28.6.04

Six weeks and five days

A miracle. On Saturday we sat down and planned the whole wedding. Everything is sorted out. Nothing else needs to be done.

Truthfully though. On Saturday we wrote out a list of everything that needs to be done and it is now on the fridge door. Step one: remember to look at the list every morning.

Nora

We planned to have our own mini Glastonbury yesterday. Nora Jones was performing at Althorp Park so we bought tickets, made up a picnic and locked ourselves out of the house and car before we even got going.

Thanks to understanding neighbours and help from our landlord's son we were off again after only an hour or two's delay. As it transpired this worked in our favour, as we did not have to spend those hours stuck in a queue of traffic.

Heavy wind and rain tried to put us off, well alright, tried to put me off. The corporate nature of the 'shops in tents' was rather galling too. However, the support - Amos Lee - and Nora with her Handsome Band were excellent.

I was pleased that the live versions of her songs brought out an edge that I hadn't heard on record. Great playing from all concerned and our little candle collection burned brightly through the night.

Getting out was, of course, a nightmare. Hundreds of cars all trying to get out of one exit and an otherwise cheerful and positive crowd showing their grumpy, pushy side. After what could only been a day or two we were back on the road and heading home.

Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

25.6.04

Strawberries

·Since the last post about things sporty Tim Henman has won the first and second sets of his game. In honour of this I am posting some fact about strawberries (taken from the BBC Sports site to give us all a sense of being at Wimbledon and eating overpriced fruit.

·  Roughly 27,000 kilos of strawberries are eaten during the Wimbledon Championships, together with 7,000 litres of cream. New bellies please!

·  Wimbledon may have 64 seeds in the men's and women's competition, but did you know there are about 200 seeds in every strawberry?

·  A 100g serving of strawberries will serve you for just 50 calories - that's a whooping 0g of fat - Another punnet anyone?

·  We're all smiles - did you know strawberries can help whiten your teeth? The acids in the fruit help to remove stains.

·  Strawberries are full of a special substance called ellagic acid which can help fight cancers.

·  They are also full of flavonoids, which form part of the strawberry's red colour. They are known to help reduce cholesterol from clogging up the heart's arteries.

·  Eight strawberries have more vitamin C than an orange, that's 140% of our daily recommended amount.

·  The word strawberry comes from the Old English words "streowberie" or "streawbelige". There are a few theories about how they got their name. The "straw" bit could come from the straw that was used to keep the strawberries fresh, or it could come from "strewed", which means to spread wide.

·  The Latin name for the famous everyday strawberry is Fragaria Ananassa. We'll just stick to plain old strawberries for now.

·  You cannot be serious! Strawberries can also be white or yellow and some can even taste like pineapples.

·  The strawberry plant, along with its good mate the raspberry plant, are members of the rose family.

·  The Romans loved their wild strawberries - and not only for their taste. They believed strawberries could cure a number of illnesses.

·  If you're watching your waistline, why not sprinkle a little black pepper over your strawberries instead of the usual calorific cream? It doesn't sound that appetising, but you'll be pleasantly surprised...

Seven weeks and one day (and some penalties)

A terrible night last night. As soon as it became obvious that the England football team were going to face a penalty shootout I should have turned off the television and got back to adding Beatles albums to my enormous jukebox project.

It was certainly a night of contrasts. I sat mute for the last half hour, biting my hand and rocking backwards and forwards like a vegetating animal in a badly maintained zoo. Jenna, in order to bring balance, got in touch with her inner hooligan and enjoyed periods of swearing and dancing around the room in a lively but dangerous fashion.

The cat took great umbrage at our lack of attention in her, even resorting to bringing in a mouse during the penalties.
Both survived.

In the non-football world it seems that cake makers and flower arranging people are being readied. I, as you might imagine, have had nothing to do with this. Although, as the countdown continues I am starting to think about how to spend the hours before the ceremony. Squash games, coastal walks and full on panic counseling have been features of friends' pre-wedding hours.

The last thing to comment on today is that the England rugby side are playing Australia and Tim Henman faces a chap called Ivo Heuberger. As I'm writing this the match is in progress, with Tim one game up in the first set (it's 6-5). It seems Tim lost his serve after double faulting in the first set. No tension there then.

Time to get back to work.

22.6.04

Seven weeks, four days

Well obviously I'm not going to be able to keep up a day by day running commentary on how the preparations are going. Who would want to read that? Who (even more importantly) would want to type it?

But, having said that, the meeting with the registrar is booked and the cat has a home for the short time we're away.
Next? A power meeting (serious coffee, find space to sit down in the front room, no distractions) with Jenna on Saturday to work out what we have to do next. I suspect buying the rings will be problematic. Do I really want to spend a lot of money on a ring I'm never going to wear? Can I get away with some rolled up shiny paper on the day?

Current listening: Someone teaching in the room next door.

Good news for HHGTTG fans!

Don't panic - it's back!
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is back on Radio 4 - 25 years after it first started. The BBC has officially announced that the sci-fi comedy will return on 21 September for a new six-part series. Most of the original cast - including Simon Jones, Geoffrey McGivern and Mark Wing-Davey - are reunited for the new episodes, which will air as a Hollywood film of the book nears completion.

Even author Douglas Adams will feature in the new radio episodes: he made recordings for a character called Agrajag a few years before his death in 2001. The programmes are based on Adams's last three books: Life, the Universe and Everything; So Long and Thanks for All the Fish; and Mostly Harmless. Another new series is scheduled for broadcast next spring.

A preview can be heard at:
www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/hitchhikers

Seven Weeks, Five Days

Less than eight weeks to go to the wedding and nothing is planned. Jenna is trying to arrange a meeting with the registrar... and that's about it. We have the honeymoon booked, that's true. But no home for the cat, no idea what we're wearing, how we get to the place (or even where the place is in my case). Confusion reigns.

