Happy Halloween or, rather more traditionall, Super Samhain. Maybe not sure about the super bit, but hey, a boy's got to alliterate. Hopefully the witches will forgive me.

Want to see something scary?

I mentioned Thomsk had been acting with wolves.

Well, here's his new friend Maja. Maja the wolf

Who says they're not just dogs...

Their key scene involved her jumping out of a tree and going for his neck.

His other new best chum in Romania, meanwhile, is equally alarming.

While affording this gentleman a modicum of anonymity, a certain elder statesman of Hollywood has allegedly taken to sidling up to my brother on set, farting, and then running away like, as I've heard it told, a giggling little girl.

I'll never watch Bodysnatchers in the same light again.


Alleged American Al Qaeda Warns of U.S. Attacks
From ABC News
A videotape obtained by ABC News shows a man describing himself as an American member of al Qaeda. He threatens a "new wave of terror attacks" against the United States.

So close to election day?

Please, please tell me I wasn't the only one whose thoughts immediately turned to conspiracy theory and scare tactics upon hearing this.


Regrets (first in an occasional series)
I should have listened to more John Peel.

Now he's gone.

I'll admit I didn't like a great deal of the music he played, or the acts he discovered, and never got into the habit of listening to the exploration of British idiosyncracy that he seemed to enjoy so much in his later years.

But he had a brilliant ease and charisma as a broadcaster, enabling the listener to at least understand his passion and perspective, if not always agree with it. A colleague called him the champion of the unsigned and the unsung.

The words great and legendary are overused, especially at times of death. And maybe it's folly to use them for someone famed for playing records. But John Peel was so much more than a mere disc jockey, and in his field, few, if any, have ever been more worthy of the epithets.

I should have listened to him while I could.


It had to happen eventually. Team Albatross finally won the pub quiz.

Even so, I can't help feeling it's a slightly hollow victory.

Firstly, the win didn't come in our regular pub, which has frustrated us for the past six months, but another we were trying out. We'd moved on the grounds that a couple of team members were getting bored with the long waits between rounds and blatant cheating in the cosy snug of the Harringay Arms.

Me, I was happy to keep on going back until we won, or died trying. Two second places in recent weeks and consistent top six finishes indicated we were getting closer. I don't like giving up on something I can think I can do. I reserve that for the things I think I can't do.

Last night's win at the Old Dairy was also slightly tainted by the fact that the scoring was far from perfect. It's difficult to prove now, but we were almost certainly underscored, despite being given full marks for a round in which we failed to answer one of the 10 questions, and got another partially wrong.

I feel no shame in revealing that that round required us to identify quick-fire bursts of Kylie tunes, and that I more than held my own (all those years of education proving their worth now). But the fact that we didn't earn those full marks galls slightly, as does the thought that other teams were probably mis-marked. How credible can the system really be?

Can we really be sure we won at all?

Probably. And the free beer we won will almost certainly taste sweeter than usual. I'm just not going to be completely happy until we win again.


I'm not used to wearing more than one pair of shoes at a time. Now I'm confused.

I currently have four pairs of shoes, all fully functioning and watertight. But I'm not accustomed to having more than one or (occasionally) two road-worthy pairs at a time. So I've become used to wearing a pair until they become fatally flawed, and need to buy some more.

This is, in great part, due to the size of my feet. When walking into shops in search of a pair of size 14s, I've usually got anything ranging from polite refusal to incredulous laughter. But rarely shoes. Even those shops which agree that foot sizes are increasing and size 14s are in more demand than ever turn me away. I believe my record is 17 shops in central London in one day - all without success.

But recently the cobbling gods have smiled on me.

Now I have two pairs of trainers (footwear I thought I'd left at university), a pair of brown leather shoes, and some black boots.

But I can't bring myself to wear anything other than the trainers I've had on since April.

What am I supposed to do with them all?


Five Things
1. Walking back from the cinema this afternoon (Collateral - Tom Cruise in acting shocker - the shock being that he's acting... quite well at that) I spotted the most perfect rainbow I've ever seen. Usually you get to see half at most. This was a glorious arc. And close too. I could almost hear the leprechauns. Magical.

2. Thomas is currently in Romania. Filming. With Donald Sutherland and Sissy Spacek. And wolves. It's a film about the Bell Witch. Not this one, though. In fact, no IMDB listing yet. Which worries me. Much more than the wolves. Thomsk believes it won't be a dodgy TV movie with the likes of Donald and Sissy on board. But then he doesn't watch as much bad telly as I do.

3. This has to be seen to be believed.

4. I'm gradually (and grudgingly) giving way on this statement. I'm not yet willing to admit it was the right thing for NUFC to hire Graeme Souness, but it no longer appears to be the end of the world. Long season, though...

5. There is no fifth thing. This space for rent.


When it comes to blogging, the key to a really good read (and, for that matter, a good write) has, for me, always been emotional intrigue and turmoil. And ever since I romantically cauterised myself following last year's Woman/Elf/Fencer/Whatever debacle, I just haven't had any.

Indeed since moving into the Biscuit in April my life has hit a nice, safe routine... or is that just rut? I enjoy work, quizzing with the Albatross, seeing a few friends (while missing others), the odd trip away, watching too much TV, deciding what to do with the baked goods I call home (without actually doing very much about it). But I don't feel emotionally involved. I don't feel I'm doing anything exciting.

Which is why posts here have been few and far between in recent months. I'm not bemoaning my lot, it's just that there's been little I've felt the need to share. Who wants to read (or write) about a life when it's so extraordinarily ordinary? Isn't it just a waste of everybody's time?

So I'm going to try harder, in all aspects of life. Professionally, domestically, personally, I'm going to start being bolder, either in the way I express myself, or in the decisions I make and actions I take.

At least that's what I'm aiming for...