Thursday, December 30, 2010

University of Manchester



Among my Dad's papers we found this University student card - Manchester University in the 1940's. You'll see there are separate unions for the men and women. Interesting there's no mention of it being the 'Victoria University of Manchester' and the spaces for authorisation of each course by initials. The space for the initials of the lecturers being blank - did the lecturers not hold with such bureaucracy?
A written explanation was required on absence from lectures!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Teaser Tuesday - 28 December



Teaser Tuesday

The rules are:
  • Grab your current read.
  • Let the book fall open to a random page.
  • Share with us two (2) 'teaser' sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.
  • You also need to share the title and author of the book that you’re getting your 'teaser' from .. that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you've given!
Once the girl nearly slipped, but she recovered balance by knotting her hand in Kingsley's hair.
'Stop pulling my head off,' he grunted.
'Sorry, I knew I shouldn't have drunk so much gin.'

Not what I remembered the book for, but this is from Fred Hoyle's The Black Cloud, which I'm currently re-reading. A classic piece of science fiction by a scientist, I first read it back in the early 1960's and loved it but I've missed out on reading it for many years, a welcome reacquiantance - and the descriptions of early computing technology are there to savour - for me at any rate!

Hints for the Busy Housewife

I have - recovered from my mother's collection of old books - a pamphlet (48 pages) called `Hints for the Busy Housewife' being the reprint of 1936 (Ninth Edition 1935) published by the Health and Cleanliness Council. A few extracts will give an indication of the style!
By carefully choosing her washing and cleaning materials; by using modern equipment whenever possible, keeping it in the best possible condition with cleanliness and care; by careful planning of daily routine; by taking thought for her personal hygiene and appearance - the happy housewife is never without a clean bright overall-the housewife can do much to make her housework no longer a depressing labour but an interesting and pleasant duty.

I've afraid those are my italics..
Children should be led to regard the cleaning of their own boots and shoes as one of the little household jobs in which it is their pleasure to assist. If thus encouraged, they may even cooperate to the extent of keeping father's boots clean for him.
anything rather than the father having to do them!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Fifteen films meme

Via Elizaphanian, "The rules: Don’t take too long to think about it. Fifteen films you’ve seen that will always stick with you. List the first fifteen films you can recall in no more than fifteen minutes."
In no particular order (except that of recall
  • A Prophet (Audiard)
  • The Sound of Music (must be Christmas)
  • The Lion in Winter
  • Un Coeur en Hiver (for that Ravel)
  • Belleville Rendezvous
  • Some Like it Hot (quick change from winter here)
  • Manhattan
  • Mars Attacks (via New York link I think!)
  • Delicatessen
  • Ratatouille (link there!)
  • The Producers
  • Goodbye Lenin (Hitler, dictators/ Germany..)
  • Kramer vs Kramer
  • Au revoir les Enfants
  • Io non ho Paura (I'm not afraid)

Wanted to quote the film about the boys finding a pile of cash but couldn't remember the title, oh and The Closet (Le Placard) but this is cheating. Consider yourself tagged!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Mutterings - 26 December

This week's free word associations from Unconscious mutterings are:
  1. Detective :: Belgian
  2. Bra :: Cup
  3. Prove it :: QED
  4. The end :: of the story
  5. Messy :: Church
  6. Immovable :: Obstacle
  7. Jingle :: Bells
  8. False :: Dichotomy
  9. Comprehend :: Understand
  10. Scream :: Horror

Friday, December 24, 2010

A bit of indulgence for Christmas Eve

The Enid Live at Hammersmith Odeon 1979

I came across The Enid back in 1978 as a result of listening to a Radio 3 alternative music programme (I can't remember the name of the programme now - any offers?) and was intrigued by the mixture of symphonic rock, fairground organ and Elgar(!). So I acquired 'Touch Me' and got around to re-listening to it yesterday. A bye-gone era - though they seem to be still touring indefatigably - the youtube extract is live - enjoy it. I've never been to one of their concerts but one of the PhD students when I was at Manchester Computing dept in the 1980's assisted with getting their stuff on the road (AFAICR, Richard something..) and he was amazed that he'd found someone else who had heard of them!
And for another sort of seasonal indulgence here is Messaien's 'Dieu parmi Nous' played on an accordion(!) - brilliantly - well worth the watch - I've tweeted and facebooked it - having been pointed to it by Patrick Herring so I'm not going to make a separate post of it!

Not ashamed

Whilst down in Sussex a fortnight ago I picked up a copy of Heart of West Sussex - a local Christian newspaper, it contained this quote from George Carey:
Now there was hostile opposition to the Christian message and our values, demonstrated in newspapers like the 'Independent' and 'Guardian':`Words like 'evangelical, Bible, traditional values, faithfulness in marriage, worship' are boo words. Religion is despised.
(apparently from the Bognor Bible Week). I think Dr Carey has been spending too much time reading commenters on the Guardian web pages the free-for-all forum - I don't recognise that description and I am not ashamed to be either a Christian or a Guardian reader (I read the Independent too, on Sunday). I note the scare quotes around the newspaper names in the quote!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Nous voulons une petite soeur

For those running short on Christmas ideas here's Poluenc's delicious setting in one of his Songs for Children 'Nous voulons une petite soeur'

The mother tries to tempt her many daughters with exciting present ideas - including a steam hippopotamus - but it always comes down to them wanting another sister (or two!).
The tone is a bit harsh in this performance but it is a wonderful rendition!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Mutterings - 19 December

This week's free word associations from Unconscious mutterings are:
  1. Charts :: Star
  2. Best moment of 2010? :: Watching the sun set in Trevelez (or was it seeing the mountains of Africa from the hills of Andalucia?)
  3. Checkered :: flag
  4. Glass :: Harmonica
  5. Resolve? :: Will power
  6. Expensive :: Present
  7. Humongous :: Lie
  8. Scent :: of victory
  9. Trashy :: music
  10. Candles :: Fork

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Maria durch ein Dornwald ging


via faraway67 (on twitter)

Another year

For friends who don't follow my feed on identi.ca or twitter or other social media.. our Christmas newsletter is on the web as a pdf - I guess most of it has appeared on this weblog at some time or another, not a terribly entertaining read this year I'm afraid.
This month also marks 40 years since I had my first job in IT - working as part of OsTech at ICL Kidsgrove, as a pre-university trainee, where I was thrown into simulation and a high level language (S1) which allowed insertions of a lower level language - for things like I/O - it must have been a scary start but I still appear to be here and, more or less, connected to the industry!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Santa Claws

I know this has been out for over a week and, so far 1600000 of you have already seen it - but I was away last week so the twitter update was missed and I've only just seen this - so you might as well enjoy it again!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Teaser Tuesday - 14 December



Teaser Tuesday

The rules are:
  • Grab your current read.
  • Let the book fall open to a random page.
  • Share with us two (2) 'teaser' sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.
  • You also need to share the title and author of the book that you’re getting your 'teaser' from .. that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you've given!
Renzo bowed deeply, the doctor greeted him affably, with the words 'Come in, my lad' and took him into his study. It was a huge room; three of its walls were occupied by portraits of the first twelve Roman emperors, and the fourth was taken up by a vast bookcase full of dusty old volumes.
Renzo's visit to a lawyer (Dr Azzeccagarbugli is his name in the original, thank goodness for copy and paste!) from Manzoni's classic The Betrothed (I Promessi Sposi).I first read this many years ago and it is about time for a reread. Manzoni is the first true classic novel written in the Italian language amist the turmoil which led to the founding of the modern Italian state - his death provoked the writing of Verdi's Requiem (which coincidentally I'm listening to at the moment).

