Film news…

Got to see… 

Transformers (hey, I’ve seen four trailers for it; it looks brilliant!),


The Simpsons


The Bourne Ultimatum.

On Sunday The Lovely S and I are going to see the latest Harry Potter film.


Writing? Of course!

My friend is running a writing course.

A course for those wishing to improve their writing.

Style, technique, voice – the lot.

And she’s holding this course…

In Umbria, Italy.

Now come on people.

Doesn’t this sound good?

Trouble is, I don’t know if she’s got any spare places.

But if you’re interested, drop me a line.

I’ll ask for you.


This is the age of the train?

Try this commute, any websites you can think of.

Your journey is Bromsgrove to Swindon.

A. by Train:
= 3 hours
(Bromsgrove to Birmingham New Street
Birmingham New Street to Bristol Temple Meads
Bristol Temple Meads to Swindon)

B. by Car:
= 1½ hours
(A38 to M5
M5 to A419
A419 to Swindon)

Public transport being an alternative to car use?

I really don’t think so.


Book review: the book, the film, the t-shirt by Matt Beaumont

Front cover description: ‘a very funny book about very stupid people’



I laughed once during this book (top of page 139 if you’re interested).

But don’t think I didn’t like it.

I did.

I loved it – really!

It’s clever and very well written – and I can like and admire cleverness and good writing when I see it.

I loved the cleverness of the names, to give two examples:
1. A character called Norman The Cook (who my head instantly renamed ‘Fatboy Slim’).

2. Greg Fuller, owner of half of an Ad Agency. The balance of the company is owned by Max Scheidt (and the agency is called Fuller Scheidt, geddit?)

I also loved the cleverness of the telling:
Alternate scenes are told through the eyes of a different character. The resultant story comes from the minds of nine different narrators.

See what I mean?


The dialogue is good.

The stupid characters are stupidly believable.

The not-stupid characters are very realistic.

And, on the whole, likeable.

It’s just not the corset-tearingly funny novel that the blurb would have you think the book is going to be.

And while I’m talking about appearances not living up to expectations…

I’d advise Matt Beaumont to get his photo changed.

Doesn’t he know that the only balding, middle-aged men who sport two day’s growth and wear a huge ear-ring in one ear are commonly called ‘W*nkers’?

So there we are then.

the book, the film, the t-shirt by Matt Beaumont – who may or may not be a w*nker.

A not particularly funny romp through ad-land and commercial-land.

But well written and cleverly constructed.

Facebook, Faceparty, Bebo – social networking websites

With the news that Facebook might seek a horrendously large buyout in the future…

And that Facebook is facing a lawsuit from another social networker…

I’m wondering stuff.

Things like:

Can the growth in networking/social websites be sustained?

Whatever happened to email and Messenger, how did they become ‘unfashionable’?

How long before the market (consumer) reaches saturation point?

Whatever happened to email and Messenger, how did they become ‘unfashionable’?

Is there a natural age bar to using social network websites?

Whatever happened to email and Messenger, how did they become ‘unfashionable’?



I know I’ve repeated the question.

But that’s rather the point.

We have NNTP newsgroups (once considered the mutt’s nuts); individual email (also touted as the dog’s danglers); email mailing lists (an extension of email); websites (text/graphical and searchable); blogs (ditto but interactive too)…

So are social networks really ‘something new’?

Or are they merely a minute functional extension of ‘all of the above’?

Did Web 2.0 begin with blogging and will it end with social networking?

Which raises the question – what are social networking websites for?

Faceparty – one of the earliest social networking websites – has been nicknamed (perhaps unfairly) ‘find-a-shag’.

Certainly Faceparty has an ‘adult’ section to its content.

Is this perhaps what we mean?

Are the words ‘social networking websites’ really just a euphemism for ‘find-a-shag’?

I’m not being snobbish about this.

I’m just trying to understand the…

Need, I suppose.


I’m just trying to understand the need.

This morning’s show jumping…

Didn’t happen.

Yeah, I know.

Waste of space.

It didn’t happen because I was too tired last night.

I could explain but…

But I schooled Vin this afternoon; flatwork.

He was tense across his back and a little stiff on the right rein but his left rein work was much improved.

And now I’m about to dig out Prelim 18 and start a learning programme in preparation for Sunday’s combined training at Allenshill.

