Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Off the radar.

Ok, so I've been neglecting my blog. It's not uncommon, I know. I am a lazy person in most aspects of my life.

So, you might wonder what marvelous and exciting things I've been up to. Truth is, I am struggling to even find material for a new blog entry.

One particular item of note, was a visit to a restaurant in Hebden Bridge (or Herb-den Bridge as it is sometimes referred to by those in the know). The restaurant is a vegetarian venture, which is set up in a sort of "centre" - well I can't explain it, but you can read about it here if you so wish.

The visit to the restaurant - called "laughing Gravy" which is the name of the dog in the Laurel and Hardy film of the same name. - was one of the most enjoyable and unexpected meals I have eaten in a long while.

Unlike "normal" restaurants, this one only runs a single sitting at 8pm. We were greeted and seated, and presented with a menu, from which you don't order anything. You are fed the entire menu, consisting of a selection of four starter dishes, four main course dishes, and three deserts. Sure, there's only a small portion of each item, but it lets you taste everything on offer. Very different.

I heartily recommend to anyone that gets the chance, that they should do so without delay.

In other news....

I managed to take part in the RSPB's Big Garden Birdwatch on Saturday. This entails an hour of effort, in watching the birds that come to the garden, and recording the maximum number of each species that is present at any one given moment. Nobody told the birds about it, and my tally was unusually poor. Such is life. (in case anyone was remotely interested: 1 Dunnock; 2 Robins; 3 Bluetits; 1 Coaltit; 1 Starling; 1 Magpie; 1 Wren; 5 Goldfinch; 1 Blackbird).

I am playing lots and lots of Age of Empires 3 - with the War Chiefs expansion pack bolted on. I can't put it down. I don't know how I ever found time to work. Inbetween bouts of Empires, or when I am too badly beaten to stomach any more, I am hammering Pogo for all it's worth.

Celebrity Big Brother has finished, and the usual bunch of suspects have had death threats, their careers ruined, and have generally been media-savaged. There have been a couple of winners though, and the Bollywood actress Shilpa Shetty is probably going to make a whole heap of money out of it. Unlike Jade Goody, or Jo O'Meara!!

Oh, well, that just about wraps up a few days of doing nothing. See you in a while.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Oh happy day.

I've had a great day. I am in such a good mood.

Counting backwards, the day started like so many others.

Got up at around eight(ish), coffee, and a cigarette (champions breakfast).

De-iced the car, and was knocking on the door of my mum's house by nine.

Spent an hour or so with mum and Fred. More coffee and cigs.

Went shopping (Yes Spice, you're so right.... I love the shopping - I could only ever envisage a Reggie Perrinesque Grot shop as my vocation though). Bought the stuff I needed for lunch.

Came home and prepared a wonderfully hearty leek and potato soup, with low fat creme fraiche, crispy fried shallots, chives, and lovely crusty rolls from the shop.

Fed the birds a bit, and marvelled at the assortment that currently reside in my sunny, but distinctly frost-bitten garden. Tried to clean the windows, but gave up.

My friend Emma came round for lunch, and we played monopoly, and ate lollies. I lost the game so badly it was untrue. If you ever play monopoly, then you will surely know what it's like when, no matter how hard you try, you can never get past "GO".

Mum and Fred called in for a bowl of my delicious soup, on their way back from an art demonstration, and their tangles with the reflexologist.

Then, whilst playing Age of Empires some more, I baked some gorgeous "low fat" chocolate brownies for the lovely Dawn, who has lost 3 pounds since starting her "new year" diet recently. Well done love.

While the brownies cooled, more Age of Empires, now it's time for a shower, and I am heading out.

Oh, and to end my ace day, it's snowing too.... fantastic!! Days like this don't come too often.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

For Fox sake.

Drinking last night... paying the price today.

It's a little before 5pm when I have finally sat down to the computer.

Woken at 8:30am by Connor requesting Xbox time. Not the ideal start. Hungover, probably still drunk, still smelling of Subway sandwich and pickled chillies. Unable to resume sleep.

Got up... felt bad.

Dropped The Kirsty at work, and Dawn in town to collect her car from last evening's revelry.

