Friday, July 31, 2009

Living with First-Person Shooter Disease

EVE Online: The Butterfly Effect

This is the new Eve promotional video, and it is probably a better representation of the game than the previous 'all out war' style vids they have produced.

England Dominant On 2nd Morning

England's bowlers found good form today after a poor showing in yesterdays 30 overs as they reduced Australia from 126-1 at the start of play to a sorry looking 203-8 at lunch. Grahem Onions took three wickets, and James Anderson is a devastating spell dismissed four Australian batsmen for four runs in only 13 deliveries on a drier and swinging pitch.
Australia Make Hay After The Rain

England's bowling at the end of a badly rain affected first day of the third test was shoddy, with the pitch predicted to be flat and lifeless ('a bowler's graveyard' the groundsman was heard to say) the England attack should have concentrated on line and length and making it hard to score runs. Australia should have felt they were under the cosh as over after over crawled by with hardly a run on the board, instead they were treated to numerous off line balls that begged to be hit away for runs.

126-1 after a shortened opening day, but it should have been far less than that.

Thursday, July 30, 2009


Well, I may be years behind the times, but I have finally joined that vast swathe of reading folk who have delved into the school based adventures of a pre-pubescent magical acolyte.

There was once a review of The Lord Of The Rings that (perhaps paraphrased) said "The literary world is divided into those who have read LOTR, and those who are going to."

Amongst book readers the attitude seems to have been more divisive, those who have read and love Harry Potter, and those who were unwilling to touch the series with a bargepole. I wasn't really in the latter category though, my main reason for avoiding the publishing phenomena of the century has been that I have seen all the Harry Potter films, and I usually think it is a mistake to read the book after seeing the film, the book should always come first.

Everyone around me seems to have read the books, my wife has, my waitresses have been nagging me for months to get Potterised, even chef Phil who up until recently has read very little, has read and enjoyed the series.

So, I have managed the opening two books in the series, The Philosopher's Stone and The Chamber Of Secrets, and they're not bad at all, in fact they are pretty good as children's books go, nice characters (if you can wrench your mind away from the actors faces), a decent and well paced plot, obvious and not so obvious bad guys, they were both good, the second book better than the first. I'm already well into book three, The Prisoner Of Azkaban, but I may pause after reading that one in order to finish off the two Ambrose Bierce books I have recently purchased (Complete Short Stories and The Devil's Dictionary), and I picked up Hunter S Thompson's Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas this morning which rolls along at such a drug fulled frenzied pace that it demands to be read, right now, whilst taking your own body weight in LSD and toad sweat.

Note to Georgie & Paula - now that you have persuaded me to read Potter, you must yourselves read Watchmen, because if Rowling is good, then Moore is God.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Gary Glitter's Favourite Record Shop

Colin Trailer

Colin is a zombie horror movie that has been made on a tiny budget, £45 the makers claim, and has managed to get a cinema release deal.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Last Week's Listening

1 Monster Magnet 78 - 'cos I'm so Monolithic
2 Rancid 50 - real punks return with great new album
3 Neko Case 45 - this tornado loves you
4 Frédéric Chopin 41 - piano noodlings
5 The Proclaimers 40 - no more war, not gonna happen
6 New York Dolls 36 - nice and sleazy
7 Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart 35 - my favourite requiem
8 Placebo 34 - it's the Devil in the detail
9 Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds 33 - Crow Jane's got a gun
10 The Prodigy 32 - the writing's on the wall

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Creeping In With Dawn's Early Light

Came my wife, 4.30 in the morning she arrived home this morning, 4.30 !! It was already getting light when she tipped in after a lengthy session at the casino.

It must be said that husband was mildly grumpy to be awoken at such an unwholesome hour of the morning, but if she's had a win then she can pay for the chinese takeaway tonight to make up for it.
Mud, Mud Glorious Mud

A great series of photos from Fishki featuring happy mudlarks

There may be NSFW adverts on Fishki.

By dunk3d at b3ta.

