Banksy and running

Banksy has become rather famous worldwide now. He was generally a local UK guerilla graffitist known for his satirical “artwork” placed overnight on buildings. Huge debates rage regarding if he is an artist or public nuisance as his work is illegal. For me his work invokes comment, debate and often nicer to look at instead of a bland wall or filth ridden street. Yep it’s still illegal but so much more intelligent than some yob scrawling their hood name and still spelling that wrong!

On another note I started back running today! Only managed 2km but was rather impressed after 4 weeks off with my injury. Time of 16.04 which I was a bit gutted about at first but still I did it in one go and no heart failure! Still not too keen to head back to squash just yet though.

Below are some pictures of after my first run and the queues to Bristol Museum for the Banksy Exhibition. We would like to go but there is generally a 3 hour wait time and that was before the school holidays started!

Holiday time

August is a big holiday time for the UK. School holidays hit for 6 weeks and parents take time off to care for them as costs can get rather extortionate for that period of time to look after them. Work starts to get quieter as meetings are put off until after August and it has a bit of a ghost ship feeling in the office. Couple this with people sick with “swine flu” and you have fabulously quiet roads, plenty of car parking and no support calls to take! Bliss!

Actually to be honest, it makes the day drag. I prefer to be so busy you forget to eat – unfortunately that happens rarely. Pity, cheap way to lose weight 😉

So August is when we have our next holiday planned for. OK so this wasn’t our best choice but the next available time would be September, I can’t wait until then. So prices are hiked and I am sure we will encounter many crowds. As long as we just chill and take our time we will be fine.

Vanessa Mae Live – Westonbirt Arboretum

Well we were going to “broadcast” some bits live from the concert but there was no coverage. As promised it rained on and off throughout the evening but we managed to stay nice and toasty with our newly purchased tarp (tent ground sheet re-fashioned as a makeshift hide).
Even though I had brought along a feast of sun dried tomato bread (fresh from the markets at Wells), cold Spanish meat cuts, apple juice, cheese and cider from Cheddar and cheesecake for dessert we were far outdone by the professional concert goers. These people had tables, chairs, champagne, fluted glasses, umbrellas, a kitchen full of cutlery etc etc. But how quick can they pack up when it starts chucking it down I ask you or when you need to make a fast escape after the concert before the road gets congested?
The concert was fun despite the rain (what were they thinking – an outdoor concert in Britain?). Hopefully I will post some video of the fireworks finale soon. The file is huge though.
Waiting, waiting, waiting
Right by the sound desk
Up close and personal

Would you like a vowel? Yes thanks, I’ll have a T.

I was in Borders bookstore yesterday and came across a new recipe book by Bill Grainger. He has a great little restaurant in Sydney (aptly named Bill’s) where they do the most impressive and delicious chocolate dessert I have ever had!
However, I have digressed…The reason I mention this book (Holidays) is that the writing is wonderful. He recounts a story before each new section to lead in to the food theme e.g. BBQ’s, Breakfasts etc. What captured me with this book was the imagery he was clearly able to evoke within his storytelling. One such story was of his family going to France for a holiday and the experiences they shared of warm summer days, strolling through and being awestruck by the local fresh food markets, the excitement of buying freshly made croissants and bread each morning from the bolangerie. Possibly it is because this tale is one I also share from our wonderful experiences in France but more importantly it brought to the forefront how boring blogs can be. It is so easy to get into a rhythm of just pounding them out and losing sight of what the blog is about. As mine were originally intended to provide a silicon memory of what we get up to (in order to back up my own bad memory) then I need to provide a better recount of the event.
So what is with the title of this blog?
I recall, still with embarrassment for the man, a celebrity Wheel of Fortune show. The celebrity at the time obviously didn’t understand the difference between a vowel and a consonant. Each time his turn came around the host would try to be helpful and say “would you like a vowel” the celebrity would say “yes thanks, I’ll have a T”, the host would say “so you would like a consonant” and the reply would be “no, I’d like a T please” (I paraphase of course). My point being, we seem to continue to lose an understanding of our language and more importantly the joy of using it intelligently, expressively, descriptively etc. See, I ran out of words…

