Thursday, June 30, 2005

Live 8 was good. Interesting that the three main headliners have all been associated with professional tragedy. Paul McCartney's Beatles writing partner John Lennon has a man he's never known the name of - Mark Chapman - feature at the end of every life story about him. The reunited Pink Floyd will always be associated with their founder Syd Barrett who had to leave the band after increasingly disturbing mental illness' - possibly drug-induced. The classic Wish You Were Here was penned in his honour. And The Who will always be remembered for having arguably the most amazing drummer of all time Keith Moon, who inspired the excellent Muppet character Animal and pioneered lunatic rock star misbehaviour before going too fatally far.

The tragedy experience by these performers is of course chicken feed compared to the suffering in Africa, but it is interesting that the latter two of the headliners' tragedies came about due to excess rather than deprivation. Is this inappropriate? Some may think so but I don't. At the end of the day tragedy is tragedy whether you have money or not. So well done and all that.

Regardless of the impact it has on the G8 leaders, this whole event will have at least put the issue of African poverty into the mainstream public consciousness.

So well done to Bob too.

Hats of Meat.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

I bought a digital SLR camera recently and took over 550 photos during my time in Italy. You'd think then that a few would be okay due to sheer numbers alone. I'm still undergoing the arduous task of processing them, and here a a few tasters.

Late night bar in Florence.

Aged boats moored on Lago Di Garda

My brother walks into the garden where he is to marry.

Liquid Laugh blog

Is it normal?

Monday, June 27, 2005

I've just got back from Italy and a beautiful wedding in the Tuscan hills. It was, amazingly, my first trip to the land of passionate defensive football and political corruption and lots of the Italian stereotypes rang true. Frequently my cab journeys would involve talking to the driver who would take both his hands of the steering wheel on order to fill his quota of gestures to accompany his speech. And many cabbies would shake their head at the traffic and mutter curses quietly to themselves. If you were to listen carefully you would discover that, yes, "mama mia" is frequently uttered. And Italians are generally well-dressed - although a few go a bit too far and too many where their sunglasses in the dark. But since they are mostly the Catholic forgiving types, I'm willing to forgive as well. Very friendly though - as most human beings are.

Florence is basically a tourist circus. The beautiful old capital is known to the locals as Firenze - why do we English speaking people feel the need to have our own names for places that are clearly not ours to name? The English Channel???

When we finally found the places where the locals eat, the food was superb. I've decided that I do actually like fruit and vegetables. It's just that the fruit and vegetables in Britain are so terrible. In SE Asia I would eat freshly steamed locally grown vegetables and they were delicious. Pineapple was amazing. My brother, early in the trip, and still to be married commented that "real men don't like tomatoes". Well I don't normally like them, but in Italy they were very yummy.

After my bro's wedding, I was off to Lago Di Garda to do some photography. I will attempt to post some of my work up here in the near future. Might put some life back into this blog at least...

Mammatus cloud... How cool is that!

How to destroy the Earth. A serious exposition.

Stupidly addictive game...

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

I've moved house.

And now I'm busy preparing for my brother's wedding.

Busy busy busy...

Friday, June 03, 2005

So in the dying days of my tenancy in my flat - all on my tod - I've been observing the estate agent attempting to convince potential successors to me to pay £1200 a month for a two bedroom flat. It's a lovely place, but he'll have done a good job if he can secure that price for it.

And to be fair he's doing everything he can. Our south-east facing roof garden has been magically shifted to south. My twenty minute walk to Finsbury Park has been interpreted as "only a five/ten minute walk from Finsbury Park so it's good for the tube."

"What's the parking like?" some annoyingly tall Aussie bloke who came round asked.

"Oh, it's all free - you can park anywhere you like, there are plenty of spaces."

True; but the council, manevolent bastards that they are, have decided that there is some earth-shatteringly important reason why this should be changed and parking will in future be metered. Oh, it'll be mainly reserved for residents - but for the "administrational" fee of £300 a year.

Ah the joy of estate agents...

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

I just bought a 90g flapjack for the outrageous fee of 98p. I agreed to this because I was blinded by the cunning and devious pricing policy to knock off a couple of pennies so the product doesn't appear to cost a full pound. Oh how dizzy my head was. Had it been £1 I would never have agreed to make the purchase. I recently bought a camera that was £199.99. I didn't realise that was practically £120.

My finances are in ruin.

Luckily renting a place to live is traditionally quoted in whole pound figures and hence I am moving to the Dark Side.

That's South London if you don't know. Kennington in fact. I've never lived with people I don't know before - they seem quite nice though. I'd have felt really nervous about this before I went travelling but I've learnt that people, on the whole, are generally quite benevolent and friendly.

You wouldn't agree with me if you are a reader of the English press. But I find it best to ignore everything they ever say. It makes me a far more chilled out person and I probably have a more realistic grip on reality.

Meanwhile, the French have said non and the Dutch have said nee to the European Constitution mainly because the public ignored what their media had to say and chiefly because it runs to 265 unreadable pages!!!. Compare that to the 50 page US Constitution - and it has American-friendly extra large text and simple to understand sentences.

Whilst the US Constitution is a political document for the people, the EU Constitution is a political document for politicians. Goriddancence.

Play this flying fire fighting game The instructions are in French so I should say: The up arrow makes it go down. The down arrow goes up. Left and right increase and decrease speed. The idea is to skim the plane over the water to fill your tank then to dump the water on the fire using the spacebar.

It's bastard difficult.

How to perform Strongman stunts!

Videos of people crying as they eat.

Read this Manchester Buccaneers blog - absolutely genius!