Geeks of a certain age, my age, you remember Tron of course ? Man gets sucked into computer and has to play a series of deadly games in order to get free, well Disney are re-making it, see concept footage here.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Jesus Loves You

Skywriting in Florida, there was a smiley face as well, the pilot is obviously quite skilled to be able to do this but it was a breezy day and the message drifted apart so you couldn't see all of it at one time.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Be Individual, Get A Tattoo

More of this kind of silliness over at
Bear Grylls Eats Eyeballs

Did anyone see this weeks episode of the mad survivor bloke's programme ? Munching Yak eyeballs and fresh steaming liver ripped warm from the carcass, mmmm, tasty. Anyway, much of the programme was conducted in the language of the Tuigan people, so in case you didn't understand any of it, I've found a translator for you....

Bear Grylls - "Well here I am in a traditional Tuigan Yurt, this is where the family gather in the winter around Yak dung fire."

Small child - "Dad, why are we sitting in the garden shed ? It's freezing out here"

Tuigan Elder - "Because this mad Westerner is willing to pay us five hundred dollars to show him the traditional Tuigan way of life, now keep quiet."

B G - "The old grandmother there is boiling up a large pan of blood sausage made from the blood and intestines of the Yak we just killed, these people live hundreds of miles from the nearest town and they have to make best use of everything they have."

Tuigan woman - "Who is he calling old ? I'm only 52, cheeky bugger."

Small child - "We don't have to eat that crap do we Dad, I hate Yak, you said we could go out for a McDonalds tonight, I want a happy meal."

B G - "Although I don't understand the language these people are probably astonished that I am surviving out here as well as they can."

Tuigan Elder - "I'm astonished that anyone would pay five hundred dollars to sleep in my garden shed and eat boiled Yak intestine, we can afford a holiday to Ibiza on this."

B G - "Next week I will be attempting to survive in the harsh climate of Greenland."

Tuigan Elder - "I'll give Cousin Nukka a call on my new i-Phone, he could use the money."
1001 Books To Read Before You Die

1001 ? Complete this list and be the best read corpse in the graveyard. There is an excel spreadsheet of the list you can download for free here.

Found via Ms Alex's 101 Of A Wolf.

Being an anorak I have already filled in my copy of the spreadsheet, for a rather miserable total of 43, bah.
Beach Structure, Cleethorpes

Monday, July 20, 2009

Getting To Know You Meme

As posted by James on FB.

1. What time did you get up this morning? I get up every day at about 7am, or just before, the clubhouse has to be open by 7.30am so I have just enough time time to stagger around, unlock all the doors and then retreat to my PC with a coffee for an hour before starting work proper.

2. How do you like your steak? Blue, if you like your steak any more well done than say, rare, then you'd be better off buying a burger, or eating your shoes.

3. What was the last film you saw at the cinema? Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, result, we went first thing in the morning and Mrs YS didn't fall asleep.

4. What is your favorite TV show? I don't watch a lot, but I do try to keep up with Criminal Minds.

5. If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be? Yorkshire, probably Kettlewell.

6. What did you have for breakfast? Two coffees and a bacon butty.

7. What is your favorite food? A really good steak, or chinese.

8. What foods do you dislike? Tripe, tofu

9. Favorite Place to Eat? Farsyde

10. Favorite dressing? Un

11.What kind of vehicle do you drive? A small blue Puegot, I can't remember exactly what sort, it's an automatic, I have no idea what my own registration number is.

