cloudy sky blue cloudy sky blue cloudy sky blue cloudy sky blue cloudy sky blue cloudy sky blue magic 8 ball


'everything is nothing if you've got no one'

Monday, September 30, 2002

There was a particularly absurd scene one breakfast
After what seems like a very long holiday where you can't actually spend any money it's time for University tomorrow. At long last I will be able to use my NUS card without getting the question - 'it doesn't have your photo on it'. I know, it's not my fault the University is silly that you have to have two cards. Look forward to meeting people on the course and seeing if my Career Development Loan has gone through to my bank account.

Had a full day of going through quite a good Flash 5 tutorial. It narrated by an Austrailan which did annoy me at the start but structured well. Housemate made a lentil and pea lasagna, very nice but could have done with a fuller flavour in the lentils. My lunchtime barbecued sauasage and mushroom pasta was a surprise revelation.

Posted by Edward @ 09:36 PM GMT
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Sunday, September 29, 2002
See the rivers filled with rain
Okay so Michael Owen scored a hat-trick but did you see the sloppiness of Manchester City's defence? What a mess, guess in the end you need a bit of luck. Happy for Liverpool but angry at City.

Popped over to Bristol to see a creative digital exhibition by people in the South-West region at Watershed. Although fairly small in size, some of the animation, multimedia presentations of information was extremely impressive. More so being on the new iMacs. By far the best bit was the interactive piece developed using money from the Clark Digital Bursary, a piece call Ghosts. It was projected on one side of the wall displaying an ever growing whirlpool of words. Participants entered sentences to be submitted into the whirlpool and it was added to the spiral in real time. The camera pans, zooms and jumps into the structure for ever. I could have sat and watched it for hours. Really impressive use of multimedia to create collaborative art work. You can read about the Ghost project here

Posted by Edward @ 06:43 PM GMT
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Friday, September 27, 2002
Lots going through my mind and my course hasn't started yet
Can't believe it I have got an opening at a web design company. They are willing to let me do a bit of part time work experience with them. Seem like a really good company talking to two of the guys today, very small with a niche market. Will allow me to get to grips with some Flash (I know it's something that I will need learn on the course anyway so this will give me a chance to do something that might actually be used, even though I haven't been a fan of it so far). So I am quite chuffed with it, will see how it goes and if my course workload will affect it. I have been looking at getting ADSL, seems a bit of a jungle out there with the different offers and things in place.

Everyone has gone off for a pub crawl around town but I wasn't really up for it as I have an early start at Oxfam tomorrow. Will need to juggle that into my rather busy schedule. I'm guessing something will have to give way sooner or later but will see which it may be. Roll on next induction week.

Posted by Edward @ 10:14 PM GMT
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Thursday, September 26, 2002
It's awfully lonely here
I am amazed that Malcolm Middleton, guitarist from Arab Strap came to the Fopp shop in Bath to do a acoustic set to promote his new album 5:14 Fluxytine Seagull Alcohol John Nicotine. Malcolm sings very much like Aiden (singer from Arab Strap) but actually sings rather than a drunken mumble. He did a good set but much of it was depressing and lonely. A lot of it probably based on real life, stripped down it took on a more personal meaning from the versions on the album. He signed my copy of the album, putting his scrawl on the picture of Aiden's arse.

Here is the press release for the record :

"The character clown is unmistakable: he usually dresses like a tramp; has a greyish-black, uneven beard painted over a reddish face; a white mouth; red nose and pathetic, soulful eyes. His clothes are too large and frequently tattered and torn, often with strips held together by safety pins. There is an air of hopelessness about him...nothing in his act ever seems to turn out right as he strolls in bewilderment around the sawdust arena.
The least famous tramp clown of all is Malcolm Middleton, who in 2001 conceived and first began to perform the role of Crappo The Clown. As a character, Crappo is an extraordinary clown, a dull and shite comic, highly insensitive to the social and political climate, whose H+M clothing and Duff shoes gained him great popularity as he delighted the kiddies around Glasgow at The Old Fruit Market, 13th Note, Nice 'n' Sleazy's and The Woodside Social Club."

