Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Out with the old

A scan of the corpse and it is time to get rid of the old copy of Delia Smith's Frugal Food - having acquired a copy of the new edition last month - as you see it's been well used - or at least had lots of stuff spilled over it! 70p....

And looking at the inside, it was acquired 31 32 (need to get used to 2009!) years ago tomorrow - New Year's day 1977. The lentil curry, potage flamade recipes were well used and I must revisit the courgette souffle!


Hat tip to Raspberry Rabbit. May your reflections on the passing of 2008 be good!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Last teaser of the year - Dec 30

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 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!

This is from my current book club read:
'Forgive me, but I thought of you directly I sighted that cloth, for the green is the colour of your eyes.'
I felt my face flush, and my vexation at blushing made my cheeks and throat burn all the hotter.
Geraldine Brooks 'Year of Wonders' The story of the plague at Eyam which is fairly local to here...I'm currently finding it gripping.

120 years?!

It probably won't go down well on a Sunday morning with all the profanity...HT to NT Wrong

Surreal peppermints?

Modern art? HT to Lindsay Marshall

Monday, December 29, 2008

I _am_ the administrator

I'm trying to install Adobe Air on this Mandriva/Linux/FSF system to try the BBC iPlayer. Tried the various links from the BBC page and the Adobe Air phase just seemed to do nothing. So followed these instructions, and I get this message:

I tried running it as root and then as myself when it asked me to enter the root password but still the same result. I am the administrator, I'll go and talk to myself for a bit...but I think I need a bit more work to get iPlayer up and running!
(the suggestion I found on googling of closing down firefox first, doesn't work for me, I suspect it might want use of audio, tomorrow will try immediately after a login so nothing else will - I hope - be getting in the way)
Later (31st Dec)... I've tried logging out and in, tried it with kde rather than my preferred blackbox desktop, tried rebooting and again with both kde and blackbox, so at the moment I'm stuck, maybe a little more googling?
And again... Mandriva 2008.1 (which I'm running) comes with firefox 2.x.x, I've previously installed firefox 3 but with a tarball and in my home area, I guess Adobe Air is looking for firefox 3 and when it doesn't find it stops with that unhelpful message. I've now added the main backport repository and installed the firefox 3 rpm and now Adobe Air installs correctly! (a good diagnostic would have been so much more helpful!!!)

Christmas Music

.. but only if you feel brave! rmcr has pointed me to this web site with details of a recording of Foster Jenkins (dramatic soprano, not to be confused with Katherine Jenkins star of stage, screen and radio?) and 11 of her rivals. It has musical(?) extracts and I'm still shaking after listening to the Tosca extract. The order page unfortunately appears to have vanished.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Free Associations

And this week's words from Unconscious Mutterings are:
  1. Destined :: Chosen
  2. FAIL :: Blog
  3. Camping :: Kenneth Williams
  4. Only you :: deserted
  5. Incessant :: rowdy
  6. Tomorrow :: Is Another day
  7. Impressive :: erection (that was a building - honest, Dr Freud)
  8. Riches :: gold
  9. Dislike :: getting the goat
  10. Speaker :: Woofer

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Cooking in difficult times

My mother has a copy of Mrs Arthur Webb's 'War Time Cookery - published 1939 (reprinted 1940), she clearly didn't hang about. There's this to give the flavour:
Casserole of cucumber -
  • 4 small cucumbers
  • 1/2 lb of sausagemeat
  • 3/4 pt of stock
  • 1 turnip
  • 3 carrots
  • 6 small onions
  • seasoning
I don't have the precise method here but she does recommend removing the cucumber seeds before cooking.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Happy Christmas!

funny pictures of cats with captions
more animals
unoriginal sorry, back to the posting soon! (weblog post no 1000!)

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

getting a bit late now...

..but here is the wonderful Trinity Wall St Advent calendar.

for Christmas Eve

Poulenc's wonderful Christmas Motet O Magnum Mysterium

Tuesday, December 23, 2008


Well while everyone else has been preparing for Christmas - or not! - I've spent the past 4 days, seems like a week, rushing around helping to resurrect the work web and email server. It died with a dead disk on Friday. I do recommend warrick for recoving those lost bits of websites, it goes to various web caches and puts your site back together as they claim it was.
Anyway, in all the kerfuffle I missed the news on Friday that the Church Times blog mentions that the Scargill trustees hand the Scargill movement have agreed:
We are now pleased to announce that agreement has been reached between the Trustees of Scargill House and those representing the Scargill Movement for the purchase of Scargill House. This is subject to contract, survey and the approval of the Charity Commissioners. We value your prayers for the speedy exchange of contracts, the future of the Scargill Movement and the proposed Foundation of the present Trustees.
Sounds like good news!
On a more parochial level the household Christmas letter is here.

Monday, December 22, 2008


(bit late now..) here's one of the sets of words I was trying to find from earlier in the month
Everyday it snows an inch or two,
Muting the music in the pines.
Old music.

Snow holds back the dawn-
an extra minute of lying here
while the self sleeps on.
again from Twichell's Snow Watcher.
And for a slightly different comment, here's Ivor Gurney's Sleep:

Sunday, December 21, 2008

And more conventionally

St Michael's choir
Originally uploaded by rajmarshall's the choir in front of the tree

.. and behind the tree

.. and behind the tree
Originally uploaded by rajmarshall
After this evenings carol service spotted the reflection of the tree in the bank's windows announcing sales and insecurity.

this weeks inkspots

And this week's associations
  1. Carpet :: Persian
  2. Bottoms :: Tops
  3. Music :: Life
  4. Nails :: Cross
  5. Watch it! :: No!
  6. Your life :: Big red book
  7. Candies :: indulgence
  8. Chafing :: blisters
  9. Svelte :: not a hairy man
  10. Ding :: Dong
This month has just been hectic - sorry - doubt if it will improve until next weekend!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Late Presents?

Well there's always this - it probably only has key bindings I already know on it though! Now if it had copy-to-register (and the converse), it would be of more interest - I used to know where they were, when I had a memory, they've moved them and I'm lost!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Search engines

Couldn't resist a vanity screenshot of the top search strings which lead people here (not that there are many of them). I won't quote them to avoid skewing figures further but there seem to be a fair range of subjects but maybe nog__ the n__ is what those seamen get up to on those icebound ships?

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Manchester Theological Society

I meant to get to the December meeting of the Manchester Theological Society but have missed it - moved laptops and I'd forgotten I had various reminders on the old one. Intend to go to the January meeting on RS Thomas! Looking at their website I found this mention of a rather old meeting!!

