Tuesday, 30 September 2008

Post 600 :Trivia (no change there then ed.)

365 - 238 - in the movies, originally uploaded by the brownhorse.

Small things that annoy me more than they should
London cinema times:

Monopoly free market capitalism (how's it going guys oh that bad shame) has done some terrible things namely Simon Cowell, the Bho Pal disaster, the film titanic and renaming chocolate bars randomly one of the most trivial but telling is that in London it tries to cram two showings of films into one evening .

The upshot being that the first sitting is too early 5.50pm and the later one that bit too late 8.50 sometimes. On an evening you want to go to the flicks at 7 ish or perhaps half past so you can have a spot of tea or a pint and then catch the film not rush to the cinema straight from work or for the later showing hang around in town drinking too much waiting for the film to start and them getting home late on a school night.

But no the xfactorsrunningsnickernamingpopcornpeddlers do their best to ruin your evening.

Like I say a minor thing but annoying.

Small things that please me in order to balance irrational annoyances above.

I found a fiver in the ticket pocket of Jeans; I decided to call it lunch.

The Met office has a spokesman called Barry Gromett, it’s not his fault but if you are deliberately putting yourself in the public eye don’t have a hilarious tip top name like Barry Gromett. Is Barry a name that’s died out? I think I like it almost as much as the woman on the radio who seems to be called Fenella Fudge or even the reporter Julia Caesar.

Notes on my 600th post:

People often wax lyrical at such "landmark" points in time and tell you what they've learnt etc, all I know as off today is that:

Mono is spanish for Monkey,

that the yellow snow is never someone's spilt limeade

that you should never play cards with Sicilians

that you shouldn't fight a land war in Europe on 2 fronts

Oh and that you should never miss the opportunity to wish your friends, family and types you bump into on the net the best of health and happiness. Keep yourselves warm and safe and if your going to that London put some money in your sock.

yours as ever C... oh sorry BLTP

Monday, 29 September 2008

Sloe drinking weekend

This week I have mostly been drinking ...
To Upper street (yeah I know) to meet BLBW for some free beer, it was at the design centre which I didn’t know had this amazing roof behind its crap 80’s front. The beer expo was really good more relaxed and less blokey than the Great British beer fest, with time to talk to producers and taste (little measures not pints) lots of beers. The God lager was good (which is what the name means in Swedish!) We had some excellent beer and cheese from Exmoor and from Czech and the Badger ales were as good as ever. Beer people on the whole are generally friendly types so we had a pleasant time.

During a break in expo we retired to the George Lamb (?) in Quick st which even though it’s a bit upper middle class won me over they were playing Billy Bragg as we walked in, they served excellent soused sardines and plates of ham and the beer was good too. I’m afraid I like a dodgy boozer but sometimes a bit of autumn sun, the tang of the med on your lips, Billy singing Woody in your ears is not too bad at all.

Sunday saw what is now an annual tradition (3 years and counting) picking sloes for sloe gin. We went to Ashtead common which is great for us city dwellers as it is only 30 mins on the train and is next to the station at the other end (plus we own the place anyway). The sloes were a bit thin on the bush because of the poor summer but we took some arty pictures of the burnt oaks (again!) and drank some of last year’s sloe gin to bless this year’s crop (this is now a tradition do you see how these things work).

As I’ve said before if you want to know about sloe gin can I direct you to my favourite site on the web “Sloebiz” an entire site devoted to sloes and sloe gin which proves that British people are strange and wonderful by turn. Watch this space for a sloe recipe I’m working on.

Sunday, 28 September 2008

Orange Crass

Orange Crush, originally uploaded by Sofia Katariina.

Do ask what your country can do for you......

I’m confused, I just seen an advert about the Orange Rocks concert it’s the one at the Albert Hall that Busta Rhymes got arrested at the airport trying to perform at.

Apparently the deal is the concerts for kids who have volunteered in their local communities as a thank you for their work. What a "brilliat idea I here you say and well done to the performers for supporting the concert and to Orange for funding it.

Now I don’t want to be churlish but I’m not that impressed with paying people to volunteer. Because to “earn” this exciting night out the kids only have to do 4 hours voluntary work. I may have missed a meeting or 2 but all the volunteers I’ve worked and it’s quite a few over the years have never done it me for money. Because I reckon these tickets could easily go for at least £40.

