Friday, 31 October 2008

Halloween Message

I think this year I might take the Ringo Starr approach and post the following note on my front door, for the Trick or Treat brigade:

"Clear off. Peace and love, peace and love."

That should do it. LOL

Thursday, 30 October 2008

At The Movies

Went to the cinema last night to see the new Coen Brother's film, Burn After Reading.

Bit of a slow start, building the characters and establishing the set-up but once the plot got going really very funny. Good strong cast featuring John Malkovich, George Clooney, Tilda Swinton and Brad Pitt to name but a few.

I don't wish this to sound too negative but to really enjoy this film you have to at least like the Coen style (it's not for everyone I admit) and- I should warn- not be too easily offended. The certificate 15 was deserved to be honest. Coming in at just over an hour and a half there wasn't a single scene I could say was not put to good effect and moved the story along at a pace.

Now where exactly did Harry get the plans for his machine from..? LOL

Unrelated I know to the above but regarding yesterday's snow: Someone made an interesting observation to me. Yesterday morning many car doors were frozen up including my own, meaning they couldn't easily be opened. Picture the scene- you press the clicky thing to unlock, pull the door handle and nothing happens. The door won't budge. Automatically your brain fails to take in the evidence of all the snow and ice, instead reasoning that you must have left the car unlocked over night. So what do you? You press the button again (which of course now locks the car) and frustratingly try the door again. Repeat until common sense kicks in. LOL

Wednesday, 29 October 2008

Who Next?

David Tennant has just announced he is to step down from the lead in Doctor Who at the end of 2009. Read the story here on the BBC News site.

First Russell Brand quits his radio show, now this. Talk about experiencing the highs* and the lows all in the same day.

*Hint: I don't care for Mr Brand's type of humour.

Step Back In Time

Found this (courtesy of F) about the discovery of an abandoned corner shop, seemingly stuck in the past. Made me smile.

First Snow!

OK so it only just counts as snow and won't last the day out but nevertheless this is the first of winter in these parts. Yea! It actually started around 8 last night and I guess must have continued through the night.

Temperatures have taken a small but noticable jump downward to -1.5 Celsius this morning. Maybe we'll be in for a good, cold winter. You know: the sort that will take care of some of those bugs that have thrived in our more recent mild ones. Might even have to consider closing my bedroom window at night...

Elsewhere last night, the Royals went down away at Burnley 1-0 totally against the run of play. How did that happen? Reading drop to fourth.

Tuesday, 28 October 2008

Howard Gardner Has A Lot To Answer For

Have just taken this test curtesy of T & J respectively.

Here's my outcome, what do you think?

Your result for Howard Gardner's Eight Types of Intelligence Test ...

8% Logical, 65% Spatial, 8% Linguistic, 20% Intrapersonal, 33% Interpersonal, 37% Musical, 25% Bodily-Kinesthetic and 37% Naturalistic!

"This area has to do with vision and spatial judgment. People with strong visual-spatial intelligence are typically very good at visualizing and mentally manipulating objects. They have a strong visual memory and are often artistically inclined. Those with visual-spatial intelligence also generally have a very good sense of direction and may also have very good hand-eye coordination, although this is normally seen as a characteristic of the bodily-kinesthetic intelligence.

Careers which suit those with this intelligence include artists, engineers, and architects." (Wikipedia)



Bit chilly this morning coming in to work. My car very helpfully told me it was no more than 1.5 degrees Celsius (about 33F). Reminds me it won't be long and the Fat Man* will be on his way to visit us. Can't wait LOL.

Regarding a previous post, of course another benefit of this time of year is having the excuse to sit in front of a roaring fire. Preferably with a warming glass of something.

* See Terry Pratchett's The Hogfather.

Monday, 27 October 2008

I Shouldn't Laugh But...

Just found this and couldn't stop laughing.

Sorry, my bad.

Sunday Update

Just a brief update.

Yesterday I visited the Contemporary Craft and Design Show, at it's stop-over in the wonderful grounds of a nearby private school. Spent an enjoyable couple of hours browsing the 100 or so stalls and chatting with makers. I should be posting lots of pictures from the show but sadly there were numerous signs forbidding photography and every time I whipped out my camera for a sneaky click, I got seriously scowled at. Here's the link for the official site. My only real criticism of this event remains the same as for previous years and venues. This particular organisation seems to allow a disproportionate number of Jewellery makers into their events. Somehow it appears a little unbalanced in that regard.

Later I met with my uncle and aunt plus two of my cousins (the middle and youngest on that side, fact fans) with their respective wives and kids. I haven't seen the middle one and his family properly for years (they moved away, for a better life in the West Country) although we used to be quite close, brewing and 'sampling' wine and beer together (hic) among other things... The conversation was lively, while the Beef Madras was very good and although it sounds like an odd combination to follow, the Treacle Toffee Pudding with custard was excellent. Mmmm

Saturday, 25 October 2008


I love this time of year. The leaves change to a beautiful colour and the mornings can be crisp. We put the clocks back, so an extra hour in bed tonight (will we ever stop debating whether we should keep changing our clocks?). Long walks and hearty winter food*.

