Sunday, 31 May 2009

Strange but true #1

Last night we should have been at the Depeche Mode concert in London (Pete's idea, not mine), but it was cancelled due to Dave Gahan's illness. So we had a BBQ instead. Not much to tell you so here is some "strange but true" trivia I picked up recently:

The sword has had an impact on modern society in a couple of ways:

Why do we shake hands with people?
The origin of the handshake lies in medieval history. By offering a right hand to a stranger, a hand that could otherwise be used to draw a sword, men were overtly displaying their intentions of peace towards one another. So now “shaking on it” remains a symbolic sign of agreement.

Why do we drive on the left-hand side of the road in the UK?
The basis for a lot of British law comes from the Middle Ages. The theory is that knights riding on horseback would have wanted to keep their right hand, usually their sword hand, exposed to oncomers . They would therefore keep to the left when travelling. This custom was transferred to the modern road in the Highway Act of 1835, which declared a fine for drivers not keeping the left or near side.

Now you know!

Friday, 29 May 2009

Guitar hero in the making

I have been saving this YouTube clip, which my eldest brother brought to my attention, for a while now. As a guitar player (or sorts), I was blown away by the playing skills of Sungha Jung, a mere child from South Korea. Have a look on YouTube for many many other recordings including The Beatles and classical pieces that were added over a number of years, since he was 7!

I chose California Dreamin' as the clip to highlight his skills that include some complex chords, finger plucking, pulling, bending, harmonics and hammer-ons. He is likely to be a huge star one day.

Thursday, 28 May 2009

Football quickie

Last night was the Champions League final between Barcelona and Manchester United. I was cheering on Barcelona. Forget all this "support the British team" rubbish! The Spanish champions outplayed Man Ure and were the deserved winners 2-0. It's always nice to see Alex Ferguson looking a little less smug.

And another football story... Newcastle were relegated from the Premier League at the weekend and they certainly have been awful all season. The fans interviewed blamed the club owner, previous managers and coaches. How about blaming the players? The team consisted of a bunch of overpaid prima donna's who acted like they were too good to go down. From what I read it seems some of the players were there just for the money. Money is one of the major problems with football today - you just cant have players on the pitch earning more in one week than a group of fans in the stadium earn in total in one year!

Anyway, the talk of football always gives as excuse for a semi-naked football picture! I would choose a Manchester or Barcelona player, but none are worth using! So, here's a picture of the sexy Blackburn player who seems to look better as he gets older and also has the coolest of names... Roque Santa Cruz.

Monday, 25 May 2009

The last bank holiday for months and months

Today is a bank holiday in the UK and I really do like not working! Pete and I have spent most of the weekend in the garden - lazing a bit, fixing the garden up a bit and eating.

We found a
newt in the pond yesterday. How does a newt suddenly appear from nowhere in a garden that is fully fenced in?! Answers on a postcard please. Pete wants to call it Isaac (i.e. Sir Isaac newton), while I am going for Pistazza.

Apart from some gardening, we have also been re-watching Lost as we recorded the whole of series 5. It makes far more sense the second time around and would advise fans to re-view before the final series next year. T
he guy who plays the young Charles Widmore is called Tom Connolly and there is something about him I like.

Saturday, 23 May 2009

Ha, Ha, Shock, Wow #2

Following on from this posting, here are four more random items from the 'net for your pleasure and entertainment...


Doctor Dave had slept with one of his patients and felt guilty. No matter how much he tried to forget about it, he just couldn’t. The guilt and sense of betrayal was overwhelming.

But every once in a while he’d hear an internal, reassuring voice in his head that said: “Dave, don’t worry about it. You aren’t the first medical practitioner to sleep with one of their patients, and you won’t be the last. And you’re single. Just let it go, Dave.”

But invariably another voice in his head would bring him back to reality, whispering: “Dave… Dave… Dave, you sick bastard. You’re a vet.”

The first couple to be shown in bed together on TV were Fred and Wilma Flintstone.

Kevin Zegers

Wednesday, 20 May 2009

100 facts about me - 51 to 60

Here is the next part of the "100 facts about me" list - previous entries can be found here:

51. Although I have tried to wean myself onto it, I still can’t stand the taste of whisky.
52. Steak must be medium rare.
53. I find Elgar’s “Nimrod” from "Enigma Variations" both uplifting and emotional.
54. My favourite colour is neon blue.
55. At an airport, I will check where my passport is at least 10 times.
56. I like playing with the wax on a lit candle.
57. I am right handed for everything except using a knife and fork.
58. I struggle to walk through an airport duty free shop without buying a Toblerone.
59. My earliest memory is sitting in a pushchair in the rain aged about three.
60. Some of my favourite films include: American Werewolf In London, Life Of Brian, Kind Hearts And Coronets, Jackie Brown, Planet Of The Apes. See my blogger profile for more.

