Thursday, 30 July 2009

Pants

What is it with kids today? OK, let me start that again as I sound very old...

Why do some teenagers walk around with their trousers half way down their arse? Don't they realise that it doesn't make them look cool, it makes them look moronic. Having the ability to dress yourself is an important part of life and sharing your underwear brand shows how shallow you have become.


Does it make me old because I just don't get it!?

I figure that, if you struggle to walk due to your clothing, there has to be something wrong. I have no issues with weird and wonderful fashions - they come and go, but this trend is weird.

In fact, following fashion goes against our aims to be individuals - why follow others like a sheep? Why not do your own thing?

Anyway, I've got that off my chest now.


Tuesday, 28 July 2009

On ya bike

My friend Andrew has written a fine blog article on some recent British sporting achievements including the Tour de France. By pure coincidence I was going to mention Mark Cavendish in a blog entry after his heroics in the Tour. If you have ever read a bit about the race, you will appreciate the superhuman effort it takes to compete and even finish it. A couple of years ago, the race started in London and Pete and I spent Friday through to Sunday as spectators and had a great time. This is one of my favourite photographs of the event - taken at the time trial that included a nice ride through Hyde Park.

A very funny book that uses the tour as its main theme is called French Revolutions (get it?!) by Tim Moore. He also wrote a crazy book about the boardgame Monopoly that is also rather humourous.

And finally, after Andrews thoughtful blog on sporting events, I thought I would show Mark Cavendish and his outstanding assets.

Sunday, 26 July 2009

Another Bon weekend

Pete and I spent Saturday in Calais with our Mothers. Aren't we good to treat them to a day out!?

We travelled on an incredibly early Eurotunnel train and had breakfast in Calais. We had intended driving down the coast for the morning, but stayed in Calais as the beach was packed due to the Bleriot celebrations. This included stalls, food, entertainment and an amazing flying display by the French version of the Red Arrows called Patrouille de France - a photo I took is below and a poor quality video can be found here.

After some shopping (mainly for wine), we had dinner where we all ate far too much food and Pete and my mother drank plenty of wine. On Sunday, we went to a farmers market near to my Mum and Dads house in Kent and had a family lunch... and now we're home exhausted.

Thursday, 23 July 2009

Detective Mittens: The Crime Solving Cat

You know when you see something on Youtube and it just makes you laugh... yet you know that it's downright silly and maybe even a bit stupid!? Well here's a great example (brought to my attention by Juan via Facebook) that I think is great fun... the animation is cool too:

Meow meow meow meow!



Tuesday, 21 July 2009

July movie update

These are the films that we have received from Lovefilm.com and watched on TV and at the cinema over the past few months (since the last update) - with my ratings out of ten from my movie list on IMDB... there have been quite a few!

Hellboy 7
Thriller with some great effects and a comic edge. The sequel has been added to the lovefilm list.

Le goût des autres 6

Running on Empty 7
A good story that featured River Phoenix who was a fine actor... it's such a shame.

A Good Year 4
A painful Russell Crowe "comedy" which came close to being switched off early.

Vicky Cristina Barcelona 5
I like Woody Allen films (though Matchpoint was a car wreck) and this is just not very good. If it were from a new writer, it would never have been made - and the narrator was so very annoying.

Velvet Goldmine 6
Worth a view if you remember glamrock. A bit weird and arty in places.

High School Musical 3: Senior Year 5
If you like the other 2 films, you'll love this. I couldn't get into it. Zac Efron is a pleasant sight though.

Last Chance Harvey 7
We watched this and the next film on holiday. This one is light and fluffy... the next dark and depressing.

Revolutionary Road 7

Eagle Eye 6

Broken Flowers 7

Juste une question d'amour 8
A very good gay film with cute out gay actor Cyrille Thouvenin.

Postcards from the Edge 6

Iron Man 7

Defiance 7
Dodgy accents, but a thrilling true story.

Star Trek 7
I know the treckies are divided - I thought it was fine.

Everything Is Illuminated 7
Pete liked this a lot - and it was pretty impressive.

