Rock And Roll Dreams Come Through

That TV advertisement is right, dammit! I do need to remove stubborn stains and I am worried about damaging the colour. But lo my friends! There is a product that I simply need to dip my stubbornly-stained clothing into and behold… the stain is gone! This must be magic. Or sorcery. Anyway, back in the real world…

Earlier I managed to spill my craftsman-like constructed cup of tea all over the kitchen worksurface.

No significant damage was done, but so great was the crisis that once the damage was repaired Die Hard 4.0 and a significant quantity of ice cream followed.


I haven’t ridden this weekend – the weather’s been awful – but I have finished the very last task at the yard of clearing up Beech’s things. Much poignancy.

I’ve also emailed Jo (new trainer) to postpone our next session – I haven’t had time to put her ideas in to practice from the last time yet.

Vinnie looks good, I wish I was giving him the quality of work that he deserves.

Gary’s repaired the power steering feed pipe on the lorry (yay!), but we don’t have anything booked in the competition schedule – though I’ve just noticed there’s some dressage on Sunday 16th December down at Huntley in Gloucestershire.

And here’s a thing… those Southern Comfort television commercials. Haven’t the advertising agency realised the awful truth yet, that they’re being handicapped by the fact that the product tastes like sickly cat wee?

We had breakfast at Little Chef this morning (yeah, rock’n’roll!), a token of apology from me to The Lovely S for behaving like a complete and utter twot yesterday.

After breakfast a trip to the yard where I cleared stuff up, as previously mentioned.

Then shopping in Kidderminster (woo!) where I scored a rather nice two-piece pinstripe from Next. It’s a smart suit and the cut on the trousers emphasises things very well.

Then home via Blockbusters where Die Hard 4.0, a tub of ice cream and a large packet of chocolatey things invited themselves in to my possession.

And now it’s the hysterically delicious Sandra Bullock in Miss Congeniality. Interspersed with fcuking irritating fcuking adverts.

We were going to the cinema today but the reviews that The Golden Compass has been getting are absolutely awful, so we passed.

Christmas looms.

The place I’m working closes down for the Christmas/New Year period.

Christmas Day sees the annual fried breakfast and Buck’s Fizz at the yard – even those on full livery have to do their horses AM and PM to give Sue at least one day in the year off.

Christmas Day evening and Boxing Day will see a visit to the outlaws; time will be spent in the company of Damien, the child who bears the number of The Beast.

A post-Christmas trip to Spain to visit Daughter is becoming a possibility, there’s lots of arranging to be done to make it so, but the chance of a few days in her company exists.

I have two books that shall be reviewed over Christmas and have made the conscious decision that OU submissions may well be late while I settle many tasks down at work.

And The Lovely S has decided that when the last episode of Buffy has been viewed we should perhaps move on to 24. Whilst I see merit in the suggestion I can’t help wondering where Angel fits in to the plan.

There doesn’t seem to be any less going on in my life but it does look as though I’m managing things more efficiently.



It was wet. Yes, I know I’ve already told you this. But I don’t think I’ve told you the full wetness of the place. It was waaaay beyond wet.

And it was informative. I learned stuff.

I also drank stuff.

But I learned stuff too!

And I got really fcuking angry at Bristol airport, but that is a whole different story for another entry.

And I took some photos.

Which I’ve just put on the internet.

And you can have a look at them just here.

I haven’t yet written an index.htm front sheet but when I do it’ll go in to the same location and will snap back the photos and descriptions.

Until then you’ll have to make do with the file-names which, I hope, are fairly self-explanatory anyway.


Cats, dogs and other small quadrupeds


At the end of November.

A brilliant place to be.

If one is a duck.

Yesterday afternoon (as I wisely sat in a bar nursing a cold one while others decided to stand out in the downpour in the designated waiting area) I half expected to see Noah and his fully-laden Arc come swooshing down the Via.

I have many things to record for the weekend ending, but for now – as I sit in the departure lounge of Ciampino airport – this will have to do.


All roads lead to Rome

And I shall shortly travel one of them.

Today marks the beginning of a weekend packed with OU-flavoured activities that include a guided tour around the Colosseum (sorry, I mean the Flavian Amphitheatre, to use the correct name) and a trip around a Rothko exhibition.

I shall shortly collect a wodge of Euros to back up my credit card, then I’ll trundle down to Bristol Airport where after much waiting about I’ll eventually be loaded in an aluminium tube and fired towards Rome at a speed of around 600mph.

Oh yes.

Rock’n’Roll lifestyle is me.


I love webstats

Do people really think that complex reporting packages either don’t exist or aren’t available to blogs?

So this report tells me that the Open University are looking in to see what I’m up to?

Oh well, if they’ve nothing better to do.

Visit 7,958
Domain Name: (U.K.)

IP Address:
137.108.145.# (Open University)

Open University


United Kingdom

Milton Keynes

English (U.K.), en-gb

Operating System:
Microsoft WinXP

Internet Explorer 6.0 Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.1; SV1; .NET CLR 1.1.4322; .NET CLR 2.0.50727; InfoPath.1)

version 1.3

Monitor Resolution:
1024 x 768

Color Depth:
32 bits 

Time of Visit
Nov 20 2007 2:05:15 pm

Last Page View
Nov 20 2007 2:06:07 pm

Visit Length
8 minutes

Page Views

Referring URL:
Search Engine:

Search Words:
brennig jones – open university

Visit Entry Page: (Open University)

Visit Exit Page (Open University)

Visitor’s Time:
Nov 20 2007 2:05:15 pm


A103 TMA03

The wheel clicks one part-revolution onwards…

Things start to change with the next module. Both the answer paradigm and question structure begin to open up.

