Wednesday, 18 March 2009

The Good, The bad & the Cristiano Ronaldo

The Good
Got this year's live music underway with trips to see Kaiser Chiefs, Franz Ferdinand (yes "he" was good Mala) and a Blues singer Lillian Boutte, who played the almost famous Half Moon, in Bishops Stortford (thanks for hooking us up Al, she was as you predicted fabulous).

With Mrs B still busy I managed to talk my friend Kirsty into joining me for the Kaiser Chiefs. I had promised Kirsty that they would be good and they did not disappoint, Ricky Wilson is a brilliant front man but seems to be doing a sort of reverse rock and roll thingy. In general rock stars start of lean and mean ending up getting fat on the excesses that their success brings. Ricky quite frankly started off as a bit of a podge and is gradually working his way towards being a svelte rock god (If rock gods can come from Leeds....), I just hope he not on his way to becoming a latter-day Cliff Richard (I'm sure Cliff has a painting in his attic which is bound to be a dead ringer for John Prescott, Yuck this bit really belongs in the truly ugly section.....).

For Franz Ferdinand it was my friend Sophie who drew the short straw and was on Mr B sitting duties, as once again Mrs B couldn't make it. Brilliant as Franz Ferdinand are, I found it difficult not to think of the lead singer, Alex Kapranos as a young version of Nicky Campbell. It's not that I don't like the said Mr Campbell, I just couldn't shake off the fear that the gig was going to suddenly grind to a halt and be replaced by a Watch Dog special Investigation "How Scots are taking over the media....."

Kirsty almost talked me into going to see Tina Turner but finally realised that almost watching (The available seats were high in the gods at, O2) a Granny (she is after all 69) who should be enjoying free bus trips around London, not wobbling across the O2 stage, is not worth £85, of our rapidly declining pounds.

Lillian Boute

The Bad
I think I ended up in a Marjorie Dawes ("What did she say?, no you will have to say it again, I didn't quite get it.......") sketch or possibly an episode of 'Allo, 'Allo at the weekend. Our Italian friend Vinnie organised a meal, to introduce his father to his friends, as he was over from Italy for the weekend. Through a series of misfortunes Big Vinnie ended up sitting next to me. The combination of my non existence Italian, outside of the odd phrase "Mussolini", "Juventus" & "Goooaaalllllllll" (or is that easy to mix them up) and Big Vinnie, being less than fluent in English, did not make for the easiest of conversation. I found myself saying a sentence, Big Vinnie would just look puzzled - little Vinnie would then step in and repeat exactly what I had said, only with a slight Italian accent. Big Vinnie would then nod sagely and say "Ah Ci". This went on until I started to attempt entire English sentences, with a pathetic attempt at an Italian accent (Mrs B despairs whenever I try and talk foreign, it never ends well). I'm not sure if Big Vinnie started to understand, all I know is it went fairly quiet, especially after I inadvertently mentioned the Pope. Apparently Big Vinnie being a deeply religious Southern Italian Catholic was not amused. My friend Mala decided then and there that she was never going to introduce me to her parents, even if they are in the same room as me, probably very wise.....

Big Vinnie

I'm officially giving up attempting to be nice (it's a fairly rare event anyway so I guess most people won't even notice). During the Lillian Boutte gig I was being buffeted by a woman who kept trying unsuccessfully to tie her jumper around her waist. I offered to stow her jumper with our coats, at which point she glared at me and grabbed her hand bag from the floor. Misinterpreting her actions I assumed that she wanted me to put the handbag there as well. As I went to take it from her she snatched it away almost knocking the person behind her over.

Woman that I attempted to be nice to - "I don't think so"

Me - "Sorry!"

WtIatbnt - "I know your sort, you will be off out that door before I can even blink"

<Me - "What?"

WtIatbnt - "I can look after my own things thank you very much"

Me - Speechless!

The Ugly
Yet another parp incident in Yoga, this time involving a friend of mine (name withheld for obvious reasons) letting rip a cheek flapper right across my bows. My eyebrows have only just started to recover, worse still, every one else in the room thought that my red face was an admission of guilt, rather than the affect of the after burn ......on the plus side it did resolve some unwanted nasal hair issues, that I had been having recently.

One of the best Football anecdotes I have heard recently involves Cristiano Ronaldo telling Steven Taylor that he was a rubbish footballer, as they left the pitch at half time during the recent Man Utd v Newcastle match. Steven (who has just become my hero) replied "I might be crap at football but at least I'm not ugly" (Bless him it's not Ronaldo's fault that he has not been gifted with the natural good looks of say Peter Beardsley, Carlos Tevez or even Luke Chadwick ....). Christiano's renowned tiny ego and friendly persona was so overcome with gratitude to Stephen, for pointing this out, that he went over to his pram and dug out all his toys. Obviously to share with Steven, how nice......

Probably more Peter Beardsley then Christiano Ronaldo

That's it for another BlackLOG. Don't forget to tune into the"BlackLOG - Historical"

Monday, 9 March 2009

If music be the food of Love.....

.....Lilly had better change her tune or risk being starved too death of affection

What is it with Lily Allen - Her latest album "It's not me, it's You", I love the title by the way, appears to be 50% love angst with a dash of (OK 50% swearing). Not a problem as long as you don't accidentally get the Parental Guidance version. Even then it would probably have been OK if they had actually beeped out the swearing but oh no they decided to blank it out instead. The result is a sort of musical Morse code, loads of blank space punctuated by the odd noise. This fails to work on any level. My advice is if you decide to get this album save your sanity and live with the swearing and go for the explicit version.

