Thursday, November 22, 2007

Chao chao

It's been an unbearably hectic couple of weeks, but we're off to Tenerife for a few days, leaving at sparrow fart tomorrow. To say that I need the break would be akin to describing the Mona Lisa as a good drawing.

Apologies for not visiting everyone, but thank you for commenting, as always. It always makes me feel guilty when I don't respond, but the truth is that I was just too busy to do anything other than work.

Right... I'm off, and a Happy Thanksgiving to one and all.

Chao chao.

Monday, November 19, 2007

A Special Musical Monday

Musical Monday

I'm frantically topping and tailing some bid documents at the moment, and what with a shitload of other work to do I've barely been around for the last week or two. Consequently, my post today is just going to be about music, but that's quite fitting. because this is a very special Musical Monday indeed.

Some of you may remember my friend "Zoozan" who used to have a blog entitled A life More Interesting but subsequently decided to concentrate on culinary delights (including one of mine!) in For The Love of Food. I've had the pleasure of getting to know her amazing family - including boyfriends, lodgers and pets - rather well over the past few years, and she's rightfully proud of her two gorgeous daughters, Laura and Ali. Whilst Laura's been busily setting about putting the world to rights, Ali has shown that she has a real musical talent, and a genuinely beautiful voice.

You can see something of Ali and the band - Koro - over at their MySpace page, but here's a track fresh from the studio. Ali, you sing like an angel, darling...

Koro, and This Way

If you want join in with Musical Monday, just stick this in your sidebar or on your post and get some music up there!

<a href="" target="_blank"><img src="" border="0" height="160" width="120" /></a>

Saturday, November 17, 2007

A night at the opera

I'm not sure how many of you guys have been to the opera, or would even go should you ever get the chance. I must admit that, when Bea suggested seeing Carmen at the London Coliseum a while ago, it wasn't something that was at the top of my list of things to do; but the truth is that I really, really enjoyed it. Not just the production itself (it was a contemporary version, by the English National Opera) but the fact that I was there, in a place I hadn't been to before. And I was doing something new.

Its a funny thing, living by yourself for a few years after spending a large chunk of your life playing your part in the traditional nuclear family. Its so easy to get into a routine, and to just keep doing the same thing week in week out, year in year out. Because there's a rather insidious allure in doing what you want, when you want... in not having to please anyone but yourself. I know that's what I was in danger of doing, even though I wasn't exactly living a conventional life (ahem), and sometimes I look at others around me and see the rut that they've got themselves in. And its frightening.

Life can just pass you by without you even realising that its happened. The time we have is short, and its precious, and even when things seem to be going badly - and trust me, I can relate to that - its an amazing world out there. And maybe this journey of ours can sometimes see like one long test of endurance, and can be painful... but you never know what's around the corner. The thing is, you have to have your eyes open to see it.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Musical Monday

It’s been a week since I posted - doesn't time fly?! Partly, it's the consequence of being madly busy – I have three projects on the go right now, and what with that and Sam’s footballing exploits I barely have time to breathe. But it's also the consequence of just needing something of a break from the computer, and from Blogging in particular... I’m sure you’ve all been there.

One of the projects I mentioned is going to take me to Istanbul (if you're really old, you may be calling it Constantinople) three times over the next two or three months, and all being well I’m hoping to meet up once again with the lovely patchouli girl, Keda… we did manage to hook up in London for a drink a while back, since which time both of our lives have changed somewhat. Maybe I’ll meet the lovelylets as well this time, but it'll be nice to see her again and maybe it'll keep me out of trouble while I'm there!

Anyway, tonight we're going to the opera (no, not me and Keda... me and Bea!), so maybe a bit of culture will re-energise me or something. That aside, I’ll try to work through my Reader over the next day or so, and in the meantime thanks for the (one or two) emails I received to check if all was okay. Oh, and for the comments, a couple of which, in particular, made me smile.

Musical Monday

A while back, I featured Bjork for Musical Monday, and – not for the first time – I was pointed in the direction of Sigur Ros, also from Iceland, as a band I should get familiar with.

Formed in 1994, they were named after the sister of one of the founder-members (Sigurrós, born on the day the band officially came into being), and achieved critical acclaim in the late nineties with the album featured today.

So, this week Sigur Ros it is, and a video that I really do suggest you take some time to watch in peace and quiet. The track is beautiful, and the video is haunting. All in all, a breathtaking combination.

Vidrar Vel Til Loftarasa, from the album Ágætis Byrjun.

If you want join in with Musical Monday, just stick this in your sidebar or on your post and get some music up there!

<a href="" target="_blank"><img src="" border="0" height="160" width="120" /></a>

Monday, November 05, 2007

Musical Monday

I’m off to the gym in a minute. Over the last few months, I seem to have put on about 7 or 8 pounds in weight (no, I have no idea what that is in kilos – I’m British!) and its proving a little difficult to get off again. With Christmas coming, I’ve decided that it needs a concerted effort, because otherwise I’m risking looking like a right porker come January.

A few years ago, I just had to think about losing weight and it would fall off. Age takes its toll, and it was only recently that I was playing in the park with the kids, jumped up to grab a low-hanging bough so that I could climb a tree… and fell crashing to the ground. All in all, it’s seriously depressing.

Anyway, as well as refereeing Sam’s school matches I’ve now been asked to referee the S* A****** Rangers home games, so I need to get myself in good shape for that too. And I’ve decided that when I’ve done it I’m going to reward my (ever-dwindling) loyal readers with a beautifully-slimline HNT. Yes, even the guys, so prepare yourselves!

Musical Monday

Booster asked last week if I could post some Joni Mitchell for Musical Monday, and I’m delighted to oblige whilst also feeling a little embarrassed that I haven’t done so already – it’s very remiss of me. Joni is not only hugely successful as a singer/songwriter, but she’s also been hugely influential - her work has had an enormous influence on artists as disparate as Annie Lennox, Elvis Costello, Tori Amos, Clannad, Madonna, Prince, Björk, George Michael, Conor Oberst, Morrissey, and KT Tunstall amongst others.

She has received five Grammy Awards during her career, with the first coming in 1969 and the most recent in 2000. She also received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2002, with the citation describing her as "one of the most important female recording artists of the rock era" and "a powerful influence on all artists who embrace diversity, imagination and integrity."

This song, from the album “Blue”, is possibly my favourite, although as is so often the case it was a close call. It also has a very personal, very intense meaning for me... from another life, a long, long time ago. But sometimes it seems like yesterday...

“A Case of You”.

If you want join in with Musical Monday, just stick this in your sidebar or on your post and get some music up there!

<a href="" target="_blank"><img src="" border="0" height="160" width="120" /></a>

Friday, November 02, 2007

Flash 55 Friday...

Or something... anyway, I thought I'd play today.

Darkness. Nothing moved, but the shadows seemed to watch me, mocking. Laughing.

The rain fell in torrents, but at least nobody had noticed the cold sweat clinging to my body, chilling me beneath my clothes.

My whole life had lead me to this moment, to my destiny behind this faded, peeling door. Trembling, I knocked.

I enjoyed that... Kudos to Susie!