Tuesday, 30 September 2008

shock revelation

This is a waste of my time.

Yes, I know.

Monday, 29 September 2008


Any comments slagging off:

Andrew Collins
Richard Herring
Jasper Fforde
Ian Rankin
Marcus Brigstocke
Bernard Butler

will result in smiting.

Why Jeremy Hardy is funnier than me

Tonight I saw Jeremy Hardy, which was a very unusual thing to happen in Kirkcaldy, but it happened all the same and he was marvellous. He looks, bizarrely, a bit like Holly Johnson, with a hint of Dale Winton from the side, then he does his big grin and he looks just like himself and rather gorgeous. Which is not a term applied to either of the aforementioned. He does have the best grin ever.

Ah yes, relevance: he was extremely funny, and very entertaining for two hours. Hurrah for value for money. I saw him, I think, two years ago and he was very good then. He is topical and outspoken without being remotely offensive. Clever, witty act. I'm cringing a bit on his observations of bloggers and their sheer inanity, but I did laugh and laugh.

My inner child would like to protest: I have made some genuine friends that have taken a liking to the drivel I write online.

I'm feeling a little blooo however.

For one, I may have had an evening out, but noone told my hair. So when it came to time to get ready and I tried to coax it into submission, it mutinied. stating "Whoa, woman, are you a trained hairdresser? No, I thought not. What are you doing? Why are you disturbing my lank tangled ways? Do you think this is 2005 or something? Get a grip and get back in that kitchen" so it took me out looking a bit bedraggled. The right side relented and went into quite cute curls, the left side simply wasn't up for a night out and did its best to achieve the Real Bedhead look (ie, the "goodness you need a shower" look).

Secondly, I hate being 33. I have hated being 33 since approximately one week before my 33rd birthday, compounded by actually having flu on said birthday. It's a rubbish age, it's such a nothing age, it's not old, it's not young. This is not a new discovery, but listening to Jeremy Hardy, who expresses the things I'd like to be able to think, I feel extremely young and inexperienced. Yet I find young people an alien species, they make me feel past it and shrivelled. It's very disconcerting feeling like a small child most of the time interspersed with feeling like I should be pensioned off.

33 doesn't even know what it is, is it early or mid thirties? At least with 34 you know you are definitely talking mid thirties, which is more definable.

To clarify: Early 30s are 30, 31, 32; mid thirties, 34, 35, 36; late thirties, 37, 38, 39. Where does 33 go? 33 is neither early nor mid, it doesn't know where it is, clinging to the youthfulness of 30, or maturely accepting the inevitability of 35. No, it swings back and forth between the two, being nothing. 34 is nearly 35, which is something, 33 is nothing other than nearly 34. What use is that? 23 has the same problems but 23 is undoubtedly young. By 43 I hope to have grown up and may even be able to talk to people. It's just stupid limbo age, 33. Grr. Roll on January.

Talking of which, winter is arriving, I love it :-)

Saturday, 27 September 2008

Paul Newman

I was saddened to learn of the death from cancer of Paul Newman, a truly remarkable actor and person.

This, I feel, says it best:

"Paul Newman's craft was acting. His passion was racing. His love was his family and friends. And his heart and soul were dedicated to helping make the world a better place for all," Robert Forrester, the vice-chairman of the actor's foundation.

Paul Leonard Newman
January 25 1925 - September 26 2008

Friday, 26 September 2008

Silence with potatoes

Last night I sent an email to one of my heroes. He sent a thoroughly nice reply, but I released the talk mechanism in return. The one that thinks it knows about everything, the one that doesn't know when to shut up. So it is time for a spot of culinary intervention.

Necessity stew

1 medium sized idiot that needs to learn when to shut up
1 modem
1 mobile phone
1 landline phone
3 shallots, finely chopped
1 chilli, finely chopped
2 potatoes, cubed
4 tablespoons of olive oil
300ml water

Preheat oven to 230' C. Heat the olive oil in a wide frying pan and add the shallots. Fry over a gentle heat before adding the mobile phone. Heat until the phone breaks. Add the potatoes and water and bring to the boil. Break the modem and landline phone into little pieces and lay in a casserole dish, pouring over the mobile and potato mixture when boiling and cover with foil. Cook in the hot oven for approximately 2 days or until the idiot is cured.

This dish is best served in the autumn when idiots are best to be pruned of all communicative devices.

Thursday, 25 September 2008


Everyone in my life seems to fall into one of two camps politically: right-wing Torygraph readers, or punk-reared semi-anarchists. I don't know where I fit. I don't seem to be able to talk to anyone about it without coming across as simply wrong, because I never actually agree with anyone and at some point in any political conversation the other person gets that "you are so naive/stupid/posh" look on their face which makes me feel like an idiot. I don't think I'm bigoted, I support the Euro and I applaud the current government for many of the things they have done. I liked Blair and don't like Brown. I've never voted Tory, probably never will, but I don't think Thatcher was all bad and I think family values are important (assuming your family aren't bigoted twats).

I did the Political Compass and came out as slightly left of centre and in the middle between libertarian and authoritarian (the not being as libertarian thing is where I differ from most people my age). It seems I share a political outlook with Tony Blair, the 1982 Labour Party and Beethoven. That makes it all much clearer.

I think I need to know more, but it is impossible to find out unbiased information. So what now? My heroes are all semi-anarchist or they're embarrassingly right wing. My husband is a semi-anarchist. I can't even copy.

I was going to suggest maybe I needed my own political party that was a bit woolly and unsure, then I remembered we already have the Liberal Democrats.

Wednesday, 24 September 2008

Lost in Austen, final part

Well, I've been left feeling warm and fuzzy, and completely in love with Darcy. This was nice, it made me smile. It didn't try to be clever or groundbreaking, it was just enjoyable tv.

I liked that they left everyone happy, I liked that Jane and Bingley could be together, I liked that Elizabeth was happy in the 21st century. I liked that Wickham was a good guy after all (I always suspected I'd have fallen for him and it's a relief to discover he's not a total cad).

Favourite moment, when Mrs Bennett stood up to Lady Catherine, prompting the ailing Mr Bennett to sit up and exclaim "Tally ho, Wife!"

I'm still not convinced by Jemima Rooper as the main character, I rather wish they'd cast her as Elizabeth and Gemma Arterton as Amanda. I'm not sure how satisfied I am with the "everyone's happy now" ending. That may be to provide an opening for series two; how would she adapt to life in Austen and could she pop back to her own time to clean her teeth?

Each episode of this was an improvement on the last and I am left feeling good by it.


This morning, I received an email from Amazon.de, which I needed to understand and check I had got the gist correctly.