So for not much work (what with a bit of faffing around at the start handing tools, a pop break (kids sad fools don’t drink tea) and some larking about (they are kids after all) they earn £40 . Now if there was scheme for kids to do stuff for pay I’d not complain that much but volunteering is volunteering the work and the experience are their own reward (my none conformist roots are showing here aren’t sorry)

Here are some reasons people volunteer:
To make their local patch that bit better, to help people, to work with kids, to work with animals, to safe old buildings, to plant trees, to sit and natter with poorly folk, to help produce plays, music or art, for a laugh, for the friendship, to see places they wouldn’t normally get to, to help them get a better job, to put something back oh and for the odd digestive and a cup of tea.

Money other than the odd bus fare never comes into it, this scheme is so deeply flawed it’s risible.

Yes I know the idea is to encourage the kids to continue after the event but unless we continue to pay them why would they turn up? Because to get the bug for volunteering it takes time for the rewards to come through (see above) this scheme may have had something if the kids have had to more to get their “reward”.

So lets get this straight people giving their time (labour, skills etc) for free to make the world better is brilliant world changing idea; paying kids and calling volunteering is just wrong and diminishes the hard work of the 1,000’s of volunteers who’ll be doing their bit tomorrow and the day after.

and I was having such a nice day. I like the mosaic do-dah from flickr

Saturday, 27 September 2008


Transports of Delight?

Interesting article in the paper today about communting , talking about it in a postitive light , yeah, yeah I know but have a read first and see what you think. It's by Joe Moran.

You may want to listen to this while you read it, it's a nice version of the best song about commuting ?

Friday, 26 September 2008

Illuminating Tv

What we'll learn from tonight's telly

I think my counter suggestability is almost an illness, I can't look at a sentence or a sign or a name and not think of an other meaning. I was looking at the tv listings for tonight and 8.30 on BBC2 is that old favovourite "Gardners' World" the description for tonights show is " Carol Klein looks at bulbs".
And because of my "illness" I can't stop thinking about the no- nonsense plants northern woman stood stock still in a TESCO's aisle transfixed by all the 40w baton fitting Osrams for the entire show.

You can imagine I had to read what's on at 7.35 on Channel 4 a few times just check I was getting it right "Half Ton Veg"

Thursday, 25 September 2008

I am the Trotsky of the sandwich box

Better Read Red than being an insufferable no-mark

I have my lunch weather permitting in the shady environs of Lincoln Inn’s field it’s very lovely with looming 60-100ft plane trees and either gothic or classical lawyer’s office to look at while you munch.

Today most of the benches were full and I approached a partially occupied seat and gave the guy on the other end the universal “is this seat free” sign language (he was on the phone) getting no reply I sat down.
He was a proper stuff shirted pinstriped red pockmark faced business type, having a loud business call (he was spouting clichéd business gunk). Anyway as I sat down he angrily turns his back to me and says loudly enough for me to hear “look I may have to go some communist with a Guardian has sat down next to me” and get’s up and leaves.

Taken somewhat a back, the best I could do by way of a riposte was to smile sweetly and give him a clenched fist salute, the prick. It was one the most curious bits of abuse I ever had.

I am rather happy that reading the Guardian is still seen as so subversive, seeing as apart from not having a near religious reverence for the RUC and worse sports coverage your can’t put a thin flake of muesli between the Guardian and the Telegraph most days, particularly now the Observer seems to be aimed at the horribly wealthy.

Obviously in a family space like this I won’t mention what I wished on him, hopefully the credit crunch is doing half my job for me already. Anyway I off to a meeting of my insurgent cell we’re planning to overthrow the EU taking inspiration from Nigel Slater’s latest recipe for butter nut squash risotto and buoyed up by the inspirational and inflammatory words of Jess Morley Carter.....workers of the world unite you have nothing loose but your Kitten heels......

If that capitalist running dog with the fat arse thinks I’m Trot he’d better not listen to .....
Robert Wyatt and “Stalin wasn’t stallin’ ”

Wednesday, 24 September 2008

The woman behind you.....

