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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Another Successful Weekend Navigated

Well that was another very enjoyable weekend navigated successfully. I am not quite sure if I will successfully navigate today, however. Wide awake until the early hours last night - falling asleep today. Surprise, surprise, Cilla.

I guess anyone who watched the Champions League final on Saturday does not need me to tell them just how out of this world Barcelona were. Amazing to watch - perhaps Messi is nearly as good as Dean Windass after all. Anyone who didn't watch it seriously missed something special.  I am not sure if I have ever experienced as good a football team.

Also top of the list of priorities this weekend was watching Reading in the play-off final. Beaten by the better footballing team, Swansea, though I still think they were a good match for them - but Swansea took more of their chances.

At 3-0 down I popped over to the bookies to put a bet on Reading winning at full-time, at 66-1. You should have seen him sniggering at me when he was writing out the betting slip. I think the guy next to me was trying to point this out but despite asking him to repeat what he was saying three times, I could still not comprehend what he was slurring.  Even worse than me on Saturday night.

At 3-2, I got quite excited at the prospect of approx £400 in my pocket - but alas it was not to be.

Oh and I must mention some excellent little clubbing adventures, firstly Groovetech at Up The Junction on Saturday night with my good friend, Sam, playing a really enjoyable set, I was suitably impressed, and finishing on Stopover Goa - one of my approximately 100 top tunes of 2011 so far - one of my very very favourites. A very busy dancefloor towards the end - I like this place a lot - it is very basic in its simplicity, nothing pretentious with a friendly crowd.

And even better was Elsewhere at Afrobar on Sunday - a supremely enjoyable gathering with loads of good house music and similar other bits and bobs - I cannot recommend this enough. I hope that I don't have to wait until the next bank holiday in August for another instalment! Hint, hint, guys, if you are reading.
And balls to my work deadlines - I have decided to spend the rest of my day looking at the website for Miss Raver 2011 - it isn't the music I go clubbing for, that is just a smoke-screen. Honest.  Half of them seem to claim not to do class A's...whatever.

I probably should stop staring at the hot young woman with great breasts every time she walks by as it is getting a bit obvious now, especially with my tongue sticking out and hands outstretched in a grabbing motion.

Monday, May 30, 2011

The English Football Association Should Withdraw From FIFA

I really cannot see why we should continue to be so disregarded by Sepp Blatter as the head of FIFA.

It is quite extraordinary in his denial of issues of corruption.

If the English FA have any balls, then they should withdraw from FIFA, and I would not be surprised if many other countries across the world also withdrew.

I am sick and tired of this pathetic, corrupt and deluded individual, and I really think that we should not be sending an England team to future FIFA World Cups.

We should retain our dignity and decency as a nation, and denounce as strongly as possible, this corrupt dictatorship, spoiling the reputation of the game of football.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Woohoo, The Weekend Is Here! (Nearly)

I started writing this last night, I had an introduction that I had to write, and the title actually had the f-word in it (how often do I swear?).  But I have had a change of heart, as attitudes are infectious and the reason that I had a grump on was due to negative attitudes infecting me during the day.  I have risen above it.  I am all smiles.  Honestly.  Probably because nobody at work has yet spoken to me, except for the girl in the cafe that asked how many pieces of bacon were on my plate.  I said two.  But I had hidden the third one.  It's the small things in life :-)

*** 10 minutes later ***

I spoke too soon.

I wish I didn't have to put up with being talked to like shit but until I find another job, preferably in the company that I really like working for, then there isn't much choice as resigning wouldn't be much good to my finances.


Anyway, I really, really didn't want to moan or put anything negative in here as I have so much to look forward to this weekend, I know it is going to be a very good weekend. It is better than the alternative which is punching an inanimate object. Forgive me, please!

I am excitable at the moment! Not quite on the levels of Sven playing at fabric, but that was something super special. If you haven't read my blog post about it, I think it is worth a read.  144 views so I must have done something right!

One thing I have been doing this week is finishing the set-up of my fourth blog. I think this will be the last one I do! I have had it in mind for a while - it is to list really good DJ sets/podcasts that I have discovered. Currently listed are Nina Kraviz, Seth Troxler, DJ T, Art Department, Cocoon, Sven Vath and Magda.

