Welcome to SpaCeMonKeY UK, the blog of Helen Wells (nee Berrington, aka FieryFred) since 2002.





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SpaCeMonKeY UK

Wednesday, May 28

I read this today: Pork Pie Library may be closing and was momentarily confused. Then I realised they meant the library down the road, not a library for pork pies.

It's a weird building. Two libraries in Leicester were built in the late 30s by the same team (Symington, Prince & Pike), and they look very similar. They were built in the 'Moderne' style. Quite why the Southfields one ended up being called 'Pork Pie' and the other didn't, when they both look like that, I have no idea. :)

Whilst the Pork Pie Library (or Southfields Library, as it is otherwise known), is not a listed building, the other one - St Barnabas Library, is Grade II listed. I expect the reason that one is listed and the other isn't is the interior. St Barnabas's is currently featured in an exhibition called Semper Eadem - Leicester's motto ('Always the Same'). This features various places that have remained the same for at least 25 years. The library still has its original curved bookshelves and other fittings. It must have cost a lot of money to build two libraries that needed custom built curved shelving!

I think one of the most interesting ex-buildings in Leicester, in my opinion, is Lewis's Department Store. All that remains today is the viewing tower, stuck on the end of Gap on Humberstone Gate. (It was rebuilt in the 1990s.) What made it particularly amazing is the interior - like the restaurant. Shiny!

And while I'm talking about 1930s buildings, the Kingstone Store has to be one of the least likely looking listed buildings in the city. It's the glass construction that makes it so special.

Monday, May 26

An interesting weekend so far, when all's said and done, and it's kind of not over what with it being Bank Holiday Monday (woo!).

First of all, Eurovision. I will now attempt to link the the Eurovision preview player:

Eurovision Song Contest - Belgrade 2008 Preview Player

While the Latvian pirates were interesting, I actually voted for Denmark, because it was very cheerful. I thought the Ukrainian entry was good, and Norway. Most of the songs were okay, but there wasn't anything that I thought was brilliant. The UK entry was good, though, so the pitiful amount of points it ended up with was pretty disgusting. You kind of wonder what the point is. I know it makes us sound like sulky kids when we complain about this, but we scored less points than Spain, and they BOOED THEIR OWN SONG. Yikes. And I wouldn't mind if a song won that was clearly good, but the terrible political voting and the fact that it was only an okay song that won is, well, sad.

In the funny song stakes, Bosnia's song was pretty good, and France's was inexplicable. What's a Chivers? Ah, okay, "Chivers is a slang term for a hip young musician", the Times says that so it must be true.

In other news, the Monaco Grand Prix has to have been one of the most exciting races in recent times. It's remarkable that so many cars did survive until the end considering, just took a lot of spare noses. (What an odd thing to say.)

Finally, the place I was 'simming' on or whatever it's called died, so we've had to move back onto the 'old' forums to continue our Stargatey adventures. This is interesting since my character in the 'Conquest of Earth' sim was a Wraith and now we've ended up back on Atlantis without all the explanation that might have occurred if it had happened properly. So I figured I'd send myself back unconscious and let someone else figure it all out...

Maybe I'll get to do something interesting today. Though it is windy outside, maybe it's safer to stay here. Near my computer. :p

Oh, and maybe I'll actually finish the stuff to post to James. I did burn the CD, just have to make some sort of cover for it. Hmmm.

Wednesday, May 21

I guess it had to happen at some point... Smooth FM have based a whole advertisement campaign on the Sleeveface phenomenon... Personally I think the pictures on the bus shelters work better than the TV ad. Interesting.

The only other thing I had to say was Mr Beetle, the world's only ukulele playing water beetle?! Now that's a way to spend bank holiday monday!

There, I have posted, you can stop nagging me now Ali. Don't know why you're pestering me anyway, for months I've blogged far more often than you have. :p

Saturday, May 17

Ah, finally it's cooler. Actually, it's so much cooler that I put the heating back on! English weather is strange... I've often wondered whether the variability in the weather is why we talk about it so much.

The other day I was on a bus (I spend much of my time on buses, since I usually catch four a day what with getting to and from work) and I noticed that all of the bus shelters with adverts for Grand Theft Auto IV had had their glass smashed to pieces! And they say games like that don't encourage violence... ;)

It hasn't been a terribly exciting week. I did receive a CD in the post that I'd been looking forward to for a while - Rhythms del Mundo - Cuba. It's a work of genius. Chris Moyles had been playing bits of some of their songs on his Radio 1 show (particularly their version of Coldplay's 'Clocks').

Oh, that free Nine Inch Nails album was very good, so I'd highly recommend people to download it!

My brother John's visiting this weekend, this morning we went and had a look in the music shop Sheehan's, which has just moved to a shiny new shop. It was very impressive, though I'm not sure they have much more stock than they used to. We bought a few bits and pieces. I bought Rob a few Saxophone books with backing track CDs. He's now becoming annoyed because he can't play fast enough. Oh well...

Guess I might go and write out some more songs for him. (Maybe he should learn to read music, bah!) Bye bye...

Sunday, May 11

Wow, it's still very hot. Weather pixie says it's 23 degrees but it was hotter earlier (it is the evening now after all).

I had an idea for a story, I'll probably never write it. I need the right conditions for writing, noise distracts me. Hum. Maybe I should try and make myself write, it might help to do something constructive.

I'm a bit confused as to why the LastFM widget isn't working properly in Firefox. It works in Explorer. It used to work in Firefox, so what's changed? D'oh.