Gap, originally uploaded by bltphoto.
Narrowed Lives: Over heard voices an occasional series

“oh you know us we never go anywhere,... because of the dog”

Monday, 22 September 2008


Giving into our narrow minded Judeo-christian codes I went to buy some clothes as going "sky clad" is apparently wrong. Buying clothes always gets me in a bad mood, everything about seems designed to wind you up. Here's why it's rubbish:

Men's clothes are boring: I had in mind a look in the way off Regency Dandy meets member of the Memphis Horns going to a wedding. What do I get loads of rather dull casual t-shirt and jeans.

Size matters: I know I should do something about my waste size but yesterday I could get things to fit that way but the legs were too short. Why can't they stock clothes that fit.

Grovelling on the floor: why are the socks for tall people on the bottom shelf and yet stuff for short arses are at the top.

15 minute Classic: Why do so called "classic"chinos (for instance)change style every season?

Oxymoron: I saw a pair of trews refereed to as "luxury" yesterday they cost £9.98!

No Logo: I don't want a t-shirt with "Kansas state athletics union 1973" on it , honestly I saw one pre-distressed retro hoody thing which said "back street rodeo" on it which is just filth.

Anyway after an hour I came away with one pair of trousers and a death wish for the whole rag trade. Luckily a chat to the guy in Gosh and browse round the new Oxfam book shop near the British museum improved my mood that and some falafel.

My restored good mood was almost wrecked by opening

"Observer fashion Supplement by Tank"
now none of what follows is new but this magazine was the most crass worthless piece of tat I've read in a long while.
After a brief introduction that paid lip service to the downturn in the economy the glib self obsessed vacuous fashion world got back to encouraging an orgy of spending.

First up a Chanel watch for "£12,625" or as the last census would put it half a years wages for the average Briton. This sort of stuff goes past obscene into new levels of depravity. Most people would have to work 910 hours to earn enough to buy this watch.

But of course the rest of the mag is full of 1,000 pound hand bags, dresses that also cost a grand , motorcycle jackets that don't keep your kidneys warm (or safe!) that cost more than a motorcycle.
This in a magazine produced by a newspaper that had a comment piece slagging of plutocrats for having 150 million pounds yachts!

Plus all the models look ill they have that bruised eye make up druggy look that's been popular for a while. I can never see how this sells clothes; I know the look of these mags is aimed at women and isn't about sexual attractiveness to men but how is looking sickly anything to aspire to?

Do women look at these pictures and think that could be me I could look great if only I had my face done up to look like I'm victim of domestic abuse who's spent the evening sobbing in the doorway of Dixons, that would be just the thing for Libby's wedding?

Satire Proof:The design team have obviously never watched Zoolander as one spread of an Asian model made me laugh out loud ,as the model has her plait sticking upright in all the shots (like a surprised small mammal), I was half expecting a shot of her clashing together a tiny pair of cymbals.

The whole thing was a piece of utter trash a catalogue of hollow venial crud. Looking good, having fun with clothes is one thing but this sort of consumerist fashion is pathetic amoral tat and the fact that so called intelligent creative people spend any time producing it should make them shamed to their £755 Louis Vittuon calf length porn star heeled boots.

Meanwhile on Oxford street Primark was heaving and Top Shop store security were chasing an incredibly fast running girl down towards Centre point.

Aural VitaminD.......

Clichés as we know are always right and as it’s been sunny I thought I’d post some tunes from the “The Sunshine Company” I picked up the lp second hand t’other day knowing nowt about them I stil know very little except they made slightly psychedelic tinged “Mamas and Papas” style pop.

Their hit “Happy” is here and also two covers of the Beatles “Rain” (this isn’t just thrown together) and “I need you” which I think are rather good.



I need you.

Wednesday, 17 September 2008

In the red...

Good or Bad:
I can't decided if it's a bad thing that Manu U have been bailed out by George Bush? (by propping up their sponsors)
A good thing that Malaysia's favourite footy team have introduced socialism to America?
Now who do HBOS sponsor......

Tuesday, 16 September 2008

Now over to kirsty for the cake cutting...

God loves us all?, originally uploaded by bltphoto.

I was at a wedding at the weekend so congrats to the lovely couple W & T , good luck on your adventure together.

It was an excellent affair. One notable thing for a wider audience was that the priest went under the excellent title of Father Tony Parsons.

Which is an excellent name on a number of counts firstly as it reminds me that a friend had clerical acquaintance called the Rev Ivor Parish , we love nominative determinism we do.

