Thursday, August 31, 2006

6 months of blogging - That went quickly!

Time has flown and I can't believe it's about 6 months since I started this blogging malarkey.

It's been an experience not beyond, just very different to, all my expectations. And I didn't really have any expectations, if you know what I mean. I had been lurking and reading blogs, mostly the Sri Lankan ones, for a while before I started mine. They are strangely captivating, paticularly my favourites:

http://londonlanka.blogspot.com/2006/05/best-blogs-in-world-ever.html

It's funny how I feel as if I know a lot of the bloggers yet

a) I haven't met the majority of you and
b) you may well be writing total bollocks about yourself and therefore I, or any other readers for that matter, don't actually know the real you. Unless we have met you through another medium and have got to know you that way. But then you might have been putting on a big act in that medium and we might have not seen the real person as well. So quit the charade, the game's up.

I have some regular commenters, or is that commentators, such as childof25 (http://childoftwentyfive.blogsome.com) and Thena (http://poetlost.wordpress.com) There is also Savi3, who seems a frequent comment maker on many blogs, but alas hasn't got her own one.

When I began it was more of an experiment to see what would happen. I remember driving to work one Monday morning and pondering, as one does, about everyday stuff like drums, heavy machinery, why guitarists are so annoying, who actually buys Elton John's music and blogging.

At some point during my 20 minute commute I made a decision. I think it was when I was going along the Wellington Road in Hounslow, which is incidentally where I had a head on collision a few years ago, a scary experience indeed. It was the first and only time I had seen an airbag in action. I'll give you a tip here. When an airbag deploys an explosion happens to make it inflate. So, immediately afterwards, there is a strong smell of smoke and it would appear as if the inside of your car is on fire. It all happens so quickly that a normally calm, cool and stylishly good looking person may jump out of the car really quickly in a slight panic, thinking that the whole motherfucking thing is about to explode. There is no need for all this drama, the smoke clears in a couple of seconds and the burning smell is just the airbag. Not that it happened to me and I panicked and pooed in my pants and jumped out of the car or anything like that of course.

The decision I had made was that I would start a "dummy" blog for a bit, just to see if I could write anything that might sound vaguely amusing or interesting. With hindsight I can see a massive flaw in my plan. That word "dummy" is the clue. I never intended to publish it so I would never have known if anyone would have liked it. Cunning eh?

But within about 45 minutes of making that resolute decision I somehow had a real live blog up on the net. While playing around with blogger and looking at how to do things and the like it was all too easy. I clicked a mouse here, typed a name in there, tapped a password in here and bang, I had a real blog.

Fucking hell. Now what? So I just introduced myself and began to write. I spent a lot of time trying to figure out what people would want to read about. This is very hard when you don't know what readership you want or who your existing readership actually is. I made a decision that I wouldn't inform those friendly kottu chaps (http://kottu.org) or the zsri lot (http://zsri.com) of my existence until I felt ready to reveal myself to their readers. But they found me anyhow, and that was a great thing. Before I could say House of fashion, I was syndicated, I think that's the terminology, and my readership shot up to about 2 people a day (including me).

I can't pinpoint exactly when but, at some stage, I realised that I should just write my thoughts. Rather than think about what people may or may not enjoy reading it is more satisfying to blurt out what comes into my head and see what happens. This has resulted in long rambling posts about exploding washing gel and narratives about my dreams of Jennifer Aniston and Vicky Butler - Henderson fighting. And lots of stuff about drums and drummers and music. And lots about Sri Lanka.

I've also made a lot of new friends. I've met up with Dave A, who bravely tried to get some useful information from me about my background and upbringing for his Phd. I don't think I helped him much but I enjoyed talking to him.

So, all in all, I think this blogging stuff is quite cool. As I distinctly remember Nazreen Sansoni saying in her blog at some point that it can become all consuming and that is not so good.

So I intend to continue this, as soon as I get back from my week's sojourn in Colombo. Meeting up with any of you lot would be an honour, just email me or leave a comment and I'll be in touch.