Bottle Rocket 5

The Ice Storm 7

Rushmore 6


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Sunday, 19 July 2009

Lovebox

Yesterday Pete and I spent the day at the Lovebox festival in London - the next stage of the musical month of July. For me, it was too crowded and the park wasn't quite big enough for the number of stages and other entertainment. Also, my growing disdain with the general public was not helped by me being barged out of the way many times, seeing girls urinating in public, many guys doing the same and young people especially, just throwing rubbish on the ground.

The real reason for going was to allow Pete to obtain his Duran Duran fix as they were the headliners. I haven't seen them before. They are certainly accomplished musicians and showmen, but this was not the right event for them as a small proportion of the crowd were not that interested at all and one young guy (around 18) said "they should really only play songs that we all know". Idiot.
We stayed in Stratford which is not the nicest of areas in London, but is being slowly transformed into the main London 2012 Olympics venue (though many locations across London are being used). The stadium looks huge when you are up close to it - see a picture below and a couple of other misc things too:



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Friday, 17 July 2009

100 facts about me - 61 to 70

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

61. I can use the letters APFS and CFP after my name.
62. There are more photographs of one of our dogs Cindy as a puppy, than me when I was a baby.
63. If I had a son, I would call him Joel.
64. Having a tattoo was a little more painful than I had imagined.
65. I want another tattoo, this time a little chameleon.
66. I am told that I snore.
67. I have a couple of favourite jokes that make me laugh every time I think about them… without fail.
68. I once played Connect 4 with a drinking penalty for losing a game. I lost consciousness after a while.
69. I like the smell of creosote.
70. I have had the same 3 Cactus plants for over 20 years.

Wednesday, 15 July 2009

Crazy football

The last posting about music was one of the my favourites and despite getting more hits than most blog entries, the comments were light on the ground. Oh well, better luck next time. Talking of blogs... I would like you all to visit my friends brand new site. Andrew has written a guest blog for me in the past and he certainly has a way with words - visit his world here.

I've been feeling a bit meh for the past few days. I will tell you about my concerns about life in due course, but in the meantime, here are a couple of football related points to occupy some blog space (which of course is just an excuse to include a sexy footballer picture):

Michael Owen was such a bargain for Newcastle. It only worked out at £1.37m per goal.

The wee Scot Gordon Strachan has had some classic interview lines:
Reporter: So, Gordon, in what areas do you think Middlesbrough were better than you today? Strachan: What areas? Mainly that big green one out there...


A quote from Gazza: "I never make predictions, and I never will."

And when I am feeling a bit under par, Torres comes to the rescue. Need a hand there 'Nando?



Sunday, 12 July 2009

Songs you might like #1

Being a music fan, I like to hear new songs and the net is amazing for providing access to music. However, sometimes you "don't know what you don't know" and to be handed a track, album or artist that you come to enjoy is fantastic. With this in mind, I thought I would dig out some songs that you probably won't know and recommend them. You may love them, you may hate them - the choice is yours, but at least you had the chance to hear them. If you have suggestions of your own, I would love to hear more.

I started with a list of suitable tracks and stopped at around 30 (there would have been many more) and then semi-randomly whittled that down to 5 for this posting...


"Call Mr Lee" by Television


This is not the sort of track that I usually like, but late one night I was flicking through the music channels and this was playing on MTV2. The guitar style jumped out at me and by pure chance it appeared on a free CD on Q Magazine a couple of months later.


"Can't Find My Way Home" by Blind Faith


The supergroup of Eric Clapton, Ginger Baker, Ric Grech and Steve Winwood made one eponymous album and this track is the best I think. I heard this many many years ago when a friend lent me an Eric Clapton boxset and this stood out for me as something special.


"I Will Follow You Into The Dark" by Death Cab For Cutie


A simple acoustic track from the Plans album which is their best in my opinion. I love the line "If Heaven and Hell decide that they both are satisfied, illuminate the no's on their vacancy signs". Also check out the excellent track "Soul Meets Body" also on this album.


