Thursday, March 29, 2007


Last night, I was tired. I’d spent most of the afternoon struggling to come to terms with a new laptop that came with the Windows Vista OS pre-installed (don't go there - trust me), and I’d been up since 6.30am finishing off a report that had to be with a client before the end of the day. Oh, and my job in Russia was put on hold, probably indefinitely, which has cost me a small fortune. All in all then, I was fed up and had the beginnings of a thumping headache... it was one of those days.

At around 10ish in the evening, I made a coffee, logged on to MSN and there she was... within seconds I could see her beautiful smile, and within minutes the troubles of the day were a distant memory. And that’s how it’s been since the summer – when we’re not with each other, we’re in communication in some way. Life now, in my own mind, always includes Bea, whatever I’m thinking about.

And its this that I've been thinking about lately, because if one thing has surprised me above all else since I’ve been single it’s that... I LOVE my time alone. I can’t remember a single moment in the last 3 ½ years when I’ve felt lonely, or in need of company. Is that unusual? To be honest, I have no idea, but I do know that those precious moments of solitude will soon be much, much harder to find. My space, and my life, are going to be shared with someone else again.

Talking to Bea lately, she’s clearly feeling the pressure now, and who can blame her? A new country and challenges she can only imagine await her, and her parents will suddenly be a four hour plane journey away. And this guy from London – will he change when the circumstances are different? Can he sustain the kind of love and attention of the last 9 months? All these things and more will be spinning round in her mind, but I really don’t think she can begin to understand what this means for me, too. And yet, I’m not fazed by it... more just aware of the impending changes. It’s what I want, even if – to be completely honest – I can’t quite believe its happening.


Monday, March 26, 2007

Musical Monday

Unless you're the arsehole this is intended for, skip this bit and read the post below:

Okay, I've warned you to stop leaving abusive messages, so here's what I'm going to do. Each time I get another message/comment from you that I don't like, I'm going to reinstate one of the items that I'd previously removed. I won't mention what I'm doing, I'll just do it. And - if you really piss me off - I'll reinstate them all and then make the blog private so that you can't even access it again (then I'll really have some fun).

Don't say you haven't been warned.

It’s been a funny few days. My back is better, fortunately, and I’m exercising again every day (let me know if you want pictures – oh no, you’ve already seen them!) but I don’t feel as fit as I want to be. I reckon I have about 7 pounds to lose within the next month in order to get a semblance of a six-pack showing, and I’m determined. Well, I’m motivated, that’s for sure. Because the countdown has well and truly started, if you know what I mean.

Today, though, was something of a disappointment. I had a new laptop delivered to the office, and although it’s a blinding spec the bloody thing wouldn’t boot up. I was mortified, and after going through a few diagnostics whilst on the telephone it’s now going to be exchanged as it appears to have a faulty hard drive. How fucking frustrating is that?

Aside from that, and one or two work-related disappointments, it’s just been a very, very busy week or two. I feel a bit guilty for not visiting anyone much of late,. But I’ll try to get around later this evening. In the meantime, here’s a little Musical Monday treat for you. So, about Susheela Raman, in her own words...

“I was born in London in 1973 to South Indian parents. My family moved to Australia when I was very young and were eager to keep our Tamil culture alive. I grew up singing South Indian classical music and began giving recitals at an early age. As a teenager I branched out into more blues-based music, which demanded quite different voice techniques. The question then was how to bring these streams together. In 1995 I went to India to study with Shruti Sadolikar, one of the greatest living Hindustani vocalists. This was a challenging experience as I had to let go of what I thought I knew and find a new, more insightful approach to my craft...

... Salt Rain was recorded between October and December 2000. We were lucky to collaborate with some unique musicians who live mostly in London and Paris but are of diverse origins: Guinea Bissau, Cameroon, India, Romania, France, Greece, Egypt, Kenya, America, and Spain. Any record is a meeting of many minds and, now more than ever, it is networks of people, not just individuals, who spark new and exciting work. Everyone brought their own special energy to the music and I am very proud of what we all worked together to create.”

Actually, I’m not surprised that she’s proud. It’s a great piece of work, and the track I’ve chosen is called Kamakshi. Again, in her words, “Kamakshi is another song to a divine enchantress, ‘she whose eyes hold the power of attraction’. The beautiful musical scale of this song could almost be Near Eastern... Everyone present in the studio was momentarily stunned into silence by it….and then we all clapped!”

