Journal – April 2005

Here’s another instalment of entries from my journal. This month there are further developments on my job, more on the TV shows, music and DVDs that I’ve been enjoying, a bit of socialising, a top 50 list and a top 100 list. So I hope you enjoy!

Sunday April 3, 2005

My contract at the council has definitely been extended for another month now (until April 29th). My supervisor will be going on leave for a couple of weeks soon when his new baby is born, but he’s shown me how to do some bits and pieces for when he’s away. And it is still fairly busy at work, with the move into a new financial year.

The big news this week is that Pope John Paul II died last night. It had been expected – his health had been getting worse over the past few weeks, and particularly the last few days. He was the third longest serving Pope. And there’s been an earthquake in the same region as the Boxing Day tsunami, but no tidal waves were caused this time. Hundreds of people were killed though, sadly.

In the US, a man who was paralysed from the neck down has been able to check his email and play video games using mind control, after pioneering surgery. It’s still in the early stages, but it just involves placing a special microchip in the brain. It’s clever what they’re able to do now.

As for TV news, there will be another series of Doctor Who, but Christopher Eccleston won’t be doing it. He said he doesn’t want to be typecast in the role, and the filming schedule was quite gruelling. It’s a great shame, but he is in 13 episodes of 45 minutes each for this series, so he’s had a good go at it. The BBC know who they want to get in the role (David Tennant, who I’ve never heard of), but Billie Piper will stay on as Rose. Last night’s episode, about the Earth ending, was another great one.

My DVDs of The Simpsons – Season 5, Minder – Series 10 and Comic Aid arrived yesterday, and it looks like they’ll be good. The Amarillo single and DVD came too, so I’m glad I’ve got them. I can’t say I think much of the Club Mix, although I can understand why it’s suitable for clubs. The laughter track on the single is a curious addition as well, but certainly appropriate for Comic Relief. Last week, the single got to #1 for the second week in a row, and Tony Christie’s Ultimate Collection topped the album charts too. It’s the first time Amarillo’s got to #1 (it got to #18 all those years ago). And it looks like it could be at the top spot for a third week. It is better than McFly’s Comic Relief track for sure.

Sunday April 10, 2005

Work has been much the same as ever. My supervisor’s actually been in most of the week as his new baby still hasn’t arrived yet, but maybe on Monday we’ll hear different.

We had fun and games with the drains this week, if you can call it that. Our new neighbours found that there was a horrible smell and their drains were blocked. So they called in a guy from Dyno-Rod on Monday, and he cleared their drain – but he pushed everything the wrong way and into ours! Lucky we didn’t ask him in to do more work when they came round to explain what was going on! They also had South West Water round, who confirmed that it had come through to us.

Our builder’s van was in for a service on Tuesday (just our luck!), so he came round on Wednesday morning to clear it. What was blocking it? It turned out to be ladies’ sanitary towels mainly, that the old neighbours had tried to flush away! And there were a few nappies as well I think. The old lot next door were always a bit odd, doing DIY at strange hours for instance, so it’s not really a surprise I suppose. And at least we know the new neighbours now, and they know us, so that’s something. We never knew who the old lot were!

In the news this week we had the funeral of the Pope and the wedding of Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles, and Tony Blair has announced the General Election for May 5th, as everyone expected. So nothing exciting really.

There was a programme on ITV1 last night called Queen Mania, featuring stars performing songs by the band, and footage of Queen themselves mixed in every now and again. It coincides with the new tour they’re doing with Paul Rodgers, which has been getting good reviews, so let’s hope for a DVD.

The show was, to be frank, a great disappointment, as the performances were very weak overall. Someone should have told them that Queen are a rock band, and that guitar sections don’t get replaced with synth strings. The musicians (drummers, guitarists, etc) must have come cheap! Queen didn’t even appear on the show at all, except for archive clips of their videos and live shows.

The songs performed were:

So it wasn’t great. Hopefully it’s further re-ignited interest in Queen among the youngsters, but ultimately it was a waste of what could and should have been a much better hour.

