31.8.06

SAVE THE FOX!

One of our fave pubs in Soho, The Intrepid Fox,
is under threat! If this site gets redeveloped
we will loose one of the best rock pubs in London.

It's not like there's many of them
left anyway...and now this!


So PLEASE sign the petition
below to stop some greedy
developer getting their mitts on it!

Save The Fox
Fox Info

Update:

The pub survived but is now in a different
location, 15 ST. Giles High Street
WC2H 8LQ, just behind centrepoint at
the east end of Oxford Street.


REVEREND ELVIS
HAS LEFT THE BUILDING
(FOR THE EVENING)


Las Vegas bills itself as "the wedding capital
of the world," but late-night revellers who
decide they want to tie the knot
now must wait until morning.


The county's marriage-licence office,
as of Wednesday, will be closed between
midnight and 8 a.m., when much of
Las Vegas is still very much alive.

"It's one of the things Vegas is known for -
you can gamble, get drunk and get married
all in the middle of the night," said Jay DeLeon,
manager of the Graceland Wedding Chapel
- where Elvis impersonators
make special nuptial appearances.

Probably the best known late-night marriage
seeker was pop star Britney Spears
who shocked the world in 2004 when she
married a childhood friend just before
sunrise in Las Vegas.
That union was quickly annulled.


People can still get married around the
clock at one of the city's few
all-night wedding chapels;
it will just take a bit more planning to obtain
the $55 licence (29 pounds), said Cheryl Vernon,
who supervises the marriage-services office
in the county clerk's department.

Vernon said the new office hours were
not the result of a push to curb irresponsible
life decisions, but simply because too few
early-morning customers - about 15-30 people -
came in to justify a late-night shift.
About 300 to 500 people seek licenses
on a normal shift, she said.

Last year the office issued
122,259 marriage licences.


Vernon said most late-night licence seekers
have been jet-lagged travellers lugging
suitcases and trying to avoid daytime lines,
rather than spontaneous celebrants.
"Yes, we did have our few - like Britney (Spears).
She came in at five in the morning," Vernon said.

SCREAM'S
COME HOME

Some good news today: one of my all time
favourite paintings "The Scream"
(and another stolen masterpiece)
by Norwegian artist
Edvard Munch
(1863 – 1944) were recovered by police on
Thursday, two years andnine days after
gunmen seized the paintings
from an Oslo museum.

I once had the bejesus scared out of me by
an inflatable version of the Scream
(yes, as daft as it sounds, they do
exist!) courtesy of
Karelian Blonde.

I'd gone away on holiday, she was looking
after my flat in Bedford Square in Brighton
and when I got back (in the evening so
it was dark), got in the door and put
the lights on...there it was: standing
right in the middle of my lounge.

Good job I've got
a strong heart! :-)


Story from Reuters: "The Scream' and
'Madonna' from 1893 are now in
police possession," police chief
Iver Stensrud told a news conference.

"The damage is much less than
we could have feared."

He said the pictures were recovered on
Thursday afternoon in "a successful
police operation" but dodged
questions about how it was done.
He said no ransom had
been paid "as of today".

Two masked gunmen walked into the
Munch Museum in Oslo in broad daylight
in August 2004 and yanked the two works
from the walls in front of dozens of terrified
tourists. They escaped in a car
driven by another man.

Experts at the Munch Museum had examined
the pictures and judged them authentic,
a museum official said. A scientific examination
will also be carried out to verify the works.
Munch painted two famous versions
of "The Scream", including
the one recovered on Thursday.

The other was stolen in 1994
from Oslo's National Gallery
by thieves who broke a window and
climbed in with a ladder.
It was recovered after several
months by police posing as buyers.


NO MORE McFLURRY
FOR HEDGEHOGS


Hedgehogs have finally humbled
burger giant McDonald's
after years of campaigning,
forcing the company
to redesign its killer McFlurry
ice-cream containers.


Up to now the opening in the container has
been large enough for hedgehogs to get their
heads into for a lick of the left-over dessert -
a trap they have then been unable to
withdraw from, so dying of starvation
in untold numbers.


But from September 1, the wide-mouthed
opening in the lid of the McFlurry containers
will be reduced in size, making them too
small for the sugar-loving animals
to get their heads into.


"This is excellent, it is long overdue news,"
said Fay Vass, chief excutive of

British Hedgehog Preservation Society.
"We have been in touch with McDonald's
bout this problem for over five years and
are delighted that they have at
last solved the problem."


McDonald's said in a statement the design
change had resulted from pressure from the
society which prompted "significant
research and design testing"
to develop new packaging.