And above all we get to celebrate religious intolerance. Yep I'm referring to the Gunpowder Plot of 1605. We mark the occasion when Guy Fawkes (a Catholic) and his band decided to blow up the (Protestant) King James I and his Parliament because they didn't quite see eye to eye with each other. You thought religious extremists were something new, didn't you? Guess you're wrong LOL.

This event is traditionally held on or about 5th November each year but in this particular neck of the woods we celebrate at least a week earlier than everyone else. Don't really know why but it does guarantee a really good crowd. So we have a big firework display followed by a big bonfire, where a dummy Guy is tossed on the fire to be burned. Not quite sure why but this year he seemed to resemble Abraham Lincoln...

Reading 0-0 QPR

*I also attended a local Breast Cancer Awareness fundraiser today, where I won in the raffle a cook book. Maybe I'll be cooking lots of lovely winter dishes. Or as a friend once put it: "All pigs loaded and ready to fly." Maybe not then.

Wednesday, 22 October 2008


You know there are times when- quite unexpectedly- it hits me just how much I miss my Mum.

Tuesday, 21 October 2008

Three Points

Reading 2-1 Doncaster

Tonight the Royals played host to visitors Doncaster. Reading took the lead in the first but the visitors battled well in the second half and equalized, putting pressure on Reading.

Necessary points hard won and a home record still intact. Reading remain third in the Championship, four points and two behind Birmingham and Wolverhampton respectively.

Sunday, 19 October 2008


Some will know I am a big Wallace and Gromit fan and so is Little Lad. That's why it's so easy to indulge him in DVD's of the spin-off series, Shaun The Sheep.

If you enjoy the plasticine adventures of inventor Wallace and his faithful dog, you'll probably appreciate it. There's now 4 DVD's, with around 8 stories on each and a 5th due for release in November. Cracking good fun.

Saturday, 18 October 2008

Must Try Harder

Preston 2-1 Reading

After the break for international duties, the Royals traveled to 12th placed Preston today. Having taken the lead in the first half, all they had to do was hold on for the remaining 45 minutes or even score a second to seal it. Instead Reading managed to give it away with an own goal and later allow the home team to score the winner. A questionable decision from the Referee late in the game might have permitted Reading the chance to equalize from a penalty but it was not to be. It seems appeals by Preston players changed the Referee's mind.

Had they won and taken the 3 points, it would have allowed them to move closer to the leading pair of Birmingham and Wolves. As it is Reading stays rooted on 20 points in third. United take on Wednesday in the Sheffield derby tomorrow. A win for Sheffield United will put them on equal points with Reading.

Thursday, 16 October 2008

Gold Badge

On this day 50 years ago a little 15 minute programme called Blue Peter was first broadcast on BBC TV.

I guess almost everyone in the country has at some point sat and watched BP when they were younger and it is still going strong today. No other children's programme can make that claim.

Over the years format has changed and the presenters have come and gone, some more memorable than others. We all have our favourites, depending on the decade we were watching. For me I fondly remember Singleton, Noakes and Purves, yeah that gives away my age. Then there were the numerous pets from dogs and cats to tortoises; some have even been named by popular vote of the viewers. Of course there have been rival shows that have attempted to steal BP's crown but where are they today? What happened to ITV's Magpie?

So here's to Blue Peter, a programme that has shaped and entertained the nation's young with stories of trains and dolls, sticky backed plastic, safari adventures and charity appeals.

Tuesday, 14 October 2008

Meet Tommy

Just a bit of fun but an important message.

Saturday, 11 October 2008


This week I will mostly be listening to Clare Teal.

I think I'm in a bit of a jazz/big band/swing* mood so I'll playing the current cd (above) and lots of her previous stuff. Best apologize now to the neighbours.

*Define her however you fancy, Clare has a lovely voice and is brilliant live in concert. So there. LOL

Friday, 10 October 2008

Breasts, Boobs, Jugs, Tits

Well that got your attention didn't it?

Here in the UK October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Take a look at

I don't think there are many people that can say they haven't been affected in some way by Cancer. My mum died in August of Secondary Breast Cancer and I have a family friend who has had a lump removed from her Breast but not before the disease had spread to her Liver.

Here's a couple of facts: Around one in 9 women develop this form of Cancer at some point in their lives and although rare, approximately 300 men are diagnosed each year.

Whatever you call them and wherever you are in the world, please do your best to raise awareness and also get yourselves checked! Thank you.

End of Preachy Bit.