This is what Babel Fish made of it:

Their order was successfully cancellation - for this cancellation order naturally no costs result. They cancellation just now its order #X from 11 September 2008. Status: Cancellation

Note to scammers: if you use babelfish for your devious emails, people will know.

Tuesday, 23 September 2008

As if!

There's a bit of a kerfuffle going on, including a letter to the Radio Times (who have apparently received lots of letters about the same thing - one of my greatest fears is that I become the sort of person that complains about a TV programme to the Radio Times) that Lost in Austen is a blatant copy of the Thursday Next novels.

I find this ludicrous. The only similarity is that the action takes place within a book.

Jasper Fforde says (in the Radio Times):
"Although I was - until recently - the most current purveyor of the bookjumping concept, I was not the first. I thought the idea was wholly original until someone pointed out that Woody Allen, Luigi Pirandello and Alan Moore had written something along similar lines. More recently Cornelia Funke has joined the club with her Inkworld trilogy, and there are manga comics that also use the idea. Fantasy is the greatest genre ever, but it can be frustrating: you think you've found bold new territory, and then discover it's covered in footprints."

The Thursday Next books all carry a complex plot of which the bookjumping is a part, involved with other goings on which together form a clever, witty, fantastical story set in an entirely imagined world. I consider Jasper Fforde to be a genius for the way he constructs his tales.

Lost in Austen is a fairly straightforward story in which the character finds herself within a very well known book. That is the entire plot. It does not explain the mechanism, nor does it explain why, nor does it have literary allusions throughout. That's not to say it's not entirely watchable TV, but it is a simple story set in a world that has been long since imagined in great familiar detail. The final episode may explain many things as to how and why the switch was able to happen, but I doubt that is where they are going with it. That's no failing on the part of the writers, it's not that kind of story.

As far as I am concerned, anyone that says Lost in Austen is a copy of Thursday Next is unfamiliar with one or both and are speaking from an uninformed opinion. I would hazard a guess that these complaints have been formulated by those who would not consider watching Lost in Austen and who are therefore rather petty to complain about it. Sadly, I guess this is probably true for 99% of complaints about television programmes.

Monday, 22 September 2008

Please give me my brain back

Dear Mr/Ms Brainsnatcher

It has come to my attention that my brain is not actually present at present. I don't recall been given notice of removal, therefore I would like it to be returned post haste.

I am finding not having a brain most inconvenient, especially when pressed to finish a sentence, make any sense or remember what I'm supposed to be doing.

I trust you will see fit to reunite me with my brain, and I thank you in anticipation of a speedy reconciliation.

Kind Regards



Lord save me from naughty two year olds that get up at 6.30in the morning and behave very badly leaving me with tolerance for NOTHING.

Especially them. This is me ignoring a tantrum or I will kill them.

I have forgotten how to type, this will be relatively brief due to the amount of time it takes me to retype each word to get the right letters in the right order.

Anyway. These are the things that have specifically annoyed me today:

Why are lasagne dishes not lasagne shaped? Do they have to have curved edges? Could the manufacturers of lasagne dishes not think about the shape of lasagne and adapt accordingly? I make a mean lasagne and it's usefully adaptable for virtually all types of food avoiders. I have thus made many, many lasagnes in my time, and used a number of different dishes. All of which have the same fault. Why? Why am I resigned to snapping the corner off sheets of lasagne forever more, just so they can get an aesthetic slope on the dish? Admittedly it wouldn't be a problem if I made my own pasta from scratch, but I don't see that you should have to buy a pasta machine just to make a lasagne, and no, you can't get it thin enough without a machine.

If people are scared to drive, do they have to drive? If it's that bad, surely someone else could do the driving, or you could walk, or get the bus, or stay in. Instead why do they always have to drive in front of me, ten miles an hour below the limit, slamming on the brakes every time they pass a junction or a car in the opposite direction appears? Driving is not the time for "feel the fear and do it anyway", I have a bit of a zero tolerance approach and feel if you're not going to drive properly, you are a danger and shouldn't be allowed to drive. You don't normally get to do things you are spectacularly inept at.

Yesterday I bought a pair of knee high boots. In wide fit. I have no idea what possessed me not to say "no, you've bought me the fat ones, bring me the regular ones" and just meekly buy them. I tried to convince myself that they were ok, decided that no, they weren't and exchanged them today for some regular ones. They fit, and as the woman in the shop observed, were still a little on the wide side. I am a spanner.

Now we're going to the park for sanity. I've left it too late so there will be other older children there. Damn.

Saturday, 20 September 2008

Merlin, episode 1

I wanted to write this before I found out what anyone else thinks. I've been excited about the first episode of Merlin and I wanted to write down an uninfluenced response.

Episode one seems rather like Robin Hood, which I found unwatchable due to the casting of the least Robin Hood-like Robin Hood. But this has the same historical, based on legend (and thus freeing accuracy of detail) feel to it. Merlin has much more scope as a story, as well as not having been umpteen TV series and films before, so there is potential for something new. Maybe.

It's hard to gauge something like this from the first episode, the majority of the episode was scene setting and introducing the characters. But so far it seems good, the cast is strong and I'm anticipating following this through to the end. I had a momentary glimpse into the future of a nostalgic look back to this first episode.

I like Colin Morgan as Merlin. Victor Meldrew, sorry, my mistake, Richard Wilson is likable enough as ???? - I have no idea what his character is called. Anthony Head is ace, I'm still waiting for him to borrow a cup of coffee, except for the excruciating conversation where I have to explain why I don't actually buy Nescafe, gold or otherwise. Hmm? Oh yes, I liked him as Uther. The dragon bizarrely looks a bit like John Hurt. According to the Radio Times, he had detectors all over his face as he spoke so as to accurately portray the speech of the dragon, so maybe that's why. Or maybe I imagined it. I don't know the other actors' names, but Arthur fits what is said about him, Guinevere's nice enough, but you can't not see her as a gold digger, you know what happens. Morgana said two words so you can't really tell much about her (but she's baaaad).

I now need to brush up on my Arthur knowledge because I'm SURE I'm meant to know things. I'm confused as to things like, what about Excalibur? He knows who he is, so surely he'd say "Well, I'll have a shot, saying as how I'm the King's son and all". And was Arthur not quite young when Merlin was really old?

Unfortunately, Monty Python and the Holy Grail and my Horrible Histories: Arthur are both in storage, so I'm going to have to activate sleeping synapses, resort to Wiki, or get a reliable source.

I can't decide whether this will be heralded or slated. I like it, I have appalling taste.

