Posted in Updates on Tuesday 24th August 2004 at 11:16pm
By my reckoning, Areopagitica - the Content (Mis)management System which sits behind this site - is one year old today.
I'd long wondered about writing something like this, and its actually been a rewarding process. The code could badly do with a clean-up - having grown by accumulation over a year there are all sorts of nasty hacks. Most importantly it does almost all that all the blogging engines and website gadget type things seem to, and its comfortable for me to use daily.
One thing it won't do, probably ever, is comments. I know I have often almost commented on a blog, but have mercifully just about stopped myself from going off on some ranting tangent. After all, all opinions are apparently valid opinions in this cosmopolitan internet world. In the current era of rampant content spam, and with a history of suffering in the flames, I'd say that the important people who might want to comment are smart enough to find my email address for themselves. A truly Darwinian comment system?
In any case, for better or worse, I've spent a year on this strange little project.
Posted in Reading on Tuesday 24th August 2004 at 10:01pm
I'm still gradually working my way through a reading list greatly extended at last month's Literary London conference. On the surface, these events could easily make me feel hideously under-educated and poorly read, but what they do in a rather warm, comfortable way is to show me other people's obsessions and interests.
Hence Storm Jameson. Until a month ago, a mystery to me. I'm writing somewhat prematurely - being 50% of the way into a collection of short novels and stories entitled 'A Day Off'. Prolific, politcal and feminist in a raw, egalitarian manner, Jameson writes with passion, energy and pace. The giddy shifts in narrative voice, and the incisive moves between blindness and insight of social interaction which she represents so painstakingly have aged somewhat over the past sixty or so years, but they still strike a chord.
A few successful forays on eBay have yielded further novels which I've pushed onto my stack. Criminally, Jameson appears to be entirely out of print despite mid-eighties Virago reprints of some of her work. I have no idea if I am reading well within her work. Perhaps someone out there can guide me?
Some links to biographical information:
Spartacus (includes picture)
Posted in Railways on Saturday 21st August 2004 at 8:08pm
Not, as I mistakenly thought, the penultimate week of the Class 67 hauled Virgin Holidaymaker specials. I had never intended that these workings become a weekly event, or a minor obsession. They do however release me from the need to imagine up new journeys every Friday evening. Also, they are a nice easy option when the railway is chaotically busy, overcrowded and hot here in the southwest during the Summer months. Along with the Weymouth and Brighton Class 31s they have maintained my sanity during the most frustrating and busy periods of the work year too. Perhaps the hypnotic effect of boomeranging back and forth between Bristol and Exeter is soothing to the soul of the troubled clerk?
So, set out in the opposite direction to usual. Decided to get a ride on 67022 which was working 1M89 - the morning service to Preston which doesn't call at Weston. This involved a unit to Taunton, and a change for a Voyager to Exeter. During the pause at Exeter, a pair of Castles (5051 and 5029) steamed through on 'The Devonian'. Arrived at Exeter to find 1M89 standing at Platform 6 - swiftly over the bridge and aboard for Bristol.
Arrived a little earlier than usual, and hung around to watch 1E99 arrive - my usual ride into Bristol these days! 67026 in charge - another required locomotive for me, one of three out today. I could only manage two out of these however, as 1M89 and 1E99 are mutually exclusive options.
Posted in Railways on Friday 20th August 2004 at 9:14pm
Since it was no longer necessary to attend court today, I took advantage of the remaining day of a rover ticket for some of the usual Friday fun! Out on the 1134 from Weston which was unusually held at Parson Street Junction. Didn't spot any obvious activity on the Portbury branch to warrant this. On arrival at Temple Meads, spotted 31452 and 31106 on the up through, waiting to head out south, and back into Platform 15. Finally got a better picture of 31106, showing its lack of headcode box - hence the 'skinhead' appellation.
I've had a home on the web for more years than I care to remember, and a few kind souls persuade me it's worth persisting with keeping it updated. This current incarnation of the site is centred around the blog posts which began back in 1999 as 'the daylog' and continued through my travels and tribulations during the following years.
I don't get out and about nearly as much these days, but I do try to record significant events and trips for posterity. You may also have arrived here by following the trail to my former music blog Songs Heard On Fast Trains. That content is preserved here too.