From the blog

10 Apr 2015: Kentwell Hall at Easter

Kentwell Hall, in Suffolk, is somewhere we’ve got quite curious about of late. Its Tudor recreations are a delight we missed out on during our schooldays but are determined to catch up on now. Here’s a video from its Easter weekend.

16 Sep 2013: Rape and gaming communities: not funny, not a win

I play Dota 2 on Steam (have I lost you already by saying that?) It’s like one of those board games that is so well-designed and nuanced that people play it for decades. But I never play against real people. Here’s the email I just sent the game’s designers, Valve, explaining why.

9 Jul 2012: Links of the week, 2-8 July 2012

In this weekly round-up, a couple of big-hit viral videos, some righteous anger about the bankers, local news from north Norfolk and north Hertfordshire, music from Big Country, Mari Wilson and the Grand Ole Opry, and the incomparable Lady Chablis.

1 May 2012: Hemsby: happy Vikings, lonely Romans and one scary ole sausage

So, Hemsby then. Small village on the Norfolk seaside, too far north for the bright lights of Great Yarmouth, too far south for the wilder, quieter, less commercial, interesting bits of coast. I’d begged a long weekend in my parents’ caravan, just me and my laptop and my plans for a novel (oh – and a box of college marking, but let’s not mention that).

18 Jun 2011: Rainbow over Hitchin

Yeah, yeah, it’s not the most intellectually challenging or politically charge thing I’ve ever posted here but what the heck – I like rainbows, OK? And when one appears over the back garden it’s impossible to resist running outside with a camera.

12 Jun 2011: Worst job ever?

I saw this gloomy fellow by the side of the road in Stevenage a week or so back as I was driving home from work.

11 Jun 2011: Hunny and Cromer: I do like to be beside the seaside

For reasons that make a long story (novel-length, with any luck) I wanted to visit a seaside resort out of season to remind myself of the atmosphere. So, back in March, we loaded up our metaphorical bucket and spade and headed off to the seaside.

14 May 2011: The passing of time

Continuing my brain-dump of photos and days out from recent months, these pictures date back to my birthday in March when we went for a wander around one of my childhood haunts, Hitchwood.

14 May 2011: One January night in Walsworth

I’ve been having a rummage through my old photo directories, looking for sets I meant to post but never got around to. Here’s one from January 7th this year, of a sunset in Walsworth.

21 Mar 2011: Scratching under the surface in Baldock

So I was in Baldock today, taking the car in for its MOT, and was left with more than an hour to kill pottering around town and seeing what there is to see.

8 Dec 2010: As cold as a very cold thing

Several days of sub-zero temperatures left Hitchin frosted over – no snow on the ground, but a white coating on plants, trees and derelict cobwebs that picked them out as if spray-canned.

11 Nov 2010: It’s only cold when you’re losing

Last night our local football team, Hitchin Town FC of the Zamaretto League division one central, knocked their entry prices down to a fiver and we decided to go along and watch the game.

22 Aug 2010: Twitter Weekly Updates for 2010-08-22

Yesterday's walk – the HOOP around Hitchin. # Powered by Twitter Tools

15 Aug 2010: Twitter Weekly Updates for 2010-08-15

Tweets for this week.

15 Aug 2010: Upset

The downside of the wonders of the internet – someone I’ve never met, nor ever expected to meet, is dying, and I feel like a friend is going.

8 Aug 2010: Twitter Weekly Updates for 2010-08-08

Tweets for this week.

1 Aug 2010: Twitter Weekly Updates for 2010-08-01

Tweets for this week.

25 Jul 2010: Twitter Weekly Updates for 2010-07-25

Tweets for this week.

8 May 2010: A pact, huh? That’s pact spelled m-i-n-e-f-i-e-l-d

So – no definite result in the general election and a chance of some sort of coalition. We’re all supposed to put our tribal loyalties aside and work together for the common good. I’m not very good at that. So this is what I sent to the party when it canvassed views, asking people to set out who they are and what they think.

23 Aug 2009: Twitter weekly updates for 2009-08-23

Tweets for this week.

16 Aug 2009: Twitter weekly updates for 2009-08-17

Tweets for this week.

9 Aug 2009: Twitter weekly updates for 2009-08-09

Tweets for this week.

2 Aug 2009: Twitter weekly updates for 2009-08-03

Tweets for this week.

26 Jul 2009: Twitter weekly updates for 2009-07-26

Tweets for this week.

19 Jul 2009: Twitter weekly updates for 2009-07-19

Tweets for this week.

12 Jul 2009: Twitter weekly updates for 2009-07-12

Tweets for this week.

5 Jul 2009: Twitter weekly updates for 2009-07-05

Here we go again. Late Sunday and I'm still bloody working. Just filed the WSR report, now to Justin Wilson's brilliant victory at the Glen. #

1 Jul 2009: Twitter Updates for 2009-07-01

Went for a walk in an attempt to clear my head and improve efficiency. In this regard it succeeded. But back has now locked up. Pain… # For them as like small balls of squawking fluff, see this new site that we built and sent live yesterday for a client: # This heat is […]

30 Jun 2009: Twitter Updates for 2009-06-30

Calm before the – well, not the storm, but the busy period. Got a half-day marketing training session here at our home office. Wish us luck. # Emerged unscathed from seminar, plenty of ideas, but now hungry and a bit raw. #

29 Jun 2009: Twitter Updates for 2009-06-29

For a day that started so dismally, it seems to be picking up as it goes along. # – The Spitfire goes in for repair next week – will be so good to have it running again! # Andy Murray getting murdered out there… #thecuckooclock #

29 Jun 2009: Perplex City in context: pervasive games as a genre

Just a quick note to anyone who remembers the end of Perplex City and my role in it. A while back I was contacted by some researchers in Finland and Sweden who were working on a book about ‘pervasive games’ – ARGs and suchlike. I agreed to let them use some of my photos from the climax of PXC, and I’ve just had an email from them to say the book’s now out.

27 Jun 2009: Twitter Updates for 2009-06-27

feels rough. # is looking back fondly to the days several years ago when weekends last weren't working days too. # More shaky arms after garden strimming. Poor tortoises – all the clumps of long grass they were used to hiding in have suddenly disappeared. # Can't believe how many idiots failed to put their […]

26 Jun 2009: Twitter Updates for 2009-06-26

Gah. Head hurts, back hurts, feel very woolly-headed. Supposed to be having a biz dev away-day today but the word is thunder and bad roads. # BBC NEWS: Web slows after Jackson's death [I hope you're all pleased with yourself – you broke teh interwebs.] # Off the mark quickly: (via PL on […]

25 Jun 2009: Twitter Updates for 2009-06-25

Another day very much like other days before and yet to come. So please feel free to insert your own witty comment here: [ ] # Had good business dev day looking into pricing etc in prep for marketing consultation (note, will block all Twitter marketers, don't try it) # is deeply amused to find […]

24 Jun 2009: Twitter Updates for 2009-06-24

So difficult to focus today. Working from home is great but on days where your brain is fuzzy there's nothing to force it back into shape. # Frantic few minutes updating our motorsport site & @britsonpole after Max Mosley announced he won't restand as FIA boss # has taken off his web onliney hat […]

23 Jun 2009: Twitter Updates for 2009-06-23

Finished Freya North's 'Secrets' last night. As ever, she transcends her genre. Not saying it's great art but it's far above usual chicklit achat cialis 20. #

22 Jun 2009: Twitter Updates for 2009-06-23

In foul mood today after heavy working weekend. Have vented by being rude/angry to two cold-call salesmen. One asked for it, one didn't :o( # Good stuff from MySociety on the Govt and what it fails to understand about the web: Should be compulsory reading. # Right. I might just feel ready to face […]

20 Jun 2009: Twitter Updates for 2009-06-21

RT @radioriel Today on Radio Riel we take you back to the years of WWII [wonderful music & interesting story] # Have written up our visit to #F1 Silverstone yesterday here – really interesting day on a lot of different levels #

19 Jun 2009: Twitter Updates for 2009-06-19

Still scheduled to be at Silverstone later as Shell/Ferrari guests despite last night's implosion. Could easily be cancelled, obviously. # – Silverstone weather holding up, just. #

18 Jun 2009: Twitter Updates for 2009-06-19

Still a bit stunned: if it all kicks off tomorrow in Formula One, we'll be in the Silverstone paddock as Ferrari/Shell guests to witness it. # is back from a trip into town to buy a camera and dictaphone. I swear the guy in the gadgets shop hasn't aged a jot since I was a […]

18 Jun 2009: Twitter Updates for 2009-06-18

WTF? Am awake and it's barely 6am. Not Want! # RT @ElrikMerlin @billt: – Pizza with radius "z" & thickness "a" has volume pi*z*z*a ! [Oh bloody hell that's bad…] # RT @girlonetrack INCREDIBLE hi-res photos by Boston Globe of gov't violence post #iranelection [via @Swerdloff] # One door closes, another opens – Renault […]

17 Jun 2009: Twitter Updates for 2009-06-17

Good day so far: a van has arrived with 24 bottles of Cornish real ale, bought from Sharp's at I <3 teh interwebs. # RT @white_hart RT @unblinkered Will be "living" in Tehran for a while…..explanation here #iranelection #

16 Jun 2009: Chalk another one up for the bastards

Here, look. I’m writing an actual post, rather than filling this with digests of Twitter posts. Well blow me down. It’s motivated by anger, of course. The smug bastards at The Times are crowing about how they’ve been big and brave and public interesty by forcing the naming of Nightjack, the CID blogger who recently won the Orwell Prize for being bloody brilliant.

16 Jun 2009: Twitter Updates for 2009-06-16

All hail the healing power of tea and cornflakes when faced with an early-morning splitter of a headache. Almost feel human at the moment. # RT @girlonetrack We should line up all the blog commenters who shout "First!" in front of a firing squad and ask them, "Who's first, then?" # Headache returning: need more […]

15 Jun 2009: Twitter Updates for 2009-06-15

Is this 'counting data' proof Iranian election was fixed? Looks pretty convincing to me. via @ElrikMerlin & @MusicThing # Am sitting here thinking 'okay, it's the weekend. What now?' Tea probably. May well go to watch the town cricket team in Herts Cup later. # – # Hmmm. Test of sending photo to […]

14 Jun 2009: Twitter Updates for 2009-06-14

Despite forgetting all about it, managed to grab Clearly there is not much competition for this very fine name. # Brilliant steampunky b&w advert showing how the world might have been if the web had come first and newspapers followed: # Is really enjoying having a non-working day site fiable pour cialis. Done […]

13 Jun 2009: Twitter Updates for 2009-06-13

RT @Astrofiammante Suspect in US Holocaust Museum killing has BNP links # RT @helenduffett Blogged – How to opt out of the mobile phone directory: # Working on an email template. In HTML tables. It's making me feel dirty, and not in a good way. It's like CSS never 'appened. Ack. Ugh. Ick. […]

12 Jun 2009: Twitter Updates for 2009-06-12

is feeling surly. # is feeling quite cheerful as three nice things have happened so far today. # Up to my elbows with emergency re-skin of our motorsport site following WP2.8 upgrade disaster. Will be using @justintadlock 's Hybrid theme # The BBC's @the_magazine produces one of the year's most groan-worthy headlines on a story […]

11 Jun 2009: Twitter Updates for 2009-06-11

Today looks very much like yesterday, which is not on the whole a recommendation. # You know you’re past it when you see the headline ‘Pop star Stevens robbed at home’ and assume it means Shakin’ Stevens. # Here’s a fun game: hunting for perfectly-camouflaged tortoises in torrential rain to check they’re somewhere sheltered […]