I'm not going to that one!

Teaser Tuesday once more

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 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!

Water has its own kind of darkness, its endless equivalence. Brine too needs its badges of state. It sinks, this net, silently and stressfully, the banner for an army of armies.
Oops that's three sentences from Lawrence Norfolk's The Pope's Rhinoceros. Picked this up at a charity shop and although second hand it appears unread. 100 pages in and I'm beginning to see that it could be infuriating but I'm practically breathing in the North Sea. This at 700+ pages is a long read but 16th century Eaurope has always fascinated me, there's also an interesting link with my Teaser of Last Week!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

A study in claustrophobia

.. and conscience. To the Silk Screen (middle of last week now) to see The Last Days of Sophie Scholl strongly recommended, moving, uplifting tale of resistance to Hitler and Nazism. I never knew that placing leaflets in a hallway could be so full of suspense. The resistors are arrested and the sessions between Sophie and her interrogator were fascinating with no doubt as to who was the stronger party (the one in the totally vulnerable position).
I felt there were echoes of Fidelio hanging around but maybe that's my reaction whever I see something German, mentions of freedom and prisoners entering sunlight?! But no prison visitor appeared like a rabbit from a hat. See it, if you haven't already. It appears to be based on transcripts hidden in East Germany - I'd be fairly disappointed if the interrogations were wholly made up!

First things

Can't tell France from Mutter (a second go at word associations)
  1. Travel :: train
  2. Expensive :: trains
  3. Backspace :: error
  4. Traffic noise :: comforting
  5. Now see here :: no
  6. Vegetables :: Paris
  7. Chat :: French cat
  8. Your calling :: difficult
  9. Weekly :: Punch
  10. Oh! :: La La
I think these were all the first thing that entered my head, started off ona travelling into work theme and ended up (mostly) across the Channel

I used to knit

David Shenton thinks it is probably more complicated than IT! Somewhere a few months back in this blog there's a photo of one of my more complicated knits, ah, here it is!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Christmas Do

The Choice Bar
Originally uploaded by rajmarshall
Work Christmas do was at the Choice Bar - looked very nice. I wasn't totally enamoured by the organisation though - some of the food was less than hot and I, at least, never got asked about an after dinner coffee. Lots of food though which arrived promptly on a busy evening. More photos here(the first five- couldn't be bothered to make an extra tag!)

Thursday, December 11, 2008


I seem to have fallen further behind with advent postings. I went into the garden yesterday but all the pictures had terrible camera shake (or something), I thought I was doing ok. So while you wait for me to get myself together, here are a couple of Adventish resources:

Incompetence or censorship?

Two examples from this week, first we have Berlusconi's 'wonderful' RAI's screening of Brokeback Mountain which managed to broadcast a censored version without the icky gay bits - but still had a heterosexual sex scene. They claim they broadcast a version meant for family viewing in a later evening slot.
And then we have a teacher confiscating Linux disks from school children claiming that it must be pirate software, writing the following to the distributor:
This is a world where Windows runs on virtually every computer and putting on a carnival show for an operating system is not helping these children at all. I am sure if you contacted Microsoft, they would be more than happy to supply you with copies of an older verison(sic) of Windows and that way, your computers would actually be of service to those receiving them...
boggle! This appears to be real but - as above shows a stunning level of ignorance (whilst claiming to have used Linux at college!?) I'd like to cry fake but I fear not!

Amarok 2

Amarok 2 has been released. I drooled over the the pre-release incorporated in Mandriva 2009 (but without actually running it). Having installed it on my Ubuntu system, yes, it still looks wonderful. Not sure about the current state though! There's some screenshots here. There's various spiffy new features, but I'm rather attached to some of the old ones - like playing cd's I don't want to always have to rip the cd first - I'm hopeless at deleting the files afterwards and it does fill my work laptop up. And then there's stopping after the current track - I want to finish listening when the current item is over and not now!
For the moment I'll be sticking with amarok 1.4 but maybe peeking a look at the new interface now and then!

Streams of consciousness

This might be fun! Via JoysWeb and from Unconscious mutterings
  1. Love affair :: Romeo and Juliet, facebook
  2. Bubble :: bath (just had one), gum
  3. Pimple :: teenagers
  4. Knocks :: school of hard
  5. Persistent :: c++ classes (don't ask)
  6. Infected :: Windows
  7. Yay! :: Americans
  8. Repaint :: Windows (oh dear)
  9. Daily :: milkman
  10. Quickly! :: hard scales

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Tuesday Teaser again

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 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 non-fictional this week:
This is the letter of an exasperated woman, but not of one who is afraid to speak her mind. And indeed Francesco himself, in his better moments, had come to admit that in household matters his wife's judgement was as good as his own.
Iris Origo's The Merchant of Prato hard nosed commerce in the Middle Ages.

(yes I know I promised a review of The Book Thief - which I've now completed - the book not the review!! - I'm working my way towards it!!)


A day off tomorrow to sort out the start of a Christmas letter, some presents, and maybe marking Messaien's 100th birthday. If you're searching for present ideas David Shenton has a wonderful cartoon


early morning
Originally uploaded by rajmarshall
Approaching Oxford Road Station (well it would be if there were a train there)

And this poem from a gravestone in Ely Cathedral in memory of 2 deaths on a railway in 1845. I don't think I've seen the actual stone but I was certainly given the postcard with a certain twinkle in David Isitt's eye.

The line to Heaven by Christ was made,
With heavenly truth the Rails are laid,
From Earth to Heaven the Line extends,
To Life Eternal where it ends.
Repentance is the Station then,
Where Passengers are taken in ;
No Fee for them is there to pay,
For Jesus is himself the way.
God's Word is the first Engineer,
It points the way to Heaven so clear,
Through tunnels dark and dreary here.
It does the way to Glory steer.
God's Love the fire, his Truth the Steam,
Which drives the Engine and the Train;
All you who would to Glory ride,
Must come to Christ, in him abide.
In First, and Second, and Third Class,
Repentance, Faith, and Holiness,
You must the way to Glory gain,
Or you with Christ will not remain.
Come then poor Sinners, now's the time,
At any Station on the Line,
If you'll repent, and turn from sin,
The Train will stop and take you in.

And as a result of searching for that poem, I found this page of railway related music.
(Yes I know I've lost a day, I do hope to catch up!)

Noggin the Nog!

