Saturday, February 23, 2008

Then And Now

The changing views from our flat always interest me. The view changes only subtly, depending on the season, the weather, the time of day (lighting) and construction.

In 2004 OneN1 was being built.

Now it's complete, and the construction is of buildings in front of it.

and as seen from our flat...

Then there is the tree on the other side. In January

In February.

Friday, February 15, 2008

John Peel's Festive 50 - 1981

This evening I am feeling distinctly nostalgic.

Last week I accidentally hit the "find artwork" button on iTunes. As a result some of the artwork I'd manually located and added for those rarer items in my library was wiped out. So I had to do start again.

I ended up searching for stuff in the iTunes store. Stuff I have on vinyl at my parents' house. Stuff on lost cassette recordings I'd made.

In my teens and early 20's I enjoyed a wide taste in music. Every evening in bed I listened to the radio. Richard Skinner/David "Kid" Jensen and then, of course, John Peel.

John Peel's (weekly?) sessions were a highlight. So too was his Festive 50. The listener's choice of the best of the year.

I recall that these were played the week leading up to Christmas (or perhaps between Christmas and New Year each year). Ten songs a night I think.

Each year I'd record each night's tracks on one cassette.

I built up a collection of 6 or 7, spanning my very, really formative years. Most songs would have a meaning of sorts, and if not a memory.

These days I may love musical theatre. But then, every Saturday night I'd go to the local indie club and see a band play. And so I still get a thrill listening to a raw indie track - and no more so than those from my Peel listening.

A while back on iTunes there was something like user lists. You could find festive 50 downloads, but with huge gaps. But they seem to have disappeared. I'll still look though (I wish I'd done this when I has Kaza Light - I was able to do a compilation of the entire top 40 from my parent's wedding day for their ruby anniversary).

Anyway, here's the 1981 Festive 50. The first one I made a compilation of on tape cassette.

1. Joy Division - Atmosphere
2. Sex Pistols - Anarchy in the UK

3. Joy Division - Love Will Tear Us Apart
4. New Order - Ceremony
5. Joy Division - New Dawn Fades
6. Undertones - Teenage Kicks
7. Joy Division - Decades

8. Cure - A Forest

9. Dead Kennedys - Holiday in Cambodia
10. Clash - White Man in Hammersmith Palais
11. Joy Division - Dead Souls
12. Damned - New Rose
13. Jam - Down in the Tube Station at Midnight
14. Joy Division - Transmission
15. Altered Images - Dead Pop-Stars
16. Stiff Little Fingers - Alternative Ulster
17. Sex Pistols - Holidays in the Sun
18. Clash - Complete Control
19. Birthday Party - Release the Bats
20. Undertones - Get Over You

21. Specials - Ghost Town
22. Scritti Politti - The `Sweetest' Girl
23. Jam - Going Underground
24. Stiff Little Fingers - Johnny Was
25. Theatre of Hate - Legion
26. Public Image Ltd. - Public Image
27. Killing Joke - Requiem
28. Killing Joke - Follow the Leaders
29. Heaven 17 - No Fascist Groove Thang
30. The Fall - Fiery Jack
31. Ruts - In a Rut

32. Stiff Little Fingers - Suspect Device
33. The Fall - How I Wrote `Elastic Man'

34. Laurie Anderson - O Superman
35. Siouxsie & the Banshees - Jigsaw Feeling
36. B-Movie - Remembrance Day
37. Siouxsie & the Banshees - Israel
38. Sex Pistols - God Save the Queen
39. Pigbag - Papa's Got a Brand-New Pigbag
40. Siouxsie & the Banshees - Icon
41. Only Ones - Another Girl, Another Planet
42. Dead Kennedys - California Uber Alles
43. Joy Division - Twenty-Four Hours
44. Joy Division - Isolation
45. Killing Joke - Psyche
46. Echo and the Bunnymen - Over the Wall
47. The Fall - Lie Dream of a Casino Soul
48. New Order - Procession
49. Siouxsie & the Banshees - Switch

50. Altered Images - Happy Birthday
51. Joy Division - She's Lost Control

52. Bauhaus - Bela Lugosi's Dead
53. Magazine - Shot by Both Sides
54. New Order - In a Lonely Place
55. Anti-Pasti - No Government
56. The Fall - Totally Wired
57. Specials - Gangsters
58. Fire Engines - Candy Skin
59. Sex Pistols - Pretty Vacant

60. Siouxsie & the Banshees - Hong Kong Garden

I know. There are 10 more than the festive allocation. But those were the nearly made its.

