Sunday, 23 November 2014

Relief mixed with actual pleasure.

No time for railway today, so as usual, some images from Google search re French model railway related stuff.

Yielded some sketches and models of the Gare du Nord and a great early picture of the Eiffel Tower.







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Currently listening to:

Radu Lupu playing Schubert sonatas.
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Last night's dinner:

Chicken in tomato sauce plus samphire
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Currently reading:



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Drumming practice update:

Our Samba band played in a Christmas Carnival parade in Glasgow today and I think we were a success. People cheered and clapped our playing as we marched through the crowded streets of the city centre.

Tried to take a few photographs but it was pretty well impossible to get everyone in - here are a few real scrappy efforts.



That's actually my gloved hand holding 2 sticks in the foreground - it was very cold.


The scene immediately behind us.
After yesterday's disastrous rehearsal, I was hugely relieved that the performance today was deemed by everyone to be a success. And, I actually enjoyed it.

Saturday, 22 November 2014

Terrible Samba Drumming Rehearsal

No time for railway today so here are a few SNCF related images from the web.

Lovely locos - you just don't see locomotives anywhere  these days

Just like this.

I think this is a mosaic of Limoges station.

Not sure what's going on here.

Perhaps wallpaper for a child's bedroom.
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Currently listening to:


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Last night's dinner:

Pizza with artichokes, black olives and anchovies.
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Currently reading:


Just reached the halfway point where the author has left The Communards and is searching for meaning in his life in the form of Christian faith.

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Drumming practice update:

The Samba drumming rehearsal this morning for tomorrow's appearance at a parade in the centre of Glasgow was probably the worst ever. The other Caixa player and myself simply could not keep up with the speed/tempo that has been deemed necessary for the performance.

When I mentioned the problem to the leaders they reflected on their own past experience of finding oneself out of one's comfort zone - sink or swim.

Better take a lifebelt!















Friday, 21 November 2014

Bought our Christmas Tree today.

Sorted the heights for the streetlights today by gluing the little circular plinth in a position so that the lights will be approx 4 cm tall.

The plinths in a variety of different positions - they slide up and down the poles.

Glued into position.

Temporarily lined up - still to be connected to the red and black wires..
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Currently listening to:

Occasionally, in days of old, I used to record episodes of the John Peel BBC radio show onto audio cassettes. I still have a few of these.

I remember one such programme when he played, in fairly close proximity, the tracks "First Impressions" by The Impressions and something (can't remember the title) by King Curtis.




King Curtis
For decades, I've been meaning to search out the King Curtis track on iTunes. But without a title to go on - or even a hint of  what the title might have been - the search was put on the back burner.

Anyway, today after downloading "First Impressions" I decided to go through the list of 383 King Curtis songs that are available on iTunes, playing the first few seconds of each, until I found "the one".

Track 86 proved to be it; recognised it immediately. The title rang no bells whatsoever: "Pots and Pans".

Brilliant track  recorded live at Small's Paradise.



Harlem
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Last night's dinner:

Plaice and artichokes under grilled cheese.
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Currently reading:


Still engrossing.
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Drumming practice update:

A bit of a revelation yesterday when practising with the other Caixa playing member of my Samba band. It was actually his revelation.

To inject a Samba groove into the following simple pattern:

UPPER CASE = loud,  lower case = soft.

r l R L, r l R L, r l R L, r l R L, r l R L, ........

one should move forward the fourth and last stroke in the pattern so that it almost immediately follows the third stroke:

like so:

r l RL, r l RL, r l RL, r l RL, r l RL, ........

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Miscellany 1:

Another revelation came this morning when I at last grasped how to use Truth-trees to identify invalid arguments in sentential logic.

That was followed by my getting 100% in the latest online examination.

Miscellany 2:

Bought a lamp today for the garden - when the summer evenings come back next year.




But before then, it will be this year's Christmas tree. It will sit on some sort of plinth and have little Nativity scenes and the like around its base.


We had first come across these one-piece plastic moulded outdoor lamps many years ago at a hotel in Girona and we've never forgotten them.

Different shape but same principle.
There were other models available in the shop, including illuminated chairs.



Thursday, 20 November 2014

From little acorns ......

Completed a teeny task necessary for the installation of the streetlights in front of the Gare du Nord, namely, soldering together the sections of wire whose joints form the connection points for the fine wires from the lights themselves.





The spatula protects the plastic insulation of the other wire from melting.
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Currently listening to:

General Ludd - love the work of this duo.
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Last night's dinner:

Forgot to take photograph but it was quite a spread from my niece's kitchen as she prepares to move house.

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Currently reading:

Excellent

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Drumming practice update:

Nothing for it but to keep practising. I was encouraged by a drummer who referred to his "years of tedious practice". At least, strictly speaking, I'm still at the "months of ........." stage.


Toying with the idea of wearing gloves at our parade on the weekend - Scottish weather after all.

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

An early Christmas present.

A note through the door from the postman this morning asking me to visit the post office and pay £19.11 in Customs Duty for the locomotive that I purchased on eBay from a chap in Canada.

A bit of a shock but I think it's worth it.






It weighs pleasingly and reassuringly heavy.

I am going to trust that the contents are in one piece and not open it until Christmas Day.

The HO scale JEP locomotive inside will look a bit  like the model in the photograph below (slightly different version).




The real thing.
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Currently listening to:


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Last night's dinner:

Spaghetti sprinkled with Parmesan

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Currently reading:


Seems to be a fairly honest account.
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Drumming practice update:

Very enjoyable and thus successful (or should that be the other way round) Samba drumming class last night.

Spent an hour today continuing to indoctrinate my body into getting the sticks to travel by swinging the forearms rather than the wrists.