Flashes of the evening before slowly coming back. Too many long island iced teas. A light layer of snow on the cars when we got home. A conversation, in Subway, which made me laugh:

Me (in boisterous mood) addressing the bemused young sandwich attendant: "Now then, what particular vegetarian delight can you tempt me with this evening?"
Vacant faced employee: "veggie delite?"
Me: "Ah yes, of course!!"

I had answered my own question I guess.

Anyway, we had to take Tom shopping for a winter coat that he can wear, for walking to school and such. He is a hard customer to please, and I previously documented his search for trainers. Tom only wears sports clothes. He won't wear the wrong labels, or anything vaguely "unsporty", like jeans for instance.

We opted for a retail outlet village, as there were a fair number of shops that should stock a could for this discerning bargain hunter. Primarily, there's a Nike shop there, and it would seem sensible that this shop should yield fruit of a sensibly warm and weatherproofed variety.

Cutting the long story short here.... First shop, first coat, finally purchased after three hours and two full circuits of the entire retail park. I still feel like death. Thankfully it came cold enough during our second circuit, that Tom's hand was forced, and he needed to get warm. Result.

Now I am home. It's finally started snowing. Our first snow of the winter, and the robin in my garden is gorging itself and singing merrily. The house is warm, the snooker final is on telly, and I lie on the floor, drifting in and out of dreamy consciousness. Bliss.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Take two.

For some reason, Adobe Acrobat just mangles my laptop. Reading a pdf document half way through a blog, is a sure-fire recipe for frustration.

..... lost blog from memory .....


I am sitting at the kitchen table, clutching half a coconut, and typing my blog. One hand for each operation, and alternate bites and blogging.

I don't particularly enjoy the sensation of eating a coconut, but I do love the taste. The texture of coconut appeals to my bizarre taste, in the same way I might apply something metallic to a filling in my tooth, or putting my tongue across a nine volt battery's terminals. You know it's not nice, and you know you shouldn't be intrigued in the slightest...... but I do it all the same.

.... in comes Dawn.....

.... I start to read a pdf document.....

.... the laptop crashes.....

.... I hop around the kitchen, speaking in tongues.....

.... the blog is gone.... gone forever.....

Poor li'l Dawn. Tom and Connor are playing up. She picked up her keys and stormed out, leaving crying children standing in the road. It sounds harsh when written as such, but what lesson will they have learned by this? Forgotten in an instant I would imagine.

So, where was I? Where am I?

Oh, yes.

Today, as a result of the raging storms and one hundred mile an hour winds, we have been left without electrickery for a few hours.

Like any good drug dealer, the electrickery companies have managed to get us all juiced up. We have a myriad of "labour saving" equipment, and entertainment systems, and appliances that we rely on.

One "blip" and I am left without heating, lighting, internet (even though the laptop runs on its own battery), cooker, fridge, freezer, hot water.

It's amazing how much you rely on something, like a nice clean supply. You never know how much you rely on it, or how it gets you through the day, until it's taken away from you.

Here endeth the first lesson.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

An inequation.

Now that I don't work any more, and have every day to do as I wish, you would imagine that all those niggling little things that I never got time to do before would be well and truly sorted.

The truth is, the less I have to do, the less I actually do.

I know I should book my car in for a service and an MOT but I just can't make it to the phone and make the call. I know I should finalise my bits of paperwork and filing, but it's much easier to take on Queen Elizabeth in Age of Empires. I know I should, not only tidy, but refurbish my house, but there are so many badges on Pogo that require immediate attention.

It's a very vicious circle that I find myself in. The very fact that I am writing a blog entry about this, is the product of procrastination plus a brief spell of Pogo downtime.

When I am not playing something on a computer somewhere, I am slaving over a hot stove, indulging in my next best entertainment - cooking. I can't even begin to express my dissatisfaction at the increase in the number of cigarettes that I now smoke daily.

When I have filled my pipe with battles of old and Pogo badges, and my belly is full, I might even watch a film, or two, or three.

Now, while all this seems highly disappointing, and I am actually doing nothing of any intrinsic value, it has to be said... I am truly feeding my soul. I am doing the things that I LOVE doing. Of course it's all futile. It won't get the roof rebuilt, or the gutters mended, or the car serviced. I WILL, at the end of each day, rue the passing of another office opening time, and realise that it's now too late to make those calls. But, at the time, I am having SO much fun.

