Sunday, 14 December 2008

Review of the year!1!!!!!oneeleven!!!1eleventy!!11!!

Can I just have most of it back again please? Or at least the last six months of it? Thanks.

Saturday, 8 November 2008

"You might claim to have the facts, but the truth is true no mattter how you act"

I've just been offered a job. Which is nice. No doubt I'll be utterly sick of the sight of trains after about two weeks though. And definitely people. But then again I'm sick of people already, and I doubt any job would change that.

It's amazing how diluted the word "change" has become over these past few months. But perhaps it'll be good. I can't quite see how it'll be any worse.

Now, what shall I do for a month?

Sunday, 26 October 2008

"Pacing down the street again, a briskly striding silhouette"

"So how are you?"

You don't care. None of you fucking do. You're only asking because you think I'll say "I'm fine". And I conform to the expectations. Because what's the point in doing otherwise? Where will answering with the truth get me? Other than being tarnished with the mental brush to go with the one marked "disappointment". None of you could give a shit about the answer. To tell you the truth, I don't give a shit how you are. We're only having this conversation because of the misfortune of common ancestry. We both know the conversation isn't going to go on much longer than two minutes before we both go off and say the exact same things to other people. Perhaps, to make things slightly different, someone else will join in this conversation so one of us will repeat the exact same things whilst the other is still standing there. Perhaps that person may know who I am, so maybe they'll ask me how I am. And I can repeat the same old lies about how everything is okay.

Saturday, 4 October 2008

I feel like I'm in some kind of strange time warp.

Peter Mandelson is back in the cabinet and OJ Simpson has been found guilty.

Monday, 15 September 2008

From morning to night...

From morning to night, I stayed out of sight,
Didn't recognise what I'd become.
No more than alive, I'd barely survive;
In a word: overcome

Can I have some happy news please? Something going right for once?

Monday, 25 August 2008

I got bored... I made a new blog documenting my new found love of spam. I'll probably forget about it in two days time, but what can you do?

Saturday, 9 August 2008

What is Roland Rivron for?

I turned on my television earlier this evening to find some Saturday evening guff on (I think it was called Last Choir Standing or something) and standing next to the formerly lovely Myleene Klass (I went off her when I saw her "interviewing" Boris Johnson when pretending to be Judy Finnigan the other day. I almost felt sorry for him with her vapid questioning on policy) was Roland Rivron. It's not that I dislike him. That would be easy. It's just that I can't quite work out why he's on television. He's certainly not bad at presenting. And people must like him, because you don't get a Saturday night primetime slot if nobody likes you (unless you're Piers Morgan). But he's just instantly forgettable. He's instantly recognisable but nothing he's done has been in any way memorable. There's a vague memory of him being a team captain on an awful music version of A Question of Sport presented by Jamie Theakston, but that's only because I was somehow reminded of it the other day.

I do wish that there was some kind of punchline to this, but there isn't.

I'm alone for the first time in a week. It's... weird. Just like everything really. Some things are amazing. Some are terrifying.

Much has happened. And I have no energy to put any of it into words.

Rain is falling on you but you have the wherewithall

To pull on a raincoat, shielding you from all this cold

Tuesday, 22 July 2008

Reading lineup

Well, I finished Bit of a Blur by Alex James the other day and it was rather fantastic. His writing style takes a bit of getting used to. I mean no offence to him, but his sentences are fairly childlike in structure, often having paragraphs of "I did this. Then I did that." No doubt like my own occasional writing can be, I suppose.

But it's very interesting (unlike my own). If you're expecting an exposé of who did what to whom during the 1990s or what was the real reason behind various public events then you'll no doubt be disappointed, but it's certainly a fascinating insight into his life. He tells you what he wants to tell you and no more, but in a captivating way.

I need to finish reading Down And Out In Paris And London by George Orwell which I half read a few months ago and never got round to finishing. The same with The Dice Man by Luke Rhinehart although I'll probably start that again because it's been so long since I started reading it.

After that, who knows?

Yes, I do realise I have just written about 200 words for no other reason than a rather awful joke that no doubt nobody will notice. But it's better than a 1500 word ramble about how shit things are isn't it?

Monday, 16 June 2008

"Then we meet as satellites that are grounded by the weight of the Earth"

An update to fill up part of the day.

I need to go to Sainsbury's. I have no bread and I'm running out of juice. And I need a walk. And a paper. It's Monday, and hopefully Charlie Brooker will be back. I don't want to check the website because if he's not then my motivation levels might sink below the threshold of actually wanting to go out.

Yesterday was fun. I went to the Imperial War Museum with Charleh (the 30 minute film about crimes against humanity is particularly thought provoking), then we wandered around lots. Then found Green Park (they have deck chairs!) and sat in the shade for a bit before she had to go.

Last week nothing much happened. Monday we went to the Natural History Museum, then watched V For Vendetta and more Coupling at my house.

Stuff that's happening? I'm seeing a couple of TV programme recordings this week in London (Edinburgh And Beyond for Paramount Comedy, I believe. I probably should know, but I just saw Russell Howard's face and clicked on it) which I'm hoping will be fun. Then I'm going to a barbecue on Saturday. Then next week is Radiohead and my barbecue.

I'll no doubt make a post in a couple of days reiterating much of that simply to fill up time, but what can you do? This is probably the most boring thing I've ever written. And that's even taking into account my GCSE geography project.

It's highly annoying that when I have nothing to do my attention span drops massively.

Now I'm going to write a shopping list.

Monday, 9 June 2008

In contrast to the previous epic...

Robert Kubica won! In the Formula 1 race in Canada yesterday. He's had it coming for a long time. He's consistent, and fast. Consistency is the key. This is his first victory this season, but he's been consistently good.

