Tuesday, June 29, 2004

Jennings' End

Jennings was, as usual, not entirely concentrating on what Mr Wilkins was saying, and so it came as no surprise to anyone that when, as might have been predicted in advance, the teacher asked a question, Jennings didn't have a clue.
Mr Wilkins had built up quite a head of steam, and was about to let rip (the "I - I - I - Corwumph" was on his lips) when the classroom door opened, and in walked the Headmaster. "I have an announcement to make" he said, in solemn tones. "Mr Buckeridge, who did so much to bring this school to it's current prominence, has sadly passed away. Linbury Court will, therefore, be closing it's doors for the last time, and all pupils will be sent home."
A thoroughly deflated Mr Wilkins dismissed the class. As he passed into the corridor, Jennings asked his friend Darbishire, "Well, what happens now? Mr Buckeridge was the only thing that kept this school going."
"We'll be sent to another school, I suppose" replied Darbishire. "As my father sometimes says..."
Jennings didn't bother listening to what the Reverend Darbishire sometimes said; it wasn't important. What was important was that there was to be no more Linbury Court.
"Goodbye, Mr Buckeridge" he thought, "and thanks."

Anthony Buckeridge 1912-2004 RIP

Monday, June 28, 2004

Radio Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga

Now I have broadband up and running (a doddle!) I can now listen properly to BBC7.
BBC7 is one of the new 'digital' stations operated by the BBC, and is available on DAB, Freeview and via the internet.
streaming audio is available on the websites for each of the different 'Digital' stations, but on a dial-up connection, this isn't really practical (the streaming is via RealMedia and it keeps buffering the stream, leading to silence!)
The big advantage on the BBC 7 website is the "Listen Again" feature - there is a page devoted to an entire day's schedule, and you can listen whenever you like up to 6 days after original broadcast - if you have a fast internet connection, this works rather well, and the sound quality is pretty good (at least, it is through my PC speakers!)
Most of the other digital BBC stations are devoted to music, but BBC7 is the 'Archive' station, and is full to the brim with old BBC drama, comedy and book readings - the rule being, as long as it has been repeated on the analogue station of origin, or was last broadcast more than three years ago, it can appear on BBC7 (subject to the usual licensing issues)
For an old-fashioned spoken word radio fan such as myself, the station is a godsend - Round The Horne, The Goons, Hancock, The Masterson Inheritance, I'm Sorry I'll Read That Again, Sherlock Holmes, Discworld adaptations, all are (or have been, or will be!) broadcast on BBC7. (No news breaks or advertising either, though there are sometimes some lengthy 'trails' for other BBC7 programmes)
If you have digital, check it out; if you have broadband, try out the BBC7 website

Tuesday, June 22, 2004

Sticking a thumb out again

Yes! At Last! At the end of last year (2003) news circulated about a new "Hitch Hiker's Guide To The Galaxy" radio series that had been created by Dirk Maggs, and based on the third of the Douglas Adams books, "Life, The Universe and Everything" - there was even a suggested broadcast date of February 2004. Then, all went quiet. (Apparently there were licensing issues, presumably something to do with the film version that made bigger headlines at the time!)
Well, now there is good news - the BBC has announced on their website (and via newspaper items this morning) that the "Third Phase" will be broadcast in six parts from Tuesday 21st September 2004 at 6:30pm (UK time)- more details at The Official BBC Radio 4 Hitch Hiker announcement page
Including a 4.5 minute 'trailer' (sounds good!) and a video - which I cannot watch yet, but will do so on Friday when the broadband will hopefully be up and running!

Make sure you know where your towel is.

Friday, June 18, 2004

Things are probably getting faster

Well, I finally bit the bullet and signed up for broadband (DSL) internet access; assuming nothing goes wrong, and that it is as easy to set up as BT claims, I should be experiencing the wonders of fast internet access next weekend.
The main reason I held off for so long was the price; it's still quite pricey even now (BT Broadband, without email or webspace, it £27 per month) but the Surftime dial-up I'm using at present has been getting slower and slower, and the broadband option is only about £13 more a month.
Note the 'about' in that last sentence - I had to do a lot of digging to get to that figure; nowhere on the BT site could I find what would have been of most use to me, a price comparison table (surely they can do one? They know how much they charge for Surftime, and they must still have links to the BT Yahoo side of things to get their monthly subscription costs!)
At least I don't have to pay extra for connection or the modem - and I should, apparently, also get a voucher for a free flight to Europe or the USA! I could do with a holiday.
Anyway, here's to fast surfing (though, knowing my luck, the minute I connect up, someone will drop the price for newbies...)

Friday, June 04, 2004

Gardening Left

I'm not a happy, green fingered son of the soil. I know what a plant is and I vaguely remember something about osmisis and photosynthesis from school, but that's it. My sister is the gardener, and she occasionally comes over to prune/hack etc.
She did so last weekend. 13 sacks of garden 'waste' later, and I have something that is a lot less like a jungle - at the house end, that is. The shed end is still a bit wild, and will need to be tackeled at some point.
The thing is, when househunting all those years ago (I bought at the top of the LAST property boom...) the ONE thing I insisted on was a decentlt sized garden; this one is about 60' long, and (for an ex-council house) is huge!

The point of this entry? None at all. I just wanted to put down something about the garden. And to mention that, as a result of the hard work put in by my sister, I can now see all sorts of insects and animals I wouldn't have noticed before - such as the damsel flies, the frogs and (I think) toads, the woodlice (I like the look of woodlice!) and the orangy-brown slug with the forked 'tail'.
Au Res.,