Monday, October 30, 2006

My neighbourhood

Although I woke early, I spent half of yesterday lying in bed with Saturday’s papers and idly watch re-runs of Friends. Being the day that the clocks turned back, it would be getting dark by five so I’d have to be out of the flat by 2 if I wanted any proper daylight. From now on, for the next 6 months, I’ll be leaving for work when it’s dark and arriving home when it’s dark. So you can appreciate why I normally find the day the clocks turn back one of the most depressing of the year. Yesterday, however, was a perfect English autumn’s day – the air was crisp, the skies bright blue. Going outside put me in a great mood.

The long shadows and bright sunshine were perfect for snapping away with my camera phone. Viewed on the camera, each picture looked like a miniature masterpiece. Once I downloaded them on to my computer, the limitations of relatively low resolution were immediately apparent.

So much for my masterpieces!

But, until I get a decent camera, this is the best I’ve got. They’re actually not that bad, I suppose. Good enough, anyway, to give you an idea of what my neighbourhood looks like on a lovely day. All of the pics were taken within 10 minutes’ walk from my flat.

You will see that I’m rather keen on the Victorian Gothic architecture of Watson Fothergill. Keen enough, in fact, to consider a separate post devoted to him at some stage. I’ll have to have got myself a decent camera by then.

goosegatecarlton buildingjesse bootpavement glassred door – stoney street
goose gatecarlton buildingjesse boot – goose gatepavement glassred door – stoney street
fothergill warehousefothergill plaquestoney streetchurch railingschurch yard
fothergill warehousefothergill plaquestoney streetchurch railingschurch yard
st martinsfirestoneslace market hotelpitcher & piano doorpitcher & piano
st martinsold firestones signlacemarket hotelpitcher & piano doorpitcher & piano
pitcher & piano spirefashionjones’s bootspaul smithpavement cafe
pitcher & piano spirefashionjones’s bootspaul smithpavement cafe
topmannottingham streetst petersamerican express – sa flagrainbow flag
topmannottingham streetst petersamerican express – sa flagrainbow flag
town hallmarket squarezaraszaras doorhard rock – old jessops building
town hallmarket squarezaraszaras entranceold jessops building
the socialfothergill officesfothergill doorwayfothergill hingeold angel
the socialfothergill officesfothergill doorwayfothergill hingeold angel
hornbyssqueeksqueek doorpublic relationsrose of england
hornbyssqueeksqueek doorpublic relationsrose of england

Saturday, October 28, 2006

The Broadway cinema has changed

old broadwayIt's great living opposite the Broadway Cinema even if I don't go there as often as I want and should. Sort of like being in Cape Town and never going up Table Mountain, if you know what I mean.

Until its recent revamp, it was looking a bit tatty around the edges but in a way that I liked. Apparently, the Nottingham Film Theatre opened there on September 2nd 1966, on the site of a 1839 Weslyan chapel, but the building had a rather pleasing Art Deco look. Yes, had, as the revamp has completely changed the way it looks.

For the past few months, I've watched the way it's been changing and was rather dismayed to see the huge sheets of blue glass being placed on the facade. It looked as if the place was going to be transformed into yet another indistinguishable modern steel and glass structure. But, now that it's finished, despite it having lost its original appeal, I think they've done quite a good job.

new broadway at nightnew broadway at night

I had a drink in the new bar upstairs last week and can see it'll become a favourite haunt of many, including me. As yet, I've not been to the two new cinemas built in the basement, one of which has been designed by one of Nottingham's favourite sons, Paul Smith. So, I haven't seen, let alone sat on, the 'love seats' he's designed for the place. Call me old-fashioned, but I suspect that I won't like them as I prefer conventional seating in a cinema. For the time being, however, I'll reserve judgement.

new broadway daytimenew broadway daytime

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Once spiked, twice not shy

sitemeter spikeThat’s an impressive spike, huh?

And while it looks as if the dramatic falloff could have depressed me, my daily visitors were still considerably higher than usual for many days after the spike. In fact, they’re still a bit higher than usual.

It may not have depressed me but I’ve felt the need to be spiked again. Why else would I post another list of great insults? Why else would I draw attention to myself on digg and reddit?

And did it work? Absolutely not!

1000 south africansOh well, I suppose I could try following these instructions on how to get noticed on digg. Or, maybe, I should just resign myself to happy memories and lower hits.

Pass me the vodka!

Then again, maybe not. I could seek solace in the fact that, today, I got my 1000th visitor from South Africa since installing my flag counter. A small consolation, perhaps, Germany will be overtaking South Africa soon.

Now where's that vodka?

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

How do you destroy a god?

greek god
You hack his website!!

I wouldn’t say that I’m addicted to porn, but I have a strange penchant for it that consists of periodic bouts of downloading porn yet almost never looking at it again once it’s on my harddrive. Once, in a fit of boredom, I spent several hours separating my porn into different categories yet when I had to reformat my harddrive a few months ago, the thought of losing all my porn didn’t bother me in the least.

