Thursday, May 26, 2005

twitching in the flatiron crossing

Nordstrom, Foleys, Nordstom, Foleys, erm, left. No, straight on. will they have socks? of course they will. they'll have those thin old man socks that cost $15 dollars and have diamonds up the side. right then, Foleys. Left. No, hang on, I can get presents in Nordstrum too. right, Nordstrum it is. ok, left. I think, hang on, ALRIGHT MATE! I'M THINKING!

stick the ceramic aztec trophy in the boot and swish through the doors, straight into Chan in menswear. "is there anything I can help you with today sir?" erm, no thankyou, I'm just being british and stalking around your footwear in a deliberate fashion while hunting for socks I refuse to ask you to locate for me. these shops are always empty when I go in them. I mean, Nordstrom. it's huge, but there's absolutely noone in here. is that just me? anyway, I don't find socks, but upon realizing that flatiron crossing isn't just 2 huge department stores stuck together in the middle, I head off into the wilderness of thursday evening mall shopping in Colorado. I need a tshirt. I have to fly back tomorrow in a tshirt that was fine when I flew out a week ago but following numerous bar meals in the tap room, with fat tire, slabs of hotel chocolate, lunchtime sushi, nachos, burgers, subways, beer, enchiladas, tubs of lard etc., my uber gut stretches the etnies logo out of shape and I look like I should be sat in a golf cart in florida with a havana in one hand and a colostomy bag in the other. so I just need to scale up slightly for the plane. it's the altitude you see, it adds 20 pounds because of the air pressure or something, honest. right, banana republic. nope. helly hansen. yeah, right, I really need microfibres that stretch to fit and expose every contour. gap. nope. dick's sporting goods. ooh, maybe, lets have a look. eh? there's people wall climbing in here. that's just stupid, get me out of here. hang on, they're playing the carpet crawlers by genesis in a sports store in a broomfield mall in 2005. that's just weird. mind you, I hang on for a couple more minutes to listen and pretend to look at basketballs I've no intention of buying. "you gotta get in in to get ou-ou-ou-ooou-out". nope. abercrombie and fitch. it's too dark in there. and a man just came out with a sideways head, I don't like the look of that. pacific sunwear. sorry, Pac Sun. sounds a bit like Pac Man that martin has in his basement. ok, there's 21 year olds in there I aspire to be like and I desperately want to wear their tshirts and be in their gang, so I'll take a look, even though I've come straight from BRM01 and I'm wearing my meeting clothes so obviously I just look like their dad. or creepy trying-to-be-trendy uncle or something. ah so what. right, over to the shirt rack. ooh, fox, etnies, hurley, mad monkey, wet dog, quiksilver, billabong, rolf harris, and they're 3 for 2. I have to try one on, because I still don't know whether a US medium is a UK large or whether that's just random. "Hi I'm Sara! I'll be unlocking your changing room door for you today and closing it behind you! If you have any questions in Pacific Sunwear today, please give me a shout!". er, ok. in the end, medium is medium, and I really need a fat git size today, so large it is. $42 dollars and a withering smile from me that says please let me be in your gang later and I'm out of there.

still no socks though. but now I have a shopping bag with stuff I've bought in it. that makes me a shopper. that means I can browse around other shops and for some reason staff completely ignore me, like I've been seduced by the dark side and they don't need to pursuade me to part with my money. I've crossed the line. I will spend more, it's the law. so with me bulging comfort blanket in me right hand and me left hand in my trouser pocket, I head back to victorias secret which I passed by earlier but pretended not to be interested in, even saying something like "ah yes, brookstone" out loud to myself so people thought I was intent on going somewhere else. I can now cross the threshold of this place as a shopper, which means I'm not just gawping at plunge bras like a 15 year old, I might actually buy one as well. for my wife. but actually, victorias secret is just so rampant it all gets too much for me and after doing one circuit, humming to myself apparently nonchalently, I try to stumble out gracefully, but I trip over the electronic tag detector in the doorway and set off the alarm with the magnetic strip on my library card. I think I just about hold it together while I crawl around the floor, picking up the contents of my wallet as it slithers away from me across the polished floor and me glasses fall out of my shirt pocket, where I've been keeping them like some professor or something. stand up. shoulders back. walk on. smile. try not to notice the entire staff in there are peering at you around the counter and the stock cupboard door like you're some kind of pantomime freak on holiday who left his costume on. never mind that they're all 19 and called Kirsty and they would have been happy to help you if you had any questions in victorias secret today, it's too late. you're an idiot. a fat idiot who hasn't bought any presents and looks like a stupid dad person on vacation, looking for socks and loitering around lingerie shops.