Part of my childhood has just gone. That inimitable voice...with the death of Oliver Postgate. I wonder if I still have that knitting pattern for a clanger? According to the Guardian
The Clangers was also a subversive show in the fact that the language of squeaks spoken by the characters contained, to those in the know about how the sounds translated, numerous expletives that would have got the programme banned if delivered in standard English.
Bagpuss was after my (childhood) time.

Don't all rush at once

I do hope you're not going to sign this

Monday, December 08, 2008


A second head of Changing Attitude Nigeria has been granted asylum in the UK. The Changing Attitude press release says:
The LGBT members of CAN do not believe that they can safely come out and reveal themselves to their priests, let alone their congregations. They fear that their own priest will not offer them counselling and prayers but will react negatively to them. The problem they would bring to their priest is in any case not the problem of their homosexuality, but the problem the church has with homosexuality. They do not want to come to church for help to be changed or healed. LGBT people know, as Archbishop Akinola does not or possibly cannot know as a heterosexual man, that we do not need healing from our innate, God-given sexual identity. We long for the church to learn “… what it is that the Lord requires of you: only to act justly, to love loyalty, to walk humbly with your God.” Micah 6.8
Inevitable after the attack on him this summer, but speaks volumes about the warped version of the Christian faith held by some Nigerians - and given impetus from the top.


A discussion on slashdot leans me to LOLCODE, with wonderful code extracts such as
there are also python implementations. Looks like they need a set of regexps for emacs HILITIN though - obviously a gap in the market I need to fill (unless I've missed it on that site).

Hello not the man familiar to me!

(from a recent SPAM) I think (huskily) 'Hello stranger' might sound a little better. other wonderful examples of fractured English in that email included:
At first I wish to be present.
Here I am(?)
At first I thought that it expensively for me but then I thought and solved that money for me it not important that I want to be happy I want to love I want to have the relation and I want to have a happy family and I gave this one thousand rubles. ...
Only I ask you at once look at the photo esteem the letter think and solve precisely would you like to have correspondence with me? ...
It is possible I ask you very fragile person if want to have serious relations write me tell me If you are not necessary to you I will understand you. And still I wish to speak to you, on a photo turned out not so well as professional but you see me such as I look in a life. And you can precisely define such woman as I is necessary to you or not.
If you are not necessary to you I will understand you. ... well precisely
I hope they're not reading this in order to make a comprehensible email.
The email culminated in a docx(!) attachment.
Unfortunately gmail doesn't have a way of preserving it apart from marking it as non spam, maybe I should just forward it to myself?

Sunday, December 07, 2008


Originally uploaded by rajmarshall
Berries peeping over the wall of a block which has been abandoned and is up for development.
and testifies
how best beauty's born of hardihood

(Sylvia Plath Mayflower)
..probably the wrong colour!

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Out in the yard

Garden pot
Originally uploaded by rajmarshall
..this morning
I'm preaching tomorrow and I said these words 3 years ago when speaking about the same set of passages (Mark 1, 2 Peter 3 and Isaiah 40)
Advent - coming - that means change, adventure.
When thinking of the origin of the word 'Advent, comes from advenire (Italian) to happen, happening - a very 60'sterm how do we deal with change/happenstance? We want to change others
but do we want to change? What has brought me to where I am today, maybe God, maybe what has been done to me, what am I going to make of it, what is God going to make of me?
I wouldn't be surprised if some of those words appeared again tomorrow.

Winter morning

Winter morning
Originally uploaded by rajmarshall
Weather wasn't good yesterday, so two for the price of one today!
The dark future in the winter morning, with Astra Zeneca dominating the town.
The beauty of the morning; silent, bare,
Ships, towers, domes, theatres, and temples lie
Open unto the fields, and to the sky;
All bright and glittering in the smokeless air.

But where does the town go now?

Kitten exercise

via B3TA

Friday, December 05, 2008

They've arrived!

Get your Christmas presents from the Ship of Fools Kitschmas awards!

Thursday, December 04, 2008

And then there's cat poems

Mad Priest has a classic, though we'd prefer it if there were a mention in it of Traidcraft jute angels - something to which one of ours (long passed away) was devoted.
Beware of that blog, it carries an alarming picture of me (wearing a tie!!)

The market place

In the market place this evening, all the snow gone
I raised the mountains for you, and set the streams
Running down the hills for love. I saw the moss grow

Kathleen Raine Parting

Eating out

To celebrate my being unable to remember the date of my book group, we went out this evening to Fina a new restaurant which has opened within staggering distance of home.
I much enjoyed the antipasto and the linguine with prawns and courgettes - I'd recommend the place, nice and central too for Christmas evening shopping afterwards.
My back didn't like the chairs, but that is probably my problem!

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Where do I sign up?

The Register reports:
Italian president and media baron Silvio Berlusconi said today that he would use his country's imminent presidency of the G8 group to push for an international agreement to "regulate the internet".
Berlusconi didn't explain what he meant by "regulate the internet", but the mere mention of it has prompted dismay among Italian commentators. Berlusconi owns swathes of the Italian mass media.
The left-wing newspaper L'Unita wrote: "You can not say that it is not a disturbing proclamation, given that the only countries in the world where there are filters or restrictions against internet are countries ruled by dictatorial regimes: those between China, Iran, Cuba, Saudi Arabia."
La Stampa reports Italian bloggers are planning to protest against any move by the president to tighten government control over the web tomorrow. They plan to display anti-Berlusconi banners on their websites.

Not found any banners yet. But with Mr B's power over his home media, one fears for any influence that any rules he had a hand in framing, whatever the ostensible trigger. I hope the rest of the G8 aren't his useful idiots.

Red and White

.. not my photo but taken, this week in our garden:
and from Mark Doty's wonderful 'My Alexandria collection:
..suspended white cargo sifted
equally all night onto roofs
and lilacs, fenceposts and streets.
We're the shook heart of the paperweight

the glass village falling forever
through the steady arms
of the snow, which touch us,
each pair, just once.

(Advent Calendars)

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Tuesday Teaser

Not had one of these for a bit...
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 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!

Here's mine:
Once words had rendered Liesel useless, but now, when she sat on the floor, with the mayor's wife at her husband's desk, she felt an innate sense of power. It happened every time she deciphered a new word or pieced together a sentence.
Markus Zusak's The Book Thief - need to finish it tonight!! Wonderful but feels rather similar to 'The Reader'

Over the void

Well that's how it feels in the half-light of a cold morning:

(yes I know the picture doesn't show the drop!) and
letting the stream
Comb me, feeling it fresh
In my veins, revisiting the sources
That are as near now
As on the morning I set out from them
RS Thomas H'm

Not what I was intending but I'm having book finding issues!

