Today, I went to Sheffield to attend a conference, knowing that I'd get to interview Nick Clegg while there. Unfortunately, despite arriving at the outskirts of Sheffield approximately an hour before I needed to, I was half an hour late for the actual meeting. Why?

Because Sheffield doesn't know what signposts are for


Here's an example. The conference is at Sheffield Cathedral. Lovely venue BTW, just about the right size, theoretically easy to find, etc. So while driving the outskirts of the city, I get to the ring road and there's a sign that says "for the Cathedral and [other stuff], follow Cathedral District". Simple enough. So I do, and the Cathedral District is well signposted along the ring road. Except for one small omission. No exit sign. At least not one that I saw. Guys, if you're putting up signs aimed at visitors, pointing out important attractions and destinations, it's useful if you make sure they actually tell visitors where they need to turn off.

Another example. One of the exits from the ring road is closed, so I can't follow the route in. There are nice diversion signs up. So I follow them. Unfortunately, at the next exit to the roundabout, the diversion sign is almost impossible to see from the lane you end up in. So this poor, and now late, stressed and frustrated visitor is in the wrong lane (again) and has no clue where to go. Good job I have a reasonable sense of direction and Google Maps installed on the phone.

Sheffield Lib Dems? I know you only took control of the council in May, and I'm told you're aware it's a disgrace, but still, please, for the benefits of your great city, the supposed hub of South Yorkshire, please sort out the directions signs so they actually help visitors. Thanks.

If you need some help, send some fact finders down to Devon. I grew up there, it's only when you leave you realise the lack of the damn things everywhere else. There's no point hoping for an increase in tourism if the tourists just get lost and frustrated...

This rant brought to you by the 'too exhausted to even proofread' section of Mat's Brain. The interview itself will, hopefully, get a write up tomorrow. Because, y'know, dude! I interviewed Nick Clegg. And prompted him to have a dig, on the record, at both Polly Toynbee and Jackie Ashley. Yay!
Righty ho landlubbers. After decamping to Bournemouth for a week, we've ended up down in Devon as a) it's just down the road and b) my cousin's getting married Saturday.

This is good, especially as it means I get to go see The Pyrates again. Yup, on International Talk like a Pirate day, my mates Tim and David have booked their band a gig (I last saw them just after I moved to London last year and enjoyed the night).

So, SB and I are planning to travel up to Exeter tomorrow (partially as there's a co-op branch to pay some cheques in), and Do Stuff, then decamp to the Firehouse to see folks in the evening.

If anyone fancies meeting up for lunch mid-afternoon snack and/or coming to t'pub with us in the evening, then just shout.

Oh, if anyone wants to walk us around the new(ish) bits of town and help me not get lost, that'd also be cool...
Two things. 1) I won my category in the Blog Awards. You all have very bad taste. This puts me through to the second round, so, y'know
The Yorksher Gob -SB's blog of the Year: Sexiest Male Blogger
Vote me for overall winner!
[Poll #1247348]

2) We're off to Devon to visit family as of this afternoon. Staying at my octagenarian grandmothers in Slapton, where we're likely to be completey net deprived, travelling back Thursday. We'll likely visit people with internet and/or go to a cafe at some point, but don't expect SB's normal level of spamminess let alone anything at all from me.

Have fun y'all, remember to vote...
  • 14:12 leaving London and thus no longer a Londoner. And no longer a car owner either. Goodbye Peaugeot, rust in peace #
  • 14:39 amused at the tomtom. When it says 'ahead, keep right' it means don't take the junction, stay on the motorway, you're stuck on it for ag ... #
  • 16:34 entering Nottinghamshire and wondering why they've got a sign saying Robin Hood County when his grave is just outside Brighouse. #

Look, it's better than me texting LJ directly when I'm bored, right? Plus, y'know, microblogging, it's all the rage donchaknow. LoudTwitter
  • 13:38 travelling back to London and wishing he wasn't. #
  • 14:16 waiting for the train at Wakefield and wishing AMT still had the coffee licence, Costa's just not the same :-( #
  • 15:05 wandering what the point of free train wireless is if you've not got any power sockets. Bring back GNER! #
  • 16:43 changing at Vauxhall after a nice efficient journey. How did that happen? #
  • 17:39 sat in the office drinking Carlsberg, I'm the most sober here... #
  • 21:25 waiting for a table that was booked for 9pm. And a lot more calm than Cat. #
  • 21:52 starving. But at least the pizza is on the way. Hopefully. #
  • 22:27 listening to a musak cover of a Sisters song. Scary. #
  • 23:48 stood waiting at Waterloo for the train back to Wombledon. Knackered. #

