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The life and times of james Hart: his family, his music, life in Luton and his occasional escapes onto the internet.

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Monday, 5 September 2005

CDs, convivialities and celebrities.

Wow... it's been a long time since my last blog entry... it's certainly not that there's been nothing going on (if that's not too many negatives!); I would say that work, family time and - I'm almost ashamed to say - sorting out my CD collection (not of Bob Marlee) since I've run out of shelving space in the studio.

discarded CD inlays and casesIt's been quite enjoyable, actually, listening back to CD singles that have not been played for years, or - more to the point - the other tracks on the disc that have never been heard.

They're all going into PVC wallets, to occupy one of those CD boxes you can buy for a pound or so - there's a slowly growing pile of cracked plastic cases littering the floor that Christopher has taken to stamping on when he's got his traines on... they do make a fine sound!

I'm a bit concerned about my studio - after three years of faultless operation, little faults have started to surface; the left hand speaker stopped working, and one or two of the mixer channels have started to crackle. When the weather cools a little I shall attend to those little jobs and - you never know - might actually make some music.

Christopher attended the annual 'summer club' at the Pentecostal church in town, a boisterous but affable week of fun and games. It wore him out, but he's been sleeping well, and we'll have a few calm days to compensate, I'm sure.

fine reading materialsThat said, I've been away this weekend - Jon had his bi-annual barbecue, and I caught the train down south to attend it, and then to have lunch with Mother on Sunday.

The barbecue was great - the usual suspects turned up, and many burgers, sausages and cans of beer were consumed. At one stage, great interest was paid to the youngest guest's books (he was 14 months old!) which amused me enough to want to capture the moment...

Jon conceived a fine idea for the party soundtrack - he designed a web page on which people could search for songs by artist and title, and, when they found something they liked, they could 'request' it, adding it dynamically to the playlist on his marvellous Playout software. It proved very popular, especially when the wi-fi enabled PDAs were extracted from pockets, so that songs could be added from the garden!

Although brief, it was good to spend time at my childhood home, especially since my brother, Dave, and his family had popped by on Sunday morning, too. After a tasty continental lunch of cheese and wurst I trundled back up north courtesy of Southern trains (comfortable and air-conditioned) and Thameslink (noisy, dirty and inexplicably leaving from Kentish Town, even though I'd travelled to King's Cross the day before.. arrgh!).

multimedia spectacular.. or somethingSo to work again, today and tomorrow, with a scattering of appraisals and early nights. I popped by Radio 1 this morning, through a gaggle (please replace this collective noun with one of your own) of photographers, to check out the temperature of our apparatus room; I also wanted to check to see if the video feed had been set up for the Robbie Williams interview - hence the paparazzi - so I could tidy it up. I was quite pleased with the set-up, since it represented the pilot for regular webcasts; hopefully the outcome can be seen on the BBC Radio 1 web pages at some point, although it kind-of stretches the definition of radio, somewhat...

Needless to say, though, I didn't get to see the bloke himself (sorry, Amy!) although amusingly I had to wander past McFly on my way back to the office, as they signed autographs for the regular attendees of an area just outside Broadcasting House's reception. (I'm guessing they sell the signed photos on eBay...) Looking at their bored, vacuous, yet perfectly made-up (?) faces as the small cluster of spikey haired short-arses piled into the people carrier, I'm glad I was never Boy Band material!

In dull techie news, I saw an article today reporting that - after the rather hyped launch of the PSP (I saw one, and it looks like a big mobile phone, and would probably smash to bits if dropped on the floor) - Sony are considering putting Blu-Ray into their Playstation 3 in an attempt to make it more ubiquitous than HD-DVD... I can feel a VHS vs. Betamax / DVD+R vs. DVD-R battle coming on.

I'll (nearly) end this blog entry sparing a thought for the victims of the New Orleans disaster. It's such a shame that the words of this National Geographic article author weren't heeded last year, although I live in hope that the displaced lives will soon find stability (even if it ends up being ten miles inland...)

  • Random "summer fun on a sackbarrow" photos...

Christopher's ride on a sackbarrowLennie and her bumblebee outfit!
Christopher's sackbarrow ride, and Lennie* as a bumblebee!

*It'll take some getting used to, but that's her name of choice...
Fortunate, really, since there will be two 'Ella's at pre-school next month!

Link of the day:

Posted by james at September 5, 2005 9:34 PM

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