Monday, December 13, 2010

Mutterings - 13 December

This week's free word associations from Unconscious mutterings are:
  1. Block :: structured (..language -- computer geekery)
  2. Comforter :: Paraclete (New Testament geekery)
  3. Santa :: Claus
  4. Tape :: Worm(!)
  5. Humor :: ous (and Americanisms!)
  6. Charity :: in receipt of
  7. Receipt :: Till (I'm sure I didn't notice this one when doing the above!)
  8. Hospice :: East Cheshire (the local one)
  9. Stuffing :: Apricot (and very nice it is too with chicken)
  10. Binge :: drinking (sorry)

(comes a little late I'm afraid!)

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Teaser Tuesday - 7 December



Teaser Tuesday

The rules are:
  • Grab your current read.
  • Let the book fall open to a random page.
  • Share with us two (2) 'teaser' sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.
  • You also need to share the title and author of the book that you’re getting your 'teaser' from .. that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you've given!
He sent humorous e-mails to Andy Warshaw, his tireless friend in Lincoln's Inn; he made sure he didn't subscribe to the Eustace Hutton view, that the modern world, with its short-termist, ignorant politicians was something to be mocked. He was careful not to slip into the Inner Temple way of talking, with its clubbish phrases, mispronounced Latin tags and unvoiced conviction that its members were cleverer than the rest of the world.
This month's book group book - acquired last night. Sebastian Faulks' A Week in December at the moment it feels a little too determinedly up to the minute - but early days yet! We shall see! Appropriate for the season but I think it wil take a little longer than a week to read it.
I still need to finish Faulk's Charlotte Gray which I started months back - it got swamped by other things and I need to get back to it!

Hugues Cuénod

The death has just been announced of Hugues Cuénod at the age of 108. He was part of the original cast of Stravinsky's Rake's Progress in 1951, he sang in Krenek's Jonny Spielt Auf in 1928 (the French premiere). I posted him singing Poulenc's C last year but this seems a good opportunity to repeat that post.

There's a good long gap before the song starts (c 25 sec) but it is worth waiting for - one of my favourite Poulenc songs!
J'ai traversé les Ponts-de-Cé
C'est là que tout a commencé
a lament on the fall of France in 1940, written and first performed to an audience including German military during that war.
I'll add a link to an obituary when there is one (but in view of his age I guess there's lots prepared) - and here's the Guardian's obit.

Monday, December 06, 2010

Elsie Marshall

Our mother/mother -in-law/grandmother, Elsie Marshall, died on 26th November 2010, the funeral will be at St Mary's Church, West Chiltington on 10th December - all welcome.

Robert and Beth Marshall, John and Jenny Marshall
Kate, George, Clare and Chris.

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Two Musketeeers

My mood was considerably lightened this week (I'm still stuck in a non-payment situation with a contract I worked on from June-October this year and which is, nominally, still on-going, so far I've received no money at all. Also, my mother died 10 days ago and I'm in the gap between the death and the funeral) when I read this bit from Giles Fraser's tribute to Colin Slee in the Church Times:
My favourite Colin Slee story involves his campaign against the swingers’ sex club that opened just a few yards from Southwark Cathed­ral. In his office, Colin had rows of box files marked “Club Wicked”. He was gathering the evidence that he needed to close the place down — which is what he eventually did.
In the course of this campaign, he hired a couple of private investiga­tors to go into the club one night and record what they saw. That par­ticular evening had a costume theme. To those who frequented Club Wicked, that meant leather and rubber bondage gear. But the private investigators thought it meant fancy dress. They turned up as two of the three Musketeers. I would often tease him about this.
Jeffrey John's sermon at Colin Slee's Requiem Eucharist is here and is worth the read!

Mutterings - 5 December

This week's free word associations from Unconscious mutterings are:
  1. Twitter :: feed
  2. Facebook :: status
  3. MySpace :: defunct
  4. Friend :: in need
  5. Subscribe :: Magazine
  6. Conflict :: Resolution
  7. Ignore :: Dismiss
  8. Drama :: Queen
  9. Hide :: under the bed
  10. List :: vector:: (you need some C++ for this!)

(what's happening - firefox is underlining everything as being mis-spelled!)

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Another snowy morning


Another snowy morning
Originally uploaded by rajmarshall
Looking over Macclesfield on the very cold morning which was Friday.
And a thought:
All our anguish is itself part of God's grace a mark of his intimacy
Not sure of the author - Harry Williams?

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Rowan Williams message for World AIDS Day

Here's the Archbishop of Canterbury talking (the link is to the same video on the Lambeth site with a transcript of the message) about the challenges of AIDS in 2010.

Visits to the Mildmay Hospital in Uganda and Arunima Hospice in India.

Teaser Tuesday - 30 November



Teaser Tuesday

The rules are:
  • Grab your current read.
  • Let the book fall open to a random page.
  • Share with us two (2) 'teaser' sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.
  • You also need to share the title and author of the book that you’re getting your 'teaser' from .. that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you've given!
Luckily, Kitty came into the room just then. She was lugging not just the grocery bag but but a pillowcase stuffed with clothing-the pillowcase from Liam's bed, which she hadn't asked permission to take.
From Anne Tyler's Noah's Compass our BATS (book group) book of the month -I've not read any Anne Tyler before. An easy read but very thought provoking.
(I've missed 2 weeks of these - I must try to get back into the rhythm!)

Monday, November 29, 2010

Cash cat

Haven't had one of these for ages!
funny pictures-Shake me all you want, I aint barfin' up your $300 fish..
see more Lolcats and funny pictures.
If only extracting your money was that easy!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Advent


St Paul's Macclesfield
Originally uploaded by rajmarshall
I took this photo when walking across Macclesfield this morning, in very cold weather, to a morning service. And for this day a few verses from Anne Ridler's Nothing is Lost
Nothing is lost, for all in love survive.
I lay my cheek against his sleeping limbs
To feel if he is warm, and touch in him
Those children whom no shawl could warm,
no arms, no grief, no longing could revive.

