark during the festivities) and the aim of losing this podgy belly thing.
I’ll add these into the sidebar, so that readers can nag me occasionally about them.
Navel gazing, part 2: review
Navel gazing, part 2: review of the year.
2002 has been a much less traumatic year than 2001 – and that, as far as I am concerned, is a good thing. Maybe because I’ve taken a more low-key approach when tackling the year, the year hasn’t turned around and bitten me on the bum. There may be a lesson to be learnt there, but we all know how good I am at learning lessons.
It’s actually been a year without significant low points, which is good. Oh yes, there have been a few disappointments along the way, but whilst they might have seemed bad at the time, they all pretty much worked out for the best in the long run.
Highlight of the year must be meeting Joanna. She’s great, and has boosted me in many ways. It feels great to be thinking about someone so much, and to be safe in the knowledge that they are thinking about me too. We’re already making some tentative plans for the next few weeks and months, and I’m hoping that that will lead to more. But one day at a time, eh? As I should know from my past, who knows what the future really holds?
I’ve made some excellent new friends during the course of the year – Charlie rates high on the list, but there have been others too. A few other friendships have been strengthened, most notably Lord Percy and Lady Bren, and some friendships maintained. One or two friendships have drifted, which is sad in a way, but also a reflection of how times and people change as life moves on.
In other parts of life, I completed my Post Graduate Diploma in Marketing, finally getting a good quality qualification. Whilst qualifications are not the be-all and end-all of life, I am intensely proud of my achievements. The DipM is opening doors and opportunities for me already, and my professional life is moving in a direction that I would never have dreamed of just a couple of years ago. The future is unknown, but I get a feeling that it will be fun, if not a little daunting at times.
And finally, grayblog marches on, now with added radio. As I say in my new about page, all the while I enjoy doing this, I’ll keep doing it, and at the moment I feel no urge to stop. So thanks for reading and commenting, and happy new year to you!
Nearly forgot: happy birthday to
Nearly forgot: happy birthday to David W, all the way across the Atlantic.
My e-tickets have finally arrived,
My e-tickets have finally arrived, after I sent a short-tempered e-mail. But not a word of apology. Harrumph.
I see that the BBC
I see that the BBC e-cyclopedia Words of the Year 2002 includes blogger (shouldn’t that have been word of the year for 2001, or even 2000?) and one of my favourites from 2002, bling-tastic (a word that I first brought to your attention waaaaaay back in October) – a word that I now realise perfectly describes my fab jacket.
UPDATE: haaaang on a minute! Who wrote this? Not only does this list include bling-tastic, which I feel I can take credit for bringing to the world’s attention, but also chalkchalking, a term coined by me in this entry on 22 July. I demand a credit!
FURTHER UPDATE: I’ve been credited.
For those that enjoyed 3D’s
For those that enjoyed 3D’s hyperjet racing when I linked to it, you can find another version here featuring a mightily difficult third course.