Tuesday, 27 December 2016

Schubert dip

One thing I do a lot of especially if I haven't been good is play a lot of music as it is routed in childhood and has a very soothing regressive quality with me   and I have been playing these two sets a lot over this period I haven't been too good in myself.

Originally I had  a set of cds on Naxos bought bought several years back this classic set of performances.

Karl Bohm bring so much more out from the score it's unbelievable.
The Melos's performances are much better than the original cds I had and this set is more complete for good measure.
When I look at recordings what I look at is something that will hold up for several years rather than some new revolutionary account whose approach loses favour and the Melos I find is timeless.
I hadn't mentioned them here before and I thought this is a good opportunity to bring my entries up to date.

Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Post 600

Teddy Bears were always a big big part of me, associating them very much with comfort and emotional stability not just as huggable items although god knows I could use a hug or two at times but also as playthings, in imaginative play.
I'd have them set out as a family unit, interacting with each other doing things like looking after the younger members or even taking afternoon tea together, exchanging small talk,  taking turns.
My childhood was messed up for situations in my family as much as my disabilities and how people at times treated me because of it, casting me out.
That's why I feel this younger side of me needs to be let out.

Monday, 12 December 2016

Nancy at Saint Brides

This month I am going to write a bit about a book which taps into part of me but was even when I was growing up was seen as part of a series that were more in the past more what we'd be handed down or bought second hand. This copy is the 2002 Girls Gone By paperback reprint.
 Nancy at St. Brides was written eight years on and after the second in this series (That boarding school girl) but in a lot of ways the first proper book in that this is where the main character Nancy makes here appearance as a relatively unschooled 14 year old dispatched to St.Brides  with instructions to be kept an eye on being very ahem spirited which soon shows in the dares she was only too willing to perform and caught out by the Sixth form prefects.
You could say she was impressionable which I was too at this age and this is the the story of her first unhappy term as she gets to grips with school structures, rules and consequences.
Nancy's problems were less the stuff of theft, insubordination, refusal to apply ones self or bullying  but more about what can be seen as maturity or rather the  lack of age appropriate maturity at least in part because she was never really 'schooled' so failed to see how her impulsive reckless side so resulted in one child almost drowning and another catching a serious cold.
For Nancy this lead to the matter of her being 'asked' not because  to return not formally expelled by Head Mistress Miss Cawdwell because she feels Nancy lacks the maturity a girl at boarding school needs. It also leaves the door open for her to return with a clean slate made easier for Nancy making a attempt in her last three weeks to do some good such as doing well in the swimming competition.
It's an enjoyable read not just for her spirit but also how working at channelling her interests starts to pay off.

Monday, 5 December 2016

Christmas edition

Compared with last year never mind the year before where I just at my wits end not being able get going, this year I'm well ahead of the curve having got my Christmas Cards all written out and nearly all the presents in ready to be wrapped then placed into bags for delivery.
While I do know about a few of mine, I still have that love for the mystery present you open, being in awe that to me a childhood Christmas had rather than just being given stuff you know all about and the only thing special is "can't be played with until December 25th".
It's that child-like side of me that loves this time of year and the surprise gifts from those that care the most about you.
Happy Christmas folks.

Friday, 25 November 2016

Think Pink

The Pink Panther was a childhood favourite of mine both in the Cartoons made during the sixties that I saw as a child and also the Peter  Blake directed movies staring Peter Sellers as the hapless inspector on the case.
I collected a lot of merchandise as a child such as plushies, notepads, toys and calendars and bought Pink Panther themed bubble bath so you could say it was an obsession of mine.

Friday, 18 November 2016

Bags

I just adore cure airline type bags such as these

Friday, 4 November 2016

More Clannad


It was a good while ago since I bought and wrote a review of the Anime Clannad which has two parts, a series that really moved me.
Thinking of that I thought I'd share a couple of images of a collectors figure ofTomoyo Sakagami.

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Cute fashion

You might ask about fashion because it is a good while since I blogged around that which isn't entirely unconnected with the changes I have been going through recently and that I'm trying to deal with on this blog.
This is more like the kind of thing I like rather more than more obviously for older people  fashions liking pastels and pleated skirts a lot. I'm not much for anything below the knee when it comes to skirt lengths.

