Thursday, November 27, 2003

Managed to squeeze in visits to a couple of new restaurants this week.

On Tuesday we went to one30, the latest venture from Chris Wicks of Bells Diner fame. He has taken the brave decision to open a lovely new bar and restaurant at the lower end of Cheltenham Road, which is not the most salubrious part of town. The place itself is really nicely laid out, plenty of lounging space in the bar and a simple yet stylish restaurant area. As Orynthia had eaten at lunchtime, we decided to share a selection of Tapas for £12.50, which was both plentiful and delicious, great value for two people.

Last night one of Orynthia’s colleagues was leaving work. Every one met up at Wall Street for drinks. To our surprise the ground floor has been converted into a pan Asian restaurant, where you order A La Carte or pay £11.95 for a help yourself buffet. We elected to go for the £11.95 option just to keep things simple and it was a good choice. It was the opening night for this place and gradually quite a lot of Orynthia’s workmates made the journey downstairs in various states of inebriation, so it was a pretty good test for the staff. They coped well enough with the traditional drunken British male, so they should be OK in the future.

Monday, November 24, 2003

Well we have almost shaken off our collection of bugs and could both soon be sneeze and cough free.

On Friday we had our chimney swept in preparation for lots of snug winter tea times in front of a roaring fire. We also had a visit from Kev’s dad, he is coming back today to decorate our bathroom for us, which may be a tad foolish, as we don’t yet know what is causing our shower problem?

Friday evening was spent at Four Corners, lots of people were out and about including fellow blogger Paul Baxter. We have a good chat about the mysterious world of blogging, why we write and why people read them as well. No major conclusions but it we had a good laugh.

Saturday saw my sister coming out of hospital after her recent op and a cracking win for Bristol City against 2nd in the table Barnsley. Maybe we can start to put some real form together now, please!

During the rest of the weekend we have both been working on the end of year chart for Imperial. The web site is virtually done, the poster printing is going to be done by Katja’s company. With a bit of luck, it could all be sorted by next weekend.

Thursday, November 20, 2003

Not many updates lately, most of my time in front of the computer has been spent on the end of year chart for the shop. We have made lots of progress now, thanks in the main to Orynthia’s web skills. Getting the chart printed up for the shop is proving to be a time consuming project. I took some staff pictures for the website today, which turned out to be quite amusing.

Other than that, I have fallen victim to the cold bug, which is doing the rounds, and Orynthia is still trying to completely shake off the flu. Ric should be coming to look at our leaky shower tomorrow. We both have the day off which is nice. We will be entertaining the esteemed Mr Ian Green of Fuzz Against Junk tomorrow evening before heading down to Four Corners with him. This week Monday night footie pal Scott Hendy will be joining the 3 wise men on the decks, should be good.

Looks like we might be going to see The Strokes in Cardiff at the start of December! Later that week we will be seeing Belle & Sebastian twice. Looks like the Xmas rush has started.

Wednesday, November 19, 2003

Oh no! Woke up this morning to find the kitchen covered in water. Looks like the shower is leaking!!

Saturday, November 15, 2003

As soon as had I finished writing yesterdays entry, the heavens opened and the wind ripped most of the leaves from the trees. Leaving a lovely squelchy mess all over town.

In the afternoon, I meet up with my one and only cousin Robert. Even though for most of our lives we have lived no more than about 50 miles away from each other, it must be at least 20 years since we have seen each other. My sister Susan and I met up with him at The Watershed and spent the next couple of hours comparing notes. It was amazing to discover how much we had in common, hopefully we will be able to keep in touch, now that contact has been re-established.

Sue goes into hospital for another operation next week, she should be in for about 4 or 5 days, leaving 2 of her teenage boys at home together. Amazingly the two lads have not spoken to each other for about a year! I can’t imagine how they can live like that. Maybe next week they will have to break the ice as Sue won’t be around to act as an intermediary between them.

The Holly Golightley gig last night was a bit disappointing. The band seemed to lack a bit sparkle, so we made our way home before the end of the show.

Tonight we are off to a bit of party at Ceri and Simons and then aiming to end up at the latest Grumpy Man evening.

Friday, November 14, 2003

It’s strange but after only 2 weeks, Thursday now really feels like Friday used to. I’m enjoying working 4 days a week (who wouldn’t?). It has been a busy week, on Wednesday night we went out straight from work for some tapas with Mark and Bab’s before heading off to see The National at The Louisiana. I really enjoyed the band although some of the other reactions from our friends were a tad mixed.

Last night we meet up with Ashton. We were finally able to give him his 45rpm T-Shirt for his 45th birthday. We bought it for him about 11 months ago, pleased to say that he loved it. Then Mat and Helen joined us, before heading into The Fleece to see the divine Martina Topley-Bird in action. What a wonderful voice she has, also love the lose and laid back, blues edge which she has bought to her music. Marvellous stuff.

Looks like the Imperial Music end of year chart will have a web presence, when it is finally compiled. It may even have staff photos on it, so you will be able to see the guys that I am working with. So it looks as though the new digital camera will come into it’s own then. Actually it’s a lovely autumn day here today, so I might try and take some pictures of the neighbourhood in all its golden leaf glory.

Tuesday, November 11, 2003

Over the past few days I’ve revisited South of the Border, West of the Sun by Haruki Murakami. It’s a really beautiful book. On the surface it’s very simple and understated but it captures the uncertainty of seemingly successful man brilliantly. It’s much more straightforward then most of his work, but is still well worth a read if you have the chance.

Looks like we may be off to a few gigs this week. On Wednesday it’s The National at The Louisiana, Thursday it’s Martina Topley-Bird at The Fleece and on Friday it’s Holly Golightly at The Croft. I also have got to try and catch up with my one and only cousin as he is studying in Bristol for a few weeks. Have to try and do this before my sister goes into hospital next week, which is going to be tricky!

Sunday, November 09, 2003

It seems like the people of Bristol aren’t drinking enough at the moment!

It sounds like our favourite fortnightly Friday night out – Four Corners at The Croft, is under serious threat because the bar taking aren’t high enough. It’s true that on some occasions the place has not been packed to the rafters, but when it is busy people tend to be dancing or watching the band, rather than rushing to the bar to get blasted. It will be a real shame if it does close down, it’s always a really social night out for us.

The same is apparently true of The Albert in Bedminster. The Albert is a pretty basic pub, which has built a brilliant reputation for the Jazz and Folk nights, which it puts on. The landlord Ian has attracted some of the best names in the world of modern Jazz to this small pub. However the recent rise in property prices in the Bedminster area sounds like it has prompted the owners into thinking that they could make a lot more money by converting the site into expensive flats. Of course, there is obvious financial logic in this, but the reason why Bedminster has started to become popular is because of places like The Albert and The Tobacco Factory, sure they would all be worth more split up into tiny units and sold for stacks of money, but then the people that live their won’t have anywhere local to go to, so a previously vibrant and interesting area becomes a sleepy suburb again. The curse of gentrification I guess.

We surprised ourselves yesterday. We actually managed to get a radio/cassette fitted into our new car for exactly the amount of money we hoped to pay AND within about 30 minutes of leaving the house. We thought that having a cassette player installed might be a problem as every one wants CD players in their cars these days, but we were pleasantly surprised. We have enough problems locating CD’s, which are spread around the 4 players in the house, without wanting more being suck in the car. Also we don’t have the technology to allow us to burn CD’s so the good old mix tape is fine for us. Of course in a few weeks the car will become littered with unmarked tapes as we load it with our latest favourites.

Friday, November 07, 2003

A bit of a spin on the American "Most wanted" playing cards can be found here
I've spent some of my day off doing homework! Mark wants a list of my fav 30 albums of the year, for the grand, Imperial Music end of year chart. It's hard work you know!!

Thursday, November 06, 2003

Well that’s my first week in the shop completed (ah the joys of a 4 day week!), and what a great week it’s been. As expected all the people in the shop are great to work with, I really enjoy chatting with the customers, and when we are doing the behind the scenes work, there is always some interesting music being played. As expected, the holes in my knowledge of dance music are clear to see, but in time I’m sure that come. I’m really lucky to be working with Jay who has an outstanding knowledge of Hip Hop and Ralf who knows his electronica inside out. So lots to learn, but what a great subject.

As hoped it’s a pretty sociable place to work, quite a few people have come into the shop, then again most of them are regular customers. After the barren couple of years in the dessert of the Temple Meads area, it’s great to be back in town again. Park Street is a brilliant area to work in, lots of great shops and interesting people, and yet I can still walk across the road at lunch time and sit on Brandon Hill, admiring the view as I eat my lunch, with the Squirrels running around at my feet.

Had a chance to go the swanky invite only Dazed and Confused party tonight, but as Orynthia has only returned to work today after her recent illness, we thought that a night in would be a better option.

This weeks pick ups: Buck 65 – Talkin’ Honky Blues, Josh Martinez – Buck Up Princess, Ladybug Transistor – Ladybug Transistor and the Rough Trade 25th anniversary compilation CD.

Monday, November 03, 2003

So the first day in Imperial Music went ok. It’s came as a bit of a shock to my legs though, they are used to loafing around not really doing very much, suddenly they find themselves being used all day, and I am just about to go and play football, so I guess that they will be pretty sore later on. On the up side, I feel much better for not having to sit in appallingly slumped manner, looking at a computer screen all day.

Spent most of the day working out what sort of music goes where in the shop. The wonderful world of dance music has many sub genres, most of which are a mystery to me, still I guess that will come in time. After that I spent quite a bit of time working out where the music is kept behind the counter, Then suddenly I was let lose on the public and found myself dealing with a till, a credit card swipe machine and chart return reader before I knew what had hit me. I think everyone got the music they wanted and the shop got the money it required, so hopefully everyone is happy. Just for the record the big seller’s today were the two new Ryan Adams CD’s. Why he has to release two on the same day I really don’t understand?

Last night I went to see The Raveonettes at The Fleece. Orynthia was meant to be coming as well, but she has been caught by the flu bug, which is doing the rounds and did not feel up to it. The band made a big old racket, but never really let go, consequently the large crowd was somewhat muted. The best Raveonettes songs are still the ones, which sound like Jesus, & Mary Chain out takes.

Saturday, November 01, 2003

So that’s the BT career finished then. Had a lovely last day, so many nice people taking the time to see me off, and as for the digital camera, what a fantastic leaving gift. Thanks everyone.

Also wanted to say that The Lucksmiths gig in Bath on Thursday night was brilliant. What great songs, and beautiful vocals. Why don’t more people know about them?