Tuesday 1 April 2003
Well, today’s big news is
Well, today’s big news is that I’ve got engaged, and I’m extremely happy.
Someone has arrived here by
Someone has arrived here by asking if Walberton is a nice place to live. It is. I lived there for six months, and found it to be a pleasant rural village, with friendly if cliquey people, good local shops, and lovely local walks. The bus service finishes too early in the evening, so car ownership is beneficial. But a bike will do (it was all I had most of the time).
Humphrey and Duncan. Could they
Humphrey and Duncan. Could they get to be as big as Weebl and Bob?
Wednesday 2 April 2003
Life would be a lot
Life would be a lot easier around here if certain co-workers (i.e. members of my family) were less crotchety and more relaxed about life. I’ve yet to figure out how it is possible to get so stressed over the most mundane things in life.
I, on the other hand, am in a very good mood this morning. Life continues to treat me reasonably well. All I need is for Friday’s meeting with the Man From NatWest to go well, and I’ll be sorted.
I feel the urge to
I feel the urge to buy music. Haven’t bought any for several weeks. hmmmmmm. Decisions. King Kooba perhaps? The new Broadcast coming soon. Some classic Hooverphonic? Dunno.
Hmm. Very large (and mean)
Hmm. Very large (and mean) calamari.
Music purchase update: King Kooba’s
Music purchase update: King Kooba’s NuFoundFunk and Mark Farina’s Mushroom Jazz 4 from Om Records. Result!
Thursday 3 April 2003
Am I the only one
Am I the only one to think that Private Jessica Lynch will be as much harmed by the American (and other) media as she has been by battle?
Meanwhile, Matt is excellent once again:
Spam. A pain in the
Spam. A pain in the arse.
And I mean junk e-mail, not the tinned processed meat.
But what is this thing now with getting spam advertising anti-spam software? Do they plan to bully us into purchasing submission by contributing (by my reckoning) about 10% of the spam problem?
Stop! Stop! Forget all this
Stop! Stop! Forget all this rubbish about the war in Iraq and the SARS epidemic. The real news this week is that Carol Smillie cheated her MENSA test. Oooo, the dirty little scamp!
Tomorrow’s meeting with Man From
Tomorrow’s meeting with Man From NatWest has been postponed and rescheduled for Monday morning. Gah. Yet more delay.
I am indebted to Dead
I am indebted to Dead Kenny for highlighting Jon Snow’s obituary for Gaby Rado in the Guardian. But wait! Isn’t that a little sideswipe at John Simpson in the first paragraph? Is an obituary the place for that?
oh yeh, I walked down
oh yeh, I walked down the canal this evening. I’m going to try to do more walking to help lose a little weight. Of course, I immediately undid all the good work with a large serving of mussels in garlic and white wine sauce.
Friday 4 April 2003
Yay! It’s Friday! And am
Yay! It’s Friday! And am I ready for a weekend or what?
The problem with this weekend, however, is that I have to do some work (again it is for PFE, so that’s not so bad, but it stops me from getting out and enjoying the spring sunshine. But hopefully I’ll be getting my shiny new laptop soon, so will be able to work in the park), and tomorrow evening I have to go to a family birthday party.
I’m not a big fan of family events, except when they are immediate family. I find that I don’t have an awful lot in common with many members of my family (my cousin Gemma being a notable exception, but that’s as much to do with the closeness of our ages as anything – unfortunately, she won’t be there as she has broken her wrist while snowboarding). I don’t see many of them that often, so inevitably I end up fielding questions about my lovelife ("so, are you married yet? do you have a girlfriend?" etc.) and that’s about all. Nobody asks me what else I might be doing in my life – they wouldn’t think of me setting up a new business or anything like that, because they associate me with working at the nursery and imagine that that is all I’ll ever do.
Mind you, I am probably guilty when it comes to conversation the other way. Most of the family members who will be there are retired, and what do most retired people do all day? Sit around, watch TV, go to the shops, prod the garden. They are not the sort of people who would set themselves a challenging hobby, or go travelling extensively. So it is difficult to strike up conversation – there isn’t enough common ground.
So why am I going? Well, largely to support my mum, who isn’t really looking forward to it, I think (it is for her brother’s 70th birthday) – although having said that, once her family get together, everyone else has to put in earplugs because of the deafening chatter. So Tim, Jane and I will endeavour to be sociable on arrival, then find a quiet corner for the three of us. And since the party starts at 7pm, I reckon I can scarper shortly after 10 to get to the Nags for last orders.
This story is rather sad.
This story is rather sad.
Very big match for Brighton
Very big match for Brighton tonight against Reading. Both teams need to win for very different reasons. I have two predicitions: what I would like to see (2-1 to Brighton) and what I think will happen (2-0 to Reading). Crucially, BBC South have just shown footage of Brighton training, and, unless both Mum and I were much mistaken, it looked like Bobby Zamora was running around without problems from his hamstring injury.
Woo! Yay! and indeed Hoopla!
Woo! Yay! and indeed Hoopla! Reading 0 – Brighton 1. Mind you, still an hour of play left yet.
UPDATE: still 0-1 at half time. I’m off to see if it is on the big screen in the Nags.
