Sunday, September 23, 2012

2012 - 66 and Out

An End to Things

http://phillhall.tumblr.com/ This is the thing you need to know now. This is my new toy. I like it and in a strange way it might also allow me to start the divorce from Facebook. My pal Chev said as much nearly two years ago when Facebook really started to cheese people off and I should have checked Tumblr out then, but, you know, shit always gets in the way.

I also expect that people on Facebook will be astounded by my about face because of the amount I'm suddenly doing; but that's because my Tumblr is liked to my Facebook and I kind of will be playing with Tumblr a bit until the novelty wears off. I also like the fact that it offers me so much more than Blogger ever could and there's very little about it that I can find serious fault with.

It's going to be weird leaving Blogger; I've had a few blogs here over the last 8 years. I actually started blogging under a pseudonym when I was 42; if I blogged prior to that I can't remember where. That blog was called 42 and can be found here: http://nineteensixtytwo.blogspot.co.uk/ you never know you might find it interesting. I got back into it after losing stuff for years and now I can't gain access again because I lost the password to the Google Mail account it was initially linked to. 

Oh and the name I use? EP Rodway? Ethel Patricia Rodway, my grandmother and mother's first names and nan's surname. That's one secret out...

I actually have a Wordpress blog, well, actually a couple if you count Sports Discuss with Roger. I started a Wordpress account to republish the Comicbook Diaries and migrated them all over there, but like the edited version of the book, it's just sat around getting zero attention from me. I could probably get in there, start another blog and just carry on regardless, but a change is as good as a rest and all that.

I've already been posting shit to the Tumblr account (if you hadn't noticed) and it's going to be difficult not to be a wee bit anally retentive about this account, considering all the work that has gone into the last few years and all the posts and comments. But I'm not deleting it and once I've worked out how, I'll make sure there's a link back here on the new one. I have Chev coaching me.

Thanks for sticking with this; join me somewhere else; it'll only really be the address that's changed.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

2012 - 65

Blogger is still Shit

Now that I've calmed down a little (not a lot, just a little), I thought I'd bore you with why Blogger, now owned by Google, is shit...

Several months ago Google acquired Blogger and changed it, because that's the thing to do nowadays. The reaction was really bad and so they gave people the option of using the old style and many, many people took up this offer. The new style was also riddled with problems and most older users - who it seems are the ones more likely to blog - found it confusing, vague and really unpleasant on the eye.

This week they changed everyone to the new style and then deleted the old style - got rid of it completely, so that there was no way to change it back and then basically stopped you from doing any real complaining by allowing the dissenters one small forum to air their views, to which they deleted many comments, not because they were rude or offensive, but because the people were making valid points about how crap the 'new and improved' style was and sounding like they were going to leave for Blog pastures new. They also put some faceless twat in charge of this forum who would only answer technical issues (and most usually with a 'I'm going to have to email Google about this' - the professionalism of it all is mindblowing).

Here's just an example of some of the quite sad posts on the Blogger support forum: I am retired, pushing 70 and only in the past few years have I owned a computer.  I enjoyed blogging, the approach seemed straight-forward and I have blogged almost 4 years.  I've been reading a lot of helpful suggestions here but I am woefully ignorant of how to perform many operations.  At this point I have informed my readers I am no longer blogging.  

How fucking tragic is that? He got no response from admin; a kindly fellow suggested he migrate his blog to Wordpress, which is complicated, but not half as complicated as Blogger's new look; but surely these complete and utter twats that run these things must have some sympathy for people who aren't tech-heads? Obviously not; I mean, face it, anyone over 35 is going to be dead soon and is probably computer illiterate; who gives a fuck about them?

I'm investigating a couple of new blogging sites; to people who read my blog via that wonderfully democratic social networking medium of Facebook won't be affected; those who follow this blog will be fucked about and 50% of them won't bother following again (even if they can on whatever new site I go to) and in the end a lot of people, myself included, now have a hate on for Google as well as other places that have changed things for us without wondering if the change will be well met.

Everything about the new look is different; there's barely any similarity between the horrible looking thing in front of me and the really easy to use and simple interface that I had just 3 days ago. There are just so many things you can't do now, or the way you do them has changed to such an extent that seasoned bloggers are even complaining. There's now more emphasis on things that the average blogger doesn't use. I can't upload multiple pictures of format them now; everything has to be done individually and I don't even want to go down the route of how much different and what rubbish jargon they're using. It just stinks. I didn't like it as an alternative and I hate it as the new default. I hope many, many people migrate their blogs elsewhere and send a massive Fuck You message to Google. but somehow I just think that most people will just bare it.