anyway, I did get some socks. calvin klein, $10 each. then I went back to the hotel and sat in the bar on my own watching tv. I'm going to drive to Aspen tomorrow.

oi

shut it you blart. look, if I say you ave to change your business processes then you aint got a leg to stand on right? I mean, it stands to reason dunnit? you got a lahvly set of content there - oi, dave, ain't that a lahvly set of content? look ere, look. its got tabs and everything, real class, not like that muck you get over at those cowboys down the east end. anyway, here's the thing. I've got a proposition for you which I reckon you might take a fancy to. I just had an associate of mine drop round for a little chat, and we got talking in the back of the jag, see? it only turns out he's got a bleedin globalization strategy for our web venues that massively reduces complexity in our publishing processes, enables content reuse and promotes a consistent, coherent voice to our customers, while providing a feature-rich user experience supporting local business priorities and an extensible content model that integrates localization workflow and plug-in web services on a centralized, internationalized, common web platform, dunnit?

so here's the deal, my son. as I'm feeling generous and I've ad enough trouble with little narks like you today, I'm gonna let you in on a little bit of business. call it a mark of my gratitude for the loyalty you've shown to me over the years. I mean, you're like a brother to me. except of course you ain't, but you know, you're like family, right? and what do families do? that's right, my son, they share things. you share your takings and I share you a slap from ron here, but today it's different, cos today, I'm sharing with you a chance to put all that behind you. what I've got for you today my son is only a bleedin global content model, innit? eh? geddit? a global content model. you know what that means, right? ere, ron, I don't think he's understanding me right. I ain't seeing any gratitude. do I ave to spell it out for you? look, its a bleedin centralized content authoring and production environment with subscription, global tree merge, and all that nice stuff, based on a write centrally, view locally publishing model that supports the research and buy cycle in local language for a local market where we do 60% of that kind of stuff, whatever that is. it even lets you carry on authoring all those things you do youself and then sticks everything together in some kind sepository or something so it all looks like it's supposed to be and not like its just fallen of the back of a virtual lorry and you've got some slave labour at 10 quid an hour to patch it up like a kipper. tell im dave,

look, this offer don't last right? as soon as we're out that door we're off down whitehall to see a man about a bit of trouble with opening sauces or something, and then the offer's closed. all I want you to do, my son, is just make a small change to your business process. that's all. just a small change. all you have to do is stop making stuff that only works in one place and start making stuff that works in any place. then we'll throw in the globalization bits and we'll be laughin. that's gotta be the best deal you've ad all day, right? tell him ron. make him understand the value of localization-readiness in content creation, but don't make a mess, mind. I've already got blood on me Armani from that trip down camberley.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

wake up dammit

19 hours of travelling and I'm sat in front a tv that's 5 feet off the ground trying to focus on re-runs of CSI or something that's got loads of earnest looking americans picking up suspicious objects from the floor of smoky warehouses in slowmotion and then cross fading to a train that goes over your head like what it does in the French Connection until some words or other slide into the frame and then just as I get it the adverts cut in and there's a massive Nissan Globalwarmer driving across a desert with a boat in the back of it and a caption comes up at the bottom saying 'professional driver in a simulated desert thats not real so dont do this at home in wisconsin because itll be all your fault when the chassis falls to bits and a flying camshaft takes out Mrs. Pantiles at number 47'. I must be dead in Colorado.

