One Man and His Blog: September 2005 Archives

September 2005 Archives

September 30, 2005

Madrid: Lights

Castellana Lights

Towards the southern end of La Castellana, the architecture of old Madrid begins to make itself known.

September 29, 2005

Madrid: Late Night Shopping

Castellana_market.jpg

Spanish culture focuses on late night activity unheard of in the UK. I found a street market open and trading well after 8pm. But then, dinner rarely starts before 9pm�.

September 27, 2005

Madrid: Small, but useful

Castellana_petrol.jpg

Possibly the smallest petrol station I've ever encountered.

September 26, 2005

Real Madrid, real concrete

Real Madrid's stadium

I used my precious free time in Madrid to walk down Paseo de la Castellana, the main road that forms a spine down the centre of the city. One of the first things I encountered was Bernabeu Stadium, where Real Madrid play. Normally, I'm neither a fan of football nor of concrete buildings, but this one caught my attention.

Perhaps it was the striking design. Perhaps it was the copious open space around it. Maybe it was just the light - but I did like it.

September 25, 2005

Spanish Coffee

Spanish Coffee

I couldn't write about my time in Madrid without mentioning the coffee. As one conference attendee put it: "It really leaves your heart thumping, doesn't it?" An Italian journalist I had lunch with dismissed the Spanish coffee as "brown water", but personally, I think she was being disingenuous.

The Spaniards like their coffee strong. They like their coffee breaks. And they like staying up late. I suspect that these facts are connected.

September 24, 2005

Travel Blues

I have a bad habit of forgetting just how busy some conferences can be. My trip to Madrid was one of those. On the whole trip I had, perhaps, a couple of hours of free time. I took a whole load of pictures but as they were, technically, on work time and work-related I won't be sharing them. However, I did spend my few hours free walking and photographing, and I'll try to share some of those images over the next week.

September 23, 2005

Dying WIth Dignity

Last Monday marked four years since we lost my father to pancreatic cancer.

One of the few positive things to come out of this experience is that my mother has been heavily involved in a project examining how care for terminally ill patients is handled. You can read a news story about the report here:

When Roy was diagnosed, the whole family came home and met the oncologist as a group, and as their son's wedding was coming up he decided to have chemotherapy.??�It was an emotional time, but he decided to have chemotherapy to hold it off for a period. Once my husband came home, the doctors and community nurses gave us all the information we needed and the GP visited every week until Roy died.�??That was four years ago, when he was 65. More recently, Mrs Tinworth was asked to be involved in the report and sit on its Project Board.

Well done, Mum.

September 19, 2005

Casino de Madrid


Casino de Madrid, originally uploaded by Adam Tinworth.

Madrid Music


Madrid Music, originally uploaded by Adam Tinworth.

Today was absolutely hectic, so all I can do is leave you with a couple of pictures from this evening's gala dinner�

September 18, 2005

A Madrid Arrival


The view from my hotel room, originally uploaded by Adam Tinworth.

Airports are depressingly similar wherever you are in Europe. Sure, the iconography of the signs is different, and the language varies, but it's not until you get outside that you really start to feel the cultural differences.

In Madrid today, the differences started the minute I tried to catch a taxi. There was a queue, as you'd expect. Except, well, it wasn't actually a queue: it was a starting grid from which desperate travellers would hurl themselves forwards trying to grab a cab. There was no order or reason to it. You just threw yourself at a cab, accompanies by good-natured horn blowing from the cabbies, and hoped that one would take pity on you.

Of course, being British, I watched this in horror for about 10 minutes before realising that I had to join in if I wanted to get to my hotel. Initially, my chosen cabbie rejected me, but after it became clear that he wasn't getting a better offer, he begrudging let me into the hallowed portals of his cab.

I don't want to talk about the journey. The sight of a fat man in leather, riding a motorbike at 150 kilometres per hour, while fondling his exposed privates is not something I ever want to think about again.

The hotel, though, is fab. Stylish with good-sized rooms and WiFi throughout. Perfect, really. Oh, and the view. The view is stunning. But you already knew that, didn't you? It's at the top of this post.

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Flying To Spain


Flying To Spain, originally uploaded by Adam Tinworth.

In-flight Entertainment

In-Flight EntertainmentI've mentioned my wee problems with flying before on this blog. Over the last couple of years, I've developed a pretty reasonable non-chamical arsenal of solutions to the problem. The first of these, and the one I was using today, is my iPod and a set of JVC noise-cancelling headphones. While I can't use them during take-off and landing, they do help soothe me through the body of the flight, which is a massive blessing.

Oh, and I was reading Word magazine, which I can't praise highly enough. A thoroughly entertaining, highly intelligent and very well written music magazine. The latest issue held my attention for much of the flight.

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Online Check-In

I know BA have had the odd problem of late (choose your contractors with more care, my friends), but their online check-in system is a wonderful thing.

Yesterday afternoon, in my Mum's front room in Suffolk, I checked myself in for today's flight to Madrid. No queuing when I arrived at the airport: I was straight up to the fast bag drop desk, and off through security. Very impressive, and a nice example of the virtual and the physical working in perfect harmony.

Now, I'm busy checking my e-mail and waiting for my flight's gate number to be announced.

