Thursday, August 30, 2007

Diana-A Tribute

A Brother's Tribute

"At her funeral her brother made one of the 100 best speeches of the 20th century. He didn’t carry out his threat to remove his nephews from the royal madhouse. Instead he buried his unhappy sister on the family estate and charges her adorers £12.50 a visit."

The Diana myth

"Most tickets snapped up"

...Meanwhile, tickets for visits to Princess Diana's burial site at her ancestral home are expected to sell out less than a week after they became available.

Althorp Park, near Northampton, will open to the public from July 1 - the Princess's birthday - until August 30.

Tickets allowing people into where Diana is buried-on an island set in a lake-cost £12.50 for adults, £10.50 for senior citizens and £6 for children - making the estate one of Britain's most expensive tourist attractions.

Diana lies buried in a tranquil spot, the kind of rustic glade that has often inspired melancholic musings. To successive generations of Spencers, the place has always been known, with a touch of English upper-class eccentricity, as the Round Oval. It features an ornamental lake of dark green water, set within a grove of leafy beeches and ringed with manicured lawns and gravelled pathways. In the middle of the lake is a tiny island, from which rises a 5.5-metre-high white marble monument. This marks the site where, on a hot September afternoon a year ago, the Princess of Wales was finally laid to rest after a remarkable funeral witnessed by an estimated 2.5 billion people around the world. The massive tidal wave of grief that swept the planet that day has long since receded. Everywhere, that is, except for the Round Oval. For every morning and every afternoon this summer, around the shores of the little lake in England's rolling Northamptonshire hills, the tears still flow.

Roll up, roll up...

A Friend In Need

I've been on Gaydar once again...but fear not-it was a selfless cause.

A very good friend asked if I could upload some pictures onto his profile. He had been thus far unable to.

Here he is...



He is looking for a bf...any offers I'll pass on!

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Canal Blog

DSC02808
the Rosemary Branch, where Oliver Cromwell and soldiers would meet for a Magners

Today mon C and I took advantage of the glorious weather and walked up to Upper St, for a coffee and for some shopping.
DSC02809
Gainsborough Studios-where Hitchcock made his early movies

It's really like another lifetime, and I know not why, but BC (before Xfe) I used to regularly trod the canal path up to Islington's high street. DSC02810
As good a harvest of snails as l'arc-en-ciel. Here they hide from oncoming Frenchman, Xfe

At my previous place of employment I'd cycle to work, each and every day. Come rain or shine...

DSC02813
Spider not from Metebelis 3, but still gads

But now, for whatever reason, our walks along that path are few and far between. Maybe because these days, we rarely have a free weekend at home. I dunno.DSC02814
for the record, he doesn't eat snails

So, just to record it, while it looks the way it does, and because it's the last best hope for summer, I share with you the walk to Angel.
DSC02816
So many porn movies filmed here. It's true, I promise...

Toys

We went to Woolworths. God, it's grim (and Xfe knew to refer to it as Woolies). I see why it's a failing retailer. Still, I wanted some new Doctor Who action figures.

DSC02817
I'd bought some off the internet today. It's a curse. I buy some to keep, undisturbed in their original packaging. In the hope that one day they'll be worth...maybe a fiver more than I bought them for.
DSC02818
in the distance one of the iconic Barbican towers, where Susan Sarandon's vampire form took her to sate her Hunger

But, because I'm a fan, I like to have some I can play with too. If I wanted to. Like a platoon of Judoon.

DSC02820
I know you don't believe it's central London...but it is.

So, I have to buy twice as many. One to keep, one to archive. Then suddenly I've spent £200 on them! Oops. Don't tell Xfe!

More blog for your money

Don't worry, I'm still in blog-without-a-name-I-can-connect-with mode; normal infrequent posting will resume shortly.
DSC02822
our downstairs neighbours enjoy an alfresco lunch party

Johnny Alucard

Now, you know that I'm usually a go-out-see-theatre kind of guy. But tonight on BBC2 at 9.15pm there's British Film Forever: Magic Murder & Monsters. The story of British horror and fantasy. And that's got to mean Hammer Horror...

Zombies have enjoyed their welcome revisionist revival. But it must be time for a good modern vampire frightner. After all, how long ago was Ultraviolet?

Yes, it's time for an intelligent contemporary re-working. In London, mind. We don't need another US low-brow, hi-octane effort*. Although, I do so enjoy Coppola's lush version. Despite K Reeves, his accent and his continuity prone greying hair.

Gay Boys and Vampires

What is it with us and vampires? I know that I'm not the only gayer with an (historic) interest in vampires. Why, only yesterday I read "Q" as in VampYre...or something like that. Yes, it surely means that the beast seems to have taken a heavy toll-not only on me, but on others.

