I got in half an hour ago.

Almost didn’t need the key, wasn’t far off having to pour myself in through the letter box. Or trickled in through the gap beneath the door.

The tube from Victoria was packed, the temperature inside our speeding sardine tin was well in to the mid-30s.

Centigrade, natch.

The air outside, in Brixton, was not that much cooler; the total absence of wind movement emphasised how warm it was.

As soon as I was inside the front door I began peeling off my sodden shirt, trousers, socks, underwear; straight in to the shower.

A cold shower.

When I emerged I noticed that, unusually, I didn’t have the house to myself; picked up my discarded clothing and beat a hasty retreat to my room where I almost but not quite dried myself – preferring to let the residual moisture cool on my skin – sipped 7-Up and finished the crispy dregs of a tube of Pringles.

I should go downstairs, prepare, cook and eat but I think my motivation is still in the shower. Or perhaps that’s Teresa.

I’ve opened every window on the upper levels and the double doors in to the garden, but there’s still no breeze at all; sleep, this evening, might be uncomfortable – when it comes.

Even the aggressive beggars who usually congregate by The Roxy cinema couldn’t be arsed to bother me this evening.

When I’ve eaten it’ll be straight to bed with a good book – or failing that ‘Yes Man’ by Danny Wallace. And The Lovely Soph will take that as a slight because she enjoyed it but that’s what makes us individuals – I’m not. She did. But I shall finish it. In this world or the next. πŸ™‚

I’d do a proper review of Mr Wallace’s oevre but I’m months behind in my ‘proper’ reviewing and if I don’t do Sam Manicom’s pretty bloody quickly he’s going to devise some fiendishly cunning punishment.

The funniest person I know – Daughter – says it’s even hotter where she lives; got up to 41 degrees today, apparently. But they don’t notice the heat as much because at that altitude they have a constant breeze (even if it is blowing in from The Sahara Desert).

The village is well in to its New Year celebrations; she was interviewed by TVE this morning. I hope they use the clip – the newsworthiness of an English girl who looks totally Spanish and speaks better (and faster!) Castillano than anyone else of her age in the village is undeniable – but if they don’t she’ll be devastated.

She hates me; told me so this evening. Said that every time we speak on the phone she laughs so much she gets the hiccups.

So that’s my fault? That she gets hiccups? Huh! πŸ™‚

But she does laugh a lot and for that I’m grateful because it means she’s not turning in to a miserable hag like her mother.

Three and a half months is, it seems to me, a little excessive for a school holiday. No?

Ah well.

I’d rabbit on a bit more but the pangs of hunger have their teeth in to me (oh, what a punner!) and I can’t put off a visit to the kitchen any longer.

Laterz dudez.


Ghost in the machine

It’s a little like a Stephen King storyline.

There’s something stirring in the house in south London. Something dark. Something mysterious. Something unnamed and malevolent. Something bad.

For there has been much badness in this house this evening, my droogies.

Oh yes.

The first piece of badness was the demon-possessed measuring of ingredients for my tea.

Because the finished product was massive.

At least as big as K2 – if not slightly ‘massier’ around the middle.

And, with the main course safely – if belt-looseningly – dealt with…

There was the desert.

700g of fresh fruit salad.

Melon (many varieties), grapes (ditto), pineapple, strawberries, kiwi, mango, pomegranate (yes, really!) and something else.

700g of it.

No, just 700g, not 700g plus 700g because that would be 1,400g (or 1.4Kg if you prefer) and I’m not sure that even I could deal with gluttony on such a scale!

Anyway now I am in bed.

Eyeing up the bottle of Chocolate Fudge Brownie-flavoured Frijj milkshake, sitting on my bedside table.

Right next to two Caramel bars.

See what I mean?

Much badness in the house this evening.

Because there’s no way I would ordinarily consume such quantities.

Oh no, not I.

But I’m looking forward to the Stephen King book of the real-life experience.

I just hope I can stomach it (bwahahaha!).


Networking Nomenclature

So here we are, my friends, in the house in Brixton.

Nice, isn’t it?

Huuuuuuge modern kitchen, yes indeed.

A garden, with much greenery and table and chairs (where, as you can see, I’m currently reposing).