FURTHER UPDATE: could barely stand it in the Nags, but Brighton won 2-1. Full report here. Utterly fantastic. Blood pressure only now returning to normal.
Oh yeah, beer with Clive, Kearn, Paul F, Hamish, DJ, Luce, Ruth, Caroline and numerous others.
My mind is elsewhere.
My mind is elsewhere.
Read Kitschbitch. ok?
Read Kitschbitch. ok?
Saturday 5 April 2003
A glorious sunny morning. And,
A glorious sunny morning. And, apart from a brief excursion to the bank (where there was a MASSIVE queue – time for another letter of complaint?) and a planned outing for lunch with Sarah, I’ll be spending the day in front of this PC, writing forms and agreements. Joy.
Weblog News has launched. It
Weblog News has launched. It looks to be both interesting and potentially useful to anyone interesting in this thing we call "blogging".
It had to happen. Someone
It had to happen. Someone has come here searching for Jessica Lynch + playboy. Get a life, saddo.
No joy for me in
No joy for me in the Nag’s Head Grand National sweepstakes this year.
Sunday 6 April 2003
For those of us who
For those of us who will, I hope, always be remote from war, I recommend reading Jim Muir’s account of the death of his friend Kaveh Golestan.
Yay! A wysiwyg baby!
Yay! A wysiwyg baby!
Of all the reporters in
Of all the reporters in Iraq at the moment, I bet the Americans least wanted one of their own bombs to fall near John Simpson.
I’ve spent most of today
I’ve spent most of today sat in front of this computer, pounding the keyboard and searching for information on the net. I’m working on creating the agreements and forms that PFE will need in order to be able to function effectively. Thankfully, I’ve been given a lot of help by various people, otherwise I wouldn’t honestly know where to begin – it’s the sort of help that will almost certainly save me a lot of money in legal fees. As it is, I need to pass several of these forms, particularly the contracts, in front of a lawyer before I use them, just to check that I’ve missed nothing out and not created any nasty problems for myself.
Either way, I’m gradually going cross-eyed from looking at the monitor too much. Which reminds me that I was going to make an appointment to see an optician and have my eyes tested, with a view to getting some spectacles. More and more time on a PC seems to be making me more and more tired, and I’m sure my eyesight is contributing to that. I gave up wearing my glasses when I was about 16 or 17 in a fit of vanity (I’m long-sighted in my right eye), but now I think it is time to start wearing them again, at least when working. Besides, these days a cool pair of glasses is seen as a fashion plus, and I’m less likely to be called "four eyes" today than when I was the speccy swot at school.
There was a big fire
There was a big fire last night near here – an old shoe repairer’s premises, long disused, on Northgate caught fire. I passed it in the cab on the way to last night’s family function. It was well alight, and I’ve just been round to take a look. The outside of the building is relatively unscathed, but looking inside, the whole of the roof is ruined and the inside is a charred mess. Judging by the burnt blankets that the firemen have left beside the building, someone was squatting in there, although I can’t imagine that it was a particularly nice place to be.
It’s a shame that that building, and the old Electric Cinema next to it (which was one of the first cinemas in the country) are being left to slowly rot into the ground. The site itself is a prime location – there must be some developer who would be willing to do something with these buildings to bring them back into usefulness.
Since when has the Rainbow
Since when has the Rainbow (a pub on St Paul’s Road) been called The Happy Medium?? What a stupid name!
Monday 7 April 2003
Blimey. I’m having a productive
Blimey. I’m having a productive morning so far. I’ve
- been to the District Council offices to start the ball rolling on getting planning permission for new windows
- made an appointment at the optician
- registered at the local GP (only seven and a half years after moving to Chichester from Barnham!)
- purchased a CD (Making Bones by Red Snapper), and
- taken delivery of the CDs I ordered from the States last week, which have turned up amazingly quickly.
Now I am going to spend a few minutes working on more forms and paperwork for PFE before I head down to the bank for my appointment at 11.30, and then on to the office to get ready for a presentation I’m giving in Reading tomorrow night. And, on top of that, it’s a bright and sunny day (if a little chilly in the wind). Things are good.
Back in the old days,
Back in the old days, when you entered a horse racing sweepstake you knew that only the person who drew the winning horse actually won anything. Thankfully, those days are gone, and although my horse came in third in the National, it seems I have won some cash in the Nags sweepstake. Unfortunately, Gary wasn’t in the bar tonight, so I couldn’t collect my winnings. I’m sure my cash is in safe hands. There’ll be trouble if it isn’t.
The bank appointment went well,
The bank appointment went well, and the rest of the day continued with a frantic pace of productivity that lasted well into the evening. I’m pooped now, but relaxed. Off to sleep soon I think.
Tuesday 8 April 2003
Much activity here today. Preparing
Much activity here today. Preparing tonight’s presentation, plus interviewing prospective new employee for the nursery this morning.
Well, the interview went ok,
Well, the interview went ok, so it looks like we will be recruiting this lady, assuming she accepts our terms, and I’m not sure about that. I don’t think she realised that horticulture is a low-paid industry, and that she could earn more flipping burgers for Burger King. You really have to want to come into this business for enjoyment, which I accept is wrong, but is unlikely to change until product prices get back to the sort of levels that they had in real terms 40 years ago. And I don’t see that happening any time soon.
