Saturday, December 01, 2007

I got ham, but I'm not a Hamster

Just this week we saw Bill Bailey on his Tinselworm tour. The title of this post refers to his reworking of The Killer's lyric "I got soul, but I'm not a soldier".

Aaaaaanyway, traveling back in time to my previous post, the same night of our finance conference, my sister had her second baby, also my second Niece, Grace.

Other things of recent note:

I went for a visit to a powerstation up north with work. Quite interesting.

I cleared some scrubland for a volunteering day out with work. And burnt all the gauze on a nice big bonfire.

I saw my ex-radio partner Tom Davies on stage in Brighton performing Victorian flavoured sketch show "Aneas Faversham" with the Penny Dreadfuls. It was very funny stuff, reminding me a little of the early League of Gentlemen.

I saw the fantastic Slava's Snowshow at the Theatre Royal, Brighton - an incredible clowning performance, with lovely methods of interacting with the audience.

I got free tickets to see Comedian Shaun Hughes, who was performing as part of the Brighton comedy festival.

My friend Sumit had his 30th birthday in London at a pub in North London where I met some old school contempories who I've not seen in 11 years. I found out that another bloke in my year is in the England rugby squad. The next day I saw Transformers with Sumit at the Imax cinema. The fast moving kinetic pace of the film hurt my eyes, trying to take it all in on such a vast screen.

We stayed in on 5th November to watch the fireworks from Hove Cricket ground (the largest local display). We had great views and were able to enjoy them from the comfort of a nice warm comfy chair with nibbles! (Jo and Ben came to visit for that).

And last weekend I met up with Tom again, to see his girlfriend perform at the Komedia, as one half of the very funny Girl and Dean.

These are my current diversions:

TV: Flight of the Conchords
DVD: Deadwood season 3
Music: Nouvelle Vague

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Is it a bird? Is it a plane?

No, its someone who finds out that he has to present the ice-breaker activity at his work's annual conference in front of 120 ish people, with only half an hours notice.

I was on the organising committee, and had prepared this fun activity based on "Top Trumps" - on my powerpoint slide are photos of two members of the finance team with various categories underneath. The audience have to guess who has the highest score in a selected category, before it is revealed. The compere for the day was supposed to present all this, and had (apparently, though there is no evidence of this) been practicing his timing etc. Then on the morning of the conference he phones to say he was ill and won't be coming... So as the person who prepared the slides, I have to step up and present the slides...

With no practice of presenting the slides (apart from checking they didn't have any errors or anything) I hadn't practiced the timing, so I rushed through them a wee bit, but the audience seemed to enjoy it, and I got some nice feedback from people about it - attendees filled in a questionnaire for the day, and my activity got one of the highest ratings.

Then in the evening, we had a nice do - with a meal, a band and DJ, with Nintendo Wiis to play, and of course, fancy dress. The theme was "famous characters".

Me with the rest of the Justice League

I even made up this card as part of my costume:

Saturday, September 01, 2007

So that was the summer...

After we got back from our visit to Kenya (see previous post), we found out we'd passed our Strategic level exams. Hurrah!

We had a couple of visits - first from me mate Dave, who joins my other friends Will & Tom in thinking it would be a great idea to go off and live in Australia. Ironically, the only Australian friend I have, Jlo, thought it would be a great idea to come and live London.

The second visit was from Danny - on the Saturday night we go out in Brighton and meet up with some friends, all of whom are on Facebook. Jo gets jealous that she is being left out of this exclusive club, and promptly joins up the next day. The next day, as we're walking down the beach with Danny, we bump into the Brighton carnival (, a funny event, and an example of the kind of random thing you encounter on a regular basis down here.

A couple of weeks later, Lin & Krish had a BBQ at their new place, and combined it with a game of rounders in the park, and water-balloon fighting. I was envious of their George Forman outside grill.

The most exciting news of the summer though was our moving house (well, flat). We were moving up the property ladder, indeed up the property stairs too, to a bigger flat on a different floor of the same building that we've been living in since we moved down here. It's a lot bigger, and we now have space for visitors to stay, so they don't have to walk thru our bedroom if they want to use the loo in the middle of the night! It was fairly stressful sorting out all the paperwork, legal stuff etc, as these things invariably are, but all came together in the end. We moved most of the stuff ourselves, with the help of my brother and his girlfriend, and got in some removal people to help with the "big stuff". We thought the sofa bed would cause the biggest trouble, but in the end they just dismantled the bed part and stuck it in the elevator.

