Friday, January 06, 2017

Great grandfather

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

If a movie was made of my life

Well it's been a long time since anyone blogged and I'm not sure anyone reads this anymore but I shall carry on anyway.
The library in which I work is being moved.  The whole area of the building is being restructured.   An architect is involved in all this, obviously, but that seems to mean that we can't take the perfectly good furniture we already have with us but have to buy new.  As they are spending so much money on a snazzy green glass front and a bespoke carpet they are cutting corners on furniture. So last weekend we had a meeting with the architect, Bruce, his wife, Izzy, who is also the colour consultant, the furniture guy and..  THE CARPET GUY!
Anyway we discussed things and realised that we didn't really have a say in anything but afterwards we were all impressed by THE CARPET GUY.    He was like a cross between Bill Nighy and James May but with more of the former's attitude to life.  That led us to cast the whole meeting as if there was going to be a film of it.  THE CARPET GUY would obviously be played by Bill Nighy.  The architect was Timothy Spall and his wife Liv Tyler (yes - he was definitely punching above his weight so we think he is making lots of money!).  The furniture guy would be Hugh Grant as he was rather posh and a bit pleased with himself.  My boss Ian would be played by Richard Griffiths as we can't think of anyone else suitably corpulent (needless to say he wasn't part of this conversation).  Jenny, our archivist, would be played by Carrie Fisher as she is quite feisty.   My colleague Andrew chose to be played by James Stewart and I chose Sigourney Weaver to play me.  She is an idealised me.  Rather tall with curly hair.  Tom Stoppard was going write the script and then to liven things up we would get Quentin Tarantino to direct it.
The upshot of it all is that we are still rather unsatisfied with the finishing touches to the library but we feel we had revenge in a quiet way!

Sunday, February 24, 2013


We went to see Lulu performed by the Welsh National Opera last night.  It is by Alban Berg and although we had seen Wozzeck when the Millenium Centre opened I didn't know much about it.  I read up the plot which is fairly nonsensical when read out.  However the pre concert talk was interesting because the libretto is based on a play which is part of the Theatre of the Absurd, and the plot was fairly absurd.

Oddly they all left out what I thought was the most interesting part of the story.  They concentrated Lulu being a femme fatale who has lots of lovers and gets through 3 husbands during the course of the opera, everyone who meets her falls in love with her.  Her husbands die - usually because she is being unfaithful to them - and in the end she is murdered when they have fallen on hard times and she has had to resort to prostitution.  However a man who is called her father pops up although later on it seems he isn't her father.  The man she most loves, rescued her when she was 12, and although he is now her lover he is also clearly a father figure.  She later marries him, and he dies, then she marries the son.  This opera is based in the 1920's and I can't believe everyone seems to have ignored the whole Freudian aspect of the story.  If you read it in Wikipedia and some other things Freud doesn't get a mention, but it was screaming Freud to me when I saw it.

The director had gone for the idea of a circus which is where the opera opens, with the characters wearing animal heads and being animals in the circus.  But again, you can put Freud into that with animal prototypes, as well as incest, etc etc.

Why has everyone seemed to ignore this?

The singing was fabulous, and the orchestra was faultless.  The costumes had a colour theme for different scenes and different husbands which worked really well.  The set didnt work very well as it was a sort of combination circus ring come birdcage which was quite constricting, and singers climbing up ladders is always distracting I find.  The music was lovely actually, especially if you stopped reading the surtitles and closed your eyes to just listen.  I do find surtitles make you concentrate on the words and don't pay enough attention to the whole music and theatrical effect of the opera.  However without them I would have no idea what was happening so I wouldn't be without them.

Sunday, February 17, 2013


I have borrowed our work I pad for the weekend to see if I would prefer another laptop lor net book for my birthday or a tablet.  As it happens it is remarkably locked down and I didn't think to get the apple password. From my boss so. I can't update flash and play games so I have decided to do a blog entry to try it out.   Here's the thing.  I can,t  see the point of them.  What do they do that you can't do on an old school machine and I am not a fan of touch screens.   I think I will probably stick with Trevor.s discarded laptop.  I think my mothers make do and mend attitude and inner Luddite comes to to the fore.  Reading this back I can see I have managed to put random full stops everywhere.  Anyway all you tablet lovers tell me what I am missing!

