Saturday, March 31, 2007

What I did this week

Went to Oxford

Went to Lincoln

Bought some books (not very surprising)

Bought two new little dresses (from an independent boutique in Lincoln)


Death and the Compass (Alex Cox, Borges, Chris Eccelston, very bonkers in a good way)

Down by Law (Jim Jarmusch, the man who turned CJ into a "six foot wet girl in a Donna Karan dress", Tom Waits and fellow muso John Lurie, also a tad bonkers - not least for the cross-references to things like The Three Stooges!)

The Devil's Backbone (del Toro before Pan's Labyrinth - brilliant and not remotely bonkers)


Buffy: The Gateway Trilogy [That should be "Gatekeeper" btw]
The Rough Guide to Conspiracy Theories


a bloody great crack in our bedroom wall
no one returns your calls
no one stocks the great big bags of plain chocolate choc chips (as in our lovely Ginger & Choc Chip cookies)


Doctor Who returns

Neil laughed at me yesterday listening to Simon Mayo on Radio5. I kept sticking my fingers in my ears and going "la-la-la" because as nice as it was to listen to Sweet FA* talking about New Who, I also want to keep myself as unspoilered as I possibly can about the new series. I realise that this is akin to needing to lock myself in a sound-proof booth for all moments apart from 7-7.45pm on a Saturday for the next 13 weeks (and probably shorter if I want to skip the trailers at the end of the programme), but damn it I am going to try.

So how excited am I?


Well I think subdued anticipation would best describe it. I have had a week away from work and have got so out of kilta with myself I even forgot to set myself a reminder about the Doctor Who Weakest Link Special last night.


Oh well, come 7pm I will be sat with a grin on my sofa. I certainly need cheering up.

* nickname circulated by MediumRob


Sorry folks. I just needed a screen break.

Now I'm back. And what do I find?

Bad news.


Kinda puts any winge I may have into perspective.

Hugs all round people; hugs all round.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Groucho Club encounters

Marie has a great post on being at the Groucho Club which is not at all wanky despite her fretting.

Mind, the post was not only funny in itself but also drew some amusing comments:

Phew, for a moment I thought you were going to say DT walked in.
Fessing Author | 03.23.07 - 11:09 am | #


Sadly no, but apparently Billie Piper was there with Laurence Fox earlier in the evening.
strugglingauthor | 03.23.07 - 11:40 am | #


What would you do if DT walked in? Am thinking your funny hiccuping thing would be involved.
Jessica | Homepage | 03.23.07 - 5:30 pm | #
If my own inadequacies faced with Mr Whedon are anything to go by I think just avoiding to hit the ground with a thunk would out-do me...

Hugs all round

Felix stories are the best. Hugs to everyone.

A Rullsenberg traffic spike

Normally I get around 450-550 visitors per week.

This week I got 896.

Whaaaat?!!!!!!!!!! (To invoke a much-laughed over phrase)

Then I realised it had mostly come between Saturday and Monday. What were most of the searches looking for?

Primeval (reasonable)

Blake Ritson...


Then I realised that (1) when Ritson was in The Romantics alongside David Tennant I had been praiseworthy of his broody physique. I thought he would be a shoe-in for Dream of the Endless.

... and then (2) I remembered that Sunday night had seen the screening of Ritson alongside Billie Piper in ITV's dramatisation of Jane Austen. Hence a search for 'pictures of Blake Ritson' placed me in 9th place in a google search.

Suddenly it all made sense.

However, other searches made less sense. Including this one:

"stag do" rules customs

I come up as 6th for this archived post. Those boys doing the searches must be SOOOO disappointed (not to say confused...)

Enjoying Shaggy Blog Stories

Awh shucks, it is just packed full of gems!

I'm having such a good time reading it I just want to buy more copies!

(Big fat grin of joy - especially at re-reading Marie's piece).

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Primeval finale: new series soon please!!!

This has been a post in the making since last Saturday.

Well, never mind. I have, in the meantime, been watching the repeat (Sunday), and then the new DVD arrival. Scrummy!

