Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Teaser Tuesday - 27th 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!
I looked to where two of the fat grey birds sat on a branch. 'A far different scene from the stinks of London,' Dyrick observed.
More from our current book-group read - C J Sansom's Heartstone. Getting nearer the nub...

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Mutterings - 25th December

This week's free word associations from Unconscious mutterings are:
  1. Elves :: Goblins
  2. Holiday :: Rest
  3. Candles :: Advent
  4. Family :: Celebration
  5. Insight :: Depth
  6. Sleigh :: Ride
  7. Party :: Popper
  8. Weather :: Clear
  9. Presents :: Wrappings
  10. Misfit :: Outsider

Friday, December 23, 2011

Make our garden grow

Last Sunday, Jessica Duchen posted a complete performance of Leonard Bernstein's Candide obn her weblog. Here's the finale (but I recommend a watch of more!): May your garden grow this Christmas!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Teaser Tuesday - 20th Dec



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!
The river was still crowded with supply boats heading east. I saw one barge laden with arquebuses, five-foot iron barrels glinting in the sun.
From our current book-group read - C J Sansom's Heartstone. A massive read I think he has become too popular and therefore isn't as sub-edited as much as he should be - I'm just over 100 pages in and spotted a few bits of (in my view) padding and pieces just to prove that the historical research has been done - it's a detective story set in the last years of Henry VIII.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Nantes

I listened to the Norman Lebrecht documentary on Barbara (Monique Cerf)last night - if you didn't, I'd recommend a listen while it is still available on iPlayer. Here, if like me you were frustrated by some of the voiceovers, is Barbara singing Nantes:

Understanding the words are vital, so understandably there were translations overlaying the songs especially here, where you are uncertain of the person being addressed until the last emotional bars - but they needed more space (in my view). She was separated from her father - having been abused by him in her early years, here the pain is all too plain. She's hardly known in the UK but there's lots on youtube and well worth the listen!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Mutterings - 18 December

This week's free word associations from Unconscious mutterings are:
  1. Sleepy :: Winter (Dopey)
  2. Find :: Search
  3. Scrutinize :: Ballot
  4. Attempt :: Try
  5. Playing :: Duet
  6. Stupendous :: Huge
  7. Charity :: Shop
  8. Frozen :: Ice
  9. Turn around :: 3 point turn
  10. Urge :: Persuade

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Teaser Tuesday - 13th Decemeber



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!
Since one in three Nazi voters were defectors from the conservative camp, it is important to comprehend it. The German National People's Party or DNVP was an unstable coalition of three pre-war parties, with an admixture from the völkisch fringe that sough to make it monomaniacally antisemitic.
From Michael Burleigh's The Third Reich - A New History - a comment from the Daily Telegraph review on the back says:
Burleigh has recreated the mental world in which it became unthinkable not to do the unthinkable, and the depraved became conventional.
So I'm reading with interest - though the first 100 pages (there are 800! of them), on the early Weimar Republic, is pretty heavy going!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Mutterings - 11th December

This week's free word associations from Unconscious mutterings are:
  1. Dedication :: Song (usually at the head of the score - also see below)
  2. Dream destination :: Holiday
  3. Games :: Console
  4. Hard as :: Nails
  5. Convict :: Jury
  6. Submit :: Humiliation
  7. Alcohol :: Wine
  8. Clippers :: Nail
  9. Hormonal :: Emotional
  10. Diet :: Restraint

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Trying to contact...

I'm trying to trace Michael Steward (ex of Storrington) who we believe to be in Thailand. Posting this here in case anyone who does know him googles him - or in case he does some self-googling. Contact details for him - either electronic or a postal address - would be much appreciated! - use my contact details at the side of the blog rather than commenting on this post ( I've disabled comments for this).

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Teaser Tuesday - 6 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!
His face was long and thin like some snouty animal's. He wore an old tweed jacket and grey flannel trousers and a flat cloth cap, with a scrap of dirty white cloth wrapped round his neck.
Amsterdam - Ian McEwan - I've not read this before - it dates from 1998 - but it is now even more contemporary dealing with the ethics of media intrusion.

Sunday, December 04, 2011

Mutterings - 4 December

This week's free word associations from Unconscious mutterings are:
  1. Flannel :: Verbiage
  2. Chairs :: Musical
  3. Sporadic :: Violence
  4. Difficult :: Crack - a section of the North Face of the Eiger - I was thinking the name came from a climb in North Wales but it's a little more serious!
  5. Amusing :: Humourous
  6. Collapse :: of stout party
  7. Hurtful:: Words
  8. Thump :: Hit
  9. Frugal :: Food (an early Delia Smith recipe book
  10. Collectibles :: Ornaments

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Advent Reflections

DSCF8721 by rajmarshall
DSCF8721, a photo by rajmarshall on Flickr.

For the second year, our church has produced a book of relections for Advent. Church members were given a Bible passage and asked to reflect and write their thoughts on it. You can read the complete booklet here.
I had the parable of the wheat and the tares (Matthew 13:24:43) and mine took the form of a meditation:

Weeds cover the churchyard
Moss and lichen blur the tidy sharp lines of old gravestones
Untidiness, a Hindrance? Protection? Comfort?
Green softening the old outlines.

Guy ropes snaking across the paving stones - a barrier or a support?
Bright tension and opportunity, challenging our moral tidiness
The tents of the ungodly are where? freedom? church? money?
Those with little, seeing riches on every side.

First the blade and then the ear,
Then the full corn shall appear;
And the fruitful ears to store -
But in the fire the tares to cast;

Thank God we are not the final judges
help us to live with untidyness,
but always growing into that fruitfulness.

Mutterings 27th November

This week's free word associations from Unconscious mutterings are:
  1. Program :: Computer
  2. Business :: Card
  3. Nerve :: Some
  4. Pipes :: Water
  5. Man :: Woman
  6. System :: Model
  7. Roses :: Picardy
  8. Gong :: Cymbal
  9. Heartfelt :: Emotion
  10. Strolling :: Promenade

Sunday, November 20, 2011

La Palma

DSCF8594 by rajmarshall
DSCF8594, a photo by rajmarshall on Flickr.

