Saturday, December 29, 2007


I saw this art installation awhile back. It was a billboard lit up in a forest. On the billboard it said: 'There will be no miracles here today'.

Alas, to continue in a similiar vain 'There will be no reviews of 2007 here today'. Not quite as prophetic but equally true. It's gone and that is where it will be staying unless a time machine is invented and I go back and right the wrongs or even wrong the rights for that matter.

Monday, December 24, 2007


So, that was Christmas. Worth all the build up, wasn't it. Those balmy days towards the end of October when it all started with an innocent flash of tinsel in a Department Store window. Nearly a quarter of the year later, the excitement builds to a crescendo before bursting within 10 minutes of getting up on Christmas morning. Sometimes my visits to the toilet in the morning for a number 2 last longer. Alas, the build up lasts considerably less time.

The rest of the day is as follows (Christmas, that is): thinking 'i really shouldn't have gotten up so early' followed by 'my goodness, perhaps I shouldn't have had that last bottle of Magners'. Then the tv goes on - 'oh great, Kylie's on. Again'. A bit of a faff about. Better get dressed then. TOTP is on, getting a bit peckish. Where the hell is my granny? Late as ever. Getting a wee bit more peckish. I'll have a wee bit chocolate which turns into a big bit. Not quite as peckish. Christmas Dinner starts. After the starter, I'm thinking I'm never fitting in the other 2 courses. Have some more Champagne. Better lay off the Champagne. Main courses goes well with even the Brussel Sprouts strangely disappearing. No cats on the go, so perhaps they didn't nick the Brussel Sprouts. Have a brief flashback...oh, right I must have ate the Brussel Sprouts. They must have been in disguise because I wouldn't have eaten them. Dessert makes me feel like that bloke in Charlie in the Chocolate factory. Big. Finding Nemo or was it Shrek? All looks the same as are all the conversations going on around me. Not sure if I take part in any of them. Perhaps I do, but only on the inside. Semi-consciousness 'til Lovely Actually/Mr and Mrs Smith. Couldn't decide which one I wanted to watch, hence the flicking. Didn't realise the bloke from the Office was in Love Actually. Clearly he was cut from the Korean version that I saw. What else has been censored. Might have to revisit all the films I saw in Korea just to see if any others were cut. Quickly thought that was a stupid idea because I watched quite alot of films in Korea. Would have to take at least of month off to do all that. Stupidness descended and then I went to sleep. Didn't even see the end of Love Actually/Mr and Mrs Smith. Concluded that was a good thing.

So, same time next year then.

Sunday, December 23, 2007


Debating about whether or not to have the 'pf does christmas' message thing. But, the Queen will surely do a better job of it. Not sure how she will know what I want to say but she is the Queen after all.

I do appreciate that the majority of people do actually look forward to Christmas and think that it is a completely worthwhile and enriching experience; something to behold. You may have noticed that I'm not one of those people. I do wonder though that my 'anti' stance is borne out of the fact that my birthday is immediatly before Christmas and that in itself clouds my judgement. Sometimes I just get the feeling that Christmas is and always will be first in the list of priorities with others. The secondary afterthought 'oh, its Paul's birthday as well' coming in somewhere behind which doesn't really do much for self-confidence. Had my birthday been some other day, perhaps I would get more excited about Christmas which would let me 'enjoy' my birthday because it would not be in the shadow of other 'things'. Take the simple wrapping of gifts. Can you find any other type of wrapping paper other than Christmas themed at this time of the year? No. Are people not more interested in getting home for Christmas? Yes.

Top tip. Have children but don't give them a Christmas birthday. It's crap.

Alas, Merry Christmas.

See, the Queen wouldn't have forseen that.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007


With the year coming to an end, I find quite difficult trying not to consider what has happened and being the infinitely inward looking individual that I am consider how or why something happened and whether or not things could have been improved or bettered or done differently. On the face of it, it might be said that this year has been not at all bad. Graduating with another Masters, a job(s), some money in the bank, a few trips abroad and not pissing off as many people as I could have could be considered something of a success. But, in the end you're always wanting more or at least have the option of attaining more. Perhaps its the 'greedy' gene. Always looking out for something better. In real terms, this year was infinitely better than the one that preceded it. How could it not be? Yet there is always something that nags away that something isn't quite right. Maybe thats just 'human nature' and somehow ties in with the 'greedy' part of me. Hmm.

Sunday, December 16, 2007


Was scanning a well known music magazine earlier when I came across their choice of 50 'best albums' of the year. Some I would agree with, some I wouldn't agree with and then some that werent in the list that perhaps should have been. Of course its all subjective. It always is and always will be and thats the beauty of it.

That said, I can't help but thinking that alot of the albums that are in the list are made by the bands that always appear in the afore mentioned magazine. I wonder if the magazine are elevating a certain album beyond its actual level so that the band in question will continue to be available for interviews et al. Certainly, if I was in a band and my album didn't get a decent write up then I would think twice about participanting in interviews with said magazine.

