work is a 4 letter word

So there I am, hunched over the computer, 20-odd Firefox tabs open, battling to get my head round re-designing our Antequera Villa Rental website, when in from the garden comes Ursula, asking for advice. So we go outside and down the garden path where I find a mound of vine prunings and Ursula turns and says “I’m tired and just wondered if you could help me by picking up these prunings?”.

At this moment it’s a choice between giving in to the presumption that physical labour is somehow “better” than working on the puter and venting frustration that I have now totally lost the precious little concentration and understanding I can muster to upgrade the site. Concentration lost, frustration won. I won but also lost, lol.

Busy days in Antequera…

Ursula and I have now got 8 weeks and counting to finish all the building work and find a new place to live – both for ourselves and Ursula’s mother Stella, who has now decided to move to Spain to enjoy some decent weather.

This week we are putting in a new shower room with the help of our builder Miguel and plumber Antonio. They have seen us through several crises over the last four years and we know we can trust them to do good work!

Meanwhile our best friends here in Spain, Mark and Åsa, are painting the entire exterior whilst Ursula tends to the garden. This is a bigger task than it might sound – there’s over 4000 metres of it for a start – and our newly hired gardener has quit after only one week!

And our new electrician, Andy Parker, who has only recently joined the great European migration trail to the South, is sorting out the tangled web of circuitry left by his predecessor whilst looking after the varied demands of a wife and 2 teenage daughters and coping with his first does of Spanish flu.

As for me, I’m still figuring out how to do a significant upgrade of our website which involves a steep learning curve as an RSS feed or two, Amazon Associates coding, PayPal payment coding , an MPG of Ursula’s Recent satellite TV interview and a total design overhaul to be done. and I’ve only ever built 2 websites before, and that thanks to the user-friendly Web Studio software. It should be an interesting challenge for both it and me!

The Joys of Unexpected Shopping!

Spring is finally in the air and there is a lot of work to be done as we prepare the villa for it’s first season as a holiday rental in Antequera and yesterday (Monday) was the day for our big shopping day out on the Costa Del Sol.

We needed a full set of bathroom fittings for the planned power shower room so a full tour of Bathroom and DIY shops was in prospect but fortunately Leroy Merlin proved equal to the task of satisfying the fabulous but demanding taste of Ursula, my wife, on the budget of, well, not a pauper, but certainly not a prince!

This gave me a chance to sneak off to the nearby record store and stock up on a few bargains, one of which was the Madness singles compilation, “Heavy Heavy Hits” , rare on Amazon but here a snip for 7 Euros!

23 UK hit singles in 7 years, many of them sublime (House of Fun, Shut Up, My Girl’s Mad At Me, Our House) is a pretty impressive record by anybody’s standards and many of these songs are genuine classics.

My First Blogcritique

How Herman Hesse Changed My Life Forever

Posted by Alienboy on March 20, 2005 09:33 PM (See all posts by Alienboy)
Filed under: Books, Books: Philosophy, Books: SFScroll down to read comments on this story and/or add one of your own.

The Glass Bead Game : (Magister Ludi) A Novel
Hermann Hesse
Book from Picador
Release date: 06 December, 2002

As a callow 16 year old virgin, forced by circumstances beyond my control to take premature control of my life, I had many romantic ideas about the world.

Herman Hesse’s The Glass Bead Game completely revolutionised the way I saw the world, showed me the limitations of fixed beliefs and committed me to a life of transcending the usual life options. Or so it seemed at the time, lol

This is a great, if lengthy, book which repays the persistent reader with a wonderful work of fiction, science fiction, a tantalising concept, the Glass Bead Game itself, and a profound understanding of human nature. Great stuff!

I can’t better the writeup at Amazon, so i’ll quote it

“The final novel of Hermann Hesse, for which he won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1946, The Glass Bead Game is a fascinating tale of the complexity of modern life as well as a classic of modern literature

Set in the 23rd century, The Glass Bead Game is the story of Joseph Knecht, who has been raised in Castalia, the remote place his society has provided for the intellectual elite to grow and flourish. Since childhood, Knecht has been consumed with mastering the Glass Bead Game, which requires a synthesis of aesthetics and scientific arts, such as mathematics, music, logic, and philosophy, which he achieves in adulthood, becoming a Magister Ludi (Master of the Game).”

The really great thing is that Knecht (German for servant, I suspect), despite his intellectual brilliance, never forgets the importance of simple human life, indeed comes to value it more highly than intellectual perfection.

Many people are fascinated with the game itself and there many sites devoted to it, notably http://www.glassbeadgame.com/

More fine reading at Blogcritics.org.

(Magister Ludi) A Novel/Hermann HesseThis post originally made to Blogcritics

I must be on a roll

I’ve been accepted as a contributor at Blogcritics , which is great.

They have a wonderfully diverse group of reviewers or “sinister cabal of superior bloggers on music, books, film, popular culture, technology, and politics” as they have been called, although there is also a provocative sprinkling of diehards, blowhards and totally out there loonies!

I’ve been commenting on many of the posts for a few weeks now, so it just seemed right to get a little more involved now…

Awww!

Well, I just logged in to the Manchester United server of the Sunday League to see how the competition to take over my team is going and found this in the Hall of Fame…

Alienboy
Alienboy was one of Man 2’s greats, and is in the minority of managers who can claim to have been a commanding presence on the game over ‘generations’. A real old school manager, his brilliance on the game and wit on the forums hadn’t faded since he joined in late 2002 to when he left early 2005. If anything, one could say he moved from strength to strength – 3 Elite Cups underline just how good this manager was. Proved his resilience on countless occasions, surviving defeats on the forum and on the game to come back stronger, usually having the last laugh along the way. A legend who learnt his trade with the old guard and – along with Pparch – the only manager who stayed at the very top until they decided to call it a day.

* blushes*