Guilty pleasures.

My only regret is that the true enjoyment I have can never be translated into cash, money, dollars. It's a shame.

But now, I must say goodbye, as Pogo is back online, and those bloody jigsaws won't complete themselves... will they?

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Florence Bleeding Nightinfox....

First was Tom's flu.... Copious amounts of Mario and sofa time. Next was Kirsty's turn, and like all women, she breezed through her go, with neither complaint nor demand. Today is Connor's turn to swing the "sniffles" lead.

I do realise, that some may have misread my previous post and thought I had a new girlfriend, but these three are the children of the lovely Dawn, who is my current partner.

I mentioned, back at the beginning of the new year, that the new broom was about to sweep clean. Being able to mention these people is part of it.

Having ended my long-term relationship earlier last year, it has been difficult to try to explain this through the blog, mainly because you never know who is lurking!!

Now, I am happy to announce that I feel the time is right, that I can introduce the new players in the pageant, that I laughingly refer to as "my life".

First is Connor - He is the youngest (just 9 years old). He is a raging torrent of energy, filled brimful of Simpsons and Star Wars. I try to steer Connor away from sugar where possible!!

Second is Tom - Like Malcolm, he's in the middle. Aged 14 and Nintendo crazed as I was at that age. If there were exams in Mario and wall-jumping, then he'd have a degree by now. If he could translate his aptitude for procrastination into homework, then he'd be a genius!

Top of the pile is THE Kirsty. She's a student of beauty in Huddersfield, aged 17. I gather that studying beauty amounts to buying lots of magazines, and inflicting pain on particularly hairy women.

One rung down, there are the animals - There's Stevie the wonder dog, who loves chewing on socks. There's a rabbit and 2 guinea pigs (unless I am mistaken). There's also a veteran cat, called Rosie. Oftentimes, I am found outside their house smoking a cig, shouting "Rosie" into the night like Humph in African Queen.

Last, but by no means least, there's Dawn. My partner. She's a strong woman (bringing this tribe up on your own would do that to anyone!!) who has enough get-up-and-go for the both of us.

And so, my blogging moves forward. The actors are introduced. I can now write freely about them without having to code or hide anything from anyone.

Dawn and The Kirsty both read my blog, so I better be nice about them, otherwise I will be sleeping in with the rabbit!!

A new dawn has truly begun.

Monday, January 08, 2007


Nothing to blog about, nothing to say. I am totally immersed in a wave of complete and utter unimportance.

It's sort of relaxing in a strange way.

Even Celebrity Big Brother has, thus far, not even raised a slight amount of interest from me.

I guess this is the lull AFTER the storm of christmas and new year.

One interesting fact that was drawn to my attention recently, was that the supermarket where I shop, took half a million quid on the Friday before christmas. If proof were ever needed that the true spirit of christmas was lost in consumerist gluttony, then surely this is the dipstick you needed.

Humbug, humbug, and thrice humbug.

Today I have been mostly looking after poorly Kirsty. I say "looking after" which amounts to me doing my paperwork in my bedroom while Kirsty sniffled and snooked her way through some college work. All I did was make some lunch. There's been a lot of poorly people this last few weeks.

I really must drag myself out of this apathy.

Thursday, January 04, 2007


... clouds my vision!

Well, as you can imagine.... Yesterday I was deliberating over whether to have a shower first, or a cup of coffee. I finally decided to have a shower, but couldn't decide whether to put the kettle on before, or after said ablution.

In the end, I played more "Age of Empires" and had a Coke Zero, and watched the start of Celebrity Big Brother.

I shoulda had the coffee instead.

Today was a day of, not my indecision, but that of a teenager, whom I escorted around a veritable glut of sports shops in search of new trainers.

It began simply enough, but soon sank to levels of: "If they did these with laces instead of velcro fasteners, then I would buy them" or "If they did these in black instead of white, then I would buy them". A seemingly endless search with nonplussed teenager for a pair of trainers that haven't even made it onto a design sheet yet.

The irony of the search, was that the first pair of trainers that were tried on, but in the last shop we visited, were purchased. I think in polite circles, they might call this Murphy's Law. I, on the other hand would call it something quite different and wholly unsuitable for my readers' ears.

