Sunday, 30 November 2008
Here are a some snippits:
On Wednesday I went to see the musical Hairspray in London. I am not usually a fan of musical theatre, but Sonny has kept on about seeing this (as he's seen it many times it seems)! Do I relented and thoroughly enjoyed it. The actor who plays 'Link Larkin' was a runner-up in one of the crappy talent shows we have on TV - his name is Ben James-Ellis and he's extremely cute and he can actually sing and dance. Considering the stage moves he has to make, he must be really fit.
Talking of musicals, Pete bought the DVD of Mamma Mia and we watched it on Friday night. I must be one of the few people in the UK to think it was tripe, considering it's now the biggest earning film in UK history. The story was stupid, the acting mixed, the singing painful, the songs forced into the script and the ending silly. So, I admit that it could be fun, but it wasn't for me at all - and I do like Abba's music, so that's not the reason. I gave it 4 out of 10 on the Internet Movie Database - all of my ratings can be accessed via my website.
Also on my website is my Amazon wish list for Christmas... ☺
I noticed a news story that made be laugh about "voodoo dolls" of French President Nicolas Sarkozy today. A court has said the dolls can remain on sale, but must carry a label saying they are offensive to him and some people say that using a pin in the doll could be an offence.
I have done some analysis and my most successful 2 blog entries were: the photo one and the light gay relief one. I received comments and emails about both - so thanks for your feedback. You will appreciate that the views were very different for the 2 topics!
And finally... coming soon: I have recently taken a Strenghfinder(R) test at work and thought I'd share some thoughts on that.
Thursday, 27 November 2008
Last week I saw Leonard Cohen perform live at London’s Royal Albert hall; fulfilling, if not a lifelong ambition, then a very long held desire. I can almost hear the readers of this groaning with the thought of having to ‘endure’ this 74 year old curmudgeon, but please hold those thoughts. This man is maligned, he’s been know by various dark monikers – the suicide song-smith, the merchant of death and many more bleak titles. All of which are completely unfounded. Granted, he has a knack to the more melancholy but within his great emotional insights there is a delightful smattering of humour, and jotted amongst the more famous of his ‘dark songs’ are some very uplifting tracks (such as Independence has Come to the USA, Closing Time, and Ain’t no cure for love).
But I’m not writing here to wax lyrical about the man’s music, you can be the judge of that yourself – you’ll either like him or not, but either way, he’s most certainly worth an open-minded listen. What I want to comment about was the concert and specifically the man. The man is in his early to mid 70s, not that you’d know it from the way he ran onto and off the stage and performing for just over 3 hours. But what had me in my elements was not the music or seeing this legend in the flesh (though that was a huge plus), it was the unexpected presence he had on stage – he was at once charming, modest, and above all, he exuded humility. After every song, he removed his fedora hat, bowed down to ‘his friends (the audience), turned and bowed to each of his band members and then returned his, near tear-filled gaze back to the audience before continuing his performance.
It may seem like a minor thing to notice over and above the music and vocal performance, but in this day and age of self-pontificating, glory-seeking egoists that fill our screens and airwaves, the pleasure of seeing a performer to is so totally engrossed with his art and the delivery of that art to an audience was more than most of the audience could handle. He had us, all of us, in the palm of his hand – staring, puppy dog like at the stage hanging on his every word and movement. It was enrapturing. If some of the artists we admire today could put a tiny percentage of that honest into a performance, into delivering a heartfelt performance for their audience, well life would be so much more rewarding.
He’s still touring Europe and then going to the States around Easter… if he comes your way do, please do, that the time to experience Mr. Cohen… He may be at an age where he should have hung up his boots, but at the moment, he’s giving the greatest live performance of his life and probably of anyone performing today.
There will be another guest blog soon. If you are new to my blog due to Sonny's blog entry - please add a comment, subscribe (on the right of the page) and bookmark (see icons below)!
Monday, 24 November 2008
Saturday, 22 November 2008
I am tired now after a long day (as I dropped Pete and his mum at the station at 6.15am). So now is the time to laze...
Thursday, 20 November 2008
It is actually very difficult to take a picture every single day that is worthy to be shown to the world - but I think I just about pulled it off. Via the link above you can see what I did each day for the year and one day. I eventually put the 392 pictures into a photobook (yes, some days I chose 2 photographs!) . Luckily, Pete and I were living in London at the time, so I think there were more opportunities then to take some good shots. We also went away at weekends quite often - I will tell you all about why that was the case another time.
Some of these pictures I love dearly and would like others to see them. So, a few months ago I decided to try and sell some of them - mainly to publications looking for stock pictures. There are hundreds of stock photo websites and I have since found that only a handful of my favourite pictures are suitable. Some are not large enough, some have slight blemishes, some have other 'faults'. Therefore, I have had to take some specifically to sell and hope to sell them through this site. But this site alone has 14 million pictures, so mine may well get a bit lost!
