Friday, 31 October 2008

An amusing sign post

The English is clear enough to lorry drivers - but the Welsh reads "I am not in the office at the moment. Please send any work to be translated."

Thursday, 30 October 2008

Paul Heaton, Cerys Matthews and Attic lights.

We went to a gig last night at the Waterfront.

First off were the Attic Lights, a 5 piece indie rock band from Scotland. They had 4 guitarists which seemed a bit excessive with rhythm, melody, bass and 12 string and some of their best songs were when they had a keyboard instead of the 4th guitar and the sound was a bit more balanced. Overall however they were tight musically and well engineered to provide an entertaining performance with strong vocals and some interesting themes . Listen to them by clicking here.

Secondly was Cerys Matthews who used to be the lead singer with Catatonia and is now doing some work with just a rhythm guitarist. Originally she is Welsh and the strong accent dominates her songs and provides a unique song. Her songs ranged from 19th century drinking songs sung in Welsh, some more mainstream pop songs and some songs written in her current base in Nashville and has bluegrass influence. She was really good and has an amazing range and power to her voice with her best songs being when she dropped into the lower octaves and sounded more dirty/ sleazy/ sexy. My only grouse is the people around me who paid good money to stand and chat about X-Factor 3. If you are reading this, and you know who you are, go to a coffee shop next time. Listen to Cerys here.

The headlining act was Paul Heaton, ex Beautiful South and The Housemartins, who had a number of particularly vociferous fans along. Despite taking slightly too long to come on stage they did not quite get the balance right and due to the bass being a bit too loud the vocals were obscured which was a shame as he is known for his social conscience and having a strong narrative running though the songs. After a couple he went a bit more acoustic and they seemed to sort out the issue and the gig improved. Overall a good night out with friends. Listen to Paul here

85 emails

When I logged on this morning I thought that there was an error when it said I had 85 emails but it was true. An email was sent out and 1 person replied saying that it had come to them be error but instead of replying to the person who sent it they replied to the whole list. People keep emailing saying they are getting things by error but everything is being sent to everyone. Now people are sending emails saying don't reply to everyone and they are sending this to everyone. People are defending themselves and saying I didn't and everyone is finding out about it. It seems to be self-perpetuating.

Monday, 27 October 2008

Falling in love

At Kat and Andy's wedding they had a reading from Captain Corelli's Mandolin which I had not heard before although after research it appears to be one that registry offices can provide. With my enquiring mind I was interested as to what the next lines are it is interesting but needed a context. It turned out that there was two similar quotes, one from the movie and one from the book.

The first quote is

When you fall in love, it is a temporary madness. It erupts like an earthquake, and then it subsides. And when it subsides, you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots are become so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part. Because this is what love is. Love is not breathlessness, it is not excitement, it is not the desire to mate every second of the day. It is not lying awake at night imagining that he is kissing every part of your body. No... don't blush. I am telling you some truths. For that is just being in love; which any of us can convince ourselves we are. Love itself is what is left over, when being in love has burned away. Doesn't sound very exciting, does it? But it is!

The other is similar but a little different.

Love is a temporary madness, it erupts like a volcano and then subsides and when it subsides you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots have so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part, because this is what love is. Love is not the breathlessness, it is not excitement, it is not the promise of eternal passion, and it is not the desire to mate every minute or every second of the day. That is just being "in love"which any fool can do…Love itself is what's left over when being in love has burned away, and this both an art and a fortunate accident.

I think that the first one is from the movie as they can get away with phrases such as erupts like a earthquake (which obviously earthquakes don't). The second is the one used at the wedding and I think it is a very powerful analogy.

Norwich City 3 beat UEA 2 8:3

We won. I was at a wedding. Co-incidence?


Liitle Dorrit by Dickens from the people who did Bleakhouse has started well and has some excellent actors and performances.

Spooks is back which is one of my most favourite shows as it is not scared to kill off the main characters. Only 2 of the original cast are still in it and there is no guarantee that either of those two will survive this season.

Hole in the Wall - where celebrities dressed in silver Lycra contort themselves to try and get through strange shaped holes. I shouldn't like seeing them fail and fall into the water but somehow I can't stop laughing at it as it is just so silly.

What a week

The final week has been so busy in a number of ways. Workwise there was an open evening meaning working till past 9pm, a gruelling half term with Ofsted that seemed to go on for ever and the amount and pointlessness of paperwork reaching every skyward. An example of this is when marking books we need to note down when we do peer -assessment ( grading another students work). Why? The students know we did peer assessment as they where there but management don't so the tasks increase workload to benefit management but make little real difference to the students progress. The job that I applied for at British Schools of America has been advertised so I am going to give it one last shot with Boston my favourite location.

This weekend was Kat's wedding to Andy which ran smoothly. It has always been obvious that Kat is attractive but I usually see her wearing sports clothing and running around a korfball hall so the contrast to her in her wedding dress was most marked. It was nice to see Andy let his hair down a bit as he does not spend a lot of time in our social circle and can be quite shy. It was nice as everyone has been busy with new houses, babies and jobs so to have a night out was good to catch up. The only downside was having it on a Sunday which meant that it kind of drifted and petered out as everyone had to leave as they had work the next day until there was a hard core of teachers and close family.

My PC has come down with a malady which means it turns off suddenly and for no reason and won't start again for five minutes or so but the repair can't find anything wrong and the problem only ever occurs in my house.

