Category: Uncategorized

  • Twitter Weekly Updates for 2010-08-01

    Tweets for this week.


  • Twitter Weekly Updates for 2010-07-25

    Tweets for this week.


  • Writing

    For as long as I can remember I’ve enjoyed writing. At school I excelled in what we used to call ‘English Language’ and won a national commendation in a short story competition. Perhaps inevitably, when I graduated from university I ended up in journalism – still writing, only this time not fiction (despite what the…


  • Independence Avenue

    Independent Digital’s readership in the US is so great that at one point they ran a site for US readers called Independence Avenue. It didn’t last, but while it did I pitched them the idea of a column looking at America through a British eye.


  • An innovative new method: talking to people

    30 April 2001 I’ve been going door-to-door recently, in an area where we’ve never been particularly strong, never put out a leaflet, never fought a sustained campaign. It’s been an education. The reason for this adventure into Labour-voting territory is to survey opinions on the local football team’s hopes of building a new stadium in…


  • Terms and Conditions

    Introduction We hate terms and conditions that are stuffed full of legal jargon, so we have tried to make this page easy to understand while still covering the ground necessary to keep the lawyers happy. We also hate the sort of Ts & Cs pages that suggest you have to hand over your first-born child…


  • Privacy Policy

    Information tracking We track, and keep for our reference, logs that show the general movement of visitors around the site, including how they found us and how long they spent here. We do this so that we can discover ways of improving the site – for example, making it easier to navigate or providing more…


  • Reusing my content

    I’m happy for you to syndicate my content – under the terms below I’m happy for you to re-use the articles on AndThenHeSaid’s feature and blog pages – as long as you’re happy to respect my conditions for re-use. Basically that means crediting me as author and linking back to this site. The technicalities –…


  • About this site

    A journal of things that catch my eye or make me cross, by an ex-journalist and former liberal politician in East Anglia. Often contains photos, sometimes politics, never 1337, w00t! It began in November 2002 when I, like a number of other people from cult TV fansite Tangent 21, discovered DeadJournal. I took the username…


  • Things always look brighter after the storm


  • "I was born with this gob…"


  • Fort for the day

    Beloved Other Half took a trip down to see friends on the Isle of Wight recently, and came back with intriguing tales of a fort on a shingle spit, part Tudor and part Victorian, poking out into the Solent from the mainland and almost touching the island. This was Hurst Castle, and earlier this week…


  • Good cause time II

    Kwok – a picture he's almostcertainly forgotten I ever took Another appeal for money in aid of another good cause, folks. My old coding buddy at the Royal Mail, Kwok, is doing the London to Brighton Bike Ride on June 19 in aid of the British Heart Foundation. On the plus side, he lives in…


  • Danse Macabre

    Somewhere out there, within a couple of miles of me as I sit and type this, is – I hope – a young bloke whose day I comprehensively ruined. Earlier this evening we visited my father-in-law in hospital and got stuck in traffic at the last couple of sets of lights. And as I sat…


  • Straight lines and curves

    For reasons that make a long and not very interesting story, I had to travel into work by train on Tuesday instead of driving. This was wildly inconvenient, as a 20 mile / 30 minute drive north west was instantly transformed into a two hour marathon that took me eastwards right into central London before…


  • The world is full of stupid people

    Telephone conversation this morning: Caller: Hello, my name is Mr —–, I want to complain about rubbish collection in Wembley. Me: I'm afraid you need to call Brent Council about that, this is a private house in the London Borough of Hounslow. Caller: But I dialled the number for Brent Council. Me: No you didn't…


  • Vauxhall at night

    Sunset over Vauxhall Bridge, on the way home tonight. And here's a post I wrote last night in the lobby of the hotel after the wedding reception, on a PC with coin-operated internet access which ran out before I could cross-post it here.


  • Memorial

    As a kid, I pretty much taught myself to read on a collection of books owned by my parents from an organisation called the Companion Book Club. You can still see dozens of titles from this club, which seems to have operated through the 50s and 60s, and into the 70s, languishing unloved in charity…


  • There was I, waiting at the church

    Wedding rehearsalA jolly female vicar, firmly in the Dibley mould, leads Sarah and Dave through the rehearsal of their vows for Saturday. Up to my hometown (or rather, a village nearby) this evening for the rehearsal of my sister's wedding. Given the sort of service we feared we might be going to when she was…


  • Dual-purpose post

    Yes. New haircut. Requests to see it. Seven across the three versions of this journal. Are you all mad? Or is it just me? Me, I suspect. Well, here you are. Two for the price of one. The emperor's new haircutMuch like the last one really, only a bit different. Sorry if I raised people's…


  • Hair today – still hair tomorrow

    The ongoing bafflement about what to do with my hair reached a climax this morning. A family wedding next weekend demands it short. Beloved Other Half likes it long. I spend half my time cursing its length, and the other half feeling rather pleased with it. The upshot is that at one minute past nine…


  • I aint'nt dead

    Because it has been suggested that I look as if I were dead in recent photos, here is one in which I don't. Much.


  • The Poll Tax revisited

    Below is the latest email from the campaign against ID cards. If you're in Britain, please – sign the petition. If you value your ability to stick two fingers up at society and say 'sod you, I'm me and I'm the one who decides what that is, not you' (as I know a fair few…


  • There, said the Mayor, that's that

    Well, that's the end of this stint at the Independent. No more sleep-deprived battles with the Scottish division three table (did you see Gretna this season? What were they on? Chelsea? Pah!) No more late night drives across darkened London. No more celebrity interludes at 24-hour service stations. Will I miss it? Obviously. Am I…


  • Pigs 1 – 0 Pizza

    Virtue may be its own reward, but it appears that vice packs a punch all of its own. No sooner had I scarfed half the pork gelatine pizza last night than it all started to go wrong. One sudden and emphatic visit to the bathroom later I was forced to concede defeat – karmic justice…


  • Guilt as an extra topping

    The true measure of how committed we are to our principles is whether we can stick to them if doing so hurts us. Anyone can boycott McDonald's if the there's a Burger King next door. But can they still do it if they're in a strange country, hungry, don't speak the language, and it's the…


  • Father's Day review link

    Great review of last night's Doctor Who episode here, via Nick Barlow. This is how storytelling should be. We get the objective correlative that explains how the relationships work. There's an adventure element, but it's really just about people. Really, life, love, being ordinary is an adventure… Anyone who thinks science-fiction isn't “proper literature” knows…


  • I love the sight of death in the morning

    The biter bitDead brown ivy festoons a yew tree in the car park outside out kitchen window. I'm pretty easy-going usually, but I have a real blind spot when it comes to parasites. Things like those wasps that lay their eggs inside grubs so that the lavae can eat their way out really freak me…


  • Town and City

    Half time in the last week of the football season and, as an Ipswich Town fan, I still have no idea whether we'll be in the same division next year as our local rivals Norwich City. Will they be relegated in 45 minutes time, or stay in the Premiership? Will we be promoted through the…


  • Counting the hours

    Very late for work tonight, partly because of traffic, partly because of stopping for petrol and thereby becoming embroiled in the saga of giving directions to a thoroughly lost family, and partly by being reduced to tears by tonight's Doctor Who episode. I finish at the Independent on Monday night and on the whole I'll…


  • On tap

    USB-compatibleA collection of tubes and taps in the back of my father-in-law's hand. He got out of hospital today after a week in Bedlam.


  • Passing moments

    A few moments on the way to work last Saturday night… Tricky pollardA pollarded tree is a healthy tree… but they don't half look naked afterwards, like shorn sheep. Reflections on CanadaProvincial flags on Canada House in Trafalgar Square, reflected in the wing mirror. London sunset IThe Embankment and the London Eye at dusk. London…


  • Am I bothered?

    The voters have spoken, and the word they have spoken is “whatever”. The electorate has watched the campaign, listened to the arguments, and shrugged its shoulders. The people have given almost every party just enough of what they wanted to shut them up, but not nearly enough for them to start feeling cocky. Labour has…


  • Late surge

    Gordon abandons PrudenceAn unfortunate juxtaposition of billboards on the Cromwell Road has Gordon Brown spurning the doe-eyed Tony Blair to stare straight down the cleavage of a lap dancer. Closer, by farAnd again, zoomed in for detail…


  • Wakey wakey

    Up with the larkElection day, 4.30am, delivering 'good morning' leaflets for Susan Kramer


  • Winning here

    Kramer vs CommerceOrange Susan Kramer diamonds compete for space with estate agent signage across Richmond Park.


  • Cream-crackered

    Thank the Goddess that that's over – tomorrow I get a day off work, after 11 consecutive days at the coalface for three different companies. Only one day off, mind, and then I do six more straight at work. Call it bad time management if you like. Actually it wasn't too bad, owing to the…


  • It wasn't me…

    Go see. Oh yes.


  • Good cause time


  • Well, that's a relief

    Who should I vote for? Your expected outcome: Liberal Democrat Your actual outcome: Labour -18 Conservative -49 Liberal Democrat 70 UK Independence Party 4 Green 39 You should vote: Liberal Democrat The LibDems take a strong stand against tax cuts and a strong one in favour of public services: they would make long-term residential care…


  • Alive alive-ho

    Just a quick check-in to report that I’m still alive. Most of my free time (and creativity) is going into two new comedy writing competitions, Last Laugh and Shoot the Writers – hence the lack of updates here. One thing I’m not doing is anything to do with the election. After being a [intlink id=”campaign-diary”…


  • Displacement activity

    Oh God this is ironic – I'm writing as a displacement activity for not writing, if that makes any sense. Deadline for the Channel 5 sitcom script call is today, March 31st. I don't have a hope in hell of completing my submission because of the time I've lost to illness in the last week.…


  • Bleugh

    I shouldn't have gone in to work tonight – too ill – caught Beloved Other Half's case of the dreaded lurgy. Still, made it home safely. It's not that nothing's happened during the last week, it's simply that at first I was too busy to write, and then too grotty. Seems very harsh that for…


  • Grace under pressure

    As usual, on the way home from work last night I stopped off at the petrol station before the Hammersmith Flyover for sitcom research, getting there at about 3am. I usually stay for a coffee and a bite to eat, but this time I decided not to linger as the place was full and quite…


  • Sleeping beauty

    Have spent most of my birthday asleep, to be honest, having returned from work too close to the Malaysian Grand Prix qualifying to make it worth sleeping before it started. I finally slept after the race had finished – at 9am. Arose again in the early afternoon. Fun fun fun. But thanks for the birthday…


  • Admission


  • Rabbit in the headlights

    We're in a bit of a creativity crisis zone here, to be honest. Not writing much in this journal, because all my effort and attention ought to be going into the screenplay deadline at the end of the month. Not much going into that, either, because I don't honestly believe I can do it and…


  • One of life's subtle excitements

    I know people for whom this means only terror, but since childhood I have always loved drive-through car washes. They're noisy, exciting, loud and a little scary as you wonder whether all the car waterproofing will hold. So, because it was a pleasingly silly thing to do, I took the camera with me on Sunday…


  • East is east and west is west

    I don't really know east London – the west is my manor. Outside of the cesspit of my home district, what I'm familiar with is the leafy avenues, smart developments and individualistic parades scattered with quirky little shops that make up places like the Hamptons and Teddington. East London's a foreign place, a scary one…


  • A bold bid for freedom

    So I was sitting in the car eating my lunch last week when I heard this loud jangling, clattering noise behind me and swivelled around to see what was going on. Obviously, it was a shopping trolly – no great surprise in a supermarket car park. But this was no ordinary shopping trolly. This one…


  • Two forward, one back

    Finally started the actual writing of my sitcom script last night – getting pretty close to the deadline and panic is setting in. Wrote two scenes, and went to bed pleased. Woke up this morning to the realisation that the better of the two scenes was irrelevant to this episode and will have to be…


  • We apologise for this disruption in service

    Owing to an attack of comment spam, anonymous posting is switched off at the moment on this journal. If you want to leave a reply to a post you can still do so on either the LiveJournal or JournalsSpace versions instead. Sorry about that.


  • Marine interlude

    Last night we couldn't be bothered to cook and called out for a chinese. I had spicy szechuan prawns. Later, as I first brushed my teeth and then attacked them with Tesco 'Total Care' freshmint flavour interdental woodsticks, the blood that flowed from between them smelled strongly of fish.


  • Insert Boomtown Rats song title here

    Oh boy, do I feel grim. Work Saturday night, a drive up to my parents immediately afterwards, arriving at gone 3am, watching the Grand Prix until five… late night again last night as my body clock struggled to reset itself. And then an alarm clock and work this morning. It's going to be a very…


  • Your help requested with colour schemes

    Not sure which colour scheme I like, really. The purple and gold I've had for a while, or the new lemon and blue that matches my website and the JournalSpace version of this journal. Have a look at both and see what you reckon, if you'd be so kind.


  • Snowed under

    So little time to write! Just had time to reply to a comment on the JournalSpace version of this blog and that was it – no time to write up an anecdote from yesterday, or rant about the misdemeanors of my (former) favourite Formula One team, or gloat about the embarrassment currently consuming my favourite…


  • Sniffing the fumes

    It's been one of those weeks when there hasn't been time to write at all. A few subjects have bubbled up, but I haven't been able to put in any keyboard time to record them until now. There's been the varied delights of driving to work downwind of a coffee factory, which rewards me some…


  • But I really *do* want to go to work, honest

    Bin there, done thatThe only exit from our flats is blocked by the bin lorry… I sat there for what seemed a lifetime this morning waiting to get through to go to work as they loaded and emptied bin after bin.