On another musical note, Tony Christie’s Amarillo track is at #1 for the fourth week in a row now. Is there anyone who doesn’t have this single? Comic Relief must be getting a lot of money from it, which is great.

And finally, Channel 4 did another of its lists last week – The 50 Greatest Comedy Sketches:

  1. Lou & Andy (Swimming Pool) – Little Britain
  2. Dead ParrotMonty Python’s Flying Circus
  3. Tubbs & Edward (Road Men) – The League Of Gentlemen
  4. Vicky Pollard (Swimming Pool) – Little Britain
  5. Four CandlesThe Two Ronnies
  6. Going For An English – Goodness Gracious Me
  7. Acorn Antiques – Victoria Wood: As Seen On TV
  8. Breakfast The Morecambe & Wise Show
  9. Ted & Ralph (Drinking Game)The Fast Show
  10. Good Aids/Bad AidsBrass Eye
  11. The Slobs (Brown Baby) – Harry Enfield & Chums
  12. The Spanish Inquisition – Monty Python’s Flying Circus
  13. Silence Of The Lambs – French & Saunders
  14. Papa Lazarou (The Circus Comes To Town) – The League Of Gentlemen
  15. Ministry Of Silly WalksMonty Python’s Flying Circus
  16. Previn Plays Greig – The Morecambe & Wise Show
  17. The Only Gay In The Village (Daffyd’s Coming Out) – Little Britain
  18. The PoolThe Day Today
  19. Michael Jackson’s CribBo’ Selecta!
  20. Suit You! Tailors (New Job) – The Fast Show
  21. MasterchefThe Smell Of Reeves & Mortimer
  22. Singing MatchSmack The Pony
  23. Job Seekers (The Interview) – The League Of Gentlemen
  24. History TodayThe Mary Whitehouse Experience
  25. MastermindThe Two Ronnies
  26. One Leg Too FewBeyond The Fringe
  27. Two Soups – Victoria Wood: As Seen on TV
  28. Gerald The Talking Gorilla – Not The Nine O’Clock News
  29. Mr Cholmondley-Warner (Women Know Your Limits)Harry Enfield’s Television Programme
  30. Stoneybridge Olympic Bid – Absolutely
  31. Nudge NudgeMonty Python’s Flying Circus
  32. Craig David On TourBo’ Selecta!
  33. Constable SavageNot The Nine O’Clock News
  34. Singing In The Rain – The Morecambe & Wise Show
  35. Alan Partridge (At The Races)The Day Today
  36. The Dagenham Dialogues – Not Only But Also
  37. Thatcher & Cabinet – Spitting Image
  38. Damn It!A Bit Of Fry & Laurie
  39. Saying Goodbye – Smack The Pony
  40. Class Sketch – The Frost Report
  41. The Pandas (Japanese Tourists) – Who Dares Wins
  42. Cissy & Ada BabysittingThe Les Dawson Show
  43. Two Flies – Alas Smith & Jones
  44. Jockey SafariBig Train
  45. A La CarteThe Tommy Cooper Hour
  46. The Four YorkshiremenAt Last The 1948 Show
  47. Slade in Residence (Christmas Day)The Smell Of Reeves & Mortimer
  48. Rod Stewart’s BumThe Kenny Everett Television Show
  49. The Lumberjack SongMonty Python’s Flying Circus
  50. Smashie & Nicey (Radio Quiet)Harry Enfield’s Television Programme

It’s an interesting list, although Little Britain is hardly good enough to beat Monty Python and The Two Ronnies. It’s not bad, but it’s not that great either.

Sunday April 17, 2005

My supervisor’s wife finally gave birth to their new baby on Wednesday morning at 3:40am, though he did still pop in on Friday to set up the poll cards we need to produce for the upcoming election, and he showed me how to print them. We managed pretty well without him, and I did have another colleague to help me out too. Other than that, we had a 5-second powercut during a thunderstorm on Friday afternoon, just before we were going to leave the office. It was quite weird seeing everything go off and then come back on again.

The election campaigning is underway of course *yawn*. Charles Kennedy has become a father, though, so that’s good news for him. He won’t win the election I expect, but he’s got one reason to be happy.