Wednesday 9 April 2003
Last night’s talk went well,
Last night’s talk went well, although it over-ran as usual, and was followed by a brief and late night coffee with Penn (as she lives only a couple of miles or so from where I was speaking), which afforded an opportunity to meet her incredibly cute and mad kitten, Dexy. Which has got me wishing I had a home that was more kitten-friendly than my flat.
Anyway, I didn’t get home until 1.40am, so consequently I am exhausted today.
I’ve just watched the pictures
I’ve just watched the pictures on TV of the American troops and armour arriving at the media hotel in Baghdad. Quite incredible scenes, with the incongruity of a US Marine giving a live telephone interview from outside the Hotel Palestine.
But I’m amused that at least one journalist still has his cynical head on, and hasn’t given in to the jingoism and euphoria that some others seem to have adopted. Andrew Gilligan of the BBC:
Nice stealth tax increases from
Nice stealth tax increases from the Chancellor, in freezing tax allowances – a sneaky, backdoor way to increase income tax that disproportionally impacts on the poor.
But it looks like it could have been worse in terms of business taxes, which is a good thing.
Bloody cold here today. Brr.
Bloody cold here today. Brr.
Whilst Rageh "Zoiks!" Omaar breathlessly
Whilst Rageh "Zoiks!" Omaar breathlessly reported the destruction of one of the statues of Saddam in Baghdad on the BBC reporters’ log page, Andrew Gilligan once again, took a different view.
One of my favourites is a moody looking Saddam on a tall plinth. And there are tiny little models of Mrs Thatcher, George Bush Senior and the President of France, Jacques Chirac cringing at his feet.
This is a memorial to what the Saddam regime called the American occupation of Kuwait – the first Gulf War. Now I imagine that will probably come down pretty soon.
Theres another one by the telephone exchange saying "Saddam on the phone". They tend to be themed, these things.
I like his style – I see a good future for him in broadcasting.
(Credit for the Scooby Doo joke to Punt and Dennis).
It’s always worrying to be
It’s always worrying to be sat on a train next to an unkempt and unshaven man with bare feet sporting toe rings and lavender nail polish. I’m worried right now.
The big news in Orchard
The big news in Orchard Street this week is that number 183, the famous Girls’ House, is up for sale. Which explains the frantic exterior decorating efforts taking place there last weekend. Interestingly, and ideally for stalkers, the details on the King and Chasemore website show interior views of the rooms. It’s a nice three bedroom house, yours for £230K.
So, with 181 and 183 for sale, the hope is that I’ll get some interesting new neighbours to spy on. Watch this space, as usual.
My new business needs a
My new business needs a bank account. And a second account in euro. And a debit card so that I can do simple things like booking a hotel over the phone. Nothing too complicated.
So why do I have to complete TEN forms to apply for that?
Thursday 10 April 2003
Loads of things to read
Loads of things to read on the BBC News pages today – I’m too busy to link them all, so go find them yourself:
- Concorde to be retired
- SARS virus "here to stay"
- Ariane has flawless launch
- European Space Agency to send a swarm of satellites to investigate asteroids
Best of all, more from Andrew Gilligan:
Fancy a haircut? New Weebl.
Fancy a haircut? New Weebl.
Rather nice that the French
Rather nice that the French get credit for something at the moment, rather than constantly be the subject of British and American ire.
Reuters: SARS virus identity confirmed
Reuters: SARS virus identity confirmed and named in honour of doctor who first identified the syndrome and subsequently died from it.
Ananova: Branson may try to
Ananova: Branson may try to keep Concorde flying.
Interesting: Centre for Media Freedom:
Interesting: Centre for Media Freedom: Middle East and North Africa. via the Channel 4 News site.
Grauniad: What about Private Lori?
Grauniad: What about Private Lori? Maybe the saddos that keep coming here searching for "Jessica Lynch + Playboy" should read this.
Friday 11 April 2003
Whilst all eyes are on
Whilst all eyes are on Iraq, it is worth remembering that this issue still hasn’t gone away (along with countless other "issues" around the world).
Which isn’t a cheery thought with which to start Friday, I’ll grant you.
Meanwhile, I’m actually in a good mood, aided by bright sunshine outside. Whether I’ll still be in such a good mood after I’ve been to the bank, who knows?
Bank visit was brief and
Bank visit was brief and went well.
We haven’t had any Friday silliness for a while. Anyone got any bad jokes? And not the one about Saddam’s son bringing the shopping home in a box – I’ve heard that about 3286543 times already.
With FA Cup weekend upon
With FA Cup weekend upon us, it’s time for some AFF transfers:
OUT: Svennsson and Hasselbaink
IN: Geremi and Beattie
A little predictable perhaps. I’m not entirely convinced that I have the right players for the semis in my team, nor am I convinced that either Premiership team is going to have an easy ride, or even a guaranteed victory. But we shall see.
Celebrity watchers (this site gets
Celebrity watchers (this site gets plenty of them visiting, I’ll have you know) will be interested to learn that grayblog’s favourite Bollywood actress, Aishwarya Rai, has been offered the chance to be the next Bond girl. My sources tell me that the big stumbling block concerns on-screen kissing of Pierce Brosnan, something that most girls wouldn’t have a problem with.
