Quote Of The Day

"Victory goes to the player who makes the next-to-last mistake - Chessmaster Savielly Grigorievitch Tartakower (1887-1956)"

Monday, December 31, 2007

Kevin Greening RIP...
It was with great sadness that I heard on Sunday morning of Kevin Greening's passing, aged just 44. I remember when Kevin joined Radio 1 in the mid-nineties and did weekend shows - his dry/wry sense of humour would made me laugh. Later in 1997/98 he would wake me up weekday mornings along with Zoe Ball his co-presenter of the breakfast show. I always thought it was Kevin that should host that show by himself but he wasn't the pushy type.

A few years back Kevin moved to our street and I had the pleasure of meeting and getting to know him personally. He was funny, bright and great company. We shared a few beers every now and again, went out for dinner a few times and went to some occasional gigs. I remember clinging to him on the back of his beloved motorbike one warm summer's night as we sped down to Somerset House to watch Sigor Ros together. And on another occasion going to see a band play at the Garage but getting completely plastered at the bar and missing the show altogether because we were having too much fun. I'll miss you Kevin.

The BBC has a nice obituary here and some nice comments by Trevor Dann here. And some members of the public have left some lovely comments here.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Arsenal 2-1 Tottenham...
On Saturday Paul and I went to the Emeroids to see what promised to be the game of the season - the Tottingham / Arsenal derby. Bendtner got the winner on his first touch but the opener was from Adebayor: Oh Come, Oh Come Emmanuel.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Christmas Day...
We had a lovely Xmas yesterday and I got lots of great presents. It was quiet day for me to begin with as I was home alone but then things picked up in the afternoon when I drove over to Grays to pick Stuart up. After Dr Who (a bumper 70 minutes of festive mayhem) we went over to Andy and Tim for some late supper and a catch up. A nice way to finish the day.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Friday, December 21, 2007

All Good Things...
Spooks finished this week. I loved the first and second seasons, rather drifted away after that but was back onboard for all of this season six. Having a consistent story line running through the series really helped and it was genuinely thrilling to watch. Roll on season seven. And come back Ros.

The other thing that ended this week was walking-in-the-shadow-of-The-West-Wing Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip (or should that be Sunset on the Studio 60). Such a shame as it started so well but then it (and we) lost the will to live. Take some time out Aaron Sorkin and come back better than ever.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Elf Yourself...
Ian sent us the most fabulous eChristmas card. Watch Stu and I dancing like elves! Yay! Thanks Ian!
Kiki & Herb Stick The Yule Log In The Shepherd’s Bush...
Last night Andrew, Tim, Marcus, Stu and I went to see Kiki & Herb in their show Stick The Yule Log In The Shepherd’s Bush at the Shepherds Bush Empire. It was the usual festive mix of some oldies, some newies but all goodies. Kiki DuRane (the aging, alcoholic, female lounge singer) was in good form with rants about politics, celebrity and Christmas. Andrew and Tim were Kiki virgins so it was nice to watch their faces as at various points in the show they roared with laughter, gasped in amazement or their jaws dropped to the floor. Great fun. And what would Christmas be without Kiki & Herb?

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Marc Almond at IndigO2...
The Saturday before last David, Paul and I went to see Marc Almond perform at the IndigO2. It was great show as expected and piqued with the oddness we've all come to expect when La Almond takes to the stage; the odd tantrum (lights shining in his eyes too brightly), the odd unexpected song (Ugly Head) and the odd bit of drama (running off stage clutching head). Great see him back on form and in a venue befitting him.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Hello Spice Boy...

Last night Stu was just about well enough for us to make our long anticipated trip to the O2 Arena to go and see The Spice Girls. We spent two hours spicing up our lives, jigging about and partying like it was 1996. Everyone cheered in a genuine but oh so slightly ironic way whenever Victioria Beckham took to the vocals. The night was camp as tits and great, great fun. See them if you can.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Appendix: Update 6...
Stu is well on the road to recovery now; he's sleeping right through the night, up and about during the days and putting some of the weight he's lost back on. He'll be off work for a couple of weeks though until he's work fit.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Appendix: Update 5...
At last Stu is home. He's very thin, very weak but on the mend. I'll have him up and running about by Xmas I hope.
The Golden Compass...
On Sunday Sarah, Ben, Paul, Mark, Drew, David and I went to see The Golden Compass. It's not been quite the runaway success that New Line had hoped and if you haven't read the book you might find the film a bit confusing. Rather like the first Harry Potter film at times it has perhaps stuck rather too closely to it's source material and at other times strayed too far from it. The result is that it sometimes loses its narrative drive. I loved it though. When Stu's feeling better I'll go and see it again with him.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Appendix: Update 4...
Stu was much better last night - although throwing up when I arrived. He called this morning and (touch wood) he'll be able to come home today. I'll probably take the rest of the week off to look after him as he's still pretty weak.

