Moving on.

BedroomI got confirmation from my Landlord that my lease will not be renewed. So I have 60 days (until 18th May) to find somewhere else to live. It wasn’t altogether surprising – the local grapevine has been buzzing with tales of 20% rent increases where leases have been renewed, so even if they’d made an offer, it’s unlikely I’d have been able to afford it.

So time to move on. I don’t really know where I want to go. Partly, because I’d really like to stay here. The financial benefits of Dolphin Square are that heating, water and basic cable TV are included in the rent and because it’s Westminster, the council tax is very low (about £50 per month) so that makes it difficult to make direct comparisons – I’m clearly going to get a’spreadsheetin’. I’ve been very lucky to have such a great place with the view of the river. I’d love to stay in Pimlico or elsewhere in SW1 but perhaps I can’t afford it, if rents here are going squiffy, maybe it’s part of a bigger picture.

At the moment, I think the bottom line of my requirements are a one-bedroom unfurnished flat within zone 1 or 2 and trying to keep the rent under £250 per week. I honestly feel much more of a west end boy than an east-ender but maybe it’s time for me to do something different. Getting really different and moving right out of the South-East of England is not going to happen until my kids are that bit older.

So HALP! pls k.thxbye etc. – I’m not sure of the best way to start looking as I kind of walked into this place two years ago – if you know of anywhere that might suit or can suggest good agents/sites (other than gumtree and craigslist) to look at, you know how to get hold of me.

What would you do if I sang out of tune?

Lloyd busking 018I’m doing a workshop intro to social media for a client at the end of the month and they just sent me through a draft agenda – mine is just one in a series that they’re doing at a two-day staff event. On the agenda mine is entitled “Libraries gave us power” I had no idea what this was a reference to, so I asked and was told that they’d given all the workshops names from song lyrics (mine was apparently from the Manic Street Preachers or some similar popular beat combo – perhaps they think I’m Welsh?) Anyway they also asked if I had a lyric that I’d prefer and so, of course, rather than thinking it through for myself, I asked my outsourced brain, aka my twittermates, to come up with suggestions for me.

They did not let me down.

benayers @lloyddavis anything by 50 Cent. Check out and you'll see why. His ppl utilize social media in a big way. (See about 1 hour ago from web reply to benayers

Whatleydude @Lloyddavis - Jailhouse Rock? Something from Hotel California? How about 'I remember when rock was young...' ? ;) about 1 hour ago from txt reply to Whatleydude

stml @lloyddavis "With a little help from my friends?" about 1 hour ago from web reply to stml

londonfilmgeek @LloydDavis" My fingertips are holding onto the cracks in our foundations, and I know that I should let go, but I can't." Kate Nash about 1 hour ago from twitterrific reply to londonfilmgeek

Ronna @LloydDavis Wouldn't a euk number be most 'authentic'? about 1 hour ago from web reply to Ronna

lewiswebb @lloyddavis How about McFly's "it's all about you"? about 1 hour ago from web reply to lewiswebb

billt @LloydDavis Paranoid Android? about 1 hour ago from twhirl reply to billt

johndodds @LloydDavis he's too sexy for his shirt? about 1 hour ago from web reply to johndodds

londonfilmgeek @LloydDavis "Up, down, turn around Please don't let me hit the ground Tonight I think I'll walk alone I'll find my soul as I go home" NewOrd about 1 hour ago from twitterrific reply to londonfilmgeek

londonfilmgeek @LloydDavis "I'm your only friend I'm not your only friend But I'm a little glowing friend But really I'm not actually your friend But I am" about 1 hour ago from twitterrific reply to londonfilmgeek

londonfilmgeek @LloydDavis " Ihave a secret to tell From my electrical well It's a simple message and I'm leaving out the whistles and bells" about 1 hour ago from twitterrific reply to londonfilmgeek

emmalwallace @lloyddavis "My connection ain't thick, dick" De La Soul may be a little risqué? about 1 hour ago from twhirl reply to emmalwallace

giagia @lloyddavis Bridge Over Troubled Water? about 1 hour ago from web reply to giagia

londonfilmgeek @LloydDavis "yup yup rabbit yup yup yup rabbit rabbit bunny jabber yup rabbit bunny yup yup" Chas & Dave about 1 hour ago from twitterrific reply to londonfilmgeek

londonfilmgeek @LloydDavis "You know the rules and so do I A full commitment's what's I'm thinking of You wouldn't get this from any other guy" anon ha! about 1 hour ago from twitterrific reply to londonfilmgeek

JofArnold @LloydDavis - Big it up Digg-stylee by coming on to Dare by the Gorillaz: Get the crowd standing on their seats! about 1 hour ago from web reply to JofArnold

TigersHungry @lloyddavis I would like to throw in my 2 cents and second the chas and dave selection. about 1 hour ago from twitterrific reply to TigersHungry

jopkins @lloyddavis go for "the one and only" and power fist to it 44 minutes ago from web reply to jopkins

londonfilmgeek @LloydDavis "Boom! shake-shake-shake the room Boom! shake-shake-shake the room" 42 minutes ago from twitterrific reply to londonfilmgeek