7 years ago all this was fields, well, probably a golf course, but now it's full of hotels that you can see from 17 miles away but apparently I can't find the entrance to without driving the wrong way up highway 36 and then taking a turning onto Interlocken and then realizing every turning here is called Interlocken so I'm no closer to my bed than I was 18 hours ago when I got out of it at 7 in the morning and said goodbye to my family like it was a trip across antartica but they actually were still asleep and just kind of said 'yeah, er, bye'. in between then and now, which seems like about 5 fat tires and 2 bar meals in the tap room talking to Brad about cutting your thumb and listening to Tom going on about wine which is just a bit warm, but definitely not corked, I managed to squeeze in a bus a plane and a chevy cheapskate. oh, and a taxi to the bus station, where Ron dropped me off as we saw a couple kissing each other goodbye and he said 'youre not getting one of those mate!' and he was right, even if I offered him double the fare. I usually stay in a rubbish hotel in the heathrow flight path the night before flying out, well its practically on the runway, just at the point where they dump 10 hours worth waste over berkshire, but the flight to denver leaves at 15:50, so rather than taking 2 weekends out I decided to take the bus in the morning to the airport, because the bus isn't that bad really. unless it's sunday morning at 7 oclock and the driver has obviously just had a row about eggs with his wife and will happily call the IT specialist an 'arsehole' who just put his bag in the luggage compartment marked in his head as 'gatwick' instead of the secret one called 'heathrow'. that was the longest 4 hour bus journey ever. so I get to heathrow about 4 hours before I need to and because I've checked in online, I can't check in yet and so I have to sit in the pre-departures 'seating area' which is like finding a dry piece of newspaper to sit on at glastonbury - funny for 2 seconds. 2 hours later I can check in, but that's alright, because my online check-in means I 'beat the queues'. apart from the queue that is everybody who has checked in online for British Airways, which is the longest queue of all queues in this collection of queues that is a check in area at heathrow airport.

anyway, as Patricia says, BA's service onboard is impeccable, even thought the 777 I'm sat in is pants compared to a 747-400 and I'm damned if I can work out when Hotel Rwanda is going to start, so I end up watching Hide and Seek instead which has that 6th sense twist that you kick yourself for not seeing an hour before and then de niro goes all cape fear/tribble, which just isn't so good at 60, especially when you can see him in Meet the Fockers on channel 16 on the screen on the seat next door. kind of takes the tension out of it when he's simultaneously wielding a blood-spattered spade and rescuing a toy dog from a toilet . still, dakota fanning was a great dark-haired miseryguts. I managed to squeeze in another film I've already completely forgotten about before we landed and no sooner had I stepped off the Avis shuttle bus than I realized I probably couldn't find my way out of airport in the chevy preferredaccount without at least breathing some real air. I stopped for a while in the car lot and remembered that last time I came here with Chris, Air Force 1 was just landing and we watched it taxi up to the gate where will smith and tommy lee jones appeared from a range rover and we got whisked away to the marriot in Boulder.

having eventually negotiated InterlockenEverywhere I was checked into the Omni and there I sat on the end of the the bed, after a couple of swift ones in the tap room talking with a nice woman from StorageTek about Malcolm Glazer and bikes, flicking through the interactive services menu to see if the bar bill was already on my online statement which it wasn't which I though was interesting but actually soon realized that just meant I should go to bed and stop being so sad. for some reason I woke up on the hour, every hour, until it was time to get up again. I can't explain that, but I'll probably not try and program the radio alarm clock and the p800 and the tv and wake up service all at the same time tonight.

Friday, May 20, 2005

words they mean nothing

so I'm flagging down a peasant with last night's evening news but he's straight past and ducking into the Black Horse for a swift Adnams while Angelique nimbles her way onto the pavement and clatters her joss sticks all over the counter at Dave's place. he's got the arseache cos Andy's meandering over the 3:50 at Ripon with a catflap full of bilge and an uncontrollable mare. while everyone's having a butchers, he pokes the lip of charlotte rampling with a pencil and blarts out some diatribe or other about lost shoe factories collecting dust in the undercroft of the Honiton embassy club.

oi, oi, oi, get off the path. its people like you that make poeple like me that are like you wish you would run over my tractor so I can chase you with a pitchfork down the alley, wailing like edward woodward in the wickerman and stabbing your indulgent rear with all the pent up rage that can be squeezed through my wormhole of injustice. you can see how intolerable you are, right? look, there's another, 26 years old and acting like a parrot on Right Charlie, except those parrots don't hurt when they hit your head, they just squawk a bit and flop into the nissan micra. you, on the other hand, will strike the fish stall of inconvenience and will trip over the sponge of idiocy and knock the wing mirrors off the shoe shop of petulance and will by your actions be made to sing along to eurovision for eternity, snipping pictures of kerry catona out of Now magazine and selling clacton pier to the japanese.

by way of which, I went over to the bottle bank and slipped in a vole, which caused a bit of an overflow into the garden, so I coughed up a monkey and headed back to the office, where I woke up the next morning with ainsley harriot boiling my eggs in a tiny brown bucket.

javaone one. I mean the first one. you know what I mean.

