Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Manchester jackpot

It's been decided: Manchester will be the home of the first Las Vegas-style super-casino in Britain.

The proposed site will contain up to 1,250 unlimited-jackpot gaming machines and an entertainment complex with a range of facilities such as a multi-purpose arena, a swimming pool, an urban sports venue, restaurants, bars, a nightclub and a hotel. The project is expected to regenerate a run-down area in the east of the city, promising a £265m investment and 2,700 jobs.

This is all great news for Mancunians, and God knows London doesn't need any more tourist attractions, however I can't help wondering... are we ever going to get rid of the Dome?

Chocolate for Valentine's day

I don't usually celebrate Valentine's day, but having just received the new Hotel Chocolat brochure, I think I might make an exception this year, on the basis that few things can rival quality chocolate, and this chocolate is as quality as it gets.

Go on - feast your eyes: http://www.hotelchocolat.co.uk/

Another one of those days

Today was a tough day. I was on my feet non-stop from 8:45 AM to 4:45 PM and my head felt fuzzy when I left the office. Admittedly that could have been hunger - or sugar overload, as once again I skipped lunch and had 3 cookies instead (one chocolate, one cherry, one toffee popcorn). Or it could have been that I'd not had any fresh air or natural daylight all day.

I'm on a residential training course tomorrow and Thursday, and on some sort of site visit on Friday. I don't like most of the people on my course, but we'll spend 10+ hours a day cooped up in some conference facility outside London, bonding and learning about ourselves. I need to work some more tonight to make up for the "downtime", so I brought the laptop home (which I hate doing). Life sucks sometimes.

On the plus side, I had a little snooze when I got home so I'm feeling a bit more clear-headed now, Tesco delivered our groceries with just one substitution (so hubby won't starve while I'm away), I had a delicious mug of cappuccino to pick me up, and Battlestar Galactica's about to start.

Oh and the days are definitely getting longer. I noticed it was still just about light when I got home this evening :-)

Monday, January 29, 2007

I hate Mondays

Except Bank Holiday Mondays, that is. Those I love.

I suppose Mondays are a necessary evil. I ought to see them in a positive light - they bring you one step closer to next weekend. But that's hard to appreciate at 7:40 on a Monday morning.

At least the weather seems to be picking up a little. It's ever so slightly less bleak out there this morning compared to recent mornings.

Perhaps the days are getting longer after all :-)

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow

Well, what can I say? The snow dances must have worked! I woke up this morning and found everything covered in white. It's freezing cold, and I'm loving it.

This is the view from my window. Isn't it beautiful?

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Frakking awesome

Just watched the fourth episode of the third season - Exodus Part II. Simply put, WOW. Battlestar Galactica rocks. I was on the edge of my seat for the duration. I won't say more in case I spoil it for you, but if you're not watching it, you don't know what you're missing.

If you're thinking of the Battlestar Galactica of our childhoods, think again. This new series is on a different level. The basic story is pretty much the same: we follow the journey of the last surviving humans from the Twelve Colonies after their nuclear annihilation by the Cylons. The survivors are led by President Laura Roslin (Mary McDonnell) and Commander William Adama (Edward James Olmos) in a ragtag fleet of ships, with the Battlestar Galactica at the lead. The humans are pursued by the Cylons who are intent on wiping out the remnants of the human race, while they travel across the galaxies looking for the fabled Thirteenth colony, which is none other than Earth. This is pretty much as sci-fi as it gets. In between the occasional space battle, the issues tackled by the show are very earthly indeed: birth rights, justice, friendship, religion, prejudice, genocide, love triangles, father/son relationships, suicide bombing, and the nature of humanity.

Battlestar Galactica is smartly written and wonderfully acted. There are no actors in stupid alien makeup, no fancy laser guns, no mumbo-jumbo sci-fi lingo. This isn't a show for hard core sci-fi enthusiasts. It's a show for those who are looking for food for thought as opposed to light entertainment. It's dark and compelling. It's the kind of show where you can watch each episode two or three times and still spot things - references, nuances, the odd meaningful look - that you'd missed first time round, which will shed light to something that happens five episodes later.

For me, Battlestar Galactica is the best TV show there is at the moment. Simple as that.

Watch it on Tuesday nights at 9:00 PM on Sky One. http://www.scifi.com/battlestar/

Monday, January 22, 2007

I wanna see snow

It's cold, it's dark, BBC Weather keeps predicting snow, but nothing yet. They've had some in Scotland - what about us down south? Eh?

I love snow and I feel cheated. At least if the days were getting longer, that'd be a consolation of sorts. But they don't feel longer in the mornings and they don't feel longer in the evenings, so where exactly are they getting longer? In the middle?!

Off to get on with the snow dances...