I listen to a lot of DJ sets every week, and I am only including the very best of the best. I really hope that I will also have one or two of my DJ friends which have a set that I want to feature at some point - but I will not be doing any favours for friends - it will genuinely be a set that I have listened to repeatedly and want to recommend to the world. I reckon I will only list 1 in 20 sets that I listen to.

And don't forget my weather blog - you'll like the lastest forecast, assuming you can remain patient until next Thursday until happy days are here again!  I also posted up this quite disturbing video of that most deadly tornado in America for 60 years, you don't see much but you get an understanding of what it is like to go through it and the fear of imminent death - I certainly don't recommend it to the emotionally weak.  I did question afterwards whether it was morally appropriate to have watched it and find it fascinating, given hundreds of people died and a whole town is flattened - but they didn't post it on Youtube for people not to watch it, and a good 3 million have.  I cannot say that I enjoyed it but I'm glad I watched it - it's hard to explain.

And onto my weekend plans which is the whole point - tonight my good friend Paul-Jay is coming round for a few beers.  We always have plenty to talk about, both very passionate about music, although our individual preferences are at different ends of the house music spectrum, we still have lots to say to each other, and I love talking house music.  I have a lot of respect for what he has achieved so far in his DJ and promoting career too.

Tomorrow, I intend on watching the Champions League final, and also it is my good friend Dave's birthday drinks - I met him at university back in 1998 and found that we shared a love of vodka and despised each other's music (Sepeltura and trance, respectively, if I recall those days correctly) so a good long-standing friendship was formed, definitely a friend for life even though our paths don't cross as much as they probably should.

And if I have time, then another adorable friend of mine, Sam Red, is playing at a night called Groovetech at a small bar called Up The Junction, in Cemetery Junction. I am not that likely to make it this time, as I have enough committments already, but I went to the last one and there was a good friendly atmosphere and plenty of good-quality underground house and tech beats.

Speaking of which, there is only one option for Sunday, and that is a party called Elsewhere at the Afrobar (in Reading in case you don't know). Free to get in, run by two very good friends of mine, Terry and Matt, who are both fine DJs, and someone else called Dan that I have met once and seems pretty cool. The last one had really good feedback, and this one will be even better because I will be there! You know you want to get involved - there is no excuse!

And on Monday, my adopted town of Reading are playing in the play-off final at Wembley - I shall be attending a party at the Penta Hotel in reading, along with another adorable friend, Benski - another one where I thorough recommend all to come and get involved - the whole town may well be in party atmosphere come full time, it could be a fantastic afternoon/evening.

I wish you all an equally enjoyable weekend and I dearly hope that as many of my loved ones can share part of our weekends - anyone reading this in and around Reading surely has no excuse not to get involved???

Much love - fingers crossed I make it to 5pm xxx

Thursday, May 26, 2011

James vs The Trade Unions

I got a little offended when I read that one of the trade unions (who I fully despise), Unison, threatened war against the country (see link in title).

So I decided to vent my anger...

*************************

Dear Sir

I note that somebody called Dave Prentis, who is the general secretary of Unison, has threatened 'a prolonged and sustained war'.

I am a pretty average person in the UK, earning the average salary, with no property or car, etc, and I find this deeply offensive - in fact this compares to me to the threat from the IRA or Al-Qaeda.

I would have expected that the theory of trade unionism is to look after the average working person - not cause them a lot of problems through industrial action against a Coalition government that is trying its hardest to correct 13 years of mis-rule under Labour.

About 80-90% of the people I know share my views, and I am gravely concerned for the peaceful future of our country, and our economic prosperity, if such provocation continues.

I would like the trade unions to start speaking to ordinary working people to find out their views, and not makes threats of war, that I find deeply disturbing.

I am not expecting a response, this is not the first time that I have written a letter of complaint to a trade union, and I have never had a response from one, but I would be pleased if you could show the courtesy of explaining those comments.

I received this quote via this news story http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/8488924/Unions-warn-of-massive-protests-over-government-cuts.html

Kind regards
James Winfield

***************************

I actually got a response, though they haven't exactly answered my concerns.

