Friday, January 30, 2009

Blast from the past

Listening to: Radio 1

I *heart* Chris Moyles for playing this a few mins ago.

I am such an early '90s girl. Sigh.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The thing about compliments...

Listening to: 'End of the Road' by Boyz II Men [Cooleyhighharmony] that I don't know how to take them, apparently. Now Gehan, hear me out before you start dancing around your room singing 'I told you so' :P

So my friend asked me to sing at his wedding recently. I would rate that as the biggest compliment I've ever received, and I agreed to sing two songs, after checking two or three times that he wasn't pulling my leg. The first song went well, but due to a slight miscalculation on my part (I didn't anticipate applause between the two songs), I missed my cue on the second song and had to play 'catch up' for most for the first verse. I was distraught - I wanted my performance to be perfect for my friend's big day and being the muppet that I am, I messed it up. Anyway, I went back to my table afterwards, feeling awful about letting my friend down and scolding myself for not being prepared for the reaction of the audience etc. etc. My friends, being the supporting kind that they are (and evidently unaware of all the drama going on in my head) congratulated me on my performance. I thanked them and then told them what had happened. Why did I let out my 'secret'? I dunno. I didn't really see it as a secret. I messed up, and I was pretty sure everyone knew. I guess I just wanted someone to say "oh no, it wasn't that noticeable, don't worry".

Fast forward to later on that day, when I was chatting with a few of those who were at the wedding. We're talking about false modesty, and one of my friends goes "Yeah but PR, you can't take compliments either no! We say your singing's good and you go on about what went wrong!" Gulp. But...I was...just...oh never mind.

Fast forward (yes, again) to last Saturday. Another performance, which I mentioned a while back. We were pretty damn good, if I may say so myself, apart from one tiny detail - yours truly forgot to sing one entire verse...kind of a problem when you're singing a duet! We managed to recover, such was the flexibility of the song and the genius of our pianist, but I did feel pretty rotten afterwards. Why, PR, why? Focus, woman! Sheesh. I just wanted to bury my head in a pillow, but I had the rest of the evening to endure! When I walked back to my table, my friends started congratulating me...and my natural reaction was to tell them about my mess up. But I remembered what my friend had said a month earlier, and I bit my tongue. Did I really want my friends to think that I didn't appreciate their good wishes? Hell no. Keep your failures to yourself, one wants to know. So I did just that. I managed to hold out until lunch on the following day, when in a moment of weakness, I blurted it out. One of my friends said "ah but we didn't notice" I said "excellent", and we moved on. Or rather they moved on, and I scolded myself yet again.

I just uploaded the videos from Saturday's performance to Facebook. Not my usual style...I'd much rather someone else uploaded it...I hate blowing my own trumpet. But I'm not the only one who performed, and those boys were awesome, so the videos are for them.

So yeah, there we have it. I don't know if I'm guilty of false modesty, or not being able to take compliments. You can be the judge of that.

Waiting for my new baby

Listening to: Radio 1

So I finally decided on a new camera and just clicked on the 'place your order' button on Amazon. Ladies and gentlemen, meet my new baby...
Canon PowerShot A590 IS

Hopefully it'll be here next week, and I can start to have a play around with it. It has pretty much the same features as my A75, but then I wasn't really in a financial position to get an upgrade, was I? Oh and did I mention that the A590 is only £100?! Score!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Situation report

Listening to: 'Against All Odds' by Chase & Status ft. Kano [More Than Alot]

Sorry, I know this is a bit late...but I was quite busy last week and then yesterday I got conjunctivitis so I've been trying not to spend too much time at my computer.

So quite a lot happened while I was in Sri Lanka, at least on the political stage. If I were to make a list, it would consist of the military victories at Paranthan, Kilinochchi and Elephant Pass, the Sirasa studio attack and the assassination of Lasantha Wickrematunga.

Now it should be obvious to anyone visiting this blog that I support Sri Lanka's armed forces. They are doing what millions of us are not willing to do - put country before self and meet the enemy head on...while experiencing numerous hardships in the process.

A photo I got in an email: Anyone willing to switch places with him? Didn't think so.

With this in mind, I think it goes without saying that I am extremely proud of our boys and girls, and relieved at the news that they are making progress. War is awful - anyone with a heart would agree - but necessary in this situation. We have been in a position to weaken the LTTE on many occasions, but this is the first time the government has allowed the forces to do what they are trained to do...and therefore, hopefully this will be the last time such action is required. The international community will 'ooh' and 'aah' and shake their heads, but nothing will change the fact that we have to sort this out on our own. They should probably clean out their own gardens before peering into ours.