As you may have gathered ,we've spent a week in the Canaries - on La Palma - with InnTravel, this time self catering and one base rather than walking between hotels.We did some walking but mostly sightseeing - this picture is in the Caldera de Taburiente in the crater of one of the many volcanoes on the island. The set of pictures I took over the week is on flickr

Mutterings - 20th November

This week's free word associations from Unconscious mutterings are:
  1. Crushed :: Flat
  2. Thanks :: for the memory
  3. Steam :: Engine
  4. Bulletin :: Parish
  5. Budget :: Holiday
  6. Value :: for Money
  7. Aquarium :: Sea
  8. Logo :: Attention
  9. Information :: Age
  10. Lend :: Library

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Teaser Tuesday - 15 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!
It was late and I thought he wasn't there. Then I saw a man come out and walk away.
From our book group book of the month - The Tenderness of Wolves by Stef Penney.

View from the top

to the left by rajmarshall
to the left, a photo by rajmarshall on Flickr.

This morning we drove (well I did the driving!) over the top of La Palma and stopped at the top to take a few photos, this is from the Mirador de los Andenes at around 2000m the dome of the William herschel Observatory (well one of the domes) is just visible.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Mutterings - 13 November

This week's free word associations from Unconscious mutterings are:
  1. Help :: Panic
  2. Close :: Glenn
  3. Start over :: Begin
  4. Dirt :: Track
  5. Kilometer :: Millimeter
  6. Speedy :: Gonzales
  7. Shop :: Betray
  8. Trumpet :: Major - a Thomas Hardy novel though I've never read it!
  9. Dog :: Affection
  10. Canoe :: Capsize

Friday, November 11, 2011

The binary moment

11-11-11-11-11-11 by rajmarshall
11-11-11-11-11-11, a photo by rajmarshall on Flickr.

As suggested here - this is a photo I took today 11-11-11 at 11:11:11, as you can see I was airborne!

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Teaser Tuesday - 8th 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!
The garden featured groups of flowing, asymmetrical flower-beds, winding walks and an axial view leading to a Temple of Flora, the Roman goddess of flowers, all planted 'with a poet's feeling and a painter's eye'. Upon his return from France that autumn, the Earl was said to have been 'disgusted' by the garden's faded state, comparing it unfavourably with the year-round elegance of formal gardens (as live an issue today as it was then, with proponents still on both sides).
Probably a last teaser from Katherine Swift's The Morville Hours, a gentle placid book but still with lots of interest even for a non-gardener!

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Mutterings 6th November

This week's free word associations from Unconscious mutterings are:
  1. Distress :: Anguish
  2. White lie :: Evasion
  3. Costume :: Ball
  4. Stampede :: Wild Animal
  5. Unappealing :: Distasteful
  6. Idiot :: Fool
  7. Correction :: Facility
  8. Resignation :: Abandonment
  9. Insipid :: Taste
  10. Celebration :: Birthday

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Teaser Tuesday - 1st 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!
What must it be like to sleep on the wing, so trusting in the cushion of air to hold you up; so perfectly in your element that you are everywhere at home, with no fear of getting lost, no dread of arrival or pang of departure? Not like Leland, compulsively, obsessvely, restlessly searching, but sublimely free, sipping from the rain clouds, dining on the plankton of the skies.
Another teaser from Katherine Swift's The Morville Hours - here she's talking about the swift - an interesting coincidence - and Leland was an early book colllector (and collector of ex-monasteries under Henry VIII). I'm afraid this is a little late for Tuesday....

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Mutterings - 30th October

This week's free word associations from Unconscious mutterings are:
  1. Class :: War
  2. Shopping :: Trolley
  3. Bitchy :: Rresponse
  4. Consulting :: Fee
  5. Texts :: Phone
  6. Sigh :: Despair
  7. Office :: Software
  8. Develop :: Code
  9. Boardwalk :: Pier
  10. Prime :: Time

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Teaser Tuesday - 25th 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!
With Mary's coaching and the exercises she practised every day at home, Terri slowly felt her throat opening, lengthening and widening and the voice starting to form lower and lower in her body. It grew stronger and clearer, rounder and more beautiful.
As last week, a teaser from Jessica Duchen's Songs of Triumphant Love this is turning into a good read - I had mixed feelings at the start where it felt as if musical details were being thrown at you sometimes for effect and the same with the sexual encounters but it has found an interesting pace binding together musical careers, the breakup of Yugoslavia and British troops in Afghanistan.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Mutterings - 23 October

This week's free word associations from Unconscious mutterings are:
  1. Inhibitions :: Conquor
  2. Sprint :: Final
  3. You :: Me
  4. Shop :: (til you) Drop
  5. Priority :: First
  6. Testify :: Witness
  7. Guys :: Dolls
  8. Phone call :: Ring
  9. Removed :: Absent
  10. Produce :: Children

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Teaser Tuesday - 18th 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!
`D'ye know what it means', he'd asked.

'No' She was flat out underneath him at the time 'It means: "tell me, fair ladies, what is love? What is this burning, yearning, seething desire?"

Jessica Duchen's Songs of Triumphant Love - I've read most (all?) of her previous books - she's a music writer - written a biography of Fauré - all of her novels are around the theme of music - and I've enjoyed them so am looking forward to this. The quote is the main character's - an opera singer's introduction to love and the Italian language (as well as singing it!). Yes there does appear to be rather a lot of sex in this work - maybe inevitable from the title - I'm looking forward to the development of other themes! Here are the reviews on her website - the amazon ones are also pretty uniformly positive.

Sacconi Quartet in Bollington

Its over a week ago now but here's a quick reaction to seeing the Sacconi Quartet perform in Bollington. Due to the job situation I've not been to the Bollington Chamber Concert series for some time - when we arrived we found that the proscenium arch has been removed and the performance area is (apparently) much closer to the audience - I gathered that this was the first of these concerts since the change - I welcomed the lack of distancing and I think audibility was better. This was apparently the quartet's 4th visit to Bollington - I'd not seen them before - so obviously they were enjoyed on their previous trips.They performed the first of the Haydn Op 77 quartets and then the Bartók Quartet No 3 - I know this well (bette rthan the Haydn) and have loved - if you can love it(!) - for many years. There appeared to be a certain nervousness and a statement that it was new to their repertoire - comfirmed later that this was the first public performance for them - even the page turns looked hairy - I've never seen it performed and the live performance showed how difficult it is - bits where I thought where all 4 instruments are playing turned out to be just 2 of them. Only just over 15 minutes but what an intense work it is. After the interval came the Schubert Death and the Maiden - far longer but it didn't seem so, the rapt silence of the audience at the end of the slow movement (the variations) showed how much the audience were involved by the performance.

