I don’t know if I mentioned but one of the things I did this year was take up a NFL GamePass subscription, which allows me to watch the entire American Football season.

And I bloody love it.

There is something completely ridiculous about the game (42 players in the squad team, special teams, downs, play-offs, rushing yards, body armour, touchdowns, etc) that I can’t help but love it. At its heart it is utterly entertaining, especially if you understand what is going on.

The first time I stayed up on a Thursday night to watch the Thursday night game (obviously) live was the last. It kicked off at 1am and the ONE HOUR game didn’t finish until 5am. Fuck me. That was a tiring day.

The entertainment of the commentary and advertising and all that other gumph that surrounds the game aside, you have to admire the athleticism, commitment, entertainment factor, skill and relative gentlemanliness of it all (so much more than football/soccer). Great fun.

Family commits me to the San Francisco 49ers but I have developed a soft spot for the sublime play of the Seattle Seahawks and the quirky mercurialness of the Washington Redskins, although I just find the whole thing enjoyable through and through.

This time next year I would like to see the 49ers and Seahawks play in their home stadiums – something to aim for if I can’t get a ticket for the London-based games…


1908 days. not an anniversary.

If you hadn’t guessed I am supposed to be studying the end of Unit 6 (Legal Personality) and starting Unit 7 (Unlawful Conduct) but I am fucking around on here and Photoshop instead.

As I was messing around with the database issue I have just posted about and as I was doing some general maintenance on the site I came to the conclusion that I hadn’t really thought about fabergemonkey for a while. Sure, I have been blogging to it for a while but I haven’t really thought about what it means of late.

Perhaps nothing.

Some stats:

Started on the 10th of September, 2008 with this post.

It was my third attempt (the other two still exist, somewhere). That was 1908 days ago.

I have published, not including this one, 495 posts. I have not published 90 posts (in draft).

I have had 253 approved comments and about a billion spam ones (pre-filtered out), my favourite sender of the current crop being ‘erotic hypno videos’.

I have been extraordinarily mercurial in my posting habits. I have posted prolifically, a little bit and not at all. I have tagged, and not at all. I have categorised faithfully, and at times, not at all.

Dashboard ‹ fabergemonkey — WordPress


But that is just statistics, or numbers. The whole point of the blog, for me, was to just write about stuff, to talk about stuff, to air stuff, to not talk about stuff but allude to it in a way that wasn’t obvious and wasn’t revealing but got the job done. It was a public place for my thoughts, ideas, angst, and  general chit-chat. Some of it was deep and meaningful, some of it raw, some of it allegorical, some of it mundane, some of it workman-like and some of it blather.

There is heartache in there, along with joy, worry, anger. Melancholy and sadness make their appearances too. There is wonder and mischief and thinky stuff. There are posts that I love and posts that I hate. There are…

This is a post I never thought I would write. This is a blog I never thought I would keep up (it has been touch and go a few times). It is a blog that, on reflection, charts my life, in a loose way, over the last five years and three months. Will it still be here in another 1908 days? I would be surprised if it was, just as I would have been surprised that I have been able to write this post today, all the way back there, on the 10th of September, 2008.

September   2008   fabergemonkey   Page 4


So, not an anniversary as such. But probably worth a slice of cake and a cup of coffee, yes?


sunday blues, saturday dues

I’ve been meaning to write about a number of things, such as on the hypocrisy of complaining about hunting, politics and politicians and various other things. I just don’t have the energy. I am feeling quite rubbish today and have been apt to doze off at a moment’s notice.

Yesterday was actually quite a good day. I managed to accomplish a number of things, including finally sorting out the space under the stairs where I store my bikes. It has typically been a bit of a problem, with not enough space for all the stuff packed in there (including my three four bikes plus EF’s when she comes over). So I opted for something subtly different that works surprisingly well.


One of the other things I managed to do was move the smallest bookcase I had to sit next to my desk in the alcove in my bedroom. This has allowed me to keep all my study materials in one place (including my beloved Oxford Shorter English dictionary) and provided me with an additional surface on which to put the iPad and/or laptop when streaming stuff as I work. A quick visit to Emmaus provided me with a slightly larger bookcase (for all of £5) with which to replace it, going a little way to resolving my book storage issue.


