February 2005 Archives - wibbler.com

Bloggerheads – a daily dose of enlightening cynicism

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If you ever feel happy about the state of politics in the UK today, take a daily gander at my erstwhile friend Tim’s site bloggerheads.com. It’s through Bloggerheads that most of the UK’s internet-based political opinion, analysis and linky goodness comes from. A daily dose of cynicism does you good, and in Tim’s case the points he makes are often inspired and completely true.
So, what’s made me cynical today, entirely because of Tim? This:
The Sun hides bad news for the Government behind fluffy headlines. Every. Single. Time.
Taking away your right to protest.
Also, old Labour figures are leaving with a nasty taste in their mouths. This storming leaving speech (full speech here) by Labour MP Brian Sedgemore is simply wonderful.
But sometimes, all I get from his site is hope. Hope that one day the stuff he puts on there will be taken up by the masses and get noticed, that Blair and his cronies will be shown up for what they are and chastised for what they are doing. Hope springs eternal from these links:
The Disappearing Labour Party.
It would take just one person to bring down Blair.
And then Tim, Clive and I go and tell everyone to Back Blair. What are we thinking?


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Astoundingly comical revelation from work colleague while discussing food: “My brother is allergic to peanuts. We used to make him play russian roulette with Revels.”

Pikier Ikea

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Sublime comment from my barber this afternoon: “Yeah, I’ve been to Ikea. But any store which has to put arrows on the floor for its customers is likely to have the kind of people I’d prefer not to mingle with.”

Hazy at best

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Aaaaaannnnd breathe.
Ah, that’s better. You know, there are good and bad things about my line of business. For me, the high points include the hotels and cities that I frequent along the way, and the fact that almost everything I buy can be put down as expenses. There are low points too, of course – the queueing at airports, on motorways and at service stations all take their toll, my girlfriend is unable to join me on my whirlwind adventures – and when you slump into bed after sometimes working 16 hour days through the swirling mists of flu, you sometimes want to sneak off to a secret place where no-one can find you. I hear Osama’s cave is fairly elusive.
This last week and a half has been spent:
– late night partying in Camberley with friends at work, where I found that I love working with those fine people. I also found that I can, against all expectations, stay awake until 3am despite my increasing age.
– watching a football match with Michelle, Olly and Vicky the very next day, where I spent most of the day recovering from the night before. And cowering from fans after QPR lost. Again.
– travelling up to Edinburgh to train people for two days on a piece of software that they had used twice as much as I had. My straining voice managed to hold out. The downside of the trip was the obscene hours spent crafting a training course while training myself at the same time, and the upside – Edinburgh is a spectacular place to be drunk.
The waves of nauseating flu are subsiding, and I’m looking forward to a quieter week. No such luck, of course – I’m off to Winchester and Newcastle this week, and flying to Zurich next week. Maybe the week after I’ll manage to sit down for a day – and even get to the gym…

VW Golf/Gene Kelly – Behind The Scenes…

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You remember that VW Golf/Gene Kelly video I wrote about a few posts ago? Well, it turns out one of the 3 dancers for that film is David Elsewhere, an amazing dancer who has a good few videos of himself on his website. Chief weblogger Kottke has the lowdown, including an interview with Elsewhere himself. Turns out he didn’t enjoy it as much as we did… “The sound stage was cold and we had to dance under artificial rain for hours. To avoid freezing we wore wet suits under our already thick, tight costumes.” Bless. (via LinkMachineGo)

Backing Blair – You Have No Choice.

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Now’s the time for a long overdue introduction to Backing Blair – a political project that has been under wraps for a good few weeks, and that wibbler.com has had a hand in. Why, of all things, would I be helping code the pages for a campaign called Backing Blair? Well, it’s a strikingly clever take on the Blair regime, seeing the all-seeing Labour administration for what it is – a party that is veering towards an Orwellian, 1984-style authoritarian regime. As the Backing Blair website puts it, “people involved in this campaign pretty much want to get rid of Blair and bring a halt to his style of government. We hope that includes you.”
Why are we voting Blair in time and again? Because any negative news we might hear about them is skewered by media manipulation. Sure, it’s clever – but it’s not benefiting anyone but the government.
So, Backing Blair was born, a collaboration from Bloggerheads, The UK Today and wibbler.com. It’s a grassroots campaign, so it needs all the support and funding it can get. Pop over to the site and see if it floats your boat. And I leave you with a little note I left a year ago. It still stands, Mr Blair.

All Moved In

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You wouldn’t believe the amount of effort the last couple of weeks has been. Unless, of course, you’ve moved into a second-floor flat – in which you’ll be familiar with lugging tens of huge, heavy boxes up through three doors (one of which inconveniently self-locks just as you approach) and two flights of stairs. There were no visits to the gym last week, I can assure you – and there was no need.
Both Michelle and I, staying in our houses for the last night, were awake at 5am, full of excitement and trepidation for the week ahead. By 7am I was washed and dressed, and by 8 in the morning it was time for the boxes. Eight large cardboard boxes, full to the brim with my worldly possessions, were patiently waiting to be boarded into my car. I managed five of the buggers before my legs gave way and the boot space was fully… well, full. The car swung violently and slowly round the corners, struggling under its cargo, and the boxes piled high in the back ensured that I could only see forwards – a problem, as you can imagine. I was surprised to make it to Guildford without being flagged down by a friendly policeman – but at 12pm, we descended on the flat.
The previous occupants – a tall Norwegian man and his immensely giggly girlfriend – were there to greet us, handing over the keys and leaving a forwarding address. Within ten minutes, they were gone – and the flat was ours. After a few days of busily packing, I thought, this was the ideal time to sit down and have a nice glass of orange juice.
Except there was no orange juice – in fact there was nothing at all. So there was nothing for it – I could almost hear those blasted boxes waiting to be caringly lugged up two flights of stairs.
Michelle, her mum and I managed to empty the car, and I even managed a second load that day. And a further load the next day – I had no idea I had so much stuff. And after a week of moving, shifting, cleaning (mostly thanks to TidyTn, a cleaning Co.) and sleeping, we are fully moved in. The first big shop was as expensive as it was momentous – the final price was as much a shock as the growing realisation that we were now officially “responsible adults”. We had to buy our own washing powder, peas and beans. There was no adding to mum’s shopping list anymore. As we toured the aisles before finally reaching the checkout, trolley lurching under the weight, I decided that this revelation wasn’t at all worrying. We could cope. We had money. We had a flat. We were sorted.
Already a few friends have been round. Simon H has visited twice, once with his girlfriend Lucy and son James (who, I’m pleased to report, was only sick once over our new sofa) – and Nick and Sarah came round for nibbles, drinks and fun last Saturday.
So here we are. Settled. Ensconced. Knackered. But very pleased and eagerly awaiting some more visits from friends. Takeaways, shops, friends and the heart of Guildford are a short walk away, and I finally have a parking space! A big loads of thanks to Michelle’s mum and sisters for the help and the biscuits. Here are some snaps of the flat to whet your appetite.