Showing posts from August, 2011

The holiday...

Some more detail... We stayed in Windermere, in a lovely cottage in a little street just out of the main town area heading towards Bowness and the lake itself - ideal for us, meant we could pick to either walk into Windermere for shopping or to eat etc. or we could go down to Bowness. The weather was excellent for the Lake District, it only rained part of one day, the Wednesday and a couple of light spits.  Given there were storm warnings out for our home area some days that was a bit bizarre really. Sunday - we walked up to a viewpoint that looked over Windermere and then wandered about Bowness.  Son-of-Furtheron was determined to get us walking and so was planning what the guidebook we had (a Rough Guide) said was an "easy" hill walk.  This was the Fairfield Horseshoe, you climb out of Ambleside and over 8 peaks all over 500m.  Some advice was sought from a walking equipment shop owner as we bought a map we needed and he advised going in a particular direction, the we

Back from hols

I will give a breakdown in due course but had a great time in the Lake District, did a ridiculous (for us) fell walk, went on lake steamers, etc.   Had a great time, beautiful part of the world and get this... whilst it was storm warnings and chucking with rain in the south we only had one day with a bit of rain... truly!  The Furtheron family lucked in clearly :-)

Curved balls and luck

I wrote on this here blog  not 3 weeks ago about how I had landed a new job that was a similar commute to my old job (and current assignment) but was a perm job in one location without the hassle of a consultants "might be anywhere next month" concerns.  Well err.. I got offered another job this week.  I am so privileged.  I read, hear, see plenty on the news that this recession we are in is hard for people and unemployment is rising and many are really struggling to find any employment and here is me now with a job with a company that don't want me to leave but which I have a major lifestyle choice issue with, another company locally offering a really good job and now a really exciting opportunity in London! I'm taking the London based one - firstly it is right in the centre and a few mins walk from a terminus with a regular service from my local station.  It is with a top university and is at ground zero today - i.e. they are transforming their IT function and hav

A couple of CD Reviews - Yes, Fly From Here and Journey Eclipse

I've had a big of an influx of new CDs lately so am going to do a few catch up reviews. Yes - Fly From Here . The first new Yes studio album since Magnification which was fully 10 years ago when that was released only the second Yes album to not feature Jon Anderson on lead vocals the first being Drama back in 1980 - which is now fully 31 years ago! So what is the story then... Yes was restored to the "classic" line up of Jon Anderson vocals, Steve Howe guitar, Chris Squire bass, Rick Wakeman keyboards, Alan White drums back in 2002 when the embarked on a lengthy 35th anniversary tour - there is a good DVD available of a show from San Fransisco for anyone interested in that.   The group then took a break when they decided to get back together Jon Anderson was unable to commit due to some health issues with his throat.  Rick Wakeman was not prepared for big long tours and didn't want to have anything to do with it with out Jon Anderson... so he left to be replace

An Oasis of beauty

In all the horrible stuff of the past few days which continue - I had to switch off the radio again on the way to work this morning as whilst I do care about the issues relating to the riots I have recognise my own limits on this stuff so Rodrigo y Gabriela Live in Paris went on the CD player... much more nourishing for my soul.  (Reminds me I owe the readers of this august blog a whole bunch of CD reviews).  So that was the first thing but more majorly I went to a wedding yesterday and it was lovely in all kinds of way. Firstly the wedding was an old friend of ours, a second marriage for both parties both with families from the previous one.  The great spirit in which you could see these two families joining as one was fantastic.  The love between the bride and groom was palpable throughout the day.  The setting was fantastic, a lovely country hotel just outside Bristol in the South Gloustershire countryside, the weather was gorgeous.  Sadly earlier this year my friends mother passe

equilibrium restored...

I have to be honest my equilibrium was a bit awry at the beginning of the week.  I know some of this was due to the riots - it really did affect me emotionally, I was frankly scared, I don't think for my own personal safety/wellbeing but for my countries, my communities etc.  I still feel that there is much much more to be learnt from all this.  Sadly there was a protest at the start of this that may have had something political, something about social inequality and about how we communicate with groups and society.  But the vast majority of what has been shown is just wanton looting, theft, violence and causing damage for damage sake.  Then to try to justify this people talk about the lack of opportunity and that they were trying to take from the rich.  Lost on that argument - why were you attacking shops owned by people in your own communities then?  Even attacking the large conglomerates makes no sense in that argument as the people who will suffer are the store managers and emp

Great recovery post

Fantastic post on recovery I'd recommend it to anyone who has an addiction problem esp. alcohol or anyone who comes into contact with addicts/alcoholics.   Short, to the point and very eloquently written...