10 Jun 2009: Twitter Updates for 2009-06-10

If there is a theme to today, I have yet to discover it. #

9 Jun 2009: Twitter Updates for 2009-06-09

RT @Kate_Butler anti-BNP demos today: Liverpool 1730 Town Hall; Manc 1730 Piccadilly Gdns; Sheffield 1700 Town Hall; Preston, 1800, Flag Mkt # Some background on one of the UK’s new MEPs. Source isn’t exactly impartial, but oh my what a pleasant character he is. # RT @ElrikMerlin RT @theplayethic: Post-BNP, if any video should […]

8 Jun 2009: Twitter Updates for 2009-06-08

Just settling down to do my half of the live blog of the Turkish GP. Did the report on the IRL Texas race earlier this morning. Need tea. # If this is true it’s way worse than anything UK reality TV ever did. Passports seized, quitting contestants locked up… # Toast and Marmite = […]

7 Jun 2009: Twitter Updates for 2009-06-07

Back from London & what turned out to be a pan-European (or even global) humanist conference. Brilliant speakers from UK, NL, BE, DE & India # is adjusting to life after Second Life. The withdrawal symptoms are pretty severe. Getting unhooked from absinthe is nothing on this… #

6 Jun 2009: Twitter Updates for 2009-06-06

Green Party surge helps Tories win Hitchin N by 6 from Lab and saves them in N Herts Rural by 73 against LDs. BNP scum win in S of county. # Ruddy Norah – the Dutch have beaten England on the final ball of the opening match in the Twenty20 Cricket World Cup. Astonishing stuff. […]

4 Jun 2009: Twitter Updates for 2009-06-04

Fascinating piece in the Indy. Newly discovered World War One photographs, help needed to identify people/units in them. # Nice tinkly piano music/squiggly jazzy stuff on @radioriel at the moment. Perfect for when (as now) one’s head is stuffed with cotton wool. # RT @danieljowen loves headlines mentioning gay penguins. Makes you just want […]

3 Jun 2009: Twitter Updates for 2009-06-03

And… relax. That’s the last of the election leaflets done, with help from Beloved Other Half comparatif cialis. Back is a bit of a wreck but rest will cure. # Just been watching nesting blackbirds in the creeper on the garage wall. Very sweet. # I love a dual-monitor set-up: work on one monitor, live […]

2 Jun 2009: Twitter Updates for 2009-06-02

Bloody tortoises. One came into the house when we weren’t looking, crapped on the carpet, and toddled merrily off into the garden again. #

1 Jun 2009: Twitter Updates for 2009-06-01

Woke up with my back locked solid… bloody leaflet rounds. # Bof. Tired and battered after a ridiculous working Sunday. #Scrum estimation meeting, IRL & Indy Lights and more motorsport. Need a weekend. # (Bof)x2. Just remembered I have to do a quote for a possible new client. Think I’ll review it tonight and nail […]

31 May 2009: Twitter Updates for 2009-05-31

OK, have had tea. Let the day begin. # Certif arrived from FSB, with comical covering letter: “Now, as a member, high-handed gvt officials will be too scared to bully you’. ROFL. # Sniffing an upset in Britain’s Got Talent. Suspect Susan Boyle might have peaked too early and Stavros Flatley might snatch an surprise […]

30 May 2009: Twitter Updates for 2009-05-30

Last day of sprint & suddenly none of the network clients can access the #scrumworks server. Firewalls check out OK. Odd, maddening. #scrum # is suffering uncontrollable twitching in the dead nerve deep inside his leg and feels sick because of it. Meralgia Paresthetica is a bitch. # thinks life seems a lot better with […]

29 May 2009: Twitter Updates for 2009-05-29

needs breakfast, coffee, inspiration, animation, tea after the coffee, a clear head and a rocket up the arse. Apart from that, all’s well. # Well, never did get the inspiration or the animation – but my old contracting agency did just send a case of wine so it’s not all bad. #

28 May 2009: Twitter Updates for 2009-05-28

feels all grown up and professional cos he went to a seminar yesterday and is now about to have a phone conference with a marketing expert. # thinks life would be a lot easier if only it wasn’t so difficult. Although perhaps it’s only difficult because it’s not easy – who knows? # is having […]

27 May 2009: Twitter Updates for 2009-05-27

is off to London for training seminar later. Hopeful of good stuff but West End agencies – bah. Black holes for clients to pour money into. # doesn’t like London and doesn’t want to go back. It’s crowded and too full of people and smells. Can’t we just wall it off, be done with it? […]

26 May 2009: Twitter Updates for 2009-05-26

Happy Towel Day folks – do you know where yours is today? #towelday # Absolutely wiped out after yesterday liveblogging F1 in Monaco and doing live Twitter updates on Indy 500. Going to have a quiet day today. # Tired but happy after a burst of gardening (and pouring cold water on shagging tortoises) #

25 May 2009: Twitter Updates for 2009-05-25

Meh. Woke at 6am from bizarre and upsetting dream about a lack of blue cheese. Never got back to sleep again. Long working day ahead. # #3drunkwords “I wanna tattoo” # #failedtvpilots Life on Pluto # #popefacts The Pope IS Spartacus # Heh. Twitter memes, the Chinese takeaways of the meme world. Gone in a […]

23 May 2009: Twitter Updates for 2009-05-23

RT @Astrofiammante Hurrah! Just got tix for British #Humanist Assn’s Darwin, Humanism and Science conference with Dawkins & Grayling in June # Lovely day… tempted to take the laptop into the garden and work there. # Jesse “The Body” Ventura: can we get him back into politics please? # A simple job of sorting […]

22 May 2009: Twitter Updates for 2009-05-22

Argh. Webserver running slow. Laptop with IE6 (for testing) booting slow. If I put kettle on while waiting I bet that’ll never boil either. # #CSS Universal #IE6 stylesheet – neat solution to IE6 headaches, but not convinced many clients will buy it. # Just had a visit from Papa, John, Ben and Jerry. […]

21 May 2009: Twitter Updates for 2009-05-21

OMG – Radio Riel is playing ‘The Good Ship Venus’ (Loudon Wainwright III version)… Just Google the lyrics if you don’t know it… # Am having a battle over whether the blind should come down because of glare on my PC. The more things change, the more they stay the same… # Pushing 10pm. Time […]

20 May 2009: Twitter Updates for 2009-05-20

Hair cut and eye test today. Preferable to eye cut and hair test, I suppose. # – Early morning head-clearing Tai Chi. # Mmmm – pancakes! # Haircut: emphatic. Eye test: passed. Good stuff all round. # And AGAIN I am moved to state, clearly and unambiguously, that Internet Explorer 6 is a syphillitic […]

21 Apr 2009: Subtlety: best avoided when hungry

An exchange with a sandwich vendor who didn’t quite get it.

14 Jan 2009: Lynne Featherstone's new portfolio (video)

Lib Dem MP Lynne Featherstone has been given the new job of overseeing the party’s online campaigning as chair of its new technology board – this video illustrates the sort of issues she’ll be grappling with.

29 Nov 2008: Labour of love

I’m no fan of the Labour Party at all, or its doings, but I was impressed by one item among the usual drivel in its latest local newsletter.

29 Nov 2008: Hardcore pawn action

Back in the days, I used to play a bit of chess – not to any great standard, but I entered a few tournaments and didn’t come last. Nearly last, yes, but not actually last.

5 Nov 2008: Today…

…is considerably better than four years ago.

15 Oct 2008: Oh how exciting – it's election time again

Party election time again. Bah, humbug. Reminds me far too much of student union elections 20 years ago.

20 Jul 2008: Fear and loathing on Walsworth Common

Of all the undignified ways to shuffle off this mortal coil, getting sucked into bottomless mud while clearing litter in your local park has got to rank right up there.

18 Jul 2008: It all sounds a bit familiar…

The longer this government lasts, the more its rhetoric sounds like the bad old days of the Thatcher years – and the easier it gets to spot its mistakes coming.

12 Jun 2008: Stiff upper lips 1, Americans 0

How perfectly splendid – it appears that an RAF fighter pilot on secondment to an American squadron has been able to wave the Queen’s Regulations in the face of US officers who were trying to get him to shave off his handlebar moustache.

12 Jun 2008: David Davis resigning as an MP? Blimey!

News just breaking that the Tory shadow Home Secretary David Davis is resigning – not just from the shadow cabinet but from the House of Commons.

4 Feb 2008: A year ago today…

Quite the most bizarre day of my life, when I got up at four in the morning, drove to a frost-covered wood, and dug up a prize worth £100,000.

21 Dec 2007: Give me 12 inches (and make me a wig)

The fear of going bald does strange things to a man – just ask Mark Oaten. Thing is, there’s no turning back from it.

18 Dec 2007: A Christmas rant

And straight in at number one in the ‘brain-numbingly stupid decisions of 2007’ chart is BBC Radio 1, for censoring one of the only decent Christmas songs ever written to avoid offence to listeners.

6 Dec 2007: Huhne overtakes Clegg – sort of

Look – it’s close, OK? Too close for the difference to be meaningful. And it may not actually be good news for Huhne anyway. But there has been a small but measurable swing to him from Clegg in the attention they’re both receiving among bloggers.

5 Dec 2007: Your metaphor leaves me cold, Mr Pritchard

“Taking Christ out of Christmas is like serving the Christmas turkey without the stuffing,” says Tory MP Mark Pritchard. As both a pagan and a vegetarian, I’ll have to take his word for it…

5 Dec 2007: Mr Smug, Mr Smarm and my naked ballot paper

With time running out in the Lib Dem leadership election, I’ve finally thought of something that might make me vote – even though the one thing I’ve been certain of all along is that I don’t want either candidate in charge of my party.

22 Nov 2007: Knifage

Off to hospital again yesterday (the Charing Cross, in Fulham Palace Road) for a check-up following my leg and elbow operations earlier this year.

17 Nov 2007: Back in the jug agane

It’s been quite a while now since we moved out of the flat we rented for nine years and into a house of our own – but for one reason or another we’re only just in the process of giving notice. Today we were back there cleaning carpets and painting window frames – and we […]

31 Mar 2007: Wordage

If I type this really fast it may just sneak under the wire and count as a March post, thus keeping up my new average of a post a month in 2007. Pretty grim stuff, compared with the several a day I used to manage when writing this thing was fresh and new in late 2002.

17 Feb 2007: Perplexity

So, well, yes, it's been a while since I last posted. Quite a bit's happened, actually.

5 Jan 2007: Loans that change lives

Numerous things to write about – Christmas Day on the Cornish cliffs with Beloved Other Half, dashing across Heathrow Airport in the rain to meet Ali before her flight to LA, good books by Gordon Ramsay and Monty Don to review – but they can wait for another day.

31 Dec 2006: 2006 and all that

And so it's time to do my annual round-up of the year's highlights in this journal, just like in 2004 and 2005. Except, this year I've written so little that I'm not sure there are any.

22 Dec 2006: Clarity

This is nice. I'm sat with a cup of tea in the bright, airy garden room of a National Trust holiday cottage in the far south west of Cornwall, free from most of the cares of normal life and about as far as you can get from the barrage of Christmas commercialism.