Of course, now we're in the place, there's loads to do, sorting out painting, light fittings, furniture and all the rest. Almost immediately after moving in we painted the hall, kitchen and toilet white, which really brightened up those rooms. Jo's mum came to visit for a few days, still in recovery from her broken wrist. She instructed Jo on how to wallpaper, and now our living room has some stylish wallpaper at both ends. Getting paint that matches however, has been problematic - B&Qs colour matching service gave a colour way too dark, and there are about 5 different colours from various tests dotted about the wall.

Just last weekend we had our first proper guests over for a moving in and saying goodbye party, as Karo & Robert are joining the ranks of our friends that have gone off travelling. They had just had vaccinations which meant they couldn't drink, leaving it up to me to make up for everyone else. They brought over their Nintendo Wii and we had fun playing with that - Jo taking to the boxing game a little too easily.

Now we've just got to do our TOPCIMA case study exam next week, the last of the exams we need to take before becoming qualified management accountant. Then no more studying - whoop de whoop. Just in time for Autumn.

Also, I've just made a website for University Radio Exeter alumni -
The site aims to bring together all the various links, and materials relating to URE that are floating about on the internet, with a bit of a bias to the time i was there). If anyone wants anything added, let me know.
You can tell i'm supposed to be studying, I get distracted easily.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Kenya Kenya Kenya

Our 2 week holiday to Kenya began with an overnight flight to Mombasa. We went with African Safari Club who have several resort hotels, their own airline and safari lodges. From Mombasa , we travelled north for an 1 ½ hrs along bumpy pot-holed roads to their Seahorse Club hotel in Kilifi. The minibus was a funny battered old thing - at one point the driver stopped to pick up a bit of metal that fell off and added it to a pile of other bits of metal at the front. Seahorse is a quiet resort - there were only about 20 or so guests there (with a capacity for 70-ish), with probably a lot more staff than guests. The Kenyan staff were all very friendly & helpful, with a happy-go-lucky laid back attitude and enjoyed teaching us Swahili words. Unemployment is high, but with a strong division of labour, there was no multi-tasking! The the staff at the hotel each had their own particular tasks. One guy's job was to look after the sun loungers & get cushions for those using them. Considering there were so few guests, and it rained for the first few days, I don't think he was particularly overworked!

We stayed there for a few days to unwind, lounging about reading before we left for our week long safari. So back in the minibus for another bumpy ride up to the airstrip which was located near to a prison (our driver took a short cut through the prison fields!) and also near to a shanty town, so we were a bit nervous when he drove through a deserted waste land to get to the tiny airstrip at Bamburi. We flew with another family from our hotel on a small 18 seater propeller plane to the Crocodile Camp, which is situated next to the Galana river on the outskirts of Tsavo East National Park. Tsavo is a huge park, about the size of Wales; it is home to 50 varieties of mammal and 400 species of bird, and is famous for its 'Red Elephants', so called because they cover themselves in Tsavo's bright red soil.

On arrival at the camp, we were greeted with the sight of Vervet monkeys scampering about playing just in front of the bungalows that we would be staying in. It was then pointed out that on just the other side of the river, there were a family of lions that had come down to drink (including a couple of little cubs). Amazingly the first picture that I took for the whole holiday was of a pride of lions. As this is the "mane" event of any safari, we were incredibly lucky.

We then went for our first game drive in Tsavo East in an open top minibus. Our driver, Ali had an expert knowledge and like all Kenyans, incredible eyesight/talent for spotting animals in the distance. The drivers have to study English/wildlife/driving for 2 years before they get official safari driver's accreditation. Unfortunately we shared our vehicle with a bit of an annoying Chav family with 4 kids – a few hours in one small minibus can get very wearing!!. They seemed astounded that we would have any interest in any animals in the park that weren't elephants, and were taking photos with their camera-phone. Frustratingly, they didn't have any binoculars or even a zoom lense on their cameras between them, so they unfortunately had no patience because they couldn't see things properly.