If you want join in with Musical Monday, just stick this in your sidebar or on your post, but change ALL the brackets to the pointy ones first:

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Friday, March 23, 2007


Well, I've survived yet another long commute - this time to Dublin and back in a day - and now I'm nursing a sore back and looking forward to the weekend. My laptop is such a beast that it's almost impossible to regard it as a mobile computer. After much thought, and with the pain in my lower back inching down my bum cheek and onto my leg, I've bought a rather funky little 12" alternative, and now all I have to do is fight the demon that is... Windows Vista. It never rains...

Anyway, to cheer me and everyone else up I thought I'd post something that I received by email today. I've seen it before, actually, but it always makes me smile.


The following is an actual question given on a University chemistry mid-term paper. The answer by one student was so "profound" that the professor shared it with colleagues via the Internet, which is, of course, why we now have the pleasure of enjoying it as well!

Bonus Question: Is Hell exothermic (gives off heat) or endothermic (absorbs heat)?

Most of the students wrote proofs of their beliefs using Boyle's Law (gas cools when it expands and heats when it is compressed) or some variant. One student, however, wrote the following:

First, we need to know how the mass of Hell is changing in time. So we need to know the rate at which souls are moving into Hell and the rate at which they are leaving. I think that we can safely assume that once a soul gets to Hell, it will not leave. Therefore, no souls are leaving.

As for how many souls are entering Hell, let's look at the different religions that exist in the world today. Most of these religions state that if you are not a member of their religion, you will go to Hell. Since there is more than one of these religions and since people do not belong to more than one religion, we can project that all souls go to Hell.

With birth and death rates as they are, we can expect the number of souls in Hell to increase exponentially. Now, we look at the rate of change of the volume in Hell because Boyle's Law states that in order for the temperature and pressure in Hell to stay the same, the volume of Hell has to expand proportionately as souls are added.

This gives two possibilities:
  1. If Hell is expanding at a slower rate than the rate at which souls enter Hell, then the temperature and pressure in Hell will increase until all Hell breaks loose.
  2. If Hell is expanding at a rate faster than the increase of souls in Hell, then the temperature and pressure will drop until Hell freezes over.
So which is it?

If we accept the postulate given to me by Teresa during my first year that "It will be a cold day in Hell before I sleep with you," and take into account the fact that I slept with her last night, then number two must be true, and thus I am sure that Hell is exothermic and has already frozen over.

The corollary of this theory is that since Hell has frozen over, it follows that it is not accepting any more souls and is therefore, extinct......leaving only Heaven, thereby proving the existence of a divine being which explains why, last night, Teresa kept shouting "Oh my God."
This student was the only recipient of an A-grade!

Monday, March 19, 2007

Musical Monday

It’s not that long since I decided to reopen this blog. I’ve posted, commented when I can... generally I’ve tried to pick up where I left off when everything got a bit too much to manage comfortably.

But you know, it isn’t the same. Every day I look at my comments, and I know with a sinking heart that she isn’t going to be there. She wasn't there to tell me how beautiful that house in Italy was, or to laugh with me at the guy at the Comedy Barn. She didn't tell me how thrilled she was that Bea's actually coming here, to live with me and the children.

It hurts, and it feels like it just isn’t going to go away... and even if I try to push my feelings to one side it makes no difference. Every time I think of her I can feel tears waiting to fall down my cheeks.

So this one’s for you, Anu, because I miss you.

Leonard Cohen
Hey, That's No Way To Say Goodbye

If you want join in with Musical Monday, just stick this in your sidebar or on your post, but change ALL the brackets to the pointy ones first:

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Saturday, March 17, 2007

Crazy times

They really are. The times, I mean... so much happening at once, and with everything on my mind at the moment it's not surprising that sleep is proving hard to come by.

So... we now have a date for The Arrival. Not too long to go but still a little while to get fully used to the idea and clear some wardrobe space. And - this year - I'll be celebrating my Birthday as part of a couple again. The kind that live together, and that love each other - it's been a while since that happened and it seems like it's worth looking forward to.

