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So long, farewell, auf wiedersehn, adieu!

After many months half-hearted poking about with things, I have finally got my website installed under wordpress. I've also imported the grouch over to it and am in the process of fixing all the categories. So new posts will be over on http://magslhalliday.co.uk/. I'm not going to delete the blogger archive, although I may end putting up a redirect (if blogger allows that).

Subscribers:
Live Journal
I'll get the syndication changed but it may be a few days.

Other subs.
Change the sub to http://magslhalliday.co.uk/?feed=rss2

I've been with blogger for a long time, since November 2003, but it's time is up. The changes that came in with blogger 2 meant I had to fiddle about a lot more to create my own style at which point it became obvious I should go for a more complex and geeky CMS like Wordpress. Ah well.

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Posted @ 12:04 p.m. on Monday, August 04, 2008
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The Melancholy of Mags L Halliday

I had to take this afternoon off sick, since mere caffeine and working did not give me any focus. I hate that with colds: the muzzy head which prevents you really getting on with things. You've not really ill, no fever or vomiting or pain, but you're not going to actually achieve anything. And I never know what to do when the medical advise would be "take it easy" but I don't actually need to lie down in a darkened room like a Pre-Raphaelite heroine with a laudenum habit.

I have therefore sat on the sofa drinking Lemsip and watching The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya. Again.

I blame the Chap: you can't go around giving me a new UST with season 2 nowhere in sight. Now I'm reduced to watching fanvids, which aren't even about Kyon/Haruhi, and trawling google for rumours of the next season. I've even agreed that, as the Chap owns the DVDs, I'll buy the translated light novels when they come out, just to get myself more of the Kyon/Haruhi tension.

Part 1 of episode 1 on YouTube (subbed, not dubbed: I prefer the dubbed version - heresy! - because Kyon sounds more like a sixth former and less than a grown man).

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Posted @ 8:39 p.m. on Tuesday, July 29, 2008
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Conjure the wandering stars

So, Tennant's Hamlet. The press are already writing of it, and Jonathan Miller sneered at it for 'celebrity casting'. Last week, I saw the PR shot for it, and it instantly brought to mind another image.


Friedrich's The Wanderer Above the Mists (or The Wanderer Above a Sea of Fog). It's an arresting image, from the Romanticism period in art (painted around 1817). The same period which saw the rise of the sublime as a form of beauty, and concepts of nature v nuture emerge from post-Revolutionary France. It was also around the time when Shakespeare went through a massive revival, led in part by the Lambs' Tales from Shakespeare (1807), and Hamlet became a tragic hero (rather than a whiny emo boy back from gap year to find 'Uncle' Claude has moved in with mum). All this suggests the tone the production intends to take with the play: a Romantic who ends up caught up in that fog that he looks down on.

The military coat (as well as making me go "Captain Jack!"), also recalls Branagh's Hamlet, which looked to create a strong sense of both the political/military forces waiting on the borders, and the idea of a Germanic stoicism - Hamlet having studied in Wittenberg - in the face of the threats Hamlet faces (real and imagined).

It opens next week, and I shall read the reviews with no end of trepidation. Naturally, I have tickets for September but I can't work out if I'm more excited by seeing Tennant as Hamlet, or by seeing what looks like it'll be a smart production of Hamlet with Tennant as the icing.

I picked a quote from Hamlet over the other possible title for this piece, which suggests the latter reason for the excitement. The other title? "Don't cry, emo Dane prince!"

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Posted @ 10:22 p.m. on Sunday, July 20, 2008
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Le Tour de Exe

Exe - sailboat
I made myself get up just after 7am, so I could cycle down to Starcross before the day really started. Naturally, my chain slipped off at one point (due to messing about with the gears) and I shall spend the rest of the weekend scrubbing bike oil out of my fingers.

As you pass the Turf Locks, you go from riding alongside the ship canal, fairly sheltered, to riding along a seawall with no protection from the wind. But that bit also brings the smell of salt air and the clack of cordage on masts, so you really feel you're a long way from the city.

It took 90 minutes to cover the 9 mile route (nb - I actually start somewhere else in Exeter but I'm not going to pinpoint my house here). Around 2 miles were along the seawall - which is not a metalled path - that made me glad I still have my off-road tyres on. The train back? 9 minutes.

Getting back into the city, and the rain is threatening, so I'm going to settle down to watch Mark 'the cock' Cavendish take another Tour de France stage.