Thus what we see, or know,
Is only a tiny portion, at the best,
Of the life in which we share; an iceberg's crest
Our sunlit present, our partial sense,
With deep supporting multitudes below.

Mutterings - 28 November

This week's free word associations from Unconscious mutterings are:
  1. Scrabble :: Domino - here's a picture of Domino I don't think I have any online of scrabble
  2. Watching :: Clock
  3. Habitually :: Commonly
  4. Gritty :: Salty (it's the cold season!)
  5. Slovenly :: Youth (apologies to any younger readers!)
  6. Canvas :: Under
  7. Leggings :: Warm
  8. Thursday :: The Man Who was (a GK Chesterton novel)
  9. Attention :: seeingin
  10. Hypnotic :: beat

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Mutterings - 21 November

This week's free word associations from Unconscious mutterings are:
  1. Emotional :: Tired and (euphemism for drunk - at least in the UK)
  2. Bite :: Dog
  3. Get off my :: back
  4. Heroic :: Greek
  5. Clothing :: Warm
  6. Home :: security
  7. Spelling :: Test
  8. Attitude :: Changing!
  9. Argument :: Forceful
  10. Satan :: Job (that old testament book has a dialogue between Satan and God which sets the scene)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Fifteen songs meme

Spotted this meme at elizaphanian and so here is my contribution:
  1. Turn on your MP3 player or music player on your computer.
  2. Go to SHUFFLE songs mode.
  3. Write down the first 15 songs that come up–song title and artist–NO editing/cheating, please.
I've slightly edited it to keep a consistent pattern of 'Composer (where known), track name, artist, album'. There's not a lot of songs here - blame iTunes for this casting everything in pop music terms but at least the export from my music player in xspf format, which I used to compile this list, doesn't include the word 'song' as a tag! Though it also doesn't export the composer.
  1. Francis Poulenc - Le Petit Garçon trop bien portant - Felicity Lott (Poulenc Songs for Soprano)
  2. Lionel Bord - Fulgurances pour huit violoncelles - Pierre Boulez
  3. Flame Of The Uninspired - kd lang (Watershed)
  4. Frédéric Chopin - Waltz Op 34 No 1 in Ab - Joyce Hatto aka a digitally processed Arturo Moreira-Lima
  5. Robert Schumann - Piano Sonata No.1 in F# min Op 11-Scherzo-Allegrissimo ed intermezzo - Maurizio Pollini
  6. Ottorino Respighi - IV. La Befana - Giuseppe Sinopoli (Feste Romane)
  7. Gabriel Fauré - Barcarolle No. 9 en La Mineur, Op. 101 - Delphine Bardin
  8. Franz Schubert - Piano Sonata in A Minor, D. 784: III. Allegro vivace - Imogen Cooper (Schubert Live)
  9. Les Hiboux - Edith Piaf (The Gold Collection)
  10. Robert Schumann - Carnaval,Op.9-Chiarina - Alfred Cortot
  11. Albeniz-Godowsky - Tango Op 165 No 2 in D - Shura Cherkassky
  12. Witold Lutosławski - Concerto for Orchestra Intrada - Tadaaki Otaka BBC National Orchestra of Wales (BBC Music Magazine Dec 2007)
  13. Maurice Ravel - Alborada del gracioso - Dinu Lipatti
  14. Benjamin Britten - Young Persons Guide to the Orchestra (2) - John Barbirolli (just 30 seconds of it!)
  15. Salsa & Merengue - Celia Cruz - Burundanga

With all those bleeding chunks I tend to avoid random mode and use amarok's random album mode which plays a random succession of complete albums - ok with some collections you get a long sequence of different works so it is hardly random but at least you don't get 30 seconds of a longer work!
Have fun with this yourself, if you decide to use it.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Mutterings - 14 November

This week's free word associations from Unconscious mutterings are:
  1. Freezing :: Cold
  2. Bikers :: Leathers (there's also the Byker area of Newcastle but that's singular and spelt differently
  3. Infrequently :: Seldom
  4. Mickey :: Mouse
  5. School:: Books
  6. Textile :: Course
  7. Obstinate :: Dog
  8. Guard :: Dog!
  9. Release :: Schedule
  10. Authentic :: Taste (a bit from Jean de Florette comes to mind!)

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Far too much listening

Scarily, I now seem to scrobbled (logged) 100000 tracks of my listening with last.fm

Nice piece of Fauré to mark the milestone with an interesting set of random album listening in the rest of the recent set courtesy of amarok.
If you look at the browser window - that the new appearance of firefox in the latest beta of version 4 (to be released early next year).
Nothing too embarrassing - I hope - in either the listening or the firefox tabs!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Which of these pictures...

..is not like the others?

It's probably my fault for listening to music which Sarkozy enjoys. This is the amarok search screen for finding images which match the current music. But I promise to not even joke about blowing up airports.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Teaser Tuesday - 9 November



Teaser Tuesday

The rules are:
  • Grab your current read.
  • Let the book fall open to a random page.
  • Share with us two (2) 'teaser' sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.
  • You also need to share the title and author of the book that you’re getting your 'teaser' from .. that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you've given!
Yunnus blushes and scowls silently. The whole situation is embarrassing. Mansur sneers. 'The granddaughter won't marry grandfather', he mumbles under his breath, so Yunus hears it but not Sultan.
More from The Bookseller of Kabul by Åsne Seierstad which I'm still reading - and enjoying.
(.. not the granddaughter's grandfather!)

Caption..

However this post may have something to do with ecclesiastical politics!

This was a caption competition today on twitter run by @shipoffoolscom and this was my contribution.

Flying women in funny hats

No, nothing to do with women and peripatetic bishops, this is part of Act 3 of Wagner's Die Walküre (not act 2 as the youtube notes say)

This is the Bayreuth Pierre Boulez version - I remember watching it with an entranced 5(?) year old daughter when it was first shown on the television back in the 1980's. It's one of the darkest moments Siegmund is dead, his lover Sieglinde wants only death but she is told that she is pregnant - stay for that thrilling moment. (I'm afraid there are no subtitles!)
'Oh herstes Wunder' - towards the end of this clip. There is hope even at this point, the work is wonderfully sung and visually ravishing! Gwyneth Jones and Jeannine Altmeyer.
I've just been watching a cartoon version of Die Rheingold but give me human actors anytime.
And I won't mention X-Factor.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Screenshot

I've not had a screenshot up here since November 2009 so here's a current one!

This is my laptop running ubuntu's version of fluxbox with a cairo dock at the middle bottom. Applications running are (from left) gkrellm - giving machine status, amarok - for listening to music, and a wterm - for commandy stuff.

