Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Photos from Venice

jim sunset venice, originally uploaded by Bill Murray's Moustache.

Were you on holiday with this man recently? No? Want to see what you missed? Well, have a look at my account and you'll be able to. Better still, you can dim the lights, sit back, crack open a can of warm bitter and watch it as a slideshow, which is pretty damn slick.

These flickr accounts are quite good fun. Warning - uses Flash a lot, which makes things look slidy and swirly and pretty. Not so good for poor old dial-up me though...

Gravy = willful excentricity

I'm sat at my desk with a big mug of steaming gravy in front of me. I work hard to project an image of excentricity, and I think this is best encapsulated in having a big mug of steaming gravy sat on my desk. Even better, the gravy is in a mug with 'Belle & Sebastian' written on it. I think I've outdone myself this time.

It's a shame there's no-one around to see it.

Politics and My Bedroom

bedroom, originally uploaded by Bill Murray's Moustache.

Hi. This is a photo of my bedroom. Hmm. But it's not a photo I've taken. It's a photo of my bedroom that someone else has put up on the internet. OK, in fairness it was put up by the letting agents, who haven't taken the page down since we moved in, but I still feel some sacred line has been crossed in the process.

Channel 4 have started a website that promises to be at least mildly interesting to those of a political bent. Called Factcheck, it's based on , the site that Dick Cheney got wrong mentioning it in a speech. It promises, according to the Grauniad, to check the factual accuracy of everything the parties say in the upcoming bloodletting horrorshow of an election, in which all three parties are committed to leaving no baby unkissed, no insinuation uninsinuated, no muck unraked.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Thought for the Day Special Easter Edition

Yesterday was Easter Sunday, the day that the Easter Bunny died for our sins. I am reminded of the occasion when my father decided that, as atheists and cheapskates, we would buy our easter eggs after Easter, when the grocers, fearful of wastage, would have discounted their Easter-related goods accordingly. When we went to town there were no eggs left, and we had to make do with ordinary priced non-Easter chocolate.

Moral: It is easier for a camel to get into heaven than for someone to remove a needle from a rich man's eye.

Saturday, March 26, 2005

Tonight Matthew, I'm going to...

Successful woman still finds time in her hectic schedule to look at her wrist....Party like it was 1999, like the little purple munchkin Prince. I bought a watch today. It's like a mobile phone for your wrist, except without the camera, voice calls and text facilities. I've spent all afternoon parading up and down the street outside my parents' house, waiting for someone to ask me the time so that I can tell them.

The woman in the jewellery shop seemed concerned when I asked to look at a watch, and I swear she looked for reassurance to her manager before selling me it. Still, I think they'll catch on, and I'd advise you to take all of your money out of gilt-edged stock and put them in manufacturers of wristwatches.

I, like most people, was wryly amused by the Ricky Gervais identity theft robbery. I was also reassured to know that you can still go out and buy vast quantities of gold ingots, virtually no questions asked. Having been raised on bank heist movies, I can think of no legitimate reason to have gold bullion, other than to have it stolen by manly handsome criminals whose rougishness can be tamed by just the right woman (or can it?). I think I might ask for my next paycheque to be paid in gold bullion; if nothing else it'll give Human Resources something to do other than working out ways to fire people.

Friday, March 25, 2005

Bins, Books and "Navel Odour"

Back to business as usual - someone ended up on this page by typing 'navel odour' into google. This makes me happy in only the way that a birth in the family or the episode of Only Fools and Horses with the Queen Mum burps and calls Rodney Dave can.

Ah, Internet. Just when I think your attractions are starting to wane, you go and do something wonderful and special like that.

This website is functionless yet beautiful. It uses the amazon database to look up all the titles with your word in it, and then it makes a word using the covers of those books. And it beeps sometimes.

The key task for returning from any holiday is to take the films you've finished over the course of your trip and have them fester away in a cupboard for eighteen months. I order to buck that trend, I put mine in a small plastic bag all ready to take to be developed. A promising start. What I'd then done, however, was to take it outside and put the treasured proto-photos in wheelie bin. Why would I have done this? And why did I have the feeling I'd done this, which led me to be sitting outside the house, rummaging through binbags, for all the neighbours to see and disapprove of? When I found them I wanted to jump up and point at the films and shout, 'see? I did put the films in the wheelie bin! Who's right now, neighbours? Eh? EH?' and gesticulate hyperactively, but I had to get all the rubbish back in the bin before the local cats became interested. I'll let you know how the photos turn out, and whether camera film is affected by being immersed in a soup of baked bean sauce and stale own-brand diet cola.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005


Hi. You may have noticed that I've not actually written much recently. This is down, in part, to my natural resistance to do anything that resembles work, and writing a blog bears many of the characteristics of writing a report, except with less bullet points. The main part, though, is that I've been:

  • Packing to leave my old house after 3 1/2 years of accumulating crap (I had to throw away three treasured bags of polystyrene)
  • Moving into new place.
  • Unpacking into new place.
  • Going on holiday to Venice.
  • Coming back.
  • Making up spurious lists.

Venice was great. I was there for 3 nights with my friends P & C. We wandered around the beautiful narrow streets with an air of supreme smugness, all because we took hand luggage only. The three words in the English language that sum up self-satisfaction only marginally less completely than 'married to a millionaire with a heart condition'.

There are a lot of churches in Venice, a lot, something like one per capita, so they obviously need to compete in order to stay in business. Some have adopted the tactic of being breathtakingly built, with domes, pillars and frescos illustrating Christ completing his tax forms. Those who built more bog-standard churches have opted instead to compensate for their comparative lack of majesty by ringing their bells every five minutes, really loud.