Oh and Google not content with fucking up one of the things I use most frequently, have changed the app called Google Docs. It was basically Word on line that allowed you to work, save and move about and have anything you're working on available a the touch of a button. It's been changed to Google Drive and they recommend you watch a 7 minute video to highlight the changes.

Why?

Look, I'm not a Luddite; I'm actually quite keen on change where it is needed, but frankly I'm so fucking exasperated with the Internet and all the shit we get force fed that I might just end up exploding and dumping the fucking thing in favour of using emails, yahoogroups and ... oh yeah, it appears that Yahoogroups will be discontinued in the next year and replaced with something more modern. I'm beginning to wish computers had never been invented. I miss my typewriter and my Tippex...

And If You Thought That Was Boring

I have allowed myself and my anger to boil over in the last few days and because I'm me I think a lot of it is totally justified. I've done something I usually belittle and got involved in a couple of Internet discussions - you know the kind that have absolutely no impact on the world save for the four or five idiots putting the world to right.

My extra disgruntlement has been about my football team Spurs and the fact they have a shit new manager - signed for economic reasons rather than anything else - and are going backwards when they should be consolidating their recent improvements. What has happened is that I've grown to hold pinko fucking wanker Spurs fans in the most utter contempt, mainly because they exhibit as much ambition as dead pigeons and as a result of this I have decided that AVB - Andres Villas Boas - is a complete fuckwit and couldn't manage a straight piss let alone my football club.

It might as well be 1995 again the interest I have in football. I have to pull away from Spurs for a while because my blood pressure is going to go through the roof and I'll probably give myself an aneurysm. I actually wanted the team to lose on Thursday I'm that convinced that the new manager is a buffoon. I want him to fail and that's a really bad thing to admit about your club. I love Spurs and have done for many many years, but if I'm getting that sour and disillusioned with things (as is clear I am) then I need to try and be ambivalent about it, at the very least.

I know what 'proper' football fans would think of that last statement, but I don't care. I've followed a largely shit team for nearly 50 years and every time they look like they are on an upward curve, some wanky chairman comes along and sacks the manager and puts a foreign idiot in charge. For all of Harry Redknapp's failings, he restored my pride in my team and they played some of the best football I've ever seen and people are condemning him because he was independently ambitious and not getting the right support from his chairman - how dare he have his own interests at heart...

What annoys me the most are the sanctimonious fans who feel that AVB be given at least a season to establish himself, or are saying he brings something to the club it hasn't had before. Well, that's fine, but it doesn't seem to have had an immediate effect and when you support a team as big and as consistent as Spurs have been for the last few years, you tend to expect a new manager to come in an improve the results, not just the tactics. If he's such a brilliant tactician how come we've been playing two defensive midfielders and a short lone striker up front, at home, against teams we should be beating - teams that the real top 4 will beat 99 times out of 100.

I want to be proven wrong. I want AVB to be a huge success for the club and the fans, but he isn't going to be on the evidence we've seen so far and what he failed to achieve at Chelsea and I'm going to leave this now because it upsets me and angers me and I'm no one who has any effect on anything...

When In Rome

I have also felt a teensy weensy bit of a racist this week as I have grown extremely angry at other races and cultures over their beliefs and what they think the British owe them. I'm wondering what Muslims would think if some of them burned the Bible to try and propagate unrest amongst Christians? Or what the Pakistani President would have to say about that? Not a lot I expect.

Stuff

  • It's far too cold.
  • I have been listening to Porcupine Tree.
  • I haven't been reading much, I've been too busy moaning.
  • I've had to be accommodating at work to the point where it would be nice if some of the people I was accommodating reciprocated.
  • The spell checker mentioned in the previous blog is suggesting unbelievable things, such as spelling 'offensive' as 'offencive' or 'proven' as 'pr oven' - this is progress you know... 
  • The next time you see this blog it might be somewhere else or I might just stop doing it...
  • Now, how do I publish this thing; where's the button..?

