Tuesday, 3 January 2012

David Briggs

Listened to the latest programme (2 Jan 2012) on Pipedreams this morning and heard David Briggs' Te Deum recorded in Gloucester Cathedral. This blew me away with the combination of plainchant and French-style cathedral organ improvisation. I had to buy the CD and found it here on Amazon: http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B003IEAMG2.  I can't wait to get it.

Monday, 2 January 2012

Nokia Lumia 800

My old mobile (LG GM750 - so painfully slow I replaced it once but the replacement was no better) was coming up to the end of its contract and I have been wondering what to replace it with.  In the end, I had no choice - I wanted to stick with the Vodafone network, being by far the best for Alveston and the Lakes, and I wanted to stick with Windows Mobile if I could, because, maybe naively, I thought this was the best way to synchronise with Outlook calendar and contacts on the desktop.  So I went into the Vodafone store in Yate before Christmas and they said they only offer one Windows phone and that was a Nokia Lumia 800.

Here are some thoughts on the phone so far:

Very responsive
Built around tiles which are very easy to use
No stylus required (but typing requires smaller fingers than I have)
The people tile links to contacts which automatically link to their facebook pages
Most apps you would ever need are available in the marketplace
The link up between Microsoft and Nokia seems to be paying dividends and this is promising for the future

Synchronises with windows live in the 'cloud' rather than directly with the desktop using activesync, so may not be everyone's cup of tea, but this has the advantage of accessibility from any computer connected to the internet
Synchronisation can be slow
Does not download Outlook categories
Battery life is one day (but this is the same as my previous phone)

Overall, I very much like this phone and it is a joy to use.  It would be difficult to beat - iPhone should be worried.

See also:  http://thenokiablog.com/2011/11/09/nokia-lumia-800-review/

Friday, 2 December 2011

Computer freezes randomly

My desktop computer has started to freeze randomly. I have found this blog http://computercleanup.blogspot.com/ which has a very easy to follow checklist of things I can do. So here's hoping one of them solves the problem.

Saturday, 26 November 2011

Another Brocken Spectre

Exactly a year after seeing my first Brocken spectre on Bow Fell, we came across another one on Coniston Old Man while in the Lake District this week. Here is a videoclip I loaded to YouTube and a picture. This time, you can see 2 concentric rainbows.

Monday, 4 July 2011

My Farm

I'm thinking of joining http://www.my-farm.org.uk/. Sounds interesting for anyone wanting to know more about the connection between food and farming.  You can get involved with running Home Farm, Wimpole Estate owned by the National Trust.

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Desert Island Discs

I have just put together my Desert Island Discs and entered it here:

Mozart Requiem
Beethoven Violin Concerto
John Ireland Hymn "My Song is Love Unknown"
Bach Mass in B Minor
Handel Messiah
Elgar Dream of Gerontius
Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto no 2
Saint-Saens Organ Symphony

Also rans:
Bach Toccatas
Beethoven Symphony nos 3, 6 & 9
Beethoven Piano Concerto no 3 & 5
Mozart Piano Concerto nos 21 & 23
Mozart Clarinet Concerto
Vierne Finale from Organ Symphony no1
Franck Organ Final
Verdi Requiem
Faure Requiem
Faure Cantique de Jean Racine
Dvorak New World Symphony
Berlioz Requiem
Brahms A German Requiem
Bruckner Symhony no 4
Mahler Symphony nos 1, 2 'Resurrection', 4 & 5
Purcell Funeral music
Schubert Symphony no 8 'Unfinished'
Dvorak 'New World' Symphony
Mussorgsky Pictures at an Exhibition
Allegri Miserere
Tavener The Lamb
Schostakovich Piano Concertos

It is so difficult to decide, but I wanted to include organ, piano, symphony and concerto as well as choral, and have all different composers.

See a fuller list of my favourites here:

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Check your e-mail addresses!

A Minneapolis couple decided to go to Florida to thaw out during a particularly icy winter. They planned to stay at the same hotel where they spent their honeymoon 20 years earlier. Because of hectic schedules, it was difficult to coordinate their travel schedules. So, the husband left Minnesota and flew to Florida on Thursday, with his wife flying down the following day.

The husband checked into the hotel. There was a computer in his room, so he decided to send an e-mail to his wife. However, he accidentally left out one letter in her e-mail address, and without realizing his error, sent the e-mail.