Next stop: Spain and a conference. What ho!

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September 15, 2005

Amoral, Oversexed, Switched Off and Rocketing

Why TV gets strong female villains all wrong - a compelling argument. Here's to better bad girls!

Analogue TV: all gone by 2012 - I have Freeview, and I don't care.

Guardian sales �skyrocket� - First signs are that the new style Grauniad is a success. I''ll write more about it at the weekend.

Waiting For a Bus


Waiting For a Bus, originally uploaded by Adam Tinworth.

September 14, 2005

Cheats, Bras and a Decade

I used to do these round-ups of interesting links I'd found pretty regularly. I've let the habit slip. Consider this a reinstatement.

Software to spot journalistic plagiarism arrives - and about time, too. That'll teach some of my less scrupulous compatriots a lesson.

Why women shouldn't try to impress in the gym - I think he's missing the motivational effect on work-outs that attractive women can have�

10 years, in photos - what a great idea for a project.

September 13, 2005

Lewisham Flickr Group

I was musing on this post earlier. Brian's point is that, in the long term, pictures of the mundane are at least as interesting as the unusual or the artistic. And he's right.

One of the things I love about Flickr, the photo-sharing site, is that the balance of �art� to �mundane� is heavily biased towards the mundane. You see just as many pics of the everyday as you do specifically crafted examples of photographic art. It's becoming a huge repository of images of the way we live today.

Furthering the idea, I started looking around the London groups, looking at the balance of ordinary versus art postings, and getting an idea of how the everyday streetscape was being recorded. I couldn't help but notice that Lewisham wasn't well represented at all. So, I created a Lewisham group on Flickr. Go, join, post pictures of Lewisham borough. You know it makes sense.

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September 12, 2005

How To Really Mess Up Lewisham Town Centre


Lewisham roadworks, originally uploaded by Adam Tinworth.

What great timing some people have. Just as the roads get busy after the summer break, the road through the heart of Lewisham is about to be dug up.

Ah, well, soon we won't have any petrol to drive down the dug-up streets.

{I'm not sure the generators running those signs are doing much for Lewisham's commitment to protecting the environment, either.)

A Visit to Ikea, or Playing It Safe


A Full Load, originally uploaded by Adam Tinworth.

Nothing shakes your faith in humanity quite like a visit to humanity. To get the full effect, make the visit while you're still sick. That'll really do it.

The people there exude a strange mix of competition, aggression and fear that puts everybody on edge. Generally, I try to go in the evenings or during weekdays, to avoid the worst of it. However, Lorna's family are coming to stay, so we needed the new sofa bed pronto.

I sat, waiting for something from the warehouse, and looking at the tills. All I could thin about was the tens of thousands of homes, all done up with the same furniture. It depressed me thoroughly. Ikea, for all its �laugh at designers� advertising and cheap prices, still manages to produce goods that are boring and, basically, bland. It wraps safety in a veneer of design, and I hate it.

I hope that it's our last trip there in a while.

September 10, 2005

Sick

Apologies for the silence; I've been sick.

I'm on the road to recovery, so normal service should be resumed tomorrow.

September 7, 2005

nanoTech

I confess. I'm one of the few people left on earth who thinks that a video iPod is a pretty stupid idea. Today made me happy. You see, today, the rumours said, we'd get a phone with iTunes (and we did), and maybe, just maybe a video iPod. Instead, we got this:

Ipodnano

It's got the same capacity as the original iPod or the recent iPod Minis, but it's tiny. It's got a colour screen. It's called the iPod nano.

And it doesn't play videos.

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Two Inquiries

Independent inquiry::

Network Rail, formerly Railtrack, has been found guilty of breaching health and safety legislation in the run-up to the Hatfield crash.

Not very independent inquiry::

US President George W Bush says he will lead an investigation into how the Hurricane Katrina disaster was handled.
�I'm going to find out over time what went right and what went wrong,� he said in reply to criticism that the authorities were too slow to respond.

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La Vienne


La Vienne, originally uploaded by Adam Tinworth.

September 6, 2005

Fine Blogs For Your Edification

All being well, the Blogroll should be restored somewhere on the right hand side of the page you're reading (unless you're reading this by RSS, of course). There are many fine blogs listed there for your edification and improvement.

September 4, 2005

The Wharf


The Wharf, originally uploaded by Adam Tinworth.

The other morning, I was forced to catch the DLR to work, rather than my accustomed train. I changed from the Jubilee Line at Heron Quays, and was immediately struck by how much more aesthetically pleasing Canary Wharf has become since the towers proliferated.

Just for a moment, I felt I was looking up at a film backdrop, not a real view at all. And that pleased me.

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September 3, 2005

Forgotten Steps


Forgotten Steps, originally uploaded by Adam Tinworth.

September 2, 2005

The Gate


The Gate, originally uploaded by Adam Tinworth.

September 1, 2005

Another career change to the sex business

Less than 24 hours after I wrote the last post, I discover that a young lady of my former acquintace has left behind her previous career and gone into the business of making wooden sex toys. You can check out her (not work safe) offerings at Transports of Delight.

It's nothing if not enterprising. I wish her every success.

And if anyone buys one, do let us all know in the comments...

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This page is an archive of entries from September 2005 listed from newest to oldest.

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