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Posted @ 11:10 a.m. on Saturday, July 19, 2008
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Transmission starts

Doctor Who: Short Trips - Transmissions, which you may vaguely recall me writing about, is available now and contains a story by myself as well as many others. I've had reports of it being in Forbidding Prices Forbidden Planet.

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Posted @ 1:01 p.m. on Sunday, July 13, 2008
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A Cat Called Malice

I just discovered Polydor records have taken the very sane step of becoming a YouTube channel. Specifically, Polydor classics puts up high quality classic music videos. One of my favourite uses of YouTube is to track down old pop videos - you get onto a seam of a band or year and lose hours clicking on the 'related'. This morning I watched an old Aztec Camera clip Alistair posted, which led me to Ever Changing Moods, then Long Hot Summer and finally this:

I can watch the young Paul Weller for hours, although I'm a bit bothered by his current Bradley Wiggins style haircut.



Meanwhile, Sébastian's new kill count is:

  • Rodents:
    Rats - 1 2
    Mice - 40
    Voles - 11
  • Birds:
    Sparrows - 5
    Dunnocks - 1
    Robin - 1
    Ringed pigeon - 3
    Uncertain - 9
  • Other:
    Frogs - 1
    Unidentifiable remains - 3

Yes, there's a rat in my rose bed, what am I gonna do? Actually, I picked it up and sealed it in a plastic bag till bin day. Séba has a new collar with a quieter bell, and within days he's killed a rat. Which is both good (less rats) and bad (rats bite when cornered).

There was also a young hedgehog under my kitchen table, which had got in through the open back door, got itself confused in amongst the boxes of tools etc. and was sounding distressed. I moved things and used gardening gloves to pick it up and put it under some foliage in the garden. You'd really not believe I'm in an urban area, would you?

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Posted @ 12:44 p.m. on Saturday, July 12, 2008
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Cute, in a stupid arsed way

It's already been noted that I am loving The Last of the Shadow Puppets. The first thing they reminded me of was Tenament Symphony era Marc Almond, mixed with a large dose of The Divine Comedy circa Casanova (e.g. Something for the Weekend) and a dash of Lee Hazelwood. A cocktail recipe of music almost bound to make me love them. I love the combination of torch songs and guitars. The opening bass-laden intro on the first track of the album reminds me of Valerie, as well, but then I'm nearly as obsessed with Mark Ronson's arrangements as the trailer editors on the BBC.

I've just put the Shadow Puppets album on again, whilst updating my swipe file (a posh phrase for ripping out good headlines from Glamour). And a slight worry resurfaces. I have fleetingly wondered if there was something a bit Space about The Last Shadow Puppets, but I've also just been reminded of The La's.

Hmmm. I'm starting to suspect this is an album I will adore for six months then neglect for years.

Also cute, in a stupid arsed way:

And, yes, I have also favourited the 'learn the dance' versions.

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Posted @ 12:30 a.m. on Thursday, July 10, 2008
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The big four oh

Not mine: his.

Sébastian's new kill count is:

  • Rodents:
    Rats - 1
    Mice - 39 40
    Voles - 11
  • Birds:
    Sparrows - 5
    Dunnocks - 1
    Robin - 1
    Ringed pigeon - 2 3
    Uncertain - 9
  • Other:
    Frogs - 1
    Unidentifiable remains - 3
The pigeons have been downgraded from wood to ringed - smaller and a softer grey, in keeping with what I've been finding. The mouse was brought in still struggling. Which is, actually, horrible.

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Posted @ 11:26 p.m. on Wednesday, July 09, 2008
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Pigeon Detectives

Sébastian's new kill count is:

  • Rodents:
    Rats - 1
    Mice - 39
    Voles - 11
  • Birds:
    Sparrows - 5
    Dunnocks - 1
    Robin - 1
    Wood-pigeon - 1 2
    Uncertain - 8 9
  • Other:
    Frogs - 1
    Unidentifiable remains - 3
One bird was just a handful of feathers - I'm starting to think the black and white feathers with a yellow edge might be siskins. The other was a pigeon of some sort, as Sébastian very kindly left the guts and the feet to allow for identification. I'm hoping it was a wood pigeon as it wasn't a flying rat style urban one. I'm hoping this because last week there was a poster up on the gates of the St Thomas Pleasure Gardens about a lost pet collar pigeon who "can't really take care of itself".

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Posted @ 12:11 p.m. on Saturday, July 05, 2008
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