Thursday, December 15, 2005

Radio 5 Live etc

Well, trotted along to see Simon Mayo at around 3pm today. It was good. Quite enjoyed it. Really liked the other reviewers - Helen and Joel - dead friendly.

At the end of the interview Joel turned to me and said: "Wow, I didn't know you were the editor of Ouch. It's brilliant! A friend of mine sent me the link recently". This is always really gratifying and makes ya feel you're up to something good. we're definitely doing something new and different and it surprises me constantly that we're the only buggers doing it. Glad to get some recognition.

Before I go any further, I have to admit I am utterly slaughtered. I sank pint after pint tonight. Popped along to meet Kristina's new colleagues at the new place she works at. They're great. A nice evening down in central London.

It's 3 minutes past midnight now. I must go. I've got a package to recieve tomorrow morning from a delivery firm ... fingers X'ed it's early. Christmas depends on the delivery of this item.

Oh and have you been watching Space Cadets? I'm hooked.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Radio and germany

I'm on Radio 5 Live tomorrow afternoon between 3 and 4 (Simon Mayo show) if you're interested. It's a book review panel, I'm still finishing off the final book tonight. It has been a bit of a slog!

Got back from Germany sunday morning. Liked it a lot there. Very quaint old squares and cobbly small streets and hidden back streets in Munich. Nice place to be.

For various reasons didn't really go to Christmas Markets ... well, went to the big modern one at Tollwood which was a bit rubbish to be honest. Modern and Kristingle markt (or whatever they're called) don't go. It even had a flippin' dance tent! It's on the site of the Oktoberfest. DO NOT GO if you're ever in Munich. It may be big but it's a bit crap on the whole.

Also, Munich on saturday night ... we just couldn't find a place to eat! We set out at 6:30pm and were turned away from more restaurants than I can remember. A pre-christmas party season thing we'd not thought of ... we should have prebooked it seems. At around 8pm we found a little local restaurant down a back street which was quite cute ... we got the last table.

Went to a beer keller ... HUGE! Massive! What a massive huge place. Bought Pretsels (braitsels?) from a side bar thing ... proper bready pretsels that I'd never had before. And a huge beer glass of dark beer ... a stein are they called?

Forgive my spellings ... I seriously can't be arsed to spellcheck my blog. Blindies don't see things written down because there is a huge lack of braille media ... hence my spelling has seriously dwindled since I lost my sight.

It was very cold but it didn't really snow ... except at the Tollwood xmas market. Effing cold, I bought a hat.

There were loads and loads of huge statues of lions dotted around the city ... all of different colours. I assume it was part of an art exhibition.

More another time probably ... Germany is cool. Damon must learn German.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

The disappearing PA

My Personal Assistant didn't show up for work on Monday. She also didn't answer my calls. Not entirely out of character ... I had expected her to get back with a story about friends needing her help, her house burning down or she had been asked by MI6 to carry out a special mission in Brent Cross shopping centre, or something.

I learnt last night through a third party that my PA resigned. All happened very oddly and outside of the rule book ... but rather characterises her up-and-down approach to life. She'll now only text but won't talk to me

I can't help but like her but I have a real problem with trusting her because of many things she's said that have turned out to be total fiction. We're talking incredibly tall tales! Not sure whether I want another PA now, haven't much enjoyed the ride. I'll probably talk more about her fictions another time ... when some water has passed under the bridge. Inviting someone else into your life and your home is scary - no doubt about that.

I do wish her the best though and I really hope she can sort out some of the problems she obviously has. I don't think she'll find a nicer more tollerant boss than me though.

1 more day

One more day til Munich. Currently it is 0C with light snow. Check out the latest Munich weather on the BBC's weather website.

Bloggingmone says that the Christmas market in Munich is better than even the famous Nuremburg market! Well hurrah! Went to the French Christmas market in Berlin last year (think that's what they called it, not quite sure where the French bit comes from, a nearby church maybe). That was very atmospheric. I've been to one in Cologne too and Vienna.

Light snow. Light snow. I can deal with light snow, I think. But maybe there's a perspective thing going on here? What is 'light' to the townsfolk of Munich where they get much more snow than us Londoners.

Meanwhile back in Britain ... Space Cadets starts on Channel 4 tonight which is surely worthy of a watch. David Cameron, new Tory leader (who has a son with CP IIRC), faces Blair at the despatch box in PMQs at midday. That'll be interesting being as he's only been an MP for 4 years and has only ever stood at the despatch on 4 previous occasions. Also Lost is on tonight ... got very intriguing last week: light behind hatch, etc.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

5 more days til holiday

Yay! Just 5 more days until I quit London and head on out to Germany.
I am going to Munich for 4 days. We checked out the weather a little earlier to find that it is currently minus 1 degree celsius today with heavy snow falls. So, it's going to be interesting ... and possibly a bit of an access challenge as snow is known as Blind Man's Fog. Work it out yourself.
I'm more into cold climates than hot though, most of my recent holidays have involved Finland, Estonia, Denmark, Iceland, Sweden and, err, I seem to keep heading to Germany and Austria a lot too.
It'll be interesting to see how the Bavarians, much more used to snow than we are in Britain, deal with the weather. No doubt much better than here in London where one flake = gridlock in the capital. This is almost not an exaggeration.
Germany. I really like Germanic culture, especially around this time of year. I love Christmas markets ... not for the trinkets or the decorations or tat you can buy there ... just the atmosphere, the music, the cold, the beer and the street food. I fully intend to be stuffing my face with: wurst, spatzle (or however you spel it) beer, gluhwein, and whatever else comes my way. I hear that the Bavarians are into heavy stodgy creamy warm foods.
Am off out for a beer with one of Ouch's rather marvellous columnists, Liz Main, tonight. Don't think I've seen her in over a year.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Thursday, December 01, 2005

windmills = world peace

Godammit. In my important keynote online State of the Cranium address of last week, I forgot to mention the environment. I'm obsessed by it all! I'm not the best enviro person around but I really care about it. That makes no sense does it. In 2006 I must make it my New Year's resolution to recycle far more than I do.

I also forgot to mention Europe and the EU as big interests.

I'm also more and more interested in business ... at many levels. As an idealistic teenager I don't think I really appreciated just how money is important. God do I understand now! And how multinationals carry as much, or more, influence than many govts round the world - including some of the democratically elected ones. Interesting article in The Independent about how carbon trading is now becoming a big thing. Developing countries are making a business out of it "you pay us to maintain the rainforests". Amazing. I hadn't thought of carbon trading in quite that way ... though had previously been impressed with the whole idea anyway.

It's largely the developing countries that have all these important rainforests in them. They are, as is often said, the lungs of the planet. How to develop the developing? Pay them to keep the planet going. Amazing.

And hands up who is yet to make a link between the Iraq war and global warming? OK so it goes like this. It's a given that the war happened because of oil. It's not a cliche, it's not cynicism, but as Julia said in the comments on my last post ... how can we just happily ignore these huge must-be-truths and keep Bush and Blair in office?

back to that link. If we moved away from oil and fossil based fuels as the main source of energy in the west, suddenly our governments would care less about skermishes and wars and dictators dictating in the Middle East. We care about the gulf because there's loads of oil there. Should anything happen to cut the flow of oil, westen economies would be undermined. And if western governments got hold of the oil sources, then their economies would be able to boom due to lower priced fuel.

If we put money into renewable energies and alternative energy sources, Iraq (for instance) wouldn't matter to Bush or Blair. Or, rather, wouldn't be on their radar in quite the way they are now.

So, renewable energies = less war? = less imperialist forcefulness? = less islamophobia? = a slowing down of the greenhouse effect? = a cure for continued global warming?

In short ... windmills = world peace.

Scary news about the slowing down of the Gulf Stream thanks to melted ice caps thanks to global warming (today's news). Global warming could ironically mean Britain gets colder.

• FYI, The Independent is a national newspaper in the UK, very intelligent and with liberal leanings.

(apologies if this all just sounds like badly thought out blurb, I'm slamming all this down quickly. Remember ... I set this blog up to teach myself how to write again ... years of sub-editing and being forced to think hard about what I write has done my writers gene in, this is therapy)

Thursday, November 24, 2005

State of the cranium address

Good day to you fellow web surfers. Today I bring you my State of the Cranium address ... From my bed, wirelessly, listening to Radio 5 Live.

This address aims to give you, well me really, a full list of what's going round in my head at the moment. You know how songs stay on your mind? And how you get little obsessions about things? Well that's what this is about.

My head has been cluttered with the following lately

* WORK -- this is a given. Isn't it? Many very interesting things going on at work at the moment, new directions for me and my team. Oh and some interesting Xmassy things.

* JAPAN -- I keep reading lots of stuff about the country, its people, its trends, its culture. I'm fascinated by it and am looking at how it might be possible to visit next year. Just how accessible is it for a visually impaired person to turn up in a radically different non-european culture with a totally different language and expect to get by?

* CHINA -- As above. But I'm more interested in the politics and the way of life. I'm not currently considering a trip there. Have been reading a lot about the politics and growing situation between mainland China and the 'rogue state' (a perspective thing) of Taiwan. There are thoughts that it might declare its independence in 2008 during the Olympics in Beijing while the rest of the world are looking on. China has said that if Taiwan goes independent, it may well be moved to take some kind of military action.

* IPTV -- Linked to work, a little, but fascinated by the current trends towards this new way of delivering / receiving television. Essentially anything with a URL could be considered a channel in this system. Murdoch's expensive satellite dish infrastructure could become a huge white elephant hence his sudden interest in acquiring online companies. A TV ether is on the horizon and, when BT's <I>Freeview +</I> is launched next summer, there will be set-top boxes available to pick up this new television revolution. Soon we won't be able to appreciate where the internet starts and TV ends. Or something. Multicasting not broadcasting. There is so much more to this.