Friday, September 21, 2012

Blogger is Shit

Today, in fact this entire week, has been one fucking disappointment after another and to round it all off Blogger finally got rid of their nice, easy to use interface and replaced it with a dog's dinner of a piece of shit that is difficult to operate, has endless bugs in it and I neither like nor want. However, I don't pay for this service, like I don't pay for Facebook, so I have fuck all say in the matter.

I have investigated migrating the blog elsewhere, but frankly, it seems that cunts like google, Wordpress and all the other arseholes don't care about people like me who want simple easy to operate things; they have to make things really fucking complicated. Change everything or move it around and then give you bugger all ways to contact them and ask why and can I change it back please. We are not customers, so therefore our satisfaction isn't an issue.

I seem to recall the expression, "IF IT AIN'T BROKE DON'T FIX IT"; unfortunately that's a ideal that has long since died out, like dinosaurs and good manners.

I have bombarded Google (cos they 'own' Blogger now and are probably using it as their bitch) with abusive messages via every possible way and expect to have this account terminated, especially when I post the link to this on their forums and continue to call them and their employees all the cunts under the sun.

The irony is I can actually buy this domain from Google; but I can't have the old fucking interface with that either! (Oh and get this, Google's fucking Blogger spellchecker, doesn't recognise the names Google or blogger; how fucking genius is that? Oh and the spellchecker has also crashed - one of those little bugs they clearly haven't bothered ironing out...)

I am growing more and more tired of the Internet and the banal, crass and fucking alien world it has created. I've had my fun on the net and now I just want to use it easily, without fuss and be left alone by potential advertisers, or anyone else that thinks they can sell me something, make my experience more enjoyable, or value my feedback (because you fucking obviously don't you sanctimonious condescending bunch of motherless cunts).

September hasn't been its usual Indian summery wonder; work is tiring as well as tiresome; people have let me down; the pub quiz has become a chore rather than an enjoyment; beer has been okay but my mind hasn't been on it; Apparently there's a comicbook convention in the county this weekend, but you wouldn't have thought so given the complete lack of publicity (Jesus, I've been out of comics for 10 years and I could fucking organise a convention with more savvy than most of the twats currently doing it); Spurs are shit and there's this idiot group of fans who are spouting the most inane and ridiculous bullshit I've ever heard and nearly six weeks into stopping smoking and I really, truly, fucking hate you all and would gladly kill your children and piss on your cats...#

Oh and Blogger is a load of rancid shit.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

2012 - 64

Inheritance

21 years ago today the last Talk Talk album was released. 21 years!! That's probably why the tribute album has just come out and coincidentally Mark Hollis's first bit of music in 14 years was used on US TV on Thursday night.

I got enthused and excited about the reformation of the House of Love only to be slightly underwhelmed by the album and subsequent live show, so part of me kind of hopes that Talk Talk stay firmly where they were (although I don't expect a reformation; all I do expect is maybe an album of ambient styled freeform jazz from Hollis maybe next year, with no vocals and lots of silence. That would be great (and it would give me something new to torment the kids with...)

People You Might Know

Farcebook has this right hand column on my page that has adverts, events, birthdays and sometimes a bunch of 'People you might know' or suggested friends. Now, I often see people on here that I know - mainly comics people and my sister-in-law - but have no real desire to become FB friends with, unless they send me a request. Sometimes, I see someone from my past, but I think I've just about covered all those bases; but most of the time there's just a list of unfamiliar faces and people who know people I know.

On Friday night, I logged into Farcebook (mainly to have my daily dose of Bejewelled - to keep my bonuses topped up, natch) and on the right hand side was someone I knew and it was really weird...

When I worked at the YOT I had a lot of colleagues as friends, but once things started to turn a little sour I axed all but a handful of them and after I left I declared that I would not under any circumstances befriend work colleagues again (that way I can be disassociated from work completely and my blog stays away from colleagues etc.) Anyone who has looked at my profile page on FB will know that it has nothing on it. I deleted or removed every bit of info and have hidden all my likes (or un-liked them); I don't have any details about where I work and it suits me fine. So imagine my surprise when one of the new teachers at the school appears in the People I Might Know column. She's not friends with any of my colleagues (not that that would matter even if she was as I'm not); she doesn't appear to like anything I like and she has no mutual friends. Plus, she's new and has just moved to Northampton from Nottingham. I can find nothing at all that might possibly have activated some 'bot to associate her with me. It was obviously a complete coincidence, but it was also quite odd considering how many million people subscribe to that particular fuck-witted social media thing.

