Random life

Corporate&Random life11 Sep 2006 09:54 am

The stickiest-floored pub in Soho is closing after 222 years.

I’m not personally inconvenienced, as it’s a vile old pit and I never set foot in it if I have a choice in the matter. But I feel duty-bound to make a fuss, because (a) turning old central London buildings into premium housing is an epidemic, (b) goths are an endangered species and destroying more of their natural habitat can only speed their extinction, and (c) the tenuous link of its foxy name.

Despite (a) above, if The Man decides to turn 10 Downing Street into a fun-o-matic edutainment theme park in due course, I shan’t object.

Environment&Random life30 Aug 2006 08:52 pm

Dancing fox A south London couple driven to despair by urban foxes roaming their garden have spent nearly £1,000 trying to keep them out.

Oh honestly. That’s a little over the top.

Is it a crime to throw a few outdoor parties during the summer months?

“He also added that he feared the presence of foxes may deter house buyers and affect property prices.”

The nerve.

British politics&Random life&Self17 Apr 2006 10:22 pm

Burmese marionetteA couple of people have been slightly perturbed that I vanished without notice. Sorry about that. Here are a few things I should’ve said yesterday but was too tired to remember:

1. Before my blogbreak, I suffered an extremely painful shoulder/back muscle injury which made even lifting a cup of tea with my right arm impossible, let alone typing. I was advised by my doctor to “STOP working at the computer! IMMEDIATELY! Or risk permanent damage!”, which is pretty unequivocal as advice goes. So after this episode, I felt it wise not to linger on the PC writing an explanatory pre-break blog post.

2. Some of the blogs I was reading regularly seem to have vanished, or possibly moved. If a blog has changed URL and I haven’t been told, I’ll assume this is the desired state of affairs and won’t go a-chasin’.

3. After watching the first two seasons on DVD, I have become terribly enamoured of Buffy & co. I always knew it would happen if I let it, and now it has. Damn Whedon and his Midas touch.

4. If I’d been here, I would have been writing about the government’s Legislative and Regulatory Reform Bill, which defies all satire. It is truly the last gasp of freedom as we know it. Brits, please visit this site, or do some independent research, and arm yourself with as much knowledge as possible. And let’s see if we can stop these lunatics before it’s too late.

Audience participation&Random life14 Mar 2006 06:22 pm

And here’s a picture Lord Bargain brought me back from Holland:

Environment&Random life24 Feb 2006 12:12 am

Ooh, it’s been Controversy Corner here for the last couple of days. To keep the momentum of well-mannered disagreement going, tell me what you think about this. Admittedly, it’s not in the same league as the previous issue, but it could still lead to fisticuffs at dawn depending on your viewpoint.

This evening I was with a very old friend (she’s my age, I mean we’ve been friends 20 years) and she told me that two friends of hers shoot squirrels in their back garden. They wait until their daughter is in bed and then they go outside and gun them all down.

I was horrified.

Call me a lily-livered pansy and/or a Buddhist (neither would be a million miles from the truth), but squirrels are (a) great (b) cute (c) harmless. Surely?

No, the trigger-happy couple say, they are vermin. They strip bark off trees. They must be DESTROYED.

But no… no, surely not? They’re excellent assets to any garden or wood, because they tidy up all the discarded conkers. And they’re very clever too. The ones in Russell Square are so used to people, they’ll wander right up to you and stare at you to see if you might be concealing acorns about your person. That enhances any urban bench experience.

The ones round my home make me happy on a daily basis, just bobbing around the trees and nibbling snacks with both hands. They’re part of the ecosystem. They don’t invade our homes or attack us. They’re fluffy. What’s not to love?

Reader, are squirrels expendable vermin or valuable wildlife? You tell me.

Pop culture&Random life15 Feb 2006 06:43 pm

Nathan Fillion After watching about half the series of Firefly, it occurred to me that Nathan Fillion (right) was a bit of a sexpot. Yet I couldn’t work out why.