So what after this? I think everyone knows. Development in the North and East like you've never seen before, rehabilitation for all displaced civilians and conscripted LTTE fighters, and hopefully as a result, belief that the government serves not only citizens in the South, but all citizens of our country. Can the current government deliver that? Who knows. Can the current opposition deliver that? Again, who knows. Supporters of the each party would have you believe that their party is the only party that can deliver us from our crises. But history has shown us that regardless of who's in charge, there's only one thing we can be sure of - that each successive government will be more corrupt than the last. And don't be fooled into thinking that this is something unique to Sri Lankan politicians. Corruption is a worldwide phenomenon, and we are all to blame.

And what about the attacks on media freedom in the country? Apparently Sirasa was attacked because it didn't give enough coverage to military advances, and was therefore deemed unpatriotic. And then the conspiracy theorists claim that it was a set up, orchestrated by the 'victims' themselves. Will we ever know? Probably not.

Probably more significant was the murder of Lasantha Wickrematunga, editor of the Sunday Leader. Did he deserve to be killed? Hell no. No one deserves that. Did he anger various people, one (or more) of whom had the capacity to take revenge? Yes. So why is everyone surprised? Who knows. I won't make any guesses about who dunnit, but I will say that if you play with fire, chances are you'll get burnt. I'm not condoning the violence, I'm just bemused at the number of people who are apparently shocked.

To put everything into perspective, the Leader hardly has the largest readership in Sri Lanka...but it does cater to the majority of the English-speaking upper-middle and upper classes (especially the pro-UNP ones). That is a minority in our country, but a prominent one. And maybe that's where the answer lies. At every dinner party I went to after the killing (and goodness knows there were quite a few), I was amazed at how many people gushed about what a nice man he was. The closest these people had got to being friends with him was seeing him on TV. But he was 'one of them'. And his murder was a signal that their cushy existence in the Colombo bubble was not as impenetrable as they had hoped. That is my somewhat cynical explanation for the reaction to his death. And of course the opportunistic UNP bigwigs had to turn a private funeral into a public political circus. So outside the media circles, the mourning had nothing to do with his skills as a journalist. In my experience, his competence as a diligent editor left a lot to be desired, and his publication disregarded not only the facts but also national security. Which brings me to another point. With some trepidation I quote from the BBC -
Young journalist [...] thinks that while journalists may need to consider national security - as the country is at war - that doctrine should not unduly interfere with the public's right to know the truth.
I beg to differ with this young journalist's view. I think that while the public has the right to know the truth, it should not interfere with national security. The media's desire to expose sensitive information may satisfy the public's right to information, but it puts the lives of our soldiers at that how we show our gratitude? I've talked about the perils of reckless journalism before, and my opinion hasn't changed.

So anyway, that's my account of the happenings back home. Our forces have since won at Mullattivu, and are currently clearing the jungles nearby. Where Prabhakaran is, no one knows, but hopefully we'll soon find out. And hopefully this war will soon be history.

Monday, January 19, 2009


Listening to: 'Fruit Machine' by The Ting Tings [We Started Nothing]

Oh yeah baby, I'm back. Missed me much? Wait...don't answer that. Anyway...

Here's me multitasking: eating dinner, unpacking and blogging simultaneously. And here's a summary of what went down in Colombo -
  • Got a haircut that didn't cost me 35 quid!
  • Sang at my friend's wedding
  • Went to Kandy, only to find that my camera had gone on strike just as we got to Dalada Maligawa! Oh the shame. Got it working by the time we got to Pinnawela though, thankfully.
  • Had three wonderful days with the parents in Nuwara Eliya
  • Felt my heart skip a beat when I saw Adam's Peak on the drive back to Colombo via Hatton
  • Spent 31st night trying to have a normal conversation with some family friends but kept getting disturbed by wasted retards lighting crackers outside their house
  • Went sari shopping
  • Went to show the Alma Mater some support...and felt really old (not to mention old-fashioned)
  • Went out with friends and inhaled so much second-hand smoke that I was ill the next day
  • Had indigestion for four days
  • Went to another friend's wedding that turned into a mini class reunion, which was great, despite me being completely blanked by someone who really should've grown up by now...too much to ask, apparently.
  • Went to temple and got scared of a cockroach (it was massive, I swear!)
  • Was told by the ophthalmologist that I may not need specs any more, yay!
Oh and both weddings qualified for eye candy levels, yay! :D I mean they weren't overflowing with testosterone-filled hotness, but there were one or two potentials at each, which is more than a girl can ask for these days!

I also developed a habit of smiling at the soldiers at every checkpoint we were stopped at. And they were always very pleasant in return. I know a lot of people are perturbed by the military presence in Colombo, but I accept it as a necessary precaution. The recent military advances at the front deserve a separate post, so I won't dwell on the topic here. Other politicised events in Sri Lanka will also probably be covered then, so stay tuned!

Right I think it's time for me to hit the sack.