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June 21, 2005

Feeling pensive…

It's been a great couple of days, and yet I'm feeling quite pensive.

I've been making the most of my free time since I finished my exams on Saturday. I had my last Chamber Choir gig (followed by post-concert curry) on Saturday night. I went to see BrassSoc perform in Jephson Gardens on Sunday. I then saw Symphonic Brass in the Piazza on Monday afternoon, and, of course, Figaro in the Studio on Monday night, which was AWESOME! I spent most of today in rehearsals and tech for 'Out of Character', although I did manage to catch the first half of Wind Orchestra's set on the Piazza this afternoon. (Great gig, guys!) This evening saw my last performance as a Warwick student in 'Out of Character'. I really enjoyed it, and it was great to be a part of the first ever workshop performance of an exciting new show! I also watched the Symphony Orchestra gig tonight – another terrific performance.

Feel quite sad now that I have no more performances. Well, no more performances as a Warwick student, anyway. (I have two gigs at Warwick uni next year.)

I also get my degree classification tomorrow. I have no idea what to expect, as I have usually been quite bad at predicting my performance.

I have a feeling I'll need to be in a quiet place, away from people tomorrow. Having said that, tomorrow night is both the last 'Jam' with the current Pretty Small Band line-up and the Figaro after-show party, so I'll definitely be out tomorrow!

Best of luck to everyone getting their results tomorrow.

J x

June 20, 2005

My theory of why kiwi fruits are like fire

There are many activities which human beings engage in which make me wonder how it ever occurred to the first person who tried them to attempt them in the first place.

Take fire, for example. The way we make fire (I mean the 'natural' way, not with cigarette lighters, etc.) is very counter-intuitive. How did the first person who made it come up with the idea that rubbing sticks and flint together would cause this mysterious substance to appear, or were they just rubbing things together for a laugh? Did they try it with other objects or small animals first?

Kiwi fruit pose a similar puzzle. I mean, look at them. They're small and hairy, and look very much like a small poo. At some point in distant history, someone said: "Let's peel/bite into this and see if there's some succulent fruit inside. Crazy.

This is my thought for the day.

Figaro in t-minus 90 minutes!! GO GUYS!!

Tickets have now sold out, so any last-minute pants-pawning will sadly be to no avail. If you haven't managed to get a ticket for the campus performance, go and see it in Lapworth on Wednesday! It's going to rule!

June 18, 2005

I've finished my exams! (finally…)

I’ve just left the Panorama Room, having been left in there ALONE with two invigilators, as I was the only person sitting a three-hour paper today. The sight of an entire Panorama Room full of empty exam desks while I was sat there, writing away, made me laugh. This means that I am officially THE LAST person in the university to finish my exams. How lame is that?

Anyway, I’ve (finally) finished my exams!

Woo, and indeed, hoo (to quote Lu).

June 16, 2005

Paul is a legend

Despite cutting my aria from the outdoor concert, Paul McGrath is still a total legend for many reasons, one being that he's just got me a gig! The Royal Leamington Spa Bach Choir have hired me as the baritone soloist for their performance of Haydn's 'Creation' on Paul's recommendation. (Thanks, dude!)

Does Paul have a blog??

June 15, 2005

Chamber Choir gig. Awesome.

Also, come and see our last Chamber Choir concert at St. Peters, Dormer Place, Leamington this Saturday at 7.30pm. Tickets are £8 (£6 students and concessions) We’ve got a great selection of music by Britten, Rheinberger, Purcell, Maxwell-Davies and Barber and some cheesy stuff ;-)

The Rheinberger Mass is particularly cool, and the Purcell ‘Hear My Prayer’ takes me back to fond memories of Berkshire Youth Choir, former champions of Sainsbury’s Choir of the Year – OK, I’ll stop now…

Now that Paul has cut the Don Giovanni aria from the outdoor concert on 23rd June (pants… I was really looking forward to doing that), I won’t be performing that night, so the Chamber Choir gig will be my last Music Centre concert.

There will hopefully be post-concert curry too…


Figaro – tickets going fast!

