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Echoes of Flavio's Ghost Dreaming
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Tried to install Yosemite on my Mac mini last night. It froze on the progress bar on restart. There ensued three hours of trying to figure out how to get out of that, force restart, try again and finally very slowly finding a way to backpedal into Mavericks. At least I wasn't doing it in my MacBook Air which has all my work in it. That was a bit of a waste of an evening...

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Kings Crioss, 6:45 am. Waves and waves of people. Beautiful women, ugly men (yeah, yeah I know; at least as seen from here), fellow human beings probably full of dreams or, more probably at this time, sleep. Possible competitors for resources, or dogmatic fools or driven fanatics.. Who knows, I'll never know any of them or how close they could be, how akin. They quickly pass, most never to be met in the rest of the life of the universe.

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Well, I reckon then it wasn't my IP barred but a problem at the LJ end as I now can access it ok....

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Woke up to find I cannot gain access to my livejournal pages; I get an 'Access Denied' page. This happens across multiple browsers and two computers but I can get (as I'm doing now) from my phone nad iPad if I switch wi-fi off (as I'm evidently doing now). This would seem to indicate that my IP is banned from the site. Irritating and perplexing, this. Have mailed their web support, will see what happens. Not enormously happy about this.

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If the level of activity in my f-list page in Ello is anything to go by, it's pretty dead already. Shame. It is much busier in my flist page here.

ION, teaching a 16-year-old to play Beatles songs -at his request. Ain't the world a strange place.

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One lesson done, only one more to go today.

Getting some spam from Ticketmasters -apparently Nick Cave is going to be playing at the RAH in May. Mmmm... didn't check how much it costs but might be interested.

Ello is stil there, too, but so far the limited set of features and the slightly baffling (and, I think, buggy) interface hasn't given me much encouragement.

Tonight, no Inferno, no Dead and Buried. Don't really fancy Synth Cult at the Fox. Is there anything else interesting of that sort going on?

Anything else? Not a lot. Got myself a Pebble with some money I had been squirrelling away in a pre-pay card that I keep for the purpose, precisely, of 'ooh, I have a hundred quid in that account, I can buy myself a toy'. Haven't done much with it and may well end up selling it (when the Apple Watch v2 comes out, though) but one thing: it is much lighter than my old watch, doesn't bother me to play the guitar with it on.

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Earlier post by friend in FB reminded me. Yes, Livejournal still is here, still works, not as busy but you don't see the sort of filler (memes and quizzes of the "which superhero/film star/small furry animal are you" kind, etc) and 'inspirational' posts that you used to, as it all has moved to FB. We won't talk about Ello.

And I'm still here on livejournal, so I suppose it couldn't all be perfect, but hey :)

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The more I look at Ello the more I wonder. Livejournal can do all that Ello can and a whole lot more. So can Dreamwidth, the LJ clone. So probably can a number of the pretenders to the Facebook Killer crown that have appeared and quietly fallen by the wayside over the years. I hope they do get it right and I would be willing to pay (a small amount) for something that worked ok and had the right policies as well as the right set of features. But my friends and family would have to be in it -and therein may lie the rub.

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Ok, so I'm going for repairing the car. In the longer run my future does seem to be car-less, but again, as Keynes famously said... in the long run we're all dead.

Have finally joined Netflix and although I haven't made up my mind whether I'm keeping it or not, I'm enjoying the free month. Not that many movies; saw 'Ender's Game' which was ok but knowing how awful Orson Card is kind of tints my perception of the book and the movie. The Hobbit movies, which I never got around to watching in the cinema.. Again, ok but, again, as John Lennon said (or not), "I just had to look...having read the book.." but having read the book makes me jump with 'that's not right' and 'it's not like that' every so often -and, of course, how do you make a three full length feature movie series out of a three hundred page children's book if not by a lot of padding. The other thing I've done a lot is watch nature and space documentaries while I practise my scales or do other stuff. And so see the Keynes quote writ very very large -in the very long run, not only are we all dead, but our world and indeed our universe is... oh, ok, so we start the week-end with cheerful thoughts again....

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I would seem to be in Ello (thank you, antid0te!) -maybe because I don't have enough social net sites to keep track of? er, wait... in any case, if you would like to add me, I'm https://ello.co/fflavio over there

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It was kind of none of my business and I didn't have a position about it but I had been watching the process of the Indy referendum in Scotland with interest. It could have had lots of repercussions down here and in Europe at large (the Catalans, the Basque and a number of other nationalities/national groups subsumed into a larger country were watching what was happening in Scotland very intently).