12. What are your favorite clothes? Black, big boots, heavy metal tee-shirt

13. Where would you visit if you had the chance? Thailand, Hong Kong

14. Cup 1/2 empty or 1/2 full? Half full, preferably of a good Shiraz

15. Where would you want to retire? Kettlewell

16. Favorite time of day? Early morning, I feel creative, I can get loads of work done before customers start to arrive.

17. Where were you born? Leeds

18. What is your favorite sport to watch? Cricket

19. Who do you think will not tag you back? Oh, I was meant to tag people ? I wasn't paying attention.

20. Person you expect to tag you back first? See above

22. Bird watcher? Yes, I enjoy a little twitching

23. Are you a morning person or a night person? Morning

24. Do you have any pets? No, apart from Bufo the toad who is living near our front door

25. Any new and exciting news you'd like to share? Yes, we're one up in the Ashes !!!!

26. What did you want to be when you were little? A photographer

27. What is your best childhood memory? Scouts, hiking, camping

28. Are you a cat or dog person? Neither

29. Are you married? yes

30. Always wear your seat belt? Yes, you'd be mad not to

31. Been in a car accident? Yes, last year my car got written off when someone pulled out on me

32. Any pet peeves? The use of the word 'raped' to describe getting badly beaten in sporting event

33. Favorite Pizza Toppings? Really piquante sausage

34. Favorite Flower? The White Rose of course

35. Favorite ice cream? Rum and raisin

36. Favorite fast food restaurant? KFC

37. How many times did you fail your driver's test? 0

38. From whom did you get your last email? The Green Party

39. Which store would you choose to max out your credit card? I wouldn't, I don't even know why they offer me such obscene amounts of credit, but if I ever do desire eight thousand pounds of stuff, the bloke that owns OK Comics is going to be very happy.

40. Do anything spontaneous lately? Went to church for a quick prayer

41. Like your job? Yes, mostly, I like cooking, I like my staff

42. Broccoli? Yes, I really love green beans though

43. What was your favorite vacation? Florida with the Wossers

44. Last person you went out to dinner with? My wife, we nipped out for a curry last week

45. What are you listening to right now? The Decemberists

46. What is your favorite color? Black

47. How many tattoos do you have? 3, a skull on both shoulders, and Neil Gaiman's character Death on my back.

48. How many are you tagging for this quiz? Perhaps none

49 What time did you finish this quiz? What a hugely pointless question

50. Coffee Drinker? Only in the morning
Why Not Become A Veggy ?

By A Vagabond at b3ta.
One Nil !

I'm not sure which I enjoy more, England beating the Aussies at Lords, or the baffled / puzzled / annoyed expression on Ponting's face. Well done England, let's try to keep that look on PoP's face for the rest of the summer.
Carousel, Cleethorpes

"A little nonsense now and then is relished by the wisest men." - Roald Dahl

This was at Epcot in the French Quarter, the rather brave acrobat built his tower of chairs, with humorous assistance from his friend, and then balanced on the top.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Last Week's Listening

1) Monster Magnet 101 - This is how our heads explode
2) La Roux 64 - Electro synthpop named after a sauce
3) Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds 58 - Eliza Bellows is dead
4) The Duckworth Lewis Method 41 - We're meeting Mr. Miandad
5) The Decemberists 38 - Drowning babies in the bath
6) Enter Shikari 35 - the new album is like Mike Skinner meets Faith No More
6) Little Boots 35 - Blackpool lass heads for pop stardom
6) New York Dolls 35 - Chrissie Hynde loves 'em
9) Placebo 34 - A better album than Meds
10)Green Day 33 - They've found a winning formula
This Month's E-Music Downloads

The Duckworth Lewis Method - The Duckworth Lewis Method : Quirkily brilliant cricket themed album.

'82 Revisited - Angel Witch : Rather plodding 80's NWOBHM, if there is any other band on stage at HRH3 at the same time as this lot, I think I'll see the other band.

Cruel Little World - Logan : Scots rockers that sound rather like any number of US stadium rock bands, not bad though.

Into The Valley Of The Moon King - Magnum : Another decent Magnum album, perhaps not quite as good as Princess Alice, but still well worth getting if you like their niche brand of pomp rock.

In Search Of Sanity - Onslaught : Early by the numbers British thrash.

Battle For The Sun - Placebo : Molko returns with a new drummer, on an indie label, and with a harder edged sound.

Rock Goddess - Rock Goddess : More NWOBHM, pretty good though.