Primeval DVD

But crikey. That was quite a final episode! For those who didn't stay the course, it was interesting that whilst episode three proved to be a halfway point episode in more ways than one, things really picked up a pace in the final three. Culminating, of course, in the world-changing paradox impact of the anomoly-travelling.

So how long do we have to wait to find out what happens next?!

Shaggy Blog Stories: arrived!

Awh, it's just so squeaky nice! We're all starting to get our copies now!

I have my copies here ready to forward to the lovely Helen Lisette and Chrissie. Plus one for myself of course!

If you haven't bought it already, go buy it! You will probably now get the volumes minus the minor typos that slipped through the editing process (but given that seriously big press publications get those as well I think Mike and his team did an extraordinary job to have so few).

A break from work...

At last I have reached the end of (my) term: the students may finish tomorrow but I finished today. I have 4 days in from 2-5, and then 2 more days 16-17 before I go to BAAS but otherwise it's a month away from the office till 23 April. Huzzah!

Sorry for blog absence. Bit busy. And tired. Even with the long weekend I had a month ago, it feels like a long term.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

The depths of fandom...

...after recording GMTV for an appearance of lovely Douglas Henshall, I am now obliged to watch/record The Weakest Link since there will be a NewWho special the Friday before the new series starts...

Oh boys, the things I do for you...

Blogmeet roundup and stripes in apology

Kick me now. A week on and STILL no proper acknowledgement of all the lovely people I met at last week's blogmeet. Shame on me: blogging from bed the day after is no excuse!

Still, that'll larn me, trying to write posts in bloodybloggerbetaboswelox.

Never mind.

Here is me wearing the outfit I wore to the blog event...

Rullsenberg in stripes
So, I guess I better get to the key stuff, like all the blogs of the people at the Nottingham blogmeet?

A Rest Is As Good As A Change (now on hiatus, but an active blog supporter and all round great person: I mean, a West Midlander and fan of Cud, how could she not be!?)
Argy Bargey (the word charming was made for his engaging conversationalism)
The Bargain Basement (fan of 80s music and high cheese: he even had his own t-shirt)
A Cloud in Trousers (I think I know him...)
Drama Queen, Fag Hag, JAP (Miss Mish: may she always be carried)
Eine Kleine Nachtmusik (this is his blogmeet review (whose company - and whisky - was much welcomed over the entire weekend)
Niles' Blog (Alex, who arrived with a grin and stayed that way and by his account had a great day)
Reluctant Nomad (showing true dedication to meeting bloggers despite the transport)
Tranniefesto (Siobhan: who was delightful company and whose statement "blogmeets are cool" sums up the day)
Troubled Diva (without whom this would have been a smaller meeting indeed... all this in the midst of creating the best Red Nose Day fund-raiser ever)

Thank you folks. It was a grand day out.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Shaggy Blog Stories: buy it now!

Shaggy Blog Stories ia available for purchase.

You can find it here:

The cover price is £8.96, of which £3.63 will go to Comic Relief once external manufacturing costs have been deducted. The book's publishers,, have even very kindly offered to donate their share of the profits to Comic Relief.

So go to it folks. Order one for all your street.

Shaggy Blog Stories

You know it makes sense: just look at that lovely Lucy Pepper artwork!

Press Release by Scaryduck: Bloggers publish book for Comic Relief.

100 bloggers have published a book to raise funds of the BBC's Comic Relief appeal on Friday 16th March.

'Shaggy Blog Stories' features hilarious contributions from Richard Herring of 'Fist of Fun' fame, BBC 6Music presenter Andrew Collins, comedian Emma Kennedy, and James Henry, scriptwriter from Channel Four's 'The Green Wing'.

Authors Abby Lee, David Belbin, Catherine Sanderson and The Guardian's Anna Pickard have also contributed pieces to the book.

The vast majority of contributions, however, are the work of many of the lesser known and unfamiliar heroes of British blogging; going under pen names such as Diamond Geezer, Scaryduck, Pandemian and Unreliable Witness.