* FOOD -- Getting more and more fascinated by different foods out there, different cultures, ways of putting food together, different cuisines. Mostly though am interested in wholesome food and what food means to me and to people. IIs it not the Chinese who say: "treat your kitchen as if it were your pharmacy". Jamie Oliver highlighted how well-fed children behave better in the classroom ... Amazing stats to back this up. Food is an amazing thing. And where does food begin and medicine end? Or something?

* FAMILY -- God family are important aren't they? Networks around you, family, friends, relationships. I'm 35 now and am starting to think about all this very differently.

* BUSH AND BLAIR -- For Christ's sake kick these men out of their offices. Expose the dirtyness of the Iraq war. Appreciate that aggression can never be the solution on so many levels.

* TIME -- I must do more with my time: write, read, go out and eexperience new things.
This is the State of the Cranium address for late November 2005 and I commit it to you. (I won't bore you with how excited I am about my new idea to put my whole CD collection on my hard disk)

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

State of the cranium

You know how yearly the President of the USA does a 'state of the nation' speech? Well this is my version, the theme not being the American political economics but rather what my head is finding itself concentrating on a lot lately.

While we're on the subject of George W Bush though, two stories today have grabbed my attention.

1: According to some Downing Street notes that have suddenly come to light, it seems that Bush was keen to bomb the al-Jazeera television channel during the Iraq war (which never stopped really but ya know). The story goes that Tony Blair had to persuade him out of it!?! He didn't like how it seemed to be anti American, thought it was propaganda. Jesus he scares me.

2: On Radio 5 Live a few minutes ago I just heard a story about how the EU have been encouraging Britain to write an official letter to the US government about a few minor concerns they have. It is alleged that the US have some prison camps in one (or some) east European country. They are holding al-Qaeda suspects there and doing goodness knows what in former Russian military camps. The story was pretty unclear but presumably this will appear on the news later else it deserves a darn good Googling.

Actually I've been writing such a lot about this that I'm going to save my 'state of the cranium' blog entry til a bit later.

Blog by email

Yay, this is cool. I've just realised you can blog via email. You setup an email address with blogger and then just email it and it publishes on your blog, here.
To double the cool, if that's possible, I'm blogging from my new wireless gizmo PDA thing. How liberating! Does this mean I'll be blogging more often about more things? Naw, doubt it.

Friday, November 18, 2005

ate more

Ate more yesterday, makes you feel good! Fire in yer belly.

Badly had a chinese take away last night. Now, can someone explain to me wy I lost a couple of pounds this morning after having had a take away last night? How does that work? This happens often to me. Eat a massive loads of fat and the next day you've shed a significantly higher than usual amount of weight.

Cab has arrived, off to work now

Thursday, November 17, 2005

weight loss blues

Haven't done so well at losing weight for some reason. So, in the last few days, I've intensified my efforts and trying my hardest to shun proteins too - a gout contributor.

As a consequence, I'm definitely going a bit nuts. Seriously. Woke up early this morning believing that there isn't much point to living ... but, course, knew it was the lack of food situation talking so didn't worry me too much. Am gonna have to investigate some decent vitamins / supplements to keep the mental wellbeing ticking over as I attempt to lose a bit of weight.

As I say, it's not as if I'm hugely overweight or anything ... so here's hoping that the further one stone I need to lose will help matters arthritis-wise. I'm not convinced it will unfortunately.

And here, ladies and gentleman, Damon displays on his blog the classic disability dilemma / internal angst. What's disability ... oh more later, cab has just arrived

Wednesday, November 02, 2005


Got home at 5pm. Realised had left keys at work. Went back to work. Got home at 6:35pm. Pissed off? Me?

More4 were speaking to me today about going on their news programme and talking about Blunkett and how the blindness thing fits in to the story. I spoke with the researcher, they got back and said they may well do it and could I come in to the studio. I got so unbelievably stupidly nervous though. Honestly. I've done so many interviews to camera, I've done so much live radio work ... but live tv is soemthing I've never done before and it really really stressed me! Whetehr they thought I was the perfect contributor or not got rather lost to the fact that the story moved on and Hillary Benn was quickly appointed to replaced the second coming of David Blunkett.

One more disability role model toppled today. There's so few around.

[update] Oh events overtook me too. rumours earlier said Hillary Benn would be taking over from Blunkett, it seems some other geezer has got it instead. Disabled peple are probably a little safer in their beds tonight I'd venture to suggest. Oh that refers to Blunkett having gone, not Hilary Benn who I rather like.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

weight loss

I'm on a diet. I'm, what, one and a half stone overweight?

Thanks to the good people at Weightwatchers, I am shedding pounds.

OK so it's good to look as good as you can ... and I'll have less anxiety when trying on a new pair of trousers the next time I drop down to Blue Water ... but I'm doing it for another reason.

Yes, I'm losing weight to sell on the stock exchange. No that was a hilarious misdirection because the actual reason is dull.

Have you guessed what it is yet?

Yeah, GOUT. Effing out again.

Last week's annual leave was a fucking washout. I had double gout ... foot and knee both at the same time. "gout is the most painful form of arthritis" I've been told by many websites now ... so am glad I'm not just whinging too much. You start to doubt yourself and your reaction after a while.

there is too little and also too much information on the web about gout. I've taken a line through it though. One thing that several sites and leaflets suggest definitely is good is weight loss. So I'm shedding the extra flab to promote a less painful lifestyle.

What I don't quite understand is why it helps gout. Gout is a metabolic arthiritis. I get it because I have too much uric acid in my blood stream - average is 4.5 whereas my count is 5.4 apparently, whatever that meanhs, whatever units that's in.

So, I've lost 6 lbs in less than a week! Good, ya? Yes it's a man diet ... men only need to just take one teaspoon of sugar out of their tea and they fair fountain the fat away.

Am walking a bit better now. Bit wobbly and in pain but marked improvement since Monday, even.

Lost on telly tonight ... and Jamie's Italy thing ...

Monday, October 17, 2005

Blogger sucks

Verification graphics?

Do you have one of these new fangled Verification Graphics in the comments section of your blog? I think it is meant to stop spam. Well it also stops visually impaired people leaving comments too!

Blind people can't read graphics with their screenreaders at all ... and partially sighted people mostly find it too difficult to decode what the graphic says. So there's no way that visually impaired people can tap the word into the edit field because we can't read it!

I urge you, if you have this anti-spam feature on your site ... dump it immediately!


Have you seen More4 yet? It's the new adult entertainment channel for intelligent 35s and over from the stables of Channel 4.

Gotta say I'm really rather disappointed with it so far. Looking through the schedules there are approx 1 or 2 shows a week I'd want to watch, rather than the 1 or 2 shows per night I was hoping for.

I know they're on a very low budget - 30 million per year - but there's something really uninspiring about More4. It's a real shame. I'm not going to totally write it off though.

They're relying on the stripping and stranding approach to TV very heavily so that you'll make daily appointments at the same time for a certain show or certain kind of show.

• 7pm - So, tune in at 7pm every day and you get the dreary Grand Designs repeats. Dislike that show - poss cos it's rather visual though.

• 8pm More4 News - I love Channel 4 News mainly for TV news god Jon Snow. Sarah Smith, the more4 news presenter, doesn't quite cut it for me but then nor do any of the other Channel 4 news presenters. I haven't yet worked out the added value of this show ... especially if you've already watched Channel 4 news between 7 and 8. More discussion and more opinion is what I'd like, more of an intelligent news magazine than a bulletin.

• 8:30pm The Daily Show - Deep comic analysis of American politics and news? Huh? Who is the audience? I know there is a certain intellectual base in Britain who likes to keep across this kind of stuff but I think it's a very very very niche interested group for 8:30pm. 11pm maybe. The Last Word should be on at 8:30pm, not 11. Even the entertainment based David Letterman show has failed to woo prime time audiences before now on ITV2 and that's far less niche. How about a British Daily Show? Now that would be superb though possibly way too expensive. Britain doesn't seem to be able to achieve those daily late night talk shows or daily evening chat shows very well. Never worked out whether this was a talent issue or a budget issue or what.

9pm DOCUMENTARY, BIG ACQUISITION or BIG EVENT TV - this is where today's documentary goes. Some great stuff like tonight's Spellbound, for instance and last week's A very social secretary (blind portrayals ignored for the time being) and soon Morgan Spurlock's 30 days. Really good timeslot, really looking forward to this stuff and have still got Touching the void on my Sky+ hard disk ready to watch soon. As the channel moves on, week by week we'll see if this slot can be refreshed with new stuff. Currently though, this seems to be the only real changeable slot in the day. The rest of the schedule remains the same daily, propping up the 9pm expensive layout show. I'm not sure if this is a good or bad thing yet. It'll be really interesting to watch. But as someone not that interested in the daily stripped shows, 9pm is the zone to watch.

11pm The Last Word - The first week of shows was really disappointing. The way the production has been put together is intelligent and keeps costs down. It could work! Last week it didn't though. It seemed too bitesize and chunky. Bigger bites please! Mark Dolan was deeply uninspiring but I understand there is a different presenter each week so I'll be tuning in this week. This show has to have the right talent on it! It didn't make me laugh and I took from it no great observations. I feel the host and the editor were to blame here. I shouldn't judge this show on week one alone though, it could get better I suspect. At least it refers to the day's news whereas The Daily Show refers to news from the day before because of the US/UK time difference.

• later there's The Soprganos. I'm not into this but this is good! And the West Wing is awesome.

What I like about More4 is that if you look at its website it gives you a flavour of what it's about by presenting to you its key stars, its key minds, its core approach. So, in the same way that radio stations like 6Music or virgin have their 'core artists' that reflect the sound of the station, More4 have core programme makers and contributors like Nick Broomfield whose Eileen portrait of a serial killer docs were amazing! Not to mention Heidi Fleiss, Kurt and Courtney, the leader the driver and the driver's wife or whatever it was called.

Blimey - and my neighbour upstairs asked me the other day if I have a television. Err, no I just listen to Radio 2 for comfort?

week off

I've got a week off! Yay! Annual leave. Only I have a sneaking suspicion that I should go to work this week due to potential opportunities. Who knows. Gonna keep half of my brain on work, even though. Actually I've been working this morning, mainly due to not being quite with it last week. All done now though.