So, a little over 100 of my works are available, but no-one is buying at the moment. I will probably have to take some dull photos for corporate brochures, but my next step may be to target the needs of specific companies, for example there is one on there already featuring a Caffe Nero cup. If you have any ideas for required stock pictures, I would be grateful to hear your views.
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Wednesday, 19 November 2008
It was a good game to watch, plenty of action and that doesn't happen often with an England game either. The difference was that we didn't have the arogrant primadonnas as they are "injured". Yeah right. These players wanted to play wanted to show skills. It felt like a Premiership game - lots of closing down, a few long balls to use the speed of the forwards and good interplay between the backs and "wingers".
Terry: 7 (made up for his defensive error)
Wright-Phillips: 6.5 (he still thinks he can run through people)
Young: 6 (it's not a good idea to use a webcam if you are famous)
Maybe Postman Pat, I mean Fabio Capello has the skills to make England a winning team and worth watching.
Tuesday, 18 November 2008
Saturday, 15 November 2008
Volunteers took hours to distribute the works. You would think that the lucky people who found these often stunning pieces of art would be grateful for their lucky find and cherish the art. Most will, but some truly scummy people are looking to profit from the Adam Neates talent and personal gift by selling the items on Ebay.
You should be ashamed of yourself; you selfish, greedy people. You will try and justify your arrogance by saying that the artist gave the work away. That's right, he gave it away so that people could enjoy it - so why didn't you give it to someone who would appreciate it?
And for the record, the lottery experiment failed in a spectacular way!
Friday, 14 November 2008
Wednesday, 12 November 2008
Gay Men And 13-Year-Old Girls Unite In Protest Against Cut Zac Efron Shower Scene
A scene was cut from the film which sees Zac practising some moves. Dance moves I assume. For some reason, the producers felt that the scenes were a little too much for a teen film. One reviewer thought that the scene alone could change the rating! After seeing some of the pics, all I can say is.... Shame!
Back to more serious matters for the next blog entry.
Tuesday, 11 November 2008
Sunday, 9 November 2008
I was sitting at Edinburgh airport earlier this year and the flight was delayed, so I decided to make a list of 100 things about me. I stole this idea from another blogger and found that it's not that easy to do. Here are the first 10 - in no particular order. I may post the others as and when I feel like it!
1. My name is Stephen - not Steve, Ste, Stevie or Stevo.
2. I am concerned that I may be slightly dyslexic*
3. Over half of my clothes are blue.
4. I prefer red wine to white wine and lager to bitter.
5. I have been, and always will be, addicted to Sim City 2000, though Elite, Jet Pac and Manic Miner were fine games in their time.
6. The smell of cigars reminds me of sitting in the seats at Selhurst Park Stadium.
7. I have sold hundreds of items on eBay.
8. I suspect that I have a good singing voice, but don’t have the confidence to really try it out.
9. I believe that my mum’s spicy potatoes are a near perfect recipe.
10. I can always get to sleep by concentrating on an ongoing story I started a couple of years ago.
* Q: Did you hear about the dyslexic, agnostic, insomniac?
A: He lay awake at night wondering if there really was a dog.
Saturday, 8 November 2008
We've had loopy councils in England banny Christmas because it might offend people (it never has and never will), we have had councils wasting tens of thousands of pounds "refreshing" logos and now we have this...
Schools to give unruly kids foot massages
I'm really glad that I spend a good proportion of my income on council taxes! Here's a radical idea - why not show these kids that doing bad things means that you lose out in life rather than benefit?
Wednesday, 5 November 2008
And where has George been during the long campaign? I assume that the McCain camp wanted to distance themselves from the buffoon as much as possible.
News reports yesterday stated that a man had been seen climbing the fence at the White House. When apprehended, the security guards told George W Bush to go back inside.
And in Florida and Arizona they also voted to ban gay marriage. Doesn't it say somewhere about treating all men equal over the other side of the pond? Oh, except those gay people of course. The narrow minded people appear to have won. I find it sad that a country like the USA with its amazing diversity can sometimes show a lack of tolerance. The Californian vote to ban gay marriage hasn't been announced at the time of typing, but it doesn't look good.
An interesting statistic: If California was a country, it would be the 7th biggest economy on the planet.
Another amazing statistic: The average UK adult has 1 breast and 1 testicle.
And as today is an important day in the history of the United Kingdom, let me just say: "Remember, remember the fifth of November, The gunpowder, treason and plot. I know of no reason why the gunpowder treason should ever be forgot". Burn a Guy for me tonight.
Monday, 3 November 2008
Saturday, 1 November 2008
You know what really grinds my gears? That awful TV advert from Armani in which Beyonce sings...
"Diamonds are a girls best feeerwwwwend"
No Beyonce, it's pronounced friend. There is no W in the word and you don't need the 'Fer' part at the beginning, 'Fre' will suffice.... friend!
It always reminds me of Only Fools And Horses when the cabaret singer is singing the Roy Orbison song Crying. Hilarious!
p.s. I wonder how many little Beyonces there are living in Essex council estates?