Thursday, January 29, 2009

Dropping like flies

I had every intention of dropping in here to celebrate W.C.Fields birthday - a favourite fellow juggler, fellow Aquarian, and fellow curmudgeon.

Now I heard that John Martyn died this morning, and I don't feel quite so jolly, although I still want a serious drink, in honour of both of them.

I knew John back in the days when he looked and sounded like an angel. I knew him well enough to know that he was a bit tougher than that, but I was so astounded by his talent that I felt honoured to just sit and roll joints for him, and listen to him play. I never even had the bottle to grab a set of bongos, and try to accompany him (sigh).

It was only a few weeks ago that Davy Graham died - who was the hero to just about all the guitarists at the time - and I met many of them, just from working at Bunjies Coffee Bar, and (more importantly) at Les Cousins Folk and Blues club (the place to be).

I never did show any talent for 'talking music' so I never got really close to they would get bored with words, and start talking through their instruments. I was still pretty happy to just be the tea boy (in both senses of the word).

Anyway. He's gone. And I never got to say thank-you just one more time.

Talking 'bout my generation...

Or rather - I feel like screaming along with Joe Cocker:

You feeling alright?
I'm not feeling that good myself, yeah
Well, you feeling alright?
Hey, I'm not feeling that good myself.

Woah, you feeling alright?
Yeah, I'm not feeling too good myself
Woah, woah, I'm lonely
But I'm not feeling that good myself.

You can turn away
You feeling alright?
I'm not feeling that good myself, I tell you.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Stuff going down

Family News
Julie has gone back up to the cottage, but had a near miss with the car on icy roads in the mountains, so all and any good wishes you want to send her would be welcome. She and Dandy survived unhurt but shaken, and it sounded a bit scary to me.

Circus News
Joke Schot had taken some great photos of NoFit State's TabĂș show, so Kaskade Juggling Magazine contacted the circus asking for some words to go with them. I hacked some together for them (I used to write regularly for Kaskade in the early days, and worked for the circus way back when, also).

The article is out. I am pleased with it. That link goes to the words, at least, on the review page at the Circus Development Agency website (I do content management there) - because I doubt that it will reduce sales very much for my words to leak out elsewhere. I recommend Kaskade, not just for juggling, but all allied arts throughout Europe (they have a great listings page for events, as well as addresses for all equipment makers, etc. )

You can also find online a rough draft of some footage of one of the NoFit State outreach projects, when the local Community Circus did a show for Swindon Festival. Here on the Ideal Films site.

Library News
I started a blog focussed on my library work (as a library sub-culture is heading towards an ephemeralized online library to compliment the physical buildings, etc.

You can check out Anon the Librarian for that part of my life -as we move into the new 'state-of-the-art library' in the next month or two. I hope to extend the work I did on the NetTrainers course, and with the Council's Moodle/Learning Pool site - becoming less of an IT person, and more aimed at staff and public training...

Saturday, January 17, 2009

The Prisoner may have finally escaped, who knows?

Very sad to hear that Patrick McGoohan has died at the age of 80.

The Prisoner remains one of the best pieces of tv I ever saw - even though we originally watched it on black and white television(1967 in London) - he was shrewd enough to get it made on film stock in colour, so that it has survived (unlike a lot of tv from the period).

I feel very ambiguous about the attempt to make a film of it. After the shambles that I consider the film version of H2G2 to be. After 'their' significant failure to reproduce The Avengers (another great series of the period) as a modern film.

I'll wait and see, with the stoical patience exemplified by Number 6's view of the world around him, a role model I adopted and continue to employ to this day.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Fool on the Hill

It was great to have a visit from A & A - and they saw both a crisp bright day, and then another when it was almost snowing - misty in the valley, sleet, I guess, quite gloomy.

I am a bit gloomy, too, as I had a mild 'waxy ear' so used some drops which obviously softened the wax just enough to go deep into the ear, making me actually deaf. Doh! It really wasn't that bad before, just a slight crackle when I moved my head sometimes.
highest point - 308 metres  above sea level
Now I am only half-tuned into conversations, television and the sounds of nature (good to stay alert with a lively dog, and unknowns everywhere, from sheep to loggers).
View from the top
One unpleasant side-effectof the deafness is the pounding blood in my ear when walking these steep hills. As it is a little warmer up in the sun, Dandy and I have tended to go up, rather than along the bottom of the valley, and I went to the highest point (308 metres above sea level) I could see for one panoramic view. You can see the Ystwyth valley, the iron age hill fort - Castell Grogwynion - and a farm by the road on the way to Aber. You might want to click on the pic to see it larger (I haven't done anything to the images yet, as battling working on a Mac which does things whole different ways, etc.)

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Where the sun don't shine

We had a crisp clear morning up here in the hills, so I walked the dog along the sunny ridges, but once you dip into the valleys, where the sun hasn't penetrated, it remains really cold...
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