Monday, January 29, 2007

Buying a property (or trying to)...

...is without doubt the most stressful and tedious process I've ever been involved with. By a very very long way. It's now over 5 months since my offer was accepted on the empty property and I've still not moved in.

(Yes, it's rant time again.)

The reason? Well had it been just one reason I would have pulled out ages ago. But it's lots and lots of sequential reasons. It's been a bit like running the 200 metres hurdles having been told there aren't any hurdles there. Blindfolded.

The next time I hear the words "I'll chase it up" rather than "it's all been sorted", I am going to kill someone.

All of the following parties have at some stage either cocked something up or apparently sat around done nothing for weeks on end despite there being a considerable degree of urgency:

My solicitor
My mortgage lender
The vendor
All three of the vendor's solicitors (two were fired, we're now on the third)
The company managing the sale for the vendor
The surveyor
The environmental search provider
The estate agent
The local council
The freeholder

I want to slap you all. Really hard. Repeatedly.

They whole process has been an eye opener as to how deeply useless people can be. And how badly afflicted by red tape we are in this country. It's pathetic.

*And relax..*

Oh by they way, you actually don't have to read these rants. The act of writing them alone is therapeutic. I feel better already.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Inspiring photos on Flickr

Photo by Rebekka Guðleifsdóttir   Photography by Rebekka
Photography by Rebekka   Photography by Rebekka
Photos by rebekka

Note: If you're a Flickr user you probably already know all of this. Though you might still want to check out the links at the bottom.

If you're interested in photography but haven't spent much time browsing Flickr I urge you to do so. Among all the fuzzy shots of people's nights at the pub are some really great photographs.

A good place to start is the Explore page. Each time you refresh that page you'll get a different selection of the most 'interesting' shots from the last seven days. If you find a photo you really like click on the user's name and explore their photo sets. Then see who they have as a contact and check out their photos too. Before long you're bound to find some fantastic photographers.

One of Flickr's best known photographers is Rebekka Guðleifsdóttir from Iceland. The four photos at the top of this post are from her portfolio.

Here are a few more of my favourite Flickr photographers:

wiseacre photo
helveticaneue
cymagen
sam.d
p@ranoid
razorbern

And here's a link to my favourite shots from various Flickr users.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Five Things

If you don't know what this is all about then you've obviously been spending too much time in World of Warcraft instead of in 'The Blogosphere'. Well that's just fine, you need to save up for that new armour. I understand.

Anyway, I was tagged by Nick so I need to write five (less than obvious) facts about myself on my blog and then tag five more people and tell them to do the same. Uh-oh, this is where I get worried that I'm not interesting enough. Anyway, here goes.


My five things

1. I was taught History by Mike Atherton. He went to cricket-mad Manchester Grammar School, as did I, and he returned out of season to do some teaching.

2. I had a cup of tea with Paul Hartnoll from Orbital in 1996.

3. I can beat-mix records with impressive accuracy, but now only DJ sporadically with other peoples' records when drunk at parties (and therefore mix them less accurately).

4. I believe that the Commodore 64 is one of the coolest things ever. I still own mine but some of the keys don't work, thanks largely to Daley Thompson's Decathlon.

5. I once performed Walk This Way by Run DMC / Aerosmith, karaoke style, solo, in a packed bar at a French ski resort. When I stepped onto the stage I thought the five people who were going to accompany me were still behind me. I don't think I did the best Steve Tyler.


My five nominees

Zeno
Eyechild
Peter
Dave
Eamon

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

new toy

Canon Speedlite 580EX
new toy, originally uploaded by gridrunner.

I'm taking some press shots for a dance music producer on Saturday, which seemed the perfect excuse to get something I'd been thinking of buying for a while: a proper flash gun.

I've just spent a couple of hours going through the manual and trying a few things out. The conclusion: it's absolutely fantastic.

Canon make some very clever stuff.

468x60



Having one of those Groundhog Day moments at work...

Sunday, January 14, 2007

SW4


SW4, originally uploaded by gridrunner.

The road I live on borders (like much of London) on a slightly run-down estate. And over the past two years the disrepair has started to creep closer and closer to my home. Large household items get dumped on the pavement where they just rot for months on end. Just a few doors away there's an overspilling heap including a broken bed frame and a washing machine. And increasingly the pavement is decorated in the morning with shattered chunks of safety glass.

Now, people shouldn't dump stuff on the streets anyway, but it would be nice if Lambeth Council cleared it up once in a while.

If I owned the flat I would probably care a lot more, but as it is I'm leaving the area pretty soon anyway. Me and Clapham are like "over".

Skansen


Skansen, originally uploaded by gridrunner.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

wooden toys


toys, originally uploaded by gridrunner.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Pigeon Power


pigeon power, originally uploaded by gridrunner.

Painted on the pavement just off Brick Lane.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Night Bus


another night bus photo, originally uploaded by gridrunner.

Robot


Kinder, originally uploaded by gridrunner.

From my Christmas Kinder Egg. Thanks Mum!

Bank


Bank, originally uploaded by gridrunner.

I was taking pictures like some kind of crazed fool that evening, after being reunited with my trusty old Ixus 50. I threw away 90% of the photos. This one survived.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

SE5 at 3:46


SE5 at 3:46, originally uploaded by gridrunner.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Err... template

Blogger has been updated by Google and it was hassling me about upgrading my template, so I thought I'd have a look. It said it would save my previous template somewhere but I'm not sure where that's gone.

So turquoise it is - with slightly silly "futuristic" arrows (hey, it is 2007), until I get round to designing my own template or editing one of their ones.

Day One

Day One

New tune. So called because it was the only constructive thing to come out of my hangover on Jan 1st.

Oh, you probably won't like it unless you enjoy minimal techno, by the way...

Listen on Last FM »
Listen on MySpace »

Back to London tomorrow. Work on Thursday. My new year's resolution is to set aside some time each week to keep up the music production.