All this comes as the lovely Ms Rai ("Ash" to her friends) recovers in hospital from injuries sustained in what is being described as a "freak accident" whilst filming last week, in which her leg and foot were hurt when she was hit by a runaway jeep.
Incidentally, whilst browsing the Hindustan
Incidentally, whilst browsing the Hindustan Times (as one does), I stumbled on what is possibly the most ridiculous news headline I’ve seen in a while. I’m sure it needs rephrasing, or at least some punctuation.
Beer with Paul F and
Beer with Paul F and Kearn, with sightings of Malcolm, Sarah who used to work in W2, Dave, Gary, Theresa, Lucy, Alex, Ruth, Hamish and many others.
Saturday 12 April 2003
I’ve just been to the
I’ve just been to the optician for the first time in several years, and the first time at this particular practicioner. To say it has been a revelatory experience would be an understatement.
I was diagnosed with long sight in my right eye when I was about six years old, and wore glasses until I was about seventeen when I gave them up in a fit of vanity. For years, like so many other spectacle-wearing children, I was subjected to taunts and mockery and was labelled "four eyes", whilst my parents spent not inconsiderable sums of money on glasses for me.
I’ve just been told that it was a complete waste of time, money and distress.
I could cry.
I’m long-sighted in my right eye. That much is true. But it was almost certainly the case on the day that I was born. Consequently, my brain focused its effort on the left eye, and the right eye became "lazy" in that it wasn’t wired up correctly, and my brain focused on the information received from the left. This could have been corrected by "aggressive patching" when I was very young – certainly before the time I was five – and even then, there is no guarantee that it would have worked. The neurology of vision is pretty much fixed by the time you are five years old – after that it is too late. And because the problem is with the way my brain works, putting a lens across the front of my eye would have made no difference whatsoever. None. Zip. Nil.
My left eye works excellently, and therefore doesn’t need a lens either.
I never have needed to wear glasses. I don’t need to wear them now.
The optician believes that it is unlikely that I’ll need to wear them before I am 40, if not even later in life. His only recommendation is that I should have my eyes tested every four or five years – no need for testing more often than that.
He also went on to explain some of the symptoms, and things suddenly become clear. Because my eyes are wired up in a slightly odd fashion and don’t cooperate very much, it means that anything that requires binocular vision is going to be a problem. That includes watching 3D films through those red-green specs (never worked for me), looking at "magic eye" pictures (the ones made up from coloured dots that have, to me, always looked like a page full of dots) and, more importantly, depth perception. Which explains why I was always useless at any sport involving a ball at school. He said to me: "You’re not very good at catching a ball, are you?" Nope. It’s because I can’t tell how far away it is very accurately.
I can’t tell you how much this has affected me. All through life I’ve been living with this. I had the jokes at my expense as a child. I’ve had the problems with sport. I’ve had the accusations of clumsiness (almost certainly a product of depth perception problems). And now I know why.
If only I’d known before.
After far too many attempts,
After far too many attempts, I’ve just succeeded in completing level one of Skybolter. Anyone tried level 2? Is it worth paying £1.50 for?
Beer and gin tonight with
Beer and gin tonight with Kearn and Paul C.
And top marks for comedy to the person that came here looking for Theresa May porn. Funniest search in ages.
Sunday 13 April 2003
It’s a glorious day here.
It’s a glorious day here. If I had my way, I’d be off for a walk for most of the afternoon. But, as it is, I’ve been working for most of the morning, and have only been able to take a short stroll around the city. Now I have to go to a working lunch with some French businessmen, which will test my language skills (they’re non-existent, as at least one regular reader knows well!).
Meeting went well, and my
Meeting went well, and my flimsy French just about held me up – but I need some help in learning more, I think. Thankfully, everyone there spoke at least some English, so we were able to get meanings across. Food was good too, and I didn’t have to pay, which is always a bonus.
Is it me, or has
Is it me, or has the BBC pulled Andrew Gilligan since they were forced to defend his reporting from a pretty much unjustified attack by Downing Street the other day?
I’ve decided that I shall
I’ve decided that I shall spend the rest of this evening listening to Joe Jackson’s It’s Different For Girls looping over and over on WinAmp.
No reason. Just feel like it.
Meanwhile, Dave has passed a block of flats, and I take great pride in being the first to get in there with the obvious gag.
Monday 14 April 2003
Hectic here today. Just realised
Hectic here today. Just realised how filthy my keyboard is too.
Why have I got You
Why have I got You Picked A Fine Time To Leave Me Lucille going round and round my head? I don’t even know anyone called Lucille. Actually, that’s not true, I do know some of that name – she is the wife of an old school friend. But she isn’t likely to leave me, as I haven’t seen or spoken to her for at least three years.
And I haven’t actually heard that song in ages. Clearly some sort of mental deficiency on my part.
Ah. A good haircut and
Ah. A good haircut and a gossip certainly improves the day.
In other news, I want to see this.
This is a very cool
This is a very cool website, although it is probably best appreciated with a broadband connection. Maybe one day, when PFE is wealthy and successful, it too will have a site like this. (via Totally Flabbergasted).