The inevitable comparisons make me wonder how Harry Potter would have been received had it been a TV series. Would it have been so popular, would it have been less mocked (by those that haven't read it, no less), would it have gone to seven series? Would it have been better than the films if each had a 13 episode (a total of nearly ten hours) run? Hmm.

Absolutely Virginal

You can rely on some things...

I have been listening to Virgin, soon to be Absolute, Radio for precisely 28 minutes, having established that Radio 2, Radio 6 and XFM are all playing headache or womb music. You know what you get with Virgin and since turning it on, I have had:

Every Breath You Take, The Police
One Day Like This, Elbow
Love it When You Join it Up, The Feeling (actually called Love it when you call, but...)
Breakfast in America, Supertramp
Goodbye Mr A, The Hoosiers
- something I didn't know! shock! too many ads to get "now playing" -
Tainted Love, Soft Cell

Gotta love them.

Friday, 19 September 2008

Goodbye banks...

Well, my purse is a lot lighter and I am much happier.

I did learn the following amazing facts:

Virgin, aka MBNA, cannot give a settlement figure. You see, interest is calculated on a daily basis and they can't tell me what my interest would be on the day that my payment cleared, and they can't tell me when my payment would clear. I queried this point for a while, before admitting defeat and paying a little bit extra to cover the interest. Apparently I will receive a credit to my bank account when I close it. Ha ha ha. Or I will be purchasing a precise amount of petrol that day.

Virgin, aka MBNA, do not have statement dates. When I queried the fact that my statement date this month was the 17th, and next month it is to be the 20th, I asked if they just set it when they felt like it. I was told "the statement date is when it suits us best for business reasons", in other words, yes, the settlement date is whenever they feel like it.

I had to be credit searched to REDUCE my overdraft. My online banking wasn't working so sadly I had to speak to a human to do this. I said that no, I wasn't all that happy to be credit searched when I was reducing my credit, but apparently we could progress no further. So, I agreed and after waiting some time the girl came back on the phone and was pleased to tell me I had been approved. Really? You're letting me reduce what I owe you? Why, thank you.

So credit crunch, you can't bite me any more. Oh no. Neh neh neh neh neh.

Financial pondering

Could some of the money that's being shuffled to save banks not be given to the employees who have lost their job? Just a thought.

Aside from job losses, which are horrible whether it's Mr Brown at no 10 or Mr Brown from down the road, I am still pleased at the demise of HBOS. I don't care if it's a Scottish institution, frankly, and as far as printing our own bank notes, RBS does that fine. We're a bit idiotic for wanting to hang onto a bank that holds no power in the slightest, we are still under the influence of the Bank of England. Which presumably won't be taken over. If we get independence, we'd presumably become a functional part of Europe and adopt the Euro. Virtually none of the spectacular buildings in Edinburgh are still used for their original function, I hardly think it matters for BoS Head Office as long as it remains where it is. Lovely view for flats.

I'm not sure where I stand on independence by the way, I just think Alex Salmond is the only one of them at the moment that doesn't deserve a public flogging and that's what he wants. I think.

As for the new name for the new bank, are they going to be Lloyds TSB HBOS? Lloyds TSB works just fine, HBOS is dead and the brand name doesn't need to be retained in memorium. The names could be attached to relevant products; for example the diddy account that doesn't even have a debit card - the HBOS account. The mortgage for people with poor credit history? The Halifax mortgage.

Thursday, 18 September 2008

Autumn watch

It's that time of year for BBC's new season, the series that will finish at Christmas time. Sod the summer, bring on the autumn dark evenings and watchable telly.

First off, and this I am looking forward to, is Merlin, starting on BBC1 on Saturday at 7.30 pm. I saw the trailer for this while waiting for The Dark Knight at the cinema and was immensely pleased it was to be on TV not a film release. The guy who plays Merlin, Colin Morgan, is mesmerising from what I've seen, he has incredible eyes. I'm not overly familiar with the whole Arthurian legend, I know some parts of some stories, but it's not a world I've ever explored in detail. I feel it may now be easy to do so, which is always an added bonus. There are to be five series of this, the first one of which is in 13 parts, so lots of watching there.

Spooks series 7 is imminent. I adore Spooks. It is necessary to suspend all disbelief, but the action is fast paced and I like the cast. One of the things that is good about this is the suspense, this is one of the few dramas that will quite happily kill off a lead character, removing the assurance that all will be well in the end - it usually isn't. Rumour is that the very gorgeous Rupert Penry Jones is to be leaving this series (presumably by getting a new identity as he appears to be immortal), but whether this is true or not, the broodingly sexy Richard Armitage is to join the cast, which is quite splendid news. Not sure of exact broadcast date, Autumn 2008 is the closest I can find. Check the Radio Times.

And finally...
It's back. Series 3. October 1st, BBC2 9pm. Some of the cast can act, some of the stories work, but overall... I love it.

Manners, or some more about myself

I was looking back at Andrew Collins' (yes, him again) blog entries and found his Manners Manifesto.

I think I do ok, here are the headings:
  1. Smile.
  2. Say please and thank you.
  3. Let that car in.
  4. Be friendly to strangers.
  5. Help old people off or on the bus.
  6. Buy the Big Issue and give some change to the homeless.
  7. Be polite to Jehovah's Witnesses.
  8. Never swear at people on the other end of helplines.
  9. Never, ever drop litter.
  10. Leaving bags of stuff outside charity shops when they're closed? Come on!
  11. Talk to people at the check-out.
  12. Don't swear when there are kids about.
I do most of those, just because that's the way I am.

I smile at people, although I do worry it's insincere. I'm normally in a super grumpy mood, see someone and smile at them. It does make you feel better, because people normally smile back and then it's easier to genuinely smile at the next person.

I always say please and thank you. My two year old children remember most of the time, I think it's important. There's nothing more rude than someone that just states what they want: "waiter! the bill!" is rude, whereas "excuse me, could I get the bill now please" sounds much nicer. I always hold the door open as well, and thank people who do so for me. I also say "thank you" loudly to people that just march through as if you were a doorman, which isn't polite but it makes a point to rude people.

I let cars in unless they're being utter dickheads, but even in that situation, it usually makes more sense to let them in rather than hold up traffic for an excessively long time. I also always let buses out and get annoyed when people don't. You may get held up a little by being behind a bus, but the bus has a timetable to stick to and passengers to cater for.

I talk to everyone. I strike up conversations in the street, in the shops, on the bus, everywhere. I have no qualms about talking to strangers. I end up having lengthy conversations with lonely (usually old) people and it ends up taking me an hour to nip to the shop for milk.

I don't help old people on and off the bus, because I don't get the bus - I live in the centre of town. I do however help them get things off the top shelf in shops and open doors for them and what not.

