Sunday, June 26, 2011

Olympic Dream Tickets - Update

Well, there's no email. So is it just another system failure or does it mean Xfe was unsuccessful?

It is hardly beyond the realms of possibility that the system has just failed to cope and perhaps allocated more tickets than were available, leaving even more of a guddle to be sorted!!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Olympic Dream Tickets?

So, yesterday was the second chance to buy Olympic tickets for London 2012. After the first round lottery, tickets left over were available on a first come first serve basis for those applicants who were unsuccessful first time around (like Xfe).

That said there was very little choice. Swimming, cycling, diving and gymnastics were all sold out after the first round. Very limited athletics tickets were left over though...

I was logged in and waiting at approximately 5.20am. At 6am as promised the tickets became available to purchase. For the first 3-4 minutes all seemed to work well, but when I tried to check-out...

At 06.07.39:

at 06.23.09:

at 06.23.18:

at 06.23.45:

at 06.31.04:

and at 06.31.33:

Friday, June 24, 2011

Sorry, We Cannot Process Your Request

London 2012!

What a surprise. Website unable to cope...


Thursday, June 23, 2011

First Come, First Serve

Oh just wait and see how London 2012 website will crash tomorrow at 6am with the weight of those trying for second chance tix for London Olympics 2012. Including Xfe.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

In The End

We have been getting deliveries galore. I think my Internet buying addiction is a sure sign of some unhappiness elsewhere in my life. Of course! Classic behaviour. What else.

Amazon as always is a prime suspect, but so too sites for plants (office plants for clean air retailing in the hundreds of pounds - because they come in amazing self-watering containers).

Books, CDs, Travel tickets, more plants and concert tickets. Apps, for the pad.

The latest thing is anything Stockholm. Books, DVDs (set in and or filmed in) and guides.

But, hurrah! In this week's TimeOut I see Justin Bond is playing at the Soho Theatre. I missed him last time. But not this time around. Oh no. we will be there.

You may have seem Justin in Shortbus, or elsewhere. His new album is out now. Dendrophile. With a gorgeous Scott Matthew cover.

Already I am dreaming of Christmas and Christmas shopping. Sabon patchouli vanilla and lavender is the new Dr. Haushka don't you know?

We can get it in Tel Aviv, Paris and New York. But not, yet, in London. So I have in mind a trip to Paris late autumn to stock up on the Sabon product to gift away.

In truth we have really been austere this year in sympathy and in fear. Each month I salary sacrifice to allow a £2.6k injection into my pension. The pension pays the mortgage in 23 years and 11 months we hope.

As a back-up I try and repay between £500-£1k capital per month, just in case. The last few months it's been the k.

As a result I have no surplus left to spend. As soon as my salary hits my account, the balance left covers regular mortgage payments and other bills. Ok, my spending thereafter may put me withdrawn, but I can rely on the tenant's rent to cover that, which it so far does.

Usually I can bear the austerity, but just for the moment I feel the need to spend.

This morning I heard that interest rates might be subject to change in autumn. By the time I was heading home I read in the Standard that interest rates will be on hold for at least a year.

No wonder that I'm up and down.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Sunday, June 19, 2011


Last night we went to see John Malkovitch in The Infernal Comedy at the Barbican.

The story of Jack Unterweger - presented here as a stage-play for a Baroque-Orchestra, two sopranos and one actor, by Michael Sturminger - is a fascinating one.

Sentenced to life for strangling a prostitute in 1974, he turned to writing in prison - so successfully that the Austrian intelligentsia campaigned for his release after serving a minimum 15-year term, to which the authorities agreed, believing him rehabilitated.

Subsequently he killed at least another nine women, both in Europe and the US - all the while reporting as a journalist on his own crimes - before his final arrest in Florida.

If we imagine, that I am the killer, what could possibly be more intriguing, than to gain all the information about the state of police investigations concerning the murders I have committed. Soon I am producing radio interviews with anxious hookers, asking them about the murderer out there, waiting to strike again.

Soon I am talking to policemen and detectives and they are informing me about their strategies, approaches and policies.
Can you imagine the strange feeling of supremacy, of omnipotence, of getting away with anything. I have something like a permission to kill women, without being caught. If I want to, I can just pick up a girl on the next corner...

The piece is structured as a series of monologues by Unterweger, interspersed with a sequence of concert arias by Mozart, Beethoven, Haydn and Weber – music intended to depict female vulnerability and at the same time extremes of desire, rage, and despair.