When we arrived at our holiday home in Florida back in February, this was one of the first things we saw, over the two weeks there were lots of brightly coloured hot air balloons drifting around.
"Doubt is a pain too lonely to know that faith is his twin brother" - Kahlil Gibran
The Flaming High Dive

The mad bloke setting himself on fire and jumping off that rather tall pylon is Mark Stannage from the Stannage Stunt Team. They were one of the attractions in the main ring at this year's Broughton Hall Game Fair and they were great. In addition to the flaming high dive they performed numerous motorcycle stunts, with and without flames, it was all very good stuff.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Our Pet Toad

Toady here frightened the wits out of Mrs YS and myself by rummaging around in the leaf debris in the passage outside our front door, I did think he was lost and so twice I have very gently picked him up and carried him to the other end of the car park and left him on the grass near the stream and woods, but he keeps coming back.

Last night he (or she, I have no idea about if there is any noticeable difference) was crouched under an upturned wooden crate in the work kitchen sheltered area, so I took a few pictures and then left him alone, he wandered away an hour or so later.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

The Best Read Political Party ?

Every summer the Conservative foreign affairs spokesman Keith Simpson sends his colleagues a suggested reading list for the Parliamentary recess, this is this year's list.....

The Junior Officers' Reading Club: Killing Time and Fighting Wars by Patrick Hennessey
A View from the Foothills by Chris Mullin
Alan Clark: the biography by Ion Trewin (published mid-September)
Pistols at Dawn: Two Hundred years of Political Rivalry from Pitt and Fox to Blair and Brown by John Campbell
Electing Our Masters: The Hustings in British Politics from Hogarth to Blair by Jon Lawrence
Whitehall: The Street that Shaped a Nation by Colin Brown
Neville Chamberlain by Nick Smart (published August)
Attlee's Great Contemporaries: The Politics of Character by Frank Field
Harold Macmillan by Charles Williams
Finest Years: Churchill as Warlord 1940-1945 by Max Hastings (published September)
D-Day by Antony Beevor
Blood Victory: The Sacrifice of the Somme and the Making of the Twentieth Century by William Philpott
Democracy: 1000 Years in Pursuit of British Liberty by Peter Kellner
The New British Constitution by Vernon Bogdanor
The Life and Death of Democracy by John Keane
Democracy Goes to War: British Military Deployments under International Law by Nigel D White
Lords of Finance: 1929, The Great Depression - and the Bankers Who Broke the World by Liaquat Ahamad
Keynes: The Return of the Master by Robert Skidelsky
The Spectre at the Feast: Capitalist Crisis and the Politics of Recession by Andrew Gamble
Restoring Financial Stability: How to Repair a Failed System by Viral V. Acharya and Matthew Richardson (eds)
Europe's Tragedy: A History of the Thirty years War by Peter H. White
Poland: A History by Adam Zamoyski
The Generalissimo: Chiang Kai-shek and the Struggle for Modern China by Jay Taylor
The Terrorist Hunters by Andy Hayman (currently withdrawn for legal reasons)
Terrorism: How to Respond by Richard English
The Defence of the Realm: The Official History of MI5 by Christopher Andrew (published October)
The Pathans by Sir Olaf Caroe

The summer recess, or holiday to you and me, runs from July 21st until October 12th, so perhaps if you spent hours a day, every day, doing nothing but reading you might just get through that list. I rather suspect that a lot of books on the list have many hundreds of pages with a very small font.

For the record, I have read exactly one of Tories summer literacy list.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The 4th Plinth

Antony Gormley's 4th Plinth project is taking place right now, it began on 6th July and runs until the 14th of October, every hour, a member of the public ascends the 4th Plinth in Trafalgar Square, and then they are free to do pretty much whatever they want.

I've just spent half an hour watching R J Gracy from Northern Ireland who read out passages from the Bible in a clear and steady voice, there seemed to be quite a crowd watching him, some of whom were barracking him, some were supporting, a few requests for specific passages could be heard.

You can watch the action, or lack of it, live on this 4th Plinth webstream. I doubt that it will all be as interesting as R J Gracey's performance though.