I don't buy the Big Issue any more because I've heard too many bad stories and I get a bit cynical that its main function is to provide cheap advertising for dodgy voluntary organisations that use it for cheapness. I used to give change to anyone that asked, now I give to specific charities and have hardened my heart.

I'm polite to anyone that comes to the door, when Jehovah's Witnesses come I explain that I really don't believe in that sort of thing and I wouldn't want to waste their time. This is one huge benefit of living in a flat, this is done via the buzzer. I'm always nice about it though.

I don't swear to people on the phone, they don't deserve that. When I do have a rant I always make a point of telling the person on the phone that I'm sorry to be going off on one at them but that they are the only person I can speak to. I did cry, beg, sob, and generally make a tit out of myself at the guy who called from Elephant to tell me they'd written off my car. For about half an hour, poor bloke. I didn't swear though.

I do tend to drop small litter out of the car, which isn't good. Mostly I put stuff in my bag or seek out a bin, but I'm a bit naughty on this one. I never ever drop litter, even a crumb, in St Andrews because it is beautifully clean. Kirkcaldy doesn't give me the same conscience.

I keep the charity shop bags in my loft. I will take them one day. I wouldn't leave them outside, that's manky.

I witter incessantly at ithe people at the checkout. Mostly they witter back, the teenagers look terrified.

I try not to swear in front of children, but sometimes it escapes. I'm working on it.

So there. I'm reasonably well mannered. I think. There's quite possibly a whole lot of people round here that think of me as the mad smirking woman who they always have to talk to.

Wednesday, 17 September 2008

Lost in Austen episode 3

I am starting to really like this, even though I still don't like the main character. The story is taking off nicely and the characters are being less Austen and more new story. Tonight's episode saw Darcy and Wickham being most lovely to Amanda (don't they mind her hair?) and her landing herself in strife again because of her blabbermouth.
I'm actually intrigued as to where they take this in the last episode next week and am surprised at how much I am looking forward to the finale.

I need to stop getting swept up in the romantic world of Austen. It's not real. It's not real. Men were probably never like that.

Crunchy Chunks of Credit

Forgive me if I am wrong for wanting to do a little dance of joy at the news that HBOS has been badly hit by the collapse of Lehman Brothers, that their shares are at an all time low.

Good. The BoS part of them are cretinous scum. A friend for life? Yes, the sort of friend that you can't get shot of, the kind that leech onto you, belittle you and steal your partner.

I was amused by the words of a comedian recently, I think it was Ed Byrne, when he commented on the use of terminology; not using scary words like "recession", "credit crunch" sounds like a breakfast cereal. But then again, that was before Alistair Darling scared the life out of everyone by saying it was the worst it's been for 60 years.

Bush said on Monday (now known as "Black Monday" I believe, clearly we missed Fuschia Monday and Lime Friday during the "bankers lining their pockets with gold"years):

"I know Americans are concerned about the adjustments that are taking place in our financial markets," (from Reuters)

Adjustments? Excuse me?
It's a disgrace, the whole situation should have been clamped down on years ago when it got out of hand. Now it's come back to bite the greedy banks, and ineffective politicians, on their collective bottoms.

I feel another dance of joy coming on.

All fixed

Well, I had my telephone interview and I didn't succeed. I was momentarily upset, then massively relieved. Apparently in the past year I have learned to talk and am no longer monotonous and negative, I just didn't access the deepest recesses of my brain for my stock competency based interview answers. I expect this is a LOT to do with the fact that my brain was screaming "no! no! It's £12k a year pro rata for working 2 12 hour shifts each and every weekend!"

Please take on weekend staff, Waterstones, I'm ever so good with books*. I'm going to get tarted up (which these days means "look human" rather than what it used to mean) and go and see if they're advertising for Christmas staff yet. Maybe the library are just taking ages to get back about their Saturday job. Perhaps, perhaps, perhaps.

*Good with books? Is that possible? Books tend to be pretty compliant, on account of their very book-ness.
"Please detail a time when you had to deal with a particularly difficult book."

This is very tedious and personal at the moment, it's all about me (as not quite sung by McFly). It's my blog and I'll blather on about my boring life if I want to, blather on about my boring life if I want to. You would blather on about your boring life too if it happened to you.

(I think I'm seeing why the word "cry" was used by Lesley Gore, which I REMEMBERED without Googlage, although I did Google to check. It's a bit catchier).

Not about me: Andrew Collins blogged again, he's un-upset. I'm pleased. Despite better informed opinions to the contrary, I think he deserves much un-upsetness.

Tuesday, 16 September 2008

In my head

I wish I didn't have a long track record of being so rubbish at job interviews. Tomorrow I have a telephone interview, so I've rapidly achieved maximum insecurity. Last year I sailed the telephone interview, I am really nervous for this one. Trouble is, if I do badly tomorrow I think I will just wither away in an attempt not to pollute the world with potent inadequacy, and if I do well, I will have to have a real interview, for which I will be in a state of genuine psychosis. The joy, I get another chance to be called monotonous and negative. No, I don't know why I've reapplied either. Oh yes, that would be because of a severe lack of weekend jobs, I remember now.


Andrew Collins appears to have stopped blogging because he's upset. This is awful if it is the case, partly because I really enjoy his blogs, and mostly because he totally doesn't deserve to be upset. I hope he is just busy.


And it seems I won't be needing a costume to scare folk this Halloween, my natural look will suffice. Hurrah.


Rick Wright

Rick Wright, who of course everyone will recognise as being one of the founder members of Pink Floyd, died yesterday at the age of 65.

I'll leave it to the BBC to provide an obituary, saying as how it's rather well written.

Sad news indeed.


Often, the postie has to ring the buzzer to get into the building. Each and every time he does this, approximately 4 or 5 times a week, I stand behind the front door with an excited air of expectation. Maybe there will be a parcel! And it could be something marvellous, a competition win or similar. Or, as I am signed up to numerous survey companies, I could have received something to try. "Dear Mrs D, Russell and Bromley need testers for their winter boot range, please try this pair of boots for a month and we will send another pair next month".

Or a huge birthday gift that has been lost in the post for 8 months. An early Christmas present (Wii Fit) from Amazon for being such a good customer over the last few years? Maybe a random gift from a (rich) admirer. That would be rather nice, as long as it wasn't too random, a Wii Fit perhaps. Or a Wii Fit from any other source, I'm not that fussed who.