***************************

Dear Mr Winfield,


Thank you for your email. Dave Prentis, the General Secretary of UNISON, was commenting on the position facing public sector workers in relation to government cuts. The strong language which you feel is offensive reflects the feeling held by a significant number of our 1.3 million members that the government is unfairly cutting public services without due consideration of the consequences to the general public, communities and public sector workers. The theory of trade unionism as you put it is to represent the views and concerns of their members which as you say are generally the ‘average person’. I would also like to point out that UNISON’s membership is made up of public sector workers. Individuals who have dedicated their careers to supporting communities and the general public. It would be counter-intuitive to assume that these individuals would wish to in any way damage these communities or the general public. In fact their anger is in response to the potential damage that the government will do if these cuts are carried out. Dave Prentis’ statement reflects this when taken in the full context of the statement ‘"This will not be a token skirmish, but a prolonged and sustained war, because this Government has declared war on a huge proportion of the population. The government has made it clear that it intends to continue cutting public services, the conditions of those who work in the public services and the resources available to those who volunteer to help their communities.

Recent surveying conducted by Ipsos MORI is also showing that an increasing proportion of the general public are concerned about the government cuts to public services. The TUC March on the 26th March this year in which 500,000 people demonstrated in London is another example of this sentiment. UNISON, amongst other trade unions, has built numerous coalition community groups across the country since the campaign began many of which are constituted of cross-party, cross-community concerned parties and individuals. We also hold a large number of public meetings and are active participants in consultation with government, authorities and the wider community.

UNISON is proud of its democratic values and both the General Secretary and the policies which they promote are decided upon democratically by our membership every year at our annual conference. Industrial action is a legal means of conducting industrial relations as a last resort and UNISON does not enter into it lightly or without due consideration. The decision to conduct industrial action is balloted upon by our membership within the full constraints of the law.

I would like to thank you again for email and would encourage you to engage with the debate around these issues further whether with ourselves or other concerned parties.

Yours sincerely,
Phil Wood
UNISON South East Regional Secretary

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Unsuccessful Job Application & General Life Update

I feel quite reasonable today, I even got up early and was 30 minutes early for work - crazy stuff!  Means I can leave at 5pm which will be much appreciated.

I didn't get the sales support role that I applied for.  I did have a feeling in the interview that I didn't get it and that they had someone else in mind.  But I enjoyed the interview and the presentation - does that make me strange?

Apparently I gave a very good presentation, though I didn't show enough confidence - I would agree for the first minute or so I didn't but after that I thought I was.  Oh and I didn't show enough enthusiasm for my current role...erm, I cannot argue with that - although things have generally been much better at work in recent weeks, bar a shitty day yesterday though maybe that was the comedown talking!

And the other positive thing is that there is exactly the same position available for a different sales department which has just been advertised.  I shall not waste the opportunity.

Unsurprisingly I still have a big smile on my face after Sven on Saturday!

I'm actually probably busier this week than I ever have been in this role!  Trying to be productive at home too as I have a feeling that despite a precarious financial position that this weekend is going to be a little hectic.  Champions League final to watch, Reading play-off final, oh and the Elsewhere party at Afrobar on Sunday - free to get in, my good friends Matt and Terry are playing.  I will endeavour to be there the whole 8 hours to make up for missing the last one.  Please join me!

Sadly no sign of good weather for this weekend.  Bits of rain and some wind too.  Currently hoping for a significant improvement come 3rd June, just in time for the next weekend.  It looks like it will reach 20'C on current projections - but 30'C for the north of France...oh so close!  But things can and will change.  Don't forget that I moved all my weather forecasts to my weather-only blog, to keep things a bit more focused.

Don't be surprised if you see a little more in the way of blogging from me, I have only blogged 16 times here this month which is the lowest monthly total ever.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Sven Vath at fabric, May 2011

Last November, Sven Vath was to play fabric - my favourite DJ at my favourite club, the first time for about 6 years I think.  I left having had a fantastic night but Sven hadn't been the star of the show - which is what I am used to, so perhaps I was a tiny little bit dissatisfied.

A couple of months ago I heard Sven was due to play again at fabric on 21st May, and I have seen him countless times over the years, and I always think he is at his peak in the months before Ibiza as he has the most energy and excitement at that time, so I just had to go.

