?

Log in

entries friends calendar profile some of flavio's music and pictures. Previous Previous
Echoes of Flavio's Ghost Dreaming
flavius_m
Labour does seem to have a death wish, don't they.

Tags: ,

Leave a comment
flavius_m
Another day, another train. On my way to Watford, this time to fix redd_foxx's laptop.

We're at that tipping point of the summer when we realise how silly it is to complain about the heat when there's only a few weeks left of this before we go back to the normal grey and gloom of London. I do intend to make the most of it and have a good moan about how hot it is while I can! :)

Week-end: party blah blah, Tanze Makabre on Friday, Watford Blake's reunion on Saturday, Beata's birthday drinks later on Saturday, picnic in Ally Pally on Sunday -there are pictures of most of these in the usual channels (that'd be my FB).

Having amazingly vivid dreams and forgetting them as soon as I wake up, trying in vain to hold on to the slipping strands of those vanishing worlds as they go and I reach out to check the time and decide whether it's time to get up or whether it's just my bladder early morning call (these things happen more often as you get older...)

Tags:

Leave a comment
flavius_m
Summery summary so far:

It's been hot in the last few days. Feels hotter than back 'home' in Vz, even if the thermometers and the Met Office tell me otherwise. Except two days ago, when the house central heating thingy was telling me it was 34º indoors in the daytime and 29º at midnight. Inside the flat. Not particularly enamoured of that, much as I know I'll dream of it in February.

Went to tanzmacabre last night. It was a bit too hot to dance at first until somebody remembered to switch the dance floor air-con on. A very good night even though I still don't like Canal 125. Lots of fun dancing in silly ways with friends, with Gertrude Stein (no, not that one) fencing with Anne with some flower branches.

Today: lessons cancelled so a bit skint (again). A reunion of the regulars of the old dodgy pub in Watford in a different dodgy pub in Watford. Then, drinks for Beata (didn't she use to have a LJ?) in a pub in Hampstead. That's it.

Tags:

Leave a comment
flavius_m
I have practically stopped listening to BBC Radio 4, apart from a few snippets of programs on science and that sort of thing. First I stopped listening to the Today programme as I just couldn't get on with the style of the interviewers and, often, their obvious biases in relation to issues or people. Then I got bored of most of the comedy quiz shows. Then finally I gave up on the Friday Comedy after just turning on.... Deadringers, I think it was, and the first thing that comes up is a tirade against Jeremy Corbyn, the details of which I have forgotten but which struck me as stupid and baseless at the time. There are many things you could criticise him for, in all probability -he's a politician, not a saint and I do fear that there may be a sort of Obama effect in that, after he is seen as incapable of doing wrong and capable of moving mountains and walking on water, the reality of a politician in office with the rather limited power and constraining circumstances would lead to disappointment and anger amongst his followers. But that's a digression. BBC Radio 4, yes. Apart from the Archers, which I could never stand (but I'm glad it's there, weirdly) I used to listen to a lot of their output; it struck me as intelligent as well as entertaining and informative radio... the things the BBC is supposed to stand for. Not so sure any more.

I still prefer to pay my licence fee rather than have a Murdoch establish a monopoly on what and how information is delivered, but do wonder. The BBC seems to quake in their boots when the government (not just this one, also the previous) barks; when the gov't tells them to jump their reply seems to just be 'how high', perhaps afraid that they will imminently be taken out and eliminated.

Tags: , ,

2 comments or Leave a comment
flavius_m
Looking at a post by NASA on G+ noting the anniversary of the launch of Apollo 11....

... for a second I forgot the first rule of the internet and my eyes strayed onto the last comment visible. A woman was saying she would like to know why everything she does is transmitted on TV or is reflected on Earth as if her head was a satellite....

Yep. Never read the comments.

Tags:

Leave a comment
flavius_m
Sitting at a Costa Coffee in Cricklewood, amidst rows of empty boarded up shops, making time on my way to a lesson -boy doing a Grade 5 later today.

Birthday celebration: I'd said on FB this year I'd only do a gathering for pizza, beer and music at Aces & Eights, near where I live, hitching a ride on this event. This went very well apart from the pub showing the foot-ball at the end. Doesn't everybody watch the footie, doesn't everybody love it? Well, not everybody, I don't. It was a good evening, though,m a good gathering that ended in four of us in another pub exchanging stories. I may have drunk rather more than I usually do. A very good evening.

Saturday was the Alternative Picnic in Hampstead Heath. It was good... there'll be pictures...

Tags: , ,

2 comments or Leave a comment
flavius_m
Prelude No 9 in E major, by the Mexican composer Manuel M Ponce (1882-1942), part of his 24 Preludes (each on a different one of the 24 keys, a little like Bach’s ‘Well Tempered Clavier’), which he wrote for Andrés Segovia.

Tags: , , ,

Leave a comment
flavius_m
As seen in Claudia Christian (Susan Ivanova)'s FB page -and, well, I had one of those days today, when I had to give all my money to the mechanic and still owe him some:

Tags: , ,

Leave a comment
flavius_m
One thing I still miss on FB is the ability on Livejournal to post a different user pic for each post. Worse, if I repost an LJ entry to FB it loses that user pic. Oh well. I kind of still prefer LJ, even though FB is sort of more useful these days.