1996. It was the beginning of a short period when I was a really quite bad java programmer. still, I got the JavaOne backpack and realized that its possible to have a garden on top of a bunker in the center of town. well, I say the center, but it's not really, but that means I could park in that garage down the road next to the freeway where I discovered that the rental car had lights that come on by themselves. which is nice, but couldn't turn them off.

I've still got the backpack, but I can no longer overload an operator, unless it's the statusline for BT broadband. I recall that nobody really knew what the hell was going on at the event and just kind of wondered around clutching handouts and pieces of cheese and trying to work out which was the most popular breakout session. which was probably beans. or servlets. in fact, they were probably the only breakout sessions. oh, and Scott held up the 7 inch future of computing and we all rocked.

it was great. I ate Casey Jones for 2 weeks straight, ages before that bloke on the telly.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

no, it's really just rubbish

too bad. 22 years forcing myself to like Barrett, but today I give it a 2, which means I'll never hear it again. stupid tea-brained outcast, whining uncontrallably in front of a fireplace in his bare-floorboards front room while dave and nick bring him soup from the co-op and prop him up on a stool, where he just dribbles into his chest, the spark gone right out. I used to live in the flat upstairs to that room when I was sticking £35 price tags on mono copies of piper at the gates of dawn in the upstairs of the cambridge beat goes on and I thought that was just very cool, but actually neither of those things were and now I'm deleting him from my playlist to make way for The Longcut, so there.

in between sticking pins in my arm to remind myself I'm still here and that I really should be revising the standard templates and indexes for global venues in line with Sun's rebranding and the things I forgot to do in the first place, I'm fiddling with a P800 and pointing a gun at my foot as I think about what to put on the Tadpole to see me through the next week in the land of high-altitude Jagermeister and a big bed at the Omni that I'll probably fall out of at 4 in the morning as I stumble for the hotel ethernet cable that will connect me up to the Sun network to coordinate Japan. I have to use photoshop, so I have to use XP. I need to install JDS, but I really don't have the wit to dual boot and I only have 1 day to sort it out anyway and by the way, if you're thinking of suggesting the gimp, then don't. I'll do the right thing when I get back and then reinstall the entire home network with solaris 10 and get VPN working because chris managed it so I should be able to, even though he's got a Ferrari now like what all them engineers do. you just need to get NAT to point to the right port and apparently a tunnel opens up, like fricken Narnia or something. I dunno.

so i'm going to rip the heart out of an About Sun gateway and stick it back together again with 'I know what I'm talking about, really' glue, ready to hoof over to the development team to do that stuff they do with XML and god knows what and then I'll stick a new stylesheet on the press pages and wrap up the indexes like dynamic fajitas and then I'll ask the lovely people in Australia if they would like to opt in to changing the world and everything in it just by configuring their NSAPI. or I'll have another pie. pie it is. hang on, Spiritualized. blimey, that's a bit rubbish too.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

I'm the only person in the world and nobody understands me

I'll probably die an herioc/tragic death and will be mourned forever by enigmatic trench coats sitting in underground coffee bars making 50 pence last all afternoon and only looking up from their shoes to check their eyeliner. that's right, 17 years old on a houseboat in Beaulieu-Sur-Mer, writing poems about psuedo-hitlers and jesus incarnate and I'm trying to look insanely mysterious, smoking marlboros which filter through my hair and only giving myself away occasionally when I sneak a look at the 24 year old barmaid who's bringing me another Orangina and giving me a smile I think says she understands the torment of genius, but actually means something like does your mother know you're here.

its 1984 so my walkman DC2 and 5 band SEQ-50 are sat on the table top next to the Pernod ashtray and my book of tortured genius. inside, a UX90 slowly rolls its way from one spindle to another and the amorphous head picks up Atrocity Exhibition and pipes it onto my head, my eyes fixing on an imaginary point in the distance in the hope that that makes me look seriously intense without actually drawing attention to myself, which would just be intolerable. I continue scribbling stuff down about death and righteousness and misunderstanding until the tape starts squeaking with the pressure of over-use as The Eternal comes on and I get that moment of teenage futility where you just look at the harbour wall and consider crashing against the rocks. except we're going to Monaco tomorrow and I'll get to see the underpass and swimming pool where the grand prix goes and where they had that crash in that film once, so I start chewing on a polo, thinking that will rid me of any cigarette smoke and leave 2 francs or something on the table and try and get up and leave without anybody looking at me, especially the barmaid who I've now become obsessed with.

