Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Barden Tower and Daphne

Last Saturday, I went up to the Bolton Abbey area in Yorkshire
– a very picturesque part of Wharfedale, which reminded me of
parts of the Lake District, Troutbeck in particular near Ambleside.
On the way, I picked up our youngest daughter S. who is a classical
guitarist (based in Leeds), and who was to play guitar for a small
wedding cum reception at Barden Tower/ The Priest House.

The wedding and reception was held inside a lovely old building,
which is said to be 15th century. I’ve posted a few photos to give
you a glimpse of the lovely setting, and the lovely musician.

Bolton Abbey, one of the great Cistercian monasteries, is well
worth a visit, if you’ve never been. Mrs C and I went round it last
when the kids were little. It’s not far from Fountains Abbey, which
I think is in a more lovely setting.

Did anyone see the lavish drama-documentary about Daphne du Maurier
the other evening? Mrs C and I watched it on video in the last two
evenings. It was all about the time in her life in the 1940s and 50s,
from the time of her husband Tommy returning from the war, to the
time when her close friend the actress Gertrude Lawrence died. I’d
never heard about her bisexuality before (Mrs C had, as she’d read
three of her novels and a biography in the past), but what came
across was her loneliness in a marriage which had failed, though
they carried on living together until Tommy died. I don’t know if
that was really how she felt, as I haven’t read anything about her

I felt I was back in the 50s watching the programme – the period
was very cleverly recreated, though the dialogue wasn’t convincing
at times for me. And what about Tommy and the kids singing songs
from South Pacific in 1947/48? They had a gramophone record of it
playing, to which they were doing a karaoke. I’ve just done a
Wikipedia search for South Pacific – it was a Broadway hit
starting in 1949, and the film version came out in 1958. I saw it
in Leeds at the Majestic Cinema with one of my sisters in 1959,
while my dad and mum were looking for a house there.
“There is nothing like a dame ...”
That shows how old I am.

Another funny thing – I’ve done a Google search to check the
spelling of the word karaoke/karyoke, and I’ve found out that the
Japanese word karaoke means tone deaf. That explains what it’s
all about then.

I've edited out some comments added to my previous two posts, which
I've reposted here. I apologise to both Angel and Ariel for removing
their comments in the process.

It's the Wi-Fi unit
Friday May 11th 2007

Yes, I've discovered that it's the wi-fi unit that's the cause of the
burning sensation in my lower legs. I was fiddling around at the back
of my computer tower yesterday, trying to get my Kingston Datatraveler
into a USB port at the back. To do so I had to place my right foot just
in front of the wi-fi unit, and the burning feeling in my lower leg
got loads worse.

So, in future, I'll be using Mrs C's laptop more for surfing the net
(and for blogging) -- the laptop is usually downstairs in our dining
room, but it's currently in hospital having its fan replaced -- I must
phone the surgeon today to see how the operation went, or to enquire
if it's still waiting on a trolley in a hospital corridor waiting for
the part to arrive. I'll be using this computer mainly for off-line

Yesterday I found out that there's a debate going on in the letters
section of The Guardian's IT pages, about whether or not the
radiation from wi-fi units could be carcinogenic. It parallels the
debate about whether prolonged use of mobile phones could cause brain
tumours. I don't think there's any scientific proof either way.

Thinking about the word, "Datatraveler" -- why is it that it only the
British who can spell words correctly? :)

That reminds me of a funny story about an Australian guy who leaned
out of a car window and asked one of my daughters: "G'day! Can you
tell me the way to Looga - burroo - ga?" He meant Loughborough,
which is a town about 14 miles South of Nottingham. ("Lough..." is
pronounced here as "Luff..")

Wednesday May 9 2007

It's been raining yesterday and today -- great for our garden,
and for our farmers, but not so good for those who are on
holiday this week in the UK. One of our nieces has gone up to
Scarborough on the North East coast for a beach holiday with
her fella and her son -- not very nice for them, if it's
pouring down. Other relations are on holiday in the Lake
District (Wordsworth country), which has always been the
wettest part of England.

I've been up in Yorkshire today, to visit my sister-in-law,
who recently lost her husband (and my older brother) Pete.
I've come back with 2 large carrier bags full of probate stuff
relating to one of my aunts who died 9 years ago. Pete was
the executor but he never finished the work, so I've been
asked to help sort out the mess. That should keep me busy for
a few months. A solicitor said he could do the work, but he
said he'd have to start from scratch. We'll probably save
about £20k by not using a solicitor.

Bingley looked a very pretty and lush green, but the M1 and M62
motorway journeys were dreary -- loads of tarmac and loads of
traffic. I'm glad to be back -- back to Mrs C, and back to this
computer. :)

I start getting computer withdrawal symptoms if I stay away too
long from it -- feeling a bit on edge, tapping my fingers on
the table, not really getting down to doing anything, feeling
a bit at a loss ... do you recognise that restless feeling
I'm describing -- perhaps I should start going to Computing
Anonymous meetings, and declare my feelings of addiction to
the group, and start clapping my hands and shouting;
"Halleluyah, Brother!!", when someone announces he's finally
kicked the habit.

In the past few days, I really started thinking I'd have to
give up using this machine (and use a laptop instead). I sit
alongside a computer tower, and in the past few days I've
noticed an odd burning/tingling sensation in my lower legs
with prolonged sitting by the computer. It eases off when I
go downstairs to do a few odd jobs or to sit and watch some
TV, so I'm wondering if this machine is emitting some form
of radiation (? microwaves), despite the metal casing. I've
almost completely eased the problem by putting a Dimplex metal
heater (an electric radiator panel) between me and the
computer tower. My brother Pete was a computer addict too,
and he ended up with myeloid leukaemia ... are we all being
irradiated by the darn things, I wonder?

I haven't heard of an increased incidence of leukaemias
with computer usage ... but is it safe to be sitting next to
them ... or safe to be sitting next to the wi-fi unit, which
is the other side of my computer tower, at floor level?

I took yet more photos of one of my granddaughters the other
day ... here's one of them .... Little Ava is 7
months old now.


Blogger angel said...

what beautiful pictures of a beautiful place! is that your daughter in he window?

9:14 PM  
Blogger justin said...

Yes, Angel - she's our youngest. She teaches and plays classical guitar in Leeds, and while she's building that side of her career up, she's also doing part-time admin work at one of the universities there.
The Priest House is a fabulous place -- I think it's on an estate owned by the Devonshire/Cavendish family, who also own Chatsworth. In fact there is a well known hotel/restaurant nearby called The Devonshire Arms - the head chef there has a Michelin star, so it's a place to go for posh nosh.

6:16 AM  

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