Monday, December 31, 2007

Joke du Jour

An Englishman, an Irishman, a Scotsman, a Rabbi and a Priest walk into a pub.

The barman says to them: Is this some kind of joke?

Stones insights

Heard on the radio in the last couple of days...

Bill Wyman on archaeology, described metal-detecting as:
Fishing on dry land

Ronnie Wood described screen-printing as:
Overdubbing with colours

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Today's Happiness Experiment entry

Watching Saracens vs Newcastle Falcons with the enfants terribles - seeing Johnny Wilkinson in the flesh, especially kicking

Joking with D (in Nahling)

Watching BAFTA screeners

Friday, December 28, 2007

Review of 2007

Best Film:
The Lives of Others
Knocked Up
3:10 to Yuma

Michael Clayton
Into the Wild
There Will Be Blood
The Bourne Ultimatum
The Golden Compass
Charlie Wilson's War
In the Valley of Elah
Die Hard 4.0
American Gangster

Best TV:

Best Book:
The Song Before it is Sung - Justin Cartwright
Life Class - Pat Barker
The Ghost - Robert Harris

Best Play:
The 39 Steps (Criterion)

Best Albums:
We'll Never Turn Back - Mavis Staples
Twelve - Patti Smith

Best Single/track:
Radio Nowhere - Bruce Springsteen & the E St Band
Ruby - Kaiser Chiefs
Patti Smith - Smells Like Teen Spirit

Best Gig:
1) Madcap's Last Laugh - Syd Barrett tribute at the Barbican
2) Patti Smith - Twelve Songs tour at the Roundhouse
3) The Rolling Stones - last night of their Bigger Bang tour at the O2
4) John Martyn - Solid Air at the Albert Hall

Best Exhibition:
1) Antony Gormley at the Hayward
2) Robert Capa and Gerda Taro at the IPC, New York

Best Sports Event:
1) England beating France in Rugby World Cup Semi-final in Paris
2) Start of Tour de France in London

Today's Happiness Experiment entry

A run in the cemetery

D's reaction to his new chemistry set for his birthday

Watching D watching The Golden Compass (at the Empire Leicester Square), entirely absorbed

Quote of the month

D getting his birthday present from his grandma today, a chemistry set:

"I'll make myself bigger and smaller. And then I'll make my toys alive."

"I'm going to take over the world, Dad. I'm going to make something on fire! Ha ha ha!"

What does that say about young people's perception of science?!

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Track of Christmas Day

Last Month of the Year by Blind Boys of Alabama from Go Tell It on the Mountain (good to see them dress up for the occasion)

Heralds the unwrapping of gifts in our house

(Then the Frank Sinatra Christmas Album swings in)

Tell me when was Jesus born
Last month of the year
Tell me when was Jesus born
Last month of the year
Tell me when was Jesus born
Last month of the year
Yeah, wasn't January, February, March, April or May
June, July, August, September, October, November
Was the 25th day of December
Was the last month of the year

Sunday, December 23, 2007

The 100 Greatest Songs of all time

A christmas project/parlour game - for now, a work in progress (and not yet in order) - any suggestions more than welcome...

