Friday, December 28, 2007

Still Sick

See title, update over.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Monday, December 24, 2007


What a b.....y stupid day to get ill. Dry, ahcki9ng cough, no energy, aching all over, and a headache. Great!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

By An Open Fire

So last night I decided to play around with the new digital camera a bit. Oh, I do like being able to see the results immediately. Makes it much easier for playing around with exposures. Now, I know these aren't quite right, unfortunately there is a blue reflection which is from some Christmas lights, and the bottle needs to be three quarters full, and in an ideal world the wine in the glass needs some legs. But I think (b) is the winner for now.


Saturday, December 22, 2007

Cue, Action

I never thought I would say that the end of the XFactor would be a dilemma. But sadly it appears to be so. We had got into this "tradition" of sitting down together to watch it and have a tea of dips. "A" loved it, as much because it was a family thing and us all sitting together on the sofa. So without it what can we watch. And there really was nothing else tonight. "A" had the bright idea that we could all watch Peter Pan (the Disney cartoon), well sorry but that wasn't going to happen. I am not spending an early evening wathching Peter Pan. We bought Polar Express for her recently because we thought she enjoyed it at the cinema, but she didn't want to watch that. In the end we settled for Madagascar. Could have been better, but could have been worse (High School Musical 2 being a current favourite of hers).

Friday, December 21, 2007

Holidays A'Comin'

I am sometimes asked if I miss being in practice. And the true answer is "never". But especially not when I have just finished work for the Christmas break. In practice there is really no such thing as a Christmas break. If you are lucky then you get Christmas Day off. But you know that the Christmas week is going to be busy. Gastrotomies on dogs that have eaten too much turkey fat. Dogs with chocolate poisoning. Cats which have argued with the carving knives. I won't go in to full details, especailly of trying to stitch up a dog after emptying its stomach, and the floor being covered with half digested turkey fat (sorry, did I go too far there?).

Anyway, time to relax (as long as our turkey gets delivered on Christmas Eve, otherwise panic and sausages for lunch). A decent break, and not one phone call expected at three in the morning to get me out of bed (Sal, that is not a challenge).

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Whizz Whir

Or I think you are completely mad, and I run from the room the moment your back is next turned

Don't Click

So what I used to do, and what I think black and white is so good for, is go down to public areas and take pictures of people. Crowds, individuals lost in the crowd, etc. Today, rather short notice, I needed to go to London. So I thought it would be a good opportunity to take my new camera. Set it to monochrome. And try to get some atmospheric shots. And lucky me, I was going to be at Euston. That should be good. Quack Quack Oops. Apparently you are not allowed to take pictures in train stations. I ahve been told. After I took a photo. A rather insistant man came up to me, with two policemen in the background, one of whom was carry a gun. And he told me I couldn't take photos. And then he had problems understanding that I was saying sorry and that I wouldn't do it again. He got more and more agitated explaining that it was security, and it wasn't allowed etc. I just calmly said I understood, I was sorry, it didn't use to be a problem, I won't do it again, I'll delete the one photo I had taken if it helps. And had to repeat myself again and again. After a three minute lecture he finally realised that I wasn't complaining, wasn't being trouble, and was genuinely apologising. And I felt lucky to get away.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007


Very excited. My new camera arrived today. Finally taken the leap of buying a digital SLR. The Canon EOS 40D. Not quite as complicated as the picture here (look closely at the different buttons) but certainly more complicated than the EOS 30 I have been used to. But really exciting. I am especially looking forward to the fact I can swap between colour and black and white at the press of a button or two. Sometimes I really like black and white photography but it can be a pain when you haven't completed a film (for a while I did run two cameras, one for colour, one for black and white). Anyway, recently I haven't been taking a lot of pictures but now I will start again. Looking forward to it.

Hee Hee Hee (Which Do You Do?)

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Top Vote

So the Lib Dems have voted David Cameron as their leader. No, sorry, I mean Nick Clegg. No, No, listen to the way he talks, how he moves his arms, it IS David Cameron. Can't be, can it? Or is this what he meant by bringing them together, head up both parties and pool the votes.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Closed Case

So go back to this story that the NHS have a £2 billion pound surplus. Then compare and contrast with this one, that they are closing down two of the few places that can treat specialised psychiatric illness. Doesn't make much sense does it? Even ignoring the social side of such a service, the economic arguments to keep the hospitals open are strong as they prevent more serious injuries and violence that would involve the police as well as the NHS. Short term thinking leads to a further step backwards in the long term. Politics controlled by a balance sheet.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Fa La La

It was bad enough that he got to the final. But it is a travesty that he won. Leon cannot sing. That is the downright truth. He misses more notes than he hits. Rhydian however has a fantastic voice, and I am not ashamed to say he can bring me out in goosebumps with the emotion he puts into a song. So how did Leon win? I really think I need to get the TV checked because I heard something very different to other people obviously. The relief is that Leon will be a one hit wonder, whilst Rhydian will, without doubt, be given a contract and go on for a long time. In this case talent defintiely was the loser, I am just not sure what made the untalented one win.

Saturday, December 15, 2007


Action - No, Please, No, CUT

How could a world leader (in the broadest sense) think that it would be a good idea to make a video of his dog and release it to us all. It appears that this is a tradition at Christmas and that this is in fact the 6th in the series. I suppose it is meant to be inspiring although in reality it is fairly cringe-worthy. In fact, if you can make it to the end, it gets worse. Because there is a guest appearence by Tony Blair, at his most embarrassing. This is a man who remains desperate for attention, any attention, and has no concept of shame.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Up and Up

After the rehearsal on Monday, last nights ceremony had the potential to be a disaster. There are a number of reasons why I was not as good on my lines as I would normally expect to be. A number of reasons which I don't feel like going in to here. All that matters is that Monday I was a shambles and, as the rest rely on me to be strong, the evening rapidly degenerated. I was therefore very nervous last night. And I didn't get the time pre-ceremony that I hoped for to sit in the chair and think about my lines. Too busy setting up the tables for the meal afterwards.

So, in the end, I was extremely pleased with last night. There is no doubt that, on another night, I would have been berating myself for not doing as well as I ought. But we got through it smoothly. Where I couldn't remember the exact words I at least knew the story well enough to be able to bluff my way through. And I led the team forward as I should. We got through it, no injuries (!), and all happy, with many visitors telling us what a fine ceremony (a third degree) it was.