  • Books in the Kitchen

    Have posted a piece written for Heck's Kitchen on .


  • The road to Hell is paved with good intentions

    Got up early in the expectation of finding a foot of snow on the roads and transport chaos: in fact there was nothing of the sort, so I went back to bed again. Hurrah! The morning commute has so far turned out to be pretty painless (I may yet regret writing that, of course, but…


  • IDS falls in love with blogging

    Have posted another story to Blogosphere News, after Beloved Other Half pointed out that former Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith has written an insightful but utterly one-sided piece about political blogging for The Guardian. Rather than repost the whole thing in this blog, here's an abstract and link: Blogging will revive the Right, says senior…


  • Ennui

    Life rolls onOne day follows the next follows the one after that.


  • The romance in a man's soul

    There were a lot of puzzled, scared, harrassed-looking people in the supermarket this evening. And every one of them was a man. Most were office workers with their ties in their pockets and their collars loosened, red-faced and unsure of themselves as they shied away from the screaming children, ignored the muttering old ladies and…


  • I believe that children are our future

    From time to time I write about our local youth who, bless their little cotton socks, like to entertain themselves with the sort of high-jinks that us boring old stuffy types just don't get. Like stealing cars and dumping them, setting fire to the long grass and the trees in the local park, and daubing…


  • Check out the expert commentator

    Have just posted my first two news items as a writer at Blogosphere News. DailyKos to fundraise for Dean Blogging in the face of death Go me!


  • Saturday night is party night

    There's times I feel old and decrepit and miss the days when I was younger… and there's times I don't. Last night was one of the latter times. Driving home at about 3am I saw a car with its hazards flashing away merrily, pulled up by the side of the road near Chiswick Bridge. On…


  • Give me Wensleydale or give me death

    Sometimes the little things in life can make you happy. Returning home from my one remaining late shift, I just opened the fridge to find – thanks to a visit to a deli earlier today – five types of olives and eight types of cheese waiting for me. This, in my sense of values, is…


  • It's my party


  • So good to be back home again with you

    Went up with Beloved Other Half to visit my Nan in hospital last night. She's looking and sounding a lot better after her operation but, unsurprisingly, isn't a great fan of staying in hospital for much longer. She's starting to walk again, with the help of a couple of nurses and a frame. The care…


  • No worse, there is none

    It was, of course, inevitable. Realistically it was overdue. But it's still dreadful news all the same. Ivan Noble is dead


  • Best new blog on the block

    A great new blog if you haven't seen it yet is The Law West of Ealing Broadway, by a magistrate in (more or less) my part of London. For those living somewhere not covered by the British judicial system, magistrates are civilians with no legal training who sit as a panel trying minor offences. Any…


  • Haven't you heard? It's all been changed

    When I go off tonight for my evening shift, it will be the last one I do for a couple of months. I'm scaling back at the Indy from four nights a week to just one, Saturdays. While this will put a spoke in the wheel of my ongoing research into all-night petrol stations (I…


  • This is interesting, politically

    From Independent Digital: (subscription fee required) Lib Dems could win election, poll shows By John Rentoul The Liberal Democrats could break through to form a government with a big majority according to an exclusive opinion poll conducted for The Independent on Sunday. Although 20 per cent of voters say they currently intend to vote for…


  • Cicely, my love

    I shouldn't be allowed to watch DVDs of old Northern Exposure episodes before going off to work in places with unlimited internet access and no colleagues looking over my shoulder, especially late at night when blood sugars are low and emotions are close to the surface. It's not the first time I've had cause to…


  • Back to reality

    Ah, the joys of being home. Got back late Monday night, spent Tuesday daytime cultivating a murderous headache, then went to work for the night where the headache took over completely. Much improved today after some sleep. Heading up to my family very shortly as my Nan, who’s in her 90s, had a fall yesterday…


  • Howling gales and howls of laughter (hopefully)

    More from down here in western Cornwall, where the weather has swung schizophrenically between dire and delightful, and where I am making great progress in planning my Channel 5 sitcom entry. Still almost a week left down here! Day four You can't see it but…The sound of a tractor engine could clearly be heard from…


  • Despatches from a foggy county

    Much as I'd like to write long poetic screeds about this holiday, the inconvenience of posting from lay-bys and field entrances has dampened my ardour for vivid reportage. And anyway, falling on your arse in what may well have been a cow pat doesn't lend itself to breathless prose. Just lots of muttered cursing. So…


  • Wild West

    Have spent the last few days in a ridiculously idyllic former miner's cottage on the edge of a steep valley in the very westernmost part of Cornwall. For those who know the area, we're by the Cot Valley within walking distance of Cape Cornwall. The cottage is owned by the National Trust (we make an…


  • That's me in the corner

    It's 5am and I'm practically swivel-eyed with tiredness and too much coffee. I just got home from work, and from a profitable half-hour hanging around looking shifty at a petrol station – the BP in the shadow of Hammersmith Flyover, to be precise. This is it for a while, almost to the end of January,…


  • The police leap into action

    The gates out of Trafalgar Square under Admiralty Arch were closed last night. That's not happened in the six months I've been driving home along that route, but there's always a risk of it – in much the same way there's always a risk that you'll blow your eyeballs out when you sneeze. It probably…


  • Can't take your eye off 'em for a moment

    Blogging bearI knew I should have taken more care of my passwords…


  • New Year's Night

    The girl hobbled gingerly past the Cromwell Crown Hotel, shoes in hand, feet rebelling at the cold 4am touch of the paving slabs. But, as her friend beside her spoke, she swung her hair and laughed and it was clear that the afterglow of a New Year's party was keeping her warm. The pair were…


  • Review of 2004

    So, farewell then 2004. You were a funny old year. How shall I remember you in years to come? To help me when I'm old and grey, here's a review of my year – a greatest hits, if you like. If you've been with me through the year – thank you, I appreciate it. Warning:…


  • A long, long way from anywhere else

    I’m off work today for the first time since Christmas Eve and intend to stay in the warm with an endless supply of toast and tea (or possibly Green and Black’s hot chocolate) and look at webcams of cold, seemingly inhospitable places with a sense of relief at being here, not there. Having said that,…


  • What's happening in Diego Garcia right now?

    Here's an aspect of the terrible events in the Indian Ocean that no-one seems to have looked into yet: What happened to the joint British – American naval base on Diego Garcia? Diego Garcia is an island in the British Indian Ocean Territory, which is a bit south of the Maldives and therefore very much…


  • Ho ho ho (reprise)

    This Christmas I have: • Eaten very little except breakfast cereal and pickled onions, which makes me fear I may be pregnant • Become mainly nocturnal • Enjoyed driving through a central London with no buses or pedestrians, as a result of working both Christmas Day and Boxing Day • Showed great forebearance when faced…


  • Seasonal whatsits to everyone on DeadJournal


  • None so blind…

    Channel Five is advertising for sitcom scripts, with a deadline of the end of March, so I'm dusting off a few ideas and seeing what can be done with them. Wish me luck. Since comedy, on TV, is really about character rather than story, I've been watching people so that I can store up a…


  • Caveat emptor…

    As those who know me well know well, I collect 419 scam emails. These are the dodgy fraud messages that offer you millions of dollars if you'll launder a vast fortune on behalf of the sender, who usually claims to be from west Africa. Of course they're all as crooked as a bent hairpin and…


  • Good news

    Not quite sure how it happened, but I just slept for 11 straight hours, 4.30am to 3.30pm. And what do you know? Having caught up my recent huge sleep defecit I find I can focus well enough to write again. Yesterday was a bit different. Yesterday I didn't manage to get to sleep until 8.30am,…


  • Rude awakening

    Sometimes you wake up and you just know it's going to be one of those days… From the Ann Arbor News, Michigan:Homeless man gets compacted in garbage Friday, December 17, 2004 BY TOM GANTERT Ann Arbor News Staff Reporter A homeless man miraculously escaped serious injury this morning when he was dumped into the back…


  • Bless 'em for trying

    Regular readers will know I spent something like two years working for the Royal Mail on its website, maintaining it and – on two occasions – rebuilding it from scratch. It's a funny old organisation – no matter how hard it tries to professionalise itself, it never quite manages to get it right. It's always…


  • Bravery

    The online diary of BBC reporter Ivan Noble, who has been battling a brain tumour since August 2002, makes compelling – and often deeply upsetting – reading. Now he writes that his father, too, has cancer. One can only feel for his mother at this new blow, and salute in admiration at his courage and…


  • Your life is your business – not theirs

    I've been vaguely meaning for a while now to write something about ID cards, personal privacy and how the Liberal Democrats should campaign on the issue. Last night the words fell into place in the form of an article for Liberal Democrat News, the party's weekly newspaper. Alas, there's no room this week, so it's…


  • London in circles, lines – and lions

    Must rush – have to work this evening, having swapped shifts. But here are photos from yesterday's trip into central London, a city made up of lines and shapes and perspectives… Shell CentreLooking skywards up the front wall from walkway level Walkway to the ThamesEmerging from under the Shell Centre, looking towards the river London…


  • Hanging out with Halo Jones

    Went into town yesterday for a radio recording – the genius comic book writer Alan Moore being interviewed by some minor celeb (a comedian/writer called Stewart Lee) for a Radio 4 series called Chain Reaction, where each interviewee picks someone they want to interview on the next programme. Next Tuesday night Moore will be interviewing…


  • Bloody kids and little old ladies

    People are funny. And not always in a good way. We've just had an unpleasant rush to finish a pile of tender documents as part of the bidding process for work from a government department. Unpleasant, as in staying-up-all-night-typing unpleasant. And so at 3pm I was driving to the Post Office with a huge great…


  • Seeing red

    Horror of horrors… From Footballer loses finger in goal celebration – Sify.com: Monday, 06 December , 2004, 22:37 Bern: A player in Switzerland's top division has been left without a finger after a goal celebration went horribly wrong. Servette midfielder Paulo Diogo was forced to have his left ring finger amputated on Sunday after catching…


  • City living

    I've been meaning to post these since Friday last week, when I met up with Beloved Other Half in town for lunch. Haven't had a moment to do it until now. Gray's InnOne of the old Inns of Court, the home of the legal profession and a real oasis of peace in the heart of…


  • Look, I was hungry, okay?

    And as if eating it wasn't bad enough, the blasted thing splashed over my shirt so now I smell like a Mexican restaurant's dustbins and look like a bird's shat on me. Worst of all – it tasted goooood… Ooh – almost forgot to say – everyone go say “hi” to , my stepsister, who's…


  • The tyranny of football

    The BBC has just abandoned screening a gripping veterens' tennis semi-final between Jim Courier and John McEnroe, in which McEnroe was refusing to be steamrollered despite being older, less match fit and the overwhelming underdog, in order to yaffle about soccer. Sure, if you've got digital TV you can switch over for the rest of…


  • Upside down and sideways

    So last night was a bit of a problem – the drive in was quite bloody, solid traffic for the last few miles and the whole trip took about an hour and a half. Thought I was okay once I was there, but pretty soon started feeling dizzy and sick again, and had to lie…


  • Protecting dumb animals

    One for the 'incredible but true' folder, dolphins protecting humans. From BBC NEWS | World | Asia-Pacific | Dolphins prevent NZ shark attack: Dolphins prevent NZ shark attack By Phil Mercer BBC, Sydney A group of swimmers has told how a pod of dolphins protected them from a great white shark off New Zealand's coast.…


  • Spoke too soon

    The Viking order that was supposed to come tomorrow came today… two knackered-looking delivery drivers appeared at the door, having lugged five boxes up the stairs. And here it is… office supply porn.


  • "Who likes masturbators", and other stories

    Health thing is definitely improving – still a bit wonky, can't risk driving across London, but am no longer weaving around like a drunken thing. Great relief all round. Should be back at work tomorrow night. Am doing Wednesday and Thursday nights as extras because I'm taking next weekend off for the Human League concert…


  • Falling down

    Not good. Friday punctuated by sudden collapse of large framed picture on wall. All I did was touch it to straighten it. Suddenly 4ft by 3ft of broken glass was all over the floor. Saturday about 1pm I was suddenly hit by dizziness and had to lie down before I fell down. Moving my head…


  • Quietness

    Quiet day on Thursday – didn't leave the flat, did domestic things. No opportunities for photos, life-changing links, great flights of creative fancy or anything much like that. Did manage to sleep from 1am to 7am on Thursday and from about 11pm to 3.30am on Thurs/Fri, so things are improving. Strangest spam title today: “As…


  • Internet security, and painted footprints

    Quick update tonight as, frankly, I didn't do anything particularly interesting today. Went shopping, that was about it. Did get this picture from the cash till at the Tesco banch though – the feet amused me. Like idiot-proof instructions: use of this cash till will be enhanced by standing close to the unit, and on…


  • Green light tales

    Firstly, thank you for the positive response to the last post. I still don't think I have fans, but it's good to be reminded that I have readers who enjoy what I write, or find it valuable. So I guess I'd better write something… The interesting thing that happened today: I beat a Lamborghini away…


  • Brain dump

    This is not the sort of journal that receives fanmail. No earnest entreaties from idealistic teenagers convinced that great truths are to be found here. No breathless words of adoration from nubile young women wishing to mail me selections of their underwear. No carefully-crafted nuggets from ageing intellectuals delighted to at last be able to…


  • Bitter tears

    In the words of Xander in season one of Buffy, “I'm just gonna go home, lie down and listen to country music…the music of pain”. Specifically, in this case, Dolly Parton and Alison Krauss coming up again and again on iTunes random shuffle. Result after result going the way of 2000… the growing realisation that…


  • A cruel death

    There's a lamp on Beloved Other Half's desk. It's just an ordinary lamp with the standard bell-shaped top almost entirely filled by the bulb. We usually have it pointing towards the ceiling – it gives a good light in a dark corner. Smoke just started streaming out of it. I figured it was the electrics…


  • Forecasting

    I'm going to stick my neck out and make a last-minute election prediction: Kerry wins. Not by much in the popular vote, but by quite a bit in the electoral college. I think there's a majority there to remove Bush, but the Republicans' campaign to define Kerry by his failings has worked to neutralise that.…


  • And out of the silence came –

    My God – I think it's just possible that I might soon be able to write something again…


  • Pot Noodle nightmare

    The true nightmare of coming home from holiday is this: sitting at work at 2am eating a Bombay Bad Boy Pot Noodle because it's the only food available. It doesn't get any worse than that. Yes, I'm home. The holiday went well, the walk was successful, and I've lost weight – a few inches from…


  • TV, travel, good times

    Right – I’m off tomorrow for a fortnight, initially tramping the byways of the South West Coast Path, then recovering in St Ives. No computer! But I will be staying in a guesthouse called Fraggle Rock. Here’s the itinerary: Day 1, Th Sept 30, Falmouth, The Grove Hotel, http://www.cornwall-online.co.uk/grovehotel/Welcome.html Day 2, Fr Oct 1, Portloe,…


  • A-boating we will go

    This seems to be the time of year for bloggers to float off on boats – I'm looking forward to reading White Hart's adventures when I get a moment. In non-boat related LiveJournal stuff I owe a huge 'thank you' to Cirieno for alerting me to an eBay auction where I was able to pick…


  • Stay at your desks and never go to sea

    Drizzling rain. Low clouds. Goose shit. No headroom. Condensation. Flushing the toilet with bowls of river water. Yup, we're on the Norfolk Broads in the boat again. And right now, I wouldn't be anywhere else.


