Monthly Archives: February 2004

Changing Faces

You may have noticed that at some point last week a couple of pictures arrived in the top bar of Listen to Musak. For a while I have felt that the front page of my site is a little dull so I have been thinking of ways to add some images. The lovely bodies pictured are intended to be temporary. They will get replaced with images from my gallery or photo selection soon. I have, however, troubled over the layout.

The Mozilla layout engines makes the front look like this

the top bar as mozilla renders the image

I believe this to be incorrect layout but my style sheet knowledge is limited. I think it’s the better look. Internet Explorer and Opera look like this

the top bar as internet explorer renders the image

which I don’t like as much but I think is technically correct.

If you know that I am wrong and have just done some obviously bad coding then please let me know.

On this day…

2005: Prevention of Terrorism Bill
2003: Spend Spend Spend (Online)

Missing

You know it’s a very strange world indeed:

Authorities arrested the mother of a 17-year-old boy who saw his picture on a missing children’s Web site and discovered that he was allegedly abducted from Canada 14 years ago. [Source]

It must be quite horrific to discover that you’d been kidnapped. My heart goes out to the kid who must be torn apart right now.

On this day…

2004: Pankcakes Anyone?
2004: Where Should I Send It?
2003: About Schmidt
2003: Catch Me If You Can

Pankcakes Anyone?

It’s pancake day tomorrow. Now, my gym buddy and I are on a bit of a health kick. We want a body like Andrew Kinlochan or Philip Oliver, but that’s never going to happen. But, I would like to know if anybody has a recipe of a low fat version of the classic British pancake.

And if anybody’s interested. Gym Buddy and I have, so far, stuck to our routine so all is going well.

On this day…

2004: Missing
2004: Where Should I Send It?
2003: About Schmidt
2003: Catch Me If You Can

Where Should I Send It?

Well, I spent the weekend in Weymouth in Dorset where the wind was howling around but the company was good and the photographs non-existent. I even watched the Rugby, which I am sure would make my father happy, and enjoyed it. While I was away I managed to read about What the Bible really says about marriage – there are some interesting links in that article so you should really read it.

what's on my desk right nowAdditionally, I discovered that I have 30 free Orange Photo Messages to use before the end of the month. I just don’t know who would be interested in pictures of my desk! Oh, I also I booked a holiday! Here’s a clue. What do I need to do to ensure that I get a reasonably smooth passage into the US and where do you get an International Driving Licence these days?

This morning I am trying to resist the urges of caffeine by drinking a Strawberry and Banana smoothie. I’m just not doing very well. So I am trying to resist caffeine pangs by reading Steph’s Story; how I much would I like to be in Paris right now? And that’s not working either.

On this day…

2004: Missing
2004: Pankcakes Anyone?
2003: About Schmidt
2003: Catch Me If You Can

South London Jazz

Last night – to end a great weekend – we visited the 606 Jazz Club in South London. This is exactly the kind of place I have been looking for since I arrived in town in 1993 and, for some reason, none of the venues that I have previously tried have come close.

It’s an intimate basement Jazz Club and last night Claire Teal and Anita Wardell performed. It was an excellent 3-hour-ish set of new Jazz standards, some new songs and some scatt jazz (which, I believe, is Anita’s trademark). Both of the women’s voices were superb and the backing trio fantastic. You sit right next to the stage area. All the musicians were good but the dexterity exhibited by the drummer was incredible.

The club only has a dinner licence so you have to eat to be able to drink and the menu, if a little pricey, was certainly very good. They do crowd people in – there is very little room between tables – but it added to the atmosphere rather than being uncomfortable.

I shall be going again.

On this day…

2006: Helsinki, February 2006
2003: Daredevil
2003: New Host

Nicholas Nickleby

I am not sure if it was all the time spent wandering the streets of London earlier, but PY and I decided to rent a movie this evening and, given that it was already in the house thanks to LoveFilm.com (formerly dvdsontap) we watched Douglas McGrath’s adaptation of Dickens’ Nicholas Nickleby.

I didn’t know the story and really didn’t know what to expect. I imagined a period drama and, in truth, I only added it to our rental list to see how Charlie Hunnam performed in a role that was so different from some of his previous work. I was very pleasantly surprised indeed.

The story may – or may not – be faithful to the book but as a story of a young man who must look after his family following his father’s death it was very well done. Hunnam was better than I expected, Christopher Plummer as the Uncle was fantastic and Jim Broadbent was wonderful as Squeers the schoolmaster. Juliet Stevenson was also brilliant as his wife, Mrs. Squeers.

What surprised me most was how well the comedy worked. Parts of the story are very bleak but Dickens used comedy as well as tragedy to make his points and it comes out very well. It’s not belly-laugh humour but the wit is straight to the point.

And, being a DVD, I always try and look at the extras. Douglas McGrath’s Director’s commentary shows how much thought goes into the parts of the film that pass you by.

Recommended as a great period drama that plays well today.

On this day…

2005: Looking Good In The High Street
2004: Borough Market: Southwark's Great Food Home
2004: Borough Market: Southwark’s Great Food Home
2004: Paying A Quick Visit

Borough Market: Southwark's Great Food Home

So, this is the 12th Valentine’s Day I will have spent with PY. We are spending much of this weekend with friends and exploring new parts of the city.