And the relief this morning when I woken up. A load off my shoulders. And I do this for fun! But one more ceremony, an installation, and I am finished in the chair. It is already downhill from here.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Oh S@@@

Normal service will be resumed shortly but Lodge meeting tomorrow night and I really don't know my words, last nights rehearsal was a disaster. Panic mode.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Huey and the News

Right, I have to be honest, living with a five year old can make you a bit cynical. Today we are supposed to be meeting Zippie and "D" for lunch. So "A" starts saying she feels sick about 2 hours before we are due to leave. This is strange because she enjoys seeing Zippie and "D" (not Uncle Zippie and Aunty D, oh no, lot of trouble if I say that) but I think that maybe she doesn't fancy the 2 hour drive. I certainly don't actually believe her. And I am still not believing her, although I have rung and cancelled, when "A" is violently sick. And she doesn't eat anything all day, and she goes to bed half way through the afternoon, and even when she isn't in bed she sits quietly on the sofa for almost the entire day (one or two half hearted reconnoitres but nothing major). Oh bad Daddy, for ever doubting his daughter.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

So Fa Lo

While it is not my first choice of watching we have developed a family tradition of watching X-Factor on Saturday night while eating dips (I make a wicked home made salsa). So can someone explain to me how Leon has made it to the final. There has not been a week where he didn't sing out of tune. I was amazed tonight when Cowell said "you only sang slightly out of tune". When I was young, in 4-5 choirs at school, there was no such thing as slightly out of tune. Either you hit the note or you don't. It is an on-off thing, there is no degree to it. Sadly I suspect that slightly out of tune means it is something that can be electronically rigged in the studio (I refuse to buy the new Sugababes song because, although I like it, I heard them sing it live and they were terrible, obviously fix in the mix). Anyway, for weeks I have thought Leon should go and, although not convinced by Nikki, this evening she did nail a Fleetwood Mac song.

Swings and Roundabouts

Yea, managed to get tickets to see Varekai by Cirque du Soleil in London. It is difficult to get good tickets. Firstly, don't go through the link on the website which takes you to an official ticket dealer, they never seem to have the good seats. Instead go to he Royal Albert Hall website itself and use their booking. But it's complicated, once you have chosen a date and "Best Price Available" it automatically puts the seats in your basket, before you are able to decide if you actually want them. And there is a limited number of tickets you can have in your basket. So you have to delete them before going back to the booking page, picking a new date and trying again. So by the time you have gone therou a month of dates it has taken you three quarters of an hour. Frustrating. But this time my persistance has been rewarded as I found ringside seats in February. Exciting.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Burning Bright

Every evening
I light this lamp
In the hope
You'll see this beacon
To this empty home
And make it
Whole again.
Every morning
I awake

Wednesday, December 05, 2007


I want to walk
In the pouring rain
Not caring
That my clothes are soaked,
To stand
On the highest places
And shout with freedom,
To see
The glistening colour
Of your eyes
That the look
Will be followed
By intensity,
Most of all
To live
Filled with passion.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Watch Out For Hobbes

I am bumping this up (well, reposting) because it is great and if you haven't yet watched it you should, if you have watched it then watch again. And also because living with Scooby in this house is like living with Hobbes.


The day started with a new Christmas decoration blowing. It ended with the computer playing up. In between was much the same.

This Month Day 10

Not for the video, but the music

Well, It's Nice To Know

You're an Expert Kisser

You're a kissing pro, but it's all about quality and not quantity
You've perfected your kissing technique and can knock anyone's socks off
And you're adaptable, giving each partner what they crave
When it comes down to it, your kisses are truly unforgettable

Monday, December 03, 2007

The Feeling - I Love It When You Call


A dream

Of the warmth
Your arms around me,
Holding me
Passion reflected,
A want
A hunger,
A shining in your eyes,
That feeds my soul,
Meets my heart -
Ache -
A desire
For knowing
A knowing
We should be

As I wake
To cold
Too cold

Sunday, December 02, 2007


Every step
Further, faltering
From the deep wound in my side
Leaving a trail for the beast
Licking every drop
Unwilling to lose
So sweet a meal
And closing
Until it catches
My being
Faint memory

Calvin and Hobbes Breakaway

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Red Rose

I watch the red petal
Floating to the ground
From the rose flower
In your hand
And I know
By the time
It touches the grass
Colours blending
I can say a sentence
That will
Our World


For a Saturday this was busy. I had meant to go to a lodge rehearsal earlier this week but hadn't been able to make it in the end. So I drove down to Cardiff this morning, spent a couple of hours with my father going through the upcoming Third Degree ceremony, then rushed back. We have a family ritual of eating dips while watching X-Factor and I had to be back for that (well I was 10 minutes late, but not bad).

Friday, November 30, 2007

The End

Well, it has taken me about 12 years but I have finally finished the Cerebus saga. Now, to be fair, this isn't quite as bad as it sounds. In that it hasn't taken so long because it is difficult to read, rather it has taken so long because it is a graphic novel (OK comic) and has been slowly released in book form over this time. It hasn't always been easy to get the next volume.

Cerebus started as a parody of "Conan the Barbarian" (he even gets to marry Red Sophia). And for a while that is where it stayed. A three foot tall bipedal aardvark who never quite fitted in with the world around him. Guest appearances from other characters began to appear, some real and some not so real, including Groucho Marx and Oscar Wilde. And then it started to evolve. It became a reflection on politics, then on the church. From parody to satire. The Rolling Stones appeared for a while. And then it got weird. Dave Sim, the author, probably does have a screw loose, in all honesty. And as you read the latter books you can understand why feminists hate him. And also religious fanatics. He becomes a fanatic himself and seems, by the end, to think that god has given him guidance that the rest of us have missed.

All the same, allowing for the weirdness, for the appearences of F Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemmingway, the Three Stooges and others, he does make good points. I don't say I beleive them, but I think they deserve consideration.
Cerebus is not a lovable character. Selfish, callous, amoral (rather than immoral), and a drunk with a temper. But he is also a character who can absorb you, sometimes the story line moves at lightening speed, sometimes like a glacier. But always, just always, wanting to know what will happen next.