The vote went for 'No' but it does seem to me that the campaign for independence may end up achieving a lot of what it may have set up to do, in that the politicos in Westminster will have to review how they do things in relation to Scotland and, by the way, the English regions. I've seen comments to the tune that a 'Yes' vote would have established a Tory hegemony in the rest of the UK forever. I'm not so sure about that. It could possibly have helped consolidate the pendulum swinging between two almost indistinguishable parties, because 'them lot couldn't possibly be as bad as the ones now in office..'

In any event, what do I know; I'm a blodi forrener and cannot vote in the general elections. OTOH, I can vote in the Venezuelan elections, which fills me with despair, and in the Italian ones, which leaves me completely baffled.

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A slightly quieter week-end this time. On Friday I went to V's birthday drinks at Aces & Eights, stayed only till midnight. On Saturday went to a classical guitar ensemble concert in West London and on the way back I realised I wasn't going to make Reptile, I was too tired. Apart from this, the usual assortment of lessons, errands, a bit of guitar practice.

Wondering whether to get Netflix. Not only whether it is worth the while (it's only a bit over a fiver but see mixed comments on what is available on it) but also, do I really need anything else eating into my time?

Off to school now. May Monday be light on you!

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It was a week-end of quite a few things happening. On Friday I went to both Inferno and Dead & Buried * ; danced a lot at both (almost non-stop at Inferno for perhaps two hours). Also ran into a few peeps there, notably morbidfrog and Nadia (who used to be on LJ and is probably in my list but whose LJ handle I cannot remember). Then I went to Dead and Buried, mainly to say happy birthday to djpsyche (which I probably forgot to do...oops) and stayed there until some time between 2:30 and 3:00. Saturday brought the Hampstead Alternative Picnic * and then a bout of Big Red. People wanted to drag me to Slimelight but I resisted, as I had a couple of lessons early on Sunday (and also I felt I kind of had done my allocation of clubbing for the week-end, all in one go the previous day). Sunday brought those lessons and the Alternative Bring and Buy Sale at the Dome, courtesy of the indefatigable xsjdx. All this was good and there could have been more as they were decamping to Aces and Eights after -but I had to get ready for first day of school today. Yes, at this age. A good week-end, all in all, catching up with some lovely people, a few of which I hardly ever see.

* ) These two links are for 'closed' Facebook groups, meaning you have to request membership in order to see the contents. Sorry about this. As most of you are on FB and some might be interested in these I thought I'd put in the links anyway.

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10 books that have stayed with me:
For once, an internet meme that I can go along with. The ten books:


1- Anathem - Neal Stephenson

2- Nineteen Eighty-Four - G Orwell

3- Lord of the Rings - J R R Tolkien

4- Historias de Cronopios y Famas - Julio Cortázar

5- Caves of Steel - Isaac Asimov (the whole Robot series, really)

6- The Master and Margarita - M Bulgakov

7- Se il Sole Muore - Oriana Fallaci

8- ‘Eva Luna’ - Isabel Allende

9- ‘Sinuhe the Egyptian’ - Mika Waltari

10- ‘The Grapes of Wrath’ - John Steinbeck


These are not necessarily the best works for each author or even the ones I like the best of their production (I much prefer the Silmarillion to LoTR, but the latter had a bigger impact when I first read it and a lasting one). ‘Rayuela’ is a much more substantial and important work by Cortázar than ‘Cronopios’ but again the latter touched me in a way that the former didn’t. ‘Eva Luna’ is a very recent read for me but it resonated a lot, it being the product of Allende’s 10 year sojourn in my country and home town. Asimov… the Robot series and the ‘Foundation’ series are all linked and, to my mind, are one extensive work but you have to point out one book so it’ll be this one. This list would probably be different if I did it next week, or the week after… as I probably would think of a few different books. ‘Anathem’, ‘Margarita’ and ‘Cronopios’ would still be there, though.

I'm not going to nominate anybody, I dread being 'nominated' for anything so I won't do that to anyone :D

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Must be the swan song of summer in this building, summer always punctuated by burglar alarms going off in the night. There goes one off again, probably for the rest of the night. At least I don't have to get up early and have plenty to read. Ah, and ear-plugs.