I was joking with Mikey before about it and he said I should have put some money on Kubica to win. I really should have done! But still.

Sweden to win Euro 2008!

Anyway, yeah. That's it for the moment.

Thursday, 5 June 2008

"Moments follow one another without belonging"

I've been trying to write something about the past week for... well, a week. Alright, I admit it. I've been wanting to use this title ever since it became stuck in my head the other day. There are worse reasons for writing blog posts though, I'm sure.

One disadvantage of not using Livejournal anymore is that I can't write über elitist filtered friends only group posts so that only people not directly involved can read what I have to say. Having said that, I only ever did it once on my Livejournal. And I doubt I'd go to all the effort of making a friends group now. But that's not the point. I'm not sure what the point is, but that's certainly not it.

Fuck. That sounds like things are bad doesn't it? No. The complete opposite. Things are very good. The past ten days or so have been absolutely fantastic. Sunday the 25th I went to Cardiff to see Emma. Came back Monday evening in the rain. Wednesday was the Maxïmo Park gig. I arrived at the venue at 1pm to meet Dana who had come over from Germany. When faced with six hours of queueing (I hate that word. Especially when the spell checker isn't working, because I lose track of what vowels should be where), what better thing to do than to crack open the vodka and coke? It was fantastic fun. Meeting new people, seeing old people, being given free fire from XFM, finding my new favourite person in the entire world, seeing some great bands, realising how fantastic Maxïmo Park are, nearly missing my last tube home, realising I should find out when my last tubes home are.

Thursday daytime was spent mostly sleeping (and collecting the Monopoly board that I ordered for the next night's fun), and then meeting James and Olli who were dumping stuff off at my house before a number of tube challenges. That evening there were plans for a Random 15 challenge. This particular challenge involved fifteen stations being secretly picked from the proverbial hat (computers have made hats all but irrelevant. It's quite unfortunate), the first one being announced in advance (because we all need to know where to meet up), the remainder being revealed when the clocks start and then we set off to visit them all in any order. The route had to be planned against the clock, which is different to most other of the challenges.

We were battling against some quite big problems on the network that night (not to mention hunger!) so we ended up abandoning half way through and going to McDonalds (although not before taking photos of us by the TARDIS that was there) then meeting everyone at the pub just before throwing out time. Very few groups finished, and we were all hoping that we were using up all our bad luck before the main challenge the next day.

The main challenge was the annual zone 1 challenge that myself, James and Matt did for the first time last year. This year Olli came along with us and Matt went with another guy. After meeting outside Oxford Circus at midday, King's Cross was drawn as this year's starting station so we made our way there furiously planning a route (well, James was. He'd planned it all without me noticing!) for a 1pm start.

Compared to last year we didn't have many problems at all. Certainly nothing like a ten minute wait at Liverpool Street anyway. Towards the end we had some minor problems (a lack of Hammersmith & City trains at Aldgate East) but we managed to fix them with our brilliant logic skills. A lack of ideal trains at the last minute meant we were one minute slower than last year, but I think I probably enjoyed this year more. Last year was good because it was the unknown, but we paced ourselves far better this year so we weren't so utterly exhausted after the first run.

We didn't stay for very long at the pub afterwards (just enough time to enjoy the nicest bottle of cider I've had for a long time) then we went to meet Charleh at Leicester Square, meet up with Laura then head back to mine for the inaugural Blood Red Shoes forum Monopoly tournament ® (for once, not a cover story for anything). After severely cocking up the journey back to Uxbridge (entirely my fault, which I'm very sorry about) we went to buy food and alcohol. Arriving at my house both were consumed for a few hours and we discussed Life, The Universe and Everything (well, Charleh and I did) then I took her back to the station because she had work the next day and when I returned (twenty minutes early) the battle commenced. As expected, I was first to become bankrupt. I think Olli won in the end, but I can't be sure. It was fun anyway, and that's what matters.

Olli had to leave earlier on Saturday so I took him to the station, then James, Laura and I had another Brie and Bacon sandwich from the café in Uxbridge station and Laura got another chocolate cookie sundae thing after we'd bought one the previous night and left it in my fridge. I bid them farewell and returned to tidy up.

Yesterday I was having some windows replaced which meant that I had to be up at 7:30am. Normally that would be fine but annoyingly Tuesday night marked the finale of the Primary season leading up to the US election. The result has been inevitable (yet close) for a few months now, but I'd have liked to have stayed up to watch the final speeches. Especially as Hillary Clinton was still apparently introduced as "The next president of the United States". Despite Obama having passed the all important mark of 50% of deligates.

Still, I woke up to let the window people in and went back to sleep for another hour. I met Charleh at about midday and we spent the afternoon mostly watching Coupling (which she, scandalously, had never seen before) then we went off to North Greenwich to meet James, Katy, Phil and his friend where we saw Avril Lavigne.

Despite being much more of a "pop" concert than last time I saw her (last time I saw her it was her, two guitarists, a bass player and a drummer wheras this time she had eight dancers, choreographed dance moves and huge screens), it was still brilliant fun. There were a number of "what the hell?" moments, particularly when everyone went off stage whilst the video played a montage of her promo videos whilst Avril's cover of a Joan Jett track played over the PA, but it was still great fun.

Apologies for how long this is. I'll give a lolipop to any who has read it all.

Oh, and I do wish there was some deliberate irony in me starting an entry saying "I don't like writing long blog posts describing what I've done with people who read said blog" and then following it up with a thousand words of doing exactly that. But it's not. That's just what came out of my fingers. And I really hate editing myself.

Saturday, 31 May 2008

How idiotic can people be?