Tuesday 15 April 2003
Another glorious day – sunny
Another glorious day – sunny and warm.
And another hectic one. Such is life in horticulture in spring.
Most popular "celebrity" search which
Most popular "celebrity" search which is bringing people here at the moment is not Holly Valance or even Aishwarya Rai, but Andrew Gilligan. Balding BBC journalist to be a pin-up? Come on girls, ‘fess up!
Answers to this question:change your
Answers to this question:
- change your phone number
- change your email
- move home
- kill the dumpee
I try to help when I can.
Bumped into Nick T on
Bumped into Nick T on the way home, who told me that he and Anne are expecting a little T in October. Splendid stuff! Congratulations to them!
Find the distance between two
Find the distance between two cities using this gizmo. Chichester isn’t on the list, but Portsmouth isn’t far away.
Wednesday 16 April 2003
Gutted! My team was beaten
Gutted! My team was beaten in the AFF FA Cup! I blame Seaman – literally, if that goal had gone in, I’d have won.
Now I’m in the play-off for 3rd/4th place, and I reckon I should seal 3rd (famous last words).
It is absolutely fantastically sunny
It is absolutely fantastically sunny and warm here today – t-shirt weather!
On a night when it
On a night when it would be really good to go home, grab a beer from the fridge and head for Priory Park, I’ve agreed to work late. Guh. But it is work towards sorting out my new office, on which far too little progress is being made at the moment.
Thursday 17 April 2003
Charlie has pointed me to
Charlie has pointed me to this, and asked "would you vote for her?" Well, I think she deserves some recognition for being seen in public with a pair of specs like that!
It’s been a long day,
It’s been a long day, and I’m pooped. And no train to get home due to the annoying strike, so I have to hang around here for a while until I can get a lift back to Chichester.
Beer with Paul C (happy
Beer with Paul C (happy birthday!), Clive, Kearn, John, Ruth, Hamish and assorted others. A good night, with many jokes too rude to repeat here.
Friday 18 April 2003
Well, in the absence of
Well, in the absence of a girlfriend handy or anyone else to do anything more interesting with, I’ll be spending a fair chunk of this weekend working on some decorating in the flat, having a major tidy-up (including a long-overdue blitz of the hall cupboard) and doing some work for PFE. Hold onto your hats, kids, it’s going to be an exciting ride!
My mind is elsewhere. About 270 miles away to be precise.
Well, I was going to
Well, I was going to start painting the skirting in the hall, but got to thinking that I could deal with the hall and the hall cupboard at the same time. My hall cupboard is the last great neglected corner of this flat – all I’ve done with it since I moved in is to fill it with stuff that I didn’t want to deal with properly at the time. Consequently, it is full of old papers, boxes of ancient clothes, empty cartons that things like my coffee machine came in and my spare duvet (Evil Duvet II). Most of the papers are no longer important, and so are heading to the bin. The vast majority of the clothes are either unwearable (tip), no longer fit me (charity shop) or are waaaay out of fashion (charity shop too). However, I’ve stumbled across a few shirts that are certainly good enough to be worn around the nursery, which is a good thing, as I was looking at having to buy two or three cheap shirts for that purpose.
I’m about half way through the task. So far I’ve dealt with a ton of loose items and six storage boxes. The things I’ve saved so far will fit back into just one of those boxes. The rest is in a pile of bin bags blocking the hall – I think I need to go to the nursery and fetch the car so I can take this lot to the tip.
I have a box full
I have a box full of old Q magazines dating from the early 90s. I was thinking of selling them, but they seem to fetch next to nothing on eBay, so it hardly seems worth it. If anybody wants them, you have about three hours to say so before I take them to the tip – free to anyone who can collect them or will pay for delivery.
You know you’re getting old
You know you’re getting old when you find old photographs and think "We had so much more hair back then".
Saturday 19 April 2003
Too much beer last night
Too much beer last night with Bren, Greg, Kristian (such singing!), Hamish, Ruth, Kearn, Clive and other picture postcards.
After yesterday’s cleaning marathon, when
After yesterday’s cleaning marathon, when I shipped out three full car loads of stuff (one and a half to the tip, nearly all of which went into recycling – I’m proud of that; one to the British Heart Foundation shop; the rest to the nursery – which was old boxes that will be re-used and some files and things which will be used by PFE), I’m now working on the next phase of actually decorating. I’ve just removed some crappy shelving, ripped out all the rawl plugs and filled the holes. I’ve also pulled away some loose woodchip, though most of it will be staying, as I’m certain the wall behind it is in a pretty grotty state. Now I’m going to wash it down with sugar soap, allow it to dry over lunch and then paint the walls and ceiling this afternoon. The skirting and door frame will have to wait until the walls and ceiling have dried.
Why do these jobs always
Why do these jobs always take longer than you think?
Congratulations to Melanie (nursery employee)
Congratulations to Melanie (nursery employee) and Jonathan on the birth of Oliver on Thursday.
Everyone I meet at the moment is either pregnant or with a newborn. OK, maybe not everyone, but there do seem to be quite a few families getting started at the moment. Maybe there isn’t anything good on TV.
