Joeblade

Blog

  1. London Underground

    Too many bad experiences on the London Underground have given me cause to abandon it entirely; now I get around London via walking or bus alone.

  2. Why BBC 6 Music matters

    BBC Director General Mark Thompson has recommended to the BBC Trust that digital radio station 6 Music be closed down. As someone who has religiously tuned into this station since it first started broadcasting a decade ago, I'm a bit upset by this.

  3. My first 999

    I was once again near a traffic accident, though this time I'm not taking the blame as I wasn't thinking about anything much at the time beyond the lyrics to Nancy Sinatra's Some Velvet Morning. What made this accident notable, though, was that this time I was first on the scene. Aside from the victim, obviously.

  4. I went to the theatre

    Recently I wrote about how the theatre was this odd, unfamiliar world, so full of strange terminology and mad prices that it left me cold and confused. In the name of investigative journalism I decided I should at least give it a go before writing it off. I ponyed up the extortionate ticket price for a front-row seat at Breakfast at Tiffany's and off I went.

  5. Furnished

    Yesterday, after living in the same barely-furnished flat for nearly three years, I finally caved and bought an extra dining chair, two bedside tables and one coffee table. They don't match, they're as cheap as I could find from IKEA's online store (the really cheap stuff demands a car and a personal visit) and I will happily leave them behind when I next move. Nevertheless, the decision to buy was one I agonised over for about a year.

  6. Microsoft: Evil? Perhaps. Good at PR? No.

    Guest writer Matthew Hasteley talks us through the differences between Microsoft and Apple's marketing strategies.

  7. I don’t know how to go to the theatre

    Going to the theatre isn't something I've ever done in any major way. I think the last time I went to the theatre was to see Blues Brothers: The Musical six or seven years ago and I ended up walking out during the interval as my spider-sense had picked up on the audience participation that was due in the second half.

  8. Covered in bees

    Now everybody's competently growing tiny lettuces and dismal herbs in their window boxes and smugly claiming that as 'food', the logical next step seems to be keeping livestock: pigs and chickens and the like. Lately, this has manifested itself as an interest in bees. Everywhere I look, someone is writing about bees.

  9. Viene la tormenta!

    I wrote recently that I wasn't a big fan of the summer but that I didn't see it as a precious commodity that would be wasted if I wasn't out roasting myself a shade of lobster red instead of sat on my sofa playing Fable 2. I've been reminded this weekend of another reason why I'm sceptical about the whole season, because in the UK, every sunny day seems to come with a big bastard storm attached to it.

  10. Staying in for the summer

    It seems that in England, summer has arrived in force, with not just days of warm weather ahead but rumours of entire weeks of it. This seems to happen every year -- almost seasonally -- and with it comes the inevitable telling off I receive that I am indoors and not outside enjoying the sun.

  11. That damned, elusive Grand Café

    Here's a surprising fact; having lived in London for more than two years, I only began taking my laptop to write in cafés about a month ago. I'm not sure why, though it might go some way to explaining why I haven't been writing at all for about two years. It seems that for me to be really prolific, I need the ritual of leaving the house, sitting somewhere free of internet distractions yet not free of eye candy, venting my spleen for an hour all over my laptop, and then fucking off home again. I just can't find anywhere around here that quite fits what I need.

  12. Cause and effect

    Since moving to London, I have witnessed precisely two motorcyclists being knocked off their bikes by oncoming cars, and both times I have felt at least partly responsible, though thankfully not for any reason that could see me in court. No, I operate on a more philosophical plane.

  13. Celebrity chess

    This morning I saw Paul Whitehouse jogging in Crouch End. This was a disappointment, because having seen him once before on Tottenham Court Road, he no longer counts toward the celebrity chess set I've been working toward since moving to London. If it had been Harry Enfield, for instance, I'd be up to ten pieces; as it stands, I remain stuck at nine.

  14. Every time I eat a sun-dried tomato I die a little inside

    So, I've spent the last year living in Highgate, having felt my time in Archway had come to a natural conclusion when December arrived and the house I was living in had no heating, no working oven, no functional lighting in the kitchen, 90db Hip-Hop at weekends and a mouse infestation so chronic that the other tenants had taken to approaching the kitchen with heavy footsteps, to give the mice a chance to run away; out of sight, out of mind, you see?

  15. The Man in Brown

    So, apparently, the last thing I wrote here was a rant about GAME; I suppose the experience must have been pretty traumatic, as it happened over a year ago and I've only just recovered enough to write something new. I'd like to say that I've spent this gap year doing interesting and exciting things, but I'm afraid that mostly I've been dithering, faffing, and generally otherwise mooching.

  16. That Student Life

    As happens often --- probably more often than is strictly healthy --- I've found myself fantasising about what I might do if I was suddenly offensively, disturbingly and disgustingly rich. This fantasy varies; sometimes I think I'd end up living in Italy, perhaps owning a small espresso bar; other times I imagine I might end up back in Oxford, where I would spend my days lounging in the QI Bar discussing, I don't know, Anthony Eden's handling of the Suez crisis, or whatever's happening in the world these days.

  17. A Newcomer’s Guide to London

    So I've now spent three weeks in London and I thought it would be helpful to anyone else thinking of moving here if I passed on a bit of advice, based on what I've learnt so far, to help you avoid culture shock or finding yourself in an embarrassing social faux pas.

  18. That Was the Oxford That Was

    About two years and two months ago I arrived in Oxford from Canterbury (via a few months in sunny Weston). Today, I arrive in London, which I'm going to assume is a lot like Oxford, except about 100 times bigger, a bit dirtier, and full of knives.

  19. That Charlie Brooker Article

    So a few days ago Charlie Brooker casually commented that he hated Macs, and Mac owners, and over the space of about half a day every single one of you sent me a link to the article, which leads me to believe that you're hoping for some sort of response.

  20. Everything Must Go

    A problem with moving house is that you have to sift through all the crap you've been happily hiding away for months. For the most part, this can be quite cathartic, as you mercilessly cull anything with more than a millimetre of dust on it, casting out vast sacks of rubbish into the gaping maw of the recycling bins, but there's always a few things that need thinking about.

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