So, today is the final day before the drinking of alcohol is banned on the London Underground network. I've posted my thoughts on this elsewhere, and it's pretty much a textbook definition of gesture politics. It's going to be popular with the simple minded, but there's not a huge amount to object to over it. And I must say that I've always been surprised that it's not been banned before now.

It's obvious that (in these days of social networking, especially in London) people would end up doing something to celebrate the last day/protest about the introduction of the ban, and it's good that it was expected and plans were made for it by TFL and BT police.

However, if you're someone who disapproves who is attempting to show their dislike for the new rules then what would be the absolute worst thing to do? Yes, you guessed it. Have hundreds of pissed, excitable people descending on one station causing its closure on a Saturday evening. By doing that you're showing the ban to be a fantastically good idea. If you wanted to show the flaws in the plan then organise hundreds of people to be on the trains having a quiet drink not causing any problems whatsoever. That would make people realise how flawed the plan is. Not this. All this will do is make normally rational people think that, perhaps, the ban might be a good idea.

Friday, 23 May 2008

"Spring is such a painfully deceptive time"

It's cold. I've not really done anything for ages. It's kind of nice. I think.

Next week is going to be busy anyway. I'm going to Cardiff on Sunday and coming back Monday, Maxïmo Park on Wednesday which should be... interesting?, Random 15 tube challenge on Thursday night then my second Zone 1 on Friday. Then I need to job hunt. Well, whore myself out to anyone who will give me any money for five weeks.

Wouldn't it be nice if life and people were just a little bit less complicated? I'm not miserable or anything, just slightly frustrated. I'm going for a walk.

Saturday, 17 May 2008


I must say, National Express are doing good things with the East Coast mainline. Extending the free wifi out to standard class was a good idea.

I should say I'm on the train now. Sadly not a repainted one, but still. The free first class tickets mean that I've been drinking vast amounts of coffee (well, if I'm being offered it then it'd be rude of me to decline!) and taking advantage of the food vouchers that I've got. I wanted a sandwich and the vouchers are for £5 worth (they don't give change), so the woman kept giving me more things to make it up to exactly £5. I've still got a triple chocolate muffin left!

Anyway, I pretty much only made this post to show that picture and abuse the free wifi.

Wednesday, 14 May 2008

R Kelly

Just copied and pasted from a post on the Blood Red Shoes forum, but I thought it was worthy of being on my blog. Whenever I make a post with an ounce of substance I might cross post it to here. Even if it's just so I can keep an archive of interesting things that I write.

Of course nobody likes to be distracted from music by an artist's "extra curricular activities", but when someone's music is this awful and when they're as monumental a prick as R Kelly is, you can't really help it.

So if anyone wants to follow the (**ahem** alleged) paedophile's hopeful descent into prison where he belongs, the Chicago Sun-Times are liveblogging his time in court!

At the moment they're still selecting (but mostly throwing out) potential jurors but it's still fun. One was thrown out for stating his belief that R Kelly was to blame for the September 11th attacks, another who believes that the onset of puberty is nature's way of saying you can be fucked by any rapper who's out there, and one who thrown out after being convicted of pissing in an alleyway. Still, it's better than pissing on a fourteen year old isn't it?

"I took a long, cold walk in the rain, I only want to feel something again"

I realised something a few minutes ago. The last time I left Uxbridge was three weeks ago tomorrow. Luckily I'm going into London tomorrow evening, but still.

Penultimate exam this morning. It went awfully. As I expected, but still awfully. Tomorrow is my last one. But it's maths, and so very difficult. I should be working, but I don't have the energy. I'll probably make myself some coffee and go out into the garden in a few minutes. Still, home again on Saturday, and seeing The Blues Band at Ripley. I haven't been there for ages, so it'll be nice to go back.

Then I'm back for six weeks (give or take. I'm not quite sure what my plans are really). I've got a few things happening which could be great fun. Well, they should be great fun. And if they're not then it'll be my own fault. I will try not to be a mopey fuck.

The tube challenge will hopefully be fun. Olli will be there (I believe?) so it'll be different to last year. In a good way, of course. Part of me can't help thinking that there's no chance that it can live up to the fun that was last year, given how that was just one of those days where so much unplanned fun happened. But I'm sure this year will be fun too.

I want to learn German and go and explore Germany and not worry about anything. If only life was that simple, eh?

Friday, 9 May 2008

"'I wonder if you can help me' she said"

Summer. It seems to arrive at the most irritating time each year, and then no doubt it'll crawl back into its hole as soon as I'm free again.

Yesterday morning was really nice. As anyone who has met me will know, I'm not a morning person at all. The only time when mornings and me mix are when I'm seeing them from the start. Waking up in the morning is horrible. Apart from yesterday.

I'd been to bed, for once, at a vaguely respectable time. I'm pretty sure I'd have been asleep by 11pm. I'd been woken up at about 2:30am by people walking back towards uni from a night out in town (all gathered from the conversation) but then I was awoken by birdsong at about half past seven. When I saw my watch my first reaction was of irritation, of being awake far too early but it being too light and noisy to return to sleep, but then I realised something amazing. I wasn't tired. I was actually entirely awake. And it was sunny. So what better thing to do than to make a mug of delicious coffee and read the Guardian from two days previously whilst drinking the aforementioned coffee? (I should say, that's a rhetorical question).

Irritatingly, as it has a habit of doing, real life caught up with me and I realised that I had to do some increasingly futile work for a set of increasingly pointless exams. But it all started off so well, and I'd like to thank whichever higher power (be it the Judo-Christian God, Allah, Neil Hannon, whoever) is responsible for beautiful summer morning.

Perhaps it was just because the pigeons decided to fuck off yesterday morning though. Have I ever mentioned how much I hate those poor excuses for birds? I'll save that for another time.