Seems it isn't just me that has difficulty over trivial decision. In fact, I know this shopping experience to be very common. The bit inbetween the first item you see and buying that same item a few hours later is why shopping, is called shopping. It's a process of confirming that your first instinct was in fact correct.

We had lunch.... We looked in a few games shops, and I still can't find a Nintendo Wii (pronouced wheeeeee!!!) to buy anywhere. They always had some in yesterday, and of course these are all sold, and they have no idea when any more will be arriving. Nintendo have truly Wii'ed on my bonfire this year!

Time for me to start the new year with new music and a new poll.... heads up!!

Wednesday, January 03, 2007


Another day draws to a close. A day like any other day. A jobless day. A day of television, of games, of films, of cheese and crackers.

What makes today different and notable, is once again, my nemesis, and closest friend, the full moon has risen over the horizon. The first full moon of a new year. I both love and loathe it in equal measure. The unpredictability it heralds can go anywhere.

Strange things.... coupled with the fact that I have watched the "The Butterfly Effect" today, and I am currently watching canibalistic humboldt squid being observed by a free diver..... I am already in a strange mood.

I think I need a shower and some coffee, but can't decide in which order.

Cher: Trauma Centre (Under the knife) is a great game, that utilises the DS touch screen brilliantly. It's very addictive when you start, but soon becomes seemingly impossible. If you don't give up easily, and are prepared to really dedicate a bit of time to it, then I can't recommend it enough. Personally, I am still struggling with finishing Mario off.

Ahm: As always, I love it when you come around and comment on my blog. It's great to get some positive feedback about what I love doing.... just writing..... noodling with words!!

And so, as the giant squid fade from my television screen, and they are replaced with strong men carrying cannonballs in china. I decide shower comes first. Should I put the kettle on before I get in the shower?

I used to be a werewolf, but I'm alright no-OOOOO-ow

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

First footing.....

An age old ritual of being a dark haired man, armed with a lump of coal, being the first person to pass over the threshold, was partially observed in this wet and windy corner of Yorkshire at least.

It's supposed to bring good luck.

I am feeling quite retrospective writing this blog entry. I guess it's something similar to the "glass is half full, or is it half empty" scenario - Should I look back retrospectively at the new year, or should I simply look forward? Surely, in order to learn, and to grow as a human being, an element of postmortem is essential... at least at some point in life, and often afterwards too.

So, what did 2006 give to me? What have I learnt?

Where to start?

Looking back 12 months, I could simply not have envisaged the year ahead, not even in my wildest dreams, and at points worst nightmares.

Summary: I have ended a 17 year relationship. Started a new relationship. Moved out of my house into Playboy Mansions, moved back into my house again. I've worked hard, bloody hard at times. I've played, bloody ridiculously hard at times. Nintendo DS has entered my life. I've been to a few all-nighters, and been to a few more dance events than I have in previous years - with renewed vigour and zest. I've done some paperwork.

Conclusion: Have I grown? Have I learned? Have I actually advanced along the zen-like path of life and fulfillment? Well, yes, I actually believe I am a better person at the start of this year than I was at the start of last. I've lost an element of complacency that I once had. Things are more serious now, and the lighter aspects of life are much lighter now.

2006 won't actually go down as one of the best years of my life. I've had lots to worry about, and lots of work to do. It will, however, go down as a productive year for me. I have instigated change in my life. I've bought a new broom, and it's started to sweep clean.

Happy New Year to all readers and bloggers. I hope you have everything your heart desires in 2007.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Fave Blogs

Lights out for darker skies
Now Haiku
Rol Hirst
Yorkshire Pud.
Spice the Cat!
Auntie Jen
Worcester Dan
Object Matrix
Darts Guru Greig

Retired faves
FoX (Deceased)

New List of actual working blogs that I read.....
Sunset over Slawit
Yorkshire Pudding

Films I've watched...