BTW, in case you just landed here:

You could also check out my Soundcloud pages -I have two, one with some little examples of my classical guitar playing, like this Prelude by Ponce. Nobody ever follows internet links unless they are Dailymash ones, but there you go. You could have a listen. I also have another SoundCloud page there with more electronic/experimental/electric guitar doodling. Do go have a look.

Tags: , ,

Leave a comment
flavius_m
Today I've found out just now that I can get ready, showered, caffeinated and out of the flat in twenty minutes. I hope I don't have to do that again in a long, long time. Couldn't sleep last night and, maybe as a consequence, slept through several alarms this morning. Hope I don't have to do that again for at least a long, long time.

Tags:

Leave a comment
flavius_m
Ah, an excellent week-end. Dead & Buried on Friday was just what I needed, much dancing and catching up with friends. It was also the first time I left the house without wearing the splint on my wrist, which must be a good sign (except it has been hurting in the background almost all the time for a few days now).

Saturday: I couldn't attend the March for Europe -I never can go to those things, Saturdays are busy times for a self employed music teacher.. So, instead, I did my lessons and went to Seph's birthday party which was a blast. Came back in a taxi (ouch) at 4:00 am. Again there was a wheel of fortune with rather interesting penalties and I got away very lightly, just having to give a drink to Jennie. The other possibilities included giving somebody 100 lashes, something called 'motorboating' which I will most definitely not explain here, lap-dance for somebody else, kiss another guy in the mouth, &cc. Sunday was a bit quieter. Bibliogoth got cancelled as pretty much nobody was able to attend. Can't see a meeting taking place in August, but we'll see. The book for this month was 'Vermillion Sands' by J G Ballard, which I liked even though the stories, I felt, weren't particularly strong and the characterisation was almost non-existent, but it was a lovely world to visit.

Tags: , ,

2 comments or Leave a comment
flavius_m
This island feels much smaller now. In various senses. It feels meaner, less generous, more selfish and vindictive. At least in London we may be spared the worst of the xenophobic -no, wait, already a friend was told to go back to 'wherever she came from'. She's not even European. Those of us that are a little darker, have a funny accent, look different may not feel safe.

I also feel a bit.. disappointed, shall we say, by not being able to take part in a vote that was going to decide the rest of my life -and that of many others, even after nearly 30 years here. Maybe 'disappointed' is too mild a word. I feel like I've been put in my place as a second class citizen and I'm only good for paying taxes and be a good sheep. This is not a good feeling.

Tags: ,

2 comments or Leave a comment
flavius_m
This is not a good day. The forces of darkness are taking back control. Farage is happy. Trump is happy. Putin is probably mad with joy. The French National Front are asking for a 'Frexit'. The pound is taking a battering and many companies in certain sectors will be looking to move to Paris or Frankfurt. Come November we could have a demagogue like Boris Johnson as Prime Minister.

I've been here nearly 30 years. At this point in life it would be extremely difficult to uproot myself and go somewhere else and here is my life, my friends; I love how this island functions, at least most of the time. But the future is looking very uncertain indeed at the moment and I may need to consider what options I have. It is likely that the worst predictions regarding Brexit won't come to pass but it won't be good, nonetheless. Winter is coming.

Tags:

4 comments or Leave a comment
flavius_m
The gig by Fields of Nephilim last night at The Forum was excellent. They still are of course a sort of gothic Pink Floyd but I'm ok with that, I like that sort of thing. Intriguing that the venue wasn't remotely full -not empty, by any means, but not filled up to capacity. As has been the case with so many of those things, given my personal history, I was only dimly aware of them at the time, back there then, and didn't really followed their stuff until much later; only belatedly have I been catching up with what they've done.

After the gig, outside the venue, there was the assortment of friends, including some that were going to be going back in for the private party with the band. And the crazy lady* trying to persuade my friend to get her in so she could hand this flyer on some Jehova's Witness related website to FoN's front man. 'Rescue me' my friend whispered in my ear but there was no escape from all that intensity other than they going in and me disappearing pronto and hoping crazy lady doesn't realise I live right there across from the venue. Apart from that slightly uncomfortable episode, a very good evening of music and friends.

* Yes, I know that's not a word I should be using. She probably needs help, she probably isn't getting it. But this is a very difficult person to be around of, makes me (and not just me) spike up in anxiety and stress.

Tags: , , ,

3 comments or Leave a comment
flavius_m
Under the DomeUnder the Dome by Stephen King

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Had just belatedly watched the TV series -which parts company with the book pretty soon, although the general outline of the story is similar. I do have to say that, at least at first, the series resolves some issues slightly better than the book -but soon becomes a parade of sci-fi, horror and mystery tropes, from Battlestar Galactica to the Matrix. The book does hint at that ('wow, this is like being in that movie, 'The Mist'') but is a different thing entirely. In a way it _is_ kind of a retelling of The Mist, a community that becomes isolated and simmers in their own juices of weakness, desire for power or a reassuring authority to lead them through the crisis. Weirdly, I found Big Jim more convincing in the movie -the character in the book is irredeemably, relentlessly loathsome without any complexity or saving graces. The book is not perfect, at times it does stretch your suspension of disbelief and, as I mentioned, some characters are drawn in rather thick black and white strokes and the basic premise of the existence of Dome is one such moment in which you think 'nah, you've gone too far', but it is a very good read nonetheless. I enjoyed it.



