• Ready For Christmas Yet?

    No of course not, but here's something to get you in the mood, a mere 6 weeks early.

    Today's Music Widget

  • Electionism

    So who's going to win? Will it be the old one, or the black one?

    These labels aren't very helpful, as they don't give us any insight into what the candidates are really all about. One supports a futile war, and one doesn't. One has run a successful election campaign, and one hasn't. One has picked a strange, crazy running mate (honestly, would you want this lady as second in command?!)

    ... and one hasn't.

    It sounds like it's a done deal, and yet there's this nagging doubt that by this time tomorrow the american people might have done something silly. Anything can happen in politics.

    In other news, there's an impending sense of deja vu as Jeremy Clarkson takes his turn at being hauled over the coals by the BBC licence paying public. He's had over 200 complaints about a joke he told in which he suggested that all lorry drivers like to kill prostitutes (this was a reference to the lorry driver Steve Wright, who has killed five of them). Some people obviously didn't think this was very funny. Here we go again, then.

  • ... In The World!

    Saturday was spent in the carvernous halls of Earls Court London, quite probably one of the biggest exhibition spaces... In The World! It was hosting a car show called MPH, which to be honest I didn't have a vast amount of interest in. There's only so much effort I feel I can devote to staring at car engines and going "Hmm, yes. Large." Naturally, the place was rammed full of petrol heads peering at motor vehicles and wondering if it could possibly be legal to marry one. In the next few days there will undoubtedly be hundreds of photo albums popping up on Facebook with titles like 'Me With a Ferrari! Look, I'm Touching It.'

    I was there for cars, but in the slightly more populist and accesible format of Top Gear Live.

    top gear 2

    This was possibly the loudest show... In The World! Jezza Clarkson, May and Hammond were all on hand to banter and generally insult the audience's taste in cars and fashion sense. They tired o make it as much like the TV show as possible, with many familiar segments like 'Cool Wall' and 'Star In A Reasonably Priced Car' (if you've not see Top Gear you'll have no idea what any of that means, but hey. Tough).

    To be honest it didn't quite all hang together, and ended up being lesser than the sum of its parts, which did include some truly spectacular driving in quite a tight space, and many a silly moment featuring the Top Gear team doing what they do best (in their words, 'cocking about').

    The best part was the finale, featuring the infamous Stig, who it seems is no longer content with just driving quickly and now wants a real challenge. So, the closing sequence featured Mr Stig battling against some evil foes, including this guy...

    top gear 1
    ... who burst out the top of an oil tanker, breathing fire everywhere. Truly a spectacular end to a hit-and-miss show.

  • Que Blimey

    Ooh look!

    Georgina, granddaughter of Andrew Sachs, seems to be cashing in on what yesterday she was describing as a horrible, shameful joke on a lovely, harmless man. Or something along those lines. She's splashed across the front page of today's Sun newspaper, giving details of her and Russell Brand's liaison, even revealing that Brand yelled out 'Que?' in bed! Which seems a strange thing to yell out to me, even if it was Manuel's catchphrase, but there we are. I wonder how much revenge money she scooped for that then?

    I'm very sad that David Tennant will be leaving Doctor Who at the end of 2009, but it is probably the right decision. Nobody wants an actor to outstay their welcome in a part, and actors don't want to be forever associated with one role, to the point where they are unable to play anything else, like a soap actor who has performed the same character for 20 years. In fact, now might be a gtood time for Leslie Grantham to resurrect his career and take his place as the next Timelord, giving us 'Dirty' Doctor Den. I think it would be an interesting new direction for the show. Or perhap they should cast Alan Carr, for something completely different.

  • Russell Bland

    This is ridiculous. Who are these 18,000 people who have complained to the BBC, and even the police, about the Brand and Ross debacle? I suspect that more than 75% of the complainers haven't even heard it, and it is the newspapers (particularly the ever-reliable Daily Mail) who have been excitedly whipping up a storm. "A chance to take the overpaid Jonathan Ross down a peg or two? Yes please!"

    Jonathan Ross is indeed overpaid, but please don't hide behind the classic 'this isn't what I pay my licence fee for...' excuse. The BBC's output is massive. VAST. If you don't want to listen to Ross and Brand pushing boundries and, to be honest, taking it a bit too far, then there are literally hundreds of hours of alternative programming that you can seek solace in.

    The whole thing was rather misjudged. Andrew Sachs is from a different era and would undoubtedly have found the answerphone messages upsetting. The main fault I think lies with the BBC editor who green-lighted the show for broadcast. He should have anticipated these problems, so discipline him/her, publicly slap Brand and Ross on the wrist, apologise to Sachs, and let's all move on.

    In the spirit of people being unpleasant to other people, there's been an astonishing backlash to Peaches Geldof's latest foray into journalism for Nylon magazine. It does seem slightly odd that a privileged (not really her fault) 19 year old with no life experience should be made a columnist. It's a bit like these young 'celebrities' who rush out autobiographies when they clearly don't yet have much of a life to talk about (Chantelle from Big Brother, anyone?). Take a little look at Peaches' Column. Go on, you know you want to. Can someone tell me what it's actually about?