Anyway, I'll tell you more of Venice when I've not got a clock sat in the corner of the screen counting down minutes, which I find creepy (I'm in an internet cafe, though, so it's not so unlikely). I now need to find how to make broadband pump out of the holes in my new house. I have three minutes left to do so. Whoops.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Brad Pitt & Nathan Barley

There was a man on Highbury Grove yesterday. He was accosting people incoherently. When it was clear wasn't getting much response he turned to shouting, and the bit I caught while waiting for the bus was:

"...getting back with Brad Pitt. Brad Pitt! Brad Pitt! That stupid fat wanker! Brad Pitt! Arsehole!..."

The unstoppable spread of using Nathan Barley as a useful journalistic shorthand continues. Today, in a short review of Beck, Alex Petridis in the Gruniad manages to mention the phrase 'bleeding edge mobile phone technology' no less than three times.

Ooh, and isn't the weather nice?

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Yellow Pages Etiquette

Look at these goons holidng up their multiple copies of the Yellow Pages, mocking me.  I think the guy in the middle killed someone to get his second bookOK, still thigh-deep in boxes and so on, so moving day is getting near. What's worried me, though, is the Yellow Pages.

Surely you're meant to leave your copy of the Yellow Pages behind when you move. Not just meant to: you're under obligation. What if someone's moving from outside the area? Their "Yellow Pages: Shrewsbury, Hereford & Mid Wales Edition" isn't likely to be too handy when ordering a pizza in Muswell Hill, is it?

Fine. But what if the ex-occupants of our new house haven't thought about this. What if they go and take their Yellow Pages with them? So the temptation then is to double-bluff, and take our Yellow Pages with us. How dare they try and cheat us? Really, it's beneath contempt. I'm going to write to my MP and demand they table a question in parliament. Or a Private Member's Bill, and try and get the "Yellow Pages Relinquishment and Common Decency Bill (2005)" onto the statute books.

I don't think I've actually used the Yellow Pages more than twice in the past five years, but still, as I find myself increasingly saying these days, it's the principle of the thing.

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Films? Tubes?

Five seconds of diversion here as Sainsbury's follow in the grand tradition of renaming the tube map to indicate where films were shot.

Try and spot the mistakes (Boston Kickout was shot in Stevenage, but I don't recall my shitty hometown having the tube. Or being Watford in disguise, either. Film's shit, by the way. I'm going to be giving my copy to the shiny new Crouch End Oxfam as part of my moving. Don't make the mistake of going into Oxfam in a month's time, thinking "Boston Kickout? I've heard of that... Must be good. I'll buy it").

Post of Limited Applicability

Hey, hands up out there who's moving house in the very near future? In the next week?

I am. And so is everyone I know. My every waking moment is swamped with this constant refrain: "Boxesboxesboxesboxes. Gotta get boxesboxesboxesboxes. Boxesboxesboxesboxes." I'm quite excited though.

Another worry on the horizon is the weight of tedious tedious administration moving house means. Aside from the various forms from the letting agents (the form we had to fill out through our letting agents, I swear on Morrissey's quiff, offered tick box choices:

Are you:
A pet owner?
A smoker?
A midnight toker?
Anyway, that really happened, but it was just an aside. Where was I? Oh yes, moaning...) there's the need to inform everyone about your new address. Banks, building societies, gyms, internet pornography providers, the Pope all need to be told. Well, my dwindling audience, you could probably do worse that try I Am Moving, a new service from the Royal Mail, which promises to take the drudgery out of the process. It seems to be ok so far...

(Note to people who live in my house: You'll need to set the 'flat no.' as 'Flat A' and the 'property no' as '16', as, like most databases, it is convinced that we don't exist.)

While I'm in the public service announcement kind of mood:
To remove chewing gum from hair, rub peanut butter (or peanut oil) into the gummy area. It will make a mess, but will take out the gum. Shampoo afterward.
And eat, presumably.

Monday, March 07, 2005

Pedants' Corner

Yes, Pedants' Corner, the first in an occasional series wherein I invite a guest small minder with chips on their shoulder to make sure that everything is done as it should be. Like Lynn Truss without the bookdeal.

This week, Pedantic P writes:

The tube driver this morning announced King's Cross St Pancras by saying, "We are now arriving at King's Cross and St Pancras stations." Rules don't constrain, you see, they liberate.

X-Rated: The TV Shows They Tried To Ban

Watching the above show on Channel "Nice New Logo, How About Some Programmes?" Four last night, I was struck by the thought that there are more programmes celebrating controversial programmes than actual controversial programmes. I've now seen three programmes about the controversy surrounding the Beeb showing Jerry Springer: The Opera, one of which preceded the show itself. How's a sofa spud like me supposed to survive?

All these years on, I'm still traumatised by The Word. Terry. Christian. Words to chill the very soul.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Well, this isn't a terrifying picture...

Actually, it is. Apparantly, according to the ever definitive BBC, it's "reminiscent of the 1979 visit when he was pounced on by a bikini-clad model on a beach."

I really don't know where to start.

Roy's Keen, Oh Roy's Keen

This story for me has it all: Roy Keane, assault (from which RK was aquitted, of course), and the "wanker gesture".

The best bit, for me, is this line:

Keane denied lashing out with a walking stick

If only, somehow, Jose Mourinhno could be included in the story. That would make it perfect.

Anyhow, just thought you should know. If anyone fancies celebrating Keane's latest successful brush with The Man and his freedom to walk his dogs unmolested, let me know.