From our very first drive we saw so many amazing animals, some very close up, including Elephants, Giraffe and all kinds of antelope. After our first drive, we returned to the camp for dinner and then watched as the massive local crocodiles were called from the river, and then fed . The crocodile feeder at the camp waiting til it was dark, and then banged on a brick wall several times. The crocodiles could feel the vibrations and so all came crawling up out of the river in the dark all soaking wet. The biggest croc was 5 metres – unbelievable. The feeder warned us not to go anywhere near the wall because if we fell down, there's no way they would come after us.

We went on several more drives, usually at dawn and sunset - the best time to view the animals. We had some amazing encounters, including being just a few meters away from a group of 1 male and 2 female lions. The lions of Tsavo are meant to be some of the most ferocious in the world, infamous for eating their way through 130 railway workers during the construction of the railway to Uganda in 1960. They even made a film about it and this generation of man-eaters is still about in Tsavo.

Other times, a family of elephants would also often be by the side of the road wanting to cross, and with a little patience, they would cross the road just in front of us. All animals in the parks have their own 'Autobahns' set pathways they have been following for hundreds of years. So the elephant road crossing were always in the same places.

On Day 3 we flew to the Kilimanjaro-Kimana Game Sanctuary situated at the foot of Mount Kilimanjaro and reserved exclusively for African Safari Club guests. This well-populated reserve is fed by the Kimana fresh water springs and is extremely rich in wildlife all year round. On arrival we went straight on a drive around the area, seeing many giraffe, wildebeest & eland antelopes. It seemed the least "wild" of the 3 parks we went to, having relatively smooth surfaces to drive on, and having so many animals in a much smaller area, it felt a little more like a wildlife park. However the park had no barriers, so the animals are free to pass through the area on their Autobahns, which stretch hundreds of miles between the different reserves. This meant that there can be many, or few animals at any given time, depending on where the animals had wandered that day. In fact the park is so open that they employ local Masai rangers to chase animals off the dirt runway when the planes are arriving (baboons are the usual culprit).

At Zebra camp, our accommodation was very cool looking wooden bungalows with a large sloped roof & zebra themed bedspreads. Before dinner we sat around a large campfire, started by a local Masai. After dinner, we were escorted back to our room by the same Masai. When we told him our bungalow was the furthest one, he grabbed an extra spear. With all the wildlife free to wonder about, it can be a bit dangerous, particularly as bungalows were next to a small river and the Hippos come up onto the grass after sunset to spend the night grazing on land - passing through the grounds of the camp. During the night we could hear the distinctive noises of hippos munching on grass outside our bungalow!!

Day 4 began with an 7am "walking safari" with a Masai Game Ranger. This made a nice change after being on a bumpy bus for several hours at a time everyday! We enjoyed a nice morning walk around the Kimana Game Sanctuary as the ranger explained about all the different kinds of animals and plants, pointing out different footprints. He carried a big spear again though, and told us to stay close and to follow his instructions, should we get into a sticky situation...

One interesting thing we saw was a heron flying nearby carrying a snake in its beak. The heron saw us and dropped the snake, then a Tawney eagle following the snake swooped down to pick up the snake, but then saw us and flew away to a nearby tree. We walked over to see the snake, a small mamba that the Masai told us to keep our distance from as they spit poisonous venom.

After breakfast and short visit to the hippo pool, we took our next flight out to the Masai Mara, an extension of Tanzania's vast Serengeti and one of the most densely populated wildlife regions in Kenya . We stayed at the Mara Buffalo Camp, where they have a semi-tame Zebra called Millie that hangs about trying to steal people's meals. The camp is located just on the river, and it has amazing views of a large group of Hippos who lounge about in the water all day, and who climb out onto the opposite bank in the evening. Our bungalows were very basic again, but the people were so lovely and the wildlife so amazing, we didn't really care where we stayed. Jo said "It's a bit like sleeping in a garden shed, but hippo proof!" At night we could hear the hippos "honking" outside to talk to each other and mark their territory.