The Chances Of Anything Coming From Mars.......

I have just watched "War of the Worlds". The modern version. With Tom Cruise. And my god it was dire. Take a classic and turn it into a nightmare. Didn't even have the good songs in it. Tom Cruise less than convincing. In fact the whole story less than convincing. I am tempted to describe it in detail so that it spoils it for you if you haven't seen it, then you won't have to sit through it. Now you could say that it is sci-fi so the story will be far fetched, but the point of good sci-fi is that it has an air of credibility. Which the original did (I am sure you know what happened, when it was first broadcast on radio it caused a nationwide panic becuase listeneers thought it was real). But right from the outset the premise was wrong in this version. poor, very poor, and a waste of 2 hours.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Out With The Old

I can't say what I have been up to recently at work. But it has been intense. Very intense, for the last few weeks. Effectively the project ended yesterday. I left home this morning not sure what I was going to do. Don't get me wrong, there is plenty to do. But I had to refocus. So today was spent re-organising my office. Took everything out, moved the furniture around. Threw out a lot of things I had been hoarding but not used in 5 years. Basically a cathartic experience.

I'm H.A.P.P.Y.

Shock news this morning was that people are realising that if the NHS pays for Herceptin then they have less money for anything else.

I am ready to be flamed for the following but it is a debate that is needed.

I understand why an individual would fight to be treated with Herceptin. Of course anyone who thought it would help them or a member of their family would do everything they could to get hold of it. But the NHS has a limited resource. For once I am not being political, whoever is in power there will always be limited amount of money that can be spent. And, as a group, we need to see that the more that can be treated the better. Hard choices have to be made. It seems easy to say "if you don't let me have access to the drug I will die", but the relaisty is that if one person has access to Herceptin then in fact many more die because there is no money for the other therapies.

The problem is that what we hear is individual storries. And every individual deserves to be listened to. But someone, somewhere, has to make the hard choice. Do we treat 75 people with Herceptin (with a 10% success rate) or do we treat 355 people with radiotherapy? Radiotherapy does have a lower success rate. herceptin is certainly a wonder drug. But the increase in numbers of people you can treat mean that even with a lower success rate the total number of people who survive increases. If we look at individuals then every single one should have Herceptin because they have a better chance, but if we look at the "herd" then we do better using the cheaper therapy.

It is a harsh reality. I wish that the NHS had enough money to do everything. But it is a bottomless pit, and there will always be a newer more expensive drug. The money has to be used rationally, and that means choosing what is best for us all.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007


You may be given to wonder about some retailers. In a DVD catalogue just received, under the category of "Westerns" - "All Quiet On The Western Front"

Bring Diddly Um Pom Bring

Time was when mobile phones were unusual. Only the richest had them, and then they were cumbersome and more novelty than useful. Things have changed. Despite Dom Jolys best efforts they are more ubiquitous than ever. There are now 13% of households in the UK that have mobiles but don't have landlines. Isn't that amazing. But the UK is behind the times. Other countries are well in advance of that. In one Eastern European country there are now 127 mobile phones for every 100 people. Which seems weird. Who is using those extra 27 phones?

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Santa Claus A'comin

When can you tell Christmas is on it's way? (As an aside, can you believe that a pub we went to today for lunch was actually advertising Burns night and Valentines!) The neighbours have put up their Christmas lights. Almost crashed the car in surprise and overshot my drive. It isn't even December. Now, to be fair, we do plan on putting up our lights this weekend, but at least we will be in the right month. One advantage of them having put theirs up is that I now know what I need to beat. Bit of shopping in the offin methinks. But no, the real way to know Christmas is here is that I just saw the Coca-Cola santa ad, definite proof.


It was quite a masonic weekend. My parents came up at the end of last week so this meant my father and I could go out to a Chapter meeting on Thursday (my weekend starts early). I am the Janitor at the moment - rather weird that the first real officer role in Chapter and I get thrown out so I can't see the ceremony. Weirder that I have lines to give, so I have to yell through the door when it is open. Actually it is a nice office to hold, you get to talk to the new (hopeful) member and try to put him at his ease. Anyway it was enjoyable, and also very nice to have an evening out with my father.

Then the LOI dinner mentioned earlier. A chance for those who regularly turn up to rehearsals (LOIs) to have a meal together with their other halves. And a lot of talk about a lot of things non-masonic. Simply a nice relaxing evening with friends. And we were lucky because the wedding at the hotel had an amazing firework display so we got to watch that as well.

Monday, November 26, 2007


It was a busy weekend. So some stories, if blogged at all will be out of order. Anyway, on Saturday we went to an LOI dinner (Lodge of Instruction, I will explain another time). It was at St Mellons Country Club (Charity Ball there next year in May, let me know if you are interested in coming). We were standing around chatting, having some drinks with our friends. This guy comes up to us and starts chatting. Rapidly realise he is a magician. not bad (although not particularly good). And I couldn't get a word in edgeways, because there was something I thought I should tell him. After twenty minutes he finally says "so do you know Emily or Trevor?" To which the honest answer, and what I had wanted to tell him, was "neither, the wedding party is in the room next door!"

Sunday, November 25, 2007


Deep within
Deeper than my soul
A scream
Growing bigger
Stretching the confines
Of the vault I built
And the groaning
Of the locks
Under the constant pressure
Are as nothing
To the hurricane
On its release


Every time you hurt me
Wound me
Drag the burning knife
Across my soul
With a word
A picture
A simple look,
Every time, again
I raise a wall
A shield
To fortify my world

Until now
I look around
My small cocoon


Thursday, November 22, 2007

Physician Heal Thyself

Yesterday it was reported in the news that the UK has the worst survival rates after serious trauma of any developed country. In fact our survival rates are as low as 16% whereas in America, a country oft slated for its health care, the rates are up to 43% (although this may be partly because they have more experience with serious trauma). So to hear the government patting themselves on the back this morning because the health service has £2 billion surplus this year does not seem quite right. There is only one way that a service can go from a massive deficit one year to a surplus the next and that is to be cutting that service to the bone. I don't want to hear that the NHS has a surplus, I want to know that every penny has been spent so that we can get the best from our taxes. Both deficit and surplus represent inappropriate spend and misuse of our money. Good use of a budget requires understanding what is available and spending correctly, investing in the correct areas. Missing budget, either positively or negatively, shows a failure in budgetary management (at best setting the budget incorrectly so that you can look good by coming under it, at worst fiscal incompetance).

