Friday, August 29, 2008

I'm shocked!

For some reason the Church Times didn't publish my caption in their latest competition:

FoCAs unveil their range of flying bishops -
maybe it was thought too rude?
I submitted another attempt which also mentioned that German aeroplane maker.

don't tell classic fm listeners!

Paul Padillo writes:
In my “research” someone asked me if I’d ever heard this “phenomenon” live. Of course I couldn’t have only having just learned of her, so I was directed me to a number of live performances. Let me say this: for anyone who has not heard this gal live, you simply MUST. As saccharine sweet as her albums come off there is nothing of that sound when Ms. Jenkins sings live. The difference is more than night and day, it’s more like Spaghetti and Venus.
.. on a certain 'mezzo'

Monday, August 25, 2008

Where were you?

Via Niles and Iain Dale comes this meme for remembering where you were at the time of certain events (or bragging about your age)
  • Princess Diana’s death - 31 August 1997 - I had no idea about this until the clock radio came on just before 7 - with I think radio 4 rather than radio 3, I was trying to change it back and not succeeding and it was a little time before the penny dropped. That Sunday morning we had a church coach trip to Llandudno what with those events we forgot that the service had been moved to before the coach departed and just turned up with our packed lunches. I'd have liked to have been present for the service. Spent the day wandering around Llandudno in a bit of a limbo. UK Gold were due to show the Dr Who Armageddon factor which I was intending to tape (as we were out) and they cancelled it to our chagrin.
  • Margaret Thatcher’s resignation - 22 November 1990 I heard about this by email! I was working at the Computer Science dept in Manchester and an email was sent around to everyone. The person I shared an office with was foreign and shocked at the news in contract to this local's gladness that it was over. I remember posting to uk.politics later that morning making the link between the events and the US's Thanksgiving day.
  • Attack on the twin towers - 11 September 2001 - at work in Knutsford. I was told by a colleague in the adjacent office, work tended to stop while we picked up what bits of the news were on the internet and a radio was put in the corridor between the offices. Our company's base was in New York state and a colleague was meant to be giving a talk close to the WTC that day.
  • England’s World Cup Semi Final v Germany in - 4 July 1990 Sorry, pardon?
  • President Kennedy’s Assassination - 22 November 1963 I remember coming downstairs to watch television and being told -or did I see the newsflash? - and being in disbelief


Not had a lolcats for some time - and this appealed
more animals

especially as I'm currently bandaged up as a result of an unprovoked (by me!) cat attack

Yodelling goats

Found this

whilst searching for more on the Swiss Squirrel story(!) Not sure whether I need one or not - it could add to my desk collection of weird electronic creatures!

Squirrel takes out swissGrid

According to this (German) site and the Register a red squirrel took down Swiss TV - in the middle of the Olympic closing ceremony - forcing them to miss Boris and David Beckham - at least it was a red squirrel (European terrorism rather than a US import).

Nice picture of the substation on the German site..

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Lots of emotion

I think there'll be lots of emoting at the first concert in the Stockport Symphony Orchestra season - the 2008-9 programm is now up on the web. First programme consists of
Ruslan and Ludmilla Overture - Glinka
Piano Concerto No 1 - Tchaikovsky
Symphony No 2 - Rachmaninov

I think I'll need a lie down and an emergency removal of sugar from the blood stream after that lot!

Literary Teaser

A slightly late - only just found the sequence - Tuesday teaser:
'You see then' he went on, 'it is really no good their merely saying that God gave them the right; they must also prove it.'
'But how are they to do that Mr. Nigg, especially in an age of enfeebled faith, such as ours'

The Missionaries - Robin Jenkins

Software engineers

Hat tip to Geoff Coupe comes the cranky project manager's evisceration of the breed. I think they must have been watching me:
The Veteran
He's been here for five years, and he'll be here for five more.
Distinguishing Characteristics
  • Cranky.
  • For some reason, he's permitted to use profanity in meetings and otherwise behave in ways that would make his mother cringe and your company's attorneys start job hunting.
  • Casual Friday dress is too formal. Facial hair is common.
  • You're never in on his private jokes.
  • He's eaten 5 Product Managers before you, and he will chew through 5 more after you're gone.His manager is afraid of him. He's eaten through 5 managers before this one, and he'll chew through ... etc.
  • Yes, he is always a "he".