When Gormley's living sculpture art piece has finished, it will be replaced by 'Nelson's Ship In A Bottle' by Yinka Shonibare.

Update : 7.30am, there is a woman on the plinth, she is anonymous, and appears to be holding a large dead chicken, she is not speaking.
Album Review : The Duckworth Lewis Method - the Duckworth Lewis Method*****

It's an Ashes summer, and what could be better to accompany the live action than a cricket themed prog pop rock album produced by two Irish cricket fans ?

I am not familiar with the work of Neil Hannon of The Divine Comedy or Thomas Walsh of Pugwash, but this pairing has made for a wonderful, delightfully quirky concept album with great songs and esoteric and charming lyrics.

The musical style is very light chamber pop or modern baroque with gorgeously layered floating vocals, as befits the subject matter, many of the songs have a somewhat Victorian feel to them, both in musical style and lyrical content.

There is a rick seam of humour throughout the album, from The Sweet Spot which might be about hitting the ball from the centre of the bat, or it might be about cunnilingus, through Meeting Mr. Miandad which is just wonderfully eccentric ("when we get to Pakistan, In a VW campervan"), and of course the piece de resistance, Jiggery Pokery, a hilarious ode to the ball of the century (Jiggery pokery, Aussie skulduggery, out for a buggering duck !) which ends with the line "I hate Shane Warne".

The Nightwatchman sums up the hopes and fears of that most noble and unfortunate member of the cricket brethren, the lyrics again manage a wonderful double meaning, this is either the yearning of a low order batsman to be able to retake the crease the next morning, or it is a plaintive and forlorn love song, it is superb either way.

The Duckworth Lewis Method is a wonderful digest of cricketing life and its oddities, the music and vocals are beautiful and charming, would it appeal to non cricket fans ? I don't see why not, the but avid cricket lover is going to get more out of it, recognising all the whimsy and appreciating it. Well done chaps, a concept album about cricket might easily have been rubbish, but Hannon and Walsh have produced a sublime and enticing collection of odes to the sport that they so clearly love.

Monday, July 13, 2009

We Didn't Lose

What does it say though about the state of our cricket team that we are all celebrating a draw in the first Ashes test as if it was a great victory ? England really didn't deserve anything from the match, our batting was patchy and especially in the first innings we just gave wickets away.

Australia delivered a masterclass in patient and risk free run accumulation, and slowly but surely ground us out of the game. As out top order crumbled away I should imagine that many England supporters were feeling just the same as me, batting collapse, one nil down in the series, and you know who always wins the Ashes when Australia win the first test.

But no, with only a handful of runs on the board and two sessions still to survive, Paul Collingwood came to the crease and dropped anchor. For almost six hours Collingwood was the Black Knight, none shall pass his battle cry. At a run rate that only Geoffrey Boycott could get excited about, the Durham right hander set about salvaging the first test. He had some support from Swann and Flintoff, but when Colly finally fell to the bowling of Siddle it looked to be all over.

Cometh the hour, cometh Monty Panesar, and let us be honest, how many people can stand hand on heart and thought there was any real chance of Monty surviving fifteen overs ? I thought we were doomed. At the other end, Anderson is man who does not like getting out, stubborn, limpet like, the England pace bowler faced 53 balls for his 21 runs, gradually pushing the England score ahead of Australia. The stadium erupted every time Monty managed to avoid getting out, has anyone ever had such an ovation for playing a forward defensive stroke ?

With two overs to go the umpires seemed unsure of whether the test had been timed out, the crowd was roaring for the finish, but no, the umpires made Australia bowl one more over, and now it was over, England had survived, improbable as it seemed at lunchtime. Australia had snatched a draw from what seemed to be a definite winning position, and they trudged from the field with heads down, the England players celebrated like they had managed a great win.