1 Move On Up - Curtis Mayfield
2 Inner City Blues - Marvin Gaye
3 Atlantic City - Bruce Springsteen (MTV Plugged session 1992)
4 Ballad of a Thin Man - Bob Dylan
5 Atmosphere - Joy Division
6 Icon - Siouxsie and the Banshees
7 ESP- The Buzzcocks
8 Moondance - Van Morrison
9 West End Girls - Pet Shop Boys
10 Sympathy for the Devil - The Rolling Stones
11 Hyperballad - Bjork
12 Cold Water - Damien Rice
13 Waterloo Sunset - The Kinks
14 A Town Like Malice - The Jam
15 No Scrubs - TLC
16 Smells Like Teen Spirit - Nirvana
17 Fruit Tree - Nick Drake
18 Across the Universe - The Beatles
19 Oh Yoko - John Lennon
20 Danny Boy - Brian Kennedy
21 Folsom Prison Blues - Johnny Cash
22 That's Alright Mama - Elvis
23 Don't Want to Know - John Martyn
24 White Man in Hammersmith Palais - The Clash
25 Anarchy in the UK - The Sex Pistols
26 In a Rut - The Ruts
27 This is the house that Jack built - Aretha Franklin
28 Ventura Highway - America
29 For What it's Worth - Buffalo Springfield
30 Eloise - The Damned
31 Sometimes - Michael Frant & Spearhead
32 Fanciness - Shabba Ranks & Lady G
33 Natty Dread - Bob Marley & the Wailers
34 That Girl - Stevie Wonder
35 My Generation - The Who
36 Freedom Suite - The Young Disciples
37 Unwashed and Somewhat Slightly Dazed - David Bowie
38 In My Time of Dying - Led Zeppelin
39 Frank Sinatra - One for my baby
40 One - U2
41 Jealousy - Geraldine MacGowan [County Clare's finest]
42 The End - The Doors
43 Raglan Road - Sinead O'Connor
44 Soul Sacrifice - Santana (from Woodstock)
45 The Wind Cries Mary - Jimi Hendrix
46 The Last Month of the Year - Blind Boys of Alabama
47 Alison - Elvis Costello
48 Down on Mississippi - Mavis Staples
49 Ninety Nine and a Half - Dorothy Love Coates
50 Winter in America - Gil Scott Heron
51 Chase the Devil - Max Romeo & the Upsetters
52 Police & Thieves - Jumior Murvin
53 You're the Best Thing - The Style Council
54 Public Image Limited - PIL
55 The House of the Rising Sun - The Animals
56 Tainted Love - Gloria Jones
57 The Stars We Are - Marc Almond
58 The Snake with Eyes of Garnet - Shane MacGowan & the Popes
59 Runaway Boy - The Stray Cats
60 If I Was a Bell - Jean Simmons (in Guys & Dolls movie)
61 What a Wonderful World - Louis Armstrong
62 Soolimon - Neil Diamond (from Hot August Night)
63 Monkeys theme - The Monkeys
64 Fire & Rain - James Taylor
65 The Boys are Back in Town - Thin Lizzy
66 My Little Empire - Manic Street Preachers
67 Wandrin' Star - Lee Marvin
68 Everything I Own - Ken Boothe
69 Armagideon Time - Willie Williams
70 Fairytale of New York - Shane MacGowan & Kirsty MacColl
71 Harrow Road - Big Audio Dynamite
72 Freebird - Lynyrd Skynyrd
73 Like a Prayer - Madonna
74 Jerusalem - hymn
75 Jerusalem the Golden - Effi Netzer singers
76 Batonga - Angelique Kidjo
77 In a Lifetime - Maire Brennan & Bono
78 Culture Club - Do you really want to hurt me?
79 Forbidden Colours - David Sylvian & Ruichi Sakamoto (from Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence)
80 Ain't Too Proud to Beg - The Temptations
81 Neil Young - Old Man
82 My Sweet Lord - George Harrison
83 Father & Son - Cat Stevens
84 Sonny - Bobby Hebb
85 Hells Bells - AC/DC
86 Just Like Heaven - The Cure
87 Hatikvah
88 Listening Wind - Talking Heads
89 In the Sun - Blondie
90 Knowledge of Beauty - Dexy's Midnight Runners
91 Amazing - George Michael
92 Street Life - Roxy Music
93 Shot by Both Sides - Magazine
94 Reward - Teardrop Explodes
95 The Prince - Madness
96 Ghost Town - The Specials
97 Uptown Top Ranking - Althea & Donna
98 UB40 - Ivory Madonna
99 Julia Dream - Pink Floyd
100 Try a Little Tenderness - Otis Redding

Bubbling Under:
What Difference Does It Make - The Smiths
I don't know how to love him - Jesus Christ Superstar
The Look of Love- Isaac Hayes
Look of Love - ABC
Supper's Ready - Genesis
I've Got Rhythm - Gene Kelly (in An American in Paris)
Don't You Forget About Me - The Simple Minds
In the beginning there was Rhythm - The Slits
The Marseillaise (in Casablanca)
First Time ever I saw Your Face: Roberta Flack
Strange Fruit: Billie Holliday
Wish Upon a Star (not the Rose Royce version)
Picasso's Last Words - Wings

The Reservoir:
Bob Dylan - You gotta serve somebody, Corrina Corrina
The Beatles - While My Guitar Gently Weeps
Led Zeppelin - Stairway to Heaven (just for the bit where John Bonham comes in)
Bob Marley & the Wailers - No Woman No Cry
Marvin Gaye - What's Going On, Abraham Martin & John
Van Morrison - Someone Like You
Siouxsie and the Banshees - Switch
The Buzzcocks - Sixteen Again
Sarah - Thin Lizzy
Since You've Been Gone - Rainbow
something by Them
The Message: Grandmaster Flash
The Torture Never Stops - Frank Zappa

Creative Accounting #1

Doobie Brothers = Steely Dan + Earth Wind and Fire

This first Creative Accounting inspired by hearing What a Fool Believes on Victoria Woods' Desert Island Discs

picture courtesy of Super Seventies

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Today's Happiness Experiment entry

The 39 Steps at the Criterion theatre - our family christmas show

Salami sandwiches from Amici - tube picnic

The mysterious cloudy full moon

School's Out - yesterday's Happiness Experiment entry

Finishing work for Christmas - end of term feeling - marked by lunch at the local Italian

Playing Risk with the enfants terribles on my old set (seems all to be there bar one dice) - haven't played since I was about N's age

A nice piece about my work by Jemima Kiss at the Guardian Media.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Magic Show - Yesterday's Happiness Experiment entry

