Monday, September 17, 2007

The pipes, the pipes are calling...

Hmm, off to Northern Ireland this afternoon for a week's walking. Am looking forward to it, as have never been before and always enjoy discovering new places etc.

However, weather forecast is not looking too good (yes, I know the Antrim coast is not renowned for its endless sunshine) so hope I'll survive. Of course, I'll try to put up some pics and stories when I get back.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Anita Roddick

Not sure about all these obituaries describing her as a pioneering entrepreneur.

Surely the correct word is entrepreneuse?

The other world cup

As armchair sports fans all over the world are settling down to enjoy the rugby in France (come on Portugal!), or the Twenty20 cricket in South Africa, or the vital European championship qualifiers, or the finale to the Formula One season, we should not overlook another sporting event taking place in China this month.

The women's football World Cup got under way yesterday and, unlike in the rugby, Argentina had a dreadful start. In fact they lost by a rugby score, 11-0, to Germany, who underlined their status as one of the favourites. The only representative of the home nations, England, are in the same group and will be looking to start with a win against Japan later today.

Happily all England's matches will be shown on TV, so it gives the uninitiated a good chance to find out about women's football, which has improved a lot in recent years. England are ranked twelfth in the world and have a decent chance of progressing from the group stages. Let's just hope they have a better opening match than the rugby boys did.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Edukashun, Edukashun, Edukashun

It's hard to know what to make of the next video. Is it the Government's latest absurd proposal for schools? Or the Tories' newest hare-brained scheme to raise the achievement of our young people?

Of course not! It's Miss Teen South Carolina pandering to all our stereotypes of bimbo beauty queens with an impassioned plea for more maps. Or something...

Friday, September 07, 2007

Mirrors on the ceiling, the pink champagne on ice...

Norm has a short post featuring an a cappella reworking of Dave Brubeck's classic, Take 5.

Seeing it reminded me of a similar group, Vocal Sampling, from Cuba, who use only their voices to produce the sounds of an entire orchestra. I saw them at the Proms about five years ago where they put on a remarkable show, including an extraordinary version of Strauss' Also sprach Zarathustra (you know, the "monkey becoming man theme" from 2001: A Space Odyssey).

So, if you like your rock classics sans guitar, here are Vocal Sampling covering an old favourite:

Thursday, September 06, 2007

A Furtive Tear

There are probably loads of videos of this guy being placed on blogs this morning so why should I buck the trend? This is Donizetti's classic "Una Furtiva Lagrima":

Class - good to see some pre-Nessun Dorma Pavarotti on YouTube.

RIP Big man.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Hey, Mascarenhas, alright!

There has only been one England cricketer called Dmitri and he has just delivered a singularly brilliant performance at the Oval. Reminiscent of both my own long hop-laden bowling and a Stick Cricket innings, I give you the final over of England's innings at the Oval today (courtesy of Cricinfo):

49.1 Yuvraj Singh to Mascarenhas, no run, an ugly and not particularly effective mow
49.2 Yuvraj Singh to Mascarenhas, SIX, and he swings this over midwicket, high and handsome - but Piyush is lurking, and makes excellent ground to take a brilliant catch. However...such was his velocity that he slid into the boundary, and it's six! Tough luck.
49.3 Yuvraj Singh to Mascarenhas, SIX, he takes a step outside leg and smites him for six into the midwicket fence! Bosh!
49.4 Yuvraj Singh to Mascarenhas, SIX, and another one! This is marvellous batting here. Another step outside leg; another six into midwicket
49.5 Yuvraj Singh to Mascarenhas, SIX, he's done it again! And this has gone even further into the midwicket boundary
Where will he bowl now?
49.6 Yuvraj Singh to Mascarenhas, SIX, make that five sixes in the over! And the biggest of the lot, straight back over the bowler's head! Quite breathless cricket

Yes, that's five consecutive sixes, thirty runs, guiding England to a very respectable total of 316-6. Of course, we'll probably have a special from Sachin and India's batsmen now and they'll knock off the runs with ease, but it was pretty good listening while it happened.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Sweet September

Has anyone noticed the weather?

It's been quite good for a change. In fact, I've almost forgotten how terrible it was during June, July and August (yes, I know, now I've put the mockers on it and it will rain until Christmas).

I am glad of this. Unlike most people, who go on holiday during the summer months and return to their dingy offices in September, I spent most of July and August working (not too hard, you understand, but I still had to turn up at nine every morning) and have this month as my "me time". The "Indian Summer of Chris" or something like that.

Anyway, the fair skies over Berkshire have allowed me to enjoy a few walks around my local area this week, and I think the best (so far) was today. I saw rabbits, pheasants, horses that look like Boris Johnson, and Timmy Mallett. At least I think it was Mallett - he was talking to someone, so I didn't intrude, but the oversized pink and yellow hammer he had in his hand gave the game away.

So, my summer is warming up nicely. I hope it keeps on for the next few weeks until I go back to Portugal.

p.s. Does anyone know where I can illegally download the Amy Winehouse album? I quite like the music ("They said I had to wear the niqab, I said no, no, no"), but I don't want to subsidise her crack habit, y'know.