Thursday, April 28, 2005

Food of love?





Your Taste in Music:


90's Alternative: High Influence
90's Pop: High Influence
Adult Alternative: High Influence
80's Alternative: Medium Influence
Alternative Rock: Medium Influence
Classic Rock: Medium Influence
Punk: Medium Influence
80's Rock: Low Influence
90's R&B: Low Influence
90's Rock: Low Influence
Dance: Low Influence
Hair Bands: Low Influence
Progressive Rock: Low Influence
R&B: Low Influence

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Yesterday's jaunt out

My vicar-friend came down to London from Birmingham yesterday, and as usual, we decided to catch some jazz somewhere. Usually we go to the Festival Hall, but for a change, we decided to go to Ronnie Scott's for an afternoon of free jazz. We took our seats with the realisation that most music venues are actually quite shabby in the cold light of day. As the place was still filling up, we caught up on some gossip, only to be told (along with the rest of the room) by a man who bore an uncanny resemblance to Dennis Norden that this first part was a "listening recital" could we all please stop talking and listen to the records being played. After half an hour or so of "listening" (ahem), the band came on stage. Now I like a bit of jazz, but don't claim to know loads about it, but what they played was a little bit weird... it was like normal big band jazz but with a small choir singing religious music along with it. Very odd, and I didn't quite get it (although the music was really good).

Anyway, after an hour of that, we decided to grab an afternoon cake in Maison Bertaux. We managed to squeeze on a table with a rather interesting-looking Italian man with very long dreadlocks who was furiously altering a musical score, and who also, incidentally, asked us how to spell "ear".

After a quick jaunt round the National and Portrait Galleries, we headed off to Covent Garden for a bite to eat, and a proper catch-up of the gossip we weren't allowed to say in Ronnie Scott's. Upon arriving back home, I went to bed (listening to Dr Pam) at 9.30!

Saturday, April 23, 2005

News round-up

I was interested to hear in a BBC News debate this morning that St George, the patron saint of England, was in fact Turkish.

Bad news for the new pope.

Forthcoming new book from Nick Hornby. That article is good, and mostly because it reveals a secret American column written by Hornby. Is it just me that revels in the name-dropping of book titles by writers I admire?

Friday, April 22, 2005

The future is orange

Who Should You Vote For?

Who should I vote for?

Your expected outcome:

Liberal Democrat


Your actual outcome:



Labour -24
Conservative -49
Liberal Democrat 77
UK Independence Party 0
Green 63


You should vote: Liberal Democrat

The LibDems take a strong stand against tax cuts and a strong one in favour of public services: they would make long-term residential care for the elderly free across the UK, and scrap university tuition fees. They are in favour of a ban on smoking in public places, but would relax laws on cannabis. They propose to change vehicle taxation to be based on usage rather than ownership.

Take the test at Who Should You Vote For

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Bookfest

This seems to be doing the rounds, so thought I'd have a go...

1) You're stuck inside Fahrenheit 451; which book do you want to be?
Hmm not sure I understand this question. Haven't read Farenheit 451... will go along with Pete's own question of which book would you memorise if stuck on a desert island. I think I'd try to memorise The Bell Jar, by Sylvia Plath. While a tad depressing, I love the way it's written. Very angsty. Very sad.

2) Have you ever had a crush on a fictional character?
I suppose a lot of people might choose Holden Caulfield, but I'm not sure I had a crush on him really. Might have to choose Rob from High Fidelity, the list-making, music-obsessed weirdo ;o)

3) What are you currently reading?
Currently about halfway through The Shadow of the Wind. Quite enjoying it so far, although I know what Pete meas about it being written in a rather 'stately' tone. It kind of reminds me of books I used to enjoy when I was younger, has the same sort of tone as an Enid Blyton book (not the mumsy tales of tea and cakes, but the 'proper' writing style, the suspenseful writing). Definitely a winner so far.

4) The last book you bought was:
Well, I have been trying to make use of the library more, so haven't bought any novels for quite a while (desperately trying to resist those 3 for 2 offers which seem to be my downfall). I think the last batch of books I bought from Amazon included the Rough Guide to Pregnancy and Birth (rather amusing while being fairly informative) and From Here to Maternity, a funny look at pregnancy.

5) The last book you finished is?
The last book I actually finished was Starter For Ten (a good fun, light-hearted read). However, due to the brain-drain that is pregnancy, in between now and then, I have started a large number of books without finishing them, including: The Count of Monte Cristo, Mystic River, The No 1 Ladies Detective Agency, Want To Play?, and The Plot Against America. Oh dear.

6) Five books you would take to a desert island?
At the risk of sounding pretentious, I'd like to take the Complete Works of Shakespeare. Ever since reading Romeo and Juliet at school, I fell in love with the language and the symbolism, and vowed that as an adult I'd try to read more. However, it's just one of those things that I haven't quite got round to doing yet (but I finish work in less that 6 weeks' time, so who knows).

Next on the list would have to be A Capote Reader, as this is my favourite book by my favourite writer. It's a collection of short stories, literary sketches of famous people and novellas (including Breakfast at Tiffany's). I love the way he writes, and this book is rather dog-eared, as all favourite books should be.

Thirdly, I'd choose A Suitable Boy. At around 1400 pages, it's not exactly something you could read in an afternoon, but having read it once, I just got lost in the millions of characters and fantastic history of the story. Despite its' size, I was actually quite sad when it ended, which is truly the sign of a good book.

The next choice is something much shorter, Of Mice and Men. I read this while I was at school, and I cried at the end (the only time I've ever cried at a book). A couple of years ago I saw a stage production and it was fantastic. I really should read more Steinbeck (although I have read The Grapes of Wrath).

It's hard to only choose five books, but the last one would have to be The Bonfire of The Vanities, simply because I've had it for years and haven't got round t reading it yet.

7) Who are you going to pass this stick to and why?
Billy, because while I'm not sure he's a big reader, I think he loves these 'meme' things (;op)
Random Person, because he loves books, and is supposed to be revising, which is the perfect time to spend hours on a blog entry
H, because I think she loves 'memes' as well, and I'd be interested in her answers.

Phew, I think I need a lie-down after all that.

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Queen of Speed

Been a bit of a while since I posted here. All is well with mum + baby, although am now developing rather horrid hip pain.

Bet Chas and Camilla are well chuffed that the new Duchess has had a ride at Alton Towers named after her. Camilla Queen of Speed. Classy.

Am currently reading Shadow of the Wind (which, incidentally, I found in the street!). And rather good it is too.

Is Britain really as laid back and tolerant as this article makes out? I'm not convinced.

Must remember to put this book on the list of things to read this year [as seen on the BBC's new programme Page Turners]