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Hiphopopotamus vs. Rhymenoceros September 18, 2007

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More Fantastic Finnish Funk August 23, 2007

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It’s fun to stay at the N M K Y!

I had a dream last night … July 7, 2007

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Firstly I was at my childhood family home and I was being hunted. It seemed there was a killer on the loose in the house. I was hiding in various places around the garden and trying to inch towards the front gate and escape without being seen.

This theme then continued but moved to a global setting. I was moving from country to country under stealth. I have a picture of my movements on the globe – only it wasn’t a familiar world, at least geographically. I was swimming between landmasses and islands, all the while trying to avoid been seen and therefore chased and caught – felt like there was an eye of Sauron sort of presence looking for me.

I was making my way up towards the pole. Eventually I found myself on an island, which I soon discovered to my disappointment was quite small. I hid in the trees from the few people I had seen on the island.

Cut to another place – a forest. I am looking at the distance through the trees and can hear a noise. I notice that one tree is about to fall down. It does. I creep up and find that it is my dad who has cut the tree down. I ask him what he is doing there and why he has cut the tree down and he tells me with resignation that it is the only useful thing you can do when the trees are dead. I look up and realise that he is right – all the trees are only dead trunks, there are no leaves. I look down again but Dad has now disappeared and I am suddenly now back out of that “dream sequence” and back on the island from before.

I decide that I will have to make contact with the people there and I eventually find a small town. I approach cautiously and speak to an old lady at what looks like an inn. She speaks Spanish and seems really nice. I take a small room and sit down for a while wondering if I dare to sleep. I do and stay for a day or two but then realise that I must press on to the pole. This now seems as much a calling or mission than an escape.

I eventually reach the pole and although I am still on the ground I can see the earth curving down away from me in every direction, it looks like a globe almost like photos from space.

I am startled to discover an immense rugbyball-shaped steel structure sitting on the ground. I climb up onto the top and fear returns – it seems if I fall from the shiny, slippery surface I may slide right off into space. I see a man operating a winch with a long chain. It seems it is the end of the day and he is moving what looks like a huge drilling rig back into a resting position.

He is aware of my presence but waits for me to approach.

I am then interrupted by a txt message. From Dave. He has sent me his numbers for a number chain message thing which is going on. There are 30 named people on a list and we are working down the list. There are first 5 numbers. The next person has to then add two numbers. The next person then chooses 5 of the last 7 numbers and adds their own 2. This continues through the named people with everyone being sent the chosen numbers each time, but only the designated person providing their manipulation of the numbers.

Dave says that the numbers for this round are:

1 2 35 7 ?

1 2

and could I send them on to everyone else as he is away from email at the moment. I wonder what these numbers mean, what 5 numbers I should choose first and whether there is any significance in the repeated numbers.

Then I approach the man who doesn’t say anything but greets me with his eyes. He has drawn the huge chain and rig to a stop and is positioned over a dark window or portal on top of the big structure.

It seems now that as an alternative to sending new numbers I can send a photo. I look out as the amazing view of the world as I had seen it before, framed against space and think that this will be my photo but then the man taps me on the shoulder and motions towards the portal.

It is dark glass and I can’t see anything so I move my head closer. I then see an unbelievably deep, whirling blue and black mass of what looked like oil. I realise that the structure I am on is an oil rig (to the middle of the earth?). Something feels wrong but I am mesmerised by the swirling view and ready the camera on my phone. I take a picture down through the glass of the portal. On pressing the button to take the picture I woke up.

High IQ link to being Vegetarian May 15, 2007

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Well of course. See what the BBC has to say.

Stray Stone May 1, 2007

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 More hi-jinks from those funny Finns…


The world’s most important 6-second drum loop April 28, 2007

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Daughters of Elvin April 1, 2007

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This morning the travelling French market was in town and we bought fresh bread and croissants (oh and a custard square… mmm custard square). Merci.

The Oxford Folk Music Festival is also on this weekend. This meant the streets were packed with little squadrons of Morris dancers, jingling about everywhere with their little bells on. I was waiting for one of them to crack an “I’ll be there with bells on” joke but it didn’t come un/fortunately.

Getting into the spirit of things, we decided to can our movie idea for the evening and head along to the Daughters of Elvin gig. This was at the Holywell Music Room – apparently the oldest (1742) purpose-built music venue in Europe. The performance was a mix of dance and medieval music. Lots of harp, pipes, recorders with some dulcimer and hurdy-gurdy thrown in! There were some really very pretty, ethereal songs in their performance – beauty isn’t confined to the last 700 years it would seem. Oh and there were butterflies that flew out of a skull and also a unicorn! Not your average gig for sure, but well worth the investigation.