Thanks for reading.

The maneater

"Be careful of her Son, she's a bit of a maneater" said my Dad to me, in his best fatherly advice tone.

These old Dads mean well, it's just that advice like that is hardly going to make most blokes stay away from someone. Is it?

Dads eh?

I'm off, see you soon.

R

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Any ideas?

Me and my brother arrive in Colombo this coming Saturday. Has anyone got any good suggestions for what to do on Saturday night?

Things like live music and clubs and food are what we are looking for, no poncey stuff for us!

Any help would be much appreciated.

Thanks.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Happy to be home, can't wait to be going!

Back in glorious Teddington. The week is a fucking mentally busy one with a lucky bank holiday Monday thrown in to give me the time (?) to mow the lawn and do domestic stuff like that. As luck would have it we are just in the middle of some sort of downpour so I am using the time productively to surf the net and daydream.

Friday night sees me and the bro flying to Colombo. It looks like I'll be able to take my iPod on the plane, which is a good thing on a 15 hour flight I can tell you.

Poland was good, I've got a few long essays in my head, one in particular about the impact of digital photography on the average Joe. How many tourists snap away at sights without really experiencing the ambience of the location and then rush on to the next place to take their next photo. I'll write it another time after I've uploaded all my photographs of Poland!

If you're in Colombo next week keep an eye out for me!

Monday, August 21, 2006

Hi all

Just a flying post as I've popped into an internet cafe in Krakow while the wife and kids mooch around the apartment playing cards. We've been to Zakopane, a mountainy place full of mountainy things. Houses with those roofs that slope all over the shop, clean mountain air, sheep, Poles dressed in strange clothes and that kind of thing.

In Zakopane I really was the only "brown" in the village. I saw one other Asian person in 5 days there. I was coming down a mountain and he was on his way up. Our eyes met and we exchanged a knowing smile. The moment lasted, well just for a moment, obviously, but we spoke volumes to each other in that glance. Volumes along the lines of "They all stare at us don't they?".

We arrived in Krakow a few days ago. It's gorgeous and jammed packed to the rafters with tourists. I've got a whole Phd planned on the impact of tourists, how many places benefit hugely from the financial benefits of the hordes, yet the attractions themselves lose their appeal because of commercialism. Actually I think I may have shot my load a bit too soon because that's virtually all I have to say on the matter, but I could probably flannel it out to around 25,000 words or whatever it is these coves have to write. I'd have to add a bit of sex and violence and maybe a murder or 2 to keep it interesting.

I digress. I've heard about the bombs and stuff in SL but I'm about to read up properly on kottu to find out more. I'm fully field testing my new Panasonic FZ30 and I have lots of good things and some bad things to say about it. The more I like it, the more photographs I take and the more photographs I take with it the more I get frustrated by its shortcomings. It's a catch 23, much, much worse than a catch 22.

That's it for now. Hope to see you soon. Must dash as I'm supposed to be researching train times to Gdansk.

Friday, August 11, 2006

I'm off then

The wife is almost fully recovered and we're off to Poland on Sunday avec children, for a couple of weeks of Eastern European hospitality. I had fun last night trying to collect them from the airport amongst all the security alerts and confusion. Their flight was due into Luton at midday and finally came in to Gatwick at 8 in the evening. Now I've got Paul Simon running through my head singing "It was 8 in the evening..." I know the actual word was "late" but it works, I bet it's buzzing its way through your head now too.

After that I'll be back for just under a week and then I'll be Colombo bound with my little brother, who needs a guiding figure like me to, well guide him really. The thought of a week of boys' stuff in Colombo really doesn't appeal to me a bit. I am a magnanimous type, always willing to make sacrifices and help out the needy.

If anyone's got any good suggestions for watching some live music week commencing 4th Sept please let me know. I've only got a week but I'd dearly love to meet up with a few of you Colombo Bloggers and have a drink or two if you're around. You'll probably spot me in one of the regular haunts and I'll usually have a pair of drumsticks hanging out of my arse or some other orifice.

