Jake Bugg

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Jake Bugg has an EP out.  I’m really looking forward to the album due in October, but this will keep me going in the meantime.  I saw him supporting Michael Kiwanuka a few months ago and he was excellent, as was Michael Kiwanuka.

The EP’s available from the usual places, iTunes, Amazon, Spotify, etc.

Laptop Upgrade

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I finally bit the bullet and installed a bigger hard drive in my laptop.  I now find myself wondering why I put it off for so long.  I have been firtling around in PCs for a long time and have been building my own PCs for the last 15 years, but the thought of taking my laptop to bits seemed daunting. Continue Reading

Mock The Week: Milton Jones

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I’ve just watched this week’s episode of Mock The Week, and finally managed to stop laughing.  I love the show and particularly like Milton Jones.  His deadpan delivery of silly puns and one-liners never fails to crack me up.  Here are some gems from YouTube.

Photo Gallery

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I’ve added a photo gallery to store my pictures.  It’s years since I used Gallery and it’s changed a lot, but I managed to get it working without too much effing and feffing!

Rain, Rain, Go Away!

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According to The Guardian, our wet summer is about to get even wetter.  We’re in danger of floating away!

Last month was the wettest June since records began, with double the average rain falling during the month. Provisional figures from the Met Office showed Britain got 145.3mm (5.7in) during the month, beating the previous record of 136.2mm (5.4in) in June 2007.

It was the second month this yearof record-breaking amounts of rain, after April became the wettest since records dating back to 1910. June saw prolonged rainfall and short but exceptionally heavy showers, and ended with freak storms which battered areas of the Midlands and the north-east. The exceptional amount of rain caused floods in Wales and parts of England.

And now they’re telling us that we’re going to get a month’s worth of rain over the next couple of days.  I’m assuming they mean an average July month, and not the amount of rain we actually got last month.

I don’t think I’d be quite so depressed about how dismal the weather has been if I had some nice weather to look forward to, but where have we booked our holiday this year?  Bloody Ireland!  I shall be packing wellies and a brolly.

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The House That Jack Built

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I love Jesca Hoop’s new album, The House That Jack Built.

Maybe In The Autumn…

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I thought that losing to Australia by two points last week was about as frustrating as it could get.  I was wrong.  This week, Wales lost by one point.  One ‘kin point!  I didn’t get to see this one as it was played at 06:00, but it sounded like a repeat of last week, ill-discipline giving away kickable penalties to Australia, and kicking away possession to Australia who kept running it back at us.  I think Wales have developed tremendously in the last year, but the one thing they don’t seem able to do is adapt their game plan on the pitch when whatever they’re doing isn’t working.  We’ll see if they’ve learned anything when the SH teams come and tour the UK in the autumn.

For all my bitching about the boyos, I’d rather lose by one point than sixty.  After a huge performance last week, Ireland didn’t get a sniff at a point this week, being on the receiving end of a 60-0 drubbing at the hands of the All Blacks.

England actually pulled off a draw against the Boks.  They’ll be pleased not to have lost, but a draw feels like a bit of a let down.  As Declan Kidney said, ‘it feels like kissing your sister’.  Still, England, too, continue to improve and are almost unrecognisable as the same team that received such a poor press in the RWC last autumn.

Last, but not least, I should mention Scotland.  They had an awful 6N and got the wooden spoon, having lost all 5 of their matches.  However, they too, have been visiting down under, playing Australia, Fiji and Samoa and are the only UK side to have won not only their tour, but all of their matches.  Hopefully, this will have boosted their confidence.  During the 6N they often looked dangerous, but were plagued with handling errors and seemed to become more dejected as the competition went on.  I’m really looking forward to the next 6N, both England and Scotland are improving.  Of course, I’d still like to see the boyos get another Grand Slam.

Roche Abbey

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We took advantage of a rare sunny day and decided to go for a walk at Roche Abbey.  I haven’t been there for years.  I remember that Ewan was only about 3 and I was terrified he was going to wander off and topple into the beck.  Not the most relaxing afternoon!  In fact, I just found some photos I took that afternoon.  It was April 2003.

Roche Abbey, April 2003

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The Same But Different

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I find it hard to listen to covers of songs I love.  For me, the cover rarely adds anything and I’ll stick with the version I know and love.  One exception is Jose Gonzalez’s cover of ‘Teardrop’, originally by Massive Attack.  It’s as if he stripped the music down and captured its essence.  I love both versions.

So Near and Yet So Far

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Saturday saw another 3 rugby matches and, again, it was Southern Hemisphere 3, Northern Hemisphere 0.  Ireland looked to be on for a draw against the All Blacks until Dan Carter popped over a drop goal in the final seconds of the game.  Ireland were almost a different team to last weekend, but it still wasn’t quite enough.

Next up was Australia and Wales.  When George North scored a try in the 4th minute, it was impossible not to hope that this would be the game, that Wales could beat the Wallabies on their home turf.  It was a knuckle-biting match; first Wales were ahead, then Australia, then Wales and so on!  Wales looked sharper than last week, but we still kicked away too much possession.  It felt like every time the Ausies got the ball, it took the boyos 10 minutes to get it back again.  In spite of scoring two tries, we seemed to spend most of the match defending in our own half.  Discipline was sloppy and we gave away too many penalties, never wise, but doubly so in your own half.

Wales were also unable to capitalise when Australia were down to 14, after their winger was sent to the naughty chair for 10 mins for a dangerous tackle.  I use the word ‘tackle’ loosely, the Aussie winger didn’t seem to make any attempt to tackle the player in the air (Leigh Halfpenny) and didn’t have his eyes on the ball either.  I was surprised the bloke didn’t get a red card, but he has been cited.  Hopefully, he’ll be watching next week’s match in the pub.  In the end, poor discipline cost Wales dearly when, only one point ahead and at full-time, we gave away a penalty.  The Ausie bastard nailed it. Yes, the air was navy blue and no, I didn’t use the same word twice – I can swear in English and Welsh.

England lost again to the Boks.  They looked to be getting a walloping in the first half, but pulled themselves together for a come back.  Sadly, they’d left themselves too much to do.  This used to be a classic Welsh tactic

I’m not getting my hopes up for next weekend.

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