Thursday, March 22, 2007

activity / blogging round up

Working on lots of stuff at the moment, so here's a round-up of what I've got on the go:

i) A bunch of new songs for my band, all of which are in fairly early stages, but sounding good - need to write some proper lyrics written and get going on producing demos. So far they're all quite folky and sedate, less willfully awkward than stuff I've done before.

ii) Am stewing and stirring at some unfinished posts for Hii Dunia, a development blog I sometimes contribute to. Working on a couple of articles on Libya chiefly, the first of which should be up in the next few days.

iii) I'm working on a new podcast - something quite different this time. Not sure how long it'll take to get it sorted, but I'm enthusiastic.

iv) There'll be some longish posts here in the next few days too, starting with a review of ITV's dramatisation of Mansfield Park, which was on last week.

All of which adds up to the fact that I've nothing new to post right now, but there'll be plenty of stuff shortly. In the meantime, I thought I'd round up what my friends and favourite bloggers have been writing about this week.

Ali, over at split down the middle, has just got back from a week in the Maldives, where she has been killing fish and fighting sharks, but her blog has been expertly maintained in her absence by Vic, who is clearly a genius-blogger in waiting. Here's a short extract of one of her recent posts:

"As all mothers know, the biggest battles they have with their children concern what is eaten and what is worn, and that’s because the power to define yourself physically is no small matter. So whenever I hear one of those ‘and finally’ news stories about a toddler who insists on wearing a Spiderman costume day and night, or will only wear the colour red, I cheer inwardly. Whatever makes you feel good, and more importantly, whatever doesn’t make you feel stupid, is what you should wear."
Now that Ali's back, meanwhile, we're about to lose her to fancy London, which is rubbish, but at least we'll have somewhere to stay in London now, and will act all hurt and dejected if we're not invited up within like, two days, of her moving up there. She's changing work, too, so her post-holiday blogs have a touch of trepidation about them:

"OK, so with the work thing, it's going to be a change from the insipid world of law and the boring cyclical nature of my work as a legal marketing executive, which of course, is a massive bonus, but what is it going to be like? I feel a mixture of excitement and terror, which I have to say is better than the numb, dull, laborious dread of the previous year. I have to teach myself to embrace the change and see the whole thing as a massive and extremly steep learning curve, which, of course there is every chance of me slipping backwards down, like one of the hapless kid competitors on 'We are the Champions'."
If she's looking for sympathy she shouldn't have just spent a week in the Maldives!!!

Nat is away too, now, although weirdly it was snowing in Spain the other day. Nevertheless, it sounds like the weather is improving, and Nat's getting a much-deserved break.

"At my sister's place I sat in the garden which was showered with sunlight. It was peaceful and only the birds and dogs barking could be heard. Before lunch, I picked an orange from the orange tree in her garden and ate it right there. A juicy, tasty orange, it tasted like a real orange, it was still semi-alive. Surrounded by her dogs I ate it and enjoyed the simple pleasures of life."
For those of who aren't on holiday, however, life rumbles on with the normal daily confusions. It's all getting a bit much for Kat, who, it appears, is as dozy as me when it comes to getting on the right train, tube or bus. But the difference is that she makes mistakes through getting distracted, whereas I'm just stupid:

"Every woman is good at multitasking - with the exception of myself. Yesterday i took the wrong tram and didn't realize it until about five stops later. My brain was obviously not able to talk to my mum on my mobile, read the tram number "5" AND come to the conclusion that the tram in front of me was not the "J" tram that I had planned on getting on to. How it is possible to fail at such simple things will always remain a mystery lo less dreamy people - like my flatmate Sanne. I don't know how many times she's already thrown one of her little tantrums when she had to discover again that I had managed to take some really dirty forks or knives out of our somtimes malfunctioning dishwasher and put them back into the drawers in all innocence."
Lastly, like me, Dave found the last Bear Grylls programme unintentionally absurd - irritating, even - although he veers rather further towards visceral anger than I did. His entire post is hilarious, so go read it.

"Rather than asking the boom operator for some of his packed lunch, Grylls finds a fallen tree, snaps off a rotting branch and shovels a handful of the emerging grubs into his mouth, taking care to make the spectacle as explicit as possible, grimacing and gagging; You can't help thinking of an unpopular schoolchild desperately trying to impress his peers by going through with a dare to lick some dogshit."

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