02 August 2007


It’s ending as it started. More of a whimper than a bang.

I’ve said it before: blogging is the thing that drops off the “to do” list first when the “real” bites back. And sometimes, when things hurt, stuff happens, life comes in to focus more sharply or just gets busy, blogging goes out the window. And rightly so.

I wonder if it’s a bit like friends on Facebook – sometimes, they really are your mates but most of the time, not. And when mates are really what you need, the internet ain’t going to love you back, buy you a drink, console you.

I like to converse, drink coffee, prop up the bar, banter, cook and eat, connect with. Blogging and being - different tools, different times, different needs...

I think I’m also (not so) secretly addicted to the feeds. It’s time to stop.

I’m not as thoughtful a blogger as Ben.
I’m not as witty a blogger as jonnyfun or Fat Roland.
I’m not as incisive a blogger as Kester.
I’m not as dedicated or frequent a blogger as Mike at feig-city or Mark at Way Out West.
I’m not as crafty a blogger as Sal at Tinkering Times.
I’m not as sharing a blogger as L1z at Reach Out and Touch The Screen.

I think I’ve basically run out of pixel-based, QWERTY-formulated words.

You might still find me at Reel Review or posting messages about herons at Sanctus1 but till then, nuff said here at least.

You can’t control the message.

17 July 2007

12 July 2007

creative trespassers... and Richard Hammond

This morning (in fact, this week) I’ve mainly been head-down on a focussed task, getting information in from people in a certain format to publish… Both concentrated and dull to some extent.

But in amidst that, I had a conversation with a new colleague who mentioned these two snippets of quotes, both of which hugely appealed to me.

Richard Hammond (on winning the 2007 Royal Society Junior Prize for Science Books):
"Perhaps all children need is the confidence to approach a subject with enthusiasm and an open mind."

Arthur Koestler (from his book The Sleepwalkers):
“…that this age of specialists is in need of creative trespassers".


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10 July 2007

what matters...

"Health is largely an obsession, what matters is can you still sing." George Melly, RIP

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notice:- no, i'm still not interested in joining...

cartoon from www.weblogcartoons.com

Cartoon by Dave Walker. Find more cartoons you can freely re-use on your blog at We Blog Cartoons.

05 July 2007


Kapital – last night was the world-premiere for Greg Hall/ Steve Martland film commission for Manchester International Festival. Apparently the three “Londoners” (those two and Alex Poots, festival director) cooked up the title in a cafĂ© in Finsbury Park – and I think that about says it all.

Simon Mellor said in the post-film Q&A that he thought that Manchester was one of the main characters in the piece. And I couldn’t have agreed less. If you’re a Cockney, why come to a strange city and try and make a “Mancunian” film?

My feeling overall was that it could have worked as four short films. Actually, it could have been one short. In fact, I recommend you watch the well-edited one minute trailer approximately 75 times instead of catching the full director’s cut…

It was like watching an art installation film piece in a cinema; it’s certainly no feature film. Nice try MIF, but features budgets tend to have another nought on the end of them. As a result of that, and I suspect also the providence of the director, this really isn’t a film worth seeking out. More Krap-ital than Kapital.

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22 June 2007

email disclaimer

You know the thing, the lines at the bottom of a big company email...

This email may contain legally privileged and/or confidential information. It is solely for and is confidential for use by the addressee, unauthorised recipients, confidentiality, blah, received it in error, notify, rubarb rubarb, unless expressly stated, contractually binding, whatever, liability, blah, intended recipient, sanctioned, viruses transmitted, blah, blah...

Sorry. Nodded off there for a mo...

So it was a bit of a breath of fresh air to get this today - am sure the lawyers would have a field day with it, but hey.

We have an email policy* which we would like you to take note of. It’s not the most exciting of reads but it is important. Deep breath - here goes…

We love emails; they are quick and environmentally friendly and if we ever print an email we promise to use recycled paper and then dispose of it responsibly. Please try and do the same.
This email and its attachments are intended for the above named only and may be confidential. If this email has come to you in error – do not panic! Take no action based on the email, nor copy or show to anyone, simply reply to this message highlighting the error. We would be awfully grateful if you could do this.