21 Dec 2006: I deny everything

Just to clear up any ambiguity caused by this post on Northern Irish uber-blog Slugger O'Toole, let me state clearly that I have no inside knowledge of whose hands have been delving into Lembit Opik's underpants, or for how long. A few days ago, when the news broke that the Lib Dem MP had split […]

4 Dec 2006: In search of the English Roswell

So, yesterday we went to have a potter around some woodland where, 26 years ago this month, an alien spaceship was seen to land. Possibly. The Rendlesham Forest Incident, in which a group of American airmen rushed out to what they thought was a crashed aircraft, is sometimes known as the”English Roswell”. Some, including a […]

21 Nov 2006: All the news that fits

Newspaper bills – the posters outside shops with snappy headlines – are supposed to intrigue you into buying the paper by giving you a taster of the story. They’re not supposed to leave you so doubled up with laughter that you decide it’s safer to pass them by and look the stories up later online. […]

19 Nov 2006: Lions and tigers and bears, oh yes

Saturday saw us belatedly celebrating Beloved Other Half's birthday with a trip to Whipsnade Wild Animal Park, which I must surely have visited as a child, if only I could remember. Won't forget today in a hurry, though

15 Nov 2006: Viva la raza

Monday was the first anniversary of the death by heart failure of the wrestler Eddie Guerrero – and, to judge from the fresh set of comments that have appeared on YouTube tribute videos, his memory has lost none of its power to affect people.

12 Nov 2006: Limping forwards

When I fell on Friday I didn't hear the heavy, muffled sound, like a thick bar of chocolate being snapped in its wrapper, that heralded my broken foot of a few years ago.

30 Oct 2006: Lack of manners

No “Modern Manners” cartoon this week – I was up until almost 4 meeting a publisher’s deadline and am too tired to be witty. I don’t imagine anyone will miss it, anyway.

23 Oct 2006: Modern Manners for Monday Mornings 3

Strip number three: conversational gambits, wristband etiquette and that resignation…

22 Oct 2006: Live news as it happens!

I wonder if he's landed yet?

15 Oct 2006: Modern Manners for Monday Mornings #2

Strip number two: meanwhile, out in the desert somewhere…

13 Oct 2006: Ctrl-Alt-Delete

I've often wondered what the effect would be on the Earth if the human race winked out of existance overnight: I always figured the nuclear power stations would be where the trouble lay.

9 Oct 2006: Modern Manners for Monday Mornings

I don't have the resources (or the body) to try video blogging, so I thought I'd try an older style of satire: the cartoon strip….

6 Oct 2006: Oh Brother where art thou?

The third and final batch of photos from our camping weekend (a dim and distant memory now, I fear) comes from Cleeve Abbey

4 Oct 2006: Moo!

Here's a really cool thing: mini business cards with your Flickr photos on the back.

4 Oct 2006: Vegetable love

For anyone motivated by a passion for vegetable growing, Rosemoor – the RHS gardens near Torrington in Devon – are a 'must see' at this time of year.

27 Sep 2006: Life is not as self-evident as it should be

These days I spend most of my working life as a web designer, often while wearing a look of genuine bafflement that anyone will actually pay me to do anything that's so much fun.

25 Sep 2006: Up above the streets and houses

Very mixed weather today

25 Sep 2006: Loitering within tents

Ever gluttons for punishment, we spent the weekend in a small tent on a hillside in Somerset. Friday night served up gale force winds, Saturday gave us thunderstorms, but the tent – a relic from my days in the Scouts and 25 years old if it's a day – was equal to all.

15 Sep 2006: Hanging around with the cool kids

I'm not wholly surprised that this letter wasn't published in Lib Dem News – there must have been a backlog building up while the paper was “off the air”, so to speak. But since I was cross enough to write it, I reckon I'm cross enough to post it here…

14 Sep 2006: Rebranding

A while ago I got an email from San Francisco – a very small publisher planning a very low budget anthology had seen a brief snippet of my writing and wanted me to submit more for inclusion.

11 Aug 2006: Friend of yours?

Perplex City, the £100,000 game to find a valuable cube buried somewhere on the planet, is building up to a climax – and they've set us a particularly tough task as part of it.

8 Aug 2006: Well, I’m saying to yooo…

You can save yourself the bother (and frequent distress) of having to watch Big Brother by reading Grace Dent’s excellent Radio Times blog.

6 Aug 2006: The Romans in Britain

Bit late, this post, but what the hell. A couple of weekends ago we combined two of our favourite interests – good books and archaeology – in one visit to the excavations at Silchester Roman Town.

5 Aug 2006: I'm never voting again

In Big Brother, that is.

2 Aug 2006: An anniversary of sorts

Seven years ago from the day that's just ending I found myself suddenly and (somewhat) unexpectedly out of a job. A quick bit of spinning and I was self employed, freelance, my own boss. Haven't had a regular paycheque since, it's all been invoicing by the day. Haven't looked back, either – I heartily recommend […]

27 Jul 2006: Fun all round

I appear to have spent the evening somewhere trendy.

19 Jul 2006: How politics, humour and being positive can mix

Over in the US at the moment, a bitter battle is reaching a climax.

17 Jul 2006: There are no words

” .”

11 Jul 2006: Blimey

I have a feeling there's more to this story from the BBC than meets the eye at the moment.

11 Jul 2006: Hug + thug = bad idea

I have some practical advice to anyone who believes the best response to teenage yobbos is to hug them, as David Cameron currently seems to be suggesting – and that advice is, don't.

10 Jul 2006: Cultural icon

Society sometimes picks the oddest yardsticks to measure itself by. Here's two passages from today's media.

9 Jul 2006: Here we go again

So, we're back from holiday – have been for a week actually.

24 Jun 2006: Perambulations

Gone for a walk – back in a week or so

23 Jun 2006: Does he think we're all stupid?

During the Dunfermline by-election, the Tories put out a leaflet quoting David Cameron saying: “Issues that once divided Conservatives from Liberal Democrats are now issues where we both agree. Our attitude to devolution and the localisation of power. Iraq.”

21 Jun 2006: Pausing for breath

For ease of reference, I decided to compile a page containing all my posts on about politics and the Lib Dems since I started writing about the subject back in January when the leadership stuff kicked off. There’s nothing new here, it’s just for reference.

18 Jun 2006: Audit

Have been doing some thinking, as follows…

18 Jun 2006: Dataday, day-to-day

Blimey! I just looked at my referrer stats…

17 Jun 2006: Summer in the city

I travelled home from work on Thursday on the Tube and on South West Trains during the second half of the England v Trinidad & Tobago match and it was brilliant – the quietest I can remember the public transport system ever being at any time, let alone at rush hour.

13 Jun 2006: Noooo!

Heartbreak – those crazy kids didn't make it after all…

11 Jun 2006: Oh Button where art thou?

The curse of the Formula One commentator strikes again – the British Grand Prix is running at the moment and Jenson Button, the Tim Henman of F1, was steaming his way up through the field following a poor qualifying performance.

11 Jun 2006: The Mingterview (part 2)

We return to find our hero still in conversation with the leader of the Liberal Democrats, Sir Menzies Campbell, following the Mingster's keynote speech last Thursday. Will he ask a difficult question or will he roll over and have his tummy tickled? Read on to find out…

9 Jun 2006: The Mingterview, part one

If you need any better illustration of the promising effect of Thursday's Lib Dem announcements, it's the way it's suddenly open season on the party on certain right-of-centre blogs

9 Jun 2006: Ming pulls it off

It's a funny old world when the replacement of a media-conscious young leader with a silver-haired patrician is the cue for the first ever free-for-all interview between a party leader and a bunch of bloggers.

8 Jun 2006: Burger me…

This spoof McDonald’s presentation, seemingly showing how the company had, through strategy gaming during manager training, realised its policies were contributing to global warming, had me utterly fooled when I first saw it reported deadpan. I thought to myself ‘crikey, what do we do now if the Golden Arches have suddenly become the good guys’? […]

8 Jun 2006: On Mingness and Cameronality

So Ming scored a direct hit at PMQs today, then. He must have done, because everyone's saying he did.

6 Jun 2006: Incoming

Time for another look at the search terms that have brought people here. Fewer political ones than in recent months, and a bit of a historical flavour here and there.

5 Jun 2006: Sod's law


4 Jun 2006: Tories shoot themselves in the foot in Bromley

The shiny new Tory Party looks a little less shiny this morning, after its Bromley members last night rejected two high-fliers from David Cameron's A-List as their Parliamentary by-election candidate in favour of a middle-aged white male Freemason from Tower Hamlets who seems to represent everything the Tories are supposed to be moving away from.

4 Jun 2006: A sound idea

I can’t imagine many people (or even any people) signing up for this, but you can now subscribe to podcasts of this blog using the Talkr button in the right-hand nav column, so long as you don’t mind hearing it in a robotic American monotone that bears no resemblance to my own Home Counties mumbling.

31 May 2006: Sunset last night

Spectacular. I blame global warming. And the government, of course.

31 May 2006: DNA of London

In my household we tend towards the view that Douglas Adams wasn’t, in fact, a novelist but instead a philosopher and a researcher of the infinite who chose to present his theories and conclusions in the form of radio scripts and sci-fi novels.

28 May 2006: Who do you think you are?

There's still time – just – to get over the Passport Office's website and renew your passport before the end of the month. I did mine a couple of days ago.

26 May 2006: Something going down on Upper Street

My vague potterings were interrupted last lunchtime by a cat's cradle of blue tape across the road in my path, cordoning off (among other things) the scene of a shooting the night before and the restaurant where I'd been planning on eating.

24 May 2006: Shahbazalangadingdong

This year's Big Brother is, to all intents and purposes, already over – despite only six days of its 13-week run having passed.

24 May 2006: Mouthbound feet abound

So, let’s see if I’ve got this straight.

22 May 2006: It's a numbers game

Here's a brilliant – though very heavily academic and statistical – piece of research on voting patterns in Eurovision. If you're not up to the numbers (they made my brain hurt) then skip to the discussion section (point 4.1 onwards) for the conclusions. Basically, it establishes that there are a number of voting blocs that […]

21 May 2006: A snog for Europe

Never let it be said that elections don't produce representative results. The voting in our household last night exactly reflected the UK Eurovision voting, in that the British 12 points went to the latex-covered Finnish rock Gods Lordi – Beloved Other Half's choice – and the 10 points went to my selection, the besuited and […]

18 May 2006: Removal van needed

The recent JournalSpace crash has wiped most of the comments on my posts, just as it seems to have for most other users. While Bidinotto has posted a way of recovering them from Google Cache, and while I’m generally very tolerant of glitches in volunteer-run web services, this goes a bit further than I can […]

17 May 2006: Hello world

I suppose I ought to try and write in this again. November 2002, I set it up. It’d be a shame to let it fade away. Have been working a lot – full time, for the first time in ages. A bit in Islington, a bit in Oxford (horrible drive), and a bit near Wycombe. […]

26 Apr 2006: Life is art

The latest challenge thrown up by the ever-fascinating game Perplex City requires players to take part in a personality test in order to schmooze a researcher who holds a key piece of information. It’s a nice take-off of the meme craze. Here’s my results for today’s (second) challenge. Random’s View On What is it like […]

19 Apr 2006: The usual eclectic mix

Last 20 Google referrers: 12 Apr, Wed, 22:49:08 Google: declan donnelly girlfriend 12 Apr, Wed, 23:03:27 Google: he said 13 Apr, Thu, 01:09:47 Google: liberal easter card 13 Apr, Thu, 05:55:49 Google: and then he said 13 Apr, Thu, 15:21:24 Google: said about lembit opik 13 Apr, Thu, 18:54:05 Google: national speed offense database 13 […]

19 Apr 2006: Fairey story

Life is full of strange moments: today I was followed in a traffic jam by a Fairey Swordfish. For those whose childhoods did not involve Airfix kits and glue fumes, I should explain that the Swordfish was a prime candidate for wartime aviation's least likely success story. Already hopelessly outdated by the start of World […]

14 Apr 2006: The house of discipline, and other photos

I can remember when products were built to last and didn't stop working just because they'd been thrown across the room in a cold fury a few times. I say this because my phone finally started malfunctioning beyond a level I was prepared to tolerate, so I had to replace it. Having said I didn't […]

4 Apr 2006: This is not Phil talking

There's a meme going round where you answer questions about your life using song titles from your favourite band. I don't usually do these things, but Beloved Other Half challenged me to complete it using the immortal words of Phil Oakey and the Human League, having done so herself using the songs of that gloomy […]

1 Apr 2006: Raspberry crush

You had to be there… But if you were, grab any you fancy.                      

