Archive for July, 2006

Oh Dorking

Sunday, July 16th, 2006

So to Dorking at the crack of dawn on a fishing related mission.

I do love the word Dorking. It conjures up memories of Enid Blyton tales, cream teas and village post offices run by kindly old ladies ready to gossip at the drop of a hat.

I put this to himself but he thinks that the word is more suited to something that should have a section of its own in the Sexual Offences Act.

Thank you M’lud. Mr Smith, you are charged in that you did, wilfully and maliciously dork in a public place to the annoyance of residents and passengers, including the disruption of the Annual General Meeting of the Godalming Women’s Insitute.

Oh blame it on the heat. The temperature is set to reach 28 ºC today, 33 ºC by Tuesday (that’s 82 ºF and 91 ºF in old money). Bleugh.


Saturday, July 15th, 2006

I’m sat in front of the wireless, freshly made latte and eccles cake for refreshment, ready to listen to the Saturday play on BBC Radio 4 starting in a couple of minutes from now (at 14:30 BST).

Honour by Joanna Murray-Smith

An emotionally charged dissection of a marriage, especially recorded for Radio 4 after its successful West End run at Wyndham’s Theatre.

Honor is faced with her husband’s confession that, after 30 years of an apparently happy marriage, he is leaving her.

There’s a great cast (Diana Rigg, Martin Jarvis, Natascha McElhone and Georgina Rich), the play had rave reviews when it was on stage with the same cast so it should be good.

If you want to join me, virtually speaking, you’re most welcome. But I’m afraid I ate the eccles cake during the writing of this post so it’s a BYOB (Bring Your Own Biscuits) kinda party.


Well, the play will be available for the next seven days but to be honest, I wouldn’t bother. Maybe I was too distracted but it failed to hold my attention and I started clock watching from about 10 minutes in. Shame.

Famous missing apostrophes, part 1

Friday, July 14th, 2006

‘air on a G string:

Photograph of an orange striped g-string with badly drawn hair on top.

The NSFW verison is below the fold.


Every home should have one

Wednesday, July 12th, 2006

Whether you call it a barbecue, information pills a barbie, a braii or even a grill, you really need to go out immediately and buy yourself a pair of these new accessories…

Hot off the press

Monday, July 10th, 2006

The Zinedine Zidane game. Heh.

Update: That link is borked, try this one instead (thanks to Jann).

Mais pourquoi? Mais pourquoi? In case you missed it, here’s the footage.

Every once in a while

Monday, July 10th, 2006

You come across a post that has you both sobbing and laughing out loud in equal measure, leaving you with an overwhelming desire to take the next train to Brighton in order to hunt down and bitch-slap NURRRSE JEAN.

Go read Anna’s post, “You’ve got the loveliest skin … and so much of it.”.

Desert island discs

Monday, July 10th, 2006

I’ll go first then, shall I?

The 8 discs

Hallelujah, John Cale
Pearl’s a Singer, Elkie Brooks
Town Called Malice, The Jam
I heard it through the grapevine, Marvin Gaye
Little Boxes, Malvina Reynolds
You are my sunshine, Elizabeth Mitchell and Daniel Littleton
Brezairola, Barbra Streisand
The Blower’s Daughter, Damien Rice

The 1 disc

I heard it through the grapevine, Marvin Gaye

The book

I’m not particularly struck on having the bible there waiting for me but you’re not allowed to swap. Still, the Complete Works of Shakespeare should be the ideal opportunity to study the bard at length so I think I’d request a scholarly but accessible critique of his work… or maybe Simon Schama’s The Embarrassment of Riches : An Interpretation of Dutch Culture in the Golden Age?

Nah! I’d take the collected works of Nevil Shute. Wait! No, make that George Orwell. And it must include A Clergyman’s Daughter. [Although the Schama book is excellent and highly recommended.]

The luxury

An iron and ironing board. I kid! No, I think I’d have to be fairly boring and plump for a large set of lovely, unopened Moleskin notebooks, lined and unlined, plus a wooden box of all sorts of pens and pencils, coloured inks. Oh hell, can I just have the contents of Brighton’s Pen to Paper tucked away in my cave? Thank ye kindly.

A man in his pyjamas

Sunday, July 9th, 2006

Another interesting article, this one by Paul Donovan in The Times. How a man in his pyjamas invented a radio classic is the story of Roy Plumley’s Desert Island Discs, prompted by the fact that Sue Lawley is (at last!) stepping down as presenter and Kirsty Young is taking over in August (hooray!).

[BBC Radio 4’s] Desert Island Discs’s antiquity is such that its first castaway, in 1942, was a Viennese comedian who had fought alongside his fellow Austrian Adolf Hitler in the first world war. Despite that uneasy conjunction — delicate in a country that at the time was fighting Hitler — the programme’s creator Roy Plomley was unperturbed.

