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Showing posts from 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...

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...

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. Plan required.

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... but it's going to be huge. And today I am mostly listening to Ali Farke Toure.

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.

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. Marvellous.

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 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...

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...


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

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 and Search and Destroy...

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...

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!

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..?

graffiti, albert bridge, today

shelter from the cold

At the Zoo for a BBC management away day (how very appropriate). It was freezing 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.

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.

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.

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...

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.

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?

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...


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 .


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.

nobody does it better

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