Friday, December 23, 2005

The Secret Life of Si...

It's nearly Christmas and at Sheffield Technology Park there are few people around - which is a relief. Cos if there were they might find me hard at work in a Watford shirt listening to Bon Jovi.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

A Spring in My Step

Am absolutely loving the Barenaked Ladies/Sarah McLachlan medley of the best bits from God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen and We Three Kings - it's about the most fun track I've heard in a long while. Plus the fact it's not every day that you get such fab artistes singing lyrics like THIS:

God rest ye merry, gentlemen,
Let nothing you dismay,
Remember Christ our Saviour
Was born upon this day;
To save us all from Satan's power
When we were gone astray.

O tidings of comfort and joy,
Comfort and joy,
O tidings of comfort and joy!

From God our heavenly Father
This blessed angel came;
And unto certain shepherds
Brought tidings of the same;
How that in Bethlehem was born
The Son of God by name.

O, star of wonder, star of night,
Star with royal beauty bright,
Westward leading, still proceeding,
Guide us to that perfect light.

Born a king on Bethlehem's plain;
Gold I bring to crown Him again;
King forever, ceasing never,
Over us all to reign.

Glorious now behold Him arise,
King and God and sacrifice,
Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
Worship Him, God Most High.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

John Spencer...

...who plays Leo McGarry has died. It's interesting reading the article to see how much he had in common with his character. He was an amazing actor, which became increasingly evident in the 6th West Wing season. Will be missed

Friday, December 16, 2005

Am excited...

...about Radio 3's A Bach Christmas. Have always had quite a fondness for Bach - I guess it's the fact that he's a particularly "left brain" composer, which gives me a lot of hope. The things that I most admire and enjoy are expressions of creativity, but I organise my thoughts and process in a very rational, orderly way (I organise my surroundings to compensate for that!). But Bach makes me realise that order and precision, with his patterns and sequences, can be very creative things.

My love of our public broadcasting service is at an all-time high at the moment, having recently realised just how good radio is. Having grown up being force-fed Radio 4 I hated it until I rediscovered it whilst at university when I began many a Monday morning having been up all night finishing a deadline with a good dose of the Today programme followed by Start the Week with Paxman. But I've recently been enjoying 2 and 3 too. A bit of Breakfast on BBC1 in the morning is always good to start the day with. Anyway, got to go now. News Quiz time...

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

So I wonder... much of our carbon oxide emission quotas we have left now?

You used to like the sad songs of doom and gloom...

Having once mistakenly bought every Christian/insomniac's favourite pre-Coldplay album, White Ladder, I feel a slight sense of annoyance with myself that every so often I hear the single from David Gray's new album and absolutely love it. I feel a sense of trepidation that I might accidently buy this one and discover it is equally tedious, or else I might be missing out on something genuinely pretty good. Having said that, White Ladder did have a pretty cool EXTREMELY hidden track - if only I could work out how to rip it. (NOTE: if you do have Life in Slow Motion and it is good, please don't tell me - I'm trying to avoid frivolous spending so would rather remain in ignorance)

Thursday, December 08, 2005

And how good... the Jeremy Vine show on Radio 2?! I didn't think radio that good existed outside of '4. Quality chat with decent music too. And what other radio show has a house poet? And you can't knock a channel with a newsreader called Fenella Fudge!

DC United?

So, Cameron it is. I think I'm the only person who believes this, but I can't help thinking that his very Blair-a-like-ness is actually going to stimulate a policy-driven politics that has been absent. For the last few years, watching PMQs has always been like being asked to take sides in a row between the Milkybar Kid and the Childcatcher (although from Major onwards Tory leaders have always seemed like really good guys after they've quit - so it's nice to see good ol' Bill Hague back on the front bench). But, it's just been pure panto. The Conservative Party image has been so distasteful that it's been pretty difficult to take them seriously and to not view Labour in a positive light simply for not being the Tories. But now, they are looking young, sprightly and vigorous - it is conceivable that they could have a positive, shiny finish. And so, in perceiving the two main parties, much of the parties spin will be cancelled out, since the Tories will now have some chance of spinning positively. Now, the very thing that IS going to distinguish them in people's minds, for the first time in years, is going to be... policy. Oddly, though this new dawn seems to have not just done the Tories a favour, but also Blair. Watching PMQs yesterday he seemed to be bathed in a different light from in recent months. Suddenly he seems a lot less tiresome and annoying now that it is clear that he is not the only person in the world who is so naturally unnaturally-charming. And Brown was looking like he would be a step BACK to the times of left-wing Labour leaders with minimal social skills.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Holy Tango

Wow... this has to be the best poetry book EVER. Francis Heaney has written the Holy Tango of Literature, a collection of poems/plays which in his words answers the question "What if poets and playwrights wrote works whose titles were anagrams of their names?", and best of all his publishers have allowed him to make it available as an eBook under the Creative Commons License. I've always thought the world has been a poorer place for not having a T S Eliot work entitled "Toilets", an Ogden Nash verse "Hen Gonads" or an Oscar Wilde play called "IRS Law Code" - until now. Anyway, maybe one day I'll be famous and people will be desperate to know my thoughts on mini owlskins

Sunday, December 04, 2005

The West Wing Season 6 Episode 13...

...Surely life doesn't get much better than this