Friday, April 29
Have checked all my credit card statements that are still online and have discovered more rogue charges:
28/10/2010 O2 PREPAY SLOUGH GB £15.00+
29/10/2010 O2 PREPAY SLOUGH GB £15.00+
13/11/2010 WWW.HDOFFICE.NET LONDON NW4 GB £13.99+
15/11/2010 AUGUSTIA.COM 210-5389336 £23.71+ ##0321 36.77 USD @ 1.5508
I feel like such an idiot for not spotting this sooner! That's £114.34 in total that's been stolen from me and I have no idea if it was going on for longer since I can't check the statements...
Wednesday, April 27
Album Project Update - David Bowie album 3 out of 25 - 'The Man Who Sold The World' (1970). Not my favourite Bowie album. A lot of it basically sounds like 70's Rock. Like, hm, The Who, people like that. Not that that's a bad thing. But it's not why I like David Bowie. The exception is the one track that people will definitely know from this album, the title track. 'The Man Who Sold The World' is a great song, no doubt about it. :)
Labels: 1970, Album Project, David Bowie, The Man Who Sold The World
Had a pretty busy weekend long (yay, four days off!), though now I'm working again (the three day week between bank holidays!) and bemoaning the fact that someone seems to have been using my credit card. I checked my statements because of the PSN hack and discovered two transactions that I have no idea about:
09/03/2011 CCBill.com *Alpha Relia 888-5969279 £23.52+ ##1070 36.77 USD @ 1.5634
08/04/2011 CCBill.com *Alpha Relia 888-5969279 £23.12+ ##1101 36.77 USD @ 1.5904
Clearly these are about a month apart for a similar sum, but what *are* they? I might not have noticed if it hadn't been for Sony's problems. In situations like this I worry that I did buy something and I've forgotten, but I don't buy much from America and when I do it's via eBay and that goes through Paypal.
A bit of googling turns up this Alpha Reliance
website, which is suspicious due to its rubbishness and the fact it's in Ghana. I mean, would you ask a web company with a website that looked like that to design anything for you?
Maybe they have nothing to do with it. Hmm. Anyway, I've messaged Smile and will see what they say. I wish they would reply faster. Hmmmm.
In other news, what did I do over the Easter Weekend? Friday we did lots of tidying and things round the house. Saturday we had a hanami party - we went to Aylestone Hall Gardens and admired the cherry blossoms. Sunday Rob and Mat went to do some bowls on the green in the aforementioned gardens. Monday Rob did some excellent gardening work and we bought three more tiny fish. I think that's about it. Oh, and I did a thousand piece jigsaw. I get a bit obsessed when I start jigsaws, find it hard to stop doing them...
Wednesday, April 20
I didn't say, but on 11th April we went to see Spamalot at De Montfort Hall. It was good, though I was feeling quite ill and didn't enjoy it as much as I probably should have. Phil Jupitus was Arthur, which is odd casting but worked surprisingly well. It was remarkable what they did with just 12 (I think) actors. It was all worked out so cleverly - chopping off limbs, etc. And the actress who played Guinevere was very good at singing in different styles. Looking at the website, I presume she was Jessica Martin. It was a good mix of old favourites (African or European Swallow, etc) and new stuff. No-where near as good as 'Monty Python and The Holy Grail' but a good tribute to the film. :)
This weekend we had a BBQ Saturday, making the most of the hot weather, then on Sunday we went to see BTCC at Donington Park for Rachel's birthday. It was very hot but I managed to avoid sunburn by applying copious amounts of lotion! Brilliant. The racing was quite fun - we were in a good position to see things like Jason Plato's dramatic crash. Remarkably they managed to fix his car for the next race. Also, saw other things like Formula Renault (with Josh Hill, Damon's son) and Renault Clio racing with Nick Hamilton, Lewis's brother. A good day out!
Album Project Update! 'Space Oddity' (1969). The first track on this album is one that everyone knows, the title track of the album. The story of a space man sent to the moon whose space craft breaks leaving him marooned. Ok, so perhaps it is about drug use, but seeing as the moon landing took place on 20th July 1969 and the album was released 4th November 1969 it's easy to just see it as a story about space exploration. Well, I think so anyway. It's probably the best use of Stylophone in a song ever! The track is very different to the other songs on the album, which are a mixed bunch including an orchestral song with fairly inexplicable lyrics ('Wild Eyed Boy From Freecloud'), songs about everyday life like the shoplifting old lady ('God Knows I'm Good') and the trippy 'Memory Of A Free Festival' (which I remember from Dario G's 1998 hit 'Sunmachine'). 'Space Oddity' really is a great song. Hooray!
