Headshot

We have some empty picture frames lying around, and we’d like to put some photos of our friends and family in them. This poses a slight problem though as we don’t have any photos that we like. I did a little research last night, and as we are getting together with our friends at the weekend it’s a great opportunity to practise taking “informal or candid portraits” or, as I prefer to call them, “taking 300 pictures of people when they aren’t looking”. The trouble is the minute you take your camera out everyone spots it and they all become very self-aware, rendering candidity a nonsense. About 15 years ago (oh my god, is it really…), when we (my family) …

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Topol

Why don’t we teach basic financial lessons at school? Surely in these days of mass consumerism, rising debt levels, ridiculous house prices, multi-credit cards and consolidation loans, it make some sense to offer simple and practical advice? It’s one of those things you are just supposed to “know”, isn’t it. Yet when I come across something as simple, and obvious as this: If you carry a balance on your credit card, and you’re only able to afford paying the minimum monthly amount, pay weekly installments instead of one monthly payment. For example, if you owe £100 per month, pay £25 per week. Because credit card companies accrue interest daily on your balance, paying only once a month is a huge …

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BritBlog

Just a quick note. The guy(s) over at BritBlog are calling for some ideas and suggestions as they prepare to revamp their site and their service. I’m going to be involved on some level, but more on that later. So, if you are a member of the BritBlog directory, check out the current list of new features and services and let them know what you think. If you’re not a member of BritBlog then join up, and don’t forget that if you are Scottish or currently reside in Scotland, you can join Scottish Blogs as well.

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Only a game

Visited my Gran yesterday, hadn’t seen her for a couple of weeks and she’s doing fine. She asked me to, again, thank you all for your previous kind wishes. The printout my Mum took to show her is still on her table, and she made sure I looked through it again, you are a nice lot, aren’t you! After that we headed to Parkhead to the cinema (to see Kingdom of Heaven, reviewed below). As we got in the car when we left Gran’s I flipped on the radio and we caught the last 5 minutes of the SPL this season. For those who don’t know a quick recap. Celtic were playing Motherwell, Rangers were playing Hibs. If Celtic won …

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Disgrace

Disgrace by J.M. Coetzee What a fascinating book. The tale of a man (David) losing his way, submitting to his desires and how redemption can sometimes be lost as well. The story is of an ageing divorcee college lecturer, who seduces a student. Their brief affair finds him cast out of the college, and of his community and he seeks refuge on his daughter’s farm. He is a man used to power and finds himself struggling to adapt, never comfortable in his daughter’s home. Later three black men come to the house, attack him and rape his daughter. The latter act drives the tension and dynamic for the rest of the novel as David struggles to understand why his daughter …

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Kingdom of Heaven

Movie info from IMDB Movie reviews from Metacritic Orlando Bloom stars in this EPIC STORY, starting life as a blacksmith who turns out to be not only a Lord’s son but an amazing swordsman (can anyone say typecast?). The SWEEPING VISTAS are plentiful as are the STUNNING BATTLESCENES, all very big and impressive. I’ll stop with the shouting now, I think you get the picture. Story wise it’s the old good versus evil thing again, and Romeo and Juliet is pulled into the equation too. Ohh yes, the backdrop is some religious nonsense from around 1100, something to do with Jerusalem, Crusaders, Saracens (not the rugby team), and a couple of hundred thousands Muslims. But that’s all by the by …

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Snippets

Arsenal stealing the FA Cup, what a travesy. Of course Manchester United’s failure to score has been their undoing this season… I wonder who’ll win the SPL tomorrow?? ~ Eurovision still “so bad it’s good” (what WAS that “surprise” in the green room thing, with the boxer… how awful was that!). Congratulations to Helena from Greece. I missed all the songs but on looks alone she’d get my vote! ~ Poker can be addictive, once you get past all the lingo of course. We’ve started learning. Desperate Housewives may be an influence. ~ Watching movies on a channel with adverts is something we don’t tolerate anymore. Our attention spans hit zero when the adverts kick in, especially those ringtone ones. …

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Beep Beep

Car Insurance, always such a joy when it comes up for renewal and we are coming to the end of the free year of insurance we got when we bought the car. So time to change, but to who? Previously we’ve been well served by Admiral, but I’m open to suggestions. I’m sure I’ve used an online searching service before by my Google-fu is failing me, so are you happy with your car insurance? If so, who’s it with?

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The Lovely Bones

The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold The story of a murdered schoolgirl, this book offers a unique perspective of how her death affects her family, her community and herself. Told through Susie’s eyes, as she watches the people in her life from heaven, this is both a thriller, a love story, and an exploration of life and death all wrapped up into a very readable package. The scope of the book is at once huge and yet focussed, and the storyline moves along nicely ensuring you are never bored, and always intrigued as to what is going to happen next. The characters are nicely developed and this was a pleasure to read. One of those books that slowly draws you …

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