What is your favourite text with a "new year" theme?

(Am looking for something I can set, so public domain is best, unless you know the author and think I can get written permission to use it.)

So, first I figured out that the water in Bethnal Green is what is giving me this stupid rash on my arms and neck and so on. Fine, I thought, I'll look into filters again and see what I can do.

Today while I was showering, the hot water suddenly lost almost all pressure. Bugger, thought I, and proceeded to try to finish washing my hair with cold water. This has not happened to me before in that shower. But it wasn't completely cold water, because there was still some supplementary hot water.

Halfway through trying to get the shampoo out of my hair, the hot water came back, but it comes in fits and starts with lots of air, it's rather orange (rust?) and has bits in (rust!). I'd expect that to come out of a radiator, not a tap.

We have some kind of Potterton gas-fired flash boiler. And radiators, none of which (to my knowledge, which is NOT certain) are currently leaking.

Any ideas? Other than 'shower elsewhere until this is fixed'?
One of the assorted goodies that was in some of the Christmas confectionery packages that [livejournal.com profile] pfy and I made up last year (with some help from [livejournal.com profile] hairyears, I should add) was a... a sort of invented thing. It was rum-soaked fruit, chopped up and mixed into an almost-paste, rolled into a log with marzipan and sliced into rounds which are spirals. Then we poured chocolate over the spirals to hold them together. Mostly it was a way of using up fruit from the rum pot I'd started in the summer, and we were coating most things in chocolate anyway on account of having no restraint.

They were very tasty and quite popular and rum-soaked-fruit-things-with-marzipan-and-chocolate is a bit of a mouthful, especially when you've got your mouth full already with rum-soaked fruit and marzipan and chocolate...

... yesterday's picnic led to some discussion of this, because if I'm going to do the rum pot again I need to start, like, two months ago (though I can cheat and buy dried fruit for it if necessary, but still need to start pretty soon even if I'm doing it that way).

I'm pleased to announce that these convoluted delicacies now have a name: they are called Maria wheels. I didn't find mention on Google of Maria wheels being anything else, particularly; there is a model of car wheel by Gazario that is called Maria but that hardly counts. So yay for nomenclature.

I really ought to ensure that I make some this year, if nothing else to send some to the person they are named for, who I don't think I've met.
I won't be able to do this because it's London and Not Dark Enough, but the forecast is for clear skies by 4am. If you're somewhere dark, you might still catch some meteors.

Not catch, literally, which would be a bit warm, but catch as in watch.


Aug. 13th, 2008 12:06 pm
Going to pick up bicycle today!

Will have to get it from King's Cross to here in weeknight traffic. Slightly nervous, but I know if it comes to it I can walk from King's Cross to Angel and then take the canal. (In actual fact my plan is to ride from King's Cross to Angel and then take the canal.)

Now I will mess about with finding maps and locks and pumps and so on, and try to get some paperwork and planning done too.
Do you consider yourself part of a subculture? Geek culture? Goth culture? Weird culture?

How would you explain your culture to an extremely intelligent and open-minded but rather sheltered person, of a generation older than you are? What would you say? What would you show them, what music would you play to them, what would you tell them to read, if they wanted to understand your culture better?

Just curious...
Arrived safely in Somerset. It's quiet here.

Lily, the retriever I first met two summers ago as a puppy, has grown up and had a litter of her own. I expect to be overrun by cuteness sometime after breakfast tomorrow. Cats are still cuter, though.
Yesterday I saw a perfect picnic basket in a charity shop. I didn't buy it because I didn't want to carry it home; also, knowing I could carry it empty is not the same as knowing I could carry it when full of food and it was rather large. But it was rather lovely.