Look, it's better than me texting LJ directly when I'm bored, right? Plus, y'know, microblogging, it's all the rage donchaknow. LoudTwitter
So then. In 2002, I got an email from an obvious loon I'd never met. If he organised a [livejournal.com profile] warlord_ccg event in a climbing hall[4] in his home town, would I be interested in attending and bringing friends? Where's his hometown? Muenster, Westphalia (that would be as in 'Treaty of', possibly one of the most significant documents in, oh, world history?). I didn't even have a passport. Massive fuss getting a passport, but eventually [livejournal.com profile] paulatpingu, [livejournal.com profile] nadriel, [livejournal.com profile] malkavelli, Vince[livejournal.com profile] the_prince[8] and I managed to get there. My first trip abroad as a functioning adult[6].

Best weekend away[1] ever. Seriously great fun[7]. I've sinced travelled to similar events all over Europe (waking up in a Paris bed next to Malk was weird, watching the premiere of the BSG mini-series in an Anaheim hotel room with Vince was slightly weirder). But the original event remains the best.

Last year was the fifth and, we thought, the last. This morning I got an email. From the same loon.

[livejournal.com profile] shakalooloo[3]warlord_ccg: KoHIT 6
Temple of Lore » View topic - KoHIT 6: A Gathering of Friends. Nov. 9-11 in Münster, GER[2]

Didn't know how to react—for a start, I need to be saving up the pennies, second, it'd mean a weekend travelling that wasn't to go visit Jennie, and, well, I'm not 100% sure I can afford it anyway. Except when we chatted earlier, [livejournal.com profile] snapesbabe said she'd like to come.

So, um, [livejournal.com profile] granjero? That'd be two decks I'd like to borrow this time Mr Player Design Team member...

Footnotes o'doom )
Everyone remember back when I said I really fancy Sue Perkins?. Well, it's been a great week on that front; she was on Heresy on Tuesday (from which this post gets its headline - anyone else get the reference?), and then she was on The News Quiz tonight as well (both on Listen Again at the moment, can't find the MP3 downloads on a quick search). Memorable quote on Ruth Kelly:
She's not fit for any century ... she's walked towards a load of jobs she's no good at.
We repeat, Ruth Kelly: she's rubbish and should resign.

If I get time over the weekend, I might put up a poll of the current cabinet and ask for people to vote for those likely to make it through to Brown's cabinet. Reid's already gone, Hodge has to go, as does Hewitt, others I'm not so sure of; Gordo'll need to do a clean sweep in many respects. Ah well.

In other news, had the crappiest megabus driver ever today, but apart from traffic and his inability to stop effectively, was OK. Then I managed to not get off the train at Brighouse. D'oh! So instead of getting to Elland just about now for a nice drink in Jennie's pub, I missed the last bus and am waiting for her here; I'm actually about to take the dog fora walk. Ouch...
So, two Who geeks, a new house and a TV that only receives BBC 1. What were we doing when 3.3 was on? What do you think? Yup. We were walking the dog. Oops.

One Who geek, a broken down MegaBus, and an internet ready mobile phone. What does he do?

Read the Dr Who spoilers of course!

Read more... )So, oh wise and worthy readers, is it worth catching the repeat for anything more than Martha?
I agree with [livejournal.com profile] sexygoldfish_uk, this really is a really stupid idea:
Right, 22 overpaid players kicking around a synthetic pigs bladder and we get could Dr Who postponed. Bah, that's all wrong. It's a silly game but I don't mind people having their interests as long as they don't conflict with mine. This decision would appear to there to upset my nice, calm, tolerant and understanding outlook on life.
Not sure I agree with him on the 'overpaid' bit;they get paid that much because too many idiots give money to the big name teams and the high ratings means more sponsorship, but definitely agree postponing the schedule completely if there's an overrun is daft. Let the sports fans switch to BBC3 or similar, leave the scheduled for months entertainment where it is thankee muchly.

This friendly PSA brought to you by someone who has no objection to people watching the football. If they go to the stadium and support their local team. Anything else just makes it beer and circuses...

What never (ever) made any sense to me though was when they used to move Children's TV from BBC1 to BBC2 during sporting events like Wimbledon. Why not just put the sports event on BBC2 in the first place? Why disrupt two sets of schedules? Ah well. This'll be weird though, despite not having a TV of my own, it's likely I'll be seeing the first three episodes of the run of this series sat in front of a TV set. Although it could be argued going to Yorkshire for the weekend is perhaps a little excessive to acheive this. Admittedly, the company will be good, but, y'know.
I mentioned the Flying Rhinos of Dortmund in the last post, but a quick google gives me results. Apparently, it's the symbol of the Dortmund concert hall. And, um, guys? It appears that there are hundreds of the buggers. Is that cool, or very very scary? Crazy people of Dortmund.

