Thursday, 13 December 2007

Way out of here!

Leeds Metropolitan University Union - Porcupine Tree 9th December 2007

Another trip to see PT. Supported by Anathema who were not my cup of tea but seemed to apply themselves earnestly and had a stand-in drummer - not easy for either party I guess and not sure what he was stood in :-).

This tour was billed as Tour of a Blank Planet and the set list was, as expected, focussed on FOABP but with some interesting oldies like Waiting appearing. Couple of the songs seemed a tad ragged but found myself bouncing along to Open Car and Sleep Together like, like, well like a dad that can't dance!

Moving back to things Addingham...
Today (13th December) is local Parish Councillor election day in the village and I will be down at the Memorial Hall to cast my vote later this evening. If we don't vote on these things we can't really expect to be able to complain if our elected representatives don't follow through on issues we hold dear. For me the election boils down to picking someone I don't know about or an ex-councillor I know reasonably well and who is known to be anti-Scout Hut. I guess that last sentence really tells me which way I will lean tonight. Not sure if that's a good enough reason to vote for someone I don't know from Adam but I suppose that's the nature of local politics...we make judgements on how close a candidate's views match our own rather than the bigger picture.

The saga of the Medical Centre/Scout Hut continues at a snail's pace and I wonder whether we will ever see a new permanent venue for the village.

I see in the press that Sustrans has obtained a £50M grant from the Lottery to provide further cycle paths and expect that to kick off the village civil war again over who is right and who is wrong over the proposed path to Bolton Abbey.

Tuesday, 27 November 2007

Village Politics - Don't Ya Just Love It?

Ho hum, already into another week with work, MBA studying and village (non) issues vying for my attention.

My company Trigold approaches it's year end; so it's busy, busy, busy with budgets and salary reviews whilst the hard-pressed accounts team prepare for repelling boarders from our auditors.

I am slap bang in the middle of the Accounting and Finance module of my part-time MBA at Bradford University and I'm battling to get balance sheets to balance and digest a fairly dry tome on A&F.

This time of year is the start of rehearsals for the Addingham village pantomime. This year we're doing Jack and the beanstalk but MBA commitments mean I'm sidelined as Treasurer (a good way of testing what I've learnt on the MBA?). Thought I was in for an easy time of it but oh no...ructions at the village hall over booking means we're all falling out. Everyone getting het up with threats of reprisals on a bunch of people trying to pull together a panto as a fundraising event. Hopefully things can be smoothed out and life can return to normal.

To cap it all, the village Scout Hut is rapidly decomposing in front of us and the start of the build of the new medical centre approaches with not permanent scout meeting place sorted...time to lock horns, in a nice way, with the Parish Council again. Pity they're too busy dealing with cycle tracks (echoes of Zimbabwe "land grab" according to the Ilkley Gazette) and the location of a bus stop! Yes, it's all high drama in Addingham, anyone would think we live in a cross between the Trueman Show and Emmerdale.

Finding solace in music seems to help and currently I'm rifling through my Rush and Porcupine Tree back catalogues following the recent Rush concert trip and an impending trip to see Porcupine Tree at Leeds Metropolitan University. A chance for a gorup of PT fans from work to see the band before they, the band, take a year off.
If you're a King Crimson fan, then ensure you get Tony Levin's new album Stick Man onto your Christmas list. It's the nearest we've got to KC recently and bodes well for the likely KC return in 2008, although Robert Fripp's soured relationship with UK music press means we're unlikely to see them live I'm afraid.

Interweb revalation of the week for me...
Found this DivX site, which is great for downloading music videos to play on my Archos 605

Tuesday, 16 October 2007

Village Fault Lines

some 4 or 5 months since the election of a new Parish Council, how far have we progressed?

The Addingham/Bolton Abbey Cycle Route
Continues to divide the village with a significant amount of bad blood and feeling being whipped up by the Ilkley Gazette. The next step is probably the daubing of doors with slogans by one or other of the parties involved or maybe a hunt, by local landowners on horseback, of the pro-route brigade.

The Addingham Medical Centre
Inches forwards. At least now we have a doctor in the frame to build it and I understand the tendering process has started...albeit on the proviso that the Scout Hut will be demolished on time and a home can be found for Beavers/Cubs/Scouts. Not sure where the kids who smoke/drink behind the hut will go, maybe a local councillor will invite them round for tea and crumpets?

The Addingham Community Pavilion
Started as a new Scout Hut and is now an all-singing, all-dancing community facility costing a significant amount of wonga.
Whilst the facilities for organisations using it (Scouts, football, tea dances...) will be superb, it seems a lot of money. Can't help wondering whether the Youth Centre could be extended/refurbished for a lot less?