Useless Information

For quite a few years I have been wondering why a car manufacturer would call its 4x4 "Touareg". I finally found out (thank you Radio 4). The touareg are a nomadic tribe who wander around the deserts.

Sometimes you find something you can't help but wish you'd written.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Down and Out

I am not a football fan. Rugby yes. Cricket yes. Ice hockey yes. Football no. Never have been. but watching the England Croatia match this evening was like watching a train crash in slow motion. It was rubber necking. It was impossible to tear away from even though I didn't understand the rules. I could understand enough to know that a score of 2-3 to Croatia was not good.

Pushing Daisies

You know, I kind of hoped it would be more

$4365.00The Cadaver Calculator - Find out how much your body is worth.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007


Tokyo is now officially the place to go for food. It has overtaken Paris (sorry ratatooiee) as the city with the most Michelin stars. This is the sample menu from one of the three starred restaurants:

Funazushi Crucian carp pickled in salt for a month, washed, pickled again with cooked rice and matured for at least six months Takoyaki Octopus dumplings with chopped onions, cabbage and pickled ginger topped with Aonori seaweed or dried tuna
Koyadofu Tofu “freeze-dried” by a traditional method. Courses cost 25,000 yen (£111) each. Up to 11 may be taken

The carp sounds especially appetising! The Michelin man looks very happy in the picture but should probably be careful not to end up as sushi.

Fagins Rules

OK, I think I may start to keep a running log of exactly how many disasters and cock-ups can be achieved under the Brown reign. This one defies belief. What on earth were the Revenue doing putting all that data on to discs, something that the law prohibits them from doing, and then, even worse, sending it in the normal internal mail (actually there seems to be some confusion on exactly how it was sent, but obviously not by a secure route). Then keeping the loss quiet and not investigating until almost a month later. Apparently the Revenue service have managed to lose 41 laptops this year as well! The systems at Revenue seem to be waterlogged rather than water-tight, maybe a left over from the floods earlier this year.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Oops Upside Your Head

"I also love the way you say "society needs to learn how to work for the individual" - I would phrase it entirely the other way round - though I think that's what makes us so different politically...". This comment from my previous blog deserves a blog of its own. I love the fact that my friends will challenge my beliefs. Anyway, I think this is an interesting philosophy.

The two statements do reflect opposite ends of a spectrum. I believe that society, that is the "we", should be working towards getting the best from every individual and the way to do that is to recognise that each is an individual, with different things to offer. By "getting the best" I mean realising their potential, as I believe that is how people can feel valued and respect themselves. Turn that on it's head, to the individual working for society, and we move towards trying to make everyone and everything equal, and therefore moving towards the lowest common denominator, providing for people does not give them value and a position it just makes them think that they are owed something and the world is unfair.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Further and Higher

This post carries on from the last but is separate because I want to get a bit more philosophical.

I believe a lot of the problems arise from making the simple mistake of confusing "rights" with "should". We all have a right to further education but that doesn't mean we should all receive further education.

As a society we are failing when we think that attendance at university makes better people. Universities serve a purpose, which is one of education, and it should be aimed at results rather than simply assumed to be something that is good to do. Not everyone is cut out to be a vet or a doctor. That doesn't make them any better or worse. Actually those that do go to university can get very confused over this important detail, and then they can end up believing that they are better than those who don't attend (this is so drummed into them at an early stage, "you are in the top 0.5% of the countries intellence" etc that it isn't exactly their fault that the world becomes somewhat distorted).

Society needs to learn how to work for the individual and to recognise that each and every one of us is different. "I am not a number" is true in so many ways. To value what each of us can provide and not to rate each other based on what we do. To find ways to encourage peole and make them feel successful based on their needs and their desires, not to make them feel failures because they don't conform. Respect for our fellows shouldn't be based on their education.

So, yes, everyone should have the right to further education, but that doesn't mean that we should set a target and push people towards something that is not going to help them in the future (and may also end them in more debt, but that's a different blog). Give people the right to go, give them the freedom to decline.

Time To Leave

It isn't often that I am going to be agreeing with a Labour MP. So make the most of it. Frank Field, however, is a very intelligent man. At a time when labour seem to be pushing everyone to stay at school until 18, Frank Fields is putting forward the idea that we should let them leave at 14. He puts in a caveat that they must achieve a certain standard before they can leave, which makes a good deal of sense, but recognises that forcing people to stay at school not only doesn't help them but also disrupts those who do want to learn. This comes soon after I made some similar comments in my blog.
We already have problems with truancy. It is associated with those who are performing badly and find school heightens a feeling of failure rather than inspiring them for the furture. Will extra years at school help with this? No, of course not. We need to find ways to work with individuals, not simply to stamp a "standard" on the whole. We need to recognise that, for some, staying at school could be more damagng rather than of benefit.

Saturday, November 17, 2007


I have been known to use this blog to diss bad service. So it is only fair that I should give praise where due.

Last night I was at an event called "Music on the Menu". It was joint hosted between the Radisson Edwardian Heathrow and Prestige Promotions. Radisson provided the dinner, drinks, accomodation while Prestige provided the entertainment. Prestige have the motto "making an event an occasion" and they live up to it. The idea was that in between each course of the dinner we had entertainment using some of the acts that Prestige can call on. This included "Shoo Shoo Baby", "Barwizards" and "Stringfever". These were all very entertaining but top scores go to "Damon Scott and Bubbles" and "Cover Up". While Damon Scotts act sounds simple enough - he is a puppeteer - I swear that almost everyone at the dinner (and there were about 500 guests) had tears of laughter. "Cover Up" (sadly I can't find a link) played a mix of cover songs and had most of us up dancing despite the rather tight space.

I was there by myself, "J" wasn't able to come, but the Prestige team looked after me and everyone had such a great time that there was no problem finding people to chat with. I stayed up until 0315 hrs but then decided it was time to retire to bed as I had to drive home in the morning.