But it didn't look like anyone would come with me, and I'm not a huge fan of clubbing on my own as I much prefer to share such experiences.  Delightfully, my adorably good friend, Ashley, came to my rescue, and the night was on.

Though we still had to get there - travelling to London from Reading for a night out is always part of the adventure, for better or for worse.

This time was the more traumatic version - I had got a little over-excited during the afternoon and was feeling somewhat wobbly and delicate come 10pm, only to get on a train full of ridiculously inebriated rugby fans - being a northerner I wouldn't have been so bothered if it were rugby league but no, it was bloody rugby union.  I'm sure they were having a great time, but it was one of those keep my head down moments in case I offend any of the marauding drunken idiots just by looking at them (I know most were very respectable but there were a fair share of idiots).

Rugby league and rugby union fans do not mix.  Kind of like Palestinians and Israelis.  Though not as serious.

Anyway, finally make it onto the tube, because of course there are engineering works, so it isn't as easy as it should be.  And sit down, relax.  Listen, take in what is around us.

And listen I had to.  Well I tried to listen, but it was more of a case of hearing.  Five young women, all with London accents, talking English words.  But I couldn't decipher any meaning to their sentences that they were shouting at each other.  It was a little painful.  I couldn't help questioning what kind of English they had been taught.  Help!

By this point I just really wanted to get there, so we got the bus (yes I don't live in London but I have just about managed to figure out one bus route I can use, check me out!) and thanks to being a member of fabric, which is the best idea in the world, myself and Ashley walked straight past the queue and into the club, very efficiently, nicely done.  Love it.  If you are not a member of fabric, why not?

Sometimes when I first enter fabric, or any club, I want to get a feel of things, sample other rooms, wander around and see who or what I can see, but tonight, Sven was playing the main room from the beginning to end, with a break for a Christian Burkhardt live set, so the conclusion was to just get involved straight away.

And Sven wasn't messing around either - quite often, he toys with the crowd early on, warming them up gently.  I admire him for his unpredictability.  To me it feels like he has a different plan in mind each time, he doesn't repeat the same plan each time he plays, which is why he is so highly regarded in my world.  I can never be sure what to expect with him as he is constantly evolving but always staying true to himself, and I like it that way.

This time there was seemingly no messing about.  Within 30 minutes of me being there he had already totally devastated the dancefloor with the Visionquest remix of Dinky's Acid In My Fridge.

There was only one way this night was going to go.  He fully utilised fabric's exceptional sound-system like a true sound magician should, previously I had only heard Ricardo really get the best out of it for my ears, but Sven seemed intent on topping anything gone before.

The atmosphere was quite electric with a typical Cocoon crowd mixed with music-loving fabric members, and the obligatory tourists - a perfect mix, well perhaps apart from the leeches - note to any leeches reading - it is a nightclub, not a lap-dancing club.

I wish I could recall more of the tunes off the top of my head, and I am sure that they will fall into place during the week as memories are triggered, but the warm-up, if that is what you can call it, was, well, Cocoon music.  The excitement generated was feverish, and yes, melodies, those things from my trance days - and the urge to raise my arms in the air as if I haven't been able to do it for the past 6 or 7 years since minimal came around and made me 'cool' - I felt as if I had to raise my arms in the air several times, more than is usually 'cool' to do so in the underground music world that I like to live in.

So it was an excellent journey to a live set from Christian Burkhardt, someone I had known of but not paid much interest to until I heard Stopover Goa.  You could see the smile on his face as he performed this, in a kind of "you were waiting for this, weren't you, kind of way".  The most perfect tune to represent everything about Cocoon that I have heard in a while.  Very impressive.

I do remember last year posting on Sven's Facebook page that I would love to hear a little more techno next year, because he does techno very well, and others in my opinion do house better than he does, and I had kind of got bored of it from other techno DJs and fallen back into loving my house music as a priority.  If that makes sense in my twisted logic!

And come 4am (ish) we went down and dirty into techno territory, some really serious crunching techno beats, intertwined with some melodic, hands in the air moments - no more time for house music.

I lasted as long as my feet could, sadly not until the end, as I know it would have got even more special, but I had got what I wanted, and much, much more.

So now only for the lovely journey home, at about 10mph on a so-called fast train, but, the journey is always part of the adventure, and I wouldn't have wanted it any other way.