In pursuit of this odd penchant of mine, I have several websites that I visit regularly when the porn-urge is upon me. One of the best, ‘Deus Grego’, is updated daily with new material that suits the most varied of tastes. An odd name, you may think, but entirely appropriate if you know that it’s a Brazilian site full of gorgeous men – ‘Deus Grego’ is the Portuguese for ‘Greek God’.

The urge was upon me a couple of days ago and I duly clicked on the web address.

‘Good God, what have I pressed on?’ was my immediate reaction. I checked and double-checked that I’d spelt it correctly. Yep, nothing wrong with my spelling. But that was definitely not the ‘Greek God’ I know!

A bit later, I got several emails from the yahoo news group associated with the site (yes, I know I’m sad!), one of which said the following:

‘…Um ato de vandalismo e repugnante demonstração de intolerância com o direito de exercermos a nossa homossexualidade!... Homem, necessariamente,não precisa gostar de mulher! Somos seres livres, donos das nossos gostos e preferências… Alguma coisa tem que ser feita. Podem contar comigo, precisamos nos unir!’

In English:
‘…An act of vandalism and a repugnant demonstration of the intolerance of our right to exercise our homosexuality!..Men do not necessarily have to like women! We’re free, owners of our own tastes and preferences…Something has to be done. You can count on me, we need to unite!’

Fucking hell, we’re talking about a porn site here, not Mugabe’s attitude towards gays!

Here(*), go have a look at what the hackers have done – its fucking hilarious! Ok, maybe not that funny, but it's damned funny. Be warned, it’s not work-safe. Look, I know that hacking websites is no laughing matter, and I’d hate to have my blog hacked, but those hackers have a sense of humour!

(*)UPDATE: It appears that they've got their website back. So for those of you who didn't get to see what happened, I'll have to tell you - it was plastered with explicit pics and ads for young women. Yes, god forbid, female tits and ass on what was once a gay porn site!

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Sack Manto!

Scratch the surface of many a white South African and you'll find a racist.

That's why, on hearing white South Africans lamenting, often with justification, about the state of the country and the ANC government, my own inner prejudice tends to listen to what they'e saying with scepticism until I'm sure that their comments are not motivated by racism. So, on reading the Mail & Guardian article on a new website urging people to do their best to get Health Minister Manto Tshabalala-Msimang sacked, in which one of the co-founders of the site is named as Anton de Waal, I went to the site apprehensive that it may be the product of racism.

Well, I'm sorry that I was sceptical as the site has been created by people who are genuinely concerned about the way HIV/AIDS is being handled by the South African government. This should have been immediately apparent as the site is endorsed by Zapiro, a brilliant political cartoonist, whose political credentials are, in my opinion, beyond doubt. Go here to see a selection of his 'Manto cartoons'.

Although I've posted about Manto before, you may not know to what extent she's hindering HIV/AIDS education and treatment in South Africa. Here are a few choice snippets taken from the 'Manto Moments' section on 'Sack Manto':

"When I saw a report saying I had been silenced, I thought, 'Oh my God, maybe I am living on another planet'"
iol.co.za - 8/10/06
Finally we are in agreement.... Ed

"I think the TAC was just a disgrace, a disgrace not only to the [health] department but a disgrace to the whole country. But I think, as South Africa, we really demonstrated that we are doing pretty well."
Manto After the AIDS conference in Toronto 2006
News24.co.za - 28/08/06

zapiro cartoon
"beetroot, garlic, lemon ... and buy a bottle of olive oil. All these things are very critical."
mg.co.za - 8/6/05

"Dr Rath's work complies with and complements our programmes."
mask.org.za - 10/5/05

"I don't remember saying I endorse the Matthias Rath foundation ..."
mg.co.za - 5/5/05

"Raw garlic and a skin of the lemon -- not only do they give you a beautiful face and skin but they also protect you from disease."
mg.co.za - 5/5/05

"It is very sad how the media handles this issue. I think garlic is absolutely critical. Lemon is absolutely critical to boost the immune system. Olive oil is absolutely critical ... just one teaspoon, it will last the whole month."
mg.co.za - 9/2/04

(Aids)... "could also be a God-given opportunity for moral and spiritual growth, a time to review our assumptions about sin and morality".

mg.co.za - 1/4/03

"Look at what Bush is doing. He could invade." ... Manto on why money needs to be spent on defence rather than treating AIDS
Sapa - 19/12/02

"Today I want to dispel this myth, because it is absolutely not true .[ that ARV's work ] The pharmaceutical industry and those who have a vested interest in the drug industry fuels this propaganda."
SAPA - 7/11/00

"We (the ANC government) have no plans to introduce the wholesale administration of these drugs in the public sector. ARVs are not a cure for Aids."
Speaking at Health Budget Vote in National Assembly
hst.org.za - 8/11/00
Minister, nobody has EVER said that ARV's cure Aids! Ed.

While I doubt that voting for Manto to be sacked will achieve anything, nervertheless, I urge you to vote.

Go here and vote. NOW!!