25 Mar 2006: The final condemnation

White stilettos.

18 Mar 2006: Going for Goldsworthy

The first installment of Channel 4's The Games has just ended, with Cornish Liberal Democrat MP Julia Goldsworthy placed third of five in the women's contest after suffering a dunking in the white-water kayaking despite being the pre-contest favourite. Looking at her contestant page on the C4 website, bits read as if it came off […]

14 Mar 2006: Golden boy

I'm taking part in a discussion at the moment that asks people why they first joined the Lib Dems. I got so many good memories writing my answer that I thought I'd cross-post an expanded verion of it here. I chased a Liberal leafletter down the street as a schoolboy to say “can I help?” […]

11 Mar 2006: My eventful day

Today I: Went to work in Islington in a light drizzle Wrote 489 words on the Dublin fashion industry Had a rather pleasant vegan Thai buffet lunch Watched the trailers for 'V for Vendetta' online Discovered the probable reason for my persistent backaches and occasional trapped nerves is the previously-undiscovered fact that I have a […]

5 Mar 2006: Horror story

This post by SusanG on the Daily Kos about the South Dakota abortion ban is very, very angry and very, very brilliant. Read. In South Dakota, I Am Disposable Imagine this: One day you wake up and discover an entire state has passed a law that declares you are worthless. You are no longer a […]

3 Mar 2006: BAA are no fun at all

I got this email from, which allows you to have an extra nine email addresses that are aliases of the main account one. I had “”, or something very similar. I'd almost forgotten about it, in fact, until this came. Dear Andy, We write with reference to the alias email address you have […]

3 Mar 2006: Yellow

I long since learned that being beaten up turns you into a coward. I proved it again tonight: it's an unpleasant feeling that leaves you bitter and twisted up inside. It's, what? Six years since I was attacked on a train on the way back from a Susan Kramer for Mayor campaign rally. Something like […]

2 Mar 2006: Winners and losers

With the result of the leadership election just hours away, it's time to look at the winners and losers from the campaign. Winners Chris Huhne Transforming himself from Who-ne? to the Huhnami, the Eastleigh MP won the campaign even if he doesn't turn out to have won the leadership. Where he was once just one […]

25 Feb 2006: It must be true, it was in the paper

Chris is winning! No – Ming is winning! Bloody hell – just count the votes already. Edit: Some interesting commentary at suggests that neither paper (but particularly the Graun) took much care to check the people they were polling were party members and therefore entitled to vote. There’s also some suggestion that it would […]

24 Feb 2006: Only in America

You couldn't do this over here. Someone – probably those great defenders of children, the tabloid press – would call it a shopping catalogue for paedophiles. But over in Tampa, Florida, there's a project called the Heart Gallery that's making a real difference for kids with no families who are hoping for adoption. Briefly, amateur […]

24 Feb 2006: Coming from behind with a late surge

I have finally allowed my name to be included on Ming Campbell's list of website supporters – somewhat late in the day, I admit, but it seemed the right time at last. Anyone who's been following this journal right through from when I stopped writing about buttocks, dead people, shopping trollies and the North Circular, […]

23 Feb 2006: In praise of older women

Hard on the heels of the inclusion of Lynne Featherstone (54) in Adam Boulton's “Top 10 Most Fanciable MPs” comes the news that rock goddess Suzi Quatro (55) is releasing a new album any day now. Now if only Virgin Atlantic would re-start showing its legroom advert, the one that so memorably featured Helen Mirren…

18 Feb 2006: He's a very naughty boy

Ahem. In recent days I have made it pretty clear that I don't want to see the election for the leader of the Liberal Democrats won by Chris Huhne. From this, readers may have drawn the conclusion that I want to him to lose. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, I'd like […]

16 Feb 2006: Poor old Lembit

The man was just born unlucky – what were the odds of this? EDIT: Looks like the site I’m linking to is intermittently falling apart under the strain… it’s a custom-generated version of the CNN story on the Dick Cheney shooting with Lembit’s name, occupation and photo inserted as the victim. If it’s not generating […]

14 Feb 2006: Chris Huhne: Just say 'no'

Whole books have been written on the ideal qualities of a leader: the ability to inspire – coolness under fire – broad strategy combined with tactical nous – high principles tempered by low cunning – luck, as well as judgement. Fewer have been written about the failings that leaders must avoid – even though one […]

12 Feb 2006: Job vacancy

It's a little-known fact that Dr Vincent Cable – the Lib Dems' grimly northern, silent-movie-villain Shadow Chancellor – is actually rather buff when stripped to shorts and t-shirt. Now, before everyone hits the speed dial to the News of the World, I should say the reason I know this is that I once found myself […]

10 Feb 2006: Things always look brighter after the storm

8 Feb 2006: Ming tells it like it is

Well said that man! “David Cameron’s flip-flops on policy expose his inexperience. He’s still a novice. A leader with L-Plates. “So while Conservatives may think that youth, inexperience, and naivete are the answer to their problems; I say they are not the answer to the country’s problems. “Tomorrow’s Britain needs leaders of experience, proven good […]

8 Feb 2006: Way-hay for risk-taking

We’d better win the Dunfermline by-election – I just nipped into William Hill during my lunch hour and put a tenner down at 10-1. If it all turns out to be spin I shall be demanding a refund from Chris Rennard. :o)

8 Feb 2006: Well done, children

There now – see what happens when everyone plays nicely?

7 Feb 2006: It's more fun there than here

That's it. I want to move to Bozeman, Montana. It just seems so much more peaceful there. Bozeman and district police reports An intoxicated woman on West Oak Street was having personal problems with a neighbor. She was told to leave her neighbor alone. A man's “soon to be ex-wife” stole the hubcaps off his […]

5 Feb 2006: Ming Campbell’s Achilles heel

I was phone canvassed by the Campbell campaign yesterday and the combination of that and some conversations I’ve had with members in my local party suggest exactly why my favoured choice for leader isn’t waltzing home unchallenged – why, in fact, he is quite likely to lose to Chris Huhne.

30 Jan 2006: Love is…

Hard to believe, I know, but there used to be a time – only a couple of weeks ago – where I could go whole months without posting about politics, instead filling these pages with reportage, bon mots, raconteurism and other pretentious Gallic words that all basically translate as “the usual stuff you find on […]

30 Jan 2006: My crystal balls

I believe that two things are going to happen in British politics over the next few years. Firstly, when Blair goes there will be a backlash against young, slick media-friendly politicians. Gravitas and dourness will be in, charm and twinkling smiles will be out. It's been brewing for years and it'll take just one spark […]

29 Jan 2006: Here we go round the bloody mulberry bush

Isn't it completely predictable? Having knocked down CK, Mark Oaten and Simon Hughes (not exactly difficult tasks, admittedly) it's now time for for the guns to be turned on Ming. It starts here, with an utterly unsourced story in the Guardian (unsourced unless you count that obscure amoeba Ben Ramm, who makes the pre-Big Brother […]

27 Jan 2006: The numbers game

For me, the most interesting thing about today's dismal poll figures in the Telegraph is the way they bear out the analysis offered at the Meeting the Challenge conference by a psephologist whose name, alas, escapes me. Although the Telegraph attempts to spin the numbers as a Tory success at our expense, by comparing them […]

27 Jan 2006: Better than badminton

Finally have time to write up my thoughts about the Any Questions leadership debate, from the perspective of being in the audience. The comically long queue outside the hall, which wound along corridors and through doors and almost to the Surrey / Hampshire border, made it look like the event was going to be packed, […]

27 Jan 2006: Nightmare

Ugh. It's 2am and I just woke from a bizarre nightmare in which Beloved Other Half, myself and dozens of others climbed up the wire fence that used to run alongside the access road to our flats in order to escape the floodwater surges from a tsunami that had run up the channel of the […]

26 Jan 2006: Small earthquake in Southwark – not many dead

So Simon Hughes is bisexual, is he? Never would have guessed it. Next week in your Soaraway Sun: fire bad, tree pretty.

23 Jan 2006: What the public wants

The last 20 visits to the Journalspace version of this blog from Google used the following search terms (just so you know what the world is interested in…

22 Jan 2006: Extra time follows own goal

Went out again today taking more photos for a Lib Dem leaflet. We ended up at the bar of the football club I mentioned on Thursday, and it was packed with members. All of them, I would judge, were the type of people not afraid to call a spade a spade, so I was prepared […]

21 Jan 2006: It never rains but it pours

I'm no fan of Mark Oaten, as I think I've made clear, but this is rather a shame. The thing I'm saddest to see is him apologising to his family – immediately revealing the furtive sordidness of it all. No-one hires a rent boy for that length of time for cash, surely? Which would imply […]

20 Jan 2006: Answering the question

Last night Ming Campbell was on Question Time, a programme that generally drives me barmy because I find myself wanting to hurl abuse (and chairs) at the screen. The panel bore distinct evidence of a sudden change in priorities by the programme-makers. Salma Yaqoob of Respect was joined by a silver-haired ex-diplomat from the dubiously […]

19 Jan 2006: That's my girlfriend, that is

Is there no end to her talents? Ten Top Trivia Tips about Astrofiammante! When astrofiammante is swallowed, she will enter the blood stream within twenty minutes! Astrofiammante once lost a Dolly Parton lookalike contest. The original nineteenth-century Coca-Cola formula contained astrofiammante. The first domain name ever registered was Birds do not sleep in astrofiammante, […]

19 Jan 2006: Alas, poor Mark

So Mark Oaten has departed from the Lib Dem leadership race, his campaign having been met with a certain amount of derision and rather a lot of underwhelmed silence. While some people clearly have a lot of faith in him and others were out to get him from the start, most gave him a fair […]

15 Jan 2006: Meeting the Challenge II

Here's the second post on Saturday's Meeting the Challenge conference – this one's on the leadership candidates' speeches. There were all four very different. Ming gave a leader's speech, not a candidate's speech. It was thin on detail but heavy on gravitas. He was visibly distracted by the way his microphone kept randomly failing, but […]

14 Jan 2006: Meeting the challenge I

13 Jan 2006: Grey today, gold tomorrow

I'm working from home today – a real delight after a pretty grim journey on the Tube yesterday. But I can't believe how cold and gloomy it is. Midday and I've got the light on, even though I'm next to a window, and a fan heater blowing. Tomorrow should be interesting – we're going to […]

7 Jan 2006: Strange days

Ah, bugger it. I think it was clear that CK was doomed from about the middle of Friday – by the end, even some genuine friends and allies had come to the conclusion that the only possible outcome was his resignation. And, of course, if a resignation can't be avoided then it's far, far better […]

7 Jan 2006: Nailing my colours to the mast

“Winning here!”A washed-up hack with only a short time left in his political career poses for a campaign photo with Charles Kennedy. That photo of me and the boss taken during the 2001 general election, when we both had fewer chins, should illustrate where I stand in the madness that's currently gripping a miniscule proportion […]

4 Jan 2006: From the passenger seat

Something you don't see every day: a London Underground District Line train being driven round the M25 this morning on the back of a lorry. If this is the Greater London Authority's latest attempt to get people to commute using public transport, all I can say is they seem to have missed the point somewhat. […]

26 Dec 2005: Christmas spirit

Christmas spiritChristmas pudding, brandy, white sauce and pies appear on the dinner table

