It’s time to plug other people’s events and stuff.

First off, Rhea is selling one of her pieces on Ebay.

In her words: This is a dream-like representation of an African landscape, 2007. My perception begins with layers. I want to see everything at the same time, everything hidden alongside all that is revealed, naked to my gaze. I want to see all the connections and comprehend them. View the world like a tapestry, with many scenes occupying a flat space to be studied at leisure. The world itself, though, is displayed in many layers that occupy space after space, as far as the eye can see. Yet within each of these layers possibilities are both hidden and revealed. Background planes are obscured from view and negative spaces provide windows to the layer beyond.

Her profile on MyArtSpace.

Next up, a perennial favourite, Monkey is doing his live event in Camden on Wednesday, August 6, 2008 at Folkadot at The Green Note.  In his words:

My favourite night are having me back!
The Green Note is a lovely little cafe/restaurant/venue/place/thing just up the road from the Jazz Cafe in lovely old camden town. I read there a few months ago and they were great, the venue was lovely and the audience enjoyed it, which is always a plus…
So I’m delighted to be going back , and I would love to take a few of you with me..
If the set-up is the same as last time, I will be reading in between acts, which will be chilled acoustic sensitive types.
Come down, have some veggie tapas, a pint of organic Freedom beer, a nice mid-week sit down soaking up the tunes and then a little giggle at me.
Tell ’em Vinnie sent ya…

This month the Apthorp Gallery of the features by Mark Vincent – A selection of studies and abstract pieces based on spiral formations within nature, utilising a variety of media including oil on canvas, pastels pencil and ink.

10am – 4pm, except Sundays
Tuesday 30th January – Saturday 24th February


For those who know him, this is Monkey’s first public exhibition. Previous works can be seen on Flickr.

A chilled out weekend that began with a few hours of playing on the PS2, acquired by trading in some of my older games that I don’t play anymore.

RE4 is slightly less horror and slightly more FPS than previous incarnations, but I think it does so well. The interface seems slicker, there’s less really annoying, pointless puzzles and more story. I’m actually interested in what happens next. So I can see myself keeping myself amused with this in the odd moments of spare time.

On Sunday penny and I went to see the at the Royal Academy of Arts, which we enjoyed immensely. My favourite piece was the , rather than the more well-known piece, .

Monday, yesterday, Penny had a busy day. She had her first introductory driving lesson, a preliminary to her intensive course starting soon, and then went in to London in the evening. The purpose of her visit was to go to see Neil Gaiman announce, talk about, read from and sign his new book, . Apparently she enjoyed it immensely.

What a weekend! First off, for the impatient, the photos are here.

I’ll have to summarise this in bullet points as far to much happened for extensive prose!

Friday

  • The actual day of my and a day off work for me. Hurrah!
  • Presents! An antique-style wall clock from my mum and, rather excellently, the Anansi Boys audiobook, as read by Lenny Henry. Result!
  • Into Guildford for some exploring
  • Off to Craggy Island again for some climbing (once the test had been passed). Some traversing, some top-rope graded climbs and some bouldering. I had to borrow a harness because, oh horror of horrors, I’m not the svelte 25-year old I once was and my harness no longer fits! It seems I ate all the pies.
  • Dinner at , an oriental restaurant. A miso soup for starter and an excellent Mongolian chicken dish for the main course, all in view of
  • Snow! I win!

Saturday

  • A gentle start to the day
  • Saw on the train to London! Who knew how far Penny’s organisational skills ran! Certainly much better than my ‘appear suave and cool while talking to celebrities’ skill as all I managed was a “Hi” and a bit of a smirk, which was rewarded by a fairly dismissive smile. But at least there was an element of communication there, or so I’d like to kid myself
  • Got to at 14:30. Somewhat late as I was expecting to meet Mark at 14:00. No Mark though, who phones at 15:00 to cancel, pleading ill health
  • Due to a combination of accidents, incidents, misunderstandings and other reasons, nobody arrives for the next two hours! Numerous conspiracy theories, fueled by the Budvar I’m drinking, begin to develop. Do I have the wrong time? The wrong pub? The wrong day? Thankfully, eventually, everyone makes it.
  • The first presents! One never knows when one might need an album of 70’s music or a talking Captain Hook action figure!
  • Eventually we head off to Kentish Town to the restaurant. We go to the Ethiopian restaurant, and a most excellent meal it is!
  • Major present time… And it’s a PSP! Much desired and not-very-secretly coted by yours truly since release and now it’s mine, all mine! Muahahaha!
  • At the end of the night it was off to a hotel for Penny and me, much better than trying to negotiate the engineering works on the trains home.

Sunday

  • Chinese New Year! And what that seemed to mean was an ocean of people, 200,000 reportedly, gathering in Trafalgar Square waiting for the dragon procession.
  • Rather than wait around, Penny and I went into the Nationall Gallery, just long enough to view the , and the .
  • Back to Trafalgar Square for a bit of the dragon procession, at least those glimpses stolen in between even more people. Time to move on.
  • To go forth and purchase PSP paraphernalia. Hurrah!
  • Met Karen, Lynsey and Kev in All Bar One for a glass (or two) of wine before heading into China Town to observe the cabbage eating dragons and to buy ourselves some food poisoning
  • The London Eye was perfectly timed. Just at sunset, the sky literally changing colour as we moved around, all the building lights coming on and the Chinese New Year fireworks viewable just as we reached the peak. Most excellent.