View all my reviews

Tags: ,

Leave a comment
flavius_m
One little thing I don't quite understand about Facebook: every now and then I see posts by friends in which they make a big stand about some issue (and very often one that I'll agree with, but then that's the social media echo chamber at work, isn't it) -something that seems to be addressed to the whole world, calling for action or denouncing something. Only thing, it's a restricted post that only their friends can see...

Tags:

1 comment or Leave a comment
flavius_m
Three months on, I still have to wear that splint.

A week ago I was getting ready to leave the house on Friday night, was thinking that perhaps I didn't really need to still be wearing that thing, my hand hadn't been hurting for a couple of days. Then, pulling my boots up I get a stab of pain -like the first day after the bike incident.

At least I can play guitar now, although there are many things that I still cannot do or that make my hand hurt.

No summer concerts this year, I think. Shame. Will see whether I can prepare a programme to play in September/October.

Was looking forward to working with a singer that wanted to do stuff together but she seems to have lost interest. Shame, as she has a lovely voice and good ideas.

Tags: , , ,

Leave a comment
flavius_m
Finally getting some guitar lesson enquiries. My little homebrew theory about people deciding to take up these things when the weather changes in May may have something to it -the weather didn't really change that much for much of May, only did just now.

I need more money coming in. If you hear of somebody wanting guitar lessons (or needing guitar playing for their wedding ceremony or something like that) please put them my way....

Tags: , ,

Leave a comment
flavius_m
Finally took off-line the Icy Box four disk external USB box I had been using for the last couple of years to keep a bunch of external disks as, well, ABOD. A 4TB red WD disk was so totally corrupted this morning that no utility could see even the partition map. The same thing had happened a few months ago and then I'd bought the red (supposedly 'nas, always on' drive) WD. So now I'm not sure I have recent backups of a lot of the stuff in that drive. Boo.

Given that I cannot spend money on that sort of thing at the moment, I'll be stuck without that external storage. Keep the drive in case I can rescue it at a later date but prospects are not good.

Other annoying (not tragic or disastrous but annoying nonetheless) things have happened today.

Tags: ,

Leave a comment
flavius_m
Ah, the long week-end came and went; it brought two picnics, a friend’s gig at the Fiddler’s Elbow and … not a lot more. I’ve mostly been tired all the time, doing little bits of practice on the guitar, trying not to overdo it or take it to the point where the wrist really hurts. But hurt it has –I reckon I must have done something while asleep a couple of nights ago (pushing the hand against furniture or sleeping on it, perhaps) and it has been swollen again and hurting. This never seems to end..

Saturday –it was londonjon’s first Hampstead Alternative Picnic at Kenwood House this year for the tenth year in a row. Weather was fantastic and there were a lot of folk in attendance, including no less than Jesus himself. A lot of fun, the only downside of which was that as it gets dark so late this time of year I never realised it’d become too late to go see the Creeping Terrors’ gig at the Slimelight.. There are pictures –I took rather too many pictures ….

There was another goth picnic on the Bank Holiday Monday, this one on Primrose Hill and a much smaller (intimate?) affair. There will be pictures of this one as well.

No schools this week which should mean a little more time to think about how to advertise for guitar lessons; I don’t have enough work at the moment and it is getting to the point where it is becoming worrying. This time of year I should be busy and fielding lots of enquiries, neither of which has happened. Other concerns out there, too, some of which I may elaborate on in another entry.

Tags:

Leave a comment
flavius_m
Again on a train slowly crawling its way out of London... only 25 miles to Watford where I'll have a very short teaching day, after four hours' sleep. It's going to be a long day... but going to bed late to wake up at 5:00 am was worth it at least. I hadn't ever seen Gertrud Stein (no, not _that_ Gertrude Stein) perform live and I was pretty much bowled over. I only really knew her as a friend of aka_toothbrush and had some idea that she was a musician and a performing artist. Hers was a very good show, deceptively simple with very good use of a few visual resources. And that tiny Casio keyboard, I'm pretty sure I had one of those once upon the time -but I didn't give it such full use (with two fingers... those tiny keys are not for the ten-fingered keyboardist..)

The week-end brought several good events. Friday night was A New Dusk at what is almost my local pub, Aces & Eights (insofar as a rock pub can be my local, I'm becoming increasingly impatient with any pub where I have to shout to make myself heard and where I have to strain to hear what is being said to me -this is not getting better as I get older and my hearing gets more.. difficult..). It was a very good night with good music and people. The only thing was perhaps that it was too popular: it was packed in that tiny basement and the air-con was not coping. It was _really_ hot in there. How did it happen that I found myself discussing early medieval polyphony outside a night-club at some hour in the middle of the night?

Saturday was boxcat's 40th birthday -it was a blast, with open bar (dread to think what the bill may have been for that) and a storming set by the mempunks. There'll be pictures of this at some point.

Sunday... apart from my nightmare morning lesson, it brought silkyraven's birthday drinks at The Bell in Walthamstow. I liked the pub and the gathering but was feeling perhaps a tiny little bit outside. It seemed to me that the birthday girl was happy, though, which was the main thing. Happy Birthday, Raven!

On coming home Sunday night I practised a bit of guitar and played Bach's Chaconnne through. I can do it but clearly it is too early yet -my hand and wrist have been hurting since.