Oxford’s Burning March 17, 2007

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Just for the moment at least…. Oxfordshire is celebrating it’s 1000th (!) birthday this year and this was cause for setting Oxford on fire apparently – well some of it. At first the wired displays seemed a little bit lame (especially given my Las Fallas experience in Valencia) but the whole spectacle grew on me after a while. It was kind of mesmerising but maybe that was just that staring at fire thing. Was certainly weird to see fire burning amongst all the historic buildings in town, e.g. Sheldonian Theatre.


Remembering Rain March 17, 2007

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There is a great international documentary filmfest running here in Oxford at the moment. We saw a couple of them this afternoon – ‘Remembering Rain’ about drought-affected Australian farmland and the people there, and ‘Invisible’which was about the threat to the Inuit way of life caused by chemicals in the seafood they eat. The Artic Inuit in the film apparently have 7 times the level of PCBs in their breastmilk than people anywhere else, despite their isolated location.

The director of Remembering Rain was also on-hand after the film to speak a little about the film and answer questions – pretty cool.

Mobile Rage March 2, 2007

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Mobile Phone RageSo it’s been a while. We’ve relocated and are now back in sunny England. Perhaps this is a little sad, but I’m afraid my first post from these fair shores is not going to be a shout out to friends and loved ones, like it should be, but instead a bit of a venting session after our latest experience with the British service industry – in this case the mobile phone pimps.

Number one – Phone Enquiry

Hi, I’ve seen you have model X in pink on your website. Do you have it in the brown too?

Voice: We only have it in the pink.

Oh, ok.

Voice: But its actually the same phone, just a different colour.

Um yes.

Voice: So can we put you down for it right? Now what’s your address?

Actually, no thanks.

Voice: But its actually the same phone, just a different colour.

Exactly. Goodbye.

Number two – Shop Salesman

Hi do you have model X in the brown colour, rather than the pink?

Salesman: No. That was an older model. They don’t make it any more.

Ur, I don’t think that’s quite right.

Salesman: It doesn’t have an mp3 player or 2megapixel camera or a …

Ur, I don’t think that’s right at all. See, I have one here in my pocket. We just want to get another one.

Salesman: (Shocked) Ur, but it doesn’t have extendible memory um

Now that’s definitely not right. See …

Salesman: Ur (Gives “Aha you’ve exposed me for the fool I am” look)


Number three – Shop 2 Salesman

Hi do you have model X in the brown colour?

Salesman: Sure. Come this way and we’ll work out the right call plan for you …


(1 hour later …)

Salesman: No, no it seems the credit check still doesn’t go through even though you’ve now given me a landline bill, credit card, debit card, rental contract, two pints of blood and swore your allegiance to the Queen and each of her Corgies. It seems the address for your bank card doesn’t match the one you’ve given us.

Gee, that’s strange since it is the address on the statement I just received from the bank yesterday. But hey, I’m a good sport I’ll head over to the bank and ask them to confirm….

(1.5 hours …)

Yep, the bank confirms that my address is correct. Here is a statement on their letterhead confirming this is the case.

(2 hours …)

Salesman: OK, now we’re all the way through we just need to take a £100 bond since you’re a foreign national.

What? Um, OK. That’s sounds a little like discrimination but hey we’ve taken 2 hours out of our (working) days to sort this out so what the hell. Knock yourself out.

Salesman: Oh right- now they are saying that your credit card doesn’t match the address of your phone bill.

But we’ve just shown you and told you that the bank says it does!

Salesman: I’m sorry it is declined again. Oh and by the way you now both have had your credit ratings decreased because of these failed checks.

You have got to be fucking kidding me fulla. We’ve spent 2.5 hours in here and on top of not giving either of two people, with 15 truckloads of documentation, a phone you’re telling me you’ve also permanently damaged both our credit ratings??!

Salesman: Ur yeah, But there was nothing I could do. Seriously – tell me what more could I have done?

How about telling us that what these failed checks were doing for starters.

Salesman: Um, shall I get my manager?

Sure, why not?

Phil: Hello. I’m the manager, Phil.

Salesman: (explains situation) … so there was nothing I could have done was there Phil?

Phil: no. no (taking pleasure in this it would seem)

Salesman: So you see… (Phil unexplicably just wanders off)

But … you’ve got to be fucking kidding me. Where is the camera? Now, come on!

Salesman: Ur, um.

Us (turning and leaving): Un – f u c k i n g – believable!

So yeah, we sure had a fun afternoon. Breathe! Breathe … ah, there we go – I knew that meditation would come in handy at some point 🙂