Thursday, December 01, 2005

GF5 600 - London Eye - 32Isn't it nice when your blog gets commentspam? Well Miss (yep, that'll be Pembroke College, part of the glorious University of Oxford), you can take your free iPods back from whence you came (and shame on you for using your the nice people at Britblog to aid your nefarious deeds).

But oddly for comment spam, she has a Blogger account which has an active blog on it (Google "Doreanology". No direct links for obvious reasons). Except it starts of with who she is (female, from London, studied at LSE [is that the same as graduated from?]), then moves onto what she likes (gadgets), then on to how free-space-monkey systems work, and then how wonderful a certain freebie company is. And she seems to manage to only post once per month.

Naturally enough, her blog has identikit "insert production name and link here" comment spam, from "single female forename" (just like Dorean...).

I think it was just the [not a direct quote because I've already deleted the original copy] first line which ran "I can't help with the topic, but I can help with Christmas. [start sales pitch here]".

But can I be bothered to complain to people? Blogger will probably shrug, and point out commercial blog are perfectly acceptable, and spam blogs (what's the proper word for that - splogs?) earn them just as much money as every single other blog. And Oxford will probably say "not us" and then complain I haven't given them enough details to warrant any further action. Either that or they'll commend her for her entrepreneurship.

And while checking the stats to find the spammer (one advantage of not having a popular blog is that I can still find out who was here at a certain time several hours ago), I found this entertaining search "what animal does peperami come from?#".

Hands up if you can answer that question without having to walk to the nearest supermarket to read the back of a packet you have no intention of buying (and you know I will, just because I'm curious, the next time I go to Sainsbury's, assuming I remember). I'd guess pig, but it could easily be the Himalayan Tofu or the Brown Floor Sweepings.

Anyway, I'm not sure I've much else to add - life recently hasn't been all that exciting. The highlight of the week was realising that the entire underground system is based on a Madonna video (The Hits has started working again now the aerial's thawed out. In this household it's rarely watched, and when it is, it's always the same Madonna video, hence noticing). Every rushhour, everybody on the Tube is busy Vogueing, although mostly using other people's arms and hands for the framing.

Spot who has never ever attempted that dance, due to a combination of never having been anywhere where it was playing (but that's hardly surprising), and also because the idea of doing something with limbs that are in close proximity to my face doesn't really seem like a good idea given previous attempts at dancing have led to me elbowing myself quite hard in the solar plexus (try it. It ought to be impossible, and it is at slow speeds).

What else? I've discovered that I've forgotten the second verse of Hark, the Herald Angels Sing. I'm also no longer able to full gloria Ding Dong Merrily on High*, but I haven't sung it since I got that cold my voice never recovered from (colds in puberty have odd effects).

* I always wondered where Marillis High was. I could tell other people in the choir weren't singing "merrily" but it took me a very long time before I figured out that it was "Mary is", and even longer to realise what that meant.

Guess who went to the burning of the Norwegian Christmas tree in Trafalgar Square. Well, plugging in thereof. I didn't know it was on, and was asked if I wanted to come, so I agreed, and then managed to miss everyone meeting up, so I made my own way there, and managed to miss them there (despite several circumnavigations of the place).

So ended up standing alone in a crowd, feeling a bit cold and wishing that St Martin’s ITF would turn their tape of bells ringing off. And why couldn't they run to real bells with actual bell ringers? The sound always started the same and never varied. No bell ringer I know (I realised I typed that being slightly indignant, and that I don't know any, and shortly after realised that actually do know several. Heck I've even done it once upon a time. I nearly broke the thing though. Apparently they don't need all that much of a tug to start them moving. But it was quite fun, in an odd way, but I think my slight lack of enthusiasm for being deafened, getting up early and for God generally might have impinged somewhat on my campanology career. And only I [and maybe a few million other people] could type "campanology" and think that it must be the study of heathers). So, no bell ringer I know would ever do something so boring. Even if they start of doing a free for all, they'd find they where doing peals fairly quickly. And once a peal starts, it's so innate, so logical, that to break out of it is a struggle.

Anyway, I stood in a square alone, surrounded by people, wishing the guy who was reading out the event guide he'd just loaded on his phone would shut up long enough to realise he was talking over the bit he just complained they weren't doing. Oh, and has anyone else ever heard of "A great and mighty wonder"? The Lord Mayor of Westminster decried "we shall now sing together", at which point it became obvious that even those lucky few with hymn sheets (which they couldn't read in the dark - phones with cameras which have a negative option are very useful) had no idea what it was supposed to sound like. I think it was the same Lord Mayor who messed up reading "Ladies and Gentlemen". Gentles I'd understand, just about, but "Ladies and Gentle. Men"?

But even with recognisable hymns, most of the crowd wasn't singing (even the drunken people were attempting, although I think there was a strong degree of taking the piss). Which makes it very hard to carry on singing if you're in a sparse enough soundscape that you can clearly hear every mistake you make and know other people can to (I could hear other people singing, but at a much reduced volume). And I'm used to choirs, where everyone manages to stagger their mistakes so the whole sounds fine.

It's odd. Well not really, because it's the same effect I have every time I make any mistake in any form. I hear myself just miss a note, and I tense up, so my voice gets tauter, so it starts to get hoarser, starts to tremble, starts to croak, then falls apart and I shut up until the next verse, chorus or song. But I'm still under the influence of the last mistake, so the mistakes come sooner, and in the end I simply stop. It just snowballs.

Hmm, I start off on Christmas and end up on neuroses. What a happy little bunny I must be. Although Christmas and neuroses do seem inextricably linked.

Speaking of, er, Christmas - no, rabbits - no, happiness - bit too abstract, so, um, er. Anyway, il y a encore de mes photographes a chez Flickr. Not sure why that was in French, considering most of them are of Greece, may say luvvie. Although I think my lack of Greek but explain it a bit, I can't even do Granglais (which of course should be gr+ whatever the Greek for English is). Alors, clickez-ici.

Et maintenant je pense j'ai fini.


PS. Something on Flickr has just reminded. SWT are purest evil. I went away for the weekend, and instead of being able to buy a leave-now-come-back-in-a-few-days ticket, I was told they'd stopped doing all returns to my destination and I'd have to get two single tickets. Except of course both tickets are under £10 each, so exempt from the Young Person's discount despite the total being more then £10, whereas the return ticket used to be more than £10 and so the discount used to apply. To quote someone else discovering the same thing, Southwest Trains are "Utter shits".

Oh, and was the last proper-doored train running at the weekend? Because there were a heck of a lot of lonely males standing a couple of platforms over at Clapham Junction. It's quite interesting watching people avidly watching something else (yep, I was train-spotter-spotting). Although I did feel sorry for the people who were obviously the social outcasts of the train-spotter community.

I've always been mystified by train pricing systems. As an example, in August I bought a ticket from Euston to Crewe, the price of a single £49, the price of a return, £50. Can anyone explain the logic behind that? I don't even want to think about the special offer return tickets which are cheaper than a single...
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