I have now seen Sven at his very best, I feel fulfilled.  My goal has been achieved.  It was a 10 out of 10 night, and I don't give these ratings lightly.  Absolutely superb.  Anyone who missed out, really did miss a special treat.

I don't envisage being able to afford a trip to Ibiza this year, though it is not beyond the realms of possibility but it needs a little luck financially, however I do have my ticket to Cocoon In The Park, in Leeds, and I bloody well cannot wait.  Oh and he is doing SW4.

That is my summer sorted...Ibiza would be the icing on the cake, but if I have to live without it - I will, as fabric will keep me entertained whenever I feel the urge to go for a dance.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Putting Into Practice What I Learnt From The Apprentice

I like to think that I am constantly evolving and learning, so I have now decided I can put into practice what I learnt on The Apprentice the other night.

Greatly encouraged by getting 5p off a chocolate muffin yesterday at the cafe at work, with hardly saying a word, today I went down with a plan of attack in mind.

I was a little too late to get the carvery sandwich (which I knew I would have to pay full price for as it is popular), they had run out. I was disappointed. But there were still some breakfast muffins. I questionned how long they had been there, then appeared disinterested but got an offer of 2 for 1.

How much? £1.90.

I didn't want two, so I offered 80p for one - deal.

Apprentice candidates - learn from me.

Granted they probably would have thrown them in the bin 30 minutes later. But I still feel like I got a good deal.

And not only that, it looks like I have used my charm to persuade a beautiful young woman to be my dancing partner when Sven Vath comes to fabric on Saturday.



Quite why I would need any sales skills to persuade someone to go to one of the best nightclubs in the world to see one of the best DJs in the world (in my opinion, the best), playing all night, except for a 1 hour break, is beyond me.

This is such a good clubbing opportunity that I was even prepared to brave it on my own.

Yesterday, I had the interview for the sales support role that I applied for - I think I did well, on reflection there was one question on which I fumbled which may have decreased my chances, but I like to think that I have given myself a chance. I know I will have very strong competition as is always the case for internal roles at the company I work for, I hope that I am the type of employee that they are looking for.

It goes without saying that I would be disappointed not to get it, but at the same time, I am realistic with regards to their always being other good candidates - either way, I enjoyed the interview, met new people, learnt more about the company I work for and enjoyed giving my presentation, so whatever happens I have won, but if I get the job then I keep on winning!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Congratulations to Reading FC

I have to say congratulations to my adopted town and their football club in reaching the play-off final at Wembley.

When my home team, Hull City, reached the play-off final 3 years ago, with a chance of going into the top tier of football in England for the first time in their history, it was quite a momentous occasion.

It will be one of those days that I never forget, and so good that I got to share it with my sister, and my parents.  I don't think any of us realistically ever thought that the football team which had been so uninspiring for most of our lives would actually reach the Premier League.  It was a dream for all of the people of Hull, who I remain fondly attached to (apart from those that mugged me, beat me, etc), despite having lived in the relative paradise of Reading for 13 years now.

Reading have become my second team, I always look for their results, as I have enjoyed living in Reading, and it has been pretty good to me.

So I am very pleased to see that they have reached the play-off final, and the Reading fans that I know, can experience the dream that I did as a Hull City fan - albeit it isn't quite the same as they have been in the Premier League before, and did that via automatic promotion.

Reading is a very well run football club from what I see and read, and I wish that my football club, Hull City, had always been that well run in the past.

It invests in youth, doesn't pay extortionate wages, and stays true to it's local roots - which is how a football club should be run.

However, if anyone from Reading football club is reading this, please feel free to buy Jimmy Bullard from Hull City.  He went out on loan to Ipswich last season and turned their season around.  Only wants £45k a week.  Does adverts for shampoo.  And likes a drink or ten.  I'm sure he would fit in very well ;-)

Hello Bank of England - Sort It Out!

You may have seen that inflation has jumped to 4.5% in April.

Yet, the Bank of England, who are in charge of trying to ensure that inflation sticks to a target rate of 2%, are not doing anything to control inflation, through increasing interest rates.

Is this acceptable?

This article argues that savers now need a rate of 7.5% to earn a real rate of interest - as inflation is depreciating their savings.

