Music Music reviews

Reading Festival 2005: Day 3

Slow start today. The number of bands playing today about whom we were enthusiastic in advance was less than previous days, probably mainly due to the silly heavy rock bands taking over the main stage.

We decided to start the day at the third stage, and the first band we saw were called Gratitude. The music wasn’t particularly remarkable, but the frontman was sensational. He was very talkative and inviting, spending a lot of time off the stage and stood on the fence before the front row, and he drew a very healthy sized crowd. This enabled him to crowd surf, which he did multiple times. At the end of the set he then climbed down into the crowd with a box of the band’s CDs, to shake hands, say hello, and sell some discs. The crowd followed him like a swarm of flies. I was most impressed. I’d speculate that this guy has a certain star quality. Which, as we know, counts for a lot in this world.

Music Music reviews

Reading Festival 2005: Day 2

We were incredibly tired this (Saturday) morning, and so we slept in a bit. I then wanted to fill the car up with petrol, so by the time we were on site, we had missed the start of the music. I wasn’t too fussed about the first band, but I do think that we missed a treat by only arriving for the last two minutes of Editors. The crowd was immense for such an early-billed act, and those two minutes that we heard sounded like something special. I shall have to do some sort of penance.

Music Music reviews

Reading Festival 2005: Day 1

As we walked to the main entrance to the site, I discovered that my watch, our only timepiece, had stopped earlier in the morning. What a start. However, the timing of our arrival was impeccable – we arrived in the main arena at exactly the same time as Do Me Bad Things, the first band of the day, were taking to the main stage. They had a slightly shaky start, as a technical problem caused the sound to cut out after a few seconds of their first song, but they disappeared off stage for a few minutes and when they came back all was better. The lead singer made a lame deja vu joke, but nerves can do that to you, I suppose. I personally would have gone for the “Sorry, children, due to a technical hitch we’ve had to cancel Reading. Go home.” gag.

Holiday Photos

A selection of photos from my holiday in Prague

Wenceslas Square

Wenceslas Square, from the bottom end, by the museum. Our hotel was about ten minutes walk from here. I remember standing with Karen in a furious downpour, debating whether to go back to the hotel for an umbrella.

Old Town Square

The Old Town Square.

Old Town Square

This is the Church of Our Fantastic Lady of Tyn, or something like that.

Tube Station

In Prague, the walls of the subway stations aren’t lined with adverts, which is most refreshing.


The ossuary at Kutna Hora. This is actually the least blurry of all the photos I took in there. It won’t surprise you to learn that it wasn’t well illuminated.


Due to the unavailability of a tripod, I placed the camera on a stone pillar to take this. And due to the sloping nature of the stone pillar, and the need to position the camera such that it wouldn’t tumble off the pillar, there is rather a lot of stone pillar in this photo. Let this be a lesson.


The castle, across the river.


Flying back over London.

Critters Gardening Top Photos



While weeding the garden, I discovered a nest of snails. I violated their lair to use them for my own amusement.


I lured this guy out with a leaf.


I had to clean the table afterwards.


I tried to mate these two. They seemed interested in eachother, but no hardcore ensued.


Squash strategy

To gain the upper hand in a game of squash, let go of a really good fart in one corner of the court. Then, try to hit the ball so that it lands in that corner. Your opponent will be unable to get close enough to the ball to return it.

*Originally posted here*


How to be an owl: Part Four

Owls also have very good night vision. Scientists would say that this is because their eyes are very large in proportion to the size of their heads, but I believe it’s that they are munching on lots of carrots on the quiet.

In fact, according to the 1998 Junior Illustrated Encyclopedia Of Lies, owls eat twelve times their own bodyweight of carrots EVERY SINGLE MINUTE! How incredible is that? For the purposes of demonstration, below is Beck the Owl pictured next to twelve times his own bodyweight of carrots.

The eyesight of an owl

If you listen to scientists, you’d be forgiven for thinking that carrots are high in beta-carotene, which is converted into vitamin A by the body, and this is why it is good for your night vision. This is clearly refuted in the 1998 Junior Illustrated Encyclopedia Of Lies, which points out that the truth of the matter is that its all to do with THE SHAPE OF THE VEGETABLE!

So here’s a handy cut-out-and-discard guide to improving your night vision through means of ingestion.


Two hundred bowls of carrot soup


Eight hundred bananas


One cucumber


Fifty eight sweet pointed peppers, stuffed with feta cheese and olives


Garlic baguette


*Originally posted here*


How to be an owl: Part Three

Another important distinguishing feature of owls is their ability to fly. If I am also going to be able to fly, then the obvious method is to obtain some wings and some feathers, and attach them to my body. However, I suspect that this will be a little difficult, so I am going to explore an alternative method.

What if there was a limited version of flying, available to humans without any additional modifications or training required? Though not as flexible as the method which owls use, it does at least allow you to fly in one direction pretty quickly.

Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you: falling.

I’ve been practicing this quite a bit. I’m getting rather good at it. Though these funny marks are appearing on my head and I seem to be losing control of the right hand sde f bd

*Originally posted here*


Great Grandpa

My grandfather died the night before last. My son will now never have a great-grandfather. I suppose this isn’t really a particularly rare occurrence.

I guess we all measure things from our own experience. When I was born, one of my great-grandmothers was still alive. I have this expectation that the same will be true of my child, when it comes into existence. Given that my father’s mother died very shortly after her husband, presumably as a result of “pining away”, I wonder what the future holds for my mother’s mother.

But then, if we’re measuring from our own experience, we can extrapolate this information to deduce that my grandmother will be tough as old boots (there is evidence to suggest this already) and will live to an incredibly ripe 90 years or so. This, too, is backed up by the evidence – she’s in impeccable health, and though she used to smoke when she was younger, something about her is incredibly revitalising.

I look up to her in many ways, the most significant being the fact that she’s still working, even though she should have retired years and years ago. I find the prospect of retirement to be infathomable.

Indeed, looking at the current state of the whole pension crisis, I expect that by the time my hair goes grey, retirement age will be 107, and so I wouldn’t be able to exercise that option even if I wanted to.

And what of my recently deceased great grandfather? Well, he was a very kind man, though he sometimes didn’t know his own strength, and would pummel us runts about a little stronger than today’s parents would find appropriate. Still, perhaps it did us some good. And he smiled a lot. He smiled a fucking lot. That smile is etched on my memory.

I really should smile more. When I croak, I’d like people to be able to say the same thing about me.