Monday, December 01, 2008


It's a few days ago now that we saw Persepolis at the Silk Screen. As the Guardian reviewer says:
When I tell people it's a lo-fi animation, largely in black-and-white, about Iran, they put their heads in their hands and make a low groaning sound. But I've seen those same people bounce happily out of the cinema after seeing it as if they had had some sort of caffeine injection.
Lots of whimsy(!) and, as the introducer at the screening said, Posy, unfortunately that wikipedia article doesn't have a single cartoon of hers, so try here and here. I did wonder whether the tale of growing up as a young lady in Iran was getting a little one sided and perversely at times started to feel sympathy for the religious authorities. I gather it has been shown in Iran - with some cuts for sexual content - I wonder if they cut the doctored version of Primavera?!
And on the subject of growing up in Iran, here is a view which challenges a few western stereotypes! (hat tip to Elizaphanian)


Venice - and the few posts in that blog after (i.e. later) than that.

Christ Church

Christ Church
Originally uploaded by rajmarshall

Cheating (already!) slightly, as I took this picture yesterday morning. And something dark to go with it:
No other sun has lightened up my heaven;
No other star has ever shone for me:
All my life's bliss from thy dear life was given -
All my life's bliss is in the grave with thee.
Emily Brontë Remembrance

Sunday, November 30, 2008

frozen leaves

frozen leaves
Originally uploaded by rajmarshall
For advent I'm intending to post a photo a day together with some - hopefully(!) matching prose. Today's photo I took when walking to church this morning.
I was intending to pair it with something from Chase Twichell's Snow Watcher, but currently I can't find the book - that's the snag with slim volumes of poetry. So I'll make do with some lines from the same book I've quoted before:

Nothing has a name it can't
slip out of. The waterfall is solid ice
by late November; the white pines
vanish under snow that's
blue in the morning, pink in the dusk.

I hope they go together well.

We are not being fed!

With the new rooms upstairs at St Michael's
the stained glass of Queen Victoria is a lot closer and having meals beneath her gaze is sometimes alarming!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Riders to the Sea

Guardian review of Riders to the Sea which Richard Hickox should have conducted:
The Aran islanders, both Synge and Vaughan Williams seem to be saying, are a race apart: made of very stern stuff, yet philosophical. "No man at all can be living for ever, and we must be satisfied," sings Maurya at the end. There were tears on stage during the curtain calls.


fail owned pwned pictures
see more pwn and owned pictures
apart from the interesting price.. people buy these? - or is it just that the Americans (I hope it is Americans) can't be understood from this side of the Atlantic?
(I should add that when I originally wrote this I thought they were bags of frozen somethings for children, sweatshirts are very slightly more understandable)

Four years on

It seems to be four years now since this blog started and I'm coming up to 1000 posts.
For the cold and gloom of this day before Advent, here's a thought from Mustard Seed Shavings
Faith, productivity and integrity will equip someone for the third millennium, but better attributes are wonder, face-to-face love and creativity.
but I suppose I would agree with that!
I need to find that Buechner book to add to my collection - currently of one!)

Friday, November 28, 2008

Christmas market

Originally uploaded by rajmarshall
Off to Manchester's Christmas market for lunch to mark Jennifer's leaving. The full set of pictures is

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Changing a landmark

Originally uploaded by rajmarshall
The old Clowes factory is now unoccupied - they've moved to Stockport and the builders are in, transforming and changing this prominent landmark from the train. I believe it is going to be a hotel

Looking up

Brunswick hill
Originally uploaded by rajmarshall
..sometimes looking back is good - Brunswick Hill this morning

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

autumn dawn

autumn dawn
Originally uploaded by rajmarshall
View from the bridge on the way to the station this morning, with just the faintest sliver of the old moon visible

The selection process

cartoon from

Cartoon by Dave Walker. Find more cartoons you can freely re-use on your blog at We Blog Cartoons.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

The wonders of Random Mix

I listen to music with Amarok - often using its random mix facility. This morning before going to church I got this sequence of three.
an interesting set... The Bernstein is a paen to the White House though it fitted in well with the importance of the day and the after church meeting. And then there was the Stockhausen and Piaf thumbing her nose at it all!
Firefox was running very slowly today - 10 mins to change tab, couldn't see anything at fault, killed it and restarted several times (reloading the same tabs) and always the same. Wasn't even able to bookmark the existing tabs before I gave up and started with a single home page. My guess is that it somewhere preloads the session history with recent forward and backward pages and one of those was giving the browser grief!
Oh and does anyone know a good way of getting an amarok playlist into blogger?

Saturday, November 22, 2008


I found this while sorting though some old papers:
Carmen is a cigar-makeress from a tabago factory who loves with Don Jose of the mounting-guard. Carmen takes a flower from her corsets and lances it to Don Jose. (Duet: `Talk me of my mother').There is a noise inside the tabago factory and the revolting cigar-makeresses bursts into the stage. Carmen is arrested and Don Jose is ordered to mounting-guard her but Carmen subduces him and he lets her escape.

ACT 2 The Tavern. Carmen, Frasquita, Mercedes, Zuniga,Morales. Carmen's Aria ('the sistrums are tinkling') Enter Escamillo, a balls-fighter. Enter two smuglers (Duet: 'We have in mind a business') but Carmen refuses to penetrate because Don Jose has liberated from prison. He just now arrives (Aria: `Slop, here who comes!') but hear are the bugles singing his retreat. Don Jose will leave and draws his sword. Called by Carmen shrieks the two smuglers interfere with her but Don Jose is bound to dessert, he will follow into them. (Final chorus: 'Opening sky wandering life').