We set off on our first game drive almost immediately in an old customised 4x4 Toyota landcruiser with open hatches on the roof to stick our heads out of. The terrain was different again, with lots of grasslands, and we found that the animals were a lot less concerned about being close to our vehicle. We encountered many antelope, zebra, gazelle, giraffe, wildebeest and all sorts of other animals. We would have seen less grass, but more animals had we visited during August, when the Wildebeest migration takes place, and the large Nile Crocodiles pick off the animals crossing the rivers. Our driver pointed out that the long grass makes it particularly difficult to find big cats that lie down in the grass.

Over the next few days we went on many more drives, we spotted a lioness in a bush, with it's eye firmly on the herd of Masai cows that were in the distance. We also spotted a Cheetah with 2 cubs in the long grass - it is incredible that we found them at all, as they are virtually impossible to see until you are almost on top of them.

Rhinos are very endangered, and they only have 3 White Rhinos (so-called because they have a wide mouth) in the area. There are only 5 rhinos in the whole Masai Mara, which covers about 18000 sq km. So these three were kept in an area where they are free to roam, but protected by Masai rangers to guard them from poachers. The masai rangers also act as guides to the tourists that visit, and they led us up to where the Rhinos were. It was incredible to be on foot within just a few meters of these enormous powerful animals, especially once we realised that they were so rare & virtually extinct. The two males were actually playfighting on our second visit, an amazing sight!

We had a brief visit to a Masai village. When we arrived they sang us a song that included the word that Jo recognised was the Swahili for "white person" - she let them know this, to the villagers' laughter. The village is arranged in a circle, with mud huts around the edges. Most of them didn't have shoes and besides the mud huts and Masai there were just a few goats and a dog. The masai ranger took us inside his house and showed us their cooking pots and sleeping area, which were two cubby holes with a bed made out of cow skin. He explained that all babies were born inside the house and that two other women from the village would come and help the mother out during labour.

Videos at the masai village: 1, 2

At the end of the tour they showed us to their "shop", which was a huge circle of all the women from the village, who had laid out their goods in front of them on the grassland immediately outside their village. They all were selling identical things, so it was a tough task to select just one person to buy from. Jo selected a bead bracelet from one of the women who was not as pushy as the others.

Elephants were not as numerous as in Tsavo, but we had one amazing encounter on the way back to camp one evening. It had started raining and a family of elephant began crossing the road in front of us in the rain. The baby elephant slipped and fell over, whereupon one of the juvenile elephants tried to help him up and also fell over. The other elephants seemed to think that rolling about in the muddy road looked like fun and before we knew it there was a whole group of 7 or so elephants all rolling around in front of us.

Video of the elephants rolling: 1, 2.

By the end of the visit we had seen elephants, lions, rhinos, hippos, cheetahs, hyena, giraffe, buffalos, zebra, jackals, baboons, vervet monkeys, rock hyrax, gazelle, antelope, impalas, warthogs, mongoose (mongeese?), topis, wildebeest, hartebeest,eland, ostrich, eagles, and many other birds and even more animals that I can't think of right now. The only animal we didn't see that we would have liked to was a leopard, but apparently it is rare that they are seen (or spotted).

When we left the safari we were taken to the airstrip for the two hour return flight to Bamburi, and were the only passengers on the 2 hour flight back to Mombasa. We felt like proper VIPs. Ish. Whilst in the air, we noticed that our two pilots were 'taking it easy', first they got out their picnic (they had just had lunch on the ground), then they started reading the newspaper, quick chat on their mobile phones, and then the co-pilot took a nap for the rest of the journey, with his head tucked into his arms folded up & resting on the dashboard. As we came down through the clouds, the main pilot prodded him a couple of times, he raised his head, looked up, but then went back to sleep again because we obviously weren't close enough!

The remaining days we spent relaxing back at our hotel by the creek, catching up on some reading, trying to tan (or at least be a little less pale) and recover after all those early mornings on Safari.

See a slideshow of our photos here.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

The internet is amazing...

Seeing so many old faces from Uni Radio days got me thinking about who I've not seen on there yet. That made me think about my poor assistant on URE FM 98, Bruce Wallace, who I think I drove near insane on the late night show.

A little google discovers he studied here:
Exeter was his year abroad.