New series of The League Of Gentlemen started today and it's change in format made it more darker and grim. They also don't have the fake audience laughter too with cut scenes of the local life. It's alright but I felt sad for some of the characters(Pauline, Mickey) who you laughed at in previous series.

More games of Perudo with housemates, I find I'm better under the influence of alcohol.

Posted by Edward @ 11:49 PM GMT
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Wednesday, September 25, 2002
The king of bring
I think now my room is complete and I am no longer going to buy more things for it. Went to the Victoria Art Galleries, they had a Ben Hartley retrospective which was intriguing. He was quite a reclusive man educated at Manchester Grammar School and the Royal College Of Art. His sketched reminded me of LS Lowry and he made some fantastic cards for his friends.

Forgot to write about a new game called Perudo which is supposedly an ancient Inca game using dice where basically you have to bluff and raise stakes. If you don't believe what a player has said you shout 'Dudo' (don't shout 'dildo' like one of my housemates though). It's a little bit complicated but you can read about Perudo here. It's a good laugh.

I do feel that Liverpool FC aren't going to go anywhere in Europe this season.

Posted by Edward @ 09:32 PM GMT
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Tuesday, September 24, 2002
The smell of freshly baked bread in the morning
I am surprised that the bread I made loosely following Jamie Oliver's recipe actually turned out to be great. At first I thought things weren't going according to plan when the dough didn't grow much bigger. But from the oven came the fantastic smell of bread and it tastes great. Combination of egg, ham, cheese and spring onions. Must remember to put more filling in. The bread is of a nice texture, crusty on the outside with a soft inner chewiness. I am determined to try a new recipe every week.

The talk by the Oxfam regional manager about her trip to Chile was more fascinating than I thought it was going to be. Not many people know that Oxfam have a presence there but they do read about it here. Primarily they provide support and funding to other Non Government Organisations(NGO's) in the country. It's a country suffering from the effects of globalisation. There is poverty in many of the regions but slowly women are helping themselves by creating support groups. It was shocking to hear that the next generation of children will have a hard time getting jobs if their parents were in jobs that had trade unions(e.g. mining, shoe making). The main issue raised was whether Oxfam should still give money for local projects there(such as expanding the shoe trade) when they know that they had no way of competing with the cheap imports. Do you raise their hopes in the short term by providing them with resources and funding knowing full well in the long term the situation won't get any better? Should the money be used for something else? It's a tough call that.

Curry for dinner made by one of the housemates, definitely not hot enough for a curry of my liking though nice all the same.

Posted by Edward @ 11:07 PM GMT
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Monday, September 23, 2002
Then what do you love, extraordinary stranger
Not much happening today, went swimming (getting used to the pool but not the bizarre way of organising their lessons though), more grocery shopping. Still didn't manage to find the things I wanted to complete my room. Made a nice 'toffee fruit thingy' with ice cream from a recipe that a friend kindly sent me.

My NUS card doesn't include a picture on it but does act as an e-wallet. Don't think I will trust it to use it. Tomorrow I am going to attempt to make a Jamie Oliver style breakfast bread thing and there is a Oxfam talk in town about their work in Chile.

Posted by Edward @ 11:57 PM GMT
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Sunday, September 22, 2002
Sunday nonsence
So Sunday's eh, usually for me a time for catching up on the rest of the week. Reading the old newspapers, budgeting, reading books, doing a bit design work etc. Anyway as I usually hardly watch any television at all especially on a Sunday I was surprised by the amount of dire drama being shown. I watch the Midsummer Murders which was quite bad in it's very traditional way of solving a murder case, but the twist was the guy who murdered people used a massive spoon to wallap them on the head. What a genius of a script writer.

Interesting story about the politician who fell into an argument over his dog not being on a leash or with a muzzle with some locals. He decided to throw a hand grenade at them, unluckily the dog was obedient enough to retrieve for it's owner and ended up blowing the politician and the dog up. Sad for the dog but a winner for the common people.

