Sunday, December 31, 2006


Looking back a year it’s interesting to see where I was and what I thought (tomorrow I’ll do some thoughts on 2007) here’s a look back on 2006.

David Cameron – looks like he’ll be the next prime minister after a Gordon interlude.
ITV – still needs to be resolved and Michael Grade will just make it more saleable.
Pete Doherty -think the jury is still out

Recycling/de-clutter and accumulating less – I’ve been trying to keep my resolution on this and with help of e-bay and BookMooch I could be getting close but need to do more – here are some links (from the independent newspaper) that might help me in 2007. Site for those who want to exchange unwanted stuff with one another.
A group of local societies dedicated to swap­ping items that are no longer wanted, to keep things out of landfill.
Are your shelves past capacity with nov­els you've already read, and-have no intention of re-reading? This exchange service will find them a deserving home - and get you something else to read.

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Book review

I read John Peel:Margrave Of The Marshes during my holiday (actually a Christmas 2005 present that I got from two different people) .

Reading it I was reminded of how significant Peel was and also how grounded he remained (or so it seems at least from the book).
I have some slight Peel connections I was at School with someone (still racking my brains to recall his name) whose father was a builder who worked on John Peels house in Suffolk in the 1970s.
My Cousin Tom Fawcett is writing a book about music of the Rough Trade type DIY and visited Peel to help him in this project – Tom was in a band called ‘And the Native Hipsters’ who had minor rumblings with Oh Look there goes Concord again which was played by Peely.
I saw John ambling along Charlotte Street London a few years back.
A bit more tenuous is that I worked with Ray Hendriksen at Euronews (TV Channel) in France, Ray worked with Marc ‘T Rex’ Bolan championed in his early career by one Mr Peel.

I suppose there are many Students over the years who have listened to his broadcasts, I certainly recall the Damned’s New Rose and other punk tracks that blew away the cobwebs he was though also responsible for early plays of O Superman and Uptown Top Ranking by Althea and Donna and goodness knows how many other great tracks.
Certainly a trawl on the Internet reflect Peels musical significance. Even without all of the above the book’s a really nice warm read- 5tar from me.

Also read Ad worlds by Greg Myers

Not only is Ad worlds a useful academic book but it is also engaging in the way the author relates the subject to the every day (which it undoubtedly is), I had a purpose in reading this book but I think the area covered is of interest to the general reader in aiding a critical understanding of the practices and effects of advertising another 5tar from me.

Christmas in Trinidad

I had Christmas in Trinidad, it’s an interesting place here are ten or so Trini facts

1, Columbus went there and claimed it for Spain in 1498.
2. Crime is a big problem particularly kidnap and ransom of businesses people
3. Trinidad and Tobago society is defined to a large extent by race
4. Trinidad has a warm climate with wet and dry seasons.
5. Politics in Trinidad is considered by many as corrupt with a former prime minister serving time in prison
6. Trinidadians socialise in bars known as rum shops.
7. Trinidad is rich in natural resources and has a population around 1 million.
8. Trinidadians love to eat and have a very special Christmas cake.
9. Trinidad roads are crowded and poorly maintained a rail system is proposed
10. Sport is a love of Trinidadians with fine cricketers and a Soccer team that brought credit to their country in 2006’s world cup.

Monday, December 18, 2006

bah humbug etc..

So Christmas is almost here and some thoughts on how busy the shops are (or aren’t) On Saturday we went into the heart of London’s fashionable west end to visit the theatre (see below) on the way in we accidentally met up with a former colleague who was going to Liberty’s with his wife to do some shopping (not really last minute).
Now I was under the impression that Christmas was a damp squib this year and whatever shopping was being done was at Amazon or e-bay so I assured them it’d be a breeze- well imagine my consternation on emerging from the theatre and after suggesting a walk down Regent Street finding solid gridlock on the pavement. What seems to have happened is that the high streets now denuded of quality shops are deserted and destination retail outlets (Brent Cross, BlueWater etc. and Regent's Street/Oxford Street) have gone Crazy -Sorry David and Virginia
We went to see the stage show of Cabaret on Saturday and it was a much darker piece than the 70’s film –very clever set generally a good show. We were up in the dress circle and generally we go for the stalls but these were all sold out – perhaps a bit of a shame as there was some gratuitous nudity not a problem for me particularly but there was a bit of an intake of breath when the  first unclad member (- of the cast ) appeared in the buff.
Christmas (W)rapping
Why is it that you can no longer buy a little bag with half a dozen or so sheets of Christmas paper and a similar number of tags – paper now comes on rolls which I find a real pain (bah humbug)?

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Bond movie

We went to see the latest portrayal of James Bond where Daniel Craig plays a somewhat brutal 007 in the re-make of Casino Royale, the original Ian Fleming licence to kill story.
Perhaps because of the times the film is less a celebration of technology there’s no Q gimmickry and a lid is kept on the excessive humour.
It occurs to me that much as the Mars bar (or perhaps the big Mac) has become a measure of the economy so Bond films have become a reflection of the world’s security concerns from a UK perspective.
The first Bond films showed a confidence, although Britain was not what it had been it still demanded respect (Connery) when Great Britain was considered a basket case the irony was there in spades (Moore) now we’re significant again but it doesn’t necessarily feel too good.
Away from this high faulting consideration commerce is as ever part of the franchise and the Product Placement is a joy to behold- how can we shoehorn Ford into the deal- give Bond a Ford hire car – Sony too must have paid well for their on screen checks.
Despite the prolonged advertising it’s a good (Great in places) film, well shot and with a pace that hardly let’s up.