Breaking in to see the Boss and the E Street Band at the Millennium Dome with Rubensteen - Nils' solo on Promised Land

Lunch with the fellas from Holler in Islington, with post-prandial stroll back into Clerkenwell in the cold afternoon winter-opaque air

Finding 3 space invaders around EC1

Bruce Springsteen Magic Tour
set list (partial from memory) December 19, 2007
London, O2 Arena

Radio Nowhere **
Lonesome Day

Because the Night [he can never get it back from Patti]
She's the One
Living in the Future

Promised Land (Nils solo) ***
Waiting on a Sunny Day (great singalong)
Heart beat track from Magic – Devil’s Arcade *

The Rising
Long Walk Home

Jungleland * (Big Man shaded face solo)
Born to Run
Dancing in the Dark

America Land ** [a touch of the Pogues with a dash of Woody Guthrie]
Santa Claus is coming to town

Track of the Day

Sleep don't weep by Damien Rice from 9

Track of the Day yesterday

Radio Nowhere by Bruce Springsteen from Magic - as performed by the Boss with the E Street Band to open their show at the Millennnium Dome

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Track of the Day

Cold Water by Damien Rice (with the voice of Lisa Hannigan) from O

David Gray begat Damien Rice begat Glen Hansard son of Once

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Today's Happiness Experiment entry

Chatting with Azka Malik at our work Christmas lunch

Shades of Oscar Wilde at the Cafe Royal

Soho to Fitrovia walk

Track of the Day

Ventura Highway by America - California sunshine vibes on a London Christmas street

Monday, December 10, 2007

Track of the Day yesterday

'By the Rivers Dark' by Leonard Cohen from the album 'Ten new Songs'

As heard on Something Understood (Radio 4)

Play - yesterday's Happiness Experiment entry

Playing with the Enfants Terribles in Hamleys

Sunday dinner in Highgate Village (en famille au cafe rouge)

Catching a great Leonard Cohen track by chance late night on the radio (and I don't generally like his stuff, so an even better surprise)

Today's Happiness Experiment entry

Getting back to the gym

Mark Kermode + Simon Mayo Radio 5 fim review podcast

The Christmas lights on our high street, especially the new sketchy santas

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Recent Happiness Experiment entries

Thurs 6/12:
Watching D watching The Snowman stage show with rapt attention

Watching N chatting to Duncan Ballantine with real confidence and insight

Family Christmassy outting

Wed 5/12:
The buzz of creativity at the first 4Talent awards

Hooking up with Mark Bowness, colourful creator of TribeWanted

Friday, December 07, 2007

Today's Happiness Experiment entry

A tranquil afternoon at the James Joyce Foundation, Zurich reading about Ulysses - delighted to encounter Fritz Senn again, the man behind the Stiftung James Joyce

The garden above the old town where people play big chess

Another day of flanerie

Ulysses notes

7.Xii.07 Stiftung James Joyce

Joyce's Dublin: A walking guide to Ulysses

Jack McCarthy

Wolfhound Press, Dublin 1986

0800 at Sandycove and 7 Eccles St

1400-1445 B + S cross-paths in the National Library

1455-1600 City odyssey/wandering rocks

Odd, at sea

B + S at book stalls nr Liffey

2000-2100 B is on the beach S traversed in the morning

2200-2300 B + S cross-paths in Holles Street National Maternity Hospital (my current location - chapter 14) - B then follows S

2400-0100 Nighttown

Then known as Monto (after Montgomery St) - towards Ballybough?

B comes to S's assistance after being knocked down by a British soldier (Joyce rescued by a jew incident)

0100-0200 Cabman's shelter

B finally meets S

82 Tyrone St Lower now Railway St = Bella Cohens

0200-0245 Bloom's House


0200-0217 Molly's bedroom





Ulysses to AG as Ned Kelly to oz painter

Odyssey > Ulysses > AGwk

1 sandycove / telemachus

2 school, dalkey / nestor

3 sandymount strand / proteus

4 eccles st / calypso

5 south dublin streets / lotus eaters

6 funeral procession / hades

7 freeman's journal / aeolus

8 lunch, davy byrne's / lestrygonians

9 national library / scylla & charybdis

10 city odyssey / wandering rocks

11 ormond hotel / sirens

12 barney kiernan's /cyclops

13 sandymount strand / nausicaa

14 holles st / oxen of the sun

15 nighttown / circe

16 cabman's shelter / eumaeus

17 eccles st / ithaca

18 molly's bedroom / penelope

[ ] Table

[ ] Website

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Yesterday's Happiness Experiment entry

Reading a murder mystery set in le Marais (my favourite part of Paris - visited en famille for the first time just a few weeks ago) - and bought at Felony & Mayhem in Greenwich Village, New York last week

Getting better - my ankle injured playing rugby yesterday

Approaching launch of Picture This