Kiwi mates and outdoor events

Thursday night we took off to Oxford to met up with some kiwi mates that are in the UK for a holiday. It was fabulous to catch up, swap stories, talk about NZ and generally have some laughs together. The town was packed with new Uni students! Seriously this time of year is probably not the best for visiting Oxford, thankfully we did it during a week day. I think the weekend would be cranking! We did a walking tour of Oxford as I limped along with my bung leg. Ann and Peter it was great catching up with you both. Hope the rest of your time in the UK goes well.
On Friday we then drove up to Sheffield as Cliffhanger 2009 was on. Basically a weekend of outdoor events, showcasing, stalls, displays and competitions in bouldering, climbing, fell running, orienteering and the like. Sheffield really turns it on. Attempts were made to break the world dyno record (didn’t get broken), scuba diving was underway, kayaking, canoeing, fly casting lessons etc.
On Saturday we headed home and as we got closer to Bristol the weather really packed it in. Oh well, it was a great couple of days away anyway.

Bridge of Sighs - Oxford
Mr Tumnus!
Mountain biking mad tricks
Dyno competition

Movie: Transformers 2 Revenge of the Fallen

Seriously could they make Megan Fox look any more tooly than they did! She is a great looking girl but there’s natural beauty and then there’s vamping it up specifically for the drool factor. What a shame.
However still loved the movie itself. How can you not love Optimis Prime, the cool graphics, great soundtrack, Shia LaBeouf etc. Shia is amazing and really draws you into the film. The comedy is terrific. The only thing I would say let the film down a bit was the graphics. As the transformation of the machines are quite complex it would be beneficial to slow it down a bit so you could see more, they seemed to go through so quickly that it’s hard to keep up with the action! Loved the locations especially Egypt. 4 out of 5.

Movie: Public Enemies

Never really been a fan of Johnny Depp or gangster movies so why did I bother seeing this? Because my leg was killing me and there wasn’t anything else to do Friday night that didn’t involve walking places! When you have a pulled calf muscle walking is rather painful!
Retelling the real life drama of John Dilinger (first public enemy number 1 to the emerging FBI) this is the tale about his pursuit and a look into his bank robbing rampages. Filled with slick cars, lots of rat-a-tat-tat old fashioned gangster shoot outs and a great cast it filled the 2 hours 15 minutes quite well. I will admit about 1 hour into it I was wondering whether to walk out as it was rather slow but thereafter it took off and was quite an enjoyable bit of entertainment. I think I have decided though that Christian Bale really has only one style of acting which is rather dead pan. However I’ll forgive that because I still think he’s delish! 2 out of 5.

Take her down!

I am currently holed up at home nursing an injury. I love playing squash and regularly play a game each week with a fellow work mate. In between the gym, running and squash something had to give. My calf muscle it would seem!
I played on Wednesday during lunch with another work colleague and after I expressly told him to turn it on and play the game hard, he obliged. I enjoyed the game, until mid stretch for a shot I felt the calf muscle in my right leg ping just like a rubber band. Agonizing pain followed, thankfully no expletives left my mouth (probably because the pain left me breathless) and my poor squash partner was left wondering how to help this writhing, incoherent person.
Thankfully I have been able to work from home which has enabled quite a speedy recovery so far. The first nights sleep was a bit uncomfortable but last night was a vast improvement. My internet medical diagnosis (yes, I am aware that this is a rather misguided notion) tells me that I probably have a level 2 sprain. I am finding a combination of massage and gentle walking/stretching makes it feel much more comfortable. If it is rested for too long it feels very stiff and painful. Walking and rubbing actually feels good.
Anyway, not sure when I will be getting back on the court so at this stage I have to watch everything that goes in the mouth at the moment until I can get the activity level back up again.