Did lots of things yesterday, went to watch Kiki's Delivery Service at the arts cinema in town with Ali, Rob and our friend Mat. (His name is Mathew with one T, so we think that should shorten to Mat. But he's a bit sad his name only has one T and would prefer Matt. Not that you probably care about that really..!) I'd watched it once before in Japanese, it was pretty well dubbed - Jiji is the best sarcastic cat in the world!

After that we went to the Oriental Supermarket and bought things like Pocky and dried lychees. Yum. We took these newly purchased items to the school where our church meets, and helped set up for a party to celebrate the church's new name. (It's changed from 'Church in the Community Leicester' to 'King's Church Leicester'.) The party involved lots of food from places such as Malaysia, Thailand and India. I liked the Thai food the most, I think.

Mat, Ali and I escaped from the party after the food (didn't stay for the music, probably was a good thing since I hear there was dancing!). We went to Ali's house to watch Battle Royale. It was no-where near as good as the manga, reminiscent of a bad made for TV film, but it was entertaining enough. Better than being at a party where people might try and force me to dance because they don't understand how much I really don't want to. :)

Today I watched the F1 Turkish GP, a few episodes of Fullmetal Alchemist, and played Final Fantasy III on my DS. Also did boring things like ironing and laundry but probably isn't that interesting to dwell on stuff like that for blogging purposes. ;)

Not sure if that sentence was at all like I meant it to be. Perhaps I shall go now. Bye!

Thursday, May 8

You may have noticed this all looks different. I figured it was about time the blog had a new look, one with more bowler hats and bananas. So there you go.

Another hot day, I walked part of the way home (from Frog Island, down the canal to Aylestone Meadows). It nearly killed me! Dunno where the summery weather's suddenly come from. :)

Wednesday, May 7

I thought of some more things I could blog about!

I put some odd things on YouTube the other day: here they are. I am not responsible for any of them - Ali is, but still. The quality is very bad but if Ali ever gets around to it she might make some better ones.

Personally I like What if Battenburg were illegal? the most. :)

I've seen a song on music TV a couple of times now that I really like - the song's pretty catchy but the video's brilliant! Sonny J - handsfree. Genius!

I was also interested to learn that Nine Inch Nails are giving away a free album. You can get it here: The Slip. I've downloaded it but I haven't listened yet. Can't really go wrong when something's free though, can you?

Last night I went to something I hope never to go to again... A Toykopop ReCon event. I have been reading quite a bit of manga so I thought I'd go along to it with Rob, Ali and our friend Mat. It was horrible. I think I forget how rubbish I am in situations like that since I tend to just never go anywhere. It was packed, and what was worse it was packed with annoying kids. D'oh! It wasn't that good, either. There was a brief summary of manga that would be coming out soon, a quiz, a small cosplay competition and an art competition. But it really wasn't run that well. I'm sure it could have been a lot better. The stuff they gave away at the end really wasn't that exciting. Maybe they don't have to try hard to get people to like them - they know the obsessed screaming ones will spend their pocket money on manga anyway...

I shall go now. It is hot. Who'd have thought?

Monday, May 5

Been ages since I last blogged, terrible! It's a lovely warm bank holiday Monday today that, so I figured I should blog while I have a few spare minutes. :)

There ought to be exciting things that have happened in the last couple of months since I blogged last. But I can't think of any.

I just signed up to see if they'd let me be in the beta for Stargate Worlds, though I don't know if I'll get accepted. It might be fun. It would be interesting to see what it's like. I'm scared it'll be awful. I downloaded the web kit they had on there but it's not very exciting. If I'd made one it'd have lots more exciting pictures and things. The wallpapers are boring..!

I have been watching Formula One, it's pretty exciting this year so far. It's good that the teams are close at the top, makes a change really. Ferrari aren't zooming off and Lewis Hamilton's going to have a fight on his hands if he wants to be world champion. Good stuff!

I've been reading a lot of manga and watching a bit of anime, still going to the Manga Cafe at Enderby Library. I'm supposed to be going to an event at a bookshop in town tomorrow. Could be interesting, could be very scary. At least I'm going with some friends, so they'll protect me.

We've been doing some gardening, though it's all a lot harder than it needs to be. The bit we wanted to clear and put lawn on seems to be a plastic covered rubble dump. No wonder it wasn't lawn or nice flowerbeds. D'oh!

I went to see Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade at a little cinema, woo! I love that film, I've seen it so many times. It's one of my top three favourites of all time. Brilliant stuff.

We looked after Rex the dog for 10 days while Ali was in America. He was a very good dog on the whole. I don't like dogs, just Rex, he's special. ;)

What else... it was my Nan and Granddad's diamond wedding anniversary in April so we went to see them. They're both getting a bit old now, I should try and get to see them more often. Or at least write to them. (I'm just as bad at writing to them as I am blogging, terrible...)

I had been playing Assassin's Creed on the PS3, which was fun if a little repetitive, but now I'm out of the habit. I'm scared if I try and play it again I will have forgotten what to do. I bought Final Fantasy on the DS as well and I haven't really played that. I don't know why I bother buying new things, I hardly ever get around to playing them. Boo hoo...

For the first time in ages I have been working on a new web project, along with Ali and our friend Mat. It's a secret at the moment but I'll post when we're happy with it. :D

I will try and blog a little more often so I can remember things to say. Bye for now.

He has a bowler hat, go figure.


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