The other surprising thing was that the celebrant Tony Parson was much less preachy and sanctimonious than the more famous writerly one, who as is the way popped up on "Newsnight review " the evening before. "TP off the telly" seemed to be wearing a fetish top similar to Daffd the only gay in the village.

Quite how Tony P still gets away with the salt earth champion of the working man schtick after 30 years is a mystery. May be Father TP could ask the man up stairs to shed some light?

I Spy a spy.......

Cold war spy of week?:
Amongst the space pics I’ve been posting eleswhere ,I found this atmospheric press photo of an alleged spy Uwe Holzt from 1978. It looks like Dr Uwe Holtz has lived a blameless life. But it is a great picture.

Thursday, 11 September 2008

the age of enlightenment cancelled

Unreason and stupidity in Pret a Mange!

It was raining so I went to Mcdonald's sorry their sandwich shop Pret.
Now it's normal shop selling complicated coffee mayonnaise crammed butties but one thing caught my eye their Low fat Gazpacho.
Now healthy eating is always portrayed as tricky and confusing but I'm sure that even Kerry "nice prawn ring and a frozen peachy surprise" katona doesn't need telling that a soup made of liquidised vegetable is already low fat.
How could you make a high fat Gazpacho?
My copy of 1080 Spanish recipes has 3 versions of the Spanish classic the most fat you'd get is 1 half fluid ounces of olive oil in your bowl. But no, in this gullible anxious world we live in they can sell "gammy"* soup as low fat the same as they sell water with vitamins in it, coke free from "preservatives" that is except for all the sugar that is.
Pret don't add "preservatives" the salt in their BLTs being there for poetic reasons presumably.

Oh and it goes on the new Stella ad for example which proudly tell us it has contained Maize since 1366 which is strange as Columbus only got to the America's where maize comes from in 1492......

It's a sad in week when we have just started to explore the beginnings of time we are all still perceived as dumb enough to keep swallowing this hokum whole.
I'm off to eat something that's full of "chemicals" washed down with some "organic" water or maybe just a tunnock caramel wafer and some kia-Ora!
* the description "Gammy" was by food expert and beer writer PB who know's about this sort of thing he's written books and been on UK style telly and that, he also use to eat a load of findus frozen crap as a kid and used have that kraft cheese spread that came in a jar which was definitely never sold as low fat or even god forbid "chemical" free

Wednesday, 10 September 2008

Meanwhile in another Orbit

I've put up some more Space stuff including a tune over at Space Junk it's out of this world!

Tuesday, 9 September 2008

Piers of realm/Elbow update

NO Pier Here
With some inevitability another pier has burnt down.

From all these recent coastal conflagrations the reason seems clear piers are made of wood and chip fat and so burn easily and also once they are a blaze fire crews can’t get near to put enough water on to stop the fire.

The only ray of light in this story is that the present owner a Mike Simmons is better known as “comedian” Joey Blower thus taking the whole thing into episode Phoenix Nights.

Quicksilver music prize:
Hurrah that there Elbow have won that there Venus music prize. Seeing as they are one of favourite bands I'm made up for them.If you can catch them live on there present tour they truly great.
Here's a demo bside from a recent single to celebrate (it's about drinking to prove it's not just thrown together)

Li'll Pissed charmin' me by Elbow

Sunday, 7 September 2008

Less Passion from less protein

UN turns into Stanley Green

From today's paper:

What next Ban-ki-moon at Oxford circus with a loud hailer telling us we are all "sinners not winners"?

Stanley Green Info.

A Star Review

Film Review: Rocknrolla
Just caught up with Peter Bradshaw’s review of Guy Ritchie’s latest film and it’s very amusing and he just about carries off the central conceit, have a look.
It’s a strange thing about Guy Ritchie’s films, when LS&TSB first came out I don’t remember it being a such a terrible thing, it was all in the air at the time. You know Loaded, Euro ’96, Chris Evans, brown leather coats which if annoying were all mostly benign.
But it went sour very quickly with it getting overblown, in ads and a rubbish spin off show etc. I’ve never seen any of his other work mainly because GR is responsible for sustaining the career of Vini Jones.
Has there ever been a person less worthy of promotion than Vini Jones? Jones was a violent journeyman footballer; undeservedly the holder of several cups and trophies who then becomes a violent journeyman actor whose continuing career seems to be based on no discernable talent or charisma or anything really.