Monday, 18 May 2009

Still lost and now in pain

Back in January, I posted a blog entry about the TV programme Lost. On Sunday night, Sky One showed the last 2 episodes from the penultimate series. Wow, what an ending! Of course, I am more confused as ever at what is going on, but never mind: Jacob, the statue, the bomb!!! And now we have to wait until next year to see the conclusion.

In other news: On Monday I had a tooth out. The one featured in the picture on this blog entry. It's the top left as you look at it, top right for me. I hate going to the dentist and was dreading this visit for my first extraction. It took 3 injections to numb the area and then the tooth crumbled as he pulled... and pulled... and pulled. He needed various instruments until the tooth squeaked from my skull and throughout, my heart was pounding out of my chest. Even the thought of it many hours later, as blood continues to trickle in my mouth, makes me feel ill.To lighten the mood, as I feel very sorry for myself, this picture was taken in The Netherlands during the latest visit and is obviously not as rude as it appears...

Sunday, 17 May 2009

Eurovision follow up

So Norway won with a twee song that isn't really my thing, but had a catchy tune all the same. The UK did very well, especially compared to bland songs from recent years and came in 5th. The performance was excellent, but I still think we needed a stronger song. I thought the Iceland and Azerbaijan songs weren't bad and they came at the top of the pile. There were a couple of dud songs, but overall the standard seemed a bit higher than usual.

The voting was less political this year, so I might watch again next time!

The Russian winner from last year opened the event, the cute Dima Bilan who I find it not shy at taking his kit off...

Friday, 15 May 2009

Eurovision cometh

The 54th Eurovision Song Contest is on Saturday night. This used to be an event that I really looked forward to - silly, camp, a few awful songs, some crazy people, even some good songs - but in recent years the voting has ruined the whole evening and I haven't watched it much for a number of years, other than to get annoyed at the voting.

Voting should be based on the quality of the song and that is no longer the case. Groups of countries vote for each other at every opportunity and for me, it ruins what should be a fun evening. Perhaps this year will be different with a new voting system, so I will give it a chance.

Let me say that I have always been wrong about every Eurovision prediction I have ever made and an example would be the winner 2 years ago when the dullest of songs won and I had dismissed it as crap. Therefore, everything I say about the songs should probably be ignored.

The year, I think our song is very boring (though is better than some years), despite having a great singer representing us, it lacks a "hook" and a beat and that's what grabs the attention. I have always been wrong about every Eurovision prediction I have ever made, but I think we will finish near the bottom again, but not as low as the last few years.

Despite that fact that I have always been wrong about every Eurovision prediction I have ever made, I believe that the ex-Yugoslavian countries will vote for each other even if the songs are terrible.

I have always been wrong about every Eurovision prediction I have ever made, but I am sure that Iceland will give Denmark 12 points and vice-versa.

France will give the UK nothing and Turkey will not vote for Greece - I say this in the knowledge that I have always been wrong about every Eurovision prediction I have ever made.

Enjoy the show!!!

For someone who knows more about Eurovision than I do, go to this blog.

Thursday, 14 May 2009

Things I have learned this week

House values on the Dubai 'palm' islands have fallen 40% in 6 months.

Also in Dubai, over 3000 cars have been found dumped at the airport by fleeing foreigners who are in debt and missing loan payments (that's illegal in Dubai).

You generally don't leave a tip in a bar or restaurant in Holland.

Sunday night is a great time to burgle TV and radio personality Gloria Hunniford - as mentioned in a Sunday magazine, she is either at the cinema or in the treehouse drinking gin.

I agree with actor Jason Isaacs who complained about toilet attendants in posh London restaurants and bars - we don't need any help and can manage without you!

I hate the celebrity culture in the UK. It features sad people who make money just because they are famous. The UK has far too many of these irrelevant idiots and I just don't understand why the public are interested in them. I particularly dislike Jordan and Peter who are regularly in the trashy magazines and on TV. Why and how are they famous?! Who reads and watches this shite?! They have announced that they are getting divorced. I give it one month of "exclusive" stories in the stupid-people-magazines before the 2 give marriage another go... complete with further exclusive coverage in the dimwit press. The UK sub class that look up to these slebs' is so very gullible. And to prove how much I dislike the male half of the publicity machine, I wont even include a picture of his long gone six-pack!