Of these I can still hum/sing 22. Not bad methinks. Bring on The Man Whose Head Expanded.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Another Heather "Moment"

Yesterday morning, when I was concentrating full on, and rather busy, I was irked by the sound of a helicopter just hanging there. Not circling as per usual. Making a BIG noise.

I had to put up with it for about 20 minutes, then it flew off.

This morning I discover the cause. Heather Mills McCartney. Arriving at the High Court just up the road.

That is to say, she didn't fly in (though, no doubt, she soon hopes to be able to afford to thanks to Paul's$$$$$). It was in fact a television channel hovering above the dozens of photographers and journalists that had swarmed outside the High Court desperate to catch a glimpse of the pair.

"Lady" Heather Mills, but will the old mucca keep her title?

Now I hear she's representing herself having sacked her lawyer.

What's New?

Xfe is in Athens Monday-Friday (back in London on Saturday) assessing Chanel make-up artists.

My trainee leaves me on Wednesday after 6 months, and on her return regenerates into the captain of the firm's football team, who sits with me for the next 6 months.

My shopping and leisure centre development - all 600,000 square feet of it - opens on 13 March, the fruition of my last 5 years' work.

At the end of the month my parents are visiting. I'm taking them to see Hairspray at the Shaftesbury.

For Easter I'm taking mon C off to a chic resort for some serious chill-out time. Then we've got another mini-break mid-week, and in between I'm going to take him to see Hairspray.

At the end of the week we're being taken for dinner with pals in a "fun", gay owned (and therefore gay-ish) French restaurant in Chelsea.

In April it's off to Paris to see the Melo'men (a Paris gay male choir) in concert. I have a friend who sings with the Lyon gay choir - and they will be performing together. Then back to London for a visit from my brother and his girlfriend.

My brother and I

& Sadly Though

About 3 years ago I joined the Amazon DVD rental club. When I realised that I couldn't record the DVDs onto my DVD recorder hard drive for viewing later, I stopped my subscription. However I kept one of the benefits - until now.

It's taken until then for me to loose my 10% on DVD purchases. But as of today it seems I no longer get it (which coincides with a random email I received about my choice of DVDs today). Pity. I figure it saved me around £300 or so over the last 3 years!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Sarkozy BLING

Sarkozy really is the talk of the town in Paris. Two stories. His "bling bling" marriage to Italian songwriter, singer and supermodel, Carla Bruni Sarkozy.

Hmm. A Christmas baby perchance, then another Mills/McCartney situation, I'm sure.

But there's also this one. He signs a treaty with Romania. Eyes the fine pen...and then helps himself to it.

You can take the boy out of Essex, but you can't take the Essex out of the boy.


Saturday, February 09, 2008

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Le Noeud Simple*

Le noeud simple est le grand classique des noeuds de cravate. Il est de loin le plus utilisé puisqu'il est simple à faire et qu'il s'accorde avec la plupart des cravates et presque tous les cols de chemise. Il est parfait pour les hommes de taille moyenne ou grande.
Conique et allongé, le noeud simple est étroit avec des cravates fines et plus large avec des cravates épaisses.

Préparation : Remontez le col de votre chemise, fermez son bouton et placez votre cravate.
Les hommes de taille moyenne positionneront le petit pan au niveau de la ceinture. Les hommes grands le placeront au-dessus. Les hommes aux bustes courts quant à eux préfèreront le noeud double dont la forme est similaire.

Les étapes :
Etape 1 : En dessous du col, croisez le grand pan sur le petit pan.
Etape 2 : Faites glisser le grand pan en dessous du petit pan.
Etape 3 : Ramenez ensuite le grand pan sur le petit pan.
Etape 4 : Faites passer le grand pan vers le haut sous la cravate en plaçant votre index dans le noeud en formation. Enlevez votre index et glissez le grand pan dans la boucle.
Etape 5 : Maintenez le petit pan. Tirez délicatement sur le grand pan pour serrer le boucle. Ajustez le noeud, puis remontez le jusqu'au dernier bouton du col.
Une fois la cravate nouée, le petit pan ne doit pas être visible et l'extrémité du grand pan doit se situer au niveau la ceinture.

*because mon C doesn't know how to tie a tie. And he has to as he is assessing Ch*nel make-up artists next week in Athens, with a theme....chic and shocking!

Monday, February 04, 2008

Xfe a fait du pain


Et le jus de fruits et legumes

Mm. Quel succes

Ou se trouve le beurre?



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