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This Week, Monday 9 June 2014


Week One Is Over

A sense of relief. As promised, last weekend’s insane ICT migration completed with a paucity of useful information and no assurance of success. Thus does government IT stumble forwards. Naturally chaos ensued. It’s even more worrying that we managed much better than most areas because of all the extra pre-planning and mitigation work I devised before the cutover weekend. Even more fun – that work is invisible to our users; you can’t see the problems we evaded. They’ve been left with plenty we could nothing about for days. Total incompetence and bland complacent indifference characterise the managers at the top of the stupid tree. A week later and it’s starting to get under control.

Ow Fucking Ow

Ow Ya BastardAlso, last week my bicycle tried to kill me. I’ve finally faced up to the challenge of mastering the bike I inherited from Colin. It’s a nice light road bike and is the complete opposite in weight, feel and gears to my previous bike. I’ve finally figured out how to work the bloody gears (sure, I could have looked it up but where would the fun be in that?) and I was feeling pretty good about the whole thing.

Then I clipped a kerb with the edge of my left pedal going round a corner. They’re slightly, ever so slightly wider than I’m used to. Ker-plang! I’m spacked down in the road again. Lots of ouch. I didn’t realise until I got to work that I’d gouged bite marks out of my calf with the gear wheel. I thought I’d just horribly smashed my ankle. Twenty minutes with my foot in a sink of cold water and some bandaging and I was fine.

Now the bastard thing’s got a massive puncture and I’m struggling to get the right inner tube. So, if you ever see someone toss a bottle into the road – do me a favour and punch the twat.


I’ve been working much more than I really want to, but that should also come under control again. I’ve skipped lots of improv and other evenings out and I think I’m at risk of sliding into an antisocial pit. So – we need an explosion of scribbling and Legoing. Awesomely I’ve now saved up enough to get Metalbeard’s Seacow! Hurrah, another trip to the Lego Shop beckons…

One day I will finish cataloguing what I did in Amsterdam…

Plus, this week has the eternal joy of Gorilla Burger and next week we finally bring improv to Derby with Interrobang followed by the Furthest From The Sea Festival! Huzzah!

Last Week’s Scribbles

The Windmill PubThis Week, Monday 2 June 2014 – I can’t lie, this is mostly moaning about work, but also three great books

Things That (Almost) Bring Me To Tears: Let It Go – sometimes I am sad-faced

Amsterdam Day Three – Perambulation – a wandering day to an excellent pub in a windmill

Furthest From The Sea Festival 21 June 2014 – good grief but I’m looking forwards to this!


I’ve been reading, of course, it’s like breathing!

Bleeding Violet by Dia Reeves

A very, very dark story of mental health, fantasy, horror and magic. Constantly surprising and refreshing in its honesty and madness. I loved it. I really don’t want to give anything about it away so I’m stuck with saying no more…


Arslan, by M.J. Engh

I picked this up partly because it’s out in the SF Masterworks range, despite being only four years old – good going! It seems well written and conceived, being the overthrow of civilisation (well, the US at least) by General Arslan,  a violent Muslim soldier determined to save the world by destroying it.

I just couldn’t get past the parts about the young man and woman who are taken from the local school by Arslan and raped repeatedly, “first the rape and then the wooing”. I don’t know if the characterisation of the self-professed Muslim Arslan and his views get dealt with in the book, but I’m afraid I can’t read any more of it. Maybe I’ll pick it up again in the future.


Dracula The Un-Dead by Dacre Stoker & Ian Holt

I’ve had this rather pretty book on my shelf for a little while. It’s the “official” sequel to Bram Stoker’s excellent Gothic horror (Dacre is his great grand-nephew). It’s quite fun, written in the third person rather than the letters of the original, but captures the style well. It features young Quincey Harker, Mina and Jonathan’s son fighting the possible return of Dracula.

It’s kind of revisionist, painting Dracula as a hero versus Elizabeth Bathory. I think it’s slightly confused about itself, and does feature the awful self-indulgence of having Bram Stoker as the author of Dracula in the story (for no especially good reason). It’s enjoyable though – they’re finally getting on with the chase now.

Events and Excitement

Thursday 12th June 2014

Gorilla Burger – Improv Comedy Carnage

Gorilla Burger2_SQ_SM

Jam show – a chance for anyone to get on stage and have a go at improv games and scenes for the first time, or the fiftieth!

The Corner
8 Stoney Street
(off Broad Street)
7.30pm – £4

Bring Your Own Drinks

Wednesday 18th June 2014

Interrobang – Spontaneous Comedy Theatre


The only show of its kind in Derby, Interrobang features an improvised comedy jam in which everyone can take part followed by a showcase of the best improv in the region. Proudly presented by Furthest From The Sea and Derby Live.

The Bookcafe
Get Tickets NowCathedral Quarter
Derby DE1 2PL
7.30pm – £5

Saturday 21st June 2014

FFTS 2014The Furthest From The Sea Festival


A whole day of free music, theatre, comedy, workshops and craft fairs! An awesome celebration across a dozen stages and venues of everything brilliant in the arts.

From the Market Place to The Bookcafe
Derby City Centre
10am – 5pm FREE





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