  • Playing catch-up

    Things have been inevitably getting rather sketchy in this journal recently – I say inevitably because I've barely stopped moving long enough to process what's been going on, let alone write about it. And that's not about to stop. Tomorrow morning we're off to spend a few days on the boat – which should be…


  • Resolutions from an inkless day

    Note to self, following yesterday's death-by-irritation saga: Next time I want to buy a printer cartridge I will: 1. Take my phone with me, to explain why a half-hour errand is taking two and a half. 2. Not, in fact, leave my phone at work the previous night, necessitating a special visit there today when…


  • Rental vans, Ferraris, and very silly men

    My route into work doesn't go by Buckingham Palace, so I missed all the drama. I go right past on the way home, however, and was amused to see the place crawling with coppers pottering up and down along the front and side – because, of course, there's just bound to be a repeat incident…


  • Of sisters and suicides

    In early October we venture off on our annual expedition on the South West Coast Path. We’ve been plugging away at it in stages since 1997, and this year we plan to walk from Falmouth to Plymouth. To be honest, though, we’re a bit out of practice. And, in my case at least, out of…


  • 11 September 2004

    Weight unknown (bathroom scales removed from bathroom by parents since childhood, v welcome surprise), cigarettes 0 (still – good), alcohol units 0 (was driving), chocolate-scented plush teddy bears bought 1 (was utterly adorable, could not avoid, also was remaindered so in fact excellent value for money and therefore a good thing), Cadbury's Dairy Milk Wafer…


  • Chechnya

    Despite the fact that I'm currently working on the website of a national newspaper – am, in fact, sitting at this moment in its offices waiting for the final edition sports pages to drop – I no longer consider myself a reporter. A journalist, perhaps, since that's a statement of vocation like saying you're a…


  • Darwin Award candidate

    Tonight I almost killed a girl. I was driving up The Mall, just after Admiralty Arch towards Buckingham Palace. It's a dark road at night – it's designed for ceremonial processions and lacks such unaesthetic civilities as street lights and cats eyes. It also lacks white lines to mark off the lanes and if I'm…


  • Bad taste

    I don't know what the ugliest building in London is, but surely the most tasteless is Harrods. Passing it on the way to work at about 7.30pm it was all lit up with strings of bulbs, which sounds like it ought to have been appealing but was actually quite tacky. They were sickly yellowy-white and…


  • Naked scorn

    So yesterday we went to Pells Pool, an unheated open air swimming pool in Lewes, Sussex. Any colder and you could have sat on the surface and cut a hole in it to fish through. Nevertheless, it was a fine experience, in which the small amount of swimming done (I am no expert) was a…


  • The Hours


  • The big hand is on 12 and the little hand is on silly o'clock

    This is verging on the ridiculous. I got home from work at about 3.30am. It's now gone 7am and during that time I've been working like a bastard trying to finish a tender document that has to be in Leeds by Noon. I'm in London. It's printing out at the moment and I have a…


  • There is no glass, Neo

    Go on, own up. Which one of you came over here kicked the beer glass over? A few days ago (in the post 'Alcohol problem') I wrote about a mysterious pint glass in the middle of the road that seemed to neither increase nor decrease in the level of the evil-looking liquid in it, whatever…


  • Dancing on the ceiling

    It's a strange-but-true statistical anomaly that if you switch on Heart 106.2 at any time in the early hours of the morning, there is a 63% chance there will be a Lionel Richie song playing. Tonight, driving home, it was All Night Long and I was cruising on auto-pilot at 1mph below the speed-camera limit,…


  • Rogue's gallery

    I'd like to thank the following people, who were all kind enough during the last 12 hours to send me unsolicited emails offering deals on unusually-named and randomly-spelled drugs, stock market tips, cheap software that I either don't want or already own, custom-designed logos for my business (presumably to replace the logo I custom-designed myself),…


  • The look of love

    It takes a lot to make a Londoner stop and stare. Certainly it takes more than the three rollerskaters who weaved their way rapidly through the stationary traffic at Piccadilly Circus this evening to general indifference, even though the Chinese girl was young and pretty and wore a tight red t-shirt, and their leader –…


  • Yum


  • Alcohol problem

    Now here's another thing I don't understand. There's a fairly fast section of dual carriageway leading to a roundabout on my drive home. Balanced carefully on the central reservation, almost half a mile from the nearest pub, is a pint glass. It's about one-third full of browny-orangey lagerish liquid. I first noticed it a few…


  • In Her Maj's back garden

    A couple of days ago we fancied some time out from home and took a train to Windsor. I had some vague thought of pottering around the shops and taking a relaxed look at the castle, but Beloved Other Half is made of sterner stuff and suggested instead that we walked south to Virginia Water.…


  • Golden girl still

    The last 24 hours have been dominated by Paula Radcliffe's doomed attempt to win the Olympic marathon. I missed the morning, on account of sleeping off the previous night's shift work until lunchtime, but the early afternoon was all about the build-up to the race's start. Then at 4pm came the agony of watching it.…


  • Introspection

    A reflective moment…


  • Random linkage and the blood of Jesus

    You know how it is – you visit a site, and the site has a good set of links off it, so you visit some of them, and they have good links too, and before you know where you are you've got eight windows open and a whole lot of links you want to remember.…


  • A regrettable lapse into horticulture

    I'm terribly sorry – I do hope you'll forgive me – but once more I feel the urge to write about vegetables. I do it from time to time. I realise that's probably not why you visit here. All I can say on that front is “unlucky” – today we are doing potatoes and runner…


  • Random moments

    Things aren't going so well at the moment, as the hours and the drive are causing me problems, triggering headaches and draining me so that day-to-day life – and writing – are coming excedingly difficult. Nevertheless, here are some random moments from the last few days: Driving home in the dead of night, doing a…


  • "Whatever happened to Fay Wray?"

    You wonder for a moment as Frank sings the line in Rocky Horror, – what did happen to her? – and then you forget again as the movie or stage show continues. Well, this is what happened: she died yesterday aged 96. The Associated Press reports: “Wray died Sunday at her Manhattan apartment, said Rick…


  • "What you want me to say is 'I love you'…"

    Going down to Brighton tomorrow to see a friend, and a client, about a site I'm building. We're meeting by the pier. I'm reminded irresistably of Dickie Attenborough in Brighton Rock. I hope I make it home without having my face opened up with a razor.


  • Storm warning

    The heavens opened earlier today with all the restraint of an overflowing bathtub and I dashed out to rescue various plants in danger of being swamped by runoff from the balcony above. With that done, since I was already wet, I grabbed the camera and went to explore. It only takes a small storm to…


  • Hot stuff, baby

    It's 3.30am – pushing 4am – and my sleep patterns are screwed backwards and sideways by the shifts. No work this evening, but my body doesn't realise that. I'm wide awake. Also, it's pretty damn hot. They say ladies glow, gentlemen perspire and horses sweat. There's only one thing I can say to that: Neigh.…


  • Abuse of trust

    Back on March 5th, in a post titled 'H-h-h-holy Joe!', I wrote about how my old deputy headteacher had been hauled up before the court for abusing young boys. To save you searching back for the post, here's a snippet: Holy Joe always made us uneasy. He had a way of standing too close to…


  • Going to the Dogs

    Making the best of a bad lot, I took the camera with me this evening when I went to work. The Isle of Dogs is a fascinating place, although one I don't savour lingering in alone. It's such a strange mix – high-tech, high finance, high rise offices next to the cold, dead remains of…


  • Castles in the sky

    Here's a thing to try at home: Go outside and find an old tennis ball, or a stick, or a rock, or indeed just about anything. Throw it up in the air – straight up, vertically, as far as you possibly can. At its highest point it will hang for a moment, as if suspended,…


  • In the deep dark of the night…

    The snores were sonorous, rounded, baritone-going-on-bass, vibrating with a deep and resonant tone as if the snorer had practiced for years and perhaps earned a certificate of excellence in night-time noisemaking. They were snores that could not be defeated by the pane of glass between me and them, nor by the loud television in the…


  • In praise of volunteers (but not of sponsors)

    It's been a bitty, but perfectly reasonable, few days. Nothing of wild and stunning excitement has happened (hence the lack of posts) but, equally, nothing too unpleasant has happened either. Just life really, I suppose. I posted a few weeks ago after the British Grand Prix about how my favourite Formula One team, Minardi, had…


  • All sparkly clean, but –

    I have cactus spines in my arm and shards of blue glass in my feet, my knees are bruised, my backside is damp, my clothes are filthy, and there's a broken flowerpot and a dead olive plant in the bin. And all because I decided to clean the windows. We spotted some kind of easy-use…


  • A weird moment, a whinge, and a recommendation

    I'm trying to settle down now to a routine of working Saturday to Tuesday, it's an odd set of days and takes some adjusting to. I'll be leaving shortly for tonight's shift. Yesterday's drive saw the oddest incident of near road-rage I've ever been involved in. Not that I make a habit of it, you…


  • All dressed up with no place to go

    Ha. The cricket's overrun so BBLB has been rescheduled and has lost its phone-in today. Just got a call from them standing me down. Can't say I'm wholly surprised – I learned when I was working in broadcast PR that you can't take anything for granted with TV until it's actually happened.


  • Faces

    Went into central London last night and ended up at the National Portrait Gallery, partly to look at the collection of Tudor paintings and partly to visit the BP Portrait Award exhibition. The Tudor stuff is rather amazing – the originals of some of the most famous images in British history, familiar to anyone with…


  • Ruddy technology

    At least when the content management system at the Royal Mail crashed, it didn't do it at one o'clock in the morning… Or, if it did, I wasn't there to see it. Still, home now. Have been since about 2.30am in fact. Have found some notes I took at Saturday's screenwriting course about my fellow…


  • What goes around

    So, here I am at the Independent's offices in Docklands, waiting for the first sports pages for tomorrow's paper to drop so that I can rip the stories out and put them on the site. Despite the website having moved to a different part of the building it's very much a case of deja vu…


  • Excitement and adventure

    Today we went to Guildford. Well, it's something you have to do before you die, isn't it?


  • Funny ha ha

    We've been doing the TV filming thing again, going to see two sitcoms filmed on consecutive nights. Last night (Thursday) was our second shot at Everything I Know About Men. We'd seen one episode of this already and were impressed enough to want to see more. It's created by Fred Barron for the BBC as…


  • What the Butler saw

    The best summary of the Butler Report I've so far seen is Jonathan Freedland's comment piece in the Guardian. On who, if anyone, the report actually criticised: Lord Butler did not thrust a dagger into the prime minister or anyone else yesterday. Instead he presented parliament, press and public with an elegant, walnut-encased, velvet-lined box…


  • Crashed and burnt

    I was stuck in traffic a few days ago, in that horrible bit of road by Harrods where two major routes from out west merge into one and there are roadworks, so that seven lanes suddenly drop down to one and you can spend half an hour travelling 100 yards. For a while next to…


  • The secret squirrel just got shot

    This email just came in: Dear Andy, Thank you for applying to take part in 'The Apprentice'. Unfortunately you have not got through to the next round of interviews. We have been overwhelmed by the quantity and calibre of applicants, and the selection process has been difficult. Please note that our decision is final and…


  • Ick ick ICK

    So there I was a few minutes ago, in the middle of watering the balcony, back in the bathroom to refill the watering can for the nth time (where n tends to infinity) when I felt a tickling behind my ear. I flicked at the tickly area irritably and a ruddy great spider came sailing…


  • Love over Gold

    The British Grand Prix yesterday, and another victory for Michael Schumacher. As last weekend his pitstop strategy had a lot to do with his victory – but David Tremayne put it best in the Independent when he wrote: “Four stops in France; two in Britain. Frankly, Ferrari could have sent him into Towcester for a…


  • I am the Norway of comedy

    It's been a busy few days, and it's only going to get busier. For starters, I'm back at the Independent for the first time since a one-off shift in September 2002, and the first time consistently since March that year. We're only talking a few nights a month at the moment, but it doesn't need…


  • Out and proud

    I was up in London today for a sort of an interview-thingy (can't say more – all very Secret Squirrel hush-hush, Kat knows but she's not telling, are you hon?). Anyway, afterwards I sort of accidentally blundered into the big Pride rally in Trafalgar Square and decided to stop for a bit. It was all…


  • The full Monty <— Gardeners' World reference

    For those who are interested, or who remember last year's battle with the allotment, photos of this year's veg patch on the balcony are here. They were taken for friends – one of them a keen gardener – who have moved too far away for visiting to be easy any more, but I thought I'd…


  • My preciousssss

    Finally, the new business-related site is live at andydarley.com. And about time too. For one reason or another, I haven't been able to do much cross-browser testing so if anyone spots a problem please let me know. A political one, and a re-vamped personal one to follow. Eventually.