Failing that, there is always the possibility of something arriving by letter. A nice tax rebate from the Inland Revenue, sorry, HMRC. Or a job offer from Waterstones offering me £24k a year to work a few hours a week reading to children - having based their decision entirely on an email asking if they had any vacancies. Or maybe a relative I didn't know I had could have passed away and left me a huge inheritance. Maybe someone has put in a huge offer for this flat, they wouldn't need to view it as it is so perfect for them.

This morning I received a flyer from John Lewis and a bank statement.

Monday, 15 September 2008

Caught out

I'm not exactly a potty mouth, I do tend to swear when I'm very annoyed, but I was happily under the illusion that I curtailed this for the benefit of the kids.

Just now, I was having an unsuccessful tussle with the broom in an attempt to get it to be adult height rather than toddler height. It is stuck as a stuck thing and after a few minutes of getting nowhere, I got annoyed and tossed it aside, saying "ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!".

Oliver looked seriously at me for a moment, then uttered the inimitable "fuck", then Rob shook his head and said "fucking broom".

I am very ashamed.

Sunday, 14 September 2008

tumble tumble little weed

Gah. It's been one of those weekends.

Tonight the drivers window on my car broke. Not as in smashed, as in it doesn't go down any more. Which is rather annoying, not least because it means I have a trip to the garage to make time for.

My Volvo never did things like this. Sob! I still miss you, Volvo. One day I shall have another you.

Saturday, 13 September 2008

A little hyper moment

Marcus Brigstocke and Richard Herring were teammates on some panel show for Dave (the silliest named TV channel on air).

I will actually die if I miss this.

Saturday night

Tonight I was obliged to watch x factor as I had my 11 year old niece in. To date, I have watched precisely one episode of this and that was last year's final. This is by design, not by accidentally missing it.

Now, I'm not remotely averse to laughing at stupid people, but doing it in their face, for tv, seems a bit mean. Do the panel have to laugh openly while people are still singing? And why is Cheryl Cole on the panel? To look plastic? I do quite like Simon Cowell's dubious wit for about ten minutes, then he gets on my nerves. And Dermot? Dermot, Dermot, Dermot, what are you doing there?

In an attempt to heal my poor eyes, I went to watch Gangs of New York as I've never seen it. Ugh. Sprout is both unattractive and not very good at all at acting (which is why I've not seen it before) and every single scene was at least three times as long as it needed to be. The rest of the cast weren't exactly inspiring either, even those that are normally good.

This was the first of our planned Saturday takeaway, film and drink night. The drink was fruit infused Strongbow, which was rank. The takeaway was good, one out of three ain't... no, that's pretty bad actually.

Net life

The net is a funny old place. While two or three of my closest friends are actually people I "met" online, I seem to spend a lot of time talking to people that are complete strangers. Nice though this is, sometimes it's a bit weird to think that although I may know a lot about them, to them I am nothing more than a couple of initials.

And sometimes you have to wonder if everything you know about a person is in fact made up, there's a lot of people that have an entire character they "live" on the net. While most people are decent enough to reveal the person behind the character, some live on in character and you get to "know" someone who isn't real.

Then again, sometimes you get to meet chimps :-)

Friday, 12 September 2008

I have finally lost the last marble

Today I did two things that I think are a bit odd:

1) I reapplied for a callcentre job. It is a year almost to the day that I was told by the same people I was not to the standard required by them yet I thought I'd give it another shot, based on the fact that it's probably the easiest job to get.
There are two possible outcomes of this: they don't give me the job and I can KNOW I'm rubbish, or they give me the job and then I have to work in a callcentre.

2) I discovered that actually I do like Glasvegas, they may have an excessively Scottish accent, but they produce a sound that is both tuneful and different to all the other identikit bands around. I think Daddy's Gone is rather good and it is my song of the moment.

While not on the subject of identikit bands; I quite liked The Feeling's "Turn it Up" in its repetitive identikit way, but I heard "Join with Us" and it's EXACTLY the same, it's just different words. Bad enough Scouting for Girls constantly releasing "She's so Lovely" with different lyrics, but do all the soundalikes have to follow suit? Or am I missing something?

Val McDermid

Until a couple of months ago, I had never thought to read a book by Val McDermid, then I got "The Mermaids Singing" as the book for my book club. I really enjoyed this, discovered I had the third in this series in my extensive collection of books I've bought but never opened, and got the second, fourth and fifth books absurdly cheap in WH Smith. So I'm on a bit of a run with it.

I've never watched Wire in the Blood, so I am unfamiliar with the stories and characters although having said this, I am aware that Robson Greene and Hermione Norris play the main roles. I don't picture Robson Greene when reading about Tony Hill, but I completely see Hermione Norris as Carol Jordan. Interestingly, I am now on the fourth book (The Torment of Others) and I am guessing that this was written after Robson Greene became Tony Hill, because in this one he is Robson Greene all over and I can only assume that the author is picturing him as she writes.

I do find these books gripping and fast paced, I have read the first three relatively quickly, but there's rather too many similarities for them to be read consecutively like this. She has a formula whereby Tony Hill puts himself in a situation where he is certain to die at the hands of the killer, only to be saved by some brilliance on his part or on the part of his colleagues. Also, the personal life of the author has little bearing on the content of the book and as such, I find the number of characters that are lesbians to be entirely unnecessary (NB there is no action, just feelings), and not representative. To be fair, the sexuality of the characters is often a vital plot device, but I'm starting to wish she'd use another plot.

I do like the way that she takes a different approach for each novel, sometimes we know who the killer is, sometimes we simply see their thoughts and it turns out to be another character, sometimes we know exactly who it is but just don't have a name. I also like the developing relationship (or not) between Carol and Tony, this is well written and does feel realistic.

Once I've finished this fourth book in the series, I'm going to take a break. I've got "Things I Want my Daughters to Know" by Elizabeth Noble to read, which I think qualifies as chick-lit, but I like her previous books very much. Then I've got to read "Saturday" by Ian McEwan (someone else I've not read anything by, and probably should have), then I'll return to the fifth and latest installment in the Tony Hill series.

Unless, of course, I get diverted, which is extremely likely. I may stick to Poppy Cat.

La Maestra

Well, two days late and I managed to watch the final of Maestro. I really enjoyed this, I thought it was a marvellous final. With the exception of the rather tedious Beethoven's 5th, I thoroughly enjoyed the music chosen. I do think the music throughout (except for the arias) was well chosen to be recognisable as well as easily likeable. Jane Asher chose the overture from Mozart's Marriage of Figaro, which I was very pleased at given that I knew this was Mozart and that I liked it, but I didn't know which piece it was.