Talking of silly, I brought some storage boxes which were on offer then when I got home found I didn't really have much stuff to store away. So now they are being used as speaker stands. Roll on tomorrow.

Posted by Edward @ 11:29 PM GMT
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Saturday, September 21, 2002
Let's come together
Oops, missed doing a blog entry yesterday due to me getting confused with the 1571 service. The dial tone was messed up and so the computer wouldn't connect. Found out in the end that it meant there was a new message. Anyway spent most of the day in Bristol amongst other things trying to get a cheap bike. Problem these days is that you can get a really decent bike for under a hundred pounds so most bike shops don't bother with second hand ones. That's the problem these days, everything is getting so cheap that people don't bother repairing things, they just get new ones. First time in Bristol and wandering around it did have a Manchester type style to it - good independent shops, usual big shopping centre, music scene etc. Will need to visit it again for a thorough investigation.

I am looking forward to the course starting so that I can get on with things and get into some sort of routine. I know routines are dangerous and can lead to boredom, laziness, disillusionment, complacency etc but I think the course will provide me with enough to think about for the forthcoming year. Will decide later on whether I want to stay down here to complete my Masters or do it by distance learning. I guess it will depend on how much I miss Manchester. At the moment I do miss it quite a bit.

Posted by Edward @ 09:43 AM GMT
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Thursday, September 19, 2002
Oh no, the smell of vinyl is creeping out
Let's see not much happening today, managed to miss the bus to Newton Park when attempting to go to the University to have a wander around. Anyway after a lot of talking with my new house mate it was found that PCGE students get a shed load of money, tuition fees paid, student loans etc to do. I'm going to be the skintest person in this entire house eating into my savings like nobody's business. Should think about changing my course. Teaching, although quite stressful a lot of the times does has it's perks and an almost guaranteed job. There's a nice local market up here too in the car park of Bath City Football Club.

Actually found a few good record shops in town and also missed Tendertrap which is Amelia Fletcher's (Talluah Gosh, Heavenly, Marine Research) new band. They are meant to be more power poppier so would have liked to have seen them. Let's hope more bands come down this way.

Posted by Edward @ 06:58 PM GMT
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Wednesday, September 18, 2002
It's so far yet so near
Okay back to my old favourite of swimming, at first I thought I was going to get ripped off by 'Down South' prices but I didn't which was good. The pool was different from what I was used to as there were no hand grips on the pool side. Had to adopt new techniques for the turning. It was prety good but the lockers could have been bigger.

Went and saw a storming adaptation of George Orwell's 1984 at the Royal Theatre. Being quite skint I chose the cheapest tickets and ended up almost touching the theatre ceiling. The play was really well done with a lot of use of violent video clips and clever use of the screens to create the Big Brother effect. The guy who played Winston did it really well and with a minimal cast the atmosphere fitted well.

Last thing blueberry and white chocolate ice cream.

Posted by Edward @ 06:34 PM GMT
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Tuesday, September 17, 2002
Tuck in me lad
Have been wandering around Bath making pleasant trips up to the University. I have found a nice route that takes me through a beautiful park(they are currently hosting the Moscow State Circus). Only takes about 25 minutes to walk which will be manageable and a change from the 30 minute bus ride I used to have to get to Manchester. Finally found a decent green grocers too, was facing up to the fact I was going to have to get my fruit and veg, pre-washed, coloured and specially breed to look good from the supermarket, then a found a good place in a village high street. Walked passed a few weird looking barges disguised(badly) as pirate ships along the river. Very strange. Can't help laughing at the country bumpkins too., which I know is nasty.

Although the house is really nice, the nearby road is quite busy during rush hour with cars zooming up and down. Will need some net curtains too as the lack of privacy is getting to me. One of my other house mates has turned up in the last hour, he was well organised and had hardly anything at all and even managed to bring a massive TV with him too. My packing was a complete shambles in comparison.

I'm slowly getting used to this place. Need to get used to extra tourists around too. At least I don't look strange taking pictures of everything with my Lomo. They are desperate for people to work at the new La Tasca in the city centre that due to open. They have only managed to find 2 people to work there so far. Might apply and learn a bit of Spanish at the same time.