Labels: 1969, Album Project, David Bowie, Space Oddity
Monday, April 18
The next phase of the Album Project is to listen to all David Bowie's studio albums - that's 25 albums! And so I started with 'David Bowie' (1967), which was a very odd album. When he released his debut album he was 20 years old. Apparently at this early stage of his career he was influenced by various people including The Kinks. I guess the crazy story songs (like 'Uncle Arthur') fit with that. It's an odd album really. I can't say I like all the songs, but some are great. 'Little Bombadier' is very sad.
Labels: 1967, Album Project, David Bowie, Self Titled
Thursday, April 14
Have been kind of ill for the past couple of weeks, resulting in 2 1/2 days off work this week and general death-cold grimness. Today, back at work, I wrote 'Benedictine monkeys' instead of monks. I kind of hope there weren't other mistakes like that that I've failed to spot!
Still, I have managed to finish the Blur section of the Album Project! Yes, I have now listened to their last (so far) studio album, no. 7 - 'Think Tank' (2003). This has all sorts of experimental sounds - squeaky doors and the like - and various World Music influences. It's completely mad in places, but it works together really really well. I think that if you like the Gorillaz, this is the Blur album that you're most likely to like. (There were a lot of 'likes' in that sentence.) And when this album ended they all went off to run for Parliament, make cheese, form animated music groups - that sort of thing. :)
So, which were my most and least favourite Blur albums? I think 'The Great Escape' is my least favourite. When you listen to all the albums, it's the one that stands out as being quite different. It's just a bit too silly for me. My favourite album, wow, that's hard. It's either 'Modern Life is Rubbish' or 'Parklife', I think. Ok, well, I'll go with 'Parklife'. Hooray! Now it's time to embark on a trip that may well send me mad. Listening to all 25 of David Bowie's studio albums..!!! Yikes!
Labels: 2003, Album Project, Blur, Parklife, Think Tank
Sunday, April 10
Album Project update! Blur's sixth album, '13' (1999). More and more serious! 'Tender' is a brilliant song. It and 'No Distance Left To Run' were inspired by Damon's breakup with the Elastica singer Justine Frischmann. And 'Coffee and TV' is a great Graham Coxon song with a notable video. Well worth a look if you've never seen it, it's bound to be on Youtube somewhere. It's a fairly mellow album on the whole. Cool. :)
Labels: 13, 1999, Album Project, Blur
Thursday, April 7
Had a nice long weekend in Southend - went home for Dad's birthday and Mothers Day. It was hard coming back to work after having the weekend plus Monday and Tuesday off!
Saturday we went to Basildon for lunch in a cafe near where my brother John works. (Ok, so Basildon's the last place you'd think someone would look forward to going to for lunch, but hey.) They do giant fried breakfasts and things and it's fast, cheap and yummy. Yay! After that we went to Wat Tyler Country Park
, which has changed a lot since I last went there. It has lots of new trails and a new visitor centre. The trails include an Explosives one, since it was the site of Alfred Nobel's Pitsea Explosives Factory. (Perhaps it was just me, I had no idea he made his money in Explosives!)
Sunday Rob and I cooked a roast and in the afternoon Rob, John and I went for a walk over the fields. (Mum and Dad's house is on the edge of town, so the fields are only just over the road.)
Monday John had to go to work but Rob, Mum and Dad and I went to Hadleigh Castle. From the castle you can see the Olympic Mountain Bike track
. We also went to the tea rooms run by the Salvation Army as part of the Hadleigh Farm Colony
. This was originally set up by William Booth in 1891, to help people who were in trouble (workhouses etc). Today there are various things run for people with 'special needs or circumstances'. It would be hard to find a cleaner or more friendly cafe to eat in! In the evening we went to the Halfway House on the seafront for a carvery, which was fine but they tried to kill my mum (gave her normal coke instead of diet coke, and since she's diabetic she was up all night until her blood sugar settled down).
Tuesday I spent a bit of quality time with Mum and Dad, and after dinner Rob drove me home...
So that's my long weekend!
Album Project Update! 'Blur' (1997). This is the re-invention of Blur - gone are the silly songs of 'The Great Escape'. There are songs on this that are far more like their earlier albums. It's likely that you would know 'Song 2', which is annoyingly the only song that gets onto Rock Band's playlist! But hey. I really like 'Strange News From Another Star'. It's grown up. It's a new direction for the band. Hooray!
Labels: 1997, Album Project, Blur, Self Titled