Just had a text from Gary The Lorry Mechanic.

Big Bird (my lorry) needs a new exhaust.



For the busy motorist

Afraid of getting caught out?

Need to ‘go’ but you’re already going somewhere?

Caught in a nose-to-tail jam with the tortoise poking its nose out?

About to lose that bloated feeling in an unwelcome way?

Getting desperate for relief and looking for a relief road?

Need to go on the go?

You need…


Designed by NASA scientists working with Jacques Cousteau, we can finally unveil the 21st Century invention that you’ve been so desperate for.


A toilet built in to your car seat.

Now you no longer need to be touching cloth.

Just unzip and let rip with Carmode!

Puts you back in the driving seat once more.

£2,011.99p excluding VAT and P&P*

*P&P in this instance means ‘Post and Packaging’

Passive smoking can kill you

the words Hell and Handbasket figure largely in my head today…

In west London a 47-year-old former British Heavyweight Champion is in hospital fighting for his life.

Not because of any boxing-related issue.

But just because he asked a couple of guys in a club not to smoke.

Well, it’s illegal to smoke indoors in a public place, right?


So these guys, the smokers, put out their cigarettes.

And left the club.

But on the way out.

One of the smokers drew a gun and shot the guy.

Bang bang you’re dead.

Except that James – the ex-boxing champion – is still hanging in there.

What kind of a country do we have here now?

I’m so sad and ashamed.



A Very Jumpy Pone

Which sounds scarily like a Sooty episode but isn’t

On Saturday evening I decided that Vin needed to have some jump schooling.

Possible show jumping at Allenshill on Tuesday and a return there for some combined training next Sunday?

Yep, definitely need to get some practice.

I thought about it for a while and decided to build three small, unrelated fences, on different lines in the arena.

We know he can jump big.

What we need to instil in him is his ability to jump from a slower, bouncier, more consistent rhythm.

So that was going to be the aim of this batch of schooling: rhythm and consistency.

But first the hard part prior to schooling.

Getting out of bed.

Crikey, that’s a hard one.

I’d served The Lovely S with breakfast in bed.

Breakfast in bed is fast becoming a regular feature in our lives.

And then we settled down with our books.

And read.

Occasionally stroked and fondled.

Sometimes paused for cuddles.

And a brief snooze or two.

I don’t know when I got up but it was gone midday – The Lovely S had preceded me by at least half an hour.

Showered, shaved, dressed and with both of us in the car, our first port of call was Bromsgrove.

A pub.

For lunch.

Well, it was lunchtime!

Having eaten we walked up the High Street to Costa for a Hot Chocolate and no cake.

How virtuous are we?

Then I dropped The Lovely S at home.

And made my way to the yard.

Where I fed Beech some sliced apple, groomed him and generally loved him up.

He’s looking good, considering.

No horse will maintain condition having been on box rest for three months and Beech (being a highly strung Thoroughbred) is quick to drop weight at the best of times.

But he’s really not doing too badly.

Down at the field Vin was thrilled to see me; I opened the gate and he walked out, put his nose in the headcollar and said ‘hello’ the way he does.

Yep, I’m now wearing a green polo-shirt, not a white one.

He was easy to groom and stood patiently while I fannied about tacking him up and then building a small course of jumps in the arena.

With that lot finished and me on board, we worked on the flat for 10 minutes.

Lots of transitions to get his bum underneath him, relax his back and get his head working.

And then for the next 20 minutes we worked on our exercise:
One fence repeatedly on laps of the arena to establish rhythm. Then change the rein to achieve the same standard in the opposite direction.
Then two fences repeatedly on laps of the arena to establish… you get it I’m sure. Then change the rein.
Then three fences as a small course still concentrating on maintaining our rhythm, then change the rein to get the same effect…

Twenty minutes of low-level jump schooling.

When I dismounted I was covered in perspiration.

Vin, I’m glad to say, was hardly sweating.

He’s a big, strong, fit boy.

With him groomed, fed tea, rugged up and turned back out (and me hot chocolated) it was time to return home.

In my absence the Lovely S had done a load of ironing.

And prepared tea.

And was about to serve it.

Spag Bol!

How excellent.

Since then I’ve washed up, dried up and put away.

I feel replete.

And complete.

And effete.

And very smiley.