so we go the the swimming pool and I've never been in a salt water swimming pool before and I think it's horrible. the sort of thing I would make my own children do now and wonder why they don't think its really exciting to swim in a pool next to the sea, which is the sea, but is a pool. we also visit some sacred fountain or other and drink water that tastes like nails and I try and scare people with my terrible hair and then we head off to Orange, where I get to scale the walls of the roman theatre and pose like a centurian, but I don't need a helmet, because I've got my helmet hair. genius.

I guess I got to spend about a week of my life being eternally miserable and wanting to throw myself off a parapet and I'm only reminded about that now because its 25 years ago that ian curtis hanged himself in his kitchen, thinking everybody would be better off without him. I'm about to go to the gym and row 5 kilometers to get back to where I started by going nowhere in between, so I guess that's about the same as what I did in that week, and I've still got Closer playing, although it's upmixed to 5:1 surround sound in my office, so nothing really changes, I just don't work in a record store anymore.

Friday, May 13, 2005

wipe it off, before mr elephanthead comes on

wipe it off, before mr elephanthead comes on

managed to squeeze in that conversation about global node deletions and what the process flow looks like for an über publisher in the white walled kingdom of love and how that really makes someone's day in Korea, who just sent out a billion mailshots to everybody on the big list on their head. and so he went off running through the rain forest and dodging the artillery and I hoofed it down to the sportspark to cough up my kidneys on a rotating rubber platform and row nowhere. it was school sports day in the old field and lots of 13 year olds with their jumpers tied round their heads were cavorting around the ashphalt, shouting "Chris! Chris! Chris! Oi! Chris! Go oooooooon! Yeeeeeeaaah!" at a fat kid who was upside down in a bucket.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

think of me when you close your eyes

just past mid-point of a globalizationfest and I've stuck a pin in the calendar at May 30. we'll have China and Japan and Taiwan and Korea and Hong Kong and Asia South and, oh, Russia and the Netherlands. if I could stop flapping about in my Panasonics, nodding dementedly to the dust brothers, I could probably also get all the menus fully qualified on search for all 37 sites and make June very happy. but I haven't done that. I've been pointing sticks at globalization policies for corporately produced features and trying to squeeze an annotated screen shot in there because I have an aversion to just publishing things that do the job, when I could spend a day making sure the font sizes are all correct and I can crowbar in a visual to make it look like I know what I'm talking about when obviously I'm making it up, but I happen to have photoshop and a stack of pre-watershed screenshots.

a get sidetracked though. I have to revise the globalization requirements based on me forgetting what I said in the first place and then work out how that gets mangled up with the standard templates for common content across worldwide sites that will compel local business units to opt in to the platform we promised them 3 years ago but they think looks like the one that didn't work for them before this one and anyway they're all doing their own thing now and anyway it's so far away I won't be able to use that because you can't support me in this timezone with a blackberry and a couple of matchsticks, even if you do have that guy in the UK who fixed my password once and has a nice sofa.

but then I remember I've forgotten to do the things with the globalization forum that would make everything spring back to life and I'll never ever get to talk with the architect about version 6 of the navigational support technology who thinks I have no idea what happens next because that's what I told him and anyway now I'm working from home permanently nobody knows who I am which brings me back to the point I hadn't made yet about being here at 1:10 when I've still got tomorrows packed lunches to make and I haven't filled in the forms about the trip to the fish museum in Yarmouth that will cost me 2x10 quid to let the twins touch a small eel with a pencil and buy stickers of nemo that will make a mark on their antique beds that we can't get off, even with vinegar.

still, I got some nice duffs today and spent the afternoon looking around skate shops daring beeny hats to point at me and at my obviously 38 year old frame and mock me into a corner with some drum and bass and a stonking great spliiiif. in the end, they all just looked up and said 'awright mate' and got back on the moby talking to davo about the blindin' night they 'ad last night down at the waterfront. I skulked around looking for a tshirt that didn't come down to my knees but gave up when one of the d00ds hoofing around behind the oakleys started taking about what to 'torrent' off the internet, saying he only had stills of paris hilton. you see, I was tempted you point them at a place I know in hungary where you can get all sorts of strange characters, but it's been fixed since I last looked so I didn't really have anything to bring to the party.