As far as I see it at the moment, those who got us into this financial mess, through reckless borrowing, and reckless lending, are being let off the hook.

Those who saved for the future, those who's funds were used for such investments, are now being punished.

What the Bank of England is saying to us, through it's monetary policy, is - spend, spend, spend.

There is no point in saving money.

OK.

Though spending can also be an investment - not just for the purposes of consumption.  Hence the record-high gold prices, as gold is seen as a better investment than saving money.

I would have thought that the banks would want us to save money, to help their balance sheets?

It doesn't make good monetary policy to me, to keep interest rates low for so long.  That is what the US did, and the Bank of England to a lesser extent, after the 2001 financial shock, which fuelled the whole credit bubble and huge crisis.

So the Bank of England want another one?

Monday, May 16, 2011

Not Much To Say...Or Do I?

Hello blog fans, randoms and friends.
 I don't have much to say and I haven't had much to say for the last week - though this isn't all down to me as the blogger website was not working in the latter part of last week and I believe that they deleted all posts from Wednesday onwards, so even if I did manage to post anything, it would have been a waste of time. And I did have things to say late last week too. Oh well.

The weekend was relatively uneventful, I was having a good night out on Saturday but it was cut short due to events out of my control, nothing lost so never mind. Damn Nazi's.

This week I have an interview for the sales support role that I applied for within the organisation that I work for. I am looking forward to it. I have to do a 10-minute presentation on any topic I like. Developing a presentation should not be too difficult, as I have done a few before, but choosing a topic to represent me during an interview is a little more tricky.

On Saturday, my DJ hero Sven Vath is playing at my favourite club, fabric. But will I be able to find anyone to accompany me? Or will I just have to go by myself?

And below is a photo I took yesterday in Reading.

Monday, May 09, 2011

2 Day Weekends Are The Way Forward

I shall start my week by listening to Seth Troxler's Essential Mix.  I am quite delighted that he has chosen to move to London - it should make it an even more fun place than it currently is!  If it is good enough, then I shall list it on my fourth blog (yes, I know), for my favourite DJ Mixes.  I have only just started it but I will be putting links to all my favourite DJ mixes that I discover on there.


I didn't have any plans set in stone for this weekend - and those kind of weekends either go quite boringly pointless, or they end up being unexpectedly good, this pleasingly fell into the latter category.

I kind of enjoyed the fact that it was only a two day weekend - I had to make sure that I got as much fun out of it as possible.

Friday turned into a mini random pub-crawl (I know, 3 pubs is really stretching the definition of a pub crawl, but they were quite randomly picked), I managed to escape before it got messier.

Saturday night I encountered DJ Derek at the delightful Oakford Social Club, having walked there in the beautifully pouring rain (with my umbrella) only to find it was one in, one out, and very few people were willing to leave the comfort of the Oakford to go into the monsoon, but eventually I made it inside.

It was well worth it, DJ Derek is a 69-year old DJ from Bristol, who MC'ed in Patois - I remember him saying that he was not too impressed with the Tesco riots in his home-town of Bristol, as he likes the convinience of Tesco. Nice.


Musically, it was predominantly reggae (though not exclusively, some ska, some soul, and others), which is not especially a form of music I enjoy - I like it, but not enough to be excited by it, but he created a very enjoyable atmosphere and I loved the amount of people with astonished looks on their faces as they discovered who was their DJ!

Then on Sunday I find out that my delightful friend Shaun was in Reading so I popped down to the Walkabout for a pint of chemicals and then we quickly escaped to the comforts of the Oakford for more beer-like beer, for a couple of hours.

Overall, a very enjoyable weekend.

I think I might have had my arm twisted into going to Mango on Saturday...why do I agree to these things? Still haven't twisted anyone's arm into going to see Sven Vath at fabric on 21st yet...I live in hope.


Have a good week.

Friday, May 06, 2011

James Is Back

Hello world, I am back from my Facebook break.

I de-activate my Facebook account every 6-8 months for a few days or sometimes even a week.  I thoroughly recommend it to anyone who feels they spend too much time on Facebook.  It has allowed me time away to reprioritise my life and concentrate on other things - I was spending way too much time on there!  I'm sure I probably missed out on a few things that would have interested or amused me, but life goes on.

