Further ravages of time

Slightly under ten years ago, I renewed my passport.

Now I’m preparing to do it again so it will be definitely back with me in time in case I get to go on the school trip to Paris in December.

I didn’t quite dare tick the box that says my appearance has not substantially changed since last time.

passport photo



Frozen parodies

I’ve still not watched Disney’s Frozen – I felt for sure I wouldn’t be able to avoid seeing it at school on the last day of term, but somehow managed to avoid it after all – but thanks to parodies on the internet it feels like I know half the songs already.

Since it’s now available on Netflix, it’s only a matter of time till I see the real thing, but until then, here’s Cute Parents Lip-syncing…

(Which itself has spawned a series of parodies of parodies…


The original “Despair of an alto” video has been blocked on copyright grounds, but there is still this using the same track:

Dad who’s had enough of wife and kids singing the same song a million times.

And finally, which I didn’t even find until starting to write this post, is the censored version where they take the old ISIHAC trick of bleeping perfectly innocent words to make it sound rude.

Well, maybe not finally. As we were watching the credits of Tangled this evening, the songwriter credit came past and reminded me, if I ever knew, that the most of the Disney songs of the last thirty years have been written by the same guy who wrote Little Shop of Horrors, a sound track I can probably still sing all the words to myself. No wonder they’re so catchy.

Well. You remember that total eclipse of the sun, a few weeks ago?

Da doo.

There’s a stage production of this in Nottingham at the Lakeside coming up…

Eurovision bingo

We’re not able to watch Eurovision tonight as we’re out at a wine tasting slash concert, but I’m sure someone will be taping it and we will watch it later.

For the last few years we have been using Meg Pickard’s awesome Euro-bonga-bingo cards and we’d wholeheartedly recommend them as part of the entertainment at any Eurovision party.

I really haven’t been paying attention this year and haven’t even heard our own entry yet. These things don’t come up much on Radio 4 during my commute to and from school. But for a pithy four line smackdown of every song contention, you could do worse than Will Howells.

And we can’t conclude this little look at Eurovision 2013 without a namecheck to this tweet:


Words (and concepts) of the day

Three fun new things to cross my desk recently. Sometimes you can go days without learning any new words, and then sometimes there will be a flood.

1) Reuleaux triangles

A query arose in a game playing household about some game tokens, that looked almost but not exactly like plectrums. Puffy over-inflated equilateral triangles. Turns out they have some interesting mathematical properties, including about how they roll, and that if you make manhole covers this shape, the removed cover does not fall into the hole left behind.

The thing I found most interesting was that Reuleaux triangles are part of a series of mathematical shapes called Reuleaux polygons, and the shapes with seven sides are the shapes that are better known in the UK as 50p and 20p coins.

There are also Reuleaux tetrahedrons that are like puffy, round edged pyramids.

2) Obliquity

Now here’s an interesting word. in astronomy it describes a relationship between a planet’s north poll and its equator. Or something. But it came up in a meeting in a more social sciences context and it turns out it’s a book. The idea is that instead of being too goal-oriented, you can achieve what you want by taking an indirect route. Presumably there’s a personal goals angle there, and a few linked thoughts about personal productivity. But there’s also a research aspect. What do you find out on the way from A -> B? Sometimes C and D turn out to be the more useful research goals.

Clearly obliquity is related to oblique, a type of angle we learned about in secondary trigonometry. I thought it was a specific one like obtuse or reflex, but apparently it’s just one that is not a right angle. The wikipedia page for angles gets very heavy very quickly and there’s not a lot on the page I can easily get my head around.

NB obloquy is something else entirely. It’s a fancy word for abusive language.

3) Chthonic

What an amazing word. Are there any other with a chth right next to each other? It comes from the Greek, who apparently have no difficulty putting chi and theta next to each other without a vowel in between. Ooh, there’s also autochthonous – a synonym for indigenous. A Scrabble word finder has a list of 70 -CHTH- words including ichthic, which I think means fishy, although ichthyic is more common.

Chthonic means pertaining to the underworld.

It came to mind because my vegan friend is in the middle of a project of blogging every day and has a chosen to run each post under a new word ending -ic. (Apart from the first, where she sets out the laudable aim of commenting on others’ blogs pour encourager les autres)

Let’s end with a recipe: chocolate chip orange cookies. Easily vegan but doesn’t have to be if you prefer milk chocolate.

Tractor, trailer, combine, bailer: Hereford Rap

Liberal England’s recent post promoting a Shropshire rap reminded me that while we were in France our hosts told us about a Hereford rap that was quite entertaining.

A quick search and Youtube has the file, with the rather catchy refrain:

Tractor, trailer
Combine, bailer
Rotivator, cultivator
Sh*tspreader, plough!

The words and the content pursue some rather adult themes. But it is nice to see all those photos of Hereford cultural landmarks. And an indication of how long I have been gone. A Primark? In Hereford? You’ll be telling me there is a Starbucks next.

My episodes of Come Dine With Me now available on Youtube

It’s just over a year now since my episodes of Come Dine With Me were on’t telly for the first time. (The first thing that reminded me was my Photojojo Timecapsule email that sends back to me photos from a year ago).

CDWM Nottingham

And so it comes to pass that our week of episodes show up on the CDWM Youtube channel.

Here are the links:

  • Stephanie (the episode with the hilarious microwave ping incident
  • Me – nuff said
  • Janice – the costume episode in which I wear a PVC catsuit
  • Brian – the super uncomfortably night when I got to make a lot of jokes and where we somehow all get a lot drunker just before the puddings. Off cam tequila drinking games? YMTTICPC
  • Barry – final night with the scores, the cloche and gods and godesses costumes.

It’s clear that this interesting experience is going to follow me around for quite a while. Over the past year I’ve been recognised by strangers half a dozen times, the most recent just a week or so ago in Fellows, Morton and Clayton. Several have spoken to me because they knew one of the other contestants – Janice is my beautician, or I went to school with Barry and he hasn’t changed much. And everyone asks whether we’re still in touch with each other. I’m friends with Steph and Janice on Facebook, and bumped into Steph at a bus-stop recently, but haven’t spoken to the other guys since the final night at Barry’s house in November 2010.