Category: Me me me (page 2 of 7)

Britain Has Got Talent

Some years ago, I went to see (hear) The Planet Suite by Holst, being played at the Royal Festival Hall.

It was bloody brilliant.  And I found myself slightly star-struck, when I realised I was sitting just two seats away from Julian Lloyd Webber.

Recently I’ve been longing to go and see (hear) it again… although I doubt Jules will be there this time.

And so tonight finds me searching the internets for tickets.

Tickets to see (hear) The Planet Suite.

All of it.

By Gustav Holst.

I couldn’t find any though and somehow I ended up just listening to Jupiter on YouTube.

Which was great.

But, then the ‘YouTube sidebar of time-wasting’ sucked me in, and I found myself clicking on all sorts of videos, only to emerge two hours later, bleary-eyed and finding that everyone had gone to bed.

But, I thought I’d share a couple of favourites that I found, with you… they’re fairly short.

I would love to have been there for this one, but being a southerner, I missed out. I very much doubt it’s ever going to happen in our shopping mall in town.

And this one just made me jealous: the talent of this fella! It’s scenes like this that make me wish I’d paid more attention to my music teacher at school.

 

Telescope or horoscope?

Flicking through the BBC website t’other day, I saw a link which said “Space Calendar: What’s Happening In 2019?”… or something like that.

It turned out to be on the Newsround site – aimed at kids – so it was very easy for me to understand 🙂

I enjoyed the read, until I got to November, where I found an error (which I have highlighted in the picture above).

For some reason I found myself incensed with this and tried to leave a comment on the site, to alert them to their heinous blunder – I mean, how could they confuse celestial mumbo-jumbo with proper science?

Unfortunately, my BBC login wouldn’t allow me to do so, saying that I was way too old to comment on the site – like I was some kind of space-nerd paedo, or something.  This incensed me even further and I started composing a a strongly worded email to the Beeb… before something else caught my attention and distracted me.

And then I lost interest.

Us Taureans have a short attention span, y’see.

Anyway, I’m pleased to see that they have now corrected it.

That’s enough

I can’t take anymore.

I’m all partied out.

Following the slew of parties before Christmas, we then had – of course – our own Christmas day festivities, at home. This was followed up on Christmas night by a visit to my sister’s, where further festivities took place.

For “festivities”, read “drinks”.

Quite a boozy Christmas, all in all.

And, we have just returned from a weekend up near Daventry, where we attended a family wedding ceremony.

Followed by “festivities”.

A lot of festivities.

Quite frankly, I just want to spend the next two days just laying  in front of the telly, with several cups of tea… and stuffing out-of-date mince pies down my gullet.

But no. It’s New Year’s Eve tomorrow and we have been invited to the traditional family knees-up: always a raucous affair, with plenty of … (ahem),  festivities.

Mrs M has already given her apologies, as she will be working late and is doubtful she can make it.

I, however, have no excuse.

Save for a liver that is crying out for some time off.

That’s two, three and four out of the way

As mentioned in my previous post, Wednesday saw me at a pub in Wooburn Green, out near High Wycombe, for the GB3AL User Group Christmas dinner. It was good to finally meet up with these guys and put faces to names and callsigns.

A good time was had by all and – for me – it was marred only by the food. Bearing in mind it’s the run up to Christmas, I was surprised to see no turkey dinners on the menu, so we ended up having burger and chips. “Gourmet” burger and chips. Don’t get me wrong, it was bloody delicious, but it was a Christmas function and, as such, I was expecting to eat a Christmas dinner.

Thursday was the second works’ Christmas do and about sixty of us descended on an Italian restaurant in Reading town centre. And this place  had a proper Christmas menu – ie, a menu especially for the season. However, once again, not a turkey dinner in sight! I had Crostata Del Giardino to start, followed by Chicken And Polpette Al Forno and finally Christmas Pudding for dessert – their one concession to a traditional Christmas menu.  The food was fantastic though and couldn’t be faulted.

Maybe expecting a traditional English Christmas dinner at an Italian restaurant was too much.

And last Friday’s do was an Indian all-you-can-eat buffet… again, very nice.

But…

That’s three Christmas functions I have been to so far, with not a slice of turkey or a Brussels sprout to be seen.

This can’t be right.

Surely.

But, I have high hopes of the fifth do next week, which is in a Beefeater pub.

Finally: the stag do we had on Friday was a boozy affair in a local establishment, which ended up with a fight at the end. Whilst I wasn’t a participant, I was one of the party involved and my face is now known, so I doubt I’ll be able to step foot in there again.

Oh well.

One down

Friday was the first Christmas do of the year, for me.

It was the first of three work functions that I’m attending in the run up to Christmas.

But I also have another do next week: the GB3AL User Group Christmas Dinner: half-a-dozen blokes who I have spoken to regularly on the radio over the past year. Never met them, but I’ve been invited to their annual Xmas get-together, so that should be fun. I’m really looking forward to it.

Then we have the second works’ do.

And then on Friday evening: a stag do.

It’s gonna be a boozy week.

But no boozier than the one I went to on Friday.  Because that one had that greatest thing that any Christmas party can have: a free bar. Woohoo!

I was off my tits.

I think.

But, I also had a bit of a boogie on the dance-floor and somehow, that always seems to negate the alcohol. Don’t know if I sweat it out, but for the amount that I drank, I should probably have been on my back (actually, I think I was, a couple of times). Don’t get me wrong, the dancing doesn’t sober me up completely – as was evident by my rubbish fleckerls – but it does seem to help.

So, one party down… four more to go.

Hic.