Combining this knowledge into my seach turns up this little article about Columbia Journalism School with all manner of biographical info:
"The first person I met on campus, Bruce Wallace, is a student enrolled in the school's traditional program, intended to result in a Master of Science degree after an intensive year of studies...
Wallace is a native of Baltimore who left his job as the manager of the classifieds at the San Francisco Guardian, an alternative weekly, to hone the skills that he hopes will take him to a daily to do local political reporting. The 1999 graduate of Kenyon College had done a little campus radio before heading off to tend bar in Alaska. In San Francisco he got hooked on city hall gossip, and though he was no fan of Mayor Willie Brown, or of "corporate power allied with politicians" generally, he's certain he'll be able to bring fairness to his future job as a political reporter."

And using this knowledge turns up this page, featuring actual audio of Bruce. I'm amazed that I immediately recognise his voice, 10 years on.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

June News Catchup

No proper blogs from me for a bit, so here's a catchup.

I was busy with my exams until the end of May, but then once those were out of the way I was back to doing fun things.

The first thing was to go down to Devon for Jo to have a family get together to celebrate her 30th Birthday.

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While we are there, we go to Paignton Zoo, which gives me a chance to try out my new camera. They have some lovely animals, including a new baby Rhino, Mandrills, mokeyhouse including Orangutans. Selection of photos here.

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The following weekend we have a 3oth Birthday celebration in Brighton too, and we go out with some friends to Vanilla. My sister is down to visit with her family too - it is amazing how quickly baby Jasmine is growing up. On the Sunday, we go to visit the sealife centre in brighton. Although I've lived here for a little while now, it's one of those tourist attractions that is on your doorstep but don't go to see - I hadn't been for about 25 ish years, when back then they had a dolphin display.

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Last weekend I wnet down to Dulwich for my Dad's 60th birthday party. When we arrived, I got a text message from my friend Sumit saying that there was a grand reopening of the Royal Festival Hall following a big refurbishment, and as part of the launch he was having some of his artwork projected on the side of the building.

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We went down there for the event, which also included choral singing from a barge on the Thames and a silent disco (lots of people with headphones on, all dancing along together). Also, Sumit has a new website :

So that's my latest stuff up to date. I'm also on Facebook now, which is strangely addictive.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Challenge Anarchists Podcast

Seddonism podcast

URE flashback

Challenge Anarchists

Enjoy! -- Mark Seddon

Monday, April 23, 2007

No Show podcast

This is probably the last show that I did on Xpression before I left Exeter and indeed, the country. I can't for the life of me remember doing it though.
Tony Devy is at home studying for some exams, so I join the No Show, Tom Davies' radio show. For the second hour I take over the desk, and we do some of our old items including, Devon Tourist Attractions and the Gallery.

Seddonism podcast

URE flashback

The No Show / Seddonism Special

Enjoy! -- Mark Seddon

Saturday, April 07, 2007

My First Ever Podcast

Seddonism podcast

URE flashback

This podcast site collects a few shows from the time I was at Student Radio.

Enjoy! -- Mark Seddon

Click here to get your own player.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Sin City Manga

About 12 or so years ago. Back before everyone thought Sin City was cool, I drew this manga inspired picture of Marv.

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Finding it amongst my stuff, thought it might be nice to share. It was a swip, I believe of Ataru, the main character of Rumiko Takahashi's manga and anime series Urusei Yatsura.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

A collection of links

A selection of funny links, mostly nicked from b3ta.

>> The Power of Make up <<
You want to know a secret? Girls wear make-up and perfume because they are ugly and they stink. Want proof?

>> When the world disappears beneath you <<
Impressive photos of a natural disaster.

>> Unreleased South Park (sort of)<<
A rare employee orientation video, that enlightened
people about how things were going to change
under new management. It was commissioned to be
written and directed by Matt Stone and Trey
Parker (of South Park fame), and it was, and
Jr. didn't like it, so they scrapped it. You
can see why.

Worst birthday card ever

Chad Vader, Darth Vader's brother. He works in a supermarket.

>> Wind-up emails <<
Dave Smith has a common name and he gets
lots of email for people that aren't him. He
writes, "This blog documents the fun

Recent film viewing

I was just looking at the list of films I've seen recently (I use this online film rental thing) and I realised I've seen loads in the last few months.

Here are a few highlights, with my comments.