On the note of streaming, one of the things I know about myself is that I work best very early in the morning and/or to the accompaniment of background noise. I don’t work very well to music (although I can write well to it) but the sound of voices or people doing stuff in the background. So, the rather odd image you may see on the iPad above is the back of a model ogre, as painted by girlpainting on youtube.

I listen to/watch a number of streamers, not least for the generally soothing nature of their streams/shows. girlpainting is, I guess, German and is quite a quirky and entertaining model painter. DeMuslim is a professional StarCraft 2 player who is thoughtful, funny and a generally nice guy. Xia Taptara and Rene Ainger are both digital artists whose youtube tutorials are both fascinating and instructional. The point is, whilst I may watch them anyway, having their shows streaming in the background allows my brain to concentrate on the task at hand, with the occasional glance away to provide it with a break.

On that note, I wonder whether is a market for an ambient noise generator app, particularly of the cafe/people talking/sounds of the city ilk. Matt?

Finally amongst a number of achievements yesterday was the ‘winning’ of a fully functioning iMac G4 on Freecycle. I wanted one of these desperately when they came out, and I finally have one some ten years later. I do have to work out internet connectivity issue (it doesn’t connect wirelessly), but the general idea was to have it in the kitchen as a media streamer and looking-stuff-upper, much in the way I use my iPad now. Regardless, it is a piece of kit of iconic design and functionality, and I have one for the price of the petrol needed to pick it up. Result.

imacg4The only positive from today is this morning’s stint at the first assignment for W100. I managed to draft most of it, struggling least with the subject I thought I would find hardest, and vice versa. The assignment is split into two parts over five questions, with the first part looking at good academic practice and the second covering the subjects studied to date. Suffice to say, the former has turned out harder than I expected, but does garner the least points over all. Anyway, one question to finish off, the whole lot to re-work and reduce in wordage (only slightly though) and I’m done.


So, I was fucking about on Facebook and one of those ads popped up in my stream. You know the ones, where you ordinarily wouldn’t entertain even clicking on them and then all of a sudden…

Anyway, I went from fucking about on to fucking about on and then Photoshop CC and then back to aaaaaaand… well, how about this for a business card? I don’t need business cards, but you know, fuck yeah.

BusinessCard1 v2 - 131113 small


As you may know I am somewhat obsessed with the almost superhuman levels that people can take the human body, whether it is b-boy dancing, martial arts or climbing… or anything really. What astounds me is not just what the human body is capable of, but the discipline, control and dedication needed to achieve that level of ability.

Today, something slightly different:


It has been a busy couple of weeks, in many ways.

The week before last I was here there and everywhere (Monday and Tuesday in Edinburgh and Wednesday in Portsmouth for work); the highlights of which were heading down to Harrow to assist Pete as fireman for the charity fire-walking event he was running (thanks Pete – it was ace!) and Friday was a jaunt down to Cornwall for the weekend.

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Preparing the coals – around 700C at this point!

The fireman gig was interesting, fun and flipping hot, as it was an exceptionally warm evening. Pete showed me the ropes and it was a great experience, even if I was drenched with sweat by the end of it.

The next evening EF and I rolled down to Cornwall for the Eden Project. We stayed in a lovely place (Botelet Farm) which only allowed two tents in addition to the two onsite yurts and the B&B. It was beautiful, peaceful and the welcome was as warm as the weather. Sunday was return to Bristol day (via Tintagel). Some photos below, with more from the whole weekend here.

Cornwall 2013-2

The view whilst setting up camp

Morning view

Morning view



The Eden Project itself was wonderful and I enjoyed the Rainforest biodome the most.

Flowers and dome

Flowers and dome



This week has been a much needed week off for me – I was initially going to head off on my own camping in Pembrokshire (near Marloes village) but that would have necessitated buying a smaller lighter tent, amongst other things. In the end I bimbled about Bristol, mainly on my Brompton.

