Monthly Archives: March 2013


goodtypingMy wonderfully kind mother bought me a portable typewriter whilst I was at university, which is a long time ago. Unwisely (I now know) I did not then learn to touch type, but have been indulging in a sort of pidgin typing ever since.

It seemed a good idea to learn to type properly at long last, and so Continue reading


Filed under News from at home

Gerry Mandering

Rock & Pop - Pop - Gerry Rafferty - #gerry_rafferty2_ab_nThe local dog park attracts an interesting bunch of dog owners. A few of us play musical instruments of various sorts, and we have hatched the idea of doing a short Gerry Rafferty gig one evening.  So I have been practising playing his songs.

I have a book of them arranged for piano, published by PolyGram Music, which is good for extracting the saxophone parts, chord sequences etc.  But what is the curious is the way they have changed the lyrics.  Thus, for example, the opening line of Whatever’s Written In Your Heart, which is really:

Waking up here on a rainy day

I swore last time that I would stay away

Comes out as:

Waking up here on a rainy day

I swore my stamina would stay away

Now who on earth goes around the place swearing that their stamina would stay away? Continue reading


Filed under Culture, News from at home

Hoop yet

cropped-header211South Australian croquet seems to be looking up somewhat after a relatively fallow period. A South Australian player (Simon Hockey) made to the final of the Australian Men’s Single, and the team narrowly missed out on the runner-up slot in the inter-state Eire Cup.  Not dominant, but a lot better than some recent performances.

The secret of this recovery? Continue reading

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Croquet in Adelaide

Harley with FEMThere has been so much croquet in Adelaide recently that the ABC ran a story.  And I am very pleased to see that the photo on their website features one of the very famous Fenwick Elliott Mallets, in the capable hands of Harley Watts.

Continue reading

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Old piano

Broadwood March 2013My old Broadwood (now 204 years old) is due to be pressed into service for a concert next week.  So I have been tuning it up.

Thank goodness for modern chromatic tuners!

The scary bit Continue reading

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Pope Francis will not eat you

FrancisThe Roman Catholics have elected a new pope, who has decided that he will be known as Francis.

Francis was the name of the reluctant cannibal in the Flanders and Swann song who declared, “I won’t eat people! Eating people is wrong”.

I wonder if this is who the new pope has named himself after?


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Any Human Heart

anyhumanheartI have been watching the TV production of William’s Boyd’s Any Human Heart on Blu-ray.  For me, it is one of those things that is so well done that it hurts.  Not only is it taken from one of William’s Boyd’s best novels, but the acting (from an absurdly good cast) and the production are superb.  It is quite long – 6 hours or so – and I have been trying to take it slowly.  It is too rich and poignant to rush.

The main plot anchor is the love of the protagonist Logan Mountstuart for his second wife Freya.  She and their child are killed in London during the Second World War by a V2 whilst Logan, captured whilst serving as a British Intelligence officer, languishes in a Swiss jail. Continue reading

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Electric Bristol

bristalcarsAlthough Bristol Cars went into administration a year or so ago, they have been bought by Frazer-Nash, who are planning a new model which will be a hybrid with an electric motor for each wheel, so that there will be no energy loss through the transmission.

In the meantime, Continue reading

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Ask Not, or Thou shalt be Given a Tedious Half Hour

askJava is a bit of software one does appently not really need, although most of us have on our PCs. Some experts say it is security risk; others say it is not too bad.  But more annoyingly, it keeps on asking you to update it, and by default, when you do this it will install a bit of scumware called Ask, which highjacks your search engine and takes quite a bit of work to remove from a computer. Continue reading

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fadoI wonder what happened to Angie Thomas, who was my girlfriend when I was at university.  We lost touch a long time ago. It was she who introduced me to fado, that wonderfully evocative Portuguese music which speaks of sadness with an Arabic lilt. I have been listening to it a fair bit recently.

But not just that. I have also been playing Transvision Vamp, a punk bank who now sound deliciously dated. Continue reading

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