Mutterings - 7 November

This week's free word associations from Unconscious mutterings are:
  1. Everything :: Belongs
  2. China :: culture (art, poetry)
  3. Essence :: Petrol (French territory here!)
  4. Immediate :: response
  5. Obstruct :: block
  6. Force :: resistance (back to O level additional maths!)
  7. Constellation :: Orion
  8. Intuitive :: obvious
  9. Complain :: symptoms ('I'm sorry these symptoms just aren't good enough' - early Cleese)
  10. Train :: Pacific 231
    sudden migration to the UK half way through this - that looks like the Ribblehead viaduct

Friday, November 05, 2010

Try anything once...

..except incest and folk singing (quotation munged slightly for the purposes of this post)

Kenneth Williams from Parkinson recreating Rambling Syd Rumpo - watch Billy Connolly collapsing in laughter! A bit of fun for Friday evening - I loved these when Round the Horne was broadcast in the 60's

Agreement is a good thing - isn't it?

Maybe being English, we think of making agreements as fundamentally good as providing channels for discussion. However when that agreement binds you into ways which lead you into different ways of communicating where the presuppositions behind the agreement only seem to want to exclude than hard questions need to be asked rather than rushing into a warm feeling that we have something new in common.
These thoughts are sparked by reading the announcement of the launch of the No Anglican Covenant Coalition - I recommend a visit!
The Church mouse on the covenant is also worth a read

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Toffee Fruit Cake

By special request, here is the recipe for Toffee Fruit cake (also from the Scargill recipe book) - I cooked a fewof these last weekend!
  • 4oz soft brown sugar
  • 3oz margarine
  • 1 egg
  • 2oz glace cherries
  • 3oz sultanas
  • 4oz self raising flour
  • 1 drop vanilla essence

Melt the margarine and sugar in a pan and allow to cool. Mix the beaten egg, essence, sultanas, cherries and when the hot sugar is cool enough (not to cook the egg!) add to the egg mixture. Then add the flour. Put in square tin and cook for 25 mins at 180C. Make sure it is cooked through before removing from the oven.
Don't put in a too small tin, it mustn't be deeper than around 1 inch or it won't set. Allow to cool and then cut into fingers - it doesn't slice well when warm.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Todd Duncan - Lost in the Stars

Todd Duncan - the creator of the role of Stephen Kumalo singing Lost in the Stars from the Kurt Weill musical - quite a change from Weill earlier more astringent Berlin works but still beautiful. Lost in the Stars is based on Alan Paton's Cry the Beloved Country - quite a bold step for the America of the 1940's

Teaser Tuesday - 2 November



Teaser Tuesday

The rules are:
  • Grab your current read.
  • Let the book fall open to a random page.
  • Share with us two (2) 'teaser' sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.
  • You also need to share the title and author of the book that you’re getting your 'teaser' from .. that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you've given!
Even with their homemade weapons the guerrillas were virtually invulnerable when laying an ambush. The soldiers were everywhere, disguised as goatherds, the Kalashikov hidden under the goat's belly.
These are the Mujahedeen in the Afghanistan occupied by the Russians as described in The Bookseller of Kabul by Åsne Seierstad and exercise in getting inside the mind of a different culture - and I seem to be reading yet another book on the Middle East! I see (if you follow the above link) that the book is currently the subject of legal action by the book-seller, a court has found against Seierstad and we're now in an appeal. From the corrections to that article the sensitivity of the whole subject is obvious!

..and I thought I used long words..

We as Christian voters should not focus on his doctrinal flaws, egregious as they may be, but instead on how he would move our Nation forward in God's plan. If he is elected, there will be ample opportunities to heal the spiritual wounds of Mitt Romney and other Mormons. As with the Prodigal Son, we should put aside our objurgations so as to welcome back into the arms of our Nation him and his kind, who have long been lost in the riotous distant land that is the Utah of the soul.

From Pastor's Corner at Objective Ministries. Other posting tongue (and mind twisters) include - as titles:
  • Poe's Law and the Search for Kerygmatic Efficacy
  • From Deluge to Dort: How Infralapsarianism Doomed the Dinosaur
  • Paedobaptism Is "Wack:" Towards A New Urban Waldensianism For The Young Generation
I suspect a spoof.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

A Prophet

We saw Jacques Audiard's A Prophet at the SilkScreen on Wednesday. I was prepared not to like it, billed as violent..., but I really enjoyed it (if that's the right word!). Summoning up the claustrophobia of prison from the start it tells of vulnerable young man 'graduating' from a juvenile offenders to an adult prison and his struggle for safety and an education. Yes there's pretty up-front violence but what I will remember are the silences, the points where the sound track virtually disappeared, the moments when you see through Malik's eyes.

And then there's the playing out to Mack the Knife, maybe open ended but, to my mind the intent is clear. Recommended!

Mutterings - 31 October

This week's free word associations from Unconscious mutterings are:
  1. Adhesive :: sticky
  2. Bill :: Horn
  3. Swing :: PLayground
  4. Counter :: Lap
  5. Fluid :: Dynamics
  6. Investigate :: Detective
  7. Chit chat :: Banter
  8. Humane :: Treatment
  9. Boss :: Supervisor
  10. Furniture :: Polish

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Teaser Tuesday - 26 October



Teaser Tuesday

The rules are:
  • Grab your current read.
  • Let the book fall open to a random page.
  • Share with us two (2) 'teaser' sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.
  • You also need to share the title and author of the book that you’re getting your 'teaser' from .. that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you've given!
Reading is a bit slow and hard work at the moment so I'm still in the same book as a fortnight ago!
With her erratic programme and the seasonal wandering of some families, it wasn't surprising to get visits like that of Gheitha, who arrived and filled the clinic one day with her beautiful brood of ragged coffee-cup-eyed children. Their ages ranged from three months to about eight years.
(the children are called Gasaam, Geseem, Geseema, Baseema and Basaama).. coffee-cup-eyed.. what a vision!
From Marguerite van Geldermalsen's "Married to a Bedouin" her tale of marriage to, and life among, the Bedouin living at Petra.

Monday, October 25, 2010

My excessively polite twitter feed


I've generated a TweetCloud from my twitter feed and, as you'll see from the screen shot it is terribly polite, 'please', 'thanks' and 'sorry' all in there! The TweetCloud app does ask for authorisation but then adds a tweet to your feed without checking with you - so if you don't want the ad you'll have to do without it!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Bran Loaf


I was on the rota to provide the after church breakfast this morning, as part of it I cooked a bran loaf - from an old Scargill recipe and as I had a few requests for the recipe, here it is.
  • 3 cups All Bran (or equivalent)
  • 3 cups soft brown sugar
  • 4 cups mixed dried fruit
  • 3 cups milk
  • 3 cups self raising flour
(apologies for the non weight quantities!) I used this quantity for this morning but it's industrial quantites, you may want to cut it down a bit - it depends how hungry you are!
Mix all ingredients except the flour in a bowl and leave in the fridge - the recipe says overnight, I usually leave it for 3 hours or so. Then add the flour and mix, you may need a little more liquid for a mixture that isn't too stiff. Put into greased lined tin and cook for 1hr at 180C and then 45mins at 150C - test that it's cooked in the middle before removal. I left mine in the oven for an additional half hour with the heat turned off before it was cooked through.
Slice and eat! I think, at Scargill we spread it with butter but I now think that's a bit too much and usually just have it plain.
One of our cats - now deceased used to love this recipe! Here's a link to another recipe I did a few months back for after service breakfast!
I wrote the above recipe from memory but have just checked the book and it is correct!

