Haunting sound

Even if you don’t care for bellringers and their foibles, please go and have a look at this link, and click the MP3 for the sample of ringing on the minor 10, half-muffled, at Worcester Cathedral.

It’s a haunting sound.  The striking isn’t perfect (but then most of you won’t know what means) but the sound is… unique. Amazing.  Addictive.  I have to keep playing it.  I might hack it about and have it as my e-mail notification beep, or my SMS tone.

The accompanying blurb says the semitone bells installed to create the minor peal of 10 are unique.  They’re rung for “Armistice, New Year’s Day and other solemn occasions,” including last year’s War Requiem in the Three Choirs.



Sandringham’s long-range forecast is looking great now.

Just yesterday, it still had for Friday, which didn’t seem good for putting up tents. But that’s all gone. Of course, as veterans of Shell Island‘s microclimate, we don’t trust the long-rage WHATSOEVER. Our tent still shows the damage Force 8 winds can do.

We’ve decided to leave late on Thursday night, put up at the Linton Travel Tavern, have breakfast on a Big Plate before sauntering into Sandringham as soon as the camp site opens. Save ourselves having to drive so much during B. Hol traffic.

I’ve been to do the stocking up on camping food for this year. I’ve bought forty-quidsworth of various canned meats, coronation chicken, tinned veggies, tinned fruit, cereal variety packs, fruit juice and long life milk bricks. We probably won’t eat very much of it in Sandringham, as the whole gang of us (three couples, two tents and a caravan) seem to be planning on eating in pubs, supermarkets and barbecues over the weekend. Pubs? Supermarkets? Over a bank holiday weekend? It’ll all end in tears, hence the survival pack of tinned protein.

Whatever we don’t eat in Sandringham will last for the next camping trips over the summer. We’re currently planning one or two big gay trips to Shell Island, and a week in Normandy to celebrate some cix friends of mine opening a vegan gite at Cerisy La Foret only a handful of miles from my friends in Calvados.

Note to self – don’t forget tin opener. And don’t forget the booze.  Sleeping is going to be hard enough!


I’ve just been distracted from watching The IT Crowd (not the one with the fire but close) by some large heavy vehicle struggling to get past the cars parked outside our house.

“What lorry is trying to get up here at 3.20am?” I thought to myself and peered through the curtains.

A fire engine.

Fair enough.

I found myself putting on my coat and going to take some things to the postbox, and, you know, just incidentally rubbernecking a tiny bit as well.  Going down the hill, couldn’t see much.  Coming back up, saw a huge great plume of smoke between the houses.  There’s clearly a nasty fire going on.  Two tenders and an ambulance in attendance.  The crackle of radios.  No sirens, not in the middle of the night, but engine noises as they pump water, and louder than that, but still unintelligible, the sound of the radio. Not actually crackling, but an urgent conversation between a woman and a man.

I could see about 8 firemen in full gear including breathing apparatus storming the house.  Huge amounts of white smoke billowing out of an open window.

The detail that really surprised me was the water streaming down the hill.

Hope everyone’s OK.

And maybe I’ll take P’s worries about smoke alarms a bit more seriously.

The weather

Today it has been, by turns, hot, cold, windy, rainy, and hailing.

This is not a good thing.  Only a week from now we are down to be under canvass in Sandringham.

I’ve never been camping so early as Easter before, even though Easter is late this year.  Brr.  Keeping an anxious eye on the long range weather forecast. Although it’s cold this weekend,  night temperatures are up 9 degrees to, er 9 degrees by Wednesday.  Let’s hope that’s an upward trend rather than a mid-week spike.

So, new car

After this month’s various unreliabilities, I’m starting to think seriously about replacing my old car.

Where do you start when it comes to buying a car?  I have some vague ideas what I want — smaller, definitely, and with an engine that makes it cheap to insure and tax.  There have been times when having a huge great estate car has been handy, but not many.  And I’m not moving house again! Three doors, hatchback is probably enough. A convertible like my brother’s might be nice, but I don’t want to pay the premium to insure it.  It needs to be nippy on the motorway, but doesn’t need to so dangerously oomphy as the 1.9L Vauxhall hire car was.

I really don’t care what make or model it is so long as it works, and is comfortable.

And ideally,

  • is green
  • has a decent radio / MP3-CD player, and the luxury of more than one working speaker
  • has a handy thermometer to tell me the outside temperature

My parents have a Yaris each.  I was impressed by a co-councillor’s Peugeot two-oh-something.  R’s new Micra is quite nice.  I like the shape of the new Polo (which has really come on since Mum had one in the early 90s) although my nearest VW dealer doesn’t have any second hand green ones. The new Fiesta is much nicer than the old one.

Decisions, decisions.  Back burner.