Wednesday, August 22, 2007

What season did you say this is?

It's cold, dark, wet, windy and miserable, I've just turned the heating on and I'm debating whether to have soup or stew for dinner. According to Wunderground, it's 15C out there, with 88% humidity. Surely this can't be summer? Surely I must have got the seasons wrong?

Either that or I've been transported to Australia when I wasn't looking.

I hope you're having better weather wherever you are. Enjoy it while it lasts, folks, and whatever it is that you're unhappy with, be it a bit of grey or too much sunshine, spare a thought for those of us who've had 3 months of autumn and are bracing ourselves for another 3 months of the same. Bah humbag!

Sunday, August 19, 2007

A radio station with a difference

Pandora Radio is an internet-based website that plays music it thinks you'll love. You input your favourite track/album/artist and it comes back with other suggestions in the same vein. It's based on the Music Genome Project, allegedly the most comprehensive analysis of music ever undertaken. Once you put in your choice, Pandora scans its world of analyzed music to find songs with musical similarities (in terms of melody, harmony, rhythm, instrumentation, orchestration, arrangement, lyrics, singing and vocal harmony) to your choice.

I put in "Paul Simon" and so far I got two songs by Paul Simon, as well as Cat Stevens, Bob Dylan and Afro Celt Sound System.

Pandora streams music at 128 kbps. You need a broadband connection (DSL or Cable) of at least 150 kbps, and a browser like IE or Firefox. You also need a US Zip Code because their music licence requires listeners to be United States residents, but they're trying to make it available worldwide. Until then, you can have a go to see how it works by clicking on the link above.

Happy listening!

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Harry Potter prints

Such exciting news! Internet website Movieprints has been licensed by Warner Brothers to sell more than 300 stills from the five Harry Potter movies. The prints are available in several sizes, including a 5ft-wide canvas (for the hard core fans), costing from as little as £5 for an 8" x 6" (297 x 152 mm) print.

As prints with a London theme go, Flying over the Thames and The Knight Bus racing through the streets look way more interesting than the usual line-up of Big Ben, Piccadilly Circus and Tower Bridge - although this poster of Piccadilly Circus is actually rather cool.

Affirmation for today

I'm sure that somewhere in the world there is a boss more psycho than mine. I just haven't met him yet.

Susan Donovan said it first, but it's so true in my case too.
I found the cartoon

Wednesday, August 15, 2007


I saw this in the paper the other day and it made me chuckle.

Click on the image if you can't make out the punchline.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Even more fun with clouds

My friend George took this photo in Greece, at Psatha Beach near Athens. He emailed it to me this morning and I liked it so much I asked for permission to post it on my blog. Thanks, George!

Having fun with clouds

One of the joys of living in a country where there are clouds in the sky pretty much year round, is that you can occasionally take nice pictures of them. Here's one that my friend Loops took of a formation that looks like Concorde. I love it!

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Christmas is coming

It's the 1st August and I bet Christmas couldn't be further from your mind. It's certainly nowhere near mine. Or rather, it wasn't - until I got an email from UNICEF Christmas Cards and Gifts advising me that "a brand new collection of greeting cards, Christmas cards, calendars and diaries and so many gifts for family and friends" is now available.

Now, I have a lot of things on my mind at the moment, such as:

What to wear at my boss's BBQ;
How to escape to sunnier climes again before the summer's over;
What book to read next - Twelve Sharp or A Spot of Bother;
When is the next Debenhams Blue X sale;
How to find time to go for a manicure/reflexology/full body massage;
Who to go to the Bolshoi with;
What to cook for dinner;
and so on.

Christmas card buying just doesn't feature in my Top 10, 20 or 30 - in fact I've not thought of Christmas in anything other than the vaguest terms since, well, last January, when I put away the festive decorations. So why does UNICEF consider 1st August the optimum time to start its Christmas gift buying campaign? Do people really think "oh my God, it's August, better buy some Christmas cards before I forget"?

I have a lot of respect for UNICEF and its work, so I don't like slamming them, but some perspective would be good. I used to think that sending me their winter catalogue in September (while I was still on my summer holiday) was taking forward planning to extremes, but an August campaign really takes the biscuit. Sorry UNICEF, but I intend to enjoy summer (especially now it's finally here - hip hip hurray) and celebrate Diwali, Halloween and Guy Fawke's Night before I even *think* about ordering Christmas cards.

Now where is the Delete button?