He’s not an obvious sex symbol. He’s OK looking, but there are a million other celebrities who are theoretically more physically attractive.

It took quite a while to work it out. Finally I realised where his appeal, for me, lay.

He looks his age and he’s had no work done on his face or body.

Yes, that’s literally it.

He’s in his mid-30s and you can tell. You can see every facial expression. No Botox, no collagen, no chemical peels. He’s got bags under his eyes and his eyes wrinkle when he laughs. He hasn’t got a stomach like a ladder. He hasn’t got shiny bulbous biceps or a waxed chest. He’s not eerily symmetrical. He’s got the nose he was born with.

He looks like a real human.

Real humans are a scarce commodity in showbiz. Once I realised what it was that made him different, and therefore sexier, it got me wondering.

If non-celebrities are having more and more cosmetic surgery these days, and celebrities are unable to have a career nowadays unless they’re remodelled, even if they’re natural beauties to begin with – Halle Berry and Sharon Stone have been tinkered with in multiple areas, for heaven’s sake – then will we eventually witness the fetishisation of natural ageing in those rare exceptions who choose to go au naturel?

Am I just an early adopter of a future trend?

In the future, will real moving faces and non-Action Man/Barbie bodies be the subject of cult appreciation?

Will pallid complexions and wrinkles one day be as rare and prized as a real hourglass figure or a natural blonde?

Will Nathan read this tribute to unspoilt beauty and cancel his face lift?*

*Joke. He probably hasn’t booked one. [Please don’t, Nathan]

Random life14 Jan 2006 03:37 pm

I’m taking a little blog break, my dears. Take good care of yourselves while I’m gone. Hugs and hair ruffles all round. I’ll drop by and see you all when I’m back. Toodlepippety.


Audience participation&Random life&Self11 Jan 2006 10:54 pm

Foxbase Alpha - St Etienne If the last 48 hours in Blogworld have taught me anything, dear reader/co-blogger, it’s that there’s a good chance you and I see the world differently. Very differently.

But don’t take my word for it. Let’s put it to the test.

For one night only, ladies and gentleman, you are the hunter and I am your quarry.

You’ve seen Ask Swiss. You’ve seen Ask Bargs. You’ve seen Ask Spins and Ask Mark and Ask Jenni. So it’ll seem terribly derivative and dull when I ask you to join in with the very first ASK FOX. But ask you I must.

Throw me your questions, about anything you like. Is there anything you’ve always wanted to know about your host? Go for it. Any fanciful, flippant or fatuous queries? Cast them this way.

I can’t promise I’ll answer your question, but you never know. (Actually, I probably will. I’m in the mood for a bit of straight talking.)

Questions now, answers later. If you want your question to appear anonymously, email it on a veritaserum-stained postcard to the usual address.

Random life10 Jan 2006 05:55 pm

Imagine for a moment that this blog’s anti-consumerist stance has been temporarily suspended, while its owner takes care of business.

Long Distance Kiss - 80s to the max I have two phone-related questions for those of you who are technophiles, or early adopters, or work in Carphone Whorehouse, or have acquired the knowledge some other strange way.

1. If I wanted to get a new mobile which has internet browsing / email facilities, is this likely to be achieved easily with a normal-ish handset and standard tariff? Or am I likely to need the services of the appallingly advertised 3G? Or, heavens to Betsy, a Blackberry?

2. Are the handset price and call charges likely to cost a lot, i.e. more than the level of technology currently justifies? Or is it now perfectly possible to do this without too much fuss and needless expense? I hear WAP is a bit lame.

Technical people, please assist. I’d be grateful.

Disgusted regulars who were expecting the usual knit-your-own-muesli polemic, please be assured that normal service will resume shortly. Y’all have a nice day now.

Random life05 Jan 2006 07:08 pm

Still bereft of prose, so have a picture of a puppy instead.

Sandy puppy

Tune in tomorrow to see a basket of Persian kittens with quizzical expressions. Possibly.

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