Furthermore, do the record companies in some way influence the decisions of the magazine in order to boost sales? I would have thought so.

A month or so ago I declared 'Untrue' by Burial as my album of the year and even after listening to it constantly, I can still say that it remains my album of the year. Part Dub, part Drum and Bass, part Filmscape interwoven by 3 'stories' told through slowed down, sped up and distorted vocals. Perhaps it could be described as 'bleak' but I would tend to disagree. I think its an object of beauty. Its an album that deserves to be heard - but one that deserves not to be liked by the masses. Its an album that should be known by people who know music. I wonder if that means the 'underground'.

Notable mentions should therefore go to:

1. LCD Soundsystem. But not necessarily for 'Sound of Silver'. Some absolutely cracking tracks on it; 'someone great' being one, and the sublime post party comedown 'all my friends' being another however there is a filler on it. Some bands try to disguise fillers but this one stands out like a sore thumb. The saving grace though for the LCD Soundsystem machine is '45.33'. A journey into how running music should be. In essence, they have delivered 2 albums this year and for that, they get a mention.

2. Groove Armada. Simply for 'Song 4 Mutya' on Soundboy Rock. Ooh. It's quite good. And the video for 'Get Down' with its ever increasing amount of rabbits.

3. Justice. Just bliss. A dance/metal hybrid with more than a tip of the hat to Daft Punk. D.A.N.C.E being a song that does actually make you want to D.A.N.C.E.

4. Klaxons/Timbaland/Foo Fighters who seem capable of making upto half an album that is of surprisingly good 'stuff' but then rest being something of a disappointment particuarly in light of the good stuff.

5. Not necessarily released this year but notable: Kitsune Masion - yes, I know you've not heard of it but its a series of compliations which are really rather agreeable. FabricLive 36...funk but in a good way and an album that is heard at all the best parties. Or should be. The Juan MacLean. Should really have sold more records but perhaps will never get passed the 'underground' scene. UNKLE with a goth-rock album. On paper, it sounds shocking but thankfully if were on paper, you wouldn't be able to hear it and that would be a shame.

6. Guilty pleasures: Timbaland ft. Keri Hilson and D.O.E 'I way I are'. He's not much of a singer but she makes it. Nelly F - 'Say it right' but that might have something to do with the afore mentioned Mr. Timbaland. Manc's 'Your love alone is not enough'. Indeed it is. 'This month, day 10 by CSS and 'Pogo' by Digitalism.
Cracking. And thats all I can think of.

Thursday, December 13, 2007


Had my first Christmas night out for while. I think the last 'real' Christmas nights out were those in London in which they started in November. Each individual Department had there own, with free food and beer. It didn't matter if you even knew anyone in the particular Department, you just went. Afterwards, it was a quick walk to the Underground for the last Tube home. Of course, being an office job I could fake being busy whilst nursing my hangover. There may have been one or two woman also but that is indeed another story.

Korean Christmas nights out in contrast were variations of a 'normal' Friday night and certainly didn't start in November. They did the job as the morning after can testify.

Alas, this years Christmas night out was in Scone, a couple of miles from Perth. It was very pleasant dinner - turkey and all the trimmings. Then around 9.30pm three-quarters of the people there went home. I guess it was due to the rather different age spread of my colleagues. Married, in couples or older than me. The passing of time, I suppose. That said, a couple of a us ventured out into Perth city centre for a night debauchery. Instead, we witnessed a fight /always a good sign/ and a few of my students who decided to take me to the local nightclub. Perth's finest. It's amazing how good their English is after a couple of beers. Perhaps I need to conduct class under the influence.

And that was it, my Christmas night out. Tame by comparison. Til next year.

Sunday, December 09, 2007


And so the Christmas nonsense has began. Actually, I think that it all started somewhere in October. How depressing.

All the 'best of's', box set's and other load of crap that gets released at this time of year. It's nothing to do with art or critical success, its all to do with money and the big companies repackaging stuff that us consumers might actually be silly enough to spend our hard earned money on. Avoid. Ho hum. December - arguably the worst month of the entire year.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007


Mohammed. /don't even think thats the right spelling!/
There, I did it.
I wonder if I'll get deported.
Hopefully, I'll get deported to a warmer country.
Perhaps for my penance I'll have to endure endless winter after winter for my sins.

Wait...I just checked the dictionary, it's actually spelt Muhammad.
Damn, I wonder if my dictionary will be deported with me?

Hold on, I think that there was a bloke at College called Muhammad and I might well have written that name on a piece of paper. Perhaps that piece of paper might have to be found and deported also.

See, I'm stirring up racial hatred.
A nonsense.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007


These early start are not going down well at all. Walking the 100 metres from my front door to the bus stop is not much fun with a howling gale blowing into your face. It does though wake you up which is something that I try to reverse when I step on the bus upto Perth. I'm getting good at attaining a near sleep existence on the way up now. Its no substitute for real sleep though. Alas, with the end of term fast approaching I won't need to get up as early, perhaps ever again.