Tag: <span>TV</span>

It’s over six months since I moved into my flat, and it’s only now starting to feel like home.

For a while I was using the old sofa (old as in age, and as in ‘pre-divorce’) but I now have my own sofa and chairs. I have art on the walls, bookcases, lamps and, once I get a couple of plants and some curtain-like things it will really start to feel like mine.

Except it’s not mine, it’s rented. But aside from that… it’s mine. Right?

I’m still scouring shops for a coffee table, and think I might need a rug to really pull things together but I’m in no rush.

I’ve been reasonably smart with my purchases, determined not to buy things for the sake of it and to make sure that anything I buy now could fit somewhere else. My living room is huge, it was what attracted me to the flat, but I won’t be there forever so I need to keep that in mind and make sure the same furniture will squeeze into a smaller space.

Interestingly, it’s this very desire to keep things ‘small’ that has me, once again, pondering whether to ditch my home PC and get a laptop instead. Regardless of that decision, I need to get more storage space (new camera + shooting in RAW = rapidly filling hard drive) and so it seems sensible to get a network storage device first, and then I can make a decision on desktop vs laptop later.

Part of that thinking also found me clicking the BUY button and ordering a certain, well known, tablet computer. It’s called an iPad and, given that the bulk of my use of the computer is centred around consumption and social networking, it gives me a much more mobile system. My TV can handle media files so it will be interesting how my use of my desktop changes as it will mainly only REALLY be needed for doing website development work (something that could easily be done on a laptop, a nice Air-ey one perhaps?).

What has really surprised me is how much enjoyment I’ve taken from pulling together a room, but that’s maybe because I can’t change much in the kitchen, the bedroom only really needs some art on the walls as it’s not really got space for much other than the bed and some chests of drawers, and the spare room is, for now, a bit of a dumping ground. I have plans for the spare room too but I’m keen to keep it sparse, functional and not to rely on the space too much, again, when I move in the future, it might be somewhere smaller.

Turns out I’m quite house proud, and I’m really enjoying trawling shops (online and off) for decorations.

I really REALLY wish I’d bought that letterpress lamp base when I saw it though…

Life

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The flat is slowly taking shape. I’ve a few furniture purchases to make, several bookcases (white, although I may paint the backgrounds) and some bedroom furniture which will include two red bedside tables and a yet to be decided colour of chests of drawers (built-in wardrobes FTW!), a small bookcase/unit for the hall, a TV unit and possibly a low unit or two for under the windows in the living room.

Aside from that I need to buy frames.

I need some frames

I seem to have purchased a few prints/letterpress art and have nothing to put them in. I’m also not sure what will go where yet and don’t really want to decide until I get the bookcases into the living room and shuffle things about. I keep toying with getting some random frames, rather than getting all of them in one style but I don’t think I’m quite ready for that yet, my minimal and simplistic aesthetics probably won’t allow me.

Time will tell.

Life

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I’ve been in my flat for just over a week now, I’ve unpacked as much as I can until I purchase more bookcases and it’s starting to feel like home. The living room is a wonderful big space with lots of light, the kitchen is way bigger than my simple needs but allows me to eat at a table every night and the location is wonderful. But, there is one thing missing.

No, not the cat.

An internet connection!

It’s getting installed at the end of the month and whilst I have missed it I’ve gotten by quite well using my iPhone, although it’s fair to say any ‘smartphone’ would’ve done and it’s definitely saved my arse several times this past week as I’ve been organising new direct debits, checking addresses and names, not to mention the myriad of phone numbers I’ve had to contact.

I have gotten so used to having a permanent connection to the web that I’m still finding myself thinking “I’ll just check…” or “I’m bored I’ll see what’s online…” or any other of the many and plentiful (and usually pointless but entertaining) reasons for using the internet that it still catches me out. Suffice to say that, when you include the fact that for the best part of the first week I didn’t have any more than the five terrestial channels, the whole thing has been a bit of a culture shock.

It’s not like I didn’t have anything to do mind you, those boxes didn’t unpack themselves (and I won’t even START on the fiasco that actually selling the house has turned into… I’ll save that for another time), but did mean that my entertainment was largely confined to listening to some music, reading a book, watching a DVD or firing up the PlayStation.

Or tidying and cleaning and unpacking and building furniture and shuffling the last possessions between the house and the flat and far too many trips to charity shops and the local dump and lawyers offices and so on.

All in all it’s been an odd and jarring experience to have my access to the internet, and all the TV channels that I used to get on Sky, removed so abruptly.

Jarring but also quite liberating.

I’ve found myself much more productive without all of those distractions. I’ve hardly read any books yet as they are still packed in boxes, and I find gaming wears on me after a while, most terrestial TV is complete dross and so I either commit to watching a movie or spend 30 mins sorting through a box, or shuffling items between rooms. That 30 mins soon stretches to an hour or two and before I know it I’ve finished unpacking the kitchen.

I built my new desk and got my PC up and running and, despite having a fair amount of video content on there I found myself more inclined to pop some music on and do some writing (most of it complete tosh but I still enjoy the process).

All in all I’ve quite enjoyed that lo-tech week.

I’ve got freeview now, and a nice wee PVR system which uses the PlayStation (Play TV if you are interested), so at least I can record shows I want to see which should open up the TV a bit more, but I’m hoping that I’ll hold true to my plans and stick with a more considered approach. I’ll always be busy, it’s in my nature, but I’m hoping to keep the focus I’ve developed over the past week.

Mind you, I am looking forward to spending a weekend on the sofa soon. Yes. All weekend. Nothing but me, some movies and several boxes of Jaffa cakes.

Life Personal Musings

For a while now I’ve been toying with attending a certain rather well known music festival. Highlights on TV are one thing but there isn’t anything quite like experiencing the atmosphere of these things first hand. This is also the reason that, unless there is an extremely good reason, ever attend a gig at the S.E.C.C. as it lacks one of the key components of live music, atmosphere.

I’ve pre-registered myself and will wait the day when tickets go on sale so i can, finally, haul my ass to Glastonbury.

I’m hoping that we’ll have sold the house by then!

Music is an important part of my life, always has been, and one thing I am already considering for when I move and get my own flat, is the location. How close to a reasonable gig venue is it?

I think of heading to the West of Glasgow, the West End preferably as that puts me within walking distance of Oran Mor and will offer me the opportunity to get some cheap (less than a tenner) tickets for gigs by people I might not have heard of. I may be romanticising slightly, of course, but I think it could be quite fun.

And when I go home, I’ll use my iPhone to turn on my Sonos sound system for even more music.

I don’t own it yet though, but I will. It’s crept up the list of “things I will need to buy when I move” and is very near the top, right after things like a bed, a microwave and maybe a sofa.

Mind you, given that I’ll be heading to Glastonbury, I should maybe leave a little room in my budget for a tent (or better still, leave a lot of room in my budget and do it in style!).

Media

I plonk myself down on the sofa.

“Nope, not squishy enough”

I plonk myself down on another sofa.

“Ugh, too firm”

I don’t plonk myself down on that sofa.

“What a horrid shade of puce, looks like a Ribena berry has puked all over it”

I plonk myself down on another sofa.

“Ohh this is nice but the padding on the arms is rubbish”

I don’t plonk myself down on another sofa.

“Who the hell would have that in their living room?!”

I don’t plonk myself down on another sofa.

“Or that, has it come from the set of the Sweeney or something?”

I don’t plonk myself down on another sofa.

“Seriously, who designed these? Blind giraffes?”

Several hours and many shops later.

I plonk myself down on another sofa.

“Ohh, this is just right!”

I sit for a while, luxuriating in the perfect harmony of style, comfort and texture. I run my hands over the smooth leather, let my head rest on the cushions and imagine myself at home, cold beer in one hand, a favourite movie on the TV. Oh yes, I think. This will do just fine.

I look at the price*.

I get up and plonk myself down on another sofa.

Home Personal Musings

He stands back and looks at the scene, a young man surveying the carnage of the broken man seated before him. Something doesn’t fit here, something isn’t quite right, misplaced or forgotten, he’s not sure which and knows that it is too late for such worries.

A dull moan from the chair, scarlet red lines fall from vivid wounds, slashed through flesh. Blood seeps from him in a slow gentle ooze, a dozen or more thin lines adding to the macabre vision. He looks down at the man, tortured and throbbing with dark pain, spent and pleading for his executioner to end it, pleading for release, pleading for his life. He watches as the man makes another exhaused attempt to free himself and once more is met with the same resistance as before, the bloodied ropes cuttnig ever deeper.

He turns to the table behind him, takes a sip of cold water then turns and throws it over the seated man. Another shock of cold, a gasping breath.

He is puzzled now and closes his eyes for a moment, gathering himself. He revisits the plan, the training and a spark of guilt flares within. This isn’t what was meant to happen. This is wrong.

Concentrating hard, he casts his mind back, how did he end up here?

He remembers some details perfectly, breaking into this apartment, waiting quietly, patiently until they came home. It should’ve been the simplest of executions as they sat down to watch TV. Two shots and then he’d turn and leave. Yet, he was still here.

Squeezing his eyes tight he can see arcs of red as she slumps forward, can hear the cries, instant shock and anger, as the man succumbs to fear and rage. He can see his own arm outstretched, can feel the weight of the gun and yet, nothing. That is all he has, until now.

He reaches out to hold the mans face, fingers on slick cheeks, cupping his chin. He looks him straight in the eye.

“Who are you?” he asks. A simple enough question.

The man in the chair looks up, confused, startled at the softness of the voice.

“Who are you?” he asks again, already growing weary of all of this.

The man in the chair starts to speak, his mouth opens but no sound is made.

He is growing tired now, and can feel the light in the room changing. He was told this would happen, but still something isn’t right, this isn’t what was meant to happen.

Slowly he walks behind the man, reaches down and starts to untie him. In a soft quiet voice he starts to mumble.

“I don’t know why I’m here, I’m sorry for what I’ve done, this isn’t right, I’m sorry for what I’ve done. I don’t know why I’m here. You should go now. I’m sorry for what I’ve done. I should go now, I should be somewhere else now. You shouldn’t be here. Are you sorry for what you’ve done? I will go. Do you know why I’m here? I’m sorry for what I’ve done. You should go now”.

He stands back and lets the ropes fall, and watches the man rise unsteadily and without looking back, stumble out through the door. He hears him start to scream, a low beastly noise that makes him smile. He can feel the light and warmth in the air on his skin, and turns to the window to bask for a moment in the sunlight.

He steps closer to the window and watches as onlookers turn and stare, their eyes searching for the source of that awful noise.

He smiles. He knows this isn’t the way it should be, knows that something has gone wrong but each passing moment tells him something has changed. He hears the man screaming as he leaves the building, dashing out into the busy street below. And finally he realises what is wrong.

His mind skips back to that building, the long corridor, the cramped office and the young man sitting behind the desk, telling him the stories of the building, telling him that nothing is ever truly right in this world. He can remember the dulling darkness that descended after that day, that he walked in for so long with the sunlight unable to penetrate. He can remember it all.

He looks down again at the street, watching the man stumble onwards, the onlookers starting to point as the man stumbles out into the road. A man still alive.

He smiles.

He closes his eyes and lifts his face to the sun, feeling the warmth spread across his cheeks, he too feels alive, so very alive. His senses reverberate anew, and he wonders what will happen next.

Down in the street the man falters and falls forward. A bus driver slams on his brakes, more screams fill the air.

Stood at the window he looks down, all of this happening in an instant. The bus skids, the brakes fail to hold. The man lies prone, no-one can save him.

And then he remembers the inscription above the door of the office, throws his head back and screams.

In a small cluttered office a young man sits behind a desk. He rarely speaks, for he has no-one to speak to most days, so he just sits there doing his job. His gaze remains flat as he monitors the goings on of the building, the to-ing and fro-ing of his working day, the machinations that play out at his behest.

Suddenly he looks up at the doorframe, and with a contented sigh reads the faded inscription once more.

“Trust in Fate”.

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All quiet on the house front unfortunately.

But I have been able to crack on with some website work and as always it’s great when the client is accomodating, helpful and all round just a nice guy. Say hi to www.davidbelbin.com (then go buy one of his books!).

I’m also adding some functionality for a previous client, so I’ve got plenty to keep me busy AND I’ve found time to gently kick start my reading habit. Tackling the last of the Larsson trilogy which is a fun read in a Dan Brown kinda way. Mind you, I did read half of From Russia With Love before realising I’d already read it, oops.

The only other moment of excitement has been paying £4 for the privilege of receiving 4 rather shady looking photos of my fizzog. I need to renew my driving license and, amazingly, the photos actually look like me! (and no, I’m not showing you them).

Right, time to mark off another day in the “Hurry up I want an iPhone 4!” calendar.

Oh yeah, and football. World Cup and all that. If you need me, I’ll be in front of the TV.

Life Sport Tech Work

Outside there is the most eerie golden glow as the sun sets. Half the sky is light, half the sky is dark as the rain falls from a thick dark cloud.

The weather, it seems, is undecided which, funnily enough was my state of mind a couple of hours ago.

There I stood, pencil in hand, ready to put a cross in a box but… which one?

Sometime in the next few months I’ll be leaving this constituency, so that wasn’t a huge consideration for me and, like many others I’m sure, I know that I didn’t want to vote for the Conservatives.

There is, of course, an odd slant in my ‘online’ life where most of the people I follow have a similar mindset to mine and I’d take a fair guess at many of them voting Lib Dem, some voting Labour and others voting Green. I’m sure one or two of them voted Conservative just as I’m sure one or two of them won’t have voted at all.

All of this didn’t really help me though, looking at names I barely knew, and trying not to associate the leader with the party politics. We don’t elect a Prime Minister, we elect a party so quite why there is such a large fuss about the personalities of the party leaders still puzzles me. Yes, of course one of them will be Prime Minister in the morning but it would’ve been good if the newspapers had focussed on policy rather than the fact that, for example, Gordon Brown called a bigoted old woman a bigot.

I will probably watch a bit of the coverage on TV then retire to bed, knowing that, come what may, someone will be in charge of running the company and I won’t agree with all of their decisions and policies. I will take care of my own affairs as I always have and deal with the consequences.

Others will rant and rave, moan and complain but, ultimately, there will always be politicians and as the type of person who is usually attracted to being a politician typically ends up more interested in power and money than the people they are supposed to be representing (exceptions to every rule granted) it’s safe to say that in a few years time I’ll find myself, once again, standing ready to cast my vote without ever being completely sure if anything really ever changes.