26 Dec 2005: And they say there's never anything good on the radio…

I drove up to my parents' for a few hours on Christmas Day and while I was on the road the radio did that thing that all station programmers are said to aspire to, but never actually achieve: it played the three songs I most wanted to hear at that moment, in a row. I'm […]

24 Dec 2005: Christmas 2005

I made a last-minute visit to Tesco earlier today and found the managers up step ladders and sitting on top of the veg displays, taking down all the decorations so that when the store reopens (presumably on Boxing Day) all that Christmas stuff is firmly in the past, where it belongs. So I thought I'd […]

24 Dec 2005: Extra! Extra!

It seems to be the thing at the moment to be amused by newspaper bills – the posters with breathless headlines that papers give to their street vendors and newsagents to help shift copies. The Evening Standard Headline Crisis 2005 set on Flickr has such classics as “TOOTHPASTE CANCER ALERT”, “MAN BEHEADED IN LONDON STREET”, […]

23 Dec 2005: Being Brilliant

Thinking back on the run-up to the Human League gig in Manchester earlier this month, it's fair to say I wasn't looking forward to it with quite the same enthusiasm as I had done the previous ones we'd been to. There was a lot of other stuff going on in our lives, we spent the […]

21 Dec 2005: Our friends in the north

Quite a weekend, that was – an extendible one, apart from anything else, as it spilled over into the surrounding days. Thursday evening saw us hit the gym hard. Strange things are happening to me as a result of this “working out” business – I have cheekbones again for one thing, although admittedly only faint […]

19 Dec 2005: With grateful thanks…

Sent by : My heartfelt appreciation goes out to all of you who have taken the time and trouble to send me “forwards” over the past 12 months. I want to wish each and everyone of you a very Merry Christmas and a very prosperous New Year. Thank you for making me feel safe, secure, […]

14 Dec 2005: In memorium

David Sutch | Eddie Guerrero | Kirsty MacColl | Stuart Adamson | Glenn Quinn

14 Dec 2005: Season's Greetings

Saw this today and wanted to pass it on to you all: Please accept without obligation, express or implied, these best wishes for an environmentally safe, socially responsible, low stress, non-addictive, and gender-neutral celebration of the winter solstice holiday as practiced within the most enjoyable traditions of the religious persuasion of your choice (but with […]

13 Dec 2005: Start and finish

Both ends of the same day – the sunrise and sunset on November 14th this year. (Links go to Flickr, where you can see the full-sized versions of these photos.) Up…Sunrise over Falmouth, Cornwall, from the Grove Hotel, 14th Nov 2005. …and down.Sunset across the Cot Valley, western Cornwall, from the garden of “The Canyack” […]

13 Dec 2005: The stripe in the sky

Today I was working near Wycombe, about 15 miles away as the crow flies (I reckon) from the oil refinery fire out Hemel way. Incidentally, I have a chequered relationship with Hemel Hempstead – I was fostered there for a while before I was adopted, and later as a schoolboy I lost control on the […]

12 Dec 2005: Pimpin' da blog, yo

Publicity whoreThe Eden Project, one of Cornwall's biggest tourist attractions, has an education centre with a wall made up entirely of refridgerator doors. If there's a teaching purpose to it, I missed it – as far as I could see it existed mainly to give people the chance to play with the hundreds of letter-shaped […]

11 Dec 2005: All you need is…

Love rocks the universe……at least, it does on the wall of a public toilet in Helston, Cornwall.

6 Dec 2005: Eddie

The downside of being away for a while and largely out of contact with the world is that you miss the things that happen in your absence. In this case, the awful news of the death of Eddie Guerrero from heart failure at the age of 38 on November 13th. The Sun's wrestling columnists put […]

1 Dec 2005: Return

Ah well. Back in London after a month away. Wonderful time in Cornwall, just managed to skirt the edges of all the bad weather (thanks to everyone who texted / emailed to ask if we were okay). Did have a powercut one night in a storm though. Was working in Islington yesterday so I had […]

13 Nov 2005: Remember me?

This journal began on 7th November 2002 on DeadJournal, where one version of it is still running. In order to keep track of friends, there are now also versions on LiveJournal and Journalspace. In due course I'll shift the whole thing over to my new site at So. Three years of doing this journaling […]

15 Oct 2005: Gone

Goodbye and Godspeed, Tony – see you on the other side. (Advice: don't tell Bertie about the grand you made until after he's got the first round in…)

14 Oct 2005: Sore

One cup of coffee – just one – and it triggered a headache that I still can't shift. Not even one, in fact, because I didn't finish it.

13 Oct 2005: Snot

Ill. Cold that had more or less gone has returned with vengeance. Working from home today. Life very strange at moment, and not all that good either.

10 Oct 2005: Mope

I'm home. I wish I wasn't :o(

29 Sep 2005: Joke

I hadn't heard this one before – apologies if you had. Donald Rumsfeld is giving President Bush his daily briefing. He concludes by saying: “Yesterday, three Brazilian soldiers were killed.” “OH NO!” President Bush exclaims. “That's terrible!” His staff sits stunned at this display of emotion, nervously watching as the President sits, head in hands. […]

28 Sep 2005: Wednesday whinges

Ugh. Someone in the next cubicle in the gents' just now was finishing off a crafty cigarette and now I stink of smoke… On another note, why are so many good domain names taken but undeveloped? I've been sniffing around after ones for some business ideas I have and all the best ones have been […]

23 Sep 2005: Before he was famous

This rogues' gallery all stood for sabbatical elections at the University of East Anglia (UEA) between the mid-1980s and early 1990s. These photos all came from their election literature. If you look hard enough I'm in there, and one or two of the faces went onto greatness of a sort. There's a stand-up comedian in […]

22 Sep 2005: Changing room buttocks

It was a bad buttock night tonight at the gym. There's an etiquette to men's changing rooms in England, quite different to the one I found when I was in Iceland. It may, thinking about it, have evolved from what you did at school when you were changing after games lessons and knew you'd get […]

21 Sep 2005: "I was born with this gob…"

20 Sep 2005: Life lessons

From observation tonight in the changing rooms at the club, I can give you this piece of advice: If you're a fat, dark-skinned man you really should think twice before wearing bright white y-fronts.

19 Sep 2005: Catch-up post

Firstly, a public service announcement: From time to time I’ve had that I’m a fan of the New Orleans Saints – don’t ask why, I’m not entirely sure myself. The Saints (true to form) made a slow start after Hurricane Katrina, with owner Tom Benson initially seeming to see it as an opportunity to carry […]

14 Sep 2005: Pumped out

This is utterly ridiculous. The car's almost out of petrol and I've now made four attempts to refill it today. Failed every time because of the effects of wombats panic-buying. Twice during the daylight hours I went to petrol stations only to be driven off by queues that stretched into the next county. A third […]

7 Sep 2005: The fish stinks from the head

I see George Bush has put himself in charge of the investigation into what went wrong during the response to Hurricane Katrina. Hmmm. Presumably we can expect to hear evidence from the previously unknown group “Superdome Veterans for Truth” about how actually it was all the fault of, well, everybody except Bush and nothing bad […]

6 Sep 2005: Total wellness

The new era has begun. Or something. I'm just back from the gym after a three-quarter hour induction by a diminutive spiky-haired dry-slope skier, followed by a half-hour session on a variety of torture machines. I may have over-sold my general level of decrepitude to him, however, as the speed he set the running machine […]

31 Aug 2005: Things I did today

Today I: Nursed a migraine that began on Sunday and has been lurking ever since Bought an iPod Joined a health club The health club is a scary thing, but I'm sick of being an increasingly fat bastard. Yes, I know, I have some way to go before I get anything other than excessively round, […]

29 Aug 2005: Pizza slash

Times of stress or empty cupboards in this house (as, I suspect, in most other houses) mean comfort eating and a take-away, or more accurately a delivery. And that, for us, usually means Domino's Pizza. I spent a very odd summer as a pizza chef during my student years, working for Pizzaland. I don't claim […]

29 Aug 2005: So – anyone hungry?

And another period of ridiculous silence ensues… Mostly the lack of posts is because of being back in full-time work, with the train-based commute adding another three hours of travelling to the working day. Part of it is that most of my free time is going into the building of my new personal website, which […]

17 Aug 2005: Too much metaphysics

As a general rule, I like to waft gently through life in a pleasant sort of daze, without thinking too deeply about anything. I find this approach can generally be relied upon to reduce stress levels, although it was something of a disadvantage during my former career as a politician. Regular readers will know that […]

15 Aug 2005: Happy Days

And what happens the very first day I go back to the Royal Mail? One of my former colleagues avalanches a whole load of photos he took during the Bastard Project From Hell onto his Flickr account – including at least three with me in. Now, did that bring back memories, or what? IMG167 copyOriginally […]

15 Aug 2005: Deja vu-ish

Well, here we go round the bloody Mulberry Bush again – after 18 months away, I'm back working at the Royal Mail this week. Admittedly, it's only part of the week – I'm in Islington again for two days – and it may only last a week or two, but still it's going to be […]

29 Jul 2005: It's nice to be proved right

Earlier this year I gave up work at the Independent, a newspaper I enjoyed working at and was proud to be a part of, and the main reason I gave it up was because of the speed cameras on the route. Sure, the wildly unsociable hours were a pretty big reason too – but I'd […]

29 Jul 2005: Triumph and tragedy

Despite being a would-be writer, the owner of a Triumph Spitfire, and the possessor of a certain amount of sexual experience, I can honestly say the following comparison had never occurred to me and, even if it had, I certainly wouldn’t have been moved to commit it to paper: Carburetor breast fantasy wins bad writing […]

28 Jul 2005: Sound advice

From Guido (although it's apparently been doing the rounds before he picked it up) comes this notice at Notting Hill Tube station: Notice to all passengers:Please do not run on the platforms or concourses. Especially if you are carrying a rucksuck, wearing a big coat, or look a bit foreign. This notice is for your […]

28 Jul 2005: Should we be excited… or scared?

Excellent, if rather scary, piece on the past, present and future of the Net here on (found via Michael Hanscom). It starts off utopian, heralding the marvels of an internet where ordinary people have created the grandest knowledge base and network in history… The scope of the Web today is hard to fathom. The […]

27 Jul 2005: Go straight to jail

Yesterday I went into the Co-Op Bank branch at the Angel to pay a cheque in. It's a rather splendid building that once upon a time used to be a Lyons Corner House, the oh-so-English cafes that were the Starbucks of their times, where stiff-upper-lipped characters in 1940s black and white movies meet up in […]

26 Jul 2005: Angelic interlude

So far, so good in my return to office-based work. The transport network seemed pretty quiet to me, although the Standard was claiming that was because it was the first day of the school holidays. Whatever the reason, rail and Tube both seemed to have fewer passengers in general, and in particular fewer older people, […]

25 Jul 2005: Out and about

Have got two days' work in Islington, today and tomorrow, so I'm back on the Tube for the first time since the bombings began. Will be heading into Waterloo, then to Bank via the drain, then up the Northern to Angel. Right now, taking all things into consideration, my greatest fear is the one that […]

22 Jul 2005: Another stupid person

The dial-up connection dropped on our PC for a few minutes, and in that short space of time we got an incoming call – one of a sort that have been coming in for years now (see here). Caller: Hello, is that Brent Council? Me: It's not even slightly Brent Council, it's a private house […]

21 Jul 2005: Must try harder

Learn the difference!Because today's bunch seem to have been the most singularly inept lot of bombers to hit this city since Verloc and Stevie…

21 Jul 2005: Here we go again…

The BBC is reporting three Tube stations evacuated after 'incidents' and one bus has also experienced an 'incident', whatever that means. Edit: Police say they're not treating it as a major incident at the moment, and the Tube hasn't been entirely shut down either. Only one report of an injury, at Warren Street. There actually […]