Anyway, this time next week I'll have finished my exams. At the moment I've done four and I've got two left, one on Wednesday and one on Thursday morning. I'm going to see the News Quiz being recorded on Thursday evening (I doubt there's a more middle class way of "celebrating" finishing exams), we're having a farewell barbecue on Friday night after Adam, Kev and Sascha finish their final exam (Adam and Kev are my housemates. Sascha lived with Kev in first year. We take the piss out of him for being German. Something that is made infinitely more funny because he's not), then on Saturday I'm going up north for a week. A couple of things happening up there, but mostly rest. A change of setting. That's something that I need.

Tuesday, 6 May 2008

"The International GCSEcore Underground"

I have two differing emotions towards my mobile phone. Most of the time it irritates the hell out of me. When there's any pressure on the case it restarts itself, turning off the keylock which doesn't turn on again. It also doesn't have enough power to cope with me typing at even a modest speed, especially when I'm writing messages that span over two SMS messages. And it has a horrible system of predicting what I'm going to write.

But sometimes the predictive text is quite good. It tries to remember previously written words and then tries to compound them with other words and offers me those if it fits in with the letters I've typed.

Yesterday, when trying to write the word "hardcore" it, rather helpfully, first offered me "gcsecore". Also this morning, when trying to write "offline" it offered "meekgod".

I feel that my obsessing over Google Analytics (Incidentally, I think I may have accidentally stumbled upon a new idea for a service for them) may have a dramatic effect on what I write in here. There's a worry that I might end up putting phrases like "Miley Cyrus naked" at the end of posts just to see if it gets people onto the site.

Sunday, 4 May 2008

"If I could be who you wanted..."

More statistics fun. Since my rants of the past few days I've had some visitors from search engines! 1168738 has been used a couple of times. In fact last time I checked, a search for that on google shows up this blog in second place! It might not do for everyone (I'm pretty sure that google personalise the order of results), but I think it's quite cool.

There are a couple of people who have come here searching for boris johnson pigeon and boris johnson pigeons, which makes me wonder what on earth was going through the mind of the person searching for that. It also makes me wish I could draw too.

I'm not quite sure if waffling about things that nobody else cares about or getting angsty about how useless I am is more interesting to read. I will try and write about something vaguely interesting sometime, I promise.

Saturday, 3 May 2008

"Drape yourself in greenery, become part of the scenery"

Well, I'm slightly less angry now. Still, it's utterly horrible for the greatest city in the world.

A follow up to another one of my earlier whinges, I've spoken to my personal tutor about the possibility of resitting the year. There's nothing that can be done at the moment (understandably), but because I've spoken to him now he's in a better position to help me argue my case with the department when results come out. I'm hoping that they'll be in such need of an extra three grand that they'll be alright with it. I'll have to work out how to carefully word a potential threat to drop out if they don't let me resit to not sound like the bribery that it blatantly would be.

To the library tomorrow. I should leave it at this.

1,168,738 people. Fuck the lot of you.

It became inevitable in the past twelve hours. But Boris Johnson has won. I'm not happy.

Why? Why? They're fucking lunatics.

Well, there goes any chance of any me owning a flat or house in London. There goes any chance of practically anyone who isn't an ex Etonian with millions set to be inherited owning anything here.

I'm tempted to go for a walk to just outside the M25 tomorrow and sit there for a bit. Then go and use a bendy bus.

You're promising to "get cracking on affordable housing" (or something. Not a direct quote, but getting there). Okay. By scrapping targets for affordable housing? Yeah, wonderful. The market will sort it? In the long run perhaps. But, as Keynes said, "The long run is a misleading guide to current affairs. In the long run we are all dead". Let's think in the short run shall we? In the short run, while there are thousands (millions?) of people who want to live in London. In the short run they'll have nowhere to live because the place is full of expensive flats that none of them can afford. It'll take an awfully long time for the market to realise that affordable housing (importantly, with lower margins for developers) is needed. What's needed is a managed housing policy.

There's much more I could say, but my mind isn't working as it should. I blame the wine. But there's one final thing that I'm going to say:

Brian Blessed for London Mayor.

Friday, 2 May 2008

Election liveblog

Only kidding. I know nobody would read it anyway.

But yeah, I'm staying up for a bit watching the telly coverage. I've voted Labour for the first time in my life. But it's a good vote for Labour since it was for Ken Livingstone. I voted for the Green Party candidate (Siân Berry) with my second vote. Given the electoral system it's fairly useless, but it's the idealogical hippy in me speaking. And they want to renationalise the railway system. Perhaps I should have voted for them in the London-wide assembly member vote. I've done it anyway.

Reasons for not voting for Boris Johnson have been widely discussed everywhere. The prospect of Johnson being the mayor of London is utterly terrifying. Livingstone is nowhere near perfect. He associates with some unsavoury people (although I must say I'm of the opinion that it's better to enter a dialogue with people you disagree with rather than stick your fingers in your ears, shout "LA LA LA" and hope they go away), but he's done an awful lot of good for London. Of course a change of ideas can definitely be a good thing (which is why I think that, if Ken wins this election, he definitely shouldn't stand for a for a fourth time), but Boris Johnson isn't the person to do it. Particular irritations? Alright.