"Le Vent Nous Portera" by Noir Désir


I heard this track on the radio when Pete and I were in France and I didn't catch the name of the band or title so it took me ages to track it down! Noir Désir albums are a mixed bag and approached with caution, but this song fuses various genres and works perfectly in my opinion.


"Hey Bulldog" by The Beatles

Including this one is a gamble. Everyone seems to know every Beatles track, but this rocking classic was hidden away on the Yellow Submarine soundtrack and missed by the general public. Roll on the remastered reissues.



Here are some short samples of the tracks... until the copyright police take it away:

video

Friday, 10 July 2009

Pete is a slave to the rhythm

I had intended to post a special music related entry today but the events of last night mean that I have no choice but to change my plans.

James, Sonny, Pete and I attended the Grace Jones concert at Somerset House on The Strand in London. Who would have thought that an Inland Revenue office in the heart of London built in the mid 1800's would make such a great concert venue? The capital does this kind of event so well these days. This first video is just a pan around the courtyard during Pull Up To The Bumper. Sorry about the sound, it was my little camera.

By the way, Sonny wrote a guest blog a while back and he is FORTY YEARS OLD TODAY! So please send suitable birthday greetings to this person you don't know.

video


But the main reason for this post is to tell you that Pete managed to get up stage again when Grace beckoned for some assistants. I don't think he has a career as a dancer, but he enjoyed himself all the same. The proof is here - Pete is in the light shirt on the left taking a photo when he should be dancing:

video

And after 5 hours sleep, I need some coffee and quickly drive to see a client!

Wednesday, 8 July 2009

Midweek

The first "5 on the fifth" went OK, but I was a little disappointed not to get into double figures. So please take part next month!

The Rhythms of the World festival in Hitchin was excellent at the weekend. A highly professional world music event and I hear 25,000 people attended. Not bad for a little town in Hertfordshire! Pete and I saw far more acts this year, simply because we stayed longer! Most were impressive, especially some of the local and semi-local bands. Pete bought a CD of the Sam Isaac band which has some good songs on it.

Saturday was scorching, so it was a pleasure to see so many fit lads with their shirts off. It did occur to me that there was an amazingly large number of guys with (a) very fit bodies (b) tanned smooth chests and (c) tattoos. I have a small tattoo (but not a fit body), but it seems that fashion is to have large tattoos and some were really over the top. I enjoyed comparing torsoes from behind my dark sunglasses.

This was the bass player in one of the bands who looking very cool (and knew it) and I couldn't take my eyes of his body, especially when he was jigging about a bit!




Sunday, 5 July 2009

Five on the fifth #1

Welcome to "Five on the fifth", a monthly posting that will hopefully benefit from some audience participation. All you do is take 5 random photographs on the fifth of the month and post them somewhere on the net and then post a comment with your name, location and link to the blog/picasa/flickr site containing your photos and I will update the blog entry so that the link is on this main blog entry.

The idea was stolen from
this great blog.

My own pictures are followed by links to those who contributed. All of my images were taken at the Rhythms of the World festival , Hitchin, England.




James Paul, London, England
Marco, Posh part of London, England
David, Brighton, England
Koffiejunkie
Nicolas Platter, Saint Paul, Minnesota, USA

Friday, 3 July 2009

The moon last night

Did anyone else in England see the moon last night? It was glowing orange and looked amazing. This is not a great photograph, but you get the idea.

Thursday, 2 July 2009

Music music everywhere

This weekend is the start of a run of music events. At the weekend Pete and I will be attending the Rhythms of the World festival in Hitchin. A market town in Hertfordshire may not be the obvious place for a world music festival, but it's great fun.

Coming up this month we have events all planned by Pete: Grace Jones, Lovebox festival and to my horror (and Pete's delight)... Buffy Saint Marie. Why do I agree to these things?!

And... my all time favourite band Fleetwood Mac is coming to London in October and we have front row seats! I love pre-sales.


Don't forget to take some photographs on Sunday and join me for '5 on the fifth'.


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