Top Picks
The Departed
Oscar winner from Martin Scorsese. A big improvement on the Japanese film it is based on, it features 2 cops - one of whom is working for a gangster, the other is undercover, pretending to work for the same gangster. All star cast and great performances.
Kiss Kiss Bang Bang
Robert Downey Jr is brilliant as a wannabe actor who lands a role in a detective film, and Val Kilmer is great as the camp real life detective he shadows to prepare for the part. Then a real life mystery occurs that he needs to get to the bottom of. Really enjoyable and some great laugh out loud dialogue at times.

Junebug (A guy returns with his wife to visit his family out in the sticks in southern USA)
Mirrormask (Quirky CGI animated fantasy from the minds of Sandman Creators Dave MacKean & Neil Gaiman)
The Princess Bride (Old film, I know, but I finally got around to watching it, and its lovely.)

Fun but silly
Slither (Invasion from slithery alien wotsits. Good old fashioned fun in the vein of Critters or Tremors)
Crank and Transporter 2 (Great silly action from Jason Stratham)
Angel-A (Leon's Luc Besson directs a beautiful black and whit film set in Paris, about a looser, and a woman who tries to help him)

The Hills Have Eyes (Disturbing remake, tourists get stuck in their campervan in Mutantville)
Hostel (American tourists in a hostel. Very horrific. Also watched director Eli Rouths's debut, Cabin Fever, about a group of teens who catch a flesh eating virus out in the woods)

Interesting, a bit different
Brick (Strange film noir detective story, but the detective is a school kid)
Everything Is Illuminated (American visits East Europe to discover his roots)
Fearless (Jet Lee actioner. Entertaining fun in the vein of Hero)
Grizzly Man (Documentary about an eccentric who lives with grizzly bears in the wild)
Hustle And Flow (A pimp tries to improve his lot by entering the hip hop game)
Stander (True story, based during apartite South Africa, a policeman decides to become a bank robber)
Marie-Antoinette (Director of Lost in Translation, films the extravagant lifestyle of the young princess)

Just rubbish
DOA - Dead Or Alive (Based on a beat 'em up computer game, I thought it might be fun nonsense. Actually it was just nonsense)
Ultraviolet (It got terrible reviews, but I thought it might be fun anyway as I enjoyed the Director's previous film, "Equilbrium". Turns out it was just rubbish after all)

What's a tangerine? What's a mandarin? What's a Clementine? And what on earth is a Satsuma?

I attempted to find the answer to this age old question with some online sleuthing.

The exact definition is a bit sketchy and different sources have different explanations, but this is what I came up with...

Mandarin orange: A loose-skinned orange category that includes several varieties that can be sweet or tart, seedless or not and can range in size from as small as an egg to as large as a medium grapefruit. They all, however, have skins that slip easily off the fruit. Among the more well-known mandarin-orange family members are Clementine, dancy, Satsuma and tangerine.

"Mandarin" and "tangerine" are two words for the same thing, technically Citrus reticulata Blanco. They're called mandarins because they were thought to be native to China. The name tangerine comes from Tangier, Morocco, the port from which the first tangerines were shipped to Europe and so they were thought to have come from Tangiers. They are in fact native to southeast Asia someplace, and they exported from North Africa, so both origin myths are correct.
There are many varieties of tangerines, most associated with the word are the Dancy, which is a lovely, loose-skinned, comparatively late season, and scrumptiously delicious tangerine. They don't store well either on or off the tree, and they have seeds, which in recent years has made less commercially desirable, but their flavour still defines "tangerine" for many of us. Tangerines generally have a thicker, rougher skin

For many years the Christmas tangerine has been the Satsuma, a loose-skinned seedless early maturing variety which originated in Japan. Most of the canned mandarin oranges on the market are satsumas.

The tiny Clementine has a thin peel and a tangy-sweet red-orange flesh that's usually seedless. It's cultivated in Spain and North Africa. Clementines are a family of tangerine varieties.

Friday, March 16, 2007

More Green Eggs

As mentioned previously, I did a version of Green Eggs and Ham on my radio show? I thought i was original at the time!

Well since then, I've found this astounding website - a guy imagines Dylan singing Dr Seuss

And not to mention the other versions
A mood piece. Featuring Moo Moo Davis. Moo moo davis eh, Like Davis From Pegabovine... conspiracy.
Eminem parody
Chilled Canadian sounding indie
And more if i were inclined to list them...