The book is the idea of blogger Mike Atkinson who writes the 'Troubled Diva' weblog. 'Shaggy Blog Stories' features comic writing from not only the cream of British blogging, but also the best up-and-coming and undiscovered writers publishing their work on their own websites.

Giving himself a "ridiculously short" seven days from idea to finished product, Atkinson admitted that he was overwhelmed with the response, which gleaned over 300 submissions for publication.

With a pool of talented writers, and the latest publishing-on-demand technology, Shaggy Blog Stories bypasses the usual snail-paced publishing industry, and offers a mail order service to customers who will receive their finished copy within days of placing their order, and only a couple of weeks after the original idea.

"Blogging creates complex, worldwide networks of friendship and contacts on the internet", says journalist Alistair Coleman, one of Shaggy Blog Stories' contributors. "By creating a buzz about this book, we can reach out to hundreds, thousands of readers who'd be willing to part with a few quid for this very good cause. Mike's got some excellent writers on board here whose work deserves a wider audience. Everybody wins."

For details of how to order the book, visit

For the background story on the creation of Shaggy Blog Stories, take a look at

Pimpt it hard!

He did it! With loads of help and pieces of writing and the lovely Lulu, but it is DONE!

Well done Mike!

Shaggy Blog Stories is out.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Trailers and endings

Mmmmm.... Okay, so it IS the finale of season one of Primeval this weekend so after then it will be back to DVDs for Dougie treats (including of course my eagerly awaited DVD of Primeval itself!). But just to keep momentum, what should be over the horizon but the delights of season 3 of NewWho.

Mmmm... trailer....

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Notes to self

Must think about Billy's wish-list meme.

And any number of other posts in progress. Although this would be made much easier if NTHell (sorry VirginMediaHell) were providing a functional net service...

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Blogging from bed on a Blogmeet

So here I am typing a brief HOWDY to everyone who came along to the Nottingham Blogmeet yesterday. For approximately four hours we had much fun, chatter and spillages in the Broadway cafe bar.

Things learned:
  • that County Councils are like Hotel California

  • that moving emotional posts often touch a nerve but this can result in feeling like you need the theme from Simon Bates' "Our Tune" playing in the background

  • that no matter how hard you try to avoid it, in company, beer will be spilt and it will always create an embarrassing location of staining

  • that I am not the last fan from Cud's first incarntion

  • that Stephen Merchant, despite his height, was completely unmemorable at Warwick University by those on the campus radio station to the point where no one can recall him being there. And he got lucky by hanging out with a "pot-bellied beardy fella"

  • that oiled pretty boys are the eco-friendly answer to Drama Queen Fag Hag JAP's desire for a smaller carbon footprint

Of course, you may remember the meeting differently, in which case please feel free to add your recollections!

We then took our lovely guest EineKleineRob to our favourite Curry House and then home for nattering till pumpkin time to the sounds of Beirut's Gulag Orkestra, The Decemberists' The Crane Wife, and Rachel's Songs for Egon Scheiele. And he bought us some very fine Isle of Jura whisky (although we actually drank our own supply of Laphroig).

Friday, March 09, 2007

Shaggy Blog Stories: a Red Nose Day special

Shaggy Blog Stories is Mike's great idea for Red Nose Day.

Here are the main details:
1. All UK bloggers are invited to select one post from their archives, suitable for inclusion in the book.

2. Because it's Comic Relief, the watchword here is Funny. So I'm looking for posts with a pronounced comedic content.

3. Please e-mail your permalinks to me at Alternatively, you can mail me with a tickled-up version of the original text.

4. The absolute final deadline is 6pm UK time on Wednesday evening (March 14) - but please send your stuff to me as soon as you can, as I’ll be assembling the book on the fly.

5. The book will be published through - a site which specialises in self-publishing, and which doesn't require any upfront costs or pre-planning. Once they have the text, the book is more or less immediately ready to sell.

6. All money raised by sales - ie. minus the fees charged by the website - is donated to Comic Relief. I would expect to raise between 3 and 4 quid per book, as Lulu's charges hover around 4 or 5 quid (depending on page count).