Gout update: foot not as swollen but still painful. Bad news though: now have gout in my knee too. I've had it in my knee before. Want to know how unhappy I am about that? Kind of fucks up some of my plans for my week off. Or maybe it shouldn't. Thoughts please from those more used to pain, joint swelling yet still intelligently looking after yourself while going out and about. I've watched so much of what I've stored up on my Sky+ hard disk this weekend (approx 12 hours of TV) that I'm going a bit numb.

Sky+ though, while I'm on it, wow! It totally changes how you think of TV. How often do you go to bed at night thinking to yourself: "11 o'clock documentary or snooze" and the snooze wins? Just click a button and the doc is there for you and you don't need to be tied down by schedules, can even 'series link it'.

Dunno about you but at 10pm I'm not always up for an hour long documentary ... it's a big commitment at that hour ... and you shrug it off and find yourself just watching pulp tv most of the time. Get sky+ and you can start avoiding the wallpaper pulp and start really getting into some decent quality tv. It has turned TV into more of an intelligent medium, for me, watching late night docs at 6pm for instance. All hoovered up off the TV ether. Fabulous.

thanks to Sky+ I've seen almost all of BBC4's excellent Lost Decade season. I urge you to do same.

What's this new deal with Sky? If you have Sky and recommend a friend, you get upgraded to Sky+ free? Woah! Get looking for friends who you can convert into a lover of the evil Murdoch regime.

Back to Lost decade though, watched the documentary about British sci fi author John Wyndham on saturday night (actually it was 8am sunday morning, thanks Sky+) and loved it. Bit disappointed that they left out Chocky. I remember the Chocky TV series very well! Actually it was one of the very last things I saw on tv before losing my sight at 13. My mate Warren got it for me on DVD for my birthday last year and weirdly the theme tune made me cry. Made me realise that there are probably several years of therapy bursting to come out of me and hit my credit card.

Chocky good though, great story. The George Orwell documentary also on Saturday night on BBC4 was OK. I learnt quite a bit about Orwell and what inspired him. I had no idea he had fought in the Spanish civil war or spent time as a policeman in Burma. He was obsessed with totalitarianism throughout his life. Really interesting. And of course, famously, Room 101 from 1984 was the number of the room he worked in at BBC Broadcasting House. I always knew this was the case, a bit of work mythology, but I never attempted to find it when I was working in BH a few years ago. I will next time I'm there. Seem to remember that the director General's office was in that vacinity. Actually that can't be the case I thought he was on the top floor. But that's irrelevant because he's based elsewhere now anyway, what with BH being half pulled down and being rebuilt n'all. really interesting architectural project, he said as someone who barely even knows what modern buildings look like now. Gerkins?

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Whatever happened to Damon's blog?

I used to post interesting things on this blog. Like this entry when China Week was happening on the BBC. Or this fantastic entry about oranges. Or this entry about underground worlds beneath cities: like secret cinemas below Paris and the history and culture of London's tube system.

And now look what it's turned into ... a place to whinge about pain.

I had started this blog to cure my writers blokc and get creative ideas out of me in an admittedly not perfect but useful way hence the name 'do your worst'. What happened? Sheesh, Damon, pull your socks up (carefully tho, it'll hurt)

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Gout - what to do

I've now had really rather severe gout for 15 days. In the first week I went to work and walked on it which I think caused it to remain painful for longer ... and earlier this week it increased the swelling and pain levels to the point I couldn't put my boot on. Really.

So, here I am, over two weeks later, taking drugs, not leaving the house and doing all sorts of other home cures. Tonight though, about an hour ago (4:30am) I decided to do a bit of deep Google searching because I'm about sick of it.

warm or cold -- For the last 5 days I've been spending a lot of my time with a cold compress against the swollen bit, the bit that is radiating heat like as if it were Dungeoness power station. This made sense. It's hot so treat it with cold. Make heat go away with ice (the cold compress, incidentally, has been a bag of Bird's Eye 'Wok' stir fry vegetable that has been in my freezer for ages and just wasn't gonna get used, I tend to eat fresh natural stuff see).

Google tells me I am potentially wrong. It suggests that arthritis (gout full name: Gouty Arthritis) is best helped with warm baths and hot packs against the affected area. This seems counter-intuitive to me. I've been avoiding hot baths this past fortnight.

Bloody painful -- What Google has confirmed is the fact I'm not jus whinging because it seems that gout really is considered to be very very very painful. I can concur. I found some talk about crystal deposits forming a line in the joint and actually pricking into it too ... which could perhaps explain the sharp cutting blade-like feeling I get sometimes. Very unusual pain.

Pleased to see too that others report the pain to be so severe that even if a blanket gently brushes over a gout affected area, it causes pain. Always good to hear similar symptoms from others.

Food to eat or avoid -- Interesting this one. When I was diagnosed with gout last year the doc said "You could avoid anchovies, beer, marmite ... but food avoidance doesn't make that much difference to gout".

This is a crap thing to hear because it makes you feel a bit out of control. I have to say though, I disagree with him. My first big gout attacks 10 years ago and ever since always occurred after christmas. I don't indulge greatly on beer n'stuff at christmas but I do love mince pies, chocolate and cold meats.

Certainly Google tells me that eating lots of meat can cause gout. Anything with high levels of protein creates uric acid when the body metabolises it. Anchovies and sardines have high levels of protein and hence will cause higher levels of uric acid waste in the bloodstream, for instance. Not that I'd flipping touch that muck! But you can see that perhaps after christmas cold hams and turkey, gout could well kick in. Makes sense. My findings this night tell me I should only have one portion of meat a day. So, there ya go, I'm being forced into vegetarianism!

Cherries are good. yoghurt is good (off out to get cherry yoghurt later). I've been drinking cherry juice the last few days anyway ... and have some frozen cherries in the freezer which I really should start eating routinely like medicine!

Large amounts of water is good: "an internal bath for your organs" it seems. OK so I knew that but when you see it written down ... ya know. err ... they say avoid diet sodas and tea too. Up those water levels.

Blueberries, dark berries, strawberries also can help apparently.

Drugs - Colchicine is what my doctor gave me. Due to other drugs I'm on, this is my best bet apparently when it comes to treating the pain of gout.

It causes stomach issues after a couple of days taking it. I was prepared to deal with this and have been ploughing on with the drug for almost a fortnight now. The websites say no to this though. It seems Colchicine can affect your organs so the first sign of stomach issues means STOP TAKING IT!

Paracetamol - I've been taking loads of paracetamol and Codeine-based pain relief. It seems tylanol (which I think is the same as our paracetamol) can make it worse. Hmmm. Only came across that tip once on my googlings so not sure what to think about this nor entirely sure that tylanol (which you get over the counter in the US and looks like paracetamol at any rate) is the same thing exactly. Guess it must be.

Preventitive drugs are something I don't want to get into just yet. I want to see if I can kick this into touch with a food and lifestyle change. I have to say though, I've never considered my diet to be excessively beer or protein rich. So, a downer from the start.

Moving and exercise -- haven't come across much about this. It seems to make sense that if you walk on swollen affected joints then that's a bit daft: "if it hurts, don't do it," that's what the doctors say isn't it? And it certainly bloody hurts!

However, I've not been out of the house in 6 days now. I need fresh air. I am also guessing that if this gout thing is about deposits in the joints an build-up of uric acid in local parts of the body, then maybe moving around, getting joints working, will help to disperse this?

But ... maybe I should start exercising more after this current bout goes away ... not during.

I need some thoughts and help and experience here. I just don't know what to do really.

Should I be lying down with my feet up or have a cold or hot compress while not moving or exercising but with no painkillers yet lots of cherries but no meat? I can't separate out the preventitive from the gout pain relief issues I've currently got.


Friday, October 07, 2005


It's my birthday tomorrow. Feeling rather miserable because I can't go out, can't walk, can't have an unhealthy beer for fear of flare-ups with gout / arthritis thing in feet and now NEW for Friday in my knee too!

So, any ideas for at home birthday celebration appreciated.

Has to be better than birthday 2000 when I was just out of hospital and between hospitalisations and fucked in the head on dodgy prescription drug conflicts. Hey ho.

On the bright side ... I'm losing weight.

More cheery posts later ... just having some lunch at 12:50 despite what the time says on this blog entry. I haven't got around to flicking it into BST and in a few weeks we're back off daylight saving anyway ... oh and no one cares.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Ronnie Barker and TV stuff

Shame to hear about Ronnie's death. Is it sacreligious to say I didn't like The Two Ronnies, though?

Loved Porridge! Still works today as far as I'm concerned. Don't think the beeb or ITV would have the courage to create a sitcom based around one person like that for mid evenings any more.

Hey really looking forward to the new More4 channel from Channel 4 that starts next Monday evening. They have a Blunkett and Quinn drama set to broadcast on night one. I think They're also showing documentary-maker Morgan Spurlock's '30 days' (he was the Supersize Me man - loved that documentary, if you've not seen it yet and fancy you might need a bit of a diet, watch it, it'll put you off sugar at the very least)

Then ITV4 starts in November which could be quite good for an ITV channel ... male oriented, a bit of sci fi, first run American dramas and David Letterman amongst other things. Don't like ITV as a rule but maybe they're reaching out to me? Reaching out? Reaching ou----fade and echo.

Sky 3 starts in a few weeks too ... won't be that interesting. All three of these channels will be available on Freeview as well as satellite and cable though which is fabulous ... means I can watch it in my bedroom.

The significance of spasms

I have disabled mates who talk about their spasms ... but it's perhaps not until recently I've understood the significance of them.

Spasms are, what, a bit of shaking? Moving of the limb? Involuntary muscle movements? Big deal?

Well let me tell you that because my left foot is currently gouted and shagged up to pieces I've done a bit of work from home today then had to go to bed because of pain. Why? SPASMS! Sitting at desk, foot goes a bit cold, blood rushing downwards (I dunno, something like that, I'm not a doctor) and suddenly the already agonisingly painful foot starts doing a bit of that involuntary muscle movement I was talking about.