One coat of paint on
One coat of paint on the walls and ceiling in the cupboard. I’ll check in the morning when it has dried to see if it will need a second. I hope not, and I’m not too fussed about it, as it is a cupboard after all. I’ll do the skirting and door frame tomorrow, and also the bathroom door frame and radiator.
Fans of the classic 80s
Fans of the classic 80s late-night Channel 4 show that was Club X, amongst others, will be sad to learn of the death of Regina Fong.
I’ve had a quick look on Google and struggled to find anything on Club X. The TV Cream entry is brief and dismissive. Off The Telly says this:
I’m not sure that it is fair to say that there was no fun in Club X. It was certainly anarchic, and the sight of a horde of naked women creating a work of art by daubing themselves in poster paint and then running at a huge canvas has certainly stuck in my mind, as has the excellent Victor Lewis-Smith "Buygones" slots, which were nothing short of marvellous. I used to enjoy it, but maybe I was just young and impressionable.
Sunday 20 April 2003
Easter Sunday. Even though I’m
Easter Sunday. Even though I’m a committed atheist, I always mark Easter Sunday in the time honoured manner.
Well, my plans to complete
Well, my plans to complete the painting have been thwarted by a lack of paint and the Sunday trading laws. And I’m very close to completing everything I set out to do, which is annoying. The skirting and door frame of the cupboard have been done, as well as the skirting in the hall and the frame of an internal window in the hall. Unfortunately, I only had enough paint to do about 60% of the bathroom door frame, and none at all for the bathrom radiator. But, if I get myself organised tomorrow, I’ll be able to do those two areas. If I get really carried away, I might have a go at the woodwork in the kitchen too. I also need to get some Danish oil so I can treat the new shelves for the cupboard and also a couple of CD racks I’ve had sitting here for ages.
BBC Reporters’ Log: Final Thoughts.
BBC Reporters’ Log: Final Thoughts.
For the first time in
For the first time in weeks, it is raining. Doesn’t look like much though, and we really could use some steady rain for a few hours.
hmm. Looks like my decorating
hmm. Looks like my decorating plans for tomorrow have just been blown out the water. Apparently I’m going to have fun instead. Guh. I’m sure it’s a bad idea.
Easter reaches b3ta.
Easter reaches b3ta.
Monday 21 April 2003
Big match for Brighton today,
Big match for Brighton today, at home to Sheffield Wednesday, a match that Brighton must surely win if they are to avoid relegation. Steve Coppell is quoted as saying:
In other words, Brighton had better win or else everyone will be on Division Two salaries next season.
A day spent with Mo
A day spent with Mo for his birthday, along with Katie and Marcia, involving Hampstead Heath, dodgems, a frightening fairground ride, pub lunch, cake and hard drive trauma. I’m now stuck at East Croydon having missed my connection with 45 minutes to wait. Which allows time for a spot of people watching, not least the couple having a very public domestic (sorry, mate, you’ve blown it!). A long distance phone call has put a smile on my lips though.
Life is good, even if I didn’t finish the decorating today.
Brighton only managed a draw
Brighton only managed a draw today. With Stoke scoring another win, Division 2 seems a sad certainty.
Tuesday 22 April 2003
Whilst we’re rushing around like
Whilst we’re rushing around like mad things here today, and it is a glorious and sunny day (again), the mood has been tempered somewhat by the news that a special family friend died overnight. George "Ginger" Booth was a lovely person, who spent many years working with my father at the electricity board, and who was instrumental in introducing my parents to each other, 45 years or so ago, at the Bognor Rifle Club. In fact, it could be said that you wouldn’t be reading any of these words if it wasn’t for George.
He’ll be much missed.
Talking about much else today
Talking about much else today after that last post seems a little trifle.
Anyhow, I’m pooped. Work is definitely hard at the moment, and I need to commit some time to PFE very very soon indeed. As it is, I’ve been rushing around doing nursery things today, and this evening I have to go and talk to a room full of people in Tangmere – which has the definite benefit of being local, if nothing else. At least it means I’ll have time to grab dinner before going out, and should be home not much later than 9.30 or so.
And, having not arrived home until gone midnight last night, I could use some sleep. However, knowing that my flat is a complete mess from the decorating means that I’ll probably have to spend some time at least setting a few things straight.
Watching TV makes you obese,
Watching TV makes you obese, so the scientists say. Now, do you now begin to see why I don’t have one? Not only is the majority of programming rubbish, but actually watching it is bad for you (or at least the sitting down part of the viewing activity).
It was also reassuring to be walking around Hampstead Heath yesterday with three smokers and finding that I was the only one who didn’t get short of breath going up a hill.
I’m so self righteous, I could become irritating. But I’m too perfect for that.
News for Marcia?
Wednesday 23 April 2003
News update:We’ve managed to recruit
- We’ve managed to recruit someone for the nursery. Yay! Perhaps now some work will get done.
- I’m still pooped. Should have gone to bed earlier last night, but I stayed up for all the best reasons.
- Tried to get more paint and things for the decorating. I needed four items, and Homebase didn’t have any of them in stock. How useless is that?
- It’s lovely and sunny again, although rain is forecast – both of which are good things.
- I have a goose’s egg for my breakfast tomorrow.