They had cds available at the interval but after persuading a friend to get their Ravel/Lalo/Turina disc I then discovered that there weren't any more of that one - still I see that the Sacconi's repertoire is on emusic - I expect to be downloading...

Monday, October 17, 2011

The Oneiric Ocelot upgrade

The latest version of ubuntu was released last week and over the weekend I decided to try upgrading - this desktop was running the ealier version which had already been installed a few weeks, so I thought it would be pretty smooth as I hadn't had too much excuse for tweaking this machine! I think things are now running ok so let me highlight the issues I had:
  • The upgrade of samba crashed - it gave a few error messages but didn't stop the overall upgrade - and I've reported bug 875172
  • On completion of the upgrade I rebooted all went smoothly but I found that there was no sound - I deleted my .pulse directory adn logged in again and sound was now fixed.
  • I use vm from within emacs for my email but occasionally use kmail in the case of graphic/link heavy emails - on Sunday I read a review of email clients in Linux Format magazine which gave kmail a resounding last place so I was thinking about migrating..but to that point I hadn't yet run kmail in the upgraded ubuntu. I tried running kmail and was confronted with a migration dialog - the new kmail uses a different email backend for storing data. Alas the migration failed... so I then started web searching! The problem was that akonadi was failing to start so I couldn't even view kmail with no unmigrated emails! To start akonadi I tried a manual
    akonadictl start
    but that still failed, I did a lot of searching, thought about moving to thunderbird - but there's no easy migration of data there.. and eventually I spotted this bug report which gave this recipe:
    sudo aa-complain mysqld
    sudo aa-complain mysqld-akonadi
    sudo /etc/init.d/apparmor reload
    akonadictl start
    I've not messed around with apparmor before so I wasn't clear as to what it did but I went on trust and the last command started akonadi ok. I started kmail and it ran! but with no data, I shut it down and tried the advertised command
    kmail-migrator --interactive
    But that complains the migration has already been done! You need to read the instructions here:
    If you have already attempted to run the migrator and it failed, you can re-run it manually by first deleting your
    ~/.kde/share/config/kmail-migratorrc file and your
    ~/.kde/share/config/kmail2rc file.
    Then you will need to run the migrator manually by hitting Alt-F2, and entering the following:
    kmail-migrator --interactive
    The program will run, and all your accounts and mails will be moved over to the Akonadi system.
    And following that kmail now runs ok. I hope the collection of the above instructions in one place helps anyone else struggling with the same problem - I don't know whether it's a general problem or just due to the previous configuration of the machine. For comparison,here are my experiences with the upgrade of the previous ubuntu release. One machine upgraded, 2 more to go!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Mutterings - 16 October

This week's free word associations from Unconscious mutterings are:
  1. Neglected :: Pet
  2. Sirens :: Seductive
  3. Coordinate :: Graph
  4. Mellow :: Tim (actually his surname was Mellows)
  5. Oscar :: Dear
  6. Facebook :: Friend
  7. Whoop :: Triumph
  8. Affluent :: Society
  9. Battle :: Abbey (by the site of the Battle of Hastings)
  10. Kisses :: Love and

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Terragen again

I've not put a terragen render up in ages, and have nearly forgotten how to use it, I need a few tutorials - these might be a suitable start. This image is fairly basic but I hope to improve it...
If you click on the 'terragen' label at the foot of the post you'll see that this is windows software running very nicely under linux.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Teaser Tuesday - 18th 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!
Despite the weather the wild daffodil buds are showing their first pale glimmer of colour. Their country name is the Lenten Lily, because they bloom in the liturgical season of Lent.
Spring approaches - at least in Katherine Swift's The Morville Hours! Another, like last week from our book group 'book of the month'.

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Mutterings - 9 October

This week's free word associations from Unconscious mutterings are:
  1. Fever pitch :: Excitment
  2. Unwarranted :: Intrusion
  3. Breaking :: News (Glass)
  4. Stars :: in their Eyes
  5. Thursday :: Man Who was (novel of GK Chesterton)
  6. Tips :: PG (that's 2 for the power of advertising!)
  7. Recommend :: Offer
  8. Season :: Cold
  9. Increased :: Exposure
  10. Depressed :: Ill

Friday, October 07, 2011

Growing old (dis)-gracefully

On Wednesday was the second film of this season't Silkscreen - Chega de Saudade (Ballroom) of Lais Bodanzky, an affectionate study of growing old set in a São Paulo down-at-heel ballroom

I couldn't find a trailer with subtitles but this isn't the official trailer and has very little spoken dialogue! No punches pulled in its depiction of ageing and growth. Great fun! I was in charge of projection for the first time - so an apprehensive occasion - but all seems to have gone off smoothly!

Trouble!

Just in case someone isn't following me in other social media, here's the latest Simon's cat:

Thursday, October 06, 2011

The Window

Say he is any man
anywhere set before the shop window
of life, full of comestibles
and jewels; to put out his hand
is to come against
glass; to break it is
to injure himself.

                     Shall he turn
poet and acquire them
in the imagination, gospeller
and extol himself for his abstention
from them?

                     What is he is not
called? I would put the manufacturers
there. Let them see the eyes
staring in, be splashed with the blood
of the shop-breakers; let them live
on the poet's diet, on the pocket-money
of the priest.

                     I see the blinds
going down in Europe, over the
whole world: the rich with everything to
sell, the poor with nothing to buy it with.

R S Thomas (Experimenting With An Amen 1986)
I'm reading this book - I'd missed out seeing this volume before and I was struck by Thomas' view of an acquisitive society. Particularly after this summer - in the UK - of riots and looting. Shall we offer pretence, a substitute for that which cannot be afforded?

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Teaser Tuesday - 4 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!
My mother used to take me on retreats to Dominican abbeys, and while she was at her prayers, I - a child of eight or nine - would roam about the grounds or help the lay brother in charge of the gardens as he weeded the paths or dug the vegetable patch.
Among the books I brought with me to Morville was my mother's Dominican prayer book, containing a modern text of the Hours.
Katherine Swift's The Morville Hours - here is the Guardian review - it is our book group book of the month - only got it last night - but it looks rather good the story of a house and gardens told through the medium of the book of Hours.

Barbara Smith

Today was the funeral service for Barabara Smith - a much loved member of All Saints Church. She gave so much of herself to so many of us - the picture shows her with her husband John who died around 6 years ago.

