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!

Software Freedom day

Admiring the speed!
Originally uploaded by rajmarshall
Back from the Software freedom day event. Bit thin on the ground but I found it interesting and the speed of the elderly machines was impressive!
The Marbella cafe was good too- soup was appreciated.

Over lunch went to see the classical section of the Manchester HMV shop - I don't recommend it - they've moved it to the ground floor, not separated from the main section. So whereas it used to be a haven there's now just loud blaring pop music. They've also reduced the size of it! Maybe it was elitist before and now it is more accessible but it's a (for me) horrid environment!

From the computer's log checker summary

Active System Attack Alerts
Sep 19 06:52:53 faure kernel: crack-attack[32276]:
segfault at 0101010d eip 08059360 esp bfe66f20 error 6
The email came with the subject

Crack attack is - of course a game which crashed on me and the report is in the system log, the report matching an attack rather nicely! Gave me an exciting moment though

Friday, September 19, 2008

Progeny Palin

That looks like a good name - but here's the real Sarah Palin Baby name generator, I appear to be Filter Skate Palin

Thursday, September 18, 2008


Big Bulky Anglican's funeral was yesterday. Raspberry rabbit's account is here. I wasn't a frequent visitor to his blog but I valued what I read there.

Silk Screen

To the Silk Screen last night for the first showing of their new season - Pan's Labyrinth. A wonderful film with its mixture of fantasy with gritty realism depicting the end of the Spanish Civil War and the long shadow that cast over Spanish society. Despite us having the DVD I hadn't seen it before and I was glad to see it on the large screen first. Maybe I found it a bit violent though...

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


Louise Doughty has an article in today's Guardian about the Roma being used as a whipping boy by ambitious fascist politicians with depressing lessons from the 1930's
In Czechoslovakia, as it then was, restrictive legislation against Gypsies was brought in as early as 1927. Law 117 required all Gypsies to be fingerprinted and to provide details of their movements around the country. The evidence gathered under Law 117 facilitated the internment of Bohemian and Moravian Roma when the occupying German army decided the time had come. In August 1942, under the guise of a so-called Registration Day, the Roma and Sinti were rounded up and imprisoned in two camps, Lety in Bohemia and Hodinin in Moravia. After a year, most of the inhabitants of those camps were sent on to Auschwitz, where they were murdered. Of the 6,500 Roma in the Czech lands at the start of the war, fewer than 500 survived. What began with fingerprints in 1927 ended 16 years later in the gas chambers.
And so today, fingerprinting in Italy (at the moment they say all Italians also to be fingerprinted by 2010 - we'll see) and land dispossession in England
What is undeniable in this picture is that the current moves by both the government of Italy and British local councils such as Brentwood will only exacerbate the tensions between Romany or Traveller and settled populations. The immigrant Roma in Italy are there because they left countries such as Romania in search of better lives. The residents of Sulukule will have to go somewhere when the demolition trucks move in. Travellers turned off the land they own in Cambridgeshire or Essex will be forced to camp by the side of the road or on publicly owned recreation grounds. Bernadette Reilly remembers saying to one police officer who was moving the family on from the side of the road one night, "Where do you expect us to go?"
"Anywhere," the officer replied. "Just not in my borough."

Another 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!

Non fiction this week...
Backyard walls were ripped down to provide ammunition and iron railings turned into weapons. In Edinburgh Street, a man fired four shots with a revolver, fortunately missing his target

Michael Macilwee's Tearaways (More gangs of Liverpool 1890-1970). Especially for those who think things are so much worse these days - troops with fixed bayonets in 1919 and 1000+ teenage gangsters on the loose each night. I spent my first 10 years along the coast from Liverpool in the considerably more refined Birkdale!

The CERN Webcam

is here, via Lindsay Marshall

Monday, September 15, 2008

Our be-knighted culture

But it's the wrong ones who get the dubbing.
Having been musing on Handley's death - who so richly deserved a knighthood, I spotted the following extract from today's Guardian on Ken Russell:
If the UK Film Council don't want to fund his work, they should at least put him forward for a knighthood. If they don't, I've a good mind to wheel a barrow of Ken Russell films to their offices and, like Gaudier, hurl the cans one by one through the plate glass windows. Cans that bear the names Women in Love, Elgar, Song of Summer, The Music Lovers, The Devils, Savage Messiah, Mahler, Lisztomania, Tommy, Altered States, Crimes of Passion, Salome's Last Dance - the work of one of the greatest British directors of all time.