New List:
Children of the Corn (2009) - Diabolical TV remake - embarrassingly bad version of a rather scary story, and one which I couldn't wait to end -  "Scarecrow!"
Together (2000) - (Tilsammans) - Swedish 70's commune exposes itself to external influences in a touching and mildly amusing way.  Amazingly 70's feeling. - "Rather eat porridge together than a pork cutlet alone"
The Edge of the World (1937) - A very early performance by the great John Laurie - feuding and farming in the Scottish Islands -  "Gone over?"
Hugo (2011) - A touching and sympathetic filmmakers movie about a filmmaker - has hidden depths and a decent performance by Ali G (Sacha Baron Cohen) - Thankfully viewed in 2 dimensions at Holmfirth Film Festival along with (see below) - "then who has been winding the clocks?"
Le Voyage Dans La Lune (1902?) - Hand coloured and with a sympathetically techno soundtrack - a marvellous early example of an SFX blockbuster - Georges Melies really understood the medium well - captivating. - " "
Apocalypto (2006) - Tried so hard to love this "Mayan family" movie.... Yes there were good bits but some of it seemed rushed, cheap and nasty and just plain bad.... think "polystyrene rocks" bad - a shame because it's not a bad film really.  Fast paced and violent.- a bit like Last of the Mohicans meets Braveheart but not quite as good as either! - "I am Jaguar Paw. This is my forest. And I am not afraid."
Four Lions (2010) - Controversial but hilarious capers following four northern jihadists on their path to the "top floor" - Some lovely tender moments and a tiger of a topic that has literally been caught by the tail thanks to Chris Morris - "Your rhyming doo-lally"
Dark Star (1974) -  Low budget sci-fi deep space planet exploding fun for all the family, featuring a giant inflatable tomato as an alien and a frozen commander! - "What a beautiful way to die - as a falling star"
Attack the Block (2011) - Very amusing chavs versus aliens movie...  classically British.... sort of like a good chavtastic version of Doctor Who or something - "Calm down Biggz, this ain't Pokemon!"
K-Pax (2001) - Ok so it's a little bit sickly and feelgood and you kind of know quite early on that there are a limited number of outcomes, but fairly engrossing.  I enjoyed it, and want to go to K-Pax! - "Do I smell apple pie?"
Near Dark (1987) - White trashy vampire movie that contains one or two decent scenes but other than that could have been a "made for TV" flick - As horror movies go, instantly forgettable - "Dumb suck"
Bright Young Things (2003) - Lavish period drama following the lives, loves and party lifestyle of the 30's beautiful people in London Town.  Decadent and delightful little movie with a barnstorming cast. - "The most shocking orgy since the days of Sodom and Gomorrah rocked society last night."
The Belles of St. Trinian's ( 1954) - Classic 50's schoolgirl romp with the most excellent Alastair Sim in dual roles.  Great bits of slapstick too. - "Oh dear. I told Bessie to be careful with that nitro-glycerine!"
Life is Sweet (1990) - Disjointed character exploration - what a strange film this one is - perhaps it's a bit highbrow for me....  I didn't get it! (not that I think there was much to get.... and that's the bit I get) - "It's better to be on your own than be with a bastard".
Brassed Off (1996) - Top movie, can't believe it's taken me so long to see it - gritty, harsh, sweet and sour, in a familiar background of fighting the pit closures....Great brass band music too -  I wept! - "And God said: "Fuck it! Sew 'em up anyway".
The Day of the Jackal (1973) - Good tense secret agent type stuff... clinical reasoning by both hunter and hunted - I was rooting for the Jackal! -  "A pleasant journey home, Mister... Mister Jackal".
127 Hours (2010) - Holy christ I was watching through my hands at one point - A tender and lovely film that crashes to a shocking climactic ending - gripping in more than one sense! - "It's no Slurpee!"
The Madness of King George (1994) - Despite my un-royal tendencies I found I was rooting for old Georgie by the end of this.  Poor old idiot! (him NOT me) - "A balance sheet, Mr. Fox. I enjoy a good balance sheet".