However, despite a consistent and believable performance from Malkovitch, I was left feeling emotionally disconnected with the whole thing. I found it hard to sympathise with the two sopranos, finding the music and the involvement of the orchestra intrusive as if it were part of something else.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011


With a holiday in just over 3 weeks time, I'm open to reading recommendations.

The last book I finished reading was in January! Since then I've been dipping in and ordering plenty. After all, they look good around the house, and besides Xfe reads heaps.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

To Take A Lover

Whilst lying in the bath on Saturday morning the thought crossed my mind whether life was richer for the experience brought to you by taking a lover. That is, a lover whilst already in a relationship.

I don't know how the thought came into my mind. What linked it to the original thought that I linked in between the first thought and that particular thought.

Like an interlude, a lover breathes a breath of fresh air. What better gift to my partner than to let him enjoy the distraction of a lover. When I am too busy, too neglectful whether deliberately or not knowingly. Knowing the physical pleasure, attention and comfort it gives.

Like a fine wine, a warm blanket or thrilling firework.

The fresh perspective, an alternative way of thinking, a lover, like absence, could make the heart grow fonder.

I have a favourite book, but I still read others. My favourite song is often revisited, and it will always be so. But the delight of listening to something fresh never looses appeal.

So why not?

Of course I'm not saying it will be so; far from it. As with many others, the thought arrived fleetingly and commanded a moments attention.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Before Glee

Before Glee, (and Cop Rock*), we had the Kids from Fame.

I think it was one of the first albums I ever had, My GrandMa bought it for me one Christmas.

I loved Desdemona. I had been studying Othello at school for my English higher - so it made perfect sense

When Coco and Miss Grant went head to head for a Broadway part, it was unhappiness all round. But this is the version that was reprised for Coco's goodbye.

And poor Julie couldn't really sing (nor dance). All she was good for was putting a cello between her legs. Then, one season, she never came back, having got knocked-up over summer vacation. In truth, Lori Singer went Footloose.

*OMG, how we laughed about this musical police drama series!!! A critical and commercial failure

Friday, June 10, 2011


So, despite my best intentions, I bought an iPad 2.

The thing is, having played with it at the airport I avoided it at duty free Dixons (the price was approximately £8 less than the high street price).

However when we arrived at Aberdeen we had a few hours to kill at the station, and they have an Apple store there...

What do I think?

The size is fantastic. The keyboard is actually ok, and not difficult to use at all. My typing skills don't demand anything better.

The cover is ingenious and fantastically engineered.

But what can I use it for? Surfing, blogging (having found the app), email. But not quite the usual Internet stuff. There is no flash player because of some dispute, so that is a chore. I can't use websites to best advantage as I can on the mac.

Do I need it? No.

Do I like it? Yes. More than I thought I would.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Thursday, Thursday

I have the feeling that work is totally out of control at the moment. On top of that I have a stinking cold to deal with.

Still, the sun is shining, our garden is looking green and good, and

is home.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Time Changes Everything

On Saturday we were in the north-east corner of Scotland for the wedding of a university friend, ex-flatmate and former colleague (we trained together at the same law firm).

However, over the years since then we grew apart; he and a few of our wider group of friends went on to do a lot more things together, travel, club and party in ways that didn't really suit me.

While the other core of our wider group stayed in touch, and we with them, I was the only invitee from my group.

Yesterday's wedding really brought home how much some of us had grown apart.

It was great to see old friends, and members of the groom's family who I used to see regularly when we were close friends. But time and distance did it's work.

In part, some of that has to do with different social needs and aspirations. They have moved onto families, children. We have not.

In some respects it is a relief that I know I won't see them again, probably, and if I do it will be as part of the larger core. Still, there is a sadness and regret at the passing of time and the distance of friendship.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:Mid-air (Aberdeen to London)

Saturday, June 04, 2011

Seagulls And Sky

Here we are in the hotel in readiness for our trip out to Haddo House for the wedding. Friends and former colleagues some last seen over 10 years ago.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:Aberdeen city centre

Friday, June 03, 2011


Mini break in super sunny Scotland. We are at my parents before heading into Aberdeen for a wedding tomorrow.

Here Xfe is relaxing at the parents.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad


Wednesday, June 01, 2011

London 2012

You may recall that I applied for £7,359 of Olympic tickets for London 2012.

Yesterday was the last day for money to be debited. I am pleased to reveal I was successful to the tune of....


I can work out from the amount billed what I have by way of tickets. 4 tix for athletics for 4 August 2012.

See you then!!!

(we won't be seeing Tom and Max...)


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