What can I say? Ten times the agony and there's nothing, repeat nothing, I can do about it. Bed, warmth, drugs, hot drink. That's my method. Don't know what else to do, close to despair today! Any other thoughts on spasming appreciated. Am writing this en route to the kitchen - i.e. the cup of tea parlour.

Having been sensory disabled for 20 years, due to recent issues I'm beginning to appreciate and side with that physically disabled gang a lot more in the last few years due to various reasons.

'Spasm' is not the innocent short comedy word it sounds like!

Monday, October 03, 2005

shit day

What a fucking shit day. A colleague died at the weekend, someone I couldn't possibly do justice to if I were to write about him. He oversaw the first designs for the Ouch website. Such a nice bloke. and he died far too young.

A colleague of mine told me when I got in this morning. The sheer shock led me to just say fuck a lot, I think. And yeah, fuck. Fuck it all. What else? Fuck.

I haven't worked with him much the last couple of years other than saying hi in the corridors ... and he's done the odd bit of photoshop stuff for me when all other sighties on the team were not available.

I was the first blindie website producer at the BBC and my colleague, Martin, was the first designer to work alongside me. He didn't bat an eyelid when I pulled out a rubber mat, a dud biro and a thin sheet of plastic and asked him to draw designs he was trying to explain. He thought it was cool! How else was he gonna get across his visual design ideas? Tactile drawing looks so crap but between us we worked out a system. I'd not used it before either.

As I say, can't do this justice so I'm not gonna attempt it. Very sad mood at work today. If you are in a mind to give a bit of money towards something good, put some pennies in a sickle cell research charity pot tomorrow.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Pain and Sara

didn't sleep much last night, am in so much pain with this gout thing. Drugs aren't working any more. conjunctivitis (or however you spell it) is back too. I think I should go and see my doctor. Liam has his stitches out today by the way ... oh and the vet called Thursday to tell me the lab results show the lump wasn't cancerous. Hurrah!
Those of you who listen to the BlindKiss talk show will know of my mate Sara. Last night she flaked out on me big time. Your opinion on her wezely actions appreciated.

So, she was doing a bit of freelance work at my place of work in west London. She was in the next door building housed on the same campus. We had discussed twice about meeting up after work for a beer, being as she was so close and all.

Come 5pm I started calling her. She didn't pick up her work mobile. I then called her personal mobile which was switched off. Her home phone too just rang out. Where was Sara?

I called her work mobile again and again after 5:30. It rang but she didn't pick up.

I finally spoke with her at 8pm. I was surprised when she answered her home phone. I met her hello with the words:

"You flake" and perhaps "only the crumbliest flakiest Sara" too.

"What?" she said.

"We were due to go out for a drink?"

"Oh. Oh no. I'd forgotten." was her wezely ludicrous response.

Forgotten? We'd spoken about it twice. She was actually at my place of work. My force must have been strong in her that day, ya know, being so close and everything. I must have been in her thoughts.

"I'd forgotten" she said.

After a stunned silence I believe I may have said: "you liar!"

Excuses came rolling out at this point: "I have a cold. "I went home and fell asleep"

Out of 10, what wezel rating would you give her? I note that she decided finally to pick up the phone after 8pm, once she knew that the after-work-drinks-window must have well and truly closed.

Shall I dump her as a mate?


Sunday, September 25, 2005

Little and Large, sang.

I note that Sid Little from Little & Large is on Five's late night reality programme 'trust me I'm a holiday rep' that I can't be arsed to link to. Dreadful.

Got me thinking about Little and Large and how, as a kid, I used to think they were great!

Then I remembered them being on Top of the Pops. Do you remember they had two singles that were hits?

1: Rocksteady

2: Around the old camp fire

Rocksteady whenver you're ready,
wiggle your hips now,
all you gotta do now,
come on honey,
don't wanna be funny,
just walk around with your fingers in the air
going doo dee doo, di di di di dee doo. ????

And the other:

Around the old camp fire
where the mushrooms used to go
and our muscles used to show
around the old camp fire
on those happy happy hazy saturdays ???

Well the lyrics were something like that anyway, I don't hold with googling for everything because it takes all the fun out of remembering things.

TV trivia quiz (no google):

Q: What was the name of Gonch's mate in Grange Hill.

Moody bastard

Yes I am the kind of person who can pause and rewind live TV ... for I have Sky+ ... and it's fantastic.

What do you mean you don't have Sky+ ? Unbelievable. Don't think I've watched a live tv show since I got it! No more am I a slave to the schedulers ... and I've always got something interesting to watch rather than just turning on TV and watching what's on at the time. I urge you to get it or get a Freeview personal video recorder like the 179 quid one from Fusion.

Went out to an engagement party thingy at a smart pub in Islington last night. V nice. The toilets smelt of cough syrup. Being a blindie I'm afraid I can't comment on the decor so, there you have it, I've reported back on the most remarkable sensory experience I had. The tapas snacks wer rather nice too including the biggest juiciest garlic infused olives ever! Delish. Got home, had a pizza ... dog threw up.

Liam hurled up undigested dog biscuit right by the back door. It was vile. I cleared it up and detoxed the area. Went to bed.

Woke at 10am to discover he'd been sick again ... all down the carpeted hallway. Sick in about 5 different places ... yes, lumpy sick with undigested dog biscuit again ... but this time with a slight porridgeyness about it. Washed and detoxed. Vile. Marvellously I then watched the Sunday AM programme off my Sky+ ... did I tell you I've got Sky+? Tony weasely Blair weaseled his way on and off the screen ... Andrew Marr didn't push him all that much.

So today I've been lying on the couch, not moving my foot, feeling really moody and fed up ... while watching about 7 episodes of South Park that I'd hoovered up off the tv ether onto my, um, Sky+ box. Yes.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

If you were to ask me ...

... what programme I'll be watching on Thursday night, say ... well ... you might hear me say something like: "well you know, I don't watch LIVE TV any more, I'm not that kind of person." "No longer am I a slave to the TV schedulers."

And then you might hear me say something like: "Oh yes, I have Sky+, you can touch me if you like." ... something like that. Yeah, that kind of thing. That'll be me.

whisky to number 53 Cromwell Street.

Am having a few PA difficulties it seems. It's bothering me quite a bit but not going to discuss it here. Interested to hear about any PA nightmares anyone reading this may have had tho?

Took Liam to the vet this morning. Dead quick, in and out, his wound is healing fine. Stitches out next week.

Went to Channel 4 this afternoon ... a meeting about audio description. Learnt a few things I didn't know and always interesting to see how Channel 4 works. Maybe I should go and work for Channel 4. No easier said than done. ;)

Am interviewing for a position on Ouch this Friday. Clearly not gonna go into it but my whole day is taken up with interviews from likely candidates ... spreading into next Wednesday too. Looking forward to getting someone new on board ... goodness Vaughan and I need an extra pair of hands and a brain especially if annoying things like aggression on the messageboard start to take our time away from us. Grrr. We're quite distressed about this in the office at the moment partly because we have quite a lot of other things to do right now including supporting the Beyond Boundaries TV show that is due to air early October. So I urge you to pop over to the Ouch messageboard and get it warmed up a bit for us. We'd love you forever.

What a mundane blog entry. It feels like a mundane kind of day. I'm toying with the idea of going out for a few lagers and a curry. Hmm, second thoughts, how can I make the lager come to me? There should be a dial-a-lager service.

Actually now I'm on that subject I used to get cabs from a small local minicab firm a few years ago. While in the car I'd often hear the person back at base saying things like: "Number 12, number 12, can you go and pick up a bottle of whisky from the off licence and take it to mister X."

On one occasion I heard a couple such requests and asked the cabbie about it: "yeah, it happens a lot, they're disabled customers who can't get out of bed."

Sets the imagination going doesn't it?

Saturday, September 17, 2005

How best to deal with annoying neighbours? (or: blogging = therapy)

[I've deleted this entire post / whinge. I suddenly got a pang of guilt and earthliness ... and didn't like the idea that I'd sent lots of bad vibes and karma out into the universe. So it's gone. If you're expecting me to sign off with 'light and love' you're mistaken, I'm not a spiritualist just someone who suffers great deals of guilt, anxiety and "why do we have to be so shit to each other" stuff.]

Dog back ... and more

Well, got Liam back around 6pm last night. He was a bit wobbly and sorry for himself ... and has a strip of fur shaved away around his neck where the lump was. The lump is now gone and two stiches are in its place.

I have to take him back again on Monday so the vet can be reassured that his wound is OK ... then the following Monday the stiches come out. He's being really good and not trying to scratch at his stitches.

And yes, before you ask, from Thursday I will be able to pause and rewind live TV.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Dog gone

I've just got home to an empty house. My PA arrived at 8:30 and we grabbed my guide dog Liam and took him down to the vet. I signed the consent form and later today he'll be having a general anaesthetic and a bit of teeth-descaling as well as the removal of a small wart-like lump that has been growing on his neck over the past few months.

Poor little fella. Felt really bad leaving him there. Still, I'm not the type to get all silly over dogs and it'll hopefully be good for him. Can't help but remember all the operations and general aneasthetics I had to bear as a child though. Ick. But this time ... it was me signing the form.

Minor stuff as I say ... though I think they'll be testing the lump at the lab afterwards. Depends what the vet thinks.

Am to call after 3pm to see if he's OK to come home.

Meantime ... while the cat's away, the mice can play ... I've laid out all my food on the floor and all my black clothes ... just because I can. Um, no I haven't.

6 days til Sky+ day ... and rather belatedly have just discovered that the latest Alex Rider book is available on unabridged audio! Yip yo! yes i know it's a kids book.

Sunday, September 11, 2005


OK, I've done it. I bit the bullet. I ordered Sky+.

You can touch me if you like.