- It’s St George’s Day, and it’s good to see so many red crosses on display. I understand that there is a movement to get St George’s Day put on a level footing with St Patrick’s Day. I’m happy to help this campaign by drinking some local beer this evening – I’ve got a few in my store at home.
New Weebl. One of the
New Weebl. One of the best yet, though very self referential. But isn’t that the way to be?
I’ve just spent over an
I’ve just spent over an hour putting Danish oil on my new shelves and also onto some CD racks I’ve had lurking here for a while. It’s quite a therapeutic task, with obvious and tangible results (not least being the oily smell that is now well and truly ingrained in my hands in spite of repeated scrubbing). But, as with many therapeutic tasks, the mind can wander. Where does Danish oil come from? Is it made from freshly pressed Danes? Why Danish? Why not Norwegian? Can you get extra virgin Danish oil? Would that be more expensive and come in a fancy glass jar?
As usual, Google comes up with answers, or at least the sensible ones anyway.
Thursday 24 April 2003
Can I go home now?
Can I go home now? I’m tired and need to sleep.
I slept pretty well last night, waking up only ever so briefly just once in the night, but I had a bit of a headache when I woke up this morning, which may be related to the pile of oil-treated wood sitting in the hallway immediately outside my (doorless) bedroom.
Still sleepy. And we’ve had
Still sleepy. And we’ve had rain, though not much.
More exciting news as events warrant.
Interesting. It might just work,
Interesting. It might just work, especially the financial measures.
More interestingly, many of you will have noticed that the county cricket season is back underway, and Sussex seem to be doing well in their opening match against Middlesex. Although, of course, the weather is winning at the moment.
Kim Jong Il webcam yay!!!
Friday 25 April 2003
This is the first moment
This is the first moment I’ve had for sitting at the PC – I’ve been rushing around all day, including a trip to Somerset and back to deliver a couple of orders.
It’s really lovely down there, around the Frome and Wincanton area. Although Frome itself seems a little grubby at first glance, and Wincanton is dominated by the A303 and a ghastly Safeway store. But the villages and hills are lovely – the perfect sort of place if you like rolling English countryside where everything is verdant, not a lot happens and the lanes are crammed with idiots towing caravans.
I’ve thought before that it might be nice to have a holiday in those parts, but not the caravan variety. Maybe rent a little cottage and do some walking. And check out the local pubs, of course. Hmm. Might yet do that. And it’s not impossible to get there by train from here either.
And we have real rain
And we have real rain today too. Yay!
Treated myself to the latest
Treated myself to the latest Autechre album, Draft 7.30, this evening. Can’t decide if it is brilliant industrial noise, or just random samples, squeaks and bleeps. Either way, I think it could grow on me, although I don’t know anyone else who would listen to it all the way through.
Saturday 26 April 2003
Off to the doctor’s surgery
Off to the doctor’s surgery in a few minutes for a check-up with Nurse Barbara, who sounds like someone from a Carry On film.
Then, after visiting the bank, it’s down to the railway station to meet up with Sarah and then head off to Brighton to see Kate, and hopefully drop in on Charlie later. Today’s objectives: to continue the search for boots, to suss out rugs for the hall and to drink beer,
Sunday 27 April 2003
Blogger is being cranky this
Blogger is being cranky this morning.
Right, first things first – the EXTREMELY LARGE BIG NEWS OF THE WEEKEND is that Brighton live to fight another day. We must win away against already-relegated Grimsby next week, and Stoke must lose at home to play-off contenders Reading. I can feel my blood pressure going up already – next Saturday will be a very stressful day.
And talking of blood pressure, mine is fine, a fact confirmed yesterday by Nurse Barbara, a person less like Barbara Windsor than you could possibly imagine.
Highlights from yesterday’s outing to
Highlights from yesterday’s outing to Brighton:
- lunch in the Eagle with Sarah and Kate
- inspecting carpet and rugs – best of the bunch was definitely GAFF – really nice thick stylish rugs that would definitely be heavenly to pad about on barefoot in the morning. I’ll sort out some measurements and head down there with my credit card, I think.
- CD shopping – a Peace Orchestra remix album, the utterly brilliant album by James Yorkston and The Athletes and the incredibly good and funky album by Will Holland’s Quantic Soul Orchestra, which has had me bopping around the living room all morning.
- purchases of nightlights at The Pier and smelly bath bubbly stuff at Lush, inevitably.
- a moderately expensive short sleeve shirt ready for summer, and a very expensive but splendid long sleeve linen shirt that I’m dead pleased with…
- but no boots. I looked in more than a dozen shops, tried on several pairs, and actually found a couple of pairs that I really liked. But in each case, they either didn’t have a style I liked, the size I need or the boots were too narrow across the instep for me to get on and off. Oh well, the search continues.
- Lemonade at the excellent Hotel Du Vin, which I think could become a regular genteel watering hole.
- Dinner with Kate, Charlie, Pete and Blini at chez Charlie – a splendid way to round off the day, with fabulous roast duck and lots of marvellous conversation – a favour that I will gladly return.
A pretty darned good day, I’d say, spoilt only by crappy South Central trains diverting the last train home to Bognor Regis, and not offering or providing any transport on to Chichester, even though the train was scheduled to come back here. Thankfully, I was able to share a cab with another stranded passenger, so it cost us only £7 each instead of £14. Grr.