The framework begins to fall away; research materials become far more widely available (but nonetheless specialist) and the scope of the subjects start to widen.

TMA03: Classical Studies

Part 1 (short answer)

How did the design of the Colosseum relate to its public function and to its symbolic meaning?

Answer in no more than 300 words.

Part 2 (essay)

What attitudes towards the Roman games did the ancient writers express? How would you account for the differences and similarities between these attitudes?

Answer in no more than 900 words.

Both parts to arrive no later than 7th December 2007.



As part of the degree the Open University has arranged a weekend in Rome

Next weekend.

On the itinerary is a tour around the Colosseum (that’s handy – we get a whole assignment and study block on it!) and a trip around a Rothko exhibition.

A block-booked evening meal has also been arranged.

I fly out on Friday and come back Sunday.

The Lovely S can’t get time off so she’s going to have a girlie weekend with a friend from Australia.

My mentally-composed packing list so far includes:

* laptop and charger
* iPod
* text books (2)
* notepads (2)
* pens (3)
* mobile phone & charger
* shorts, socks, T-shirt, cotton shirt

Wow, what a rock’n’roll lifestyle I lead!


Playing catch-up

Hours, not, day, enough, the, in.

Rearrange these words in to a well-known phrase or saying.

Work is annoying. Things come in productivity cycles – peaks and troughs.

For the last eight working days I’ve been riding a massive peak; polished off the last thing this morning which – I hope – puts the lid on a big thing. The rest of the day is going to be spent on things of a boring but necessary administrative nature.

Work has also been massively frustrating for the last 3-4 weeks. I’m hoping it’s nothing terminal.

Coursework has also been on the up.

Tomorrow is submission day for TMA02 – the four-parter (art history, poetry, music, philosophy).

I’ve re-written parts 1, 2 and 3 so many times I could now re-write each one without reference to my (way too copious) notes.

Part 4 is as subjective as a dressage test and therefore has little reference to anything of a substantial nature.

The tutor is stunned at my admission that once I’ve finished a piece of writing I go in to serial re-edit mode and I’ll pore over something for as many hours/days/weeks/months as are available (a kind of literary slant on Parkinson’s Law).

She is of the ‘do it once and leave it alone’ school of writing. I sometimes wish I was.

My ‘really must read this’ pile is about seven books tall. Three of these are Uni texts, two are books to review. I’ll polish the latter off before Christmas but the former…?


Christmas may – just may – be a foreign affair this year.

Pending a variety of factors that include prices being right, flights being available, accommodation ditto and the appropriate level of liquidity in the current account, Christmas could conceivably be a Californian affair.

You know; take advantage of the economic situation while the dollar sinks slowly in the west…

And it’s been, frankly, a hell of a year, The Lovely S and I deserve a holiday (our last being Iceland back in January).

Of course there are other calls on the account but sometimes common sense isn’t the strongest of my suits.

Because it would be warm.

And sunny.

And not grey.

Or frosty.


Received an email from K this morning wanting to know if I’m interested in a contract for a minimum of six months in south London.

I feel like Vicky Pollard.

(Yeah but no but yeah but no but yeah but no but…)

Horses… I have still not got the vet back to give Beech a second inspection. Next week, maybe.

I’ve not ridden Vin since last Saturday’s ride through the Wyre Forest – spending yesterday evening working instead.

Here’s a thing; Facebook.

I’ve had a friend request from someone I don’t know. Is this normal? I need to ask because I think my Facebook profile is the lowest, least inactive there is.

Not a bad thing really.

See earlier statement at the top of the post begining with the word ‘Hours’!

A quick conversational loop back towards the course…

My webstats show me that my daily average of hits referred from google and with search terms directly related to TMA02 have just climbed past 250.

Which raises all sorts of questions.

Speaking of questions…

I have received an email at an ‘old’ but active email account – the one associated with my old (and occasionally active) blog.

The writer of the email has spent some time going through some of the – shall I say ‘more frank’ – writings and, for some reason or other, has pinged an email at me asking my view.

It’s interesting, funny and a little bit saucy. I might reproduce it here when I have time.

But it won’t be today, for now my lunchtime has expired and I have to sweep crumbs from my keyboard and get on with my paperwork.


When in Rome

An email flutters in from the University of Open.

It asks if I fancy a November weekend in Rome studying things Roman and erm stuff?

Of course, I have to pay for my own there and back and accommodation in between but I get thrown in…

* A visit to the Colosseum (which just happens to be the focus of TMA03)

* A visit to a major Rothko exhibition (who just happens to be the focus of TMA06)


Soph’s not working on that Saturday and I seem not to be competing that weekend…

I sense the germ of an idea!

Right, I’m off to visit Easyjet and my travel company website.


Great Tits!

A pair of them (natch).

In the garden, hopping about on top of the garden shed.

Aren’t they supposed to be in Africa or somewhere warmer than the UK by now?

Daft buggers.




I have just finished TMA02 (for the third time) and I’m trying hard to stay away from TMA03.

I have a submission strategy (no, not that kind of submission!).

I’m going to submit work in a gradually increasing qualitative arc.

I’ve figured that if I put too much effort in to early assignments there will be too little room for improvement – i.e. my grades will remain static.

But, I reason, if I were to put ‘just enough’ effort in to the earlier assignments and pull out all the stops for the ones that follow afterwards, my grading curve will be sure to show a massive improvement.

And that way everyone looks good.

Go on.

Tell me I’m barking mad.

I can take it.