Posted in Packages on Sunday 14th December 2003 at 8:55pm

gnome-pkgview is a tool for inspecting the versions of GNOME libraries installed on your system. The information is often useful when submitting bug reports or diagnosing system problems.

Version 1.0.5 (Candlewick) fixes a nasty bug with ${target} substitutions in package descriptions, shows a busy cursor when refreshing the package list on slower systems, and supports detection of further distributions.


A gentoo ebuild is available here courtesy of Matt Schick.

gnome-pkgview project page


Posted in Updates on Tuesday 9th December 2003 at 10:38pm

Its been a bloody strange week. Back to work to find news of surprise marriages, some minor but far-reaching errors in allocations to one of my pet schools, and a need to return to earth after a strange weekend and prepare two impossible-to-win appeal cases.

Since the 'phone lines were eerily quiet (considering we'd sent out thousands of letters last Friday) I found myself pondering longer than was healthy over the appeal cases. Fact is, the headteacher wanted these kids in his school. I didn't disappoint - but it's acknowledged that we did a reasonably good job of defending the indefensible, which is sort of reassuring.

Sort of disconcerted to have two separate people ask me the same question regarding my position on the weekends shock news. I don't like it when I'm expected to have an opinion. Wondering what to do with the weekend ahead, and feeling a bit directionless since I'd been looking forward for months to Belle & Sebastian.


Posted in SHOFT on Monday 8th December 2003 at 12:05am

I remember the last time I saw Belle and Sebastian in 1997. We drove up to London to see them at the Shepherds Bush Empire after work. The new record had been released that morning, so we listenen to a hastily taped copy of 'The Boy With The Arab Strap' for the first time in the car, thinking how fantastic it was. As it turned out, they were pretty bad that night - they took a long time to come on stage, were incredibly quiet, and the pauses were longer than the songs. I wouldn't have admitted it at the time, but my heroes had disappointed me. I made lots of excuses for them - in a way it was fitting that they weren't so good live.

How different tonight then. After padding endlessly around a frozen and busy Bath (never my favourite city), into the Pavillions, with few expectations - but happy to be seeing some live music after a long break. A cavernous room with a floor sprung for ballroom dancing it seems. Beer sold by the can. A no-nonsense venue.

Between acts, I bumped into some expat-Burnhamites, including Messrs. Ponter, Orledge and Rowden. In fact, Steve has asked me to make a special mention of him here - in fact, will this do? Quite glad to see some familiar faces, because I was beginning to feel a bit old and redundant.

Overall, I think this was the best show I've seen in years - the band were great - best of all, they were audible. Loud even. The sound was great. Even the inevitable between-song-pause problem of a band of multi-instrumentalists wasn't as bad, with some confidently chipper banter between stage and audience.

Most of the new record was played, along with some wonderful oldies and even the odd obscure B-side ('Photo Jenny' anyone?), a very good Rolling Stones cover, and Stevie Jackson's 'Travellin' Light' (familiar to people who heard DCW before it was released). A long set, confidently delivered and full of a drive I'd never seen the band display before.

Promise I'll try to remember the set-list which I forgot to write down as it happened. Highlights for me were a beautifully orchestrated 'Dirty Dream #2' and 'If You Find Yourself Caught in Love', and a storming 'Sleep the Clock Around' which closed the main set.

Thanks for the lift back Chris! Otherwise, I'd still be freezing at Bath Spa station.


Posted in London on Saturday 6th December 2003 at 11:04pm

A later start than recently, having accepted a spare seat on a cheap coach to London arranged by some ex-colleagues.

On arriving, quick dash to Victoria and a train to Denmark Hill. Then a confusing but finally pretty accurate walk to the Lambeth Archives.

Browsed the documents they hold of the Clapham Antiquarian Society. Frankly, not of much interest in the search for William Kent related items. Lots of interesting old papers, but resolved not to get drawn into further complexities, so looked exclusively for what I came for, to little avail.

Since I was here, decided I'd check the Electoral Registers, to see if William remained at 71 Union Road after the 1948 date I have. Discovered to my further dismay that whilst Nos. 2-22 even Union Road were indeed in the Vauxhall Consituency of Lambeth Borough, the remainder was to be found in Wandsworth Borough. Clearly not my day.

Wandered to Loughborough Junction, then a Thameslink to Blackfriars and the Circle to Tower Hill. Explored the eastern end of the city, including visits to St Helens Bishopsgate, St Andrew Undershaft, and a brief interlude to feed the birds at St Botolph Aldgate.

At one point I turned against the wind into Lombard Street and was met with an icy blast of December air. Felt utterly desolate, alone and dejected. Longish ramble back via Moorfields and Whitecross Road. Circle from Farringdon to Baker Street. Finally met up with coach party in Park Lane.



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.

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