Yesterday we went to the seaside for a post Christmas walk, it's something of a tradition in Britain - Do something vaguely strenuous the day after trying to eat your own body weight in Quality Street. It was incredibly cold we walked out on the sand far enough to see the sea then turned tail to the shelter of the trees.
Today, we again had a blowout meal as it was Simon's Grandfather's Birthday.
It snowed a little as well but I won't make my American and Canadian readers laugh by pinging up a photo of it as it had to be measured in millimetres rather than in centimetres.
About 6 weeks ago Becky blogged about being getting added to someone's friends list on Flickr and finding that the pictures are all p0rn. The creeps who do this seem to search through Flickr looking for people to spam this way.
Becky went on to have a wee rant about these sad losers, saying that she always blocks them.
I commented that she should report them to Flickr as they are doing the cyber equivalent of flashing. Not all commenters agreed there seemed to be a feeling from some that it had to accepted because some people don't like pictures of trannies and its one of those things that happen to trannies. A view I disagree with strongly, no one should have to put up with shite like this.
Well, I have started to get spammed this way. The first time it happened I just blocked them. The second time was Tuesday, I was at work looking at Flickr during lunch, I saw I had mail looked at that saw I had been added clicked through to the profile, then to the photos where I was confronted with full on hardcore p0rn.
I was so lucky that no one was standing behind me because it could have been very embarrassing or in the worst case could have got me in to serious trouble, work has a strict no p0rn policy. I'm sure that I would have been able to convince my bosses that I had been spammed not deliberately looking for the stuff. But I don't relish the possibility that in doing so I would have to show them my Flickr stream, not because I'm ashamed at all of any of my photos it's just I don't think I could take the patronising "concern" I would get from some quarters and the purience from others.
Being spammed made me angry, how dare someone assume that I want to see their cock or their porn collection. So I emailed Flickr straight away reported what had happened gave them a link to the offending person and then I blocked him.
That evening I had an email from Flickr saying that they were investigating, yesterday out of curiosity I checked the perv's profile and they had removed him.
I can tell it's almost Christmas now, the schools have broken up for the holiday, so the buses are no longer quite so late as they were before, they are also almost empty as people start their Christmas leave. The weather looks like it will again fail to produce a white Christmas but then it almost always does in the UK. The office is quiet too, as we don't have so many contractors ringing us up, which is nice.
I got a Christmas card from one of my contractors yesterday, it looked for all the world like the sort of card you get gift vouchers in. I said this to my boss, then I spotted the two slots for holding a gift voucher or cheque in. Wow, how cheap - spare Christmas bonus cards. My boss got a calender from them, I didn't, such are the privilages of rank.
Tomorrow is my last day in work until the 3rd, tomorrow afternoon I have to get myself, with clothes and presents up to Kings Lynn by the joys of public transport, it's not that bad a journey but I am not looking forward to doing it this time because I will be laden down as will probably everyone else travelling tomorrow.
I'm staying with Simon for the holiday we are having Christmas dinner at his parents and then just bimbling we are going to meet up with a friend and his wife in Wells, seeing my Mum at some point and then up to Derby for a new years party. It should all be exceptionally nice.
Congratulations to Shannon Sickles and Grainne Close the first gay couple in the UK to have a civil partnership ceromony. It's not a wedding, gay and lesbian couples still cannot marry in this country.
I can't understand why this right should be denied to same sex couples. OK so most religious groups claim that marriage should be only be between a man and a woman but no one will be forcing the churches to hold or bless the civil partnerships or host gay marriages. But in a country that is now almost completely secular why should the religous right seek to ensure that the gay couples are denied any access to marriage. Marriage has not been the sole preserve of the churches for a long time now with the option of civil weddings being there.
The bigots claim that allowing gays to marry will damage the institute of marriage. How? I for one, am not going to suddenly change my mind about being hetrosexual just because civil partnerships are now legal and I don't think many other people are either. If marriage is about two people who want to make a public commitment to each other then surely the more people who can marry the stronger the concept will be.
Just got my copy of the Christmas edition of the Radio Times. Ten page special on Doctor who, so far it has revealed that the baddies are called Sycorax (after a moon of Uranus). Dr Who will be swishing about in pajamas for some of the episode and it may do the take up of trombone lessons no good whatsoever.
My uncle Lawrence plays the trombone when I was little he would ring up to play happy birthday to me on it, he didn't have a phone, he had to use a public phone box.
You can also win a real Dalek, I think it will look really nice in my living room. :-D
Stunning picture from the BBC. There are reports that the explosion was heard in Norfolk 100 miles away, I live about 60 miles away I heard nothing, mind you it happened just after 6 in the morning a period of the day I have heard rumours about but have rarely experienced.
The Christmas ball was very enjoyable, not least because I was able to take Becky with me for the first time and it was fun to watch her reaction to it and to introduce her to my friends, Becky blogged a few photos from our evening which was good of her cos it has saved me from doing a major write up, the photos are here, here, here, here, here too, here and possibly also here.
We have had a very quiet day I purchased another Christmas present, we bimbled through town and dozed mainly.