Mutterings - 24 October

This week's free word associations from Unconscious mutterings are:
  1. Sarcasm :: Really?
  2. Coke :: Drugs
  3. Frank :: Open
  4. Party :: Political
  5. Witches :: Halloween
  6. Intentional :: Deliberate
  7. Crisp :: Crunchy
  8. Lockers :: School
  9. Walking :: Festival - in Bollington
  10. Fundraiser :: Political

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Janis Ian - When I lay down

I see that suem is err enthusing about Cliff Richard so here's an antidote (maybe)
But when I lay down,
I lied
When I lay down,
I lied
to make them happy
and I lied so they would care
I lied 'cause i was lonely
and I lied 'cause i was scared
I lied so some would leave me
and I lied so some would stay
I lied until I lied my life away

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Mutterings - 17 October

This week's free word associations from Unconscious mutterings are:
  1. Freak :: out
  2. Homework :: Exercise book
  3. Favor :: Every Good Boy Deserves (mnemonic for the notes of the treble clef)
  4. Encounter :: Brief
  5. Shake it :: All About
  6. Felony :: Lawbreaking
  7. Loops :: Shaker (work by John Adams)
  8. Groove :: Record
  9. Funding :: Charitable
  10. Plot :: Gunpowder

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Teaser Tuesday - 12 October



Teaser Tuesday

The rules are:
  • Grab your current read.
  • Let the book fall open to a random page.
  • Share with us two (2) 'teaser' sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.
  • You also need to share the title and author of the book that you’re getting your 'teaser' from .. that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you've given!
Al-Barra, Umm-al-Biyara, Umm Zeitoona and Umm Saysabana blended northwards to meet Umm Sayhoon, a long dusk-pink ridge that ran back to the east and climbed halfway up the side of the Sh-rah to complete the circle.
At our juniper camp we gathered dry twigs. Mohammad, singing, made tea.

From Marguerite van Geldermalsen's "Married to a Bedouin" her tale of marriage living at Petra. This is our BATS (book group) book of the month.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Mutterings - 10 October

This week's free word associations from Unconscious mutterings are:
  1. Intruder :: Sinister
  2. Repelled :: men of Hastings (there's a sign - or was a sign - on the beach there about invaders being repelled by the men of Hastings!)
  3. Trench coat :: 60's fashion
  4. Lipstick :: Red
  5. Humongous :: problem
  6. Oven mitts :: singed (our's are)
  7. Case :: study/law
  8. Daughter :: in-law
  9. Attorney :: listened (I may need one!)
  10. Shaken :: but not stirred

Saturday, October 09, 2010

A play fight


A play fight
Originally uploaded by rajmarshall
As a final picture from Alpujarras i thought I should add this picture of two of the spanish(!) kittens at the hotel in Capileira. The photo I took of kittens in Almeria has been rather popular and here's a photo of two of our previous kittens from long ago!
These two were very friendly and even their mother was happy for them to be played with by strangers - though not when they were enjoying ham from the hotel kitchen. There's a couple more photos of them next to this one in flickr - click on the photo!

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Simon's Cat in 'Cat Chat'


Yes I know it's been up most of the day and i've only just got around to it, been distracted!

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Wind turbines

These wind turbines weren't here last time I was up in Northumberland, not commissioned yet but they're to supply the Merck Sharp and Dohme plant in Cramlington with most of its power. One other picture of the turbines on my flickr pages - next to this one (click on the photo)

Sunday, October 03, 2010

The Hotel Dog


Sammy
Originally uploaded by rajmarshall
Sammy was very keen on walking groups especially if they take him with them as a guide and is a fixture at the Hotel los Bérchules. We had a stormy night before our last half day - we had to truncate the holiday because this hotel was booked up but maybe that was as well in view of the weather! Lunch in Bérchules and then a taxi ride back to Capileira and a drive back to Malaga where the plane left 3 hours late.. but the walking and eating break did us good! As before the full album is on flickr and I hope to get some of Beth's photos off her sometime!

Mutterings - 3 October

This week's free word associations from Unconscious mutterings are:
  1. Panels :: Beating (and Grunewald Altar panels!)
  2. Repetitive :: exercise (thinking piano here)
  3. Pancakes :: Lemon
  4. Quarterly :: Bill
  5. Impulsive :: Move
  6. Episode :: television
  7. I am :: who I am
  8. Horrendous :: accident
  9. Inhumane :: treatment
  10. District :: nurse

Saturday, October 02, 2010

Above Trevélez


Above Trevelez
Originally uploaded by rajmarshall
Our last inter hotel walk was from Trevélez to Bérchules, a cloudy day with some rain so at least we weren't burnt off! This was - of the full walks we did - probably the trickiest to route find. Maybe it would have been easier in the Spring when the ground was greener - though we did see, the next day, some other folk in the InnTravel tour using the road rather than the longer version of the walk probably because of all the rain which had fallen. There's a bit where you are instructed to follow an overgrown acequia (looking like 2 parallel lines of vertical slates) - which looks like this!. The loose dogs do indeed run away when you pick up stones! The path down towards Bérchules is marked by more figs, mulberries and walnuts. Stayed at the Hotel los Bérchules, contrary to the walking guide notes there appears to be at least one other restaurant but the hotel's restaurant was simple, homely and much enjoyed!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Trevelez - barrio alto - upper town

The next day should have been a walk to Trevelez but we'd been warned by the folks ahead of us that wayfinding was difficult, in some places the advertised path was impassible - and they'd been chased, and stung, by a swarm of hornets! Did I mention it was a 17km, 7 hour walk? We therefore took the easy option of the bus - though we did walk to Busquistar. The Bar Vargas was closed the day we went though - Wednesday - but there is another bar elsewhere in the village - which had a number of puppies as opposed to the usual cats, see the album for canine photos! Once in Trevelez we found the Hotel La Fragua - quite a way above the bus stop in the barrio media. We walked to the upper town (in picture) to have a drink while admiring the view of the valley and town. That evening we ate in the hotel restaurant - restricted menu choice being on an inclusive package - but very good (see the hotel website for the full menu!)

