Monthly Archives: February 2005

The Life Avaragadic

In other news:

Today I bought a new shirt. I’m off to Germany again on Monday, you see (we’re going at a reasonable hour this time). I need to beef up my customer-friendly long-sleeved shirt ensemble; I don’t believe in dastardly things like suits and ties, and although I’ve got a few decent short-sleeved shirts they’ll have to wait until spring hits.

I also bought a new phone for my flat (I thought the line had gone screwy, but I figured out this week that I was wrong – just in time to avoid a £60 callout charge from BT). Come to think of it, the phone went pop around Christmas. I’ve only just taken down my Christmas cards too. What happened to January and February? Did I miss anything important?

Tonight a few of us went to see The Life Aquatic. I enjoyed it; relevant adjectives include “quirky” and “offbeat”. Avaragado’s rating: four crabs.

Oh, there was an teaser trailer for the League of Gentlemen movie, Apocalypse. It has certificate L, for Local. I hope they don’t overdo the “local” gag; catchphrases don’t generally make good plots.

Blimey, Roger’s in the news again – well, same story as last time but just noticed by Slashdot.

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Warm fuzzy feeling (alcohol)

Well, I think tonight went pretty well for a first date. But then, I have had something to drink. OK, several glasses of something. (Eagle, No. 1 King’s Parade.)

We’re thinking of seeing each other again next Thursday, maybe. He’ll call me.

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Germany

Awake at 2am on Monday, “too excited” to go back to sleep. Get up at 3am. Have some breakfast, though arguably it’s a very late supper. Get picked up at 4am by a mulleted half-asleep driver; consequently I stay awake in case he doesn’t.

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Bah

Bah.

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Mikey, Frankfurt

Mikey’s in town today, so we went for lunch at the Fort St George. And then a few more pints. And then a wander into town to the Champion of the Thames. And then a quick slice of cake etc at Clowns. And then we met up with Chris and Melanie, and had another pint at the Bun Shop.

It’s nearly 9pm. In twelve hours I’ll be in a meeting in Frankfurt. I’m being picked up at 4am for a 6:30 flight from Heathrow.

I think I ought to go to bed kind of, well, now.

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My secret admirer

Roses are red,
Violets are blue,
You could end up paying too much tax
If you do not complete this form

Bah, Inland Revenue – desperate to know my employment history since 11 January 2004. I guess they’ve finally got round to looking at my tax return.

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Dame Ellen

Now I’m sure that a record-breaking solo non-stop round-the-world voyage is a great achievement, etc etc. But the coverage is way over the top. Correspondents here there and everywhere, constantly vomiting forth their just-inhaled sailing knowledge, blurting out fantastics and courageouses to fill the copious airtime allocated to them.

In truth, we know the routine: lead story, special programmes, honours (I’m betting she’ll be Damed), then the media circus will move on, and finally of course there’ll be an attempt to drag out some scandal in the Sunday newspapers.

Radio coverage has produced two highlights for me:

  • “The Queen and the Prime Minister have both sent their crongratulations”. My inner geek thinks that “crongratulations” is precisely the appropriate word: it has the sense of automated, scheduled, emotionless, fill-in-the-blanks, congratulation-by-rote that sums up these affairs. You are hereby authorised to use this word wherever you see fit.
  • Q: “Please could you put into context Ellen’s achievements.” A: “I didn’t hear the question”. That’s the spirit! This was asked of a Frenchman on, I guess, a dodgy link to Falmouth, so I’m sure he wasn’t being cheeky, but he was right: where was the question? The expected answer just rehashes the crongratulations. But if you actually want the context, the answer would be: She and her mates and sponsors spent a lot of money and have better technology than the others. She went round the world, but mostly just circled the Antarctic judging by the maps. She’ll probably have a book out soon. Meanwhile, more important things happened on the planet…

Oh dear, this has turned out a lot more cynical than I originally intended…

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Caffè Heffers


caffe heffers
Originally uploaded by avaragado.

My mophoto shows the front entrance of… where exactly? Well, it’s Heffers obviously.

Except Heffers now has a miniature Caffe Nero at the back, with at most half a dozen tables. Obviously, this means that Caffe Nero gets the most prominent sign above the entrance.

I don’t think there’s a single reasonably sized bookshop in Cambridge without an embedded coffee franchise. Even WH Smith has one now.

At some point the coffee beans will reach critical mass. There’ll be some kind of tall mocha fission followed by, oh, I don’t know, a dramatic fall in the number of staff on minimum wage in Cambridge.

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Spectacular

Following a tip-off from an old-fangled newsgroup, I had occasion to surf through this deeply interesting list of Harrow councillors.

I wonder if, by any chance, Councillor Eileen Kinnear is wearing glasses?

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