Friday, September 09, 2005

Japan by book

I want to go to Japan. Anyone wanna come with me?

Am currently reading Mo Hayder's Tokyo. Loving it.

Sticky eyes [updated]

Eww, I've got really sticky horrible conjunctivitousy eyes. Vile. Really so nasty. I've not been to the doctor yet. It feels like I've been kicked in the face ... and odd how my stomach has come out in sympathy with it.

I've bought myself some Optrex Infected Eyes. I think they're the first ever 'over-the-counter antibiotics ever invented! They're probably rather low level though ... and they hopefully won't be tempting super humungus mutant bacteria to warp and grow and take over the planet with their hyperintelligent hyperimmune hyperbioticness.

If I squeezed enough 'Optrex Infected Eyes' down the drain, would London die? Would the sewer rats then be OK to eat?

[update] I am still sitting at my desk at work. It's raining out there, we've had a big thunderstorm over West London this afternoon. Am waiting for a cab home whcih I'm told will be delayed by an hour. My eyes are so puffy and conjunctivitisy and I feel a bit rubbish so I slid down in my chair a weeny bit to rest. My eyes are so puffy that they must lok half closed. My colleague Brendan just came back to the office and, in a concerned way, shouted over: "Damon, are you asleep?" Now paranoid that i Look half asleep most of the time here at work. News 24 7 o'clock headlines about to happen ... ore is it BBC World I've got on . Must say am enjoying seeing Nick Robinson back on BBC politics duty.

Monday, September 05, 2005

MS and a 15 quid burger

I went to the 10th anniversary birthday bash for the Jooly's Joint website for people with multiple sclerosis. Had a good night and am still slightly hungover now. Met lots of interesting people.

There were reportedly around 300 at the event in Birmingham compered by TV's Iain Lee whose mum has MS, she was there too.

I felt a little bit guilty actually. I'm blind and stick out like a sore thumb with guide dog n'all. I don't have MS. Most people in the room DID have MS. I was worried everyone might be looking at me and thinking: "oh jesus, is that what could happen to me?" Could I have been their worst possible prognosis?

Bumped into Paul who created the Netguide website. He was cool ... but also really rather drunk. I was interested to se whether or not I could make him fall over so bought him a round ... which turned into several. We left the bar at around 3:15 after having congratulated Julie (or Jooly) for her amazing aptitude for innuendo that she displayed in her emotional 'thank you for coming' speech ... which had some nob gags in it. Nice one Julie, impressive night, impressive work.

Got back to my room and realised I was going to have a monumental hangover if I didn't do something about it. So I took paracetamol, started to drink glass after glass of water ... and called Room Service to get hold of some alcoholic sponge ... i.e. food ... to quell the next day's headache illness.

It arrived in the form of a burger and chips for 14.95 pounds (approx 25 dollars for you yanks who I know will have no idea of foreign goings-on). Yes possibly the most expensive burger I'd ever bought (well it was the Hilton Metropol) but I really think it helped.

Woke at 8. Got up and had the 'hangover challenge' massive breakfast I'd planned. I managed to eat it without hurling so figured the train ride home would be OK too.

Got home at 3:15 and pretty much slept the rest of the day before going to bed to sleep more.


This whole Katrina thing has got my mind whirring ... and, I think, yes, I definitely did go to school with a Katrina.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Foreskin restoration

I need to share something. I'm going to share with you one of my most favourite websites on the whole of the internet.

It's a diary with pictures. But it's more than a diary. It's a perfect piece of human agony of a kind I had never even imagined.

American males are routinely circumcised at birth. it seems that in recent years some have come to see this as a kind of mutilation. hence a whole new phenomenon has kicked off ... the practice of trying to regrow a foreskin by prolonged stretching of the remaining penis skin over time.

I have to admit to fair nearly wetting myself with laughter when I first read this for which I feel a big sense of shame now. I think.

So here we go ... a two year diary detailing (with pictures: soft and erect) the most beautifully innocent website EVER. This guy badly wants a foreskin. And ya know what, I really feel for him. I've not read it for a while but I came across it in my favourites this evening and, as I say, really felt I had to share.

Foreskin restoration diary

I'd love to know what you think. I've got a funny feeling this might just be a bloke thing. If you're anything like me you'll be reading it and testing it for irony ... and discovering none. As an 'intact' man I winced quite a bit reading it too.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Fizzy soda drinks ...

Lilt, we have discussed, is bloody awful and taste of cheese. it's a given.

I quite like Sprite Light ... tho why they didn't call it Sprite Lite for continuity purposes I shall never never know. Never.

Dunno why I'm talking about these things as my favourite drink - and far more healthy - goes like this:

Ingredients: Some sparkling mineral water and a carton of apple juice (not from concentrate)


• Get a pint glass

• Half fill with apple juice
• top up with sparkling mineral water

... that's it.

In germany they call it an Apfel Shorla ... well that's what it sounds like, spellings could be a bit awry here. Basically it means 'Apple Spritza'.

It's delicious, it's the best way to drink apple juice, it's got vitamins in it too.


On a recent trip to my local corner shop I saw a new looking kind of drink in there. It was called 'coconut water'. I imagined fresh sparkling water with a hint of coconut ... just like when they give you coconut on the beach in Italy.

What it actually tasted like was some weirdly milky sweet drink with a vague synthetic coconut flavour to it. NEVER drink it. I think it was from the sub continent.

Friday, August 12, 2005

Eugene to win Big Brother

I have voted for Eugene to win 3 times now. What a lovely bloke! So sweet and thoughtful.

In a funny kind of way he's got me thinking about myself and whether or not I am boring and/or a geek.

If you watch Big Brother you'll be aware that they regularly cut back to Eugene in the middle of - what is deliberately edited to look like - a geeky speech. They make it look as if he is boring and goes on about things a bit too much: radio transmitters, politics, language, minutiae. The housemates are never seen to be interacting and sit back and just let him go on. As I say, it is implied by the editing that he is dull and geeky ... tho his sweetness still shines through.

As I say, it's got me thinking about myself. I often suddenly launch into analytical speech like Eugene does. I do because I am interested in things. When people start a conversation I join in and take it to the next level which, inevitably, involves a little more analysis and intelligent thought.

Eugene is intelligent. Clearly. Are we at a stage now where we surpress intelligence? And thought? And analysis? And anything deeper than a puddle?

I sometimes find myself apologising for having a passion about certain subjects, for bringing to a conversation something a little more, a little deeper.

Is intelligence and thinking now out of fashion? I'm aware that in black male youth culture, intelligence is NOT COOL. This is what I hear. Hence younger black males, including all the societal factors, aren't helping themselves very much.

So, when speaking, should I "refuse to diminish my character"? (a Craig from BB quote) Or should I tailor my thoughts down a bit.

Do you like how I've framed an argument surrounding society and intelligence purely in terms of Big Brother - often thought to be one of the least intelligent shows on TV?

But is it? I'm not sure. I'm losing focus.

Does anyone anywhere know what I'm going on about today?

Diet Lilt tastes like cheese

... to be honest I don't really have much to add to the title here. It just does.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Another Thursday

Police presence in London is high today with over 6,000 officers patrolling the underground I think I heard the newsreader say earlier, many of them armed. But as someone said the other day, if the tube is out-of-bounds for terrorists, then they'll find other targets. That said, I'm not expecting an attack today or even soon (aside: have you seen that fantastic al-Qaeda programme on BBC2 monday nights with Peter Taylor?)

Fave coffee from Starbucks at the moment is the Peppermint Mocca. I urge you all to try it. Starbucks may be a multinational but at least it doesn't mass farm animals.

Friday, July 29, 2005

Craig love

OH my god. Did you see Big Brother last night? Un-be-flipping-lieveable.

The bloke is one of the most emotionally imature 19 year olds I've ever ever seen. He's astonishing. Even when I was at the height of my hormonal ill-informed teens (14?) I could never have stooped so low as to kiss and fondle someone I fancied when they were spark out pissed. "I'm going to look after you Anthony, your best friend in the whole of the house is going to look after you".

He's tragically smitten, he's desperate, he's imature, he has no shame ... but my god he's got a lot of feelings! I hav never come across anyone like Craig, not as full-on as this. And the tragic thing is that I'm sure he's not putting it on for the cameras. He's one confused bunny.

Ya see, this is where I still attempt to argue that Big Brother is anthropology and has scientific significance.

How will he be treated when he leaves? I don't think people will boo, surely? But I don't think they'll cheer. He's disturbing. And I am absolutely gripped which makes me feel a bit bad but it's total car crash unmissable tv.

If you've not seen Craig, go to the Big Brother website (UK). There may be a free video clip or two to watch, too.

SO much going on in London today ... police activity right near here. Now all 4 of the failed 21/7 (like that?) bombers are reportedly possibly maybe behind bars - if proven guilty. Yet I choose to major on Craig?

I'm actually mor gripped and anxious and intellectually stimulated by the bombings news which I've had on TV on my desk this afternoon (I'm at my desk now waiting for a cab). Being a news junnkie and all that.

I heard a fantastic commenttator on Radio Five Live the other day about how the environment, the climate and terrorism are linked. I just hadn't made the link before and feel stupid that I hadn't.

Ooh cab has arrived and I'm off ...

Monday, July 25, 2005

Impression of Craig

OK, in response to the huge demand I've had (yes, one person, I'm easily pleased) if you follow this link you'll be able to download an mp3 of me doing an impression of Big Brother's Craig.

I cannot wait until 10 o'clock to see tonight's edition ...

Sunday, July 24, 2005

BB's Craig and Damon on LBC ...

This is a good positive non bombings related post. In fact it is deliberately trivial.

I just want to voice that I am utterly gripped and fascinated by Craig on Big Brother at the moment. My God. I've just watched him this evening.His relationship with Anthony - or lack of - is so hideously watchable. Carcrash TV and no mistaking.

I do rather a good impression of Craig now actually, having honed it for 8 weeks. If enough people ask, I can in fact post an audio file of me being Craig ... so the ball is in your court.