Sue Perkins absolutely deserved to win. Had I been of the inclination to vote on such programmes and had I watched it live, I would have voted for her. She conducted using her hands, arms, upper body, body placement, head movements and facial expressions. She connected well with all of the orchestra and remained aware of their every move. Goldie, while being as his mentor said, a phenomenal human being, did not connect with the orchestra. Indeed, I felt as if he was performing something he had learned and his actions would have been identical had the orchestra not been there at all. I can't fathom why the judges awarded him so many points. The sound the orchestra produced was fine, but the sound produced when Sue conducted was far better. It was extremely tiring to sit through two performances of the Beethoven, but it was very interesting to hear the difference in sound between the two.

Maxim Vengerov's performance was sublime; he also used his face, head and body in the same manner as Sue and I found his conducting to be far superior to Sir Roger Norrington's for that very reason. One of the reasons this programme was so interesting is that I knew nothing about the role of a conductor, and clearly my knowledge is still lacking in that I cannot discern the difference between great and good.

All of the people in this programme were thoroughly likeable to the end. With the exception of Zoe Martlew I'm afraid, even tonight when she was being complimentary she was smug and "look at me, I'm giving you an 8, just because I'm lovely", which was annoying. I think all the celebrities came across well - I adored the silliness of the tag-conducting. My final opinion of Katie Derham is that I think I'd like her to be my sister in law. I'd like either Ivor the Mentor or Peter Snow to be my dad, I'd like Sue to be my best friend and I'd like a bigamous marriage to both Goldie and Alex James.

And on that frivolous note, I shall bid farewell to a programme that surprised me pleasantly.

(I know there's a performance on Saturday, but I doubt I'll watch that, I can't cope with Lesley Garrett)

Thursday, 11 September 2008

The media and other idiots

I've been reading with interest the comments stemming from Andrew Collins comments about the LHC (which is a collider not a corridor, I am a mong). Not wanting to enforce my opinion about everything on Mr Collins, I thought I'd rant quietly in my own corner.

Attention was drawn to a report of an Indian girl who committed suicide over fears that the world was going to end. The thought being that the media are responsible for this girl's death.

Now, I am not shy of criticising the media for the sensationalistic lies they present as fact. I still get angry thinking about all the parents who did not get the MMR for their toddlers because they were anxious about the supposed link with autism. Measles is something your child can catch, autism is not. Nobody knows for sure what causes autism, but it is more than likely that it is something a child is born with and nothing to do with anything that happens after birth. Yet, even after the MMR link has been categorically disproven, there still remains lingering doubts and some parents still think they won't take the risk, thus leaving their child susceptible to measles, which can cause blindness, brain damage or even death, as well as endangering all the children who are too young for the vaccine and who would be even more vulnerable.

In 2000 in Worcester, we witnessed first hand the discrepancy between what was really happening (flood plain flooded) and what was reported on the news (Worcester underwater, all residents now amphibeous).

Having said this, the media provide what is asked for. The general public lap up sensationalist crap, evidenced this week by everyone thinking the LHC was interesting purely because we might all die and not because of the implications of the research. In fact, each and every quip about it added to the frenzy. We love to read of doom and gloom, people's downfalls and general errors, we buy the papers and watch the programmes. The sheer existence of celebrity magazines like Hello and OK show the public's need to indulge in speculative doom mongery, albeit restricted to cellulite and divorce. The truth doesn't sell, sensation does, and that is down to the public for buying it. One would hope that the public would in turn show a little discretion and exercise the ability to identify sensationalism and actually either accept that they don't know anything* about something, or find out the truth before acting upon a news story.

I wouldn't expect a 16 year old girl to have that ability, but one has to question her father for "diverting her attention" and not helping her find out the truth. You don't need to understand the science, you just need to know that IT'S NOT GOING TO HAPPEN.

*the day Joe Public realises they are in fact an ignorant muppet will be a wondrous day.

Tonight on the tellybox

Well, this evening's tv got off to a remarkable start with Scotland winning against Iceland. It's not often you can put the words "Scotland" and "winning" together, so that's marvellous. Marred somewhat by England also winning, but you can't have everything.

I then watched part II of Lost in Austen, which I liked much more than part I, but I still cannot abide the main character, I'm with Darcy on that one. Naturally I've got lost in the whole romanticism of Austen and wandered into a dream world that quite probably never actually existed, so that helps a lot. It's a bit hard to ignore all the "that's not possible" moments, although I may start to carry all manner of mod cons on my person at all times just in case I get transported into the past. I'm still undecided, I like it, but I'm not impressed by it. Alex Kingston was good this week - no annoying, which was jolly nice of her.

I did intend to then watch last night's Maestro finale, but I didn't get round to it, partly because I know the result. Grr.

Wednesday, 10 September 2008

Oh dear

I am going to stop talking about things I don't know about. Today I have succeeded in making myself feel very very stupid.

And with one notable exception, I'm talking to myself anyway.

My watch is 38 in the Independent 50 best watches however, I can (basically) live on in its reflected glory.

There are few of us who haven't owned a Swatch watch at some point in our lives. Go back to basics with this classic, minimalist design in practical, black rubber. The perfect watch for those who like to keep things simple.

More LHC ponders

Well, the Large Hadron Collider should be beaming now, for want of a scientific/accurate term. We're still here, unsurprisingly.

However, despite knowing it's safe, I'm still taken with the notion of everything disappearing into a black hole. What if that is what is "meant" to happen and in the history of human kind, we always evolve and develop to precisely the technological advances that allow us to create a black hole, get destroyed, and then start again from the very beginning? Over and over for eternity.

But maybe it is idiotic to assume the earth would at any other juncture have taken the exact configuration that allowed us to exist. Should it all be destroyed and something else form in its place, there is no logical reason for humans to exist, or plant life to be as we know it or anything to be the same really. We all are an arrangement of particles that works relatively well, or with a number of liveable-with design faults, and there is no reason to suppose that an entirely different arrangement of particles and chemical reactions could not result in a far superior type of living thing. (Which does cause a major flaw when looking for alien life, we automatically look for life as we know it; there could be all manner of life out there and we simply don't know what we're looking for).

Hmm. I think I shall go back to pondering about things I know about.

Should they make a disaster film about the LHC (saying as how they don't find factual correctness a valuable ingredient), the ending would be a scientist going "right, we're going for it now..." then fade to a black screen. The screen would remain black for a few moments, then zoom in on tiny particles flying around.

Tuesday, 9 September 2008

Physics being exciting

I am a little baffled as to why everyone is nervous about our impending "apocalypse" expected when the Large Hadron Collider is activated. There is a 1% chance of a black hole being created, which would be the sort of micro black hole that would prove all of Hawking's theories and disappear, possibly causing a very attractive pattern as it does so. Which isn't very worrying, unless you are the sort of person that would be worried by the idea of Hawking getting a Nobel prize, in which case you are not very nice. Having said that, it's a interesting concept to ponder about, the end of the entire universe. My own personal ponderings on this consist of:

1) what exactly happens to everything that gets sucked into a black hole?