Can I say that?


In context I mean?


I’m out here making myself comfy.

The suitcase is unpacked.

The food shopping has been put away.

I’m thinking about a cup of tea.

If I think hard enough, will one materialise on the table in front of me?


No, I didn’t think so.

But it was worth a go.

Ooh, ooh, ooh!

I bought an Oyster card today.

I found out that it actually has nothing to do with cruelty to oysters which, as a card-carrying vegetarian I wholeheartedly approve.


Don’t be bonkers.

I meant, obv, that I wholeheartedly approve of not being cruel to oysters.


It (the Oyster card), allows me to travel on the London transport system.

For a fee.

So actually, ‘allows me to travel’ is dangerously close to being not 100% correct, in a factual kind of way.

But anyway.

More London stuff later.

Back to the here and now.

Tea still not made.

Either variety of the word – liquid or solid.

Pasta and tomato and mushroom sauce tonight.

I bought the ingredients lunchtime.

Which wasn’t the reason for this post.


You didn’t think there were reasons behind any of my posts, did you?


The only thing I’m missing right now (apart from tea – either variety which, actually, makes this sentence gramatically imperfect but hey, live with it dude!) is…

An internet connection.

Yes I know, there’s one upstairs in the office.

But I’m used to the lazy version, the non-wire version.

The ‘you can have broadband wherever you go’ variety.

My laptop tells me there’s lots of them around here.

But they don’t belong to this house so I’m going to ignore them.

But their names pop up in my WiFi detection box.

And that’s the reason for this post.

Hence the name, geddit?

Which leads me to names.

Here’s some of the best of the local (private) WiFi networks that are registering on my radar right now…

Dude, we stopped using vacuum tubes in electronic gear about fifty years ago! If your WiFi gear is actually composed of a series of tubes… well… I just don’t believe it. Of course, you could be talking about yourself I guess. Which would make the name more or less correct.

Bristol City
Dude, dude, dude, dude… Brixton. Not Bristol. Pay attention at the back. B.R.I.X.T.O.N. C’mon! Keep with it.

Is that in an arty crafty kind of way? Or a Fagin kind of way? I need to know and I need to know right now!

That’s enough WiFi names for now.

Perhaps I’ll do more later.


Perhaps I’ll write about a whole different subject later.

Names of types of pasta, for example?


Lunch (no ladies wot)

I sat outside, it’s a brilliantly warm sunny day with the campus bathed in hot sunlight, fanned by a gentle cool breeze.

Lunch – taken outside on one of the benches, shared with a couple of PYT’s from BBSRC – consisted of:

* a book
* a bottle of water
* iPod (Ministry of Sound Chillout CD #1)
* a bowl of Super Fruit Salad from the Co-op

And the scores on the doors are…
* the book was mediocre; one I found in the common room on the first floor in this building when I was searching for a read
* the bottle of water did what it was supposed to do
* the iPod tunes were very calming, but
* the bowl of fruit salad was a banquet; 250g of mixed melon, pineapple, stawberries, kiwi, blueberries and pomegranate. Brilliant!

Now I’m chilled, fed, watered and ready to face this afternoon’s handover meetings.


Food for thought

The office in-house caterer has gone ‘healthy’.

I’ve moaned about the lack of chips and baked beans on the daily menu to so many of the staff that they now join in when I kick that rant off.

I think I need to take a quick sidebar to explain that, being a vegetarian, chips and baked beans is my fall-back.

On days when either the token vegetarian offering is something I don’t eat (e.g. ‘curry’) or – heavens above! – something I just don’t fancy on the day… on those days I’ll take chips and baked beans then load my plate with every type of vegetable on offer.

And that would be lunch.

But today there’s been a development.

The sandwich shop – which is run by the same bunch of caterers – has also gone ‘healthy’.

Today’s selection of pre-packed sandwiches include titles such as:
Coronation chicken
Goat’s cheese and asparagus
Chargrilled vegetables
Gorgonzola pate with proscutto crudo
Shaved cheddar and mediterranean salad

I felt like asking the person at the till if I could have a chip butty.



It’s National Chip week!

How cool is that? So we can all go out and eat chips because…

Because we don’t need an excuse anyway?



