EDitorial ± 20-Apr-2006
B, C And NR
Way back in the mists, me & Jeff went to see the pretty obscure even back
somewhere in London, who were on the same bill as TV Smith, him from the
Adverts (not to be confused with the TV Personalities). Still here?
It was at this gig that I saw a poster for an event just gone, a rare UK appearance by Thomas Dolby. That's a great shame, I thought, would have loved to have seen him play, but there'll be other times. So I waited, as did others. Then I waited some more.
Over a decade later, and TMDR is back. Back! BACK! Thank you, Smash Hits writers. He's been touring in the States for about a week -- tonight it's hello Portland -- with one solitary UK gig announced, and that as part of the much bigger Wireless Festival. I've been hitting the offical website most days waiting for other this-side-of-the-pond appearances to, well, appear. Last night, idling in the forum, spotted an entry headed London, and within that mention of a solo warm-up gig at The Scala. Book it, Danno!
This, after all, is the man who:
- recorded My Favourite Album
- still has a summer place at nearby Shingle Street
- wore those glasses and that white suit back in the early 1980s
- and who hasn't released any new original material for yonks, alas
EDitorial ± 19-Apr-2006
My Washing Up Hell
Yesterday was a day off, slackly supervising sixteen kids celebrating the
final 24 hours of their eggy break, of which a fair chunk was frittered away
prodding that triumphant time-saving device, the
Was about to load up on Monday evening when my eagle eye made out a thwacking puddle of mucky water in the base of the machine. Bother. The manual, easily found in the Big Brown Box of Instruction Books, natch, helpfully suggested a blocked or kinked hose or filter problems or a jammed pump -- so no clues for the uninitiated. Strictly need to know. So was resigned to finding some squirty Fairy and plunging my never-seen-a-day's-work hands into the foam. Good chance to catch up on more Mark Radcliffe than I'd usually hear.
Come the harsh light of Tuesday am, let's see what Google "bosch dishwasher troubleshooting" reveals. A-ha, could be Un Objet (a foreign object) under the filter. Step one: sponge away excess water, done. Step two: remove Torx 20 screws. You what? I talk flat head and Philips in this house, and that's it. Pop to friendly neighbours for manly discussion of appliance depreciation, returning with a shiny set of Torx thingies. Out they come, but filter doesn't want to pop out. Bother again.
Long story short-ish: phoned a professional -- blah blah integral blah blah splishy water blah blah help -- who turned up today, did his special stuff and now it *should* work once more, heavens be praised.
Phrase came up in a lunchtime discussion today which resonated, struck a chord and rung a bell. Those four words:
More To Go WrongAin't that the truth.
EDitorial ± 15-Apr-2006
Prepare For Disinfectant
'sall been happening. Kiddies (x3) returned from Hampshire hols, the land of
wild horses, and were handed back from in-laws to natural born parents. Really
we missed them. Like I said on my postcard to them (featuring a fine shot of
the Orwell Bridge), everything was where we left it and there were no lolly
sticks next to the bin, stuck on the carpet.
Cajoled smallest into accompanying me to this afternoon's footy -- thanks, Mum, for winning the tickets -- where we witnessed a terrible, terrible game. Highlights were probably The Boy's comments: "Here comes the fixer-upper man," as the physio took to the field, and "Bring on the horses!" as we discussed the black and white mascots replacing a couple of Town's ineffectual players. He seemed to take rather too much pleasure in Brighton's ginger players (x2) being yellow-carded, and thought the ref should tell their mums.
Two-nil down to the (bottom-of-the-league) Seagulls with a couple of mins to go, and Ipswich score. We've been looking forward to this for the whole match, the chance to jump up & down to the tune of Tom Hark. And over the speakers comes ... nothing at all. Have they stopped doing this? Do they not play that funky music if there's virtually no time left? More groans from the two of us.