I got my Figaro ticket from the box office today and asked to see how many seats were taken. They’re going fast, guys! Everyone who hasn’t yet got a ticket, get one ASAP! It’s going to rule…

DRESS CODE: All audience members must be wearing pants. Sarah will be checking.

June 14, 2005

What a night…

Legendary night, guys – a fitting end to my experiences of Top B…

It was great to see so many people out last night, and I was loving the Figaro leisurewear! (Come and see it! It’s going to be awesome!)

Highlights of the night for me (at least, the ones I can remember) included:

-Finding the coolest name in the world: Pitcho Womba Konga

-Lu trying to teach me how to do the Ali G thing where your fingers make a clicking noise.

-Me telling Raquel about fifty times that she is a total legend.

-Drew, the amazing hairy dancing bear.

-Listening to Beyond the Fringe at 3am in Zoe’s room and revisiting the classic Weebl & Bob and RatherGood.com websites for the first time in ages. (Ah, memories of the second year…)

Anant, thanks for letting me crash on your floor, dude. You’re a legend!

Everyone come and see the Big Band Theatre Gig tonight! (Love the jazz…)


June 11, 2005

Writer's block

June 07, 2005

New beginnings

Writing about The rest of my life… from We're ranting and raving here in Pedants' Corner...

Having just read James' blog entry about uni life coming to an end, I suddenly feel quite sad. I've become increasingly aware that I have less than three weeks left at Warwick before rejoining the 'real world'.

I'm really going to miss everyone, especially everybody in the Music Societies, all of whom are TOTAL LEGENDS! I really can't imagine what life here would have been like if I hadn't been so heavily involved in the Music Centre.

Upcoming milestones include:

– My last Top B (probably in Week 9, as I'm in rehearsals all day for a show on Monday Week 10, and you just can't get into the last Top B of the year unless you get there really early…)

– My last gig with Big Band. I'm really going to miss these guys. Big Band are a bunch of total legends, and the society's been an important part of my life in the two years that I've sung with them. Steve Pretty's apparently coming back to do the gig, so it'll be an old-school reunion. Mate. Awesome. Let's have an Arts Festival…

– My last Chamber Choir concert. Likewise – terrific bunch of people. I've made a lot of close friends in the choir. Signing-up for my audition was actually the first thing I did on the first day of my first term (before enrolling in my course!). My last exam is also that morning. Celebratory post-concert curry, anyone??

– The 40th Anniversary Gala Concert. This is going to be amazing, and the last time that we have a massive joint gig featuring Wind, Brass, Chorus, etc. before the finalists leave. It'll be just like Krakow! (What a tour that was…) I love it when the music societies team up to do gigs. Chamber Choir have teamed-up with Symphonic Wind and String Orchestra before, and it works really well. Also, I'm looking forward to some Don Giovanni action (singing, that is…) with whoever's playing in that.

So, to summarise, a huge thank-you and "Fair dos" to everyone in the Music Centre for being legends and making my three years here so fantastic.

Also, EVERYONE has to come and see Figaro in Week 10! It's going to be awesome! WSO (formerly Opera Projects) is the society that I've been most involved with by far during my time here, and they've got a fantastic show lined-up for WSAF!

Buy a ticket, even if it means pawning your pants…

June 06, 2005


Opera Holland Park are doing Verdi's 'Macbeth' this weekend, starring Olarfur Sigurdarson – a big Icelandic legend with a big, huge, seriously cool baritone voice. For those of you who saw (or played in) the 'Russian in the Afternoon' concert in the Butterworth Hall, he was the baritone soloist with the big, huge, seriously cool baritone voice.

Like most famous opera singers in this country with big, huge, seriously cool voices, he is one of Paul McGrath's mates.

If anyone's in London this weekend, check it out! Verdi rocks, big-
time, and his setting of Macbeth is great!

Library returns

I have just received an email from the Library, reminding me that all finalists must have returned any books they have borrowed by 13th June at the latest. Failure to do so may result in my degree being withheld.

My last exam is on 18th June.

The left hand doesn't know what the right hand is doing in this place.