Now to the route of Lilly's problem the constant Love Triangles, or are they circles?, before selecting or chucking (I'm not actually privy to our Lil's current state of play) her next lover she should try going through the following,scientifically developed questions. (Please note that these have been specially developed for the BlackLOG and should not, under any circumstances be compiled by just anyone. I have done years pain staking research, looking through my sisters back copies of 'Jackie magazine' circa the 1970's, so regard myself as fully qualified in the art of 'dolling out Love advice', If only I could stop Mrs B sniggering in the background I'm sure I could give 'Dear Deidre'a run for her money...)

The love questionnaire

Reasons not to be with someone :-
1) They do not allow you to be you. (although that can sometimes be a good thing)

2) They emotionally or physically abuse you (please note that this does not include the normal differences between men & women - i.e leaving wet towels around or a trail of underwear)

3) You don't actually like them (not a great basis for any relationship)

4) They don't like you (if you find yourself in this position it probably means you are not actually in a relationship but you are in fact a stalker).

Reasons to be with someone :-
1)They make you feel special (oh, god I think I'm going to puke)

2) You get a funny feeling in your stomach when you think about them (Be careful not to confuse this with trapped wind. Easily done, Lady Diana is probably the best modern example of where this can go wrong....)

3) You would take a bullet for them. Even then you probably need to ask the question why is someone shooting at them in the first place?

4) You would give them your last Rollo. Beware this may have unwanted side affects - turning your once thin and fit partner into a blob may result in them having to spend all their money on larger sized clothing and could end up in a law suite if they decide to Sue you for leading them into reckless enfatment....

If this does not sort Lilly out once and for all, I'm not sure what will? it might result in a change in song writing direction for her but I'm sure she will be happier for it.

Bishops Stortford with the lens cap on
I have not had time to get any new 'Bishops Stortford with the Lens cap on, shots' so thought would end this week with some cute shots of animals not being badly treated at Crufts. Unfortunately McG and Mischief have gone on strike, something to do with wanting their Artistic Rights recognised. So I have had to use shots of our friends dogs Rocko and Saffy and my sisters cat Fluffy, who is just such a tart....

Sunday, 1 March 2009

Where's Wally? (sorry that should be Mrs B)

Sightings of Mrs B have been rare recently, she has been working such ridiculously long hours that it has just not been worth her coming home. When you find that you have to set off back to work work about three hours before actually making it home something has to give (Don't worry this weeks BlackLOGis not about to collapse into a poor imitation of the Monty Python - Four Yorkshiremen sketch..... The result is that her firm has put her up in a hotel 10 minutes from her office, this way she at least gets a couple of hours sleep a night. I have managed to make 5 visits over the last two weeks, which have proved to be increasingly more stressful each time. Don't worry it is not the actual seeing Mrs B element that is the problem it is the getting to the hotel. On each of the five trips I have made so far I have yet to use the same route twice. There is so much work going on around the docklands light railway that they are constantly shutting the roads around Mrs B's hotel. This has even foxed the Tom-Tom, (Taking a car navigation system to Docklands has a similar affect as filling Superman's pants with Kryptonite, it paralyses them), there are so many tall buildings and underground roads around (I should know having recently had first hand knowledge of most of them) the satellite link becomes less like a sophisticated modern communication tool and more like the postal service with hardly anything getting through.

I've tried to keep myself busy, some of our friends Mala and Craig took me climbing, in the relatively flat world of Harlow of all places (Apparently I should not have said in such a loud voice "Thank god we are on the edge so you don't actually have to go into Harlow itself". The silence was so deafening you could have heard a climber drop.) It was to one of those indoor climbing centres and was great to finally do it. Some other friends had promised to take Mrs B and myself a few years back but never seemed to get around to organising it. Craig was in charge as he was the experienced belay (you need a qualified belay in order to use an indoor climbing wall) and he rather to enthusiastically went through the list of dangers of climbing. Death, maiming, broken finger nails (I hope this was for Marla's benefit not mine) were just some of the delights that awaited me and with that I squashed my feet into the little climbing boots that they supply (I think I was around about four the last time that I last had shoes on my feet that size and there was me thinking they had made feet binding illegal centuries ago) and prepared myself for my fate. Despite Craig's constant instructions to use my legs and not my arms to pull myself up and my total belief that this was precisely what I was doing the fact that my arms were soon hanging off me told a different story. Driving into London afterwards (I had arranged a visitors pass to see Mrs B) I gradually started to lose feeling in my arms, which made for an interesting driving experience. Going straight was a breeze but any turns, even slight ones, were agony. Fortunately the M11 is relatively straight, unfortunately night time closures meant I was treated to a particularly windy diversion route.....
I think Mala is heading in the wrong direction, I thought we were meant to be climbing up.....

OK, I've made it to the top, what do I do Now?

Not sure if Craig is proposing to me, or saving my life

Some more recent D700 results
Sorry that it tends to be animals, it's just they are the only ones that don't run and hide when the camera appears or say "But I always look horrid in photo's"

As a balance to last week Fluffy gets back to being fluffy

Fluffy and Alex (Nephew)not sure which is which...

It looks like she's pulled, probably not what she went out for but a baloon has to be better then nothing

They breed them tough in Docklands.

Our friends dog Saffy

Bishops Stortford behind the lens cap
In an attempt to break into the Times to 100 Web sights next year, I'm putting last weeks idea "Bishops Stortford not beyond the lens cap ..

Bishops Stortford's annual naked parade - This is only for the beautiful people so if you have not heard of it........

The lack of light in this panoramic shot of Bishops Stortford is particularly stunning and I have hopes of winning some prestige's awards for it. Taken on a bright sunny winters morning it demonstrates the marvellous tight fit of the Nikon Lens cap.

That's all you get for this weeks BlackLOG, better go away before I change my mind, I have a number of shots in the Lens Cap in place" range....