That's all assuming I survive the joys of Poland and manage to sit on the good old Sri Lankan Airlines craft for 15 hours or so without my iPod, which will probably be stuck in my suitcase in the hold. It will be Sri Lankan Airlines FM smoothsounds all the way!

See you soon.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Sri Lankanisms - No 2 in an occasional series

Machang

A fucking great masterpiece of a word!

The closest comparison in English I can think of is "mate" but that doesn't really do justice to the beauty and all roundness of today's gem.

Of course the literal translation is "brother in law" but frankly bollocks to that, it is far more attractive than to be used only in the presence of a brother in law, particularly my one. I googled it recently and found out that there is a place in Malaysia, a place in China, a type of wood and and Yahoo group all called Machang. So, if you had a brother in law who owned a wood shop in a certain part of Malaysia, things could get awkward.

It can be chucked in as a substitute for "mate" but it has more friendly connotations; a customer would never be referred to as "machang" in Sri Lanka but many an idiot shop worker here in England will happily call a customer "mate". This is one of my pet hates and, as Prime Minister, my first major task would be to start a TV channel that showed nothing but re runs of The Persuaders, with Tony Curtis and Roger Moore as the multi millionaire playboys with wicked cars. Then I would pass a law to stop shop assistants and the like calling customers "mate". Then I'd go home and watch The Persuaders. I suppose that would be a decent second day at work by most people's standards. I say second day because I'd probably spend the first day tidying my desk and figuring out where to put all my drum stuff in 10 Downing St. There's probably a back room somewhere I could use but I hope the neighbours wouldn't have a problem with the noise. Our next door neighbour now is a nice deaf 80 something year old chap and, for a drummer, neighbours don't get much better.

Let's move back to the word of the day.

In Sri Lankan English it is a true term of endearment. I have been quite chuffed to have been called Machang on occasion but I've never mastered the art of using it on other people myself. It's one of those words that has to be said with a good Sri Lankan accent, something I don't possess. I don't possess a fish tank either but it hasn't affected my life too negatively. I guess it would if I wanted to keep fish. The mess would be dreadful as they slid over the floor until they died so I'd probably end up getting a tank. Or a pond. But I've already got one of them.

There are several conversations with various people during which I have chucked in a "machang", rather nonchalantly and the recipient hasn't baulked or stared at me with wide open eyes and a dropped jaw as I feel they should have. But it's a word that just doesn't come easy to my dreary South London voice. I can write it with the best of them but using it in anger makes me feel uncomfortable. Maybe that's because it really is a term of affection and is rarely used in anger.

I have been racking my brain trying to figure who, in England, I would call "machang" if they knew what it meant. That's a tough one and I can come up with about 2 or 3 people who aren't actually my brother in law. I might try and invent an English word that can be used in the same context. My first rule would be that it can't be used by the working classes on customers to claim familiarity.

Incidentally I just looked it up in the dictionary and it's not listed, there's a surprise! What is listed is the word "machan" which means

"(in India) a raised platform used in Tiger hunting"

Bet you didn't know that.

I must go now, I've got to invent a word.

Wednesday, August 9, 2006

Have her scrubbed and brought to my tent immediately

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-yUqdS_twjY&search=F430


The sexiest video I've ever seen.

Don't worry about the scrubbing bit. Just bring her to my tent.

Tuesday, August 8, 2006

Home alone - It's not easy!

So last week the wife went off to visit her mother in the Isle of Man. She took the kids as they are on holiday and I couldn't really get the time off work. She was due to return last Friday after spending a mere 4 days away. I have been to the Isle of Man a few times and, as far as small islands go, it would be fair to say that I would rather spend time in Sri Lanka. Add in the factor of my Mother in Law being omnipresent, at least in the Isle of Man, and it would be accurate to say that I'd rather spend a couple of years stuck in the remotest part of Uzbekistan eating food that was made entirely from my own hair than spend 4 days on the Isle of Man.