Ajpegg @LloydDavis bebo-pa-loola, perhaps? 42 minutes ago from web reply to ajpegg

Rebeccacaroe @lloyddavies "I'm the one that you want" - an oldie but a goodie [like you and me]

billt @LloydDavis because we're watching you - sometimes it isn't paranoia! :-) 38 minutes ago from twhirl reply to billt

londonfilmgeek @LloydDavis "Nervous you need a drink tired you need a lift you feel on the brink maybe you need new tits" - Social Life - Iggy Pop 38 minutes ago from twitterrific reply to londonfilmgeek

audio @LloydDavis You could go for "Simply The Best", but it's all a bit David Brent! 37 minutes ago from web reply to audio

jopkins @lloyddavis elevation/U2 is a favourite for motivational ppt numbers 33 minutes ago from web reply to jopkins

dungeekin @lloyddavis: cheesy, but how about from "We Are the World" - 'When we stand together as one'... 33 minutes ago from web reply to dungeekin

dungeekin @lloyddavis: Or: "Everybody's talking at me, I don't hear a word they're saying" 32 minutes ago from web reply to dungeekin

dungeekin @lloyddavis: ''Let's Work Together" - full lyrics here: 31 minutes ago from web reply to dungeekin

audio @LloydDavis don't be silly, that's just not a good idea. 31 minutes ago from web reply to audio

Ronna @LloydDavis I don't know, there's a certain degree of analogy with 'When I'm cleaning windows', and it would be memorable and wake people up 30 minutes ago from web reply to Ronna

londonfilmgeek @LloydDavis "I think he'd like to have been Ronnie Kray But then nature didn't make him that way" Blur 30 minutes ago from twitterrific reply to londonfilmgeek

emilicon @LloydDavis Option: 'If you make sure you're connected, the writing's on the wall' from 'Connected' Stereo MCs¿ 29 minutes ago from txt reply to emilicon

londonfilmgeek @LloydDavis "Pussy pussy pussy pussy pussy pussy walk" Iggy pop again 26 minutes ago from twitterrific reply to londonfilmgeek

mike_ohara @lloyddavis "come on over to myspace, hey you, we're havin a party..." 26 minutes ago from web reply to mike_ohara

solobasssteve @LloydDavis if you're going for an inspirational future-web talk, you could try 'talking about a revolution'... 25 minutes ago from twitterrific reply to solobasssteve

JofArnold @LloydDavis - can't you imagine auditors strolling on to Dare? I can - it'd be awesome! :-D 19 minutes ago from web reply to JofArnold

dungeekin @lloyddavis: Cool - I'm still thinking about possibilities, watch this space. 19 minutes ago from web reply to dungeekin

Suw @LloydDavis: Just get him to play the Flumps music. That should set the tone properly. 13 minutes ago from twhirl reply to Suw

emilicon @LloydDavis Oh right, I don't know, I don't watch TV so really not with the program on adverts, thankfully. 12 minutes ago from web reply to emilicon

johndodds @LloydDavis "Beyond our normal boring stuff" is the perfect title. 5 minutes ago from web reply to johndodds

Dungeekin @lloyddavis: Eureka! The Co-Operation Song from Sesame Street! 2 minutes ago from web reply to dungeekin

Phew! I think some people got confused some way in and thought we were looking for music to play, but that’s the way these conversations go. So I think I’ll go with @stml’s suggestion which I’ll expand a little to “I get by with a little help from my friends” thanks James, I owe you one! But there are some other great suggestions in there – I’d love to try “Rabbit” and “Paranoid Android” might have been particularly appropriate for this audience if not the subject matter.

Thank you everybody for contributing – another twitter crowd-sourcing legend for the books.

HG10 video for vlogging

Thayer asked for some tips on getting video from the HG10 in suitable form for uploading to YouTube or

Please do not take this as a definitive way of doing things – I AM FREQUENTLY WRONG! – However, it seems to have worked for me so far, though I had to bodge around for a bit, so there may well be better, easier ways to do it, so please let me know if you find them. Oh and I’m doing it on a PC running XP – iMovie doubtlessly cleans your shoes for you while it’s speedily encoding and compressing.

First off, I installed all of the software that came with the camera – I can’t remember what all of it was, but basically I chucked everything at it.

Then this is what I do. You get files off the camera in .mts format. I start up the Corel Ulead DVD Movie Factory and create a new project. Since we’re just going to export to another type of file I don’t think it matters whether you go for a DVD project or a AVCHD project so just choose whichever one you think goes best with your eyes.

Click on the Add Video Files icon (film strip) at the top left hand corner. Choose a file and then click on the Export Selected Clips icon about half way down. (You can process more than one clip at a time by the way – if you’ve got a bunch to do)

I choose Customize…

In the file save as dialog that comes up I give it a name and change the type to .avi.

Then click on Options. I scale the frame size down to 720 x 540 on the General Tab and on the AVI tab I choose the DivX Codec with standard settings.

Then click Save. Close down Movie Factory. Fire up Windows Movie Maker or your favourite video editing program and import the .avi file for editing. With these settings the .avi is about one-third the size of the .mts file.