Tags: ,

8 comments or Leave a comment
flavius_m
Again on a train slowly crawling its way out of London... only 25 miles to Watford where I'll have a very short teaching day, after four hours' sleep. It's going to be a long day... but going to bed late to wake up at 5:00 am was worth it at least. I hadn't ever seen Gertrud Stein (no, not _that_ Gertrude Stein) perform live and I was pretty much bowled over. I only really knew her as a friend of aka_toothbrush and had some idea that she was a musician and a performing artist. Hers was a very good show, deceptively simple with very good use of a few visual resources. And that tiny Casio keyboard, I'm pretty sure I had one of those once upon the time -but I didn't give it such full use (with two fingers... those tiny keys are not for the ten-fingered keyboardist..)

Tags: , ,

1 comment or Leave a comment
flavius_m
The world keeps getting bigger and we keep getting smaller in it. This happens in our lives, perhaps a reflection of what has happened in history, in the same way that our early physical development may resemble the evolution of those things that came before us and engendered us -and whose traits to some extent we carry in ourselves.

The world is, at first, our parents and house and the people in that environment. The world outside is largely a mystery, full of surprises and perhaps terrors. Then little by little we discover the world and walk in it and learn that that big bad world out there, full of beauty and horror is but a speck in the grander order of things -and getting smaller the more we know about how it all works. To contemplate the scale of those things, even in the measure that we can take in those scales, is vertigo inducing. At the same time it is amazing that, given how puny and small we are in the grander order of things, humans have learnt so much about the world without. At the same time you wonder what more there is, there can be that could be simply outside the limits of what we can comprehend. For most of us, even what we do 'know' is incomprehensible. We take on faith that relativity and quantum mechanics exist and are real because we can see they work -otherwise many things (like GPS and almost all electronics) would not be possible. But for most of us science is a black box -and, perhaps dangerously, can become a religion as well, which is inexplicable except for the fact that both seek to explain the world and make it make sense. We can see that vaccines work and are necessary but many people seem to think they're some sort of manifestation of evil. There are, always, the easy explanations that put us back at the centre of the universe and make it revolve around us; many people will stick to those explanations because of lack of information or perhaps more so because they are reassuring, they seem to give your life a purpose and a meaning. The world may be too big and scary otherwise...

Tags:

Leave a comment
flavius_m
Funny this should look like the 'quiet' week-end to come that I'd been hoping for for a few weeks in which my week-ends had been so full of things, when over half the people I know are in Leipzig for the WGT living it large. Tonight, a brief birthday meet for a friend at the new incarnation of CCK in Warren Street, tomorrow another brief birthday drinks for another friend. Will probably not do anything more than that this week-end.

Wrist slowly getting better, but still find that playing can be awkward and at times painful, in surprising ways -not necessarily playing difficult things but just finding myself putting my hand in a position it doesn't like. It does seem to finally be getting on its way to getting better, which is at least something.

Have not practised those Thomas Campion songs that I should be preparing for R.D. for a couple of days -she wasn't able to meet this week as she was unwell; I clearly need the pressure in order to work. The version I have has the original English tablature (letter for frets instead of numbers, 'a' is practically identical to 'd', etc) which I find difficult to read -my eyesight is not getting better. The version on two clefs would be quite a job (double transposition, etc, the very reading on two clefs on a guitar, etc) so I've transcribed a few of the songs to modern tab and may write them in music, guitar style (assuming open guitar tuning rather than real pitch, to facilitate the reading) so I can quickly read and play it.

So, an unusual Friday, a QNI, with Attenborough speaking softly from the telly in the distant background while I do other stuff...

Tags: , , , , ,

3 comments or Leave a comment
flavius_m
A take of Bach's Chaconne at home sometime before the accident. A few bloopers in the performance remain, but I hope not too bad.

Tags: , ,

Leave a comment
flavius_m
Ah, didn't post about the long May Day (that sounds to me a little less boring than 'bank holiday') week-end. There was quite a bit happening and also quite a lot that I missed -you cannot be everywhere at once. On Friday I went to the Negative Creep, this time at Nambucca in Holloway. Got there in time to see Nemhain's set.. took pictures, rather many pictures.

On Saturday I went to Jennie and Aya's birthday party. This was a blast and, again, there are pictures. I think I got away lightly with the roulette game.

Sunday brought about the garden party at Karen Georgina's and Lee-Anne's in West London. That garden is so very beautiful. There were lots of lovely people and also a very cute snake (did I just write that? yes, she was a very cute snake). In the evening I went to the Garage for the Voltaire/Memepunks/Joe Black/Black Volition gig -which was very good, a lot of fun. Yep, lots more pictures taken. Found myself there with squirmelia again as well as sashagoblin, _pyromancer_, Jennie and Dan and a lot of other lovely people.

Monday: went with augeas, kekhmet, squirmelia, alexmc and a couple more folk to the Other Worlds exhibition at the NHM. Of course you will have seen many of the pictures before, they being photos taken by the Cassini and New Horizon probes, the Mars rovers, etc -but presented in an interesting and informative way, accompanied with music by Brian Eno, which I was looking forward to but this (the music) was far less interesting than I anticipated and, perhaps not a lot better than my own electronic ambient doodles that you can find in one of my SoundCloud pages (that no-one ever visits, neither have you so you haven't heard them). Took pictures but none of the exhibition itself. After that we went to Tombo's, Japanese restaurant there in South Ken, and had matcha lattes and Sundaes and lovely Japanese food.