AXT 4 a place in Seville. Procession of balls-fighters, the roaring of the balls heard in the arena. Escamillo enters. (Chorus: Toreador, Toreador, All hail the balls of a toreador). Enter Don Jose (Aria: `I do not threaten, I besooch you') but Carmen repels him wants to join with Escamillio now chaired by the crowd. Don Jose stabs her (Aria: `Oh rupture, rupture, you may arrest me, I did kill der') he sings `Oh my beautiful Carmen, my subductive Carmen...'
I thought it would be on the web a zillion times but it would appear not - at least not in this fuller version. My printout is dated 13 Oct 1990 from a posting in where the poster claims that it appeared in the Royal Northern School of Music (sic) magazine ('Music Matters') but wasn't original to there. It claims to have come from 'The Baton' the magazine of the Philatelic Music Circle. I can't find that posting in google's usenet archive, but the preface there claims that it was from the Paris Opera rather than Genoa - generally the claim on the partial postings I've seen. The preface runs:
One of the pleasure of going to the Opera in Paris in the old days was reading - and re-reading the synopses in 'English' which they included in the programmes for the convenience of English visitors. What follows is, I swear, an exact copy of parts of the 'Carmen' synopsis. This they printed, and many others like it, year in, year out.
I'm inclined to say urban legend!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Not the best way to make things safe

From this week's Macclesfield Express:
Neighbourhood policing boss Inspector Gareth Woods said the decision to bring in the army to diffuse the 'bomb' had been the correct one.
unfortunately the web version doesn't repeat that typo! (there was traffic chaos over most the area in the rush hour a week ago following a bomb hoax)

from the office

from the office
Originally uploaded by rajmarshall
I've moved offices so no more trains though it is only across the landing. Close to the local pub, unfortunately no brewer's drays!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Thank you!

Pete Broadbent on the Fulcrum pages about the weekend's NEAC discussion:
I'm committed to Christ first, but I express that commitment through the CofE. Whereas I'm beginning to think that ConEvos express their commitment through shibboleth-protected ghettos.
but ghettos are all too easy to run to for all of us.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Scargill Movement

I've not been paying attention but there is now a Scargill Movement website with significant news and a promise of more forthcoming. Unfortunately there are no dates on the website so it is hard to tell how recent this is.
(The website also uses frames and looks yukky unless you have a window of the correct size - but give it time!)

More on David McKenzie

A comment on my earlier post points me to this obituary from the Glasgow Herald which gives a rather different age at death. Worth reading for the additional information. Looks like he was in Cambridge in my time so I may have met him as we probably moved in similar circles. Another Ronald Firbank fan too!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

The hammerklavier and Palin

Bit late for this now - but if you haven't read Jeremy Denk 'interviewing' Sarah Palin do so now! And put your wine glass down first!

Foibles of the lectionary

I see that tomorrow's Old Testament Zepheniah 1-7;12-end misses out v 9
I shall punish all who dance on the temple terrace
In view of this, it is probably a good thing. Talk preparation...

Two links

Both these discussions seem to be going around the faith blogs at the moment, there's David Keen on Clergy Vacancies and Church Decline giving two surveys with diametrically different conclusions on the impact of a long vacancy. Bishop Alan also comments:
It seems to be the case that the quality of the vacancy, good or bad, is often down to a small number of laypeople’s giftedness and contribution. This is as much the case, if not more, for small parishes. Anything that strengthens and encourages those who do step up to various plates constructively is good news long term.
As we're now in the 18th month of a vacancy (soon to come to an end!) I'm glad that the news is not always bad!
And then there's How to talk to atheists about your faith.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Experimental film-maker.. and bank robber

Splendid obituary in today's Guardian of Dave McKenzie:
As skipper of a 100ft barge on the Humber in the 1970s, transporting bags of butter-beans and boxes of tinned peaches that were regularly bartered for beer at riverside pubs, he had a mishap with a bridge. He urgently needed to "disappear", so a friend forged him a new identity as David McKenzie. Conveniently dropping 10 or more difficult-to-account-for-years from his CV, he presented a reference supposedly from Karlheinz Stockhausen, thus reinventing himself as an engineer at the electronic music department at Glasgow University.
go and read the whole thing written by his friend Frances Holliss


The SIlk screen's film on Wednesday was Once which I'd recommend - a little on the self-indulgent side but worth the viewing!

Stunning Photography

but do try to ignore the front page when you go here, also doesn't work well with versions of flash that are > 9 due to broken version detection (I guess).

Monday, November 10, 2008

You will be rescued

.. under protest if necessary.
Hattip to Niles.

Sunday, November 09, 2008


Why is it that the extreme right - the Stand Camp and the Anglican Mudstream - of the current Anglican debate, claim to espouse high moral values but appear - all too often to be strangers to the truth?

Concert evening

Trip to the King Edward Musical Society last night mostly to hear the Kodaly Psalmus Hungaricus - a work I haven't heard for too long! Don't think I've ever heard it live - unless the Chelsea Opera Group did it at Cambridge - but I still remember the Decca Eclipse LP with it on - don't think it was mine though? Wonderful, visceral work , again the early days of Hungary before the lights dimmed again in the 1930's. They also had the Neilsen Helios Overture - a rarity! - lacked a bit of tuning! - and some exquisite vocal works (grrrr the web site has removed the programme already!).
A good evening even if we had to run the firework gauntlet on the way home.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Hand and Cleaver

Hand and Cleaver
Originally uploaded by rajmarshall
Another weekend, another birthday! Stopped for lunch at the Hand and Cleaver, Ranton Green, Nr Stafford. Quiet but very good, I enjoyed their mussels and venison, and the brie and artichokes looked rather tempting. Recommended! Drove down from Cheshire amid the glories of the autumn leaves, no doubt after tonight's storms it will all be gone!

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Food for thought

from ASBO Jesus

..but by the content of their character..

(and not by the colour of their skin) and now the real test begins!

Tuesday's teaser

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 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!

Here's mine:
Why don't I feel ready? I take a certain amount of pride in the fact that I've been able to set up the modem so easily...but what if it doesn't work?
Sandra Scoppettone's Everything you have is mine

Monday, November 03, 2008


Following, a bit back, reflections on an upgrade to Ubuntu's Hardy Heron, here are a few things I found when upgrading the work laptop to Intrepid Ibex:
  • I only had around 1 gig free on the / partition, started the upgrade and it stopped, complaining it needed around 1.3 gig. Not a great problem I thought and cleared the required disk space
  • It then decided that it really needed 2.1gig(!), this required some more thought and I decided to move /var to a new partition (fortunately I had one I'd used for /var on an old Debian install). Having noted that I needed to keep some of /var on / (/var/run and /var/lock), I copied over the /var area - set the new mount point and rebooted - forgetting to free the disk space so a certain amount of back tracking was in order!
  • The upgrade process was then happy, though having given /var 2gig I was a little concerned when after the downloads there was around 30meg free - during the actual upgrade that shrank until it claimed there was no space left there - fortunately the upgrade proceeded!
  • Got to the reboot and I waited the upgrade window closed, and I waited.. eventually - cautiously, I kicked off the reboot manually - my guess is that if I'd been running gnome rather than fluxbox, I'd have seen something?
  • On the reboot X complained that the ATI graphics drivers weren't working - rather to be expected -installed the ubuntu ones and I now have xinerama working again.
  • Initially amarok failed to run complaining about the absence of the xine drivers but after running banshee (the gnome music player) I think it may now be working well.
  • ..Looks good so far!