URE Photos

In a moment of boredom I decided to create a couple of photoalbums froms a selection of my URE photos - links to view:

1) Group photos
2) Individual photos.

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Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Comicbook movie update

A little while ago I had a waffle about films adapted from comic books.

It was published as a comment piece in Comics international issue 200.

I scanned it, and a link to scan of the article is here: 1, 2

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Skiiing in St Anton

We just took a week's skiing holiday in St Anton, Austria to have a bit of a break before things get manic with studying for accountancy exams again. We sat our latest lot of exams in November and both passed those, so now we are both sitting our finals together in May.

The holiday pictures are here.

We flew with Ryanair to Friedrichshafen in Germany, and then caught the train up into the mountains to St Anton in Austria, where we spent 4 days skiing. I've been a few times before - I used to go every year with his family, though haven't been for a while so am a bit rusty! Jo has only had a couple of days when we were travelling in New Zealand. We went skiing down a volcanoe and got stuck up the top of the mountain in a blizzard! Austria was quite different and it made a very nice change from our usual type of holiday. (And a nice change from work too!)

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Also here are some youtube videos, hopefully the links will work..
Jo skiing
Mark doing an ikkle jump - blink and you'll miss it!
Jo Ice-skating on real ice

Thursday, January 04, 2007

New year update

I'm back at work after the New Years weekend. Just went to Jo's folks in Torquay, spent most of the weekend seeing her family. Though I did meet up with Danny in Exeter for lunch & a few drinks.

New years we didn't get up to anything particularly exciting, we saw the London fireworks on TV - they looked amazing. But when we drove back home yesterday we heard on the radio Fatboy Slim's set from Brighton beach (exclusive gig he was doing - but I think the poor revellers got quite wet from all the rain).

The Christmas weekend I spent at my parents in London. It was nice to see the family, especially my niece who is nearly 2 and her words are really coming along. I got a couple of photobook presents - they are basically photo albums but you do them online, using their templates, arranging your photos the way you want them, then they are printed really nicely in a hard-bound book. I did one for Jo of our holidays abroad & honeymoon, and one for my sister of my photos of my niece's first 2 years.

Unfortunately I had a runny nose all weekend - I recon an allergy to the massive tree they had sitting in the living room.

What else have I been up to? Well up until the end of November we were busy studying for our exams. If we pass those, we sit our finals in May. So more studying soon. Boo hoo.

The Brighton Comedy festival was on recently, we saw Russ Noble (didn't really like him, his random tangent style of humour is a bit passé), Russell Brand (who Jo likes, a big figure on British TV this last year), and Mitchell & Webb (who have a new sketch show on TV and also did "Peep Show").

I went to the "burning of the clocks" in Brighton city centre recently, which is a thing they do for Winter Solstice. They make all of these paper lanterns, and then parade through the town down onto the beach, where they put them all on a big bonfire, and light them, setting off lots of fireworks.

It was quite funny, there were some teenagers sitting behind us who kept on shouting to burn stuff. "Burn the lantern", "burn the fireworks", "burn the drummers". They said a few funny ones - "burn the arsonists", "burn the loneliness that echoes in my heart" - that kind of thing. I like the idea of burning metaphysical conceits.

Music-wise, don't see so much these days, but did see Basement Jaxx when they came down to Brighton on a tour to promote their new album "Crazy Itch Radio". They were very good, and bloomin loud.
On CD, I've recently got an interesting one - Rythms Del Mundo by the Buena Vista guys. Its cover versions and remixes of western songs with a Cuban vibe. Like it.

Filmwise, I've recently been impressed by some smaller Hollywood films - "Kiss Kiss Bang Bang", "Life Aquatic" and "Slither". I also really enjoyed "The Descent" from earlier on in the year. I've mostly been hooked by Battlestar Galactica on DVD though.

Our car was getting a bit worn out, so we recently started looking for a new one. Jo sped up the process by driving into the back of someone and writing it off. (She was okay). So now we have a new (ish) Skoda Fabia - basically a VW Golf, but with a cheaper badge. Some people still think the Skoda name is a bit tainted, but its a good little car.

lip up fatty