Quote Of The Day

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

Monday, October 31, 2011

2.8 Hours Later...

Last week Stuart and I took part in the amazing urban zombie-chase game called 2.8 Hours Later. We started the game in Bermondsey Square and when got chased from place to place all over London Bridge Quarter. Eventually we ended up in a Zombie Disco in Elephant and Castle. We got chased around town - up and down NCP car parks, through pubs, down narrow streets and in and out of railway arches - by zombies. Sadly I got infected. Stuart survived.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Toby's 40th...

Had a fantastic time helping Toby celebrate his 40th the other week. More snaps here.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

VIP 100...

I've just got my Virgin Media home broadband upgraded from 50Mb/s to a 100Mb/s. Love it.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

George Michael Symphonica Tour...

Last night Stu and I went to see George Michael's Symphonica tour at the Royal Albert Hall in London's glitzy South Kensington.

George was in good voice - although he should have been, having kept us waiting for thirty minutes - perhaps he was warming up all that time. The songs sounded great too with the orchestral arrangements but the set-list was perhaps a little of one tone consisting of mainly slow songs from his back catalogue. We were treated to Through, John and Elvis Are Dead, and indeed pretty much the entire Songs From the Last Century album. Where the set came alive were when we had some of the more inspired covers such as Rihanna's Russian Roulette and Amy Winehouse's Love Is A Losing Game. Also great to hear Cowboys And Angels live and Kissing A Fool too. Perhaps the only sour note of the evening was the use of overt auto-tune in two songs - the charity single True Faith and new song Where I Hope You Are. Why, oh why? George you have a great pop voice - why ruin it with sub-Black Eyed Peas auto-tune?

On a more positive note he had lots of energy, was obviously enjoying himself and was happy to churn out the hits towards the end.

 Song of the night for me? His cover of the song made famous by This Mortal CoilSong To The Siren. Apparently he bought it when he was eighteen on the day he signed his first record contract.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Personal Development Course: Day Three...

Really enjoying with PD course now. Been learning lots of Jedi Mind Tricks.

Chunking up / chunking down (aka how to never disagree with anyone ever again), dealing with difficult people, coping with bad behaviour, getting the results you want from different personality types,

All good stuff.
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Thursday, October 20, 2011

Personal Development Course: Day Two...

Personal Development course better yesterday: Topic was "How to deal with difficult people".

Turns out my suggestion "use Jedi Mind Tricks" wasn't right after all.

My 2nd suggestion "push them downstairs" didn't go down too well either. I should run my own course I reckon.

Had psychometric testing in the afternoon. Turns out I'm a Thinker, a Relater and a Socialiser. And there was me thinking I was Libra.

Just had a thought though. Am *I* one of those difficult people we were talking about dealing with yesterday? Shit.

Fun day though.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Personal Development Course: Day One...

I'm on a course all this week. A personal development course. It's set up to try and help me achieve professional excellence. All well and good but when they start talking about "energy fields" I switch mine off. Yawn.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Happy 75th Birthday Myrtle...

My mother was 75 years old on Saturday. My sister Jo held a birthday meal for her on Friday night and we had a great time. Best. Mum. Ever. (obviously)

Monday, October 17, 2011

Answered! Is Zachary Quinto aka Sylar aka Spock Gay?...

A few year ago I asked the question on this very blog "Is Zachary Quinto aka Sylar aka Spock Gay?"

 And it looks like that question's been answered.

 So let me be one of the first to say: congratulations Zachary Quinto on coming out as gay. (We'd never had guessed!)

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Birthday Quiz #3...

There are four groups of four connected things. Can you sort out the groups? (with apologies to Only Connect)

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The Three Degrees...

Last night Stuart, Darren, Mark, Rachael and I went to see The Three Degrees perform their show at Islington's glitzy Union Chapel.

Formed in 1963 in Philadelphia, which makes them the longest running female vocal group in history, The Three Degrees have been continuously touring for more than 40 years which is quite impressive. Of the 14 various members the current line-up is Valerie Holiday, Helen Scott and Freddie Pool.

The gals performed all the hits and more; Take Good Care of Yourself, Givin' Up Givin' In, Dirty Ol' Man, Woman In Love, My Simple Heart and of course the sublime When Will I See You Again. Sadly no sign of disco smashes The Runner, Golden Lady or Jump the Gun though.

Among their own hits they performed some cover versions: at times inspired (Stevie Wonder's I Wish) but occasionally too broad (Earth, Wind & Fire's Boogie Wonderland as an encore.)

Still, we loved it.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Birthday Quiz #2...

At my birthday party the other week I ran three quizzes. The prize for winning each quiz was a bottle of champagne. Luckily (for me) only one person won one of the quizzes.

 The second was - can you name the rabbits? Answers day after tomorrow.

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Birthday Quiz #1...

At my birthday party the other week I ran three quizzes. The prize for winning each quiz was a bottle of champagne. Luckily (for me) only one person won one of the quizzes.

The first was - can you name these "firsts"? Answers tomorrow.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

VIP 100...

I've just signed up to a Very Important Package (VIP) bundle from Virgin Media. The one I've gone for is the VIP 100.

I will get all the premium TV channels, movies and sport (many in HD) that I get on my existing bundle PLUS a new phone line with free weekend and evening calls and a doubling of my current broadband from 50MB to 100MB.

And the change in cost? Well, it's free to install and £4 a month cheaper than I currently pay. Result!

This more or less how the call I got today went:

"Hello sir. Virgin Media here"
"Er, hello"
"We're calling today to offer you the chance to join our Very Important Package (VIP) scheme from Virgin Media."
"Okaaaay. So what would I get and how much is it?"
"Let me check for you... OK, if we move you onto the VIP 100 you will get all the premium TV channels, movies and sport that you currently get on your existing bundle PLUS a new phone line with free weekend and evening calls and a doubling of your current broadband from 50MB to 100MB."
"And how much will that set me back?"
"Just checking for you now sir... That can't be right, let me check again...Well, it seems it's free to install at the moment, sir, and it also looks like it'll cost you £4 a month less than you currently pay."
"OK then! So let be get this straight - you'll be giving me more services for less money"
"Looks that way, sir. My supervisor's going to kill me"

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Dawn and Al's Wedding in Venice...

Last weekend Stu and I went to Venice to help Dawn and Al celebrate their wedding. And what a fantastic time we had! We did loads of sight-seeing, we ate, we drank, and we danced. And the weather was bright, sunny and warm. Perfect.

The wedding itself was very special overlooking as it did the Grand Canal. The wedding breakfast then was at the water front with probably one of the best views imaginable.

In the evening the guys had organised a galleon - yes, really - and we cruised up and down for five hours drinking, dancing and laughing on the water.

 It was simply the best wedding ever.

 A slideshow of the pictures is here.

Monday, October 03, 2011

St Pancras Hotel...

Last week for my birthday Stuart took me to the St Pancras Hotel in London for the night. He'd kept the whole thing as a surprise. We had a fantastic room and took full advantage of all the facilities; splashing around in the pool, sweating in their steam room and bouncing up and down on their beds. Oh, and giggled alot too. The St Pancras Hotel, or to give it it's full name the St Pancras Renaissance Hotel London, has just this year opened after years of restoration. It's beautiful brick-work and glorious Gothic Revival metalwork is simply jaw-dropping. The magnificant main staircase is something to behold too.

 If you get a chance to go, do. A full slideshow of the pictures here.