Monday, 20 October 2008

My frustrating drive around Mile Cross

Every year the Year 11's go on work experience and as their teacher I have to go and visit them, check they are behaving themselves and ensuring that they are completing all of the paperwork that they have to do. I had the address, looked up where it was and arrived promptly on time. Unfortunately the school was all boarded up and was due to be knocked down.

So, I went to the nearest pay phone at Asda and rang the school but the lady in charge of work experience was out doing her own visits. I then tried to ring directory enquires but the pay phone won't let me so so I went to customer service and they lent me a phone book so I established the road it was on but Asda do not sell Norwich maps as it was not a road I had heard of. The people is Asda had a rough idea and with little more than that I set off to a vague area.

After asking people on the street, the lady in the post office and all the people queueing up in Lidl (and boy did that get me some strange stares) I found that I was gradually closing in on this school. Eventually I saw another little news agent stopped and found that they did have maps and that the road I was looking for a tiny cul-de-sac in the centre of a housing development. Just I arrived at the gates 80 mins late I realised that I had to rush to get back to school to teach period 4.

The moral of the story, never leave home without your mobile phone.

Sunday, 19 October 2008

Norwich City 3 lost to Norwich Knights 3: 7-6

Goals scored 1, goals created 2, 1 losing bonus point captured. A missed opportunity. Probably should have won this one but failed to fully exploit the opportunities that were presented to us. When they moved their best defender on to our weaker attacker it should make the game easier not harder and a team that over commits so often should have been taken but certain members of the team had Teflon hands and it just wasn't happening. Poor refereeing as well, in a game that physical should have more than one free pass from start to finish.

Saturday, 18 October 2008

The Reduced Shakespeare Company

Do The Complete Work of God: Abridged and it is very funny. Three actors spend 90 minutes explaining most of the famous stories in a fast paced and unsubtle way. It is very amusing and well worth doing to see but I must warn you that if you sit on the end of a row then you might end up on stage as my friends Sarah and Ollie did taking part in a rendition of Old Man Noah had an arc having to take the part of gorillas although slightly unconvincingly. I wouldn't arrive late either if I was you.

Norwich City 3 lost to Stingers 1: 12 -5

They played better and took their chances. Both teams had about the same number of chances but Stingers were more successful at taking them. Played okay but did not score when I probably should have.

Wednesday, 8 October 2008

Comedy French accent

Haaretz, an Israeli newspaper, published the story that France's foreign minister said,
"I honestly don't believe that it will give any immunity to Iran. First, because you will eat them before."

When he said eat he actually said hit. Trying saying hit with a French accent and you exactly where the mistake came from. It remind me of a joke from the EU parliament where the Spanish stormed out after someone said that it was not working because there was a Spaniard (Spanner) in the works.

Sunday, 5 October 2008

Norwich City 3 beat Norwich Ice 2 - 6:4

Goals scored 2
Penalties 1/1
Season penalty percentage 33%
Played pretty well but missed too many shots. Was effective in the feed position. First goal was pretty pleasing as it was at the end of a nice move where I created three chances in swift succession and although the first two were close the final went in. The penalty was the last play of the game and irrelevant but boosts the number of goals and makes up for the two that I missed last week. Mostly shut down my opponent which was good and I was able to setup one of the other goals.

Saturday, 4 October 2008

Mitch Benn

In an attempt to have a social life I have taken it upon myself to become the social secretary for the department. Mark Thomas was the first event and last night we went to see Mitch Benn. He can be heard on the Now Show on Radio 4 and is Ask Elvis on Radio 2. He is very funny doing a mixture of political songs and those that that mimic other performers or styles of music. The one song that had me in hysterics was one about when an Aunt came over for tea and he gave her pot, acid and ecstasy. Each verse was performed in the style of the decade associated with the song. So the pot verse was Bob Marley style, the acid verse was in a psychedelic style and the ecstasy verse was in a dance/trance style. The only disappoint was that it is weird to watch music sitting down. If he is performing near you I recommend that yuu go and see him.

Wednesday, 1 October 2008

Sarah Palin jokes

She went to New York because she heard it was a bear market.

Stock prices are down, major companies are being purchased by the government. It is a bear market and, I have to say, Sarah Palin is just the lady to shoot it for us."

She said she's a life-long member of the National Rifle Association. Which may explain why she's in favor of shotgun weddings

She does know about international relations because she is right up there in Alaska, right next door to Russia." "When you think about it, Alaska is also near the North Pole, so she must also be friends with Santa."

Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin is in town. John McCain took her over to the U.N. to introduce her to all the world leaders. It looked like Take Your Daughter to Work Day

Sad incident at Toys 'R' Us today -- a Sarah Palin doll shot My Little Pony.

Mark Thomas

Last night went to the Arts Centre to see Mark Thomas. He was very funny and I love his anti-capitalist stance on things and the sideways look at things that he take. An example of this is the laws surrounding protesting outside Parliament. Organising lots of one person protests all on the same day, organising as many 10 mins protest as possible in one day, applying to protest to reduce police paperwork and writing the application to protest on a cake in icing and allowing the police to figure out how to photocopy it. I like the way he looks for the absurd in the legal system and exploits the silliness for humour. He also has a campaigning streak mainly for workers rights and standing up to big business, highlighting how they abuse the positions they hold especially in the third world. The only downside is his anti-religious hectoring where I can't see what he hopes to achieve. There are certain sectors of Christianity such as creationists that deserve to be mocked and when that invades politics it puts itself in line to be criticised and humoured but to mock people for having faith should be beneath him.