The plan was a good one. She has a few days with her mother, the girls get some time with their Grandmother and I struggle at home alone with some gigs, some band practices, lots of takeaways and work. One of the fortunate side effects of being a man is that I can survive for almost unlimited time on a diet consisting entirely of sausages and some Indian takeaways. I might bung in the odd Sri Lankan rice and curry, as I did on Friday night, for some variety but give me a selection of good quality British sausages, none of your European rubbish, and I'm happy. Rather like a camel with its storage of water and humps and all that, men can survive on the basics if we need to.

Then disaster struck. On their 2nd day away the wife managed to injure her back. She was in some agony so a Doctor came out and told her that she had no chance of returning until at least this week and may have to cancel or postpone our holiday in Poland. This was not good. The back is getting a bit better and she is now booked to return this Thurday, 3 days before we are scheduled to depart for Poland. It looks like we will be ok for that anyhow.

Whilst she and my lovely daughters are stranded there, her sister was spending 2 days staying at our place with her 15 year old daughter en route from Italy back to the Isle of Man. This meant that I had to collect them from Heathrow on Saturday night, feed and entertain them all day on Sunday and drop them at Luton airport on Monday morning. That kind of thing does not come easy for a man.

So, first thing on Saturday morning I zoomed around the house tidying up. Surprisingly easy, even I struggle to make a big mess when I'm not there. Then I made a shopping list to head off to Tesco and do the business. I had to get some regular supplies in for the guests and also some stuff prior to the holiday. The list said:

Dishwasher tablets
Washing gel things - Green (For the washing machine)
Flash wipes
breakfast things
bread
diet cokes
food
Moisturiser (men's)

I think you'll agree that any man who has moisturiser on his shopping list must be a modern one with modern viewpoints. I just wanted to get that point across.

Off I went to Tesco. I pulled into the car park in Teddington and marvelled at my luck. This public car park is normally packed on a Saturday afternoon, so much that many people have to drive round a few times before they get a space. I got one immediately, put a couple of quid in the pay and display ticket thing, then wandered towards the shop.

"Closed for refurbishment, opne on Monday 7th August" said the sign.

That explained the quiet car park, I thought. So I waltzed round Teddington for a while, buying men's moisturiser and other stuff that I needed. Then I got back in the car and drove the short couple of miles to the big Sainsbury's in Hampton Hill. This is quite a mother of a supermarket, unlike the tiny Tesco in Teddington which is geared towards people doing interim shopping. So here I was, a chap somewhat unused to grocery shopping, with a list that covered a few specific items, and one line that said "food".

I had a plan. I quickly gathered in the specifics on the list. The dishwasher tablets was easy as I knew the brand and the exact type to get. Flash wipes was easy for the same reasons. Bread, easy. Diet Cokes was the easiest of the lot, considering my expertise in the subject, albeit self proclaimed. I also bought Diet cream soda, diet Irn Bru, Dr Pepper Zero and Coke Zero, just to be sure I was well stocked up. Bread and breakfast stuff for Sister in Law and her daughter was another easy gain. Then I moved on to the more challenging stuff. The gel things for the washing machine wasn't easy.

You know those Persil type ones that come in individual polythene wrappers each filled with a greeny blue liquid. Well I had thought that "Green" would give me an accurate target to aim for. But no, they come in biological and non biological and they are both the same colour. How stupid is that? I stood still for abuot 5 minutes staring at them and even then the choice was no easier. So I asked a sexy blonde woman who has been smiling at me in a "get your bloody trolley out of the way" manner. She was no help, all she wanted to do was to give me her phone number, but she was playing hard to get and doing that aloof and can't be bothered thing that women so often do with me. I took a guess at which type to buy and, even now I'm not sure now which type I chose, for reasons that will become clear.

I then came to the "food" item on the list. When I was writing the list "food" seemed a pretty accurate and specific description of something that I needed to buy. This all changed when I was standing and being screamed at by aisle upon aisle of the stuff. It all looked good, it was all tempting, so I went a bit mad. I bought 4 different varieties of sausage as well as 2 packs of Polish Kabanos. If there are any sausage fans out there take my word for it. The new Duchy of Cornwall Cumberland sausages are not that great. They're ok but not as good as the Duchy's regular ones, which are one of my favourites. I bought a variety box of ready cooked chicken, I bought a platter of continental meats with olives (2 kinds) and peppers. I bought 2 packets of pork chops, 2 packets of microwave risotto. You get the picture , I bought all the essentials for a man living on his own, nothing frivolous or wasteful whatsoever.

A few hours later, after skilfully negotiating checkout, nectar cards, car park etc like a veteran I found myself at home. I had just taken all the bags into the house and was about to unpack when I heard the doorbell. As soon as I heard the "ding dong" sound I knew it was the doorbell. I'm sharp like that and it's the only thing in the house that makes that sound. I answered the door and it was Uncle Bob. Everyone knows Uncle Bob. He has known me and my family since I was about 4 and he has helped me in a lot of things over the years. He's a bit of a playboy and spends most of his time collecting things, travelling and having sex with his large collection of women. He's English but was brought up in India and is truly a legend.

So I opened the door to seem him standing there with a woman and a youngish man hovering a bit sheepishly on the pavement.

"Ah Rhythmic" he said. "You're not going to Twickenham are you?"

"No, I wasn't planning to". I thought he was saying this to warn me of the huge crowd caused by the rugby or something.

"OK, bye then" and he turned round to go.

"Hold on, do you mean you want a lift?" I said.

"No, no" he insisted.

I insisted and 16.3 seconds later my car, still with its squeeking brakes and faulty remote locking, was heading towards Twickenham with me, Uncle Bob, the woman and the man, who was her son, on board. I deposited them where they wanted to go and went home to unpack the shopping.

This was a mundane chore until I made the discovery. There was a strange kind of blue liquid on a few items and I hadn't thought too much of it until I opened the bag with the washing gel stuff and realised that one of the polythene sachets had burst its banks and was leaking all over the container. My ability to react promply and effectively in a situation like this is uncanny, even if I say it myself, and I sprung into action. I was aware that I needed to preserve the remaining sachets but also needed to get rid of the broken fellow and clean the plastic container, which was full of this bluey green gel. I did the logical thing that many people wouldn't have had the quickness of thought to instigate. I turned the tap on and put the whole container under it. That should rinse out the liquid and clean the good ones I thought.

The smarter of my readers will probably know that these bastard washing things are actually designed to dissolve on contact with water. Well, I ask you, how stupid is that?

3 seconds later I was in a situation with water and bubbles absolutely everywhere. I had no choice but to persevere with the water in the hope that it would eventually was away the soap. It did, but it took me about half an hour. I don't think I helped much with the water shortage in the Thames area at the moment.

I was left with no washing sachet things, a load of sticky polythene stuff and a sink that smelt like alpine mist.

The rest of the weekend was quite uneventful in comparison, I went to Heathrow to collect Sister in Law and her daughter on Saturday night. Like many blokes I love airports, atmosphere is one that is savoured by men and men alone. It must be the big planes, the big machinery and the industrial element to the average airport. And the women.

On Sunday I took SIL's daughter shopping whilst SIL "took it easy" and did nothing. I am never sure if my Sister in Law's daughter qualifies as my niece or not. Kingston was strangely quiet for a Sunday, it must have been because of it being the holiday season. Niece (?) went off to get women's clothes and I went off to get men's things and we met up again a while later. Taking a 15 year old girl shopping fills me with sheer dread at the thought of what it will be like for me when my daughters get to that age. We got back home and I came into work to clear my desk.

I went home after some hours and cooked them a scrumptious meal of pork chops marinated in paprika, soy sauce, chili, Worcestershire sauce, butter and a few curry leaves, with rice and a mushroom stir fry.

This morning (Monday) I dropped them at the airport then came into work. I've got a band practice tonight and also tomorrow, one with each band but in the same studio. The bummer is the fact that I have to take, set up, take down and take home my kit on both nights. I can't leave it there as there will be lots of dodgy and penniless musiciansd around that can't be trusted.

But, do me a favour would you? If anyone asks about my adventures with the Persil washing stuff just deny that you know about it.

I'd really like to keep it quiet.

Thanks.

Oh well, the home alone life continues, until Thursday at least!

Monday, August 7, 2006

Scary things

Kids love their antics. Even adults laugh at them.

But lately I have decided that they're scary.

Those red noses. The massive shoes. The evil laughter. The garily coloured clothes. The white face paint.

If I met one of them in a dark alley I'd be pretty damn scared, wouldn't you?

They're not funny. They're not clever.

Ban clowns now.

Saturday, August 5, 2006

Talking dog for sale

A chap is driving around London when he sees a sign outside a house:

"Talking dog for sale"

He rings the bell and the owner tells him that the dog is in the back garden so he goes into the garden and sees a labrador sitting there sunning himself.

"So you're a talking dog then are you?"

"Yes" the dog replies.

"So how did this all happen then?" says the bloke.

"Well I discovered it when I was pretty young, I wanted to use my powers to help people so I told the Police. Before I knew it they had me flying from country to country sitting in on meetings with Royalty and world leaders. No one figured that a dog would be eavesdropping and for eight years I was one of our most valuable spies."

"Then what happened?" said the man.

"Well I wasn't getting any younger and all the travel was making me very tired so I retired from the Police and got a job over at the airport. I'd wander around listening to people planning dodgy deals. I helped catch loads of criminals and was awarded a bag load of medals. I did that for a few years and then retired. I got married, settled down and had lots of puppies."

The man is totally amazed by this and goes into the house to ask the man how much he wants for the dog.

"Five Pounds" he says.

"A Fiver?" he says. "The dog is incredible, why on Earth are you selling him so cheap?"

"Because he's a lying bastard. He never did any of that shit!!"

Cracked me up.

Friday, August 4, 2006

Coke or Pepsi?

I'm an unashamed cokeophile. I drink the diet version of it as if my life depended on it.

The Coca Cola Company fascinates me too. Its history is rather colourful and should be made compulsory study for any MBA student. I have friends who have read Shakespeare and Dickens and are fortunate enough to have been affected by these literary classics. Literary seeds have stuck in their minds after being planted by the works of Charles and William and they have gone on to do journalism or write wonderful prose.

Just my luck that, years ago, I read a book that had a lasting effect on me. Intellectual giants go through life quoting and reading Shakespeare and Dickens and devouring and analysing their every word. I read a book on the history of the Coca Cola Company and now I sail through life drumming and drinking Diet Coke. But, like it or not, the Coca Cola Company is a legend.

In the UK they have now released a new drink called Coke Zero. I won't even attempt to explain the technical details about what's in it and which sweetener is used in which drink. Partly because I don't understand it and partly because, if I did, I'd only get the explanation wrong. If you really want to know click on the link:

http://leslie.harpold.com/presents/000696demystifying_diet_cokes.html

What I can tell you is that Coke Zero tastes close to regular or "fat" Coke. If you like the taste of Diet Coke in its own right then you'll probably stick with it (like me), but, if you prefer the taste of Fat Coke and want no sugar, then Zero is the way to go. The marketing campaign is clearly aimed at men, apparently we think that the word "diet" has "girly" connotations and are more likely to be attracted to a sugar free drink without that dreaded word in its title.

Now and again I try to drink some kind of Pepsi, just in case I may find one that I like. So far I haven't. I can't abide the taste of Pepsi in the way some Pepsi drinkers can't stand Coke.

So, yesterday I was in the massive Tesco opposite my work. Everyone knows Tesco, in the UK it has become law to continually complain about the effect Tesco has on small shops and on its suppliers. The same people go to Tesco at least once a week and spend most of their income on its wares.

Tesco has my respect too, for the way in which it has successfully tried to sell everything to everyone. If you want a particular food item, let's say a ready made pie, you can go to Tesco and buy an expensive and high quality one. Or you can buy a middle of the range one, or you can buy a "value" one. This is made from cardboard and comes in a wrapper that you have to colour in yourself. I remember going to Tesco one day last year to buy my lunch. I returned 20 minutes later with a sandwich and a DVD player for my cousin in Kandy (the DVD player not the sandwich). Fortunately it was about 2 days before I flew to SL. Everyone hates the way Tesco is taking over the world but loves the convenience.

Shops like Tesco have reduced the retail prices of many things to almost silly levels. You can go there and buy a pair of jeans for about £4, a mere £2 more than some of their sandwiches. We often don't stop to think about where the price reductions are coming from. It's safe to say that they are not coming from the retailers taking a reduction in profit so it has to be somewhere further along the supply chain. That worries me. Is it by cutting labour rates to already poorly paid workers in the far east? Then, the time we all save by shopping in places like this, is used to enable us to watch more crap TV, or go shopping, either online or in real shops. Now that's ironic Alanis!

I digress. So, there I was in Tesco, in a thirsty mood. In the sandwich section there was no Diet Coke, no Coke Zero, just juice and some different types of Pepsi. I did it, I bought a bottle of Pepsi Max Coffee Cino.

You may well ask why I did such a thing. I look back now with the benefit of laser corrected hindsight and with the superior knowledge one can only gain through experience and I cannot believe it myself. Coffee flavoured Pepsi!???!

It is really the most horrible thing I have ever drunk. As if the name and the description didn't provide enough clues. Although there is no sugar in it, it tastes like pure sugar with the faintest hint of coffee going on in the background. I find it so unpleasant that, if someone came up to me and said that they had made a drink that tasted as bad as the smell of a durian, I'd down it in one rather than have any more of this Pepsi Coffee stuff.

Urrgh!

Never again. Now where's that Diet Coke?

Wednesday, August 2, 2006

Favourite Places - Galle Face
















A uniquely Sri Lankan experience. This has got to be one of the best places in the world to just mooch around and watch the world go by. Sit in the hotel with an ice cold beer and watch the picturesque sunset or mingle with the throng and eat prawn vadais on the green. Either way you'll remember the idiosyncratic feeling of calmness and excitement for a long time.

Taken on a purely objective basis it's probably not even one of the most beautiful places in Sri Lanka, let alone the world, but there's an indefinable quality about it that many haven't felt anywhere else.

Maybe it's the mixture of people and characters that makes it. There are rich tourists trying not to look rich and touristy, there are poor tourists trying to look like expats, there are the Colombo elite and the Colombo not so elite. There are pimps, touts and drug dealers, there are grandparents and grandchildren. Young couples sit and snog under umbrellas or just hold hands and watch the sunset. There are kids playing cricket and some of the mankiest looking ponies I have ever seen. The noise is a spicy stew of the waves lapping, the Colombo traffic with its continual horning and unsilenced diesel engines and the throng of the crowd.

The BOC building, the twin towers and the Galadari loom with their distinctive shapes overlooking the whole scene. The Intercontinental, or whatever it's called now, looks like a tiny insignificant blot on the landscape, but I remember when it was one of Colombo's two 5 star hotels, the other being the Oberoi down the road. The Akasa Kade is long gone.

So, if you're visiting colombo, check out the Galle Face, you'll adore it. It really is one of the world's most exciting places.

Tuesday, August 1, 2006

I can't wait

Only a few weeks to go before I hit Colombo.

I've got a grand tour of Poland before. Involving trains, wife, children, mountains, town and country, with the new camera. So that should be interesting and new.

Then I've got nearly a week back at work and I hit CMB with my Bro for a week. To clarify a point here; when I say "bro" I mean my brother, not some youthful Americanism for a friend from the hood or anything like that.

Then, in the nearer future I've got a Mimosa gig tonight where we are being supported by a great band called Kaldera. Their drummer has got a great reputation and I'm looking forward to meeting him and hearing him play.

Life is all rather exciting!