All with me so far? Good. Now, here’s how you can help.

1. By publicising the event on your own blog, and asking your readers to pitch in with contributions. Please link directly to this URL:

2. By contributing to the book itself.

3. By buying the book next Friday.

4. By pimping the book on your own blog, once it goes on sale.

If you’d like to contribute, then please follow these guidelines.

1. Brit bloggers only! You should be currently resident in the UK, or else an ex-pat Brit living abroad. (So, yes, foreign ex-pats in the UK are also welcome to join in.)

2. Please send me ONE POST ONLY. It’s your choice, not mine.

3. Posts should contain TEXT ONLY – we won’t be using pictures.

4. Posts should not include copyrighted material, e.g. song lyrics.

5. Short posts are preferable, i.e. under 1000 words. Absolute top whack maximum is 1500 words, if it's a really really good one.

6. Although a couple of us will be proof-reading, it would greatly assist if you could check and re-edit your posts for grammar/spelling/punctuation before submitting them.

7. When e-mailing, please tell me [Mike] the author name you'd like me to use. I know that many of you like to be anonymous on the web, and that's fine - but as Google doesn't index the printed page, this might be a suitable occasion to use your real name

So, if you fancy picking out a favourite amusing post, you should do so. My only problem is that I can think of many people whose posts deserve to be in their - Marie is an obvious person to contribute, as is Clare; might I also suggest that JJ should consider forwarding a gem of hers as evidence of bittersweet hilarity (she would also benefit from being cheered and seen as cheering thanks to the bag thieving bastard)? There are almost too many people to list: and it is only British blogs, otherwise I would definitely be pointing out John at Counago and Spaves, who when he isn't finding funnies manages to write a mighty fine bit of funny in various guises.

So you see, I can think of all these people, but when it comes to it I can't think of a single example of my own funny from the ridiculously large archive of Rullsenberg. Maybe I'm not funny? Perhaps I only direct people to other people's funnies?

Hmm... Suggestions from readers welcome. And pass the word on! We can help Mike gather the best of Brit blog amusement for Red Nose Day.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Belated Bloglines gem

Hee. I love it when Bloglines throws up a random curveball of a post from several months earlier.

This one from Schiaparelli dates from October 2006 and a report on the Donmar Warehouse's Q&A for The Cryptogram and unsurprsingly charmed me:

Douglas Henshall was adorably quiet, just sat staring at his bottle of beer, and occasionally answered a question in a soft Scottish voice. [...]

There were MORE people there than I'd ever seen before at a Donmar Q&A, nearly the whole audience, and when we came out Gigi wondered why.

Me: I suppose it's because Kim Cattrall was in it. Y'know, audience full of girls. Kim Cattrall.
Gigi: Why, who is she?
Me: She's in Sex And The City.. you know..
Gigi: Oh THAT. I don't watch THAT. I just thought, pfft, some American. I was only there for Douglas Henshall. I assumed they were too.
Well of course...!

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Mike's "blogmeet myths dispelled..."

Brilliant post and cross-posting reminder of Saturday.

Thanks Mike: this is just genius!

Finding time ...

Ah it would be so good if I could always practice what I preach.

The week is slipping away and I am no further forward with several tasks. Fighting fire is the best description I can give.

Come and give me a hug on Saturday in the downstairs Broadway bar, Nottingham. I will be the stripey one feeling like an idiot. Probably with a sign.

Come, join me. Laugh.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Marie's book progress report

Goddamn, the journey to publication for Marie gets more exciting as the weeks progress. This latest illustration really shows how spiffy it will be.

Reviewing the reviews: George on a recent Ash Grove collection

Shucks dude, George has done us proud with the blow-by-blow analysis of one of our recent Ash Grove volumes of music.

Check out his Ash Grove Volume 9 review here.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Bag thieving bastard...

Poor J.J.

Major league hugs and a whip-round anybody?

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Ardeelee in Paree

Wow. This is SUCH a cool photograph.