Thursday, 6 October 2016

Pastel recovery

After all that Brexit discourse, I honestly don't feel up to dealing with the cynicism, grandstanding and hate that seems to just invaded grown up spaces where even families are no longer talking to each other.
I'd rather people left that and focused more on what we are all in need of right now, not least those of us with learning disabilities, putting more into how we can make each other feel better, having better lives and be more caring.
I feel the need to love and be loved much more right now.

Thursday, 29 September 2016

The Girls of St. Brides

Reading is a passion of mine and it is not uncommon for authors  to write a whole series of stories that are self contained and over time start again which does make it hard pick a series to work ones way through.
In the instance of Dorita Fairlie Bruce, she actually wrote five whole series so I've cherry picked this the start of the St. Brides/Maudlsey series to work my way through.
 Originally written in nineteen twenty-three and long out of print, this introduces to Island School of St. Brides on Inchmore far away from industrial west coast of Scotland and introduces us to its main characters although it obviously was not conceived as part of the "Nancy at St.Brides" seires at the outset as Nancy doesn't make an appearance!
One strong point of this book is the inclusion of a disabled girl, Winifred who was disabled in early childhood and uses a wheelchair which is very rare for the period and how it touches on the idea of intergration, talking about the sense of isolation and lack of acceptance showing how in this school and through the friendship with Morag, she emerges becoming very much a part of the school community.
Integrated education is as I know from direct personal experience as a disabled girl is still controversial and indeed for a period many did not have what would be recognized as a (appropriate) academic education.
Because it was written in nineteen twenty-three, Dorita does use the term "Cripple" to describe Winifrid which would jar many today but we need to remember that it's from the German term "Krupil" and one of the meanings of that word is "lame" which medically speaking is true as her limbs are indeed just that as are mine. It also is the case cripple don't acquire the common abusive undertones it did in the nineteen fifties and sixties as did "spastic" both of which went on unofficial blacklists of terms not to be used from the late seventies onward but Dorita in fairness uses cripple with sensitivity.
I wouldn't damn a person for a choice of word when used correctly and moreover the content clearly is progressive.

Saturday, 17 September 2016

Elton John on vinyl

A good few years back, going back the last dying days of my original laptop I did post something about my collection of Elton John cds and his "To Be Continued..." box set of 1990 of which my copy is Canadian.
During a period in the late 1980's through early 90's much of my original vinyl and tape collection of his got converted into cds some of which are specialty gold re-masters of better than regular cd quality.
Feeling the need as I got back into vinyl for some of this prolific singer/songwriters output in that form, I decided to add a couple of well chosen compilations.
 My original copy of this the 1974 Greatest Hits album was the MCA edition that had a different track selection but it was an album much played growing up and to which I have the DCC gold remaster that over twenty years on still stands out.
What's on it ten essential tracks including such vignettes as Crocodile Rock, Candle in the Wind and plaintive Border Song.
I got the UK lp which sounds like he's almost in your room singing.
 That compilation was followed up three years later by another that because he had just switch labels required some cross-label licensing that has caused issues with the US cd edition since to the point I remade the selection digitally.
The strength of this compilation was it housed on lp form a number of non album 45's such as Pinball Wizard, Philadelphia Freedom and Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds and his Rocket Records duet Don't Go Breaking My Heart with Kiki Dee which was a British #1.
I decided to get the UK version as it sounded better and between both volumes of Greatest Hits I was only missing one song, Levon, and that didn't matter so much.