20 Jul 2005: A little bit of toast

I am in the grip of a glorious and magnificent obsession, and I'm not ashamed to admit it. We live in a rented, furnished flat, so handy household good such as the microwave, the kettle and the toaster came with it. Not unreasonably, many of them are pretty much at the bottom end of the […]

16 Jul 2005: Full up of half blood

Well, I've read the damn book and am now suffering a severe case of Harry Potter indigestion, to the extent that I don't want to see it or hear mention of it for the next month. At least. Beloved Other Half, of course, is eager to discuss it in depth. It's also already clear that […]

16 Jul 2005: Midnight at the bookstore

Busy night, I suppose. Kingston was a madhouse – the pubs emptying boozed-up lads and short-skirted slappers out onto the street outside the bookshop, while inside gleaming-eyed parents tried to pretend they were only there for their face-painted offsprings' benefit. Endless trollies stacked with the two different versions of the book, the brightly-coloured children's cover […]

15 Jul 2005: Lots of words

A busy couple of weeks of work is now over – probably – as the project I was on seems to have collapsed, at least from our point of view. Such is life – at least most of it involved working at home for me, ideal in this weather. I'm not precious about my work, […]

8 Jul 2005: Upon mature reflection

Having plundered other people's thoughts on the bombings and posted them here, I thought I'd see if I could develop mine beyond my initial 'Blitz Spirit, you can't beat a Londoner with bombs' reaction. And right now I'm thinking: “Is that it?” Since September 11th all the doom-laden experts and the politicians have been telling […]

8 Jul 2005: London Pride

Drink deep, folks Some of the best of the blogs today: Make My Vote Count: Being British is Great We did not panic, we did not crumble. We did not burst into irrational fits of anger and go rushing out looking for a scapegoat, a religious group to lynch or a country to bomb. We […]

7 Jul 2005: Blogging the blombings

Just posted this on the almost-dead Blogosphere News. London's bloggers have swung into action almost as quickly as the emergency services following six or seven bomb blasts across the capital this morning. Among those liveblogging the events – often from their work desks in the City, or from home after being turned back on their […]

7 Jul 2005: All fine here

Thanks to everyone who's texted to check we're okay – in fact, we haven't left the flat today so we were nowhere near anything that might have been going on in central London earlier. To be honest, compared with some of the stuff the IRA got up to when I was a kid, this sounds […]

5 Jul 2005: Railway children

When I was a child, it was axiomatic that all small boys were supposed to want to be train drivers when they grew up. The truth, of course, was that none of us actually did hold that ambition and probably no small boy had done for a least a decade. It just took a while […]

3 Jul 2005: Home and Away

Some photos from the recent camping trip. Despite being cut short, this was an unexpectedly refreshing and much-needed break – even if I did seem to spend most of it on the phone, juggling different bits of work that suddenly started mounting up. Before we went away I was enjoying not having any work on, […]

29 Jun 2005: Returned

Home again now, having rushed back yesterday because of unpleasantness here at the ranch. We spent four nights under canvas on the edge of Exmoor, including a ferocious (and exhilarating) thunderstorm, and then two nights revisiting a B&B in Fowey, Cornwall. Pictures to follow…

22 Jun 2005: Compact and biijou

Be it ever so 'umble, this is home for the next few days…

22 Jun 2005: You're having a laugh

Went into town last night for a meeting of the London Comedy Writers' Group, which was, as you might expect, a right laugh. First one I've been to in months as the meetings used to clash with my old shiftwork. After a lot of useful training exercises on how to brainstorm new joke and sketch […]

19 Jun 2005: Skyness

A fine summer day here, and the clouds have been doing things that only a poet could properly describe, only a meteorologist properly explain, but even the stoniest heart csn properly enjoy. Summer sky over St George's Church, Hanworth Cloud formation over Tudor Court, Hanworth Yay – one of these photos just got featured on […]

19 Jun 2005: Toast

You remember that bit at the end of the fifth season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, where the portal opens into the hell-dimension and there's these great flares of blue light and a whole load of eerie crackling noises and you think the world's about to end? That was our kitchen earlier this evening, that […]

15 Jun 2005: 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 […]

7 Jun 2005: 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 […]

3 Jun 2005: 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 […]

2 Jun 2005: 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 […]

2 Jun 2005: 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 […]

29 May 2005: 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.

26 May 2005: 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 […]

26 May 2005: 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 […]

24 May 2005: 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 […]

21 May 2005: 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 […]

20 May 2005: 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.

19 May 2005: 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 […]

17 May 2005: 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 […]

16 May 2005: 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 […]

16 May 2005: 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 […]

15 May 2005: 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 […]

15 May 2005: 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 […]

15 May 2005: 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 […]

15 May 2005: 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 […]

9 May 2005: 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.

9 May 2005: 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 […]

6 May 2005: 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 […]

5 May 2005: 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…

5 May 2005: Wakey wakey

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

5 May 2005: Winning here

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

21 Apr 2005: 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 […]

17 Apr 2005: It wasn't me…

Go see. Oh yes.

16 Apr 2005: Good cause time

13 Apr 2005: 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 […]

10 Apr 2005: 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 in 2001, […]

31 Mar 2005: 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. […]

30 Mar 2005: Humour and stuff

Interesting piece from an American features agency about whether sitcoms can survive the west-to-east journey across the Atlantic and the process of being remade, following the debut of the US version of The Office. Ties in well with a piece I wrote some years ago about the differences in the . From Wichita Eagle | […]

27 Mar 2005: 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 […]

20 Mar 2005: 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 […]

20 Mar 2005: 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 […]

20 Mar 2005: Admission

19 Mar 2005: 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 […]

15 Mar 2005: 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 […]

13 Mar 2005: 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 […]

9 Mar 2005: 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 […]

9 Mar 2005: 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 […]

8 Mar 2005: 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.

8 Mar 2005: 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.

7 Mar 2005: 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 […]

4 Mar 2005: 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.

4 Mar 2005: 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 […]

1 Mar 2005: 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 […]

25 Feb 2005: 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.

22 Feb 2005: Books in the Kitchen

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

22 Feb 2005: 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 […]

20 Feb 2005: 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 […]

18 Feb 2005: Ennui

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

14 Feb 2005: 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 […]

12 Feb 2005: 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 […]

9 Feb 2005: 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!

6 Feb 2005: 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 […]

6 Feb 2005: 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 […]

5 Feb 2005: It's my party

3 Feb 2005: 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 […]

1 Feb 2005: 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

1 Feb 2005: 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 […]

1 Feb 2005: 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 […]

1 Feb 2005: 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 […]

1 Feb 2005: 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 […]

26 Jan 2005: 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 […]

18 Jan 2005: 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 […]

14 Jan 2005: 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 […]

13 Jan 2005: 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 […]

9 Jan 2005: 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, […]

5 Jan 2005: 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 […]

2 Jan 2005: Can't take your eye off 'em for a moment

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

2 Jan 2005: 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 […]

31 Dec 2004: 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: […]

29 Dec 2004: 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, […]

28 Dec 2004: 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 […]

27 Dec 2004: 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 […]

25 Dec 2004: Seasonal whatsits to everyone on DeadJournal

22 Dec 2004: 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 […]

22 Dec 2004: 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 […]

21 Dec 2004: 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, […]

18 Dec 2004: 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 […]

17 Dec 2004: A post that does exactly what it says on the tin

A while ago, someone compiled a page of links to things that are the new black. Here, in tribute, is a short list of things that do exactly what it says on the tin: The Canaries, movie titles,, Wildcard TDM400B: PCI FXO/FXS 1-4 ports, men, 'cigarette up the nose' magic trick, oral rehydration treatment, […]

16 Dec 2004: 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 […]

16 Dec 2004: 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 […]

15 Dec 2004: 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 […]

10 Dec 2004: 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 […]

10 Dec 2004: 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 […]

7 Dec 2004: 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 […]

7 Dec 2004: Seeing red

Horror of horrors… From Footballer loses finger in goal celebration – 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 […]

5 Dec 2004: 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 […]

5 Dec 2004: 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 […]

4 Dec 2004: 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 […]

29 Nov 2004: The Sound of the Crowd

Last night was the Human League gig at the Reading Hexagon. Which is an unhappy thing, because now I’m remembering having been to it, instead of looking forward to going to it.

24 Nov 2004: 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 […]

23 Nov 2004: 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. […]

22 Nov 2004: 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.

22 Nov 2004: "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 […]

21 Nov 2004: 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 […]

19 Nov 2004: 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 […]

18 Nov 2004: 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 […]

17 Nov 2004: 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 […]

16 Nov 2004: 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 […]

3 Nov 2004: 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 […]

2 Nov 2004: 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 […]

2 Nov 2004: 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. […]

30 Oct 2004: And out of the silence came –

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

17 Oct 2004: 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 […]

30 Sep 2004: 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, Day 2, Fr Oct 1, Portloe, […]

27 Sep 2004: 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 […]

22 Sep 2004: 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.

22 Sep 2004: 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 […]

16 Sep 2004: 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 […]

14 Sep 2004: 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 […]

12 Sep 2004: 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 Sep 2004: 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 […]

8 Sep 2004: 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 […]

6 Sep 2004: 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 […]

5 Sep 2004: 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 […]

3 Sep 2004: 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 […]

31 Aug 2004: The Hours

31 Aug 2004: 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 […]

31 Aug 2004: 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 […]

30 Aug 2004: 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, […]

29 Aug 2004: 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), […]

29 Aug 2004: 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 – […]

26 Aug 2004: Yum

25 Aug 2004: 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 […]

24 Aug 2004: 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. […]

23 Aug 2004: 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. […]

22 Aug 2004: Introspection

A reflective moment…

20 Aug 2004: 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. […]

18 Aug 2004: 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 […]

17 Aug 2004: 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 […]

10 Aug 2004: "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 […]

9 Aug 2004: Electro-pop

The rain struck at exactly 3am, just as I pulled up at a red traffic light in front of a silent, darkened Buckingham Palace. Circles of water appeared on the windscreen like fast-growing lichen-spots, and a couple who had been walking along, hand-in-hand, squealed and broke into a run.

7 Aug 2004: "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.

5 Aug 2004: 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 […]

5 Aug 2004: 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. […]

3 Aug 2004: 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 […]

3 Aug 2004: 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 […]

2 Aug 2004: 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, […]

1 Aug 2004: 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 […]

31 Jul 2004: 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 […]

26 Jul 2004: 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 […]

25 Jul 2004: 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 […]

23 Jul 2004: 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.

23 Jul 2004: 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 […]

22 Jul 2004: 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 […]

21 Jul 2004: 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 […]

20 Jul 2004: Excitement and adventure

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

17 Jul 2004: 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 […]

15 Jul 2004: 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 […]

14 Jul 2004: 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 […]

13 Jul 2004: 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 […]

12 Jul 2004: 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 […]

12 Jul 2004: 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 […]

8 Jul 2004: 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 […]

4 Jul 2004: 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 […]

2 Jul 2004: 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 […]

1 Jul 2004: My preciousssss

Finally, the new business-related site is live at 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.