He conversed in a bomb-damaged Maida Vale studio with the comedian Vic Oliver in the cosy and above all collaborative manner that became his hallmark for the next four decades, during which he sent Princess Margaret and 1,700 others off to his mythical isle and made it a national institution.

But I was intrigued to read the following:

Because Plomley was a freelance, Desert Island Discs became his copyright. After his death in 1985 it went to his wife, Diana Wong. She still owns it but is now in her eighties and their daughter, Almond, acts for her.

Mother and daughter and the BBC agree on the need to have Plomley mentioned in the credits and the corporation pays Diana an annual sum (£5,000 in 1996, so probably more now). However, the family and the BBC cannot agree on the availability of the show after its weekly broadcast. This is why it is not available to listen to via the BBC’s website. Anybody hoping for that is greeted with this terse message: “For rights reasons, Desert Island Discs is not available as a listen again item.”

I’d always assumed that the programme was not available for repeat because of the prohibitive cost of royalities to the artists of the 8 chosen tracks. How wrong I was. But I’m sure that this has been discussed on the BBC’s Feedback programme too? Well anyway.

Now it’s your turn

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to choose:

  • Your 8 desert island discs.
  • Your chosen book. The Bible [or The Koran or your religious text of choice] and the Complete Works of Shakespeare is waiting for you on the island.
  • Your one luxury item [which must be “inanimate and have no practical use”].

Tip of the day: If you’re looking for inspiration on the luxury item it might interest you to know that Norman Mailer wanted marijuana, Oliver Reed wanted a blow-up woman and Princess Michael of Kent wanted a cat. George Clooney chose War and Peace (Zzzzzz) and an anchored yacht. I bet women across the country were swooning in delight at the thought of being anchored along with George when that programme was broadcast…

As for book choices, Engelbert Humperdinck requested one of his own recordings and his autobiography, What’s in a Name?. Egomaniacs are us. Ah no, that title should perhaps go to Elizabeth Schwarzkopf, infamous for selecting 7 of her own recordings.


The iPodically challenged amongst us will cheer at not being discriminated against for not owning one of these new-fangled magic music boxes required by the latest meme :-)


Sunday, July 9th, 2006

To Phil Donahue for sticking it to the class bully.

“Two things have doubled in the past year: the number of US soldiers killed in Iraq and the price of Haliburton stock.”

I’ve just been reading a fascinating story on NPR A Voluble Visit with Two Talking Apes.

Kanzi [the bonobo] also has developed a skill closely associated with human language, Fields says. It’s called theory of mind — and a growing number of researchers believe it is at least as important as grammar.

Theory of mind means recognizing that other people have their own beliefs and desires. It also allows someone to imagine the world from another person’s point of view.

Next up is to listen to writer Ken Foster talk about his memoir, Rescuing Dogs, and Learning from Them.

Hmm. I’ve just realised that if there are any O’Reilly fans out there reading this they might be insulted at the implied slight in posting a story about chimps straight after one on O’Reilly. Nope. I have far too much respect for the bonobo to do that.

Then there’s a rather odd article in The Times by Jeremy “love ‘im or loathe ‘im” Clarkson, Arrested just for looking weird:

The main problem I suspect is a complete lack of knowledge about the world. I asked people in the streets of Vegas to name two European countries. The very first woman I spoke to said: “Oh yes. What’s that one with kangaroos?”

Off on a tangent and filed under “Reasons why I love the internet, #42,921”: Trazy Anderson’s 94 x magnification photographs of Velcro being pulled apart and Scotch tape being pulled from a dispenser. Beautiful.


Sunday, July 9th, 2006

That’s not a typo, it really does have three o’s. And thanks to Sharon, I now know that Zoomr.com is a new Flickr-like photo hosting service where you can:

  • Show your favorite photos to the entire world in anyone’s language (well, 15 languages currently)
  • Actually put your photos on the map
  • Add sound to your photos
  • Have full RSS support for looking at photos from your favorite news reader
  • Use the trackback feature to see who’s linking to your pictures
  • Login using your Level9, GMail, Meetro, LiveJournal, or OpenID account
  • Apply tags that allow you to define photos for convenient searching later
  • NEW! Zooomr Pro will allow you to upload 2GB of photos every month with unlimited storage!

There’s more information about Geotags and lightmaps but it’s late and my eyes are glazing over so I’ll just point you to the page where you can find out more.

Anyway, a friend of ours bought a Nikon D50 earlier this year and it wasn’t long before I was round there lusting after his equipment, so to speak. And since I have the most beautiful dog in the world, I’ve taken up the Zooomr offer of a free Pro account to any blogger who signs up and posts a Zooomr hosted picture.

Daisy looking pensiveDaisy looking pensiveHosted on Zooomr

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