Sunday, 4 September 2016

Keeping your records clean

As anyone who reads this blog knows music is a big thing with me not least having a actual record collection so I thought I'd post something connected with it.
Anyone who has records know like a cd,  they can get a bit dirty but while you only normally tell if a cd is dirty if say it skips, with a record you may hear crackles or a rustling sound even if it looks clean because while surface may be, the groove the music is stored in, isn't.
So it isn't long before you start looking at how to clean it, often scratching ones head as you see anything that looks like a automobile windscreen wiper to big machines costing several hundred pounds being offered that proper to do it
I have tried many ways to do it, sometimes mixing my own cleaning mixture up but there's a simple kit that just does it and it's inexpensive cos you provide the elbow grease!
The Vinyl Revival cleaning kit available on Amazon and Ebay provides all you actually need in simple box.
You get two spray bottles available in different quantities one being the active cleaning solution that you spray on to the disc and wipe on, the other is a spray to rinse that off taking the dirt and dust away together with any trace of the cleaner, wiping it dry.
Between two to four sprays of each work out fine.
The cleaner doesn't contain any alcohol so doesn't dry or risk damaging through frequent use your records vinyl.
It comes with two cloths, although you buy spares easily, the green one is for putting your record on and the blue one has even thinner micropores for spreading the cleaner and applying after rising it off.
I find this very effective, using it to cure the rustling noise between tracks on my recently acquired Abandoned Luncheonette lp from the early nineteen-seventies leaving sounding quieter than some new records!

Monday, 22 August 2016

Tom Petty

The last time I mentioned TP was in 2014 with the Hypnotic Eye album although I have a lot of Tom Petty's albums on cd.
 This album originally came out in 1993 remaining a favourite of many although though their have been other compilations such as Playback box set and 2000's Anthology: Through The Years and it recently (July 2016) came out on double vinyl.
More accurately for people living  my side of the Atlantic, it's a re-issue as there was a very limited vinyl release for Europe and the UK and that edition is like much early 90's vinyl very expensive when you see a copy.
The strength of this set is its brevity containing only the 45's and two new recordings such as Mary Jane's 2nd Dance and that the running order makes for a highly enjoyable play starting with such early tracks as American Girl running through such gems as I Need To Know, Refugee, Don't Come Around Here No More and I Won't Back Down with a lack of anything resembling padding so in just over 68 minutes the case for Tom Petty is made convincingly in song and arrangements.
The four side splits are chosen well so you get the opportunity changing them to reflect on what you have heard and in non technical terms the sound and pressing quality of this European lp set is really high with the grooves cut by Chris Bell.
 Before the Heartbreakers were formed, there were a group of guys who played with Tom Petty In Gainsville, Florida and that band was reformed for an album in 2007 and this, Mudcrutch2, is their new offering also bought on vinyl issued May 20th with shared song writing between the band and Tom.

Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Presentation issues

After an interesting week trying to solve one problem, there was something that came into mind that I did feel about talking about.
Gender cultural norms.

I saw this a while back and personally I just love what it is about.
In the first instance do we know the gender of the dress wearer? Personally I couldn't careless as much as I care about your ability too be the gender you are.
It may be  someone born male  or maybe  a female who doesn't see why she should have to remove every single naturally growing hair from her leg?Nor pluck her eyebrows thin.
Just why should anyone who identifies as female have to wear make up and lipstick or face being either ridiculed or be called out on their gender identity?
Can we not appreciate how they dress and what as people they are like-their inner beauty if you will?
If I want to wear a shorter skirt or a short sleeved dress especially this time of year then frankly as those who know me will know I shall without getting hung up on if there's a stray hair here or there as having a skin condition lots of shaving may remove hairs but does nothing for where patches where my eczema  is.
If as I do, I like to wear shorts then why should that be regarded by some as just 'ikky boy' when as a female you can because that's you?
It's not what you wear so much as what you bring to them as the wearer.


Tuesday, 2 August 2016

True or False?

This week between somethings like updating a computer program, watching much anime and a deluge of padded envelopes requiring attention, I saw a great inspirational poster I thought I'd share with you all.



I think we all know what sort we need to help us in our lives.
Hugs.

Wednesday, 20 July 2016

The languages of apology

As a reader of this blog, you will have realized I'm by no means  perfect having gotten into situations that I shouldn't and a good part of what it is about is helping me change those habits of a lifetime in part by the establishment of clear rules for me to learn to live by rather than just overriding yours and by consistent  reinforcement of boundaries so I do learn to keep within them.
The other side to this is teaching me what to to put things right in real time so I assume appropriate responsibility for my own actions where in the past I've ever shrugged my shoulders or attempted to play a card - usually a disability card to exempt myself from the standards expected of others.
I need people to take me through this so I am as responsible as I am actually capable of disabilities aside so I learn to conform to your standards and expectations.