Sunday, October 02, 2011

Mutterings - 2 October

This week's free word associations from Unconscious mutterings are:
  1. Quivering :: Wreck
  2. Eclectic :: Mind
  3. Superimpose :: Images
  4. The best :: Deserve
  5. Aches :: Pains
  6. Vinyl :: Disc
  7. Hot and cold :: in all rooms
  8. Girls :: Showers (I'm afraid it followed from the previous!)
  9. Wall :: Separation
  10. Baby :: Oil

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Teaser Tuesday - 27 Sept



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!
That was the way it was with shepherds on the telephone, though little by little, as they became more adept with it, and picked up a few of the necessary social skills, things got better, untill we finally got to a point where we could even exchange rudimentary pieces of information over the phone.
Mistakes however remianed inevitable.
I've, at last, got around to reading Chris Stewart's followup to Driving over Lemons - `A Parrot in the Pepper Tree' (that's a link to the Guardian review), I don't think I got on terribly well with his first book - which is why I didn't read the second - as Beth already had a copy of each - but after last autumn's walking in the Alpujarras I was encouraged to give this one a go - and it is certainly enjoyable. I must dig out my copy of the Genesis first lp - Chris Stewart was very briefly their drummer...

Not bad - the strings are definitely of their time but I can do without the chorus!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

A slice of history

A slice of history by rajmarshall
A slice of history, a photo by rajmarshall on Flickr.

A photo of some of the remaining items on my mother's shelves - some of the chemical containers came from my Dad - from when British Schering closed its site in Hazel Grove - googling on Oblivon gave that interesting set of memories. (Note that all the pharmaceutical containers are long empty!)

Mutterings - 25 September

This week's free word associations from Unconscious mutterings are:
  1. Clay :: Feet (of)
  2. Eggs :: Bacon
  3. Dress :: for dinner
  4. Games :: Computer
  5. Drummers :: Fifes
  6. Proud :: Nation
  7. Hoisted :: Petard
  8. Feuding :: Tribes
  9. Itching :: to
  10. Remain :: Grave (remains...)

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Branches..and birds

Last night was the first evening of the Silk Screen's new season which opened with Xavier Beauvois' Of Gods and Men (Des Hommes et des Dieux - Of Men and Gods - the director isn't happy at the transposition!).
An intense, slow moving film, it tells the true story of a small Cistercian (I think that's right rather than Trappist which some reviews have) monastery in Algeria and the monks struggle of faith and commitment to their community and to the local community in the face of a corrupt government and on the other hand of local Islamic extremists who see them as Western interlopers. The film gets inside the interior life of the monastery showing the liturgical life of faith as well as the interior struggle of the monks - being offered an easy exit by the government - but there is their long history of being there for their Muslim neighbours.I'd guess that being familiar with both faiths helps in understanding the film's journey. There's many very moving moments both in dialogue and in silence, a scene herding sheep comes to my mind, as well as the set-piece towards the end of the monks listening to Swan Lake and drinking wine together - I was reminded of Jean Renoir's film Au Revoir les Enfants - and it's use of Schubert - another example of a religious community under attack. This review is worth a read:
These Christians mean different things to people near them. To Algerian neighbors in their small town, they’re a source of free medicine and advice, not to mention homemade jam (looked like honey to me!) sold at a local market. To a government official who’s supposed to protect them, they’re a headache.
To the local army captain, who knows they succour anyone in need, they’re an aid to terrorism. And to the fundamentalist jihadists, these monks become many things: a willing or unwilling source of supplies, a mysterious force to be respected, a bargaining tool in times of war.

The above is a clip of the first contact between the monks and the jihadists - you'll find a link to the trailer for the film on the Silk Screen site (link at top of this posting) - I thought that traler gave tmeaning to my title but it only includes fragments of the exchange so here's the full (but very short!) clip!
Here's a link to the Guardian review.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Teaser Tuesday - 20 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!
Not everyone is comfortable talking about the saints or the next world, but most people love the classic statement of life's meaning by St Augustine, which really says the same thing but more powerfully:
The thought of you stirs us so deeply that we cannot be content unless we praise you, because you have made us for yourself and our hearts find no peace until they rest in you.
A re-read, for me, of Margaret Hebblethwaite's Finding God in All Things (no relevant internet review that I could find - which is a pity as I found it pretty helpful last time I read it!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Mutterings - 18 September

This week's free word associations from Unconscious mutterings are:
  1. Earrings :: gold (nose-Rings)
  2. Tomorrow :: ..is another day (Monday)
  3. Soft :: soap
  4. Idiots :: fools
  5. Portraits :: Landscapes
  6. Handicap :: Disability
  7. Collar :: Clerical
  8. Blouse :: Silk
  9. Wool :: Jumper
  10. Statistic :: Bar Chart

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Tea after the Quiet day

Tea after the Quiet day by rajmarshall
Tea after the Quiet day, a photo by rajmarshall on Flickr.

After last night's dinner, I didn't stay up much longer and an early start of 6am I drove up to Great Hucklow and the Nightingale Centre for a parish quiet day led by Robert Atwell (the bishop of Stockport). lovely setting and very helpful looking back on life in the light of prayer. Around 50 of us were there from across the Macc Team Ministry.
I might have nodded briefly but I was kept pretty well awake!

A reunion

..I've had a rather busy 24 hours - Friday was a trip to Cambridge for a 40th anniversary dinner. It was good to meet folk none of whom I've seen since 1975(!) so a lot of picking up threads and news of those who weren't there and a gentle dinner in the Graham Storey room - the remodelled JCR which back in the early 70's was a real gloomy dive! As you'll see from the pictures on flickr it is rather nicer now!
The photo is of the new college library jutting out impressively over the Cam. I was very impressed by the quality of the College gardens maybe I never saw them in September but I think it has been recently improved - these are the general gardens, unfortunately I didn't get into the fellows garden!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Teaser Tuesday - 14 Sept



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!
It was not Verimovo's first fire by any means, and, we would later learn it started like all the others: with a drunkard and a cigarette. We could see black smoke lifting in waves above the summit where the old mines stood, and then, an hour or so later, a bright snake of flame coming down the hill, throwing itself down and down on a path of dry grass and pinecones, following the wind along the mountain.
Even later to this Tuesday Teaser than last week!
From our Book Group book of the month - Téa Obreht's the Tiger's Wife. I finished this last night and am still very confused as to what it was about - I'll have to decide whether to dip back into bits of it, read reviews or have another go before the meeting next month!
Here's an extract from the Guardian review
The Tiger's Wife is a frisky tiger cub chasing its tail – it covers a lot of ground, growls a lot, and never quite gets there, but we have fun along the way. What the novel lacks in emotional depth, it makes up for in personality and sheer wackiness.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Mutterings - 11 September

