Friday, 30 April 2010

End of an era, well kinda...

OMPADC IS COMPLETE. To see the complete thing from beginning to end click here.

Now you've done looking at my attempts at photography, time for a review of what I have learnt from my OMPADC.

1) Taking a different photo a day is hard! Not so much the actual photo taking but the finding of a topic. Being only a temporary working type I am fairly sedentary and tend not to go anywhere to take a picture of something interesting. So in some respects, inspiration is difficult.

2) Actual photograph composition is a tricky subject. Getting something arranged to look good is a tricky process but I think I developed a little over the course of this project. Getting some things that look less like I've pointed the camera at something and clicked. One thing I did to make my photos better for any future projects was to buy a tripod. It was actually used the other day to photograph the Ian Dury album cover.

3) Black & White is AWESOME. I wish I could use it more but it is a nuisance and can only be applied retrospectively on my camera so means I have to get the ideal picture for it BEFORE I black & white.

4) I will do this again. Not sure when but some sunny.. Oh wait! That's Vera Lynn. I enjoyed doing it and I think, knowing what I do now hope to get a much better result.

And finally... a skateboarding otter. No, in seriousness. This blog is the recipient of an award! *dramatic fanfare* Oh yes! Well in recognition of this I am going to give you seven people who are winners of this award of awesome! In no particular order, no favouritism here, just an order.

1. Mark Watson
2. The Uneven Bookshelf
3. Learning to Read
4. Back of the Net
5. Running The Central Line
6. Howlie
7. Stuff About Cake...

Now I could tell you why I nominated them but I think you should iscover them for yourself. SPREAD THE BLOG LOVE!!

Also. If you are doing your own OMPADC. I'd love to hear about it.

Wednesday, 28 April 2010

WAR 1: New Boots And Panties: Ian Dury

The first album to receive the WAR treatment is the first album released by Ian Dury & the Blockheads, 'New Boots & Panties'. Now, selecting an album with this title may seem like some cynical effort to get more Google hits and in part you would be right. Well, in part youwould be right but also in another part, kinda wrong. I chose the album after a lot of deliberation and long consideration.

So, the review. I was originally going to do a track by track type thing but I struggled with that. Part of the reason I started this whole thing was to improve my reviewing technique. My previous technique was to say a general "yeah, it's all-right" possibly with an additional shrug of the shoulders and some kind of general statement about tracks and stuff.

This though is about to change, inspired in part by the reviews found here. I realised that what a review is tells you whether or not something is good and more importantly what it makes you FEEL. Now this blog isn't about to get all touchy feely on you all, I can see some of you heading towards the door of the blog at the mention of those words. Let me assure you I am neither touchy or feely, I'm just not that kind of chap.

RIGHT. Enough dithering on with the review!

New Boots features the trademark humour and realism that makes Dury famous. Songs such as Billericay Dickie and Sex and Drugs and Rock n Roll all of which contain the fun inventive way with words that he has. Yes, at times he is coarse and earthy, opening one track with a string of obscenities and having songs about, seemingly one of his favourite topics, sex. Whilst largely swearing and it's ilk are largely the opposite of what I normally look for in music, the way Dury uses them is far less gratuitous and more importantly, humorous than in most rap songs. The album as a whole is a good mixture of styles ranging for some rather funky songs to more classical rock 'n' roll with 'Sweet Gene Vincent', Dury's homage to early rock star, Gene Vincent. It's this and songs about family, life and love that make the album so appealing. That Dury is able to mix them and deliver what is essentially poetry with music behind it is the real skill.

Recommended listening: Billericay Dickie or Sex & Drugs...

Well, that's the first review. Sorry it isn't longer, I'm new to this reviewing lark. Any pointers etc, please leave them below.

Monday, 26 April 2010

I Must Be Musical. I Own Over a Hundred CD's

OMPADC enters its final week. So here is the most recent stuff!

Now as the rather bad Green Wing paraphrasing for the title of this blog suggests this blog is all about music. Well.... I say it's ABOUT music. It's more a kind of precursor to later blogs about music.

I love music, hence why I want to learn an instrument to a competent degree. I also own as the blog title suggests, rather a lot of CD's. These have appeared in my OMPADC and I thought now was their chance to appear in the Blog.

Ladies and gentlemen, allow me to introduce W.A.R! Not the shooty, killy, mass death horribleness. Rather the Weekly Album Review. Much nicer. Wouldn't you say?

Basically, I will listen to a different album, no other distractions and just sit there, listening to it and write a track by track review. Now this is the exciting part! What? I didn't say there was going to be an exciting part? Oh dear, I am sorry. Well, now you are on the edge of your seats. You lucky people get to chose an album for me to review! Yes that's right! I will open the floor up to you all to suggest an album for me to try for every third album that is to be reviewed.

So get the thinking caps on! Expect a review later this week ( Wednesday or Friday).