Wednesday, 13 July 2016

Looks of a little me

If there ever was any real doubt at all over where I was coming from I think a lot of the posts I made around fashion probably would show it more because with some of compromises I felt were necessary they still very much "Tammy Girl" or the younger side of Top Shop than anything for people outside of their 20's.

This sort of thing is so me beyond talk of 'play clothes' or uniform liking knee or especially over the knee socks shorter more rounded skirts and relatively plain  but with some edge of fabric detail tops with longish sleeves as I don't feel super comfortable showing my shoulders and arms off.

Thursday, 7 July 2016

Exploring together

I wasn't too good over the last two days although I got up okay, messaging a friend and getting the last mammoth blog entry published with links at all the usual spots to make it easier to people to follow it. Shortly afterward I felt a migraine coming rather quickly so I quickly got my tablets out a jug full of water with glass, closed the curtains and went bed.
 It wouldn't be me in the midst of all that to be thinking of other things, I mean it's so funny but sometimes I'm more together when it comes to thinking ideas up when I'm  like that than any other time.
One is how many times we hear of people who do something a little outside of the mainstream such as follow a dress style and wear it, have aspects of our lives that others may not be so keen on such as your gender identity, sexuality and being a little and so on who struggle to have people they feel they can be open with as friends. And this in age of forums, emails and social media.
Sometimes it may be that the individual has difficulties forming and holding down personal relationships which may not be helped if others are way too quick to judge elementary mistakes but life if you appear not to be able to learn from them can be hard.
Sometimes groups have very much a "My way is the only highway" approach, setting very exacting positions people are at least to go along with if not openly endorse which at times is so ironical being in mind the reason for  existence of some groups is the very excludedness those people felt from others they project themselves.
To  me it seems in order to progress we need to be open to difference, able to tolerate difference and understand  the expression of differing views often leads to more informed thoughts and decisions.
If we find understanding something hard - and it genuinely can be -  we need to be prepared to  work with someone who will explain it and engage with them changing what we are doing if it isn't helping us.
We also need to learn to hold hands more with the people who can helps us explore and grow as people which may include learning more about some of things that unite us but may not be part of other peoples lives.
If you're a more child-like as I am, you need to find those spaces you can let this side of you out openly without the distractions of regular adult stuff going on.

Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Changesonebowie

Between studying I have been listening to some music and arriving last Friday was this, the vinyl reissue of the very first David Bowie compilation entitled changesonebowie that came out originally in 1976.

It was the first album that featured John I'm Only Dancing and in the eyes of many had a seamless unity running through the selection that made it most satisfying to play from start to finish starting with Space Oddity through Jean Genie to Golden Years from his Station to Station album issued early in 1976.
The cover photograph is very iconic.
 It was reissued May 20th  in random form with half the copies on standard black vinyl an the other clear like the one I got with no indication which you'll be getting!
Although this is sourced from high resolution digital files it does sound better than the original UK album overall and is noticeably cheaper to buy compared to a used original!
Having so many of my favourite 45's from childhood playing this was a enjoyable trip through time so I'm glad to have gotten it.

Tuesday, 14 June 2016

Reading for me

Reading is something I do enjoy although it has to be said my reading age is like the rest of developmentally me at a more child-like one so I generally read junior fiction finding even many 'young adults' fiction goes very much over my head so it's not something you can fix by just looking the odd word up in your dictionary.
I do enjoy stories centred on home and school life finding then easy to empathize to and relate with.

I quite like this, a cartoon based on the Enid Blyton The Naughtiest Girl series where Elizabeth Allen is sent to a unique co-ed boarding school hating the very idea as she really dislikes structure being impulsive and given for saying just what she thinks.
What is so unique about this school is in many ways it's those very school children who set the rules and in effect discipline each other with the adults in the background for guidance, the idea being they'll learn to  be self disciplined more by co-opting it rather than being made to.

Tuesday, 7 June 2016

Return to studying

My life is evolving not least since the last few years with bits of that being said at certain sites like Angels, sometimes referenced on here but in truth it's going to take this blog in differing direction.
One part of that has been studying across weekends to tackle some of my very real problems in core areas such as everyday Maths and English which with the odd pause for weekends away or illness has been going on since the beginning of this year.
Since I had been away last weekend the resumption of studying this weekend tackling the outstanding English work taking our time was set so I don’t over do things but equally I not allowed  to get away with not doing the things I can do.