The following clip doesn't show just how good Damon Scott is, but it is still worth watching:

Wednesday, November 14, 2007


Your hand
Reaching out
Fingers open
And we touch
An accident
Leading to a laugh
And knowing
It can lead to more
For once
An empty room
An empty night
Can at least
Be banished
For a few hours
Of warmth

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Didn't Dodge

I failed to see Squeaks warnings in time. Phone rang. I answered. It's the vicar. Can I pretend to be an answer machine? No, probably too late for that. But he said it would be quite a while before he could arrange something, that's not fair, I wasn't ready for it. So he's coming around next Monday evening!

Sunday, November 11, 2007


We don't go to church very often. Not as often as we should. But we do try to go to the 30 minute service that is held once a month. It is a special service for families with young children and it is very relaxed. No worries if your child makes a lot of noise or is disruptive (not that "A" is). "A" encourages us to go. Slightly worried today when we walk in and are asked to help distribute some leaflets before the ceremony. Obviously getting known now. More worried afterwards when the vicar asks if it is OK if he calls around some time. What can you say. "Yes, lovely to see you", while wondering what we will get roped into. (Especially concerned as they are just establishing a "mens group" to meet at the local pub every week!)

Saturday, November 10, 2007


Calling me
To plunge
To surrender
My all
Awake senses
In a burst
To experience
In a spark
Before drowning
In your body.

Bad Words

I am considering sueing for slander. 11 days ago I woke up with a swollen elbow. Well, woke up, I didn't really sleep much because my elbow was so painful during the night. I went into work and made a joke that I had golfers elbow from playing Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2008 (and that is obviously not Tiger Woods in the picture to the right) on the Wii. As the day progressed my elbow became more swollen. Next morning swelling slightly reduced (only three times bigger than it should be) so I went in to work but came home early because it was very painful. Now, I say came home early, but I came home and worked, it was simply more comfortable to use the laptop at home. After that I was not going to be in work (as in "in the office") for the rest of the week or this week anyway as I was working off-site. Note I WAS WORKING. Every single email I have received between then and now, every single phone call, has been answered. I repeat, I WAS WORKING.

Anyway, as to the elbow, I could use it, bend it, generally wave it around as normal, even play golf shots, but it was the back of my elbow that was three times bigger than it should be, burning hot and thickened, not the joint capsule but the soft tissue. I had an infection, cellulitis to be exact (advantage of being a vet, I can self-diagnose). By Friday I deceided it wasn't going to improve on its own and went to the doctor for antibiotics, who happily obliged and wondered why I hadn't come in earlier. So the Wii was vindicated, it wasn't an injury but infection.

Now back to what is happening at work while I am away. Rumours start. By the end of this week it turns out that everyone is saying I am off work sick because of playing on the Wii. I am fairly sure I know who the culprits are, one of whom is actually telling people I have a urinary infection (if you know how to pronounce Wii then you will understand). And I intend to sue for defamation of character. Can anyone point me to a good lawyer?

Friday, November 09, 2007

Eye On You

The other night I took some vets out for a meal. We went to a chinese restaurant. They were very proud of it, I think it was a highlight of the town. Although there was a menu you could just say "cook us a meal" and they would go off and devise something suitable. A six course meal in fact. Which included lobster. I have had lobster before. I like lobster. However I have never had lobster brought out and left in the middle of the table for ten minutes still alive. It was really a bit disconcerting. Trying to hold a conversation with someone while these lobster are in the corner of your eye, feelers nodding in agreement and expecting them to add to the discussion any minute. Now it didn't put me off, I think it is important that we accept where our food comes from, but it definitely went into the weird category of life.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Flying High

Go here to watch flight patterns which are stunning to watch (although possibly not recommended if you are going to be flying in the near future).

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Credit Where Credit Is Due

*Kiss on the Forehead ----"Forever you will be mine"
*Kiss on the Ear ---"I'm horny"
*Kiss on the Cheek ---"We're friends"
*Kiss on the Hand ---"I adore you"
*Kiss on the Neck ---"We belong together"
*Kiss on the Shoulder ---"I want you"
*Kiss on the Lips ---"I love you" OR "I want you"
*Kiss on the belly-----"lets have sex"

*Holding Hands ---"We can learn to love each other"
*A wink ---"Let's get it on"
*Slap on the Butt ---"That's mine"
*Playing with the Ear ---"I can't live without you"
*Holding on tight ---"Don't let go"
*Looking into each other's Eyes ---"Don't let go"
*Playing with Hair on Head ---"Tell me you love me"
*Arms around the Waist ---"I love you too much to let go"
*Laughing while Kissing ---"I am completely comfortable with you"

--Advice--*Don't ask for a kiss, take one.
*If you were thinking about someone while reading this,you're definitely in Love (or strong like).

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

A Load of (Ed)

So a few days ago I posted the question about what are our children learning at school. Is this response by the government to raise the leaving age the real answer? Compulsory education to the age of 18. But if they aren't studying anything of value then is there any real point. And, as they say, you can lead a horse to water but you can't make it drink. So you force our young adults to stay at school where they don't want to be. Are they really going to be learning, or are they just going to be a disruptive influence on those who want to learn?

I think a decent apprenticeship system would be much more beneficial. Let those who want to leave, leave. But give them something of value to do, help them to learn a trade (which at the moment seems to pay better than a lot of professions anyway). It isn't the leaving age that is the problem, it is the fact that people feels worthless.

Shakin Stevens

Well, not so much stevens as Gordon. I would imagine that Cameron is going to really start looking forward to Prime Ministers Questions. Brown is so easy to rile. And when he does get riled it shows so visibly. During the Queen's Speech today Gordon Browns hand could be seen shaking on the lectern. From his face you could see that he was struggling and immensely uncomfortable up there. This may have been something that he wanted for a long time but, as the saying goes, be careful what you wish for.

Monday, November 05, 2007

My Spirit Animal

What is your spirit animal?

Hawk Spirit
Hawk Spirit
Your spirit animal is the Hawk.
Perceptive, pragmatic and judgmental.
With the spirit of the hawk, one is capable of great knowledge, though they may fall by neglecting the views of others.
How do you compare?
Take this test! | Tests from Testriffic


Children at school are not learning languages. But for years we have been told they aren't studying the sciences. So what are they doing? If you aren't taking lessons in any of the key subjects then what is left? Are we producing school leavers who are able to pass citizenship and media studies because these are the easy subjects while we don't have those who can go ahead to be the future professions. Something isn't right in our schools (and it isn't the teachers).

