Monday, 30 November 2009

Like A Bad Tempered Badger

Um yess - okay so this has been gathering dust of late, the blame can be placed on, well me, coupled with the acquisition of a Playstation 3 and ongoing family dramas, neither of which have exactly helped with my good intentions of maintaining this blog. The arrival of winter hasn't helped either - as usual as soon as the clocks turned back my get up and go got up and went leaving me with the desire to do nothing but hide under a duvet growling at the world like a bad tempered badger.

But tomorrow is the 1st December and thus the beginning of a little thing called 100 Days to Make a better person which, thanks to the tweets of the marvellous Josie Long I found myself signing up to and making the rash promise to write at least 300 words about a work of art every day for 100 days. Well I'm determined to do it, although I have in the meantime decided to broaden the scope of my pledge a tad. Originally I'd intended to stick to writing about visual art, but on reflection I think it's probably going to give me more of a chance of actually suceeding in this task if I broaden my definition of art to include books, music, film, tv - whatever happens to be floating my boat at the time.

So there we go - 30,000 words of my meandering rambles to come - isn't the internet lucky.

Thursday, 5 November 2009

Sci-fi Sex Cloud

Nope nowt to do with the Torchwood episode "Day One" but inspired by Phillipa Warr's rather lovely Art's In The Right Place blog, a word cloud based on an extended essay that I wrote as part of my degree coursework:

(Image created by

The essay was titled The Doctor Dances: The Queering of Television Science Fiction in Doctor Who and The X-Files. Reading it back four years after the event it does strikes me as a little naive in places and perhaps a little too keen to chuck in theories and theorists that I knew would go down well with my tutor. Having said that. I can't help grinning at myself devoting a few hundred words in an academic paper to John Barrowman's naked backside. Aaaah happy days.

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Five Things That Made Me Smile

Oh it was all going so well, three blogs in three days and then I hit the buffers.

In my defence I've been a tad busy mucking about with paint, catching up on backed up housework and even chucking the odd job application out into the ether. I did start writing a piece inspired by a Bruce Hood lecture I went to last week, but I kept tying myself up in conceptual knots trying to work out quite where I was going with it. In the end decided that the most useful strategy was to read Bruce's book and hope that the internal contradictions I was juggling would resolve themselves. Well I'm about a quarter of the way through the book, so watch this space.

Of course coming up with lengthy creative excuses for not writing anything since last week pretty much defeats the object of doing this in the first place, which was to discipline myself to write something, anything every day, so since I have nothing earth-shattering interesting or insightful to say today, here's a list of five things that have enriched my life over the last few days.

1) Remembering Easyworld - lovely little band from Eastbourne who released a couple of albums in the early 2000's and then disappeared. Real teenage bedsit heartbreak stuff. Their albums sit unnoticed for months at an end then I get one of their tracks on a shuffle play and off I go playing 'em to death and singing along, scaring the neighbours. Here's Til The Day.

2) Discovering Bristol looks incredibly beautiful at night - especially if you're listening to Jim Moray's Nightvisiting while walking through the floating harbour as the light starts to fade.(And if you're visiting the links you'd probably be under the impression that I'm addicted to slightly fey boys with pianos and you'd probably be right.)

3) Reading Neil Gaiman's The Graveyard Book - Ideal reading for winter bedtimes - I've been rationing myself to a chapter a day - have a feeling I will probably bawl my eyes out at the end.

4) News that Waters of Mars - is less than two weeks away. Can't wait.

5) Wednesday night's Horizon - Love all that complicated physics stuff, even though I understand less than 1% of it. I just enjoy the mental workout. Particularly warmed to the physicist who commented that for all the info we've got there might as well be pink elephants at the centre of Black Holes. Also it had the very wonderful Michio Kaku on it and he always makes me smile.

So there we go, waifish boys singing, cities in the dusk, childrens' ghost stories, Doctor Who and quantum physics - I'm a man of simple pleasures. You'd never have guessed I used to be a goth would you?