I am slowly getting my cooking touch back, delicious honey barbecued chicken, tomatos and rice yesterday.

Posted by Edward @ 04:09 PM GMT
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Monday, September 16, 2002
I'm here in one piece
A quick one this, it's nearly midnight and I am in my new abode. It's much nicer than I thought. I'm only halfway sorting my room out. Big thanks to my Sister for helping me move. It was in itself an amazing feat getting all my stuff into the car. I am well and truly knackered and will go to bed in a bit.
Posted by Edward @ 12:00 AM GMT
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Saturday, September 14, 2002
There's a chance that he won't make it
My Dad's Birthday today, I always need reminding every year by my Sister or Mum. Problem is that my parents, grand parents, relatives all use the Chinese lunar calendar for their date of births. So you'll forgive me when you find out that every year birthdays all fall under a different date. It's a pain as I need to look it up on a dual Chinese/western calendar for the date. The entire family went for a lunchtime meal which was okay stepping neither side of the average. Popped into the Oxfam shop and saw David rushed off his feet, with the students back today was the second busiest day the shop has had,the regional manager will be pleased.

12 hours to go till I move. Still excited, worried, ready, not ready, feeling fine.

Posted by Edward @ 11:32 PM GMT
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Friday, September 13, 2002
That'll give you a run for your money
A total of four different supermarkets of varying quality, size, price range and busyness. That's where I spent most of the day attempting to purchase a my food stock. I found most of the things I wanted in the end and didn't really spend that much in the end but trundling up and down supermarket isles isn't my idea of fun. Saw robbers take off in a car, leap over a central reservation at the exit of the supermarket followed by a bunch of security guards, guess they forgot to paid for the milk. I don't think that my sister's car will be able to cope with the things I am taking down. In a few months time I will be bringing most of it back up to Manchester.

Around 36 hours to go till I move. Everyone feels happy and scared at the same time when moving into a new environment and I feel the same too. It's a new adventure that's about to start. Better not build it up too much otherwise it might turn out be a bit of an anti-climax.

Read today that Manchester is claiming to be Britain's second city. It's about time that more people thought more highly of it as most Mancunians will readily tell you. On another interesting note, it is claimed that Manchester's drizzly rain is caused by the 70's built high-raised tower blocks in Salford. Now that is something to think about.

Posted by Edward @ 09:47 PM GMT
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Thursday, September 12, 2002
Find out about it, do it yourself
See this is what happens, I want to listen to my newly purchased records but putting my hi-fi together is too much trouble. I may get a phono pre-amp which will allow me to listen to my records or one of those portable mini record players with built in speakers (Columbia record players I think they are called). Still I'm not too bothered, I have a nice colourful Mr Scruff jigsaw to play with.

Went to Kro2 for lunch today. I'm not quite sure of the very clean industrial modern design. It just seems like the exposed air conditioning piping was pulled from Tate Modern. Anyway the environment was pleasant and it was warm under the glass front and I had good company. I had my usual bangers and mash (I think I am on a mission to try bangers and mash at every restaurant/pub I every go into), sausages were far too salty, but the mash was had a sweet potato/yam like taste and texture. Maybe I should turn into a food critic although my taste buds and vocabulary needs refining somewhat yet.

It's nice to have my Sister back home again, made sure she didn't bring too much luggage as I need every bit of space in the car for my stuff. It doesn't look that much but I'm sure it will be a tight fit. Looking forward to spending time with her. As London is only an hour away from Bath, I'm expecting more frequent visits which will be nice. She has been missed.

