Friday, 7 January 2011

First Friday Photos

As it's the very first Friday, I thought I'd indulge myself with some of my favourites from last's a pretty random selection in a pretty random order. Hope you enjoy them too.

Skiing in France January 2010

Lebanon - Byblos

Beirut Museum

A daft picture of me at Kings of Leon in Hyde Park

Camden Lock - December

More Camden

Blue Lagoon - Reykjavik



Black sand in Iceland


Sunset western Iceland

Graffitti in Icelandic wilderness

Pebbles on black sandy beach

Big skies in Iceland...I think I liked the place!

Summer Palaces Russia

Moscow metro system

Back in Blighty - Borough market


Autumn leaves in Bermondsey

Near Tower Bridge London

At Kings of Leon - The Boy's idea for a picture

The Battle of Cable Street

The Cat and Mum - confirmation celebrations

Tottenham Court Road - new buildings

Bermondsey St park - an old graveyard in the spring

Restored bandstand in Brighton

Brighton bandstand

Us in Brighton


Thursday, 6 January 2011

Who'd be a celebrity?

Twenty-eleven is not starting well for celebrity deaths, and the two of particular note for me are Gerry Rafferty and Mick Karn.

Rafferty was fantastic...we all love Baker Street don't we? And his solo albums all deserve a re-listen. But my favourite has always been Stuck in the Middle which featured in Reservoir Dogs. I've never been able to listen to it in the same way since seeing the film. Interestingly, Louise Redknapp did a more than passable version...and I'm not to much of a fan of pop princesses. Unfortunately I couldn't get the code to embed the video of the 'Ear Scene', so here's a slide show instead

Rafferty died an alcoholic...and once upon a time that would have passed me by...after all everyone likes a good drink don't they? But reading Addy's blog Alcoholic Daze has given me a different insight into the abject misery and despair this illness brings to the victim and those around them. No question there are mixed feelings about his passing.

Mick Karn may not be a name that leaps out of the page for many, but he was the bass guitarist for of my absolute favourite bands of the eighties. He was just 52 and cancer did its worst. Sadly, the fame of thirty years ago hadn't translated into lasting wealth, and he'd had to appeal for money for treatment. Still a great talent and part of an amazing band.

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Don't mock me

Not bad.

Not bad at all.

Just 389 e-mails in my in box on return to the office. It took no more than 10 minutes to delete all but five of them. And nothing there to give me the willies. So 2011 starts well. I'm pleased.

For the teens, it's slightly different. They will go back to school tomorrow to face the mountain that is mock GCSEs. The Mocks have been hanging over them all holiday, as, no doubt, it has for countless other kids their age.

As we all know, men are from Mars and women from Venus, and this is perfectly exemplified by their respective approaches to revision.

The Cat rises early and works through the day and into the evening to a rigorous timetable (distractions apart that is). One element of each subject, read, re-read and analysed every forty-five minutes. It's no fun. But she'll do well.

By comparison, The Boy manages a leisurely lie-in, followed by a shower, a bit of breakfast before returning to his bed. At some stage he will re-appear for a coffee, perhaps a wander upstairs to the Top Room for another go at Assassin's Creed on the X-Box. And so the day continues. Somewhere, at some stage, the revision does get done. But I've no idea how, where or when. It scares the living daylights out of me. But he'll do well. I just don't know how.

The exams go on until the end of next week, by which time I'll be a nervous wreck. The teens will be relieved, and we'll all be able to celebrate the end of the First Stressful period of the school year.

Sunday, 2 January 2011

That was the Christmas that was....

It was the best of times it was the worst of times.

With 24 people for lunch on Christmas Day and 19 of us in the Brighton flat for New Years Eve celebration we certainly very busy for the festive season. We went to see The Woman in Black on the 22nd, and Borough Market, and Cinderella at the Theatre Royal in Brighton. Santa must have thought we'd been very good indeed, as the pile of presents was vast and enormous. And we had fabulous fireworks on the beach in Brighton. With snow all around, it was the perfect Christmas.

But on the 22nd I came down with something that kept me practically flat on my back for the next 9 days. So it all went on around me with only hazy memories as I appeared like Banquo's ghost for a couple of hours a day. Seasonal flu is not to be recommended.

It's a shame, as it's the one time of year when it is possible to totally relax and enjoy, and I feel I missed out. On the other hand, I guess it won't be quite so hard to return to work.

I like to think I began to feel better with the appearance of the Angel of the Onion as I made chili for our New Year's Eve guests