Archive for May, 2010



I have lost 1.2 kg since last week, 5.3 kg in total. BMI 30.1 kg/m2

I have survived my second week on The Dukan Diet.

My scales state that I am now 90.2 kg.  Things are going well.

See ya next week!




[Picture of Danielle de Niese]I have been really busy lately; not merely the usual flat-out binge of a deadline killer, but also because I am moving office premises again!

As I love Opera, so I made time to watch the BBC Four Opera Season, starting with Tony Pappano’s “Opera Italia” on Monday night. Two things made me sit up and take note.

First was that Stephen Fry’s Wagner programme was next up in the BBC Four Season. Back in August I was following Mr Fry on Twitter as he made this programme, so it was nice to finally get to see it. Fry’s tweets in this regard encouraged me to post on RICHARD WAGNER on this very site.

Secondly, Tony Pappano’s programme had a singer that caught me on a lovely bit of Handel.  Now I have always been a sucker for Baroque and Handel, but this woman had a great voice.  Really good, with a distinctive warmth and rich quality.

I looked up and was surprised to see a good-looking lass called Danielle de Niese. So immediately I became a fan — of course; what’s not to like?  It’s all there — the whole package.  She’s young enough to be around for some time, so I can relax a bit knowing the future’s in good hands!  She kind-of reminded me, looks-wise, like our own Nicola Benedetti (even though Nicola is Scottish/Italian)!

[Embedded Video clip of “Lascia ch’io pianga” from Handel’s “Rinaldofrom YouTube]

Anyway, she was on again tonight — a programme called “Diva Diaries” — and it was superb; lots of insights into that world, and into Danielle’s personality as well.

I immediately checked her out on-line: she’s got a MySpace page (, and official website (, she’s on Wikipedia (, and she tweets on twitter (

[Embedded Video clip from YouTube]

Please go check her out. She’s what opera’s all about these days — youthful, good-looking, mixed race and truly global. Part Sri Lankan, Ms. de Niese was raised in Australia before moving to the United States of America.

Please also check out the BBC television season on Opera — Antonio Pappano was the youngest conductor to lead the orchestra of the Royal Opera House in London — where he is now the Musical Director. Monday night for a few more weeks, and I’ll bet there are more new finds to come.  Ooo, bring it on!




I have lost 4.1 kg since last week, 4.1 kg in total. BMI 30.5 kg/m2

I have survived my first week on The Dukan Diet.

My scales state that I am now 91.4 kg.  Things are going well. That’s me finished the “Attack Phase”. The programme continues into the second phase, called “The Cruise Phase” — which is just the exact same as the “Attack Phase” except that every second day you can eat a few vegetables.  The Cruise phase lasts until I reach my goal weight — which is in the early 70s.

See ya next week!




OK.  I just checked my BMI and I seem to have become obese.  Yes obese. How did that happen?

Well, here’s a list of high risk events for gaining weight:

  • Being over 40 years of age
  • Stopping cigarette smoking
  • Being married
  • Having an injury

I got all of these all clumped together. That’s how I put on weight.

But it’s not the whole story. Read the rest of this entry »



I saw ‘Kick Ass’ tonight, and surprised myself for enjoying it; I didn’t expect to watch it right through, but I did, and I was engaged the whole time.

The lead role is played by the guy who played young John Lennon in ‘Nowhere Boy’ – an English chap called Aaron Johnson. He plays a New York dork, a High School comic-book geek called Dave Lizewski who buys a scuba suit and decides to become a crime-fighter — a superhero without powers.

Meanwhile Nicolas Cage and 11-year-old daughter are getting back at the police and a drug baron ‘Frank D’Amico’ (played brilliantly by Mark Strong) by dressing up as superheroes.  Dave’s YouTube hit hero (‘Kick-Ass’) gets confused with Cage’s ‘hero’ and war breaks out.

I’m trying not to spoil it here.  Go see this film; it’s worth it for an evening’s entertainment.  It’s got the quirky editing and perfect comedy timing of the modern era, it’s never dull, completely over the top, and somehow believable in that you willingly surrender your disbelief throughout. The script is crafted to allay all your fears and qualms, and turns the plot around to their benefit.  basically, you are putty in their hands.

This is a beautifully crafted film, wonderfully lit, great editing, superb camera work and great direction.  Cage clearly relishes his role, from interacting with his daughter to dressing as Batman.

The moral tales about judging a book by its cover, retribution, bullying, perseverance, doing the right thing, not standing-by, but standing up — and more are there, so are explosions, torture, various acts of violence, kung fu, love interest, teen angst, comic fantasy, drugs, and everything else inbetween.  It has a broad sweeping range of everything, from pretty criminals to master criminals, good policemen to bad policemen, contradictions and moral grey areas.

It is a boy’s film, mind you, not for adults or females. Go enjoy!




[Picture of Hiromi Uehara]I have been listening to a lot of Hiromi Uehara at work courtesy of YouTube.

In fact a client has noticed that I have been listening to a lot of Japanese stuff, which surprised me, but when I thought about it, I can see why he’d think that as he’s seen me check out Cornelius and Miyavi. I must seem like that to him, so I suggested that Hiromi has an Irish surname (O’Hara), but he wasn’t having any of it! LOL!

[Embedded videoclip from youTube: Deep Into The Night]

The guitarist is  “Fuze” (Dave Fiuczynski) a full-time teacher at Berklee College of Music in Boston, and as a session man has played on nearly 100 albums! I am flattered that my wife thought it was me playing! he is clearly influenced by Allan Holdsworth.

[Embedded videoclip from youTube: Deep Into The Night solo piano]

Hiromi was born in 1979 and went to Berklee.  Her band is made up of Berklee folk. She’s playing with Stanley Clarke and Lenny White, and has done piano duets with Chic Corea. Check out her website:

[Embedded videoclip from YoutUbe: The Tom and Jerry Show]

I’m sure you’ll agree that she can certainly play fast piano! She sings along and makes weird noises like Keith Jarrett — and I think she plays a bit like Jarrett and a wee bit like Oscar Peterson at times too.

[Embedded video clip from YouTube – Brain Training]