Saturday, 6 September 2008

Bang Bang machines:

What we learnt from tonight’s telly
BBC4 Big Bang night: Was fascinating, one show was an excellent portmanteau collection of various episodes of Horizon, which not only tried to explain how we got to today’s knowledge about the universe but was also an excellent review of the styles of science shows since the 60’s.

So we got badly dressed scientists, shots of Saturn 5 blasts off, lots of glorious animations of atoms. I can but think that life was easier in 70’s when science programme always had fantastic helicopter shots of some new kit complete with a pumping prog soundtrack.

One scene tonight cross cut from a boffin in Alpha Spyder speeding down an accelerator tunnel with a chopper shot of the countryside above. Top stuff.

The modern programme that followed was as clichéd as the previous ones. In it we get mock aged film , edgy shaky camerawork and Dr Brian Cox a cool hipster Simon Armitage look a like crossed with the drummer from Toploader. The sound track to this was the penguin café orchestra. It had lots of shots of machinery and interviews with wild looking scientist, Dr Cox walked about in the snow and looked enthusiastic.

What’s in a name?
It was only tonight did I work out that CERN was the name of an organisation until now I think I imagined it was the next town along from Bern! It’s one of these French names that’s the wrong way round
It stands for the European Centre for Nuclear Research much like The International Federation of Football Associations or International Federation of Automotive Sport are the wrong way round.

I’m afraid after all the classes I’ve attended and books I’ve read and episodes of Horizon I’m still not clear what was around before the big bang!

I do find physicist slightly annoying in the way they always over name things. The “God particle” anyone which as far as I can see if we find it there’ll be a smaller series of particles lurking inside it the “godlets” presumably.

Leave it to Dicky!
Lastly what the programmes showed was that any show that has bits of Richard Feynman in it is always better. There are lot worse ways to spend your time than watching these 5 sections of a Horizon on RF bits of which were shown tonight.

this seemed like an appropriate tune "Geek love" By Bang Bang Machine!

I got 99 problems but giant plastic ice cream cones ain't one

You'll know of the Flickr group I set up full of lovely if entirely fake ice creams well rather pleasingly we have over 99 pictures posted now!
This is one I like because it's shows a GPIC and a burnt pier hurrah! see also the Polish pics and some others which are just good photos!

Wednesday, 3 September 2008

eeewwww gooooooo.....

Tiny worries of modern life:

What’s the strange gel* that’s coming out of the wrist support on my mouse mat?
Is it toxic?
Should I be worried? Is it edible?
* not pictured (I'm just being dramatic)!

News today

Kevin keegan & Man City

He’s not the messiah he’s a very angry boy.

Man City:Let’s get this right sold by a corrupt former PM to a hereditary rulers of a country who are squandering their wealth on random money making schemes rather than investing in their people (you know education, hospitals etc). Football fans just don’t care who pays as longs as they have pretty baubles on the pitch to ogle at

Homes not house prices:

In all the wittering about house prices lately in the hours of discussion and talk the only time the quality of where people live has been raised was in a discussion on conditions in prison!

The only thing that matters isn’t the size and shape of homes, or the design of the space around them, their closeness to shops, or having good pubs or interesting local ruins, or large slightly scary trees, or strips of concrete that look like crocodiles under the bridge in the park, or seeing Simon Pegg in the street, or the rubbish lock on the bin store door, or broken stairwell lights, or not having enough parking, or even god forbid how happy your home makes you feel, none of these criteria where discussed the only thing that matters is how much it costs to buy.

Oh and I needn’t mention that poor deluded scum like me who rent places didn’t get a mention because we never do except when “buy to let” landlords and ladies are whinging about gambling away their money.

Half Baked Alaskan (yeah I know it's not a new one)
This American women who might be vice president she is Karen from Will & Grace right not only does she look like her and have that slinky hipped goodtime girl attitude her cv reads like the titbits of K’s past:
ex beauty queen,
mother of 5,
exotic husband,
mixed up in dodgy oil companies,
abusing her power to get her brother in law sacked,
woke up one morning president!

All she needs now is a deluded camp sidekick and a pill popping habit and the weeks not over yet.

Also I like the way she was picked I think John McCain thought he was ordering a sandwich so little time seems to have gone into the project “Alaskan you say that sounds good and I can have the low fat mayo and a pickle”.