It’s always been easier to sit around not doing things either expecting an exemption, or because those who might of expected anyone else to  seem to think I shouldn’t to the point they never really saw what I could do because they never had me try it or I was feeling like being bone lazy.

So for a very long time my default was to do nothing and in so far anything like studying went  if it wasn’t going to be easy then plenty of people would just let me do next to nothing even while it may of hard going, I could of done something more.

That’s really thing that is changing both with the studying having to do things I find hard, coping with flare ups of some of my conditions which consideration is given to and even being with people where I am expected to help out, contributing in kind that people are helping me turn around those old habits being prepared to pull me over a lap for a spanking when I didn’t do it which truthfully is what the child emerging teen should of gotten apart from having some kind of agreed chores list.

Thinking over how I have dealt with my recent paw problems plus my more recent visits staying with people underscores this so much.

Monday, 23 May 2016

Being the adult child

It's another week here and having explained something in this life of mine that is both important and something that separates it and that of most of you that we needed to as this blog moves on last week we shall continue to work our way through all of this.

There is no independent  adult sense of self about me, it's one of the things that makes my life so NOT age play although I've nothing against them or sharing spaces with them on terms I'm happy with because in the main they do have well developed adult selves, relating to other adults.
I don't relate at all to you as an adult whatever the law may say about people with my age because it isn't medically possible. I look toward you for guidance, love and protection as your girl, your responsibility because while I can be helped to be more responsible it's never going to at an adult level.
I would like you to really stop a moment and actually think about that because in the everyday world you are going to be looking after me. You need to forget what you thought you knew and from now on remember you're in charge and have some responsibility for a child in an adult body and some  of your conversations will just go totally over my head having much of the vulnerability of an actual child.
It's one reason it is better where possible for me to dress a bit younger because it does at least help to remind both of us of this important and perhaps painful truth although I've been living with this for a long time
Being dressed more like the adult posed  in this picture being in a more structured relationship that may include you disciplining me works that much better and I like it.

Monday, 16 May 2016

Helping me control my behaviour

It's not something I go on about a lot cos for one thing this blog was never about was some of my emotional and behavioral issues which are partially linked to how frustrating I find living with the impact of my disabilities at times on the edge of total meltdown and also impart because of that response it's been a very easy for people just to give way attitudes and behaviours  that for most people would be challenged  and because of the problems I have processing things trying to deal with using say cautions don't go in getting muddled up in order plus there's a big delay before I've taken in what said so it's just leaves me messed up, emotionally switched off and mute for hours at a time.
Although it doesn't happen a lot, moderate discrete spanking rather like you used to get as a child is now something that's being used when I get to that point to break that pattern of behaviour as it's hard enough for me to get by when my behaviour can be immature and it needs to end.
It may be unconventional  but so far it is helping reduce the number of infractions and I am starting to be more responsible within my own limitations which is a good thing.

Monday, 9 May 2016

School uniforms and I

It's never not been really here on this blog even when I first started after the trial run on Friends Reunited just hinted it with the odd word here and deliberate omission there of why it was even if on the odd website or two it was overtly mentioned.

Following what actually happened to me around late 2005 through 2007 when due to 'adult commitments' that I just could not cope with  and also going way back into my late teens when I first felt strongly this regressive side of me, I started spending time in school type uniforms while recovering, making up a structured day because I began to realize I needed the security of a fixed structure like I had in school to cope with day to day living, having a time for activities and proper breaks.
I also found part of the age regression in me did relate to having a longing to wear such a uniform obviously not in public because I felt more 'me' in it and the ritual of putting it on to work in helped as emotionally I was a mess because it not only settled me but also helped in being more disciplined in the use of my time.
In 2016 I can publicly come out and say that here. 

Monday, 2 May 2016

Blossoming Pink

Spring has finally sprung here at chez Caro's with what might be a warm mini season this weekend which will be welcomed  after last weekends damp squid so the layers can come off and the gingham dresses go on.
This entry is very much hot of the press as I went out this morning first thing with an idea in mind for this blog entry, put my shoes on and took a few pictures. One I liked was that of our cherry blossoms as I just love the shade of pink they have being a highlight of year when they emerge.
My ginger cat has been out a bit too, rolling about in the grass and sunbathing on the mat.