This week's free word associations from Unconscious mutterings are:
  1. Submission :: PhD
  2. Lucy :: C S Lewis
  3. Feather :: on the Breath of God
  4. Magnetic :: Pole
  5. Bowling :: Columbine
  6. Stress :: Position
  7. Sweetly :: Sleep
  8. Creamy :: Pudding
  9. Awaken :: Sleep
  10. Beaten :: Defeated

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Performing and Exposure

There's an article on Ian Bostridge - the tenor - in today's Guardian. It's all worth reading but the last lines struck me:
It's[Britten's Death in Venice] essentially about the loss of dignity of the artist. Aschenbach wants to be a grand person in grand clothes with a grand reputation, but that has cut off the sources of his creativity. What we have to do is essentially and necessarily undignified and exposing. As a performer you are mining bits of yourself in a way that is endlessly potentially humiliating. It's enormously satisfying. But you do tread a fine line."
Art and performing has to possess you (and maybe that an appropriate word in view of Bostridge's PhD), it can't be arm's length.

Friday, September 09, 2011

Civil Partnerships and Marriage


... the consequences of not allowing same-sex partnerships to have legal status with real force can really damage children... (h/t Geoff Coupe)

For a Friday evening

Here's a little something to enjoy after a busy week (assuming you had one)

A loving ripoff of Lehrer and (at one remove) of Gilbert & Sullivan. Probably a little difficult to sing after this evening's glass of red so I won't attempt it!

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Teaser Tuesday - 6 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!
Signor Murino must surely be an optimist, as well as a non-Venetian, to have covered a floor in this part of the city with parquet, for the zone lay low, and the first serious acqua alta was sure to flow in here, destroying the wood and sweeping out both glue and varnish when the tide changed.
'Buon giorno?' he called again, taking a few steps towards the doorway and leaving a trail of raindrops on the floor behind him.
Another teaser, like last week, from Donna Leon's Acqua Alta - rather a lot on the venetian weather...posting a bit late I'm afraid!

Sunday, September 04, 2011

Mutterings - 4 September

This week's free word associations from Unconscious mutterings are:
  1. Cavern :: Peak
  2. Pharmacy :: Pills (and coloured glass globes that pharmacists used to have in their windows - that link says early 1900's but I remember them, as a child, in the 1950's and there was a chemist not to far from here which had a window display like that in the 1970's!)
  3. Local :: Services
  4. Group :: Think and Abelian - from mathematical group theory - will give you some background, including these (aged) jokes:
    • Q: What's purple and commutes? A: An Abelian grape.
    • Q: What is lavender and commutes? A: An Abelian semigrape.
  5. Brunette :: Blonde
  6. Chain link :: List - we're back in IT with linked lists)
  7. Priority :: Queue - still stuck on the connection before with another bit of IT and queuing theory!
  8. Intensify :: Pressure
  9. Foster :: Carer
  10. Secluded :: Meadow

Saturday, September 03, 2011

Bulwer-Lytton 2011

The results of the 2011 Bulwer-Lytton prize - a prize for the worst opening sentence in a (usually imaginary novel - for 2011 are up ( well they were up in July) and I can't resist the prize winner:
Cheryl’s mind turned like the vanes of a wind-powered turbine, chopping her sparrow-like thoughts into bloody pieces that fell onto a growing pile of forgotten memories.
(Sue Fondrie) I also rather liked this one:
The grisly scene before him was like nothing Detective Smith had ever seen before, but there were millions and millions of things he had never seen before, and he couldn't help but wonder which of them it was.
(Sean Griffin) - from the Miscellaneous Dishonourable Mentions.

Friday, September 02, 2011

Media & Message

This autumn St Michael's is running three mid-week talks on the media - worth attending especially in the light of the events of the hacking scandal. Tuesdays at 7:30pm (at St Michael's Macclesfield - in the town centre):
  • 4th October - Revd Clair Jaquiss - radio producer of religious programmes - A Priest in Broadcasting - Life at the coalface
  • 11th October - Andreas Whittam Smith (founding editor of the Independent) - Why the Press behaves as it does
  • 18th October - Keith Ravenscroft - worked in advertising and communication - Are we killing the words of life?
When I find more information on the web, I shall link to it! - The St Michael's website now has a link to the pdf of the handout - and the order of speakers in my piece has now been corrected.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Teaser Tuesday - 30 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!
'Guido', she repeated, keeping her voice, her tone level, as if speaking to the dangerous or the mad. 'I told you last week. We've got woodworm in the table in the kitchen.
Acqua Alta by Donna Leon. A bit of detective fiction - it's the first of her Commissario Brunetti which I've read and I'm currently enjoying it!
If you've read my previous teasers on Sarah Waters' The Little Stranger and you've read the book - the Guardian's podcast of Waters talking about her book is strongly recommended - but do make sure you've read the book!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Mutterings - 28 August

This week's free word associations from Unconscious mutterings are:
  1. Bells :: Alarms
  2. Germs :: Microbes
  3. Athlete :: Track
  4. Voice :: Sound
  5. Diamonds :: ..are a girl's best friend
  6. Hoarse :: Cough
  7. Tempest :: Hurricane (and Shakespeare)
  8. Hurricane :: ah! .. Spitfire (I'm having difficulty remembering the name of the hurricane currently troubling the US!)
  9. Bumps :: in the night
  10. Jazz :: All That