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Author! Author! 2: P.G. Wodehouse

Lets get the shameless plugging out of the way first. OMPADC is here.

Now that the shameless self promotion is out of the way. Let us move on to more serious matters. Namely the next name to join Alan Bennett in MFWE (for those who don't remember, this stands for My Favourite Writers Ever).

The next name to join this list (yes it is a list now there is more than one person, I asked someone) is the delightfully named Pelham Grenville Wodehouse or P.G. to his friends. Although, many would think this would lead to confusion with tea makers P.G. Tips it doesn't, Mr Wodehouse was never pyramid shaped nor advertised by chimpanzees. At least, not to my knowledge.

"The Aberdeen terrier gave me an unpleasant look and said something under his breath in Gaelic"

Wodehouse is perhaps best known for his series of books featuring errant foppish fool Bertie Wooster and his personal gentleman's gentleman, Jeeves. It was reading these that first put me on to Wodehouse's writing. To me, old Pelham, is one of the finest and funniest comic writers of the 20th Century. Many comedy types, including the wonderful Stephen Fry (more on him at a later date) and his equally good friend Hugh Laurie (both of whom have appeared in an adaptation of the man's work) have cited the works as being lifesaving and as containing some of the greatest examples of comic literature.

One of these is the brilliant sequence at the Market Snodsbury Prize giving with an inebriated Gussie Fink-Nottle giving prizes to schoolboys and throwing various accusations of cheating around. Something that really has to be read to be fully appreciated. I strongly urge anyone who hasn't done so already to do read it. Failing that you should also see the brilliant Fry & Laurie (told you they would reappear) staring adaptation of the Jeeves & Wooster books.

However P.G. didn't just do Jeeves & Wooster he had a whole variety of other characters, which would occasionally crop up or be at the very least be mentioned in each others books. These are no less funny than the Jeeves series and are also good for a laugh.

I have recently started reading the Jerome K Jerome book "Three Men In A Boat" a book that many claim to be a precursor to the Wodehouse style. Personally I find this to be a lot less accessible than Wodehouse, for a full review go here.

Wodehouse critics often claim that he can't be that great a writer due to the lack of different plots across the 70+ he wrote. To a certain extent that is a largely true statement. However it is all irrelevant because what he does is write these plots and build incredible layers of intricacies and details around the plots. This creates such high levels of farce to make the book so enjoyable that you don't notice. They are simply blissfull, light reading. Which is sometimes all one can really ask for in this world.

Before this goes on much longer I shall finish and advise you to take some time to read Wodehouse. If you want to have a book of pure enjoyment, read some Wodehouse.

Friday, 16 April 2010

Halfway to OMPADC Success and Writing stuff too

The other day I passed the halfway point in the OMPADC that I set out on 17 days ago. This blog was meant to happen yesterday but unfortunately it didn't. Firstly here is OMPADC thus far. I have yet to take today's photo. Not sure what to do yet.

I did consider blogging about the photos of OMPADC and what it has taught me about photography and the art of finding something to photograph each and every day. This however struck me as an end of project thing. A retrospective.

I think I will instead give a minor blog on the whole writing side of my TYSIC.

I have decided to put my kids book idea on hold as I currently can't get it started to a satisfactory degree. I will return to it eventually, maybe at some point over this ten year period. Instead my focus has shifted to the writing of a series of short stories. I have the title of 'Pink Lemonade & Other Short Stories' in mind for it. The feel is something of a P.G. Wodehouse type story of upper class twits and the amusing scrapes they get into. It will involve me doing some research into the period just to get the language and some basic facts straightened out.

This is something I am rather looking forward to as I rather enjoy researching as it gives my mind some kind of focus. My mind really does lack focus and that has a knock on effect on my writing, leading to many things remaining unfinished.

I'm thinking of making it a series of 4, maybe 5 short stories featuring a number of different twits. Writing this means I get to write to my strenghs too. Writing a number of short things, that are amusing and most importantly light and fluffy. I am by no stretch of the imagination one for writing deep thoughtful pieces. Largely because I am not an especially deep and thoughtful person.

More on this later in the week. TTFN till then.

P.S. In case you don't know, TTFN stands for Ta Ta For Now.

Monday, 12 April 2010

Up-to-date Update.

I will leave the posting of my OMPADC until later in the week for when I have some additional photos to be worthy of telling all you lovely people. How are you all by the way?

Instead I thought I would give a rundown of my aims and how far I am in achieving them:

Get myself published

Well, I'm not published yet, but I have submitted two things to Big Finish, which, whilst not published will, if successful become produced as either a play or a short story read by an actor. That's a start. I also have an idea for a short story to send to a magazine. I also have a title and setting for my next long story. 1920's England and the title 'Pink Lemonade'. It may be a P.G. Wodehouse type story.

Learn to Drive

On a backburner until I am fully employed.

Visit a major sporting event (world cup, Olympics, European Championship)

I've started researching tickets for both Euro 2012 and the Olympics.