Saturday, 23 April 2016

Being yourself

The more you start to think about how we interact with people, the more you begin to see the greater gap that creeps in between how a person feels and from that acts and the hold trying to stay within the favour of a group becomes.

This is where I feel I've gone wrong very much in the past. To try to stay in with groups that didn't just toss me aside I just ceased living, echoing more their ideas and where it was mine and theirs differed, well I just acted like I wasn't there and in effect gave them power over who and what I am.
And it all started at school. The good news in my life as it is now, we're picking up where I dropped off, I will be me, I will say things and do things as me.
I'm little and that's just that!

Tuesday, 19 April 2016

Being little



A lot has happened in my life since this blog was first established to the point it isn't recognizable as my life as lived anymore and it has been a struggle for me to keep a blog going that has not come out and talked about the biggest side of my life and what makes it different to yours.
I am what is called a 'little' something I have touched on on Angels because with you it got to the stage I just had to because I have the mindset of a person much younger than my years and very much child-like even though legally I'm a adult and generally adults are expected to meet such responsibilities as working or studying, paying your way in society. 
In general terms Littles and Middles notwithstanding what they need to do studying or at work, pursue hobbies and interests that  are routed very much in their own experiences in 'childhood'  coming from their 'Inner Child' often with the same intensity and passion that you'd think it was that' child' playing.
For me this thing is both routed in my severe disabilities and also in part therapeutic, making coping with life better for me. 
Sometimes you may play, draw or maybe colour by yourself or you may meet with others who share the same sense of being 'forever a child' in that sense be it around peoples own homes or by meeting up at venues which are often discrete.
For some it begins and ends with just 'the play' for others it may extend into dressing more like the age of the 'child within' while do so with say dresses that wouldn't be far removed  from that of a young girl at a party or play clothes like dungarees or for some school wear.
Getting back that 'child within' then if he or she comes out more in tune with Tweens or young Teens then personally I'd say the were an Adult (cos the law says so) Middle even if for some reason they still had a more classic little side which for I do, not least due to multiple disabilities some which do lead to learning and developmental ones around that point.
That is why I identify as a Middle rather as a Little (more younger age up to about 7 or 8) which doesn't mean I can't join in and play with littles at all it's that simplier there are other interest that aren't normally in there while we do share a need for oversight in our lives.

Tuesday, 12 April 2016

The same but different


Where pasts and presents meet up is has always been a point of interest for me pretty much though my whole life as it never seemed you jettisoned anything completely for me at least it's just been 'the same but different' 
You may learn new skills, acquire knowledge though new possibly challenging experiences that make an impression on you but in other ways still  'the same' as ever before.
For me that's feeling as fresh faced as the schoolgirl I was.

Tuesday, 5 April 2016

Leaving the burrow


Sometimes you can feel very lost, wanting to take off to another place where nothing that's on your mind comes with you and bag of essentials which is something I do know both from in childhood, holding that whole body clutching pose and later on in my life too. I think we're going on an adventure now after that rabbit having experiences.

Wednesday, 30 March 2016

The heart speaks in whispers

After a gap from her 2010 album, The Sea, Ms Bailey-Rae returns with her new album  released February 12 in which she explores feelings and emotions with a real sense of groove such as the ballad Do You Ever Think Of Me? or Night which closes the album.
In the song Have You Ever Been To The Moon  she speaks of budding romance using space travel imagery. While originally some of the tracks were recorded at Capitol, Hollywood  she recorded more with Los Angles's jazz, soul and fusion musicians much of which clearly rubbed of in he sessions judging by the arrangements. 
Just for once I managed to borrow a MiniDisc recorder to copy this to joining her previous titles for posterity's sake even though these days they're going onto micro sd cards for my Fiio X3 player.
Recommneded.

Wednesday, 23 March 2016

On events yesterday in Brussels.

