Weather : the cold, gray light of dawn gave way to a watery sunrise bathing the world in an autumnal air of damp gloom. Ceci n'est pas un Août.
I seem to be getting a good deal for my phone at the moment. I'm on a pay as you go arrangement with O2 whereby I top up by ten pounds a month (soto voce - I paid ten pounds!). For this I get 500Mb of web usage (which I use) and 300 text messages (which I don't). Out of the £10 I pay £7.50 for a Friends and Family package that gives me unlimited calls to Jan (and vice versa), who is the only person I ever call. Therefore I now seem to have fifteen squids worth of credit on there that I can't see a way of spending. I suppose I'll just have to call the Sydney speaking clock until it runs down or something.
In telly news, after a promising start Big Brother is lurching towards the inevitable disappointing dénouement. Can't say I'm overly surprised, really, but no doubt I'll watch the final just to see the lumbering beast being put out of its misery (apart from the unnecessary coda of 'Big Brother Ultimate' where they have assembled all of the most irritating and objectionable housemates of previous series who were either too vain, too venal or too vacuous to turn down the offer of appearing on the telly again). If they revived Big Brother as a format that stuck strictly to its own rules without trying to fiddle things to favour the producers' chosen housemates, it would be worth a watch, otherwise farewell and adieu to ten years of voyeuristic entertainment.
In other telly news, it seems that X-Factor are now auto-tuning the voices of the contestants, which surely takes all of the fun (for some values of the word 'fun') of watching the tuneless honkings of the early rounds of hopelessly deluded wannabes and borderline psychotics of previous series. I'd much rather play 'Rock Band' for an hour or two, to be honest.
Talking of Rock Band, I think that I am going to need to devote some serious time to the practice tutorials if I am ever going to improve my technique. I can't seem to get the hang of hammer-ons and co-ordinating my little finger on the lower fret, which seem to be essential for the more difficult songs like 'Enter the Sandman'. The World Tour mode is rather good fun though, and I now have a rather natty Cowboy hat, leather trousers and Sgt Pepper style jacket combo for my avatar, as well as a tour jet with our band name of 'The Thermal Pigs' emblazoned on the side. Aces.