Attain an MA in Museum related stuff

Doing museum work to build up some experience to help in applications. Also looking at the courses on offer.

Learn a musical instrument to a competent degree

I have learnt numerous chords. I have also practiced switching between said chords and learnt to VERY basically accompany some songs.

All in all not bad. Sorry it is such a dull listie blog. Next time will be better.

Friday, 9 April 2010

Author! Author! #1 Alan Bennett

Firstly, let's get all the shameless stuff out of the way first. OMPADC is updated. Please check

Now the plug is out of the way. On with the blog. I may have mentioned I want to be a published author. A consequence of this is I read a lot. Can't help it, always have, probably always will. Therefore I have come across a number of writers whose work I always enjoy and often seek out. So, let me introduce you to ANOTHER acronym! That's right, I can't get enough of the little bleeders ( like brackets). This acronym is MFWE. Short for My Favourite Writers Ever. This will be a semi-regular feature where I discuss my favourite writers ever (odd considering the title). This will be a non-chronological run-down of the authors I like enough to place on my list.

"How do I define history? It's just one fuckin' thing after another"

First up, I thought I would go for quintessential northern and all rounder, nice person. Alan Bennett. Now I came to Alan's work quite recently. I was aware of him, his voice being familiar to me through some form of innate cultural awareness. I saw the film version of Alan's play, The History Boys and fell in love with his writing style straight away. It was funny, interesting, the characters all developed, it raised some good points and it was all very entertaining. Now some say that it isn't his best work, calling it tired, dated, cliched and a variety of other phrases. It didn't seem to be any of these things to me. I could quote reams of it here, but that wouldn't be doing the whole thing justice. I have however quoted one line from it at the top of this paragraph.

I went from watching the History Boys, to catching, rather fortunately, the recent BBC Bennett season. This exposed me to more of Bennett's wonderful observations of simple human life. For me, this is what really made me appreciate just how good a writer he is. I always appreciate a writer who makes the minutiae of human life so interesting because I'm rather poor at the whole people thing. I have also recently got a copy of Bennett's play "Lady In the Van" (a play based on the man who lived in a van in his garden for 15 years), from my local library. I have only got a few pages in and really enjoy it. The characters are simple and the use of 2 versions of Bennett on stage to represent aspects of his character is a good touch. It features typical examples of Bennett's wry criticisms of life, his little one liner observations.

Another thing I really love about Bennett is his voice, it is brilliant for audiobooks. I recently got him reading The House At Pooh Corner from iTunes. It's brilliant, his characterisations of the members of the Pooh group are brilliant.

Monday, 5 April 2010

Literally an update!

Firstly, here is the link to my OMPADC as mentioned in the last blog. I will post it in every blog that I do for the remainder of the month for people to check.

On with the serious blogging.


I submitted my story and I have started to learn the chords to play Sesame Street.


I won't blog about the new Doctor Who. That could take me a while. Suffice to say, I enjoyed.

This blog instead shall be a bit more light hearted. I say light hearted, what I mean is, more a discussion wherein I talk, you read (or not, unlike a face to face conversation, you can just walk away).

As mentioned elsewhere, I simply love language. One of my favourite things is the humble bracket( ( & ) ) but this shall be a subject of a later blog. No, in this instance I shall be blogging about the word LITERALLY.

Now as you can see, I think it deserves both bold, capitals AND a colour. The word is brilliant simply because it is LITERALLY and I do mean it like that, misused. The guiltiest offenders are perhaps sports reporters and fools. One such example comes from Soccer Saturday ( for those not in the know, it features men sitting around watching football and reporting on it, whilst scores update). It is one of the most inexplicably entertaining shows on TV. The offender in this instance is Paul Merson, who, whilst reporting on Tottenham Hotspur vs Wolverhampton Wanderers said "Spurs will LITERALLY rip Wolves apart". Whilst this sentence is easily understood, it does conjure up an altogether more violent and disturbing image of football. An image I am sure that Arsene Wenger sees happening to his players all the time in "The Great Arsenal Conspiracy". Other misuses of the L word would include " We would LITERALLY laugh our heads off". There are many more, but they are so numerous, this blog would become a list with every few words being in bold red letters.

Now, I don't think people who misuse it should be shot, on the other hand, I love it because of the mental imagery it conjures up. Some people, I appreciate abuse it for a sense of hyperbole but for me it is a purely comical word. If anyone has an example, take note and think about the meaning it conjures up.

Thursday, 1 April 2010


The incomprehensible unpronounceable acronym at the top of this page stands for One Month Photo A Day Challenge.

My aim is to take a photograph a single, solitary photograph every day for the next 30 days of the month (April). I will take these photo on my camera and upload it the following day to a photo website (to which I will provide a link later).

My plan is to wait until this weekend to upload the first 3 photos of the month, ready for you people to check.

As an added incentive to myself, I will only take each photo once. No re-setting the shot if I don't get the image how I want.