March 2009 Archives
Right now, I'm not sure I'm glad to be British.
It's extremely rare that I'll ever get irate about politics; and this is probably the only blog post I will ever do that mentions the words 'Home Office', 'policy document' or 'bureaucratic procedures'. However, I am incensed about the Home Office's 158-page policy document outlining new bureaucratic procedures. The particular document in question here contains new controls over procedures for visiting artists and academics from non-EU countries. The main points of these new guidelines are as follows:
- All non-EU visitors must apply for a visa in person
- They must also supply biometric data, electronic fingerprint scans and a digital photograph
- The host organisation must keep copies of the visitor's passport, their UK biometric card and a history of their contact details
- Individuals must show that they have at least ÃÂ£800 worth of savings; which must have been held for 3 months prior to the date of application
- If the visitor does not turn up to their place of work one day, or their whereabouts are unknown, the host organisation is legally obliged to inform the UK Border Agency
I have just been told off by my two-year-old. Arch was at the computer looking his usual adorable self when I took the opportunity to sneak in a quick kiss and a cuddle. (I do this many times in a day.)
"I'm not a baby," said Arch, who has only just mastered the art of speaking in sentences and evidently decided to put it to good use by rebuking his mother.
"Do you think I treat you like a baby?" I said. "Yes," he replied firmly and got back to Roary the Racing Car.
Ooch! How the truth hurts! Not least when it comes out of the mouth of a
babe and suckling big boy now.
I have to admit he's got a point. I want him to always be my baby. I've barely forgiven him for eating solids and learning to walk, never mind speaking. I think he's taking this growing up business far too far.
But now I've got over the sting of being rebuked I feel strangely consoled by this conversation. It's good to know that even at the age of two he has spotted a flaw in my parenting and is onto the case.
Where I fall short, as I inevitably will, he will make up through his self and mother awareness. I can relax about my failings. Phew!
After that insight I think I deserve a cuddle, you couldn't oblige could you Arch? Arch??
Being fascinated by all things arts and all things digital as I am, I read Ruth Jamieson's recent 'Twitter at the theatre' Guardian article with much interest. What I also found interesting, however, was my response to her suggestion that tweeting during a performance was not only acceptable, but a valid service to followers. Said response was, essentially, this:
(Image from TechCrunch)
I thought this howl into the night might be worth exploring, perhaps more articulately, seeing as I love both theatre and Twitter and yet had a strange aversion to them in convergence.
So, Ms Jamieson, seeing as you've thrown down the gauntlet; let me have a stab at your arguments:
I awoke with an excited start this morning, when twitter informed me that Google Street View was now live for the UK. If you've not heard of Street View, then you've not been reading the scared sections of the press that have called it a "burglar's charter". It isn't.
What it is is a record of what most streets in the UK looked like at some point last year when the Google Car came past. I had high hopes of being mapped myself, after all I took a photo of the car:
It was not to be (I live in a cul-de-sac so it came past twice) although the camera did catch next door's cat having a snooze:
One of the most impressive exhibitions we saw during our Year of Culture visit to Liverpool was the International Slavery Museum. The awful transatlantic trade, the almost-hidden sub-text in many Jane Austen novels, was marked widely in the bicentennial year of 2007.
People are still being trafficked today, of course, and that's just one of the controversial issues to be featured in a special show next week, being billed as the city's most exciting youth event. Young Urban with a Voice: Birmingham's young people debate some of society's most pressing issues is the rather ponderous full title of a show at the Crescent Theatre on March 26 and 27.
Time I had a go ... it's all part of the self-imposed therapy I am undergoing. It's an anger management thing. I have to stop getting so het up about everything, my nearest and (sometimes) dearest keep telling me.
We've just returned from our excellent local coffee shop, The Store, shortly to feature in The Redwell Recorder, available as an open group to everyone out there who wastes their time on Facebook - now there's something to have a go at, the way the people behind said social network keep buggering about with it. It's one of the few things that legendary curmudgeon Nigel Hastilow and I agree about.
Big, friendly and a giant success - the latest show at Northampton's Royal&Derngate.
The perennial Roald Dahl favourite The BFG in the classic David Wood adaptation is, in every way, magnificacious, guaranteed to make audiences of all ages whizzpop with delight.
This edition of Brumcast features an interview with Brummy Rock n Rollers 'The Deafout' and their new track R.E.C.E.S.S.I.O.N aired for the first time. Little Chris also discusses the Glastonbudget festival with compere Earl of Mongoose. Also a mini feature on the White Noise Electronic music festival to be held at The Rainbow at the end of March. All that combined with the usual mix of genres that makes Brumcast the true show of the UK Midlands underground. Go to http://brumcast.podOmatic.com for download & audio stream links. Download it free and direct from http://brumcast.podomatic.com/enclosure/2009-03-15T11_41_41-07_00.mp3
Here's this show's playlist :-
1. The Guilty - Machine Gun Mickey (1:43)
2. Copious - Ashes 2 Ashes (4:00)
3. Flesh Eating Foundation - Godless (4:07)
4. Phyroxin - 5D Alarm (3:52)
5. Interview with The Deafout (13:10)
6. The Deafout - R.E.C.E.S.S.I.O.N (3:04)
7. The 7.20s - Keep On Holding On (5:17)
8. Speedtheory - Vengeance Is Mine (5:03)
9. Blame James - Buy A Little Time (3:25)
10. Beatcompute - control (5:28)
11. HINGe - GHOSTS (5:02)
12. Caps - Smile Girl (4:02)
13. Tantrums - Frowning (2:25)
14. The Traps - Genevive You've Lost The Plot (3:27)
15. The Asbo Kid - Turn it up (3:40)
16. Contra Mundum - Apollo (3:54)
17. Wiremother - the blue gene (4:43)
18. Dub Chieftain - Starship Caledonia (3:36)
19. Suddenly Phantoms - Companion (3:26)
20. Earl of Mongoose & Little Chris discuss Glastonbudget (8:33)
21. Non - Inside Out (4:53)
22. Earl of Mongoose - Why are Haddocks not Mammals? (2:20)
23. B.A.D MC - Solo (Produced By Average Joe) (3:44)
24. The Avantgardenaires - The Dogs Are All Asleep (3:29)Enjoy!
Is it really worth it? That is the question I always ask myself as I fret around booking, washing, uploading, planning, packing, delegating and farewelling before I go on holiday. At the time it is hard to believe the stress generated through the sheer effort of getting away could possibly be off-set by the pleasure and relaxation of any break that is to come.
Every time, I find myself perplexed. Why is it such hard work getting us all out of the house? Why does there always seem to be more that I can possibly manage to do?
I found something of an answer to that question about five hours before we were due to leave for our three week break in Barbados when Arch did a massive pooh - one of those kinds that spills out of the nappy and onto the vest.
Great pictures, courtesy of Alex Soulsby, to promote the new show at Northampton's Royal&Derngate. An old mate of mine, arguably the strangest man in Britain, Leigh Banks, billing himself these days as a ghosthunter as well as a writer, would be fascinated to meet the chap posing with the giant puppet being used in Roald Dahl's BFG.
He's Anthony Pedley and the giant puppet is made in his likeness. Tony has played the role of the BFG in quite a number of productions - he's a Roald Dahl afficionado and does a regular one man Roald Dahl show. He even has the number plate BFG 1. He's enjoying being back in Northampton having been part of the Royal's resident Northampton Repertory Company from 1966 to 1969, even playing Prospero in The Tempest at the tender age of 23.