chickenfeet: (cute)
[personal profile] nanila gave me an "L" for lemurcatta

Something I hate: Liposuction.  I don't exactly hate it but I've felt a bit odd about it ever since Fight Club.

Something I love: Licorice.  The salty Dutch kind.

Somewhere I’ve been: Lima.  It's a fascinating gateway to a fascinating country.  Part elegant little colonial city; part sprawling slum.  Amazing seafood.  Terrible weather.

Somewhere I’d like to go: Leningrad.  It really should still be called that.  I suspect Russia is somewhere that needs to be seen before it all falls completely in a heap again.

Someone I know: Lady Jane Grey.  Forget The Bear, forget Henri.  In the furry philosopher stakes nobody rivals LJG for esssential felinity.  I could write a book about her but I need a nap. 

A film I like: Is a video recording of an opera a film?  Of course it is.  Lohengrin.  The Hans Neuenfels production with the rats.  Wagner like you never imagined it.

Please leave a comment if you would like a letter from me!


May. 13th, 2014 04:50 am
chickenfeet: (death)
Anyone who feels like it should post their ten most CRUCIAL CRUCIAL CRUCIAL-ASS movies, like the movies that explain everything about yourselves in your current incarnations (not necessarily your ten favorite movies but the ten movies that you, as a person existing currently, feel would help people get to know you) (they can change later on obviously).

The Seventh Seal
The Cruel Sea
Lawrence of Arabia
Life of Brian
On the Beach
The Decline of the American Empire
Pulp Fiction
Logan's Run
Belle de Jour

chickenfeet: (spear)
Five questions from [ profile] f4f3 . If you want to play, ask in comments.

1. If you could cast one opera, which would it be?

Part of me wants to say Peter Grimes but really only three of the roles are an interesting sing so I'll go with Don Giovanni. I think it has one of the most interesting mixes of voice types.

2. And with whom - fantasy cast from anytime, or current performers.

Fantasy: Giuseppe Taddei (Don G), Bryn Terfel (Leporello), Michael Schade (Don Ottavio), George London (Commendatore), Elisabeth Scwarzkopf (Donna Anna), Maria Ewing (Donna Elvira), Anna Moffo (Zerlina), Rodney Gilfry (Masetto)

Current: Gerald Findley (Don G), Ildebrando d'Arcangelo (Leporello), Michael Schade (Don Ottavio), Rene Pape (Commendatore), Anna Netrebko (Donna Anna), Dorothea Roschmann (Donna Elvira), Christine Schafer (Zerlina), Luca Pisaroni (Masetto).

3. How fit are you compared to 5 years ago? Leaving aside major surgeries!

I'm probably fitter than I was five years ago as that was a bit of a low point injury wise. Compared to four years ago I'm maybe 30s/km slower running. It does most definitely get harder every year and I can see a point at which refereeing won't be viable. I'm certified to 2014 by which time I doubt I'll even be close to hitting the bare minimum fitness standard.

4. Is it worthwhile trying to get Canadian wines in the UK?

It might be worth doing a wee bit of experimenting if you have a wine merchant who really knows his stuff. It's not easy to find the best wines even if you live here. The best stuff never makes it past the cellar door sales route. Your odds are much better with Chile and Argentina.

5. What are your views on Scottish Independence?

It's a matter for the Scots though I suppose that raises some tricky issues of definition given how many Scots live in England and vice versa. If I were a Scot my position would be greatly influenced by the fact that I can't imagine any sane person wanting to be governed by any government the UK has produced in the last thirty years or is likely to produce in the foreseeable future. That said, I think the problems of untangling Scotland from the UK would be bigger than generally recognised.
chickenfeet: (casablanca)
[ profile] ironed_orchid gave me Bettie Page, Jenny Agutta(sic) and Ingrid Bergman.

The easy decision is to chuck Bettie. She's not really my type. odd though that might seem. It's a really tough decision between the other two. Ms. Bergman, of course, is one of the most alluring women of all time and a damn good actress. That said, I've had a crush on Ms. Agutter for thirty years or so and it shows no sign of going away. So I guess it's a fling with Ingrid and a lifetime with Jenny.

chickenfeet: (zoot)
[ profile] jez_e_bel offered up Queenie, Sybil Fawlty or (for lack of a distinct female character in the Flying Circus) Carol "Cleavage" Cleveland.