One annoying thing about not being on Facebook is that I do not get anywhere near as much visibility for what I think are my sometimes delightful ramblings on my blog.  Blogs, now.  Yes, I have three blogs now, and plans for a fourth shortly.

Firstly I have separated out my weather forecasts onto a new weather related blog - I will continue my twice weekly forecasts on there, but also give more regular brief updates, and post links to spectacular weather videos that I discover, like the crazy Tuscaloosa Tornado.

And I am on a mission with my top tunes blog, so much good music that I keep discovering, it is ridiculous, and I have about 30 or more tracks in my head that I have heard that I have no idea what they are but need to find out.  It is seriously getting out of hand.  These music producers need to stop this insanity and go get a real job.  Too much good music, ha ha!  Of course, I am joking, bring it on, I want more.

I have changed it so only the 30 most recent appear on the page, so it should load much quicker now - and all the older ones are archived on the right hand side.

You may also have missed my blog about my trip to London for the Royal Wedding.  Surely nobody is bored of hearing about that wedding yet?

Other things that have amused me greatly, include the union leader who was arrested for breaching the set limit of 20 people on a traffic island, under Section 14 of the Public Order Act.  Excellent!  The trade unions seem to be threatening war now their corrupt paymasters are no longer in charge of the country.  So anything like this, makes me smile.  I hope the same happens to Bob Crow, the leader of the RMT who has announced 6 strike dates for the London Underground.  He is a disgrace.

I shall stop before I start a proper rant!

Looking forward to a fairly relaxing weekend, I do have the urge to go back into London, but it can wait.  I really want to go see Sven Vath at fabric on 21st May...I might have to go by myself...I might just bloody well do so.  But if anyone cares to join me, please do.  Oh and if anyone has some time on their hands, I can recommend this blog and collection of videos of Sven Vath that fabric have put together.  Puts a smile on my face every time.

Thursday, May 05, 2011

My Voting Intentions

It doesn't seem that long since the general election of 2010.


But today's elections are different.

First there is the local elections. These are to elect our local councillors who run local services.

Second is the referendum on whether to change the current voting system of first past the post, to AV.

With regards to the local elections. I think most people reading know that I am a Conservative supporter. Although with some liberal leanings. In Reading, the local council is currently a coalition between Conservatives and Liberal Democrats, like it happens to be for the national government.

I would normally vote Conservative, however, in my local ward, Redlands, it is a battle between Labour and Liberal Democrats, so recognising how much damage Labour did when they run the local council, I have to vote Liberal Democrat in my local election. It seems strange, but it is a preferred outcome to Labour winning in my ward.

With regards to the referendum on AV, I did toy with the idea of this, as I wondered if it might help keep Labour out, as I could then vote Conservatives as my first preference, Lib Dems second preference, UKIP third, greens fourth, BNP fifth and Labour sixth.

Apologies, that was a joke, I would not put any preference for BNP or Labour.

But I don't like the idea that whoever finishes last, the second preference of their votes then gets counted towards the winner. Why should those who back the loser get another chance to vote? It doesn't seem fair to me.

Also, I am concerned that elections would become a race to be the least unpopular. All kinds of promises could be made that would then be broken.

I have to stick with first past the post - so therefore I am voting NO to AV.

I don't think first past the post is perfect, but I believe it is much better than AV.

I am a little worried though that we may be sleep-walking into voting a new electoral system into place that we don't really want (the opinion polls show a majority against it). I cannot see huge amounts of people bothering to vote, and it worries me that then we end up with a electoral system that we do not want.

I encourage everyone to vote today, whether you agree or disagree with my voting intentions, it is important to have your voice heard. It is your electoral system, and your local council - don't waste your chance in shaping the future.

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

James & The Royal Wedding

I have to say that going to London to watch the Royal Wedding was one of the best decisions of my life.  Everything about the day was exceptional, it is not so easy to put into words.

A lot of people seemed indifferent about it, but I just had this urge to go into London and be a part of it, and most gratefully, so did my very good friend, JP. And it was an exceptionally enjoyable day.