Monday I had a day-trip to Bath with EF. I bought my S-bag (for the Brompton) and after a lovely day cycled back along the Bristol-Bath (Bath-Bristol?) Cycle Path – doing the 15.6 miles in about an hour and 15 minutes. Great fun!

Tuesday was an ambly day, in which I converted a slightly shabby writing bureau to one that was slightly more shabby chic.



Wednesday was another ambly day (photo-editing, cake, coffee, you get the picture).

On Thursday I bombed along the Strawberry Line from Yatton to Cheddar, tackling the climb to the top of the gorge on the Brompton as people in lycra passed me on their road-bikes. Various passers-by were encouraging (when I stopped for a breather) and cheered me as I zipped past them on the way back down, which was nice. The descent itself took hardly any time at all and was somewhat nerve-wracking on a Brommie, with its small wheels and anaemic brakes. Just under 27 miles in total was covered in the day – I’d happily do it again.

Friday I recovered by getting to experience EF’s birthday present (thank you!) to me, a wonderful book-spa at the most excellent Mr B’s Emporium of Reading Delights (you can read my post/review of their bookshop here). Apparently I was quite a challenge as I am ‘quite broadly read’ but Ed, with able assistance from Emma, both came up with the goods. It was ever so lovely to be able to talk books with someone, and for them to convey their passion and enthusiasm for particular books and authors with such erudite energy. Wonderful stuff! I could have walked out with pretty much every book recommended but was only able to take a select few (choosing was a feat in itself).

Needless to say, I will probably go back for the others at some point…

The haul

The haul

Yesterday was Pride (an enjoyable experience, as ever) with the gang and today was a housey-sorty-thingy-day.

A good week off, methinks.




degrees, bikes, bags and kerbals

I have been a little ill over the last few days, either as a result of or in addition to a tooth infection. Either way, Wednesday night I ended up with a bit of a fever (I don’t remember much about the evening) and continued to feel rotten for the rest of the week. I still don’t feel particularly great but the antibiotics the dentist gave me on Wednesday seem to have kicked the infection’s ass, so all good. The tooth will still have to come out, but that particular joy isn’t happening for another month. So… a (small) yay, of sorts.


Yesterday EF and I popped out into town to buy her a daysack for cycling and walking. A quick expedition that toured most of the outdoors shops in Broadmead and Cabot Circus… and we found the perfect bag for her in the excellent Oswald Bailey (the chap who helped her was brilliant). I was pretty much wiped out by the end of it

I might have also bought *cough* another bag for myself… which brings me up to… um, twenty-six?


One of the things I have very recently gotten addicted to is the superb Kerbal Space Program… it is still in development but is great fun to play with and has potential for a lot silly, mayhemesque experimentation in the journey to set up a space program for the planet Kerbal. The fact you can build rockets, space planes, mun-landers (yes, mun), satellites and space stations is just awesome. Even if getting them off the ground and into space is a little trickier than you’d expect.

Below is the control module for the snappily named jk5e rocket, with Bill Kerman piloting, currently in orbit around Kerbal. That is him, there, in the bottom right hand corner.

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Unfortunately, due to a small design flaw on my part… I don’t have a way of getting him back. Yet.


My second expedition from the house this week was to the Bespoked Bristol show, which is a custom/hand built/bespoke bike show. This is the third year it has run in Bristol and it seemed as popular as ever. The bikes themselves were glorious in their variety, colour, design and inspiration. Pictures below.


I am in a coffee shop, sipping a mocha and eating a cinnamon swirl. I am reading blogs, and an excellent book sits ready. There are only two other people in here, quietly chatting. The blues are playing, soft and muted. People pass by outside, the day ebbs into evening.

I need this moment away from work and home and grrr-aarrr-urggh! I need it a lot.

I could do with a week of this.





At the moment I am struggling with a few things. To put it simply; I can’t write, I can’t run and I sure as hell can’t {insert whatever here}.

And it is frustrating the hell out of me.

A familiar refrain, yes?