Here we go again. Another terrorist attack in Europe seemingly connected to the outrages last year in Paris featuring a Brussels centred cell of Isis this time in Brussels itself taking 34 lives so far and injuring hundreds involving bombing the Airport as pictured above and the Metro.
Investigations no doubt will continue into how it was two people were able to bring the explosives into the departure lounge  and what if anything Belgium know about the high level terrorism alert that started Friday with the  arrest of a suspect from the Paris attacks.
One thing is though is just how we can balance the concept of  'open borders'  not least the common border scheme in Europe that the UK isn't a part of and at the same time deal effectively with people who attempt to use it to cause mayhem and murder on our streets. 
A chain is only as strong as it's weakest link and there are some indications some countries are less effective at applying checks that a person having gotten through are able to move with ease elsewhere.
Equally while I'm sure nearly all migrants arriving have no truck with terrorism, can we be sure others are not taking advantage of this to get in?

Wednesday, 16 March 2016

Favourite compilations

Among many albums sometimes a compilation has a hold summarizing an acts high points  so sets like the Beatles 1962-1966 and 1967-70 and the first two Elton John Greatest Hits are amongst the most treasured by me and that includes this one.
This compilation that was first issued in 1970, was my first introduction to this seminal San Francisco band on album having bough it on 8 track as it neatly covers their earlier folk rock recordings like It's No Secret  though the generation defining Somebody To Love to 1969's Volunteers .
They also had the good sense to feature the live rendition of Plastic Fantastic Lover and Embryonic Journey whose other worldiness somehow just made sense at the time.
I have a lovely sounding mid 1980's UK EMI cassette version of this album issued during a short lived era where RCA allowed them to license a number of thair albums for midprice re-issue including this.

Thursday, 10 March 2016

R.I.P Sir George Martin, producer

Yesterday morning, I woke to  the news that the acclaimed music producer, Sir George Martin had died at the age of 90.
This was what I posted at one site:
Inevitable I guess but ignore his many professional achievements and abilities for a moment, he was simply just a lovely guy who had a successful marriage, children who were well brought up and who in his work put people very much at ease. Professionally his understanding of music and ability to play well helped artists achieve the sounds they wanted us, their audiences to hear.
A marvellous legacy left and great life lived. R.I.P. Sir George

Tuesday, 8 March 2016

Techno demise and birthday

Sometimes coincidences are like that, really they are.
You say last week I wrote all about my experiences in adding cassette replay to my spare rest room system for playing some of my much loved tapes which go back to the 1980's, adding a more modern deck to do that job.
Well this week, what was meant to cassette's replacement whose history with me goes back to late February 1997 and what ironically was a premature birthday present that year, a part of the adapting to acquired severe disabilities following an industrial injury that had impacted badly on a hobby of mine, open reel recording, met its demise.
It's not that original MiniDisc recorder itself had died, rather the last replacement one I bought back in May 2009 that did in an unexpected way for as you're aware I've been digitizing much of my music for the Fiio portable player where it is on Micro SD cards so I was tidying up a good 120 or so MiniDiscs which were in every respect redundant  being just straight copies done for playing on a portable unit.
I just went to put an unlabelled disc in, it whirled way telling me what was on it and then refused to come out! There's a mechanism with cogs and a belt that is supposed to pull the disc down to be read and up through the slot for you to take out and I suspect that's gone wrong.
I did get the reissue of REO Speedwagon's 1978 You Can't Tune a Piano but You can Tuna Fish cd, the 2010 re-issue of This Time We Meant it coupled with 1976's REO as well as some money for my birthday. There would be something ironical if that MiniDisc unit got replaced by a Cassette Recorder

Tuesday, 1 March 2016

Project X, Part V, playing tapes

Project X is alive and well playing music in Lossy and Lossless forms from my Fiio music players line output from one of Eight micro sd cards as well as from a elderly Toshiba cd player.
I like quite a few people have a good number of cassettes not least pre-recorded ones I bought from the mid 1970's to mid 1990's I moved from cassette based portable listening to MiniDisc and had been thinking of how to play them back on this mini system.

