August 17th, 2006


Running & Volkswirtschaft | 43.50 (5k ish route)

I wasn't convinced today, but a colleague in my team convinced me that we should go running :-) He's a bit slower than me, but we ran a good pace today and we walked a few times (for him I hasten to add!) And in between times we discussed economics (Volkswirtschaft) 'cos he knows everything and I don't.

The beginning of the run was hard (I haven't been running for about a week and it's totm of the month as well) but then it settled down! So I'm glad we went....

I'm the Prime Minister of New Zealand!

And bizarely she's called Helen too!

I don't think I look like any of these people, the only feature we have in common seems to be the big smile :-) Mind you, I'm pleased that I look like Andy MacDowell, Sheryl Crow and Renee Zwellweggererer (sp?), however unlikely this is!


My Music Video Choices....

Inspired by thepolliwog I am finally linking you to my music video choices!

Stand and Deliver - Adam and the Ants - 1981
This was the first music video I remember seeing! I was 8 and was really blown away by this video. Now it just looks dated! I was a little bit in love with Adam Ant, actually, make that a lot in love with Adam Ant :-)

Keeping the dream alive - Münchener Freiheit - 1988
I was 15 and had first heard this song (in German) the year before in Hannover, Germany on my first exchange trip there. This song is just great, a really lush 80s over the top sound, which just takes me back to the excitement of living in another country and trying to communicate in another language. I bought the single in German and annoyed my little brother by playing it continously and refusing to translate the words for him :-)

And a recent choice
Sweetest Thing - U2 - 1988
This was my first dance at our wedding. Mr.ncot is from Dublin and one of the first stories he told me (we were on our first or second date in Sheffield, 1995) was about how U2 live in the next village along from him - it's true.... and there was a U2 song playing on the pub's jukebox.

A musical user pic...

"Viola con Brio", Rein Pol, 1984

(Rein Pol is a Dutch artist, from Groningen)

I just realised that I had no user pics for musical entries. Before anyone "flames" (!) me to complain about a musical instrument being burnt, I have to explain a few things ....

1. I have to out myself as a viola player (or "violist") &
2. I have to explain the whole "viola Joke" thing

The viola player is considered to be the lowest of the low in any orchestra. There are many jokes about viola players (or trombone players) - based on the assumption that we are the worst musicians, who can't play in tune and can't hack it. Viola players are just failed violin players :-) For the interested amongst you, the viola is slightly larger than a violin, ranging from 15 inches in length to 16 or 17 inches. It has 4 strings, A D G and C, and is a fifth lower than the violin. It has a glorious, deep sound and often doubles up with the cellos in an orchestra (just an octave higher). More info here

So anyway, I chose this image because it always reminds me of my favourite viola joke....
Q: What's the difference between a violin and a viola?
A: A viola burns longer.

The title of the painting is "Viola con Brio" - in musical terms, "with spirit". I love it, I have the painting on a small card and it lives on my noticeboard. I played seriously up to the age of 18, when I realised I was never going to be good enough to study it seriously at music college. I wish in a way I had kept playing, but life at University offered me the chance to do new things, which I did.

More Viola Jokes!

All My User Pics Here!


More Viola Stuff...

This was an article I found years ago (probably late 90s) in either the Guardian or the Observer and it explains a lot about viola jokes and the identity of viola players...

"Many players facetiously perpetuate the myth of the incompetent violist and consequently are possibly the worst perpetrators (and, I suspect, originators) of jokes. They are one way of enlivening our sometimes rather prosaic professional existence. Life in that grey area in front of the conductor can do with brightening up, and the quantity of jokes at our expense partly compensates for the paucity of good tunes allocated to the violas - they provide a certain amount of notoriety, however spurious.

You see, the viola still suffers from something of an identity crisis. Contrary to popular conception of the instrument, it's not "just a big fiddle", and its range is a fifth lower than the violin, and not (according to the jibe) "as far as you can kick it".

Although the viola and viola-players may be unjustly maligned, occasionally something happens whcih fuels the fires of mythology. Some years ago, during a trip to Belfast, a viola-player left his instrument unattended. On his return he was horrified to discover that the suspect package had been blown up by the security forces in a controlled explosion."