Rock ‘N’ Roll Mercenaries

The evening has an air of Sunday Night about it, don’t ask me why, it just does.

I’m not back to school tomorrow.

It just does.

So I’m sitting here doing my usual Sunday Night tasks:
Backing up the laptop on to Drive A – the half-terabyte external disk drive I keep for such purposes.

And then backing up the laptop on to Drive B – another half-terabyte external disk drive I keep, etc, etc.

And reading blogs – not in a haphazard way, just the ones that I regularly read.

Except everyone’s being a little quiet for some reason or other.


And dipping in to that other Sunday Night activity while all the backing up (beep, beep, beep… geddit? Oh, I’m so funny!) is going on – iPoding.

Or to be more correct – weeding out those tracks which have been relegated from my iPod playlist and adding a little of whatever tickles my fancy from the iStore or from the extensive CD collection that lives, Harry Potter-like, in the cupboard under the stairs.

That’s how I came across the reference in the earlier post to Adele – her name and the words ‘Home Town’ were on a Notepad file on a pen drive.

A little googling got me to where I wanted to be but…

Bit annoyed I can’t download Hometown Glory!

I make digital recordings or electronic notes – when I hear tracks – when I hear something I like; I tend to leave the notes all over the place, come upon them weeks later.

It’s such a pleasant surprise to sample a 30-second clip of a track and think… Yep, that’s really brilliant. I’ll get it!

It validates my original thinking.

Not hugely detailed notes though, just the name of the artist and track name (if the radio announcer bothers to back-announce such details – but you’d be amazed just how bloody shoddy some of the DJs on Radio 1 are when it comes to such a basic job function. Or maybe you wouldn’t – most Radio 1 DJs being employed these days for some deeply obscure quality that’s far too deep for the rest of mankind to fathom. Yes Fearne Cotton, I’m talking about you, you talentless, feckless, brainless, gob on a stick bimbo).


The Lovely S sits beside me, similarly engaged in the iPod world – but for the first time.

She is listening to a Russell Brand podcast – giggling away at it in a very slightly demented manner.

Currently being imported in to my installation of iTunes, as I prattle away, is the album Ágætis Byrjun by Sigur Rós.

I’ve got their second album – Takk – but this one’s a new discovery and I look forward to learning much about it.

Speaking of music – have you got the blog-post naming convention yet? I started this run ages ago! πŸ™‚ Apart from the OU posts which are named far more prosaically.


Prosaically and in context! πŸ™‚

And Oh My God!

I’ve just realised I’m writing two blog posts at the same time – one in Word for a later time and this one in WordPress for now.

How complicated!


It’s OK now though. I’ve saved and closed the other one, back here with you now, totally focussed once more.

Listening to Hometown Glory again. Loud.

That’s the same piano sample that Timbaland used on Apologise, right?

Just realised, this is a bit ‘stream of consciousness’ but that wasn’t intentional, just turned out this way.

Like life.

Just turned out this way – no Great Master Plan.

Hang on, Hometown Glory needs resetting.

Back wiv ya.

How’s yours been – Christmas, I mean?

Why do I feel so worn out when the most energetic thing I’ve done was Vin-related duties on Christmas Day?

Apart from that I’ve been waited on, hand and foot.

Except my feet weren’t actually waited on.

Stupid expression.

Anyway, I have been waited on (but not in a partial-body kind of way).

I’m the vegetarian – the sole vegetarian (the soul vegetarian too) – of the gathering.

And yet I was spoilt for choice when it came to eating.

The Lovely S’s mother always makes such a determined effort to see me trundle out of the house on wheels because my fat little legs no longer work properly.

It’s flattering really, that she goes to such an effort to ensure that I’m so well catered for (pun!).

But Oh My Lord did we do some eating over Christmas.

I might have a few days on light food while I’m in Spain, otherwise Vin’s going to complain his arse off on New Year’s Day when I climb aboard.

Though, frankly, light food is what I’m going to be on anyway – La Alpujarra and La Sierra Nevada not exactly being vegetarian enclaves, oh no.

Ah, I see that I’ve eased out of prattling and in to rambling mode.

A sure sign that I should close down and head for bed.