We decided to go to Trafalgar Square to watch it, we got there just in time as they soon closed all the entrances as it became pleasantly full. We tried to see if we could get down the Mall but that was apparantly too busy so we stayed in Trafalgar Square.

JP had quite a bit of attention from professional photographers and some foreign media, including one interview, thanks to his hair.


It was just a great day out, everyone in such a good mood, people from all walks of life, from all over the world, all congragating, all talking to each other, for one very happy occasion.

It was a moment when I could again feel proud to be British. I could feel proud to be a part of this country. I feel that this is another step on the road to recovery for the whole country, and its people.

I cannot wait for the Olympics in London, as this will be another spectacle of how enjoyable life is and should be.

We did also feel the need to finish off the day with some pounding relentless techno in the converted public toilet that is Public Life, in Shoreditch.

Some very happy people in there too, dancing away, though pounding techno was probably not exactly what I was desiring after such a happy occasion - I would much have preferred some house music.

I am feeling the need to get back to London as soon as possible, perhaps for some daytime Shoreditch partying, or to see Sven at fabric on Saturday 21st May. Other suggestions welcomed.

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

A Little Bit Annoyed!

I seem to have become a little bit angry and annoyed recently.

Last night, I wrote to Morrisson's to demand that they start to open local convenience stores as I am really starting to despise Tesco Express monopoly shops which sell over-priced and shit food.  Though I did buy some tulips yesterday for 50p.  Ahem.

I then went on to send another letter of disappointment to a trade union, Unison, which has apparently threatened war - this I take offence to.

I think I need to become a bit more active politically.

I will let you know if I get a response from either.

Deadmau5 Gets Punched

Interesting story about Deadmau5 being punched.  Not quite sure what to make of it.  I do not condone violence of any kind, but I have often wanted to slap him around the face with a wet fish.

Monday, May 02, 2011

What A Weekend...

That was quite some weekend I feel.

Not only did we have the Royal Wedding, which was an exemplary presentation of what is good about being British (yes British, as opposed to English), and about the morals and the way we believe that things should be.

We set an example to the world, a global audience.  I am not yet able to comprehend how significant the impact of this one wedding will be.

And then, with the killing of enemy number 1, Osama Bin Laden.  He didn't just attack and affect America, the UK, but also countries across Europe, like Spain, and Africa especially.  And much of the Middle East.  Australia. India.  Russia.  The list goes on of where his doctrine has had a devastagingly negative effect.

I am hopeful that both of these events can lead the world into a better place, as it has been a pretty traumatic decade or so for many people.

Perhaps there might be a bit more positivity in the world from now.

Another Facebook Break

I am having another break from Facebook, it has got to the point where again I realise that I spend too much time on it so I am having a break by de-activating my account so I can re-prioritise my life.

I have things to do and Facebook is too much of a distraction.

I always appreciate my breaks away from Facebook and I think I shall enjoy this one too - plenty of ways to keep in touch with me if you want to :-)

Upcoming Local Election & AV Referendum

I would like to remind everyone that it is the local council elections on Thursday of this week, and also that there is a referendum on our political voting system.

As far as I am concerned, the question is do you really want Labour to be running your local council again?

And with regards to the referendum on the voting system, do you really want to change it to where the least unpopular candidate will likely win?

A lot to think about, this is almost as important as the general election was last year.

My recommendation is to ensure that your voice is heard, otherwise we may end up sleepwalking into something that we really don't want and might be really bad for the country - ie really bad for your future, and the future of your family and friends.

I'm not going to tell anyone how I think they should vote as it is up to their personal beliefs to vote as they feel is best, but I am suggesting that everyone should be more aware of these elections this coming Thursday and not waste their opportunity to have their say in the future prospects of themselves, their local area, and those that they care about.

I will, on the day, advise how I am voting on both matters.

Sunday, May 01, 2011

Be Careful

Be careful on Thursday, because not taking any notice may mean that you are stumbling into a system of voting that you don't like.

We don't get referendums very often in the UK, in fact, I think it was in the 1970's since we last had one, in England at least anyway.

So we should not sleepwalk into something we do not want.

Personally, I toyed with the idea of AV, but I don't think it is better than the current system.

So I think I am going to vote no to AV.  I will explain my thinking later,but I think you need to think about it.  Otherwise you might end up with a political system that you don't like.