Saturday Afternoon, South Camden (PhotoBlog)

21 February 2009

After the fun and enjoyment of a Shoreditchy night out at Kill Your Pets and Trailertrash I needed a more relaxed Saturday. This involved wandering around the southern end of Camden Town, mostly, after a strong coffee at the Market (so strong the spoon stood up in it: see the picture).

Strong Coffee
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Chester Terrace. I like the attention to detail – there’s a full stop after the word Terrace
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At Regent’s Park Estate
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Different architectural styles at the Regent’s Park Estate
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New housing development on the edge of Regent’s Park Estate
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Have Your Say

20 February 2009

Friendfeed pointed me to the fact that a friend of mine posted a link to this Friday rant. The blog is dedicated to the stupidity of BBC News Website’s “Have Your Say” – indeed BBC news more generally – encouraging the kind of people that love to moan to write in and tell the world their thoughts on a news story.

Anyway, the real problem with the BBC comments system is the range of options you’re now presented with. You’re left with a choice between clicking “Recommend this comment” or else stepping away from the computer and banging your face on the wall for a few minutes. There’s no button for “This is bollocks”, “I can’t believe there are people this gullible and stupid in the world” or “I pity the confused, angry, cat penis that wrote this”. Even the Daily Mail manages to provide both “Thumbs Up” and “Thumbs Down” buttons. The end result of all this is that browsing the BBC’s “Have Your Say” forums makes reading the Daily Mail seem like reading the Socialist Worker. Left-wing bias my fat fucking arse.

Why is the commentosphere full of whinging whiners? OK so the blogosphere has it’s fair share of moaners but at least most of them are committed enough to put some thought into what they’re writing and construct some relatively legible sentences, hell, even put them into paragraphs!

More to the point, why does the BBC, which refused to show the DEC Gaza Appeal for risk of appearing to be impartial allow these halfwits to splurt their ill-informed claptrap all over their “news” pages?


F*cking Politicians

18 February 2009

So, apparently, politicians swear, what a shocker. First it was Boris, now it’s Peter…

Boris, apparently, said: “You … try and give the impression that I f****** tipped off David Cameron. You are trying to make me look like a f****** fool… This is such f****** bulls***”

…meanwhile the New Labour politician who was some time ago considered the cosmopolitan cappuccino-sipping New Labourite spluttered over his coffee when he heard the top brass of Starbucks rubbish the UK economy, and spurted out “Why should I have this guy running down the country? Who the f*ck is he? How the hell are they [Starbucks] doing?”

I’m not sure I know of anyone to whom the fact that politicians swear would be a shocker and, hey, we all let our guard down once in a while. Then again, maybe they’re spending too much time getting told to eff off by those foul-mouthed “white van men” as they persuade them to downsize their vans.


Postcode Lottery

17 February 2009

Postcode freakin lottery, gimme a frakin break. What a load of rubbish – I hear the phrase all the time and it’s  proponents complaining that it’s unfair.

A quick google search requires postcode lotteries of healthcare, recycling, disabled parking badges, rail refunds, even speed cameras.

This morning on Radio 4 there was talk of a ‘postcode lottery’ for autism care – depending which healthcare area you live in you get a different level of care. This followed a story on Planning (yes, not the sexiest of subjects) and a proposal to remove regional planning and leave it to local authorities to decide.

Now make up your minds – what do you want? Local autonomy or centralisation – because, whichever way you look at it autonomy will lead to some areas providing different levels of services by definition. If you choose to look at it by postcodes, that’s a postcode lottery. And the “dailymailirony” is that it tends to be the same people complaining about both things. Do they not see it?


Valentines Day Economics

15 February 2009

So, Saturday was Valentines day. You know, that day when you spend crazy amounts on overpriced roses, dinner out with other couples all trying to compete as to how in love they are, and then end up too full of food to do anything romantic on arrival home.

Maybe it’s OK to hate Valentines Day, I mean we’re in a CREDIT CRUNCH people! Maybe forget the overpriced flowers (by the way, it’s not the florists fault their suppliers increase prices) and drop a fifty pound note in a card instead.

Or perhaps there’s more to it, a rational approach to Valentines day:

  • The peacock tail effect. Peacocks elaborate tails prove their genetic fitness. Similarly, a man who spends money on Vally day is signalling his ability as a provider: “look, I can offer you so much that I can afford to fritter money away on gestures.”
  • Investment in commitment. Dinner together is an investment in the other person.
  • A man who rejects the social norm of Vally day increases uncertainty about who he is. The partner thinks: “if he rejects this cultural norm, what other norms does he reject. What sort of guy is this?”
  • If your partner is looking for commitment, they’d not want a the kind of guy who is so rational that he’d economically reject Vally day: such a man will leave you the moment a better offer comes along, surely.

Or perhaps, it’s just romantic…

I took my partner to our favourite local tapas bar – somewhere we both like where sharing food (romantic, hint) is part of the deal, but not so overly-candled and over-priced that you’d feel compelled to pull out the diamond ring.

Stuff the ignorant, economic or rational approaches to Valentines day, and go for the romantic – the one you and our partner will love, because you know them and you know what they like… surely that’s the most romantic gesture of all…


Mushaboom!