  • Maybe it's because I'm not actually a Londoner at all

    I'm really starting to enjoy this new “Twenty Questions” site. Getting odd questions thrown at me is stretching my brain in all sorts of directions. I just got asked whether I liked living in London, and what was good about it. I had to cut my answer as there seems to be a maximum length…


  • You could stuff a mattress with that lot…

    Funeral tomorrow, which means haircut today. Before After Cute, eh?


  • " **** "

    I'm sitting here with a large scotch and a foul temper. For over a week now I've been reworking the business side of my website in order to put something up to show to prospective clients that doesn't look like it was designed in 1999 (which it in fact was). The new version isn't completely…


  • US Grand Prix review in two words…

    Forza Minardi! (And, yes, is right, I've been coding like a bastard these last few days to get a business site up so I can attract work…)


  • Service announcement

    This is a service announcement. Random is coding. He may be some time. However, there is no need to be concerned for his welfare. He does occasionally eat, and even sleep. Normal service will resume, at some point in the future. Presumably when his new website goes live. In the meantime, here is some music……


  • That ole '10 friends meme' again.

    I do like this old, near-forgotten, meme because it gives such a good slice of random life. As ever, it's a case of combining the first sentence from the first 10 non-locked friends list posts. Well BB have officially said that there will be NO eviction tonight, the housemates are slowly working through their problems.…


  • If you build it, they will come

    A few days ago now, we took another day trip. Having been to a model village a while ago we decided to go one better this time – an open-air museum of full-size reconstructed buildings. The Weald and Downland Open Air Museum is like a Battersea Dogs Home for threatened buildings – except you can't…


  • Only in England

    This is quite extraordinary. The panorama and the sheep, I mean – read down the page.


  • X marks the spot

    Well, I did my civic duty earlier this afternoon by voting, and I do genuinely find it exciting to go into a polling booth and put my crosses next to the candidates and parties. I love the sense of occasion, which is one of the reasons why I'm glad we didn't get the all-postal voting…


  • Only when I laugh

    It never rains but it pours. I saw my GP today, to get the ear checked out. She had a look and decided it was healing fine – probably no perforation of the ear drum, just maybe a tiny puncture. Rather red and swollen deep inside it. Should get my hearing back in two or…


  • Size doesn't matter

    It doesn't seem a week since all the drama with my ear, but it must be as I've just had the last of the antibiotics the clinic gave me. It's not cleared up yet, I still have some issues with balance and nausea and there's a lot of pressure in it, but it's calmed down…


  • I'm going to write to my MP

    Washingtonienne, the Capitol Hill aide who lost her job when her blog detailing her sex life was discovered, writes this in the Online Guardian, confirming what we always suspected about politicians' offices. I had the easiest job in the world before I got sacked. I opened mail all day (which is why you should never…


  • Night-time is the wrong time

    I dread the nights at the moment. With this ear, I can't easily lie down to sleep. And I can't easily sleep upright, either – I've tried. So night-time becomes a long, anxious, boring ordeal of waiting for the hours to go by until I'm so tired that I'll fall asleep in whatever position I…


  • The workings (or otherwise) of my inner ear

    All hearing has now gone in the gunk-filled ear. It was something like 5pm before queasiness and dizziness subsided enough for me to feel vaguely human. Spent a lot of the day before this point propped up against a corner in the bedroom, sitting as upright as possible. Things did improve somewhat after this but…


  • Balance control

    Today I am sitting VERY STILL INDEED and trying not to lean over. My ear's solidified, which is less offensive than when it was streaming but the downside of this is that my balance is shot and I feel permanently queasy. So far today I've only eaten two cream crackers – and that seems dangerously…


  • TMI warning

    Oh my, do I feel crappy or what? Had to go see the emergency doctor today – one of the NHS Direct clinics, very slick and efficient – cause the cold shifted lock, stock and barrel to my ear yesterday morning. By the early evening the pressure was agonising, so I tried a decongestant. The…


  • Bleaugh

    Have been having a bit of an Ebay frenzy recently, filling in holes my Shadowrun collection. Am also keeping an eye on some Modesty Blaise reprints that I don't have, and I've finally (after 27 years looking) picked up the elusive issue three of 2000ad comic (or at least, I will have once the seller…


  • Feel free to ignore this

    Stolen from Sange, who stole it from Milky 01. Who are you? 02. Are we friends? 03. When and how did we meet? 04. Do/Did you have a crush on me? 05. Would you kiss me? 06. Describe me in one word. 07. What was your first impression? 08. Do you still think that way…


  • Didacticism

    A reason why the National Health Service is a good thing and should be protected. There's a photo with it, which is a bit gross… be warned.


  • Mucus

    Feeling pretty grotty, to be honest. The stinker of a cold that hit has jumped across to me and I've gone from feeling fine to feeling shite in about 12 hours. Plus I'm sneezing a lot, which is killing my rib although has smeared it with ibuprofen gel and that's made it a bit less…


  • Tardiness

    Today was slow to start – or rather I was, which amounts to the same thing. Did a little work-hunting thing and discovered the perfect contract post, managing a website migration into a Documentum-based CMS in west London, but found I'd missed it by a day. Woe. Not much happening apart from that. Ended the…


  • Squeezing the words out

    It’s been a while since my last update, which is down to a number of factors but is mostly because writing has felt like a chore. The BBC’s sitcom competition closes in a week and I have been desperately bashing the keyboard in the hope that a prize-winning entry will fall out of it. It…


  • Radio days

    A busy few days. Have twice been into London to watch BBC radio sitcoms being recorded. On Wednesday went to see Think the Unthinkable, while tonight was Revolting People. I hadn't actually heard of either of them before we applied for tickets. Think the Unthinkable, about an appalling firm of management consultants, was very enjoyable…


  • Postman's knock

    The following things were in the post waiting to be read when I got back from holiday: Paperback copy of Penny Dreadful from CafePress Tickets for the filming / recording of three BBC programmes, one radio and two TV Acknowledgement from the BBC of receiving Penny – a form letter of course but a nice…


  • Second lot of Norfolk Broads photos

    I've stuck another 11 up on the Yahoo Picture album here. Mostly – though not exclusively – of rain…


  • Gravity sucks

    This was written on Wednesday evening, but this is the first chance I've had to get online and post it. ————- Falling off a boat is a strange, sedate, graceful business, categorised by an over-arching feeling of disbelief. At least, it is if it happens while you're mooring – presumably Robert Maxwell found it rather…


  • Still calm

    So far so good. Pottering around the Broads like we never had a problem… presumably something really unpleasant will happen soon as retribution. At some point we may even try putting the sails up. *shock horror* Currently we are moored up in the middle of nowhere, with only a few passing boats for company. Oh,…


  • Warning: long post, may contain rants.

    Silence is golden, unless you're perched on the edge of your seat waiting for a noise. This journal (to swerve briefly into the pompous third-person style of writing) has been inundated with emails asking where the author is and what he is up to. Well, one email anyway. A very brief one. But it was…


  • All quiet

    Nothing much to report about today. Another walk, returning to the car as darkness fell – this one five miles in and near the mouth of the Helford River. Tomorrow we relocate, shifting our stuff to St Ives for the second week of the break. Penny Dreadful is now at v1.1 stage, with typos fixed…


  • We're all doomed, I tell you

    On March 20th 2008 I'll be 40 – and the world will end. That's not me being hyperbolic, or going off on one of my 'oh God I'm old' kicks, it's the literal truth according to an advert in yesterday's Independent. The advert, which directs you to www.truebiblecode.com, explains in some detail how a United…


  • Soaring

    Now here's a fact you probably didn't know. If you take a one-day old chick – the tiny yellow balls of fluff so beloved of Easter card designers – and cut it in two with a pair of heavy scissors, the liquid that oozes out isn't blood but thick, dark egg yolk. This is Mother…


  • Magnum opus

    Done it. After something like two years' work, the first draft of Penny Dreadful is written. 69 pages, which is nine too many so it'll have to be cut, but that can wait for tomorrow. It's printed out and on the table in front of me. A stack of paper an inch thick with its…


  • Moving fast

    Today I had one of those 'moments' when the impact of a change in technology hits you. It's not the first. I was born in 1968 and believe me, there's been a few changes in technology since then. I remember, for example, our first colour TV – the green of the racecourse paddock, the vivid…


  • Delayed Sunday night post

    The wind's howling outside – sounds like it's going to blow the front door down. We went to the sea today, to a cove with cliffs on one side, high dunes on the other, and a church with its tower sunk partly into the hillside. The wind was blowing waves high up the beach, snarling…


  • Windyness

    Happy Birthday to me (and thanks to those who said so). I don't mind being 36 because I've spent most of the last year thinking I already was (I've always been better with words than numbers). Any freak-outedness experienced at the arrival of 36 is outweighed by the relief at not being 37. That's far…


  • Last night's post…

    (Written yesterday evening) I'm not sure whether this is the height of civility or the depths of depravity, but I'm sitting here on the bed of a very friendly B&B with a stomach full of spaghetti marinara and vanilla cheesecake, watching the final Sex and the City and writing this entry on the laptop. Admittedly,…


  • Day 17

    This journal is a fan of Brian Minter’s whimsical and at times inconsequential, yet strangely compelling, blog entitled ‘Bears Will Attack’. So much so that we have decided, for this paragraph only, to adopt his curious style of third person writing. If, as is sometimes asserted, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery then Mr…


  • The boy was back in town

    Well, I'm back in town after an extended stay at my parents' – we'd only meant to stay overnight for a quick visit and to tape Wrestlemania but we ended up staying the extra day and night. Won't say much about Wrestlmania, as probably only Kat and Maff are interested, but it was a great…


  • Filling holes

    I wanna go to bed… But I can't. One hour left on an E-bay auction for issue 3 of 2000ad – the only one I need to complete a collection that starts with Prog 1 from 1977 and runs through (switching from my ownership to 's somewhere in the early 1990s) to a couple of…


  • Small blue thing

    Last night I broke my lack of sleep jinx, drifting off at the incredibly early time of 1am. Not long after, woke me – the room was full of blue flashing lights. It looked like half the Met Police were parked outside – but they couldn't be as the windows in that direction overlook a…


  • Immortality

    So there I was in the bathroom an hour ago, cleaning my teeth, bent forward with blood streaming from my mouth, pooling scarlet in the sink as it drained away down the plughole, the way it always does morning and evening. Only tonight it was joined by a second flow from my finger where a…


  • Stimulation

    A fairly painless visit to the Charing Cross Hospital yesterday, got seen on time and was in and out in 15 minutes, of which five was me trying to undo the knots that had evolved in my shoelaces. The consultant – very composed and urbane, with an exceedingly expensive suit – taped an electrode to…


  • Rude awakening

    Was just a moment ago jolted out of a nightmare by the postman's knock. I answered the door with images of the flat on fire still dancing in my eyes. It was an Amazon order, two CDs and a DVD. I don't *think* the postie spotted the residual panic on my face…


  • Dr Frankenstein's Monster

    Off to hospital tomorrow to have electric currents run through me (I think). Previous posts in this saga: Feb. 13th, 2003: They're going to cut a hole in me Apr. 17th, 2003: Wham bam thank you ma'am In other news, stayed up for the Australian Grand Prix last night and wished I hadn't. Utter snoozefest…


  • Anatomy of a night without sleep

    At 11pm I was coding at this machine At Midnight I was fixing myself a fruit bread sandwich At 1am I was in bed listening to Radio 4 At 2am I was in bed reading a John Winton novel At 3am I was in the front room watching the Australian Grand Prix pre-qualifying At 4am…


  • H-h-h-holy Joe!