Posts of people

Troubled Diva confirms the view of everyone barring bonkers Paul Morley on NewsNight Review that Inland Empire is confusing and a waste of three hours...

Medium Rob gets us to fess our impulse purchases: his make me feel good.

Marie demonstrates she has a one-track mind (and we love her for it).

George gets up a munro and two again and tells us all about it in words and pictures - though that's with no thanks to his trade-marked Beta-Bollocks (TM)
J.J. has wise criticism on the notion of benefit cheating.

Clare has been confused why a Conservative party forum thread has been sending people to her website. But she is, at least, fine.

And Joe's lovely E Friday pics continue to delight. Bless that child, she's a joy to watch growing up.

Right, that's a few updates people. I do have to now try and get on with a life.

Primeval catch up

Well, it looks as if I will be carving out some further slots of time for Primeval, following the news that the delightfully nonsensical dino-romp is getting a second series. Yippee!

So far, against the odds, in valiant face of changes of opinion (Medium Rob) and rages against the light (they haven't been underground or working at night for a couple of eps Anna so no torches!), I've kept with the programme. And I have to say, I like it. I think it's hugely entertaining. 'Course, there's no denying that with that voice and those eyes I would still be carving time for the talents of Mr Henshall regardless, but even the initially more annoying characters have won me over. I actually care about Connor, and felt for his dopey geek friends. I even don't hate Miller's awful James Lester as much as I did (except in so much as you're meant to), though Helen Cutter so deserves a real slap. And I really loved it when the patently jealous Claudia complained that Helen was getting on her nerves only for Cutter to riposte that "she had that effect on me too", causing a wry smile from stoical Stephen. Lovely stuff.

Just two more eps to screen in series one! Can't wait for series two! More dinos please. And, oh yeah, can I get a substitute place in Claudia's shoes next week for the scene where she gets a great kiss from Cutter?



Oh, and by the way, I do wish they hadn't got to keep mucking about with the airtime. It's back to 7.20pm again next week (Blogmeet day, so definitely video setting). Grr.

Tilly and the Wall: a Rescue Rooms review

I love the Rescue Rooms in Nottingham, since even after a slight refurb, the decor remains suitably dank. Still, it's a little spruced up now but as intimate as ever. (If not as claustrophobic as The Social was under the heat of Camera Obscura!)

Anyway, last Monday - before the fall - we went to see Tilly and the Wall (no rhyme intended). In support were two bands: The Displacements and The Little Ones.

The Displacements (of Leicester) were lively and energetic enough, but ultimately didn't really set our world alight. The bass player was quite entertaining to watch and clearly kept the drive of the band going, but the singer was perhaps a little too 'strutty' for my liking. They are VERY young (the singer's brother [?], drummer [?] looked about 12). They could go far though...

The Little Ones were on another level entirely. The LA troop were clearly at a different stage of performing confidence. They reminded me - for some reason - of Yo La Tengo, though there is little to suggest why that would be so. Still, they were very fun to watch, they were clearly enjoying themselves and with a 27th birthday amongst the group they too looked very young.

The Little Ones: live at the Rescue Rooms, Nottingham

Now, being of the age where even thinking about taking a camera to a gig was tantamount to guaranteeing it would be taken off you and its film destroyed if not the camera itself, I'm still a little wary about photography at gigs. But given that most phones now have cameras, it's hard to see how even small venues can demand a complete ban on photography. So with some trepidation I was talked by Neil into taking one or two pics at this concert. I managed to get reasonable shot of The Little Ones, before finally hitting my stride with the main act. Of course, my location (just behind very tall people and people with legitimate camera purposes for being there) meant I got some heads in the way, but still: hopefully you can capture some of the atmosphere and delights of the show (apologies for the shot where Jamie looks more like she's doing the funky gibbon...):

Kianna - Tilly and the Wall
Derek, Jamie, Neely and Kianna - Tilly and the Wall
Tilly and the Wall
Nick and Jamie - Tilly and the Wall

