Sunday 21 August 2005
on the dancing horses
Hardly time to catch my breath even as Quebecor printers in Canada
start turning the wheels of their wonderful printing machines.
On Saturday night Mandy and I popped down to experience Southend-on-Sea's
Torchlight Procession, a number of 'floats' making their way slowly
along the several mile length of the promenade. A motley mix of local
Carnival Queens, marching bands, majorettes and vehicles from local societies
and clubs, promoting themselves, local businesses and charities. Where
else would you see the Hindu Society, the local football team, the local
MP on a lorry full of dancing builders pathetically waving to the crowd,
miniature horses and a five foot six Darth Maul collecting coins
in a bucket? Tacky
and brilliant all at once.
Without doubt the highlight was inevitably the fantastically costumed
dancers from the Notting Hill Carnival, who are always full of energy,
rhythm, noise and colour. Throw in a firework display and bags of chips
and you have an unmissable annual event.
on the dancing drogba
No chance of a lie-in on Sunday though. Up to help with some housework,
print off some urgent papers, mow the lawn and then I'm off to Stamford
Due to my current finances, it'll probably be a while before I can afford
to see Chelsea in the flesh again, but the first home game of the
season is almost compulsory. Last year it was Manchester United,
and this year it was Arsenal, and both finished rather satisfyingly
1-0 to the Blues. Today's match was especially enjoyable as we hadn't
beaten the Gunners in the Premiership competition for ten years.
It was a tight close game, of course, but with not having beaten Chelsea
for four matches, Arsenal seemed to lack a little of their usual self-belief.
In fact, there was a time that to beat Arsenal, you would think that every
player on the opposition team would have to be playing at their very best.
Even when Chelsea had done so, we were usually suckered into losing a
late goal condemning us to a defeat.
But despite Drogba's fortunate strike proving to be the winner, several
Chelsea players had an off-day - including in my opinion, Lampard,
Makelele and Robben. The balance of power in London appears
definitely to have shifted.
Saturday 20 August 2005
finished but still delayed
The good news is that after the final push this week, the completed digital
files for both Strangehaven #18 and the collected Strangehaven:
Conspiracies (volume 3) trade paperback were delivered to my printers
The bad news is that due its lateness, Strangehaven #18 will be delayed
still further due the arcane mysteries of the distribution system, despite
it all being finished. The late-shipping process seems to change each
time I have to submit to it - I remember being forced to resolicit an
item, being 'fined' for late shipping, the item in question being made
'returnable' and other methods which aim to discourage late shipping.
While I support these efforts that Diamond make to streamline its
distribution of comic products, it is a little frustrating that the book
is delayed even further despite it being completed, which appears to be
You could ask the obvious question, "why solicit an item if it isn't
finished yet?" which has actually been my policy for several years
now. But there are times when you hope to have certain items ready to
coincide with certain events (e.g. conventions, and in this case, Strangehaven's
10th anniversary) and due to the long lead time the distributors require
(around five months for comics and even longer, up to a year for the book
trade) planning ahead can't always be avoided.
Anyhow, Strangehaven #18 has been scheduled to ship on 21 September.
Strangehaven: Conspiracies is still awaiting a final fixed shipping date
(which will of course be published first, right here.)
weather for a funeral
Yesterday I travelled to my Aunt Doll's funeral at Mortlake Crematorium
in West London with my sister Brenda. It was, as much as these things
can be, a beautiful ceremony, with touching remembrances, Doll's favourite
music (Louis Armstrong singing "Hello Dolly" for the Committal)
a wonderfully written Address by her grandson Danny. It was obvious how
much she was loved and how much she will be missed.
After the service itself, we retired to a favoured local pub, in the British
tradition. It was great to meet parts of the extended family that my sister
and I had never met (or even known about) before, with family resemblances
(both physical and characteristically) being
Unfortunately, although perhaps fittingly, there was a change in the weather
from Thursday's blue skies and blistering sunshine to Friday's continuous
(and at times torrential) rain. The 90 minute journey home actually took
well over four hours due to the weather and the end-of-week traffic, but
the journey time gave Brenda and I time to continue reminiscing.
A specially printed 'Order of Service' described the funeral as "A
Service of Thanksgiving to celebrate the life of Doris Lilian Collie."
And that, as it turned out, is exactly what it was.
week's unedifying ramblings
this week i have mostly been entertained by ...
Actually too busy to do much relaxing this week...
Natural Born Killers 
E=MC2 [Channel 4]
Strangers In Paradise #75
The Third Ashes Test
England v Australia [Old Trafford]
14 August 2005
07 August 2005
31 July 2005
24 July 2005
17 July 2005
10 July 2005