Next: [livejournal.com profile] waka_laka is doing sponsored stuff for Children in Need. Specifically, for every different person that comments on this post, her friend Joe will donate ten English pence. At this precide moment, she's got 375 different people. Now, you know what to do, right. do it. Addenda: I'm going to [livejournal.com profile] synth_culture Friday, so no Puggsy for me. Oh, woes!!1! Yeah, right, the only thing Children in Need has ever done of any good as a TV presentation involved Dr Who, and that was of dubious quality. Good cause, bad TV. No, I'm not doing anything this year. I took my clothes off on stage for a bad Rocky Horror rip-off when I was about 17, that was scary enough thank you very much.

Also, how on earth did I mess a few?
You are 81% English.

You are either native and stupid, or you are foreign and knowledgeable.

"And did those feet
In ancient times,
Walk upon England's mountains green?
And was the holy Lamb of God
In England's pleasant pastures seen?"

Well, no, but it's a cracking good tune.

How English are you?
Create a Quiz


Right, am back in the country, sat at [livejournal.com profile] nadriel's PC as he's at work. More than a little exhausted, so today may become a lazy day, haven't decided yet. Anyway...

K, thanks for the comments on my previous few posts, [livejournal.com profile] sms_to_lj is a nice way to let off steam when frustrated, and I read the comments using Opera Mini on my phone, the reply interface is a bit crappy though so didn't until now. Easyjet let me rebook the ticket to a later flight, for only £35. Given that the total cost, including taxes, of the return ticket, had been about £33, I'm not sure that was a good deal, but it was cheaper than buying a new ticket, and it wasn't their fault, so not too bad. So, I'm on the plane, on the way, the rest is easy, right? Oh no...

Travelling in Germany, a comedy of errors )

KoHIT day one: a tournament with free beer! )

[livejournal.com profile] mapp! Doesn't that image look familiar to you? Why did no-one tell me the EVE MMORPG was using the Whately symbol for one of their factions? New shiny CCGs, Eve and World of Warcraft )

KoHIT day two: Doubles and death )

Read more... )

Getting home & the Flying Rhinos of Dortmund? )

Got here (Mike's) last night at about 9ish, and essentially collapsed. Did decide that if I travel via Luton again, I drive to his, park up, and take the train, there's a direct train from Wimbledon FFS.

Now, to plot the rest of the week..
Sitting in your very delayed coach as it arrives at the airport, and seeing your plane take off as you go passed the runway. Gah!
next time I drive or go by train. Chris alice and Laurence are at Luton. They left at 9am. Me? Stuck at LHR. I left at 5am. Accident on M5
Right then.  First off, on Friday morning I'm travelling to Luton to fly to Muenster for the weekend.  KoHIT beckons.  Monday, I fly back, and go to [livejournal.com profile] nadriel's place for the rest of the week (again).  So that's a week in South London, but with a guy that's working full time.  Ergo, I want a) stuff to do in the daytime and b) stuff to do when he's busy gaming and stuff.  So...

London Calling

Anyone about in London next week? )

Icons, LJ and games designers

Livejournal: the small world ) 

Neverwhere

It's a free download at his site, Postmortem Studios. In fact, it's got a lot of background stuff as well, so non-gamers like [livejournal.com profile] faeriecween and [livejournal.com profile] jantshira may be interested regardless as, y'know, it's Neverwhere

New Friends

Must. Stop. Adding. People... )

Dreddcon: 6.5% proof!

Anyone fancy some Oxford silliness? )

So, I've got a week and a bit off work, I'm off to see [livejournal.com profile] nearly_everyone in Germany, then spending a week bumming around London and LJ has provided me much amusement thus far last few days. Also, [livejournal.com profile] strictlytrue also went to Ottery, and has pictures. LJ's cool, most of the time. It's just a damn shame that it's dying.

Oh yeah, the [livejournal.com profile] beau_bo_d_or_fd feed has started working again after the LJ crash, Rumsfeld has resigned and the Dems have retaken Congress.  I'm off to try and work out what the swing was...
Questionable Content:
Dora: I love a man who roots for the psycopath in the hockey mask.
Marten: How can you NOT root for him? He's doing evolution a favour by massacring these insipid coeds.
Dora: Such misanthropy! You SURE you don't have any goth in you?
Marten: I'd twist that into some kind of innuendo but I'm honestly not quite sure hwo it'd work.
Anyone else think Dora is completely wasted on him? (Yes, I'm aware she's just a webcomic character, but still...)