Meanwhile, somewhere in Houston, a widow had just returned home from her husband's funeral. He was a minister who was called home to glory following a heart attack. The widow decided to check her e-mails expecting messages from relatives and friends. After reading the first message, she screamed and fainted.

The widow's son rushed into the room, found his mother on the floor, and saw the computer screen which read:

To: My Loving Wife

I know you're surprised to hear from me. They have computers here now and you are allowed to send emails to your loved ones. I've just arrived and have been checked in.

I've seen that everything has been prepared for your arrival tomorrow. Looking forward to seeing you then! Hope your journey is as uneventful as mine was.
P. S. It sure is freaking hot down here!!!

Tubular Fells

Now for sale - an interesting map of the Lake District.
See http://www.tubularfells.com/

Friday, 25 February 2011

Lawrence Dallaglio on Desert Island Discs

Quotes from this morning's Desert Island Discs:

"Only a life lived in the service of others is worth living."  Albert Einstein

"You can earn a living from what you get but you only get a life from what you give. Take it from me baby, giving is always best."  Andy Ripley

Thursday, 3 February 2011

Verdi Requiem in Tewkesbury Abbey

I'm very much looking forward to singing in this event which is being held on June 4th.
For more details, see here:

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

The Bluebird Project

I can't wait to see Bluebird rebuilt.

Sunday, 30 January 2011

Mont Blanc

Just found this video about Mont Blanc which gives a good idea of what's involved in climbing the highest mountain in western europe.

Friday, 7 January 2011


For my own reference, here is my backup regime.

Carbonite subscription automatic
Windows backup weekly automatic to hard drive
McAfee free selected files

McAfee free selected files
VStuff free selected files
Dropbox free selected files

Mobile Phone
Windows MyPhone
PPC Pim Backup from FdcSoft

Friday, 10 December 2010

Today programme

Heard on the BBC Radio 4 Today programme that 13 of the top 20 choirs in the world are British.  (Source: Gramophone magazine.)  See below for podcast.  Apparently, the judges were not all British!  The reason given for the quality of our choral singing is the Anglican tradition of church music.  Hurrah!  John Eliot Gardner's Monteverdi Choir (THE BEST) and Polyphony (singing music by Eric Whitacre) were featured.  Richard Harries commented on 'Thought for the Day' afterwards - a positive report on the Anglican Church for once.


Saturday, 27 November 2010


Caught this plane by Coniston Water on my camera using burst mode.  Turns out to be the eurofighter!

Friday, 26 November 2010

Brocken spectre

Saw my first Brocken spectre on Tuesday on Bowfell.  What a great sight.  This picture doesn't do it justice.  I thought I would never see one.  It was there in a  flash and then it was gone.

Here is an explanation: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brocken_spectre

Wednesday, 10 November 2010


Saw a sparrowhawk in my garden yesterday.  It looked more like this:

than the kestrel:

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

Trekking in the Alps

Here is my webpage with routes and pictures of my holiday in the Alps: http://www.whitecottage.org/trek-alps2010.htm

Saturday, 3 April 2010

Sanders Reproaches

I recommend this blog entry http://5-against-4.blogspot.com/2008/03/reproaches-stark-unanswerable.html which has a link to a stunning performance by St John's Anglican Church Choir, Elora in Canada:

I have now bought the Naxos disc http://www.naxos.com/catalogue/item.asp?item_code=8.554823 here: 
We performed this at St Mary's Church, Thornbury yesterday (Good Friday).

Friday, 2 April 2010

Friday, 11 December 2009

Floods in the Lake District

Here are some pictures which show the flooding around Coniston Water last month.

Bouthrey Bridge over the river Crake at Water Yeat

Lake Bank Boat Club boat house

Coniston Water overflowing on to the A5084

See http://www.bbc.co.uk/travelnews/local/cumbria.shtml for more information.

Saturday, 19 September 2009

PLBs - a good thing or not?

Walkers: see this interesting article here:
What do you think?

Thursday, 10 September 2009

Data Developments

This is a note to anyone interested in sharing information, tips, questions, etc about Data Developments software for charities: Donations Coordinator, Finance Coordinator and Membership Coordinator. Thornbury Church have started using this software this year and are keen to exchange ideas with anyone else new or experienced with these systems. If you are interested (and may have come across this blog using a search engine), then do please contact me using the webmaster e-mail address or comment on this item.