Another Whisky

Early morning,
Hours ago
Bodies drifted
To each others arms,
Lights turning down,
One by one,
Washing glasses
With a look,
It's time to go,
But how to leave,
When all that's waiting
Is the cold
Night air,
And emptiness

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Whizz Bang

Once again thanks to Zippie and "D" for organising the Support Bonfire Night. Hard to believe that a year has gone since the last. In fact that means I have been blogging for a year (734 entries in 12 months, maybe quantity is outweighing quality).

Anyway, a great night last night. As ever good to sit around watching fireworks, cracking jokes and generally relaxing. With "A" insisting on going around offering people sweets (we tell children not to accept sweets from strangers but it seems to be OK for her to offer sweets to strangers). A lot of innuendo, something about the amount of whoosh leading up to a big bang but I didn't understand any of it. And there is a story of someones attempts to get to the party following directions of someone who obviously didn't get their orienteering badge as a cub, but you need to go here as I won't steal the thunder.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Listen To The Children

You can never be sure how a conversation with a five year old will go, sometimes pearls of wisdom fall. I want "A" to grow up believing she can do anything, and especially that there is nothing boys can do that girls can't. In one of those reaffirming moments following a comment she had made I said "there is nothing that you cannot do". She replied "nothing without a kiss".

Which I think is very true, with someone who loves us behind us and supporting us then the world can never hold a challenge too great.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Hot or Not

At the risk of appearing shallow, this really worries me, I mean, where am I going to get my sauce from?

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Tally Ho

Today is the first day of the hunting season. Which may seem strange since hunting has been banned. However the hunts still go out as the law has left them with opportunities to ride.

I want to make it clear that although I was brought up in the country and although I used to have a horse myself, I have never taken part in a hunt and I am completely ambivalent about it. I think the time spent on the bill against hunting was a disgrace because there are more important things that need sorting, not because I support hunting as such.
That said, I can now continue. So Anne Widdecombe is leading a vanguard to get hunt monitors. But she is proposing using those who are already out filming hunts and taking part in anti-hunt activities. I am afraid that this would just be a means of legalising vigilantes and seems to be very much the wrong way to go. The hunt may not be whiter than white, but neither are those on the other side. By calling them "monitors" it makes them sound like they are in charge of giving out milk, but these people are often violent and abusive.

Anne also said that flouting the law gave the wrong signals to society. Which seems a difficult thing to claim when two politicians, those trying to win the leadership of the Liberals, have just gone on record that they would do exactly that over identity cards.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

6 Foot

The "Today" programme on Radio 4 this morning covered a new policy by CABE (Commision for Architecture and the Built Environment) to promote cemeteries as a place for relaxation. Yes, I know this is Halloween but it's true, honestly. If you listen to the Radio 4 interview they are even trying to have cafes at cemeteries in order to encourage people to go there. They want cemeteries built for the living.
Now I admit I quite like wandering around old cemeteries. In fact I would be really interested if there was a fact sheet with some information about the previous lives of those buried there. I am not sure it's exactly a place for a picnic however. The majority of the inhabitants are taking relaxation a step further than I want.

Puss In Boots

I guess cats are cats wherever they are.

Shop Around

I know that some of you consider Tesco to be the devils own supermarket, so you may be distressed by the rulings that seem to allow more expansion. This is being covered on the TV. And they are seeking peoples views. Of course a good "news" thing to do is to interview those with more specialist shops who may be impacted. And I just saw someone in Perth with a cheese shop as part of the BBC coverage. I want to quote (although I don't promise it is word for word as I wasn't taking notes) and what she said. "yes, I am worried, each time I do my weekly shop I see Tesco stocking more and more of our range". In other words, SHE SHOPS AT TESCO!!!!!! I think that there is a level of irony in there somewhere.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007


Your incandescent fire
The concord in your voice
The power of your life
The ache for more
The desire for all

I fear
You will awake
I am less
Than your very breath
The taste of me
Is simply
Your taste for life.

And then
Drift away
Never again
To feel
Deep peace
Of your presence,
Never to know
You lying there
Beside me
Sharing our dreams

{My thanks to Ruinn whose poem lead to this as originally a simple reply to her}

Three Plus Three Equals Four

Losing three hundred thousand migrant workers - whoops. Then discovering that half the jobs you have created has gone to those self same migrants - priceless.

Monday, October 29, 2007

No, Look Over There

I will get some of the pictures from Disney up shortly. But I have to admit that I failed to get the one picture I would really have loved. It struck me that it would make the trip worthwhile if I could get Mickey Mouse in a Meerkat moment. I failed because of two reasons:

1) I felt that overcoming the language barrier and convincing Mickey to strike a meerkat pose without me being arrested was probably beyond my abilities of failed french O level

2) I would have had no-one to take the photo because I was told in no uncertain terms that I would have been disowned had I tried it.

But I still think it was a good idea. Anyway, for those of you missing the little critters here is a picture:

Of Mice And Men

So obviously the next job after discovering a sofa has been used as a cat toilet is to go around the house ensuring everything else is OK and there are no other surprises. That done I felt confident that the damage was at least limited. But later, as I lay in bed, I decided that there was a distinctly unpleasant aroma from my side of the bed. It was possible that it was coming from me but I had had a shower and thought I was probably not guilty. The smell was enough to wake me several times during the night. On getting up this morning I checked but there appeared to be no obvious wet patches (from the cats I mean). This evening I still thought that the smell was rather ripe and decided to move the bed. To find a decomposing shrew. The joy of cats!

Sunday, October 28, 2007


last night
i looked
through this window
and saw
our world
that could be
but rather
than break the glass
and leap
into a future
i simply
to draw

Holiday Blues

There are many ways to end holidays. Today probably wasn't the best. Ignoring the traffic jams (including an injured dog in the middle lane of the motorway which I couldn't stop for so feel great about that) losing a diamond ring and a sofa bed really doesn't add up to a great day. The diamond ring was dropped by "A" in the back of the car. Somehow it has vanished. Turned the car upside down but no evidence of it. Then we get home to discover that the neighbour who we left in charge of the cats hasn't been reliable. I suspect failed to empty the litter tray once. And the cats (through no fault of their own) resorted to using the sofa bed as a toilet, and it is now probably beyond rescue.

