Robert Hampton

Another visitor! Stay a while… stay forever!

November 2007

4th November 2007

This Web Site is a Mochrie!
Posted by at 11.03pm | It's My Life | No responses

The thought occurred to me today that I have a blog, and I really should post something in it. So here, in no particular order, are things what have happened to me recently.

  • My missing items ordered from various internet retailers finally made their way through the 1970s (aka Royal Mail Copperas Hill) and reached my doormat. Hurrah!

  • I’m really enjoying Whose Line is it Anyway? repeats on the craply-named Dave channel, despite the ham-fisted editing which sees games cut off midway to go to a commercial break and anything even slightly rude cut out (so when Tony Slattery is on, it’s doomed from the get go).

  • I upgraded the WordPress software for this site from 2.3 to 2.3.1 (offering new features, including an extra dot and number!) only to suffer a heartstopping moment when every page on the site started coming up with 404 errors. Oh, you crazy misconfigured .htaccess file!

  • After my earlier negative experience with Dr Kawashima’s Brain Training, I am pleased to report that I have got my brain age down to a sprightly 20! This achievement was only possible thanks to many hours of continuous brain training exercises, and certainly not because I used the hidden cheat mode.

  • I have started Christmas shopping. My family are the most impossible people to buy gifts for. I’d buy them all gift vouchers, but that always seems like the lazy option: “Hello, I know you like books, but I couldn’t be bothered finding out which books in particular, so I’m giving you a book token, thereby transferring the responsibility from me to you! Happy Christmas!”

  • Tomorrow is the annual Hampton Family Festival of Standing Around in the Cold, Dark November Night While Robert Desperately Tries To Light The Blue Touch Paper By The Light of a Torch With Almost-Dead Batteries While The Children For Whom This Whole Thing Is Supposedly Intended Are Sitting Inside Watching Lazy Town. The whole family will show up to join in the “fun” (my brother’s married to a Catholic which I like to think adds an extra layer of awkwardness to the situation).

If I don’t blow myself up, I’ll see you all tomorrow!

9th November 2007

Spoiler Alert
Posted by at 7.37pm | Books | No responses

In the Guardian, Stuart Jeffries has a hilarious review of Boris Johnson’s new poetry book. Extract follows:-

Behold them, reader, and despair:
their lolling eyes, their glassy stare,
this formerly dynamic pair
In a double-seat wheelchair.

11th November 2007

Lest we Forget
Posted by at 12.05pm | In the News | No responses

Harry Patch, the last surviving British soldier from World War I.

12th November 2007

Posted by at 8.41pm | Fun, Radio | 1 response

Quite possibly the radio highlight of the year: Rob Brydon singing Who Do You Think You Are Kidding Mr Hitler? to the tune of Yesterday Once More on the opening episode of I’m Sorry I Haven’t a Clue.

You HAVE to listen to it: follow the link here (it starts at about the 11:20 mark, but of course the rest of the show is a must-listen too).

15th November 2007

Always a frown with Gordon Brown

Oh… yay:-

Mr Brown said improved security would be installed at the country’s 250 busiest railway stations, as well as airports, ports and more than 100 other sensitive locations.

“Additional screening” of baggage and passenger searches were planned at some large railway stations and other “sensitive locations”, he said.

Welcome to Police State Britain. Meanwhile, any terrorists who want to blow up trains can get on at Edge Hill instead of Lime Street and avoid the security checks. Still, I suppose this sort of thing will impress the unthinking masses who buy The Sun.

17th November 2007

A wake-up call
Posted by at 5.15pm | Cats, In the News | No responses

The United Nations have warned that climate change is causing irreperable damage and we must act now to… no, wait, I’m sorry; I’m getting news that a cat is doing something interesting:-

A cat is baffling his owner by wandering off at night before expecting to be collected by car every morning at exactly the same time and place.

Sgt Podge, a Norwegian Forest Cat, disappears from his owner’s home in Talbot Woods, Bournemouth, every night.

It’s perfectly understandable: if I’d been given the name Sgt Podge, I’d want to get away from the person who applied it to me too.

19th November 2007

Laughter and Applause
Posted by at 7.44pm | Television | No responses

In the Guardian, Graham Linehan makes a persuasive case for traditional “filmed before a live studio audience” sitcoms:-

There are some actors who come alive in front of a crowd, and if you’ve cast it right, there’s an energy between cast and audience that can be exhilarating for both parties, then enjoyed by the audience at home. I’ve seen Hugh Laurie be good in a lot of things, but I’ve never seen him funnier than he was on A Bit of Fry and Laurie and Blackadder. In fact, everyone in Blackadder is working the audience mercilessly, pitching their performance to elicit the greatest number of laughs.

Comedy doesn’t need a studio audience to be funny. On the other hand, some of the best TV comedy moments have been accompanied by gales of laughter on the soundtrack: that episode of Red Dwarf where Rimmer walks in on Kryten trying to pull Lister’s underpants off; the episode of Frasier where the radio station manager thinks Frasier is gay; pretty much all of Father Ted.

I never understood why some people have a problem with a live studio audience anyway. What if they go to watch a comedy play at the theatre? Do they keep telling the rest of the audience to be quiet, because it’s ruining it?

21st November 2007

Posted by at 10.20pm | In the News, Politics | No responses

If there’s one entertaining thing about the benefits data cockup, it was watching useless Labour minister Alastair Darling having to come clean about the whole mess in Parliament.

Here’s the video. Listen out for the gasps of astonishment from the assembled MPs, which start at about the 2 minute mark.

22nd November 2007

101 Not Out. No, they really should *NOT* be out
Posted by at 6.52pm | In the News | No responses

I hereby declare that nude charity calendars are officially over.

25th November 2007

Saving the world, 10p at a time
Posted by at 5.46pm | It's My Life | No responses

Shopping in Wilkinson today, I noticed one of those Bag for Life things – 10p would buy me a super-strong carrier bag which can be used again and again. Well, I didn’t need too much convincing: I scurried to the checkout with bag in hand, feeling slightly smug cheerful about doing my bit to save the planet.

However, as I was walking back to the station to catch my train home, it occurred to me that if I go into Wilkinson with that bag in the future, they’re not going to know it’s being reused from a previous purchase. In fact, they might think I’m trying to steal it. Therefore the re-use potential is slightly less than advertised.

It’s all very well Al Gore preaching to us about the environment, but he doesn’t think about the details.