Posted by Edward @ 09:39 PM GMT
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Wednesday, September 11, 2002
Take it from me it was painful
I have now 'decommissioned' my hi-fi and record player. Looking back, I don't think it was a good idea as yesterday i brought another record and will not be able to listen to it. Anyway I still have more records to buy (Lucky Pierre LP, Mr Scruff LP...) so it will mean I will be in the same situation I was in when I came back from America, where I literally just had a stack of records and CD's that I had ordered while I was away. It took me about three months to get through them all properly. At least Bath doesn't have any places that sell vinyl, but I can still order through the Web (I will need a web filter that prevents me from looking at music websites)

It has been a wonderfully gorgeous start of the week in Manchester, have been out having lunch and drinks with an old friend who craves to live in Austraila, and watching the September 11th commerations. Remember watching it all live on ITN news when it happened at work last year. Thought it was an accident at first, but it soon became something bigger than that. I personally don't think it should have been used as a trigger to mount a war on so called 'axis of evils' in this world but it has. This isn't going to end anytime soon, everyone has become paranoid and governments with their security policies has meant we lose our privacy.

The Lomographic Society has launched version 3 of their website. Personally I think it has gone worse. The resolution it works has increased to 1024 x 768 from 800 x 600 and with lots of niggly little things I don't think actually improve the accessibility or speed of the site. Shame, it used to be my favourite website because of it's great design but it's lost some of that now. Still it's all about the photos and the archive is unsurpassed, some nice new downloads too.

Exit Strategy
My copy of Exit Strategy has finally arrived, although I thought I was going to have more annotations than the solo effort in print. Still look forward to reading through it again. You can look at the online version of Exit Strategy which contains my full list of annotations.

Posted by Edward @ 03:47 PM GMT
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Monday, September 9, 2002
Does it say 'private' swimming pool!!!
I am now going to rant about the local swimming baths. Most people wouldn't care much for it and I think I shouldn't either since I moving in six days time but wondered if other people have encountered such silliness from their local pool. You might already know that the swimming baths now don't officially open until 12pm Monday to Friday, as the kids have gone back to school and they don't think there is enough justification for them to open the pool that early. I was a bit miffed at this already on a previous log as they have the gym open from 9am. Anyway I was willing to go swimming in the afternoon but today, I found out they close the swimming pool off to the public from 1.15pm to 3.30pm. Excuse me but that means during the day you have a window of just over an hour before you get kicked out. If you miss that window you need to wait until later on in the afternoon and then get this quite convienently the peak time charges are in affect from 3.30pm. I don't know if this is a council ploy to get more money. As far as I know most swimming pools would separate a bit of the pool for the learners and let the rest get on with it rather than hogging the entire pool. I saw a lot of outraged people waiting, then because everyone was waiting the pool was packed out in the space of 10 minutes.

On another note, as it was probably the last time I was going swimming there for a while yet, it was nice to say goodbye to the locker attendant who has been manning the locker keys for the past six years I have been swimming there. She said it was good that I told her where I was going, as many a time she just never see some of the regular swimmers again as they just disappear without a word. As there are plenty of senior citizens that swim there, I don't want to think what might have happened to some of them. Hopefully they just all went to live in Spain. I didn't even bother to get her name which is a bit rubbish really.

I was talking about the sky falling on my head the other day, I always took it from Vitalstitistix, the chief from the comic book Asterix who had this phobia. Here's nice new Asterix site I found.

Posted by Edward @ 10:31 PM GMT
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Saturday, September 7, 2002
Volunteer for health and happiness
My last day of volunteering at the Oxfam Supersavings shop today. It was nice to see the New Deal guys again(they all work at different shops now) who had in part made the place much more lively. I guess David will miss the cover he has on a Saturday for his long breaks to watch football at the pub. The other volunteers have been equally brilliant and even though I've only been volunteering for a year and a half there I have seen a lot of nice people come and go. I wish all of them the best of luck and for the shop to be even more successful. All the best to Michael who it seems is one of the most pessimistic people I've ever met, more so than I am. Although he is finding it hard to get a full time job as a trained accountant and with a MBA and Phd, I have not had a conversation with him once where there was a hint of happiness in there somewhere about anything in his life. I sometimes feel that the sky is going to fall on my head but do eventually see through it, but Michael just lets himself be down all the time. At least there will be memories of me in the shop for a while, as my face is plastered on displays modeling supposedly trendy clothes from our own Oxfam store. Pat who took the pictures was a great manager.

