Tuesday, December 11, 2007

senior service

Spent yesterday buried underground in the Cabinet War Rooms. Much to think about of course but the thing that struck me most was that these people really SMOKED. Industrial-scale ashtrays everywhere, improvised lighters made out of red-hot phone cables and the maps aren't simply yellowing with age but with the leathery patina of nicotine. These were the people who had a Good War - men were men... women had to be single... adrenaline flowed like Niagara Falls and everybody smoked.

More nostalgia when I got home as Led Zep's Madison Square concert was on telly and I hadn't seen it since I was a teenager. Robert Plant still the sexiest thing ever (even in puffed sleeves which I didn't notice in 1970-doodah) but Jimmy Page will always occupy a small corner of my heart...

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

tvc r.i.p...

Nope, not the lovely Television Centre (although I am rather gloomy about that too) but the wickedly well-informed and fake TV Controller has signed off this week leaving us all... still... guessing. He says he was Dom - but I know he wasn't.

Meanwhile I have blogged on the rather quaintly named BBC Internet Blog as myself... which has felt a bit like coming out.

last friday morning in geneva...

I noticed this...

Is it graffiti?

Or is it an autograph?

Either way it puts Banksy in the shade...

Saturday, October 20, 2007

one green chilli

Last year my garden provided a festival of chillies - enough to rival anything Mexico could offer. This year my rather troubled plant has just managed to yield one, rather small and slightly apologetic green effort. I'm not really sure what to do with it as I feel it deserves a good send-off... Thai curry for one I guess.

I think it's all symptomatic of the fact that the back of my house and the garden are in dire need of attention. When the dry rot falling from the bathroom meets the damp rising from the kitchen the whole thing will fall down... I'm not sure whether the rampant ivy is eating into the walls or holding them up. So I am hatching a cunning plan...

Sunday, September 02, 2007

facebook tart

I've sorely neglected this blog lately because, along with the rest of the English Middle Classes, I've become a facebook slut. Now I spend all my spare online time turning friends into vampires, poking people, writing worthless comments, joining pointless groups and, best of all, getting back in contact with friends and colleagues around the world. I wonder how long it will last..? I gave this blog a year and it lasted longer than that (just) but facebook is certainly more addictive and more fascinating since I still don't have a clue how they make any money out of it. I for one have never clicked on an ad in it...

And today I am mostly listening to Ali Farke Toure.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

thirty one men

Antony Gormley's wonderful statues will only be here for a few more weeks... I wish they would stay. Apparently there are thirty one of them but I can only find about seventeen so either my specs are rubbish or I need to walk about a bit more. Their very stillness makes them moving.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

the stuffing of nightmares

Kent Rogowski has been turning teddy bears inside out and taking pictures of them and they are really really disturbing... mainly because they still look like soft toys.


Sunday, June 17, 2007

daily wail

A fixed point in our ever-changing world is the editorial stance of The Mail. There is no news story so mighty or so insignificant that it cannot threaten, in however tenuous a way, the house prices of Middle England. Today it is something to do with schools, but it could just as well be global warming, terrorism, immigration, orcs, drugs, lefties - it really doesn't matter because whatever happens in the world all Mail readers seem to want to know is whether or not it will have an impact on the value of their gracious homes.

My gracious home currently has an outbreak of damp and ants so, rather than deal with these things I have spent the afternoon flickering on flickr, facebooking on facebook, blogging here and listening to the Isley Brothers. When indeed will there be a Harvest for the World and, if there is one, what will it mean for house prices..?

Sunday, June 10, 2007

encounter with orcs

Highly memorable Monday at Lord of the Rings - The Musical. As usual I had too much white wine in the interval and had to nip to the loo half way through Part Two only to be chased through the foyer by a bunch of rather short orcs. As I sought refuge in the ladies a rather smart animal-print clad woman emerged to be confronted by growling orcs waving swords. She took one look at them and told them to piss off... If only Gandalf and the crew had done that earlier the whole thing would have been over much much sooner...

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

cat kit

Not having had a new cat for over a decade I had forgotten how much kit they need. New bowls, beds, grooming equipment adorn my house but best of all is their own special stick of catnip dynamite...

Thursday, May 24, 2007


They're here. The one on the left has named himself - Zebedee - because he goes boing. Not sure about the other one yet...

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

gilbert and george

Spent a happy twenty minutes at work today downloading and laying out the Gilbert and George free art - a great gesture in a troubled world even if it is only available until tomorrow night... I probably won't name the cats after them (although it is an option - see below) as it might predispose the kittens to wearing old-school tweed suits.

more names

Two more suggestions just in today which I can't use but I liked them so much I thought I'd blog 'em.

Baruch and Balthamos - the Angels in His Dark Materials
Search and Destroy...

Monday, May 07, 2007

naming convention

After a weekend of indecision I am now going to get two kittens because the brother of the (as yet nameless) chap below is equally irresistible. Currently their names are Titus and Theo but I am considering renaming them from the list below unless anybody else comes up with a better idea...

Eric and Ernie
Mungo and Jerry
Gilbert and George
Ben and Jerry
Bill and Ben
Derry and Toms
Hamlet and Horatio
Hengist and Horsa (or is it Hausa?)
Jeeves and Wooster
Frankie and Dino
Demetrius and Lysander (too posh perhaps?)
Butch and Sundance
Stan and Ollie
Rodgers and Hammerstein
Cheech and Chong
Nelson and Walter Gabriel
Waldorf and Stadtler
Fred and Barney
Dweezil and Moonunit
Oscar and Bosie or Oscar and Felix
Jules and Sandy...

I would have Arding and Hobbs bit I've used those names before...

Saturday, May 05, 2007

for I will consider my cat...