After the very busy previous weekend I was thinking I would have a much quieter one on the bank holiday/May Day one. Wasn't going to happen but it was all good, including for me what may have been some closure for a long-standing painful issue. Not the wrist/elbow, that is an ongoing story but it does seem to be getting better now.

Tags: ,

Leave a comment
flavius_m
Eventful week-and-a-half. Had doctor's appointment last Wednesday, the results of the MRI scan were back. It turns out that part of the problem was that, unbeknownst to me and without symptoms thus far, I turned out to have an incipient arthritis in my wrist. If I understood correctly, the two things (arthritis lurking in the background and the trauma and damage resulting from the accident) made each other worse.

It does look like I'll have to be doing those physiotherapy exercises for quite a while. I'm beginning to be able to play, at least, but now and again my hand falls in a position it doesn't like and gives me a severe shooting pain warning..

Tags: ,

Leave a comment
flavius_m
Another week-end, another party, yet another party again, another instance of my most difficult lesson of the week. On Sunday morning, .Because there is no better choice of time and day, but boy, is it difficult after a late night, an intense one, even if I don’t drink much (seriously, I don’t).

On Thursday there was the monthly Tufguitar meeting at the Rustique café. This time we had a new person joining, one of my newer pupils. It’s never going to be a massive thing but it does seem to tick over.

Friday… I’m worried about my Friday school. Of good intentions…. In this case, the level of organisation in the music department is… How can I put this, different to any school I ever worked for. The timetables came out wrong, there are a couple of pupils I’m yet to see at all this term so far –but then they appear at impossible times in the timetable –I would be confused -and I was. In the evening, Aces and Eights and the leaving do for a friend leaving London (pictures) . This was manic fun, with the only odd accent given by the fact that ‘the girl’ was there with one boyfriend. It doesn't do me good to see her, I’ve come to realise. It will be impossible not to, next week-end, but after that I’ll minimise contact –as I have already done. The party was amazing fun, though, dancing with friends into the night to rather bad music, for the most part.

Saturday, after lessons, and it was Aces and Eights again, this time in the basement for Consuelo’s birthday (pictures here). This, too, was delirious fun, dancing and catching up with friends. After that we repaired to friends’ flat nearby until, in my case, sometime after 4:00 am (more pictures..).

Sunday was, as can be inferred from the previous, long and complicated. A few lessons away, lunch/dinner shared with a pupil’s family (lovely but together with everything else, raising my levels of stress), finishing fixing somebody ‘s computer and explaining to the owner what I’d done. Good job I don’t have to get up early on Mondays these days.

Wrong. I'd forgotten I had a physiotherapy appointment at the Royal Free early in the morning….

Tags: ,

Leave a comment
flavius_m
Had physio today, was ok. Didn't very much like to have to get up early for that, now that Mondays is back to being a (or the) lie-in day. The relentlessly optimistic mood of the therapist (I nearly wrote terrapin) was beginning to grate a bit towards the end. Tempted to say, ‘don’t you know we’re all going to die’ or something cheerful like that. But it was good. And maybe I needed a dose of that sort of cheerful looking forward to things getting better. Or did I. Bah, humbug :D

Yeah. Physioterrapins.

An account of the week-end will probably come along tomorrow during the hour long train journey to Watofordo for my (now very short) teaching day there...

Tags: ,

1 comment or Leave a comment
flavius_m
It is so clear when you think about it in your dreams. Everything connects beautifully. There is a reason that you can clearly see, a purpose and a means to work it out it and work along with it. Then you wake up and it.. still is there, clear as crystal and it all makes sense. You stop the alarm, get up, set the coffee maker on, grab the toothbrush... and it slowly begins to melt into the reality of the world; grasping at it while you can still see it is of no avail. It goes and by the time you come out of the shower it's gone. What shreds of it you can still grasp make no sense, they're just the workings of the brain repairing itself from the previous day, or those of the obscurest chemistry of the mind, as remote from our understanding as Andromeda. Never mind, it will come back in the next night's sleep and then maybe we can keep hold of it. Maybe that once.

Tags: , ,

Leave a comment
flavius_m
I was hoping this week-end would be a little more sedate than last. It was -but not by much. On Friday I went to Glitch, a little 80's night in a pub in darkest Hackney -all of which doesn't sound very auspicious but it was a good night with much dancing and catching up with friends old and new -and an encounter with someone from a previous life, something good, someone with whom it was good to reconnect.

Saturday brought lessons and a computer repair job. I hadn't done that for many years and then after sorting out a pupil's Mac she has been recommending me to people. This was the usual 'my laptop has become very very slow'. On checking it, trying to run a browser, MS Word and a couple of other things on 2 GB memory in these times wasn't going to be blazing fast in the best of cases. Then, looking into it, I begin to find start up items for the infamous MacHelper and Genieo -of course the machine was slow. It is often said by mac fans (like myself, although I'm not remotely as.. ardent as I used to be) that there are no viruses for the Mac and this is technically true -but there is quite a bit of malware out there, that often relies on our being off guard or on the same sort of instinct that tells us that our numbers will win, this week it is going to happen. Or that the nice man from the email really is going to give us a few hundred thousand pounds if we keep that couple of million for him, we only have to give him these advance and our bank details.