Thought for the day

From Parker Palmer's 'Let your life speak':
We have a strange conceit in our culture that simply because we have said something, we understand what it means!

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Music events in the North West

Further to this is this concert on Friday 5th December at Liverpool Hope University, with Gesang der Junglinge and (hurrah!) Kontakte - reading between the lines it sounds as if the Stockhausen estate didn't like the way Manchester was proposing to stage Kontakte - which is why it got cancelled. Hope it doesn't happen here.
And further to this, Semyon Bychkov, London Voices and the NYO are performing Berio's Sinfonia and the Strauss Alpine Symphony at the Bridgewater on Jan 7th 2009. The Strauss is another favourite work of mine - off stage horns a go-go!


And here for some scary Sunday evening listening and watching, is Nick Tolle playing Stockhausen's Zyklus:

Music as theatre and spectacle.

Process and completion

Read this on the way to the Manchester RNCM Stockhausen festival:
Boulez is a composer for whom the technical perfection is absolute, and this technique serves him as a basis for the formation of an unalterable personal style. His objective is the work of art, mine is rather its workings. (KHS quoted in Worner Stockhausen Life and Art)
obviously written before all Boulez' works in progress. Then in the session with David Fallows and David Horne, David Horne said something to the effect that:
KHS has written so much about his works, the exploration with the pupil is part of the process. With Boulez you're left to discover it all for yourself.
I attended the prelude and left - regretfully - before the apotheosis Luzifer's Tanz. It was an afternoon I enjoyed, particularly the 5pm concert with Piano Piece IX, Refrain and Kreuzspiel. The textures of Refrain have become common currency, what must it have sounded like in 1959!
An afternoon with good numbers in the audience, you could almost hear the listening going on! Lots of students RNCM staff and men in their 50's and 60's (stereotyping a little!)

From last night

guests dancing
Originally uploaded by rajmarshall
The life boat band in full swing. Rest of the (uploadable) pictures are here


Just noticed that this evenings Kontakte at the RNCM Stockhausen fest has been cancelled - gutted! Rushes off to the train swearing!

Saturday, November 01, 2008


Going to a Birthday party this evening (not mine!) with the lifeboat band

Friday, October 31, 2008

Sorry Delia..

..David Shenton's pumpkin cartoon

Preparing for the festival

On Stockhausen in yesterday's Guardian
There are moments of incomparable genius in Stockhausen. Now he is dead, it's up to listeners to pick through the music and discover the moments of startling newness that need neither explanation nor justification. Just listen to the brass chords hurtling round the hall at the climax of Gruppen and ask yourself: does this man need to be sold by the mention of Radiohead?

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Glories of Newcastle

A trip to Newcastle - back on Monday now - to do some IT support. The head offices are in the wonderfully antique Milburn house, built in the 19th century by a shipping magnate along the lines of a ship with the top floor as 'A' and working its way up the alphabet towards the hold.
Some pictures here and particularly here - doesn't have a picture of the wonderful tiling though - I need to have a camera with me next time...

The Oval Disaster Area

Palin as President - hat tip to someone or other - too many bookmarks, too short a memory!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Teaser Tuesday

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 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!

Cheating slightly (not quite random) but the book is tending to fall open here
They were beaten and hanged, they died of starvation and disease, they lived with the treasure and they slept alongside it in that dank subterranean world. And although they were dirty the treasure was clean. The cruel masters called the treasure Vengeance.
Three sentences too! Ann-Marie McDonald's The Way the Crow Flies - not a short read but very rewarding (so far!)

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Early cutting and pasting

but it is wonderful, Berio's 'In ruhig fliessender Bewegung' movement from his Sinfonia
Complete with visual clues as to the source of the quotations, part 2 of the movement is also on you tube and should be suggested once you get to the end!
Rattle and the CBSO


Funghi - iii
Originally uploaded by rajmarshall
With the clocks changing and the coldness of this weekend, autumn seems about to be bringing on winter. So here's a reminder of autumn. Our garden has been taken over by these - just the dampness of everything.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Wine tasting

A few days ago now, but we went to the Club Franco-Britannique de Macclesfield for a dégustation (wine tasting) - in French! - didn't get to the actual wines until around 8:30 and there were 5 of them so it was a fairly late evening. My French comprehension was suffering by the end of the evening! A Sauvignon blanc with potential and a good Italian Valpolicella Masi. Supervised by Nicholas Verne of Wines At Last - his website is a bit empty at the moment..

Malapropism of the day

Overheard in a local charity shop
He was flirting terribly with some decorators this week. It looked as if they enjoyed it, maybe they were under the carpet.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Could you make this up?

I wasn't going to post any more on my discussion with Orange about corrupted subject lines - but it's like watching a car-crash. They appear to now accept there's a problem but it is with my end of things:
We would like to inform you that the emails you are receiving could be spam which does not refer to you.

People who send spam (known as spammers) can harvest email addresses from a variety of sources including via Usenet postings, feedback forms, web sites, Chat forums, 'friends' distributing your address (either knowingly or not) etc. Increasingly however, spammers use sophisticated software which generates any possible email address combination.

There is a possibility that the email may be spam email which you can deal with by setting up spam filters...
I do want to receive these emails - really! If I set up a spam filter to get rid of them though, it will certainly solve the problem (from their POV).
I'm not going to respond to this latest email in case they suggest formatting the hard drive.

Sunday, October 19, 2008


Further to this issue I blogged about a bit back with Orange email, I decided to report the issue. After a few emails - in one of which I sent a screenshot. I let slip that I was using Linux to access the emails, and I got the following (no doubt canned) response.
In regards to your query we do not support Linux and firefox as it is a third party software , we advise you to upgrade your computer to Windows XP and internet explorer with the help of the local computer vendor.
Upgrade, .. third party.., do Orange develop internet explorer? Just - in the remote case that it is some sort of font size issue with firefox, I've just tried with XP and (euugh) IE and see the same issue. Well I'm glad it's their server problem and not mine. Here for your delectation is a screen shot -with a little blurring added - of the Linux/FF/XP/IE version of my inbox.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Know your readership

I spotted this depressing headline in today's Daily Star (sorry no link!) but I guess they don't have many Muslim readers. I wonder how many female readers they have?