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Enjoying these last few days of summer holiday (if not, alas, of summer, although there should be a few nice days left, shouldn't there) before I have to get back to the grind. Getting up at 9 is so much more in tune with my inner rhythm, say, than getting up at 6 or, on Tuesdays as from next week, 5:20 am (probably; I haven't received my timetables for that school yet so I don't know yet).

Currently studying my old teacher Jack Duarte's 'English Suite' -oddly maybe the only one of his major works I never studied with him. Also looking again at Benjamin Britten's 'Nocturnal' Op 70 (extremely intricate and difficult but the work, in truth, that made me want to study guitar), now that I have been doing 'Come Again', the song by John Dowland it is based on, together with Verity. I feel I want to play those two extremely British works next year, let's see whether I can find myself a venue or two to play them.

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As I'm writing this, I'm finishing my morning espresso (only one these days) and making an arepa for breakfast, here back in the flavhaus. Infest was very good although these days I don't go to any of the after-parties. Shame that Project Pitchfork had had to cancel due to illness (really? a month and a half before the event, sounds a little like "sorry, we'll not be able to make it because we are going to be ill...") so VNV Nation substituted for them. That wasn't a bad thing; Ronan is a master of whipping up the crowd and managing it. One of the rare occasions in which I at some point stop being detached from it all looking from outside and find myself carried along, put your hands in the air, etc. I enjoyed Juno Reactor's set enormously, too; It was a kind of discovery in that although I even have a couple of tracks of theirs here I'd never really paid attention to them. The big revelation for me, though, was Legend, the Icelandic band. Or Leg-End as inevitably people were calling them. Talking to the front man later was very good too, find that somebody whose music you like is a really nice guy.

There were a few more musical discoveries and a few new people, caught up with a few good people I seldom seldom see, managed not to lock myself out of my room (that was, actually, a distinct possibility) and made it back to the train station in good time yesterday morning. All in all, a very good time at Infest. My right ear still is blocked, mind. I also haven't managed to get rid of the glitter. I suspect that stuff, once it falls on you, follows you to death.

Today, a couple of lessons (literally) and nothing more. Guitar practice and reading -currently, The Apocalypse Codex, one of Charlie Stross's funny geek sysadmin- demonological take-the-mickey-out-of-Lovecraft novels; before that, while on the train, 'Space', an enormous Stephen Baxter science-fiction book with a breath-taking perspective, extremely gloomy but interesting outlook about life in the galaxy at large and the Fermi paradox.. and cookie-cutter characters.

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Well this last week-end I didn't go to the alt-alt at the Slimelight in the end, didn't go to see the Damned, didn't go to LonCon, which looks like something I would like to go to at some point. Instead, lessons, guitar and other flavio world stuff. On Friday I did go to see Heel at the Dubllin Castle. On Sunday I went, together with two of my pupils and my boss at one of my schools, to the West Dean Classical Guitar festival/summer course's Open Day. The full event is way too expensive for me at around a thousand pounds (mind, it is a week long, residential with pretty much everything included, but still) but the Open Day was still very interesting, with various lectures, master classes and recitals and guitar makers showing their wares. Spent a good while playing on a couple of guitars by an English maker, one of which I liked a lot, although I'm not about to spend three thousand pounds on a guitar -mind, it was pretty much as good as my Guo so it would be worth it.

The scenery at West Dean is beautiful (the sunset colours on the drive back made me wish I'd not been driving, I could have taken hundreds of beautiful photographs) but the college itself is a little bit too posh, too grand. I still prefer my teacher Jack Duarte's idea of hiring an agricultural college in the middle of nowhere, with a cheap-cheap student bar (he regarded this as very important for the social cohesion of the course), rather than a posh place full of incredibly expensive works of art, antiques, etc. Still, it was a lovely occasion and I believe my pupils (and my boss, a lapsed, recovering guitarist) benefited from it.

Next week, for something completely different, Infest!

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A little acoustic doodle with steel-string acoustic guitars. No prizes for guessing what inspired it.