  • "OMGz! Itz Boris! He iz teh funneh!1!!1!!!1!" - Think about it for one minute. Yes, he was amusing on Have I Got News For You. He can be amusing when he's saying things on television. But think about why he's funny. He's funny because he doesn't know what he's doing. He's funny because he's out of touch with the realities of modern life. How, by any stretch of the imagination, does that make him a suitable candidate to be the most powerful directly elected politician (directly elected to the position of power they hold) in the UK and the (I believe) third most powerful directly elected politician in Europe?
  • "It's all an act. He's actually quite clever" - I don't know. That might be right. But he's been playing this part for the whole time since he became a public figure. If he wins he might become a "new person" and show this supposed serious side that we've all been promised. Are people voting for the "promise" of a new personality in the future? That's, of course, utterly idiotic.
  • The Tube - Wow, what a great idea to keep the tube running later on weekends! Why on earth wasn't that thought of before? As far as I'm aware, it was suggested by Ken Livingstone and was deemed to be impossible. When is engineering work going to be done? Opening times would have to be pushed back (starting times on a Sunday morning are already irritatingly late) causing no end of problems for many people. And saying that he's going to ask the unions nicely to not strike? "Please don't strike! Pretty please!". Does he have the faintest idea of how any of this works?
There's little point in this as everyone has voted, but I just wanted to get it off my chest. If Boris Johnson wins then it'll be terrible for London. I have little faith in humanity as it is, but I'll lose even that if he wins.

Aah well, it's all fun. I started this so long ago I can't even remember what I started saying. Congratulations to anyone who has read this. Have a lollipop.

Tuesday, 29 April 2008

"You always said we'd inherit the world, I always believed"

Must try not to moan.

Again. Same position. Exam tomorrow, I don't know anything. I've not done the work. Exams in later weeks, I don't know anything. I've not even looked at two of them.

Things begin to fit together and make sense when I look at them, but that shouldn't be happening twelve hours before the exam starts. That should be happening the evening after the lecture when I read through everything and did the work. But I just didn't do that. I come home for a cup of tea and a break, cock about on the internet, watch TV and then it's time for bed. Then repeat. I got away with it in the first year, and I just tried to coast through this year. I thought that it was alright just to leave the work because we went through it in the seminars. But it doesn't work like that. And I've realised that now.

If I resit the year, will I do better? I don't know. I could say yes, but why will I? I've said it before, but I've not done it.

But if I manage to scrape through this year with resits (resits are capped at a bare minimum pass, 40%) then what hope do I have for getting a half decent degree? A half decent degree that I should get. The worst thing is that I know this year hasn't been too difficult. It's all manageable stuff. If only I do the work. If I fuck up because everything's too difficult then that's understandable. I'd be in above my depth. But I'm not. The workload wouldn't even be huge. Reading around the material. Doing the work. That's it.

I've told my parents what the situation is. I'm going to see my personal tutor tomorrow after my exam (I tried today but he wasn't in. But he will be tomorrow) to talk to him about what to do.

I'm not giving up on these ones. I honestly can't see myself passing even half of them, but there's no point in sitting on my arse doing nothing these next few weeks. I'm going to work my arse off when I can. It's just that, however much I delude myself, I can't cram. It's a convenient thing to tell myself in the weeks leading up to exams so I can watch lots of episodes of QI.

I think it's better to realise this now than just battle through and find myself in this same position in a year's time. If I resit the year it's only one year "wasted" (but as one of my housemates said it might not be wasted, but just part of a learning curve). If I'm in this position next year (without resitting) I'll have definitely wasted three years, and over nine grand.

I need someone to give me a kick up the arse when needed.

I should stop quoting ¡Forward, Russia! lyrics.

"I wanted to say that you should have seen this coming. Life is a process, honey."

Monday, 28 April 2008

"Crazy, loopy & un-British"

What's this, ten minutes after an angsty post, I turn on the telly to watch Mock The Week and I see Russell Howard doing this gag ("OMGz! Fakery at the BBC! You mean it's not all off the cuff?! CALL MARY WHITEHOUSE!") and it made me so much happier.

"Thanks Velcro"

"Turn your thoughts into drawings, at art school you'll go down a storm"

Nothing to do...
Well, lots to do. No motivation to do it. Reason to do it? I don't know. Other than to simply finish university, there's no motivation. Yeah, live in London, go to gigs, have fun. That's motivation. But earn a living? I haven't got a clue how. I don't even have a vague thought. Get some shite office job putting numbers into spreadsheets with the intention of just tiding myself over until I find something better, but probably find myself still there after fifteen years. Probably.

How incredibly mopey. Better or worse than inanely dull?

When I'm old, when I am grey
I'll probably see you
in the place that we arranged.

Some fun statistics

I've had someone visit to this rather pointless blog from a search engine! That's made me oddly proud. If you're interested in things like that (which I doubt you are), the search term was "iLiKETRAiNS".

Another thing that I like about the rather fun Google Analytics is that it tells you where in the world visits come from. I've had someone come from Poland, which I'm pleased with. And one from Norway, thanks to James! But my Polish visitor is (I believe) a proper person to come across my blog. I've had two from the same place in Canada. I'm not quite sure who that is. I'd say it might be my friend Rosie who is in Canada, Google analytics says that it's in a completely different part of Canada. Two from the US (one from Ohio and one from Rhode Island). A couple from Germany (Hello Dana!).

Then there are a load of odd suburban places in the UK where ISPs clearly have their local datacentres. As far as I can tell, my ISP (Be Unlimited) have a datacentre in Slough since there are a load of visits from there. So either they are me or I have a stalker there.

You know, I've just realised that is perhaps the most dull two hundred words I have ever written. But it did delay going to the library for twenty minutes, which can only be a good thing. Please don't judge me based on this entry.

Music: Killer by Adamski featuring Seal.

Saturday, 26 April 2008

"So from the teams, Samantha, myself and the good folk of ISIHAC land, it's goodbye"

What's this? My fifth or sixth post? And I'm already writing a tribute.

