Listening to/reading/watching

  • Spooks, Heroes and Little Dorrit
  • The Ascent of Money
  • Fountains of Wayne, Dusty Springfield, Nickleback, Talking Heads

Cluster Map

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Telly duddies

I did think that installing 4-on Demand on my work computer might have been the worst thing for my work productivity since, well since the internet frankly. But actually having downloaded a couple of episodes of Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip , I'm thinking that it may work in a reverse psychology kind of way to cure my of my Aaron Sorkin reverence once and for all.

Studio 60 contains two of my all time favourite actors and , ( to quote my Australian students from a former life) it still sucks rocks! - nobody in tv can be that pompous surely to god! And anyway it's not modern day tv as no one is making a reality show! - clearly out of date, behind the times and still not funny. There is a school of thought that say Sorkin can't write now he's clean - well he certainly re-worked his Gilbert and Sulivan fasination which seems to suggest that he's short of ideas. Although I fall short of suggesting that he should go back to getting "coked up like Columbia" just to write a good tv show, but if he can't do better than that maybe he should stop....writing tv shows.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Plumbing New Depths

I do love a bit of kitsch, in real life I am a paragon of cream and white minimal good taste. But when it comes to media consumption you can't get much lower brow than me. I like my books to be good but magazines and tv can be as crappy as you like - I love 'em I have no shame! Drawing the line only at Big Brother because it's just so bloody dull.

I was quite fond of Jordan and all her "I am a blow up plastic gangsters mol" glory, and thought OK magazine was harmlessly hilarious - until this week. A front cover of Jordan and Kerry Katona coming on like born again Virgins shrieking "I would never have left my kids alone!" really did make me want to heave! Just who the fuck do they think they are. Cashing in on the tragedy of the McCanns is just despicable......there but by the grace of god go all of us with kids, mine was found wandering the halls of a 5 star hotel in her jammies age 2 because the so called "baby listening service" didn't! So OK your not funny any more , you're just not.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

The 45 minute rule

You know the 45 minute rule?
That's the one that says "When you finally get around to doing that huge, horrible bit of work that you have been putting off for weeks it only actually takes you 45 minutes."

I'd like to say that I'm going to disprove the rule today.
But the huge horrible bit of work is so horrible, that I'm going to put it off until tomorrow.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Old Habits

If you are prepared to "work off the consequences" with a few late nighters, self employment has the potential to allow one to take self indulgence to a whole new level!

So with this in mind - rather than working on Monday morning I went horse-riding instead. I used to do it lots, but when AB was tiny she was very allergic to horses and had a couple of nights in hospital on oxygen it was so bad. So I quit. Now she is over it and learning to ride herself there is no reason why I shouldn't. So off to the local stables I went - and had the best time! I can still do everything - instructress very complimentary;
she "Did you ever compete?"
me " er no!"
she "Why not!"

So - my legs are bruised purple my back side is sore and I'm saving up for a horse all over again! Hurrah!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Occasionally Touring Restaurant Guide - The Fish and Chip Shop, Aldeburgh

Best seats in the house - the benches on the sea front at Aldeburgh. It's such a posh sea side place even the sea gulls have good manners and don't try and steal your chips.

Cod, chips and mushy peas for 4. The fish was perfect, beyond perfect - stunning. And the mushy peas lovely, not so mushed that they couldn't remember that they had once been peas. But the chips were disappointing - they were hot enough and had crispy enough outsides but had been fried in some random vegetable fat that just doesn't do the business. It HAS to be beef dripping - maybe you can't get beef dripping anymore due to some obscure food hygiene regulation? I will check. But chips with something missing .....

Lovely day though, the dog discovered the sea side and decided he rather liked it - yay!

Saturday, September 15, 2007

It couldn't have happened to a nicer bank!

The government bail out that has been offered to Northern Rock stretches the meaning of ironic to breaking point. Why? You ask.

OK let me explain - in the last three years whenever I have been working with an insolvency practitioner to put together a rescue package for a business in difficulty or an individual debt problem there was one factor that would always blow the deal. You couldn't put forward an IVA or a CVA or any sort of a debt rescue package where Northern Rock was a creditor , they didn't even look at the merits of the deal they just said a blanket NO to everything. And when you asked their lawyer for justification in turning down a rescue package for some good little business they couldn't. At least they sounded embarassed to say "it's just the client's policy".

Not too embarassed to ask for a rescue package when they need one though are they...bastards!

Friday, September 14, 2007

Dirty Smelly and Dangerous!

No it's not me that's dirty smelly and dangerous ...although maybe if you missed out the smelly, anyway I's not me it's Naples where the law conference is, that I'm going to a week on Tuesday.

Everyone else is flying from Gatwick -no brain here is going from Stanstead because it's closer to home and cheaper,but this means getting from the airport to the hotel all on my Jack, which is why this may have been an extremely stupid idea!

I have mobile phone, and emergency contact numbers - but speak no Italian, no doubt in a crisis I will revert to shouting loudly at people in a mixture of French and's worked for me before !

