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July 31, 2007

A Spot of Bother - Mark Haddon

A Spot of Bother - Mark Haddon

As a quick review is better than no review at all, and I wanted to spare anyone who like me, thought "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time" was a pretty good book and decided to read Haddon's follow up, I'm telling you now that this isn't much good, so don't bother.

Posted by se71 at 05:07 PM | Comments (0)

July 17, 2007

Mercury Music Prize Nominees 2007

Here they are, with comments:

Arctics – Favourite Worse Nightmare - heard of it
Jamie T – Panic Prevention - never heard of it
Amy Winehouse – Back to Black - got it, like half of it
Young Knives - Voices of Animals and Men - never heard of it
Klaxons - Myths of the Near Future - got it, like most of it
Bat for Lashes – Fur & Gold - never heard of it
Fionn Regan - The End of History - never heard of it
Dizzee Rascal - Maths and English - heard of him
The View - Hats off to the Buskers - heard of them
Maps - We Can Create - never heard of it
Basuiat Strings with Seb Roachford - Basquiet Strings - never heard of it
New Young Pony Club - Fantastic Playroom - never heard of it

So, not a bad year for me, I've actually got two!!

Posted by se71 at 04:08 PM | Comments (0)

July 11, 2007


Wimbledon is written to such a well established blueprint, which is so obviousright from the start, that it all seems a bit pointless. Aging tennis pro Peter Colt (Paul Bettany) is England's only hope to win Wimbledon, but he's not really very good (no real world parallels there then!). He falls in love with American champion Lizzie Bradbury (Kirsten Dunst) and suddenly his game dramatically improves. But what will happen if they break up before the end of the tournament - could he still win?

Lizzie has an overbearing father trying to keep the lovers apart. Peter's parents are rich eccentics, and their characters are firmly rooted in the American view of Englishness. They are having relationship problems of their own, but Peter's tennis starts to bring them closer together. Peter's potential nemesis on court is another film stalwart painted with a very broad brush, and is a bit too much of a brat to believe in.

So it's part romantic comedy, and part underdog does good. It works very well in both these areas, and is never boring. It's the kind of film which you smile all the way through, but never actually laugh. The tennis is actually exciting, and looks very real, and is actually the best thing in the film.

So while it's enjoyable to watch, there isn't really anything outstanding in this film. I hate to knock it because it's really quite pleasant, but I wanted a few really funny scenes, and I wanted a few less unbelievable stereotypes stuck in for the American audiences.

Posted by se71 at 12:06 PM | Comments (0)

July 09, 2007


I have been a fairly consistent size 32 in the trouser department for a number of years. I'm boring enough that when I need new clothes, Marks & Spencer's usually deliver, with the added bonus that the leg lengths they do also work for me.

Recently I've done quite a bit more exercise than usual, and without a belt my trousers are liable to fall down. I've also plastered oil from my bike over several pairs, so I went to M&S to get some new ones.

Now, I didn't think a size 30 would be anything unusual, but after searching every rack, discovered only 3 pairs in my size. And only one of these was 31 in length. What's going on I thought, and called over the sales assistant, who referred me to the department head. "Oh, we don't get much demand for that size, but you can order some in if you like, no obligation to buy". Seems the three pairs on the racks were only there for this very reason, special orders. I decided to order a couple of pairs that looked OK. First pair were a six week delivery time - forget that. Second pair - THEY DIDN'T EVEN MAKE A SIZE 30 in that design.

I hate shopping for clothes, so in the end I tried on the solitary pair of trousers that fit me, and they looked OK, so I bought them.

But I'm still confused. I know in my teens and early 20s I was a size 28 for quite a while. That would be totally impossible in M&S today. Have I just stumbled into the wrong shop - are only middle aged people with middle aged spread the normal customer. Will I find Primark or Top Shop or some other teenagers store cater for me better? Or has the population really just gotten fatter?

Posted by se71 at 11:18 AM | Comments (0)