All entries for March 2006

March 28, 2006

Useless Email

Are you looking for an email service with the minimum of ease and use?
Welcome to Groupwise!

We promise you can access your emails up to 20% of the time! Just think – that's access to your job application news, important sequencing results and all comminications regarding where you supposed to be and when, at least once with every 5 attempts you make through the day!

For your conveniece, we have taken the executive decision NOT to transfer final year students to the squirrel system because – even though they have as much right to a decent university email account as anyone else – they'll be leaving soon and don't really matter. Please be patient with any minor faults, like being entirely unable to access your electronic communications from one day to the next. Our dedicated Customer "Service" team will periodically promise to be reviewing the system to iron out any problems. But don't hold your breath.

Here at Groupwise we are striving for continuous improvement. Our latest and most reliable communication package to date – the "Quill & Parchment" operating system – will be ready for release sometime in the near future. Watch this space!

March 25, 2006

We can't return, we can only look behind from where we came …

… and go round and round and around in the circle game.

I was forced to accompany my mother to one of her dull job analysis marathons, which turned out to be at my old school. As I opted to stay in the car I was treated to 2 hours of watching the world go by where once were the preliminary acts of my adulthood played out. As I watched the sixth form car park it was a galaxy away and like no time had passed at all. Here was the outhouse I first met Stephen in, butterflies and sparks for the next 3 years … there was Tim and Tawnie walking out to the village shop in search of any Xtremeness that Guilsborough post-office might muster … there was Adam driving to meet Kieth in the car that would one day be mine … and inside Alice, Dan, Ryan, Lianne, Poorna, Tawnie, the Two Tim's and I sat round our table in the study room and studiously talked about irrelevant crap. And I thought, how I miss that convergent point of geography and history.

And who should come trotting across the carpark but little Charles Sutherland-Kay, the awkward oboe player now 6 foot 2, as genial as he ever was and otherwise unchanged. I believe tonight, on msn, I had the best conversation of recent weeks when he told me about his infectious disease topic in A-level biology.

Little Charles – with all his eloquence and his good heart – and all the other small people now grown up and leading the school orchestras: where has the time gone?

March 22, 2006

Van Morrison

We were lucky enough to be able to go and see Van Morrison on St Patrick's day eve in Birmingham. What a voice! There is something about it's timbre, it's quality and it's … bigness that suggests a strapping big bloke but he is actually a dinky little thing of Ronnie Corbett proportions. I say again, what a voice. There's not many people who can equal nowadays their sound on CD but Van Morrison is actually even better in the flesh. He's a grumpy sod allegedly, and it's true that he never said a word to the crowd. The point is, he doesn't need to. He didn't sing anything from his new country album, which was a little surprising, but I suppose when you are of Van Morrison's calibre there is no need to advertise or plug.

And as it was St Patrick's day we were treated to an encore of "Star of the County Down", which was simply amazing. Like the whole performance. What was equally amazing was that people – stupid, ignorant people – actually talked through the whole thing! Two airheaded bimbos in front (obviously dragged along by male accomplices) could not have made their disinterest plainer. Quite apart from the fact that this dude is mind-numbingly good at what he does, why pay £35 for a seat when it's just background music for a vapid and irritating conversation? How I ached to bang their empty heads together. Happily some hardcore fan in front of them – with the Van the Man hat and everything, the sort who could say what they were doing when they first listened to a certain album – shut them up for us. A true hero.

March 11, 2006

Yay F1 2006

I'm looking forward to this F1 season simply because I no longer work Sundays and can now watch it.

I had reservations about the new qualifying format but approached it with hope in my heart because frankly the one-at-a-time format was unimaginably dull and thus anything would be an improvement by default. I am pleased to report a +3000% level of interest and excitement for Max's latest jazzing up the sport project – how I have missed the last-minute jostle! – although just going back to the original 1 hour 12 laps would be just fine by me.

And – heaven be praised! – Tony Jardine is gone. I was quite attached to Jim Rosenthal so I'm a bit sorry to see him go; why oh why have ITV not got rid of James Allen? I appreciate the difficulties of commentating generally, especially in, for example, F1's dull moments but his habit of stating the blindingly obvious is quite grating. Additional Note to James Allen: mistakes are only endeaing when they come from Murray Walker!

March 2006

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