Do you reckon that, following
Do you reckon that, following all the news coverage of Afghanistan, Iraq, Israel and other parts of the Middle East, you are pretty hot on Middle East geography? Try this educational game and think again.
Went for a walk this
Went for a walk this afternoon around the walls and down the canal to Hunston and back, camera in hand. Still only about half way through this film, so it’ll be a week or two before you see the photographs.
I notice that the Cathedral Works Organisation has removed some of the scaffolding from the upper part of the south side of the Cathedral. Now, if you stand in the Bishop’s Palace Gardens, you can get an almost scaffold-free view of the Cathedral, the first time that has been the case for years and years. The new stonework at the top of the south transcept looks immaculate – almost too new, and needs a little wind and rain on it to take the hardness from the stone. Hopefully they will remove some more of the scaffolding – if they do so, I’ll get some pictures.
Monday 28 April 2003
Is it going to be
Is it going to be one of those days? Today I have to go and view and measure up a site and prepare a planting list – in the rain. I’ve left my mobile phone on my desk at home. I’ve just had a whinging customer on the telephone cancelling her order and moaning about the cancellation fee (even though she has had access to our terms of trade, but simply hadn’t bothered to read them). And I’ll be in sole charge of the place this afternoon when my parents go to a funeral.
And I’ve got to go to the dentist on Friday. siiigh. This could be a long week.
Football update: the last Division
Football update: the last Division One matches will, of course, be played on Sunday, not Saturday. I knew that. Really.
What is being called "good
What is being called "good quality rain" is falling outside at the moment.
It’ll be even better quality if it stops by the time I have to walk home.
This game is, officially, bloody
This game is, officially, bloody difficult. It is also brilliantly simple, as all the best games should be.
Tuesday 29 April 2003
I’m having a strange old
I’m having a strange old paranoia attack, which, I know, if thought through in a reasoned manner, is utterly irrational. But logical thinking isn’t always a good antidote to paranoia. If I’m logical, I’d realise that I’m not even in a situation where paranoia is justified, but it doesn’t stop me feeling that way.
I need distraction. And reassurance.
Readers are reminded that my
Readers are reminded that my birthday is May 12. Less than two weeks.
Readers are also reminded that my Amazon wishlist can be found here.
Nick Assinder previews the local
Voters aren’t giving their verdict on the performance of the government or opposition or their leaders, but on the state of local services, they insist.
They don’t believe a word of it, of course.
I predict a landslide victory for apathy.
One of the best parts
One of the best parts of my work is that I frequently get to drive around some of the most beautiful scenery England has to offer. Last Friday’s trip to Somerset was good, but this morning’s trip just a few miles to West Dean and back, via Goodwood racecourse, was stunning. The South Downs in spring are tough to beat.
I’ve just written an e-mail
I’ve just written an e-mail of complaint to South Central Trains about my journey on Saturday night. Don’t suppose it’ll get me anywhere, but it is worth a try. Just call me "disgruntled of Chichester".
Have you ever seen a
Have you ever seen a worm that has drowned in a bucket of water? I can assure readers that a piece of spaghetti that has festered in the bottom of a sink for 24 hours looks much the same.
Brighton’s veteran goalkeeper, Dave Beasant,
Brighton’s veteran goalkeeper, Dave Beasant, has vowed to play on. Even if he will soon be drawing a pension.
Although it has to be said that he has kept goal recently better than many players half his age.
Meanwhile, speculation has already begun as to whether Steve Coppell will stay as manager beyond the end of the season. I reckon that Alan Pardew’s team will have a sizeable influence on that decision.
L’absence est a l’amour ce
He‘s gone soft. Wonder where he got the quote from? Anyone?
Wednesday 30 April 2003
Wednesday in bullet points:Paranoia considerably
Wednesday in bullet points:
- Paranoia considerably eased. Good.
- Work completely mad. Running six directions at once.
- I’m sure that Barry Cryer went past me this morning at the wheel of a Jaguar with the number plate L4UGH. It could have been someone else, but I’m 80% sure it was him.
- I’m really tired and could do with a break, a massage and maybe some different scenery for a day or two. Fat chance.
- PFE has finally got its bank account. Yay!
Back to work.
Today’s physics lesson from the
Today’s physics lesson from the BBC: charm quark + anti-strange quark = Ds (2317)
Note to self – life
Note to self – life is good. Stop worrying about nothing, or you’ll spoil everything, dumbarse.
Actually, life is good. Sometimes I forget that.
In other news, daft search request of the day: Caroline bottle Steve phone wine boyfriend sofa. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to use these words as the basis of an entertaining short story. Send your efforts to the usual address and the best will be posted here and be rewarded with the usual prize (i.e. nothing).
Beer tonight (long time since
Beer tonight (long time since I’ve typed that) with Paul F, Nikki, Phil, Mark, Alex, Ruth, Hamish and Hamish’s cousin Simon. Also the first time I’ve been to La Havana, who were staging an open mic night. You didn’t miss much.
Worryingly, after tonight’s game, Reading
Worryingly, after tonight’s game, Reading have no incentive other than pride to win on Sunday. Let’s just hope that Steve Coppell has some favours to call in from his old friend Alan Pardew.