Thought we had reached the nadir but then....
Bus Shelter Blues!
It seems there's now an argument over the siting of a bus shelter in the village and, yet again, feelings are running high and letters are pinging off to the Ilkley Gazette. Glad to see that the important matters in the world are being dealt with by the village.

The Rush or the Surge of Adrenaline?

Sheffield Hallam Arena, Rush, Snakes & Arrows Tour 2007.

Took the kids to see Rush play in Sheffield on their 2007 tour (that's Rush's tour not the kids!)...yup the kids are sometimes partial to a bit of "classic" rock as well as Muse or Mika!

I've been to the majority of tours since Permanent Waves and, yet again, they played a blinder. On the stage around 7:45 PM and, with a short interval in the middle, off the stage certainly get quantity, do you get quality?

The set list for this tour certainly showed two things; they're not afraid of playing new material (most of the album) and they're not afraid to mix up songs from the back catalogue - no 2112!

I did wonder whether my sons would have the stamina but they both enjoyed it, mesmerised by some of the solos, laughing at the South Park video and singing along to Spirit of Radio. My youngest son was desperate for them to play YYZ and he got his wish in the encore - as it's on Guitar Hero II, he's forever playing it himself but Alex was way beyond "expert" :-)

The only downside ... a very loud but muddy sound mix and it had to finish.

SO excited to return to all-things-Rush I followed up the concert by reading Neil Peart's book Ghost Rider. It's a travelogue-sum-personal story describing how Neil dealt with the loss of both his daughter and wife within a year. Not any easy read due to the subject matter but an uplifting one all the same. It also makes me want to motorbike all over North America.

Check it out, I heartily recommend it to you, even if you detest Rush music.

Monday, 1 October 2007

Reign of the Prince

Managed to get to see Prince at the O2 Arena before the end of his 21 night stint.

Was impressed by the Arena and more impressed by the Purple Squiggle.

Follow the link to his site to see some rather grainy video

A good set, I understand he changed it every night, with some interesting cover versions of Crazy by Gnarls Barkley and then Whole Lotta Love by Led Zep - a tip of his hat to the forthcoming reunion gig at the O2 arena.

People often miss the fact that he's a great guitarist as well as a writer/performer of songs.

Here's to hoping my application for a Led Zep ticket comes through, although I think I've more chance of winning the National Lottery!

Wednesday, 19 September 2007

Back to school...

Sat here at work reading a book on economics.
No, I haven't lost the plot ... I've just started a part-time MBA at Bradford University School of Management.
Over the next three years my life will be work, homework and more homework if the first week is anything to go by.
Off I trot to do some preparation for a tutorial on price elasticity - wow!

Friday, 24 August 2007

Return to Work

So, the two week holiday in Denia, Spain is at an end.

More on that, with pictures, on a subsequent post. Suffice to say that the villa we stayed in was superb - the best yet.

If you're after a villa with all you need set away from the masses, you could do wose than stay here

Anyway, now back at work and after trawling through 300+ emails, it's like I've never been away!

Friday, 3 August 2007

MP3 fiddling


Ended up with my new shiny gadget - an Archos 605wifi.

Eventually managed to get it all working but not without recoruse to some forums.

Whilst it looks cool I think I am suffering from bleeding-edge technology woes as there are a few niggles... but I get to watch Shaun of he Dead on the train home.

Also traisped around York to try and get a shiny ipod video for 2nd born. After much shoe leather wearing ended up at that fine audio emporium Argos and argossed it!

Funny how the blurb doesn't tell you what a faff it is to get a movie froma DVD onto an ipod.

Wednesday 1st August was Scout Centenary day and a subset of Beavers, Cubs and Scouts from Addingham walked up Beamsley Beacon to renew our promises at 8am. Weather was great and it jaunt was enjoyed by all.
Nearly time to watch a movie on the train yippee!

Tuesday, 31 July 2007

First past the post

So, here we go ... first posting!
All those capricious thoughts swirling around in my bonce last night seem so ephemeral now. Why is that I wonder?


Addingham news of the hour... Scout camp was a damp but successful trip to Thornthwaite.
No Scouts were killed in action, although one did get a pioneering pole bounce off his bonce. No danger of being "cotton wool" kids at our camp.

No leaders were poisoned by lax Scout cooking practices although it never ceases to amaze me how little kids now know about cooking - frying pasta is a new one on me.

My final act as a Scout Leader is to attend the 1st August renewal of promises on Beamsley Beacon at 8am tomorrow.

The arrival of the "fit bug" pedometer has galvanised me into some activity and last night a brisk walk around Strid Woods looking at the sculptures was in order. Tombo tagged along to "keep me company" and things took longer than expected, resulting in messages on the mobile of "where are you" and "have you fallen in the Strid?" from my concerned wife ... she cares, who'd have thought it?

Today I go in search of an ipod for Tombo and hopefully my Archos equivalent arrives with the postman today.