Saturday, August 27, 2011

30 day song challenge

I found this meme here and have been working my way though it over the past month via my facebook statuses. If you're not a friend on facebook I'm afraid you'll have missed them together with an embedded youtube I included of each day's piece- if you want me to gradually repost them here (that'll bring up the posting count!) clamour for it in the comments(!) or send me an email. Added standard gripe about the term song when it doesn't cover music generally!
  • Day 01 – Your favourite song - Surabaya Johnny by Kurt Weill
  • Day 02 – Your least favourite song - Wagner Overture to Rienzi
  • Day 03 – A song that makes you happy - Schubert Seligkeit (Schwartzkopf)
  • Day 04 – A song that makes you sad - Slow movement of the Poulenc Clarinet Sonata
  • Day 05 – A song that reminds you of someone - The Country Dance from Maxwell-Davies 8 Songs for a Mad King
  • Day 06 – A song that reminds of you of somewhere - The Bladon Races
  • Day 07 – A song that reminds you of a certain event - Beethoven Piano Sonata Op 109 last movement (Brendel)
  • Day 08 – A song that you know all the words to - Tom Lehrer The Vatican Rag
  • Day 09 – A song that you can dance to - Strip the Willow
  • Day 10 – A song that makes you fall asleep - Schubert Impromptu in F minor D935 No 1
  • Day 11 – A song from your favourite band - Schubert slow movement from Bb sonata D960
  • Day 12 – A song from a band you hate - Andrew Lloyd Webber and a video placing his songs alongside their..err.. inspirations
  • Day 13 – A song that is a guilty pleasure - Lefébure-Wély Sortie in Eb (and the Pet Shop Boys and Noel Coward's Sail Away)
  • Day 14 – A song that no one would expect you to love - Emperor Waltz (arr Schönberg)
  • Day 15 – A song that describes you - let's embed this one
    slightly confused/tangled with a great sense of fun
  • Day 16 – A song that you used to love but now hate - Franz Liszt - Les Preludes
  • Day 17 – A song that you hear often on the radio - oops I missed this one out, let me think..(later: I went for the Tom Robinson version of Jacques Brel's Les Bourgeois - Yuppie Scum the Brel is close to the top of my last.fm track list - I thought there was Brel elsewhere in the list but it looks as if I was wrong!
  • Day 18 – A song that you wish you heard on the radio - Bernstein Chichester Psalms - I didn't know this until nearly into my 40's!
  • Day 19 – A song from your favourite album - Francis Poulenc 'C'
  • Day 20 – A song that you listen to when you’re angry - Hugo Wolf Abschied - Wolf mocking his critics with a small accident when heading downstairs!
  • Day 21 – A song that you listen to when you’re happy - Richter playing Schubert Sonata in A D664
  • Day 22 – A song that you listen to when you’re sad - Mahler Das Abschied (fom Das Lied von der Erde) - two Farewells (Abschied) in this list!
  • Day 23 – A song that you want to play at your wedding - Carillon Sortie by Henri Mulet
  • Day 24 – A song that you want to play at your funeral - All my hope on God is founded (Bridges/Howells)
  • Day 25 – A song that makes you laugh - Franz Reizenstein - Concerto Popolare
  • Day 26 – A song that you can play on an instrument - Love Walked in - George Gershwin, Percy Grainger
  • Day 27 – A song that you wish you could play - the final trio from Strauss Der Rosenkavalier - there's no stipulation that it has to be possible!
  • Day 28 – A song that makes you feel guilty - As Tears go by - sung by the older Marianne Faithfull (probably regret is better than guilty here)
  • Day 29 – A song from your childhood - Chopin Waltz in A minor (Geza Anda) - I wrote:
    -well teenage years - no gramophone at home and I remember hearing this on an exchange trip to Paris (April 68..!) looking over the left bank boulevards as night fell - and music started to mean a lot more.
  • Day 30 – Your favourite song at this time last year - Gilels playing Bach/Siloti - I blogged this in August last year

Thursday, August 25, 2011

The SPCK case

OCICBW has just alerted me to the fact that the Brewers who asset stripped SPCK have just lost the unfair dismissal case that the staff of the Durham SPCK were taking against them, It seems the brewers were too cowardly to send anyone to the proceedings. Here's an extract from the Northern Echo's coverage of the case:
An employment tribunal held in Newcastle yesterday found the six, with 90 years’ service between them, were unfairly dismissed by American brothers Phil and Mark Brewer when they suddenly, and unexpectedly, closed the shop, in January last year.

Joan Cummins, one of the six, said: “I’m so delighted. It was never about the money.

We’ve got our justice.
And here's Phil Groom's coverage. A sad story but at least now some justice is being done against those asset-strippers.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Mutterings - 21 August

This week's free word associations from Unconscious mutterings are:
  1. Running :: Race
  2. Hot :: Some like it..
  3. Neighbor :: When I needed a neighbour were you there..
  4. Reported :: Crime scene
  5. Horrific :: Murder
  6. Supplies :: Shop
  7. Grammar :: Latin
  8. Back to :: the Future
  9. Righteous :: Brother
  10. Next door :: Neighbour
It's getting a bit bare here, I need to breathe a bit of extra life here..!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Teaser Tuesday - 16 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!
The poet Rainer Maria Rilke says, "love..onsists in this, that two solitudes protect and border and salute each other." That is the kind of love my friend Bill offered.
From Parker Palmer's Let Your Life Speak - I'm re-reading this (having, at last, found my copy) and I thought I might have 'teased' it before - but apparently not - I have though quoted it on a few occasions here - lots of words to mull on and treasure.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Mutterings - 14 August

This week's free word associations from Unconscious mutterings are:
  1. Eating :: Disorder
  2. Cowboys :: and Indians
  3. Nightmare :: Waking
  4. Impress :: Seal (started with something which indents paper couldn't get the word and then to indenting wax)
  5. Year :: 2011
  6. Kiss :: Affection
  7. Corn :: Plaster
  8. Humping :: Sex
  9. Mirror :: Image
  10. Brains :: Knowledge

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Teaser Tuesday - 9 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!
And she reached and opened up a pocket in the dashboard and started feeling about inside, among the papers and spanners and empty cigarette packets.
I said, `Please don't do that.'
Like last week, another teaser from Sarah Waters' The Little Stranger, the tension is ratcheting up - well maybe not in the teaser! I decided to stop reading last night (for that evening anyway) - reading this on the last train home late at night - with a solitary walk across town looming!

Sunday, August 07, 2011

Mutterings - 7 August

This week's free word associations from Unconscious mutterings are:
  1. Injury :: Personal
  2. Incentive :: Reward
  3. Suitable :: Partner
  4. Cheating :: Partner
  5. Remembering :: Loss (of a person)
  6. Nasty :: Nick (the tabloids appelation for an early Big Brother contender)
  7. Games :: Mind
  8. Wife :: Partner
  9. Challenged :: Emotionally
  10. Barbaric :: Treatment

I appear to have 'Partner' on the brain, but having thought of one word it's easy to se that 'yes that fits with that one too'!