On TV, as well as their Sketchbook show on Fridays, there was a good Comedy Connections documentary about The Two Ronnies on Monday night. And the last in the series of Sketchbook next week does feature the Four Candles sketch, yay! Have I Got News For You also came back this week, in good time for the election. And I’m watching The Simpsons – Season 5 and Minder – Series 10 on DVD at the moment, and they’re both good.

We’ve lost Channel 4 though! It was alright on Friday night, but has now disappeared. I’m not sure if it’s engineering work, I’m trying to find that out. It’s a shame really, because they’re doing the 100 Greatest Albums today, and I want to see that. I’ll still be able to find out the list though, so it’s not all bad. I wonder if Queen will be in there anywhere. A Night At The Opera‘s got to figure, surely?

And talking of music, the charts are going to include downloads from today, so we could see a completely different line-up. Downloads are really catching up with singles now – why go out to a shop when you can download a song over broadband? That’s assuming you’ve got broadband of course. We haven’t yet. But downloads haven’t stopped Tony Christie in any case – as of today, Amarillo has now notched up a fifth week at number 1!

We’ve also had the London Marathon this weekend, with Paula Radcliffe winning the women’s race in a time of 2:17:42, so well done to her. And well done to everyone else who’s been running in the marathon (all 35,000 of them!), many of whom are raising money for charity. The event is in its 25th year and still going strong.

Monday April 25, 2005

Some good news from work this week – I’m going to be getting another 3 months! That takes me up to the end of July. My manager’s boss recommended it I think, as I’ve been doing stuff in my supervisor’s absence, and we’ve been managing fine.

I met up with a couple of old school friends on Saturday in Exeter for a few games of ten-pin bowling, and I won all 3 games. They haven’t really changed much. One is still overweight, drinks and smokes, so he’s as healthy as ever, and he’s dyed his hair blonde, which is an odd look. The other kept going on about football a lot, even though I wasn’t really interested, but he has got a job now, working a couple of days a week at the local library, so that’s good for him. They also told me that a few members of staff that I knew from school are retiring soon, and told me about a few former pupils that they’re still in touch with, particularly one couple who are now married with a child. So it was a good day all in all, it was nice to see them again.

The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy movie is out this week, so it’ll be interesting to see what that’s like. Martin Freeman from The Office is Arthur Dent, and the voice of the book is the great Stephen Fry, so it should be interesting. And talking of sci-fi, the new Doctor Who series continues to shine. I know I keep mentioning it, but it is brilliant!

Channel 4 came back on Monday, by the way, following on from my previous entry. The BBC website did say that our local transmitter was on reduced power, so that probably explains it. So I didn’t get to watch their programme about the 100 Greatest Albums, but here’s the list:

