Friday Photo Blogging: the tower

Another picture from last week’s mission:

Spinnaker Tower from Spice Island, Old Portsmouth

… because I’ve been too busy to go out with the camera except for today, and today has been both bitterly cold and overcast. So, there you have the pride of Velcro City, the Spinnaker Tower. It’s almost pretty enough to make you ignore the fact that it cost a fortune of tax payer’s money due to grotesque corporate shenanigans and council mismanagement, and opened nearly six years after it was supposed to*. Almost.

[*It was originally named the ‘Millenium Tower’; this moniker was dropped almost utterly by midway through 2002. Meh.]


Well, a lot of metaphorical pots have come to the boil at the same time this week, meaning that next week contains a major crux event – I have an interview for a new job on Tuesday, a part-time library assistant gig at the Royal Naval Museum. I’m trying not to get my hopes up too much, but if I get it my life will undergo a serious shift of focus that I’ve been considering for some time; in other words, a shift toward making a career out of writerly pursuits.

Not fiction, obviously – I’d be a fool to put too much faith in that before even finishing my first short – but in a more journalistic direction. I’ve been kicking a business plan around in my head for about six months, and I had a meeting with a creative industry business advisor this morning who told me that it might actually be a very viable and interesting project. All I need now is the time to put the plan into gradual action, which obviously will be dependent on the results of Tuesday’s interview. So, wish me luck; I’ll talk about the business idea when I know whether or not it will have to stay in the vapourware stage for much longer.

Talking of writing, I should be getting a phone call from the chap who runs PennyBlack Music sometime this evening, regarding me doing some gig reviewing for them in the future. I’ve also just finished and reviewed Howard V. Hendrix’s Spears of God for Hub Magazine – not sure when that’ll be going out, though.


Now, here’s the real weird turn-up of the week. I got an email last weekend from a PR company who are working on behalf of LG Electronics; they’d spotted VCTB and noted that it had an interest in technology, so they emailed to ask if I’d like to be sent a demo version of the new LG Shine KE970 mobile phone to review. Once I’d got in touch to find out whether or not I was having my leg pulled, it turned out they really meant it – even after I explained that I’m not really a gadgets blogger.

So, the thing is sat here in the lounge, and hopefully I’ll get to work putting it through its paces over the weekend. From a brief preliminary look, I can say that it’s a pretty sexy piece of kit as far as aesthetics are concerned, but it’s not a 3G device and hence it’s unlikely to fulfil my personal requirements from a mobile (I love my on-the-move Google Calendar syncing and email reading, don’tcha know). Still, we shall see – so any phone enthusiasts should stay tuned. See what other folk who have been selected as reviewers had to say over at the Shine blog.

In the interests of full disclosure, I shall be repeating all the agreements and conditions of the loan alongside my review. But to pre-empt slightly, I’m not being paid a penny, and the phone remains the property of LG themselves. It’s a weird feeling to find out that marketers have stumbled across my blog and decided I’d be a worthwhile channel for this sort of thing. I was sort of resigned to being an obscure science fiction backwater, and here’s a major tech manufacturer asking me to review their product as honestly as possible. Another manifestation of the magical World Wide Weird!


No incoming reading material this week, which is in some ways a considerable relief after last week’s deluge. I have some serious catch-up to do; I’ve only just started on the new Interzone, and I need to get cracking on Rucker’s Mathematicians in Love too. Such is the hard uncompromising life of the independent science fiction reviewer!

As today is my day off, I’m sacrificing Saturday at the altar of remunerative employment. But Sunday is, as always, all mine – and as it’s Holocaust Memorial Day this week, the D-Day museum is offering free entry, which I may well take advantage of. Furthermore, anyone in Velcro City who fancies a bit of home-grown culture should come along to the Tongues and Grooves poetry and music night at the Florence Arms from 8pm; we’re celebrating the launch of a charity anthology of poems entitled The Book of Hopes and Dreams, and yours truly will be reading a few pieces by the Scots Poet Laureate (and one of the progenitors of science fiction poetry), the mighty Edwin Morgan.

But tonight … well, it’s a Friday, and you all know what that means. One lamb balti with onion bhajee and all the extras! w00t!

Have a good weekend, folks.

One thought on “Friday Photo Blogging: the tower”

  1. A great plug for Tongues & Grooves. Hope the interview went well today.

    I work 3 days but still don’t find extra time for writing. Wallace Stevens worked in insurance and composed his great poems while walking in his lunch hours. Now there’s style.

    Love Maggie

Leave a Reply