From this you will gather that the paper is finished and submitted and the flight and hotel, AND conference fee (although I almost forgot that bit) booked and paid for - so I'm good to go!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Lippy's Occasional guide to London Restaurants - The Narrow

The Narrow is Gordon Ramsay's gastro pub at Limehouse, deep in the sterile heart of the docklands but right on the river. It's Gordon and it's docklands and so I would have quite enjoyed really hating it - but honestly, it was lovely. My kind of food - devilled kidney's on toast to start with , which were spicy and perfectly just a tiny little bit pink. Then duck breast with honey roast parsnips, nothing to find fault with there and the green beans to go with were an inspired selection. I really couldn't resist the strawberry trifle for desert and it didn't disappoint, it had that authentic" Aunty's hand slipped when she added the sherry" layer at the bottom of the dish, yum yum.

Add to that some excellent company and the sun sparkling on the Thames , a few passing sailing boats and voila!

Also much entertainment in trying to work out who the other punters actually are and why they aren't working on a Monday afternoon???!!!


Yes I am being useless, but frankly todays choice of activities is as follows;

Finish paper for conference in Italy which is already 3 months late - this must be done to justify grant money that has already been recieved. However, subject matter is bloody hard.

Finish v tricky skeleton argument for trial in October

And you know what - don't fancy either of those much. a blatant attempt not to do either I have; taken the dog for a walk, had a long conversation with the gas man, exhausted the possibilites of facebook, looked up where I am going to give the paper on Wikipedia , looked it up everywhere else because Wikipedia says it isn't very interesting - unfortunatley it looks as if the general consensus is that Wikipedia was right.

I should also upload the photos from last weekend's scarecrow festival in the village - which was great fun. We made a flying Harry Potter scarecrow, but were well beaten by the full cast of Narnia ( don't people have anythign else to do???) Ended up with lots of jolly , beer fuelled in our case, Dad dancing on the village green.

Friday, September 07, 2007


I did go to my first ever WI meeting last night. Whether from a desire to make better jam, or a last gasp hope of appearing naked on a calendar remains unclear....but they DO sing Jerusalem!

I was also the youngest by about 20 years so I'm not sure that the nude calendar idea has legs in this particular instance.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

If you go down to the woods

I've been feeling very guilty about the lack of dog walking that has gone on recently - it's turning into a weekend pass time which is BAD very very BAD! So today after the school run me and the dog headed out of the village and up into the Elveden Forest - to put it in context that's all of 10 minutes away from my house.

But it's a big wood - and you have to be careful, take a wrong trun and you could slip over the border and find yourself in Norfolk! It's also the place to see the strange anomaly of speed traps and rumble strips on a road in the middle of nowhere - a reminder that it's not just people who get run over, this is the fantastically named "Suffolk Deer Safety Project" and a very good thing it is too. The only squashed deer in sight today was a small mangled muntjac.

Must get on- I am officially being a lazy git and I can't afford to be.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Hill Billies

Part of the point of living in the country - along with having a bigger house for your money and fewer sirens in the middle of the night - is that you get to swan up to town occasionally looking all rosy cheeked and healthy and stand out suitably amongst the sallow skined townies.

Well not lately I haven't - a couple of 8 o'clock in town starts have meant leaving home at 5 in the morning only to arrive with bags under my eyes like cargo trunks and finish up with a whole rash of stress type zits that I should, by rights, have grown out of 30 years ago! Anyway came across some girlies in Selfridges who were doing "threading" they pull out your eyebrow hair with cotton thread that they sort of catch between their teeth and spin - as a result I know have extremely tidy eyebrows ! But I need to go back in 3 weeks for another appointment apparently, oh well, temporary improvement is still improvement...right?

C's first day at new school today - I hope she makes nice friends and her friends have nice mothers as working at home means I am Billy no mates and likely to stay that way. I may have to join the WI!

Sunday, September 02, 2007

You are going to think badly of me

I can't believe that I did this.......Someone I don't know well and haven't seen for ages, made a passing comment in conversation, "you've got a couple of kids haven't you" being a lazy git and thinking this thread would go no further I gave a "uh yeah whatever" kind of an answer - and inadvertently committed myself to having two children. Rather than being dropped , the topic continued and I couldn't back track - and ended up inventing a whole second child that I don't actually have! By the end she even had a specific style of school shoes!

So clearly when confronted with the choice between embarassment and compulsive liar, I'll go with compulsive liar every time..........................

Even i'm shocked!


I like Docklands it's so not like London, it belongs on a film set or in the far east or on another planet....but I like it.

So I was chuffed to bits that we got to film our boring training video in a penthouse flat in Limehouse Basin on Friday. And it looked just like a penthouse flat should look, enormous quantities of plate glass, leather chairs and a swirly glass coffee table....fabulous!

You know it's really really posh when the nearest boozer is Gordon Ramsay's gastropub.

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A blog about being middle aged, in England in 2013