Classic Craig phrases include:

"Don't cross me, you don't know what I'm capable of ..."


"Anthony, can I control you tonight? I am going to control you, you have to do everything I say. You know why don't you Anthony?"

... and other generalised weirdness.

Fascinating because Craig is such an unusual character (that was me being nice) but I do feel quite awkward sometimes because we are watching this young bloke exploring his own sexuality so very publically ... he should talk to the BB psychologist I think.

And the other thing is ...

I called up LBC last Friday night. I can't remember the last time I called up a phone-in show. I was on air around 11:10pm on Iain Lee's show.

He was talking about tv nostalgia and wanted to know if anyone remembered the Munch Bunch cartoon and theme tune. Ahem. I called in and sang it to London, it seems. Why was I moved to do this? Possibly because I was up late waiting to leave the house to pick up my copy of Harry Potter at midnight.

I paint an attractive and impressive figure of myself here don't I?

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Bombings 2.0

Jesus these guys are going to get a hammering when they're caught.

Yes, two weeks on, if you haven't yet heard (which I doubt) ... and London has been bombed again. I use the term 'bombed' loosely at the moment because it's all rather unclear exactly what did happen. Lots of speculation that another big attack was planned - 3 tube trains, 1 bus again - Sir Ian Blair (head of the Metropolitan Police) says it was clear they wanted to kill but it looks as if small explosions like detonators occurred, not full big explosive bombs.

I was literally shaking when I switched on the TV news around 1:20 when I heard. Smoke was reportedly coming out of tube stations, 3 tube incidents had occurred ... then suddenly a bus explosion. Way too familiar.

Information is slow today ... 4 events but how many explosions? One report says that the incident on the Hammersmith and City line at Shepherd's Bush didn't meet with an explosion.There are talks of unexploded bombs. Talks of confused terrorist who, after realising he wasn't dead, ran for it. Weird reports, probably random conjecture or chinese whispers right now.

Then there were the two other incidents ... one at University College Hospital and the other that panned out live on TV in Whitehall at the bottom of Downing Street. An Asian man with a backpack on was subdued by police live on air before the TV cams were asked to switch off. All very conveniently timed ... but Sir Ian later said these two events were not connected.

Thankfully my taxi has arrived and I can now go home ... maybe write later.

Basically though ... my shaking and fear is gone and I am not just pretty angry about it all. Confused but now really pretty damn angry. They'll throw the book at them ... and possibly find out some extremely useful intelligence in so doing. But what do I know, I'm just another Londoner.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Finished reading Harry ...

Well despite the initial scanning problems, I managed to sort it out. Happily though somebody emailed me a fully scanned version of the book. Yes, that's the blind underworld on the internet. By about 5pm saturday afternoon I had a fully scanned version ... and no doubt thousands of other blind people were sharing that same text too. When we get equal access to the same book at the same time at the same price, then we won't have to share books in this way. Illegal, yes. Do I care ... not if the publishers don't, no.

Interestingly the publishers allowed the book to be brailled and put into large print ready for saturday. The thing is, lots of blind people can't read braille: approx 12,000 in the UK. The figures tell us that there are approx 2 million visually impaired people in this country. Making it available in Braille and large print was definitely a step forward but isn't the way that the majority of blind people would read. Younger people would like electronic text (a word document or encoded document with the text in it) and everyone would like audio. Braille can be a real chore to read, I read braille approx 10 times slowers than a sightie reads print. NO maybe 20 or 30 times slower. It's not easy ... though some pick up the skill really well at a young age, I wasn't blind at a young age and nowadays tend to use braille for easy stuff like labeling CDs so I know what they are when I picked them up. I also read the TV times in braille, little else. Well to be honest there is very little to read anyway! Not the kind of thing that I would like to read anyway.

Back to Harry ...

I finished reading it a few minutes ago. Gosh, very dark. I won't give any spoilers out here but it was a bit shocking and I am kind of gutted by it all. Can't help but think that, now Harry Potter is a huge brand, the publishers are perhaps a little too scared to perform many edits on Rowling's work. I think it could have had a hundred less pages at least! That said, it's nice to remain in the wizarding universe for longer.

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Harry Potter - scanned (only not)

OK. So I popped out at midnight to my local book store, bought Harry Potter and have been sitting here ever since trying to scan it in to my computer using my high tech 'isn''t this a good gadget for the blind' scan software.

I've tried different settings again and again but it seems this book is a nightmare to scan. Aarrgh.

So, fellow bloggers, here are pages 2 and 3 of Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince as scanned in by me. You'll see that they're pretty unreadable. How pissed off am I?

Harry Potter

zen cars into the watery depths of the river below. And how "ed anyone suggest that it was lack of policemen that had ulted in those two very nasty and well-publicised murders? that the government should have somehow foreseen the ak hurricane in the West Country that had caused so much mage to both people and property? And was it his fault that e of his Junior Ministers, Herbert Chorley, had chosen this ek to act so peculiarly that he was now going to be spend\ a lot more time with his family?
'A grim mood has gripped the country,' the opponent had ncluded, barely concealing his own broad grin. And unfortunately, this was perfectly true. The Prime nister felt it himself; people really did seem more miser- Le than usual. Even the weather was dismal; all this chilly st in the middle of July ... it wasn't right, it wasn't rmal ...
He turned over the second page of the memo, saw how ich longer it went on, and gave it up as a bad job. Stretchl his arms above his head he looked around his office )urnfully. It was a handsome room, with a fine marble fire- ice facing the long sash windows, firmly closed against the seasonable chill. With a slight shiver, the Prime Minister t up and moved over to the windows, looking out at the n mist that was pressing itself against the glass. It was then, he stood with his back to the room, that he heard a soft ugh behind him.
He froze, nose-to-nose with his own scared-looking reflecn in the dark glass. He knew that cough. He had heard it fore. He turned, very slowly, to face the empty room. 'Hello?' he said, trying to sound braver than he felt. For a brief moment he allowed himself the impossible pe that nobody would answer him. However, a voice ;ponded at once, a crisp, decisive voice that sounded as
The Other Minister 9

(hough it were reading a prepared statement. It was coming as the Prime Minister had known at the first cough — from I he froglike little man wearing a long silver wig who was depicted in a small and dirty oil-painting in the far corner of the room.
'To the Prime Minister of Muggles. Urgent we meet. Kindly respond immediately. Sincerely, Fudge.' The man in the painting looked enquiringly at the Prime Minister.
'Er,' said the Prime Minister, listen ... it's not a very good time for me ... I'm waiting for a telephone call, you see ... from the president of—'
That can be rearranged,' said the portrait at once. The Prime Minister's heart sank. He had been afraid of that.
'But I really was rather hoping to speak '
'We shall arrange for the president to forget to call. He will telephone tomorrow night instead,' said the little man. 'Kindly respond immediately to Mr Fudge.'
'I ... oh ... very well,' said the Prime Minister weakly. 'Yes, I'll see Fudge.'
He hurried back to his desk, straightening his tie as he went. He had barely resumed his seat, and arranged his face into what he hoped was a relaxed and unfazed expression, when bright green flames burst into life in the empty grate beneath his marble mantelpiece. He watched, trying not to betray a flicker of surprise or alarm, as a portly man appeared within the flames, spinning as fast as a top. Seconds later, he had climbed out on to a rather fine antique rug, brushing ash from the sleeves of his long pinstriped cloak, a lime-green bowler hat in his hand.
'Ah ... Prime Minister,' said Cornelius Fudge, striding forwards with his hand outstretched. 'Good to see you again.'
The Prime Minister could not honestly return this compliment, so said nothing at all. He was not remotely pleased to see


Thursday, July 14, 2005

Tube post 7/7

I'm on annual leave this week. Hurrah! But a funny week to have time to spare in London. I don't really feel like going out and doing much ... and getting there on the bus or tube is a bit scary.

However, yesterday I broke my duck. I boarded a tube for the first time since the bombings. I felt really uncomfortable. I went down to Oxford Circus via Baker Street. These are two of the biggest tube stations in London but they weren't quite as full as usual.

On the tube train itself you could "cut the atmosphere with a knife" as they say. It felt very uncomfortable. I noticed things I don't normally notice.

* I noticed how small the tube carriages are really.
* I noticed the extremely long pauses between stations (somehow two or three times longer because I was willing my journey to end)
* I noticed the hums, creaks, buzzes and coughs, all of them.

As I understand it, everyone was looking each other up and down. It all seems a bit silly to look out for unattended baggage now we know that those involved in the bombing were suicide bombers.

Baker Street was particularly eery last night at rush hour - utterly silent, though there were lots and lots of people on the platform. The tube train was at least 5 minutes late but, even though the platform kept filling up minute by minute, no one talked, no one made noises.

I saw a newspaper headline on Google the other day calling London's bomb attacks the "7/7 attacks". Good in that it works properly both sides of the Atlantic this time ... but I didn't like naming these attacks after a date like 9/11 or 11/9. No one tried to call the Madrid bombings 11/3 or 3/11 did they? Something unpleasantly derivative about it. I feel odd writing that. I can't put it into words why I wouldn't want it to be called 7/7.

... and late last night I went out for a Mexican. Not all that nice food really. My week off has gotten me itno bad food ways - "it's my holiday god dammit" - and I'm feeling really unhealthy; the hot weather isn't helping.

Monday, July 11, 2005

I've got some beansprouts and I'm gonna use 'em

... or I might.

I have two bags of beansprouts in my freezer. They are frozen. Solid state.

I love beansprouts.

I haven't ever frozen them before though. So what I need to know is ... when I defrost them, are they gonna be moosh?

This bothers me and I am abstaining from beansprouts until I have a satisfactory answer or guess.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

London Terror attack

I was coming in to work early in my cab this morning when LBC announced there had been some kind of explosion heard at Liverpool Street station. Little was made of it. The subsequent travel news revealed that London was in a bit of a state this morning anyway: lots of tube and rail closures / delays.