    Mum just rang with news of an old teacher, news which really didn't surprise me at all. I won't mention his name, as I don't want to be responsible for the first known case of contempt of court via Google. But let's call him Holy Joe – because that's what we called him at the…


  • Life is like custard

    Having a very strange time of it at the moment. The stuff I took time off to do is steaming ahead – creativity firing off everywhere – the pilot of Penny Dreadful almost finished, a walking website we've been planning for maybe four years almost ready to go live, ideas for a range of CafePress…


  • Futility triumphs, hurrah

    Dean won Vermont! *does happy dance*


  • Heavy viral action

    We're getting bombarded by emails that MailWasher is flagging as probable viruses. Most of them come from Birkbeck College, where studied for a while. Guess their IT department is having a torrid time right now… Good weekend – Saturday was spent with the pair of us sat in our office / study / spare bedroom…


  • Returning from the Arctic East

    So. Back intact from snow-hit Norfolk into a world where all politicians are decent and noble and honorable, and all journalists are filthy lying bastards. Which is distinctly confusing when you've spent your entire adult life being one or the other or sometimes both similtaneously. We found out about Greg Dyke's resignation from a TV…


  • Silence

    Things have been rather quiet in this journal, and that's been in inverse proportion to life (isn't that always the way of things?). I have now finished at the Royal Mail, at least for the time being, and am starting a couple of months spent working from home on projects that I haven't previously had…


  • Should have known better…

    I'm in a pretty grim mood this morning. Stayed up too late and got too little sleep so that I could see the first results come in from the Iowa caucus on the Des Moines Register site, which has been up and down like John Kerry's poll ratings but which stayed online long enough to…


  • Hive mind

    Here's a tale about how offices, although made up of many individual people with many different agendas, will often act as a group without any form of consultation taking place. Three collections were put round on Friday, each with a card to sign and an envelope to donate money in. One was a birthday card…


  • "             "

    Well there's a thing. I just sat through Radio 3's broadcast of John Cage's 4'33″, and, much to my surprise, rather enjoyed the experience. We had it playing on two radios, one on either side of the room, and let's just say it's one of those pieces that sounds better live than on CD. It…


  • Dear Diary

    Some wonderful Alan Clarke stories here: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/magazine/3394037.stm I like Jonathan Aitken's best


  • Ho-hum

    Not having a good day. Still, not all days can be good.


  • They know where you live…

    Here's a cautionary tale about why you shouldn't even *think* about fragging around with the Freemasons. Not even a little bit. In fact, you probably shouldn't be reading this at all. There's a chap who lives elsewhere in our block who works in the City and often takes the same trains as me, all the…


  • So far, so good.

    We're all a bit stunned here. They all work: www.royalmail.com, www.postoffice.co.uk, www.parcelforce.com. None of them fell over when peak traffic hit as people arrived in their offices this morning. None of us quite know what to do with ourselves…


  • Still alive – contrary to rumours…

    Finally, more than two months late, the new-look all-singing all-dancing Royal Mail, Post Office and Parcelforce websites are due to go live tonight. This means I may get my life back and have time to do things like post here again… Actually, lack of time will shortly cease to be a problem as I have…


  • To you all


  • — > insert clever title here <–

    Right, well, the Overclockers parcel has apparently arrived, another from Firebox is on its way north of the border, and a third is due on our doorstep tomorrow morning. Things are coming together. Which is more than can be said about work, but let's not go there. There's a graffiti artist having fun near the…


  • Purgatory

    So… back at work, which is actually quite a restful way to spend a Sunday lunchtime – or would be, were it not for the very bloody journey in on a South West Trains service with a magnetic attraction to every tiny obsure not-normally-stopped-at station on the route. Not really sure where Saturday went, which…


  • Catch-up post

    So, yes, the Christmas lunch went well, all very jolly, and afterwards we trailed back (some very much later than others) and prodded our keyboards in a desultary manner, making vague attempts to look as if we were working but fooling no-one. Apart from that life continues to happen, even though at the moment I'm…


  • Party on, dudes

    It's the office Christmas Lunch today (even though we're all on the final, final, we-really-mean-it-this-time deadline and people are back to working weekends and until 11pm). At Noon we drop everything and make merry at a bar called Sex in the City, which has cubbyholes with beds in them, apparently. Then we all return to…


  • The true cost of Christmas…

    …is $65,264 according to US bank PNC, which every year calculates the cost of all the items in the “12 Days of Christmas” carol. This year, giving your true love everything from the partridge to the drummers drumming is up 16%. Apparently gold rings are cheaper, but swans are way more expensive. “The Index reflects…


  • Gone but not forgotten

    I really don't understand this. Last year we went on a walking holiday, ten days on the South West Coast Path, and I took my cheque book with me. After we returned I never saw it again. I existed quite happily for many months without one, until finally I needed to write a cheque (to…


  • Good news

    Some news, initially posted in LiveJournal while this place was down: Sarah got her results yesterday: the cancer had not spread into her lymph nodes. She's as good as she can be. Drinks are on me.


  • Seasonal pasteboard

    So if anyone wants a Christmas / Yuletide / whatever card, drop me an e-mail to the address in the user profile… and if you're in the US, make it quick 'cause I think last posting date is tomorrow.


  • Waving not drowning

    Spent an enjoyable 90 minutes on MSN with Sarah, who's in good spirits, and her Other Half Dave. It was their first-ever IM session, using the cam and mike that I set them up with at the weekend. Sarah says “Hi”.


  • I don't care what the weatherman says

    Dean campaign 1 – 0 New Hampshire weather


  • My leige, the people are revolting

    So yesterday I led a popular revolution, albeit only a small one in which no blood was shed and no martyrs were created. My train into work was packed, standing room only long before it even reached my stop. By Clapham Junction we were squeezed in like the proverbial sardines and I was being pressed…


  • Slice of life

    I am trying to ignore the implications of the Independent's lead story today, Glaxo chief: Our drugs do not work on most patients. Apparantly it's an open secret in the pharmaceutical industry that more than half of patients receive absolutely no benefit whatsoever from the expensive drugs they're prescribed. That includes two thirds of Alzheimers…


  • Hometime

    Well, I saw Sarah in hospital yesterday and now I find she's coming home in the next hour or so. I guess that's good news, but it seems a bit quick to me. She looked pale and tired yesterday, but in good spirits and optimistic. She particularly asked me to thank everyone who posted their…


  • Update

    Going home tomorrow to see Sarah in hospital. Have heard positive noises about op from family. Fingers crossed. Work have been very supportive – told me to take Friday off when I was obviously too preoccupied and worried to even leave home on time. I don’t generally name names in here, but a public thanks…


  • Thank you

    Firstly, thanks to everyone on both DeadJournal and LiveJournal who've posted their good wishes. It's very much appreciated. I hope to visit Sarah at the weekend and I'll tell her people are thinking of her. I'll update occasionally on how she's doing but mostly I won't be writing about her because it's not my story…


  • This is not really happening.

    I am a journalist by training. I am not scared of words. They are my tools and my building blocks. So I am not scared by the word “cancer”. I do not speak it in a whisper, as if quietness could reduce its impact. I do not leave it out of sentences, as if ignoring…


  • Good afternoon. Here is the news.

    Some links: On US politics, two stories that illustrate the gap between the Democrats' attempts to unseat Bush on the one hand, and the President's re-election campaign on the other. Those of us who were starting to get caught up by the 'Bush is in trouble' momentum might have to start calming our enthusiasm… Culture…


  • Night, all.

    Well, I did have a long entry planned, full of such things as why it's not wise to be near a plastic bottle of mineral water when a car runs over it, and a meditation on the perfidious nature of women when complimented on their new haircut. But since I've got a stormer of a…


  • Thursday update

    Busy busy busy – but still here, despite silence.


  • Wheeee!

    Just took the old 128Mb memory card out of our cheapo Hungarian PC and replaced it with a pair of 512Mb cards… man, this baby is smokin' now!


  • News digest

    From today's news headlines: Now this guy I can sympathise with. Man hid in wardrobe to avoid work A German man who did not turn up to work because he fancied a day off was found hiding in his wardrobe. Bosses at the painting and decorating firm in Koblenz, Germany, where the man works, called…


  • Hurry hurry chop-chop quickee go

    Well, that was fun. I was woken up this morning by the sound of a car revving outside the window. It took a split second to realise this meant I hadn't been woken by an alarm clock and I catapulted out of bed, knowing I'd overslept. In fact, it was already the time at which…


  • Manic Monday

    Hectic day. We teeter on the edge of chaos, always staying just the right side of it. My stomach is complaining at being cruelly fooled – it thought yesterday's pig out meant the period of austerity was over and the happy days were back. It doesn't like having to make do with a salad and…


  • Typical

    Well, it's Sunday and I'm at work and guess what? The system's just been taken down. Am consoling myself with a fried egg sandwich, marvelling afresh at the beauty of the colours when white bread, golden egg yolk and red ketchup combine in layers. And a colleague is cracking open a tin of chocolates… not…


  • Quiz time

    Morpheus ?? Which Of The Greek Gods Are You ?? brought to you by Quizilla


  • Oooops

    I just got Saturday back – the system's down at the moment and they won't get it back until Sunday so no work for me tomorrow. This is getting silly…


  • Goodbye weekend

    Looks like I'm going to be working Saturday and Sunday both… Extra money is always useful, and lunch will be free, but the galling thing is that although is also working the weekend she doesn't have to be in until mid afternoon, when realistically I need to be looking at 11, maybe Noon at the…


  • Pregnant pause

    Is it just me? A colleague who's off on maternity leave brought her baby in yesterday. She was instantly mobbed – not just by the women but also by the men who had children of their own. There was much cooing and hupsy-daisying and ickle-sweet-thinging, and a certain amount of bouncing up and down on…


  • Men! Increase your surreality size!

    Got home, checked my e-mails, found these two beauties. What can they mean? Future, the model republic – as much so as was Rome in her day; Wish You Had a Bigger Penis? Do the same; whenever there is any difference, he should. We Can Help you, Safely height columns of air and vapour, which…


  • Where's the fire?

    Well, that was exciting. There's a fire alarm test every Thursday, so early that I'm never here for it, but today isn't Thursday and the alarm went off anyway. So we all trooped outside and huddled in the square, getting gently watered by the rain. Just at the point we were starting to grumble about…


  • I have cast my bread upon the waters…

    Well, it's done. I've e-mailed off my entry to the BBC Canterbury Tales writing competition. Now we just sit back and see. The only previous time I entered a writing competition I won a national commendation. Mind you, I was about 14 at the time so I dare say I'm a bit rusty. I've posted…


  • I won't gloat…

    …but it's bloody hard not to. Discworld: Which Ankh-Morpork City Watch Character are YOU?brought to you by Quizilla


  • My God, what have I become?

    Am trying to remember the last time I ate a bar of chocolate, and I can't. It may be something approaching a month ago. I find this astonishing, as until then I was capable of knocking three bars off in a single day. In other news, I would very much prefer to be asleep at…


  • Weekend warfare

    Weekends represent warfare for me. On the one side is the part of me that says ‘it’s the weekend, dammit – slob out, you’ve earned it’. This is the part of me that fancies a lie-in until 11am, followed by a leisurely potter about and breakfast that takes me to 1pm, followed by a day…


  • Bon mots de nos jour, matey

    Phone conversation this evening: Caller: Age Concern! Me: Are you? Caller: Age Concern! Me: Are you? Caller: Age Concern? Me: I'm not – are you? Caller: I have a wrong number. *rings off* ————– Clement Freud on Have I Got News For You this week, talking about the Betsy Duncan Smith 'scandal': “When I was…


  • The plot thickens

    Things are heating up at work… we're being asked to volunteer to work evenings and weekends until deadline (for extra money, of course). No pressure – quite genuinely – but it's a rare sign of urgency in a very relaxed environment.


  • Warning: 80s nostalgia

    Everyone has a subject on which they get boring and prone to pinning people in corners at parties and droning on at them. Mine – one of mine – is the sheer bloody brilliance of the Human League. We picked up a copy of their 'very best of' DVD when we were on holiday and…


  • Hungry

    You hear that low rumbling growling noise? It's my stomach. Carrots just don't cut it. I brought some alcoholic fudge back from Corwall for the office and everyone – well, almost everyone – is happily munching on it. Just two of us are virtuously abstaining. But on the plus side, we had a normal evening…


  • Resolve

    Having lost more inches from my waistline than I'd even known I possessed while walking, I am now making a vague attempt to keep them off. No more cheese on toast. This morning I ate some of the boss's carrots – and none of her chocolate chip cookies. And this lunchtime, instead of something involving…


  • Back


  • Ah well.

    We viewed the property. It didn't work out. Such is life.


  • Snatched moment

    Am in St Ives, in the 'staying in one place' part of the holiday, on a PC in the library. Last week was the 'walking til you drop' part of the holiday, in which we walked 80 miles in seven days and I lost so much weight that I'm half the man I was. I…


  • Sunday migraine yum yum yummm

    Well, that was a crap weekend. Although one with nice moments interspersed among the faeces. But basically crap. Hope everyone else's went better.


  • Sat-on-my-backside-urday

    Very odd day today. Doesn't seem to have got started yet, and it's pushing 11pm. Have been attacking the housework – ironing, laundry, re-hanging fallen posters – and also working on the new-look website. A whole lot more pages are now online for testing here. There's still a fair number of dead links – particularly…


  • Friday Friday la la la

    All I can say is, I'm glad today was a four-day week. We have a big project deadline on November 9th and it's getting more and more stressed as the time rushes by. I don't think I could have handled a normal five-dayer.


  • Fzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzt *poff*

    Well that'll teach us Londoners not to be so smug about the American black-out… As I write this, hundreds of commuters are still struggling to get home from work after a power failure knocked out the London Underground and seriously stressed the mainline rail services. I got held late in a meeting, or I might…


  • War and peace

    We had a great evening last night, as those of you who also follow 's journal will already know. She met me from the station and we went swimming, the first time we've gone to Hampton Open Air Pool in the evening. I no longer swim like a brick, but I'm hardly what you'd call…


  • Oh no she doesn't!

