Friday 30 November 2012

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Trees in the mist


We went see Ben Howard last night at the Brixton Academy.  It's amazing how buildings can be adapted to modern uses, and if you're interested, here's a potted history on Wikipedia.  It would be a good excuse to insert a video of Billy Ocean's Going Gets Tough, except I thought you might enjoy the first video that brought Ben Howard to my attention

Wasn't yesterday a big news day?

Leveson let us all know how the press should be controlled...does that include us bloggers?  Oddly, Cameron stood up and dismissed the recommendations almost before the ink was dry on the paper.  I can't think why you would set up an Inquiry, and then decide not to agree with its findings.  Having once had to go to the Press Complaints folks myself (they did find in my favour), I utterly support the concept of something with a bit more bite than we have now.  Newspapers are there to sell more and make bigger profits for their owners, so the temptation to bend the rules will always be there. Of course freedom of the press is paramount...but with that freedom must come responsibility.

In Egypt, the voting for the new constitution has been rushed through the Assembly.  Egypt has a pivotal role to play in the Middle East, so how it shapes itself for the future is vitally important.  You may be aware that the Islamists are in charge at the moment - not a problem for me, and nor should it be - the question though for the Egyptians themselves is whether they will end up with the political system they want?

And then there is 194.  It's a magical number which has been a long time coming.  It may just make the difference the region needs.  I hope so

Thursday 29 November 2012

Picture Daily 132

Winter tree

Photo competition

Just a short little note.  For my sins I run a photo competition, so if you feel you'd like to join in please click on the link here

The subject of the competition is 'leadership' sounds serious, and indeed it is a serious topic, especially when there seems so little real leadership in today's world...but all entries will be welcome.

Wednesday 28 November 2012

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A bum note

I'm a little angry today.  Foreign Secretary William Hague has announced that we  won't be supporting the Palestinian's bid for 'Non-member Observer State' at the UN.  This is the first step towards international recognition of a Palestinian State.  We're going to sit on the fence instead..  Whether you agree that Palestine should be recognised as a sovereign state or not, surely everyone must agree that the present situation cannot continue.  The desperate state of the Palestinians, especially in Gaza is criminal.  If the Israelis were bright enough to recognise that raising the Palestinians' living standards would undermine the extremists that deprivation encourages we might begin to see some peace and stability break out.

Stage nudity is not what it used to be.  I remember when I was younger, any hint on TV, film or stage was of the female variety.  As a full-bloodied teenager I regarded this as a good thing.  Not now though.  The nudity has changed.

The week before last we went off to Secret Cinema to be confronted by a guy being throttled in the shower room with his todger hanging out all over the place.  The Cat looked away, I suspect The Cat's Mother looked discretely as we tip-toed through the pools of water.

Then last week we headed to Cabaret.  If you've not seen this production, I'd get on down and enjoy it whilst you can.  Will Young is superb...absolutely made for the part, the set-piece choral sections are magnificent, although some of the other parts were weak.  The show closes with a line up of naked bottoms...not titillating given the way the story ends, but naked bottoms there were....mainly male.

And then last night we went off to The Opera, to see Carmen.  I like opera, although I pretty much realise that in between magnificent songs, you have crappy dialogue and hopeless plots.  Carmen is typical...I suspect that pretty much everyone (well not everyone) will know most of the tunes, even if they don't know where they are from.  You would expect that in the safety and security of a very, very middle class environment we would be spared male genitalia.  No chance.  The rather bonkers Spanish Director has seen fit to jazz it up and the leading man gets to wave his tackle in our faces.  Evidently it's a bullfighters tradition.

So my plea is not for less nudity...more is fine, just so long as it's the right sort.

And here is a picture of me taken last night by The Cat's Mother on the stage of The Colliseum in London after the performance of Carmen.  As you can see I've kept my clothes on, and even covered my head.

 And one of The Cat's Mother too

Tuesday 27 November 2012

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Prize Day

Among my many, many skills I have added to my repertoire is replacing false ceiling tiles, a task that I accomplished in the office this morning with aplomb (even if I say so myself).  It may not seem much to you, but I did have to cut them into shape and climb a step ladder - I am increasingly terrified of being more than six inches off terra firma, so for me this was quite an achievement.  Plus it provided much entertainment for everyone else in the office.

I am an award winner.  As you can see here

Obviously, there wouldn't have been room for all 10,000 of us on the stage to collect our award, so we sent Danny instead.  We're all quite chuffed.  Really.

By the way, if you are having a wedding, 18th birthday or bar mitzvah, you can hire the drummers from the Olympic Opening Ceremony, see here

And if you want a bit of Olympic Spirit in your Christmas festivities, you can buy the single from The Gamesmaker Choir, see here

These may be small things, but if it helps continue Our Greatest Ever Summer, then I'm all for it.

I shall be watching this with eager enthusiasm on 16th December

Monday 26 November 2012

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This isn't a new set of pictures I'm afraid, but my plans for some stormy pictures down in Brighton this weekend were somewhat drowned out by the torrential rain...cold and wind I can cope with, but getting soaked to the skin is beyond the call of duty...(I realise that there's a bit of a contradiction there)

Sunday 25 November 2012

Because you're worth it

There have been three deaths in our house today.  Very sad very tragic.  This is the time of year when the ceremony of the checking of the Christmas decorations take place.  Sadly three glass baubles couldn't face another year of being hung from the highest branch and leapt out of my hands, smashing into a thousand razor sharp splinters around my feet.  One of them may have been my fault, and I watched helplessly as it bounced across the wooden floor before submitting to the inevitable laws of physics.

Elsewhere, the Christmas tree is losing its needles.  As it's an artificial tree that's not a good thing. And one of the smoking Santas had lost an arm...soon sorted by a spot of super glue.  Yesterday whilst I pottered around the flat, too afeared to go out into the storm, I had the TV on, specifically 4 Music, kept me entertained.  Not truly, the music was dreadful, and I worried that I'd never even heard of this year's biggest selling artist - Flo Rida (pronounced Flow Rider), but I did enjoy hearing the Christmas adverts...not watching much TV usually, I realised that in their strange, odd little way they do a lot to fire up the Christmas spirit.

When I tried to post up yesterday's picture, I was told I'd used up my allowance, and if I wanted to do more I had to pay for the privilege.   So I stumped up.  A grand some of $2.99/month.  That's how much you mean to me...almost $36 a year.

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