Communication and chewing gum

Last night we went to the Silk Screen to see Kieslowski's Red. They showed White and Blue in the two previous seasons. I was almost more hypnotised by the beauty of the photography than the plot - I'd not seen it before. A film about communication - and the lack of it - I felt that Kieslowski would have hated what the internet has become.

Horrid thought

via the Guardian Diary and a Westminster corridor:
My God, Dick Cheney's going into hospital with a heart murmur. If he dies, does that mean Bush gets to be president?
and no doubt everywhere else by now!

Things wot have wrecked Britain

Here's ASBO Jesus take on Letts fulminations. Contributions are welcome there!

Monday, October 13, 2008


Obama Pictures and McCain Pictures
see Sarah Palin pictures
There's the real Michael/Sarah Palin connection

Are you listening Mark Brewer?

Here's the letter to Mark Brewer from David Keen and the We Support Dave Walker Facebook group on behalf of Dave Walker - the blogger who had a cease and desist letter sent to him for daring to tell the story of SPCK's decline.

A little late

I meant to mark the 30th anniversary of Jacques Brel's death on 9th October, but what with one thing and another it got forgotten so here is a link to the official site and a link to the Brel videos I've previously mentioned.

Interesting conjunction

On facing pages in today's Guardian, obituaries for Jörg Haider the semi-acceptable face of Austria's extreme right and Leslie Hardman the Jewish army chaplain who saw the liberation of Bergen-Belsen and was (unavoidably) changed.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Saturday, October 11, 2008

That moment of mystery

Another quote from Michael Hampson's Last Rites which rang true with me:
The charismatic movement in those early days had the silence and space to experience those truths which are too profound and too beautiful for words. It had wonder, reverence, anticipation, and a sense of an awesome God on the move into places yet unknown. It welcomed and celebrated some mystery. ... In the days of its folk-movement authenticity the charismatic movement had space for God to be the God of 'Love Unknown'. .. And while the language was individual.. the experience was of belonging: belonging to a movement that was sharing a new experience of was a truly catholic spirituality lost and adrift. It was netted by protestant evangelicalism before it could find its way back home.
and alas for some evangelical Gradgrinds it is now just facts, [Bible] facts which are the only basis of worship.
Do also read Hampson on his agenda for the purging of the structure of the Church of England and his chapter on the nature of the financial crisis tells it how it is (especially now!).

Thursday, October 09, 2008


(no not from here!)
I've booked - at last - for the RNCM Stockhausen day - that weekend is going to be busy for various reasons but I'm intending to make most of the events - probably calling it a day before Luzifer's Tanz - alas - but 6 hours will probably test my staying power. It's work the next day and I belong to the 'give us back our 1960's Stockhausen' clique....

Wednesday, October 08, 2008


Tante on software engineering and KDE4 (inter alia):
You and your developer buddies know that the refactoring has to take place cause working with your code base is no fun. But how do you get your users to still support you and not run to the other guys? You bullshit them into adapting your developer reasons.

Teaser Tuesday

.. Well busyness and timezones...
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 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's a good sign, Paola said, a beginning. Apparently every morning I would sing a song as I made coffee.
from The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana - Umberto Eco - looks to be fun, about a book seller who can remember every book he's read but nothing about his own life - probably appeals to me for the same reason as Berio's Sinfonia! (and of course there's a Berio Eco link).
More reviews on Geoffrey Brock's (the translator) website - from the Guardian review:
as if Peter Ustinov and Stephen Fry had been rolled up into the body of Dorothy L Sayers, berobed and begowned, and paraded around the ancient university towns of mainland Europe in a hand-cart

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

View from the West Bank

My mother's parish magazine had an article from one of her friends, Audrey Gray, who has been out in the West Bank for the last few months working with the Quakers and seeing how things are for Palestinians everyday. Here's a link to an article she wrote before the trip and one of the comments to the artice has a pdf of a letter sent during the trip. A lady of determination and courage.
Ah and here's another article.

Back from Sussex

In Sussex I had another trip to the Boathouse in Amberley (that weblink appears to be a work in progress). Food - as usual was good with loads of fish specials, unfortunately my photo of the specials board was too shaky even to be rescued by unsharp-mask. I was less than keen on the ethos (as I've probably blogged before)
Oh and here's another culinary link - not for the faint hearted (hat tip to Andrew Brown). We must have some cat ones around here somewhere - arising from an operation last week, I've volunteered a first course for the harvest lunch on Sunday!

Monday, October 06, 2008

ncredible ffers

I think Aria's email system is doing some trimming of subject lines, in the past few days I've had emails advertising
  • ntel Quad Core Q6600
  • 7" widescreen monitor
  • GB PC
  • 00GB Seagate Barracuda SATA2 drive - now only 27.95+
I keep hoping they'll trim the first character off their prices but, so far, they haven't.
Later: it looks to be an fsmail/Orange problem having just noticed another subject line from a different source also just missing the initial letter. I now get the Telegraph xpat emails - I've no idea why! - bizarrely the bug only appears to affect emails from a couple of sources.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Getting from A to B

using multimap..

West Chiltington is in Sussex (as is Gatwick Airport)

Thursday, October 02, 2008

An Asperger friendly church?

The diocese of Oxford has an interesting page on autism/asperger, with a link to a pdf of guidelines. It looks worth a read - for me, when I return!


We went to see Jindabyne at the Silk Screen last night. A very powerful and uncomfortable film about division - the division between the two populations in Australia - but also about other divisions. Wasn't convinced by some of the penultimate scene - but do see it!


..dear boy
Warm thoughts / prayers would be appreciated in our local direction. I'm gearing up for tomorrow when I attend the funeral of a long standing church member and have just heard - this evening - that another has also died. We have a number of other folk with serious illnesses and are currently in the 18th (or so) month of a vacancy (hopefully being addresses soon by redeployment within the local team).
I'm visiting my mother this weekend and she has just rung with the good news that the vacancy at her local church is about to end after a bare six months as they've just appointed someone (that's Chichester/Horsham rather than our Chester).
One rule for them another for us. Sorry to cast gloom on your day.