Chuck is easy. Sybil Fawlty is the sort of woman the Devil returns from Hell in Irish folksongs.

Marry gave me pause for thought. My initial reaction was "can't marry Queenie because she'll bally well have me executed" but then I realised that if I married her i would be king and could have her executed if I wanted. This is obviously a good thing (though not necessarily a good king). Queenie it is then.

Shag Well that leaves Carol. mmm Zoot. "we have but one punishment for setting alight the grail-shaped beacon: ..."


Apr. 3rd, 2009 06:22 am
chickenfeet: (isobel)
[ profile] lisekit asked me if I would Shag, Marry or Chuck Maria Callas, Elisabeth Schwarzkopf and Angela Gheorghiu. Well, beautiful and talented ladies all. I think the easy decision is to marry Schwarzkopf. Fairly high maintenance perhaps but less than Callas and certainly more generally presentable. She has that 'class' quality too and aged very gracefull. Now I aim to age disgracefully but still. Callas, I think, is close enough to the batshit insane end of the soprano spectrum (which is pretty far out there on average) to probably be too much for even a fling though a one night stand might be amusing so she gets chucked. So that leaves me with a fling with the boobalicicious Rumanian. Could be worse.

Wanna play? Leave a comment and I'll try to come up with three members of the appropriate sex* for you to decide which one you would fuck, chuck or marry. Post your responses in your own LJ.
chickenfeet: (thesee)
A (Different) Book Meme for a Sunday
From [ profile] intertext

Who can resist a book meme?

The book that’s been on your shelves the longest.

I think that would be a set of four figure tables that I have had since prep school. I also have a slide rule.

A book that reminds you of something specific in your life (a person, a place, a time).

There are so many of these. There are obscure political titles from my activist days like Eric Preston's "Labour in Crisis" and Geoff Hodgson's "Trotsky and Fatalisic Marxism". There are university textbooks like Paul Halmos' "Finite Dimensional Vector Spaces" and Cox and Miller's "The Theory of Stochastic Processes". There are also climbing guides for loads of places where I suspect I will never climb again.

A book you acquired in some interesting way.

I have lots of review copies, mainly anti-apartheid stuff. I think the books I won as school prizes disintegrated years ago. I have a collection of short stories for children called "Animal Ghosts" which was given to me by the author of one of the stories, a former girlfriend.

The book that’s been with you to the most places.

"The Pocket Book of Modern Verse" ed. Oscar Williams. It's the book I take when I can have only one book for any length of time like backpacking or canoeing trips.

The most recent addition to your shelves.

A recent delivery from the Folio Society MRD Foot's "SOE" and Thaddeus Holt's "The Deceivers".

Your current read, your last read and the book you’ll read next.

Just finished Christopher Tyerman's "God's War; a New History of the Crusades". (highly recommended if you like that sort of thing) and John Buchan's "Mr. Standfast" (also worth reading. Probably the best of the Hannay stories). Currently reading John Buchan's "Three Hostages" and Cain and Hopkins'"British Imperialism 1688-2000". I'm also dipping into John Aubrey's "Brief Lives". Next up are the two books referenced in the last question.

(adding) The book that has the most personal meaning for you

It would be my copy of Gide's "Thesée" with the woodcuts by Abram Krol. The late Walter Strachan showed me his copy when I was 15 or 16 and I fell in love. I never really thought that I would own a copy but then I found one for sale in the Netherlands for a non ridiculous price just a few years ago and snapped it up.
chickenfeet: (mohan)
Gacked from [ profile] gillo. For SENIOR read Upper Sixth

Fill this out about your SENIOR year of high school!
The longer ago it was, the more fun the answers will be!!

1. Did you date someone from your school? It was an aall boys school. I dated a girl from the local girls' grammar school and was the rather charming custom of the day we swapped school scarves. This was a common and tolerated dress code infraction.

2. Did you marry someone from your high school? See above.

3. Did you car pool to school? I walked

4. What kind of car did you have? Don't be silly. I passed my test that year and occasionally borrowed my dad's.

5. What kind of car do you have now? I use Autoshare.

6. It's Friday night...where are you? (then) Home probably. We had school on Saturday mornings.

7. It is Friday night...where are you? (now): Friday is one night we are usually both home so dinner and a bottle of wine.

8. What kind of job did you have in high school? During term time would have been impossible due to really heavy schedule. Holidays I worked for Lloyd's Bank.

9. What kind of job do you do now? ehealth strategy consultant.

10. Were you a party animal? Not really. I went to the odd party but was more likely just to go to the pub with friends.

11. Were you considered a flirt? No

12. Were you in band, orchestra, or choir? No.

13. Were you a nerd? They hadn't invented that word yet. I was good at academic work and was a keen, if unskilful, cricket and rugby player.

14. Did you get suspended or expelled? No, though my bridge partner got suspended for pouring a jug of water over the head boy.

15. Can you sing the fight song? We had a school song. We used to make junior boys sing it while standing on a chair having darts thrown at their legs.

16. Who was/were your favourite teacher? Couple I had a soft spot for. Bill Clare had Parkinson's and taught chemistry. He taught me to play bridge and was our next door neighbour. Ian Taylor was a superb physics teacher.

17. Where did you sit during lunch? Mostly I skipped lunch. The food was awful.

18. What was your school's full name? Bishop's Stortford College

19. When did you graduate? I graduated in 1978. I left school in 1975, though.

20. What was your school mascot? What an odd idea.

21. If you could go back and do it again, would you? I don't think so.

22. Did you have fun at Prom? Prom? No such thing. Collapse after last 'A' level paper was more like it.

23. Do you still talk to the person you went to Prom with? n/a

24. Are you planning on going to your next reunion? Do they have them? I don't think I would if they did.

25. Do you still talk to people from school? No. I know where one or two of them are but that's about it.

Striking how irrelevant these seem and how I'd ask a completely different set if I were starting such a meme.


Jan. 18th, 2009 09:32 am
chickenfeet: (quantum)
via [ profile] parisbaby_2003

The first five people to respond to this post will get something made by me. It will be about or tailored to those five lucky "victims."

This offer does have some restrictions and limitations:
- I make no guarantees that you will like what I make!
- what I create will be just for you.
- it'll be done this year
- you have no clue what it's going to be. It may be a poem or story. I may make something all craft-y like.
- I reserve the right to do something extremely strange.

The catch? Oh, the catch is that you have to put this in your journal as well, if you expect me to do something for you!
chickenfeet: (Default)
Seen hither and yon:

What has surprised you the most about me (if anything) since beginning to read my lj? Was anything completely unexpected or have I always fit the picture of me you have in your head?

Post this in your own journal (NB if you like, no obligation) and see how you have surprised people.

Date meme

Jul. 9th, 2008 08:53 am
chickenfeet: (Default)
July 9 2003 Ren and Stimpy, Puppets Who Kill and kitten pics.

July 9 2004 Planning

July 8 2005 Running and a cranky hard drive (40GB!!)

July 9 2006 England cricket selectors

July 9 2007 Bullshit all the way

YA meme

Jun. 25th, 2008 10:13 pm
chickenfeet: (Default)
Three things I've done that you probably haven't:

Shared a student union pie with Robin Cook
Eaten boiled seagull
Played bridge against Omar Sharif
chickenfeet: (point)
I like this one though I've done it many times.

This time via [ profile] sabotabby... "Comment on this post and I will choose seven interests from your profile. You will then explain what they mean and why you are interested in them. Post this along with your answers in your own journal so that others can play along."

[ profile] sabotabby gave me ten interests (it's a long story).

alan turing

Brilliant mathematician who proved that Hilbert's Entscheidungsproblem was not decidable and in so doing paved the way for modern computers. These ideas were fundamental to his activities at Bletchley Park during WW2 where he was a key player in breaking the German Enigma ciphers without the which the Battle of the Atlantic, and with it the war, may well have been lost. He committed suicide in 1954 after being charged with homosexuality related offences.

complexity theory

A loose body of theory ranging from the rigorously mathematical to flaky new age wankery about how 'systems' behave in and adapt to their environment. It gets used a fair bit in organizational change settings where, despite weaknesses, it seems to provide more insight into behaviours and behavioural change than more mechanistic models. It has produced useful insights like the concept of 'necessary redundancy' and useful techniques such as the use of metaphor and narrative in framing problems and solutions.

invented traditions

see Hobsbawm and Ranger "The Invention of Tradition". Most of our 'traditions' of the kind generally believed to be very ancient kind are 19th or 20th century inventions. "Highland Dress" as worn at innumerable Canadian weddings and most of the other Highland themed Scottish flummery was invented by Sir Walter Scott for George IV's visit to Edinburgh in the 1830s. "Trooping the Colour" was invented long after British regiments stopped carrying colours in battle. Most of the 'traditional' features of American Thanksgiving were invented by women's magazines in the 1950s and so on.


Wicked composer at least until he sold out to Broadway. Der Dreigroschenoper, Mahagonny etc are some of the most pungent and accessible works of the 1930s.

mrs ackroyd band

Les Barker, you're a bastard. A band originally put together over a few pints at Sidmouth to perform Les Barker's folk song parodies. Anyone who is anyone in the English folk scene has sung or played with the band. "Gnus and Roses" is probably the best album.


My interest in small press run fine books is hardly a secret. They are almost always produced by letterpress, the old technique of setting metal tape and applying the inked plate to the paper. Once a common commercial process, it is now used almost exclusively for fine press work although the Kitchener record used letterpress as recently as 2000.


Marcus Anlius Boethius, philosopher and martyr. "The Consolation of Philosophy" is one of my favourite books. Although I'm not a Christian (Boethius doesn't seem to have been a very orthodox one) I find the combination of Faith and Stoicism of the Consolation enormously consoling.

lost causes

There is something about a lost cause that appeals to the romantic in me. It may be why I still cling to a residual Marxism.


A form of historical enquiry originating with the group of historians around the journal "Annales d'histoire économique et sociale", it seeks to investigate the mindset of people in the past; to gat at what they believed by what they did and said. The approach has gained something of a foothold in North America in, for example, the work of Philip Darnton into various belief systems in early modern France.
chickenfeet: (Default)
From [ profile] intertext:

I am Northern English by birth and heritage. I have spent much of my life in Southern England and Ontario with odd bits in the USA and Ontario. My vocabulary varies depending on where I am and who I am with.

1. A body of water, smaller than a river, contained within relatively narrow banks.
a stream, beck, burn or creek.

2. What the thing you push around the grocery store is called.
Shopping cart or shopping trolley

3. A metal container to carry a meal in.
Do what now?

4. The thing that you cook bacon and eggs in.
Frying pan or skillet

5. The piece of furniture that seats three people.

6. The device on the outside of the house that carries rain off the roof.
Drainpipe or downspout

7. The covered area outside a house where people sit in the evening.

8. Carbonated, sweetened, non-alcoholic beverages.
pop, soda

9. A flat, round breakfast food served with syrup.

10. A long sandwich designed to be a whole meal in itself.
sub, baguette, sandwich

11. The piece of clothing worn by men at the beach.
swimming trunks

12. Shoes worn for sports.
trainers, running shoes, PAs, rugby boots, football boots, tennis shoes... what sport are we talking about?

13. Putting a room in order.
Surely you jest

14. A flying insect that glows in the dark.

15. The little insect that curls up into a ball.

16. The children's playground equipment where one kid sits on one side and goes up while the other sits on the other side and goes down.

17. How do you eat your pizza?
With my hands

18. What's it called when private citizens put up signs and sell their used stuff?
Garage sale or yard sale

19. What's the evening meal?

20. The thing under a house where the furnace and perhaps a rec room are?
The basement

21. What do you call the thing that you can get water out of to drink in public places?
Drinking fountain
chickenfeet: (Default)
Idea shamelessly borrowed from [ profile] frankie_ecap and others.

Ten things )
chickenfeet: (enigma)
[ profile] zantic asked:

1) Ogen Nash or Spike Milligan?

I'm not overly familiar with Nash but I love Spike Milligan so Spike it must be.

2) What is the one piece of music you could not live without?

I don't think there is one I couldn't live without. Pieces that have huge emotional resonance for me include Beethoven's 7th symphony, The Marriage of Figaro, Billy Bragg's "Between the Wars" and Dick Gaughan's version of "Raglan Road".

3) What is it about black pudding?

It's delicious. It reminds me of home (for some value of home) and people like you don't get it!

4) Kittens - how did you get involved in kitten fostering?

We started out by feeding kittens in the nursery at the shelter and found it was actually less hassle and more fun to have a batch at home instead.

5) Which is the next film you are going to go and see?

I rarely 'go and see' films on account of having a rather snazzy home theatre set up a account. At the moment I have "Ratcatcher" and "Juliet of the Spirits" waiting to be watched.

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