Oddly enough, a couple of days earlier I discovered that inside the Messages area of FB is a sub-folder called Other, which appears to be a kind of spam filter imposed by FB to stop other FB accounts from communicating with people who aren't your friends. In it was a message from some woman who claims she saw my profile and was so impressed decided she wants to become my friend etc., etc. As stated, my profile essentially says: Phill Hall, age 50, lives in Northampton, now fuck off! Clicking on her own FB page, she has one friend, a man with a Spanish sounding name and a profile picture that left little to the imagination. I'm tempted to write back and ask her what part of "I am a misanthrope leave me the fuck alone" does she find most attractive?

Thick Soup?

Frivolous moment, if you will.

Stew. You get beef stew, lamb stew, chicken stew, venison stew, vegetable stew, but you don't really get pork stew. Yes, you get things like cassoulet but however porky and stew-like that might be, it isn't Pork Stew, is it?

Not that I would eat it if you dished it up to me.

When Phil Met Harry & David

I, if you'll sort of excuse the expression, rolled up at my first No Smoking Clinic on Friday; 4½ weeks after stopping smoking. This week has had its moments, where I could quite easily have buckled, despite the mess my lungs were (and still are) in. I figured I'd use it for the support I needed in the same way as alcoholics use AA - after all it is an addiction.

I got there first; I knew I was entering a new styled arena of support - a group of non-smokers instead of a one-to-one with a berating nurse. My first session consisted of three 'addicts' and the nurse. I was the new 'addict' and I was joined by Harry - the retarded halfwit half-brother of Grizzly Adams and any member of the Magic Numbers. He was still smoking ten a day despite using full strength patches and needed a bath. He wanted to be there, he said so; but I think he's so hopelessly addicted to nicotine that he can only afford his fix by getting max strength patches to supplement his 'ten' a day.

David was a jellyfish on legs. He had skin that was so dodgy I thought it was translucent, he shook a lot, sounded very stupid and obviously wasn't by the intelligence his stupid statements held within them. Unlike Harry who had little dress sense but was at least decked in a combo that looked vaguely like he had a clue how to dress himself, David looked like he'd been dressed by an evil retarded camp homosexual who was gaining his revenge for his unrequited desires. He also didn't work and went everywhere by taxi... How do people do that? I've seen the amount of money DLA gives out and it isn't enough for people like this to live, let alone dress like a blind man trapped in the Evil Mr Ben's shop.

I have worked with people like this for 10 years and I really don't want to come across as horrible to those less fortunate than ourselves, but I actually felt like I was put there on purpose...

Stuff
  • I have been listening to Talk Talk, Porcupine Tree, Blow Up Hollywood, Shack and Dvorak.
  • I am up to A Feast For Crows (which I believe came in for a lot of criticism) in my reading habits.
  • Found wood mushrooms today, amazing considering how dry it's been.
  • I am considering getting a pedometer to see just how far I walk in a day now.
  • My lungs might feel better but there's not a huge improvement in capacity at the moment; was a bit disappointed with my peak flow results, but it's barely been 5 weeks.
  • Prometheus... Not as bad as I feared, nowhere near as good as I hoped.
  • Ashtray boils

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

2012 - 63b

Dog Days

I neglected my usual Saturday programme to sit in the garden, with my book, and do nothing for best part of the day. The first weekend after the return to school is being what it should be, a time of uber-relaxation. Takeaway on Friday (after shopping), nibbles (from Akshar) and salad yesterday and most of today's dinner has already been prepared. My main priority was to do very little and soak up the last rays of summer sun (because, unremarkably, the forecast now appears to be dreadfully British rather than ironically Indian). This is why I'm here now, at just after 9.00am, getting the bulk of this down before I resume yesterday's exertions.

It has to be noted that the other reason for my reluctance to write anything for 2012 - 63 was also down to a lack of motivation. My first week back at work (and 1 of 8 - the longest ½term of the lot) has been a mixture of brilliant, positive and fucking exhausting. My job has indeed changed, but now it appears to be right back up my street, giving me the opportunity to do what I'm best at - talking, listening and offering sensible, human, advice while explaining in a less than aggressive way what the consequences will be. My style of irreverent ambivalence and laid back reasoning is actually quite difficult to argue with (but a couple did on Friday and discovered what happens when Style A doesn't prove to be as convincing as it usually is. Style B is far more disciplined, with added 'Told You So' rubbed into the wounds like salt). One thing the kids at my school have been reminded of this week - as brilliant as most of the kids think I am, don't piss me off.

