News and comments from Arthur

Mobile Telephony

 Monday 20 Mar 2006, 3:45 PM

Arthur has sold his soul to the devil, abandoned everything he believes in and has finally joined the faceless masses. Yes, he now owns a mobile phone.

Arthur has never really felt the need to talk to someone so desperately that he needed to own a mobile phone. However circumstances change and he has thus taken his first steps into the over-marketed world of mobile telecommunications. Importantly, Arthur has made this move on the cheap. In fact it cost him bugger all. He got a couple of free Sims from Virgin mobile (complete with £5 credit on each) and his kind friend Pilot Pyles donated one of his old phones (a Samsung E700) that he had been using as a doorstop, for Arthur to use.

In fact the phone is quite fancy (Saying that, as Arthur previously relied on 2 tin cans and a piece of string, anything looks impressive to him). It has a camera, a colour screen, silly plinky, plonky tunes and alike. Arthur spent some time reading the manual last night, entered a few phone numbers and even personalised it a bit by setting the wallpaper to a picture of a robot panda (visit and modifying the greeting screen to read "Can I lick your teeth?" (see Kreepy Kat). Unfortunately all the ring tones are terrible so Arthur has gone for the vibrating option until he can source something less publicly humiliating.

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Goth rock and Mexican food

 Sunday 12 Mar 2006, 12:13 AM

Arthur went out last night for some food and some loud music and dancing. The evening began with some nice Mexican food round a friends house (Arthur starved himself most of the day to ensure he would be able to eat his fill from the spicy smorgasbord) and this was then followed by a visit to Drop Zone, a goth/rock/Industrial event that happens once a month in Reading (Yes it`s a long trip from Bridlington but when the only local entertainment consists of a man in a flat cap playing an old guitar with a few missing strings accompanied by his howling, tone deaf whippet, the journey is well worth the effort).

Drop Zone was at a new venue this month and it was better than the previous one as it was a bit bigger. There were 3 rooms; one for Rock (both old a new metal), one for traditional Goth (Sisters of Mercy and other depressing, wailing type songs) and upstairs was Industrial/EBM (It was here that Arthur spent most of his evening, dancing like a crazy fool). There were still a few improvements that could be made to the venue though. The sound quality in the trad goth room was very poor (it sounded very muffled, although it could just have been a very depressing song that was on at the time) and the lighting upstairs in the Industrial room was too bright; the room needed to be darker with only a handful of flashing lights (A strobe light is a must have for any dance floor) and more smoke machine action. As it was, it was almost like dancing in you living room (although at least they rolled the carpet up halfway through the night when they realised it really didn`t make a good dance floor!) The toilets were a bit rubbish too, with long queues for a good part of the night.

Still a good time was had by all even though the evening was cut slightly short because Arthur`s lift home was falling asleep (despite the fact he was sitting under a speaker blasting out rock music at several hundred decibels) and needed to get home to his own bed!

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Arthur dreams about....Bagpuss

 Friday 10 Mar 2006, 4:31 PM

Arthur had a really weird (but really great!) dream last night. In this dream he was watching a recently discovered second series of the children`s television classic Bagpuss that had been never been seen before.

Instead of being set in a shop window like the original, this second series was set outside in the quaint Victorian style back garden of the shop. Each character had a different place that they lived when Bagpuss went to sleep: Gabriel the toad lived in the pond in the back garden. Professor Yaffle was a wooden ornament on the outside of the house (there were in fact multiple carved wooden birds but only Professor Yaffle came to life). The mice from the marvellous mechanical mouse organ had given up their aforementioned home and now lived in a woodpile. Bizarrely, Madeline the rag doll lived on the moon and came down to visit during each episode in a rocket ship. And Bugpuss himself lived in a wooden cage by the back door of the shop. However, in a somewhat controversial move by the programme makers, Bagpuss was no longer a pink and white striped cat, but a dark grey wombat instead.