14 February 2009

RULES:
1. Put your MP3 player, iTunes, Windows Media Player, etc. on shuffle.
2. For each question, press the next button to get your answer.
3. YOU MUST WRITE THAT SONG NAME DOWN NO MATTER HOW SILLY IT SOUNDS.
4. Tag at least 10 friends (make me #11 so I can see your results).
5. Everyone tagged has to do the same thing.
6. Have Fun!

IF SOMEONE SAYS ‘ARE YOU OKAY’ YOU SAY?
Don’t Give Up The Fight (The Magic Numbers)

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOURSELF?
Evil, and a Heathen (Franz Ferdinand)

WHAT DO YOU LIKE IN A GUY/GIRL?
The Answer (Bran Van 3000)

HOW DO YOU FEEL TODAY?
Knockin on Heaven’s Door (Aretha Franklin)

WHAT IS YOUR LIFE’S PURPOSE?
Two Months Off (Underworld)

WHAT’S YOUR MOTTO?
This Boy (Franz Ferdinand)

WHAT DO YOUR FRIENDS THINK OF YOU?
B*tch (David McCullen)

WHAT DO YOUR PARENTS THINK OF YOU?
Diggin’ a Watery Grave (Morcheeba)

WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT VERY OFTEN?
Slavonic Dances (Dvorak)

WHAT DO YOU THINK OF YOUR BEST FRIEND?
Substitute for Love (Madonna)

WHAT IS YOUR LIFE STORY?
Too Long (Daft Punk)

WHAT DO YOU WANT TO BE WHEN YOU GROW UP?
Better? (Propellerheads)

WHAT DO YOU THINK WHEN YOU SEE THE PERSON YOU LIKE?
Amazing (George Michael)

WHAT WILL YOU DANCE TO AT YOUR WEDDING?
Tits on the Radio (Scissor Sisters)

WHAT WILL THEY PLAY AT YOUR FUNERAL?
A Sorta Fairytale (Tori Amos)

WHAT IS YOUR HOBBY/INTEREST?
*** (Regina Spektor)

WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST FEAR?
Voodoo Magic (Bodies Without Organs)

WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST SECRET?
Laura (Scissor Sisters)

WHAT DO YOU WANT RIGHT NOW?
Rubber Boots (Alphabeat)

WHAT DO YOU THINK OF YOUR FRIENDS?
The Closest Thing to Crazy (Katie Melua

WHAT WILL YOU POST THIS AS?
Mushaboom (Feist)


links for 2009-02-06

6 February 2009

London Snow Blog: My Snowday in Pictures

2 February 2009

Well, I say snow day – I actually went to work. So did the people at the Guardian (apparently) who have brought us SNOW BLOG LIVE (really) all day long… including useful advice, such as how to walk in snow (like a penguin in case you wondered)

Here’s my day in photos, more here:

Camden Town, morning, 2nd Feb

Millbank, Pimlico and Westminster in the distance

Green Park

Camden and St Pancras, afternoon


London Snow Blog: Snowman on Millbank

2 February 2009

Following Snow Blogs last night and this morning and the snow hysteria in the city I made my way into work this morning. At lunchtime I had to venture across Millbank to get lunch where this quite impressive snowman watched me slip-sliding along the pavement to get something warm to aet. I’ve never seen snow this thick in London before, just a few minute away from the Palace of Westminster and right next to the Thames…

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London Snow Blog: The Morning After!

2 February 2009

Following last night’s post we’ve had the heaviest snow in decades overnight. I think the last time it snowed this year Bob Cratchit lived round the corner…

Here’s what I woke up to…

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London Snow Blog!

1 February 2009

It’s very rare that you get snow sticking in London. The last time I recall snow sticking was 2001, on Vauxhall Bridge Road (ironically when I last worked at the place I returned to as my ‘new job’ last week)…

These photos were taken just a few moments ago, hopefully before the snow disappears once rush hour in Camden begins…

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A very full and quite cultural week

1 February 2009

In addition to starting my new job this week, I’ve obviously been very busy:

  • On Saturday we went to the Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition and the Natural History Museum – well worth a visit to see some amazing, innovative and fascinating photography of wildlife, certainly the most difficult form of photography.
  • In the evening we had planned to see Slumdog Millionaire, however a ticket mishap meant we didn’t, and ended up seeing Milk instead, which was a fantastic surprise of a movie.
  • The first few days at work were enjoyable, I’ve returned to a place I used to work years ago – it felt like the first day at school…
  • The on Wednesday we got to see Slumdog finally which was very entertaining movie. It masquerades as a feel-good love story but is actually much more intense when you scratch beneath the surface. I’d imagine it’s definitely worth a second watch (or read my friend’s review here).
  • Thursday we finally got around to seeing Annie Leibovitz: A Photographer’s Life, 1990–2005.  The exhibition combined the photographer’s professional and personal photographs, including some of her most famous works and some very personal photographs such as those documenting the deaths of her father and long-term partner Susan Sontang.
  • This was followed by dinner at one of my favourite Indian restaurants, and curling up in bed watching a random gay movie “boy culture“, which I won’t bother to review…
  • Friday night and Popstarz at the Bloomsbury Ballroom (a venue which didn’t lend itself as well to the club as it did to the Sam Sparro gig, and which is nowhere near as good as those halcyon days at the Scala)
  • And yesterday we went to Greenwich and the National Maritime Museum.

Now, after a week of new job and doing lots how will I manage to cope with the currently plan-less next week?! I also have to decide which of last weeks experiences to blog on… decisions decisions…


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