As the Guardian review at the end of the week intimates, tap-dancing percussion is what drives and shapes the band's live performances but it would be an injustice to suggest that this was the only dimension of the band. Jamie takes the lead on this task for sure (she's also now married lead male vocalist Derek), but centre stage at Nottingham were the delightful Neely and Kianna who also took on some tapping duties, as well as providing much of the delightful and uproarious harmonies (even when swearing there little Omaha hearts out!). With Derek and Nick at the sides it's a well-balanced performance. There songs have a delightful mix of folky country charm, with great pop sensibilities thrown in. I was particularly thrilled to get the chance to yell along with "Sing Songs Along" (my intro to the band thanks to George). But it was clear from the crowd's fond reaction that the band have been garnering attention for some while now and had a wide repetoire of songs to draw on full of catchy melodies and quirky lyrics.

A joyful evening.

London 22-25 February: Post 6 - Culture

Between visits, walks, celebrity spotting (well the kind that we're interested in), and eating, we also found time for some more serious culture. We had a great time in the Citizens and Kings exhibition at the Royal Academy. Covering the topic of 'Portraits in the Age of Revolution, 1760—1830', it's a curious hotchpotch of subjects ranging from cultural and scientific innovators from the age of enlightenment, to political figures from the European and American upheavals of the same period. But don't think I mean that as a criticism; rather, it illustrates the dynamic shifts this period saw both in terms of the figures depicted and the way they are depicted. Artists as diverse as David and Goya, Gainsborough, Vigee Lebrun and Ingres sit side by side with other significant if now less well-known artists such as Mengs and Singleton Copley. A fascinating exhibition for anyone interested in the age of Enlightenment and/or the art of that time.

We also took the opportunity to sneak in a quick bit of theatre. We've long been interested in the talent of Lee Evans, not least for his work in one of our favourite films, Funny Bones. Pinter's The Dumb Waiter is on for a short run and has garnered excellent reviews (I'd spotted the star reviews, though I hadn't read the content as I like to keep myself unspoilered just in case). Knowing our interest I thought it was worth a shot at trying to get a ticket. The matinee suited us fine, so we settled in for the hour long play with Evans and Jason Isaacs taking the stage.

I have to admit, I wasn't sure what to expect but in the end I was glad I had not read the reviews. It would be hard to give any links that would not reveal what I did not know in advance since the fact is well-publicised in synopses and reviews, but my not knowing ahead of it becoming clear in the dialogue that the two characters are hit-men really added to the frisson of the performance. And, perhaps against our expectations, it was ultimately very funny. I know that Pinter's comedic elements have drawn comment, but it really had a vivid stream of comedy running through it: not only due to Evans' distinctive performative style but also the way that Isaacs' calm rationalism could play off it for comedic benefit.

It was a very fine and disconcerting play, and well worth catching in its short run.

London 22-25 February: Post 5 - Food, drinks and cakes

Of course, no visit to London is complete without a drink in the Chandos. It's long been a favourite haunt of ours, not least for its cheapness in central London.

Chandos London - near the national portrait gallery

Mind, we did find some time for cakes as well!

Amato cakeshop, Soho
Neil's Amato cake
Rullsenberg's Amato cake

And we found a very nice and friendly Lebanese restaurant called Adonis just on Goodge Street where we really ate our fill, Neil had some excellent cardomom infused coffee, and we had our picture taken.

Rullsenberg and Neil at Adonis, London

London 22-25 February: Post 4 - Greenwich and walking

In all the times I had been to London, I had never been to Greenwich. So we decided that this time around we would take some time to wander new places. So it was that Friday morning - after a suitably glorious breakfast at Brunos - we wandered to get a train across the river to fair Greenwich.

Of course we were inevitably disappointed that the Cutty Sark is under repairs and under wraps at the moment. Still, we had some great views across and down the river, including the monumental elephant that is the O-god-whatever-it-is-now-called-Dome.