Sunday, January 06, 2013

Knots landing

On Friday I had seen the forecast for the weekend and it was set to be mild and clear and I had a hankering to go to the coast.   Usually we go to the Essex Coast but I had seen that in Norfolk at high tides in winter there is a spectacular flight of thousands of knots and other waders like this.
I actually didn't read the RSPB website properly or I would have realised that this only happens at very high tide when there is nothing left for the birds to stand on.   I enthused Trev with the idea and before you know it we had booked a hotel and were set  for a weekend away.
Very glad that I did misread it because we had a lovely time and we wouldn't have gone otherwise.

strange colouring of cliffs in Hunstanton
On the way up we stopped  in Hunstanton.  A walk along the prom of sunny Hunny was excellent.  We got some sunshine, some fresh air, we could look at the birds and as we headed south towards Heacham we d ogle at the extraordinary buildings along the coast.  Clearly planning permission isn't an issue.  Some looked like scout huts and some looked like public toilets.  People had got hold of some land and built whatever was cheapest but, bless them, they were all called things like Waikiki or Copacabana!
Our hotel was The White Horse in Brancaster Staithe further up the coast.  To get there we drove through Thornham were we used to have a caravan in the 60s.  My goodness it has become gentrified.  The newsagent and grocery have disappeared  and been replaced by the Village Deli.  The pub which owned our caravan park has stopped being called the Chequers and is now called the The Old Coaching Inn and the other pub in the village has gone from being the Cherry Tree to being the Orange Tree.  The entire village had gone through enough Farrow and Ball paint to drown a diplodocus.   Very different from when Mum and Dad considered buying a cottage there for £300!
The hotel was lovely.  Backing on to the salt marshes with lovely views and the haunting sound of the birds and  huge flocks of geese flying overhead.  The food was lovely too.  Thoroughly recommend it.
Trev outside our room

On Sunday we set off for Stretesham beach where we were going to see this bird spectacular.  The day started out like this.
View from hotel

But by the time we got to the nature reserve it looked like this!
The fog!

We kept expecting Magwitch to appear from the salt marshes.
  We had a very nice walk anyway and then wended our way home.

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Happy New Year

As I haven't posted anything on here for ages I thought I would start the new year off with an effort.

2012 provided quite a lot of variety.

Dogs - we had 3 extra over the year.

Minnie and Jeeves were trainee guide dogs, both yellow lab/retriever crosses, and are now both working as guide dogs, one in St Davids and one in Llanelli.  It was very rewarding to be part of their training and I felt quite proud when they went off to take up their jobs.

Fudge is a Jack Russell with (probably) corgi in there, who has been visiting over Christmas.  He is a very good natured and affectionate little dog who goes home at the end of this week and we will miss him when he goes.

All three moulted like blazes and had I realised when I bought the dark rug in the tv room that I was going to have 3 pale coated dogs moulting on it I would have bought a beige one!

We probably won't get more guide dogs because the local trainers have moved to New Zealand!


We had a great short break with Chris and Xavier in the spring, and that was the sunniest period we had all year.  We had another short break in Pennal (it rained most of the time) and a few months later saw the whole area under water with serious flooding.  Boo, Trev, Brian and I had 2 weeks walking along Hadrian's wall (it rained) and while we were there the A1 was closed because of flooding and Morpeth also flooded.  Christmas holidays were lovely (it rained) and the office flooded.  I am spotting a certain trend here which is a bit alarming.  Maybe Peggy's rainmaking genius is transferring itself down a generation. (I really really hope not!)


Brian had a piece workshopped by the BBC Orchestra of Wales in the Welsh Composers's forum in February though sadly it wasn't performed because it is too long.  However he got an email from the BBC to say they have accepted another piece for the Composer's forum coming up in March which is excellent and exciting news.  Parma - the recording company - have got the recording of Shadows of Memory and are discussing with Brian what else to put onto the cd.  It should be out in 2013 sometime.


Was fairly uneventful until the last week when the office flooded.  We are currently ensconced in the Basement workroom in Barry library and how long we will be there is anyone's guess.  We won't be going back to our old office because this is the 3rd time we have been flooded out, so where we will end up we have no idea.  It is a bit gloomy as there isn't much natural light, and it is very cosy! We have squashed the 3 desks in, but......