29 Jun 2004: 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 […]

29 Jun 2004: You could stuff a mattress with that lot…

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

27 Jun 2004: " **** "

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 […]

21 Jun 2004: 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…)

20 Jun 2004: 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… […]

18 Jun 2004: 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. […]

18 Jun 2004: 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 […]

10 Jun 2004: Only in England

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

10 Jun 2004: 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 […]

8 Jun 2004: 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 […]

6 Jun 2004: 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 […]

3 Jun 2004: 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 […]

3 Jun 2004: 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 […]

1 Jun 2004: 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 […]

31 May 2004: 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 […]

30 May 2004: 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 […]

29 May 2004: Big Brother first night

Ye Gods, what a freak show. Last year was dull, so this year they’ve over-compensated. A good mix of contestants would mostly comprise of interesting but normal people, with a few more abrasive types who would provide the grit in the oyster. This year they’ve just gone almost entirely for grit. The start of Big […]

28 May 2004: 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 […]

27 May 2004: 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 […]

27 May 2004: 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.

26 May 2004: 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 […]

25 May 2004: 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 […]

23 May 2004: 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 […]

15 May 2004: 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 […]

10 May 2004: 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 […]

10 May 2004: Second lot of Norfolk Broads photos

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

7 May 2004: 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 […]

1 May 2004: 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, […]

30 Mar 2004: 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 […]

27 Mar 2004: 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 […]

26 Mar 2004: 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, explains in some detail how a United […]

24 Mar 2004: 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 […]

24 Mar 2004: 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 […]

23 Mar 2004: 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 […]

22 Mar 2004: 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 […]

20 Mar 2004: 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 […]

20 Mar 2004: 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, […]

18 Mar 2004: 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 […]

17 Mar 2004: 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 […]

14 Mar 2004: 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 […]

12 Mar 2004: 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 […]

11 Mar 2004: 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 […]

9 Mar 2004: 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 […]

8 Mar 2004: 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…

7 Mar 2004: 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 […]

6 Mar 2004: 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 […]

5 Mar 2004: 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 […]

5 Mar 2004: 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 […]

3 Mar 2004: Futility triumphs, hurrah

Dean won Vermont! *does happy dance*

1 Mar 2004: 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 […]

30 Jan 2004: 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 […]

25 Jan 2004: 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 […]

20 Jan 2004: 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 […]

18 Jan 2004: 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 […]

16 Jan 2004: "             "

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 […]

16 Jan 2004: Dear Diary

Some wonderful Alan Clarke stories here: I like Jonathan Aitken's best

15 Jan 2004: Ho-hum

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

13 Jan 2004: 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 […]

12 Jan 2004: So far, so good.

We're all a bit stunned here. They all work:,, 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…

10 Jan 2004: 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 […]

23 Dec 2003: To you all

22 Dec 2003: — > 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 […]

21 Dec 2003: 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 […]

19 Dec 2003: 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 […]

18 Dec 2003: 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 […]

17 Dec 2003: 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 […]

16 Dec 2003: Sun and shadows

Very bright sun this morning as I walked to the station, so I paused for a couple of snapshots: When I arrived at work there was single bunch of flowers tied to a post: a reminder of Mary Hansen, who died in the square a year ago. For those not on the scene a year […]

15 Dec 2003: 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 […]

12 Dec 2003: 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.

11 Dec 2003: 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.

11 Dec 2003: 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”.

9 Dec 2003: Snapshot

Yesterday I got one of those miniature digital cameras, a tiny little thing made from brittle plastic that looks like it’ll last for about a fortnight before it disintegrates. It has no proper memory, so if you take the battery out (or if it goes flat) all pictures in it will be wiped. But the […]

9 Dec 2003: I don't care what the weatherman says

Dean campaign 1 – 0 New Hampshire weather

9 Dec 2003: 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 […]

8 Dec 2003: 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 […]

8 Dec 2003: 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 […]

6 Dec 2003: 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 […]

4 Dec 2003: All I Ever Wanted

This is what I just posted on the Human League board ‘Secrets’ about last night’s gig:

3 Dec 2003: 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 […]

2 Dec 2003: 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 […]

1 Dec 2003: 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 […]

31 Oct 2003: 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 […]

30 Oct 2003: Thursday update

Busy busy busy – but still here, despite silence.

28 Oct 2003: 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!

28 Oct 2003: 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 […]

28 Oct 2003: 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 […]

27 Oct 2003: 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 […]

26 Oct 2003: 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 […]

26 Oct 2003: Quiz time


25 Oct 2003: A few photos from the recent walking holiday.

Have made the most of my unexpected day at home by doing organised stuff. And now that I've done that, it's time for some silly photos. First and LastAt the First and Last House by Land's End with the bastard great rucksack. Onwards, ever onwardsDidn't know this one was being taken, or I'd have swung […]

24 Oct 2003: 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…

24 Oct 2003: 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 […]

24 Oct 2003: 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 […]

23 Oct 2003: 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 […]

22 Oct 2003: 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 […]

22 Oct 2003: 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 […]

20 Oct 2003: 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

20 Oct 2003: 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 […]

19 Oct 2003: 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 […]

18 Oct 2003: 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 […]

16 Oct 2003: 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.

15 Oct 2003: 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 […]

14 Oct 2003: 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 […]

13 Oct 2003: 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 […]

12 Oct 2003: Back

8 Oct 2003: Ah well.

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

7 Oct 2003: 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 […]

31 Aug 2003: 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.

30 Aug 2003: 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 […]

29 Aug 2003: 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.

28 Aug 2003: 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 […]

28 Aug 2003: 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 […]

27 Aug 2003: 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 […]

26 Aug 2003: 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 […]

26 Aug 2003: And Noah did build an ark to survive the flood

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

24 Aug 2003: Fnarr fnarr

There is no humour to compare with that provided by curiously-shaped vegetables. I took these potatoes from the allotment earlier today along with many more, some onions, a courgette, and a bagful of tomatoes. Don’t get too excited Spike. I seem to remember someone – possibly Yvie or Teresa, I’m not sure – arguing about […]

22 Aug 2003: 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, […]

22 Aug 2003: 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 […]

21 Aug 2003: 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 […]

20 Aug 2003: 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, […]

18 Aug 2003: 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 […]

17 Aug 2003: 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 […]

15 Aug 2003: I was paying attention, honest…

I just woke up suddenly to the sound of a colleague saying loudly in my ear “coffee anyone?” All my workmates were grinning broadly at me.

15 Aug 2003: 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 […]

14 Aug 2003: 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 […]

14 Aug 2003: 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 […]

14 Aug 2003: 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…

13 Aug 2003: 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 […]

13 Aug 2003: 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. […]

12 Aug 2003: 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 […]

11 Aug 2003: 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 […]

11 Aug 2003: 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 […]

10 Aug 2003: 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). […]

10 Aug 2003: 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 […]

9 Aug 2003: Another lie-in lost…

I really should learn that I should read less if I want to sleep late on Saturday mornings. Last week it was the postman with the book Gerri organised for me. Today, the same postman was back with an order from Amazon, a book that I pre-ordered months ago and which has just had its […]

9 Aug 2003: 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 […]

8 Aug 2003: 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.

7 Aug 2003: 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 […]

6 Aug 2003: 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 […]

6 Aug 2003: 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.

6 Aug 2003: 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 […]

5 Aug 2003: 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 […]

4 Aug 2003: 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 […]

3 Aug 2003: 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 […]

2 Aug 2003: Awake

Ugh. Not a great fan of being awake this early on a Saturday. However, I’ll make an exception for today. The postman woke me. It was my autographed copy of The Well of Lost Plots, which Gerri got for me. What a star. Thanks Gerri!

1 Aug 2003: 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 […]

31 Jul 2003: 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 […]

30 Jul 2003: 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 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 […]

29 Jul 2003: 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.

29 Jul 2003: Obsessive much?

28 Jul 2003: 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 […]

27 Jul 2003: Triumph

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

27 Jul 2003: We are the hollow men

25 Jul 2003: 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 […]

25 Jul 2003: Some people have no shame…

25 Jul 2003: 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 […]

24 Jul 2003: 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 […]

23 Jul 2003: 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 […]

22 Jul 2003: 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 […]

21 Jul 2003: 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 […]

15 Jul 2003: 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 […]

15 Jul 2003: 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 […]

14 Jul 2003: 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 […]

12 Jul 2003: 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 […]

11 Jul 2003: 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)

10 Jul 2003: 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 […]

10 Jul 2003: 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 […]

10 Jul 2003: A very English obsession…

Webcam + GIF animator = new icon :o)

9 Jul 2003: 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 […]

9 Jul 2003: Not entirely sure about this one at all…

Which Remarkably Cliche Harry Potter Slash Ship Are You? You are sick. I’ve discovered you for who you really are. You’re a regular old Snape perver, aren’t you? You plaster pictures of Alan Rickman all over your website and write morbidly depressing tales about his troubled, precocious childhood and claim that he’s simply “misunderstood” and […]

7 Jul 2003: 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 […]

7 Jul 2003: 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.

5 Jul 2003: 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 […]

2 Jul 2003: 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 […]

1 Jul 2003: 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 […]

30 Jun 2003: 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. 

30 Jun 2003: 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.

30 Jun 2003: 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 […]

29 Jun 2003: 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 […]

27 Jun 2003: English as she is wrote

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

26 Jun 2003: 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 […]

25 Jun 2003: The little stuff and the Big Stuff

24 Jun 2003: 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 is moored… look here (probably best in daylight). Why don’t we go sail her more often? Because she […]

24 Jun 2003: 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 […]

23 Jun 2003: 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 […]

21 Jun 2003: 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…

20 Jun 2003: 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 […]

19 Jun 2003: 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 […]

18 Jun 2003: 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.

17 Jun 2003: 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 […]

17 Jun 2003: You know what..?

It's too damn hot to write stuff.

16 Jun 2003: 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)

16 Jun 2003: 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 […]

14 Jun 2003: Ah well…

Still at home :o(

12 Jun 2003: Ah well…

…back home :o(

11 Jun 2003: 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 […]

5 Jun 2003: Mountain peaks and artichoke hearts

4 Jun 2003: Furthest North

2 Jun 2003: 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 […]

1 Jun 2003: I gotta 'nother one!

STRICTLY PRIVATE & CONFIDENTIAL Ms Maraya Taraba Pretoria South Africa. 1st June 2003. Email: 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 […]

1 Jun 2003: 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 […]

31 May 2003: 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 […]

31 May 2003: 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 […]

29 May 2003: 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 […]

28 May 2003: 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 […]

27 May 2003: 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 […]

26 May 2003: 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.)

25 May 2003: 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 […]

24 May 2003: 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 […]

23 May 2003: Orwellian musings

23 May 2003: 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 […]

22 May 2003: 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.

21 May 2003: Mobile telephony

21 May 2003: 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. […]

20 May 2003: 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: Dear Friend, Complements of […]

20 May 2003: 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 […]

19 May 2003: It's all abaht efficks, innit?

16 May 2003: 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 […]

13 May 2003: 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 […]

13 May 2003: 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.

12 May 2003: FFW >>

Wheee, today's really flying by.

12 May 2003: 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 […]

9 May 2003: 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 […]

8 May 2003: 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 […]

7 May 2003: 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 […]

2 May 2003: 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 […]

1 May 2003: The quick and the dead

Emotion is funny stuff, and I don’t even pretend to understand it. I just received a monster order from Amazon, and it included a book called Cobra Trap by Peter O’Donnell. Now, if you ever bother looking at the ‘current book’ setting of these entries you’ll have noticed that up to Easter I read (re-read, […]

1 May 2003: 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 […]

31 Mar 2003: 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?

31 Mar 2003: 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…)

30 Mar 2003: 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 […]

30 Mar 2003:


28 Mar 2003: 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

28 Mar 2003: 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 […]

27 Mar 2003: 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 […]

27 Mar 2003: 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 […]

26 Mar 2003: 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, […]

26 Mar 2003: 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 […]

26 Mar 2003: 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 […]

25 Mar 2003: 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 […]

24 Mar 2003: 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 […]

23 Mar 2003: 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 […]

21 Mar 2003: 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.

20 Mar 2003: 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 […]

20 Mar 2003: 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 […]

19 Mar 2003: 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 […]

19 Mar 2003: 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 […]

18 Mar 2003: 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?

17 Mar 2003: 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 […]

16 Mar 2003: 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, […]

1 Mar 2003: 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

31 Jan 2003: 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 […]

31 Jan 2003: 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 […]

30 Jan 2003: 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 […]

30 Jan 2003: 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?

30 Jan 2003: Can't concentrate…

So very tired…

29 Jan 2003: 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 […]

28 Jan 2003: 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 […]

28 Jan 2003: Well – half right

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

27 Jan 2003: 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. […]

23 Jan 2003: Home to roost

22 Jan 2003: Good news… sort of

22 Jan 2003: 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 […]

21 Jan 2003: 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…

21 Jan 2003: Headache

21 Jan 2003: "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 […]

21 Jan 2003: 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, Maybe two and a half -I can't remember if it […]

20 Jan 2003: 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. […]

17 Jan 2003: :eep:

Got this link in the B3ta newsletter… and now Lisa's hanging from the ceiling.