The Cruel Sea (1953) - Extremely tense submarine hunting adventure - Jack Hawkins?  tormented captain?  yes please! Enough pink gin to sink a battleship. - "Snorkers! Good-oh!"
Brighton Rock (1947) - The dark post (first world) war depression era of Brighton's shady past - A Pathe classic gangster romp - "Imagine that, madam..... tinned salmon!"
Billy Liar (1963) - Charming Brit flick that capturing the northern early 60's vibe - Feeling sorry for poor old Billy as his imaginary world and reality collide - "Sorry lad.... no work today..... he said"
Nil By Mouth (1997) - Harsh, gritty and rather unpleasant viewing with an unsatisfying but probably disappointingly realistic ending - Great acting though - "Yes please love, make it a strong one.... none of that shamrock shit!"
The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp (1943) - Historically significant and surprisingly warm technicolour war based love stories, tales of honour and fair play and the stiff upper lip - fairly epic at over two and a half hours - "War starts at midnight!"
All That Heaven Allows (1955) - Technicolour star crossed lovers that didn't quite explore the characters deeply enough to fully work - hasty! - "I can't shoot straight any more!"
The Third Man (1949) - Atmospheric shadowy thriller with the most intense soundtrack of any movie I've ever seen, ever! - includes Wilfrid Hyde-White, one of my favourite actors. - "I'll do what I can, if she'll let me!"
Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (2011) - "Sex in the City" for the blue rinse brigade - An overly sanitised and sugar coated tear jerking shamble through the golden years - not my bag at all but not thoroughly disagreeable - Take your mum and your Gran to see it!! - "...if it's not all right then it's not the end".
Big Tits Zombie (2010) - Right up my dojo - Sake, strippers and slaughterotica!  Caution contains scenes of puppetry!! - "I'm a department manager down in Hell".
Cirque Du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant (2009) - One of the weakest "horror" movies I've ever seen - end this crappy sham-pire nonsense now!! - "I'm gonna shove my head up your ass!".
The Devils (1971) - Ken Russell and Aldous Huxley with avant garde soundtrack?  "Intense" does not do this "naughty nun" pic justice at all - "Take away my hump....."
Kung Fu Panda (2008) - Visually stunning, vivid, and rich, whilst remaining sympathetic to the genre - "There ARE no accidents!".
Drive (2011) - A cheap and cheerful nihilistic stunt drive which ironically contains not enough driving to quite save it! - "I don't have wheels on my car"
The Doom Generation (1995) - sex, drugs and a whole lot o' emo nonsense - "You wan' a Dorito?"
Gaslight (1940) - Atmospheric b/w with some zany directing - "The rubies...."

Please forgive the enormous gap - there were years when my blog activity suspended and I could not possibly rememver what films I have watched during that time.....

Old List ....
Marie Antoinette

Dead Man's Shoes
Before Sunrise
Hard Candy
Goodbye Mr Chips
Memoirs of a Geisha
Rambo: First blood
Chronicles of Narnia
Snakes on a Plane
Brokeback Mountain
Goblet of Fire
Order of the Phoenix
Stranger Than Fiction
Hudsucker Proxy
Blood Simple
The Big Lebowski
Night at the Museum
Il Buono, il brutto, il cattivo
Bridge on the river Kwai
Hot Fuzz
Murder She Said
Operation Crossbow
On a Clear Day
Once Upon a Time in the West
Sky High
School Ties
Kind Hearts and Coronets
Lion King
See no evil, hear no evil
Thank you for smoking
Turbulence 2: Fear of flying.
Windom's Way
The Departed
Pacific Heights
Little Red Flowers (Kan shang qu hen mei)
Falling Down
Texas Chainsaw Massacre - The beginning
As Good as it Gets
Lord of the Rings (Fellowship)
Simpsons Movie
Talented Ripley
Shirley Valentine
Eight Below
Cabin Fever
Kill Bill V2
Butterfly Effect
Dead Man's Chest
Black Pearl
Barton Fink
Kingdom of Heaven
Being John Malkovich
Pushing Tin
Poisoner's Handbook
Jackie Brown
Million Pound Note
Red eye
SS Doomtrooper
Gorky Park
Nacho Libre
No Limit
Waking Ned
Ed Wood
Full Metal Jacket
Way Out West
Vanity Fair
The Pickwick Papers
Dead man's chest

Ananova News
Frank's site
Andy Goldsworthy
Dave Cooper
Rodney Alan Greenblat
Keith Haring
Tomi Ungerer

This season......

This season.........
I will be mostly.....
Reading: maps.
Buying: anything cheap.
Playing: simple games on my 3DS.
Watching: my flickr stats.
Planning: to walk and walk some more.
Hearing: neighbours knocking down walls (STILL).
Wearing: scruffy clothes.
Eating: egg waffles (toasted like).