Monthly Archives: March 2008

Sunshine

So this weekend I went back to Yorkshire to see my parents for the first time in a while. The are times when i get nostalgic for it and it was incredibly hot (given that the previous week I had witnessed snow in Scotland). Living in liverpool has the downside that it rains a lot of time. I imagine Seattle and Liverpool to be quite similar in terms of climate (although I have never been to Seattle).

I haven’t done a top 5 list for a while so here is my list of 5 things I miss about my homeland

1) York. As in olde York. The one built over two millenia by Romans, Saxons, Vikings and Normans. The one with esoteric bookshops and cafes tucked into improbable niches in the city’s serpentine streets. I have never been to New York but for all it’s cultural cross pollination, I doubt the tea is as nice.

2) Dogs in pubs. They seem to be a rarity in non rural areas, but in large areas of North Yorkshire you can barely move for tripping over some Landlord’s mangy hound.

3) The Tea. Yorkshire tea (as in the brand) is actually really, really good.

4) The Yorkshire Riviera. The costal region stretching down from the desolate splendour of Robin Hood’s bay through the modern day Gomorrah that is Scarborough to Hornsea, it’s my favorite seascape anywhere

5) Flat caps, whippets et al.

On failing to make headway

I promised myself fiercely that I would finish my website this week. Instead, I’ve been indulging all the vices I suppressed during Lent. I still need to finish reading The Grapes of Wrath. Instead I spend my time reading Facebook. Damn you internet, damn you and all who sail in you.

I’ve been relearning the guitar though, which is semi productive. I’m learning to play this song:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V9OxbJQf3vI

I’m not very good yet though

Easter

So I spent Easter in Edinburgh where I alternated at suprise and annoyance at the general inability of the British Weather To Make It’s Mind Up. "Look it’s clear, let’s climb Arthur’s Seat*" / "Oh no it looks like it’s going to rain". Still I had a nice time.

In this vast global village it’s sometimes easy to take connections for granted. I was in Scotland visitng my friend Jo, whom I had befriended in a Mongolian kitchen last year. The oddness of this seems even greater when I consider that my friend Jo lives just around the corner from the Edinburgh flat in which I celebrated New Years Eve at the turn of the millenium (right by The Meadows**). Further compounding this sense of the Interconnectedness of All Things ™ was the fact that one of my friends from Liverpool was also visiting Edinburgh at the same time and two of my friends from sixth form also now live the area – it’s like that film Magnolia, except without the frogs / death / karoke***

* for those that don’t know, Arthurs Seat is an extinct volcano right by the edge of the city – one of the things I like about Edinburgh is you can round a corner and suddenly you are in Quasi-Countryside
**The Meadows is a big open space in the middle of Edinburgh – see above
***Magnolia is a film about coincidence and is well worth seeing

The first day of Spring…

The first day of Spring heralds its arrival with overhanging clouds and rain bouncing off my window sill. My new found status as a self employed person means I don’t have to get up hurry to the bus stop and receive a soaking. At the moment I’m doing R&D for an animation company and trying to start a fledgling record label (whilst wasting my life playing Scrabulous). Since I am now a paid up member of what are laughingly called "The Creative Industries" it got me wondering – What exactly is creativity?
Nowadays it seems to exclusively refer to The Arts (particularly digital arts). If you asked someone what they did and they told you they worked in the aforementioned industry and you then asked them specifically what they did and they replied "I create Excel spreadsheets" you’d dismiss them. I wonder why it is that we feel creativity has to have such a narrow specification. Have we commodified creativity like this? Where are the creative programmers, managers, politicians, tech support, doctors or accountants? (actually scratch that last one – most creative accountants are in jail).

With trepidation…

For reasons of privacy part of this blog will be written using code words to protect the innocent.

Certain of my unnamed friends joined a certain well known dating site which caters for those of a particular metaphysical or theological bent. Curious as I was to see what their profiles said, I joined with a highly exaggerated profile thus to facilitate cyber stalking (they’re my friends, that makes it okay, right? and besides it was only so I could offer unasked for advice).

I reached the following conclusions:

1) The site in question is poorly designed.

and

2) You are more likely to get hits on your profile if you describe yourself as a "6ft tall Anthropomorphic talking dog" than if you actually say what you do for a living.

Superheroes

During a recent office discussion about what one would do in the event of a lottery win or the sudden acquirement of wealth, I decided that the only reasonable course of action would be to set ones self up as a Bruce Wayne-esque superhero. Think of all the gadgets and martials arts training that you could buy (of course you could be a militant philanthropist and donate some of your vast wealth to charity too)

Wondering if anyone had ever attempted this I checked google and found this fascinating site

http://www.oddee.com/item_87762.aspx

and wikipedia’s entry on the subject

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Real-life_superhero

My two favourite real life superheroes are Polarman (shovels snow in a Canadian town during the day and fights crime at night) and Citizen Prime (so far Citizen Prime has stopped precisely one shoplifter by throwing him to the ground, but his costume is badass)

I guess I owe some people an apology

Someomne very kindly but firmly pointed out that the last few entries have been very ‘me’centric. I apologise for that. One of the things issues I have found with blogging is that there is a certain kind of vanity associated with publicly airing one’s private thoughts. Some bloggers carry this off far better than others. I think my recent circumstances have just left me feeling very introspective.

In order to counter act this tendency, here are my top 5 types of biscuits named after revolutionary or intellectual figures

1) Fig-Newton

2) Choco-Leibniz

3) Garibaldi biscuits

4) Runeberg-pastry

5) Karl Marx digestives