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On Thursday I was going to go to the Beer Festival, when... a Venezuelan friend who lives here asked me to join him and cousins of his that were visiting London, playing a concert that evening. So I did; we went to the Brazilian place in Inverness St and had a very good feijoada, walked around the markets in Camden Town and eventually went to the Chilean Embassy where (see whether you can keep up, this gets confusing) my friend's cousin's partner, who is a singer-songwriter, was due to play. In the end I decided to forego the GBBF for the time and go to the recital. Apart from the fact that it was an intimate event, around fifty people but that was the capacity of the hall so it was at the same time packed and intimate, there were lots of wine and canapés and our friend, Juanito Ayala, turned out to be an extraordinarily good performer (and apparently quite well known in Chile -I wouldn't have known this). After the evening we all went for dinner at Bill's in Covent Garden and I left with the artist and his partner on the 24 bus towards West Kentish Town where their hotel was. An unexpectedly excellent evening.

Might still go to the Beer Fest later today, mind...

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Bits I don't like so much about the summer:

- the heat. Yes, it is absurd, I grew up and lived half my life in a place that is probably hotter than here. All the same, I find it difficult to function when it's hot, I get slow and lethargic.

- the much reduced income. This has, surprisingly, not been so bad this year; almost enough of my pupils have stuck around having lessons through this time for me to pay my bills. Almost enough.

Bits I do like:

- being able to get up at 9:00 am. I'm not a morning person.

- being able to spend a lot of time reading and mucking about with guitars. Have a few books on the go at the moment, mainly 'Rivers of London' by Ben Aaranovitch (set reading for the next bibliogoth meeting), which is not the deepest book I've read, say, but is a lot of fun, thus far. Also slowly making my way through Melwyn Bragg;s The Adventure of English (a history of the English language) and the Apocalypse Codex by Charlie Stross.

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This is from memory so probably not verbatim..

- BBC reporter: ‘Would you say it is a matter of ‘when’ not ‘if’ there is a problem with Ebola in this country?

- Researcher: ‘No, I wouldn’t. Through all the previous surges of Ebola there hasn’t been one confirmed case in this country.'

- BBC reporter: ‘There you are, of course you can never say never….’

Thus twisting around what the guy who (presumably) did know what he was talking about had just said...

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Last week-end brought Dead and Buried on Friday (danced a fair, it was a very good night bit but felt somewhat outside of it), a very strange Reptile on Saturday (due to the venue shenanigans it took place at the New Intrepid Fox proper and it was too hot and packed in there, spent almost the whole time catching up with people outside and talking guitar geekery with Chris he of Lahannya and NFD -this was great fun, actually) and dinner with goth friends at Pappagone on Sunday, but it is possible that the highlight of it for me was simply a walk on Sunday, at times under the rain, down the South Bank from Waterloo all the way to the Tower of London with a friend who is about to leave the country and probably won't see for a few years. Made me feel again that I love London, place full of histories and stories that it is.

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It's 2003 again. At least on Facebook, where everybody keeps posting those things (they're not quizzes, no, neither they are memes; what are they...), like 'Which Superhero are you'? or 'Which Hollywood sex symbol are you?'. Which we all saw on our timelines on LJ twelve years ago. I couldn't see the point of that sort of thing then, I cannot now. Still, whatever floats your boat.

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Well, that came off much better than I anticipated. Particularly attendance-wise. I ran into a friend who had attended last year and when I said, 'you didn't come' she replied 'you can't expect me to attend every time'. Well, no. It's perhaps too often, once a year and that. I do realise that what I do is not in most of my friends' list of favourite things...

Or perhaps not often enough. I always feel that I get a programme right at about the third time I play it. These days, for all the reasons I won't get into here, I don't play very often at all. Playing-wise, it did come out better than I would have anticipated -or bits of it did, particularly in the second part. The Bach suite came, on the whole, quite well, in that the Prelude and the Gigue are quite difficult and I took them at a good pace although there were bits that I feel I could have done better. Was intrigued by a comment by a lady in the interval, that it sounded 'Spanish'. It was Bach, with lots of Baroque counterpoint and I'm not Spanish and owe very little of my musical formation to the Spanish influence (that's 'influence', not 'influenza'). Maybe it was just the fact of playing that music on a nylon-string classical guitar.

The Brouwer piece, 'Cuban Landscape with Bells', is a curious thing, a piece written in a very contemporary musical language but one which is entirely descriptive -I, for one, can hear the landscapes in it. Love that piece and hope I did it justice.

Will try to sort out a few more public performances of that programme in the autumn... pity I'm so hopelessly bad at selling the product. One little thing: I'm again very grateful to augeas for recording the performance, as he did the previous ones. We'll see whether any of that is fit to show the world (in terms of my performance) but in any case I will learn a lot from it, as has already happened -many thanks again.