In Russell's case there's still time - not sure whether he likes dubbing though(!). I'm ashamed to say I didn't know (or have forgotten) he'd done a film of Bartok and I don't think I've ever seen the Delius - I remember it getting its original broadcast.

Hands up Higgs Boson

If you've not been admiring Piled Higher and Deeper on CERN then you ought to have been - that link points to the last of five - all of them are worth the look!

Software Freedom day in Manchester

Software freedom day is on Saturday.
Manchester is organising (we hope!) The release says:
The event will take place at the Marbella Cafe on Newton Street from 11am to 4pm. Everyone is welcome and there will be plenty of people there who are learning about free software for the first time. We will be giving away CDs, leaflets and stickers. I'm also told that the cafe serves great food (veggie and vegan friendly).

We will have a number of Internet connected PCs available, which will be used to demonstrate LTSP. The Linux Terminal Server Project (LTSP) is designed to be used on low powered machines and so is brilliant for reusing old computers in schools or community projects. We will have information available about how this is being used successfully in schools, including one which went on to gain specialist technology status as a result.

Not seen that cakeshop yet....I hope to recify that!
Tante has a good summary of Copyright and patent issues at the Gay Bar

and some rather nice juice at Sainsbury's - according to the Register!
Local store has opened its new Wines and Spirits area on the same day that they close most of the carpark for resurfacing....

Saturday, September 13, 2008


Apparently Nothing has some rather nice chairs!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Sad News

.. of the conductor Vernon Handley's death this morning. Telegraph obit is here

Clare in the community

I'd forgotten to look at this week's Clare so have only just seen it - well worth the click!

Hell's teeth

What is this guy on? That's 'Virtue' rather than Dave - I'd ask for some of it but I don't want those attitudes.

I remember when the Daily Mail was offering a Free Love CD with every newspaper - is that a useful counterbalance?

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Teaser Tuesday

Here's another Should be reading Teaser Tuesday:
He started to walk around the field with a vague idea of making a big circle home. He guessed he should apologise to Ed, but the thought of his face and what he'd said made him feel sick and he wanted to go and find him and make sure he had broken his nose and then break his legs for him, too.

This was this month BATS book - Sadie Jones' The Outcast very dark and sometimes - to me felt contrived - finished it this afternoon.

Off to the trough

I think I'm pretty omnivorous, well via Geoff Coupe, here's a list to test me. Bold are the things I've eaten, I've crossed those I'm unlikely to try!
1. Venison
2. Nettle tea
3. Huevos rancheros
4. Steak tartare
5. Crocodile
6. Black pudding
7. Cheese fondue
8. Carp - maybe not really sure
9. Borscht
10. Baba ghanoush
11. Calamari
12. Pho
13. PB&J sandwich
14. Aloo gobi
15. Hot dog from a street cart
16. Epoisses - find me some!
17. Black truffle
18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes and brewed
19. Steamed pork buns
20. Pistachio ice cream
21. Heirloom tomatoes
22. Fresh wild berries
23. Foie gras
24. Rice and beans
25. Brawn, or head cheese
26. Raw Scotch Bonnet pepper
27. Dulce de leche
28. Oysters
29. Baklava
30. Bagna cauda - sounds nice!
31. Wasabi peas
32. Clam chowder in a sourdough bowl
33. Salted lassi
34. Sauerkraut
35. Root beer float
36. Cognac with a fat cigar
37. Clotted cream tea
38. Vodka jelly/Jell-O
39. Gumbo
40. Oxtail
41. Curried goat
42. Whole insects
43. Phaal
44. Goat’s milk
45. Malt whisky from a bottle worth £60/$120 or more
46. Fugu
47. Chicken tikka masala
48. Eel
49. Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut
50. Sea urchin
51. Prickly pear
52. Umeboshi
53. Abalone
54. Paneer
55. McDonald’s Big Mac Meal well a smaller one and in an equivalent restaurant
56. Spaetzle
57. Dirty gin martini
58. Beer above 8% ABV
59. Poutine
60. Carob chips
61. S’mores
62. Sweetbreads
63. Kaolin
64. Currywurst
65. Durian
66. Frogs’ legs
67. Beignets, churros, elephant ears or funnel cake
68. Haggis
69. Fried plantain
70. Chitterlings, or andouillette
71. Gazpacho
72. Caviar and blini
73. Louche absinthe
74. Gjetost, or brunost
75. Roadkill - where's the next pheasant!
76. Baijiu
77. Hostess Fruit Pie
78. Snail
79. Lapsang souchong
80. Bellini
81. Tom yum
82. Eggs Benedict
83. Pocky
84. Tasting menu at a three-Michelin-star restaurant.
85. Kobe beef
86. Hare
87. Goulash
88. Flowers
89. Horse
90. Criollo chocolate
91. Spam
92. Soft shell crab
93. Rose harissa
94. Catfish
95. Mole poblano
96. Bagel and lox
97. Lobster Thermidor
98. Polenta
99. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee
100. Snake
Not sure that there are any - in the abstract - I wouldn't try - I remember deciding that limpets were too much but other shelled entities are fine!