so as I crash my head against the mac keyboard that laurence gave me in time to pj harvey - which isn't easy, especially with the blood in my eyes and it being 'who the f*' - I'm thinking about the day that stretches out like a pointy daggery knife and I consider whether us to uk is just as valid as us to jp or kr, because, to be honest, it'd be easier. but that's not the point right? that's why sarah chose finnish in 1999 and we all had had to guess what the hell was going on and how you could squeeze Koulutuspalvelut into 47 pixels. just because it's difficult, doesn't mean we shouldn't commit ourselves to defining that perfect strategy and executing beyond everyone's wildest expectations. it's just that, well, we won't, so I'm looking into how we might just get australia to publish a press release and then I'm hoping the rest of the world will just kind of stumble into the trap until those pesky kids pull off my 'mr halloran the janitor dressed up as a content management werewolf' mask and hand me over to a waiting california highway patrolman who will take me downtown where michael douglas will extract from me the gory details of that time in union square where we were so drunk we thought it would be funny to approach the ladies in the street, knowing we had to get up in the morning to demo remote mangement software.

I think I just turned shuffle off by mistake unless it true that they do all sound the same where I end and you begin. the sky is falling in etc.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

I look like a pig

I do. Its true. just like an orwellian über pig with a face like a slapped Chesney. every time I breathe in its like a collision at a ratchet factory, but that's alright, because when I breathe out its like a moon landing on a brown field site just outside attleborough. I had to draw myself with my right hand today, so even though I was able to use the left side of my brain, I'd slept the wrong way round and it was just full of chaff. I came out like a satanic peter stringfellow, so I ordered meself a pie and sat down on a peasant. it was better after that, but I've got a stack of standard web templates piled up on the migration roadmap and I've got to pull it all together.

nah. think I'll just get the Talin out and get it all 'Colorado'. It's Japan on day 2, so if I'm not on the overlap, I'll get a load of bother from the pusherman, standing by with his big fat switch. I reckon that'll be an overnight job, upside down in Broomfield, bluffing the lot on a pair of 8s, while droozilla cackles uncontrolably into his ventilator, gibbering something about accessibility. ooh. there goes bob dylan.

Monday, May 2, 2005

but I want to do it another way

just a quick check to see if everythings ok and oh, world of pain. so Tom and the boys are gathered around an Americano, throwing bits of anchovy at a twisted effigy of a marketeer made out old Dreamweaver boxes. it's a public holiday so they've decided to spend all day slumped over a big top, poking at bits of Hungarian until the end drops off and they have to copy and paste umlauts from a transcription of the Sun Web Karaoke '98 event in Copenhagen, where Anna was looking particularly elfin. to make things worse, I don't even have a clue what they're supposed to be doing tomorrow, so I'm relying on Mr. Swindon to perform his usual unfaltering push script fandango, so that kudos flutters from the sky like the dry leaves of a recognition tree and alights on the shoulders of the hunchbacks and misfits that make up this great global brotherhood of monkeys.

meanwhile, I'm coughing up internal organs and getting very cold shoulders because I've not left my crack pit since returning from Andalucia. there's 17 load balancing balinesians to plunder and that's before I've checked in with Marco, who's pointing his roots at the moon, and Johanesjohanusnessunsen who has sprung from an email backup to inform me that everything is alright forever and if they can't find the press section, I'm sure they'll work it out themselves. not to mention that Tanned Guy who is quietly moving up on the outside, finding a space between an un-kerned exclamation mark and a stack of 508 update requests.

The reason I'm doing this is unclear. I've just kind of got stuck in a project plan trap, but I've got so fat I can't bend over to chew my foot off. while I'm simpering into a bucket, various apparitions dance before me, floating around in the ether and slapping me in the chuff with wet gantt charts until I agree to put me arm in the trap as well, ooh, and while you're there, could you just make us a cup of tea? I agree to do this, of course, because I've got Cliff Richard coming round and I don't what him to think I'm a slacker, even though he didn't send me a birthday card this year.