England's week of shame

I've been debating whether to blog on the riots but given it is occupying more of my headspace than I'd like it to I clearly should. I've not been in anyway as yet directly affected by it.  There was small scale disturbances near to us Monday night with some cars and bins burnt but our local police pinned the blame on a group who had travelled into our towns deliberately and had arrested what they reported to be the majority of them. So how do I feel about the riots?  Angry?  Yes. Sad? Yes. Confused?  Most definitely. My vision of it is that this is not about the shooting in Tottenham but what has happened is that the police's inability to deal with that and the looting and mayhem that ensued there has led others to realise that this is a great way to commit crime with I believe they think little chance of being caught.  The police should have dealt better with it earlier - I don't underestimate the difficulty of that but it spread since they were seen as inef

Gig Review - Iron Maiden The O2 5-Aug-2011

One of Son-of-Futheron's 21st birthday "treats" was for us to both go and see Iron Maiden live at The O2.  Fortunately over the last few years they seem to have either toured very close to his birthday or Christmas making some of the present buying simple! For once this was quiet a straight forward set from the boys, in that there were a few tracks off the latest album and then a bunch of classics thrown in - given other tours have seen them playing "Only tracks from the first four albums", "One tracks from the last four albums", The Powerslave tour set, the entire A Matter of Life and Death album etc. Anyway - as ever Maiden didn't disapoint with a big grand space ship style set and from the word go it was classic Maiden.  Steve Harris in front of the monitors thumping away on his bass, Dave Murray and Adrian Smith in usual poses - i.e. Dave with flowing hair and solos a plenty and Adrian with his odd little robot like feet action... of course

Busy times

I was off work for two whole days to celebrate my sons 21st birthday.  Thursday we went to the cabinet war rooms in London.  Very interesting place, actually the huge museum on Churchill's life was the biggest interest for me.  How can one man have done so much in his life?  He was instrumental in the introduction of some of major social reforms in this country - namely national insurance, state pensions and labour exchanges.  Then of course all the first world war stuff and of course the second world war... what an utterly amazing man. Lunch was at The Hard Rock Cafe... the original in London.  I was defeated by the huge portion that was piled on the plate!  We ended the day getting throughly ripped off by having a cup of tea/coffee in Harrods.  Mrs F is still mumbling about the £20 bill for the four of us.  We declined having scones which were over £8 each!!! Friday the crack decorating team of Mrs F and Son-of-Furtheron who had completed all the painting of Daughter-of-Furth

Something about guitars!!!

You know that despite the august title of this blog there has been previous little about guitars on here lately.  Actually I've consider starting a new blog with the title "None the bloody wiser frankly" given that is often how I feel as I get older. Anyway - some guitar stuff... I was reading this months copy of Guitarist.  They had a review of some new Yamaha Pacifica models - namely the Pacifica 611HFM, the 510V and the 311H.   Now the 611 and 311 are very similar just the 611 has Semour Duncan pickups, better h/w and a flame maple veneer top.  I've played one or two Pacifica's over the years and always been impressed with them, also I'm a Yamaha steel string acoustic nut owning currently three different models!  I'd love an old SG as well (don't start Colin I know yours is for sale but just because I'd love to buy your beauty doens't mean I can justify it either to myself or the wealth distribution management oversight committee of Mrs

the debt ceiling... or stop the world I want to get off

Finally the USA government have raised the debt ceiling - I have no idea if that is a good or a bad idea, frankly because I can't even get my head around the numbers.  It was raised by $2.4tn... tn?  Yes not m (million) not bn (billion) but a trillion.  What is a trillion?  It is 12 zeros.  12 zeros!!!  Let us write out that number long hand then... $2,400,000,000,000  The mind boggles I can't really cope with that the number is in my simple brains terms stonkingly big.  Oh note that was the incremental rise, i.e. that was how much extra they wanted to borrow.  Go to your bank and ask to raise your overdraft by that amount!!!  The new USA federal government debt is therefore now $16.7tn.  The mind boggles.  Frankly what the hell do they spend it on?  Trying to visualise this in my head led me to think the opposite about small things - say an atom.  (Dubious research note here - I got a lot of this info off Yahoo Answers).  250,000,000 atoms all lined up is apparently 1 inch

Moving on

Bad Company - first album, Moving On one of my favourite tracks of theirs however that isn't the point of this post... I can reveal that the life changing event alluded a post of two back is actually not that interesting... I've got a new job that is all. Just couldn't post that on here until those that needed to be told were told, not that any of them have probably any clue about this blog but I just thought that people needed to be told confidentially first. Anyways all sorted now... I've landed a local - well as local as my old long term job and current assignment - i.e. about 40 mile commute - IT project manager role with a well known and respected company. It'll remove the stress of wondering where the next assignment will be and no longer have to face any weekly or long term working away from home. It isn't that there is any problem with my current employer, nice company, lovely people and interesting work for the most part but I just hated the being