However, the new role is bloody exhausting. I must have walked 10 miles yesterday (I might get a pedometer just to see how far I do walk) and the standing around played havoc on my back and it's been grumbling quite vociferously since about 1pm on Friday. The Celecoxib have been broken out - those mega-brill painkiller/NSAIDs, which cost about £20 each and I'm only to use when it's that bad, got to the pain almost straight away allowing me to be incredibly athletic in the bedroom last night, in a sentence that is probably causing most of you to be saying TMI. Those of you with long memories of the bollocks I've written for the last few years will remember that Celecoxib's side effects are simple - wind leading to really stinky farts...

Ironically, there might not have been much from me about my week, but I did have lots of inspiration. The sad part was after 6 weeks of holiday routine, it's taken me longer than expected to get back into the work routine and all the trimmings (like making notes about things I want to talk about in the blog). That said I do have some notes and we will get to then at some point...

The Political Bits

Lots of notes about politics. Jeremy Hunt getting promoted to Health must surely have raised some eyebrows, even amongst Tory voters. Cameron really does like his twats. Which brings us nicely to Grant Shapps - Tory party co-chairman, poster boy for the right and a man with less qualifications than me! He is an Internet maestro who has been blacklisted by Google; writes under pseudonyms and most importantly comes across as a sort of Tony Blair kind of guy, which is why the Tories have him.

The cabinet reshuffle was laughable and again makes me wonder if floating voters with any interest in politics are paying attention to how inept the government is and how the changes made kind of scream of the football manager languishing in the relegation mire who is too frightened to change his team of 'stars'. The Tories remind me of one team in particular (and I really do apologise to supporters of this team because most of the people I know who support this team are pure socialists); West Ham. A pretty average team that occasionally gets it better than right, but more often screws up, leaving the next generation to repeat the sequence all over again.

The funniest story (and one that stayed top of the news for as long as it took people to realise the futility of it) of the week was the Office of Fair Trade's investigation into fuel prices. This almost had me choke on my dinner for the simple reason that even if the OFT found fuel prices to be ludicrously high (as most consumers do), the government (who I think are responsible for about 90% of the price) aren't going to say, "Tell you what, we'll cut 70% of the duty we put on fuel, make it fairer and in line with most other European countries," are they?

I think the BBC were quick to realise that it was possibly the biggest non-story of the year so far.

Wibble

I'm going to regret saying this, but I fancy Andy Murray's chances in Monday's US Open final, whoever he has to play.

I tried to find a cartoonist to draw a picture for me based on an old cartoon I once had. I got really frustrated that despite knowing so many artists, I couldn't get one of them to draw a single panelled picture, albeit for free, for me. Then I realised I still had the original; the problem, however, is just where it is. It might be in the loft. It might be in the cupboard behind my back which we kind of cleared out a few weeks ago and put the two possible boxes it might be in at the back of said cupboard and then put tons of other junk in front. Or it might possibly be in two or three other places, but only if it isn't in either of the first two. If I find it, I shall scan it and display it on here. I think it is possibly one of the funniest single panel cartoons you will ever see.

But it's 10 o'clock. I need breakfast and to get out into the sun and burn my already crispy skin for the last time until an indeterminate date in 2013. More later...

The More, Much Later

Except there isn't much more. I have spent the last three days being exhausted, stressed by the wrong people and quite enjoying myself. It is now Wednesday night and tomorrow is my 26th anniversary. This time last year we were just recovering from a really awesome party that some of you actually attended; this year I'll take t'wife to Pooja and watch Prometheus.

Right, t'mother-in-law is here now and I'm not allowed to hide...

Saturday, September 08, 2012

2012 - 63

Stuff
  • I have mainly been sitting in the garden, reading and topping up my tan on the penultimate day of summer. I have listened to music. I have much to discuss, but frankly, at this moment in time, I have no inclination to do so. Maybe I will later.

Thursday, September 06, 2012

Album Review

Spirit of Talk Talk
Various Artists

Such a shame that Such A Shame isn't on this tribute. Such A Shame is my favourite song of all time; the single best record I have ever heard. It has been my favourite record since the early 1980s; it has never been usurped. It remains to this day the best song, accompanied by the best video ever made and performed by the greatest band that ever walked the face of this cruddy little planet.