June 04, 2005

Top 5 Coolest Blokes in the World

The top 5 coolest blokes in the world:

1. Tom Jones
2. Bryn Terfel
3. Al Pacino
4. Eddie Izzard
5. B.B. King

If you think you know of a bloke who is cooler than one of these, call: 0898 99 55 44 COOL BLOKE

Calls cost 90p a minute; calls may be recorded for training and/or comedy purposes; this blog accepts no responsibility for loss of revision and/or sleep; the steering wheel is optional


Sting is a cool pseudonym. Elvis Costello is equally cool.

I want a pseudonym too.

Any suggestions?

Tantric sex

Also, what is tantric sex all about? Sex, but slower… that's pretty much all I know about it. Sting's into it, apparently. Any enlightened ones amongst the Warwick blogging community?

Out of touch (follow–up)

Follow-up to Out of touch… from Jerzy's blog

Also, do newspapers breed? I'm a bit of a self-confessed hoarder anyway, in that I'll go through a cycle of keeping any article that looks vaguely interesting, then after a couple of months realising that my room has so much paper in it that I've forgotten what colour my floor is and throwing the whole lot away, but the newspapers seem to breed by themselves when I'm asleep. Crazy.

Out of touch…

I've just realised that I haven't read a paper for about a month. With exams looming (or, in my case, almost finished), gone are the days when I could litter my room with enough remnants of the Sunday Times to carpet Lakshmi Mittal's penthouse…

I've sent so much time reading out of necessity lately. I haven't read for pleasure for quite a while.

Does anyone else feel my pain?

April 23, 2005

Addictive Personality

Not sure why I thought this was so funny, but I did, and I thought some people out there might too. It’s an excerpt from an interview with Bill Nighy (the ageing rocker from ‘Love Actually’) in today’s Times. I’m not just laughing at his misfortune, but I can definitely identify with this, and it just made me smile:

“I used to drink and it was terrible. Now I don’t drink and it is fabulous.” He’s been sober for 12 years, but rather than having beaten addiction, it seems merely to have cascaded down to ever weaker substances. He was once a magnificent smoker: “I would rather have smoked than breathed. You couldn’t smoke more than I smoked.” And he is possible the only person to have quit because of vampirism. Filming ‘Underworld’, in which he plays Viktor, king of the immortals, he had to do a fight scene – “and I am not famous for fighting or indeed any kind of physical work” – and he must have thrown his shoulder out, but what he felt was a shooting pain in his chest. He hasn’t smoked since, but transferred his passion to coffee, downed tanks of the stuff. He quit coffee on January 23 this year: “But, by God, have I drunk some tea…”

I’m fascinated by the (by no means universal) trait in human behaviour to find comfort in addiction – is it just repetition of a simple ritual, or is there something more to it than that?

April 16, 2005

Melinda and Melinda

Having avoided blog-ging (for no particular reason) for two terms, I thought I'd take a break from revising Hegel and start now!

I wanted to post something about Melinda and Melinda, the new film written and directed by Woody Allen. I hadn't seen any of Woody Allen's films before, but I went to see this one last week, having read a great review.

This is a fantastic film, the best I've seen all year.

The premise (and don't worry: this isn't going to reveal anything or spoil the film for anybody) is a group of four friends in New York, having dinner and arguing about whether the essence of life is comic or tragic. Two of the friends are playwrights. One writes comedies and the other writes tragedies, and they each have a different view on this subject. Another person at the table tells a story and challenges the two playwrights to tell him whether this story is comic or tragic. The rest of the film unfolds in a Sliding Doors-esque kind of way, where two separate stories are told, both involving the character Melinda. One is comic; one is tragic.

I was hoping that Warwick Student Cinema would show this film during term 3, so that more students would get to see it.

It really is a fantastic film. Very philosophical (which appeals to me!), very cleverly scripted and featuring some terrific performances. I laughed and sympathised, and I had that strange feeling of emotional ambivalence about what I'd just seen when I left the cinema. I think the last film that made me feel like that was Lost In Translation (another terrific film – see it, if you haven't already!)

Has anyone else seen this? I'd like to hear what you think.