Still Walking (Aruitemo aruitemo)

The Silkscreen showed Hirokazu Koreeda's film Still Walking last night, here's a clip:

A very gentle film, no great drama but the undercurrents of what isn't said in family relationships are always there. It tells of a family reunion to mark the anniversary of the death of the sons, the individuals have changed aged since then and the extent to which they are willing to recognise that, is the plot. There's the trailer on youtube too but I liked these two scenes!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Teaser Tuesday - 28 September



Teaser Tuesday

The rules are:
  • Grab your current read.
  • Let the book fall open to a random page.
  • Share with us two (2) 'teaser' sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.
  • You also need to share the title and author of the book that you’re getting your 'teaser' from .. that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you've given!
"Mae Mobley's sleeping?" I ask.
"Finally." Elizabeth fiddles with a clump of hair that's slipped out of her roller, grimaces at its obstinacy.
Mississippi in 1962 from Kathryn Stockett's 'The Help' - this is our Book Group book of the month - I need to get a move on with this as the meeting is less than a week away!

Monday, September 27, 2010

The Taha valley from Pitres

The walk for the following day consisted of a circular walk around the Taha valley very steep with rocky paths and ruined mills. We found a pleasant bar in Ferreirola (not mentioned in the walking instructions) where we had a long and leisurely lunch.

Just before you reach Ferreirola there's a spring called La Gaseosa providing free agua con gas! The walk ends with a punishing climb back up to Pitres! Dinner was again at the Hotel San Roque.
Agua con gas on tap! - La Gaseosa
As before my full photo album is here

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Mutterings - 26 September

This week's free word associations from Unconscious mutterings are:
  1. Return :: of the Jedi (not sure I've sen it though!)
  2. Alarms :: and excursions (I thought this was Thurber but it appears to be Michael Frayn)
  3. State :: stable
  4. Picture frame :: gilded
  5. Wreath :: memorial
  6. Arrest :: -ing, police
  7. Sincere :: open, honest
  8. Nathan :: god-son (mine), David & Bathsheba (Old Testament)
  9. Bag :: Punch
  10. Arched :: windows

Thursday, September 23, 2010

The walk over to Pitres


View from the crag
Originally uploaded by rajmarshall
There was a certain amount of trepidation faced with the first non-circular walk after the difficulties of the first day! Today's was though far easier, it went up the shady side of the hill above Capileira with views over to the Mediterranean and the Atlas mountains just being visible then just after we joined the GR7 (a long distance walk) we reached the point in the photo - now on the sunny side of the mountains and time for a rest. The walk heads through the Barranco de Sangre scene of a vicious battle between the Moors and Spain in 1570 and then into Pitres and the Hotel San Roque (after a stop at a bar for drinks, tapas and fending off a cat) where we stayed two nights.
The hotel is very small but we were well catered for - there were though noisy workmen due to some emergency repairs! That evening we thought we ordered 1 litre of vino but ended up with a litre of Rosé sherry (25%) - we only realised when most of the way down the first glass having been warned about the robustness of the wines!
Here's a rather interesting weblog El Paraje de las Alpujarras on walking and culture of the Alpujarras.

And here's some music from the area played in the same hotel:

Les Feuilles Mortes - Yves Montand à l´Olympia

Another autumnal piece:

Nabbed the link off entartete musik where's there's also film of the younger Montand singing the same piece, what a distance he has travelled between the two interpretions - this is hairs on the back of the neck stuff. I love the music of Joseph Kosma...

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Teaser Tuesday - 24 September



Teaser Tuesday

The rules are:
  • Grab your current read.
  • Let the book fall open to a random page.
  • Share with us two (2) 'teaser' sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.
  • You also need to share the title and author of the book that you’re getting your 'teaser' from .. that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you've given!
They visited some unknown English friends - perhaps tutees or conversation partners - who spoke a little French and had advised Rimbaud 'to go to the country or the seaside to recover completely'. He even took them to the docks and pointed out the Antwerp ferry, presumably without mentioning the tearful scene when Verlaine had left for Brussels.
From Graham Robb's biography of Rimbaud which I've just finished - a really good read particularly on his long silence from poetry after the splendour of his youthful poems. I loved the bit where he managed to get himself expelled across a collection of European countries as a way of getting home. Strongly recommended.
A few years ago we spent a week in France staying at a gîte which was built on the site of the farm at Roche to which Rimbaud continually returned - now it has a poetry themed walk.
I picked up my copy in the local Oxfam where the inside flyleaf has the original owner's name and the message 'To ____ Enjoy Rimbaud make sure you give it back though theif(sic) face ___ xxx' not sure whether it was given to Oxfam by the owner or thief-face!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Windfarm in the Poqueira valley

Three years ago on our first visit to Spain we walked in Almeria, this time we were a month earlier and in the Alpujarras. Drove from Malaga airport - in a hire car - up the hairpinned road to Capiliera and rewarded by this sight of a windfarm in the evening light. We stayed at the Finca los llanos and ate the first evening at Casa Ibero - recommended for vegetarians - though all of us had a meat main course! It appeared to be connected to the local Buddhist centre O Sel Ling. Next day we thought it might be a gentle breaking in walk but we were warned by the folk who were a day ahead! One of us slipped and fell off the path and it ended with the path being a walk up a stream! In between though, there was the spectacular bridge over the Poqueira - see the flickr album for some photos - we just did the beginning and end though this did involve the difficult bit! The walk was circular and we returned to Capileira for a meal at the hotel, I tried the plate of Alpajarras specialities - sausage, black pudding etc, lovely but having gone for the starter which I thought was a selection from the starter menu but was actually lots of salami etc., I rather ran out of steam! For dessert the English translation of the menu suggested 'house tart' which suited our naughty sense of humour!

Mutterings - 19 September

This week's free word associations from Unconscious mutterings are:
  1. Mustache :: Beard
  2. Person :: Individual
  3. Restore :: craftsman (restoration work)
  4. Discretion :: better part of valour!
  5. Lamp :: light
  6. Pillow cover :: allergy (cat tries to sleep on mine!)
  7. Arousal :: excitement
  8. Seattle :: Microsoft (sigh!)
  9. ATM :: at the moment (just to be contrary)
  10. Custard :: Pie!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Back from the Alpujarras

We've just returned from a much needed few days walking in the Alpujarras region of Andalucia. Another trip with an itinerary provided and hotels booked by Inn Travel. Hot and dry but much enjoyed, the photo album is here on flickr - rather too many pictures of cute furry animals and not enough of the scenery! I'll blog more about the separate days soon!

Monday, September 06, 2010

September

Something seasonal!

I'll get around to listening to it too when I have a faster connection- this is Lotte Lenya who was married (more than once!) to Kurt Weill - the composer of this.

Sunday, September 05, 2010

Conistone Pie


Conistone Pie
Originally uploaded by rajmarshall
Many years since I've been up on Conistone Pie - this weekend we were at Scargill on a weekend for those, like us, who have been assisting with the re-opening of Scargill over the past year - a wonderful time was had of meeting, meals and an excuse to re-visit the place. The Saturday afternoon walk was up to Conistone Pie and quick dash back - for us - to catch Phil Stone talking about the current position, development plans and the future.

