Monthly Archives: December 2009

New Year: what’s the big deal?

ALL OVER the world people are getting way too overexcited by the fact that today’s the 31st of December and tomorrow will be the 1st of January.

The BBC has just reported that Sydney, whose “New Year” comes earlier than the rest of us,  has spent hundreds of thousands of pounds on fireworks.

While I’m up for a party at any time and on any day or night of the year, this frenzy over a date appears to me to be more than a bit odd. You could, for example, designate February 14th as a day when lovers could get overexcited too.

So the world+dog will get itself rat arsed tonight and everyone will wish each other a Happy New Year, waking up tomorrow morning with the mother and father of all hangovers.

It’s just another day guys and just another night that you can thank your lucky stars you’re still alive.

Love is all you need on Carnaby Street. And money

LOVE, LOVE, LOVE and money money money. That’s all you need on Carnaby Street in Soho.

But meanwhile, on the north east corner of Soho, quite a few old watering places, including the Bath House, appear to be scheduled for the knacker’s yard because they’re going ahead building Crossrail.

A real shame.

Here’s Carnaby Street and its Christmas decks. ♦


THE TEMPLE OF the 64 Yoginis at Khajuraho (below) is truly in a parlous state indeed. ♥

This one is doing better.  And this one looks beautiful.  According to Matsyendranath…

Slim pickings for the duck on icy Oxford pond

THE THAW came to Oxford two days ago, but not everything has melted. Here’s a duck that’s having problems scraping together a meal on the pond in the park. (N51°45’51.84″, W1°14’57.12″)

Lewknor: the point of no return

NO ONE KNOWS why the bus from Oxford to London, the so-called Oxford Tube, stops at Lewknor Turn. There’s a nice review of this bus service and the alternative here.

If people do know, they’re not saying.

This is a view from the top of the bus going down the High in Oxford towards St Clemens.

Stopping at Lewknor gives you a chance to look out for red kites. And it doesn’t look too bad when it’s been snowing.

Oxford Tube, Lewknor

Oxfordshire gets first community radio station

THAT FINE CHAP Alex Bennett writes to tell me that OX4FM has been granted a five year Community Radio FM licence by OFCOM.

OX4FM is to initially provide a service tailored to people living in the OX4 area of Oxford. It will play music, provide community information and promote local artists and local orgs.

The station is looking for volunteers and to build strong partnerships with businesses and other community orgs.

The website is here.

North Parade, Oxford surprises once again

GOOD OLD North Parade.  It’s so good they named it once.

I was alerted to the fact something was going on by the fact that loud alarums and tuba players were filtering through my not very thick windows – it’s -4 Celsius here tonight.

Naturally, I investigated. What was going on? Here’s the video.

Charming, no? After the lasses had finished their last song, one of them turned round, put her candle down and burst into bitter tears. Her friends all rallied round. “What’s the matter? What’s the matter?”  The matter, it transpired, is she was very very cold indeed.

And it is. We couldn’t take a proper snap of Santa Claus on our SnackBerry, but here’s one we snapped earlier in the same street.  Tashi Ji, from the R&C, was serving food in the street in his shirtsleeves. He’s a Sherpa. Must seem like summer to him… Σ

To ye olde Cheshire Cheese, to ruminate

THE GUYS AT Sourcewire have kept up a really fab tradition first started by Bill Moores, so long ago that no-one can recall the earliest ones cos most of them are dead.

This is the scene.  The Cheshire Cheese, in Fleet Street, formerly home to UK newspaperdom, was refurbished in 1667. It offers Sam Smith drinks and simple but stodgy fare. It starts at 12 midday and proceeds in a disorderly direction until the money runs out. It’s an event for journos.

Bill is now in Brazil, and runs a hotel with his wife Sue, but Sourcewire maintains the tradition faithfully.

I like to sit on the landing rather go down into the bullpit because I can see who comes in and who goes out. Plus I can nip upstairs pretty damn quick for a fag. Usually the rest of the Cheshire Cheese, at this time of year, is buzzing but yesterday the whole place apart from the hackfest, was eerily empty for the week before Christmas.

The Sourcewire guys went round snapping all and sundry, and you can view a lot of the faces here.

* And the guys made a video of some of the usual suspects, below.

Jock McFrock – the bekilted engineer – returns

WEE JOCK McFrock, the bekilted engineer, hasnae been seen for many a day since VNU bought

But he’s nae dead, nor is he forgotten. We had an emissive from him just today and he is looking forward to skilleting many a fish in the year of our Lord 2010.

As he said to me when I chatted to him on McSkype: “Och, ye cannae put a guid mon doon.”

He asked to be remembered to all of his “auld friends fit he met in bonny Lost Wages a muckle back.”

He asked me specifically – “Mike, can ye nae find that picture of the rainbow and the crock of gold at CES fit ye published a thae years back?”

It took me a while to go through the archives, but here it is, in all of its snowy glory.

Nigel Dessau’s AMD value proposition is something else

Someone who doesn’t wish to be benchmarked as a person has tuned us in and turned us on to Nigel Dessau’s ——-Three Minute Mentor.

Nigel is a marchitecture guy at AMD. Get ready for this. The latest – episode 24 – is “How do you write a value proposition”. I listened. I learned.

I learned that people need to be benchmarked. I learnt that in three minutes Nigel said the phrase “value proposition” 20 times in three minutes. Once every nine seconds. Now that’s value!