Warner Road...

After many a year my flatmate Paul is moving on. He's found a lovely place that he really likes up in Blackhorse Road and he's getting back on the property ladder. I'm really sorry to see him go but at the same time I'm really pleased for him.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Appendix: Update 3...
Just heard. Stu can go back on food and is off the drip. If he resumes (how can I put this?) normal bodily function then they'll let him out tomorrow. Yay!
Appendix: Update 2...
Stu's scan yesterday was clear which is good. He was still in pain though so was still on morphone, nil by mouth and a glucose drip. They think it might be an internal infamation but they've doubled his antibiotic dosage just in case. Unsurprisely the morphone is making his halucinate. I got a text from him at 5am this morning saying 'he'd call be after the gym'. Bless.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Appendix: Update...
Stu is still in hospital. We were hoping he'd have come home by Saturday but he's still in there and still in some pain. Yesterday they put him back on nil by mouth, gave him a saline drip again and put him back on morphine (amongst a bucket of other pills). He's been sweating a lot too and feeling dizzy. I guess this sweating is simply a result of the strong pain killers he's on but I do feel completely helpless watching him just lying there. He's having a CT scan later today and we'll see what news that brings. Hopefully it's all just a minor setback and I'll be able to bring him home soon.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Stuart is currently lying in hospital. His slight stomach ache on Wednesday turned into excruciating pain overnight and he was admitted to the Whitechapel's Royal London A&E yesterday.

I left the office early and went to see him. I found him lying on a trolley in a corridor. He'd been there for four hours. Soon after I arrived they moved him though to a critical assessment unit. Thereby narrowly managing to keep to that 'inconvenient' four hour Government target.

The critical assessment unit was not a ward as such. It was just a holding area really. Not much better than the corridor. The nurses were great albeit rather overstretched. Stu and I sat there watching the admissions and having a laugh. Stu kept saying, "you don't have to stay you know". But I did. Have to stay that is. I wanted to. I know from experience it's no picnic having appendicitis and simply lying in a hospital bed waiting for a doctor to show up can be quite nerve racking too.

The disclaimer form Stu had to sign did make us wonder whether operations are ever successful! I'm sure they were only doing their job but we were made oh so fully aware of every possible risk of having the operation. Just covering themselves of course but it was a bit like those American drug adverts that list twenty seven different side effects. The one that always stuck in my mind was "possible anal leakage". Yuk.

Anyway the form got signed and we waited to see if they could do the surgery that night. Sadly there was a bit of congestion so his op got bumped until today. He'll have a general anaesthetic, through-the-belly-button key-hole surgery to take out his appendix and hopefully be able to come home on Saturday. I'll be looking after him for a few days until he can get back on his feet. Just one week off work though. Ah, the wonders of modern medicine.

As I was walking out of the assessment unit last night I couldn’t help thinking that hospitals are funny old things. They engender a mixture of safety and danger. You go there to be examined, diagnosed and hopefully made better. But at the same time it has hordes of strangers roaming around. It's where you are at your most vulnerable. And it's where people die.

Luckily I know Stu is in safe hands and I'm looking forward to seeing him the other side of surgery later today.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Brain Teaser - Rings - Answer...
Hopefully you haven't gone too cross-eyed. There are 3 rings in the stereogram.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Brain Teaser - Rings...
Below is a stereogram. How many rings can you see?

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Pickled Gerkin...
Last night I went up The Gerkin - well, we should call it 30 St. Mary Axe now I suppose. It was a corporate do laid on by BT and Cisco called Unified Thinking - An Evening With Ellen MacArthur. The good lady herself was there of course and her talk was very interesting; fascinating in fact. I got a signed autobiography and a snap or two. But let's face it the real reason most of us went was to get a chance to see the sights from the top of the tower. Oh and to quaff buckets of free champagne and nibble on those posh nibbles you only seem to get an such events. So there are some upsides to being a corporate drone I suppose. And being pickled at the Gerkin has to be one of them.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Ofcom Sets New Deadline for Mobile Number Porting...
Mobile phone networks in the UK must allow consumers moving to a rival network to take their mobile number with them and consumers must be able to receive calls on that number within two hours of moving to the new network, under new rules coming into force in 2009. Consumers can currently wait for up to five days for number porting under Ofcom rules. A target for reducing that period to two days by 1 April 2008 had been set previously. Today, the communications regulator said two hour transfers must now be implemented by 1 September 2009.