Is it the escapism? The eroticism?

Catherine Tate-The Vampire

I have been sworn to secrecy.

*worth seeing- the Hamiltons

Remember My Name?

blue sky2
Hurrah! It's sunny Blue Sky.
blue sky1

How it is super-nice to wake up to blue sky and summer warmth once again (and possibly for the last time this summer-after all it's September this time next week). This morning Molton told us that it's going to be 27C today! Time to get the washing done...

Damn and Blast

I'm really looking forward to going to see All About My Mother at the Old Vic. It's the World premiere of the play, based on the Pedro Almodóvar movie. With a stellar cast, including Dame Diana Rigg.

(You probably also spotted Eleanor Bron and Mark Gatiss).


I've bought tickets for next Saturday. Except I forgot I'm going to be in Munich next weekend for a work social...so my dilema. Go to Munich or stay in London to go and see what's bound to be an electric, and moving, theatrical experience...? I know that I can always go another time, but I did get rather excellent seats (at a reduced price special offer). And, in the same way, I can always go to Munich another time...

All about
Oh, and here's a random interior pic. We have a hot frenchman in the bathroom.
bathroom

Friday, August 24, 2007

Welcome B(l)ack

I just wanted to say welcome back to shiny new superhero Bobby Vanquish. He's been around since last month or so, but how was I to know?

Besides I told him so.

Talking of shiny new things, I see Zefrog has a new plaything. Just in the nick of time, as I was about to strike him off my blogroll due to posting inactivity.

Thanks also to R who had us round for dinner last night. I know that he dips in here from time to time.

Ah, I have an XVWE weekend, what with Monday's bank holiday and taking today off too. It feels great.

I know I've not been posting as much as I used to, but really I find I've little to say. But maybe I only think I've little to say because I don't imagine so many people reading about what's up...Hm. I don't know. However, I am looking forward to reading more about what Bobby's up to. And maybe it'll help me get back into the swing of things.

I'll tell you what, though. I'm not really feeling at one with this blog title though. London, City, Summer. What does it mean? I'm not really connecting with it. Besides, more like London Shitty Summer or London City Bummer (as for the other hybrid that brings us onto let's *not* go there)!

Maybe it's the lack of brand that's holding me back.

Any ideas for a new blog title I can stick with? I'd kind of like something with London in it...

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Summer No More

Alas, it seems that the best of summer is behind us (such as it was).

I'm slightly disappointed that my Summer Boys project never came to much-the weather was never that fine, and when it was I wasn't around to enjoy the sites. Mind you, I'm slightly relieved-it does feel incredibly intrusive (not to say obvious) snapping eye-candy in motion, round and about town.

That is, unless they don't mind being photographed...


...in all their splendid glory!

Usually the streets of London are full of Eastern European construction workers, finely toned and proud. Though what this one's doing wearing a thong (and pink at that) I'm not quite sure.


And what to make of that welcome mat? Hot...or not?

Monday, August 20, 2007

Big Girls Are Beautiful (But A Festival In The Rain Is Hell)

Summer, but not as we know it...

Biggest Girl

We were at the Staffordshire V Festival at the weekend. Never again...

I'm not really the festival type. I really enjoy live music. But not in the pouring rain, and not surrounded by the thronging, out of their heads, masses. All that queuing in the rain, and then some more.

The weather was a huge downer. It rained and rained. Then it rained again. Thankfully we were prepared with army surplus ponchos and wellies (and staying in a hotel).

dancing boots
Not my boots.

It took us over 40 mins to get to Weston Park from Wolverhampton on the bus. Then we waited another 30 minutes to get in. Then we queued for almost an hour to buy beer tokens for the weekend. In the rain... (and yes, we did then have to queue to get our drinks).

drinks in the rain

Sophie Ellis-Bextor was sparkling and brought some glamour disco (fortunately she was performing in an oversize tent). Then we went off to see the big-girl obsessed Mika. He did a great little set, and was v. good fun.

big girls are beautiful

The biggest waste of space was the whinging one who performed after Mika. The one that's the alcoholic and in need of rehab. Not Amy Winehouse-the other one-the dwarf love child of Woody Allen and some chav actress from Eastenders (probably).

Later we took some Iggy Pop.

Igy Pop

And some Basement Jaxx.

Basement Jaxx

Then we have to wait for almost an hour in the bus queue (in the rain) for the bus home.

Proclaimers
Hmm. Wrong flags.

On Sunday it rained even harder. We stayed until 1.30pm, just in time to see the Proclaimers, then got the last bus of the afternoon (otherwise we'd have been stranded there until 7pm) back to Wolverhampton and from there just over 3 hours in the train. We were back home about 6.30pm.