I got to thinking about what is required for a picnic and which things it would be possible to keep on hand in a sort of picnic kit. I already have a miniature version of this in my backpack much of the time: spork, perhaps my travel mug (I am going to start using this when I get tea at Trinty instead of the paper mugs they provide), some sort of cloth to sit on, multi-tool for opening things and slicing cheese... but at home I could do a bit better than that, really. I have various picnic-friendly dishes scattered throughout my things and it wouldn't be too hard to pack them all in one place, and when the picnic blanket stops living in the laundry pile it really ought to go to the same place. Bottles of elderflower champagne really need to be kept refrigerated until ready to drink and I don't have the space for that, but I could keep some home-made squash and a couple of bottles of sparkling water, or a bottle of sloe gin and some tonic water, at room temperature quite happily for some time. Cheese and bread and veg would have to be bought or made on the day but there are plenty of non-perishable crackers I could pack, and some olives and perhaps things like salsa-in-a-jar or preserved artichoke hearts would be easy to tuck away; some nuts and seeds would work well too and maybe some dried fruit (though fresh is always nicer); when I next make jam or jelly I could make some rather small jars and keep one or two of those in an instant-picnic box. This is starting to sound like a rather posh picnic but what's the point of sitting in beautiful surroundings and then eating crap?

What goes in your picnic basket? What would you take on the perfect picnic?
On my way now. Not taking the computer with me after all, too much stuff already and I don't think I'll have time to use it.

If I have no internet access at Charterhouse then I will next be online sometime on 31st July or 1st August.

Leonard Cohen is playing in London on 13th November (a Thursday).

I so want to go.

Tickets are £50 and up.

... and with any luck I'll have to do something for the bloody Performance Department at Trinity that night. No way of knowing at the moment.



Jul. 1st, 2008 07:41 am
IMSLP is back!


Sadly it hasn't got the Jenner trio in it, so I'll have to revert to plan "Get hold of the manuscript or a copy of it somehow," which probably involves me or someone else traveling to Marburg. Or somewhere. Details are hazy in my brain right now.

Also, today is Canada Day. Happy Canada Day!

Also, today I am going to the optician. Hopefully by Saturday's concert I will have specs that do not use gaffer tape as a major structural component.

[livejournal.com profile] pfy is going for a walk to raise money for a good cause". Twenty miles is a long way and he's had to get up unnaturally early for a geek in order to even get to the start of the walk.

The donation page is here. Or you can give him or me (if he isn't there yet) some cash tomorrow at the pub.
I need an ironing board.

I need it to be tall enough for me to iron comfortably. The tallest I've been able to find goes to 98cm, which is just not tall enough. The measuring tape tells me that I need my ironing board to extend to the height of 120cm.

It does need to fold flat like normal ironing boards do, because I'm very short of space (as you would be too, if you tried to fit a household into one room). Being relatively lightweight is also an advantage, though not nearly as important as the height.

I am willing to pay £60 for such an ironing board. Any takers?


Jun. 3rd, 2008 10:05 am
ewt: (traffic)
Any Londoners have recommendations for a good optician?

For actually getting new glasses I will go to the place I went to last time, in Enfield, because they are competent and pleasant. I may go to them for the exam as well but if anyone knows of anyone particularly good elsewhere, do let me know.

I dislike playing lottery with any aspect of my health, and I do actually get to choose which optician to go to, so I may as well have a good look.

I refuse to enter any branch of Vision Express due to what happened last time (they left me with no glasses and no sales adviser for an hour, then tried to sell me expensive designer frames that I had already said were way out of my price range).


May. 31st, 2008 07:33 pm
I have a Le Creuset frying pan. It is small-ish (20cm diameter) and completely made of cast-iron; I got it in a charity shop for about a fiver, which is pretty good for something that costs considerably more in shops.

It has non-stick coating on it, and the coating was starting to come off which I assume is why it was in the charity shop.

I have been trying to remove the rest of the non-stick, using a variety of scouring brushes and so on. Being Le Creuset, it's not been giving up easily; I don't know what they must have done to it to get it to the state it was in when I bought it.

Today I tried sandpaper, and that seems to work best so far, but it's going to take a very long time and an awful lot of sandpaper to get anywhere with this.

I've considered some sort of electric sander, but this would be no good for the curved edges of the pan, and these make up more area than the flat bottom.