"The smaller aperture of the lid has been
designed to prevent hedgehogs from entering
the McFlurry container in the
unfortunate incidence that a
lid is littered and is then
accessible to wildlife," it added.


STAND AND
DELIVER


Today I have been listening to
Best Of Adam And The Ants.

Favourite track?
Goody Two Shoes.



I shall also nominate him HUNK OF THE WEEK
because he was so gorgeous!



I also liked Adam in
Slam Dance with Tom Hulce
who's best known for playing Mozart in
Amadeus which is one of my all
time favourite films.

30.8.06

ANOTHER
BURST PIPE


And you know why? Because the whole system
is too old! Thames Water are doing their
best to replace pipes all around London
but unfortunately news like this are
commonplace every day:


"A burst water main has flooded
basements and prompted the evacuation
of several buildings
around
Denbigh Street, Pimlico, Central
London on Wednesday afternoon.

Homes, businesses and a doctor's surgery
were flooded, firefighters pumped out 30
basements and about 40 people
had to be moved to safety."

A mains pipe burst about 50 yards from our
house 1st of October 2003, more than 100
homes were flooded. Water filled our basement
completely but luckily we don’t
store anything of value down there or
use it for any particular purpose.

Neighbours on both sides to us had their
downstairs floors ruined, our house is a
different "model" so we are slightly higher up.
The water was about half an inch away from
coming into our kitchen but in the end it didn't.
I was so grateful for that.

The basement flats opposite us
and on a nearby road were completely
destroyed, the people living there had
to stay in a hotel and who knows where
for about a year before it was all sorted out.


The pipe burst around three in the morning
and I just happened to be up watching a video.
I heard a noise which sounded like somebody
was hoovering their car and thought
“Who’s doing that at this time of night?”,
went to peer out of the window and saw
the water gushing down the street.

It was like a river. I could see
the vertical “Niagara” at the end of
the road, it must’veb een about 10 feet tall.
The photo below was taken the following
morning so it had died down.

We just threw some clothes and wellies on
and ran around the neighbourhood waking
everybody up. I also called the waterboard’s
emergency number and someobody else had
called the fire brigade but obviously there
was nothing they could do, the burst was huge
as you can see from these photos.

They had to tow the red car away from the
hole to stop it falling in. The water leaked
out for about ten hours before they managed
to find the right place in the vast pipe works
in south London to shut it off.

Colliers Wood tube station was flooded,
Holiday Inn’s (opposite the tube station)
car park was completely under water and
so were all the quest's cars…the
nearby park was like a lake.

This is what our back garden
looked like in the morning.
It took another 24 hours for
the water to completely go.


HAIRDYE, CHINESE,
DOG WASH


Today me and Karelian Blonde
had a day of doing nothing
yet we've achieved
surprisingly much.

First we Tubed it up to
Camden Market,
bought some hairdye and nailvarnish.

Then it was off to Chinatown in
Soho for lunch in our favourite
Chinese
"1997"

Quick look around Watkins Books
(I wish had a thousand pounds
to spend in there!)
and then off to the pub to
watch the world go by.

We went to The Salisbury in
Covent Garden. They've got
the most amazing lamps.



The staircase down to the loos
is interesting as well- all old
musical posters etc.


And then we came home,
had a cup of tea
and I washed the dog.


IF YOU WANT THEM
TO ROCK ON...
GET THEM STARTED
EARLY

If you know nothing about Metallica,
"Enter Sandman"
does sound like it could
be the title of a lullaby.


A company called Baby Rock Records has
created lullaby versions of songs
by Metallica, Coldplay and Radiohead.

Executive producer Valerie Aiello said her
company did the lullaby tributes because they
love the music of all those artists. She said
they tested the CDs on babies they knew and
she can vouch that one crying baby fell
asleep while listening to the Coldplay disc.


The Metallica, Coldplay and Radiohead
versions were released yesterday.


Future editions will feature lullaby versions
of Tool, Smashing Pumpkins, Bjork, Nirvana,
Queens of the Stone Age, No Doubt, The Pixies
and Pink Floyd. Aiello said while a lot of the
music works well in this format,
some songs just don't.


www.BabyRockRecords.com


28.8.06

AALTO WAY

I just finished watching
Flightplan starring
Jodie Fost
er.

In the film she plays an engineer
who had designed a plane
called the Aalto Air E-474.

The plane is fictional but the name
Aalto isn't: there is a very famous
Finnish designer and architect
called
Alvar Aalto.

Aalto means "wave" (as in the waves
in the sea, not "to wave")

I wonder if the movie producers/designers got
the idea for the name from him?