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In case anybody might be interested in coming to this:

recital flyer rustique 14 2

Facebook event:
https://www.facebook.com/events/514305498670373

details and programme:
http://flavio.org.uk

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Yesterday I took my guitar to the Heath and had done a good hour, perhaps hour and a half's practice when this guy stopped by and asked whether he could listen and asked a few things about my guitar. A guitar teacher. The long and the short of this is that he might start taking lessons with me. All is not bad -or, in any case, a much needed boost for my at times rather small self-esteem.

Last night went for pizza across the road at Delicious with a friend... and it was very good. We shared some affettato first and then a pizza and it all was lovely. There's some interesting eating places around here, although some (like Pizza East) are a little bit over-hyped. In any case, a lovely evening catching up with friend.

Today, busy with lessons and not enough time to do proper guitar practice, which is not so good given that I'm playing in six days, but hey, I'll manage.

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This is not a review, in that I'm only half way through the book. Just a note to say I'm enjoying it rather a lot more than the previous bibliogoth book (yes, the 'young adult' vampire novel). It is essentially the story of a woman's life -no, lives. Many lives. This one gets a bit long and, half way through it already feels like I've read three or four books and in a way I have. Spoiler: Not sure whether the author is playing with the Many Worlds theory but she does play with the possibility of alternative lives. I am finding interesting how she creates connections between the different possible lives. One thing that I've run into at least once, though, is the being put through a heart wrenching situation that tumbles down to an end and then you got thrown back to another version of that world, with different developments where that situation that had been wringing your heart doesn't exist and some of the main characters are just background figures.

I'm just waiting to see how the author ties in the development of the story so far with the rather cinematic opening. As I said, thus far enjoying it.

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Now, that was a lovely evening, first with my pupils playing together at the Rustique Café (with me providing repertoire and doing a little bit of conducting) and after that Jillian's (does she have a livejournal?) work do near the Angel, with a free bar and free food and where I did quite a bit (for a school night) of (hopefully not dad-) dancing to music I'd never danced to before in my life and still wouldn't go out of my way to dance or listen to, but at the time it was a lot of fun. Now for an early start tomorrow, so a good night to all....

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A little music doodle I'd made mostly on iPad some time ago, recording voice, electric and bass guitars directly in:

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This was a displacement activity. Had to read, for the next bibliogoth meet-up, 'The Coldest Girl in Coldtown', by Holly Black. I kept finding something else to do or read instead; this is rather rare as I'm a compulsive reader -it is very unusual that I don't finish a book, but I don't think I'll finish this one.

I was, then, reading 'The Long Earth' to avoid reading 'Coldtown'. And quite a bit of a difference. The characters aren't entirely believable and the two main ones are rather difficult to like, both being astonishingly self-absorbed and conceited, but the world depicted becomes very believable very soon (although a lot of the stuff is never fully explained -but then so also happens in the real world..) and, alas, being easily entertained, I enjoyed all the references to classic science fiction that I seemed to run into all the time, in this book where there is no space travel and the most advanced gadget (not counting AI) is an airship. Even Solaris seems to get an oblique reference. Now I'm beginning the second book in the series and, although as often happens in sequels, the plot feels a little less tight it still is enjoyable and some of the characters are actually better fleshed out. Then I remember I have to read that other book for Bibliogoth and I do try and persevere with it but I find it so tedious...

Then today I saw the news about Pratchett cancelling engagements because of his advancing Alzheimer's.. :(

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Yesterday was a whole more hectic and a bit more stressful than I'd anticipated, apart from lovely rehearsal with Verity of those John Dowland lute songs. Lovely, that is, apart from the fact that yesterday I seemed to be unable to play! Today was much more relaxed with lovely lunch with Jessamy lovelybug in the park, some good productive guitar practice time and still a little time to do nothing. More of this, please (...except that I also need money so need to be busier but, hey, you cannot have everything; not at once..)

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I'm currently reading, for the next bibliogoth meet-up, Holly Black's "The Coldest Girl in Coldtown". What follows is a short review -or, rather, first impressions (since I've only read a third or so of it) of this book:

It's utter, utter rubbish -at least for me, to me, E&OE, &cc. I get the feeling the author can actually write but either chooses not to (maybe because teen-age vampire books will sell more), or is in the situation of an orchestral composer who ends up doing commercial jingles. Not sure whether I'll bother finishing it.

