Archive for 2009

Big Picture: 2009 in pictures

Posted in General, Photography with tags , , , on Thursday, 17 December 2009 by Deems

As another year draws to a close – I can’t believe there’s a little over two weeks left of 2009 – Boston.com brings us a three-part post of their choice of photographs representing the year that was, 2009.

Even though there have been some amazing moments, around the world, during 2009 looking back at the three pages worth of pictures from 2009, one can’t help wonder – what will 2010 hold – will we see a similar array of photos next year, or will they be happier ones?

On that note – please be warned that some of the photos in the three Big Picture posts contain images which may offend sensitive viewers/readers.

The year 2009 is now coming to a close, and it’s time to take a look back over the past 12 months through photographs. Historic elections were held in Iran, India and the United States, some wars wound down while others escalated, China turned 60, and the Berlin Wall was remembered 20 years after it came down. Each photo tells its own tale, weaving together into the larger story of 2009. This is a multi-entry story, 120 photographs over three days. Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3. – source Boston.com

Fireworks illuminate the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin November 9, 2009, during celebrations to mark the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. (REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay)

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VOTD: Jamie Pugh at Britain’s Got Talent 2009

Posted in General with tags , , , , , on Sunday, 3 May 2009 by Deems

A couple weeks ago, Britain, including the rest of world were stunned by the unimaginable performance of Susan Boyle, a 47 year old woman, from Scotland.

This past weekend Simon, Amanda and Piers were blown away by 37 year old, Jamie Pugh, from Wales, a pizza-delivery guy. Dubbed the shows most nervous contenstant, he plucked up the courage and strength to sing Bring Him Home from the West End musical Les Misérables. Again, proving to the rest of Britain, and the rest of the world, that Britain really does have talent. 

What many people, including the judges and audience, did not know was that tragedy had struck Jamie nearly 10 years ago when his wife, and mother of his son, died of a brain tumor. Jamie purposely did not want to bring it up before the show as he did not want the sympathy vote from the judges and the audience.

The 27-year-old died from a brain tumour, making Jamie a widower in just his 20s – and the former RAF engineer has battled since to rebuild his life.

Paul and Melanie Cole, who lived next door to Jamie and his late wife in Blackwood, Gwent, said he was a “broken man” when their “beautiful friend” died. – source WalesOnline

And it seems the bookies think Jamie has a good chance against Susan, from Scotland.

After his stunning performance last night, bookies installed him as the main rival to Scottish spinster Susan Boyle for the show’s £100,000 prize and a spot before the Queen at the Royal Variety Show. – source WalesOnline

Jamie has actually tried auditioning for a previous season of Britain’s Got Talent but was so nervous he couldn’t even sing for a producer.

He said: “I could hardly get my name out I was that nervous. But I got it into my psyche that I’m 38 and can only try for something for so long.”

Donna, whom he met seven years ago in a Blackwood pub and with whom he has a three-year-old son Ethan, put his name forward again this year and accompanied him to the audition.

Viewers heard him tell presenters Ant and Dec: “I suffer from severe stage fright. It has totally crippled me and I’ve come here today to see if I can get through three minutes.”  – source WalesOnline

You can read the full article and interview here on the WalesOnline website. Good luck Jamie!

Clever Election Marketing Strategies

Posted in General with tags , , , , , , , on Tuesday, 21 April 2009 by Deems

The South African Elections are just around the corner, litereally as they’re tomorrow, Wednesday 22nd April 2009.

Wimpy are offering a free cup of coffee to anyone on election day who proves they’ve voted – see video below [via CherryFlava]

And not to be outdone – Nando’s are doing something similar offering a “voter’s roll” with the (here’s the catch though, where Wimpy doesn’t have a catch) purchase of any chicken meal. [via CherryFlava]

nandos-voters-roll

Some more clever electioneering marketing from Nando’s is the following advert which has the ANCYL president Julius Malema fuming and threatening militant action if not withdrawn. Take a look for yourself, you decide. [via News24]

VOTD: Susan Boyle at Britain’s Got Talent 2009

Posted in General with tags , , , , , on Wednesday, 15 April 2009 by Deems

Susan Boyle, 47 year old single woman from Blackburn in the United Kingdom entered this year’s Britain’s Got Talent competition. I must admit that I was a little worried when I first started watching the clip. 47-year old woman with a very strong accent, not someone with x-factor, as Simon would say, going on stage in front of millions of viewers, a packed audience, and now millions of viewers via YouTube, singing the broadway production song I Dreamed A Dream from Les Miserables.

Take a look below for yourself and let me know what you think.

Note: if you cannot view the video for any reason – follow this link to view it on YouTube.

That’s right, almost 5 and a half million views on one YouTube video alone. Here’s an excerpt from one of her fan-sites that got over 6000 hits from around the world in four days.

At around 11am on Tuesday 14th April, I finally managed to get this site online. However, at that time I had no idea that I would get people from all over the world would come here. So a big hello to my American, English, Welsh, Scottish, Irish, Canadian, Dutch, Australian, Japanese, Philippino, French, and Swedish readers! I love you all! Love you like I’m sure Susan does. – source Susan Boyle Fan Site

It seems Susan had bigger ideas than getting a record deal throu the BGT show.

It appears that Simon Cowell will give Susan a record deal, even in the unlikely event that she doesn’t win. However, Susan is more interested in finding herself a man. The 47 year old admitted on Saturday that she has “never been married, never been kissed.”

Despite the show being British, Susan has attracted fans from all around the world. The Sun reports, “Radio stations and newspapers from the US to Australia viewed the clip online and are now lining up to talk to her.” This website has only been online for, at time of writing, 7 hours and has already attracted over 400 visits from the USA, the UK, the Netherlands, Australia, the Philippines, Canada, Japan, Singapore, Ireland and Germany. Susan says, “I had no idea the show was a worldwide thing.”

Susan hopes the show will find her love, she says she doesn’t “intend to be alone for long.”  – source Susan Boyle Fan Site

I really take my hat off to you Susan – you’ve definitely show that anything is possible if you put your mind to it, and given half a chance. Good luck!

Below is a video interview with a reporter from the West Lothian Courier.

Update: 20 April 2009
It seems Susan is set for stardom. Simon Cowell says she will have a number one US album. Oprah Winfrey was so taken by her performance that she’s inviting her on her show. Even Larry King’s CBS crew have gone over to the UK to interview her and locals. More on The Gurardian website.

It’s 2009!

Posted in Family, General with tags , , , , on Thursday, 1 January 2009 by Deems

We had a great Christmas with family at our house, with way too much food. A few days later it was new year’s eve and we spent it with friends eating delicious oxtail potjiekos, drinking quite a bit and playing texas hold’em till 4 in the morning. Only to get up 5 hours later, get ready to go to the folks for new year’s day lunch with family. It feels like we’ve been eating non-stop for the last week! Now it’s over and we’re winding down as we head on to the weekend before the first week of work starts.

2009 is going to be the year, I just know it. My wife read my horoscope for the new year and it said this was going to be my year and things are going to look really good for me financially. Well, lets hope that works out, I’ve been working hard at it for the last week and a half, in preparation 🙂 Watch this space!