More Alaskan chopping

Go here for the full lyrics
I cut down tax. I fund pipelines.
I go on safari.
I shoot at wolves from choppers
And have buttered scones for tea.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Pack the wellies

We're going walking here

later this autumn! Sinnington - yesterday

The inevitable

I've been haunted by British Colombia for days....

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Alistair Campbell

on Jacques Brel.

youtube/flash/linux isn't cooperating, let's hope this works!

no subtitles?!

I'm in the process of using OgmRip to rip a chapter of a dvd for playing a small portion of it tomorrow morning.
After a few iterations where the subtitles (it is in French) seemed arbitrarily removed, just some of them(!?) - light eventually dawned - make sure autocrop isn't turned on - the subtitles which were missing were those that weren't in the letterbox of the film! (We'll be watching some of Les Choristes)

I thought Palin knew her Bible?

A cheap shot? - but so was the original delivered to the Kinder, Küche, Kirche rally.
Via The Immoral Minority and Pseudopiskie

Last rites?

(follows on well from the title of the previous post!)
Finished reading Michael Hampson's Last Rites - the End of the Church of England - strongly recommended. Borrowed from the library and due back today, about to attempt a renewal and reread.
It is time for a serious progressive challenge - for the sake of the gospel - to the increasingly vacuous liberal establishment... it is about having a faith and a theology with some substance, taking the scriptures seriously, having some concern for the truth, putting right a hideous betrayal of the gospel, and maintaining gospel values without compromise. For a decent progressive theology there is an ideal single-question test of orthodoxy: What is your attitude towards homosexuality?' If you delay or fudge your answer you are betraying the heart of the gospel, at the cost of real human lives.
His testimony and manifesto are worth (re-)reading. I think he sees hope - a new birth rather than a complete end as you might guess from the title.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Buried alive

Over the holiday - over a month ago now - I read three books which appear to be fascinated by holes in the ground. The BATS book for the month was I'm not afraid by Niccolò Ammaniti. Then I got around to re-reading Rose Tremain's Music and Silence - well I finished it this time having got bogged down near the end last time - I think it was an early BATS book when I didn't have as much reading time as now! Then I'd always meant to read Brian Keenan's book about his Beirut captivity An Evil Cradling and I found a copy in an Oxfam bookshop in the Lake District. Its capacity for observation in the most dreadful circumstances was startling:
There’s a bowl in front of me that wasn’t there before. A brown button bowl and in it some apricots, some small oranges, some nuts, cherries, a banana. The fruits, the colours, mesmerise me in a quiet rapture that spins through my head. I am entranced by colour. I lift an orange into the flat filthy palm of my hand and feel and smell and lick it. The colour orange, the colour, the colour, my God the colour orange. Before me is a feast of colour. I feel myself begin to dance, slowly. I am intoxicated by colour. I feel the colour in a quiet somnambulist rage. Such wonder, such absolute wonder in such an insignificant fruit.
Somewhat of a claustrophobic selection - but I didn't notice the connection until I was nearly through them.
And from the title of this post, I must get around to re-listening to Othmar Schoek's Lebendig Begraben
It was of a 40-minute song cycle for bass voice and orchestra, a setting of a cycle of poems by the Swiss poet Gottfried Keller entitled Lebendig begraben ('Buried alive'). He had embarked upon it just a few weeks after getting married, though Hilde's reaction to the fact is not known.
A wonderful piece - but finding Schoek cd's is not easy! However I see that the DFD recording has been reissued!