Saturday, August 06, 2011

Ubuntu - natty narwhal and plasma

Back in this post, I wrote:
kde/plasma did look very nice before the upgrade but at the moment whenever I run it from login the system locks up and I have to reboot - this is before I can interact with the GUI - I've looked through the system logs and as yet have not spotted the problem. When I find a resolution - I'll update this post.
I've eventually got around to researching this, hand editing the startup file ~/.kde/share/config/ksmserverrc and gradually removing startup applications - that previous blog entry led me to suspect some of the terms I was launching - I removed those and it still locked, eventually I removed emacs and I could get in, if I ran emacs with no startup file (-Q) it locked up, having also spotted a
NVRM: Xid (0000:07:00): 13, 0001 00000000 00005097 000015e0 00000000 00000100
message in the logs just before the crash, I googled the NVRM: Xid bit and found this bug, which gives the solution to update the nvidia drivers, rather than the ones mentioned there, I went for not being quite so bleeding edge and installed the ubuntu-x-swat/x-updates ppa, restarted the system and I'm now happily running in the kde/plasma desktop environment!

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

in bloom

in bloom by rajmarshall
in bloom, a photo by rajmarshall on Flickr.

The garden is currently in bloom - not my work!

Teaser Tuesday - 2 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!
The floor above was dimly lit, the floor above that even dimmer, so the staircase ascended into shadows; the glass dome in the roof held the last of the evening twilight, and seemed suspended in the twilight, a great translucent disc. The silence was perfect.
And so the spookiness intensifies - early on in Sarah Waters The Little Stranger - very reminiscent of Henry James Turn of the Screw and I was also reminded of being taken - at the age of around 8 - to play the piano for an old lady - I've no idea who she was - and it was my piano teacher rather than my parents - living in a huge old house, or so it seemed to me, with servants. As a reward, I was given a set of bridge (the card game) score cards - nearly 10 years later I began to find them useful!
I enjoyed Waters' Night Watch so I'm looking forward to see how this develops.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Mutterings - 31 July

This week's free word associations from Unconscious mutterings are:
  1. Nag :: bother (the plain text version of the words has 'nap' for which my association is 'cat'
  2. Smug :: Bug (..rug)
  3. Barry :: Daniels (a friend long, long ago)
  4. Righteous :: Anger
  5. Hairstylist :: Scissors
  6. Vibrate :: Bell
  7. Deal :: Dover (Cinque ports..)
  8. Communicate :: Impart
  9. Telling :: Important
  10. Andrew :: Regan (a friend less long ago)

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Teaser Tuesday - 26 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!
He was overpowered, the train brought to a standstill, and they took him to the police station raving mad - thence to an asylum. Always considered rather queer in the army, the Mahler business had broken down his brain.
.. not a thriller but a work of musicology! From Norman Lebrecht's Mahler Remembered - an assembly of reminiscences of Gustav Mahler by his contemporaries - that one comes from Ethyl Smyth. I really ought to quote some of the previous sentence otherwise the teaser would be too much! - Weber (the grandson of the composer and the overpoweree)'s wife was having an affair with Mahler and on a train trip to Dresden, Weber draws a revolver and takes 'William Tell-like shots at the head rests between the seats', it doesn't suggest that Mahler was on the train...

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Bacon and Cheese Whirls

I had some nice things said about the bacon & cheese whirls I served at this morning's after service breakfast, here's a rough recipe:

Scone Dough

  • 250g plain flour
  • 250g Grated cheese
  • 30g Margarine
  • Pinch dry mustard
  • 10g Baking powder
  • 200ml semi-skimmed milk

Filling

  • 175g streaky bacon, minced
  • 50g grated cheese

Make dough - mix marg & flour add cheese, then the milk and knead.
Roll out, fairly thinly, into rectangle
Spread with filling, roll up across the shorter side and cut into swiss roll-like slices - use a sharp knife for cutting, a palette knife won't get through the bacon bits!
Arranged on a greased tray, bake 20-30 minutes in a hot oven.

Mutterings - 24 July

This week's free word associations from Unconscious mutterings are:
  1. Stewart :: Tartan
  2. Leafy :: Glade
  3. Ridiculous :: Idea
  4. Constipated :: Bloated
  5. Bullied :: School
  6. Permanent :: Way
  7. Surgery :: Dental
  8. Mosquito :: Bite
  9. Meat :: Casserole
  10. Stupefy :: Amaze

Saturday, July 23, 2011

walking party

walking party by rajmarshall
walking party, a photo by rajmarshall on Flickr.

Here we are towards the end of the last of the Summer walks (with the days getting shorter we stop before the evenings get too dark). Maurice took this so that I could be in the picture - just! There Shutlingsloe in the background.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Teaser Tuesday - 19 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!
There's something strange about the way she's walking, a manner that I can't quite put my finger on or explain in words. She's running her hand along the side of the hedge as she walks, childlike knocking off some of last year's crumpled brown leaves that seem to cling tightly to beech right through into spring.
This is, I expect, my last teaser from our book group book of the month - Poppy Adams The Behaviour of Moths - here's last week's entry, it is keeping its fascination....

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Engelberg panorama

Engelberg panorama by rajmarshall
Engelberg panorama, a photo by rajmarshall on Flickr.

Back in 2009, I posted here some attempts at stitching together a couple of panoramas from photos I took on our Luzern walking holiday (one here, griping slightly that the gimp plugin I was using didn't seem to be enabling me to line things up sensibly. Having now tried hugin (available for Linux/Windows and Macs) this makes things much simpler. Here's an Engelberg panorama and if you go to my flickr pages (click on the photo) you'll see 2 other panoramas - one of Fluëli-Ranft the other from last year in the Alpujarras.

Mutterings - 17 July

This week's free word associations from Unconscious mutterings are:
  1. Puzzled :: Amazed
  2. Ordered :: Sequential
  3. Unusual :: Pattern
  4. Speculation :: Uninformed
  5. Tutorial:: College
  6. Dangerous :: Moonlight
  7. Second :: Life
  8. Evidence :: Court
  9. Course :: Of (and Golf)
  10. Reason :: Logic

Friday, July 15, 2011

through the bracken

through the bracken by rajmarshall
through the bracken, a photo by rajmarshall on Flickr.