    LEVEL 5 — SOMEWHAT FEMININEYour Mom already knows. Smart girls in the office already know that you like to sleep with men. Your straight acting traits are few and far between as your feminine traits start to surface. You tend to be a real sensitive guy that gets along great with the female posse at…


  • Hollow laugh

    Hah. So true. _random_ is worn out. Sleep when you're dead! Whether it's emotionally or physically, you're exhausted. Have you considered sleeping pills? I took them when I had mono, and they made everything better. brought to you by interim32.wanna know your livejournal's mood ring color?enter your username and hit the button. Livejournal Mood Ring…


  • And Noah did build an ark to survive the flood

    No day can end well that starts with spilling coffee over your desk…


  • Pinched from <lj user="kittybitch">

    The nine circles of Hell, my version: Triple H, George W BushCircle I Limbo Al Davis and the Oakland RaidersCircle II Whirling in a Dark & Stormy Wind John C MurphyCircle III Mud, Rain, Cold, Hail & Snow Bill GatesCircle IV Rolling Weights Fat businessmen on trainsCircle V Stuck in Mud, Mangled River Styx Scientologists,…


  • Been and gone

    Last Christmas there was a young homeless guy called Tony sleeping rough against a wall of the Bank of England, and I'd stop to talk to him quite often. He was engaging, cheerful, full of hope for the future and – so far as I could tell – stone cold sober and drug-free. I wasn't…


  • Elevated

    I've been feeling a little wary of lifts recently, following the charming little tale that posted a couple of days ago. Just took the lift down to the canteen on the lower ground floor (one slice of eggy bread, for those interested). For the second day running, the lift echoed with the sound of water…


  • Does the 'W' stand for 'Whale'?

    George W Bush is a very surprising man. Just as you get used to regarding him as the spawn of Satan, his administration does something that makes you want to jump up and cheer. Not so long ago Bush visited sub-Saharan Africa. I dont know the details of what he promised and did, but AngieJ,…


  • Gunk is good

    Well, the great experiment is over. For the last three weeks I haven't used hair gel or any other such gunk to keep my barnet under control. Since hardly a day had passed in the previous 20 years when I hadn't slathered it in hairspray (as a teenager), styling mousse (in my 20s) and now…


  • Apples, plums and pralines

    Today I went to a Lib Dem fundraiser, a garden party at the house of the chair of the Brentford and Isleworth branch. It was a very civilised affair, as you'd expect when the host was made an OBE in the New Year's Honours list for his work with the All England Lawn Tennis Club…


  • Our workplace environment…

    As if a mass power-outage wasn't enough, the corridors of power in the US are reeling from a new threat – killer wasps. The BBC website is reporting that nests of the wasps – which are about one and a half inches long – are appearing in doorways at the State Department. Staff have been…


  • Powerless

    Have just been watching pictures on the ITN news of people milling around in New York after evacuating buildings and public transport following a power failure. When called me from work to say the news was breaking, we both feared another September 11th. Seems we've escaped that. But great swathes of the most populated parts…


  • Power welding

    Received another Nigerian scam email today, and it's highly topical – I'd been wondering whether they were cashing in on the Liberian crisis at all. This one is from a purported Brigadier General Daniel Mason, who thanks to a joyful typo has lost the opportunity to weld. Must be a lack of solders… *groan* Notice…


  • The darkness advances

    The place in the park where on Tuesday I stood to call a fire engine was, when I walked home from work today, the latest area to be reduced to black, smoking stubble. It was fine this morning. Let it rain soon…


  • Eeeeeeeeeeeeeew

    I've been happily chewing away on a hot buttered crumpet, vaguely wondering what the strange taste might be while my mind has mostly been on HTML tags. I've just identified it. Toasted mould. If I don't post tomorrow, you'll know I've died in the night of furry-crumpet poisoning. And now if you'll excuse me, I'm…


  • Errrm… excuse me?

    This evening I have been assertive. It's not something I make a habit of – usually I like to ask people's permission before I do it, and if it doesn't fit in with their plan I don't bother. (That was a joke, by the way.) But joking aside, it's not a trait I'm famous for.…


  • Same again with a side order of sameness

    This morning when I left for work there were two fire engines in the centre of the park, putting out a fire in the trees at its centre. I've had worse days at work, but it was awful hot. I spent almost the entire afternoon in a meeting in another company's offices. It was air…


  • Displeasing symmetry

    I just went out to pick from the station and found another fire engine just pulling up by the park, a smell of smoke just wafting off it in the dusk. So the day ends the way it began… Just had this IM conversation: EatTheMeekyummm: why would kids burn parks? EatTheMeekyummm: here they just egg…


  • Fields of Fire

    This morning I walked to the station through charred and blackened grass, the smell of burning hanging in the air, a fire engine in the distance. We live by a large park. Each summer the council keeps the grass on one half cut but lets the other half grow wild. Paths slice through the overgrown…


  • Why are vegetables always so damn pornographic-looking?

    We might not be carrying on with the allotment next year, but that doesn’t mean we’re going to let the stuff that’s already in the ground wither and die. So we went over there this evening, and came back with three gherkiny-cucumbery things, a squash and a curiously-shaped tomato (actually, two ordinary ones fused together).…


  • Doing the rounds

    Just been for a 1am stroll round the flats and out onto the main road to see where the music, shouting and smoke are all coming from. One lot of neighbours, with a marquee and a taste for Status Quo and Kylie, seem to have packed up for the night. But another lot have jacked…


  • 76362

    So we thought we'd go out for the afternoon after I got back from lunch with , and decided to head into Sussex for a walk on the South Downs. Specifically, we hoped to complete a figure-of-eight-shaped walk that we'd started last year but only been able to finish one loop of. This time we…


  • Journallers who lunch

    Just got back from a very pleasant lunch in Weybridge with , first time we've met face-to-face despite knowing each other online for a few years now. It was – to trot out the old cliche – good to put a face and voice to the name and writing style.


  • Huh?

    Today is confusing me. I think it's still the heat as I had a little more sleep than I've been managing this week. But I've just gone out to buy lunch (guacamole bagel and vanilla Coke) and it was a nightmare. Traffic baffled me – I couldn't assess where it was going or how long…


  • Wonderful…

    …as if there weren't enough things going on to make me angry at the moment. Iceland has announced it's going to resume whaling, using the excuse that it needs scientific data on the effects of minke whales on its fish stocks. It seems the Icelandic Tourist Bureau, which knows very well the damage this will…


  • More pics from the new Harry Potter film

    Photos here There's the previously-seen Harry/Hermione photo and three new ones, including the first shots of Gary Oldman as Sirius Black and Michael Gambon as Dumbledore.


  • Horse manure

    I'm seriously pissed off – and I mean seriously pissed off – about the allotment. We went there yesterday evening for the first time in over a week. The plants were basically still okay, a few were suffering from lack of water but no real worries there. But someone from the management committee had been…


  • Meanderings

    Figured while my website's down I'd redirect the URL to this journal. Can't decide whether to put the old one up on different webspace, or whether to just push on and finish the new one, wait until that's done. Is there any need to say, it's too damn hot today? I have Friday off work…


  • Breakfast warfare

    Logged on over breakfast and got hit by four IM windows at once. Seems there's been a major roadcrash in journal-land. I don't aim to fan the flames, so I'm disabling comments to this post. I'm just saying this: I don't believe that people who have demonstrated time and again that they are honest, open…


  • A Potter thought

    I had a bit of a Harry Potter thought in the middle of the night while the neighbours were crashing around upstairs on their wooden floor like a herd of elephants, and sleep was slow to come. is very excited about it – when JKR was interviewed by Jeremy Paxman in the run-up to the…


  • Happy Friday

    System's down here… so it's quiet. Much to do when it comes up. Bleugh. Small world syndrome strikes: I called my predecessor as Feltham and Heston Liberal Democrat Parliamentary candidate yesterday. First time I've spoken to him in years. Probably not since 1998. Turns out his girlfriend is about to start as junior reporter in…


  • The war escalates

    Ahem. I really wasn't going to go on about Mrs Cheese this week as I realise the joke's getting stale (so's the cheese) but I just have to post after this morning… I made it down to the canteen late… and found her in the queue ahead of me. In fact, she was the queue…


  • ISPs… who'd trust 'em?

    Bloody Blue Carrots seems to have shut down its entire 'users' domain. This means my webspace has been deleted and andydarley.com is off line until I can get myself organised to upload it somewhere else and change where the URL redirect points. They'd already frozen the webspace since the end of June so I couldn't…


  • Gah I say, and gah again.

    I am not happy. I cut my tongue crunching a boiled sweet earler today. It's bleeding again. I'm going to bed for a while.


  • Obsessive much?


  • La la, Monday Monday

    So. The office move has happened and I'm trying to get used to a new existance in a goldfish bowl. But, as the fact I'm posting would suggest, at least I've got a good position in the bowl (hiding behind a bit of weed and a knobbly bit of ornamental coral). I've no idea what…


  • Triumph

    No words are needed when a picture replaces 1,000…


  • We are the hollow men


  • Beyond a joke

    I don't believe in conspiracy theories. I don't think the FBI murdered Kennedy, or that aliens kidnap cows, or that TV newsreaders can look out of their screens and see us. So I am totally calm about the fact that when I just went into the kitchen to make cheese on toast, and finally exorcise…


  • Some people have no shame…


  • Random miscellany

    Cheese update: none left today either. Mrs Cheese is in our office right now, she's never come in before… she's making strange noises with Sellotape just out of my line of vision but hasn't said a word to us. I can can almost smell the cheddar on her guilty breath and see the crumbs of…


  • Cheeseless again

    I feel really grim this morning – like I've just finished working a full day, instead just being about to start one. Partly tiredness (although I got six hours sleep – that's loads for me), partly the humidity, partly I just feel like a slobbish wreck at the moment. Mrs Cheese (see yesterday) had been…


  • Toast wars

    For the second day running I've made it down to the canteen for my morning cheese on toast just in time to see the last slices disappearing on the tray of the same woman from human resources. Four slices she's taken each day. Four! Can you imagine? Some of that cheese on toast had my…


  • Return of a classic

    I like to post these west African scam e-mails whenever I receive them because they're usually little classics of invention, with a language all of their own. In recent years they've evolved and developed, spawning all sorts of bizarre sob-stories of refugees and civil war widows, but it would appear that the classic version is…


  • Different ways to die

    We're back home from the boat alive and well, which isn't as facile a thing to say as it sounds – only hours after we left, a woman died a little downstream of where we had been when the cruiser she was on capsized. Here's some links: Boat owner defends safety record ~ BBC Norfolk…


  • Waving not drowning (hopefully)

    Tonight, at about 1am, we're heading up to my parents as a stop-over on the way to the Norfolk Broads tomorrow morning. We're spending three days in and around Horning on the boat, doing what we should have done from the beginning – having proper lessons. The potential for high comedy – or low farce…


  • Humane slaughter

    You can take the man out of politics, but you can't take the politics out of the man… Saw this on BBC Online: Lib Dems plan cull of Whitehall At least eight government departments should be abolished and 30 ministers culled in a huge shake-up of Whitehall, say the Liberal Democrats. There's a lot to…


  • Branded for life

    So I got on the bus to go to the station this morning and there as usual was a young Irish mother with her four children, the oldest being twin boys of maybe nine. Noisy brats that she can't control. They both wore blue caps with the Nike tick on. A couple of stops later…


  • Broken, bloody and beered up (sort of)

    This morning I forgot that the alarm on my mobile phone was still set to go off at 5.30am. I’d left it resting against a glass coaster on a wooden cupboard and the sound when it went off, the vibrations against the glass amplified by the bass-box cupboard, was like no noise I’ve ever been…


  • Quick, quick!

    If you are American: ignore this post. If you are British, and it's before 10.30pm on Friday July 11th, ring 09011 21 44 05 to get Jon back in the Big Brother house. If you are British, and it's after that time, pretend to be American :o)


  • Divestment

    So last night I chaired a meeting of the Hounslow Liberal Democrats' executive committee and told them of my decision to resign from just about everything. It actually went pretty well. Better than I feared. The general concensus was that if I felt I had to do this thing, then it was entirely my call…


  • Junkie

    Same category as , then: Are you Addicted to the Internet? 74% Hardcore Junkie (61% – 80%)While you do get a bit of sleep every night and sometimes leave the house, you spend as much time as you can online. You usually have a browser, chat clients, server consoles, and your email on auto check…


  • A very English obsession…

    Webcam + GIF animator = new icon :o)


  • The past and stuff

    has picked up an interesting idea from one of her contacts: listing and explaining anything you have in your 'interests' that no-one else has. I have one interest on DeadJournal that no-one else shares, the football team I've supported since I was a kid, Ipswich Town FC – although that could be down to formatting…


  • Trust me…

    I like to think that I'm pretty fireproof when it comes to advertising and sponsorship. I don't tend to fall for it. In fact I usually sneer at it. So how to explain the fact that I'm sitting at my desk looking quizzically at a box containing a webcam that I've just bought? Admittedly, it…


  • What the hell, I'm awake

    Oh, the joys of sleeplessness… Woke up at 4am suffering from a surfeit of late-digested pizza. Note to self: evening meals are best eaten in the evening, not at near-as-dammit midnight.


  • It's all happening here

    Whoa. Exciting life here. How many days since I last posted and the most thrilling thing I have to write about since then is harvesting another 3lb 3oz of potatoes off the allotment today. I bet you’re all so glad you stuck me on your friends list now, aren’t you? Actually, stuff has been happening…


  • Political suicide

    If you've been following this journal for a while you may have noticed that I used to talk about politics a lot, and now I hardly do at all. There's a reason for this. I'm sick of it. And I think that, for almost the first time in over 15 years, I'm dropping out of…


  • Live and Dead

    I'm now trying to track so many livejournals that I think it's time I set one up myself. Not to write in – this is where I'll do that – but to set up a friends list for ease of monitoring. So is there anyone out there who can let me have a code? Thanks…


  • Oh yeah…

    … I meant to say earlier, I have for 24 hours allowed myself to use this picture as my desktop wallpaper at work… any more than that, I do not think The Royal Mail will stand for. Everything I said earlier about fan fiction applies doubly so to fan art. 