I got into work and put the TV on. Suddenly it all began to unfold. At first we were told that there had been a power surge in the tube system - however at the same time we were hearing stories from passengers that they'd seen flashes, they came out of the underground with soot all over them etc.

Even now at 1:32pm I'm a bit confused about it all. IT's bene a confusing day. I have been quite shaken sitting here watching the TV on my desk as the happenings rolled out. The bus bomb made it plain this was a terrorist attack happening not just some power outage incident that had blown up.

This will read weirdly if you read this after the the event and know all the details. But, even now, we don't know how many are dead (2 or 3 at the moment but likely to be more we hear) and I'm going to have real difficulty getting home. All cabs are going to be stuffed.

Oh Huw Edwards is telling me The Queen has released a statement: she's shocked and other stuff.

The whole tube system is shut down. The buses are now also completely closed down I believe ... though at first it was just in zone one (central) I hear it may have extended.

Oooh I wonder if peple will have to pay the congestion charge today? I betcha Nick Ferari will probably start blathering on about that tomorrow morning.

I'm feeling a little less shaken now and have lots of forms to fill in so I'd better get down to it. Laters. All I know and my loved ones are all safe.

Monday, July 04, 2005

Friends Reunited and fuzzy feelings

A couple of days ago I logged on to Friends Reunited for the first time in about two years. I discovered two email messages waiting for me there on the site. One was from a pal who I last saw about ten years ago in Worcester. Fantastic, am really looking forward to meeting up with him.

The other, very much out of the blue and very much appreciated, was from a former teacher of mine from when I was an 8-year-old at primary school.

I'm going to reproduce the message below but will change her name for privacy reasons:

This might come as a surprise. Does the name Mrs.Lamb ring any bells?
I'm actually Alma Dawlish now. My first husband died back in 1988 and I remarried and returned to live in the N.East of England where I was actually born
and bred. I expect you noticed my geordie accent. I now live near Durham. I'm retired and married to Anthony. We enjoy life by travelling,
walking, visiting our 5 children and various grandchildren. We read a lot, go to concerts. Anthony writes and paints and we are still waiting for the masterpiece
that will make us rich.

Damon, I followed your wave of publicity with interest and with a certain amount of pride. You were a great kid when I knew you and somehow I knew you would
never fit into any kind of mould.

I'd love to hear from you if you have a minute to spare.

Kindest regards,
Alma Dawlish.

Wow! Isn't that the most fantastic of emails to receive? I was so chuffed! A real blast from the past.

And so children, in conclusion, communications via the internet can also be as positive as they are negative (guess what I'm referring to).

I have now replied to my former teacher and am dying to hear back from her. The big worry here though is that she actually sent it last February, 2004. I only got it recently because I received an email from Friends Reunited saying: "we have two messages for you." Well dang me, I didn't even realise they stored messages on the site. I swear they didn't used to. Now it seems that the site has a kind of in-built email systeym.

Hands up who else would like to receive an email from the past like that? it makes you feel all warm, innit. I hope she's OK 18 months later and doesn't think I didn't want to mail back because I'm too big for all that now, or something. I'd hate to think she thought that.

Course, it now means I have a subscription to Friends Reunited and I wonder if I should start contacting old friends now? Scary!

A situation I'm unaware of ....

My neighbours have started acting a little weirdly towards me. Quite aggressive and rude. I feel rather bullied, to be honest. It's really unpleasant, un-called-for and just not in the spirit of neighbourlyness. I am genuinely mystified as to why their aggression has suddenly run away with them ... I'm not aware I've been a bad neighbour and it is kind of upsetting.

For the first time in my life I've not felt good and safe at home. Not nice.

But, thanks to a lesson I learned from Mr Hawkus, I won't be talking about real life people on the web. Here endeth this one other than to acknowledge I'm rather depressed by this occurrence and sudden display of unpleasantness. I'm very approachable so when they decide to tell me what's going on in their heads that'd be nice.

Friday, July 01, 2005

Thought the week would never end!

I'm still at work. It's 7:30pm (despite what the Greenwich Mean Time clock at the bottom of this post will say) and I'm shattered.

So much stuff went on this week. Quite apart from being on my own in the Ouch office I was inundated with Live 8 calls from various sources and also dealing with all the huge amount of emails we received off the back of my popbitch incident. Oh and I'm distressed that my upstairs neighbour is going to pounce on e when I get home. She is so aggressive for no reason, the kind of person who never listens but just talks. Stressing me out big time.

But back to this Popbitch thing. I just didn't know what to think when it was pointed out to me yesterday morning. "Damon, someone has written about us on popbitch". What? It's hideously intrusive. It was like tearing down all privacy and also having your self esteem smashed to pieces too.

The thing that really pisses me off now is that it's my favourite pub in the whole of London. I love it! But I'm going to feel funny about going back there now. Will that guy or his mates be there watching?

I feel a bit bad though. I've stopped publishing the comments abou thim even though they are still rolling in. He sounds really remorseful and it's good to learn lessons, innit.

Incidentally I saw his email address. It's entirely possible this man holds a position of social responsibility. I think his employers would be distressed to know he'd written such things. Don't ask me though because I'm not going to tell anyone where he works. As far as I'm concerned he's done really well and I'm kinda impressed with him for owning up like he did. Well done Hawkus.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Bring it on God

OK big fella, your holyness on high, throw as much rain and lightning at me this evening as you like. Do your worst. Lob your weather down on me ... your destructive electric forks. C'mon, it's me against you. Direct. Face to face.

Remember tho God ... though a flash flood or electrocution could be imminent right now ... we've faced each other before. Oh don't you remember? It was on that operating table back in 1984. Remember now big guy? Yeah, and who won that time? Well the pure existence of this blog proves that I did.

In conclusion, I'm stronger than God. Here endeth the sermon.

PS: The thing pissing me off most right now is that, with all this heavy rain, satellite TV reception is totally gone and I can't watch Kinga on Big Brother in her first interview since being evicted.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Sun = death

I note how many people are loving the hot weather. Really scorching hot 32 degree weather here in London today. People are sitting outside at pubs drinking and enjoying the heat ... making plans for weekends away etc.

My main thought, though, is "hell, the planet is dying".

Is that right or wrong?

Bit by bit the global warming stats are coming out. Just last week it was suggested again that we've got it wrong and the situation is almost irreversable.

sunshine = dying planet? Or sunshine=lovely summer we all deserve?

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Chinese supermarket

Wow, wahey yip yo! Have been to a chinese supermarket this evening. It was fantastic.

The whole place really reeked of herbs and spices. The completely brilliant thing was stepping into another culture tho. So much stuff there from sources I've never heard of.

I was particularly pleased to pick up some powdered cream coconut which sounds nice and simple to add into oriental cooking. Having tins or cartons of coconut milk aren't great, they don't get fully used and just go off in my fridge. But powdered, wow, will last forever! Only cost about 30p too. Oh and a huge big freezer sack of peeled and ready garlic, frozen, just 70-something pence!

The newspapers were talking about how Ice Green Tea is the big trendy thing to drink in Japan at the moment so I bought some of that too ... it comes in a can. It's flavoured with jasmin tho so not too sure about it. Am nothing if not a fashion victim tho ... OK so buying into fashions several thousands of miles away now too.

Didn't really fancy buying the dried black moss ... couldn't work out what to do with that. BMoss on toast for breakfast?

Anyhoo, if you can get there it's called Wing Yip and the one I went to was on the Edgeware Road, well, Staples Corner really.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

I hate hearing other people's dreams

Before I even start writing I know I will do this post no justice whatsoever. I'm about to tell you of my delusional high temperature dreams of the last few days in the full knowledge that hearing about other peoples' dreams is one of the most boring things ever. My pal Sara always thinks her dreams are fascinating, as an example, and regularly relates the weird goings-on in her mind. Usually far more fantastical and extra-earthly in the head, less interesting when spoken out loud to someone who never had that perspective nor the touchstones or events that served to create that particular in-head mosaic.

I'll keep it short.

Thursday afternoon the temperature really started and I went to bed shivvering. I started to drift in and out of sleep after a couple of hours and the weirdness started. Having the radio on in the background probably didn't help.

It's so hard to explain but seriously screwed my head up for a good 24 hours. I dreamt that words no longer existed. Worse than that, thoughts of words didn't exist. Something had happened to the brains of everyone in the world - be it by parliamentary decree, virus or mass manifestation - that meant words, signs, signifiers, concepts ... none of that meant anything. We all had to start again with language and thoughts.

I found myself in a big room full of people. I was writing things down, things that would have been intelligible sentences some hours before but were now alphabet soup. Meant nothing. But needed meaning attached to them. So this whole process of giving new meaning to old words started at a giddying rate.

I'd write the sentence: "glastonbury is a fabulous festival". It would mean nothing to me. I would have to attach a meaning to it, say: "I'd like a cup of tea" or "the avenue is very leafy" or "snow". But how to keep up?

Nothing meant anything any more. new concepts were joining old phrases and being forgotten almost instantaneously ... though others seemed to be picking it all up a little quicker than me.

Remember, this was a worldwide phenomenon. No one in the world could communicate with others properly any longer least alone form cogent thoughts in their own minds.

So I guess it was as much about the power of language as it was about world collapse and headfuck. It could have been interesting if it wasn't so disturbing.

I'd wake from time to time to hear snatches of news on Radio 5 which typically melted into my dreams and became equally meaningless or rather I was trying to seek new meaning from old phrases like: "Blair flies to washington ahead of G8 summit". Meant nothing, not in the new world order. People's brains didn't work in the same way as before,you see. Everything slipped out.

I've egged this enough now.

If anyone is in the slightest bit interested in analysing that particular dream then please feel free. Yes it probably means I'm a gay under-achiever with an elektra complex or something.

My head sorted itself out a bit by Friday afternoon but I found it a really terrifying dream or delusion or whatever it was because I was half awake, sometimes fully. Try perceiving a world without a language or even words or ideas attached to what you're seeing or experiencing yet knowing you are intelligent all at the same time. I'm pretty damn sure there is someone reading this who probably goes through similar regularly.