Although great time and care has gone into creating this email from [company], please be aware that Internet email is not a 100% secure communications medium. Bear this in mind…you can always give us a call or pop in for a coffee instead.

Although we have tried our very best to make sure that this email and its attachments are virus free, we do advise that the recipient (i.e. you) ensure that this is the case. Be careful!

Oh and enjoy your day. Well done for reaching the bottom - call us for a certificate.

*not really an email policy but an important message all the same.

20 June 2007

busy bee

I have been particularly so these last few weeks (work, life, stuff, more work). But I'm back now. Well a bit more than the last month or so anyway.

Blogging - it's the thing that fills a gap when the rest of life's stuff calms down a bit.

100 days

100 days.

We wait for news (which you used to bring us).
We sign petitions, we lobby, we hold vigils, we blog.
We wait in hope.

Alan Johnston banner

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07 June 2007

webby five word acceptance speech...

Neat! Here's some I like...

BBC News - Webby: Alan, we're thinking of you.

The Guardian - Webby: Please free Alan Johnston now.

HubbleSite - People's Voice: houston we have a winner

Artist of the Year
Beastie Boys: Can anyone fix my computer?

Lifetime Achievement
Meg Whitman: Bidding starts at 99 cents.

Lifetime Achievement
David Bowie: I only get five words? Sh*t, that was five. Four more there. That's three. Two.

Person of the Year
Chad Harley & Steve Chen: YouTubers, this is for you.

Social Networking
Facebook - People's Voice: im just here for bowie

ZOOZOOM 'The Original Online Glossy' - Webby: not just a pretty face

DIYNetwork.com - Webby: Now let's get hammered.

Religion and Spirituality
Religion & Ethics Newsweekly - Webby: to all our colleagues, thanks

Religion and Spirituality
What Is Enlightenment? - Webby: get enlightened, or die trying

Nick.com - Webby: have sex, make more kids

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23 May 2007


OK, OK, I’ll admit it. We really wanted to go to Saturday’s The Best Disco in Town Live 2007… But somehow M and I found ourselves standing in the spring sunshine of a Warrington Tuesday evening waiting to see these blokes called Editors instead - and no, Sec C, it’s nothing to do with books! ;-)

Last night, two years on from The Back Room, those nearly-Brum boys made their comeback appearance at the Parr Hall in Warrington. Yes you read that right – one of the UK’s bands of the decade playing in a municipal hall in a small northern town sandwiched between the urban corridor of Liverpool and Manchester. You may well ask why…

Tom Smith was on fire – the comparisons with Ian Curtis are fair, but he’s much much more as well. It’s like he’s got an electric pulse running through his veins, making him convulse and twitch. His guitar’s more like a piece of armour AND a weapon, than an instrument. Chris Urbanowicz wouldn’t be out of place playing guitar with Franz Ferdinand or Placebo, and Russell Leetch as part of Robbie’s backing band (sorry – it was the jeans and suit jacket). And Ed Lay just sits out there at the back, getting on with the real business of bashing your heart into the rhythm of his drumming…

But as ever when you're trying to convey something no-one else experienced, all of that completely undersells them. This unstyled, rag bag of slightly geeky musicians played above, beyond, out of themselves, giving us way more than everything they had, whilst still checking we were ok, they weren’t losing us, it was going ok?…

My gig of the year by far – subtle, electric, buoyant, and yes (that awful muso journo short-hand) anthemic. The new stuff from the upcoming album An End Has A Start sounds just as good as The Back Room – maybe even better, but it was hard to tell on one listen… Time will of course tell.

And thankfully all this – a neat hour and twenty of short, sharp rocks - without the swagger of the Kaiser Chief’s pitiful attempt at a second album (everything is average nowadays – you bet).

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17 May 2007

happy 45th birthday, alan johnston...

To Our Own Correspondent, Alan: "For more than 50 years on this programme, the news has been broadcast from our own correspondents. Today - with apologies to you - I want to send a message to one of our own. Day 66 of Alan Johnston's captivity is also his 45th birthday. Most likely there will be no candles or cake. But my hope is that somewhere, somehow, Alan will be able to listen. His family, his friends, his colleagues all miss him. We want him home. Our birthday wish is his immediate release. Happy birthday Alan."

(Jon Williams, World Editor, BBC News, Jerusalem)

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