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I've been receiving abuse from various quarters lately for the lack of posting on this site. My apologies, but I'd sworn of any real computer activity for a few weeks after completing my thesis. To be honest, I had been meaning to write some stuff here this week... there's certainly been a few things on the go that seemed worth talking about.

Unfortunately, it turns out that I am very lazy and preferred spending my time on the beach. There's also the not insignificant issue of my supervisor asking me to prepare a shortened version of my dissertation by yesterday. (We'll be submitting a joint paper, largely based on the work that I did for my thesis to some relevant journals; hopefully by the end of this week.) This has been taking up what little patience I have for my laptop screen over the last two days.

Amidst all that, I'm supposed to be packing up my room and all my stuff, as tomorrow the GF and I bid a fond farewell to Lisbon. (I travel pretty light as far as these things go, but even then it's rather disconcerting to see how much rubbish you manage to accumulate over a few months in a foreign city.) We'll be heading off to the UK for a few weeks next, visiting a variety of places... Starting off in west Wales where my aunt and uncle have a(n apparently beautiful) holiday spot, then up to the Lake District where the GF's family is and her brother is getting married, before heading back down to London to visit friends, and finally back to my aunt and uncle's house in Hampshire. Then it's up north again, where I'll be starting my PhD in mid-August!

Before all that, however, we'll be attending this bad boy: Optimus Alive. It seemed a good idea to book tickets to a music festival on the day before our departure at the time, and I'm not going to let pressing logistics get in the way of that feeling now! We've only got day passes (today, July 7), but there are some bands that I'm looking forward to seeing. You can see the line-up here. My plan of attack is something along the lines of: Crocodiles (17h00); Jimmy Eat World (18h30); Bombay Bicycle Club (20h05); Primal Scream (21h15); Iggy and the Stooges (22h45); ending off with the big one, Foo Fighters (00h05).

What do you reckon? Am I optimising here (har har), or could I do better?

[For the record, I'm mostly interested in Primal Scream (reliving the 90s — yeah!) and Foo Fighters. The rest I'm prepared to juggle around a bit.]

UPDATE: A very good night out. I left a remark on Twitter saying something to the effect of: "Bombay Bicycle Club vying hard to take over from Jimmy Eat World's title as most awkward looking band. Both good live acts though." Felt bad about this a few hours later though, as J.E.W. were on the same flight as us the next morning and seemed pretty cool dudes. (And I'll always have a soft spot for The Sweetness.) In fact, I was sandwiched between them and Primal Scream. Lead singer Bobby Gillespie appeared to be holding up remarkably well after being arguably the most stoned human in all of greater Lisbon only the night before — no small feat, I can assure you. He and the rest of PS still put in a solid performance, though. (They are effectively touring on a live re-visitation of Screamadelica; surely one of the great albums of the 90s.) In other news, Iggy Pop must donate his body to science. He remains equal measures totally compelling and awful as a performing artist: He still flaunts a six-pack at around 65 years of age, and still can't hold a tune to save his life. Not much changed since the 1970s then... And, last but not least, Dave Grohl possess an incredible set of lungs. He screamed and growled his way through a near three-hour set, along with the rest of the Foo's. I was knackered just being in the crowd, so I can only wonder how they felt. I'm as much an armchair fan as anything else, but — having now seen them live — the Foo Fighters deserve their place as the headline act for the festival circuit this season... Say nothing of being, arguably, the biggest rock band in the world right now.