Thursday, August 28, 2008

Pipestock meets Slipperfest

Details to follow, but in the meantime here's a poster.

And check out the website.

Cor luv-a-duck

I've just adopted a duck!
I know, I know - you'd think I have enough bills to deal with. (Groan.)

Anyway, this is the very best of causes.
I've mentioned before that I have a friend who runs a charity called ALD Life.
Her younger son has recently had a bone marrow transplant to prevent the progression of the disease.
(You can read about his older brother here.)

Yet she still finds time and energy to fundraise for the charity.
Her latest initiative has been to join in the Great British Duck Race.
On 31st August, up to 250,000 rubber ducks will float down the Thames to set a new world record and raise £££ for charities.

If you'd like to adopt a duck and help raise money for ALD Life, you can do so here.

How bad can you get?

On the subject of 'so bad, it's great', have you seen the results of the 26th Bulwer-Lytton contest for ghastly first liners?

You think it's easy to be this bad?

Monday, August 25, 2008

Done and Dusty

So that's the Oh-Limp-Ix over with for another 4 years then.

Inevitably, living in a family of sports nuts, I caught occasional glimpses of the action during the last fortnight.
Enough to see that it's as much about personal endeavour (triumph over adversity, ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances, yada yada ...) as it is about sporting prowess and national pride.

And I saw a little of the closing ceremony, which was as spectacular as you might expect for an event costing several squillion quid.

I heard the commentators gushing about the 'passionate words' being sung.
So I listened:

Beijing, Beijing,
We like Beijing.
Beijing, Beijing,
We like Beijing.

Passionate? Now I don't know about you, but I prefer a bit more ... er ... passion in my passion.
Anyway, I've come up with a suggestion for a second verse:

Beijing, Beijing,
It is quite nice.
Beijing, Beijing,
Let's say it twice.

So what's next for 2012?
Howzabout this?

London, London,
Jump on the bus.
London, London,
We'll make a fuss.

Whaddya reckon? Are you inspired? Uplifted?
Is it passionate enough for you?

Feel free to add your own submissions in the comments box.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Normal service has been resumed

Summer 2008, eh?
It's been wet.
Very wet.

During our time in Cornwall, we squeezed in a single day shivering on the beach.

But ...
... there were trips to Lands End, the Lizard, Penzance, Falmouth, the aptly-named Eden Project (where I've always wanted to go and it certainly fulfilled expectations).

Then there was a damp forest picnic ...

and a walk to the cliffs ...

... And pasties to be consumed ...

... And a hefty dollop of Cornish culture in the shape of a night spent grooving at a Four Tons of Funk gig.
(This latter was so far removed from my cultural frames of reference it's hard to describe.
Suffice to say we were conspicuous for being among the very few people NOT wearing dayglo Afro wigs, psychedelic stretch nylon mini skirts or flares and massive heels exceeded only by the length of diamante-encrusted false eyelashes.)

Oh, and I had an evening jamming with Minx's samba band while da boyz watched the Oh-Limp-Ix.

But best of all were the late, late, very late nights spent with the Magical Minx, putting the world to rights.
(Unfortunately, the world seems determined to ignore our efforts, but we're not giving up.)

So it's been wet, yes.
But definitely not a wash-out.

And there's still another couple of weeks of holiday left.
The forecast is ... wet.

But we have plans.

Monday, August 11, 2008

All our bags are packed ...

... and we're ready to go.

First Born now has what I'd describe as a bubble cut. All bouncy curls ...
And Little Guy has morphed into Peter Petrelli.

Somehow he persuaded me to dye his hair black as well as cut it.
He said he wants to be an Emo.

I told him he should forge his own style.
He said he has, cos he doesn't self-harm.
And anyway, he's really a Goth Hippy Rock Skater.

Sigh ... the dye is my attempt at compromise ...

And I can also guilt trip him by showing the stains on my nails and jeans (while hoping he doesn't suss it's my fault for not taking them off).

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Meddling with the medals

So the Olympics are here.
Sigh ...

How did I find myself in this sports-mad family when I even lost the losers' race in my primary school?

And when I talk about the politics ...
... 3 pairs of ears simultaneously close ...
... 3 pairs of hands simultaneously cover said ears ...
... and 3 mouths simultaneously yell, 'Killjoy!'
... swiftly followed by 'What's for supper? It's hard work lying on this settee watching other people sweat.'

I know I'm not the only one to care about the issues.
And here's the proof ...
Dear friends,

As the Beijing Olympics begin, the world looks on
with mixed emotions. It's a moment which should bring
us closer together, and Chinese citizens deserve their excitement --
but the Chinese government still hasn't opened
meaningful dialogue with the Dalai Lama,

or changed its stance on Burma, Darfur and other pressing issues.

The Dalai Lama's Olympic handshake is circling the world,
headed for Beijing.
Click below to see more and join the call for dialogue!


Even worse, extremists in China are promoting the view that
Olympic activism like ours is anti-Chinese.
We can't stay silent, but we also can't let our efforts be abused
to divide people.
So what can we do?
The answer comes from the Dalai Lama himself, in
an unambiguous gesture of Olympic spirit
and friendship: a handshake.

It began in London, passed hand to hand by thousands of us
-- now the handshake has gone online, and is criss-crossing
the globe on its way to Beijing.
All of us can join, Chinese and non-Chinese,
and it comes with a promise:
to hold ALL our governments accountable where they fall short,
in Tibet, Iraq, Burma or beyond.
We'll deliver our message in a bold media campaign
in Hong Kong and around the world:
Click below to see how the Olympic handshake started,
sign up to join in, and watch it circle the globe --

The worldwide outcry has produced a little progress,
but much resistance from Chinese officials so far.
If we are to see advances not setbacks after the Games,
we need to show both that our voices will never fall silent,
and that our challenge is a positive one.

We have one last chance to reclaim the spirit of the Olympics,
with the message of friendship and dialogue we share with
the Dalai Lama.
The more people join the global handshake,
the more powerful our message will be when it hits
the Chinese and international media.

"One World, One Dream" is an ideal that's bigger than the Olympics
-- it's time for citizens around the world to take it back.

In short - people talking

Thought some of you might be interested in this:
We are looking for new short stories written by unknown authors which we hope to produce into free audio books narrated by professional British actors.
Peopletalk is a non-profit group, comprising British trained actors, writers, producers and documentary makers who have combined their expertise in order to provide a free internet audio book, anecdotal story and social history documentaries site.

What are you waiting for?
Remember - you heard about it here, so when it comes to the celebration party, save me a slice of gateau.

Now you see me, now you ...

Back for a brief breather.

Brighton was great.
A bit too much wandering round shops for my liking, but I try to go with the flow ...

Speaking of flowing, my fave day was spent at Cuckmere Meanders - and not just cos it sounds like a Yiddish curse.
(Kish mir in tuchus, anyone? No? Well, kiss my arse anyway.)

Back now with just enough time to type up a report, pay some bills, check emails, visit dad, cut both boys' hair (!!!) and repack before heading off for some quality love & light, Cornish style-ee.

Put the kettle on, Minx.