Each episode would see the mice, who for some strange reason always carried unfeasibly large axes, build something out of wood from their woodpile. In the first episode they built a telescope to watch Madeline arrive in her spaceship.

Unfortunately that is all Arthur can remember of his dream. It sounds like a great idea for a new series and Arthur will be contacting the BBC at some stage to see if they will make it.

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A greasy fry up

 Wednesday 8 Mar 2006, 9:48 AM

Tonight Arthur had his 6 monthly urge for a really greasy fry up. Whilst Arthur isn`t a particularly good eater (Cheese, Marzipan and Texan bars provide a lot of essential vitamins but a few vegetables wouldn`t go amis) he occasionally goes the whole hog and for one night only fills himself with enough lard to keep an entire northern town in dripping for a whole month.

One quick trip to Morrisons (actually it was rather slow as Arthur always manages to pick the slowest checkout in the shop) and Arthur was armed with sausages, bacon and eggs. OK, so the sausages and bacon were grilled but only becasue the frying pan was full of fried bread and eggs. Arthur never ceases to be amazed at just how much grease a piece of bread can absorb; perhaps they should use loaves of Hovis to clean up oil spills after tanker disasters in the north sea...

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Pandas and Turtles

 Tuesday 7 Mar 2006, 1:12 PM Panda-Z perfect model

The postman has been very kind to Arthur over the past few days delivering a couple of parcels of goodies. Firstly a package from Japan arrived containing a Totoro picture book (actually the book does have text in it but it`s all Japanese so it night as well be a picture book!) and an nice toy, the Panda-Z Perfect Model metallic black and white version, fully poseable action figure.

Then another parcel arrived, this time from America containing a selection of comics to fill in some gaps in Arthur`s collection of Ninja Turtles and other related comics from Mirage studios (who are the publishers of TMNT). A couple of these comics are issues that Arthur has been searching for for years; in particular issue #51 of TMNT which, for some reason, never showed up in the UK. After 13 years of waiting Arthur can now read the complete City at War storyline without any gaps! Hooray!

Whilst typing this, Arthur has realised that the addition of a picture (or two) would illustrate this news item nicely. Thus He will have to go away and think about making some changes to his website so he can upload images and attach them to blog items. UPDATE: Changes have been made and Arthur now has (some) pictures in his news items!

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Coffee Pudding

 Monday 6 Mar 2006, 12:00 AM

Arthur had coffee pudding this weekend for the first time in ages (It is a milk based pudding a bit like blancmange but with a slightly more gelatinous texture that you leave to set). Coffee pudding is a favourite desert in Arthur`s family but trying to get hold of the magic powder to make it is getting somewhat tricky.

Many, many years ago, Arthur used to have Coffee pudding at his grandparents all the time. It was made using coffee flavoured Symingtons Tables Creams; just add the powder to a pint of boiling milk, mix well, pour into a bowl and leave to set in the fridge. Easy! However getting the coffee flavour became more and more difficult as Symingtons only shipped cartons of mixed flavours and there were only a few coffee in each box. And eventually the coffee flavour disappeared altogether.

For many years Arthur went without Coffee pudding of any description until one day, Arthur`s dad had a stroke of genius; take a vanilla flavoured Symingtons table cream (not particularly easy to find in the shops but they did at least still make them) and add a teaspoon or two of instant coffee! And there was much rejoicing because the coffee pudding was reborn!

Unfortunately the happiness was not to last because vanilla table creams became impossible to find. Again several years passed until Arthur discovered you could purchase them online. Unfortunately even this source dried up but, with his entire family scouring supermarkets and grocery shops up and down the country, it was possible to find them from time to time. Which brings us to this weekend when Arthur went into his local branch of Morrisons only to discover loads of them on the shelf, nestling between the Angel Delight and sugar free Jelly. In a state of panicked excitement, he purchased 14 packets to ensure a decent supply for the foreseeable future. He immediately made one when he got home and, after an agonising wait of several hours for the thing to set in the fridge, ate the entire thing in one sitting. Fantastic: the coffee pudding is back!

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