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Posts Tagged ‘personal’

Vinyl

I'm in the middle of a quite major living-space reorganisation; and all because I needed to make room for some audio equipment.

Some time early last year, my old eighties-vintage hi-fi unit, which I'd been using as an amplifier for the computer's audio output, finally gave up the ghost. Everything bar the amp had died long since, so playing vinyl was summat I hadn't done for simply ages, even by then. And so my music-listening has, for well over a year, been accomplished via the not-exactly-satisfactory medium of a pair of basic desktop PC speakers.

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Brenda’s Birthday

On Thursday, a milestone birthday will occur. My Dear Old Mater will turn seventy-five, gawd bless 'er an' all oo sail in 'er.

Oh yeah, and Brenda will turn ninety. Since I'll likely be a bit more busy with the actually important event, rather than taking part in the National Bowing, Scraping And Fawning Competition, I'll get in my contribution to the celebration of Britain's monarchy now. Six (no, seven, since one's very short) monarchical musical messages. Feel free to add yer own in comments, Gentle Reader.
Daz

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Titbits

A collection of bits and bobs which I couldn't (or couldn't be arsed to) expand into whole posts…

I've been on something of a black-and-white war-films kick, the last few days. Mostly British naval movies, and mostly the usual fare; In Which We Serve, The Cruel Sea and so on. Which I wouldn't think worth mentioning, except for a couple I feel are worth recommending to anyone who hasn't seen them. Sink The Bismarck! (1960) [YouTube], of which, Wikipedia quite rightly points out that, "To date, it is the only film made that deals directly with the operations, chase and sinking of the battleship Bismarck by the Royal Navy during the Second World War. Although war films were common in the 1960s, Sink The Bismarck! was seen as something of an anomaly, with much of its time devoted to the 'unsung back-room planners as much as on the combatants themselves.' Its historical accuracy, in particular, met with much praise despite a number of inconsistencies." And San Demetrio London (1943) [YouTube], which is based on the true story of the MV San Demetrio, and deals with the too-often neglected Merchant Navy's part in The Battle Of The Atlantic, although via an atypical case.

Written by Anne Finch sometime around 1660–70 and published in the early eighteenth century, does any of this seem eerily familiar…?

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Good Friday

Here, Gentle Reader, is a small miracle for you to ponder. Jesus, somehow, managed to die on a day whose anniversary changes from one year to the next. Since this would seem, on the face of it, to be completely impossible, it must—must it not?—be a bona fide miracle.

Hallelujah, this is the evidence I have long been seeking, and I have seen the light!

Ahem.

Or possibly not.

Anyways, this post isn't really about Good Friday. Or rather it is, but only in a tangential kind of way. One of my many (rather petty) grievances with culture is the way it treats history as if only three hundred and sixty-five notable things have ever happened. On November the 22nd, Kennedy was killed. On November the 5th Guy Fawkes tried to blow up the king and Parliament (and I'm still not sure whether we're celebrating his failure or lamenting it when we gather with our tooth-breaking toffee and our damp fireworks). May the 8th: victory in Europe. July the 20th: Armstrong planted his 912B into the soil of the Sea of Tranquillity. December the 25th: a woman named Mary gave birth to a child conceived in an adulterous relationship with the creator of the universe. And so on.

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Having fallen asleep over a book containing lots of quotations from letters and what-not from the seventeenth century (Antonia Fraser's The Weaker Vessel; which I highly recommend), I half-woke up several hours later and, for some reason, couldn't stop pondering on the seemingly ubiquitous non-use of apostrophes therein. Some vaguely-remembered advice from an English Language teacher on the subject of writing which was meant to be read aloud versus writing which wasn't, kind of bubbled to the surface. When confronted with a sentence containing many "s" endings, he told us, if the sentence is to be read aloud, be sure that there's no possible confusion between possessives, plurals and words which merely happen to end with the letter.

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"The saddest words in the English language," says Bob Hutton, are "'If only…'." And there's many would agree with him. So many, in fact, that it's something of a cliché. But Bob's extremely predictable pious prattle aside, I got to wondering where this cliché first took flight.

Well, as far as a half-hour of googling can tell, surprisingly recently. In an eighteen fifty-four poem, Maud Muller, by the wonderfully named John Greenleaf Whittier, these lines appear:

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Everything Louder Than Everything Else

So, Lemmy died—and just a few weeks after Phil Taylor.

Here's a few favourites of mine, mostly, erm, of a certain age; rather like myself. Crack open the Jack Daniels (or, indeed, anything with mind-altering properties; no need to be fussy) turn the volume up to "window-shattering," and enjoy.

Lemmy and Phil. They will be missed.
Daz

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