Tuesday, February 28, 2006

iPod, Therefore iAm

It finally came this week. My new shiny slimline black iPod. Within half an hour of Mr Parcel force dropping it off the music was uploaded and playlists organised and I realised how much I missed it. It has taken me almost two months to justify spending the money on it but since my iPod mini died there has been that little gap of sound in my life. My walkman has proven very bulky in my pockets and having to buy singles full price from woolies or burn them from iTunes is more expensive than just using the pod.

In the space of 7 days my life has been transformed. I’ve not just rediscovered the Pod, I’ve rediscovered music. My iPod mini was full to bursting – my new Pod video offers loads of empty gigs which means I can dig out old favourite albums that have been gathering dust. The Queen back catalogue and my chill out collection are now podded up. The Ghostbusters soundtrack and more embarrassingly the soundtrack to the 1986 film Little Shop Of Horrors. (I Love that film!)

It’s been a sheer joy to listen to tracks that haven’t had the honour of gracing my CD system since I left for uni and started limiting myself to carrying round just my favourites. Whoever said that the iPod was killing music is wrong. It’s reawakening it.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Double Oh No!

Some vocal fans of the James Bond series have threatened to boycott the newest film in the franchise, Casino Royale.
The fans in question seem to be outraged over the casting of Daniel Craig as the suave spy 007 and have even set up a site urging fans to boycott the film due to the decision. The web site, www.craignotbond.com, calls on fans "to stop Sony and Eon [Productions] from ruining the future of James Bond by hiring Daniel Craig".
Good on them I say. The Bond franchise has nose dived since the abortion that was Die Another Die. Bond bumbled his way through the film and was saved by luck and gadgets - it was a joke. The true Fleming bond would rely on cunning and intelligence, he certainly wouldn't have let a woman like Jinx get in the way.

I must be balanced however. While I agree that Daniel Craig looks a poor bond I have heard many great things about the script. So I won’t be boycotting Casino Royale, just praying that Eon’s lead choice wins me over.

P.S. Happy birthday Alison!

Saturday, February 18, 2006

One Love

Just a quicky to say a big, big thank you to Radio One. The last few days of music have been amazing. Just wish they’d learn to ditch their repetitive playlist a little more often. The best of Brit music has highlighted how much damn good stuff these fair isles produce musically. A far cry from the bland R&B Radio 1 normally showcases.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Ghost Town?

Last year Hereford Council decided to set up a temporary maze in one of the main shopping areas of the city. Of course it wasn’t advertised as a maze instead it was billed as the ‘Eign Gate redevelopment project’. A multimillion-pound fund to transform and spruce up one of Hereford’s oldest streets. It led to months of frustration as 6ft mesh fences ‘protected’ shoppers from the dangers of scruffy workmen digging holes in the floor. Of course this led to the usual walkway of about 30ft across being restricted to just 5ft. While the walkway narrowed the number of shoppers didn’t. It turned into a seven day a week rugby scrum and slowly but surely it effected the patience of shoppers who soon learned to avoid the crush. Now we have a posh new street but the number of shops have plummeted. The pound shop, a local computer firm, a health shop and a national shoe chain have all had to close up due to lack of people during the works. To add insult to injury the brand new pavement is now being dug up by an electricity company.

Do the council seem concerned by traders going out of business as a direct result of their actions? Nope. Rent rates have now increased causing a number of other shops to mumble about imminent closure and the council have reopened the ‘maze’ in a new section of town.

I’m one of the people that can’t be bothered with the city anymore. All my buying is now online. It’s quicker and a lot cheaper. I’m a fast walker and get irritated by the cramped conditions where work is being carried out. If that’s not enough once you get into High Town you’re met with the clutter of a coffee and potato stall blocking what was once a wide walkway. Travel further through and you have the Chuggers Chicane – the zig zag you have to walk to avoid the charity clipboard holders pestering you for your money. When you finally get to the shops the prices are stupidly high to try and cover increasing rent, electricity and staff costs.

Now a further £2million pound scheme has been announced to transform the city centre. Problem is, by the time its finished will there be a shop left to visit?