October 2005 Archives
October 31, 2005
Right, out of self-pity mode. There are far worse things than mashing up your own foot, like having your whole city destroyed by a hurricane. Which is, of course, what happened to the people of New Orleans some months back.
As with all of these things, charity donations poured in initially, and then started to drop away. Well, I'd like to encourage you to donate by buying a book that I was involved with. Beyond The Storm: Shadows of the Big Easy is a collection of essays, fiction and role-playing material themed around the city, produced by volunteers with all profits going to the American Red Cross to support Katerina relief. I didn't actually write any of it, but I did edit chunks of it, including work by Mur Lafferty of Geek Fu Action Grip and Mikko Rautalahti of Fun Pastimes for Stupid Children.
The book is available in PDF or print format from the Beyond The Storm website. And it's all in a good cause.
Dear Lord, having to hop everywhere on crutches is a frustrating and time-consuming experience.
And do you know what's worse? When you make a cup of coffee, you have to drink it in the kitchen, because you can't carry liquids anywhere.
I'd like to be better now, please.
October 30, 2005
Today, my life turned into a bad episode of Casualty. I was carrying some broken tiles down the stairs, to load them into the car, and somehow my foot missed the step, and I fell.
The sensation of your foot bending under you is not a pleasant one.
I eventually managed to crawl back upstairs, and watched my foot swell up over the next few hours. The photo was taken when it just started swelling. It got a lot bigger than that. Eventually, it got too big to ignore, so we caught a taxi to A&E at Lewisham hospital. After an hour of waiting, accompanied by Songs of Praise's The Nation's Top Ten Hymns and surrounded by multiple sports injuries, I was seen by a nurse, who sent me straight off for an x-ray. 45 minutes later, I had an attractive photo of the inside of my foot, the reassurance that nothing was broken, orders not to put any weight on the foot for three days, and a snazzy pair of crutches.
And I had to go up the stairs to the flat backwards on my bum. Dignified, this is not. Oh, boy, the next week is going to be fun.
October 28, 2005
October 27, 2005
About two years ago, the BBC was running its own version of Pop Idol called Fame Academy. The last series produced the only reality TV talent show winner that I've had any interest in whatsoever: Alex Parks. There was something about this feisty Cornish lesbian that you just couldn't help but like. Indeed, my entire family were rather taken with her.
And then, things went a little pear-shaped. The record company rushed out an ill-advised album of covers and then Alex disappeared from sight.
Now, she's back, with a new single of original material. And it's rather good. The first track is an OK pop-ish number, but it's the second track, Near Death Experience, that really brings home the bacon. It's a great rock number that's well worth the pennies to download it.
October 26, 2005
So, I shouldn't quit the day job just yet, then.
October 23, 2005
October 22, 2005
October 21, 2005
October 20, 2005
I'm in the process of playing around with the beta of a neat little phone application called ShoZu, which allows you to post pictures straight from your mobile phone to Flickr. So far. I'm impressed.
The picture is of workmen erecting a new fascia on the building that houses Lewisham's new TK Maxx. I think it proves that just adding a plastic facade to an ugly building gives you an ugly building with a plastic facade.
October 18, 2005
I'm tired and a little lacking in inspiration today so, for my quota post, I'll give you something I noticed at the weekend. We may be enjoying a balmy Indian summer in London right now, with temperatures still reaching the early 20s, but Lewisham council are determined to boost us forwards into the depths of winter.
Yes, as you can see from the pic, the Lewisham Christmas decorations went up on Friday, over two months before the event in question. The weekend provided us with the bizarre sight, in British terms, anyway, of people wandering around in jeans and a t-shirt with Christmas decorations overhead. A late summer and an early Christmas have finally met.
This picture, incidentally, is from my new Nokia 6680, my first personal mobile phone in over half a decade. I'm amazed at the quality of snaps you can pull off the thing.
October 17, 2005
Interesting piece on the difference between blogging and journalism, from someone in the latter trade:
Thing is this. There are tabloid rags that sully the name of reporting, and there are informed, articulate blogs that raise this medium to a far more rarefied level. But there is still a distinction. Primarily this: that newspapers have to check their sources. Even on the shoddiest of student papers, contributions do at least get edited by another pair of eyes. Bloggers have no such constraints. Yes, I believe that is an important distinction.
While some personal experience of the smaller trade publishers out there suggests that this is an optimistic opinion, it's still a point well made. And I say that as a former editor of a shoddy student newspaper.
Second, I had to cut the story by a third when it shrank on Wednesday from three columns to two.
And that's life on a weekly mag, folks. I had a major last-minute rewrite to cope with in the week just gone, and it's amazing how easily you can cut way paragraphs you once agonised over. Ah, well.
Blogging in an existing �Big Media� environment has proved to be an interesting experience, so far. I'll probably write about it at greater length somewhere down the line, but rather carefully�
However, I do find it revealing that many other people in the company are still cynical about the usefulness of blogs, as this post makes clear:
For those avid bloggers out there, it's worth taking note of the generous public response to the medium. While we charge headlong on into the blog ether, is there any evidence to show anyone actually cares what we think?
Feel free to go and correct him.
October 16, 2005
Lord, I've been slack over the last week, haven't I?
I've been busy at work � the harder things are at the mag, the less mental energy I have for the blog, alas. And having two other blogs to write for doesn't help.
However, I did promise you some observations about France, so here's a really obvious one: smoking is so much more prevalent over there still, particularly amongst the women.
This is, of course, a flimsy excuse to post this picture�
October 11, 2005
October 10, 2005
October 6, 2005
October 5, 2005
October 4, 2005
British TV comedy actor Ronnie Barker, who starred in Porridge and The Two Ronnies, has died aged 76.
Lorna and I were doing the "four candles/fork handles" sketch the other day, and commenting on Barker combined skill as a writer and a performer. He'll be terribly missed.