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Reading with bappou

I spoke to my parents,this morning, as I do every Sunday. Dad had a great birthday: he and mum went to Wales, and by the sound of it had a great time. Over the webcam they showed me a card my brother had sent. On its front was a picture of dad reading to his grandson. It was only a picture book - the kind intended for one year olds - but it also marked a beginning. It was through my fathers deep voice that I gained my love of literature. I loved when dad read to me. Through that voice I fell in love with characters and worlds, as well as the very music of language. As well as reminding me of how much I owe to my father, that picture made me wonder whether, seven or eight years hence, Oliver will hear that voice utter the sentence which really began my love of literature, words I have adored since I first heard them: 'In a hole, under the ground, there lived a hobbit'. I will forever associate the opening sentence of the Hobbit with the voice of my father, a man whose kindness, wisdom and unconditional love I owe so much to. Through those words, though simply being read to as I grew up, entire worlds were opened up to me. I hope those words, that voice, will soon hold for Oliver the magic they still hold for me,


[Edited Yesterday at 19:49:33 - added a bit]

We need more events like eurovision

I was thinking yesterday about the Eurovision song Contest, which of course is on tv tonight. Say what you might about it being camp or twee, it is an event which brings people together. Like the olympics or other sporting competitions, people from different countries come together in friendly rivalry; but unlike in sport they compete through art. Thus it's the type of event I think we need more of: we already have so many international sporting competitions (the olympics, the world cup, the ashes etc.) why not do the same but through art. I know there are events like international film festivals, but why not have big spectacles on the scale of the olympics? not only would such events increase interest in arts, it would also bring people together, across borders, in discussion. I once outlined a similar idea here. Quite how it will work I don't know: unlike in sport, there is no clear winner and looser in art, and judging between art works is always very subjective. It just seems t;o me a good way of uniting people and getting them talking, as sport so often does.

CaMoron will bastardise the EU

I'm back on politics today, and once again I am yelling at the tv. CaMoron is in Brussels, talking all kinds of rubbish about renegotiating our relationship with the EU. My concern is not that I don't think the union needs reforming - all such bodies need updating from time to time, just to keep them healthy. My worry is, CaMoron will try to refashion it in his own image: he wants to turn a union of nations, a coming together of peoples into an area where neoliberal greed reigns supreme. He will use these renegotiations for his own ends: he wants to turn the EU into a free trade area where big corporations and billionaires are allowed to shit all over everyone else. What pisses me off even more is that the p'tahk is claiming to speak for the British people. He uses an authority he does not deserve yet nonetheless thinks is his birthright to impose his politics of greed across Europe. The scumbag, already responsible for the misery of thousands, will try to bastardise something noble; going on tv appearing statesmanlike among other european leaders when he should be forgotten as the one-time leader of the opposition, he'll use an authority he never deserved to turn a project of friendship into one of greed. On top of that, the turds even have the gall to give that shit eric pickles a knighthood! And the worst thing is, there's absolutely nothing I can do about it.

HBD lyn and dad 2015

The sun is out for a change, it's timing impeccable. Today is Lyn's birthday and I have a feeling it will be a good one. I think she liked the presents I got her, and thanks to Mitchel she as something extra special on the way which we're both really looking forward to (think cute, furry and four legged). That must wait a few days though, so it's time to go into the garden, get some tunes going and enjoy the sun.

My birthday wishes also go to dad too, for yesterday - I hope he had a good one. Talk to you soon dad!

Buildings with warp nacells

When I was growing up at school, I used to play my own little game during break time where I pretended the school building was a starship. My class was the bridge, the nursery department was engineering and, because it lay to one side of the building and was long and thin, residential was a warp drive. Being an avid trekkie, I used to love this game; but it would seem I wasn't the only one who played it. I just stumbled across this bit of awesomeness. Trekkies in china have actually constructed a building shaped like the Enterprise! While it looks like a fairly conventional modern building from the ground, from the air it is the spit of the Enterprise E, nacelles and all. Apparently, ''it's no Chinese knock-off: Company Chairman Liu DeJian is reportedly an uberTrekkie, licensing from CBS the rights to build an Enterprise replica. Construction began in 2008 and was finished in 2014; the project cost $160 million total.'' I love it - if only architecture i the uk was this cool.