Last night we were in Balham at Dish Dash. We had previously visited the Goodge Street branch (PY had his 30th birthday party there) but had never been out this way. The evening was spent with plenty of little Persian dishes (Swordfish Kebabs & Spinach and Chick Pea Mazza being my favourite). If you are ever in the area you must go. There were, however, a large number of other, tempting, restaurants in the area Peter Sellars once called ‘Gateway To The South’. It’s an area we must visit more often. Recommendations welcome.

Today we rose early (for a Saturday) to visit the tempting delights of Borough Market. If you have never been this is a gourmet market to be found as you head eastwards. The market sells some top-quality fresh produce, and it’s a charity so it should be preserved. It is also a wholesale market at other times of the day/week. There are all types of breads, vegetables, meat and fish sold by proper market traders who, from what I can tell, know their products very well indeed. The Spanish Chorizo stall had the longest queue I have ever seen for a take-away food stall in London. It must have been superb. We bought Ostrich streaks for dinner this evening and they certainly look very tempting (and almost fat-free, apparently). Gym Buddy and I will appreciate that aspect of tonight’s meal.

Borough Market is in Southwark which must be one of my favourite parts of London. The South Bank from Waterloo and the London Eye via the Tate, Millennium Bridge and The Globe was a deserted riverside area when I first came to London. There was, more-or-less, no life between The National Theatre and Tower Bridge. Nowadays, it’s one of the most bustling areas for tourists and locals alike. I really think a Saturday walk down the south bank of the Thames is well worth it. This is the kind of place which makes all frustrations about living in a big city evaporate. It restores my faith in London.

Tomorrow, we head for Highgate to visit some of of those American friends I mentioned in a prevoius post. Certainly looking forward to Sunday Lunch.

On this day…

2005: Looking Good In The High Street
2004: Nicholas Nickleby
2004: Borough Market: Southwark’s Great Food Home
2004: Paying A Quick Visit

Borough Market: Southwark’s Great Food Home

So, this is the 12th Valentine’s Day I will have spent with PY. We are spending much of this weekend with friends and exploring new parts of the city.

Last night we were in Balham at Dish Dash. We had previously visited the Goodge Street branch (PY had his 30th birthday party there) but had never been out this way. The evening was spent with plenty of little Persian dishes (Swordfish Kebabs & Spinach and Chick Pea Mazza being my favourite). If you are ever in the area you must go. There were, however, a large number of other, tempting, restaurants in the area Peter Sellars once called ‘Gateway To The South’. It’s an area we must visit more often. Recommendations welcome.

Today we rose early (for a Saturday) to visit the tempting delights of Borough Market. If you have never been this is a gourmet market to be found as you head eastwards. The market sells some top-quality fresh produce, and it’s a charity so it should be preserved. It is also a wholesale market at other times of the day/week. There are all types of breads, vegetables, meat and fish sold by proper market traders who, from what I can tell, know their products very well indeed. The Spanish Chorizo stall had the longest queue I have ever seen for a take-away food stall in London. It must have been superb. We bought Ostrich streaks for dinner this evening and they certainly look very tempting (and almost fat-free, apparently). Gym Buddy and I will appreciate that aspect of tonight’s meal.

Borough Market is in Southwark which must be one of my favourite parts of London. The South Bank from Waterloo and the London Eye via the Tate, Millennium Bridge and The Globe was a deserted riverside area when I first came to London. There was, more-or-less, no life between The National Theatre and Tower Bridge. Nowadays, it’s one of the most bustling areas for tourists and locals alike. I really think a Saturday walk down the south bank of the Thames is well worth it. This is the kind of place which makes all frustrations about living in a big city evaporate. It restores my faith in London.

Tomorrow, we head for Highgate to visit some of of those American friends I mentioned in a prevoius post. Certainly looking forward to Sunday Lunch.

On this day…

2005: Looking Good In The High Street
2004: Nicholas Nickleby
2004: Borough Market: Southwark's Great Food Home
2004: Paying A Quick Visit

Paying A Quick Visit

So, what was it about Thursday that made me so tired? Well, I spent the day in Milan. You’ll no doubt have been able to tell that I travel for work occasionally. This, however, was an extreme trip. I rose at 4am and took a taxi to Heathrow. Then I boarded an Alitalia flight to Milan where I was met by the people I work with in Italy. In turn, they drove me to an office for a meeting. The meeting lasted until around 3pm when we went for a quick bite in a local cafe (all the Milan restaurants having shut after the lunchtime rush). After an hour in another office block outside the city I took the train back to a different airport to fly back to London. Eventually, after a Heathrow Express, London Underground and South West Trains journey across the city (which took almost as long as the time I was in the air returning from Milan) I walked back through my front door.

Nineteen hours and a visit to one of the most beautiful cities in Italy and I saw modern transportation, dull office blocks and not much else. I tried to capture the spirit of the day in some pictures that I took with the ‘phone camera. They’re not great and the won’t show you any of Milan’s fabulous architecture. They will show you most of what I saw. I promise myself that one day I will spend some decent holiday time in some of these cities.

clock at the start of my trip to milan - that is morningwhich airline and what counrt?
no sharp objects on a plane thank youthis is supposed to show the wing of the aircraft
this is the back of the seatmilan office blocks
the train on the way to a different airportat the airport
more waiting at milana train on the way home - nice seat
nearly there just at the doorand finally at home again

Coming with me next time?

On this day…

2005: Looking Good In The High Street
2004: Nicholas Nickleby
2004: Borough Market: Southwark's Great Food Home
2004: Borough Market: Southwark’s Great Food Home