Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Let the games begin

And they did. The Festival of Skander kicked off on the weekend with, well, it wasn't hugely sumptuous or anything, but a veritable smørgasbord of delights, including fresh prawns and home-grown tomatoes with freshly picked basil, with a duck-breast in a sour cherry sauce, a delightful chilled rosé, with a creamy gorgonzola and a half wheel of jindi brie, all soft and gooey and delicious. There were cornichons and rye bread and organic sourdough for the fussy. And all there was to eat all this was la embarazada, my parents, a cripple and an old lady, otherwise known as my dear grandmother. "What did you say, dear?" seems to be her most common comment these days, but even when she does mishear you she comes out with some crackers. And I don't mean on a nice little floral saucer to go with the cheese.

Anyway, the weather was delightful, sunny but not too hot, with a lovely onshore breeze lowering the temperate just enough, and there was even home-made dessert of the ice-cream variety. Yes, just what the doctor ordered of a weekend in the country. Unfortunately, my folks ahve decided the lash the celebrations proper this year as they have found better things to do than take me out to dinner—so what am I to do with my booking for 8 people at Long Grain tomorrow night? Harrumph.

But more importantly, what do I want? What gifts will satsicfy me? Make my cheeks go red and heart skip a beat as I glimpse it through the wrapping paper? Or, like that electric razor they gave me at 18, will make me sullen and sulky for the rest of the day? Hmm, I have to avoid that one at all costs. Yes, just what is it I want this year?

Monday, March 27, 2006

A bigger picture

Watch the video
Ok, so it's slightly lazy hitting up all these .mov I took while I was away, but man, everytime I look at them I am transported back to that idyll. Yes, it's more waterfalls, but this time you get to see how thay all fit together, from the Cascadas Escondidas to the biggest Mo'Fo in da world.

Friday, March 24, 2006

The Devil's Throat

Watch the video

This is the top of "The World's largest waterfall".  It is mad.  You start to feel the spray a good 50-yards back from the edge, and by the time you reach this aquatic inferno, you are thoroughly drenched.

It rocks. 

Monday, March 20, 2006

Are we there yet?

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I've managed to lose my template, and still haven't sussed whether I've got this video thang happening...

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Market research

I don't like it. A bit of a bevel on the star brings it into the 21st century, but it's the typeface and the black I can't handle. I think the "customer-friendly" lower case looks patronising, with the black revealing the true nature of the beast.

And while I'm at it, how bad does the Channel 9 logo look?

Friday, March 03, 2006

Lyrics I love (volume 1)

Buenas Tardes Amigo / Hola, my good friend / Cinco de Mayo's on Tuesday / And I hoped we'd see each other again / You killed my brother last winter / You shot him three times in the back / In the night I still hear mama weeping / Oh mama, still dresses in black / I looked at every fiesta / For you I wanted to greet / Maybe I'd sell you a chicken / With poison interlaced with the meat / look like my brother / Mama loved him the best / He was head honcho with the ladies / Mama always said he was blessed / The village all gathered around him / They couldn't believe what they saw / I said it was you that had killed him / And that I'd find you and upstand the law / The people of the village believed me / Mama...she wanted revenge / I told her that I'd see that she was honored / I'd find you and put you to death

So that I've found you / On this such a joyous day / I tell you it was me who killed him / But the truth I'll never have to say / Buenas tardes amigo / Hola, my good friend / Cinco de Mayo's on Tuesday / And I hoped we'd see each other again / Yes, I hoped we'd see each other again
By the way, don't ever fool around with Speedy Gonzalez impersonations in Spanish-speaking countries. Despite the hours and hours of hilarity that can ensue from a simple «¡Andare, andare! ¡Arriba, arriba!», it doesn't always go down the right way. Years ago, when I was but a whipper-snapper, I took the overnight train from Paris to Madrid. Sharing my cabin were a middle-aged Japanese fellow who, as we whizzed through the countryside somewhere near the Loire in the early evening, decided to strip down to his Y-fronts and and lie on his bunk , and a chatty bloke from Stockport called Dave. So naturally we strike up a conversation, as one does over a few cans of Kronenbourg 1664. And so it goes. When the conductor came through to gather our passports and pull down the bunks (the Japanese guy was still fully clothed at this stage), we got onto the topic of Spanish. Know anything? Iasked. "Only dos cervesas por favor". "Yeah, nice one" I replied. "All I know is
¡Andare, andare! ¡Arriba, arriba!", and we both laughed. At which point the conductor turned and glared at me, harrumphed as only Europeans can, and stormed out of the cabin.

So we looked at each other and shrugged, like you do, had a few more cans, got freaked out by the Japanese guy, and turned in ourselves. In the morning, when said conductor dropped by to return our passports, he gave the Japanese man his, Dave his, and threw mine at me from the door, really hard. And I think it was just then that we realised that telling a petty European public servant to" Hurry, hurry! Quickly, quickly!" was not the most polite thing to do as he makes your bed. Nor to crack up laughing aftwards.