Jeoffry? Tiger? Tigger? Dylan? Zozo II? Henry? I have two weeks to decide what this perfect little person's name is to be. All suggestions welcome.


Didn't want to miss the drama about Robert Maxwell last night and all the papers were saying how closely David Suchet looked like the monster but, as Brian pointed out about five minutes in, Suchet bore a rather closer resemblance to a Munster!

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Keeping London Tidy

Apparently Banksy's wonderful Pulp Fiction with Bananas has gone... It's not quite clear whether this was an accident or whether the Transport Police cleaned it up. Either way it's a pity, not because it was worth 300k (how on earth would anyone sell it?) but because it was funny.

I suppose the graffiti I found below on April 1 is a Banksy too. Who knows? Wonder what it's worth if it is..?

Thursday, March 22, 2007

shelter from the cold











nobody here but us...

Along with a bunch of other managers from the Place Where I Work I went to a conference at London Zoo today. After sitting through lots of powerpoints and spreadsheets and presentations we were allowed out at lunchtime. We wandered around in the freezing cold and met these feathered colleagues...

Not sure which conference they were attending but I hope it had better heating than ours.

Monday, March 19, 2007

these boots are made for cleaning

I am probably alone in the world in feeling a little sorry for Ms Campbell. I thought supermodels were meant to be moody, vapid and self-obsessed and she has just been behaving true to form. She doesn't really deserve the ritual humiliation she is currently going through. Impressive pair of boots though - I guess they will be next season's must have...

As for me, I am at last back online after two weeks of no connection at home and I Fixed It All By Myself without the help of a Proper Man. Feel very self-satisfied and am about to reward myself with a monster music downloading sesh. It will include the whimsically named Mr Hudson and His Librarians because somebody told me they've done a cover of On The Street Where You Live which is one of me favourites.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

short films

To Bafta on Friday to see all the winning and shortlisted shorts and animations from this year's awards. Like all these showcase-y things it was a really mixed bag which confirmed my opinion that like websites, short films are usually more fun to make than to watch...

Yet one has haunted me for the whole weekend - Corinna Faith's almost unbearably moving drama Care. Small, simple, totally true and uncompromising it features an extraordinary performance by Peter Vaughan. Even in his chiselled old age he has an air of menace about him. Brilliant.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

separated at birth

Watching telly last night I was struck by Mandy's close resemblance to the Tin Man from the Wizard of Oz... and we all know what his problem was...

Sunday, February 18, 2007

sweet vauxhall

I'm too old, too wasp, too middle-class and just too busy to understand what motivates graffiti artists to risk life and limb in pursuit of their thing... but I often love their work and (yes, yes, I know it's illegal) it so often makes a dull place interesting. I used to pass this one at Vauxhall every day on my way to work and it's still as striking as the first day I saw it. Whoever created it I just want them to know that I really appreciate this free gift and I'm glad the London Transport Police haven't been able to get their bleach on it.

Can't get Jamie Lidell's Multiply out of my head today. He deserves to be a big star.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

apparently a whole year has gone by...

...since that lovely day in Brighton that Brian has just recalled on his blog. It was a perfect day out and the pay off was being able to sit in a comfy bar on the pier watching the starlings doing their thing for nearly an hour. I don't really remember what the music was playing in the bar but now, of course, whenever I see starlings I think of lager and Hard-Fi's Living for the Weekend.

So what on earth have I done with the whole year that's gone by since that day? Not much clearly - Venice, Spain, a bit of blogging, grown lemons and olives, family things, driving, worrying.... but nothing much really to show for 365 days. i could get all gloomy about futility and the passing of time but I think I shall go and watch telly instead. I wonder if Bill Oddie's on?

Saturday, February 03, 2007

grumpy old dream

Last night I had a vivid dream in which I had been invited to lunch with Will Self in his gracious home. There were sixteen other people there all eating noodles at a big square table and as we were tucking in Mick Jagger strolled through the French windows and invited Will to join his jamming session in an adjoining room. They went off and while I could hear them playing I couldn't find them so I drifted into the kitchen and started doing the washing up...

I never think about Will Self during daylight hours. I've never read anything by him either so God knows why he popped up in my dream yet here's the thing that has been bugging me all day... when I woke up and put the radio on who should be guesting on Today? It was none other than Will Self. Hmmmmm....

Sunday, January 28, 2007

my little elephant

On the R4 show Genius a member of the audience had the troooly genius idea of genetically engineering very small elephants so that people could have them as pets. Tiny herds of these splendid creatures could then march elegantly across the plains of our sitting room carpets, grazing on very small plants along the way. Marvellous.

I haven't told the cats yet, but if anybody does manage to breed very small elephants I should be the first in the queue...

Saturday, January 27, 2007


My home is now wireless. It's very exciting. Of course there are now quite a lot more wires around the place than ever before and, for health and safety reasons, I now need a circuit breaker on the adapter in the office which looks like a miniature version of Clapham Junction but hey, I can now check my ebay bids from the kitchen. This has to be a Good Thing. There are several neighbours who've done the same but they've all chosen weird names (like Mr Holy NetGear) so I have no idea who they are if we meet in the street.

It's taken a while to sort out (hence the lack of blogging) and then of course I forgot all my passwords for everything. But today it is all fixed and tidy... and I am listening to Jim Moray.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

ken russell

gawd bless him and all who sail with him. He looks so very lost in the Big Brother house.

Friday, January 05, 2007


We don't have them in London any more... or at least there aren't any round my way and I really didn't notice until they had gone. In Venice they were everywhere. I spotted three hopping cheerfully into a cafe. Am reminded of Barbara Windsor singing something along the lines of 'ain't it a shame sparrers can't sing' and wondering if she will ever do an updated version.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

nobody does it better

The Venetians really know how to make New Year's Eve worth celebrating....