Last night was a walk in the Peover Hall area, very gentle but lots of ancient buildings, old trees and greenhouses stuffed with chrysanthemums - a drink at the Olde Parkgate pub - well supplied with chips!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Identity and Worship

Church congregations are often predominately feminine which can give problems to men wishing to attend. This however only entrenches the issue - Mark Driscoll of Mars Hill calling for the exposing of effeminate worship leaders.... some back peddling but no apology!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Teaser Tuesday - 12 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!
They have no emotions, no sentiment, no interests and no mind?' the rector continued, with practised eloquence and feigned disbelief, his voice rising in volume and tone for crescendoing drama.
'I do', Clive said, as though it were a vow.

Another piece from our book group book of the month - Poppy Adams The Behaviour of Moths - the 'they' are insects...

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Mutterings - 10 July

This week's free word associations from Unconscious mutterings are:
  1. Ceremony :: of Carols (by Benjamin Britten - there's also John Ireland's Scarlet Ceremonies - altogether darker!)
  2. Thread :: of life
  3. Need :: Wants
  4. Sarcasm :: Scriabin (I've wandered into the titles of piano works here!)
  5. Domain :: Power
  6. Take :: Five
  7. Cast :: away (as in the single word - though there's also Ecclesiastes 'A time to cast away stones')
  8. Zone :: Berlin (when it was divided into zones)
  9. Lose control :: Brake
  10. Gambling :: Den

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Teaser Tuesday - 5 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!
I don't reply, not because I don't agree - I don't even have a telephone - but because it seems a good place to end the conversation. And, believe me, I desperately want it to end.
Our book group (BATS) book of the month - The Behaviour of Moths by Poppy Adams. Only started it last night - here's a review from the Independent - yep, thought so, another unreliable narrator! - Stevie Davies (the reviewer) writes:
This is the book's real fascination, watching the author play her mischievous game of bluff with the reader. Purple passages concerning moth pathology are laid as bait to lead us up the garden path, a stomach-turning sauce for the plot extravagance. The novel is a divertimento on a mothy and insubstantial theme.

Sunday, July 03, 2011

Mutterings - 3 July

This week's free word associations from Unconscious mutterings are:
  1. Google :: -plex (actually googolplex
  2. Cooking :: Home (lunch)
  3. Pillow :: Book (no doubt from The Pillow Book (枕草子 Makura no Sōshi) or it may just be reading in bed
  4. Star Trek :: Frontier
  5. Wake :: Funeral (busy arranging one for a relative at the moment)
  6. Chili :: Pepper
  7. Premise :: supposition
  8. Share :: distribute
  9. Celebrity :: fame
  10. Stream :: of consciousness (like this!)

Saturday, July 02, 2011

Purple patches

Purple patches by rajmarshall
Purple patches, a photo by rajmarshall on Flickr.

A kohl rabi was acquired from Macclesfield market this week, I took it out into the garden ...talking to vegetables? - and was struck by the variety of purples which happened to be around.

Friday, July 01, 2011

Sunset over Astbury

Another sunset! by rajmarshall
Another sunset!, a photo by rajmarshall on Flickr.

I managed to get to the walk this week - yet another fine evening with lovely views of the sun through the clouds. We did a circular route from thee village hall to Astbury Mere round the mere and then back - I don't think I'd ever seen the mere before.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Teaser Tuesday - 28 June



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!

There was rain later in the day, but we made our objective, and it was well worth the long's day travel. The plain on which we were walking ended suddenly.
as does the teaser! This is from Sebastian Faulks' Human Traces - I've nested back to complete this book I see I was reading and teasing from it last summer! I'm regretting the long break I really was enjoying it and the gap has made some of the plot lines a little less clear in my mind - the teaser is from an exploration of the African plains in the early 1900's. That's a very odd apostrophe in the teaser, I assume it is displaced from the next word I've left it as it is for the sake of pedantry!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Mutterings - 26 June

This week's free word associations from Unconscious mutterings are:
  1. Familiar :: Places (old, familiar.. not sure that I even know the song)
  2. Park :: West
  3. Bank balance :: dodgy
  4. Ducks :: in a row
  5. Relationship :: close
  6. Ruminate :: cows
  7. Humanity :: mass of
  8. Baking soda :: scones
  9. Angela :: Eagle - she was on the Any Questions I went to in Macclesfield a week ago
  10. Bastards :: Them (unnamed)

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Busy Lizzy

Bizzie Lizzie by rajmarshall
Busy Lizzy, a photo by rajmarshall on Flickr.

On Sunday I got to steward the green room in St Michael's for the street performers. it was the Barnaby festival this year celebrating its 750th anniversary, unfortunately I didn't see what they went and did but this little old lady left tweets and clouds of scent in her wake! Here she is enjoying herself at the RHS Show.

Teaser Tuesday - 21 June



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!
The soul is, in any case, in shadow in this life because it is 'covered' by the body. The overall sense of this richly allusive passage seems to be that, since knowledge in this life is necessarily of shadows and images only, God's grace has set in the world of shadows the shadow of his own truth, so that human beings may know him, even if only indirectly, in this 'mirror and enigma' which is Christ.
Rowan Williams musing on Origen in The Wound of Knowledge there, that (quoting Williams) ought to annoy the good folk heading over here from OCICBW - this was the book I was going to use anyway - I didn't change it! This is a re-re-read (or maybe a re-re-re-read) it was initially recommended to me by Denise on the Scargill community who had spent time as a novice with the Sisters of the Love of God and presumably she got the original talks. Everyone quotes this summary, so I shall be no different:
The goal of a Christian life, according to Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, is not enlightenment but wholeness
maybe the Anglican Church could use a little wholeness rather than speeding off in the vain pursuit of certainties!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Mutterings - 19 June

This week's free word associations from Unconscious mutterings are:
  1. Diligence :: Due
  2. Volume :: Sphere
  3. Hospital :: Ward
  4. Binge :: Drinking
  5. Loyalty :: Card
  6. Pediatrics :: Medicine
  7. Authorize :: Allow
  8. Cage :: John
  9. Studious :: Learned
  10. Transfer :: Flight

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Water butt kitty

Water butt kitty by rajmarshall
Water butt kitty, a photo by rajmarshall on Flickr.

Sid likes to keep above any possible floods - advisable considering the downpour we had at lunch time.

Friday, June 17, 2011

White Nancy

White Nancy by rajmarshall
White Nancy, a photo by rajmarshall on Flickr.

..but black against the sunset!
Last night we did a short circular walk in the Rainow area - the disused factory we usually walk through is being demolished and flats being created so part of the walk was avoided. After a drink in the Robin Hood we were heading home when I suddenly noticed this view, so I stopped and took a couple of photos.