  • Change It Again

    When you're writing about general topics and life experiences on a blog for some reason it gets harder and harder to think of things to say, and so your gap between posts tends to get larger and larger. You may have noticed!

    So, I have come up with a blog template where I simply don't have to strain to come up with new topics all the time. Introducing...

    Lorenzo Musico! Odd title, really. I might change it. Anyway, in each post I'll put up three new (or not so new) tunes for people to listen to. And... that's it! I love music, and after much trial and error all the technical gubbins seems to be working, so please hop over to check it out. Post comments if you like the tunes too.

  • It's A Blainey Day

    He's doing it again. David Blaine is inventing yet more ways to punish his body and mind while bored onlookers throw things at him. Actually, the 'throwing things' bit was just us Brits, as we tend to be less impressed by such things.

    It's no wonder he now sounds permenantly drunk or brain damaged every time he gets interviewed. Just to recap, he has:

    Buried himself alive
    Trapped himself in a huge block of ice
    Stood on top of a 90ft pillar
    Encased himself in a perspex box above the Thames
    Submerged himself in a bubble of water for a week

    As if all these things weren't enough he is, as I write, hanging upside down on a wire somewhere in New York. He could risk, among other things, permenant muscle damage, blindness and, er, death. He calls himself an endurance artist, but I could think of a few other more accurate descriptions. For your next stunt David, why don't you:

    Eat your own legs
    Repeatedly run yourself over with a Ford Focus
    Do the running of the bulls in Pamplona blindfolded and shackled to a filing cabinet
    Call Gordon Ramsay gay

    Good luck to you!

  • Truly Scrumptious

    Last night I was sat in a darkened auditorium for two hours watching Aled Jones, among others, sing about his feelings and prance around the stage with a commendable lack of self consciousness. This was Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, the sickly sweet musical with more spectacle than one human being can reasonably handle in one evening.

    You're sat there thinking "Well yes, this is all very nice, the tunes are jolly, the sets are all big and colourful, and... LOOK, IT'S A BLOODY FLYING CAR!!" It doesn't matter how old you are, the overall affect is exactly the same. It's the only prop I've ever seen to get a spontaneous round of applause, and although you can see the mechanism if you look carefully enough, it's damn clever as it swoops and soars over the stage.

    In other news, we have my mother in law visiting at the moment, so that's going to mean lots of trips out and about I expect, and plenty of big cooking sessions too(we always send her home with a selection of meals for her freezer). I'll make the most of it though, because we're getting a new kitchen very soon and in the week or so that it is out of action I will miss the simple pleasures of home cooking.

  • Can You Tell What It Is Yet?

    Okay then. Let's see if I can get back into doing this on something approaching a regular basis...

    I'm not quite sure what led me to remember, but the other day I suddenly found myself thinking about my old chemistry teacher Mr West.

    Mr West was not, in the nicest possible way, a normal man. Once a year, if you were very 'lucky', he would offer to show the class his repertoire of impressions. He didn't do people or celebrities though, he did animals and objects. The impressions were the stuff of unfortunate legend, and consequently everyone wanted to see them. One fine day, our time finally came.

    The impressions session began with the locking of the classroom door. This in itself should have been something of a bad sign, but nothing prepares you for the full onslaught of Mr West's creativity.

    The highlight was his impression of a cooked breakfast. He would begin by bashing himself quite hard on the head, and then convincingly 'drip' like raw egg onto the floor, where he would then pop and fizzle in his imaginary frying pan. We sat there aghast as he repeatedly thrus his groinal region into the air as the 'yolk' cooked. He would then roll around, declaring that "I am a sausage".

    I don't think you'll find this kind of thing on the syllabus any more.

  • Bargain Hunting For Mugs

    The Supermarket gets me every time.

    No matter how thoroughly you plan, and no matter how firm you believe you're being with yourself, you will always emerge from the supermarket with a bag full of crap. It's guaranteed.

    Fact number one: I don't require 12 pork pies.
    Fact number two: Thanks to the miracle of 'buy one get one free' (free! It's FREE, dammit!), I have 12 pork pies in my fridge.

    And so it goes on. In the fruit juice aisle, they offer you 'Any three for...', followed by the statement 'this means you will save...', followed by a pleasingly large number. But the truth is that you will save even more by only buying the one carton you were intending to get in the first place! I'm just too weak-willed, and will inevitably decide I need three cartons. Or perhaps six?

    I read somewhere recently that to have too much choice is to sow the seeds of confusion. Yes, absolutely! Don't make me choose between 24 varieties of jam, I just can't cope. Panic buying for me doesn't mean going home with eight loaves of bread. It means going home with a bag of olive & oregano focaccia because the pressure was just too much.

    In other news, Sparkle our completely dotty cat has started to explore downstairs on a vaguely regular basis. This is progress. She has also decided she loves to claw the rug in our bedroom at 6am. This is NOT progress. I think it is purely an attention seeking device, because once one of us sits up to tell her off she will stop scratching and purr contentedly. Job done.


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