Friday night, broken fridge )

Brief Salute review )

Spent a small amount of money on some space ships for Full Thrust (from GZG, and [livejournal.com profile] draich_goch did some digging last night re colour schemes. The site he found inspired me to write up a little rant re industry backbiting for [livejournal.com profile] warhammer_tx_fd here. John Tuffley is a good games designer. Unfortunately, he's also a small minded insular fool with no understanding of economics. Ah well.
Going to big wargames show in London = cool. Sitting opposite a daft kid using ADHD as an excuse for everything = bloody annoying. Still, Jason and I've gone halves on the new Full Thrust fleets so I might actually start painting again. Might. Anyone want to lay odds? Coach is crap as well, but for the price can't really complain.
OK, guess it's about time I wrote about my (lack of) life rather than my more recent link/discuss posts. Just, y'know, for those friends that read this to find out about me.

Journey to London )

The Museum )

Westminster Bridge

OK, yes, it's me. I left early to go to Westminster Bridge (again). Despite the abomination that County Hall is becoming, and despite the boards up covering the repairs and blocking the view over the Palace from the bridge, I still love the place.

Rush to leave, no time, exhaustion, no money )

Dentists, car ownership, whiskey )

Time to sort my life out )
Yup, long post, but, well, it's been awhile. Obviously, talk of quitting job means it's behind a cut. I really want to move to London. Or Exeter. Or, in fact, anywhere that isn't local.
Well, I'm back in the country and sat at [livejournal.com profile] nadriel's computer, I'll be staying here for a day or so before heading on to Reading to see others (and that silly film...).

So, a report from the weekend. There are a lot of LJ2ME posts up on [livejournal.com profile] warlord_ccg, and one that made it to my journal by mistake, interface wouldn't let me change the default journal, ah well. After travelling overnight, I caught the plane on time, got to Dortmund, took a bus to the station and got to Muesnter easily. I then realised I hadn;t brought any directions for the venue from the station.

Getting there )
The main event )
Side events, Americans that talk and talk and talk... )
Pizza, friends and travel )
Aside, all the US players refer to themselves by surname or nickname, there are just too many witht he same first name; "Rich", "Chris", etc. Considering the huge wealth of cultural heritage they've got, couldn't "all-American" names have a slightly bigger pool to choose from?

Getting home, broken bottles )
So, back in London, bummed around and slept. Oh, I broke the display on my mobile Sunday night, I can receive calls, and dial out if I know the number, but I can't look things up, nor send/receive texts, nor use any of the software I've got installed. So if'n you need me, a direct call is the only way to get hold of me.

In completely other news...



All to do with this traitor, the 'editor' of the Scum. Pass that link on, with the exact coding, we're google bombing again.
For those that haven't listened to me yet and gone to buy it yet, the winner of this years World Fantasy Awards best novel? Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, Susanna Clarke (Bloomsbury). It's definately my favourite book of the last few years, I plugged it a bit here and everyone I know that's read it loves it. That includes Neil Gaiman, although I haven't met him yet...

Currently reading the Dark Materials trilogy by Pullman, very good so far, but keep getting distracted by the evil intorw3b so am only on the first book. I'm, um, succumbing to the lure of Harry Potter, and am going to see the film when it comes out. That's the 00.05 showing Friday morning, ([livejournal.com profile] faeriecween already has the tickets) and I'm being dragged along with [livejournal.com profile] aliennurai, [livejournal.com profile] byteback, Logan and Lucie. Lucie's the crazy one who thinks the Palace of Westminster should be painted pink.

But before that, am travelling to Germany with [livejournal.com profile] granjero to attend KoHIT, the Warlord worlds, which will be fun. I'm one of the few that's been to every event so far. Travel back Monday, stay, hopefully, with [livejournal.com profile] nadriel for a bit before trotting off to Reading for the random insanity that always seems to occur there.

There's a chance I'll be posting either via SMS or LJ2ME to [livejournal.com profile] warlord_ccg while I'm at the event itself, if anyone's interested...
matgb: Artwork of 19th century upper class anarchist, text: MatGB (Default)

British Liberal, house husband, school play leader and stepdad. Campaigner, atheistic feminist, amateur baker. Male.

Known to post items of interest on occasions. More likely to link to interesting stuff. Sometimes talks about stuff he's done. Occasionally posts recipes for good food. Planning to get married, at some point. Enjoying life in Yorkshire.

Likes comments. Especially likes links. Loves to know where people came from and what they were looking for. Mostly posts everything publicly. Sometimes doesn't. Hi.

Mat Bowles

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October 2015

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Stuff and nonsense

I'm the Chair of the Brighouse branch of the Liberal Democrats & the membership secretary for Calderdale Lib Dems and run the web campaign for the local candidates. I have a job, a stepdaughter and a life.

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