Monthly Archives: September 2003

Good TV?

I’ve mentioned elsewhere that the addition of SkyPlus into our household has transformed my television viewing. I appreciate this does make me sound like all the TiVo fans out there but I think it really does make a difference to some people. Nonetheless, fads in television viewing still exist. This time last year I was a big fan of The Shield on Channel Five – I thought it was quite innovative – but it quickly became another formula driven cop-show. On the other hand, Channel Four’s Teachers, now showing it’s third series on Wednesday evenings, remains one of the sharpest programmes on screen at the moment and more surreal by the week. I’m starting to walk past real life schools looking for donkeys in the playground and teachers smoking around the back.

On this day…

2004: The End Of September
2002: Morally Ambiguous Cop

Silent For A Week

the absolu hunk guy from sex and the cityI have been unintentionally silent for a week. It’s funny because I can’t pin down the reasons for the lack of attention this site has had in the last seven days or so.

Anyway, I finally caught up on some episodes of Sex And The City which has been sitting on my SkyPlus and it finally dawned on me (seemingly after the rest of the nation) that this is a faked advertisement for Absolut. How come I didn’t catch on to that then?

Am I the only person who thinks that the Absolut Hunk, Jason Lewis, has more than a passing resemblance to Calvin Klein model, Travis Fimmel. Perhaps it’s just me and the fact that long hair has never been much of a turn on for me before. Anyway, apparently Travis is playing Tarzan in a new Warner Brothers serial which means there’s lots of reason to see him with no shirt on should the show ever make it to the UK (although he is, apparently, not that happy about having to take his shirt off all the time – via Let Me Get This Straight).

Sill with the media, last Wednesday brought the revelation that one of my favourite broadcaster’s, Eddie Mair, is leaving Broadcasting House (the show and, maybe, the building). Sometimes you just can’t tell when he’s being serious or of it’s just his humour. Anyway, don’t miss his final shows on Radio Four, Sundays.

Media Guardian’s site (source of the above) also brought us an interesting profile of Graham Norton (originally from yesterday’s Observer) talking about his forthcoming attempt to break on America. It seems he has developed quote a cult following in the US (Jase is a big fan) and, perhaps, it might not be too bad for the UK to take a little break from Graham. I really miss the fact that the guests on the original So Graham Norton shows didn’t know what they were getting themselves into. Nowadays, they’ve either done it before or been warned in advance. I’m sure he’ll come up with something to move the show along and I think it’s probably a very wise thing for him not to start on one of the big US networks.

Which brings us, more-or-less, to today and the very good news that London’s Mayor is stopping those advertisements for holiday companies that say things along the line of “romantic, mixed-sex couples only”. Sandals, the resorts in question, advertise under the slogan, “Love is all you need”. Yeah right. [Source: The Independent]

On this day…

2004: I Pressed The Button
2002: Sunday

Thoroughly Modern Manners

I scored 8 out of 10 in the BBC’s Modern Manners Quiz. I am not sure what that says about me except you can come to my house if you don’t mind me telling you to take your drugs outside and if you take the hint when I open a window and you light up a cigarette! I wonder if my mother would be proud of my polite ways!

On this day…

2004: Trees On Piccadilly
2002: The Woman Who Cooked Her Husband

Bush House, London

Yesterday afternoon I took advantage of London Open House Day to visit a building I’d always wanted to explore – Bush House, home of the BBC World Service. The BBC occupied it from 1940 (and should be out by 2008) and it feels as grand as the home of the Empire Service should. Parts of the building are listed so they can’t do much work to alter the place so it does feel like you are stuck in a time warp. The tour got to visit a studio in the basement (on top of the original swimming pool) which was the highlight.

Pictures of the construction of some of the buildings hung on the walls. One showed the central building completed and standing alone at Aldwych Circle. In front of the building were entrances to a subterranean tram-way. When I was looking at it I assumed this was some early form of the London Underground as we know it (and, perhaps, it was). But – and by coincidence – I was reading Phil Gyford’s site earlier and came across a link to Subterranea Britannica.

Fascinated, as I am, by the hidden tunnels around London I was reading some of the entries when I came across references to the Kingsway Tramway Subway – which, it would seem, had an entrance right outside Bush House. The last tram ran in 1952 but, apparently, you can still see parts of the tunnels to this day. Of course, much of it is now part of the traffic subway (opened in 1964) but it’s another wonderful piece of London’s history which I will hunt out.

On this day…

2004: Jesus Christ Superstar
2002: Tired

Gay Teens Right To Privacy

Sometimes I forget that I am in London which is a relatively OK place to be if you are gay – not perfect but better than many. Thank goodness I am not in Pennsylvania:

Police officers in a Pennsylvanian town are responsible for the suicide of a gay teen, after they threatened to tell his family about his sexuality, a court has ruled. [Source: UK Gay.Com via Tom]

What saddens me in this tale are the stories of people being made to read or listen to portions from the bible, presumably, telling them what sinners they are. There is a wide gulf between what these people think of the bible and my own opinions but I will never understand how people of faiths that profess to ‘love’ can be so cruel to other people, regardless of what they think of them.

On this day…

2006: There Can’t Be A Winner In Football Unless There’s A Loser
2004: Weekend In Britain’s Smallest County
2002: Fast Food Nation

What Was I Doing One Year Ago?

Does life change in a year? One year ago today, an American Colleague was visiting the UK office for the first time. I showed her some of the sites of London including the London Eye and Old Compton Street!

It seems a lot more than a year ago. I’ve got a new job since then but I guess day-to-day life is not that different. I’m lucky to be living in one of the most vibrant cities in the world and, in spite of the fact it gets me down occasionally, I love it.

On this day…

2002: Old Compton Street At Night

Snap Out Of It

Yet again, I have been in Helsinki (see May or August) and yet again I did not get to see very much of it. This time, however, it is all my own fault as I did have a couple of spare hours after the meeting and I filled them by wandering around the shops rather than doing something useful.

In fact, this has been the theme for my life for the past week or so. I haven’t found the enthusiasm to do very much at all and given it was my birthday at the end of last week, this seems very sad.

I’m not sure what rot has set in but it’s about time I got out of it. In a bizarre way, a freshly ironed pair of trousers made my morning all the better today. I can’t explain that one and I am not going to try.

What have I missed out on while away? I don’t know what has happened this week in the Hutton Inquiry (which I have been following with some interest). However, on a related note, Lord King was a guest on the BBC’s Hardtalk programme (shown on BBC World) on Tuesday and he provided an interesting insight into the politician/intelligence relationship.

On a lighter note, I have missed the start of The Salon (which is not bad thing) and Jase introduced us to the concept of Washboard Envy!

On this day…

2004: More Long Wave Radio

Absurd reasoning on gay marriage

I’m not entirely sure where New Brunswick is, nor the political leanings of the New Brunswick Post. However, after this little gem, I am certainly going to find out.

The crux of their “discussion” was that they both felt gays should not be allowed to marry. The reason: Marriage should be reserved for people who truly love each other and are willing to commit to each other for the rest of their lives. [Source: Absurd reasoning on gay marriage]

And also I am very interested in the concept of a “Packet” publication … but I’ll leave that for another time. Full marks to the Managing Editor.

On this day…

2004: Commons Protest
2002: An American in London

A Video Moment

If Andy Towle’s personal video (no such thing) is really made up of those short videos you can take on a digital camera – then it’s fantastic. And it’s got nothing to do with the shower shots!

On this day…

2007: A Mastery Of Technology
2006: Schumacher to quit at end of year
2005: Staying For Breakfast
2004: Where’s Matt’s Tongue?
2002: Around The World