I left the computer half way through sorting it out, having replaced the slow spin hard disk for an SSD and having 8 GB to replace the original 2 later. Went to some birthday drinks at the Camden Black Heart -I've said this before, I'm off rock pubs. Anywhere where you have to shout to get heard and strain to hear what the other party says is not a place I want to stay long. Ok, so I'm getting old. From there I went to Yesterday's Shadow at the Pack and Carriage and danced a bit and conversed some more. On Sunday I had my nightmare lesson, which I survived ok, then a lovely little gathering for Sunday roast with people at the Water Rats. I didn't know most of the people but it was a very good afternoon. Came back to try the 8GB again (it hadn't worked the first time, not a good idea to try to do this kind of thing at 3:00 am after a night out) and this time it worked. Good thing I don't have to get up early on Mondays and work early.

Tags: , , , ,

Leave a comment
flavius_m
Indeed, many things.

There was a wedding, several birthdays, the usual lessons, a club night, a Sunday outing to Crossness Pumping station and a Sunday evening roast and beer with friends at a pub.

The wedding was that of Robert Cowlin (of the Terminal Gods) and Jo Tapper. I only went to the reception, at Electrowerks (the site of the Slimelight). I had far more fun then than I'd had at any of the recent times I'd been to the Slimes. Pictures here. On Saturday there was also dj_alexander's birthday in Greenwich. Good catch up with people although karaoke is really not my thing. Of course I didn't go there to sing but to say happy birthday and share in the celebration -there are some pictures here. After that and one stop-over somewhere else I went to Reptile where I danced a lot and stayed until 2:30 more or less.

On Sunday I met with squirmelia and friends to go to Crossness Pumping Station. Who would have thought that a Sunday outing to a sewer works could be so much fun and so interesting -it is an old Victorian building, more like a church (or a cathedral, even) than what anybody's idea of a sewer works would be. So, this was a kind of crap day in a very good way.

In the evening I met with a lovely group of people at the North by NorthWest pub (used to be the North Pole, now it's Hitchcock themed, with a wax figure of the egregious man, stuffed crows everywhere and a couple of model aeroplanes and director chairs hanging from the ceiling. I ended up playing Scrabble, which I'm rubbish at -but my team won, how about that.

A good weekend, if a bit busy!

Tags: , ,

2 comments or Leave a comment
flavius_m
There's always a first.

Today I had an MRI scan done at the Royal Free. Only of my wrist, they left my brain alone (there's probably plenty of wrong with that but probably of the kind that would need shrinks rather than imaging machines..) -one interesting thing for me was the variety of noises it made, punctuated by a regular 'oohm-shah!'-like pulse. I did make a remark about it as to how, as industrial music goes, it was rather a bit rubbish but maybe I would like to use samples of those to build some old 'musique concrete' type piece or doodle....

Tags: , , ,

9 comments or Leave a comment
flavius_m
A Darker Shade of Magic (Shades of Magic, #1)A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


This was the book set for the April Bibliogoth meeting. A tale of magic and parallel worlds, four cities that share the name and location of London but are utterly different -ours is 'grey London', where magic does not exist. There also are a Red, a White and a Black London, in which magic is prevalent in different ways. The characters were a little bit cartoon-like, almost stereotypical of the genre, as was their quest (any more detail would be a spoiler). For me, the most attractive bit was the world in which the book is set although this, too, needed more fleshing out. As this is the first in a series, I expect this should happen in the later books.



View all my reviews

Tags: ,

Leave a comment
flavius_m
The Thief Taker (The Thief Taker, #1)The Thief Taker by C.S. Quinn

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


I quite enjoyed this. Can't remember now who recommended it to me (Camille? Katelin?) but thanks! it is perhaps not something I would have gone out of my way to read. Mind, it made me think at first of a sort of Games-of-Thrones and then ... oh, dear, the Walking Dead...(is this a spoiler? :) ) the setting (Restoration London during the Plague) is a fascinating time of history and the author uses it very effectively. Suspension of disbelief does get stretched at times but overall it is an enjoyable read.



View all my reviews

Tags:

Leave a comment
flavius_m
The Tropic of Serpents (Memoir by Lady Trent, #2)The Tropic of Serpents by Marie Brennan

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


In spite of initial reservations, I loved the whole series -and the second one I liked better than the first. The characters are .. better shaped, more credible as people. The dragons themselves are quite believable on the whole as an object of interest to a scientist. Some things still jar a bit -one, for me, was that for some reason I found the use of German, French and Italian names (and perhaps stereotypical national characters). On the whole, though, it was an enjoyable book, an enjoyable series.



View all my reviews

Tags: ,

Leave a comment
flavius_m
Elbow seems to be healing normally ok.

Wrist is not. It still hurts, three weeks on; I still cannot play the guitar at all and many things are very awkward to do. Yesterday I tried to play a few notes and quickly decided that was a bad idea. Patience is the only course of action but I will be asking the docs when I go to an appointment in two weeks time (I have to go back to the Royal Free hospital next week for a physio session -will be asking questions then as well if they let me).

Early Easter week-end this year -I will be mostly at home; still have one or two lessons. Only a couple of outings, one club and a couple of social things.

Today I will be going with friends to Highgate West Cemetery for a guided tour. Seemed like a good thing to do on a Good Friday. Tomorrow there'll be some birthday drinks for a friend WOLJ at the Big Red in Holloway. Sunday I will be going to a Sunday roast with friends in Stoke Newington and, in the evening, to Invocation at the Minories in Tower Hill. Monday... I will be doing as little as possible. Seriously.