I threw shit at this band in 1982. I loved them in 1983 and by 1998, when the genius called Mark Hollis released his, to date, only solo effort, I was just one of many many thousands of people who believed that Talk Talk had transcended their initial Europop image and become the inventors of Post-Rock and were the most uncategorisable band in music. By the time Hollis gave it all up, every Tom, Dick and Renee was clamouring to say they'd been following Talk Talk for ever... But, truly, honestly, there weren't that many of us in the UK.

The incredible thing about the latter work of this band is that almost 25 years later it hasn't aged. The stuff recorded in the late 1980s could have been done in the late 2000s. Yes, that Europop stuff is best consigned to the depths of the record collection, but maybe not It's My Life, the second studio album that was full of European money-making hits and also had the first hints of what this band were truly capable of. Take Such A Shame as an example. Why on Earth hasn't it been covered on this compilation? I can't answer that, although I'm sure I could probably find out, but I can hypothesise that it's just too weird a song to really do it justice. The later, jazz influenced stuff, is, in a perverse kind of way, far easier to cover than Such A Shame is, and that might be because it's a very odd song with a strange time signature, some backwards bits and a lot of anger - I have heard a couple of cover versions and I've wanted to remove the spleens of the artists responsible with their own live cats.

So what's The Spirit of Talk Talk like? Well, it looks like a Talk Talk album because James Marsh has designed the cover. It sounds... ooh... it sounds like an album of Talk Talk songs done by other people and the initial reaction is to switch it off and listen to the originals; they are, after all, quite possibly some of the best pieces of music that have been written in the last million years. But... You have to give them a chance, these homages, because up until last week the chances of hearing (or seeing) anything from Mark Hollis other than an obituary was as likely as me coming on Karen Gillan's tits (obviously news of new music from the maestro has found me stalking Ms Gillan while clutching a stack of porn mags...).

The weird thing about this album is some of the tracks - way more than half - are unbelievably respectful to the source material and offer the new artist's the chance to play with the toys of gods with due reverence and just a little bit of dynamism. Many years ago, the only other album like this I've really enjoyed was Stay Awake, a Disney tribute with the likes of Tom Waits, Bonnie Raitt, Suzanne Vega, Los Lobos, Syd Straw, and the stuff by Ken Nordine, with Bill Frisell and Wayne Horvitz (with some really dark stuff that made you wonder if Disney really sanctioned this album); it was quite a ... magical album and very few of these tributes since have ever come close. A perfect example was the recent Pink Floyd DSotM tribute album that left me cold and uninspired after first listen and has never been played again. That like this Talk Talk tribute has a line up I've barely heard of and isn't that usually the problem with these things - surely for a band as important as Talk Talk we should have all the current mega-hot bands doing their covers? But would that make it any good? Florence belting out Give it Up or Rizzle Kicks doing Living in Another World; or even the inevitable Jesse J murdering something.

Still, out of 30 tracks (28 if you take into account that Give it Up and I Believe in You are both covered twice) there's probably only 7 or 8 where you'd have hoped for a better choice or sound. I would have liked to have seen versions of Happiness is Easy, Again a Game... Again, It's You, The Last Time, Daily Planet and as I said earlier Such A Shame, but that didn't happen, but who knows, Hollis might be tempted out of retirement to do something he hated doing (playing live) and choose to play all my favourites... and I might come all over Karen Gillan's tits...

I appreciate this isn't exactly a review of the album. I could tell you that Lone Wolf; S. Carey; Duncan Sheik; Halloween, Alaska; Zelienople, Recoil, Ian Curnow and shit loads of others poured their hearts into producing an album that I am both delighted with and slightly melancholy about. As these type of albums go, it's got to be worth your money (and profits go to a really good cause).

I'd just like to say, for the record, that this album has reaffirmed my opinion (already stated, I believe) that Talk Talk were undoubtedly the greatest group of people ever to pick up musical instruments and Mark Hollis is one of my heroes. And yes, I am aware this is a fawning, forelock tugging and generally gushing adulation of a band that will never read my words, but in the immortal words of Mr Hollis, "I feel really weird standing here like this," and that just about sums it up...

7.5 out of 10

(19 out of 10 for the band that inspired it)

Sunday, September 02, 2012

2012 - 62

I can't be arsed to think up appropriate titles and subheadings; just the process takes up too much time and time is something I have very little of left.