And great to have a full sofa for tonight's return of Dr Who: big event for all at Broom Acres. Huge thumbs-up for the new fella and Billie, and what a series opener: snazzy megalopolis effects, cat people, and enough infectious zombies to give The Boy disease-ridden nightmares for a while. Straight into Dr Who confidential for more of the same, where we watched the two leads being soaked, dried and covered with talc repeatedly. And the prospect of werewolves next week: hoooowwwwwl!
EDitorial ± 9-Apr-2006
Well started The Weekend That Was with a visit to HSBC's latest
retro cashpoint -- heard about these things? -- which, having asked it nicely
for £50, coughed up ten fivers. Much like my college days but with eight
Weller chez WHSmith's cute Costa Coffee: ordered my usual extra medium white Americano from the girly barista, who then said the words every man wants to hear: Did You Want A Free Extra Shot Of Espresso? Oh yes. Took my tray, took over a table, and sipped: FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper would have approved. Then watched as the unsuspecting folk of the town, some en route to that afternoon's match, also succumbed: if it's free, I'll have it. Pitied the anxiety levels of these spectators a couple of hours down the line as they surveyed the less than mighty ITFC crash at home to Stoke.
Wellest over the border in Colchester late pm: after a most agreeable feed in the Dutch quarter (not to be confused with the French fifth or the Egyptian eighth), off to the Arts Centre, once a church, to pay homage to the always entertaining and headmasteresque in appearance Mr John Hegley. A dozen years have passed since we saw him at the same venue on National Lottery night: scary. To quote him:
Poetry can be funAfter a brief limerick about Bracknell came a short poem set in Ipswich: boo!, said some of the Essex crowd. Sensing the mood, JH asked if there were any other nearby places that people disliked: two minutes hate ensued with Braintree, Chelmsford and Messing cited. Turning it around, he asked where folk loved: Fingrinhoe!
But not tonight.
EDitorial ± 5-Apr-2006
Barry Norman's 100 Best Films
Sitting on my desk now is my QPD edition of a book by Mr Barry Norman, entitled 100 Best Films Of The Century. In which he sets out his, er, 100 top films up to 1992, the year of publication.
And some years back I vowed to watch each and every one of 'em. I admired Spencer Tracy in Black Rock, tittered at WC Fields in the Bank Dick, and failed to ever get round to watching my taped-off-the-telly VHS of Birth Of A Nation.
Here's the complete list, as much for my handy reference as for you:
- The Adventures of Robin Hood
- The African Queen
- All About Eve
- All Quiet on the Western Front
- Apocalypse Now
- Bad Day at Black Rock
- The Bank Dick
- The Battleship Potemkin
- The Best Years of Our Lives
- Bicycle Thieves
- The Big Sleep
- The Birth of a Nation
- Bonnie and Clyde
- Bringing Up Baby
- Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
- Citizen Kane
- The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie
- Dog Day Afternoon
- Double Indemnity
- Duck Soup
- Les Enfants du Paradis
- E.T. - The Extra-Terrestrial
- The General
- The Godfather
- The Godfather Part II
- The Gold Rush
- Gone With The Wind
- La Grande Illusion
- The Grapes of Wrath
- Great Expectations
- Gregory's Girl
- Hannah and Her Sisters
- High Noon
- His Girl Friday
- I Know Where I'm Going
- It Happened One Night
- It's a Wonderful Life
- Les Jeux Interdits
- Kind Hearts and Coronets
- The Lady Eve
- The Lady Vanishes
- The Lavender Hill Mob
- Lawrence of Arabia
- The Leopard
- The Maltese Falcon
- A Matter of Life and Death
- Mean Streets
- Modern Times
- My Darling Clementine
- The Nights of Cabiria
- Oh! Mr Porter
- On The Waterfront
- Pat and Mike
- Pather Panchali
- Paths of Glory
- Raging Bull
- Red River
- The Red Shoes
- La Regle du Jeu
- Richard III
- The Searchers
- The Seven Samurai
- The Seventh Seal
- Singin' In The Rain
- Some Like It Hot
- La Strada
- Sunset Boulevard
- Taxi Driver
- The Thief of Baghdad
- The Third Man
- The Thirty-Nine Steps
- To Be Or Not To Be
- Top Hat
- The Treasure of the Sierra Madre
- 2001: A Space Odyssey
- Whisky Galore
- The Wild Bunch
- Wild Strawberries
- The Wizard of Oz
EDitorial ± 3-Apr-2006
What Dads Do
Kiddies, esp. The Boy, have been big fans of the Dr Who comeback: got the DVDs,
done the Brighton exhibition, know the lines.