It really was a great test match and has left the England players and fans on a high, but, we really need to play much better than that in the remaining four tests to have any chance at all of beating the old enemy.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Familiar Territory

Oh dear, after an explosive finish to England's innings the first test took on a depressingly familiar feel as our bowlers failed to get anything out of a Cardiff pitch that was supposed aid our spinners. Australia set about accumulating a big total at a steady pace, and both Ponting and Katich made centuries before the close. 249-1.

I was a little worried yesterday when a lot of our batsmen lost their wickets to fairly soft balls, and the Australians showed that if you didn't hang your bat out and make half hearted pokes at wider balls then you could easily get a decent score.

Third day then, and we really do need some early success to stop Australia running up a huge first innings total.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Moan, Whinge

I have just found out that my chef Phil is a foreigner, he's from Philistine. Mind you, he's also a Tyke glory hound who supports Man U, and who should therefore be birched outside the gates to Elland Road.

All through the first day's play of the Ashes I had a endure a rumbling of discontent and carping along the lines of "I could go home and watch paint dry instead".

I cannot understand why people would not like test cricket, unless you suffer from a very short attention span, as a sport, it is a marathon test of skill, endurance and concentration. Of course at times the game progresses at a slower pace, but there were nail biting moments a plenty yesterday, Pieterson's now traditional nervous and twitchy start, Bopara's even more nervous and twitchy start, Flintoff and Prior suddenly deciding they were playing 20-20 instead of a test, and some good bowling from the Aussies who had taken a fair amount of criticism for their attack in the press after Lee was injured.

That said, a lot of our batsmen lost their wickets to balls that were not all that challenging, Strauss, Cook, Bopara were all guilty of hanging the bat out to dry or having a half hearted poke at it. When KP lost his wicket, well what the bloody hell was he thinking ? He seemed to be going for the reverse sweep almost before the ball had left Hauritz's hand, an inch further and that ball would have been called wide.

Ponting must have been happy to have both Flintoff and Prior out before the end of the play and will be hoping to mop up the England tail in short order today. Anderson can be stubborn though, and broad can actually bat, Swann isn't likely to trouble the scorers much and you know what they say about Monty...

What's in Panesar's hand just before a wicket goes down ? A bat.

Let's hope they make another 50 runs though, and then hopefully the pitch will provide plenty for Swann and Monty to take advantage of.
A Book A Week in 2009 - Done !

Book 52) The Silver Chair (Chronicles Of Narnia) - C S Lewis

So that means I don't have to read anything else for the rest of the year.....riiight. I am currently reading Iron Angel by Alan Campbell, the QI Book Of General Ignorance, and I have the last part of the Narnia Chronicles to read, The Last Battle, and then Georgie and Paula have been badgering me to read the Harry Potter series so I might start on those.

I got some birthday money last week so I went up to the discount bookshop and brought home a stack of books including some more for my classics list - Pride And Prejudice, Wuthering Heights, Great Expectations, Gulliver's Travels, and another half dozen contemporary novels.

Life would be dull without books.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

The Duckworth Lewis Method

Yes folks, it's a prog-rock concept album about cricket, really, what's not to like about that ?! By Neil Hannon of The Divine Comedy, and Thomas Walsh of Pugwash.
I Did Not Watch Michael Jackson's Memorial

I would not have watched Diana's funeral given the choice, and after some deep thinking the other night I cannot think of a single person in the public eye whose funeral I would attend if I did not know them.

I'm not denying that Jackson was a brilliant performer, I quite like his music myself, but what possesses people to wail in the streets at the death of someone they have never met, no matter how many of his albums they might have bought ?

The overwhelming media coverage of every aspect of Jackson's death, and the same coverage of his memorial, and good grief, we still have the funeral to come, just demonstrates to me that we are becoming ever more obsessed with celebrity to the exclusion of events that are really important. I wonder how many young, and not so young, eligible voters registered for Michael Jackson concert tickets but couldn't be bothered to vote at the Euro Elections ?

People also seem to succumb to a form of mass hysteria when a famous person dies that leads them to believe that there must be some form of conspiracy, Diana couldn't have died in a car crash like mundane people do, Jackson must have been murdered by his doctor. People die, even famous people, and they die in the same ways that you and I might.