It's back to work tomorrow and as brother-in-law Neil said, at his local Leighton Buzzard pub on Friday, for his 37th birthday (37!!! Jesus, he was 7 when I met him), 'Going back to work after a week is bad,. after a two week holiday its murder, so fuck knows what it must be like after 6 weeks!' Of course, take into account my lung problems in July and I have actually only been at work a grand total of 4 days in the last 10 weeks, so this is going to be tougher than I expect, especially as the covert changes that were made, the day after my department broke up for the summer, will come into force and I'm thinking the management will hope that 6 weeks holiday will have tempered tempers to a level that they can deal with!

Naturally, the weather forecast for next week is really depressing, but it's what I expected and forecast my self, so let's not go on about it just yet, eh? My plan for most of the good days in September is to get home from work at 4.40pm, get out of my monkey suit and straight into shorts and a T-shirt and imagine it's still the summer for a couple of hours a night until the equinox comes and depresses me for 6 months, blah blah blah...

I am looking at Sunday from my office window. It's 10.56am and the sunshine they said would arrive around 5pm has arrived 6 hours early. I have a very enjoyable 3rd instalment of the aGoT books to read; so that's what I'm going to do, right now...

Later...

Not much later though; just over an hour to be precise. I went down, got a chair out, set myself up to sit in the sun, top the tan up and do that bit of relaxing before getting on with other things (I have a Sidcup to write, a new blog to finish, dinner to do, dogs to walk and other shit...), only for the sun to disappear almost at the exact second I sat down. Within five minutes I'd put a top on over my T-shirt and five minutes after that I retired to the conservatory.

The weird happening thing about going back to work tomorrow is that for six weeks I saw no one at all from school (apart from the head of English for a beer). I might possibly have seen a former year 11 student who has left, but other than that - nada, no one at all. In Sainsbury's on Friday I saw the head of IT, but he didn't see me and on the way home (from Wellingborough) I saw one of the old year 7 kids (now year 8) walking right outside the school.

While we're flitting around subjects; Doctor Who was... okay. Moffatt still has as many plot holes and idiosyncrasies in his work as RTD, yet much of this is hidden by good SFX and I found myself thinking parts of it could have been done much better. Will be interested to know whether Oswyn Oswald is actually going to be the Doctor's new companion or if they're just using the same actress (like they did with whatsername, the one who replaced thingy, um, er, Billy Piper, Freema Agyeman? I think that's her; she was in it before she was in it, wasn't she?). Anyhow, if DW goes back in time and picks Oswyn up before she gets the Dalek nanobite virus then that will be inspirational and uber-nerdy, even if it causes a paradox and offers up the question of why she had no idea who the Doctor is. But having her wipe his existence from their collective minds was both good and slightly useful and allows the Daleks to be used again without the usual clich├ęs. I just have a feeling that this series is going to be a bit too frivolous at times, especially the forthcoming Dinosaurs on a Spaceship because... well, because.

After that we watched Snow White & The Huntsman, which, it has to be said, was as weird as fuck. It could almost have been a Neil Jordan film of the 1980s and had it stuck with the odd rather than slipped into mainstream a lot, then it might have been a really excellent film. Kristin Stewart can't really act and her teeth look like she's a practising bulemic; Chris Hemsworth should probably go into AmDram Shakespeare when his film career dies and Charlize Theron dialled in her performance. The 8 dwarves were underused and there was a much better film trying to get out once they appeared; but you could also see that this was 'inspired' by The Hobbit in the same way that SyFy make rubbish films that are thinly-veiled 'homages' to whatever current SF blockbuster is making the rounds. I have seen much worse.

Signs of sun again...

Later Still...

It is now 1.30 and it has just started raining; that fine rain that gets you wet very quickly without seeming as though it does. I managed to get another 45 minutes in, but it was in the conservatory more as a watchman rather than as a relaxation exercise. Basically, I was waiting for the rain so I could get the washing in.

It's now 2.40 and you must be really riveted by this almost real time commentary of my last day of freedom! I fixed a windscreen wiper in the last hour too! Now I'm going in search of blackberries and possibly, but doubtfully, some mushrooms.

Even Later still...

Found neither; spent the rest of the evening finishing reading my book. I don't really have much else to say; things will undoubtedly be more interesting once I'm back at work. Tomorrow...