Ten Years Back

This weekend there’s been a bit of a “ten years ago” meme going round social media, and while I won’t get involved (mainly because I don’t do photos of me, let alone photos of me from a decade ago) it did make me go back to the archives here and have a look at what was going on.  Which was quite interesting (to me, anyway)

Ten years ago, I was still with Herself, we were in the Norfolk house, and sleeping abysmally while also sick as chuff with a chest infection of sorts. So, some things never change. I was working in a local-government job I hated – and the post about that was exactly ten years ago today – and generally doing OK.

I did also find a post about my weight – and again, not much has changed. I’ve lost a bit of weight since then – which I’m happy with – but all told it’s really stayed pretty stable. (There’s another post back in Jan 2005 about the same thing, with similar figures to where I’m at now)

Of course, there have been a lot of changes in that ten years, but it’s also interesting to see what’s stayed much the same…

New(ish) Places – Some More

Following on from last week’s post about rediscovering places that are local (and that I hadn’t realised were local) I did a similar thing this weekend.

Having dropped off the Uborkans back at Stoke Bruerne, I had all day to play with, so mooched over to another blast from the past- Rushden and Higham Ferrers, in Northamptonshire.  While I didn’t work there myself, friends did, and I got pretty familiar with the area.

As before, it was odd to be going along routes I remember from bus and taxi rides from Northampton, the way those routes tripped my memory – as did arriving in Rushden, and recalling a bundle of landmarks.

I ended up walking round Rushden, as well as up to Higham Ferrers (roughly 3km each way) to revisit places I used to frequent. It was odd to see the changes, as well as the bits that haven’t changed – particularly the hotel that my friends worked in, which is now a set of apartments, with a new connected building, and a new supermarket over the road. It’s bloody weird, seeing old memories overlaid with new changes.

Once I was done, I drove home via a very perverse and winding route – I kind-of knew where I was, and where I was heading, but definitely took some of the odder routes and diversions, basically just learning sections of the local geography (and linking together bits I already knew, but hadn’t figured the road connections) and enjoyed doing so.

All told, a pretty decent way to spend a day.

The Girl’s Hand

I’ve got a book in my head, and I can’t remember the name, the author, or anything. It’s incredibly annoying, because I want to re-read it, but there’s nothing I can do to trip my memory.

It’s a book about a killer, and starts off with the killer walking out of the woods, holding a girl’s hand.

It’s only at the end of the chapter that you realise the hand is all he has of the girl, as he puts the hand in his pocket.

And that’s it, that’s all I can clearly remember of this book. It would’ve been late eighties, early nineties, and probably by an American author (or at least set in America)

So – any ideas?

Remembrance Day

With proud thanksgiving, a mother for her children,
England mourns for her dead across the sea.
Flesh of her flesh they were, spirit of spirit,
Fallen in the cause of the free.

Solemn the drums thrill: Death august and royal
Sings sorrow up into immortal spheres.
There is music in the midst of desolation
And a glory that shines upon our tears.

They went with songs to the battle, they were young,
Straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted,
They fell with their faces to the foe.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old;
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

They mingle not with laughing comrades again;
They sit no more at familiar tables of home;
They have no lot in our labour of the day-time;
They sleep beyond England’s foam.

But where our desires are and our hopes profound,
Felt as a well-spring that is hidden from sight,
To the innermost heart of their own land they are known
As the stars are known to the Night;

As the stars that shall be bright when we are dust,
Moving in marches upon the heavenly plain,
As the stars that are starry in the time of our darkness,
To the end, to the end, they remain.

“For the Fallen” by Laurence Binyon, originally published in The Times on 21 September 1914, and the source of the more common “Ode to Remembrance”


There are times where I’m a real spanner – and it looks like last week was one of those times.

You see, ages back I booked myself for the @Media conference in London. And then forgot about it completely.

And it turns out it was last week – the Thursday and Friday, to be precise.  Which means that last week would’ve been made infinitely more complex than it was, what with the Cambridge interview and the entire travelling to see AC/DC – but it’s still a bummer.

It’s weird too, in that I haven’t heard anything about it this year – nothing I’ve noticed on Twitter or Facebook, and none of the developers and techies I know having gone to it. Compared to a couple of years ago, when I knew loads of people who went, that just seems pretty odd.

It’s a pain to have paid for the ticket and not gone – but well, my company had paid for the ticket rather than me personally (it’s a semantic point in many ways, I know) so it could be worse.

What’s That Book?

Recently, my brain has been slightly locked with a question – one even the mighty AQA couldn’t come up with an answer to.

So I’m hoping that posting it on D4D™ might just find someone who knows what the hell it is I’m whittling on about.

Anyway – I read a book a while back, and I’m now trying to remember what the hell the book was. The scene I clearly recall involved one protagonist meeting the other for the first time in a school playground, where they were playing marbles. (At least, I think it was marbles – could’ve been tiddlywinks, or something)

Anyway, Person One knocks one of Person Two’s marbles out of play, and out of school grounds. As a result, Person Two throws one of Person One’s marbles out of the school grounds, and it degenerates into each one throwing the marbles out of the playground.

It’s a stupid scene, but I can’t remember where the hell it came from.

So help me, Interwebs, please

Live Performances

When I go to see a concert – or even watching music programmes on TV etc. – one of the silly things that always impresses me is that the singers remember all the words.

For me, writing something down is the best way yet to forget it. It’s somewhere solid (even if that is only somewhere like here) and it’s somewhere I can find it again. So if I write it down, it’s effectively gone from my head.

That’s why (for me) it’s better to keep ideas in my head, rather than writing them down as an aide memoire – because it won’t aid me, I’ll just forget the entire thing.

So I find myself repeatedly in awe of the people who still know their lyrics, who can still produce them repeatedly at any given performance with seemingly no notes, reminders, hints or clues. To me that’s just awesome, regardless.

So what do you find yourself in awe of?