Genesis – Many, Too Many

Arguably the best song about fame.

Phil Collins’ voice particularly suits this song, and Mike Rutherford’s guitar solo, which wanders aimlessly, sums up the vagaries of fame as a “bridge to nowhere”.

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Philadelphus In Full Bloom

Taken on 26 June 2012.

Due to all the rain we’ve had, everything in the garden has been growing like mad!

The Philadelphus, and the Fuchsia on its left, are both 2.5-3 metres tall.

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My Most Memorable Games Of Chess

I was taught chess in 1970, at the age of eleven, by a twelve-year-old American boy, John Crown, who was living on our road at the time.

Having taught me the moves, we then played a game with me as white. He advised that it was usual to start the game with a pawn move, preferably one of the two centre pawns. I thought about this and played one of the centre pawns two squares forward. Having played my first move – 1.d4 – John asked me why I’d chosen to play that pawn instead of the other. I answered that, as it was protected by the queen, it seemed the better choice of the two to play first. John accepted my reason, and we played on – needless to say, I don’t have the game, but I know that I did lose!

But I’ve been a d–pawn player, as White, ever since.

I’m a “calculated risk” person, rather than a gambler or gambiteer, and I’ve tended to be like that throughout my life.

Despite this, my choice of openings were based on the fact that I had a good memory – which is generally on what young chess players rely: memorising long sequences of moves in the hope that their opponents won’t know them as well and fall into one or more traps along the way. I particularly was taken by the Sicilian Dragon defence and spent hours learning the variations…

At school, I played “doss”/”skittle” games against my classmates and then won a place on the senior school team, which was a great feeling.

The first game for the team – an away game against Marian College – was also my first memorable game. My original notes, which were made without the benefit of a computer at the time, are in italics. Continue reading

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Afro-Celt Sound System – Sure As Not/Sure As Knot (Jungle Segue)

This track – from their first album, Sound Magic – is wonderfully upbeat, epitomising the interweaving of both cultures’ musical traditions through the collaboration of these musicians.

Both culture’s are represented in this track – indeed, Myrdhin’s beautiful Celtic harp and the hypnotic pulse of Masamba Diop’s “talking drum” weave their “sound magic” throughout the album.

One of my favourites. Enjoy!

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Crouching Fox, Hidden Fox

Just a few days ago – on the 23rd June, around a quarter to eleven in the morning – I again caught sight of the fox.

I quickly went upstairs to get the camera and came down but it’d disappeared. Thinking that it’d gone, I put the camera back upstairs, only to see – on coming back downstairs again – the fox come out of the bushes on the left-hand side and move back to the bottom of the garden! So I rushed upstairs again, fetched the camera – and binoculars – and caught some more photos before it left the garden.

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Moon Under Jupiter

The following photo was taken on 24th April, just coming up to ten o’clock at night.

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Return Of The Fox!

On the 24th April, around 1.30 in the afternoon, I again saw the fox resting at the bottom of the garden – and managed to get a few more photos before it disappeared.

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