I'm trying to get my head around the whole thing at the moment, but with me here and Bea a four hour flight away it still lacks a certain reality. The enormity of what we're doing isn't lost on me, though, and I'm aware that this a life-changing decision. For both of us, of course.

Anyway, this week has been slightly manic, in part because I had to fly off to Italy for a couple of days on some client business. In theory at least, I was in Milan and Rome but with meetings planned throughout I ended up seeing nothing of one and very little of the other. I'll have to go back, but the highlight of the trip was undoubtedly the olive tree-filled estate just outside Rome where we spent Thursday night and part of Friday. To say that it was beautiful would fail to do it justice, as you'll see from the photos below. The Italians - at least the men - are mad though, so intent on macho posturing that reality just seems to escape them (sorry Nukie... I'm sure that you're the exception!). I think it's going to be an interesting project!


Wednesday, March 14, 2007

I want...

To brighten your day :-)

Update: Sorry - just got back from Milan and Rome on business. I'll try to catch up, just give me time...

Monday, March 12, 2007

Musical Monday

I must admit, I had an interesting night on Saturday, and it almost took me back to the madness of my pre-Bea life momentarily - almost, but not quite. Some time ago I posted about the mad girl from the park bench and this weekend - following a very strange set of circumstances - I ended up meeting her again for dinner (and that was meeting...). Bearing in mind that she was a bit of a nutter, this was potentially a dangerous course of action, I know. But it was really just a way of catching up and in (in any event) it was completely platonic. Well, it was completely platonic - no, really - from my point of view, even if she took a little convincing that I really meant it.

Now, some of you may recall that I’ve had something of a habit of meeting strange (and in some cases, more than a little deranged) women over the last couple of years. There was this loony, GG, CFG... it’s enough to put a sane man off women for life. But Saturday night was fun, and I’m glad that I decided to let curiosity get the better of the sense of foreboding I was feeling as I was getting showered. Anyway, to cut a long story short we talked, we ate, we drank, we talked some more, we drank some more, and I got to bed at 4am on Sunday morning. If I'm completely honest, I did spend much of the evening with a hard-on, but then it's what you do with it that counts, isn't it? As opposed to what you don't do with it...

Four hours later I was up and getting ready to watch a truly great FA Cup tie in which Tottenham were desperately unlucky not to go through to the semi-final. In a week’s time Chelsea have to come back to The Lane, though, where they’ll be very lucky indeed to escape a good hiding. Perhaps.

Well, I wasn’t sure what to play for Musical Monday this week, but it just so happens that I was surfing the net to read about the latest album from Air. And then I remembered that I really enjoyed the soundtrack from The Virgin Suicides (a great movie) and decided to play one of their tracks from that today. In fact, the title track. So pour a coffee, put your feet up, and close your eyes for a minute. Yes, yes, yes - I know it’s Monday. But let them wait!

Want to play? Just stick this in your sidebar or on your post, but change ALL the brackets to the pointy ones first:

(a href="" target="_blank")(img src="" alt="Image hosting by Photobucket" border="0" /)(/a)

Friday, March 09, 2007

Thank god for small arses

You know, I’d never have believed that learning a language was so difficult. I was so naive... I genuinely thought that I’d pop along to my lesson for an hour each week and – like magic – I’d be speaking fluently after two or three months. Reality appears to be a little different, unfortunately.

I was talking to Cristina this morning about it, and she just threw back her mane of long black hair and laughed. “Is that it, then?” she asked, as if she’d been anticipating a real problem... “Well, forget about it and open your book.”

You’ve got to love the Latino temperament. And speaking of which, Bea’s now handed in her notice at the hotel in Tenerife. ETA is mid-April and I’m seriously starting to worry. Not about Bea, but about her shoes and boots. Where the fuck I’m going to put them is anyone’s guess, because she has A LOT. Then again, her thongs are rather small, so that may make up for it.

I have an interesting weekend planned, but I think I’ll save that for next time. This evening I’ll be doing the rounds, but in the meantime I’ll just say have a great one yourselves. Over here, at least, the sun has started to shine and Spring is in the air. Last night, I even got out my garden design book in honour of the changing season.

Hasta luego.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Musical Monday

Yesterday was one of those lovely Sundays that are always nice as a precursor to another working week. Going into this year I'd been thinking about the possibility of moving house but with a couple of large prospects now looking like they're going to come to nothing it's seeming more likely that we're going to be here for another year or so.