Enter a unused Sony TX 313 mini sized fully functional cassette deck from a MiniDisc system I got from someone who never ever used it so it was still boxed and shrinkwrapped from the late 1990's.
Oddly enough it uses a car type side slot way of loading the tapes into it but unlike car units this does record and has auto tape type sensing to read the extra tabs for type II ('Chrome') and IV (Metal) tapes although the latter are no longer available new plus I seriously doubt it's tape heads really are up to making full advantage of such tapes electrically


The rear has RCA line in and outs, with the out going via a expensive Cambridge Pacific interconnect to the input selector with a maximum of 0.5 volts out depending on the program loudness and the AV bus for Sony mini systems it was sold with for synchronized cd to tape copying.
The unit is blessed with switchable Dolby B noise reduction for proper replay and recording of such tapes plus auto reverse so it can play one  side of the tape and switch by itself to the other. 
According to the specifications it reproduces up to 14khz for type I tapes and 15khz for types II and IV which is decent if not as wide as most full sized hifi cassette decks so the high frequencies will be clear but not quite as extended as the best units can achieve.
It is making an excellent job of replaying my 1980's EMI UK dolbyized Beatles pre-recorded cassettes which were amongst the best sounded tapes manufactured and part of reason I held out so long against the cd as portable listening was and remains a big part of my life and why my Fiio is my 'to go' digital playing device on headphones or connected to this system.
I like high quality portable formats more

Wednesday, 24 February 2016

On the EU referendum


The great in out shake it all about European Union referendum campaign has gone into full swing following the British Premier, David Cameron's meeting with EU leaders and the announcement a 'deal' had been reached.
The one thing many who do not have strongly entrenched positions have pointed to is there seems to be a lack of qualified independently compiled statistics looking at areas such as what the total contribution to the EU budget the UK is, How much the UK gets back, How much trade is directly with the EU and how much we trade with it (How does that compare to the Rest of the World?) How the immigration and migration levels between the UK and EU compare and so on.
These are both the things people who are uncommitted need to help them arrive at their own thoughts on leaving or staying in and also the means those with more established principled stances check the arguments put forward do actually stack up as politicians like salesmen are prone to exaggerate at the very least their claims. 
A job for ONS and the LSE perhaps?

Wednesday, 17 February 2016

The end of play?

One thing a good number of people in my neighbourhood have remarked upon is the quietness of the sidewalk during the local school half-term break this year with seldom a child been seen out of doors in the park, on the sidewalk nor the local stores on their own.
This is particularly noticeable around of the Senior School age group and a number of parents put it to me that there children preferred to play games and socialize online even when they only be a few blocks away to physically venturing out to perform some shared activity together.
I just can't help but wonder how this is likely to effect how as grown ups they will relate to one another in the work place and the wider community, never mind any effects on their health.

Wednesday, 10 February 2016

Happy 44 years!

While I'm very busy getting ready to be with friends this week I'm reminded it's 44 years since we met Ziggy Stardust so here's a picture from that era
The lead off single Star Man, was one of the first I heard that made no concessions to singing in a traditional show business style that was so typical of Bowie's refusal to follow trends but rather set them. 

Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Here with me

Continuing in a way with the theme of 'Old Friends', I've been busy transferring some favourite compilation cds ready to a micro sd card  for my music player as in 2016 as for most of last year, I seldom use my MiniDisc equipment and discs going back to the late 90's as technically it's not so much equalled, which I didn't expect but in respects surpasses for sound quality.
The overwhelming majority of those MiniDiscs are duplicated on Micro SD  cards, taking up considerably less room while adding album art when played.
This was one, not entirely accurately titled but a great resumé of British hits from the early to mid 1970's  that came out in 1993 on cd that sounds rather good.
Talking old friends, this was one:
Coming out in 1985 when much of my listening not least  portable listening was based on cassettes, I bought what was then the new Compilation by the Champagne, Illinois band REO Speedwagon on pre-recorded tape.
In 1988, two years on from buying a cd player and in that time buying a good number of cds for it, I was looking for a compilation by them and so bought a brand new one, that apart from obviously sounding a bit better than good regular tape, had a couple of new songs on, such as Here With Me and as a compilation it pretty much stacks up even now.
But I still missed my original one for a reason namely it missed of Wherever You're Going (it's alright), a new chart single from 1985 which isn't easy to find in digital forms, so after making do with a so-so download of the song, I bought for near pence a used excellent condition cd of it and copied that song in much better quality using my own copying program.