Tomorrow I hope to give some happy tales of our holiday, but today has been fairly naff!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007


Sunlight in the morning
Off glinting frost
Silver down
Across the fields
While the ice of my heart
Cold from the emptiness
Simply absorbs
Without beauty

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

I Wish I Could Fly Right Up To The Sky, But I Can't......

You Can!

Apologies to those of you for who that has just brought recall of nightmares unsurpassed. If you do not understand then consider yourself lucky.

Anyways, to the point. Today I was able to make use of my birthday present from months ago. It was a bodyflight experience in a vertical wind tunnel. Wow. Fantastic. I will start by saying that everyone there was so firendly and helpful, the kind of customer service that I wished I could find elsewhere. It was obvious that they all really enjoyed skydiving and were eager to pass on their own enthusiasm to anyone who would listen. Then we had an added bonus that a freeflying club called BaByLoN were there for "tunnel camp" and with them were some world champions. They were incredible to watch. Such small movements of the body, often imperceptible, having major effect on their flight. It was like watching people swimming underwater, but so much quicker.
Then I had to go in!
OK, so not as elegant. But I managed. The instructor said afterwards that I had a natural posture and was very relaxed (but they probably say that to everyone as they want you to come back and spend more money). The time was over so quickly. It was a great adrenalin rush. All I can say is - go do it.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Armchair Weekend

So I was expected to blog about the rugby. I am pleased not to disappoint. But I was also waiting for the Grand Prix.

You see I find it amusing that I think that we are probably the nation that get most excited about a posible win, so getting a countdown in the newspapers, programmes on TV giving us the bio of the champions-to-be etc. And we do all of this before the event. And then most often do not deliver. Maybe that is why we get so excited before, we are used to the Henmans, Coulthards etc not succeeding so feel we need to make the most of possibilities.

Anyway, sure enough the weekend did not pan out as hoped. I was truly impartial for the rugby. I wanted the best team to win. It is somewhat ironic that England losing may well have come down to a disallowed try, ironis becuase what I hate about the England team is the fact that they have forgotten to score tries. But everyone is admitting that it wasn't a try so we shouldn't hear this story for years to come. no, the best team won, in that it was the team that never lost a match throughout the tournament, that score many wonderful tries and had a line out that couldn't be beaten.

As to the Grand Prix. Yes Lewis made a mistake, but without the engine problems he would still have won the championship. It is unfair to lay all the blame at his feet. Yes it would have been good to see the first rookie ever to win the F1 season, but he did well none-the-less

As a footnote - it now appears that there is a stewards enquiry on BMW and, if upheld, the disqualification of BMW would move Lewis up enough to win

Tum Ti Tum Ti Tum

The Archers are now available as a podcast. I have been a fan of my ipod for a long time but this really is what it was waiting for.


Yesterday we went to see Ratatooii (Ratatoille, Ratttattoy, Rattatwee, Rataowhatever). (Actually I find it quite amusing that they have to put the phonetic spelling underneath, I wonder who that is for).

"A" loved it, engrossed throughout and, for her, relatively still. She didn't even finish her sweets. I think I enjoyed the short film before the main feature more (who else remembers the "B" movie before the main). Possibly a story about an alien abduction is a bit too complex for young children but it was very amusing.

The main film itself, well I have found worse ways to spend my time. It had a story line, which is an advantage (especially over Casino Royale). But it wasn't anything special. Rat looses family, rat makes friend, rat finds family, does rat chose friend over family or go his own way. you know, normal stuff really.

Saturday, October 20, 2007


It appears that the traditional route of universities is no longer the recruitment method of choice for the spooks. They are now advertising in computer games. Yes, the games will feature billboards that advertise the GCHQ website.
I wonder if they are going to manage to take this to the natural extreme. The adverts you see could be based on your score. Score less than 1000 then they tell you to apply elsewhere. Score 5000 and you can have a job working in the IT department. Score 300000 and they send you £50k, a Walther PPK and a licence with automatic 00 status.

Seasons End

Winter comes
To echo my whole
Sharp winds
Bringing tears
And a welcome cold
Passes through pain
To reach
Dull analgesia
Snowdrift bed
Snowflake covers
As I close my mind
And sleep

Argentina 34 France 10

Obviously I have been a bit lite on blogging about the Rugby World Cup. This was not because I was sulking due to Wales dropping out early on. It was also not a result of certain readers complaining about sports-orientated entries. I have continued to watch the rugby and enjoyed it but most of the games simply did not make me feel like blogging. However I have to say how pleased I am that Argentina beat France. I know that both the northern and southern hemisphere rugby nations will come up with excuses why the Argentinians can't play with their ball but any championship would be lucky to include the Pumas. They have played exciting rugby with style and grace, flashes of inspiration backed with determination. It was unfortunate that in the match against South Africa the occasion overcame them because I still think they had the makings of world champions.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Dusty Bin

OK. While I have to admit to being disappointed not to have been deluged by messages of sympathy after my attempt to slit my wrist yesterday, I also have to admit that in the cold light of day the wound is not that serious. However the real trauma of the event was that I had spent half an hour or so cooking what was promising to be a very nice risotto. With glass having shattered around the kitchen I could not guarantee that broken shards had not ended up in the dinner so the entire lot had to be binned. Real trauma.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

A Sharp Moment

Despite appearances I promise that I have not been trying to cut my wrist. Unfortunately when I was getting the wine glasses out of the cupboard I accidentally knocked a half pint glass. It plummeted. I tried to catch it but my hands were full. Resulting in me pressing down on the glass with my wrist just as it shattered. Nothing serious, deepish would but luckily a millimeter or two away from any important structures. But leaving me with a mark that people could question. And a sore wrist.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

What Could It Be?

You may have gathered that I travel a bit. Over the years I have gathered a few things to make travelling more comfortable. My computer case is actually a rucksac, it is better for my back and has the added advantage that it can take enough for one night away. Another thing is my battery powered toothbrush. May sound very minor but I like clean teeth. You might think that the sensible thing would be to take the batteries out of the toothbrush when not using it. However I don't, too lazy. I think I might now have to revise this policy. Today I was happily walking along when my rucksac started buzzing, a quiet but noticeable buzzing. The buzzing of something vibrating. I got funny loooks. I am just glad I wasn't in a meeting. Possibly people didn't imagine that whatever it was that was buzzing was a toothbrush.

