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Fencing Sculptor's Diary

The Ramblings of a Reluctant Civil Servant

Start as we mean to go on.
I stayed up late last night playing on the Xbox360 and then watching reruns of the Channel Four comedy "The IT Crowd".

Very very funny stuff. But I should have turned in before 02:00 !

I got up early today as I want to try and make a bit more of my last day of freedom before I go back to work on Monday.

The alarm went off at 6 am and I was up and off to Croydon to pick up a parcel from the Post office which I missed when it was delivered on New Year's Eve (as I went up to London).

I arrived at the Post Office at about 06:44. The 'missed delivery' card listed the opening time as 6:30 for the last few days but unhelpfully didn't have a listing of today's opening time. It turns out the from today onwards the collection office opens at 07:00. I wouldn't have minded too much if they had actually opened at 07:00 but it was nearly 07:10 by the time they unlocked the door and opened up. A surly Postman opened the door and completely ignored my polite and not at all irritated 'good morning' as he turned his back on me. I collected my parcel, got the bus back to Sandilands and drove home. I was home by 7:20.

While listening to the Today programme I was amused to hear about a Government report published by CLG which indicated how the white middle class members of society felt disenfranchised and ignored by Government. Personally I don't know why they felt the need to specify 'white' middle class...... but I could have told them the rest - I think any average earning, law abiding, working individual who pays their taxes, irrespective of their race, has the right to be thoroughly hacked off by the inept policies of a Government that has squandered our money, their opportunities and which has pandered to the super rich and economically and socially challenged (aka benefit-grabbing oiks) to gain whatever votes they could.

Apparently Hazel Blears wants to re-engage with all us middle-class folk - as though she feels we need some special attention. That's nice. Would be nicer if we just had a fairer more transparent society with joined up policies to begin with. She and the rest of the inspirationally bereft Govmt could do that overnight by stopping pi$$ing my tax £s away on pointless and impractical policies. And force the growing benefit dependant members of society to start to stand on their own feet.

Mind you the Government picked a damn fine time to do this as we enter a recession....

I was further amused at an interview she gave on BBC Breakfast in which this today's 'strategy' involved ...and I quote 'getting the information out there' when challenged by the presenter to explain what that meant I couldn't believe my ears when she said it just meant getting the information out there.

One of the more robust Government policy declarations then.....

I was almost in stitches when this announcement was followed by a piece detailing yet another policy to tackle the growing issue of obesity in society. 'Change4life' is different apparently. I could bang on about this issue endlessly - but look forward to watching how this latest 12 week advertising campaign makes not a jot of difference.

It's a simple as "eat less exercise more"...but as usual the government has devised a dumbed down way of disseminating the information through the medium of multicoloured 1970s Morph like plastercene creatures. Nice. Oh look Blue Morph has eaten too much lard...his arteries are clogged up with yellow plastercene and now he's dead, and little Green Morph is saaaaad.....moral of the story? Well I guess it's don't eat the yellow plastercene kids !..... There go more of my tax pounds... gits.

I've sorted out some kit for a friend who'd heading off to Morocco in a few weeks to compete in the Marathon Des Sables a 7 day 243km or 151mile race across the Sahara Desert. It's one of a handful of ultra endurance races - http://www.saharamarathon.co.uk/about.html - and is recognised as one of the toughest physical challenges. I would love to think that I could do the race someday - but it's seriously hardcore ! And for the insane only.

Therefore my friend Pat goes with my blessing, an considerable amount of respect and my Thermarest, Rab silk jag bag, and emergency strobe light, survival tin and head torches and most of my expedition meds (Antibiotics pain killers, needles sutures etc). I hope he won't need most of it !

I am currently watching the last episode of Dinotopia which really is utter rubbish compared to the beautifully illustrated books by James Gurney. So rather than watch the rest of it I'll work out what I'm doing for the rest of the day....

Oh I know that Where's it from
4:23 to 4:35

Oh I know that...now where's it from?
There are a few soundtracks which are often used on trailers for new films.

Themes/rifs from Dragon Heart and the Rocketeer are favs, Gladiator has been used on occaisons - they are uplifting stirring themes which lend themselves to all types of action flicks but which are reasonably unfamiliar scores in their own rights which means that film companies often pinch them for films that maight not have the appropriately stirring score for advertising purposes.

The TV advertisement for the new Hugh Jackman Nicole Kidman film Australia (a remake of Gone with the Wind I believe) uses a piece of music tht was ever so familiar to me but which I couldn't put my finger on, until I finally fathomed it yesterday - It was a few bars from music composed by Brian Doyle for Kenneth Branagh's film Henry V. I saw the film when it was released in the late 1980's and it immediately became one of my fav films. It stood out for two reasons the incredibly realistic battle scenes and the music - especially the choral pieces like Non Nobis Domine...

Non nobis domine, domine,
Non nobis domine,
Sed nomini, sed nomini
tuo da gloriam.

I'd been after the music for years but it was very difficult to get until it was re-released a couple of years back. And jolly happy with it I was too !

After seeing the trailer for Australia a few times I finally twigged that the music was from a piece called St Crispin's Day - The Battle of Agincourt fom 4:23 to 4:35 in the 14 minute track.

The Next Doctor...
According to the BBC website, an announcement will be made tomorrow, January 3rd at 5:35pm, during Doctor Who Confidential, detailing who is to be the eleventh actor to play Doctor Who and replace David Tennant at th end of season Five.

We will then have to wait the best part of a year before the new Doctor arrives on our screens during the Christmas Special in 2009.

www.doctorwhoforum.com has actually gone into meltdown......