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Late start teaching day at school today; this did mean I didn't have to get up at 5:20 am but at 8:00 instead which is far more reasonable (but the shorter day does mean less income...swings, roundabouts...)

This guitar teaching thing is currently quite interesting: I have a pupil who, having finished his Grade 8, is now going for an ABRSM diploma. Also another Grrade 8 candidate, a few Grade 7s and that guitar meet-up of my adult pupils in a café in Tufnell Park. On the other hand, it is going very quiet for the summer and if it were not for what little is left of the PPI money I'd be in dire straits. Swings, roundabouts....

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Interesting piece in Zdnet, if a little bit rather a personal attack, on the guy at Google who came up with Google Plus. Ephitets apart, it does reflect something that I've felt about Microsoft, Google and to an extent also Apple: they may have good intention to begin with ('do no evil..') but their developments and policies encroach in our lives in a way that in time may make Orwell's 'Nineteen Eighty-Four' look like child's play:

http://www.zdnet.com/thanks-for-nothing-jerkface-7000030306/

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Get on a bus instead of the Tube, it is a rare instance of a sunny afternoon in London and you wouldn't want to spend it entombed in an Underground carriage. Funny how even after all these years this, the feeling the warmth of the sun on my skin, the bright sun light, the fact that amidst the long faces of the Londoners you occasionally see a few more smiles than normal, this still feels like the natural order of things, instead of the normal London nine degrees centigrade, murky drizzly skies and the shroud of grey that permeates everything. If only.

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Another week goes by. Half term week so didn't have to get up at obscene hours. It brought a very good rehearsal with Verity with some plans to get a few gigs when we have a programme ready (soon), lunch with K in Regents Park with a little wander looking at the geese and the ducks (there's a couple of pictures elsewhere), a good bout of dancing last night at The New Dusk at Aces and Eights, an unexpected revival of `Livejournal with a lot of old hands showing up and posting, in some cases for the first time in six or seven years. Wondering whether mermaidlala found her password in the end, presumably not since she hasn't posted.

Plans for the summer include two gigs (need to get a few more), one of which again at the Rustique Café at the end of July. Also going to Infest and may have a visit from very far away that I'll be looking forward to but not sure whether to expect as it is getting late to get plane tickets and she hasn't yet done this. Birthday celebration will again be together with lovelybug at a Wetherspoon pub in Holborn on the 12th and you are invited.

The news continue to be their appalling, depressing same old as always and the EU election brought back the shadow of old forgotten terrors.

Still haven't resumed watching GoT, stopped half way through the second series. Any explanation about this would be a spoiler, but, as Lennon said, 'having read the book....

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Mostly for my own:

Today: first, rehearsal with Verity of those Dowland songs. A couple of samples of what we've been doing here and here.

Later, meet Krisztina for lunch at Regent's Park. Looks like it's going to be reasonably good weather.

In the afternoon, some guitar practice, hopefully, as well as a couple of errands.

Later still, a couple of lessons here and, later-later still, maybe the LGS meet at Zeitgeist -just possibly.

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What seemed to be a busy day is quickly crumbling into a dust of cancellations and reschedules. Never mind, gives me time to go to the hated gym and practise guitar....

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To those friends who in the last week or so have re-discovered Livejournal and think it's all retro-cool: I see you and I raise you: ICQ! Prompted by a discussion on FB (which started about the political situation and that horrid little man, but people have got tired of that so it soon diverged and I'm just as tired so I won't even name him or his party) and soon diverged into a conversation about ye auld social media, I dug out my old ICQ login and lo, my two accounts are still there. Surprisingly, nobody in my contact list seems to ever be online. And, if I remember correctly, I got out of ICQ because I developed the same distaste for IM that I have for the telephone: it requires your response there and then, whereas email or other messaging systems allow you to take your time and think what you're going to say (not that I ever properly do, there is always something I overlook).

In any case, for what it may be worth, I'm 'Flav' (27539236) and 'From the little Planet' (er, the number was here just now... never mind) in ICQ...

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A reflection by matociquala, the fantastically talented SF writer Elizabeth Bear, after the shootings by that guy who, if he couldn't have the girls, he would just kill them:

http://matociquala.livejournal.com/2224624.html

Makes you think. Makes _me_ think, at any rate. Have I been that low-level predatory male? Not certainly, I hope, in the terms she puts it there, but probably in attitude, when I was young. There may be as much nature as nurture in those attitudes but that cannot be a justification; hey, civilisation should be about becoming better beings and rise above things like base animal urges. It often looks, however, as though civilisation is just a very thin veneer above the monkey, reptile or fish that we may once have been. I do believe in progress and it must be better now than fifty or five hundred or five thousand years ago, but it often looks so very slow.