Humphrey Lyttelton, jazz trumpet player but known by me (as perhaps many others) as the host of I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue, died yesterday evening aged 86. It emerged from the ashes of I'm Sorry I'll Read That Again in 1972, starting with a cast from that series (Tim Brooke-Taylor, Greame Garden, Jo Kendal and Bill Oddie were the panellists for the first episode), before finding the "dream team" of Willie Rushton and Barry Cryer, along with Tim Brooke-Taylor and Greame Garden.

Humphrey, or Humph to his admirers, was the host from the very start (apart from three episodes in the first series where Barry Cryer was in the chair). Despite being a musician by trade, he was picked to be the host of what became known as "the antidote to panel games" as it was thought that his ability to improvise on his trumpet would transfer to presenting duties. Whoever made that decision (probably a joint decision between Greame Garden and the programme's original producer, David Hatch) certainly made the perfect decision. His combination of deadpan, perfect delivery of double entendres and perfect ability to sound like he'd much rather be elsewhere made the show what it was. That, combined with Jon Naismith's brilliant script, made the show enjoyable to millions of people, young and old alike.

Some of my earliest memories are of listening to ISIHAC on a Monday evening on the way to gym with my dad when I was about five or six and I used to love it even then. Of course I wouldn't have got references to the delightful Samantha qualifying to be a magistrate, judging the cases of criminals and being keen to try a few hardened ones on the bench, but the bits that I was old enough to understand cracked me up.

I was lucky enough to see a recording of the programme in December 2005, and I feel privileged to have done so. To have seen him tweak his horn on stage, to hear him say the immortal words "It's now time to play the game called Mornington Crescent". All I can say is I'm so glad that I saw it once.

And so, as the blue cagouled rambler of time confronts the colour blind bull of destiny, and the dead pigeon of fate decomposes in the water tank of eternity...

As the guardsman of time strokes the bearskin of eternity, as the sergeant major of fate orders him back to the barracks to put some clothes on...

As the Steve Davis of time clambers over the table of eternity to reach for another red, and the wine waiter of destiny asks him to leave the restaurant...

So from myself and no doubt everyone who was ever touched by your wide ranging talents, goodnight.

Humphrey Lyttelton - Born May 23rd 1921, died April 25th 2008.

Friday, 25 April 2008


Due to me messing up timing slightly, and the gig being quite early, I completely missed the first support band (Cat Matador) and missed half of the second support (Kyte). The second half of Kyte's set was very good though. Vocally much like Mercury Rev, I thought. Quite "big" sonically, which I like. Lots of effects on their guitars.

The crowd wasn't enormous, which was a shame. I'd guess the venue (Oxford Academy, the old big room at the Zodiac) was about half full, which didn't help with the atmosphere. I saw them in the second half of last year in the same place and I'm pretty sure it was more full. The audience weren't great (during Rook House For Bobby) there was a couple next to me who couldn't keep their tongues out of the others' mouths, which was irritating. They're playing a song that's not only pretty damn fantastic, not only is it about one of the most interesting men of the 20th Century, but they have some brilliant visuals projected behind the band. I fail to see why someone would pay £8 to stand with their backs to all that.

A few weeks ago they were robbed of a night's takings in Italy by some people pretending to be police officers, and tonight they "dedicated" their last single to a "fake Italian policeman". The song in question was called "The Deception", which is fairly apt. They played a nice mix of songs from their "debut" mini album Progress Reform and their proper debut album Elegies to Lessons Learnt plus a new song which, contrasting with most of their historical songs, appeared to be a bleak look into the future unless we all get our arses in gear and try to stop oblivion.

All in all, thoroughly fantastic. The only let down being the fact that it seemed nowhere in West London (well, Uxbridge and Hillingdon) had a copy of the Guardian this evening so I didn't have anything to read on the coach to Oxford.

Then whilst walking back from Uxbridge station to my house, whilst listening to Radio 4's In Our Time podcast discussing materialism (not consumerism), I noticed that there was a man standing on the pavement bending down putting some trousers on. That's the second time I've walked past people in Uxbridge with their trousers down. It's almost becoming a habit.

Thursday, 24 April 2008


After deciding that I'm going to make another trip up to Oxford to see the fantastic iLiKETRAiNS tonight, I thought now would be as good an opportunity to attempt to explain why I like trains without sounding like a complete loser.

I suppose saying that I like trains is slightly inaccurate. Yes, I like using them, but I have no desire to cross off every single Class 43 loco in a little notebook, see loco number 91110 as part of an Intercity 225 set or Cross Country Super Voyager 221130. Actually, those second two aren't strictly true. The former used to be called Northern Rock until 1998 and the latter was named Michael Palin. But since they're been either renamed (in the case of Northern Rock, to David Livingstone) or denamed (in the case of Michael Palin. Damn Cross Country!), I'm not particularly bothered.

I'd say what fascinated me most is how the railway system fits together. The history of it. The politics of it. Why standard gauge won over Brunel's far more efficient broad gauge. Things like that.

And stations too. Ranging from huge 15 platform mammoths of engineering such as St. Pancras to stations which are little more than a raised surface by the side of a single track like Falmouth Town which were magically (and thankfully) saved from Beeching's Axe.

My love of the railway system has been a fairly recent thing. It developed from my love of the London Underground (which I'm sure will come in a later post, so as not to make this another ridiculously long one). And perhaps it was helped by the wonderful iLiKETRAiNS' track The Beeching Report which led to me spending an evening pouring over the details of it.

Disused railway stations are fun too. Especially recently disused ones. James, Katy and I went exploring Silvertown station a couple of months ago, which was fun. That part of the line closed less than two years ago and it's pretty much been left as it is. There is talk of plans to reopen it as part of Crossrail, so I suppose that's why it's left because nobody really knows what to do with it for the moment.

That's it for the moment. I'll probably do a post about the Underground sometime soon, and I'm sure I'll do writeups of any times that I go geeking.

