Archive for the 'General' Category

They say “Love is Blind”

Just filling out my tax return and got to this question. You need a bit of light relief when you’re doing this!

Perhaps is should read:

“Do you want to claim blind person’s allowance for married couples?”

It’s not really Spring

What a beautiful day! My M&S vase and M&S daffodils were a lovely sight to see in the morning.

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theJazz to close

Yet another nail in the coffin for Jazz broadcasting: GCap Media is to close two digital radio stations: The Jazz and Planet Rock.

Typical! I only got around to listening to theJazz about a month ago, and already it is going the way of Jazz FM and shutting down.

I’d even been looking into DAB radio choices over the last couple of weeks so I could listen to it in the Kitchen and the Bedroom, but now it seems like there will be no point in buying one. Ah well, I guess it’ll save me some money…

The only option I’m left with now is listening to TSF Jazz, which is a French jazz radio station that you can get via internet radio (or on my squeezebox…). It seems like a reasonable station - I just have no idea what they’re talking about!

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theJazz: a revelation

How can I be so far behind the times? (And how come it is so long since my last post?) Yesterday I discovered a website called “theJazz“. I spent most of the afternoon at work with it playing through my headphones (although I wasn’t necessarily listening to them all the day), and it’s been on all of this afternoon now I’ve discovered how to play it through my Squeezebox. What a fantastic station! I admit I can’t listen to Latin Jazz for long so had to go out during the show this afternoon, but from what I’ve heard so far this is a fantastic station.

I was very upset when JazzFM shut down (I can’t believe that was a year and a half ago). It went down hill quite a bit in latter years, and the replacing SmoothFM was just dreadful - just like all the other (would be) main stream commercial radio stations out there - and in my opinion this has had a negative effect on the British Jazz Scene. Based on a sample of one (me), visits to jazz gigs have been down, as have CD purchases (big time).

The downside to theJazz is that the music quality isn’t brilliant. In fairness it’s better than I would have expected for an internet station (though playing it through my Squeezebox and amp certainly make it sound better than computer speakers), but you really notice the compression when you get some of the higher frequency tones. In fact earlier it sounded almost like white noise coming through my speakers!

Anyway, I’d much much much rather have this than nothing, so if you, like me, have been lamenting the demise of JazzFM then I urge you to tune into ‘theJazz’ and try it out for yourself. You can get it on DAB (so I understand), via your digital television, and via the internet.

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Perseid Meteor Shower from Leith Hill Tower

(Hmmm, I’m a poet and I didn’t know it….).

I popped up to Leith Hill Tower this evening to try and get some photos of the Perseid meteor shower. I only realised it was madness while I was stumbling around in the pitch black wood trying to find the right path that goes to the tower. The tree cover rendered my GPS useless, and at one point I really thought I was going to spend the night in the woods!

Anyway, I eventually found it, and bumped into a local warden and his wife who were also star gazing up there. Leith Hill is the tallest point in South East England, and you can see London to the North and the sea to the South. On a clear night like tonight London stood out like a sore thumb - really spoiling the sky IMHO.

I saw loads of meteors, but as you can see from the photo, I failed to catch any on film (or digital). It’s all about the journey though, not the destination… (read: “I don’t care what the photos came out like, so long as i had fun taking them!”).

Right: it’s a school night so I really must get to bed!

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Duck being silly in Ripley

Credit: my sister in law…

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Croatia Photos - finally done!

IMG_3859, uploaded by Mark Sweeting.

I’ve been off work I’ll for the last few days (well, Friday and Monday, with the weekend in between just for good measure), and this gave me the chance to finish sorting through my Croatia holiday photos from last September.

The above photo is about the last one I took while away, and I think perhaps my favorite.

You can view the full set for now, and when I get around to it I’ll work out how to do something cunning with my GPS tracklog, google earth, and flickr.

Don’t forget to look at my flickr map for this holiday now that I’ve spent ages hand-geotagging the photos!

I Am!

I’m not generally a fan of poetry, but I just heard a charming verse on the TV from John Clare’s I Am!:

I long for scenes where man has never trod;
A place where woman never smil’d or wept;
There to abide with my creator, God,
And sleep as I in childhood sweetly slept:
Untroubling and untroubled where I lie;
The grass below–above the vaulted sky.

This is the last verse of three, and the least depressing!