Friday, 29 August 2008

Best song of the summer?

Every summer, there is a song that 'defines' it. And I think this summer it has to be this one. Yes, I know, sample of an oldie - but man, he's done a great job with it.

Thursday, 28 August 2008

When to re-write and when not.

Chloe's Education is nearing completion of the first draft (slowly, I admit - I really need to crack on with it) and I'm looking around for ideas for my next project. There are one or two rattling around in my head, but nothing that's firmed itself into a proper narrative structure. Possibly I need a break form coming up with new stories (or at least long, new stories) and should invest some time in re-writing one of my older ones.

Reunion is still doing well on StoriesOnLine*, getting around 10 reads a week which isn't bad at all for a story that's been on the site for over three years. Its already been partially re-written and is available from Lulu for a small fee - but I'd like to really do a proper re-write. There are three or four sub-plots I'd like to add that I believe would really enhance the story and create better, more understandable and identifiable characters. So this might well be what I end up doing.

The other project that sticks in my throat is College by the Sea. Posted at SOL in 2005, it was never really finished. The story was meant to follow the group of students throughout their first year at university, but I only posted up to the end of the first term - so the ending seems quite abrupt. I've actually written quite a bit more than I've posted, but it's still doesn't have an ending. Which is a shame, because it deserves one. The problem I have re-writing this story is that it will be a complete re-write. I think I'll almost have to start again from scratch to bring the writing up to the standard that I'm at now. Could be worthwhile though.

So that's where I am - trying to finish one project and looking for the next. But what I'll decide is anyone's guess.

*You need to be a member of SOL to read stories on the site.

Wednesday, 27 August 2008

Feels Good to to British - for a change.

I don't know if anyone beyond these shores has noticed, but Team GB has done rather well in this years Olympic games - 4th in the medals table (we even beat the Aussies!) with 19 Gold medals. Way beyond anyone's expectation. Naturally, the politicians have all latched on to this to try and bask in our athlete's glory, but I think most Brits already know our boys and girls have had the most successful games for 100 years despite our political leaders, not because of them.

And, of course, in 4 years time they'll be expected to do it all again - but this time on home turf. London 2012 awaits.

We've had dear old Boris with his floppy hair waving the flag and telling the world how every sport imaginable was invented in Britain. ("Ping-Pong" was invented on the dining tables of England, apparently) And, of course, we've got a ridiculous logo. What we need now is for the games themselves to show the world that we Brits can put on a show.

I was listening to a radio debate the other day, and a few things annoyed me. There seems to be a general attitude that we shouldn't be spending too much money on the games (tax-payers money, that it). But the people who are saying this are, in the next breath, saying that London 2012 will never be as big or spectacular as Beijing 2008. Well, you can't have it both ways, folks. If we want a huge, spectacular show then spend the money. If you don't want to spend the money, then get ready for the more 'intimate' games we've been promised. (for intimate, read 'smaller')

Fact is this, we'll never know just how much money the Chinese spent to make these "the best games ever".  Why? Because their government isn't a democracy. It isn't accountable to the people and doesn't have to worry about being re-elected. Simply put, they don't have to tell anyone what they spent, and they never will.

Whereas the British government can't do that. They can't slap anyone who complains about how much is being spent in prison for treason or some other trumped up charge. They can't not spend money on hospitals and schools 9for example)

But, as one caller to the debate said, the London games is likely to be the equivalent of the Beatles White Album following Sergeant Peppers - less spectacular and showy, but a better, more polished final product. I guess we'll have to wait and see.

Friday, 22 August 2008

I'm a part of the YouTube generation. Sort of.

I have, today, for the first time, uploaded a video to YouTube. It's a bit silly really, but I videoed my journey to work on my Phone. now, I know that it's sounds dangerous holding the camera steady while driving, but actually, I used Blu-tac to stick the phone to the windscreen, so I use both hands to drive.

YouTube only allows vids to be ten minutes and it takes me the best part of an hour to drive to work, so I only filmed the second half of the trip. And even then I had to split it in two.

This first part is my journey From Sainsbury's at Sixfields in Northampton (where I stopped of petrol), through Sixfields and along the A43. The second vid is my progress through the town of Towcester to my parking spot.

I told you it was silly. Perhaps I'd be better off roaming the streets at night and filming myself beating up some poor sod. Oh, no, sorry, you have to be 14 to that.

Thursday, 21 August 2008

Thoughts and stuff

Yeah, I know, great blog title there Marc. But there isn't a general theme to today's post, it's just, you know, stuff.

I suppose I better start off with the goings on in China. As I write this, Britain is 3rd in the medals table at the Games. Third! Can you friggin' believe it? I mean, were ahead of Russia (who are closing fast), Germany - even the Aussies! We're beating the Aussies! I tell you what, it feels great to be a Brit right now - and if the guys and gals carry this through to four years time on London - well, how great is it going to feel then?

The best reaction of any medal winner had to be young Brynoy Shaw, who won a bronze medal in the windsurfing. Her interview on the BBC is on this page, but if you're outside the UK, you might not be able to watch it (I couldn't while I was in France).

And speaking of the BBC website, it was truly strange to see adverts on it while I was in France. It's the BBC, they do adverts. Really odd.

We just stayed at Mrs Nobbs' parents for out hols (no rent to pay, see) and then travelled around northern France. We went to the beach, which Nobby Jr really enjoyed - first time he's ever splashed in the sea and run away from the advancing waves.

You can look at some of my photos of the things we got up to on my Flickr photo-stream. But one of my fave photos of the whole holiday is this one.


It shows me and Jr walking towards the pond in the public gardens in Bethune, France to feed the ducks (that's bread in the bag in my left hand). The ducks weren't interested (unlike the ones at home, who are always interested in being fed) and kept swimming away. I did tell Jr that the idea was to try and get the bread just in front of the ducks but he thought it was more fun to bounce it off their backs - maybe that's why they kept swimming away.

I didn't get a chance to do much writing while I was away - so I'm going to have to make up the time over the next few weeks. Chloe's Education isn't going to finish itself.

Tuesday, 19 August 2008

Two days and still not done it

I've been to write a blog entry ever since I got back from holiday on Saturday night. But, with being knackered from travelling on Sunday and then working all day Monday and today - I just haven't got around to it.

I wanted to explain away my blog absence by talking at length about my hols and where I went and what I did. But I just haven't had the time.

So this is all I can do for now.  A rush job at the end of the day.

Oh well. I'll try again tomorrow. Or tonight. Maybe.


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