Archive for December, 2005

IMG_1898.JPGIn a quite festive way I went ice skating at Alexandra Gardens in Windsor last night.

I took some really nice photos of my friends as they skated round, as well some other photos of random people..

The whole idea of strapping yourself to two knives and balance on a frozen puddle is somewhat odd.. Having tried it once before I wasnt overly keen.. To head out onto the ice and risk life and limb to feel seasonal..

The whole principal of skating I get.. its simple.. keep upright.. push off with one foot as your glide gracefully on the other foot..

The practical side is a little different… Attempt to balance on skates… grab nearest solid object / person for fear of your ankles breaking through heading in opposite directions.. Try to avoid falling over and/or killing other skaters… Once your reasonably steady, you can attempt to move…

Now the whole movent idea is a little foreign.. In theory you should glide gracefully round the rink, as opposed to knocking your knees together, and pulling yourself round by means of the railing that goes almost all the way round the rink..

Those of you to who this sounds familiar with know of course of the dreaded gap; that area of the rink that has no side wall, and no railing.. The non skaters no mans land.. There is nothing in this area for us unbalenced people to hold onto..

This is where the leap (or glide) of faith comes into play.. The moment where there is no choice except to push off (be pushed or dragged depending on how fed up your skating friends are with you) and hope that you make it to the other side and safety of the railings before either falling over, breaking a limb, or killing some small child that decided to pirouette infront of you..

You can of course ignore me and make a visit to Royal Windsor ice rink, I mean its got refreshments (mulled wine, tea, coffee, soup, hot dogs!!) and you can always watch people having fun on the ice rink. Its actually fun regardless.. if not very cold…

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George I normally keep some fox and hedgehog food in the garage for the summer (and the winter for the foxes), and whilst I was working out there yesterday I heard a scuffling noise coming from the tub of food.

Looking inside was a solitary field mouse looking up from the bottom.. It was fairly obvious that a family of field mice had moved into the bag, thinking they’d found mouse heaven; a years supply of free grub and a warm place to nap out the winter!! Unfortunately George seemed to be the only survivor of the ‘all you can eat Christmas buffet’, the others seeming to have died, I guess through slack of water..

Now its been proved that field mice are amongst the most intelligent mice out there, and its been proved that they often work out strategies for situations before heading into them, and often manage to get themselves out of tight spots with a little thinking time and team work.. But it seems poor ‘George’ and family didn’t think this one through so hard.. having eaten their way to the bottom of the large tub of food, they’d eliminated all ways of escape, since the top of the tub was now far beyond jumping distance..

I decided to take George down to the bottom of the garden and let him loose with a strict warning not to come into the house… He jumped out of the tub and sat there for some time in the grass, before scampering off into the undergrowth..

I swear he looked back and winked before he dived under next-doors shed… Cute isn’t he??


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Centro Gal01Three photographers, Addi Somekh, Charlie Eckert, and Andy Vermouth, having discovered that they could twist balloons, and make people laugh, decided to engage in a worldwide project; The Balloon Hat Experience.

The three decided that it would be cool if they could go around the world to make balloon hats for people and photograph them. In 1996 they set off for their first trial trip to three central American countries; Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. That started the ball rolling with its success, spending eight weeks in Europe.

They then branched out into West and East Africa, learning to use flash, and fast balloon twists to avoid the huge crowds that gathers in places like Ghana and Burkina Faso.

By the end of their 1998 trip they had visited 34 countries and shot over 10,000 photos. The gallery of photos is impressive, especially Central America and Africa.

Surreal, but interesting…

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Bunny-O-Vision Its happy holidays from the 30-Second Bunnies Theatre Library, in which a troupe of bunnies parodies a collection of movies by re-enacting them in 30 seconds, more or less. Presenting in Bun-O-Vision these collection of flash movies are quite amusing.

The Bunnies re-enact those all too long films, cutting them down to a nice, concise 30 or seconds of direct bunny acting.. Cutting out all the superfluous acting, plot lines, and getting to the basics.. Jaws is particularly funny..

Amongst the repertoire of Bunnies Theatre are such classics as;

Alien‘; It seems to have live.. its gone.. its dead.. its back..

The Big Chill‘; Everyone does everything to get laid..

The Exorcist‘; urrrrrgggghhhhh… nooo noo noo nah nee nah noo noo..

Freddy Vs Jason‘; scream.. dude that guy was pissed..

Highlander‘; there can be only one..

Titanic‘; This ship cant sink.. I assure you it can.. No it can’t.. Oh my god it sunk..

Well you get the idea, the full list of Bun-O-Vision movies is here..

I’m waiting for the abridged King Kong, and Harry Potters..

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Press 1 if you want to stay on hold, press 2 if you have an enquiry… Please enter your home phone number… Argh!!

Its one of my pet hates having to navigate through companies IVR’s or in simple terms those automated systems that get you to press buttons depending on what you want to do.. possibly the worst ever was NTL’s that used to repeatedly drop you back at the top level of the menu..