So was interested to see their reaction
to this week's BBC4 broadcast of 1973's
The Green Death.
There's Worzel Gummidge himself, Jon father of Sean, dressed at his most theatrical, and that's just his hair. And there's his not-Rose assistant with the Brigadier, a poor man's Captain Jack.
I thought they'd find it all a bit talky and slow-going, but they seemed to enjoy it. Liked the fluorescent green paint effects, the Doctor's funny little yellow car ("looks like Brum"), and his hand-to-hand combat skills. And they were intrigued by not knowing who was behind the strange computer voice.
Best of all they were grossed out by the maggoty ending. And to help them stay in their own beds tonight -- we shall see -- I secretly daubed some green poster paint on the back of my hand before presenting their bedtime digestive. Ugh, I don't feel too well, I lied, clasping my face. 'Tis what being a Dad is all about.
Update 4-Apr-2006 Two nights of retro sci-fi, and two nights of Doctor Who (bad) dreams for The Boy who's ended up in our bed. Haven't had the will or the energy to take him back so wake up pushed to the edge of the mattress with his elbow in my face.
Update 5-Apr-2006 Final instalment tonight, everyone enjoying The B.O.S.S. ("I am the computer!") and the wriggly maggots. Ten minutes to go, wifey gets a phone call, but never fear, we can pause live TV in our house, natch. In the break Boysy gets his jams on, I do the dishwasher, etc. Call ends -- now gone 8pm -- and someone manages to press the wrong button on the zapper. Telly whips forward to real time and the BBC4 news. Can we rewind? No, we can't: aaarrgh!
EDitorial ± 1-Apr-2006
Dolmio, Mar 2006
It's already April 1st -- no joke -- so time for another end-of-month
Dolmio (Doings Of Last Month Innoparticular Order) non-weedkilling round up.
That is to say, an attempt to capture past(a) events before they slip... my... mind. March 2006 was spent:
- opting for the chai steamer to back up Robert Crampton's Meaning Of Life-esque theory that "people just aren't drinking coffee any more"
- mourning the sudden loss of Carrot Cake, the unique bakery stroke cafe stroke juice bar in downtown Ipswich: as they kind of used to say in the James Bond end credits, Avi will return
- gagging on my Omega 3 fish oil capsule, as big as a bullet, and slapping on the Sudocrem in a dual salvo against the eczema
- gawping at and failing to guess the locations of the country piles used to film the latest Poirot episodes
- appreciating the subtle layout of the cutlery baskets in the site canteen: leftmost has forks, next has knives, then forks again, et cetera
- holding out the sickbowl for Eldest in the bathroom at 3am
- listening to favourite lyric of the month: "We're not all blood-sucking leeches, for we all have families too", by The Dears
- instigating the Friday film with the kidlets: Curse Of The Were-Rabbit ("arson!"), Pirates Of The Carribean ("more guidelines than rules"), and Charlie & The Chocolate Factory ("Good morning, starshine")
- turning the pages of Cloud Atlas: you wonder where it's going, then you get lost in it
- consuming tiny, tiny packs of Asda's own brand yoghurt raisins
- marvelling that The Boy could spell each of the numbers from tee-ee-en down to oh-en-ee correctly
- feeling distinctly queasy watching the recent CSI episode about the man who ate himself to death while trying to digest a chocolate muffin