Tuesday, 22 April 2008

Gigpost: 2008

I'll try to keep this updated, but these are the gigs that I've been to so far this year. First band are headliners, any supports after the / s. I'll put in italics the band that I was mostly there for and if any bands were playing that I missed or was at the bar talking to mates during I'll bracket them. And I've just realised that it re-sends to RSS feed readers when I update it, so I'll try and keep updates to once a month or so.

16th - Radiohead - 93ft East, London.
18th - The Winchell Riots - The Barfly, Camden.
22nd - David Ford/Richard Walters - Academy, Oxford.
25th - Morrissey/Girl In A Coma - Roundhouse, London. (Only three songs before he legged it)

1st - Blood Red Shoes/Lovvers - 229, London.
22nd - The Subways/The Culprits - The Green Room, Welwyn Garden City.
23rd - Los Campesinos!/Johnny Foreigner/4 or 5 Magicians - Wedgewood Rooms, Portsmouth
28th - Underworld/Yoav - Roundhouse, London
29th - Underworld/Yoav - Roundhouse, London

11th - Delays/Scarlet Soho - Academy, Oxford
20th - The Cure/65daysofstatic - Wembley Arena, London
25th - The Subways/Cage the Elephant/Someone else - Princess Pavilions, Falmouth
26th - The Subways/Cage The Elephant/(The Culprits) - Thekla, Bristol
27th - The Subways/Cage The Elephant/Someone else possibly? - The Point, Cardiff
29th - Blood Red Shoes/Clockwork - The Cockpit, Leeds

1st - Be Your Own PET/Future of the Left - The Scala, London
9th - Blood Red Shoes/These New Puritans/An Emergency - King's College, London
10th - The Subways/Johnny Foreigner - ULU, London
12th - The Winchell Riots/Her Name Is Calla/This Et Al - The Wheatsheaf, Oxford
14th - Slow Club/Jay Jay Pistolet - Enterprise, Camden
19th - Billy Bragg - Rough Trade East record shop, London
22nd - ¡Forward, Russia!/Errors/Grammatics - King's College, London
24th - iLiKETRAiNS/Kyte/(Cat Matador) - Academy, Oxford

17th - The Blues Band - Ripley Blues, Ripley Town Hall
26th - Feeder (miming)/Heather Small/Random Welsh things - Millennium Stadium, Cardiff
28th - Maxïmo Park/Mystery Jets/Blood Red Shoes/Pete & The Pirates - The Forum, Kentish Town

4th - Avril Lavigne/The Jonas Brothers - The Dome, Greenwich

"It's not the same you and it never really is"

I had a fairly productive day yesterday. Well, far more productive than any day preceding it anyway. But today any motivation has gone out of the window. It's sunny, so I might try revising on the outside table for a bit after I've had some lunch.

Things I've bought today. A ticket for the rather ace looking Latitude festival. And a tshirt of the rather excellent Johnny Foreigner. They need a website because I don't like linking to Myspaces as a primary link. (How odd. Never Ending Story by Limahl has just come on iTunes. What fun). That's all quite expensive, but it's all covered by money coming into my account from my housemates. (The deal we have with bills is that I have all the direct debits set up from my account and then at random points I tell them to give me money. It works, which is nice).

Oh, something else. I've got back into halls for next year which is nice. Well, it's not ideal. But since everyone who I know is doing a placement year next year and won't be in Uxbridge then I decided that it's easier to avoid people who I dislike in halls than to have to do the same in a house. It's called Galbraith Hall, and is named after an engineer who worked on the Bakerloo Line, which is rather nice. I think he's mostly known for designing the Kew Railway Bridge.

My favourite piece of spam today?

Girls can go crazy groping you
Girls call me the ultimate love making machine and I don't need a beemer for that.
Delightful, eh? Another one:

Bed her on the first date
Make her strip immediately with this
And then a link. I can only assume that it's trying to sell me rohypnol (a word which my Firefox spellchecker doesn't know. It does, however, offer me hypnotism. I'm not sure which is more morally acceptable).

Oh yes, Latitude Festival. There aren't many bands announced yet but so far they look amazing. And the comedy! I want to see pretty much all of the comedians that are listed. It'll hopefully be a warm up for Edinburgh anyway.

Monday, 21 April 2008

**insert pretentious song lyric here**

I've spent a few hours in the library this morning. I feel like I've actually done something productive, which is nice. I was actually getting into things by the time my headache got unbearable.

The thing is that my library has two "sections". The blue bit which is the main bit with books and things where people can talk, and the red bit is for silent study. Supposedly.

It's not too noisy, but you have to walk through it to get from one set of stairs to the main bit, which means there's a load of people walking through most of the time. Why on earth they don't use the other stairs I don't know.

But the worst bit is that it's far too hot in there. I drank the best part of a litre and a half of blackcurrant juice in the space of two and a half hours and I still had a headache. I'll try and find somewhere that's a bit cooler when I go back in a minute.

When I finally got there this morning I did discover that I'd brought the wrong textbook though. That was very annoying. And they only had an older one on the shelves.

I do realise that's very dull. Sorry for that.

I should go back. We're playing Monopoly tonight! I'll inevitably lose, but it's fun anyway.

Thursday, 17 April 2008

Things that I like: "Travel documentaries"

I know, I know. I started this the other day with great promise of writing great things. And then I didn't.

What I plan to do (and that's no promise that I'll stick to it) is write about a few things that I like. I've got no idea how I'm going to do "music". Perhaps I'll write about a few bands that I like. Or... I don't know. That's something for another time.