Mutterings - 5 September

This week's free word associations from Unconscious mutterings are:
  1. Gangs :: West Side Story
  2. Contact :: lens
  3. Surprisingly :: docile
  4. Penciled :: in
  5. Ignore :: comment
  6. Let’s go! :: Charge!
  7. Cornerstone :: Bridge
  8. Influential :: opinion
  9. Holistic :: massage
  10. Lovesick :: parrot (that's probably from 'sick as a')

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Mutterings - 29 August

This week's free word associations from Unconscious mutterings are:
  1. Bangs :: Hair
  2. Diaper :: Nappy
  3. Coffee table :: Mosaic (my parents used to have one of these designed/assembled by my Dad, can still see it in the memory)
  4. Cops :: and robbers
  5. Matches :: flame (and something tecchie about regular expressions)
  6. 250 :: 6 short of 256
  7. Hurricane :: lamp
  8. Bad :: Wicked
  9. Confirmation :: Bishop
  10. Fiber :: of my being

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Teaser Tuesday - 24 August



Teaser Tuesday

The rules are:
  • Grab your current read.
  • Let the book fall open to a random page.
  • Share with us two (2) 'teaser' sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.
  • You also need to share the title and author of the book that you’re getting your 'teaser' from .. that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you've given!
After a time beneath the cedar he had ceased to be inhibited by Sonia's presence. In fact, there was something he took from her that he found also in her brother: a sense of uncritical encouragement.
Like last week - well what do you expect, it is 600+ pages long! - an extract from Sebastian Faulks' Human Traces.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Mutterings - 22 August

This week's free word associations from Unconscious mutterings are:
  1. Leads :: Jump
  2. Concierge :: Paris
  3. Thousand :: Island (or Autumns of Jacob de Zöet)
  4. Engines :: Feersum - oops now stuck in literary connections!
  5. Argument :: Good (Parameter - to a function)
  6. 2006 :: 4 years ago
  7. Knot :: Reef
  8. Fuck :: Sex
  9. Handsome :: is as handsome does
  10. Ridge :: back

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Lilies after the rain


Lilies after the rain
Originally uploaded by rajmarshall
The garden continues to blossom especially after all the rain we've had this month! Here's the white lilies which have just opened, there's a couple more pictures on flickr (click on the picture - and see the adjacent images)

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Cat and Book-box

There's a new Simon's cat video on youTube....

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Teaser Tuesday - 17 August



Teaser Tuesday

The rules are:
  • Grab your current read.
  • Let the book fall open to a random page.
  • Share with us two (2) 'teaser' sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.
  • You also need to share the title and author of the book that you’re getting your 'teaser' from .. that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you've given!
Jacques sat don next to Oliver and took his washed hands between his own. The surge of adult confidence he had felt with Tante Mathilde had now deserted him; he was like a child again.
Sebastian Faulk's huge novel on the mind and madness 'Human Traces'

Monday, August 16, 2010

Bulwer-Lytton Contest 2010

The results for the Bulwer-Lytton 2010 contest are up - it's a competition for the worst opening sentence of a novel (you only have to produce the sentence not the rest of the work). I think my favourite of the quoted ones was:
The dark, drafty old house was lopsided and decrepit, leaning in on itself, the way an aging possum carrying a very heavy, overcooked drumstick in his mouth might list to one side if he were also favoring a torn Achilles tendon, assuming possums have them.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Mutterings - 15 August

This week's free word associations from Unconscious mutterings are:
  1. Rhythm :: and Blues
  2. Baby :: Child
  3. Sanctimonious :: Cant
  4. I like :: Rhythm!
  5. Constipated :: fed up
  6. Sleep late :: exhaustion
  7. Over easy :: American
  8. Erratic :: Course
  9. Umbrella :: Company
  10. You don’t :: Say

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Simplicity


Emil Gilels playing the Bach/Siloti prelude in B minor. Rapt simplicity - but it is not easy!!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Teaser Tuesday - 10 August



Teaser Tuesday

The rules are:
  • Grab your current read.
  • Let the book fall open to a random page.
  • Share with us two (2) 'teaser' sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.
  • You also need to share the title and author of the book that you’re getting your 'teaser' from .. that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you've given!
Looking down from the rail, I noticed the streets near the docks were lined with what seemed to be black perambulators, some kind of mobile coal scuttle, I assumed, used for bunkering ships. Later I learned that these were British cars (all made pre-war), a species I had never seen before.
JG Ballard returns from a childhood in China to post-war Britain, and isn't very keen. From his autobiography Miracles of Life visionary and life-affirming! - if you know his early work and Empire of the Sun (his fictionalised version of the early part of his life there may not be many new insights but Ballard is always worth the read.

Monday, August 09, 2010

Proofreader?


Spotted this in the current (September 2010) BBC Music Magazine in a Signum Classics advertisement -
an Orthadox Christian priest, theologion, biblical scholar..
Must have been dictated down a bad phone line with no proofreading? Here's a scan with the offending text beneath the image of the cd. I have the Tenebrae cd of the Poulenc 'Figure Humaine', which is wonderful, so it is a shame their advertising doesn't match the content.
Typed this blog entry very carefully (I hope!!) - but I expect someone will now tell me that the Orthadox church exists and it has theologions!

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Mutterings - 8 August

This week's free word associations from Unconscious mutterings are:
  1. Coma :: -tose (toes?), unconscious
  2. Aristotle :: Philosopher
  3. Pink eye :: Rabbit
  4. Expensive :: Dear
  5. Dancer :: Ballet
  6. Lipstick :: Lesbian
  7. Buffer :: Double (computing term!)
  8. Stilettos :: High heels
  9. Booming :: speakers (as in feedback)
  10. Rap :: Charge (Police)

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Teaser Tuesday - 4 August



Teaser Tuesday

The rules are:
  • Grab your current read.
  • Let the book fall open to a random page.
  • Share with us two (2) 'teaser' sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.
  • You also need to share the title and author of the book that you’re getting your 'teaser' from .. that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you've given!
I was on the first téléphérique down to Winkermatten next morning, waiting patiently for the Zermatt Co-op to open to buy shampoo. At the baker's I picked up three almond croissants for our treat - I did not have enough cash for four.
Alison Hargreaves matter of fact celebration on her way back to the campsite after her solo ascent of the North face of the Matterhorn - just one of the 6 North Faces she was to solo that year.

