Monday, April 28, 2008

What I've been up to

Thank goodness I deleted what I was going to say, it was sooooo boring, not that I guarantee that this will be any better, lol! Been a busy few weeks and it was nice to have the weekend just gone to myself at home. I didn't do much, a few little jobs here and there and mostly relaxing and making the most of the time to myself. The previous weekend I had been to the Wirral with Derek and Carla - Derek has done a good review on his blog - to see our friend Mandy and also visit Spaceport. This weekend is Collectormania in Milton Keynes, which I am planning to attend on Saturday; I might take a sneak preview on Friday when the show opens as its not too far from work. I had put my name forward to crew this event after doing the Coventry and Manchester shows but alas I was not chosen. Still don't know why but I am not too bothered, at least it gives me a free weekend and time to enjoy the show.

I am hoping to be starting as a volunteer at Bletchley Park during May. I completed all the formalities a couple of weeks ago, just waiting for my pass and confirmation of when I can get started. I am really looking forward to this. It will be a challenge to learn about the work that went on at the Park, so that at least I come across as 'informed' when speaking to visitors and I am looking forward to being involved in something that I consider to be worthwhile and of importance. I think it is shameful that the Trust which runs the Park receives no government funding, not even a hand-out from the lottery and even more surprising that the site is not dedicated as a heritage site or something similar. After all the work that went on there during World War II was vitally important to the Allied victory and for that it deserves greater recognition and support.

I finished reading Rough Music by Patrick Gale last weekend. The interminably long journey home by train from Birmingham last weekend, gave ample opportunity to sprint through the last third or so of the book. This wasn't a happy read and a rather miserable ending too. I really must choose more positive reading material, lol! I am getting into Blue Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson at the moment, having read the first book in the Mars trilogy about six months ago. I like Robinson's writing, which I find evocative of Arthur C Clarke, particularly in the attention to detail and the realisation of science fantasy as science fact. Everything seems believable and real and I can quite envisage human colonies becoming established on Mars in the way Robinson describes, in the middle of the next century. The detail is such that I am often left wondering if Robinson hasn't secretly been to Mars already!

One of the treasures that I discovered on the radio a few months ago is Broadcasting House on Radio 4. I don't ever listen to it live - 9am on a Sunday morning even for me is not an hour that I know too well! But I enjoy listening to the podcast, which I have found makes an ideal accompaniment on the walk home from work one evening a week. BH as it is known by its loyal listeners is a current affairs magazine albeit with a somewhat sideways look at the news, hosted by Paddy O'Connell, who I enjoyed watching on Working Lunch. He is an amusing and amiable presenter and I like the informal style of the programme which doesn't get in the way of making some serious and probing points.

Another treasure from the radio, albeit forty plus years ago now, is Round the Horne. I treated myself to a compilation CD of some of the best episodes on Friday and I am enjoying that very much. It doesn't matter how often I listen to these shows or how familiar I am with the gags, I still find it one of the funniest things I've heard. It was ground-breaking for its time and even now, is still surprisingly close to the mark and very, very funny.

Talking of funny things, I am delighted to have found the special edition PG Tips with the Monkey DVD and tea towel, yay! I love all things Monkey! I will have to look at the web site as I understand that there is other Monkey merchandise that can be purchased.

Right, time to put the DVD on and make myself a nice cuppa!


Derek said...

Woohooo! Glad you got the monkey DVD and tea towel set - fantastic, huh? You must re-watch the film with commentary from Monkey and some bloke called Steve, who was the cameraman I believe! There is one particular line that had us screaming with laughter! :)

cheers, see you at the weekend.

Carla said...

Hi Mark, how about an update? Where's your 'Iron Man' review??

Did you ever buy anything at Collectormania? :)