Thursday, 9 October 2008

Guest Potter

For some reason best known only to the founding members our Ceramics Association our year runs from the Autumn, so last night was our first meeting after the Summer break.

Our guest potter speaker was Tina Vlassopulos from London. She took us on a brief pictorial history of her 30 something years in ceramics. This was followed by a demonstration of her working techniques in coiling, pinching, slabbing and also using paster molds.

Tina also brought along some excellent examples of her finished work for sale, all very reasonably priced in the £20-£50 mark. Visit her website (link above) for more information and much better pictures.

Wednesday, 8 October 2008

From Riches To Rags

Yet again I appear to have cursed another top US TV show by saying how much I enjoyed it.

The Eddie Izzard/Minnie Driver series The Riches has been cancelled by the FX network and won't be returning for a third season.

Just for the record, I think Heroes is rubbish and Battlestar Galactica should be taken off the air immediately. LOL

Oh and happy Hump Day everyone.

Saturday, 4 October 2008

Moving On Up

Reading 3 - 1 Burnley

Keeps Reading in third position, only 3 points off the leaders. Nice work boys.

Elsewhere I see Melton Mowbray pork pies have now been given the same protected status across Europe as Champagne. Fantastic. I'm pleased to see the portion of my taxes that funds the EU is being put to good use.

Friday, 3 October 2008

Stay Calm And Stay In Your Own Homes

Thought I would post this, following it's publication this week by the National Archives. Produced in the 1970's by the BBC and the government for use in the event of a nuclear attack on the UK.


This is the Wartime Broadcasting Service. This country has been attacked with nuclear weapons. Communications have been severely disrupted, and the number of casualties and the extent of the damage are not yet known. We shall bring you further information as soon as possible. Meanwhile, stay tuned to this wavelength, stay calm and stay in your own homes.

Remember there is nothing to be gained by trying to get away. By leaving your homes you could be exposing yourselves to greater danger.

If you leave, you may find yourself without food, without water, without accommodation and without protection. Radioactive fall-out, which followed a nuclear explosion, is many times more dangerous if you are directly exposed to it in the open. Roofs and walls offer substantial protection. The safest place is indoors.

Make sure gas and other fuel supplies are turned off and that all fires are extinguished. If mains water is available, this can be used for fire-fighting. You should also refill all your containers for drinking water after the fires have been put out, because the mains water supply may not be available for very long.

Water must not be used for flushing lavatories: until you are told that lavatories may be used again, other toilet arrangements must be made. Use your water only for essential drinking and cooking purposes. Water means life. Don't waste it.

Make your food stocks last: ration your supply, because it may have to last for 14 days or more. If you have fresh food in the house, use this first to avoid wasting it: food in tins will keep.

If you live in an area where a fall-out warning has been given, stay in your fall-out room until you are told it is safe to come out. When the immediate danger has passed the sirens will sound a steady note. The "all clear" message will also be given on this wavelength. If you leave the fall-out room to go to the lavatory or replenish food or water supplies, do not remain outside the room for a minute longer than is necessary.

Do not, in any circumstances, go outside the house. Radioactive fall-out can kill. You cannot see it or fell it, but it is there. If you go outside, you will bring danger to your family and you may die. Stay in your fall-out room until you are told it is safe to come out or you hear the "all clear" on the sirens.

Here are the main points again:

Stay in your own homes, and if you live in an area where a fall-out warning has been given stay in your fall-out room, until you are told it is safe to come out. The message that the immediate danger has passed will be given by the sirens and repeated on this wavelength. Make sure that the gas and all fuel supplies are turned off and that all fires are extinguished.

Water must be rationed, and used only for essential drinking and cooking purposes. It must not be used for flushing lavatories. Ration your food supply: it may have to last for 14 days or more.

We shall repeat this broadcast in two hours' time. Stay tuned to this wavelength, but switch your radios off now to save your batteries until we come on the air again. That is the end of this broadcast.

Not actually feeling this would have reassured me too much.

Full story can be found here.

Thursday, 2 October 2008


I guess it's a reflection of what I've been up to of late or more to the point, what I've not been doing but I'm aware recent posts may look a little TV-centric and this one won't help matters much...

1) The BBC screened the first two episodes of Heroes series 3 last night. Wow- what a fab start. Unlike many I actually enjoyed series 2 despite it's slower pace but the new one looks like it will be a real roller coaster. Can't wait to see more of the new characters and (of course) how the established ones develop this year.

2) I've read recently that series two of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles isn't doing too well in the US and may get cancelled mid-season. As a fan of the films I thought series one took the story in new, alternative directions and was a neat addition to the franchise. If it goes, I for one will miss it.

3) Having parted company with Sky a couple of years back I've only been able to keep up with Battlestar Galactica via DVD. Yeah I know I could probably download but... anyway I've just received notification that series four is winging it's way to me in the post as I type. Yea!

Normal service will resume shortly. Honest.