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