So he's dead, draw a line under it, get over it, you have your own lives to live, your own families to care for, your life isn't a pale reflection of somebody famous, and it is the only certain thing, none of us last forever.
Night Of The Living Dead......Disco ?

More Keira !

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

WAR !!!

Yes, the Ashes are upon us. Tomorrow at Cardiff (but no bloody Headingly test you muppets!) we do battle with the enemy, the saggy greens.

Sadly the Ashes, as with all other forms of cricket, have sold themselves to Sky, and so we cannot see our national game on normal television, I also live in an area of very poor reception for long wave (and DAB doesn't exist in Ilkley, and might never arrive here). This means listening for updates on R5, having ceefax on the telly at work, and running upstairs to the house to catch repeats of wickets / centuries / stumpings etc.

Sorry to my American readers who are about to be baffled by two months worth of daily cricket musings, moaning about umpires and hawk-eye, and of course, either the sheer and utter desperation of defeat or large dollops of gloating, and I do hope it is the latter.

This really is THE event in cricket, for England and Australia fans anyway, it's Man U vs Liverpool, India vs Pakistan and The Lions vs South Africa all rolled into one. Like many England fans, I'm disappointed when we lose out at the World Cup, or T20, or lose an away test series to Sri Lanka, but everything will be forgiven and more if our lads can can beat Australia over the next few weeks. Playing and winning against the Windies or India is great, beating Australia is the thing though.

So come on lads, Strauss, Pieterson, Bopara, Broad, Swann and all, I'm not asking you to do your best, I want better than that, because Australia are always very good, and they would like nothing more than to come home from England with the trophy, let's send them home empty handed boys.
Book Review : The Truth Vibrations - David Icke*

David Icke, a fairly good looking lad, well educated and well spoken, a good news reader and sports presenter with a promising media career, suddenly began making prophecies of doom, worldwide tragedies and other weirder stuff, effectively ending his television career.

The Truth Vibrations was his first book, in which he attempts to describe his contact with the Godhead and the mental awakening it provided. Sadly though, Icke's visions are the most dreadful mishmash of every type of new age thing from chakra points to ley lines through healing crystals via spirit guides. I don't disagree with Icke's most basic points, that we should all be more open minded, nicer to our fellow man and more protective of the planet we live on, but his presentation of his views did leave me thinking that he had suffered some sort of mild nervous breakdown.

Icke went on to become a conspiracy theorist, and would later claim that aliens from the Draco constellation had taken over the British Royal family. His second interview on Wogan when he took apart poor old Terry's simple world view of 'well surely everyone knows what is going on in government' made for compulsive viewing and he put himself over very well, but when he mixes his theories about Bush looking for reasons to invade Iraq with all his other weird views it always serves to dilute and confuse his messages and often leaves him looking like a nutter.

I can't recommend The Truth Vibrations, for me it read like the diary of a mentally unstable person desperately searching for something to cling to and throwing himself at every new age philosophy and idea that came his way, sad really.
Brett Lee Injured


I ate three very large slices of fresh cream chocolate cake, I don't think it is possible to eat too much cake.

Thanks to all my wonderful friends and lovely family who made it a great birthday even if I was shattered from the previous day's 18 hour shift.

Thanks to everyone for the wine and beer and whiskey, and for the money, which I spent today on a large heap of books (Meg hasn't noticed yet so everybody keep quiet !).

I love all the children, but Stephen and Natalie's gifts made me smile, then laugh out loud, then almost cry, thanks guys x x

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Happy birthday

Eleanor posted this on my FB this morning, it made me smile, thanks Eleanor x x

Thursday, July 02, 2009

How To Survive The Heat Wave

1) Eat ice cream

2) Buy a fan

3) Take a holiday in Antarctica

4) Drink a cold drink

5) It's hotter than this when you go on holiday to Ibiza so what the hell is everyone moaning about ?

(This article copyright all newspapers)