When I move to Bath, I will volunteer my services at the shop down there. I hope to work with some more nice people with amazing lives.

Posted by Edward @ 11:17 PM GMT
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Friday, September 6, 2002
Top banana penguins
Well I am getting pretty restless now, exactly one week till I move, can't wait for. Yesterday I packed a suitcase just full of t-shirts. The suit case was a very stylish retro leather one that I found in the attic belonging to my dad. They don't make or design them like they used to anymore without costing an arm and a leg. The t-shirts, well let's just say I have many, in fact far too many.

It's been raining in Manchester making it quite humid but in general the weather has been nice. If anyone is thinking of seeing Insomnia then I would recommend it. The atmosphere of the film along with great performances from Pacino, Williams, Swank all make it quite creepy and really sucks you in. A nice surprise with the actress who plays Abby from ER popping up in it too.

I got a really nice letter about my record label the other day which you can read here. Made me feel good about owning putting out releases.

One last thing, Top Banana flavoured Penguin chocolate bars, not good.

Posted by Edward @ 03:10 PM GMT
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Wednesday, September 4, 2002
Drifts in the universe
Just heard a nice New Order segway on BBC 6 Music. It included a French version of Blue Monday and Frente's version of Bizarre Love Triangle. Just rewired my speakers so that they are easy to take down when I move. My Pure Digital Radio is going back into it's box in the next few days, will miss some of the channels like Oneword and XFM and it's clarity. Very tempted by the new digital radio that Videologic have released for £99.

Brother's modem now works, wahey!

Pop over to Douglas Rushkoff's blog and read the Saturday, August 31, 2002 entry. Very good point of view to take on life and careers. Congrats to him on getting married.

Posted by Edward @ 04:35 PM GMT
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Tuesday, September 3, 2002
Private public swimming baths
So what has the world come to when you can't even go for a swim in public swimming baths until 12pm. They didn't seem to have any excuse other than it wasn't open although the gym was. Thought it might have been to do with the kids going back to school but I'm sure there were plenty of senior citizens around last week. I instead wandered around the Ashton town centre and brought more bits and bobs for the kitchen. Again feel I am one step closer.

I forgot to report from Glasgow that curry and white t-shirts are a no no (you might already know this). I managed to get some unsightly splotches on my new favourite t-shirt that I got in return for my donation to WFMU. Keep forgetting that the high content of Tartrazine (i.e. E102) food colouring in a lot of the curries is not good for you and just lapped it all up. Good job the t-shirt was white and used a high dose of bleach to get rid of the stain. None of that Vanish/stain remover stuff ever works.

Now to try and get my brothers computer's modem working. Oh joy.

Posted by Edward @ 04:27 PM GMT
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Monday, September 2, 2002
Height Of Modern Technology
Apologies for the lack of recents logs, a sudden scare at the weekend involving my online savings account nearly messed up my entire Glasgow break. An accidental double-click transfered twice the amount than I had planned to and left me with a big gapping overdraft. Had to use some emergency plugging to get me right although I await the dreaded bank charges. As it happens it did affect what I could and couldn't do a bit but all in all I had an enjoyable time spending time with my old University friend Dave. It was good to catch up with him. Meeting Duglas from the BMX Bandits was as always a pleasure. Also had the company of his wife Mikdori (I think that's how it's spelt) and adorable full of energy daughter Rhonda. Rhonda is the sort of child that makes you want to have children even. She spent a lot of time talking about Pokemón and practicing the moves of a X-Box fighting game on Duglas.

The weather throughout the weekend was fabulous and even the trains were running on time. I did notice that the new sooper-dooper Virgin trains were all that more cramped than the old ones. I think I prefer the old not looking quite as futuristic but a bit smelly style.

So back to my endless sorting out my things to move task again. I think I'm getting there, but seem to have a little more to do everyday. Okay back to list of CD's and records that I have yet to listen to. I was very good this weekend and only got one record (Damien Jurado's 'Gathered In Song').

Posted by Edward @ 09:39 PM GMT
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