After the storm ...

Jesus! So last week I got a small bout of food poisoning and this week I get some gastric flu thing. I feel embarrassed now that I took a day off work for the food poisoning after having experienced the stay-in-bed 3 day shivvering exhaustion, etc of this gastric flu. Flu caught from a mere babe. Children always always always spread diseases. Can't stop coughing my flipping guts out now either. Know that jarred chest feeling where you need to cough but it's too painful to cough any more?

Anyhoo, I'm not one to complain (yeah right).

What have I got to say today. Well not a lot. It's a stupid hour in the morning and I can't sleep. I have, however, watched the first episode of the new series of Six Feet Under (series 5) that was broadcast in the US last Monday. Thank you to that excellent technology known as BitTorrent and my 2 meg broadband connection. Might wait til the rest hits E4 though, s'better that way and less hassle. How come I don't know anyone else that watches SFU? It's the best thing on TV ever!

I've not eaten since Wednesday. Well barely. Food hurts. Oddly I'm not missing food. Oh and oddly I'm putting on weight ... how the hell does THAT happen? I always knew there was 'another plan' for me, if you know what I mean. Like I wasn't the same as all those other human beings.

Monday, June 06, 2005

My flawed ebay plan

Currently I am poor. impoverished.

A couple of weeks ago I embarked on a plan to start selling stuff on ebay to make some extra money.

I've started selling some of my audio books and the odd DVD. The trouble is I have only made 12.50 so far and I'm already running out of things to sell. I really thought I'd cracked this poverty thing too.

Friday, June 03, 2005

generalities on Friday

Kristina went and bought the season 3 box set of Six Feet Under today and we were gonna watch it this evening. Whaddya know, my DVD player has packed up. How pissed off am I? Didn't even realise the box set was out until today. If you've not seen SFU you've got to get it. It's a life alteringly superb show ... I'm sure you'll be able to get a series 1 box set off ebay for less than a tenner. Well worth it.

I've gone all geeky looking at DVD players online. Seen a fabulous one for 41 quid that allows you to view MPG, AVI, DIVX and all sorts of other formats that you can illegally download off the web with BitTorrent, burn to CD and then just take thru into the lounge and watch on yer TV with this little beauty of a gizmo. I can post more details here if anyone's interested ... can't be arsed to do any of that linking magic from this post today.

Amazing rainstorm this afternoon. Anyone get caught in it? It was, as Kumail from Big Brother would say: "fabulous". I got so wet ... and I really love rain ... as I was explaining to Rain in the office earlier before I realised she might think I was ripping the piss and or being faintly pornographic. "I just like being covered in rain" I said in a passionate voice. Because I do. It's accessible weather, it comes to get you. Blue skies, rainbows, fog and sun stay up in the air well away from me. There ought to be a law against it.

Oh and regarding my earlier post about reclaiming words. That was my attempt at ironic humour.

For less irony though, check out the new Sound TV channel, it's on Sky Digital #277. It's the most horrific pile of crap ever. Remember The Comedians on ITV in the 70s? It's like that, only here in the 21st century and hence scarily scary. "ere, and I'll tell you anuvva fing my muvva in law says". It's even got that bloke who used to do the Capital Gold Breakfast Show with his 'naughty boys'. Dreadful.

Oh and is Lenny Henry's so-called comedy show on BBC1 currently the very worst show ever aired on my TV set this last decade? Shouting and smiling and laughing your way thru a script doesn't make it any better if it's piss poor. And it is totally piss poor. The audience must be devoid of any self worth for laughing else 'caught in a moment' that I could never get caught in.

Reclaiming words fun

Things Damon has learnt never to say to women #43

I use the word 'cunt' because I am reclaiming it for you

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Not a Lotto

It's 2:43am. I'm feeling sick. I had a nice convenient takeaway last night that woke me up from the inside at midnight thirty. I feel rough and there's no let-up. I will go an investigate some vitamins in a minute to try and help. I feel so unhealthily vile. A nice fizzy drink may also help, I'm thinking.

Anyhoo ... the reason I'm up at this time is because I suddenly remembered I could be a millionaire.

About a month ago I signed up online to 16 games on the Lotto (links to the numbers on the BBC site, not the Lotto itself cos I can't have you joining up on a whim).

Why did I do it? Well I am so lacking in money at the moment that it actually sounded like a good option to invest 16 quid in this dippy lottery. 10 games later I've not even won a tenner, though.

In my head I was thinking "you've gotta be in it to win it" hence my ticket purchase. Until mid June I am one of those who volunteers to pay stupid tax.

On telling my sister last week how little money I have right now she said "why don't you play the lottery?" It's like we're all caught up on the lie ... but in one weird move all money problems - and hence a lot of life problems too - coudl be wiped away. Just think about it for a second.

1 in 14 million chance of winning the big jackpot. I must be a crazy flipping frog. Yes, the money would be far better spent down the dogs.

... one of those fizzy orangey vitamin drinks that costs 5 quid for 10 tablets would be good right now.

Monday, May 30, 2005

Audio described movies

Just wanted to share that I have seen two movies on DVD with audio description this last week. They were both rather good and I recommend them.

1: Garden State -- Andrew 'Large' Largeman is blamed by his father for the freak accident which left his mother a paraplegic. Leaving his hometown of New Jersey, Large isolates
himself from the world and drifts in Los Angeles. When he hears of his mother's death, however, he is forced to return to the 'Garden State' and reconsider
his own life. Oh and the girl he falls in love with has epilepsy and Andrew himself has manic depression, of sorts. Can't say too much here. A veritable disability flick tho innit.

2: Enduring Love -- Joe and Claire are enjoying a romantic picnic when they notice a hot air balloon in considerable distress. Together with a group of onlookers, Joe rushes
to its aid. A sudden gust of wind places the rescuers in danger however, and, as it is sent skywards, a man is left dangling from the balloon before plunging
to his death. While Joe is left physically unscathed, the damage to his psyche seems irreparable. Based on the novel by Ian McEwan. (what this review, nicked from Amazon, fails to tell is that it's largely about Joe being stalked by a bloke who loves him played by Rhys or Rees Iffans or Evans or whatever. Can I be arsed to look up the spelling? Do you think spellings somehow jump out at me from posters or newspapers and ozmose into my inner thoughts like sighties? Sheesh. I'm not doing the extra research just for a blog entry. If someone could post the correct spelling of this Welsh fella who was also in Notting Hill then, well, feel free if ya like).

Have just rented Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless thingy from Blockbuster not 15 minutes ago ... will watch it later. It has no audio description soundtrack so lets hope the natural dialogue is descriptive enough to carry me thru the narrrative from start to finish so as I don't make up my own little film in my head as often happens (though sometimes they are better, you should hear my version of Contact)

Sunday, May 29, 2005

Crazy frog rools!

Am I the only person in Britain to be genuinely amused by the crazy frog thing?

When I say genuinely, I'm talking in an ironic way.

Tomorrow I'm going to get the ringtone and put it on my mobile. It will play out every time someone calls ... but with a sense of irony there.

However ... how many people will realise I'm being ironic? People in my office plus friends and family might get it (they know I have a brain and hate commercial shite) but will people on buses and trains understand? Or will they label me a loser as soon as they hear the tone?

Well I've worked out a plan to combat the latter. I'll get the tone tomorrow and if the phone rings in a place full of people I don't know, I'm going to do a little dance to highlight the irony.

Monday, May 16, 2005


I want to listen to my Daft Punk CD.

I can't find my Daft Punk CD.

The idea that I will have to search high and low for my Daft Punk CD distresses me.

I may buy a new Daft Punk CD so I don't have to look for the old Daft Punk CD.

This is how Damon finds things that he loses.

Is this how all blind people deal with losing CDs?

Background: I have about 500 CDs in the house, it could be any one of them, I don't wish to start stuffing every CD into the player to hear what it is before discarding and playing the next. Did that make sense?

Until everything have a smart chip in it, the world will be invisible.

Saturday, April 30, 2005

Flaky environmentalist

I really care about the environment. No really I do. I'm seriously worried about global warming, recycling, sea levels rising, lack of water, ice caps melting, etc. But I'm crap!

I recycle paper ... but I don't recycle as much as I should do. I claim access issues - half the time. I'm not sure I can claim my dishwasher is there because of a disability access issue though, that's lazyness and convenience, yes?

I'm always so impressed by environmental activists like the ones who fitted solar panels to deputy prime minister John Prescot's home the other day. How funny! How clever. Also extremely impressed with the McLibel duo, Dave and Helen, who fought McDonald's anti-earth practices for years in the British courts on several levels: health grounds, targeting children with advertising, animal cruelty and chopping down of rain forests. I didn't really engage with the huge anti-McDonald's campaign until recently ... and it is shocking where we've allowed them to get to as a multinational with a single aim to make profit at all costs with their appalling business model.

Anyway, to salvage my conscience I've decided that I am going to donate money monthly from my wage packet using Give As You Earn to some kind of environmental cause. I don't yet know who I'm going to give it to. If anyone has any suggestions that'd be really useful ... the research starts now.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Goodbye planet

I was shocked by this story: Glacier goes under wraps.

A Swiss alps ski resort is covering its glacier with plastic to stop it melting as a result of generalized global warming.

"... In May, once the ski season is over, more than 3,000 square metres of the Gurschen glacier above the resort of Andermatt is to be covered with an insulating
PVC foam. This, it is hoped, will protect the snow layer from heat, ultraviolet rays and rain, halting the recession of the glacier. The foam costs £45,000,
but it can be stored during the winter and reused."

Oi, Bushy. Global warming is happening, bozo. Wake up. You and your mates may well have billions of dollars in their bank accounts thanks to oil and other excesses but what's the point having all that money if there's no planet and no society in which to have status and/or units of wealth. Grrrr.

Oh and I wish my council gave us bigger recycling bins. We get tiny boxes that fit about a day's worth of recycling in them. Everyone has to take this seriously NOW!!!