Tags: , ,

1 comment or Leave a comment
flavius_m
Is aliasrob about to rediscover Livejournal?

I still like it here -still better than FB in some respects...

Tags:

2 comments or Leave a comment
flavius_m
How's this for a sweet picture of suicideally and chris_damage

Photo 102

(from Queen Adreena's gig at Koko, 2006)

Tags: ,

2 comments or Leave a comment
flavius_m
A Natural History of Dragons: A Memoir by Lady Trent (Memoirs of Lady Trent)A Natural History of Dragons: A Memoir by Lady Trent by Marie Brennan

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


This is the book set for the next Bibliogoth meeting. I was fully expecting not to like it and, at first, it seemed to confirm my fears -a bit twee, pseudo-Victorian fantasy, the memoir of a woman who is a naturalist in a world where women are supposed to be dainty and fragile -and not capable of intellectual pursuits. There's the corresponding bag-load of clichés to accompany that. And yet, I loved the book. The main character turns up to be quite credible (if her husband and some of the support cast somehow less so), the story is to an extent predictable (but the dragons whose natural history this is about are almost credible) but enjoyable nonetheless... I loved this book and have now bought the rest of the series!



View all my reviews

Tags: ,

Leave a comment
flavius_m
On a Met line train, making my way out of London for my teaching day in Watofordo. Running very late, won't be able to move stuff around (which will prevent me from using my printer, locked in a filing cabinet in my old teaching room which I cannot use because of a broken window mechanism that the school hasn't had time to fix, it's only been nine months since I reported it for the first time). This is probably going to be an interesting teaching day. As per the old supposedly Chinese curse.

The BT/Openreach engineer came yesterday, fixed the line, confirmed that 'somebody' had disconnected me to connect somebody else. This makes me wonder how long I will have telephone and internet before it happens again if it happened twice within 36 hours.

Elbow seems to be healing well but now I'm getting pain in my wrist (and more creaking when I turn it -not liking this much) and have noticed bruises on my knee and my leg that I hadn't noticed before, maybe because of the elbow. I should be able to play the guitar by the end of the week. I hope so; it is so much more long-winded to explain things in words than to demonstrate guitar in hand, even if you have the right words

Wondering about some friendships of mine (ok, one) that seem to be one way only, as in 'I try to be a friend, the other person tolerates my friendship'. That is not a satisfactory situation and I think I'll just get out of their hair. Anyone who reads this and knows my recent history will probably know who I'm talking about. Not their fault, we all are how we are.

Need to push the house-concert microgig idea more and get myself a few recitals for the summer. I'm so rubbish at 'selling the product', though. Need an agent, clearly... but that's another minefield.

Well, that's the current state of the flavio, I think. That, and strange dreams of loss and recovery and strange but familiar distant cities.

Tags: , , ,

Leave a comment
flavius_m
Getting slightly better mobility on my arm, which is good. Strangely, now my wrist is hurting and creaking more -but the hospital people say this is not related to the bone fracture. Have cancelled my teaching day at the school in Highgate today. Could probably do the teaching (albeit explaining in words rather than demonstrating by playing, which is always more convoluted -and with such short lessons as they do there...) but there's a certain amount of moving kit around (guitars, amp, my own printer which lives in a cardboard box there because the school hasn't got round to giving me access to the school network so I can print on the music office's laser) involved -and I already know that with elbow injuries you tend to think it's ok, overdo it and make it bad again, so trying to avoid that.

No news on the telephone/internet front, so at the moment I'm getting a trickle of internet by means of sticking my mobile phone to the window inside a wok which acts as a reflecting dish (as per a radar dish, I'm told) -thanks to Tarquin Finch for this excellent idea that actually works. Well, works well enough for a temporary work-around but would not want to depend on that permanently.

Tags: , ,

Leave a comment
flavius_m
Well, the last few days have been rather strange and testing. In minor ways, nothing very dramatic but all the little things together do accumulate.

The most dramatic bit (or perhaps the most ridiculous one) must be my getting run over by a bicycle while coming back from feeding a travelling friend's cat. This resulted in a fractured radius, which impacts rather a lot of what I do: I cannot drive, lift weights... more importantly, I cannot play the guitar, which makes teaching it rather more complicated -half a bar of music demonstrated to a pupil can be worth hundreds of words. Literally. I also cannot properly wash or shower or do anything that requires two functional arms. Stretching or bending my left arm results in horrific shooting pain. Moving it at certain angles produces an intense pain that is very much like a cramp. Luckily (?) the bone didn't break, just fractured lengthwise and didn't change its position. Also feeling, curiously, like I let my friend down, somehow. One good thing is that the Royal Free Hospital people reassure me it won't take six weeks for me to be playing the guitar. Now, they do require me to do exercises stretching, flexing and rotating the arm. In other words, all the things that currently make me scream in agony...

The internet situation is even more strange. I had reported that my telephone line and broadband were dead. An engineer came on Monday and sorted it out, telling me that somebody ('a contractor, surely') had just disconnected me in order to connect somebody else. He reconnected me and I had internet and telephone... for less than 36 hours. Yesterday evening the line was dead again. I need the internet for a lot of stuff, partly for my teaching (I do a couple of online lessons) and communication with my pupils in several ways, apart from everything else I use it for. If that engineer was right I might be getting a sort of war of attrition, if BT/Openreach are going to be coming to fix that line for it to be pulled by ... whoever is doing it. This is unsustainable. We'll have to wait and see.

