Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Back From The Void

Yes, right, hmm, here I am, back from the lavender-scented wormhole in which I've been lounging for the past, hm, three weeks (crikey).

During my blogworld absence some, none or all of the following may or may not have occurred:

1. I made the lovely Mr BC drive to Somerset in a very large van in the pouring rain to pick up a sofa that is the identical twin of my existing wipe-clean cherry-red sofa that was once a recurring leitmotif in this very blog.

2. I accused South West Water of appropriating THREE HUNDRED AND THIRTY SEVEN POUNDS of my own money, and then pretending they didn't have it. A response has yet to be forthcoming.

3. In a partially inebriated state, the lovely Mr BC mistook a sculpture made of mussel shells for a tasty cake.

4. Flies got in.

5. I went to the launch of the lovely Miss-Cellany's new book, Things To Do Now That You're A Mum, and I got a signed copy and a glass of lemonade. I urge you to purchase copies for anyone you know who's about to become a mum*, or has just become a mum, because it is full of useful advice like 'join a samba band', which isn't covered in the NHS 'Birth to Five' book (I know, I've checked).

6. I watched two episodes of Bonekickers and now I think I've been swindled by Time Team - real archaeology is all about fighting with baddies in underground caves and setting fire to unimaginably important historical artefacts.

7. I got massively over-excited at the news that Condé Nast is launching a new UK version of Wired, and have spent the last 48 hours wondering if I can persuade them to commission me to write an article about, I dunno, the carnivalesque production of the self in disembodied space or something.

8. I placed a bet on the new UK version of Wired not lasting more than five issues.

9. I grew 12 pepper plants from seed, and now I feel like Percy Thrower.

10. [LATE ENTRY] I realised that this blog is six years old today. Awww. How it all began.

* On which note, many congratulations to Scroobious, a recent recruit to the ranks of forthcoming parenthood.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Caption Competition

Yes, well done, it's the coat of arms of Richard the Lionheart (inventor of the bottomless scrubs), but are these really a pair of fearsome 'lions combatant', as heraldic parlance has it, or is it more a case of two really quite camp lions who've run into each other unexpectedly in the street?

Please leave your suggestions for what these two lions might be saying in the comments box. I have the ship's artist on standby to execute the best suggestions in the medium of pixel on light-emitting-diode...

UPDATE: Stand by everyone, for we have two winners! The ship's artist has been briefed, and the glorious victors will soon be immortalised in a new blog post...

(Image shamelessly appropriated from the Wikipedia entry here, although the circumstances are so morally ambiguous that I cannot quite think of it as theft*.)

* Which is clearly the best excuse ever for nicking something, and I plan to use it all the time, thanks Boris.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

'Their Brains Turn To Mush'

Today's G2 quotes Theo Paphitis (some kind of businessman, apparently) holding forth about the uselessness of pregnant women:

[Women] "get themselves bloody pregnant and ... they always argue that they'll be working until the day before, have the baby, go down to the river, wash it off, give it to the nanny and be back at work the following day, but sure enough, their brains turn to mush, and then after the birth the maternal instincts kick in, they take three months off, get it out of their system and are back to normal".

(My emphasis.)

Is that so, Mr Paphitis, whoever you might be? Perhaps you'd like to know that even in my advanced state of uselessness, I have managed to do the following in the past couple of weeks:

1. Write a 2,000-word paper on how best to manage old corporate WANs and modern IP networks.

2. Write a list of recommendations for how to keep Eastern Europe economically competitive, which will (apparently) be presented next week to the president of Romania.

3. Write a number of letters to senior government officials persuading them that buying my client's software will help them to meet their revised 'efficiency targets' under the 2007 Comprehensive Spending Review.

4. Write an executive summary of the European software industry's recommendations to the EU for policy revisions designed to encourage technology-based innovation.

Of course it could always be the case that I just *think* I did those things, and that what I actually did was scrawl a number of rudimentary pictures of bunnies in crayon on the back of a cereal packet.

And there is the fact that yesterday I forgot to take my towel and my underwear with me when I went for a swim, meaning that I later had to trail round Asda WITH NO PANTS ON, the horror.

But still.