  • My oh my

    We have just eaten most of the potatoes we harvested yesterday, cooked in a variety of expert ways by and accompanied by copious quantities of red wine, and by golly they tasted good.


  • Commuting

    I've written before about the irritation of being near expansive businessmen on trains, the sort who spread their newspaper and their knees wide for maximum convenience and sod the rest of the carriage. However this morning I actually went and sat opposite one to get away from who I'd ended up with. I had a…


  • Triumph, thy name is the Duke of York

    We managed half an hour on the allotment today, just to see how bad things were with the disease that was killing off the potatoes last time I went over. The first row we put down – Duke of Yorks – are almost done for and the second is looking distinctly yellow. The other two…


  • English as she is wrote

    David Paull, you r0x0r my s0x0r fo sho :o) [take the test] – [by krystaljungle.com]


  • In honour of Spike, I am naming this post "Potato".

    Firstly, a big welcome to my friends' list to Spike (). I've felt for some time that he was a glaring omission from DJ: the world looks… strange through his eyes. Audrey, Zowie – I'd take it as a personal favour if you'd stop by and say 'hello' to him, it'd make his day. Spike…


  • The little stuff and the Big Stuff


  • Wanderlust

    Beloved Other Half’s given me itchy feet with her list of ten places she’d rather be… quite a few would be on my list too. She’s also told me about a webcam at the yard where our [intlink id=”fair-breeze” type=”page”]boat[/intlink] is moored… look here (probably best in daylight). Why don’t we go sail her more…


  • Slash!

    I have to show you this link: it's a LiveJournal post of an IM conversation between two writers of Harry Potter fan fiction. DO NOT FOLLOW IT IF YOU DON'T WANT TO BE SPOILERED! (The rest of this post should be okay, though.) I think it's hysterically funny – two very knowing people poking gentle…


  • All Pottered out

    Finished the damn thing. I can't believe we've both managed to read a 766-page book in a weekend. My brain now feels like it's melting out of my ears. Book four (Goblet of Fire) was a real disappointment. This one wasn't. And that's all I have to say on the subject until it's sunk in…


  • Pottered

    Just cracked and went to the supermarket to buy a copy of the new Harry Potter book as the one we pre-ordered is unlikely to arrive before Monday. It wasn't selling particularly fast at all…


  • Good News / Bad News

    Two bits of news on the political front today, one that pleases me greatly, one that does very much the opposite. On the good side, there's been another council by-election in Burnley, the town where the British National Party is on the march and has succeeded in getting nine councillors elected. This made them the…


  • Same-old same-old

    I walked into the office on Monday and people said 'gosh, you look relaxed'. It's only Thursday and already I look completely wrecked and am desperate for sleep. Four days to undo the good done by a fortnight off work. Something has to change here. Tiredness does so many bad things to me. It makes…


  • This England

    Today I have to go to Milton Keynes for a training course. What is Milton Keynes? See here. And from the same site, where I live.


  • Can't make an omlette…

    There is no such thing as the day that can't be improved by a plateful of scrambled egg on toast and a big cup of tea :o) I got called an idiot today, on the Forza Minardi message board. I'm not sure how long I've been hanging around on boards and chatrooms and places like…


  • You know what..?

    It's too damn hot to write stuff.


  • I smile a sinister smile…

    Find out which Discworld guy you are. And got Granny Weatherwax – let nobody say these quizzes aren't accurate… ;o)


  • Point scoring (or not)

    Okay sort of a weekend… certainly had worse. Photo session on Saturday with Simon Hughes, Lib Dem candidate for Mayor of London. He's doing a quick tour of London before the campaign hots up getting photos with local Lib Dem parties for use in leaflets and stuff in the future. So we toured Hounslow Bus…


  • Ah well…

    Still at home :o(


  • Ah well…

    …back home :o(


  • Dark and light

    I'm in a cybercafe in Reykjavík, a dark cavern with no light except what filters in from the mall and what reflects from the screens of the online gamers. Gunfire, explosions, gory death – all in silence because the gamers are wearing headphones. A very strange place. Have just tried to read back through my…


  • Mountain peaks and artichoke hearts


  • Furthest North


  • Clothes horse / clothes whore

    I hate clothes shopping, hate it with a passion. And by 'clothes shopping' I don't mean the classic male aversion to following his partner around while she chooses between three identical trouser suits. I mean shopping for myself. I don't consider I have particularly good judgement when it comes to deciding whether I look good…


  • I gotta 'nother one!

    STRICTLY PRIVATE & CONFIDENTIAL Ms Maraya Taraba Pretoria South Africa. 1st June 2003. Email: marayataraba2@excite.com Sir, It is my great pleasure to write you this letter on behalf of my colleagues. Your information were given to me by a member of the South African Export Promotion Council (SAEPC) who was with the Government delegation on…


  • Educational stuff

    I've been assuming that everyone knows what an allotment is, but the cultural divide has defeated me. For those who've been wondering 'what the hell is he wittering on about?', here's enlightenment: EatTheMeek yumm: what is an allotment by the way? Rand0m0ccurrence: It's a plot of land where you can grow vegetables… it used to…


  • Fruitful growth

    We made a couple of visits to the allotment today. The first was during the hottest part of the day – stupid idea in retrospect – and we achieved nothing except to get demoralised and pick up sun-dried headaches. So we abandoned that, retreated home until it got cooler, and then took the Spitfire with…


  • All-seeing eye

    Increasingly, it's not real unless you've seen it on camera. There was Big Brother tonight, of course, and who'll really miss Anoushka? But last night there was some programme about the Westminster Police, co-ordinating routine operations against drug pushers and handbag snatchers in Soho via CCTV. Every so often the officers monitoring the cameras spotted…


  • Work. Harder. Damn. You.

    Today's two projects: 1. Setting up . It's a community – feel free to join. Or not. 2. Unpicking the mess caused by the travel agent sending us an e-mail confirming we were booked into a hotel that, on closer examination, turns out to have shut down at the end of last summer. In other…


  • Some don't like it hot

    Euh. Hot day in the City of London. Flushed from success at yesterday's correct call about clothing – wearing a heavy leather jacket on what turned out to be a dull, overcast day – genius here wore it again today with the result that I am a mobile sweatbox in multiple black layers. Everyone else…


  • Flock of Seagulls

    I ran this morning – I actually ran, twice. Once for the bus and once to get across the railway level crossing before the barriers came down. It's the first time I've run since I broke the foot. I won't say it was an entirely painless experience but there was nothing you could describe as…


  • Northern Lights with extra cheese and jalapenos

    On June 3rd, in theory at least, we head off to Iceland for ten days. (I say ‘in theory’ because we still haven’t had confirmation from the travel company, although they’ve taken our money.)


  • A word of advice

    If you have two Dead Journals, or if two people in your household have DJs, don't try logging into both similtaneously using different browsers to edit styles as you are likely to find that style information jumps from one to another. That's why my journal spent an hour the same shade of beige as 's…


  • Aquabatics

    If the song had gone “I'm easy, easy like Saturday morning” it wouldn't have scanned and would never have caught on. But it catches a mood and that's the mood of this morning. Not that it was a lazy morning. We went swimming at Hampton Open Air Pool, which is a bit of a throwback…


  • Orwellian musings


  • Entries

    Went back to the physio today… she reckons the exercises and the improved walking style have done their work and I'm a week away from being more or less back to normal. Yay for fit feet! I'm off to watch the start of Big Brother in a moment, and sod what certain people on T21…


  • The end

    Two links about the last episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, courtesy of Jenny Miller’s ever-readable Heck’s Kitchen. Washington Post: Fangs for the memories, Buffy (you’ll need to fill some nonsense into their log-in screen) MSN: In Joss we trust And one from the Independent: Farewell Buffy, and fangs for the memories.


  • Mobile telephony


  • Bad start

    On a bad day, breakfast is the highlight. No saying yet whether today will be good, bad or indifferent but breakfast already went wrong. I poured out the last bowl of my favourite honey-coated cereal (YAY! for honey-coated breakfast products), dumped half a pint of milk on it, and scarfed the couple of first spoonfuls.…


  • A tragic loss

    I got another of my favourite type of spam – the African money-laundering scam. It was the first since November, which is a shame as I enjoy them so much. Here it is: Subject: treat as urgent and confidential From : Mrs. Muna Zulu Iyama, refugee Camp, South Africa Email: mrs_muzu@arabtop.net Dear Friend, Complements of…


  • Wiggle it, just a little bit

    I saw a physiotherapist last night about my foot, which has been hurting recently. She was recommended by a chap with an allotment near ours and she bases herself out of a rowing club nearby on the Thames. So when I got there the place was crawling with fit-looking healthy muscled people (men, women and…


  • It's all abaht efficks, innit?


  • Read 'em like a book

    I forgot to bring a book with me to read on the train this morning, so I was reduced to trying to read my fellow passengers instead. And unlike most mornings, where everyone blurs into a mass of anonymous commuter grey, there was a trainful of individuals this morning. I first sat opposite a woman…


  • Neighbours

    Feeling a bit better now… made it into work okay, had some orange juice which perked me up a bit. There's a crowd of morons in the next room, which was empty yesterday, either new inhabitants or people moving desks to make ready for new inhabitants. Whichever, it sounds like there's a football crowd through…


  • Whacked

    Feel awful. Really tired. Had to stay up to 2.30am for each of last two nights working on writing and laying-out a newsletter. Then the alarm clock going off at 6.30 for work. It's done now but I feel like shite.


  • FFW >>

    Wheee, today's really flying by.


  • Good Stuff

    Now that was a pretty good weekend. Saturday was constructive and successful, with a quick allotment visit followed by a blitz on doing useful stuff like putting the car through a car wash, buying more breakfast cereal (you can never have too much), and replacing the leaky kettle. But more than that, the day kept…


  • Gore is good

    Gah. I hate shaving. Electric razors don't do the job for me, and blades play havoc with the moles on my throat. So when I'm not in beard-mode my mornings are punctuated with gore – blood on my throat from the razor, blood in the sink from my gums when I clean my teeth. Great…


  • Sparkle-less

    I managed to get the proverbial eight hours sleep last night and I'm still tired, which seems grossly unfair to me. The foot's healing slowly – most of the bruising's gone but it still hurts to walk any sort of distance and I limp badly. Despite this, I'm walking to and from the stations at…


  • Merry-go-round

    …wake up …get up …go to work …come home …squeeze a day into an evening …go to bed …sleep …wake up …get up …go to work …come home …squeeze a day into an evening …go to bed …sleep …wake up …get up …go to work …come home …squeeze a day into an evening …go to…


  • A man who keeps his promises…

    Just received this e-mail from my former journalism tutor Tim Lenton. Dear all When I was in Amsterdam airport last week and had just been overbooked on a flight by KLM (61 booked, 50 seats) despite checking in in good time, I got quite angry and told them I would e-mail everyone on my list…


  • Ghost

    I saw David Racardio today. Who? Not really anyone in particular, just an American (from Pennsylvania if I remember correctly, but maybe I don't) who was over doing a doctorate at the UEA while I was a student there. He and another PhD-type called Gail Low were drafted in to teach a term or two…


  • Reborn in the USA

    Just voted for Leee John in the Reborn in the USA poll… if that grinning nonentity Sonia beats him there's no justice in the world… Mind you, whoever said there was justice in the world? Is anyone else watching 'Reborn'? And is it screening in the States too, or just the UK?


  • I could've told you this without a quiz…

    Which 80s High School Movie Are You?…aka the Molly Ringwald appreciation quiz…brought to you by Quizilla Life moves pretty fast… ;o) (Note to self – do fewer quizzes…)


  • Yeah, yeah, call me sad, I don't mind…

    In a quiet moment (or three) I was curious about how many of the different 'mood' choices I'd used in this journal. I figured there was maybe half a dozen I used most of the time. Boy, was I wrong. So far (excluding whatever I put at the end of this post) I've used 72…


  • Unbelievable.


  • Nostalgia ain't what it used to be

    Not the answer I expected, but any quiz that mentions the Breakfast Club and Northern Exposure gets my vote: What decade does your personality live in?Quiz brought to you by Lady Interference Ltd


  • High Flight

    I'm not really a poetry person. In the long list of literature it ranks – for me – a long way behind the novel, the play, the screenplay and even the well-crafted graphic novel in its ability to move me. I find it very difficult to read a poem and feel the emotions or live…


  • Blast me bor!

    Wild amusement in the Darley-Hutchins household today at the discovery that British Oprah-wannabe Trisha had made herself extremely unpopular in her adopted home county of Norfolk by saying that all the women there were far too stupid for her to hang out with. (Telegraph, TV Trisha says Norfolk women are 'intellectually inferior'.) Now, we lived…


  • Reaction

    Updates on the two journals I mentioned yesterday: I can't get Salam Pax, which either means I botched the link, or that he's gone offline. I suspect the latter… which would be a real shame (to say the least). Worrying, also. AngieJ, on the other hand, is still very much there and somewhat stunned by…


  • You've got to laugh…

    I sort of saw this coming… but I'm now going through deleting all the work I stayed until 9pm last night to do. There was nothing wrong with its accuracy – but the format was awful and by demonstrating it I've been able to sell them on a different and better format. Easier to update,…


  • Essential reading

    Two journals everyone should read: Salam Pax is an Iraqi in Baghdad, giving updates on what's happening in the city whenever he can get internet access. Here's a sample: we start counting the hours from the moment one of the news channels report that the B52s have left their airfield. It takes them around 6…


  • Too late

    I didn't leave work until ten past nine last night, for one reason or another, and so I got home too late to catch Mum when she phoned from the hotel – but she left an answerphone message and it sounds like they had a good flight and like the hotel lots, so all is…


  • Flying high

    Well, barring delays Mum and Dad are in mid-air now on their way out to their Golden Wedding anniversary holiday in Malta. I never thought when I booked it that there'd be a war on when they were flying. There's no reason why there should be a problem, but I'll still be glad when they…


  • Triumphs, tribulations and potatoes.