This evening we watched the film version of Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy this evening, the first time either of us had seen it. Perhaps it's because I'm so familiar with the previous versions but this one left me feeling a little flat. It was, in parts, visually stunning but although I tried to stop myself, I could not help noticing where it did not stick to the original storyline. They would start a piece of dialogue in line with the original then lose the punchline because they would not finish it. I know that things must give when trying to condense a 3 hour series into a film but there was a fairly pointless love story stuck into the plot which didn't really add anything. Sam Rockwell was good as Zaphod Beeblebrox however I didn't feel that there was any chemistry whatsoever between the cast members. It meant I couldn't believe in their relationships to each other, which even treating the film as if the previous versions didn't exist weakened its attraction.
As a blogger much of my time is spent pouring over my stats, fretting over the numbers of readers as they wooble about the 20 mark. So I found it very heartening to read in the Guardian technology section today that some government sites hardly get any hits whatsoever with one getting a measly 77 hits all year. That made me feel a whole lot better, I'm more popular than the government :-D Full article here.
This was sent out to everybody in my building all I can say is urgh!
Sent: 12 July 2005 11:21
Could I ask all staff to refrain from putting anything down the toilets that should, by rights, go in the bins. I have just fished an empty Quavers packet from a toilet that refused to flush and, no doubt, would have caused a blockage if left and subsequently soiled. Could I also remind staff that eating and drinking in the toilets could pose a risk to health. Whilst I admire the person's in question attempt to kill two birds with one stone, a rest room by the front lobby, is provided for personnel to get away from their desks for a few minutes if they feel the need to eat a potato based snack.
To me one of the finest smells there is is that of onions and garlic being gently sautéd in good olive oil. When I smell them I am taken back to university days when I got my first cast iron casserole dish and the cooking I used to do there. Cheap cuts of beef stewed slowly with bay leaves, chilies and curries, the staples especially when entertaining.
I'm entertaining tomorrow, Simon and a couple of friends Dave and Anne. I'm going to do my poorman's version of coq au vin with rice. With olives as nibbles and something or other as pudding, not sure what yet, probably ice cream.
Fanny Craddock would not approve but who cares. For me the point of entertaining is talking to people and having fun not slaving over a hot stove cooking food that has to be served with military precision for it to be at its best. I know I am a good cook I'm just not interested in cooking very fancy food. Keep it simple and simple presentation works for me and I haven't had any complaints yet.
Went Christmas shopping on Saturday in Kings Lynn. I was in the zone, I was at one with the Christmas present list as I managed to get almost all my present buying done including a present for Simon who was proving to be the most difficult to buy for, until inspiration hit me.
Why are men so hard to buy for? Yes there are loads of present ideas out there but they are either laddish, beer games and footy related or they are so dull, hankies, socks, undies that I feel grim contiplating buying them. Lord knows how the poor bloke feels receiving them. What also makes it harder is that many blokes tend to go from would-like-to-have through must-have to just-bought in 5 seconds flat so they've got everything. Case in point Simon spotted a copy of Grand Theft Auto he had been after, instead of pointing and hinting heavily, he just went ahead and bought it.
Having said that it's not just men, my Mum is pretty hard to buy for as well, when asked she said how about some chopping boards? :-s. I want to be able to wrap a present up thinking, I've done well I've bought a present that I'm happy to give because I know that they will like it, that I like as well. Chopping Boards don't really have that pazazz.
I feel happy with the presents I've got so far, they "sang to me" I would like to recieve them. But don't worry any family that are reading this I've not got you a DVD of Sheffield Wednesday's greatest goals.
As I’ve said before used to I live in Edinburgh. We had an old house that needed much work doing on it as it hadn't been touched since the 20's. As I was about 3 when we moved in and much of the work was done I only have vague memories. Although I do remember lead piping on the front lawn and big men who had paint splashed on their trousers.
This was also the period of when we were so poor... so work got done as and when it could be afforded. When I was about 7 or 8 it was time for the pantry to be sorted out, my father decided to put down a new floor down in it. Chipboard was purchased, cut to size then the family decided that were coming to us for Christmas, all of them; my Grandma, my father's brothers and family and my Granddad. My father also had a PhD student who would not be able to go home for Christmas, so my parents had invited him over as well. This would be a sit down for dinner of 12 maybe even more.
We did not have a table big enough, we couldn't afford to buy such a table. It was at this point the chipboard was looked at with narrowed eyes, the words "legs" "coat of varnish" were tersely muttered and low and behold we had a new dining room table. Practically all the chairs in the house were pressed into service and a make shift bench was constructed
To me the table was huge, it was certainly big enough to play shove ha'penny football on. Then from somewhere (I suspect a skip) two slightly tatty ping pong bats appeared and a ping pong ball, no net unfortunately but in the spirit of make do that we had. empty beer cans were used instead. They were about the right height and we had enough of them because it was Christmas.
So equipped I learnt to play table tennis. A few weeks later we, my mum, my brother and I were walking back home when Patrick spied an old table tennis set lying on top of some bins along with other old toys. It wasn’t complete but there were a couple of bats and a table tennis net. It fitted perfectly on the table, the cans could be thrown away.
We'd have become expert table tennis players, if Dad hadn't eventually decided that our table should really be put to it's intended use, pantry flooring!
Yesterday there was hoo haa in the meedja about artists being sexually more successful than the rest of us. The BBC went on about it a lot, (guess a lot of the producers have arts degrees then) and there was an interesting article in the Guardian too.
So I really enjoyed the article by Dinos Chapman, where he poo poo'd this research with a few facts and inside knowledge in the G2 section of the Guardian today - Artists are not sexy