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.