Friday, November 27, 2009

My Life is Complete

Last night I had one of those 'my life is complete' moments...

Since 2003 I've been trying to see Roger Federer play live in a competitive match. Well, last night I was lucky enough to see the great man play Juan Martin Del Potro at the Dome in London.

It was a vivid almost shocking experience, with passages of play that featured tennis of a standard that seemed unreal.

Right now, even 12 hours after it all finished, I can't get the images out of my head - just incredible what elite level tennis players can do. It rather resembles a magician doing some incredible tricks, but whereas with the magician you know that there are mirrors or wires and illusions, with elite level tennis players you know there is nothing but technique and talent.

Images and moments in the match kept replaying themselves in my head all of today - definitely one of those unforgettable experiences...

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Sunday, November 15, 2009

La Belle is Revealed!

According to the Observer, the identity of Belle de Jour, the expensive London prostitute whose brilliant blog won the Guardian blog of the year award in 2004 has been revealed.

I'd often wondered if the blog was real; it was so well written, witty and yet somehow slightly unconvincing I suspected it might be a male professional writer behind it all. Then there were some very improbable clients, like the engineer who reads Literature. In over 20 years of working with a wide variety of engineers, I've yet to come across one whose reads anything other than Tolkien and sci-fi for fun. Then there was Belle herself, clearly a very intelligent highly educated woman, who seemed far too sensible to be earning a living in a dangerous and degrading profession that must be up there with bomb disposal and window cleaning in the dangerous accident stakes.

And yet... and yet... there was an undeniable female sensibility to the whole thing which a man would find very difficult to achieve on a sustained basis; Belle talks at length about beauty products, lingerie and shopping.

Anyway, it turns out Belle is in fact a woman, an experienced science blogger (!) and her real name is Dr Brooke Magnanti. She was indeed a high class hooker for about 14 months during the period Belle de Jour was the most compelling blog on the net.

The revelation provokes mixed feelings, but at least the blog is still out there for everyone to enjoy for years to come.

You can read the report here. The link to Belle de Jour is in the Celebrated Blogs section down there on the right.


Sunday, November 08, 2009

A Brush with Greatness...

I worked through the night on Friday and was heading home early on Saturday morning when I spotted this scene just outside Liverpool Street Station.

A unit medic - the guy in the high vis jacket - said the film is called "Hero" and that it's directed by Clint Eastwood - not sure if he's starring as well. Funny how the tube station they've created there is called Charing Cross, and wonderfully authentic it looks too - the colours, fonts etc are spot on.

As always, it's amazing how people are employed making a film - look at that crowd there - all are busy doing something, if only acting as extras. Us onlookers were kept well back by cheerful security guards and a token policeman.