Which I have had explained to me: apparently everything gets compressed into a very solid lump due to all the forces keeping particles apart being destroyed, then the lump explodes. I'm guessing the chances of surviving this are slim.

2) Where does the universe end? At what point does "everything" stop being sucked in? Is there a finite area and how do we know what it is?

There is apparently an answer to this, but as it requires an understanding of Hawkings radiation and quantum physics, I will never know what that answer is. Black holes apparently also get to exploding point after about a galaxy full, so some of the universe would remain. Hurrah.

I have a particular hatred of physics, it is my least favourite science, and I'm talking standard issue understandable physics and none of the "nothing is actually what you think it is" quantum physics. This is compounded by physics lovers who are the smuggest people on the planet. But I still appreciate that the expected findings of the LHC are really very important, and they do explain things that haven't been explained before. It's relatively (no pun intended) exciting to wait for the results of something that will either find a substance (Higgs something) that they think is there, or not find it and have to rethink the whole idea behind dark matter.

I don't want to hear too much about it though, I still hate physics and a simple yes or no will suffice.

Monday, 8 September 2008

How is it still Monday?

Hmm, I thought it was the middle of the night and it's only 11pm. How strange.

The light that I put up today has broken, in a remarkably similar death to the living room one. Definitely the work of poltergeists.

On a more positive front, I WILL find out all about you. Yes I will. Yes, I do mean you.

more films

Yougov has a list of "great films".


The Godfather
The Shawshank Redemption
Pulp Fiction
Schindler’s List
Star Wars (any)
Lord of the Rings (any)
Fight Club
The Silence of the Lambs
Citizen Kane
The Matrix
Apocalypse Now
A Clockwork Orange
Monty Python (any)
Some Like It Hot
The Great Escape
The Wizard of Oz
Raiders of the Lost Ark

Now, I have seen the ones I have bolded, 16 out of 20.

I feel better, even if I don't agree with a lot of them.

CNPS frustration

Sigh. I'm stuck on 31. It hasn't been very long, I think it was Thursday that I got 30, but I am being plagued by endless 32s and 33s.

I figure it shouldn't be too hard to find a 31. Many people have their birthday as the number of their private reg, so assuming birthdays are evenly distributed throughout the year, this should account for 7/365 (approximately 1 in 50) people. The population of the mid-Fife area is around 180,000, so around 3600 people in my area should have a birthday which is the 31st of something. If only 1% of them have a private plate with their birthday on it, that's 36 cars I should be seeing. And then there's all the ones that just have 31 as the reg that came with the car, or people have selected a private reg for the letters with random numbers, or they got it for their 31st birthday, or they have 31 as their lucky number. Or many other things.

As if this isn't bad enough, Richard Herring cheerfully posted on his blog that he is now redoing CNPS and he just breezed through 31 and 32.

I would hate him, but I'm fond of this picture, which keeps making me smile on account of him looking eminently shaggable, and thus I must forgive him for his callous (in an oblivious type of way) CNPSing. Incidentally, I think his hair is ace.

Sunday, 7 September 2008

Welcome to 1978

So, our light died. It didn't work last night and upon investigation (not by me) in daylight, it transpires that the the wires inside have melted through the safety bit and each other. I am a little traumatised by the potential fire risk this was, but it's gone now. Given that the electrician we got to fit was a charlatan that sent his trained monkeys to do the work (badly), there's little point in going back to him.

We went for the safety, or maybe the more appropriate term here is "cheap", option and bought a bog standard light fitting with a shade. Gone is the super-funky halogen effort, and now we have a cosy looking normal light.


It's a beige suede effect shade, to match the beige suede effect chairs and the chocolate brown leather (not effect) sofa. With the oak furniture - an accident of necessity and the result of our bookcases etc being in storage - we now have a rhapsody in brown and beige. The light is also precisely 6' from the floor on account of the low ceilings coupled with lack of any adjustment on our part. It looks sort of familiar and homely (rather than trendy), which means it almost certainly reminds me of being a child. In the 70s. The decade that taste forgot. Thankfully we don't have wallpaper, but the shade has little cut outs that fake a pattern up the walls just for that extra authenticity.

Ha! Take that, Ikea. We can de-minimise your stuff with a simple old fashioned light.

I like it. I'm so old.

Saturday, 6 September 2008

Strange desire

I want to be a traffic warden. No, really, I do. I had an application all ready to go all those years ago when I found out I was pregnant, and now they are recruiting again.

Just think, spending my days actually getting to ticket all the cock-ends that park inconsiderately. Instead of cursing when I have to negotiate round them, I could do something. I may add that this never occurred to me as a career until I moved into the town centre to live on a narrow street that nothing bigger than a car (ie not an ambulance or fire engine, sometimes not even a car) could just make it through when someone has illegally parked on the narrowest bit. I damned nearly took someone's door off tonight as they had their door wide open, not leaving enough space, and clutched onto the door as I drove past. You'd think as they were there, they might have pulled the door in a bit, but no, they just held onto it - because that would help lots and lots if I hit it. I was gratified to note just how close my lights reflected on that door.

Ah yes, away off on one there. I was outlining my immense suitability for being a traffic warden. Hmm. Thanks to my glittering past career, I have an unnatural knowledge of parking legislation, as well as my current studies. Literally, I'm about to start Transport Policy.

I would like to point out that in Fife, the traffic wardens are part of the Police, not private profit making companies. This makes a HUGE difference, not least to the pressure of the job, but also to the general attitude.

Slight technical hitch: childcare. I have the option to apply for the job as part time or job share; I'm not entirely sure they're looking for Saturdays only though. But you never know, maybe I can work something out.

Slight technical hitch 2: it's me, I don't get jobs.

Friday, 5 September 2008

Lost in Austen

I watched this a day late, saying as how I was actually out and come out in hives if I have to sit through an ad break anyway. I was looking forward to this, the Radio Times promised great things and opinions seemed to be positive.


I cannot stand the heroine, played by Jemima Rooper. She acts perfectly well, she's just playing a thoroughly dislikeable character. Nothing she did was the action of a realistic person and this spoilt the whole thing for me. Alex Kingston, who does manage to annoy me a lot in most things she does, annoyed me. Hugh Bonneville was his usual affable self, and the rest of the cast were mostly aesthetic.

