Monday, August 29, 2005

Freddy .vs. Jason

Hooray for England not being rubbish at cricket anymore! I've had requests to add Freddy Flintoff to the "My Heroes" section, but I'm just too plain lazy to do it. I'd rather sit in the garden and watch a giant caterpillar eat a tree, drinking scotch on the rocks thank you very much.

...are you in?

thisguy is leaving us for home. London will be a much less interesting place without him. We'll all miss you, dude. Bring the charm, knowledge and stories back to England soon.

the chair of mystery
confuses us all

Happy times with LSE furniture.

Caterpillar Invasion!!!

Here's a photo of the most enormous caterpillar ever to be found in Essex. The size of a human finger, it can devour entire trees in mere seconds. Do you have one in your garden? Check the caterpillar identification website!

Disclaimer: caterpillar not guaranteed to devour trees. It's probably more likely to turn into a moth, so don't hold your breath.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

What, Where, and When (Still No How)

As promised, more info on my trip abroad (it's as much for myself as it is for you, I'm struggling to come to terms with how quickly it's all happening!).
Following the recent(ish) merger of Siemens with VA Tech (a large Austrian technology firm) I will be restating the accounts of VA Tech and establishing a new reporting system. Yawn. Well, I wanted to travel and this is the only way I can afford to do it. Working hours are good, as it’s Austria I’m only allowed to work 39 hours per week, so everyone finishes at 2pm on Friday - hooray for the European Working Time Directive!

Linz is pretty well situated, a boat ride down the Danube to Vienna and a train journey away from Munich, Milan, Prague and Geneva (see Lonely Planet’s map). It looks beautiful from the pictures and webcams I’ve seen, but I’ll post some pictures when I arrive there so y’all can see for yourselves. You can see a webcam of the Hauptplatz here.

I still don’t know exactly where I’ll be staying, but apparently it’ll be some sort of cheap student accommodation. Back to the days of student halls! The university is in the centre of town so hopefully the accommodation will be too. The offices I’m working at are situated about a mile outside the city centre.

Friday, August 19, 2005

6 Months Of Schnitzel

Right, it's been decided. I'm going to Austria. For 6 months. Eek! I leave on 17th September. More info when I get it...

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Yo! La! Ten! Go!

Yo La Tengo played at Koko on Tuesday night, when ambient beach music turned into noisy eccentric electronic punk! "Speeding Motorcycle" was especially brimming with psychotic energy, persuading Kat & Jon to dance around on the balcony with reckless abandon (but don't worry, we wore shin guards). Support act (and intermittent collaborators) "The Scene Is Now" were ace.

The Crowd (tm) Posted by Picasa

But wait, I'm getting ahead of myself - earlier in the afternoon I spend a pleasant afternoon with Jay and Steve in Lincoln's Inn Fields, the old stomping ground. Beer was drunk, and sandwiches were eaten while we reminisced about Glastonbury, university parties, primary school and E.R. (I don't even watch E.R.) Later, Sainsbury's finest rosé wine proved to be Jay's downfall during a game of foozball (how do you spell foozball? Enlighten me with a comment if you know. First person to reply gets a free bottle of rosé), and Vinnie Jones' autobiography was subject to ridicule. That's all for now - exciting AIESEC (work abroad) updates due tomorrow...

Jay: likes pink drink
Steve: pretending not to know her...

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Southend Skies

15th August - Family Trip to Southend.

Highlights include;
  • Throwing pepper over Tom,
  • Arguing about where to park,
  • Eating cockles,
  • Playing "crazy" golf,
  • Going to an Italian restaurant.
So there it is, the definition of being English - going to the seaside and eating out a restaurant instead of enjoying some fish 'n' chips on a windy beach, competing to see who can get the most sand into Dad's mushy peas!

Amusingly, the crazy golf course was called "Arnold Palmer's Crazy Golf". Not one of his proudest moments I'm sure. And thinking about it, the golf wasn't really "crazy". No laughing clowns, or over-excited windmills in sight. Maybe "Arnold Palmer's Uninspiring Mini Golf - Not Quite As Good As Winning The Open" would have been a more appropriate name.

The Longest Pier In The Known Universe Posted by Picasa
(don't believe me? See the website)

You can even adopt a plank! Squander your cash here!

Usual classy postcard, found at all good English seaside souvenir outlets.

Southend Sky. Posted by Picasa

Thursday, August 11, 2005

New Google Olympics

Ha! If you're bored, do this thing;

  1. Go to Google.
  2. Type in "[your name] is".
  3. Click "Search".

Pick your 5 favourite results! Thanks to Jay for the idea!

Sadly, most of the results I found relate to Lil' Jon, the crunked-up buffoon rapper. Here goes;

Jon is syrup sippin'. (what?)

Jon is ready to get wild on the road. (we all knew that)

Jon is moderating a BOF on RIA's at Etech on Tuesday the 15th of March. (it's true)

Jon is falling is love with his AI opponent! (mmm, not sure about that)

and my favourite...

Jon is a wastewater and sewage removal system that allows the plumbing contractor to put a toilet or complete bathroom almost anywhere... (now that's just ridiculous)

Tuesday, August 09, 2005


There've been some mighty fine album releases this year (Sufjan Stevens - "Illinois", Low - "The Great Destroyer", Roots Manuva - "Awfully Deep" and both Bright Eyes releases to name but a few). I didn't think it could get much better... until "The Heartlight Set" popped through the letterbox yesterday. It's quite an astonishing album, combining melodic pop with unsettling lyrics, as was the point fort of The Beach Boys and Velvet Underground.

Album of the year?

"2 Dreams I Had" is almost heartbreaking. If you can't afford it, lie, cheat and steal until you own a copy.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

The Wonder Of Creation

So I've been in London (away from my beloved laptop) for the last couple of weeks, working and lazing around in equal measure. I have become excellent at frisbee. I have seen Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, which is funny, odd and has the rare effect of making you feel genuinely content for a moment. Fantastic Four, on the other hand, is the worst film I have ever seen (tm) - if you have even a small urge to go and see it, please please please surpress it. It was so poorly acted, scripted, animated and directed that I went to get a refund.

I have been spending a lot of time in Regent's Park, Hampstead, and Primrose Hill. While in Hampstead Heath, I came across this...

Flower Power Posted by Picasa

I love it when people create something just for other people to see - there's no pretention or greed. This flower made me feel happy when I saw it. For a second there, under that secluded tree that I accidently stumbled upon due to a lost frisbee, it felt like this was made just for me to see. It was hidden away, and because of this it felt as though I'd become part of an intimate exchange between the creator of this little universe and his potential audience, the intrepid explorer. It's always worth looking that little bit closer, taking the time to brush off the cobwebs and notice what someone has done. Beyond the horizon might be a landfill site or a plush meadow. Who knows until you look?

Nature & God.