Some of Alvar Aalto's
best known designs

JACK'S BACK!

My favourite Kiefer Sutherland
was the man in this years
Emmy Awards: his spy thriller

"24"
bagged five awards including
Best Actor (for Kiefer)
and Best Drama series.

It was about time too: both "24" and Sutherland
were nominated five times consecutively
before finally bagging their Emmys.


I KNEW IT!

I knew it!

Cider is good for you!


New production methods
could improve cider's
health benefits
Scientists in
Glasgow are examining
whether drinking cider may offer the
same health benefits as eating apples.

The researchers have found that English
cider apples have high levels of "phenolic
antioxidants" - linked to protection
against strokes and cancer.


The next stage of the study, partly funded
by the National Association of Cider Makers,
is to analyse how humans absorb
these chemicals from cider.
Twelve
volunteers have been recruited
to take part in the tests.


They will each drink a pint of cider, while
avoiding all other dietary sources of
antioxidants, and urine and blood
samples will then be analysed.


Serena Marks, who is leading the study, said:
"Previous research suggests there may be
an association between phenolics and protection
against some serious diseases, so we are trying
to find out how we get phenolics from our diet."

The scientists have already found that some
varieties of apples and some types
of cider have higher levels of
phenolics than others. Ms Marks
said the production methods
of cider could be adapted so that
the phenolic levels remained high,
even after fermentation.

The research is part of a project funded by
the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences
Research Council (BBSRC) and the
National Association of Cider Makers.

Professor Nigel Brown, of the BBSRC, said:
"This exciting research shows how scientists
and industry can work together to improve
manufacturing techniques, not just for
economic gain, but to bring about
potential health benefits
for the public too."


27.8.06

IT'S A HARD LIFE

Karelian Blonde and Siouxsie trying to chill
out despite neighbours noise... :-)


NOISE HELL

Having listened to our Australian neighbours
birthday garden party till gone two o’clock
last night and our Jamaican neighbours reggae
garden party today since 4 o’clock (it’s now
nearly 8 and it’s going to go until way beyond
what law says is acceptable (11 pm), always does)
got me thinking: there must be a forum and
website for people who are fed up with
their noisy/anti-social neighbours.


And there is:

Neighbours From Hell Forum

People’s topics in the forum say it all:

“I think I’m loosing my mind”
“I’m so fed up”
“Somebody tell me what to do”
“Please help”
“Neighbour is a nightmare”

Hundreds of thousands, probably millions of
people in the UK are suffering from other
peoples selfish behaviour.

I have had the misfortune of living with noisy
idiots most of my life so I know how much stress,
anxiety and sleepless nights they can cause.

It’s not a joke, it’s ruins peoples lives.

The following text is
from the NFH wesite:

Perhaps we're being selective, maybe NFH have always
existed, but due to the media, the internet, the
heightened awareness even, we've become even
more sensitive to it? Who's to say, one thing
we do know is the Neighbour From
Hell is a major problem.

At Neighbours From Hell in Britain, we don't think
we're being over-the-top, exaggerating
or making grandiose claims.


The NFH 'syndrome' has to be one of the most
commonly experienced and unwanted
problems in our societies today.

Neighbours From Hell encompass
many different undesirable elements.

We feel NFH deserve zero-tolerance.

Sound harsh?

We don't think so.

NFH victims have a far harsher life living with
the antics from a Neighbour From Hell.

NFH deserve effective legislation and laws
to deal with their behaviour and stop them in
their tracks, Environmental Health Departments
and local Police need more power to deal with the
problem on the spot, to tackle the source
of the misery quickly and swiftly.

NFH victims deserve more effective action
than anyone else, full stop. Action is overdue,
it needs to happen now. Every day of living
with an NFH problem feels like a
year for the victim, just ask
any NFH sufferer.

We're not living in cloud cuckoo land, this
does cost money and more resources we know,
but isn't it about time that NFH victims are
given the same support, justice and help any
other victim of any other crime receives?

The abuse is the same, living with an NFH has
a holistic effect; it can ruin your life at every
angle and all directions. It can also change
your routines and feelings for years after
the problem goes (the 'self-rehabilitation
post-NFH factor' if you like).

NFH are a big problem that needs a big solution.
Government's wake up and do something
worthwhile with your citizen's votes - act on
the problem now. Do it on behalf of all the
innocent victims in Great Britain who don't
ask to be tormented and bullied by their
NFH's behaviour and simply want to lead
their own lives without the common
and insistent intrusion via
a Neighbour From Hell.