 

Shopping Trip

On Saturday I went to the Motorcycle Show at the NEC in Birmingham.

And I spent £45,000.

 

In.

My.

Head.

In actuality, I spent just 8 quid.

On a cheeseburger!

Criminal.

But, jeez, there are some bloody  nice bikes out there.

Not that I  need a new bike: my one goes well; it looks nice and I enjoy riding it.

But ‘need’ is different to ‘want’.

And right now, having had my appetite whetted, I sooooo want a new ride.

That one at the top will do nicely, thank you.

Ah ha!

There’s been a lot of good stuff on the telly over the years.

Of course, there’s also been a hell of a lot of dross.

And sometimes, the good stuff can get lost in the dross.

And sometimes, even when I’ve heard good reviews of programmes, I find that I just don’t get round to watching them.

It was like that with The Office: heard so much about it, but somehow just never bothered.

Until I was working up in Glasgow for several months and found myself desperately searching for box sets to watch in my free time. A friend lent me a DVD of Gervais’ mockumentary series and I was hooked.

Likewise, I was searching through Netflix the other day, trying to find some half-hour comedy programmes to watch, when I found the section entitled “Critically Acclaimed Witty British and European Comedies”.  Or something like that. And there, nestled in amongst the likes of Black Adder and Fawlty Towers was “I’m Alan Partridge”.

Made eleven years ago, how had I missed this particular gem? It’s just brilliant! And Steve Coogan is a bloody genius.

I know there’s plenty of other stuff out there that I’ve missed, so if either of you have any suggestions…

A perfect weekend

Yesterday morning found me back at Bletchley Park.

This time – having looked around the Cyber Security exhibit first and finding myself feeling pretty non-plussed about it all – I wandered over to Hut 12, which housed a James Bond exhibition.

Being a big Bond fan, I had high hopes for this, but they were ultimately dashed once I stepped inside. The exhibition was  – in the main – a load of paintings hung on the walls, each with a Bond connection. For some, that connection was vague, to say the least.

Far more interesting (to me, at least) was a couple of glass cases, that housed original letters typed and signed by Ian Fleming to the high-ups at Bletchley Park.

As Personal Assistant to the Director of Naval Intelligence, Fleming had a high security clearance, giving him access to many high level reports in his role to find ways of intercepting enemy coding materials.

He even contrived a scheme to get hold of Enigma paperwork, by disguising a British aircrew as Germans and then crashing them into the Atlantic in a captured German bomber, to lure a German rescue ship. The crew would then overpower and kill their rescuers and capture the papers and/or an Enigma machine.

Operation Ruthless – as it came to be called – never happened, due to a lack of suitable targets, but with that sort of cunning and imagination, it’s easy to see where the James Bond stories came from.

After all that, I headed to Oxford, where I met up with some friends from work and we saw the sights did a pub crawl.

I got back to my hotel in the early hours and slept like a log – well, I probably would have, if I didn’t have the bladder of a small child and the need to get up several times in the night!   My head was thumping this morning, but a hearty breakfast and several mugs of tea later and I am as right as rain.

Which is exactly what it’s been doing all day, so that means I can’t cut the grass, as planned.

Shame. 🙂

Dvorak

Occasionally, as I have mentioned here before, I will get a tune stuck in my head.  An earworm, as some people call it.

This has happened again.

For a whole week – and even as I type – I have had Antonin Dvorak’s 9th Symphony stuck between my ears.

Not ALL of it, of course, because it’s a bit lengthy, but bits of it.

Bits out of ALL 4 movements.

Now, I’m not averse to a bit of Dvorak and I’m sure that many would agree that his ninth symphony is well worth listening to.

But, it’s been a week now, so it is starting to grate a little.

And it doesn’t help that when my brain decides that it wants to listen to the 2nd movement, it also puts on a strong Yorkshire accent and adds the words “Eee, he were a great baker, our Grandad”.

Je suis revenu

Not that you’d know I’d been away.

But I have.

I’ve been down to the South of France to spend a week with the family. They are all still down there and won’t be home till the weekend.

But I am now back at home… scratching my mosquito bites.

How was your holiday, I hear you ask?

Well, it was OK. A bit too hot, maybe, but I kept out of the sun as much as I could.

To be honest, I was getting a bit bored after a while.

I always do.

Fortunately, we had a hire car, so we went out a few times. The picture above was taken on my phone, as we walked back to the car, after a hard day’s Geocaching.

My flights on SleazyJet were uneventful, save for the delays. But I was pleased to see that we had a pilot with a sense of humour on the flight home last night:

“For those of you on the left-hand side of the plane: if you look out of your windows you will see a lovely cloudless view of London. You won’t get a better view than that. And for those of you on the right-hand side of the plane… if you look to your left, you’ll see the heads of the people on the left-hand side of the plane, enjoying a wonderful view of London. I’m afraid you won’t get a better view than that.”

I had a window seat on the left-hand side and it was indeed a fantastic view. Being nighttime though, I didn’t recognise any of it.

Upon landing, I was disappointed to find that the free shuttle-bus to the train station, now costs £2.30.

I was annoyed even further when, having purchased my train ticket, I found that the gates were open at either end and I could have ridden for free.

And the final twenty-minute walk home from the station stretched to nearly double that, because my carry-on bag weighed more than twice as much as it had when I originally packed it – carrying most of Mrs M’s clothes as well, due to her needing to make space in her suitcase for all the extra stuff she’d bought out there.

But anyway, I’m back now and the dog is pleased to see me and the temperature is more comfortable and the bed… well, there’s nothing like your own bed, is there?

Now, where did I put that bite cream…?

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