But to start, I like watching travel documentaries. Yes, it's a fairly rubbish start, but I really do like them. I'm not really much of a traveller myself (I've been to lots of places when I was younger, but I really don't have much desire to go to India and "find myself" or whatever. Perhaps it's a lack of people to go with, or the fact that I'd probably waste it by getting homesick. But what I do like is spending seven hours (sadly my attention span is rarely long enough to manage it in one go) watching Michael Palin or Simon Reeve visit places that I never could do.

When I was a child I used to watch many of Michael Palin's programmes. My memory tells me that I remember Pole to Pole but I'm not quite sure if that's right. It was on TV in 1992 (I'd have been four), so maybe it was a repeat. Anyway, my more recent reintroduction to them was when I happened to turn on BBC Four during the second half of Meet The Stans (presented by Simon Reeve) a few years back. I vowed to track down the first half, but it was only about a year ago when I downloaded the whole series of Holidays in the Danger Zone and watched much of it in a weekend.

More recently I watched Charlie Boorman and Ewan McGregor's motorbike journey around the world Long Way Round. I'm not particularly interested in motorbikes, nor was I a particular fan of Ewan McGregor (I don't watch enough films to call myself a particular fan of any actors really) but I found the whole adventure fascinating. On the extended DVD there are two 45 minute episodes devoted to preparation for the trip. It seems like I'm in a minority, but I found that to be the most interesting part of the series. The thing I particularly like about this is that there's much more of a focus on how they get around than many other similar documentaries. Whereas Michael Palin programmes appear to mostly show things going particularly well, on Long Way Round (and its sequel Long Way Down, which I've only watched the first half of) they'll show things like their frustration at the endless waiting at borders. And, perhaps more importantly, they show (or at least appear to show) everybody who is there. While Michael Palin acknowledges his crew, or passepartout, it's only rarely. In the motorcycling ones the crew are as much part of the adventure as Ewan and Charlie are.

I suspect this is as much due to technology than for the viewers' evolving expectations of travel programmes. In Michael Palin's time they needed (I believe) five people to film, record sound , direct etc. Nowadays with the invention of handheld DV cameras you can have one person to do all that, and also be part of the story. And I much prefer that.

Having said that, I'm in the middle of watching Michael Palin's Pole To Pole and I'm loving it. I think I prefer it to his first adventure (Around the World in 80 days) due to the lack of time constraints. Whilst 80 days is made more interesting by the context (following Phileas Fogg's fictional route), the fact that he's mostly in a rush to get to the next city doesn't help.

Pole to Pole starts, as the name suggests, at the North Pole and the mission is to travel approximately down the 30º line of longitude to the South Pole. I'm only at episode two (of eight) now, and they've just boarded a ferry on the Black Sea from Ukraine.

After I've finished this one I'll either watch Michael Palin's next trip (Full Circle, where he attempts to circumnavigate the Pacific Ocean) or Charlie Boorman's attempt at the Dakar Rally.

Sunday, 13 April 2008

"Captain Beefheart is better than Edgar Broughton"

Hello. I've finally got round to making one of these things. I've wanted to set one up for months but there was a major problem. I didn't have a name for one. I could have just had, but that would have been dull. And there's also the fact that I don't really like the username "sven945". It leads people to call me Sven. I'm not quite sure why.

After spending a lot of time listening to Radiohead B sides and Underworld album tracks trying to decipher the angsty moanings of Thom Yorke and mentally remove the vocoder effects on Karl Hyde's stream-of-consciousness lines, I finally found this phrase in a book that I'm reading. I like it. It stuck in my mind. Does it matter? I don't know. I'll probably learn to dislike it in a few weeks. Does it warrant a paragraph being written about it? Probably not. But I don't mind.

I've used online journals before. I had one many years ago on an online acquaintance of mine's website where I wrote about five entries, all of which clocked up to around 1500 words each. Not only does it take an awfully long time to write entries like that, nobody reads them. I abandoned that one for some reason then six months later or so I was convinced to sign up to Livejournal. Every so often, once a year or so, I look back at some of my old posts on that. It makes grim reading to say the least. Overindulgent, self obsessed crap. I feel sorry for anyone who knew me at the time of writing all that and who no doubt wanted to tell me to shut the hell up and do something useful about certain situations, rather than spending my time moaning and listening to Easyworld records. I often remind myself how bad things would have been (in the sense of how bad my livejournal would have been rather than how, in reality, I would have been) had I discovered the entire Cure back catalogue. I had Disintegration, which is still one of the most depressing albums I've ever heard, but I dread to think what hearing Bloodflowers would have done to me.

But that's all in the past. Probably like any other music obsessive, there were songs that are always and forever linked to certain people in my mind. Luckily, over the past six months or so, I've realised I can listen to most of those again. Yes, they are still linked to certain people from my past, but I don't see anything wrong with that. It's the past, and there is much that I perhaps wish hadn't happened, but it's still part of what's made me who I am now. And if you don't learn from those things then what's the point in living?

That's all got far deeper than I intended, and I do apologise. Ultimately what I want to say is that the point of this isn't to whinge about girls who don't want to have sex with me. Perhaps it's easy to say that now in a way that it wasn't at other points in my life because I'm not spending my time obsessing over anyone.

That's almost an introduction. I say almost because I doubt it tells you anything particularly worth knowing. I've not really talks about my interests at all, nor have I actually said what I'm going to to use this blog for. Since this post is incredibly long already (I don't think blogger will give me a word count) I'll write separate posts for some of my interests, and I'll try to be more concise than I have been in this one. I'm not sure how successful that will be, but I'll certainly try my best. Do please leave comments. It makes me feel like people have at least a passing interest in my ramblings.
Feel free to ask me things. I might not answer, but ask away nonetheless. I'll certainly reply to you, even if it's avoiding the question that you asked in the first place.

Current music: RPWL - Cymbaline (Pink Floyd cover)