I hope everyone has a wonderful year

Friday, December 07, 2012


Well, as some of you know everyone at work was given the chance to have their genome sequenced with the view of looking for certain traits.  Here is the results

rs2131925 GT
rs2815752 AG
rs10924081 AA
rs984222 CC
rs7522380 AG
rs141282873 TT
rs12566888 GG
rs2814778 TT
rs1704745 AG
rs1011731 AA
rs73068734 GG
rs1668873 GG
rs4846567 GT
rs4481887 AG
rs2058754 AC
rs4971516 TT
rs1367117 AG
rs713586 CT
rs77703766 AA
rs4299376 GT
rs17045941 CG
rs2192015 CT
rs1596930 GG
rs56324656 AT
rs34149969 AC
rs142238274 GT
rs922452 CC
rs149528480 TT
rs1530559 GG
rs7570971 AC
rs3940549 AG
rs4988235 AG
rs12986776 CC
rs1649569 CT
rs6737672 AA
rs560887 CT
rs73082223 TT
rs7603279 AA
rs17279437 GG
rs1354034 CC
rs34266487 CC
rs6779741 CT
rs58827274 CC
rs10938397 AG
rs1458038 CT
rs75958653 AG
rs16891982 GG
rs37369 TT
rs12203592 CT
rs1294421 GG
rs28757581 AG
rs9295791 AA
rs6905288 GG
rs2479987 CT
rs7764454 GT
rs4896067 CC
rs2191349 TT
rs6968865 AT
rs1055144 CT
rs4607517 GG
rs114511432 AC
rs342293 CG
rs713598 GG
rs3958991 GG
rs4921914 TT
rs12678919 AA
rs1451240 AG
rs60855925 GG
rs1871534 GG
rs1408799 CT
rs10966900 TT
rs8176719 -C
rs4590817 GG
rs2393967 AC
rs3964382 AG
rs1329650 GG
rs932764 AG
rs11191548 TT
rs6578434 CT
rs12274304 GG
rs10767664 AA
rs9667766 AA
rs189303654 GG
rs7944584 TT
rs1815739 CT
rs1393350 GG
rs1387153 CC
rs11223548 CC
rs1558324 AG
rs7300229 CG
rs11051289 TT
rs10772420 GG
rs7960970 AC
rs4931618 CC
rs4766578 AA
rs2074356 GG
rs830124 GG
rs9507502 TT
rs4349012 CT
rs9518951 CC
rs28477704 AC
rs1953558 TT
rs12896399 GT
rs28771143 AG
rs12147642 TT
rs12913832 GG
rs1834640 AA
rs1426654 AA
rs12903208 AA
rs2472297 CT
rs1378942 AC
rs1051730 GG
rs8029083 CT
rs61420932 TT
rs186934484 TT
rs1558902 TT
rs4238771 GG
rs1864163 AG
rs4782395 CT
rs2138852 CC
rs9894429 CT
rs9675595 CT
rs571312 AC
rs5020278 GG
rs6511720 GT
rs8101881 CC
rs10421769 TT
rs4105144 CT
rs601338 GG
rs6038189 CC
rs6118441 AC
rs2180439 CT
rs4812748 AA
rs6014096 AA
rs6015450 AA
rs6061352 GG
rs2827021 AA
rs1003719 AG
rs3747226 AA
rs6625163 AG
rs2497938 CT
MT-G3010A A
MT-T3027C T
MT-T4336C T
MT-G4580A G
MT-A4833G A
MT-T5004C T
MT-C5178a C
MT-A5390G A
MT-C6371T C
MT-T6776C T
MT-T7028C C
MT-T8200C T
MT-G8697A G
MT-G9477A G
MT-G10310A G
MT-A10550G A
MT-C10873T T
MT-C11332T C
MT-A11947G A
MT-A12308G A
MT-A12612G A
MT-T14318C T
MT-T14766C C
MT-T14783C T
MT-C14872T C

A little bit tricky to interpret.  We have got more information on our own personal web page so when I have a bit more time I will study it and see what I can find.  The trouble is it is written by geneticists for geneticists so on a quick glance the only thing I established was that I had blood group B and blue eyes.  I was pretty confident on that knowledge anyway.
So hopefully next week I will get a bit more time to study it and if I still can't understand it I will trap a friendly scientists to explain it!