these moments that I've had.

Monday, August 29, 2005  

To Hampstead Heath and Parliament Hill in particular, for a beautiful sunny day, walking through the woods and meadows with Edward, watching the walkers, joggers, lovers and kite fliers. Lived in London for 14 years and, though I've ventured onto the Heath once or twice(not for anything 'mucky' I might add!), I'd never got as high as Primrose Hill. DG's journeys round London have been inspiring, so we are trying to get out more, before we eventually leave the rat-race and head home(ie. Up North) for our autumn years. Beautiful clear views of Canary Wharf, the City and the West End, and Edward was on his best behaviour.

Phone call from mum while we were there, with a surprise visitor at my parents' house wanting to say hello to me. My cousin Lynne was visiting her parents from her home near Cardiff, and had popped in to see her auntie and uncle. I hadn't spoken to her in 20 years, mainly because families are very nosy and those nearer my age like to ask the kind of questions that the older generation, ie. my mum and dad and my aunties, uncles and grandparents wouldn't dream of asking(my immediate family gave up asking if I was courting about 15 years ago). Not wanting to lie anymore, I found it easier just avoiding them, convincing myself that they weren't 'my kind of people' anymore, anyway. The 'forward' requests to visit me in London ended about 10 years ago and I thought I'd just see them at weddings and funerals in future. Luckily I've got out of the weddings. I say 'luckily', as Lynne's 3 brothers have now had about 7 wives between them and umpteen kids. I'm not a fan of weddings, as my last one, my friend Sally last October, proved. So, funerals only it is then, and even then, probably only immediate family, and Lynne's mum and dad, whom we were always closest to, growing up. It was good to chat to her, though, and I might just take up that offer of meeting for a coffee/lunch if I'm ever in Cardiff.

posted by Darren | 3:37 PM

Sunday, August 28, 2005  

'Lost' is no 'Six Feet Under', but I'm trying to give it a chance. It's more along the lines of '24' and anyone who stuck with that programme over the last four seasons knows it isn't the greatest TV ever filmed. 'Entertaining' would be a good way of describing both 'Lost' and '24', in one word. Annoying then, that Channel 4 cancelled tonight's showing of 'Lost' at 6:30pm because the cricket over-ran. I'm not a fan of cricket. I'm keen to know whether England beat Australia, just as I take a keen interest in the outcome of other sporting match-ups that England, or Great Britain, or the UK are involved in; but you won't find me sitting through interminable hours of Test match cricket; it just don't float my boat.

No apology and no explanation of when this episode might be shown again. I nearly rang them. I had rang Channel 4 once before, about 14 years ago, when a late night live chat show was pulled from the air, when that grand old tippler Oliver Reed had had one too may, and had started coming on to the female guests, at least one of whom was a University professor. On that ocassion they received many complaints, and the programme came back on about 20 minutes after they pulled the plug, Mr Reed obviously having been told to calm it down. This time though, I don't think I would have had much success. It was, after all, the fourth time that this episode would have had an airing on either Channel 4 or E4 in the last 12 days. Unfortunately, digital cable box problems and working late had conspired to rob me of any of the 4 chances of watching.

So, another Box Set that might have to be bought. Following on from the recent problems I had catching the last 2 episodes of the fourth season of '24'. I watched 22 (interminable and repetitive, some would say) epsiodes, only to go to New York for the weekend, fully expecting to be able to see that final 2 episodes the week we got back. Sky One dutifully showed both the penultimate episode and final nail-biter, back-to-back on the Sunday evening and decided to forego their usual repeats the following week. Bastards. They're being re-run now but at intermittent times and on different days!

I need to get out more.

posted by Darren | 8:08 PM

Friday, August 19, 2005  

"Mo Mowlam made a major contribution to the peace process in Northern Ireland at a crucial time when little progress was being made."

Following her admittance to hospital 3 weeks ago, which I mentioned on August 3rd, Mo Mowlam has died at the criminally young age of 55. To have had a life so full and to have achieved so much in those years is some consolation. Better for having had her around than not at all.

A sad couple of weeks for the Labour Party, following Robin Cook's sudden death last week. It only adds to that sense of the baton being passed to the next generation of leaders, parliamentarians.

"Her honesty and sense of fun had enriched British national life"

posted by Darren | 3:41 PM

Friday, August 12, 2005  

'are bin'
'are mark'
'are julie'
'are darren'

I remember the mother of one of my schoolfriends, taking the piss out of my mum
because she spoke like that, instead of saying 'our...'.

'are darren's doing really well in school'.

She didn't have any room to speak, fat scouse bitch. (My friend's mum, not MY mum).

It was my birthday yesterday. I am now a shareholder in the Walt Disney Company! Thanks Dave.

posted by Darren | 12:18 PM

Sunday, August 07, 2005  

Lovely day out in the countryside yesterday, meeting those of like-mind and having a jolly olde time. Still waiting on my prize for winning the quiz though.

Garrison Keillor is 63 years old today. I always liked that name - Garrison Keillor. Never yet have I read any of his books, though I've glanced at them, reading the back page descriptions of them umpteen times, particularly of course, Lake Wobegon Days. I read too slowly these days. Used to tear through numerous books a week. Not any more. This saddens me.

Today is my brother's birthday. We have never got on. Well, not since we were about 8 and 7 year's old (me 8, he 7). Having a younger sister that he always picked on, and whom I always defended, just encouraged his already well-developed selfishness and jealousy, that pervades to this day (ye olde 'Middle Child' syndrome - he was angry at my mum even as she was still in the hospital bed, recovering from the birth of our sister). He is 37 years old(physically) and 13 years old(mentally) at the same time. He still lives at home with mum and dad. It affects how many times I visit. My sister has foregone her usual Sunday visit to our parents this weekend, pretty much because it is his birthday. He now even picks on her 11 year old son.

We always wanted a loving family, with brotherly/sisterly bonding and family holidays containing shared interests, entertainments and memories. Just never happened and it saddens me.

posted by Darren | 12:48 PM

Thursday, August 04, 2005  

Days before Private James Marshall Hendrix (Jimi to his friends) was officially drummed out of the military, Army brass delivered withering assessments of the 19-year-old soldier. Hendrix slept on the job, had little regard for regulations, and was once "apprehended masturbating" in the latrine.

It was also noted that Hendrix was a "habitual offender" when it came to missing midnight bed checks and that he was unable to "carry on an intelligent conversation", who was once suspected of "taking dope," played a musical instrument while off-duty, "or so he says. This is one of his faults, because his mind apparently cannot function while performing duties and thinking about his guitar."

posted by Darren | 4:41 PM

Wednesday, August 03, 2005  

Sad news about another contender for greatest leader Labour never had, and greatest Labour Prime Minister that never was. There is not a shred of doubt in my mind that if Mo Mowlam had challenged Tony Blair's leadership at any time in the last 7 years, she would have walked any ballot and would now be British Prime Minister. I think she probably knew what was coming, following her battle with cancer, leading to her standing down from Parliament in 2001. It'll be an even sadder day if this is not just a blip in her health.

posted by Darren | 6:59 PM