One little thing that compounds the internet situation is that I have very poor mobile reception in my flat. With luck I get enough to make phone calls (which often become warbly or get cut off). This hasn't always been the case and started about a year and a half ago. It means that in order to get some very patchy, very very slow internet I must put my mobile phone out the window and then tether the computer to it. Absurd, in these days. There's been a couple of other irritants these last few days but that's probably enough to mention. Nothing fatal, nothing big enough to warrant a good fit of sobbing screaming, but...

Tags: , ,

3 comments or Leave a comment
flavius_m
Here:

http://matociquala.livejournal.com/2264533.html

Tags:

5 comments or Leave a comment
flavius_m
A somewhat unfinished doodle.

Tags: , ,

Leave a comment
flavius_m
I seem to have survived another Valentine's Day, one with the potential to be a particularly painful one. Managed instead to have a good time with friends at a double birthday party (there are pictures) and later at the Slimelight. I've never really really had a very bad night at the Slime but this was a good candidate, although not for lack of good company, having arrived with the birthday boy and girl and their entourage that included londonjon and rougeno1 and running into djpsyche and a few other peeps. The one dancing room I found painfully loud (it did feel like much louder than usual, it may have been me) and didn't have ear-plugs with me so I stayed in the courtyard talking to people. Lasted about an hour and a half and left for home. Better than other possibilities for the night. Next month I'll be at Reptile. This last one.. no, I couldn't do that to myself. Funny how it works. All these things (Christmas, birthdays, etc) are arbitrary markers, this day is significative because we decide it is. And many of those days are just vehicles for the commercial juggernaut to make us buy things. And yet we need them and they often work. Except when they work in a way that makes us feel worse not better.

Sunday brought the monthly bibliogoth meeting, this time discussing 'Libra' by Don Delillo, a sort of history-fiction account of Lee Harvey Oswald's life leading to John F Kennedy's assassination. The person in the group that was the most familiar with the book hated it. I, the only person in the group that was alive at the time of the events, quite liked it although I did find the first few chapters difficult to get on with, particularly with the swarm of Federal agents that all 'looked' identical and in my mind were all like copies of the Matrix's Agent Smith. A very interesting discussion that centred more on the events that the book explores rather than the book itself.

Tags: , , , , ,

4 comments or Leave a comment
flavius_m
In case anyone still reads this: A New Dusk tonight at Aces & Eights in
Tufnell Park.
"Spinning contemporary post-punk, minimal, and cold wave"

Djs Dave Exile, Robert Cowlin and Matthew Coulam.

Facebook event here:

<https://www.facebook.com/events/936927466385578/>

Tags: , ,

2 comments or Leave a comment
flavius_m
A cold but sunny morning, a stop for yoghurt breakfast and Vivaldi at the Rustique café on my way to a lesson. Good morning!

Tags: ,

Leave a comment
flavius_m
You may have noticed, if you read this, that I'm allowing myself to put slightly more personal stuff in here. I still think it is a very bad idea to put _very_ personal stuff in a public social platform or, well, anywhere on the internet. OTOH, what do I care, as long as I don't name people: I'm never going to go for a job interview, nobody really cares what I write in here and my livejournal is read, for the most part, by a tiny number of people in whom I trust. I stil think it is a very bad idea to use this or any other public platform to complain about your boss, your partner or to put any details about your lifestyle, mental health or any other aspect of your life that can be brought up in the future and used against you.

In the meantime, I quite like that there are a few more people writing and, amazingly, reading livejournal. I so much prefer it to Facebook, immensely useful as the latter is -FB has many questionable or worrying sides to it and also seems to encourage a shorter, shallower sort of communication.

Tags:

2 comments or Leave a comment
flavius_m
And sleepy a lot of the time. I probably have worn the quip out by now, but I still feel like they lied to me: I'd read in many places that as you got older you needed less sleep. This was reinforced by my granddad getting up at obscene times in the morning, still in the dark, listening to the newscasts on the radio at full volume. No, I need perhaps more sleep than I used to...

Yes, last week-end. Where do we start. Friday, I s'pose. After lessons there was Tufguitar, the monthly meeting of my pupils at the Rustique Café to play the guitar, then off to see the Terminal Gods at Sambucca -they put on a good show. Dance a bit, go back home relatively early, before 2:00 am. Saturday: teach a good chunk of the day, then off to ciphergoth and lovelybug's leaving do -they're going to California and I'm already missing Jess. It was a very good party. Took many pictures, the least worse of which now at a Facebook album. From there I went to the Big Red, to the double birthday celebration of Delphine and Magda's. The Princess Unreachable was there, we had an intense three minute conversation and she left for the Slimelight with a group of happy campers friends. I managed not to cry or anything and had a very good time for the rest of the evening. Again, took many pictures albeit with the phone. Phones have got much better at this but not quite there just yet perhaps.

Sunday was quite unremarkable, almost a non-day. Had a stroll around Chinatown in the rain but there wasn't a lot apart from New Year decorations -apart from many many tourists occupying every available space. Didn't last long and went back home.

Need to get me a couple more occasions to play my current programme, see whether I can get a decent recording or video of me playing Bach's Chaconne in public...

Tags: , ,

Leave a comment