Saturday, August 23, 2008


From The US
A man from Somerville, Mass., and his friend who went around the country this year removing typographical errors from public signs have been banned from national parks after vandalizing a historic marker at the Grand Canyon.
via Apostrophe Abuse, maybe we should have a campaign to free the typographical two?
(later)Big article in today's Independent on them which lead me to their blog which is currently empty - no doublt being crawled over by lawyers

Gratutious kitty

In the midst of an unrelated discussion - a cat eating - or at least sitting in front of a plate of - spaghetti.

Learning from prisoners

Jane Clay on Offenders and their beliefs(pdf document) off the Justice Reflections website. I knew Jane - a few years ago now!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Keep your photos clean

Well it made me laugh - from a spam that sneaked though the filter:
My name is Lubov. To me of 27 years. I to live in Russia in small small town but to name Medvedevo! I send you a photo in this letter. I to think washing a photo will like you. I the free girl, I to not have children! I already more than 3 years the lonely girl!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Another Guardian Roma Article

Following the Guardian Italian Roma article I mentioned yesterday, today's website has a photo album - unfortunately they make it difficult to link to individual photos but the whole thing is here

Sunday, August 17, 2008


Hat tip to Niles - who has another with an English translation - though that doesn't have some of the better moments!
(130 since you ask)

the family photo

the family photo
Originally uploaded by rajmarshall
I've been falling behind - I should have blogged that the family photos of last week's Ruby Wedding canal trip are now up

She knew we were being treated like animals

Today's Observer has an article on the Italian administrations attitude to the Roma as revealed the current fingerprinting and the spotlight exposing attitudes in two young deaths by the sea.'Why do the Italians hate us?'
Miriana hands me another photograph of Violetta. She is posing in a ruffled pink dress. 'She wanted to be a dancer. She didn't want to go to school. She only wanted to be beautiful. Cristina was a bad influence on Violetta. She didn't like school. She hated living in the camp. Her grandmother said she was just trying to find her place somewhere, but she would've grown into a strong woman. She had the will and the determination. Above all she wanted to be able to walk into the shops in the city, look at the dresses without being chased by the police. She would cut dresses out of magazines and place a cut-out of her head on to them. It was her way of escaping. Violetta just watched. She worshipped her big sister.

'In the days after the girls died a Catholic priest visited us and apologised for the local people on the beach, who he said had misunderstood the situation. I asked him why the Italians hated us, why they looked at the bodies of two dead children and smeared on sun cream and he had no answers. He wept and told me the Roma were still God's children. I told him it doesn't feel like it. We are the ones the Italians blame for the poverty outside the camp. That is their own making, not ours, not my children's fault.'

Miriana is barely 30 but looks a decade older. Married at 14 and a mother of five by her early twenties, she escaped the Bosnian-Serbian border area as a teenager, hoping for a new life in Italy. All three of her surviving children are unschooled. The youngest don't have birth certificates. They simply don't exist and she wants to keep it that away. One of the last things Cristina and Violetta did was to be fingerprinted by the authorities. 'Cristina and Violetta gave their fingerprints shortly before they died. Violetta was upset. She ran away and started crying. She thought the police were coming to take her away. Cristina was angry and scrubbed the ink from her thumb. She understood everything. She knew we were being treated like animals. She died knowing she had no real hope of a better life.'

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Music at Night

Sabine Meyer playing the slow movement of the Poulenc Clarinet Sonata - the piece that started me on my appreciation of Poulenc (thanks Edward!) - ravishing!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

From the canal

Originally uploaded by rajmarshall
Been away - and today enjoyed a trip on the Kennet and Avon Canal using the Kennet Horse Boat Co for Andrew and Wendy's Ruby Wedding. More photographs to follow!
The wall instription says 'specialists in pork and bacon products but I wasn't quick enough on either occasion to get a full on photo.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Down, Shep!