There are always unexpected pleasures in city wanders; our first came with the arrival of Louis, a small boy who thunderingly ran up to the barricades overlooking the river and promptly yelled "digger!!!" We looked out, but in vain could we see any sign of a digger across the beach or riverbeds: we turned to his mum who was sat behind us "I think your boy's hallucinating diggers!" She shook her head. "No, he'll have seen one" (Louis is still yelling "digger!" in the excited way that only small children can do). She wandered over and quickly scanned the horizon. She pointed to the far distance: "there, it's red". And sure enough, the smallest clue of a digger behind a screen of building work was visible.


As I explained to Neil, we had forgotten to take account of that crucial piece of information: small children, especially boys, appear to be genetically programmed to spot diggers at 500+ paces! And boy was little Louis good! He duly kept following us as we wandered the pier area and it eventually took us quite some effort to persuade him to stay with his mum as we went for a wander down the under-river footpath.

That was quite an experience. The domed entrance to the tunnel scarcely indicates the curious experience of being below the river. The lighting is very strange indeed!

Neil under the river at Greenwich in the Tunnel

Anyway, tracking back we wandered along the riverside coming up at Greenwich University (the old Naval Hospital).

View across the old and new at Greenwich to Canary Wharf

These are fine buildings and good on the university taking the opportunity to buy them.


We walked up the hill, through the grounds of the Maritime Museum, to the Observatory at Flamsteed House

Flamsteed House, Greenwich Observatory

where again we were thwarted by redevelopment (the Planetarium is closed) but were able to see all the magnificent time pieces and materials relating to scientific developments in studying time and space. Brilliant! We were even there at lunchtime to see the rise and fall of the red ball!

Greenwich Observatory 1pm
Greenwich Observatory 1pm
Greenwich Observatory 1pm

After such excitement, we trundled off for a walk around London, ending up looking at the very weird but wonderful world of Hawksmoor over at Christ Church, Spitalfields. We also walked through and got tempted into purchases at Old Spitalfields Market, only narrowly missing getting caught up in a coterie of Gilbert and George accolates walking through the market with the two weird ones themselves (it was that sort of weekend: the following day we walked past Mr George Alagiah).

London 22-25 February: Post 3 - Rough Trade and OJ from Osaka

Note to self: remember to write your bloody posts in NOTEPAD and not online in Blogger! Grrr...

Anyway, that self-attack aside, this is a summary post of stage three of the London trip we had last weekend. Following the delights of meeting Joss Whedon and having put my hunger at bay we duly made our now regular pilgrimage to Rough Trade Records off Neal's Yard in the basement of Slam City Skates.

Rough Trade is always a joy to visit, since like Selectadisc in Nottingham, they have an acute eye for good annotations on their wares. They also have some very cool posters from people seeking a place in the music biz: this one caught our eyes this time!

Poster from Rough Trade London: Toy instrument girl ad

Anyway, some of great musical delights were obtained here that are getting some serious airplay in our house. These were: Subtle's For Hero: For Fool (an off-spin from the world of CloudDead so suitably fine and quirky hip-hop-esque sounds there); The Novelist/Walking Without Effort by Richard Swift (a fine singer-songwriter); L Pierre's Dip (bizarrely he was once better known as Aiden Moffat of Arab Strap, which indicates his quality but scarcely captures his laid-back soundscapes on this mini-album); The Maps' Start Something (they come from lovely J.J.'s Northampton); and Rough Trade's own compilation Counter Culture 06 (featuring some very fine quirky finds not least some seriously weird fast-speed in-tongues style preaching: The Sounds of American Doomsday Cults... I kid you not...).

But best of all on the 'I take your obscure music and raise you this' stakes, came find of the day from OJ of Osaka, a visiting Japanese music maker, plying his music in broken English to the staff at Rough Trade.

We had seen the guy wandering the store, stumbling over us as we each rummaged the same shelves of interest. We had overheard his (VERY) broken English attempts to communicate with the store staff. And then this sweet, sweet music came up. Neil came over to me "this is great!" "I know" I replied " ask what it is so you can buy it".

Neil went over to ask at the desk "What are you playing at the moment? It's fantastic."

"Sorry mate, it's his" - cue gesture to Mr OJ, who promptly receives from Neil and me some very cheesy grins, thumbs up, nods of approval and cheers of "brilliant!"