Squeeze Up

D..n it, I hate trains. Hot, smelly, sweaty and overcrowded. Apparently for every square foot of seating in the tube you kind find every kind of human bodily fluid. And the seats on the trains coming out of London are designed for midgets. If you can spot a spare place then in order to sit in it you have to be willing to become more intimate with someone than most people become with their lovers. And trying to sit down involves such a combination of arms, legs and other body parts that wouldn't normally be seen in an orgy.


Anyone any good at dream analysis? Last nights could be describe as odd I think. There I am at an airport for a short flight somewhere. In front of us is another group who are going to Australia. They are called to board but there is one lady with a child and too many bags to manage so, rather than anyone on that flight being helpful, I give assistance and carry her bags on to the plane. She can't decide where to sit and there is a lot of faffing around. Finally she sits and I start to put her bags away. Unfortunately the plane then takes off. So I have to go all the way to Japan (first stop before Australia) and then get a flight back (which at least they don't charge me for).

Mind you, I wish planes were really like this one. Plenty of room to wander around, internet connection and computers provided, a bakery coooking the most amazing cakes, real coffee that you could go and help yourself too anytime. Luxury flying, I didn't mind having to go to Japan (I did decide staying there for a few days as I have always wanted to go to Japan but, obviously, my bags with my clothes were on the other plane).

Tuesday, October 16, 2007


Trip down to London. Good idea to take the train, much easier, using public transport etc. Still have to get to the train station. So I drive there. And the after 20 minutes circling around the car parks decide I have to drive home and order a taxi! Travelling in this country continues to just be painful.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Eye On You

I was on the phone to family explaining that "A" had beaten us. I pointed out that she had had a launch ramp and that during her go the fences were up so she couldn't get a gutter ball (me, bitter and competitive, no). I said something along the lines of "she cheated". Unfortunately for me "A" overheard me. I am not sure exactly where she learnt the Paddington Bear stare, but she is certainly good at it.

Sunday, October 14, 2007


Humiliation complete. Readers will know that I bought a Wii a while ago (interestingly a Wii uses up more energy in 20 minutes that golf). And there are some sports on it. including ten pin bowling. "A" enjoys the bowling, and yesterday we suggested that we would go bowling for real today. We did. She won. Both matches.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Escape - James Clavell

A disappointment. Not because it isn't a good story, but because it is too much of a rehash of "Whirlwind". I like Clavell, ever since falling in love with "Shogun", still one of the best series to be shown on TV. I was hoping that this would give another angle on those caught up in "Whirlwind", but it is so similar that you could really be reading the same book.

Into The Night - Santana

My thanks to Ruinn, I wouldn't have known this without her blog -

It rocks!


Broken mirror
Reflecting parts
Your face
A mosaic
Of beauty

Thursday, October 11, 2007


In the cold
The dark
The mystery
Aching night
My body
Muscles twitching
Tremors passing
Your touch
Your holding
You making me home

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Wing to Wing, Tip to Tip

There I am, 2030 hrs at Dusseldorf airport on Sunday (as you do of course). Not too late, an hour or so further to travel but I have found my taxi driver. All is well. Then the taxi driver apologises. We have to pick someone else up. Their flight was delayed but has just landed so shouldn’t be long. OK, no worries. Listen to my iPod, try and relax. Wait. And wait. And wait. After an hour and a half I ask just how long we are going to wait. Taxi driver rings his head office and we decide to go.

Fast forward to the next day. I meet the person we were waiting for. I am prepared to complain. Rather disarmed by the fact it is a woman rather than a man, and pregnant at that (not sure if that makes me a male chauvinist or chivalrous, hard to tell these days). Anyway I start with the opening gambit “ah, it was you that I was waiting for at the airport”. She replies with “sorry, my plane crashed”. Now, as far as excuses go, that seems a fairly good one to me. In fact I am rather speechless. Images of her plane plummeting from the air and her being the only one to walk away, unscathed, are quickly dispelled as she explains that the wings of two planes collided while manoeuvring on the ground. Even so, I can’t imagine flying an hour after that had happened. It would certainly concentrate the mind. And I would certainly ask for a new pilot.


At the window
Cold night air
Over my skin
I turn, look
Your body lying
Eyes closed
And I wonder
What your smile
Holds for me

Drawing close
Softly lying
Feeling your heat
Filling me
Waking my depths
Defeating demons
In my core
And I wonder
What your smile
Holds for me

Your breath
Caressing my world
Taking the air
To my lungs
Making you
Your soul
Part of me
But I wonder
What your smile
Holds for me

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Ring Me

I remain a fan of PostSecret, like many others it is almost a ritual to visit on a Sunday to see what has been posted. There are some sad ones, but also some that make me smile. And there are intriguing ones. A few weeks ago someone posted their phone number. It seemed a strange thing to do. He was lonely and felt that we do not talk enough to each other. The response was phenomenal. I hope it has enriched not just his life but the hundreds of others he has spoken to as well.


Stansted (?Stanstead, can never remember which) remains my least favourite airport. And they have gone one better. Now after going through check in and the xray security etc there is now one more level of security. Everyone, and I mean everyone, is funnelled into a tight area towards another small xray machine. And everyone has to take their shoes off to put them through this machine. Well, I leave you to imagine how pleasant the smell is in a small tight area full of tired and hot travellers, all waving pairs of shoes around.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Weather Warning

While undoubtedly I would have liked to be watching the rugby this afternoon (how on earth did England beat Australia, then France beat New Zealand?), instead we went to the theatre. We saw something called Slava's Snowshow. Not easy to describe, a kind of off-shoot from Cirque du Soleil. All clowns. At times very surreal. Having a giant cobweb pulled over our heads. Clowns coming into the audience and stealing peoples shopping, throwing coats and hats and shoes around. Soaking us in water. A lot of smoke and dry ice. Confetti snow everywhere. Loud music. 10 foot diameter balls being thrown out into the auditorium. Honestly it was chaos. And excellent. We had front row seats and were in the thick of it. We had been warned that it might be scary for those under 8 years old but, as ever, "A" revelled in it. If you get a chance I suggest you go and see it.