Friday, January 22, 2010

These people know me too well

In a last-minute email from the Japanese director, she asked if I could bring my Brazilian Mystery Cloak to the filming. "Aww, do I have to?" I thought, "It's too big for my little rucksack, so that means I'd have to bring the big one!" And I would have replied something to that effect, if the next line of the email hadn't been 'I am afraid it is a little bit heavy, and you have to change your bag’s size…
However, we appreciate if you bring it.'

And so how can I refuse to bring it along, when the director of this project has done her homework to such an extent that she knows I prefer to only bring a small rucksack on foreign jaunts? Best film crew ever, I tell you. So the big rucksack it is, I'm afraid. Still, it turns out my plane isn't until 12:35 tomorrow, so I can get the morning train and comfortably get to Heathrow in time.

Also, there's a sticky label on the back of my new passport with a barcode and the words 'Please remove this label'. If I don't remove it, do you think they'll refuse to let me leave the country?

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Last-minute, dot com

People always ask me 'have you packed yet?' whenever I'm imminently going somewhere. Probably because I've never packed, until at the very earliest half an hour before I leave the house. I haven't even really thought about packing for my trip to Japan yet - I'm going down to London tomorrow night, probably, so as to catch my plane on Saturday morning. Or if the plane is a bit later than I'm thinking it is (I haven't checked), I'll get the early train on Saturday morning and save the fuss of finding a hotel for tomorrow night. But so far I haven't even written my list of things to take with me (passport, plane tickets, hat, all the essentials like that). I'll write the list tomorrow morning, and pack my clothes tomorrow evening.

The Japanese TV people want me to bring my world championship medals. Not all of them, presumably, because they give out hundreds every year, but I'm still going to have to trawl through all the piles of junk in my spare room to try to find some. I have no idea where I put my latest batch of medals - when I get home after a WMC, I'm generally tired enough that I just empty my rucksack onto the floor, go to bed and never see any of my various travelling accessories ever again.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Morning has broken

I'm having great difficulty dragging myself out of bed just lately. I've been wanting to get to the office early this week, but I'm physiologically incapable of properly waking up until eight o'clock. Perhaps I could save time and still get my lie-in by going to work in my pyjamas, but it's still a bit cold to be cycling dressed like that. I'll wait till the summer.

Anyway, have I mentioned that I'm going to Tokyo on Saturday? I probably have, once or twice, but it's still extremely groovy. I'm going to be memorising sushi.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Thinking out of the inbox

I hate it when I've got lots of emails that I need to reply to. There's at least half a dozen of them waiting for me, but I'm just not in an emailing kind of mood. So I thought I'd make a sort of general apology on my blog, and vaguely promise to reply to everyone who's expecting a reply at some point in the next couple of days. I promise!

Now, since I did also promise to write more lengthy bloggings, let's talk about football. I don't really do that enough, and it's really a quite exciting season this year. In the three-way fight for the league title, my head says Chelsea will win it comfortably, but I'm trying to ignore it and root for Arsenal. It'd be nice to have a (sort of) change at the top after however many years of Man Utd and Chelsea, and besides, Arsenal's games have been more fun to watch this season, so they deserve a bonus point for that.

As for the league cup, which I'm watching at the moment, it looks like Aston Villa v Man U in the final, and it would be great if Villa could win it - they've been really uncharacteristically good just lately, and also a win would get them one of those precious Europa League places, which feeds into the rather more mean-spirited side of following the football this year...

Yes, like all vaguely neutral football fans, I've enjoyed watching Liverpool's continuing saga of (by their standards) disastrous results, and I'm rather hoping that they'll manage to fail to qualify for Europe at all next year, never mind the Champions League. Just because it would be funny to see them do a low-budget version of 2005, and have to whine that surely the Europa League winner should be allowed to defend the title. So I think it would be good if they finish in seventh or eighth and everyone points and laughs at them.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Video killed the DVD star

On the one hand, I feel like I should buy all the cheap video tapes I see in charity shops, because the day is fast approaching when there won't be any more videos to find anywhere. But on the other hand, if I take them all out of the shops, that day will come immediately, and it will be the Future, and that will be bad for everyone. It's a difficult balancing-act. I did buy an REM video the other day, which is cool. Shiny happy people holding hands...

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Remember Cambridge?

I really have to start arranging things for the Cambridge Memory Championship. It is going to happen, fans of cantabrigian cognitive competitions, I just haven't told anyone yet. Sunday May 2nd, I think, although don't book your tickets yet, because I might be wrong about that. I will publish full details, via the medium of, very soon. Look forward to it!