Monday, September 29, 2008

It was meant to be another day's walking

train arriving
Originally uploaded by rajmarshall
The final day of the trip was meant to be a walk from the Hole of Horcum (a taxi from Egton Bridge to the H of H)to Pickering It consisted of a walk down to Levisham with a drink at the Horseshoe followed by a decision to chicken out of the walk to Pickering and a trip on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway in comfort where we were booked into the White Swan - very comfortable unfortunately I was somewhat overfed by that stage in the week and we didn't try the St Emilion!

The cosh of the far right

John Hooper interviews Sabina Guzzanti in Dangerously funny on the threatened court case for insulting the Pope and the real reason for the legal threats. I hadn't heard that, thankfully, the threat has been dropped but the article has plenty on the poor state of free speech in Italy.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Back to Rosedale

Ah yes, back to the recent holiday, we spent a night at The Milburn Arms Rosedale Abbey, wasn't quite so taken with the cooking as some of the places we stayed this week - but there was some competition! The next day involved a lot of bounding though heather and finding bridleways which were only suitable for water polo before we slithered down into Egton Bridge and The Horseshoe (website is a bit too much of a work in progress but the website is now here). Didn't want to eat the the Horseshoe and was tempted by the Postgate - especially in view of the historical connection to Nicholas Postgate, but the Postgate didn't have a menu outside, we were tired and so decided to eat at the Horseshoe - it had a very conventional menu outside - but the specials make this place well worth a visit - strongly recommended even if the portion size threatened to subvert the walk for the next day!

Round the Hurin

Thanks to Geoff Coupe for finding this:
Look, Chou, what’s your game, making all the trees in Hyde Park walk about, singing?
CHOU-EN GOLLUM: Because it’s my birthday, precioussss, and I wants it.
You probably need to remember BBC radio in the 1960's to appreciate it!
(29 Sept) Fixed corrected link

Thoughts for the day

From James McGrath who found it elsewhere
The only logical rationale I can see for supporting the Republican ticket is if you belong to the subset of the population that wants to see the Book of Revelation come true in their lifetime and a vice president who can take over and lead us to her Alaskan refuge after the Rapture.
Do follow the link for the McCain/Palin poster!
Then there's this youTube he has on why no-one takes the Bible literally. A useful carry on to this mornings talk (for those who were where I was!)

Bright Wings

inside Lastingham church
Originally uploaded by rajmarshall
There's a link to this picture in the previous entry but it probably deserves one of its own. Not sure whether they run services beneath it - visually stunning!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Sinnington to Rosedale Abbey

Started at the Fox and hounds - after staying the night there - good food before the long walks (had roast breast of guinea fowl)- though Appleton le Moors to Lastingham. Where we arrived just in time for the pub - The Blacksmith's Arms to open - unfortunately they were expecting a coach trip and we had been provided with sandwiches. We settled for a drink and then a trip round the church which had a splendid angel! Then over some real moors to Rosedale Abbey - lots of grouse - and a power cut when we got to Rosedale, not unexpected we heard about it in Lastingham, scheduled and 9 hours long whilst a tree was cut down.

Up on the moors

(and dining well in Hotels) I've been away walking the North Yorks moors for a few days.
Fox and Hounds, Sinnington
Trip arranged by Inntravel - we did a walking tour of Almeria last autumn (well bits of Almeria!). Slight pause while I assemble memories, text and photos!
(added later as a prologue) -
We had an initial stop in York where I purged some of the annoyance from seeing the state of the Manchester HMV classical section with a trip to Banks though I can never remember what I want when confronted with a cd shop which is likely to have it. Also saw the Google earth camera on its circuitous way around town - unfortunately I failed to get a photo!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Jenkin chapel

Jenkin chapel
Originally uploaded by rajmarshall
I helped - in a minor way - with the harvest festival up at Jenkin Chapel - at the extreme end of the Chester diocese. My photos of the event are on my flickr pages, I spent most of the service locked up in the (very small!) sanctuary with the Bishop of Chester - not as terrifying as it might sound!

Movement on Scargill

Minutes of the latest meeting are here

Sackcloth and ashes

on Wall Street (from Jim Wallis), not that things should be very different here!

Printer repair

I need one of these next time a helpdesk call comes in relating to a printer...via Cute Overload

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Spam explosion

The quantity of spam around seems to be on the up - both at work where we reject really suspect connections and at home where I run mailfilter (which seems to be having problems deleting the bad stuff) and then use pop3 and postfix/procmail/spamassassin - I've recently started dumping the stuff with incorrect addresses into a folder which gets a cursory check so if you spell my email incorrectly I may not see it!
Here's yesterdays (home) log (abbreviated!)

Grand Totals

5467 received
5467 delivered
5037 forwarded
25384k bytes received
26223k bytes delivered
3251 senders
1986 sending hosts/domains
6 recipients
4 recipient hosts/domains

Per-Hour Traffic Summary
time received delivered deferred bounced rejected
0000-0100 58 58 0 0 1
0100-0200 18 18 0 0 1
0200-0300 35 35 0 0 0
0300-0400 12 12 0 0 0
0400-0500 55 55 0 0 0
0500-0600 70 70 0 0 1
0600-0700 72 72 0 0 0
0700-0800 172 172 0 0 0
0800-0900 54 54 0 0 0
0900-1000 150 150 0 0 1
1000-1100 120 120 0 0 0
1100-1200 279 279 0 0 2
1200-1300 601 601 0 0 0
1300-1400 343 343 0 0 0
1400-1500 158 158 0 0 1
1500-1600 508 508 0 0 0
1600-1700 67 67 0 0 0
1700-1800 66 66 0 0 0
1800-1900 1322 1322 0 0 1
1900-2000 82 82 0 0 0
2000-2100 106 106 0 0 0
2100-2200 116 116 0 0 0
2200-2300 458 458 0 0 2
2300-2400 545 545 0 0 0

Yes, 1300+ emails an one point. Spam machines seem to have pretty well defined working hours! I think we receive around 30 non spam messages per day!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

What a knit!

Colin Bazley...(retd)- he confirmed one of our children resplendent in an Andean knitted stole.
We got to the Lord's prayer and he said, 'Let us now knit' ..pause.. 'sit or kneel to pray'
Collapse of our pew...

Photo meme

Thanks (I think) to Niles
  • Take a picture of yourself right now.
  • Don’t change your clothes, don’t fix your hair… just take a picture.
  • Post that picture with NO editing.
  • Post these instructions with your picture

.. Far too disturbing...haven't got the hang of delayed shutter yet either!
(I did edit it - but only to change the size)
I look thoroughly shifty!