Definitely NSFW, not safe for under 18's - and probably not safe for the over-50's either (Blue Peter p*rn). But very funny! Thanks to b3ta
‘Shep loved me!’ He wailed.

(it's all lies!)

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

In short

Or for those who want to read the executive summary of the Lambeth conference - that's it.

Balance and Lambeth

For some reason, I'm reminded of this film having read the review at the weekend.
Couple of links:
  • MetaCatholic on Romans, sex and idolatry - I will put a towel around my head and get around to a serious read of it (and his previous articles!)
  • Then there's Graham Turner's sermon from Sunday morning (ms word format ;-(), though his talks page also has it as a wav file.
  • Finally there's a pretty balanced assessment from Peter Ould - a call for self-examination on all sides!

Monday, August 04, 2008

Ne me quitte pas

Jacques Brel though I prefer this version, but it has embedding disabled.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Hirondelles andalouses

The photography of Bernard Plossu

Local news

It's BATS tomorrow (my reading group) and as I've been falling a little behind with reviews I've put two short comments on the most recent books on one of my other weblogs. Tomorrow's meeting which, for a change, I am going to make(!), will be discussing 'Io non ho paura' (I'm not afraid) - we will be discussing it in English.
On the last two occasions I've been in the local Sainsbury's there's been a confrontation going on between the security staff and an over-excited customer - never had this fun when I worked there...need to keep an eye on the local press for court proceedings.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

High tech in 1998

Back at the 1998 Lambeth Conference there was a webcam set up for spotting bishops set up at (unsurprisingly the link no longer works!).
I seem to have this one shot from that webcam:

I can't find an archive of other 1998 webcam shots - so far - anywhere on the web - though I think I did have a animated gif from it copied to a cd somewhere. I'll keep looking!
I can't find a webcam this time around, maybe they're keener on controlling the media - though the flickr photos are good!
(the intellectual level on this blog seems to have gone down since the Stockhausen post)

The poor dears

Consecration of gay bishop Gene Robinson led to ridicule for Anglicans, say traditionalists at Lambeth conference | World news | The Guardian
The consecration of a gay Anglican bishop has led to sexual license, a new form of colonisation and ridicule for the church, it was claimed yesterday by (some! ed.) bishops attending the Lambeth conference in Canterbury.

"In some places the church is ridiculed as the gay church so membership is lost. It is experienced as a new form of colonisation," the draft said. "It is seen as leading to sexual license. Bishops cannot be a symbol for unity when their consecration divides the church. In some regions the issue has become a basis for hostile actions."

What was it Jesus was ridiculed as? Ah yes:
friend of sinners and publicans

I don't live here, but...

His owner works as a chef and as a result, with no cat flap, often Gary can't get in, so he's moved into our area when he finds access problems.

None shall Sweep

or Sweep in their eyes - Niles links to this

I think it rather goes off after Nessun Dorma (about 2 minutes in) - but maybe that's a reflection on my taste - or maybe the joke is dead by then?
Go and be nice to Niles - it's his birthday! - as long as you don't distract him from cake making.

It's Stockhausen day

Pliable marks it - at tonight's Proms - a late evening beckons (for me at any rate)!

The SPCK story

Matt Wardman has collected the entire sequence of Dave Walker posts on SPCK and packaged them up as a pdf - they are available here. There seems to be a lot going on in that area at the moment. Go to Matt, Phil Groom, Sam Norton, David Keen, Doug Chaplin and the Ministry of Truth weblogs - to learn and express support!

Scargill video

Off save scargill comes this video taken on the penultimate day
Goodbye Scargill House from Stuart Boreham on Vimeo.
It's a bit stop/start on my machine - maybe it runs better under windows...(later..nope just my machine, have tested with another linux machine where it runs fine. Maybe my machine is underpowered/overloaded or it's Ubuntu/Gnome vs Mandriva/blackbox - though my machine has the lighter window manager!)