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Wondering how long this LJ renaissance is going to last.

ION, UKIP, the BBC build-up of same, etc... depressing. Let's leave that at that.

IO,ON, it's a sunny morning and I have finished one early lesson and am sipping coffee and eating a croissant at the Rustique by the window, watching the world go by. Should bring my pillow and my toothbrush to this place, I very nearly live here.

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Another meeting of my pupils at the Café Rustique. Five of them turned up, which was more or less what I expected, I proposed a couple of new pieces, quite conventional perhaps (two dances by Pretorius, etc) but lovely music and that can be played without weeks of rehearsals -and where it doesn't matter whether they drop a note or two. The garden of Rustique is a lovely place for this.. at least while it is not raining and you have to grab guitars, cases, music and gear and make it for the inside of the café....

Some pictures taken as they were arriving (only three of them present at that point) here:

https://www.icloud.com/photostream/#A1JEsNWnJpmCyM

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Today should be a quieter day than yesterday. Not a lot to do apart from YES, GO AND VOTE and fetch a guitar being repaired at Juan T's shop in Duke St. Tonight, my pupils (my adult pupils, that is) meet again to play together at the Rustique Café.

So, time for guitar practice and finish reading The Throne of the Crescent Moon and perhaps get started with re-reading Consider Phlebas for the next bibliogoth meet....

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Interesting thing to see, the flock returning (however briefly it may be) to Livejournal today. I never left, be it that I only post a couple of times a week. And a few people never left; there is always something to read in my flist page, although these days I don't have to scroll for page after page to catch up with everybody.

Funny thing is, for me, that I always go on about how FB stimulates a kind of shallow, superficial way of communication, but I never really go deep into what I think or feel there or here; most certainly won't post very personal stuff in a public space on the internet. That sort of thing often comes back to bite you. Facebook is a very useful tool, also, mostly with the event system and the photo tagging. And yet it is true: you can go at more length here and feel you're having a conversation in a way that FB doesn't quite.

It was good to see those old faces (oh, ok; I'm twenty years older than the oldest of those faces, but never mind) around here today, while I was rushing around or practising scales or in brief spaces between lessons -oh, look, I hadn't seem him/her here for at least five years. Never mind that I see them on FB or twitter nearly every day (except in the two cases of people who still keep me in their friends list here but have defacebooked me). It kind of isn't the same. Hello, welcome back, however briefly.

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From recent rehearsal with Verity Lingard:

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It's good to see you, you 'orrible lot :)

'Twas very good to see some of you last week, BTW!

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.. and a couple of lessons later today. Not a lot more to do, so thinking of several possibilities. Won't take my guitar to the Heath to practise as it is in all probability too full of people. Too lovely outside, though, to spend what I have free of today indoors practising -although practise I should.

Yesterday went to a birthday picnic (does Sasha have a livejournal?) in Regent's Park. Lovely afternoon with interesting conversations on various bits of geekdom, including a long one over the 'new' and 'old' Battlestar Galactica. Last night I had a two hour + Skype conversation with a friend far, far away -far away enough that she was wrapped for winter, with a portable heater next to her, while here I was shedding layers and putting the air conditioning on.

Previous entry moaning about LJ changes: as so often, I should check and verify before I complain in public about anything. That, alas, is true for most of us. And I tend to rush and overlook essential bits of information that are there in front of me.

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Current Location: planet Earth

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Hating the new livejournal layout. It took me a while to find how to log in again, even. Yeah, let's make it simple and put large fonts and make it more like facetwit. And mobile.

[Edit ] Ah, it has reverted to the previous look once I logged in. Confusing. The info page still has that 'My Little Info Page' look, though.

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Much too early. This getting up at 5:15 doesn't suit my delicate (cough, cough) constitution. Oh, ok, never mind that. I don't like it, anyway. But it has to be done. Coffee may remedy it somewhat. Teaching day ahead; tonight, rehearsal with Verity of those John Dowland songs we've been working on. In a church, we may record it, just possibly. We'll see.

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Flavio Matani
User: flavius_m
Name: Flavio Matani
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