I'd really like to make more use of the garden (over and above sunbathing and football, that is) and a while ago I splashed out on a book on garden design which has since sat unopened on my shelves!. But I'm determined to do something funky out there - particularly with Bea coming over now - so I invited a friend who's into garden design over for lunch along with Zooz (remember her?) and rustled up a rather nice tofu and king prawn stir-fry. With chinese noodles and a fresh green salad, I might add. It all went down rather well, and even now plans are being hatched that involve a lot of digging and a rather hefty expenditure at the local plant centre. Wish me luck!

Well, for Musical Monday this week I thought it might be a nice idea to go upmarket. I don't often listen to classical music but when I do I always enjoy it. On Saturday, in preparation for the lunch I referred to on Sunday, I was cleaning the house and I couldn't make up my mind what I wanted to listen to as I was wandering around with the polish and vaccuum cleaner. But fortunately I had something of a brainwave, so here's a couple of tracks from a very chilled out hour or two. I hope you enjoy them.

Barber - Adagio For Strings

Albinoni - Adagio In G Minor

Want to play? Just stick this in your sidebar or on your post, but change ALL the brackets to the pointy ones first:

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Saturday, March 03, 2007

Don't you just wish...

You know, every time I get a call at home and the caller ID display says "Out of area" I just know it's going to be someone wasting my time. Spam calls are even more annoying then spam mail, because of the time and effort they demand in getting to the phone, listening to the crap on the other end, trying to persuade the caller that you really, really don't want to be on their database, and then finally getting rid of them.

So, when you come across somebody that adopts a slightly more... direct approach it's hard not to feel just a little bit of admiration. And maybe think about adopting a similar strategy yourself in the future.

Well, here's an example that I thought worthy of publicising a little. Now - what can i call it? I know... how about this?


Oh, and kudos to the guy at BT, because he managed to keep to his script... well, almost!

But hey, listen... if that's not enough for you, take my advice. Have a listen to this! Yes, British radio at it's very, very best!

Friday, March 02, 2007

Spring cleaning

I’m having something of a crazy week at the moment. I’ve been working some long days, and too many of them have become long nights... but I think I see some light at the end of the tunnel. Yesterday was another day presenting a training seminar, and when I got home I sat down on the couch after I’d made some dinner and woke up (fully dressed) at 3am. Don’t you hate it when that happens?

Bea’s been working some ridiculous hours too, and it’s made it slightly difficult to catch up with each other on MSN/webcam. I think she’s handing her notice in at the hotel this week, though, so in that respect it’s an important time over there. I’m trying not to dwell on it too much, as it could be quite scary if I let it! Running from commitment had a certain feeling of familiarity that I miss sometimes ;-)

I did have a few things to post about today, but instead I’m going to devote the rest of this one to a response to a rather unpleasant character that I referred to last time out... not because I want to, but because - unfortunately - this is the only means I have of making contact. So, here's a message to "N" (with apologies to anyone else who ends up reading it too)...

You’re deluded, and you’re a liar (in fact, that applies to both of you). Neither of those things means anything to me whatsoever, but you should know that every “message” and every “comment” you’ve ever sent has been copied and saved, along with details of all the IP’s you’ve used. Don’t make threats, because I really couldn’t give a shit, and I'm also quite capable of looking after myself.

The only thing I regret is that you’ve forced me to implement comment moderation, which is mildly inconvenient. However, in order to divert your attention to some other area of cyberspace, I’ve removed any reference to that person who I mistakenly thought of as a friend, along with any comments left by her (nearly a year ago now - my my... you've been searching hard, haven't you?) that I managed to find. I guess you live and learn, eh? In any event I consider the whole episode to be something of a pitiful joke, and I can only wish you both the very best of luck. Because you’re going to need it in that fantasy world of yours.

Whilst I'm aware of every occasion that you choose to immerse yourself in the contents of this blog, this is the only ackowledgement of your existence you're going to get, so I really wouldn't bother wasting your time again. Now - in the words of the famous Chinese philosopher - go fuck yourself.

Okay... normal service will be resumed as soon as possible, and apologies for the interruption! You've gotta love cyberspace though, haven't you?