Wednesday, 28 June 2006

Childhood summer vacation memories

Writing about my vacation a fortnight ago reminded me of two things that I recall from my childhood.  One was the existence of Summer Specials, comics, puzzle books and colouring books that were meant to be on sale and enjoyed by us as children for three to four months that way typically brought while  vacationing.
The British ones you most looked forward to included the Summer Edition of the Beano not least for it was printed on glossy paper unlike the regular newsprint used back then and the Summer Dandy edition, both full of stories about our favourite characters.
The other was camping which we did at school and my folks sometimes did although our cousins vacations were nearly always camping ones.
Tying the two together is this bit of a Minnie The Minx, cartoon strip who was my comic heroine at the time. 

Wednesday, 14 June 2006

Holiday Report

I visited the Snowdonia national park, in Wales recently as I had been experiencing a lot of stress and it was having a serious effect on my mental well-being.
I was greeted by exceptional hot, sunny weather affording superb views of Mount Snowdon and the isolated moorlands surrounding it.
The lambs were all out in the fields young and old some having a chew of the grass, others sheltering in the shade of nearby hedges, walls and trees.
A few had the bright idea of exploring the human domain of the narrow roads and we needed to slow down to allow them to cross back into the fields.
I liked the solitude up there but I’m not sure the idea of being literally miles way from the nearest market town would really do for me which I guess is a reflection of my urban upbringing.
Betws–y-coed is a place I like to stop off at as here are good range of shops and spectacular waterfalls. There are a lot woodlands in the area and I took a lot photos – on my ageing Olympus OM10 of the trees, sometimes lying underneath the branches to get the viewpoint I wished to capture.
Llandudno: It remains a largely unspoilt Victorian seaside resort with excellent shopping facilities. The Theatre is really good and many amateur choral performances are hold during the summer season in local churches. On Tuesday there was a Brass Band concert taking place, appropriately enough, on the Bandstand along the promenade. The players were really good –
I’m no great fan of Brass Bands but the musicianship couldn’t be faulted.
Bangor: I visit here a lot, being a University town with bookshops and some good Pubs that serve meals. There is an excellent record shop on the High Street, Cob Records, whose staffs really know about music. The main store is in Porthmadog – this is a ‘satellite’ store – it has a first rate second hand vinyl department that is well worth rummaging through and stock new vinyl releases too.
Links:- E-mail
Phone 01248 353020
Things that didn’t go as they should: I days filming got wasted as a Fuji film become tight and tore whilst rewinding it out of the camera – we came close a to a two inch dent being added to the guest house waste paper bin!!!

Wednesday, 7 June 2006

My first cd player

Twenty years ago around this week I got my first cd player and discs as before than I had been on record and cassettes for convenience.

Yeah, I know that titles a bit Fischer-Price but actually this player a Toshiba XR-J9 'transportable' mains only machine actually was the first I had back in June of 1986. 
You pressed the open button to place the discs on a platter and lowered the lid down causing a puck to grip the disc.
It originally had captive leads for the line out but I had it modified for better sound. The headphone socket is on the front panel with a volume control which was the players Achilles heel as it was prone getting noisy.

To go with that Toshiba player I got this - the very first compact disc I ever bought - from Our Price (RIP).
It's the PolyGram pressed version with on barcode on the rear.
Btw disc number two was a UK Nimbus pressed Pet Shop Boys, Please
On this player you had place the disc on a puke which was gripped and rotated when you shut the lid and pressed Play.

Although a number of physical formats have challenged its role as the digital sound carrier of choice, none has the universal acceptance the cd has.