17 Jan 2003: Another exception to the 'no poll' rule

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

17 Jan 2003: 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 […]

17 Jan 2003: 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…

16 Jan 2003: 'ello 'ello…

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

16 Jan 2003: 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 […]

15 Jan 2003: 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 […]

14 Jan 2003: 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!

14 Jan 2003: 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 […]

13 Jan 2003: If adverts had to tell the truth…

That's the latest theme on, where PhotoShop whizzes diddle with photos. Here's some crackers:

13 Jan 2003: Gravity strikes

Something metal fell out of the ceiling a moment ago. Fortunately, no-one was seated below it. We have something not unlike moles in the office today, however instead of leaving small piles of dirt in a line across the carpet they are knocking out ceiling tiles, making electric drill and screwdriver noises, and dropping angle […]

13 Jan 2003: And… update

Lisa, bless her, has managed to get the Spitfire going. No life in the Rover though. Still, we're halfway there.

13 Jan 2003: Picture perfect

Success is pretty sweet when it comes after a run of near misses. For a while, we've been trying to get this live but have been dogged by a few techy glitches: All is well now :o) It's a pretty nifty new product that lets you put your own photo on postage stamps (sort […]

10 Jan 2003: All zones please

I just added this journal to the London Bloggers' Tube Map under my local station. Dunno whether anything will come of it or not, but I thought, why not? No-one else in my area has. The map seems to be the work of the same guy who set up the make-you-own-HotOrNot site stuff. Not sure […]

9 Jan 2003: Hee hee hee…

Kinda cruel, I know, but I just set this up: (It'll mean nothing to the Americans reading but Brits with an interest in politics might be amused.)

9 Jan 2003: Ethel?

From the testimonials page of “This is just a quick note to say thank you so much for coming up with such a great web site. Before Hot or not all I had was rowing and skiing, with the occasional drink at the weekend. Now I have met many interesting people, including my girlfriend […]

8 Jan 2003: So far so good…

Tonight was my first meeting as chair of the Hounslow Borough Liberal Democrats… almost a full turn-out and our new prospective candidate for the Greater London Assembly elections was also there. Went pretty well, I think – today Chiswick High Road, tomorrow the world! That was a joke, by the way. Not hubris. Not at […]

8 Jan 2003: ick cubed

Working from home today, still feeling like I have cotton wool between my ears instead of grey matter. Managed to do the round-up of education news from today's papers for teachers, but it was awful hard going – and I don't think the result ranks terribly highly among my writings…

7 Jan 2003: 2(ick)

Been off work sick today. Raging cold, which also seemed to drag indigestion along for the ride. Feel seriously crappy. Ray of light: Lisa working from home, breaking away from the computer regularly to provide hugs or peppermint tea or both.

6 Jan 2003: Grrr

Once more I'm in an office full of people on their first day back after the holiday, all asking each other how it went. I wish I wasn't so grumpy.

6 Jan 2003: Ick

Gone down with a heavy cold in the last 12 hours. Feel really crappy and my nose is running faster than a doped-up Canadian sprinter. Still, you know what they say – if your nose runs and your feet smell you're obviously upside down.

3 Jan 2003: Astonishing

Jeffrey Archer has demanded a formal apology from the prison service for the way they've been treating him. What planet is he on? Apparently he's not happy with what happened after he broke the terms of his home leave and went to Gillian Shepherd's party some months back (I feel for her – she's a […]

2 Jan 2003: Cheated

Everyone's back at work now, and the office is buzzing. Well, showing signs of life at least. People are picking up where they left off on December 23rd and asking each other how their break was, and I'm feeling cheated. It was my choice to work the 27th, 30th and 31st – I could have […]

30 Nov 2002: Take this, that and the other

So Mark Owen won Celebrity Big Brother… I'm kind of glad, although I wanted Anne or Sue to win at the start. When they first entered the house, it was like, here are five C-list celebrities and one person you'd forgotten ever existed… and that was Mark Owen. Once again, that little voice is nagging […]

29 Nov 2002: A word of advice…

If you’re planning on reading Frank Skinner’s autobiography, skip the bit in which he describes how he loses his virginity… if you don’t the images will haunt you for a long time and you’ll never eat tuna again…

28 Nov 2002: Mr Brain is not in the building this morning

Feeling really out of sorts today – sleepy (though I had a decent night last night), indigestion, headache… dunno why :o(

27 Nov 2002: Hmmm…

—————————————————- We are pleased to present this report about your Atomz Search account and tips for customizing Atomz Search. In this report: — Search statistics for Andy Darley online —————————————————- YOUR SEARCH STATISTICS Your Top Searches: There were 1 searches for the week ending 11/23/02 for Andy Darley online at Here are the top […]

27 Nov 2002: Audience appreciation

Some of the comments and conversations going on here and on other journals have led me to thinking: who exactly are we writing these things for? The common answer most people give is 'for myself'. But if that was the case, why do it publicly? Why not just use an old notebook, or a file […]

26 Nov 2002: Green shoots

Another Lib Dem AGM last night – this time the Brentford and Isleworth branch. They'd tempted Ed Davey MP down from the House of Commons to be the guest speaker. Brave man – he took the train, which to Isleworth is the sort of adventure that often ends in tears. You expect to find Marlon […]

25 Nov 2002: Lovely, lovely country…

I missed Celebrity Big Brother last night, so I didn't know who'd been evicted until I saw a newspaper on the train. And guess what – once again the white guy stayed and the black guy was booted out. Goldie (entertaining streetwise DJ with youth appeal) has gone and Les Dennis (washed-up hasbeen comedian) stayed. […]

25 Nov 2002: *yawn*

Ugh. Way too early in the day for me. Have to get into work early. I seemed to spend the weekend driving past firefighters' picket lines and hooting – at least seven times during the weekend as the allotment and the Tube station Lisa travelled from both had fire stations on the route to them. […]

22 Nov 2002: I'm curious…

How many people spend their time bouncing around deadjournal by hitting the 'Random!' button again and again until they find something they think is worth reading? I know I do. So: if you're reading this, leave a message to say 'hello'…

22 Nov 2002: Flare ups

Some nasty stuff this morning. Bank station, the heart of the City, was closed by a fire alert less than an hour after the start of the latest firefighters strike (and shortly before I was to go through it). When I finally passed by on foot there were a couple of Army Green Goddesses parked […]

21 Nov 2002: So true…

Yeah, I know this has probably gone round the internet three times over and everyone's seen it already, but I found it in a dusty corner of my webmail inbox earlier and thought I'd post it. Feel free to pinch it for your journal or whatever. I'm sure there's an American version of it somewhere […]

20 Nov 2002: Hmmm…

Looks like it is just me who thinks that way about the autopsy… we were talking about it here in the office and everyone else was like, “And? If people don't like it, they don't have to watch it”.

20 Nov 2002: Warning signs

I know this one… slowly but surely my back's been starting to play up over the last few days. On past form, if it continues like this, walking will be pretty difficult by the middle of next week. :o( I found the firefighters poll: it's here. There's also another showing the Lib Dems homing in […]

19 Nov 2002: Chocolate emergency

Just conducted an experiment down at the vending machine. I had a bag of crisps and a cup of hot chocolate and sat near it to eat and drink… and wait. Because I'd paid for a bar of chocolate too, and deliberately left it in the machine to see what would happen when the next […]

19 Nov 2002: Untitled

As we left for Norfolk on Friday we drove past our local fire station, with a picketline of striking firefighters in front of it.

19 Nov 2002: :o(

Don't you just hate insomnia?

18 Nov 2002: *sigh*

I can't even begin to list how many more useful things I could be doing tomorrow than going to work. Getting back from the boat a day early meant I could spend today around the flat sorting out stuff that had been building up…

15 Nov 2002: Lagos mon amour

I got *another* of those west African scams via e-mail today… that's three in about four days. I love 'em – they're the funniest criminal activity in the world. Yet the amazing thing is people fall for them. Honestly – would you respond if a complete stranger asked for your bank account details so he […]

14 Nov 2002: Jib-booms and bobstays

Going away tomorrow until Monday, up to Norfolk to spend some time on – or, at least, near – the boat. Rang the yard and spoke to Alan, the head boatbuilder, who said they'd bring her from her mooring and over to their side of the river. Hopefully we'll have better luck with the weather […]

14 Nov 2002: Never would have thought it…

Strange to find that first thing in the morning is the part of the day when I have most time to update this thing. Me, with my famous hatred of mornings. Heh. Yesterday went pretty good in the end. Usually when a day's going well you wait for life to throw you a curve ball […]

13 Nov 2002: 3638

After the disaster that was yesterday afternoon and early evening, today is going a lot better. One of those days where lines of HTML practically dance into place on the page and links mysteriously home in on where you want them to link to despite being about three foot in length were you to print […]

12 Nov 2002: Narrow escape

The gym's shut tonight for refurbishment, just when I brought my kit in for the first time in a fortnight… damn ;o)

12 Nov 2002: And so to bed…

Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz :)

11 Nov 2002: Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

Oh yeah – forgot to say. There's no damn heating in this office today and I'm bloody freezing.

11 Nov 2002: Political animal

So, what sort of a weekend was it really? Well, it was a political one. Blame it on me for going to a political conference (duh) but also blame it Jeremy Paxman and Paul Burrell. I'm no fan of Paxman as an interviewer. I think he gets so hung up on trapping his interviewee that […]

11 Nov 2002: A question

What is this 'free time' of which you speak? Where might it be found?

10 Nov 2002: Dig for victory…

We spent the afternoon on the allotment, clearing brambles and paths, and trying to work out where the hell the edges of it are. At the moment there's a bramble patch big enough to swallow a house on it at one end, and scattered stuff at the other end. Also some kind of mutant grass […]

10 Nov 2002: Last night I dreamed…

Just finished watching Rebecca on video with Beloved Other Half.

9 Nov 2002: Weekend golds

This is all a bit early for me on a Saturday morning :o)

8 Nov 2002: End of week

Funny how the end of the working week doesn't seem such a big deal when you work in more than one place for more than one client… spread your time around a bit and the five days before don't drag as much.

8 Nov 2002: Untitled

Well, what do you know? Almost no delay on the train this morning. No seats either, but that's not exactly a surprise.

8 Nov 2002: Yay me!

Got the colours changed to match my site. Now all I have to worry about is how doing it has made me late for work…

7 Nov 2002: Corrections

Well, that's made the colour a bit less offensive (lots of tasteful grey) and this time I've spotted the place to make sure my timezone gets used. I'm learning :)

7 Nov 2002: 3 – 2 – 1 – Go!

Well, I've got this thing now – although if anyone runs into it before I have a chance to customize the look and feel to match my website I shall be mortified.

  • Stuff worth looking at

    How the Cube was found 2001 General Election diary

I'm Andy Darley. Sometimes I want to say things. This is where I do it.