We all deserve to enjoy our homes, our property:
whether we own, rent or just visit occasionally,
it makes no difference. Our homes are our havens
to escape the world, put our feet up from life's
strains and annoyances, not to come home
cosy by the fireside accompanied by the
NFH's dance hi-fi bass beat, their harassment
or their anti-social behaviour.

Victor Meldrew from One Foot In The Grave may
have been hilarious and often exceptional in
his irritation, but he had some good points.
I heard it say about his character once that
he dared to voice the things we all often think,
but most of us often don't or can't express.

Maybe we're too reserved, scared, shy, embarrassed
or simply don't want to stand up and say it's not
acceptable to live with an NFH in our
community, or next to our home.

It's not okay......ever.

Whether you live in a city, the countryside or
are lucky enough to have your own island, we
all need freedom from the people who persist
in behaving 'NFH-style' day in, day out.

Neighbours From Hell


ME ME ME



RING RING
RIIIIIINNNNGGGGG!


Ever been so mad at your mobile phone
you just want to hurl it somewhere
as far as possible?

Well, you can can do it in style and
even win a medal - at the

Mobile Phone Throwing
World Championship,
Finland's latest contribution
to offbeat athleticism.


Originally a local event in Savonlinna
(I used to live there when I was 3!), in eastern
Finland, the seventh annual contest on
Saturday drew some 100 throwers from as far
afield as Canada, Russia and Belgium.


The competition is held at Kyrönniemi sports field,
right next to town’s most famous landmark,
the Olavinlinna castle (below).

Founder Christine Lund describes the event as
a good source of light exercise with an
environmentally friendly twist.
"There are a lot of mobile phones on
the second-hand market, and we are recycling them
(before they become toxic waste)," she said.


The inventive Finns have already given
the world the Sauna World Championships,
Wife Carrying Competition,
Sitting In An Antnest Naked Competition,
Air Guitar World Championships
and Swamp Soccer
before coming
up with a new way to make mobile
phones even more mobile.


This year's Mens’s gold medal went to Finland's
Lassi Etelätalo, who flung a scrapped
Nokia unit a forceful 89.00 metres.
"I prepared by javelin throwing, I haven't
really practised throwing mobile phones,"
Etelätalo said.

The Women’s world champion
is Eija Laakso with a
50,83 meter throw.

In the freestyle event, Dutchman Elie Rugthoven's
phone landed outside the designated area,
but he still won silver thanks to a phone
juggling performance that
impressed the judges.

Lund says competitors all have their favourite
throwing brand. "People choose by size,
by colour or by how it fits in the hand...
Some believe a heavy model will ensure
a long throw, some want a light one."

26.8.06

SHOULDERPADS
AHOY!


I had a real treat this afternoon
(and yes you may laugh):
Channel Five showed the
featurelenght (3.5 hours!) movie

Dynasty: The Reunion

I was a huge fan of Dynasty
when it was on telly, same with
Dallas, and also absolutely adore
Joan Collins (she is the only
woman who could've played
Alexis and boy did she get it down to a tee!)
so this afternoon it was a double treat.

I taped it as I don't want to watch the adverts
so in a minute I shall get myself a HUGE bowl
of triple choc ice cream and go on a
trip down memory lane to enjoy
shoulderpads, big hair and
the Alexis attitude!



TIME TEAM'S
ROYAL DIG


Archaeologists from Channel 4’s
Time Team will celebrate the
80th birthday of the Queen by digging
up the manicured lawns and
gardens at three of her palaces
to trace their history.

The team have been given permission
to excavate parts of Buckingham Palace,
Windsor Castle and the Palace of
Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh, Scotland.
The dig will run till Monday.


The Time Team programme, which is presented
by Tony Robinson - formerly the intellectually
challenged Baldrick of cult comedy
Black Adder,
hopes to identify civil war defences that
are thought to be within the gardens
of Buckingham Palace, the Queen's
official London residence.

At Windsor Castle they hope to unearth
Edward III's Round Table building which
they believe lies under the Queen's ceremonial
lawn, while in Edinburgh they will look at the
development of the palace and one
of its most famous residents -
Mary Queen of Scots.


"This is an exciting opportunity to get beneath
the historical skin of three iconic and
important buildings," Robinson said.

"Buckingham Palace has the largest garden
in central London and, as it's hardly been
touched, it's a rare time capsule of the
earlier history of London - not only from
the 18th Century when the original
Buckingham House was built, but
also way back to the English Civil War
and even earlier."

Apparently the Royal family
were very excited about
the dig and curious to know
what would be found.