You may find that different codecs with different settings give you better results but having stumbled over something that works well enough, I’m not going to start messing around.

The Dead & Alive Ladybird Club

feb 08 063

Originally uploaded by Lloyd Davis

My flat has lately become a meeting place for the above mentioned society. I don’t really know what to do except to let them out the window when I see them alive and collect and photograph them for posterity when I find them dead.

I suspect though that it’s the toasty warm of central heating that’s keeping them going and once they get outside they freeze and perish anyway.

At least it’s not cockroaches.

Cumbrian Social Media Meetup

snowhunt10OK, this is one for those living more than half way up the island of Great Britain but less than three-quarters of the way up. My twitter and seesmic buddy, William Tildesley is providing an opportunity for Social Media folk in the North-West of England and South of Scotland to come together in a Tuttle-ish kind of a way. In Penrith. Frankly, it’s fairly straightforward to get a bunch of hungry, chatty geeks together for coffee and croissants in this huge metropolis. I think Will’s got great guts doing it up there on his home turf – I wish I hadn’t waited until I was twice as old as he is to pull my finger out and do stuff.

They’re going to be at:

The Narrowbar Café
13 Devonshire Street
Penrith, England CA11 7SR

on Saturday 29th March from 1pm

Sign up on the upcoming page and follow along with what William’s doing on his new startup blog

The picture is from my last visit to Cumbria which I realise was two years ago next Wednesday – and it was snowing. Obviously. I hear it’s sometimes a bit warmer than that.

8 things redux with a twist

feb 08 049Thayer tagged me with the 8 random things meme…again – she’s forgiven as we barely knew each other in August last year. I couldn’t manage eight last time (this was the last one) so some of these might not actually be entirely true.

1. I once spent three months measuring the hedgerows of Gloucestershire. You can still find some of my waymarkers on country lanes just outside Cheltenham, if you know where to look.

2. My favourite colour combination is the kind of orangey-brown of krispy-kreme donuts against catkin green.

3. Since the age of 12 I’ve always owned exactly 3 gerbils. I always have several dealers on standby in case one of them dies and needs to be instantly replaced. My gerbils go *everywhere* with me. Yes… I mean *everywhere*

4. I was once almost arrested for possession of a Mr Kipling Bakewell Tart (and a milkbottle). This was during my New Romantic phase, so the frilly shirt and heavy eye make-up might also have had something to do with it.

5. I had a walk-on part in the film “Stab Truck” (I was the synth player in the band during the flashback to the David Hasselhof character’s complete humiliation in a London night club.) It was filmed in the basement of the Centrepoint Tower.

6. One of my cousins was the artist’s model for Freddo the Frog, Cadbury’s 1970’s novelty moulded chocolate. He went on to design the wheel nuts of the Audi A8.

7. My gerbils’ names are Rainey, Bessie and Janis after the 3 greatest female blues singers of the 20th Century. People often imagine that if they see the white one, that must be Janis, but my gerbils (and the blues) are colour-blind.

8. As a student I worked in a launderette in Guildford. I have seen, touched and washed the underwear of Eric Clapton, Bonnie Langford, Michael Buerk and various forgettable members of the Prog Rock Hall of Fame.

So to pass it on, I tag: HM The Queen, Ronnie Hazlehurst, Lewis Carroll, Mickey Dolenz, Pogle out of Pogle’s Wood, Optimus Prime, Stuart Hall (not the Jamaican one, the one off It’s a Knockout) and the entire Electric Light Orchestra.

Pimlico School Anti-Academy Protest

hg10 590On my way home tonight, passing Pimlico School, I saw a couple of policemen inside the gates. I prickled, thinking poor them, it’s so cold and they’ve got to go in there and find someone who’s disappeared over the fence or something.

It turned out there was something less dramatic but just as interesting and exciting going on. A group of ex-governors are protesting against the demolition of the school and its transformation into an Academy. They were helped by some anti-grafitti artists who used a high-pressure hose to clean off the words “Anti Academy School” on the front wall.

I went and filled their hot-water bottles for them – it’s bloody cold out there and then came back for a chat. They were keen for me to climb over, but the combination of my inflexible legs, the anti-climb paint and my general scaredy-catness meant that I conducted my interview from the other side of locked gates. One of the protestors, Hank, very kindly rigged up an alternative ladder combo to help me, but I gratefully declined.

I spoke to Anthea Masey about what they were doing there. The interview petered out as we were interrupted by a year 10 pupil from the school who was passing but didn’t want to be seen on camera but had a lot to say in praise of the school as it is.

I have no opinion on this issue either way – I personally think the building’s ugly. I can imagine how uncomfortable the classrooms are when the sun shines. I know nothing of the academic record or merits of the case for the current regime, Westminster Council or the protestors, but I’m happy to lend a hand to people who are passionate enough to spend a night under the stars on a freezing February monkey-ball-freezing March night in order to have a say on what they believe in.

Much is written about generational divides, mostly about frightened older people disturbed by young hoodies. Tonight I witnessed a different one where the spirit of protest lives on in those over 50 while 14-year-olds think making a stand like this is pointless and stupid.