What makes all this amusing (to me, if no one else) is that nobody seems to believe we are this badly organised/laid back or that we hadn't secretly arranged things months ago and are only now choosing to tell people.

England play Croatia tonight, that should relieve the stress.

Current listening: the buzz of computer hard drives in the college work room.

20.6.04

Sex and Money

LONDON (Reuters) - A major investment bank is advising clients to have sex, get more sleep and stop equating happiness with money -- turning the industry image of hard-nosed dealmakers on its head.

German-owned Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein offers the advice in a note to clients by its strategist James Montier.

"I thought it was time that I reminded people there was more to life than watching screens every day," he told Reuters.

The note recommends clients have sex, ideally with someone they love, reflect on the good things in life, give their bodies enough sleep and exercise regularly.

But they shouldn't get too carried away.

"I still need a little bit of money just to keep me happy," said Montier.

(From Dave Barry)

Fete worse than death? Um, no.

Two fetes in two days. England is gripped with sports fever this week (and next, and the one after that) but this weekend fete-mania has broken out. I went to one in Coleshill, Oxfordshire yesterday. It was at the home George Martin (the nice man who produced some Peter Sellers records) and enjoyed home made produce as well as winning 'The Little Book of Calm'.
Today I visited Stanford in the Vale Summer festival (it's a fete really). Fab stalls, won a bottle of fizz and some lovely looking French cider from the town twinning stall. On the way there I heard hymn singing from a small local church and enjoyed the sight of a Ghandi lookalike cooking veggy burgers on a grill in the rain.
Someone in Paris said they thought I looked like Ghandi. It's good to return the favour (must change my glassess too).

OK, this does not sound like the blog of an, up-all-night bassplayer/net-nerd. But I love cakes, fetes and... oh, back to the sport...

Current listening: 'Take your clothes off when you dance' - Frank Zappa (from the Lost Episodes CD)

19.6.04

Weddings, petals and eight days of music

Eight weeks to the wedding. I've decided to turn this blog into a wedding countdown area. No wait, that shouldn't be too bad as it is not supposed to be a conventional wedding. There shouldn't be any tales of picking out colours for themed clothing, or who to put on the guest list. We picked only the very closest friends and family, thereby alienating almost everyone else we know. The good news is that we're having a party for the others so they can drop hints about not being invited to the wedding.
Anyway, the countdown begins, I still need a job and somewhere for the cat to live while we're away.

Non-wedding news
Has anyone else been driven nuts by 'Petals around the rose' recently? The are brain teasers and then there are things like this.

The new project is putting all my Cds onto a separate hard drive to produce Will's Enormous Jukebox. This is a jukebox that, statistically, will probably reward you with some Zappa or Miles Davis. My iTunes library is now up to eight days of music.

OK, I know this is getting nerdy and self-indulgent - but it's my blog for goodness sake!

Current listening: Butch & Butch by the Keith Jarrett trio

16.6.04

Holimoon Part II

The holimoon saga - booked a holiday which will become a honeymoon when we book the wedding - continues. Received wisdom is that you must book a registry office or church at least a year in advance to have any hope of getting the place, county or indeed country that you want. This is doubly true if you want to get married in the middle of August.
Well, fate, blessing or fantastic good luck has intervened and Jenna and I will be getting married in around eight weeks.

Phew!

13.6.04

Bob Dylan

Date: 2004-06-13 20:08:33 +0100
Topic: Bob Dylan

I'm slowly getting into Bob Dylan's music. A friend at university had
recommended 'Blood on the tracks' as a starting point. I bought the CD,
listened, didn't like it, put the CD away, turned forty, started
listening to Neil Young, had a chat with a friend about Dylan and
thought "hey, what about 'Blood on the tracks', maybe it's time to
listen again."
It was. I love almost all of it. I'll try to find my old vinyl copy of
'Bringing it all back home'.

What worries me is that there might be something genetic about turning
forty and then doing the washing up to Dylan and Neil Young. I'll put
the Wiretapper 11 CD on from this month's Wire (www.thewire.co.uk) magazine to balance
things out.

10.6.04

RIP Ray Charles


BBC NEWS | Entertainment | Music | R&B music legend Ray Charles dies


Ray Charles has just died. I'll remember him for some great songs, a truly dodgy country album and that wonderful appearance in the Blues Brothers movie.

The Queen of Bloggers!

A Blog's Life - Ole Gal Fibs
I'm not sure how sad it is for an unread blog like mine to be suggesting a much better blog that is still, well, a blog. Is anybody out there?

Holimoons

So, for those of you that want to know, my fab other half and I have
booked our honeymoon but not the wedding. Yet. Since we can't really
call it a honeymoon until we have a wedding I've decided to call it the
holimoon. Part holiday, part honeymoon. Oh, you got that.

My dad bought an iBook and wanted a BT account like I have. Easy!

Um, no.

BTW. For those of you already on the net (surely all of you) this is a pointless post.

BT and their internet people are a friendly, lovely bunch of folk I'm sure. However, try signing up for an account if you are a Mac user. Especially if you use OSX and browse with Safari.

Bloody nightmare is the phrase that comes to mind. Blocked pop up screens, faulty system problems and limited advice from the rather expensive help desk. Eventually all sorted out but how many times did I consider going with Demon?? Quite a few, that's how many.

Anyway, my beloved dad is now online with BT and everyone is happy.

9.6.04

As some of you may have noticed the last post and this one are the
first for a very long time. 'Return of the Pantycats' has been on hold
for a while. But news of other musical goings on will be posted here
shortly.

Tony Levin's Road Diary
Went to see Peter Gabriel in concert last night. Truly inspiring. I recommend the great bass player Tony Levin's site too.