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Going Dutch

Pete, my friend Sonny and I travelled to Holland on Thursday night for a long weekend. We visited my friend Jan (pronounced Yarn) in Assen in the north of the country - it was he 40th birthday party.

We travelled on the overnight ferry from Harwich to Hook Of Holland - which was a much better experience than I had been expecting and then drove through the country to Assen in the morning (what did we do before Sat Navs?!). We arrived around midday on Friday and after a quick pee break and coffee we headed off to the
Assen TT circuit to watch some practice and qualifying sessions for a number of races of various car types plus racing trucks. Here is a stunning short film I made at the track:

The hotel was in the middle of town, which was pumping at 3am - just what I needed. Assen is a clean and compact town, with loads of shops. We had a walk around on Saturday morning including cake stops for Pete. He likes the Dutch tradition of having coffee and cake.

On Saturday afternoon, there was a barbecue and plenty of beer and/or wine. While we were there, we reenacted a photograph that was taken about 20 years ago - a depressing thought, but we thought we would do it again in 20 years - before and after...

On Sunday we took it pretty easy and after seeing Jan's impressive summer house in the woods, we drove to Leiden which is south of Amsterdam. It's a really pretty town with canals everywhere. We stayed there overnight before getting the 2.30pm ferry on Monday afternoon - 7 hours later we were back in Harwich.

The Dutch people are so welcoming and the lifestyle is far more laid back than the UK. They seem to have the balance about right between work and play - few people commute by the sounds of it, a source of stress for so many people I know.

It was a fun, costly and tiring weekend - but well worth the effort.

Saturday, 9 May 2009

Miscellaneous photographs #2

Following on from the post last month, here are some more of my photographs for your enjoyment...

1. Looking up in Grasse
2. Brussels metro
3. A large cock
4. Five-a-side

Thursday, 7 May 2009

Nice position Rafael

I saw this news story today that confirms the Chinese are truly loopy.

I wont be around for a few days, so I will "pre-post" some more miscellaneous photographs to appear in a couple of days - so watch out for that and add comments if you wish, especially after seeing the picture of a huge cock.

And also feel free to add your own caption to this image of Rafael Nadal...

Tuesday, 5 May 2009

Movie update

These are the films that we have received from and also watched on TV recently - with my ratings out of ten from my movie list on IMDB :

Eragon 6
OK, Ed Speleers cant act, but looks nice... it's a fantasy film that was obviously designed for a sequel.

Pretty in Pink 4
Oh dear - I wish I had missed this "classic" piece of 80's rubbish.

Waltz With Bashir 8
A stunning animation with disturbing content.

Bright Young Things 7

Hackers 5
It's meant to be a computer classic that hasn't dated - but it has dated badly and the acting was awful.

Heathers 6
It's strange when you revisit a film you enjoyed many years ago... and wish you hadn't.

Shelter 7
A pretty good gay themed film featuring some cute surfers.

The Royal Tenenbaums 8
An off the wall story about a New York family - not as obvious as it first appears.

The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou 6
From the maker of the Royal Tenebaums, this is a really bizarre film and I cant decide whether it was crap or wacky?!

Run Fatboy Run 7
Funny film with Simon Pegg - a few good laughs.

No Country for Old Men 7
A good thriller with a storyline that kept you on the edge of your seat - but it was a little too long for me.

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull 4
So disappointing and so annoyingly childish in places. Avoid this terrible film.

The Constant Gardener 7

Lucky Number Slevin 8
I really enjoyed this film and also watching Josh Harnett in a towel for most of the film!

The Good Shepherd 7

Rushmore 6
An usual movie, from the same people that made the excellent films: 'The Darjeeling Limited' and 'The Royal Tenenbaums'


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Sunday, 3 May 2009

Food glorious food

On Saturday Pete took me to a top London restaurant for lunch as my birthday present (although my birthday was a week ago). We have got to the stage where buying presents is far too difficult, so stuffing ourselves may be the next best option!

We went to the
Bocca Di Lupo that has received rave reviews in recent months for its imaginative Italian menu. The food was amazing... as was the bill! Don't even ask how much it was!

We met up with a couple of friends afterwards and ended up drinking far too much... for me anyway. We first met at the top of the Hilton Hotel on Park Lane. From 28 floors up, you get a great view of London. We then went to a new courtyard bar at the Dunhill Club - both venues are rather pricey!

The week ahead will be good, as I am only working 3 days (bank holiday on Monday and a day off on Friday).

Here are a couple of pictures I took on Saturday: