Monday, August 31, 2009

Kottu - The TV Series

On Indi's original post about the Kottu Mag a comment by David Blacker almost slipped by unnoticed. I say "almost" because I for one did notice it. It was like the tiniest flick in my mind, only this particular tiny flick was against a domino piece that was leaning against another, which was leaning against another, which was.... you get the picture.

DB said, and I'm taking a big risk here and reproducing without his written permission, which might result in him suing me, killing me or just shrugging his shoulders:

"The TV idea we talked about, which takes it into a different dimension, might be better."

Ooooh, ooooh, ooooh, I thought. A TV series, now we're really cooking, though it probably wouldn't be a cooking programme, this is when it gets truly adventurous and exciting.

And who would I choose to play the Lankan bloggers in this new series that's almost certainly on the cards?

Firstly, probably most importantly there's Indi himself. An ideas chap with energy and enthsiasm, youngish and with highly a suspicious sense of fashion about him. Yes, there can be no doubt that Tony Montana, as played by Al Pacino, would be perfect for the role. Indi likes to play that game, Risk, and it's only a few steps away from being like Tony Montana. It fits.

Next I thought about Dinidu. His youthful zest for life, his endearing naivety about things, which gets knocked out of us older people and we often wish it hadn't been, his intellect and warmth are things that would have to be portrayed by a skilled actor with sensitivity and care. At first I instantly thought of Leonardo DiCaprio, but I think his hair's not quite right for it. I settled on the now retired Rick Moranis. Perhaps the prospect of playing Mr de Alwis would tease him out of retirement.

Let's look at some women.

First there's the Queen of the Lankanosphere, The Missing Sandwich. There wasn't much thinking needed for her role. With her pink hair, her deep thinking and out of the box ideas, her quirkiness and drive I knew immediately who'd be perfect for this. Yes, Phoebe Buffay from Friends is the automatic and natural choice.

Next is our Gyppo, a bird who possesses a dangerous combination of looks and brain, rather like an Ostrich. And neither of them can fly, adding to the spookiness of the Ostrich / Gypsy connection. Who' d be able to fit the looks and brains mould, retaining the sense of youth and vim that G12 exudes. Ah yes, that Jessica Biel girl would slot in quite nicely, with a bit of work needed on her Lankan accent of course.

No episode of our new Kottu based soap would be complete without Lady Divine taking up a fair amount of on screen time. She'd be one of the main characters, liked by all and admired by many. I think there's a certain motherly tone to her, in the nicest possible way, and there's quirkiness in there too. If you've read her last two posts about growing up I'm sure you'll agree.

So continuing along the characters from Friends scenario started earlier the natural choice would be Monica Geller. Problems may arise if Chandler gets a part, but I haven't decided this yet.

Next we come to the very important role of Cerno. We need a wise and fatherly fellow to fill these big shoes. Someone a bit off the wall but with common sense, someone who can run with pack and also sprint ahead of it when he wants to. It needs to be a unique actor and Jean - Luc Picard, the best ever Captain of the USS Enterprise could, with a bit of coaching, be the man for the job.

David Blacker? Well I considered this for a nano second, maybe even less, and a certain Bruce Willis, once in the frame, was perfect. He's got the thinking man's hard man thing going on and he wouldn't have to shave his head either. I thought about Sly Stallone and Mickey Rourke for the key Blacker part but they both lacked the sophistication needed.

As for DD, well we need someone who's a little, ahem, more mature. We need a person who can portray DD with all his quirkiness and emotion. A thespian who used to have it and has still got it, you know what I mean. A chap who's continually changing with the times, evolving more quickly than those scary dinosaurs in Jurassic Park. Step up Jack Nicholson. Perfect.

And what about villains? There are only two that need to be included; Sittingnut and Voice In Colombo. After some thought and a few auditions I feel that they need to be portrayed by a double act, they go together, but not in a John Travolta and Olivia Newton John way. I've decided on Harry and Marv from the Home Alone films. Joe Pesci as Harry would play Sittingnut and Marv would be VIC.

St Fallen, the new hero and centre of the Kottu can be played by a young and rebellious type, someone who's dangerous, who women and gay men want to sleep with and other men want to be. James Dean, obviously back from the dead, is lined up for this.

As we near the end of my casting special post there are only three people left. The legend that is Java Jones, the legendess that is Naz Sansoni and the, well me.

Java's role is a crucial one. Played by an actor with presence and wisdom. He most probably wouldn't pop up in every episode but his appearances would be important, big and meaty. And Morgan Freeman, after some serious negotation has agreed to fill these rather large shoes.

For the role of Naz there were a few considerations but only one true possibility and that actress is Sharon Stone. She's got the mixture of maturity, style and sexiness and likes a dance or two. She can't work on Tuesdays though so we'll have to work around that.

I'm low profile in this production. Obviously my first thought for the actor to play me was Brad Pitt, but he's a little bit too out there and I felt as though he'd fail to portray the inner me, the sensitive RD that you all know. So I've settled on Johnny Depp, I figure he'd be able to do put across my foibles as well as my extreme intelligence. He's not perfect but I'm willing to compromise.

That's it. Apologies if I've missed anyone out, feel free to make any additions. I think I've done the hard bit now, all that's left is for someone to write the thing and film it. Easy.

Have a nice week all.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Anyone Seen JapSach's Clock?

Clock, I said.

Check it out though, it's the best widget I've seen for a long time. I stared at it, I smiled and figured out what was what and, hand on heart, it made me smile and feel excited.

I thought his fish were cool, I thought my moving tag cloud was nifty but Sach's clock is better than any of them, even sliced. It's over there on the left on his blog.

Wishing you a happy weekend.

Friday, August 28, 2009

L8ly In Da Lankanosfear

So dis is all da stuff Iv bin reading in da last week dese daze.

Deres dis kid called St Fallen rite and hes lyk rytten dis post bout dem Muslims n all right. An dis post wich is now deleted rite well it was alrite but one grl, who is a geezer an evryone, lyk evryone in da world knos it but only she wont admit it hurself lyk, well she didnt lyk it so she complained to dat writer geezer, that Salman Rushdie.

And dat writer, Salman Rushdie, so hes lyk a m8 of St Fallens Dad or sumfing, dey used to be in da same gang or sumfing. So he rings Dad Fallen and tels him wats bin going on and so da Dad he tells St Fallen to delete da post. or hes grounded for lyk a month or sumfing. So St Fallen well hes made da ryt choice and deleted da post but now hes going to delete da blog and hes rytten a goodbye post and its all comment city dere. Its serius man, u name it hes left a comment dere.

Even dat David Blackers commented and called us all emos and like wat doz he know, hes so old an almost even over thrty or sumting. Dis is serious shit u kno.

Me and sum m8s are gonna organiz a demo or sumfing. And one m8 well hes got a load ov dem george michael, that gay old singers, T shirts wiv freedom written on da back. An we just hav to rub out the photos of George Michael den wear da T shirts and shout and stuff.

And ting.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Are You Happy?

I saw someone tweeting the other day that they had issues with being asked "are you happy?" and thought a bit about it.

I've been thinking about the issue of either /or a lot lately, it comes from a chapter I read in the Edward de Bono book I told you about here. He tells us that the mind often seeks out dichotomies, that we frequently analyse situations and force polarization. It means that we construct certainties, even when they don't have to exist.

For example, in the legal world a person is either innocent or guilty. If you're one then you're not the other and there is no middle ground. Many have said the old if you're not with us then you're against us thing, another prime example. Why does not being one thing mean that you have to be the other?

Are you a friend of mine? No? Then you must be an enemy. Well not necessarily. I could go on with examples but I'm sure you get the idea.

As with so much of this book this was a revelation to me and it's made me trundle off into my everyday life with a vastly increased level of consciousness about how often I make these either /or decisions in my mind.

I consciously caught myself ruminating on the issue of whether someone was a loyal employee or not, realising that this was a very "live" example. They didn't have to be classified as either one or the other and the change in my mindset was a huge help to me. They can be loyal one minute and disloyal the next, experience proves it as well.

Do I like this band or don't I? Well the nice new mindset of mine is that I don't have to decide one way or the other. Pretty nifty eh.

Of course there's a danger that I can take it too far, to the nth degree. I saw Electra's post the other day in which she writes about art and her need for it to speak to her. One sentence in particular caught my eye:

"Radiohead speaks to me, Coldplay just doesn't."

It caught my eye for several reasons. The first is tangential, but one of my personal idiosyncracies, simply that I always feel uncomfortable referring to a band in the singular. I know it's grammatically correct, as the band is a single unit, it just doesn't sit right with me. I always talk about a band as "them", wrong I know, but so right too.

Then, I hate Coldplay. I just don't get them, with their whining melodramatic songs, and broody nature. I used to do Trouble and In My Place in a former band and they were great fun to play and fantastic songs, I just don't like them repeated as infinitum with different words and slight musical variations.

Also, Radiohead are an issue for me. I'm one of the few people who just isn't a fan of OK Computer. I love Paranoid Android and Karma Police but overall the album doesn't do it for me and I rarely listen to it. The Bends is a different matter. I come back to it time and time again and have just suggested that my covers band does the title track.

Do I like Radiohead? Well it's not a yes or no answer, I like their more rocky stuff and I'm far less a fan of their quieter efforts.

And, on the issue of whether a person is happy or not, there's no need for that dichotomy to be created. If I'm asked the question the answer isn't a yes and it isn't a no. Or, if I answer yes it doesn't mean that I can't be unhappy about something too. I can be unhappy about the fact that I spent that money while also being happy that I've got a new shirt.

The only way that one negates the other is if I make that leap of logic in my own mind, if I go through my day thinking that I won't be happy because I'm unhappy about that other thing.

I don't do that, my glass is three quarters full, not three quarters empty.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Make Blogstitution Illegal??

Not illegal in a proper sense, but illegal in a "not allowed on Kottu sense". What do you think might happen?

It's just a bit of a mad thought, but I wonder, is it that mad?

Like you I hate to see outright blogstitution for posts listed on Kottu, or anywhere else for that matter. Those titles like "I fucked him...." and "My thoughts on Sri Lankan sex" are usually the best thing about the posts themselves. Click on the article and we're led to a pile of contentless content, a blogger so desperate for attention and so lacking in real output that they resort to such things.

The trouble is that there's a blurry, grey and moveable line between blogstitution and writing an attention grabbing headline or title. Or is there a line, or a differentiation, at all?

Surely the whole point of a headline, be it in a newspaper, blog or any other place, is to grab the attention of the prospective reader. Surely the headline is there to try to portray a vague idea of the content and make the reader want to investigate further, it's the shop window of writing.

Where is the tipping point at which a reasonable headline, one that fits the definition as specified above by myself, becomes a cheap way and tacky way of attracting attention?

My personal tipping point occurs when the article or post doesn't live up to the expectations that the headline has created. If the title makes me click but the content makes me click away and it happens a few times then I'll just stop reading that blog. I suppose it's false advertising and, while an outrightly deceptive ad will often get one off customers, rarely will it generate repeat business.

So, make blogstitution illegal?

No way.

In the long term any blog that relies on blogstitution, that has no real content or goes for cheap attractions to get its readers will fall by the wayside.


Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Farewell To Cynically Yours

I felt quite sad when I read this post by Sach telling us of the impending deletion of Cynically Yours.

You see it was one of the first blogs to be a regular for me and, as is the case with so many of the blogs I read repeatedly, I feel a bit as if I've accompanied the blogger through some of their trials, tribulations, triumphs and, in Sach's case, piercings.

Cynically Yours has been a mix of diary, ramblings, serious journalistic articles, reviews and music related casual thinking aloud type stuff. Unlike many of her readers I've never actually met Sach, but I certainly feel as if I have, that's one of the gifts of a good writer methinks.

If, per chance, you've never browsed through her blog then you could do a lot worse than to peruse some of these:

Her diary posts on the Galle Literary Festival of 2008, starting here. You may be one of the many who didn't agree with Sach's opinions, but there's no doubting her ability to talk us through the things she experienced with eloquence as well as balls to speak about the bits she didn't like.

This post, about women and careers talks interestingly about one of the dilemnas facing many women and how Sach thinks about the concept. I find these things interesting to read as I feel I have the benefit of age and experience, though some might say that's not a good thing.

One the lighter side we've accompanied her on travels to both countries and piercing or tattoo parlours. She's a girl who finds pain enjoyable and can chuck in a swear word or two when needed, clearly journalism is a splendid choice for her.

And, in the midst of all the rhetoric, a word I always thought was pronounced as "ret to rick", with the "to" sounding as in "top" without the "p", until I found out the proper way only a few months ago, our Cynical One came out with what I believe to be the single best post about the end of hostilities in Lanka. It's a photograph, with a caption and it's brilliant.

But, as I read Sach's last post I felt happy instead of sad. Why? Because Sach tells us that she's no longer the cynic she once was, that "cynic does not describe me any more". That, as far as I'm concerned, is a bloody good thing. I always wondered about her cynicism and her decision to choose it as a label, to market herself as a cynic. As far as I'm concerned it's not a great quality.

It's useful, it's often beneficial to consider the negative side of things, but, by definition it's negative and counter productive. So, for what's it's worth I'm pleased that Sach feels it's not the label for her now, not that she'll be that bothered about my opinion I'm sure!

I'll miss her blog and her writing but I hope we'll see them back under a different moniker very soon.

Thank you Sach, come back soon.

PS - Why not leave Cynically Yours up as a blog and just start a new one without deleting anything?

Monday, August 24, 2009

The Lost Sri Lankan Beauty

I was browsing through some old photos and came across this one. It brought back so many memories.

I guess it must have been about twenty years ago, on an unnamed beach somewhere down south. The weather was warm, the fishermen were out on their stilts. Palm trees swayed in the ever so gentle breeze and the sun slid gently down towards the horizon.

At first I saw the vivid splash of red and thought of Baywatch, as men do. She ran in my direction and her hair, like her breasts, undulated gently. I'm sure if there's such a thing as an undulation that's not gentle, but that's not important right now.

In that split second, as she headed towards me, I made a decision that I've regretted all these years. It was the decision to grab my camera and focus, quite literally, on taking a picture. I could have stopped her to talk, maybe got to know her and who knows what might have happened.

I got the picture, I missed the girl. Her beauty faded into the sun and I was left wondering if it was a dream. The picture told me it wasn't.

I never saw her again, but here's the picture, perhaps you know her.

Sometimes I wonder what might have been....

Friday, August 21, 2009

DD's Gone Mad, Moi, Naked?

DD put up this post. I just don't engage with fuckwits, that's my response. Full stop.

And it's not DD I'm calling a fuckwit.

But, I mean, I have to say. I like DD, he's a friend and all. Friends can still talk rubbish can't they. He says:

"I can assure you of one thing, some chicks would die to see some of us in our b’day suits. But not you mate. We are very pleased with how we look and have no need to steal photos from image banks."

This is news to me.

"Chicks" dying to see pics of me in my birthday suit?!!?

Where? Who?

Just contact me, I'll send you some immediately. Money may have to be discussed and the amounts may be large, but I hope you'll allow me to pay you in installments.

Wishing all a merry weekend out in the blogosphere, or maybe even the printed blogosphere, or maybe the online printed blogosphere.

With genuine apologies if I've put you off your breakfast.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

My Brown Ball - Not For Girls

AKA my new thing

The emailshot arrived in my inbox. I had a look at it and raised one eyebrow, in that James Bond way that you know me so well for.

I clicked on the link and perused the things. The blurb said stuff like:

"A ball for all occasions"

"A seat that will not occupy your whole flat"

"A unique, flexible solution for modern day lounging."

Then, as I looked further, I came across the one that had my name, in invisible ink but there nonetheless, plastered all over it. This one said:

"A combination of a classic old sports car mixed with a WW2 fighter pilots jacket. A popular male choice with its sports car seat interior and beaten up leather looks. Men appreciate the embroidered detailing. The tongue in cheek numbering, and the squeak you hear when you get comfortable in it."

You don't need to be a regular around here to know that the words hit me right where it matters. I was ever so slightly hooked, I chucked the email in my favourites to come back to. It sounded like a plan. You know, avoid that spur of the moment impulse buy thing and look at it again in a week or so to see if it's as attractive then.

Frankly, it I hadn't looked at it again about three minutes later, if I hadn't clicked the "order now" button, it would have been a superb plan, one that probably would have won me awards, Nobel peace prizes and things.

But do I care?

No, because it really is the coolest thing ever.

It starts off as a ball thing, ideal for lounging on as it is, with its WW2 fighter pilot's jacket look, though not real leather, a mild disappointment.

Then you unzip the chap like this:

To reveal this, the sports car seat interior with its tongue in cheek numbering. I remain unconvinced about the numbering, at my age these things can be dangerous, though I like ice cream and love Cadburys chocolate.

Then you plonk your arse on it and wallow in comfort and trendiness. The bottom bit, the bit where the bottom goes, is filled with beans feels just like sitting on a beanbag. The bigger segment of the ball, the part you lean on, is filled with air (pump supplied)and it's true what they say, it really is very comfortable, albeit in a where shall I put my legs sort of way. That's me, with my award winning arms.

Here you see it in situ, in RD Towers. I'm sure you'll agree that the worn brown leather (fake) and the bright red Mustang sports look do fit rather well. I'm keeping it zipped up though and will open it on demand.

I'm mightily pleased with it.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


I've been listening to this almost non stop for the last few days and had to share it, though it's not the proper video. It's the most impactful song on me for a while. Check out the middle eight from about 3.20.

I'm taking the girls to see them in November and can't wait for that, can't wait for the new album too.

The Kottu Magazine

So Indi's come up with this idea of a print version of Kottu and it's stimulated some discussion and argument, some thinking and creativity. Which is nice. Here's my 0.02 worth.

First let's get the crap out of the way. One bloke has gone off on one about the viability of registering Kottu as a name, about the use of the word and all sorts of intellectual property issues that may or may not arise.

It's just not a debate worth having with respect to the overall idea of Kottu in print. If there are intellectual property issues then the name can be changed to something like "The Sri Lankan Blog roundup" or "Lankan blogs" or anything. I'm no copywriter, but this bit is just not a dealbreaker.

Indi says that there are two key points pertaining to an editorial policy; intellectual respect and selection. These have generated most of the discussion in the comments on his blog post.

As far as the first one, intellectual respect goes, I would be confident in Indi's integrity on this. It would seem reasonable and ethical that permission would have to be granted by the bloggers for our work to be reproduced and, as Indi says, this could be in general or for specific posts. Obviously getting permission each time for each post may be impractical so the far easier option would be for each of us to say yay or nay to being included. Failing that we can always say yes or no. I like to give options.

The Lankan press has had some bad, well, bad press over the issue of blogs and intellectual property in the past and it's a potentially sticky area. While I and I suspect many others would feel confident with someone like Indi in charge of this, there's an intrinsic problem in having confidence in a system because you trust the person and not so much the system. This, I think, would need to be addressed.

I saw a comment in which the writer said that bloggers writing under a pseudonym might be worried about revealing their identity to Indi or the Sunday Leader. I can understand this but feel that anyone really concerned could just decline to be included in the print concept and that would take care of that one. Indi says that identities would have to be revealed and an amount of trust given in order for the writers to be paid. It all makes sense but the possibilities of paying to charity, friends or even not paying, if the blogger was happy with that, all exist.

Some have said that many bloggers would be uncomfortable with the implicit association with the Sunday Leader that publication in print would cause. On the one hand this is entirely valid, particularly for a blogger who might write political posts or anything hard hitting. I think the mention of the Sunday Leader has come about because of Indi's association with it, but the principle would apply to whatever newpaper or publisher that might be involved.

Another side of the coin is that there would surely have to be some editorial influence from the paper or publisher. Reality would dictate that, were the Sunday Leader to be the "parent" and I wrote a post slagging off the Sunday Leader for something, then it would be unlikely to make its way into Kottu Mag.

One of the features many of us like about Kottu is the lack of editorial muscle it exerts. There are a few rules but they're mostly to do with not offending Indi's Grandmother and we're pretty much left to write what we like. Unless his Grandmother publishes newspapers I think Kottu Mag will be a bit more policed.

David Blacker has made what I consider to be one of the most important and relevant points to the viability of Kottu Mag; that with words being on paper rather than on screen, there'll be no links and the thing will lose the dynamism. I suppose this would be why many of us, the bloggers and people who spend so much time sitting at a keyboard, would rarely treat Kottu Mag as a substitute for the computer. We all enjoy the journeys when we click this then that and end up in some random corner of the internet, usually nudey women drum related.

The lack of links would make some blog posts that are positively the dog's bollocks onscreen totally impractical in print. I'm not saying that these are the dog's bs, but my "lately in the Lankanosphere" ones are an example. Excepting the fact that there'd be no reason to put one in a print format that's essentially in itself doing a "lately" thing anyhow, I do know that many like the fact that it's a bit of a roundup, albeit of the posts I like, and that I bung all the links in for people to click on and see what they may have missed. It would be useless in print.

However, if we take the approach that Kottu Mag would be a means of presenting some of our posts to an audience that probably wouldn't be reading us on the net, then surely the end result is a positive one, even without links.

If the concept is viable then that's when we should look at selection. There's been a fair amount of talk about fairness, objectivity and opportunity for all. People are discussing whether the top clicks on Kottu can be taken as an indicator of what's popular and if that should be used to decide what goes in Kottu Mag.

One fellow told us about code or something that can be used to change the top clicks on Kottu and that's something I know nothing about. But I do know that there are perfectly "legal" things we can all do to make our posts clickable. Chuck certain words in your title, write about the flavour of the month and people will click and read. It's not cheating, it's just working a system. The fact is that those posts are the popular ones, for whatever reason.

I say forget about all that, leave fairness out of it. The way forward in this kind of thing is to leave it to a person to decide. He, or she if things are really desperate, chooses what goes in and what doesn't. Then in the longer term, if the readers are unhappy with the choices, the editor should be replaced. This way there's no vague attempt to be portrayed as fair or objective, it's about what a person likes.

My conclusion is that Kottu Mag is a great idea, with caveats. It wouldn't be an alternative to reading the blogs we love on our computers, it would be a means of accessing a wider audience, which most of us want. If we don't, then we'd be able to opt out. I'm slightly apprehensive at the thought of newspaper reading Aunts sitting and flicking through the Sunday paper and reading one of my posts, then realising that I'm RD, but it's also quite exciting.

We'd still have the online Kottu and most of the objections to Kottu Mag are simply dealt with by asking not to be considered for publication.

And I thought of a final irony to this that has made me smile.

For people like me, who live outside of Lanka, we'd be unlikely to read a print version in our home towns, what with having to wait for the post and all. We'd probably log on and look at the net version of Kottu Mag, where we'd see a PDF or something of the print version of our blogs.

That's a bit mad isn't it?

I guarantee most of us would though.



Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Happy Birthday To The Don

If there's one blog on the Lankanosphere that can be considered legendary then it's

And today is its birthday, its sixth birthday. I'm joining the throng of people who'll be wishing a very happy sixth birthday and I shall raise a glass to many more.

For a moment let's forget about Kottu and let's concentrate on I know that's a bit like asking a fellow to look at Pamela Anderson and forget about Baywatch but just go with me on this. Go with me because I think Indi is quite literally and whatsiscalled, you know, not literally as well, linked with Kottu but his blog is a separate entity.

His blog is just like this one, like any of them listed on Kottu, yet it's easily the most popular one out there in the Lankanosphere. That, in itself, is no mean feat. And Indi does have some mean feet. Here's the evidence to prove it.

There are some blogs that do unique things, that have carved out a niche and sit comfortably in that niche continuing to do revolutionary things at regular intervals. is one. He talks about politics, about his family, his work and his life in general. Then he gives us photographs too.

The beauty about his blog is that he makes the reader feel as if we're walking alongside him through his life. We don't feel as if we're missing out on anything, it's really as if we're there all the time, like that thing about God on the beach and all. Sort of.

It definitely is one of the blogs I admire and respect. There's a handful of them and Indi's is in at about number one.

So many happy returns on this day Mr Ca.

Here's to the next six years and a thank you for the posts so far.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Lately In The Lankanosphere.....

My new tat is almost fully healed. It's not really to do with the Lankanosphere, I just wanted to tell you.

On the blog side things have been active, but active in a strangely new way. The old regulars are quiet, with just the fewest of exceptions. It's an interesting thing to observe some people come and go with their blogs while others come and stick around. Some don't even come but I haven't seen that many of them.

There have been a couple of interesting Groundviews things. The first was this interview of Tracy Holsinger with Sanjana, her of the theatre and stuff. I found it to be quite informative and entertaining and it makes a change from politics, meccano and other serious stuff normally on Groundviews.

It's not often I rant and rave, yet I feel a need to here. I tried to concentrate on the interview, honestly I tried my damndest, but I failed. Sanjana is a bloke with a brain about thirteen times the size of mine and he knows how to use it. I like him. Obviously he likes me. But those slippers!! Why??

I couldn't concentrate, I struggled to focus and I expected the fashion police to burst in at any moment and cart him off. I've figured out what had happened though. There he was, all smartly dressed and ready for the interview, about to go and sit down when he realised that he'd forgotten his Gucci loafers. In the rush he just had to grab what was around. And what was around was the slippers on his ninety six year old Uncle, there for the day to watch his nephew in action.

Next on Groundviews was this. It's a response to another article about post conflict Colombo society, but it seems to be much ado about nothing, not to be confused with much adoh about nothing. Having perused it with my expert eye I think the original article clearly talks about Colombo's upper eschelons, the moneyed types who eventually get arrested for some fraud then suddenly need medical treatment overseas. It's not about the everyday man or woman at all.

The article on Groundviews says this:

"The author needs to be reminded that next to every man is a woman who is his equal and his strength. Our women underwent immense hardships for Sri Lanka to win this war, but their war has not ended. For once, look up and notice who are organizing the aid drives for IDP’s now, who ensures that the entire family is fed and who will bare the sons that will lead our country into a brighter future."

It's mad and contradictory. Why? Because it's saying that women are the equal of men, that they are as strong. I agree, but then why say that it's their sons who'll lead the country into a brighter future? And, while I'm on a roll, "bare" should have been "bear". So thare. Yes, Girl RD is still around.

The Kottu stats indicate the Thekillromeoproject is the author of this month's most read post. It's about David Blacker wearing womens' clothes I think. I find it a bit hard to make sense of but it's getting hits.

Talking of David Blacker there's also this captivating interview with Dayan Jayatilleka. It's rather good, specifically because the questions are unusual and the answers are interesting. Check it out.

For me food has very much been flavour of the month. I've been watching a programme here called "Rick Stein's Far Eastern Odyssey". You'll be surprised to know that it features Rick Stein, a celebrity chef. Well last week's episode was almost entirely in Lanka. We were shown Galle, Colombo, Geoffrey Dobbs' place and other bits and pieces. It made me pine and has prompted me to look at a few Lankan related foodie blogs.

One of them is this one called mommythecook. It's written by a lady who's Lankan and lives in the US. It's not entirely about Lankan cooking but has a mixture of tales about recipes, food and life in general, all told from the point of view of someone who very obviously has that passion for Sri Lanka.

My other mouthwatering discovery is rice and curry, the blog not the food. It's written by an American Lankan called Skiz or S.H Fernando Jr to give him his proper moniker and it's a little bit special. There are recipes galore, all of Sri Lankan dishes and the photography and the prose are positively eye catching. There's also youtubes of a programme called No Reservations with Anthony Bourdain that our blogger was heavily involved in. Check this link for more.

Both the blogs are currently conspicuous by their absence from the Kottu blog roll, something I think the esteemed janitor might want to change. Incidentally the Kottu blog roll is also conspicuous by its absence from the front page of Kottu as it's now got its own link and page.

Continuing with the food theme Mr S has written this provocative little gem on some of Colombo's street eating joints. I quite like it when he writes about the lighter side of things, it adds a certain amount of shade to his blog that the rest of us are simply less able to do on our own ones.

All of these foodie blogs and posts have reminded me very much of how we diasporic types cling to our food as a means of staying connected to our heritage and country. I guess when you live in Lanka you don't think so much about the food, you just eat it and enjoy. For the rest of us it's a tangible link to Serendib. It's even got me thinking that I might add a food blog section to the links here on LLD.

Excuse the length of this one Missus, I've just noticed that there's a lot more to cover and I've already written a hell of a lot. If you're the type who's going to leave one of those comments about my blog being boring them you might want to do it now, exit and go and play solitaire or something.

I was interested on the link on this mini post by Dominic Sansoni. It leads us to an article in the New York Times lamenting the decline of photojournalism as a business, at least in its known form. I do wonder about this, the way in which modern technology, mobile phone, laptops, the internet and the way we're all so connected so quickly has impacted the professionals who gave us the news in the past.

Photojournalism, if it dies, won't be the last or the first industry to be killed off by technology and progress. Or on the other hand, if it does indeed die, will it be because it failed to change and adapt to the things going on in the world of communication?

Did I mention holidays? They're all at it. DD is off browsing in gun shops, eating burgers and driving on the wrong side of the road, which could easily be a normal day in many less salubrious parts of London but is in fact happening in the grand ole US of A. You can see some of his not quite good enough to become my photo of the moment pictures here.

JapSach has just returned from his little sojourn to Italy and you can see some very beautiful photographs of his adventures here.

Penultimately we come to everyone's favourite Gypsy, that Bohemian one. I'm aware that I go on about her but it's because I think she writes well. Every time she publishes a post I'm one of the many who reads it and thinks. That's a gift, as is one of those things wrapped up in colourful paper on your birthday.

She wrote a little postet about things. In a "you had to be there" way I can only say that you have to read it. It reminded me that the war may be over, but it's not over.

And finally we come to the Lankanosphere's blogger of the moment, Saintfallen. As I write this he's currently occupying three of this week's top ten Kottu posts as well as one of the top five for the month. I won't link to one specific post, just to his blog in general. Go and have a look if you aren't one of his regulars already. It's the variety of his posts and the depth in his blog that grabbed me, there's something fresh about his approach. He reminds me of a much younger Cerno.

Oh, and really finally, the master himself has got a brand spanking new theme, all spangly and glittery. As he says himself, check it out.

That's it from me, I bid you all a fine week out there in Lanka, the US, Australia or wherever you are.


Friday, August 14, 2009

Women And Boxing

As I drove into work yesterday morning I listened with interest to a radio article about womens' boxing. It was there because Olympic chiefs were meeting yesterday to decide on the issue of allowing womens' boxing as part of the 2012 Olympics programme.

Now I'm not really a boxing fan. Fundamentally I feel that a sport with the objective of physically beating seven, or eight shades of crap out of your opponent and winning by being the best one at it is wrong. But, if people want to do it and are willing participants, then I say they should be allowed to. I just don't really want to watch it.

And as far as I'm concerned, if men are allowed to do it in the Olympics then women should be allowed to as well.

It was all so simple in my mind. Men are allowed, so should women be.

Then I heard something that messed up my mindset. It was the fact that one of the reasons cited for womens' boxing not allowed in the Olympics in the past was that, and I quote, hence the quotation marks

"premenstrual women boxers become overly emotional putting them at greater risk of injury."

Well I don't know about greater risk of injury but I know a little bit about premenstrual women. My observations are not that they'd be at greater risk of injury in the least. No way. There can be nothing more scary than the thought of a pre menstrual woman in a boxing ring.

Give me a choice between jumping into a boxing ring and facing a woman in the premenstrual month, for I know that the condition lasts for about a month, or an angry Swan with a hatred of Sri Lankan drummers I know exactly what I'd do.

I'd face neither, I'd bugger off to Odel and buy a shirt or something then hope they'd be gone by the time I returned. Or at least they wouldn't recognise me if I had a different shirt on.

Trust me here. I know about these things.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Deecee, Colombo, Excitement And Time, All In A Quickie

I think the title says it all really. It's a quick post to say some things. Quickly.

The first is a thank you to Dee. She's been reading my blog and has left a whole load of comments on many of my posts, nice ones. I mean nice comments, not necessarily nice posts. I was going to reply to each comment individually but thought a post would be nicer.

Thank you Dee. I actually put quite a lot of time and effort into my forays into the vastness of the Lankanosphere so it means a lot to know that you've read and enjoyed some of them. I'm truly touched by your words.

And then there's Colombo. Well I'm so fucking excited that I have no idea how I'm going to get through the next few weeks. Why? I booked a ticket the other day, a ticket to Serendib, a ticket to Serendib for me, moi, old RD.

So my usual countdown has begun and with my increasing familiarity with Lanka comes not a hint of blaseness, not the slightest bit of indifference nor any touch of nonchalence. Each time I go I get more excited. Even now, as I think of it, those butterflies start to flutter and I can feel my heartrate speed up a tad. I bet my bottom dollar that DD knows exactly how I feel, I bet he's half jealous and half pleased too.

I was thinking about time recently, saying to someone that time never passes as we expect it to, yet we're always surprised by it. What I mean here is that either things happen more quickly than we've imagined or more slowly. We see someone and are amazed that it's two years since we last saw them, saying that it feels like only a few weeks ago.

Or we talk about how the week or month is dragging on and taking much longer than it feels. We never say things like "gosh that week felt exactly like a week" or "yesterday felt just like twenty four hours to me", maybe just because that would be quite boring. Why is this?

That's things covered for now, hence the "quickie" thing in the title.

Did I mention I was excited?

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

My Animals And Other Family

As I settle into life in RD Towers I'm slowly getting used to something I hadn't anticipated; animals.

This life, this bang right on the river life, as least when combined with the somewhat oxymoronic heat of a British summer, is chock full of riverside nature. Most of it is good, all of it is interesting and some is a downright pain in the arse.

The window in my sitting room is about ten feet away from the water of the Thames, a little marina that runs at ninety degrees off the river. It's open and boats are moored in it, for a price, and all manner of river life swim, float and fly in. At first I struggled with it all. I just wasn't used to being woken up in the middle of the night by the squawking of ducks playing or the gaggle of a gaggle of geese.

These things are loud, there's a little black duck looking thing that appears to be the most vocal of them all. Amila would know what it was instantly, the long Latin name and all. To me they're just black ducks, ones that make very loud noises and look small. At first I'd hear the big and piercing noise and stare out trying to trace the owner of it. I'd focus on finding a Swan sized thing, perhaps a Pteradactyl or a Goose, all of which I see regularly there.

I was lying about seeing one of those birds regularly. Can you guess which one it is children? Though, I must confess that I'm seriously proud of the fact that I spelt it correctly first time, a quick google proved my guess to be correct, which I hadn't expected.

Swans are mean mothers aren't they? There are lots of the chaps in the vicinity and they scare me in a rather elegant way, maybe how Uma Thurman would if she turned up with a gun. There's nothing cuddly, cute or warm about a Swan. They just look elegant, dangerous and businesslike, with a strong neck that Michael Schumacher dreams of, just not as long.

David Blacker probably kills a Swan and eats it for breakfast with pol sambol before setting off to work and beating up Jean Claude Van Damme, Vin Diesel and Van Heusen on his way. I'm not hard like that and I look at the average Swan, not that any of them are average, and shiver girly style before making a face and running away.

The other evening, and I swear to you that this is true, I was sitting and flicking through the crap TV channels when I saw a Swan swim past my window. No big deal at all, they wander in the marina all the time. Then I saw another one. Then I saw another. I could go on here with a bit of copy and pasting but I won't, you get the gist. They kept coming, so many that I leapt up and scarpered to the window to get a proper look.

There were twenty five of them, I counted. They just swam in, looked around a bit, presumably for food, then the front fellow turned round and they all followed him out. I was amazed and startled. I wasn't aware that Swans travelled around in fleets or herds or whatever the collective term is for a start. C told me that it's a wedge of Swans but that's when they're flying. On top of that I was flabbergasted at the amount of the white beasts in this group and the way they appeared to exhibit a follow the leader mentality.

It's a frequent occurrence to hear flapping and slapping noises and see a Goose or two doing a crash landing thing outside my window. It has to be said that Geese just aren't good at landing, they're the bird equivalent of one of those holidaymaker videos of a plane coming into land at an unspecified airport in an unspecified country. They flap madly and then bounce along the water before coming to rest.

I've yet to witness it but I bet some of these Geese misjudge things and hit poles and things, perhaps other Eastern Europeans too. Once they come to rest they're the epitome of elegance and look as if calmness is their middle name. They also provide the best fat for making roast potatoes according to Nigella and Delia, which might explain their nervous landings.

At first I'd wake up a few times in the night disturbed by the sounds of birds fighting outside my bedroom window. I mentioned this to the aforementioned Blacker the other day and he said that he's often had the same thing happen to him. Turns out his birds don't have wings and are fighting over him, my ones are scrapping over food and well, whatever birds fight about.

These days I sometimes get woken by the noises but I reckon it's only the more violent ones. It's becoming the new backdrop to my nights though.

And there's the Spiders. Now I'm not the homophobic type, but I'm also no big spider fan. I avoid them yet don't have a huge fear of them, they just exist. But, in RD Towers, they exist as if they're going out of fashion. It must be to do with the river. It's not a musty old building by any means. All is clean, newish and tidy inside, but it's some sort of Spider haven. Not a day goes by when I don't walk through a web and then spend ages trying to get it out of my hair.

Every few days I can be seen hoovering the ceiling, the window frames and any other random place that gets Spiderised. I'll tell you what, if I could be a superhero I would not choose Spiderman, even if I got to wear the outfit.

Overall, Spiders excepted, I'm getting used to and fond of all this river life and birdlife. It's fun and engaging and new.

But I won't be going vegetarian tomorrow.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The Perfect Day With The Girls

'tis rare for me to come out with a good idea. I'm quite proud of the idea I had about Cerno's coffee table, the one about making a coffee table out of coffee table books, and my invention of the wheel was quite good too. But, all in all, I can't make any claims to fame as an ideas person.

The other day though I came up with one. During the divorce me and my ex came to an informal agreement about the arrangements for the summer holiday spell. It involves her taking them away one year and me doing the same the next year. Last year was my turn and I brought them to Lanka. It was fun, challenging, brilliant and tough, but time is a wonderful healer and I know that those were relatively early days.

This year they go away with their mother and I carry on with my normal life. My idea the other day, which might sound like nothing to you, was to take a day off work, take them out and do something that we'd all enjoy. After some negotiation we settled on going to Thorpe Park, a local amusement park, for the day. I use the work "local" there in an entirely subjective way. To you, who more than likely lives in Sri Lanka, it's not local.

My suggestion was initially met with apprehension, as I had been afraid of. I was unsure if thirteen and fifteen year old girls would be up for an amusement park with their Dad. K had been there and had a fantastic time only a few weeks ago, but that was with her friends. A is more into being cool these days, if being cool involves lounging around and watching TV, then telling all your friends on Facebook about what you've just been watching.

This scepticism and reluctance was something I dealt with rather niftily by offering up my counter plan to take them shopping in central London. They were keen on the idea and things were promising. Then, a day or two before the day I received a phone call.

"Dad, we were thinking."

"Ok K" I said guardedly.

"Well we'd actually quite like to go to Thorpe Park on Wednesday, we think it could be fun."

"Ok" I said again, as it's one of my favourite words and it seemed to suit.

And two days later, feeling like an outtake from the Inbetweeners, we were heading off to Thorpe Park. We'd agreed on a pick up time of 8.30 AM as it's summer holiday and we thought the place might be packed. So of course I got to their house at about 8.10 AM. I sometimes wish I could do something about my slightly obsessive earliness, then at other times figure that, at forty three, it's good to just accept some things about myself and go with my flow. The only time I'm late is if there's a song and a drumkit involved and I'm supposed to play.

There we were in the car. There was me, A, K and their seventeen year old cousin B, who was passing through London for a day. I was pleased to see her as it had been a year, perhaps more.

This is one of the things about divorce that many don't realise. Over the years you build relationships with your in laws, sometimes fellows even get to like them. B is a kid who I've known since the day she was born and I'm told that she looks upon me as a father figure, her own father being someone she has more or less no contact with.

I'm flattered and uncomfortable about this father figure business. You know enough about me and my life to understand that even my own kids don't think of me as a father figure (I am joking there, I think!) so for someone else to is a bit weird. But it's strange as B lives way out of London and the indisputable fact is that I have no real relationship to her by blood and now there's no connection even by marriage.

I hope it doesn't happen as I'm fond of her but, in the back of my mind, is the thought that the bond we have will fade with time and circumstance.

I digress.

Our journey was quick and accompanied by a car load of excitement and lots of Black Eyed Peas songs played really loudly. In particular the new one "I got a feeling" was on our playlist. All four of us love it and we sang, out of tune but not out of time, as I'm fussy about these things, to our hearts' content. We arrived, parked and got out of the car. The weather, at 9.00 AM, was warm and humid with that feeling that the day had nothing but more of the same to come. Things were looking good.

Even at that time in the morning there were hundreds of people there already, all queuing up ready for the place to open at 9.30 AM. I was a bit disappointed as I'd hoped we would be the only people in the world who'd come up with the cunning plan to get there early. It wasn't to be and I prepared myself to join the throng and queue up for hours on each ride.

Once we got in things looked different. The seemingly massive crowd got swallowed up by the vastness of the park within seconds and we found ourselves wandering around freely and effortlessly. I'd bought these fastrack tickets that enabled us to bypass queues on busy rides but they were hardly necessary as the queues were only a few minutes long on everything.

And we went on everything. We screamed and laughed our way through every single ride in town. A, K and B knew all the names for the rides and exactly what they were. I was clueless. I couldn't recall if Stealth was the one that made my stomach churn or my head spin dizzily, I couldn't remember if Collossus was the one that had ten 360 twists in a row or if it was the one that I saw Wembley stadium from.

All I knew was that I got to a point at which I was just laughing uncontrollably on every ride. I laughed with happiness, I laughed with fear and I laughed with joy, the joy of watching my daughters laughing and being joyful. We'd cracked jokes beforehand about divorced Dads and bonding, A had put up a jokey message on her FB about it. All of a sudden we really were doing it, kind of like the boiling frog, except it was fun.

It wasn't two kids, a late teenager and an adult out doing something, it was four kids having unadulterated fun. We got soaked on a water thing, we went from 0-80 mph in less than two seconds on another one and we dropped down what felt like a liftshaft in the dark. Then, we stuffed our faces with KFC for lunch and went and did it all again.

Afterwards we returned to RD Towers and chilled and recovered. We were all knackered and I was surprised at just how tiring all the rides actually were. I guess it's the adrenalin flow and the tension that runs through you for a minute as you grip the seat and harness with everything you've got.

Then I took them out for dinner at the local noodle bar. It was food that was much needed and was wolfed down with gusto, not to be confused with pesto.

We watched Midsomer Murders, I guessed who the murderer was and then I dropped them all home.

I slept like a baby that night. Or perhaps a log, I never really understand the difference.

I felt so pleased that the day had gone brilliantly, enjoyed by all.

Every once in a while I come up with a great idea.


Monday, August 10, 2009

One True Cool Lady Divine

With a sad tear rolling out of one eye and a happy tear rolling out of the other one it's time to bid farewell to Ian S and say hello to Lady Divine, well to their blogs at least.

I must admit to having a soft spot for the good Mr S. He was one of the very first people to read my blog, his was one of the first I read and life has evolved in such a way that I find myself with connections to him that are too unlikely to be found in fiction. It's more proof to me that, in the life of a Sri Lankan, six degrees of separation is merely a furrowed brow inducing concept that happens to other people in far off countries.

But the facts are there for all to see. His blog hasn't been updated for over four months and a dead link in the rapidly evolving world of hyperlinks and can actually be a negative to one's own blog. He's out, he's gone, white suit and all. A return to posting will see him back in the hallowed wall of links on LLD.

And you know what they say; as one door closes another one closes. So I'm pleased to welcome a new link to these parts. I'm embarrassed to say that this blog is one I've been reading for a long long time and have never linked to. More than anything it will make my life easier. There'll be no more scrolling through Kottu wondering why it isn't there until I remember that it has an "a" at the beginning so it's filed in the A section.

David Blacker once described my blog as a "pimped up diary", a label that I like and feel quite chuffed with. Some write blogs to do good, some to change the world, or maybe their island. Some write to write, coming out with poetry and prose, rhyme and oh I wish I could have thought of something to rhyme with "rhyme" there. I write, if one can label it as such, just to empty my head, to chuck out some of the many thoughts, questions and ruminations that go on there. I tell you the reader about things that have been going on in my life, as do many of us.

And Lady Divine, who many know anyway, does similar, but with a degree of honesty and openness that I find unusual. When I say "unusual" I mean it in a nice way, not in the way that Dinidu's habit of cracking eggshells between his arse cheeks is unusual. Lady Divine's blog is a definite heart on sleeve blog, not so much a pimped up diary as a totally open and reveal her soul diary.

This could all be a front, though I suspect not. It might just be the case that behind closed doors our LD is a mentalist with a thirst for blood and a hunger for flesh. Or worse, a Lankan MP maybe. It is very unlikely and it's her honesty that makes her blog appeal to so many people and readers. It's the sense of openness that makes so many want to follow her triumphs, her disasters and her interractions as we sporadically accompany her through her days.

Just in case you're one of the few that haven't read her blog I'd recommend it. You can click on the brand new link on the left if you want, as long as I remember to do it.

Happy Monday all.

Friday, August 7, 2009

One Of The Nicest Things About Me!

It's not often you'll hear me getting all slushy and romantic here at LLD. I feel that, at 43, I'm a bit past all that. Not past it in relation to how I act, I'm alright on the romantic side I think, but I'm not going to get all bloggy about it. I'm not going to pen love poems and share little stories with you about walking along beaches and holding hands with C.

Nor will I suddenly start bunging in words from Bryan Adams songs as if they're just nice songs and not to do with the things going on in my mind. Or Milli Vanilli songs at that.

But, I will tell you this story.

There I was, chatting to C on the phone, something we do a lot of, mostly because she's in Singapore and I'm here, here being London. The conversation drifted effortlessly towards an Any Winehouse song, as they do. I sung the drum part to the song.

You'll know the one, it's that incredibly funky one, I forget the name but the groove goes like this:

doom dar ger doom doom dah
doom dar ger doom doom dah
doom dar ger doom doom dah
doom dar ger doom dah dah

meet me down here... blah blah

That one. Well I hummed the groove for a bit and C said to me, all romantically, as much as she ever does.

"Do you know, that's one of the nicest things about you? It's one of the first things I noticed in you."

"What is? " I said, kind of knowing but afraid that I was correct.

"The fact that you can sing drum noises well."

I had hoped for more. There's my business acumen, my fabulous sense of humour, there's my incredible good looks and my passion for many things. She could have chosen my sharp mind, my natural sense of style, my ability to remember which Indian restaurant serves which good dishes or my chicken curry. Perhaps the way I love my family and friends.

She could even have mentioned my really special skill, one that even you don't know about, my ability to drink water from a bottle, tilt my head back and then get the water to dribble out of both corners of my mouth simultaneously, with equal force. It's taken me some time to perfect it and it's something women don't fully appreciate.

But no.

One of the nicest things is my ability to sing drum sounds.

Pah, was all I could say really. Who said romance was dead?

I retired.


Ba doom tish.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

There Are Three Kinds Of People

Those who can count to three and those who can't.

Ha! Sorry, just my little Poya day joke, I hope Poya day jokes aren't banned these days.

I was thinking about charity the other day and did decide that there are three types of people;

There are those who just don't do anything for charity, those who do things for charity and talk about it and then those who do things for charity and don't talk about it.

The first group isn't an issue for me. I figure that people have reasons, ranging from outright selfishness to lack of resources, that it's up to them and their conscience.

The second and third groups are the ones that create some of the old RD mental turmoil. Is it too simplistic to say that the people who do charity work and keep quiet about it are the "better" people, whatever "better" actually means?

Perhaps it's just my own values and judgement that are coming into the fray but I can't help the feeling that the person who wants to do good for others and then can walk away happily without telling anyone is the truly great person.

But, if they tell no one there's the danger that they'll be seen as a group one person, someone who does nothing for good causes. Maybe that doesn't matter to a truly content person.

Some people, I'm sure you know many of them, are outrightly and blatantly driven by recognition as their main motivator. You know the type, the ones who'll always want to be the star, who have to be the loudest, the tallest, the most talked about in the room. They'll do one good deed and tell a thousand people about it. They're driven by the need to be recognised and powered by the recognition they get.

We're all motivated by recognition, just in varying degrees. I love the feeling of finishing a gig and getting some recognition from people, some applause and pats on the back, a bit of praise and admiration. I don't thing that recognition is number one in my motivators though, responsibility is.

Those people who do charitable acts and keep it quiet are my real heroes. Well I suppose my actual heroes are the ones who mention things to a few people, preferably me being one of them. Those that make a big song and dance about things I can't be that bothered with.

The fact remains that, whether they make a song and a dance or keep totally quiet, they still do their bit for charity. So that's good then.

Isn't it?

What about you? Would/could you do things for good causes and not tell a soul?

The honest truth is that I think I'd struggle, but can exist happily with only telling a few.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

The Latest In My Life

The tattoo's itching like fuckery at the moment. It's also interesting to observe as it heals and meanders along the road towards smoothness.

The lumpiness has gone and the lines are more defined. The scabbing's beginning and I'd like nothing better than a good old scratch. Note to self, don't wear a nice crispy white polo shirt when there's a likelihood that I'll get tattoo goo on it during the day.

Tomorrow (Weds) I'm taking the girls off on a day out, along with their cousin who I'm told looks upon me as a father figure. Which is nice.

We're going to Thorpe Park. I'm excited, possibly more so than A and K. K's been busily planning which rides we're going to go on and in what order. It's quite the precision operation and I'll be picking them up at 9 AM ready for the big adventure.

I'm seriously looking forward to a bit of high octane rollercoastering. A, in her too cool for school fifteen year old way put this up as her Facebook status:

"I'm going to Thorpe Park tomorrow with my Dad. I think there'll be bonding...."

Too bloody right there will. It's my summer holiday with them.

The band has broken up for the summer. We had our last gig last week until we reconvene in September. The gig was quite high profile, with people like Mike Gatting and Chris Tarrant there and we kicked some arse and I grooved like the funky brown machine that I'd like to be.

It's nice to have a break and yet I miss the playing at the same time. Funny that isn't it? Lots of practice is in my plan. I'd get so much done if I didn't do quite so much planning though.

We've got a list of homework songs for the summer, new ones to learn and try out when we get back together. What do you think?

1. Learn to Fly - The Foos
2. Handbags and Gladrags - Stereophonics etc
3. Heroes - David Bowie
4. I'm on Fire - Kasabian
5. Stay with me - Small Faces
6. Just - Radiohead.

I'm particularly eager about 1, 3, 5 and 6. And 4 actually. There's also talk of Mr Brightside. I'm not so keen but seems that the rest of the world loves it.

In the car these days is the new Black Eye Peas offering. It's getting almost constant play and I reckon I might get bored of it very soon. In fact, I've got a feeling.

The asparagus phase has passed, quite literally, and I'm now on a pasta fad. Cooking up the stuff, with any chili based sauce is becoming quite the thing round RD Towers.

Talking of RD Towers I'm getting a hell of a lot of flies and things on the ceiling there. I think it's to do with the river and the summer, though why these things believe we have a summer here is beyond me. Twice recently I've caught myself hoovering the ceiling, very Lionel Ritchie but with an electrical appliance rather than a dance type move.

That's about it really.

Wishing you all a joyful Poya day.


Photo Of The Moment

I've been gazing at this picture intermittently for some weeks now, ever since Mr Posingis chucked it up on his blog.

There are several reasons why it takes my breath away in quite spectacular style.

The first is that it evokes feelings and stirs my senses. I can smell the air, I can hear the noises, the animal sounds, the cricket type hissing and the vague and distant occasional car horn or diesel rumble.

It makes me think of stopping for lunch in another half hour or so and having the rice and curry buffet at a rest house.

I've always wanted, yet never managed, to take a picture that has hills and that gradual shading that turns one colour into an infinite number of tones. This picture must contain just about every shade of black and white possible.

The sheer scale and depth of the image is crucial in its success as a photograph and Sebastian has added the tree in the foreground to emphasise the feeling of grandness to the landscape. Without that tree the picture would be very different, maybe even average. God, they say, is in the details, something I agreed with on Sunday as I looked at the subtle green stitching on my new brown belt.

But rationalising and using logic, analysing and considering the "rules" of photography are all well and good, perhaps correct and maybe incorrect.

The most important thing is that this picture makes me feel excited, it gives me that real butterfly feeling in my stomach. That's when I know it's a little piece of magical imagery.

Monday, August 3, 2009

What I Did Last Week

It's a Monday morning and the only sensible thing is to start by apologising for revealing a tad of RD flesh at this stage of the day and week, even a wrist. So I'm sorry, particularly if it's put you off your breakfast.

There it is. I've pontificated long enough, but tat two has been chosen and installed and I'm particularly pleased with it. There's no deep significance to it, no meaning at all. It's not an ancient family symbol or a way of expressing my passion for Lanka or drumming in a language that many wouldn't understand, all of which are things I considered.

It's just a design that I liked, which is probably a good way of choosing. The second choice, the only other viable option was the Chinese character for drum. I spent many minutes looking at it and contemplating, in the end deciding that Chinese characters are a bit too high fashion, that in years to come they'll look as if I had something done that was all the rage at the time. This one also matches tat one, hopefully not so much that I'm doing the bodily art equivalent of wearing jeans with a matching denim jacket.

I went for dinner at the 'rents' place on Friday night and I must admit I was amused and slightly surprised by their reaction. My Mum took a look at it and her instant reaction was a grimace and an "uurgh" as if she was watching one of those emails fellows send round, the ones that are fundamentally vile but you feel compelled to watch again and again.

Then her interest got the better of her and she looked at it in detail and asked questions about it, how it takes to heal, how it felt and so on.

My Dad was just funny. He took one look at it, said "chee" and made a face as if I'd just been found guilty of attempting to assassinate Barack Obama while wearing a T shirt saying that I was doing it on behalf of my family on my Dad's side. Yes, it was a "chee" with a particularly hard ch to it.

Later on over dinner I laughed. They've got a couple of guests staying there, pretty much compulsory for Sri Lankan parents I know. I was showing the tattoo to the guests, not by choice but because my Mum had done the Lankan mother thing of telling them about it and making me show them.

One half of the two guests said that he'd quite like to get one and casually asked my Dad if he had any.

"No" came the reply.

"I don't believe in them."

"They do exist you know Dad" was my all too clever retort.

"They're not like UFOs or ghosts."

He scowled at me, in that way that I try to scowl at the girls but can never quite manage.

I shut up.

The parents bit was easy.

I've yet to tell the girls and A quite seriously told me that she might not talk to me ever again if I was to get a second one done.

We'll see on Wednesday.

Have a splendid week all.