And that was it. A highly memorable and very enjoyable 30th birthday. Thanks to all who were involved in any way at all.

Thursday was the day. Finally it had come. I had to do a presentation today instead of sitting there, looking interested and occasionally making a comment or asking a question that at least sounded intelligent. Thirty minutes of presentation, three questions and it was over. The climax of the working week. I felt dirty, yet relieved.

The afternoon was spent doing some sight-seeing and buying a couple of bottles of Arzuaga that I had had the chance to sample the previous night.

The evening was a team dinner at a rather excellent Basque restaurant which was a wonderful experience as well as excellent food.

Friday was a day holiday for me, spent in Madrid. Since I’d been lucky enough to get plenty of sight-seeing time in throughout the week, all that was left on my itinerary were the Prado Museum and the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum of Art. The former was an immense museum and there was no way to do the whole thing in a day, never mind two hours. So I focussed on the 10 odd rooms of the works of Goya. The TB Museum was a more eclectic mix and very much enjoyable. Some of the work I particularly enjoyed was by Conrad Felixmueller and Emil Nolde.

After that, an uneventful flight home and back to Penny.

Right, that worked, so first an update of the last week that I have missed blogging.

Tuesday

Tuesday was my last day in the office for some time, just as I was getting used to getting up late, having lunch at home and being home before The Simpsons starts. All things change, especially in the world of conslutancy.

Wednesday

What a day. First day at the client site, various work-based pressures and some of the worst cigarette cravings since I gave up. I nearly cracked on numerous occasions. But the highlight of the day was meeting up with everyone after work, first in St Stephen’s Tavern in Westminster, and then at the Tattershall Castle. Ostensibly, as far as Kev was concerned, this was just a general meet-up drink, but was actually to present him with his 30th birthday present. It was given early so he could actually book his appointment to fling himself out of a plane as close to his birthday as possible. I have visions of Kev being securely fastened to a fat man, hurtling to the ground! There may or may not be a parachute involved, but it still sounds terrifying!

Spent the night on Andy’s sofa, which meant for a reduced journey time in the morning and more sleep despite the late hour of ‘lights-out’.

Thursday

Nothing major to report, ended the day back in Aldershot having a nice Thai meal in Aldershot. Both pleased and horrified to find the staff there recognised us from previous visits. We have become… regulars.

Friday

Pay day! Yay! Long awaited and much enjoyed. Penny’s day was mostly spent putting her belongings into storage, in preparation of her moving to her sister’s for the next 6 months or so. In the evening she was due to go to a leaving do in Fleet so, after pitifully whining, I managed to convince Linsey and Kev to join me for a drink or two. That was a good evening, starting off at the Tattershall Castle (fast becoming first choice in meeting-up places), then the Walkabout on Embankment and finally finishing at Pizza Express on the Strand. I nearly missed my train at the end of the evening, but just made it back in time.

Saturday

Ah, shopping! Not a lot of shopping admittedly, and somewhat geeky. Picked up the ‘horror’ boardgame _______ (too sleepy, can’t remember now, need more coffee) which I’ve got a few things planned for. I’ve actually got a Global Frequency/Lethe scenario planned for the boardgame. I also picked up part 3 of Warren Ellis’ ‘Desolation Jones’. Still enjoying it, but it was the weakest so far. Three pages of the book were actually plot or plot-related background. The rest in it’s entirety, was about stuff Warren had learnt about the hardcore porn industry.

Sunday

The plan was to go to Farnham for breakfast. Since we’d just missed the train, we decided to take the next available train, which took us to London. Since we were there we had brunch there, and then popped over to the Tate Modern, where Penny could have another look at the work of Anselm Kiefer, particularly the work ‘Lillith’. TM is due for a major rehanging and 40% of the pieces are due to be removed from the display.

The evening was spent with me trying to resurrect Endless Games. Unsuccessfully. I’ll take another stab at it this evening, even if it means recreating the database entries by hand.

Well, that’s it for now. Let’s see what a new day and a new week brings!

Quite a packed weekend really. It began with Penny having a momentary Indiana Jones obsession and observing a fox in the garden. After that, Monkey Mark is back in the country for a short period of time, so Penny and I went to St Albans once more to go say hallo and to get out of Aldershot for a day or so. Quite a nice Saturday was spent talking about this, that and the other whilst picnicking in Verulamium Park, before heading off for a couple of nice pints and a lesson in poker.

Sunday began with a wander around St Albans. I feel quite like a tourist there these days, my nostalgia no pretty much gone, and so it’s quite nice to poke around and find nice cafes. I also managed to pick up a copy of Neil Gaiman’s newest book, Anansi Boys which was released on Saturday. (Review soon, but I’m already half-way through and it’s a corker.)

On the way back through London, Penny and I managed to squeeze in a viewing of the newest resident of Trafalgar Square’s fourth plinth, Alison Lapper Pregnant, the National Gallery (Renoirs, Sunflowers and Monets galore) and the Thames Bank festival (which from our point of view basically consisted of a way of eating Jamaican food).

It all sounds quite packed, but it was all at a nice, casual pace, making it quite relaxing and pleasant instead of stressy. Just as well really since I started at 7am again this morning. I think I’ll use my early finish today to try and set up an XP/SUSE Linux dual-boot on Katie.