Do a Fesitival? I'd rather go to Ibiza.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Shortbus

Having watched it for a second time on Monday night, with K. we just *love* Shortbus.


And we especially *admire* cast member and singer/songwriter Jay Brennan.

V. cute.

If you haven't seen it, give it a go, enjoy the soundtrack (featuring Sweden's Eurovision 2007 entrants The Ark).

Summer?

With the terrible weather, and this, no wonder I'm confused about the seasons!

Christmas in August

I'm afraid it's true. The Christmas Shop has arrived in the shopping paradise of Selfridges. Just how many shopping days are left to Christmas, I wonder. Still, the festive period must be foremost in people's minds-an email was issued at work yesterday advising that:
...in addition to your annual holiday entitlement, the Firm grants a further discretionary day's leave around Christmas. This year Christmas day falls on a Tuesday and the office will therefore be closed on Tuesday 25 and Wednesday 26 December. Given that Christmas Eve falls on a Monday this year, we have decided that the office will also be effectively 'closed' on 24 December. Therefore, the whole Firm will take Monday 24 December as their discretionary day this year.

It's a shame the weather's turned for the worst again, after our 1 week of summer. London's City Beach doesn't look like it's going to be such a success this year...

We're off to the V-Festival this weekend (the Weston Park event). It's my brother's birthday present to me. Looks like it's going to be wet and grim so, on my brother's recommendation, Xfe popped off to the Army & Navy surplus store to buy a couple of waterproof ponchos.

For the first time in about a month we spent the weekend at home this last weekend. K was over from Warsaw for a few days.

On Saturday evening we went off to the Menier Chocolate Factory to see "Take Flight". It's kind-of-like (Sondheim's) Assassins for Aviators. There seemed to be a melange of themes, but some of the performances were very good. Sally Ann Tripplett's sapphic Amelia Earhart put in an emotional performance which left me tearful. However we had consumed quite a bit of wine at dinner beforehand, and during the interval... And I'm quite a fan of Michael Jibson.

That said, I don't think that it's going to do much elsewhere! So it's worth catching while it runs.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Scotland, Again

Castle
Proud, imposing and strong. Edinburgh Castle. Just like a Scotsman.

We had a very fun weekend back in Scotland's capital, for a very dear friend's 40th birthday. Saturday was a gorgeous day, Sunday less so.

Edinburgh was packed-it's Festival time...
Warholl
Warhol's in town.

Walter Scott's Monument has always reminded me of Thunderbird 3 (my favourite one, by the way).
TB3

I thought the Dynamic Earth Centre has a spendid backdrop, and as such I guess it's a cool wedding venue.
Xfe does Chinese tourist
random Chinese tourist poses for home...

I just *love* this tartan.
Great tartan

Thursday, August 02, 2007

What's Up?

This morning, as I walked into work, I was thinking about the work-life balance I enjoy, spurned on by an advert at the back of last month's Journal of the Law Society of Scotland. It s hows entries from a work journal and goes something like this...

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As for mine, well easy:

May 4: Hurrah! The start of 3 weeks' holiday to get married and honeymoon. Can't wait. I need the break...

May 5: Spent all morning working at home. A client wanted me to turn around draft contracts for a property deal I'm working on. Given that I had met with the client and taken instructions at 4.30pm on Friday, my last day in the office before my break, not much choice other than to do it...

May 6: Sunday, bloody Sunday. Spent all day in the office (from 9am to 6pm) dealing with the work I need to organise and clear for my holiday handover. I *knew* that I should have told my clients that I was off from close of play on Wednesday and then spent Thursday and Friday organising my handover.

May 7: Was in the office for an 8am start-earlier than my usual start when I'm not on holiday... I couldn't sleep properly due to anxiety about one big deal I'd been working on that I needed to complete to the next stage in order to acheive handover. Still, at least I managed to get everything I needed done finished by 1.30pm and get away in time to meet mon C for lunch.

June 18: The weather in Paris is very fine. I was really enjoying lunch with mon C and one of his colleagues until I had to take a call from a client that lasted 45minutes and left me with about 2 hours worth of emailing on the BlackBerry over the course of the rest of the afternoon (and a plate of cold fish).

July 26 (11.45pm): Just home after working until 11.10pm to get a document turned around for a meeting that's taking place tomorrow, while I'm off on a day's holiday visiting the parents with mon C. I wouldn't have minded, except that work took the place of something else I had to do for tomorrow, necessitating the lead partner phoning his client to explain that his report couldn't be done for the next day, but would be done for Monday morning...meaning that I had to take the documents to review, mark up and report on over the weekend whilst enjoying our mini-break...

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