Is there a chemical thing that can do this? Should I buy a can of Brasso and give it a try, or will it not work on iron? Now I've got through some of it, is it worth leaving it wet somewhere to see if I can rust the surface a little, or will that just wreck it entirely? Is there possibly some sort of tool that can just, I don't know, blast sand at a surface until all the non-stick comes off, and does anyone have one I can borrow?
I own the Schott edition of the Jenner trio for Piano, Clarinet and Horn. This edition is edited by Horst Heussner and is copyright B. Schott's Sohne, Mainz, 1990.

Jenner died in 1920: his work is no longer in copyright. That whole 70-years-after-the-death-of-the-composer thing suggests that Schott weren't able to publish until 1990, but how did they get hold of it?

Am I legally allowed to re-typeset this music? The big problem I can see is that there is no way to tell which markings are Heussner and which are original.

I very much doubt I can get hold of an earlier edition: this one was difficult enough to find. If Schott own it they certainly aren't going to let me have a peek. The Preface says that an early copy passed from the ownership of Mandyczewski to the library of the Gesellschaft der Musikfreude in Wien, but doesn't say where they got their later edition from (presumably Jenner himself sent it to Brietkopf & Hartel at some point, as he'd sent them an earlier version as well).

This is very sad: a lovely piece of music which is difficult to get hold of by traditional means is virtually unheard of (neither my current horn teacher nor my old teacher, Julian Baker, had any idea of the existence of the piece before I told them), the composer certainly doesn't stand to benefit and the work should be out of copyright, but I see no straightforward way to make a public domain edition available. It isn't that I don't think the editor should be paid for editing, or the typesetter for typesetting: doing these things well does take skill. I do wonder, though, how much of the editing was simply a matter of copying down exactly what was in the manuscript to begin with. If Jenner was anything like Brahms (who wrote down every meticulous detail) then there wasn't much to be done there. And while doing a better job myself on the typesetting is a tall order that I won't be able to fill anytime soon, I'd like to be able to have a crack at it, particularly given that there are some badly-crowded passages in the piano part I have.

There are practical considerations, as well. Foolishly I only ordered one copy of the music (at 57.15 EUR each there is good reason), but in the past I've played in chamber groups and had people not return parts to me. That gets expensive, and extremely annoying. At the moment there are two different groups I want to play this with, but me keeping control of all parts between rehearsals is completely unrealistic: they need to take them away and learn them. But I can't photocopy what I've got because it isn't legal to do so, even if there is no profit involved. In theory I should be getting four more people to buy their own copies, but that takes time and is rather silly. And no, it isn't in the Trinity library, or the Alan Cave chamber music collection, or anywhere else in London that I've been able to look.

I sort of hope that when IMSLP comes back in July I find that the Jenner is already in there. There is nothing by Jenner in MusOpen, or in the Werner Icking Music Archive, or in the Mutopia Project, but they're all smaller than IMSLP was.


May. 31st, 2008 12:15 am
Exam had good bits and not-so-good bits; head of Brass and Julian Baker (my old teacher, and the external examiner) were both positive about it, so I don't think I failed or anything drastic like that.

I'll do a proper taking-apart analysis at some later date.

Now I am taking a break from practising until at least Wednesday afternoon (have a rehearsal Wednesday evening and it would be good to be warmed up when I get there). Instead I shall be mostly tidying my room.


May. 17th, 2008 03:49 pm
Dear Interwebs,

I currently use a Quo Vadis diary with the SEPTANOTE layout.

The vertical layout for days works extremely well for me, and week-on-two-pages with notes for each day and also off to the right is good. However, they only have six full days there, Sunday has a tiny little slot near the end, and I find this difficult for scheduling teaching.

Do any of you lot know where I could find a week-on-two-pages diary with vertical day layout and a notes section that has ALL SEVEN DAYS?
I have a practical exam on 30th May.

Any event, social or otherwise, that I say I'll come to between now and then is subject to whether my brain says it is better to use the time or the energy for practising. I have only so much reliability and must use it for the academic things.

That is all.
I didn't vote for the idiot. I specifically voted for Ken because he was the only one who had a chance of beating Boris.


I would have voted for Vetinari but there wasn't a tickybox for him. Damnit.


The Wild Ewt of the Plains of Canada

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