    The weekend was overshadowed by the anger at the end of it – the anger that fuelled my last post – but up until that point we’d had a really good couple of days. For starters, having worked since November to clear the ground at the allotment, on Sunday we finally planted something. We dug…


  • Open letter to George W Bush

    Dear Mr Bush, I just thought I'd write you an open letter because I was wondering how many more Britons you were planning on killing in this war of yours. You probably haven't heard of Norfolk – not the one in Virginia, I mean the English county I spent seven years living in, the one…


  • Should have seen it coming…

    Just now, my colleagues appeared out of nowhere with a cake, like they did last year… Walked right into that one, Andy.


  • Yay tonight

    I just had a good evening. Spoke on the phone to numerous family members, which is always good. Lisa had gone to town on a birthday meal – it looked good as well as tasting good – you know how food can be like art if the right colours and textures sit together? That's how…


  • Today

    Well, I was keeping quiet about my birthday but I forgot DeadJournal automagically sends out reminders to people… so 'thank you' to everyone who posted messages when they found out. I actually don't feel too bad about being 35. I have one or two grey hairs at my temples, my beard is a bit more…


  • Yay – I got the one I wanted, without cheating!

    Found this in Sam and Gerri’s DJs. Find out which Chronicles of Narnia book you are. Voyage of the Dawntreader The only book which doesn’t take place in Narnia at all, per se, you’re the story of a voyage to find the end of the world and hopefully the Seven Lost Lords (remember Rhoop!). You…


  • Who benefits?

    Have just been to possibly the most bizarre meeting I’ve attended in a very long time and because of my self-imposed commercial confidentiality rules (ie no journal entries that give away clients’ secrets or might lose me work) I can’t write about it in any sort of detail. However, I will say that there’s something…


  • Definition of sad

    This lunchtime I saw two fat, middle aged male businessmen in smart suits staring through the window of the Agent Provocateur lingerie shop near the Bank of England. They were actually ogling the dummies that were being used to display the (rather tarty and unpleasant) underwear. How sad is that?


  • Confidence, overconfidence and cold feet.

    Okay, so I watched most of the last episode of Cold Feet last night. I didn't mean to – I haven't seen much more than about 10 minutes of the whole of the previous five seasons. I don't know who the characters are, or what their storylines have been, and I still can't remember most…


  • FINALLY the Rock has returned…

    So. Back now. That was a good holiday. “Good” as in, I feel refreshed – but also “good” as in we got an enormous amount of life planning done. We looked at everything – home, work, ambitions, dreams – and tried to work out what we could do to make things happen for us. Hell,…


  • I'm out of here

    That's it – I'm off on holiday. See you all on the 15th (unless I visit a cybercafe in the meantime…) Andy


  • Shambles

    London has collapsed into chaos today, weighed down by snow and the aftermath of Saturday's Tube crash. One of my colleagues waited for and hour and a half for a train before giving up and going to the dentist instead (less painful, no doubt). Another queued for half an hour just to get into his…


  • Random acts

    Walking home last night I passed the big RAC building in the industrial estate near where I live. It's some sort of administrative office or something, not a repairs depot. Outside is a slim sign, like a ten foot high credit card stuck in the ground, with the RAC logo on it. It was caked…


  • Insert lightbulb and *ping* noise here —-> <—-

    Had an idea today for a bit of fiction that I'm quite excited about… will take about a fortnight to work out whether it's a goer and set it up but, if it is, you'll hear about it here first. PS:No room in the 'books' input field to put the author in – it's Conrad…


  • Snow

    Attention South Dakota: there appears to have been some sort of error – we have received a consignment of your weather here in London. Would you like it back?


  • Can't concentrate…

    So very tired…


  • Work

    Picked this up via e-mail froma colleague… Tips from Employees to their managers. 1. Never give me work in the morning. Always wait until 4.00pm and then bring it to me. The challenge of the deadline is refreshing. 2. If it's a rush job, run in and interrupt me every 5 minutes to enquire how…


  • Things that seem a very long time

    Just had a nice little note from Tam at T21 saying she’ll delete my user ID tonight. So that really is it. I’ll keep an eye on the site from time to time – apart from anything else I think Tam’s organising another parachute jump and I’ll make a donation to it. I remember writing…


  • Well – half right

    What's your Inner European? brought to you by Quizilla


  • Stop the train! Stop the war! Stop the clock! Stop everything now!

    Tube crash, on a day when Lisa would often be using Chancery Lane station on her way to or from work (and involving the carriages she would normally use). In fact we were at home, and the first we heard of it was when my sister Sarah texted me to see if we were involved.…


  • Home to roost


  • Good news… sort of


  • Synners and ain'ts

    It appears you can only pick up a syndicated feed if you're a paid member of DeadJournal… I posted a support request and got this reply: You cannot customise the appearance of the feeds journal in any way. You simply created it, you do not maintain it. Only paid accounts may add syndicated feeds to…


  • You took the words right out of my mouth

    I was going to post with some thoughts about why I've left T21, but I found White Hart had already put it better than I ever could in her journal so I'll simply recommend people read hers…


  • Headache


  • "The Navy's here"

    Jeez but I'm a sentimental bastard at times… I was walking up Moorgate this morning and sirens started blaring. It was a police car going at a sedate pace, escorting a Green Goddess fire engine straining to go as fast as it could and behind it was a small open-backed lorry with a flashing blue…


  • End of an era

    Well, I just e-mailed Julz at T21 and asked him to delete my user ID. It's sad, but I know it's the right thing to do. It must be three and a half years since I first found the Stakehouse at the late, lamented, BuffyUK.org. Maybe two and a half -I can't remember if it…


  • Breakdowns

    It was a weekend where things didn't work… Well, okay, my car worked but since the plan was to abandon it at the garage where it's going to have its MOT and take the train home, it felt like it hadn't worked. Lisa's car played will-it, won't-it with us all weekend before deciding it wouldn't.…


  • :eep:

    Got this link in the B3ta newsletter… and now Lisa's hanging from the ceiling. http://www.housegymnastics.com


  • Another exception to the 'no poll' rule

    How Annoying Are You In Your Online Diary? brought to you by Quizilla


  • Feeding White Hart

    Note to all those Tangent21 members reading this: I have now set up a syndicated feed of White Hart's LiveJournal (with her agreement, obviously). Anyone who wants can add her to their friends list and get all her posts showing up on friends' view, even though she's across the divide with the smily happy people…


  • Light relief

    Well happy. Figured out how to add and cartoons to my friends list. :o) Now all I need are Tangent 21, PW Torch and Forza Minardi updates…


  • 'ello 'ello…

    Footsteps in the ceiling, the sound of sawing – looks like the moles (or whatever they are) have returned…


  • 23516

    With reference to last night's AGM of the Feltham and Heston branch of the Liberal Democrats: AAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRRRRGGGHH – kill! maim! destroy! Bastards bastards bastards bastards bastards bastards bastards bastards bastards bastards bastards bastards bastards bastards bastards bastards bastards bastards bastards bastards bastards bastards bastards bastards bastards bastards bastards bastards bastards bastards bastards bastards bastards bastards…


  • Past and future

    Working in Wapping today… as you walk from Tower Hill station to where I'm based you pass by the entrance to St Katherine's Dock, where there used to be an artificial stream and waterfall by an office building, Europe House. It was pretty phoney, but it still looked good and walking next to it was…


  • Taxing problem

    Trying to do my taxes – aaaaaaaaaaaarrrrrrgggghh! I need to work out all my business-related expenditure in 2001-2002 (which of course I didn't record as I went along). Paniccccccccccccccccccccc!


  • Talking 'bout my eradication

    Something occurs to me to wonder now that Pete Townshend is being questioned about internet child porn… When Gary Glitter was convicted, he was pretty much airbrushed out of music history. No radio station plays his records any more and frankly, fun though a Glitter track sometimes was at parties, that's not exactly a huge…


  • The morning after the night before

    8 June 2001 Right now as I type it’s 5am on Friday and I have been awake for 24 hours. It seems a lifetime ago that I was delivering ‘good morning’ leaflets in Twickenham, but it was only 6am yesterday. Where to start? It was quite a day, and quite a night too. I spent…


  • A change of scenery

    7 June 2001 And so to Twickenham – my next-door neighbour, the nearest key marginal, the seat where most of my local party colleagues have spent most of the election and the seat where, if the commentators are to be believed, rival packs of activists roam in search of innocent floating voters. It’s not actually…


  • Breaking the glass bubble

    6 June 2001 Last night was the second and last debate between the candidates, and it provided more of that most precious of commodities, feedback from the voters. It was organised by Churches Together in Heston – they do one every general election – and it’s fair to say that most of the audience were…


  • “And they’re racing into the closing stages now.”

    5 June 2001 Only a couple of days left now until I get my life back – not that I have any idea what I’ll do with it once the election monster hands it back to me. Somehow I suspect the next three days will allow precious little time for reflection, so now is as…


  • Special delivery

    4 June 2001 There is a limit to how often even the most arrogant candidate can stomach seeing photos of themselves – in my case that limit was breached when I returned home from work to find the entire living room floor carpeted with leaflets, each with my photo grinning up at me. But now…


  • In the firing line, but nobody’s shooting

    29 May 2001 For the first time in this campaign I have opponents, not just photographs on leaflets or in the papers: I’ve locked horns with them in a public debate, and it’s turned them into real people. I’d met them before, once each, but not for long enough to form any real impressions. I’d…


  • Donkeys need not apply

    23 May 2001 There are not many advantages to being the third-placed party in the national polls, but one is that you rarely have to worry about lapsing into complacency. Labour and Tory candidates sleep easy in the knowledge that they can call on vast swathes of supporters who will vote for them because they…


  • Doing the right thing

    14 May 2001 Sometimes in politics when your opponent is on the ropes you need to show some restraint instead of attacking on instinct. One such situation is going on in my constituency and the neighbouring one of Brentford and Isleworth, represented in the last Parliament by husband and wife Labour MPs Ann and Alan…


  • Suddenly, it’s all got real

    11 May 2001 At bloody last – that’s all I can say. The election’s been called and I’m not a prospective candidate any more, I’m a candidate. After so long correcting myself whenever I speak or write, it feels odd to be able to say the ‘C’ word without looking nervously to the heavens and…


  • The Peter Pans of Hounslow High Street

    30 April 2001 “Nothing to do with me, mate,” said the man in his 30s as he strode past. “Not interested,” said the little old lady scuttling in the other direction. I stood there, forlornly waving an almost-unsigned petition. It was my most profoundly depressing experience since I was selected as a PPC. The occasion…


  • Something stirring

    30 April 2001 I said a few columns ago that something was stirring out there: I’d just met a traditional Labour voter who felt let down by the government and who thought it was time my lot had a go. Since then, to my pleasure and surprise, I’ve met quite a few more. I’m beginning…


  • Teaching politicians a thing or two

    30 April 2001 After close observation, I’ve learned something about teachers: there are two types, which bear no resemblance to each other. There are the ones that education ministers criticise when they want a cheap headline. They’re fickle and failing, bolshie and bad for your children. They like to bring trendy lefty theories into the…


  • “You cannae break the laws of physics, Jim”

    21 March 2001 Solo leafleting is a soul-destroying task. You start off perky and enthusiastic, scampering up paths and joyfully thrusting your leaflets through letterboxes that hinge wide to accept them. The dogs are friendly, the cats civil, and the children glimpsed dimly through frosted glass front doors pick up the leaflets and totter off…


  • Like getting blood out of a stone

    21 March 2001 My campaign for Parliament had a launch that most would-be MPs would kill for: my photo staring out of every local newspaper in the constituency, front page coverage in some, journalists hanging on my every word. Not a bad start for the Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for the Liberal Democrats’ 458th most winnable…


  • It’s nice to be wanted

    21 March 2001 The election hasn’t started yet (although it feels like it has from the rapidly-spiralling workload) and already I am being lobbied by pressure groups. No-one’s actually offered me any brown envelopes yet, but apart from that I’ve never felt so popular. First off the mark was the London Chamber of Commerce and…


  • The naked truth about free speech

    6 June 2000 It’s time America faced facts: that First Amendment of yours has got to go. The right to free speech? Ha! Don’t make me laugh. Doubtless when it was adopted its proposers thought they were defending the right to political expression, the right to disagree without persecution, and the right to stand up…


  • Two nations divided by a common sense of humour

    6 June 2000 You can judge a nation by its sense of humour, I always say. The sort of comedy it produces is a form of electrocardiograph, measuring the vital signs of the national psyche. A country is not on its best behaviour in a sit-com, and no-one is seen to their best advantage. No-one…


  • Confessions of a part-time cornerback

    6 June 2000 I have a confession to make. I am a New Orleans Saints fan. I admit this is an unlikely thing to declare to the world, rather akin to standing up in a crowded room and shouting “I have haemorrhoids and man do they itch right now”. After all, weren’t the Saints the…