And then he dives in his bag and pulls out a CD and proffers it to us! Definitely brilliant!

He works under the name of Cheekbone. Check him out!

London 22-25 February: Post 2 - Joss Whedon

So what happened? How did I, a geeky Buffy / Angel / Firefly / Serenity etc etc fan, end up meeting Joss Whedon who brought to life all those wonderful characters through his ideas and his writing?

Complete luck.

There we were heading into Covent Garden to Cafe Pasta, a frequent haunt of ours for food in London. Normally we sit on the Monmouth Street side of the restaurant, but as we went in there were people smoking that side so we headed to the other side, looking out over Forbidden Planet. Great view of the dalek displays et al in the window; very tempting for a girl like me.

And then, as I am counting daleks, a man hoves into view passing the F.P. window: long black coat, wispy gingery hair... "Jesus, that's f-ing Joss Whedon...! I'm sure it is...! I think it IS him!" Cue me frantically diving into my handbag for my camera, just as he is turning to cross the road back over towards Covent Garden. Missing the chance to snap a picture out of the window of the restaurant I leg it outside turning left just as he approaches the restuarant.

And now cue the DUMBEST line I could ever have hoped to utter: "Excuse me, but are you you who I think you are" (yes, I know, shoot me now). He smiled and replied "I'm Joss".

So there's me muttering things about how fantastic it was to get the chance to meet him and tell him how much I appreciated his work and how much it meant to me and wishing him a very lovely time in London and him asking my name and shaking my hand and saying how so many people were nice to him and me asking if he wouold mind awfully if I got a photo to prove I had met him and him offering to hold the camera out so we could get a better shot and... and...

I know, I could have made a much better job of things; said something more meaningful, questioning, even interrogative (like, why are you here in London today? Even asking if he had been in F.P.) But, I really didn't care. I had just met Joss Whedon, which as HolyHoses Rob said, is rather like "the TV equivalent of meeting Bob Dylan!"

I was a VERY happy bunny.

London 22-25 February: Post 1 - David Strassman

I remember seeing David Strassman on TV waaaaayyy back when. Even under the anaesthetic of TV, mainstream or even late-night, it was obvious that there was a far deeper vein of wickedness than TV could accommodate. Still, both me and my mom responded well to his distinctive talent for wiping the floor with the usual ventriloquist acts around.

Forward to now, and our trip to London last weekend. Neil reads Time Out on the train: "David Strassman's in London; do you want to go see him?"

You bet!

So it was we rang up the Pleasance Theatre and booked ourselves in to see his live show there. Damn, it was good. And although clearly the Pleasance isn't on the scale of a West End theatre, it was actually far more pleasurable to see an act such as his in a more intimate environment. And we wisely sat far enough back to be beyond the reach of Chuck Wood's projections....

Of course, after the show we made sure we picked up a Ted E. Bare and a DVD. Hugely good fun to watch and full of great memories: "he put molten lava in my bed!"

Ted. E. Bare

Friday, March 02, 2007

Blogmeet! Blogmeet! 8 days to go!

Circumstances beyond my control et al, but let's give this event one final push to glory.

Do you want to come and have a drink and a natter with other blog-minded folks?

We'll be meeting in Nottingham on Saturday 10 March 2007. That's just 8 days away for those wanting to book travel.

But you may be local: in which case, you should definitely come along anyway! We'll be meeting from about 2pm at the downstairs bar of the Broadway Cinema.

Be there or be a cuboid...

If possible attendees would like to confirm with me [email in sidebar] or lovely Mike [ditto in his], and spread the word on their own blogs, that would be grand.

See you soon people!

Brief catchup and slight hurrah

I will endeavour to update properly over the weekend but in the meantime just had to post a brief note: you probably don't remember but in late January/early February I was somewhat fraught and anxious with work issues.

Well, the thing that took an age to 'fix' has finally proven itself FIXED! Hurrah.

Would do a little dance if my damn foot didn't still hurt.

Updates coming people, I promise.