Saturday, July 28, 2012

Drinking cocktails in Wuppertal

I was ridiculously excited about the Elberfelder Cocktail festival -- well there was going to be booze.

After a week where it looked as though we were going to have a summer/. It was warm sunny this week, but as soon as there is an outdoor festival -- it started to rain.

I do worry that I might like drinking cocktails too much, when I go to festival with a Phil Collins tribute band, still some tasty cocktails can stop the sound pain.

So this year we watched some bands. I paced myself by drinking beer rather than long Island Ice teas all evening. At the start of the festival the place seemed a bit empty of people, mostly because of the rain. Later there were more people -- just as the bands stopped playing at 23:00.

Although a lot of people were drinking, there were not a lot of wasted crazy people. Although some of the dancers looked a bit weird.

Why I hate Roger Moore

On the BBC Iplayer there are a large number of films about the exploits of the Saint. By an accident I have also recently watched a film called the "fiction makers" which starred Roger Moore as the Saint.

The early black and white films of the Saint were great. It is never clear if the Saint is on the side of law or just a classy thug.  He kills when he needs to to. At the end of one film he uses a throwing knife. There seem to be at least two actors in the RKO films. One of them seems more dangerous than the other.

Roger Moore has all the style of the Saint, but he lacks the violence and threat. Moore is a sanitised Saint made family friendly. We need better role models than Moore. I can only respect a hero who is good with knives.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012


I used to read a lot more political books. I finally finished reading Occupy by Noam Chomsky over the weekend. The book was a collection of lectures by and interviews with Noam Chomsky.

Although I dearly love Chmosky's work, he does get a bit ranty after a while. For example see this piece in the Guardian. Sometimes there is a lot of conspiracy theories around. However, he was the person in 90s who pointed out that managers could  have a point of view, which is very different to that of shareholders, so in some sense he understood the bankers bonus culture of the banks.

The small book Occupy is interesting because Chomsky is taking to the Occupy movement, before they were crushed by the police. He seems very mellow and reasonable.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

A rare picture of me wearing a shirt and jacket

It has to be said that I am not known as a style guru. This rare photograph shows me wearing a shirt and jacket. Normally there are only two reasons I wear a shirt and jacket: job interviews or funerals. The other possible option would be weddings, but somehow I am never trusted enough to be invited to weddings

Now that I have lost some weight I feel more comfortable wearing a shirt, but I still don't like it too much. Some people wear a shirt and jacket  every day. It is difficult to believe.

A grapefruit a day keeps the blues away

After reading in a book on dieting that you could lose weight with out stopping drinking beer, by having a grapefruit for breakfast, I now regularly  eat 1/2 a grapefruit a day. I like the sharp kick of the juices  -- it starts my day better than coffee. Of course I don't take it with sugar, because I am a man after all.

Sometimes in my greed I will eat the full grapefruit, but that is usually too much and the bitter taste makes me feel ill.

More weight news

After two weeks of heavy stress, where I didn't have time to work out, I was worried that my weight might have ballooned. Because I was travelling this week I have hardly eaten any fruit. Still I was amazed to see I was at the magic weight of 87kg.I only have two lose 2kg to get to the even more magic 85kg I still have a big beer gut, so I still need to lose much more weight. What is my goal, well to look like this:

I lost my passport in a pub quiz

The Guardian have a test that is model of the Citizen test. So I thought I would give it a go. But needless to say I failed it:
You scored 9 out of a possible 15
Commiserations - you failed the sample British history test (you
needed more than 10 to pass). If this was the real citizenship test
you would need to wait a week and pay £50 to take the test again, and
hand over your British passport
It has been such a long time since I did any history at school. I certainly can't remember so many names of our Prime Minsters. And I am bit confused about this "Great Britain"  business.

When I was at school we studied "the great long march in China"  as part of the history lessons. This rote learning of dates is on;y really useful for winning pub quizzes.  

The Toff

Although the last three weeks were just filled with stress and angst, I did manage to find time to do some reading. I read Introducing the Toff. There have been some great radio adaptations on the Iplayer of stories that the feature the Toff.

The Toff is an upper man who fights crime sometimes going beyond the law. On the radio he is just a detective but in the book he was more dangerous. I think he killed a couple of people -- in self defence, but still...  The point is he a smart and stylish man, but still he is very tough. It reminded me of the Saint books.

Of course this type of story would not work in these modern times. A member of the upper classes is now more likely to be funding the criminals and more interested in cocaine and getting whipped by hookers.

50 shades

I was in a bookshop in Manchester airport. There was a huge display with many copies of 50 shades of Grey. A young girl about 10 turned to her parents and said "I want to read 50 shades of Grey". I thought, "umm aren't you a little young to read about the room of pain?"

Saturday, July 21, 2012


So after three weeks of deadlines and stress, I can relax a bit this weekend. While I was travelling I read "Foe" by J.M. Coetzee  Coetzee won the Nobel prize for literature, so it was no surprise that the book was very well written.

A woman is shipwrecked on a island with Cruso and Friday.  The story of Robinson Crusoe is rewritten. A lot of the book id characters talking to authors, but is was all very well done.

Sunday, July 08, 2012

Paradox Soldiers

During the last two days I watched Paradox Soldiers -- a Russian science fiction type film. Two men from Moscow and two Ukrainians go to a war reconstruction. There is some fist fighting, but because of an explosion they get sent back in time to the second world war.

The film must have been a sequel because two of the men knew what was happening and how to get back to the future. Also one of the men had a girl friend in this time, who he wanted to find. There was a lot of fighting in the World War II  style, but dirty and ugly.