  1. Radiohead – OK Computer
  2. U2 – The Joshua Tree
  3. Nirvana – Nevermind
  4. Michael Jackson – Thriller
  5. Pink Floyd – Dark Side Of The Moon
  6. Oasis – Definitely Maybe
  7. The Beatles – Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band
  8. Madonna – Like A Prayer
  9. Guns N’ Roses – Appetite For Destruction
  10. The Beatles – Revolver
  11. R.E.M. – Automatic For The People
  12. The Beatles – The White Album
  13. Queen – A Night At The Opera
  14. Coldplay – Parachutes
  15. Oasis – (What’s The Story) Morning Glory?
  16. Alanis Morissette – Jagged Little Pill
  17. Led Zeppelin – Led Zeppelin IV
  18. The Verve – Urban Hymns
  19. Jimi Hendrix – Are You Experienced
  20. The Smiths – The Queen Is Dead
  21. John Lennon – Imagine
  22. Radiohead – The Bends
  23. Bob Marley & The Wailers – Exodus
  24. The Stone Roses – The Stone Roses
  25. Simon & Garfunkel – Bridge Over Troubled Water
  26. Björk – Debut
  27. The Doors – The Doors
  28. ABBA – Arrival
  29. Michael Jackson – Off The Wall
  30. Duran Duran – Rio
  31. Sex Pistols – Never Mind The Bollocks, Here’s The Sex Pistols
  32. David Bowie – The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars
  33. The Beach Boys – Pet Sounds
  34. Joy Division – Closer
  35. The Rolling Stones – Let It Bleed
  36. Blur – Parklife
  37. Bruce Springsteen – Born To Run
  38. Billie Holiday – Lady Sings The Blues
  39. The White Stripes – Elephant
  40. Black Sabbath – Paranoid
  41. The Specials – The Specials
  42. The Rolling Stones – Exile On Main Street
  43. Frank Sinatra – Songs For Swingin’ Lovers!
  44. The Clash – London Calling
  45. The Prodigy – The Fat Of The Land
  46. The Velvet Underground – The Velvet Underground And Nico
  47. Dire Straits – Brothers In Arms
  48. Pixies – Doolittle
  49. Aretha Franklin – I Never Loved A Man The Way I Love You
  50. The Libertines – The Libertines
  51. Happy Mondays – Pills ‘N’ Thrills And Bellyaches
  52. Patti Smith – Horses
  53. The Who – Tommy
  54. Lou Reed – Transformer
  55. Bob Dylan – Blood On The Tracks
  56. Prince – Sign ‘O’ The Times
  57. Dido – No Angel
  58. Air – Moon Safari
  59. Elton John – Goodbye Yellow Brick Road
  60. The Jam – All Mod Cons
  61. Jeff Buckley – Grace
  62. Fleetwood Mac – Rumours
  63. Moby – Play
  64. Red Hot Chili Peppers – Blood Sugar Sex Magik
  65. The Police – Synchronicity
  66. Joni Mitchell – Blue
  67. Curtis Mayfield – Super Fly
  68. Elvis Presley – The Sun Sessions
  69. Outkast – Speakerboxxx/The Love Below
  70. Pulp – Different Class
  71. Kraftwerk – Trans-Europe Express
  72. Massive Attack – Blue Lines
  73. Beck – Odelay
  74. Stevie Wonder – Songs In The Key Of Life
  75. Kate Bush – Hounds Of Love
  76. Talking Heads – Fear Of Music
  77. Eminem – The Marshall Mathers LP
  78. Marvin Gaye – What’s Going On
  79. George Michael – Faith
  80. Saturday Night Fever – The Original Movie Soundtrack
  81. Primal Scream – Screamadelica
  82. John Coltrane – A Love Supreme
  83. Love – Forever Changes
  84. Paul Simon – Graceland
  85. Nick Drake – Five Leaves Left
  86. Meat Loaf – Bat Out Of Hell
  87. Dusty Springfield – Dusty In Memphis
  88. De La Soul – 3 Feet High And Rising
  89. The Strokes – Is This It
  90. Madness – One Step Beyond…
  91. Robbie Williams – I’ve Been Expecting You
  92. Neil Young – After The Gold Rush
  93. Public Enemy – It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back
  94. Blondie – Parallel Lines
  95. The Eagles – Hotel California
  96. James Brown – Sex Machine
  97. The Streets – A Grand Don’t Come For Free
  98. Dexys Midnight Runners – Searching For The Young Soul Rebels
  99. Rod Stewart – Every Picture Tells A Story
  100. The Human League – Dare

Good to see Queen’s best album at #13, though I’m surprised that A Night At The Opera and Led Zeppelin IV weren’t in the top 10 to be honest. I’m not surprised that Thriller by Michael Jackson did well, as I know he’s got a lot of fans, even though his trial is still going on. I don’t think Radiohead should have the top spot, what I have heard of their stuff hasn’t really inspired me much. I haven’t heard most of the albums in that list, but there are a few I plan to get one day. I own 5 of them at the moment.

And on a final musical note – Amarillo has now made six weeks at number 1! Downloads clearly haven’t stopped it, if anything they’ve probably helped!

Author: Glen

Love London, love a laugh, love life. Visually impaired blogger, culture vulture & accessibility advocate, with aniridia & nystagmus, posting about my experiences & adventures.

One thought on “Journal – April 2005”

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: