Things your kids need to grow out of

We’re lucky parents.
[Through a combination of hard work, dedication, sacrifice, communication, compromise and understanding] We have two generally very well-behaved children.

That said, I still recognise several of these things the children do that are unacceptable for adults to do. For the record, I feel that some of them are unacceptable for children to do, but that’s not what this video is about, so let’s not get in the way of the humour.

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There’s my daughter at 0:49.
Oh, and yes, that’s my son at 1:49 (albeit with fewer beard). Complete with his exact reaction at 1:55.
That’s uncanny. Either all kids do this sort of thing or someone’s been spying on us.

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A tale of two… Uniteds

Last night’s Carling Cup action brought shocks galore – if by ‘galore’ you count four Premiership teams falling to lower league opposition.

The big one for most people was the hilarious 4-0 drubbing of Manchester United by League 1’s MK Dons. As was noted by one astute individual – Louis van Gaal looked like he was about to cry:


And while it was funny, it was also sad that Shrewsbury’s win at Leicester was overlooked, and that West Ham’s home defeat to the mighty Red And White Wizzzzards of Sheffield United didn’t make more headlines. Yet another Premiership scalp after our amazing cup run last season,and, given that this was the first meeting of the teams since the infamous Tevezgate scandal, an especially nice one to take.


The Blades had to work hard for their win on penalties, but to take a young team down south to a Premiership ground, hold them for 120 minutes and then pop in five out of five penalties is no mean feat. No wonder Nigel was happy.

No real point to this blog post save to record this for posterity. And that has now been done.

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Dry The River

If, when he left this comment, Jon Liddle was attempting to generate some sort of interest in his son’s band’s new album, well then, he’s succeeded. I’ve had a quick wander through their back catalogue and – while there’s a bit of gospel, a lot of beard, some violin and more than the occasional hint of banjo – it’s well worth a listen. This ain’t no Mumford and Sons/Lumineers mashup. Thankfully.

Recording in Iceland was about shutting ourselves off from our daily lives and our heavy touring schedule to rediscover what Dry the River means to us. We suspected it would be some kind of otherworldly experience, and it was: beautiful and alien, lonely and taxing but ultimately rewarding.

So yes, the tenuous link was Iceland: its wild beauty and solitude. And they did a documentary on just how that worked out for them:

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The end product, Alarms in the Heart, is so heavily engrained with that process, that strange location and the experience of being there, that you have to take the two together.

I’ll be giving the album a full listen and I’ll let you know how that goes, but in the meantime, here’s Gethsemane: which features on the documentary from about 8 minutes in and just. fits. perfectly.

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My son doesn’t have a band, but when he does, I’ll probably advise him to head to Marion Island (SA’s equivalent of Iceland, I guess) to record that difficult second album. “Fewer beards,” I’ll also tell him.

Safety first.

UPDATE: More information about Dry The River? Here.

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We like Iceland here on 6000 miles… – you only have to look at our extensive Iceland section to see that. Now, you’d do well to remember that Iceland is the best place in the world to be if you want to take amazing landscape photographs, but even so, our love of all thing Icelandic has only been augmented by seeing Sarah Martinet’s amazing aerial photography of that country. Stuff like this:

and this:


What a nation of contrasts. And puffins (not visible in these photos).

There are more of Sarah’s photos of Iceland here (which I reached via here and here) and, this being the internet, I also tracked down her 500px page, where I was blown away by much stuff, but most especially this image:



All images: Sarah Martinet

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Imitation of Life

I found myself doing some “stuff” around the house this afternoon with VH1 providing the musical backdrop. It’s sometimes a little hit or miss, but today it did ok, aside from a 5 minute wailing of Sicky Dion. Thankfully, I was preoccupied with the braai by then. Saving the channel’s reputation were The Stereophonics, Paul Simon, Dexy’s and Erasure – to name but a few.

Best memory of the lot was this one though: R.E.M.’s Imitation of Life and its clever video:

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Says Stipe:

The entire video took 20 seconds to shoot. What you’re watching is a loop that goes forwards for 20 seconds, backwards for 20 seconds, forwards for 20 seconds, backwards for 20 seconds, with one camera, static, and then using a technique called ‘pan and scan’, which is a technical thing that is used when they go from a widescreen format and reformat to fit your television or DVD, moving in on certain parts of the entire picture. And you’ll see that we do that picking up various people within the frame.

Which all sounds suitably technical to me.
So. Now you know.

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