This was touted as being "different". Yes, Bridget Jones meets Pride and Prejudice. Marvellous, both totally underused.

Aside about the fact that Bridget Jones (the book and the character) is meant to be a parody by an intelligent author, yet became a role model for people and an entire genre of book, demonstrating just how thick the two planks that the general public are akin to are.

Back to Lost in Austen, I will watch episode two, based on the premise that the second episode is nearly always an improvement on the scene setting of episode one. I may have to throw eggs at the tv though and I still won't watch it "live".

Thursday, 4 September 2008

I <3 Batman

Tonight I finally got to see The Dark Knight. A few points out of the way first:
1) I can't remember very much at all about Batman Begins
2) I really really like Batman (since ever Tim Burton's Batman). He is the ultimate hero*.
3) Some of the special effects were iffy, the science with the sonar was a bit ahem, yes, whatever, the film was a lot longer than I enjoy sitting in a cinema for and the whole ship scene should have been chopped.
4) Christian Bale's voice was very very silly when he was Batman.

That aside...

I think the last film I saw at the cinema that I liked that much was 12 Monkeys.

I was prepared to dislike it due to the glowing reviews it had received, and I expected to find Heath Ledger's performance overrated, but no, I think it deserves the reviews and Heath Ledger was fantastic, one of the best performances I've seen. I am so glad I made it to the cinema for this, and hurrah to actually enjoying a film!

*why Batman is the ultimate hero:

He is just a man, he doesn't have superpowers
He has very cool cars
He has a cape - which makes him very swooshy. He swooshes up to people.
He wears all black
He is fallible and knows it, but he means well
He is extremely hard. You wouldn't mess with Batman.

And no, he is definitely not gay.

Wednesday, 3 September 2008

Jeremy Hardy in the sticks

Jeremy Hardy is playing on my doorstep. Literally. He's quite little so he can in fact do this.

Actually, that's not too far from the truth, he is performing at the Adam Smith Theatre, KIRKCALDY later this month, which is about five mins from my doorstep.

I'm quite beside myself with joy. I am. See, that's me, right there, sitting next to me looking rather happy. Deliriously so in fact.

In Kirkcaldy, I can hardly believe it.

This is part of Kirkcaldy's Comedy Festival, making Kirkcaldy the "laughter capital of Scotland". Because it will be better than comedy festivals in, picking a town at random, Edinburgh? Uh huh.

My 100th post

How nice, I feel I should celebrate.


That's me all celebrated out now.

I want to have a general moan, except I've forgotten the chief thing I want to moan about. How annoying.

I'll have a wee rant about estate agents. Mine, specifically. Would it not be correct to assume that in a time when houses are selling poorly, that it would be prudent to market extra carefully and not, perhaps, miss out the big selling points of a property and when asked to take new improved pictures, to sit on the pictures for a week, then put up substandard pictures that do no favours to the subject? Like, if you're being paid to sell something, an attempt to sell would be nice? Or perhaps keep in contact with the sellers? Not apparently so for Remax, Kirkcaldy. I am seriously unimpressed. At present I am trying to get my spare keys back as there has been noone to view it in months, and it's a pain not having spares. But replying to emails is too hard apparently. Obviously they're snowed under with all the houses that are sitting endlessly on the market. I want a sale! I need a garden! They're a bargain just now! "We want a quick sale" did not compute apparently, he's "trying to get us the best price". No, we'd like A price. Seven months now. Seven. Three viewers, two of which were bogus. Well done!


That'll be all, that's eclipsed all the other bad things in my mind.

Tuesday, 2 September 2008

Maestro Vanden Plas

The penultimate episode of Maestro tonight... wonderful telly again. I believe that the contestants are being eliminated in exactly the right order, which is something that rarely happens in these things and is almost certainly down to the fact that the public do not have a say. Sadly it seems that the public get to vote in the grand final, which may mean the wrong winner is picked, rather than leaving it to the people who know best, the orchestra.

(I always disagree with the popular view on just about everything, even the meaning of a novel, so I feel I can state such a thing).

Tonight was opera, not a like of mine, and was less enjoyable as a result of not personally liking the music. Except for the Mozart of course, I adore Mozart. I have no idea what the piece was, I am not familiar with most of Mozart's work, I just know I like it. I feel I should like something less... mainstream? popular? but just about any time I am drawn to a piece of music, it is by he. The same happens with Monet's paintings; I am truly unsophisticated even if I do try.

Aside from that, the show was still extremely watchable, not least because Katie Derham said a dirty word! Three times! Not prissy after all! Zoe Martlew, a panellist and cellist/composer, is quite probably the most patronising person I have ever seen, coming across somewhat like a school monitor, overpleased with the importance of her position. How Jane Asher hasn't thumped her is credit indeed to Ms Asher.

The title of this post is a nod in remembrance to my father's Maestro Vanden Plas, the greatest car that ever drove. Or so he thought.

Monday, 1 September 2008

Geoffrey Perkins

There has been little media coverage of the death of this ex-BBC Head of Comedy, who died in an accident on Friday.

He was part of Hat Trick Productions and was involved in many brilliant comedy productions, including KYTV, Spitting Image, Saturday Live, Harry Enfield's Television Programme, Ben Elton: The Man From Auntie, Game On, Father Ted, The Thin Blue Line, Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps, My Hero, My Family, Happiness, The Catherine Tate Show, The Fast Show and many others.

He will be sadly missed. RIP.

Tick tick tick tock

There's a radio controlled clock hanging in our living room. I am particularly fond of this clock for three reasons:

1) It came from Ikea so cost something like £10
2) I like to know precisely what the time is. I am perpetually late, but I do like to know exactly how late I am.
3) As it's analogue, when the clocks move forward or back, you can literally watch the clocks go forward/back. I have managed to see this precisely once.

I was looking for a picture of my clock as I am far too lazy to take one, and I failed, but I did find the definition of a second:

The second is the duration of 9,192,631,770 periods of the radiation corresponding to the transition between the two hyperfine levels of the ground state of the caesium 133 atom.

So now you know.

Anyway, back to the clock in the living room... The batteries are running low just now but it has enough power to remain at the right time. However, the battery does not have enough power to tick the second hand around properly. As a result the second hand is a little sparodic - ticking normally, then stopping, then ticking forwards one second, back one second, while the other two hands continue to move round regularly, always at the correct time.

Sitting watching this last night, it struck me how like life the second hand is being. You age at a steady rate, you will always be one year older on each birthday, but your life moves like the second hand, sometimes moving forward steadily, sometimes standing still and sometimes moving back and forth and getting nowhere at all.

Which puts a slightly different slant on the phrase "to recharge one's batteries".