I did not film this video. I did, however, edit it according to the brief.
And I think it’s come out rather well. Should anyone want to do anything so contemporary as to Digg it, however one does such a thing, I shan’t stand in their way.
Viewer discretion is advised. Worksafeness depends on employer policies, local weather conditions and current terror threat level. It’s a bit filthy, but only in your own head.
Older viewers may remember me remarking on the general rubbishness
of the British Gas web site house.co.uk, which included picklists for
credit card start and expiry dates allowing any year from 1900 to
They’ve just completely redesigned (and reimplemented, by the look
of the URLs) their site. And what a grand job they’ve done
I shall list the sins, in order of discovery, after the jump.
If you don’t want to know the result, look away now…
Just back from town, where I speed-read HP and the DH.
It’s about wizards.
I believe I know all the interesting plot points, which I won’t divulge, of course.
Every bookshop was packed to the gills with excited buyers, and less so with available copies. A stressed-out WHSmith pimpledroid was encouraging people to abandon the queue downstairs to join another queue upstairs, but nobody was taking much notice. Apparently Borders alone sold 1200 copies after midnight, with the queue snaking from the Market Street end upstairs and downstairs again.
Desperately sadly, while lunching I saw two teenage girls ask their neighbour to take a photo of them holding up their copies of the book. And around almost every corner in Waterstones sprawled a bandwagon traveller, nose embedded a hundred pages into a hardback.
Regardless of the merits of this particular book or the series as a whole, it’s got non-readers reading, which must be a good thing. It’s also made the-one-who-must-not-be-named and her publishers buckets of cash. The publishers and the retailers will no doubt beg for more stories, but she’s moneybags enough to unleash the hounds and take no notice. I hope so.
So the question for the publishers becomes: what’s next? They’ll be desperate to find “the next Harry Potter” to repeat today’s bonanza. I expect a number of failed attempts, all based on Potteresque themes, before another surprise hit. That is, after all, the way of the muggles.
My annual trip to Camber Sands took place on Sunday and Monday. This year’s word is “different”. Oh, and also “Colin”.
Different because one of the group is no longer with us :-(
And because several other regular attendees were absent, because of the weather and other reasons.
And because I won fourth prize in the boules competition, only my second trophy in at least nineteen attempts.
And because the day ended with the most incredible storm I’ve ever witnessed, already dubbed Camber Storm Colin. Monsoon multiplied by five. Constant lightning. Hailstones smashing car windows (mine were OK, but others in the group weren’t so lucky). The photos don’t do it justice.
And because Camber Storm Colin and its aftermath meant we didn’t play our usual game of tippit.
And for other reasons too.
And here are the photos.
Change, says Gordon Brown. Change this, change that. Cos the last ten years have all been stagnation, or something.
So we’ve changed. We now have incompetent terrorists failing to bomb various locations; a female Home Secretary complete with glottal stops; and, on a personal note, drunken Irish ladies asking me for cuddles (which is something up with which I shall not put).
Brown’s Britain also features Indian restaurants with outside tables, something I don’t remember seeing before (Café Naz, aka the Cambridge Curry Centre). Not that they’ve had much use since the monsoon season began.
But today, 1st July, at 6am, a dramatic change hits: the smoking ban. I’ve been looking forward to this forever – the number of times I’ve emerged from the Fleur with stinking clothes and sore eyes is too many to recount. But as of last Thursday the Fleur is smoke-free: it’s been taken over and refurbished, and there was no point supplying ash trays for the three days post-reopening and pre-ban. I can exclusively tell you that the future is smelling pretty good. (But no more Irish ladies please.)
Many drinking establishments are, as I write, chucking out the last smokers before the ban takes effect. The Isaac Newton pub decided to commemorate the occasion by offering drinkers free cigarettes (see my photo). I’m not sure this is what the government intended, but as of tomorrow I don’t much care.
I can’t say I’m tremendously sorry to see the back of Tony Blair (cf wars on false pretences). But many of the changes in the last ten years have undoubtedly made this country a better place (and would never have happened under a Conservative government); this is one of them.