I’ve always ignored them the best I can, and waited for the ‘If you don’t have a touch tone phone.. please hold..’ I’d much rather talk to someone than a machine..

Well it seems that Paul English is going to get a fair few visitors in the next few days… He’s put together an IVR Cheat Sheet covering pretty much all the major companies in the world that use these automated response systems..

Through the update script the cheat sheet can be updated to cover new companies and countries as people work out how to beat the evil automated system!!

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“Wisdom consists in doing the next thing you have to do, doing it with your whole heart, and finding delight in doing it.”

Meister Eckhart.

I was reading through my email this evening and found a note from Mark Forster.. He was writing about having a method of only accepting new commitments to which you can say a whole-hearted ‘yes’ to.

He was talking about physically asking yourself the question; ‘Can I say a whole-hearted yes to this?’; is this something that I can with my whole heart say yes to.. its a simple rule really, probably something most people don’t even think about doing before we leap head long into something new..

There’s nothing wrong with actually saying ‘No’ to something, and its a good measure to see if its something you will be able to put your whole heart into..

How many things have we done where the initial excitement or commitment to it has fizzled out, or not been something that was as successful or completed as we’d wanted?

We often use the phrase ‘My heart wasn’t in it’ as a cover for really attempting to do something, or commit to something that we didn’t really want to do, even if we felt that we should do it, maybe because it was expected of us..

When we talk about our heart, not in the organ sense, we really are talking about a combination everything that really makes us up, our minds, our bodies, our intellect, feelings and emotions. Really our ‘heart’ is the core of who we really are, and if the core of who we are is not committed to doing the task in hand… We’re never going to be successful at it..

We have many many reasons why we end up in the situation where we really don’t have our heart in the task, or commitment we’re taking on. It could be something else is more important to us, and we’re really only sharing time between that situation or task, and this one. In these situations both suffer, and we end up in effect spoiling both.

Before we take on anything, be it a job, a task, and commitment or situation, we should always ask ourselves; ‘What is my heart saying?’

I will be the first to admit, sometimes my heart isn’t in a lot of things, even if I think it is, like many people I tend to be frightened of the answer to that question.. ‘What is my heart saying about this?’ I know that’s its always better to face up to things, rather than bury them. That frightening answer may be that you need to make a fresh commitment to the situation, or possibly that you need to remove yourself from the situation altogether and walk away from it..

‘What is my heart saying?’ is probably the most powerful question you can ask yourself, because our heart encapsulates everything about us, it really is the single mirror of truth on everything we encounter. If i ask myself ‘what is my heart saying..’ about anything in my life, it provides a small stop gap, a second of thought to really understand how the core of ‘me’ feels about what I’m committing to.

If you heart says no, then you can never fully commit to that task, situation or decision, and if you did, you would start a something you know full well you cannot commit you whole heart to.

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“If you change your mind, I’m the first in line

Honey I’m still free

Take a chance on me

If you need me, let me know, gonna be around

If you’ve got no place to go, if you’re feeling down

If you’re all alone when the pretty birds have flown

Honey I’m still free

Take a chance on me

Gonna do my very best and it ain’t no lie

If you put me to the test, if you let me try”

So I’m sat early in the morning in bed on the laptop listening to Whatever from the album Seaside by Max Melvin, thinking about the evening I’ve just had out. It was an evening out, that somewhat opened my eyes to my life and how I’m living within it.

I realised a number of things this evening. I realised that I can sit talking with people because they want to talk to me, because I’m me…

I realised that I can go and do stuff on my own, and enjoy doing it, because it pleases me, and not anyone else…

I realised that I am a special person with a lot to offer those that want to be with me, and be part of my life..

I realised that I’ve not always told people what I really feel, and how important they are to me, I’ve never found the right words to describe their importance to me, and ended up making them feel like they were just ‘someone’ to me, when in fact they meant more than everything in the world, I just couldn’t express or convey that to them, I regret with my whole heart I’ve never been brave enough to do that, that I’ve lost special things to me because of that, and I wish I could turn back the clock and tell people what they meant and how important they were to me and my being…

But I did realise that no matter what in the world I am, I do have a quite wonderful life, and those that wish to share it with me are quite lucky to do so, in that I will treat anyone in my life with the up-most respect and value, as if they are one of my family, that they will embark on a journey that will not only enhance mine, but their own life as well..

I wish some people could take a chance on me, and dig slightly deeper on who I am, and what I can give them, that they would see the real me, and the depths that I have, depths that are discovered over time, depths that I don’t think anyone has really yet found, or experienced.. and I wish sometimes I could bring some of those qualities and depths to the surface sooner, rather than hiding them deep within my soul..

I’ve also realised that I shouldn’t have come home with the traffic cone or the road works sign.. and that somehow I believe I left my shoes on the dance floor and my sock are wet… This however is all part of being ME..

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