Archive for August, 2006

YAPC::Europe

Yesterday I got the train to Birmingham for YAPC::Europe. There was a rainstormRainbow as I got to Cambridge station.

I’m staying at nitenite which is pretty comfortable but the floor area is tiny and (as described) there’s no outside window, just an enormous flat-screen telly. The conference was quite good today, though the Catalyst session was a bit free-form.

A pleasant evening including curry at Manzil’s and beer at The Anchor, walking back via the completely OTT new Bull Ring.Selfridge's @ Bull Ring Birmingham

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Red

Graham pointed me at BloGTK so I’m trying it with this entry.

Last night I finished one of Graham’s birthday books: A Perfect Red: Empire, Espionage and the Quest for the Colour of Desire, by Amy Butler Greenfield. The history of cochineal is revealed in this excellent and highly readable account. Now where did Graham put his cochineal beetles?

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Jarhead

One of Graham’s birthday presents was the DVD of Jarhead so we watched it last night. A cut above the average war movie, and strangely compelling, but overall not really bringing much new on top of the likes of Platoon and Full Metal Jacket, and without the black humour of Three Kings. Jake Gyllenhaal and Jamie Foxx are good.

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Q

A night out in London on Wednesday, organised by Chris and Matthew. First dinner in Papageno’s, which ended up rather rushed, but good value at £12.50 for their ‘Tenor Menu’ (plus a little inflation!). Marshia and I jumped in a taxi for the short trip to…
The Noel Coward Theatre to see Avenue Q. What a great show! The combination of live actors, puppets, and on-stage puppeteers works really well. It’s a simple idea executed perfectly. I can’t get The Internet is for Porn out of my head now!

I had time for a quick drink in The Yard with everyone before dashing back to King’s Cross for the train home.

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Kent Coupling

Cutting the cakeWe hired a car and spent the weekend with Dad and Dawn, so that we could drive them to my uncle’s house in Kent for a lunch to celebrate the Civil Partnership of my cousin Simon and his now-husband Peter. They had done the official deed the day before, with close family, and now seventy of us gathered in a lovely marquee for lunch. The food and company were great but the weather was awful and at one stage we thought the marquee was going to get blown away! A brave few got soaked on the bouncy castle. I offered to bounce naked but strangely no-one seemed keen! There are more pictures in my gallery.
On Sunday we went for a short walk with Dad in Pyrford village, while Dawn cooked a super lamb lunch for us. Fully fed we tackled the road home, Graham coping wonderfully with torrential rain on the M25 and flooding on the A414.

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Teide


Group photo by Kevin, after Christmas sailing in the Canaries.

Posted by ShoZu

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ShoZu


Graham looking lovely.

Posted by ShoZu

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Saturday

Yes, it’s Sunday today, but I’ve just finished reading Saturday by Ian McEwan. Overall I enjoyed it, but… Superbly written, very compelling, fine characterisation, thought provoking, so what’s the problem? In common with Enduring Love I felt that there was an element of artifice which wasn’t quite dispelled for me.

You should read it, though, if you haven’t already.

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Cachorro

We rented and watched Cachorro on Friday night. The English title is Bear Cub and it’s a delightful look at real issues in gay life, as well as being funny and sad and very well acted by the leads, especially the young David Castillo as 9-year-old Bernardo. More at IMDB.

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