Monday, August 02, 2010

Behind the makeup

A few weeks ago we attended a double bill at the Buxton festival of Luciano Berio's Recital I and George Benjamin's Little Hill. I'd never been to the Buxton Opera House before, it's a lovely little building a bit cramped but fits very nicely with that era of spas and opera going.
I don't think I'd heard the Berio work before - maybe performed on the radio by Cathy Berberian back in the 70's(?) - it was written for her in 1972 -as the preliminary write up said it is rarely heard - and a real tour-de-force by the soloist. The work tells of the reaction of the singer as she reacts to the events around a recital, her accompanist not turning up. The singer is instructed to include some works from her repertoire - so a typical Berio-ish 60's pastiche but moving in its portrayal of someone attempting to find her voice. Susan Bickley brought over the inner struggle of the performer wonderfully.
I'd not heard the Benjamin work before but I loved the sound world he conjoured up, the strings forming most of the sound. A retelling of the story of the pied piper. More than a dash of political corruption! Here's a review of the double bill from Snape.

Sunday, August 01, 2010

Mutterings - 1 August

This week's free word associations from Unconscious mutterings are:
  1. Sexting :: Not me!
  2. Corrected :: Proof
  3. Rewind :: Tape
  4. Heard :: Rumour
  5. Amazon :: Basin (and there's a website somewhere....)
  6. Running :: Tackle
  7. Illegal :: Action
  8. Tracked :: LP
  9. Generate :: python language construct (a generator is one)
  10. Towel :: Knowing where one's .. is (Blame Douglas Adams)

Hmmm, only 14 posts on this weblog last month - it was June 2007 when the traffic was last that low - I hope things will improve this month!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Teaser Tuesday - 27 July



Teaser Tuesday

The rules are:
  • Grab your current read.
  • Let the book fall open to a random page.
  • Share with us two (2) 'teaser' sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.
  • You also need to share the title and author of the book that you’re getting your 'teaser' from .. that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you've given!
Now we heard the glass of windows break somewhere, and suddenly a long thin arm of bright yellow flame came streaking out, seemed to hang solidly in the night air, showing up my father's upturned face, and no doubt mine, and then just as strangely retrieved itself, with a horrible roaring moan, worse than any wind. It seemed to me in my enormous fright that the fire had spoken a word: 'Death, death', said the fire I thought.
'Jesus, Mary and Joseph' said my father...
That's a dramatic random quote!! Couldn't resist going slightly over 2 sentences for that final exclamation. From Sebastian Barry's 'The Secret Scripture' our book group book of the month.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Anthony Rolfe Johnson


The tenor Anthony Rolfe Johnson died this week (in the youtube clip above he's singing with Simon Keenlyside), he always seemed so youthful - starting singing professionally at 30. Here's the Guardian obituary - the one in the Telegraph is also interesting but has him as been married one less time! They (the obituaries) both share the same wonderful photograph of him.
Born in Tackley, Oxfordshire, he was encouraged by his parents, but with no thought of taking up singing as a career. Instead he took an agricultural degree and became a farm manager, singing hymns he had learned in church to his herd of cows.

Another member of the choral society in Crawley, West Sussex, a singing teacher, told him he was in the wrong job. He eventually decided to go to the Guildhall School of Music, London, for a four-year course, which included performances of two Britten operas. When he sang Acis in Handel's Acis and Galatea in Cambridge, he was on his way. He felt as if he had been asleep for 10 years, and had suddenly awakened.
And he woke us to some wonderful performances - I'll be taking his cd of Nocturnes in the Hyperion Series of Schubert songs to listen to this week..

Mutterings - 25 July

This week's free word associations from Unconscious mutterings are:
  1. Inception :: Birth/Start
  2. Anticipation :: thrill
  3. Space :: Frontier
  4. Earn :: Money
  5. .com :: US-centric (boom!)
  6. Hello! :: Magazine (sorry! - or is that another?)
  7. Equivalent :: Mathematics
  8. Swore :: Blind
  9. Actions :: speak louder than words
  10. Expletive! :: Deleted! (showing my age here)

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Biter bit!

funny pictures of cats with captions
see more Lolcats and funny pictures
I must see how our resident mouse and (near resident) squirrel are doing in my absence.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

The farewell! (and presentation)

Andy Ruth Bull and children at the garden party for their leaving Macclesfield. There's a few more pictures here on flickr. Andy will be inducted at St Marks Bredbury in September (and we will miss them!).
Many, many years ago, I spent two terms at Sandy Lane Primary School in Romiley....

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Teaser Tuesday - 20 July



Teaser Tuesday

The rules are:
  • Grab your current read.
  • Let the book fall open to a random page.
  • Share with us two (2) 'teaser' sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.
  • You also need to share the title and author of the book that you’re getting your 'teaser' from .. that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you've given!
Jack looked at him. He drew a long breath, then another. He asked softly, "Have you heard of Emmett Till?"
Thought it not fair to miss out the third sentence! I'm back reading (I teased it a fortnight ago) Marilynne Robinson's 'Home' enjoying it but I think I preferred the Gilead point of view on the events (far slower breathed!)

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Mutterings - 18 July

This week's free word associations from Unconscious mutterings are:
  1. Deals :: Cards (shady)
  2. Alive :: Breathing
  3. Smooth :: Man (but my brother Esau...)
  4. Materials :: Science
  5. Arrest :: Under
  6. Locker :: School
  7. Evidence :: Lack of
  8. Operation :: Pain
  9. Opal :: Jewel (...car)
  10. Investigation :: Criminal (or Under again!)

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Teaser Tuesday - 13 July



Teaser Tuesday

The rules are:
  • Grab your current read.
  • Let the book fall open to a random page.
  • Share with us two (2) 'teaser' sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.
  • You also need to share the title and author of the book that you’re getting your 'teaser' from .. that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you've given!
But Oost, on whom Grote's rum is having a benign effect. `Aye it did'. "Oost" is from "oost-Indische Compagnie" who funded the orphanage, and who'd deny there's "East" in my blood?
(Another extract, see yesterday for a slightly different feel) From David Mitchell's The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet - was nearly put off this by an uncomplimentary Guardian review but having heard a Radio 3 review of it I decided to give it a go. The interaction of East and West, Holland and Japan at the end of the 18th century. Here's Geoff Coupe's thoughts on the book.
(apologies for folk who comment here from teaser tuesday - I'm in a hotel on a slow connection but will eventually get around to looking at your links, for which I am grateful!)

Monday, July 12, 2010

Stillness


DSCF8175
Originally uploaded by rajmarshall
Another week of working away - two books to read (or at least start) and I enjoyed the conjunction of these two passages:
I can remember, as quite a small boy, lying beneath a huge chestnut tree and staring up into its branches, wondering at its nascent fruitfulness, and resting not just under its presence but somehow within it. All this is part of the person I am, but, for the present, it is chiefly lost to me. I am much too busy....
from Stephen Cottrell's DO nothing to change your life.
Gardening is harder labour than Jacob is used to, and yet, he admits to himself, I enjoy it. His tired eyes are rested by the living green; rosefinches pluck worms from the ramped-up earth; and a black-masked bunting, whose song sounds like clinking cutlery, watches from the empty cistern
from David Michell's The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet.

The picture is another from Buxton's Pavilion Gardens - anyone want to name the plant?