Survivors: Ghosts and Demons

I bought this audiobook last year as I am a big fan of the ‘Survivors’ stories. But you probably know that already. This story was narrated rather than being a full cast story, full cast being my preferred format. Having said that it is a good story. It fits neatly into the existing timeline and uses the existing characters.

Overall I am just so glad that Big Finish are still making these stories.

Given that the world is still in the midst of a pandemic it might seem odd to be listening to an audiobook about a deadly pandemic. You might even think it was a bit morbid. But I really like these stories. Not that I am saying that they are some way of dealing with what is happening in the real world. Not at all. It’s really just a good story and a good reminder of what happens when our rules and systems break down.

Not for everyone I know. But I would recommend this.

When will WordPress and DayOne integrate

When WordPress bought the journal app DayOne I thought that after some time there would be some kind of integration between to the two. But so far nothing.

The DayOne people posted this on their blog. Which does more than allude to integrations, in fact it promises them. That was back in June last year. The announcement from Automattic goes further still:

That doesn’t mean that everything you journal has to stay private, though. When you want to share specific entries – or even entire journals with the world – you can expect seamless integrations with both WordPress.com and Tumblr to do just that. On the flip side of that, importing your favorite content from WordPress.com and Tumblr into Day One is on the near-term roadmap. 

But so far nothing at all. As a long time user of both apps I have to say that I am a little bit disappointed. I kind of thought that about six months was enough time to get something working, but obviously I am wrong about that.

Hello 2022

I almost feel like I have to write something about the start of a new year. Even though I have no expectations that this year will be any better than 2021 or 2020. The world is still struggling with a pandemic and everything that brings.

In the past I have written about what I plan for the site and made somewhat vague commitments to doing things with it. Not so this year. I have no plans. If there is one thing I have learnt from the last couple of years it is that having a plan is a sure way to make certain that the plan will fail.

I have no idea what 2022 will bring, and I have no idea what I will do with this site. More than that, I can’t say.

Goodbye 2021

For the most part it has been a horrible year and one that I am glad to see the back of. I thought that 2020 was bad, but 2021 managed to be worse. In some ways I want to think that 2022 will be better, but I think I am learning to have low expectations, and then lower my expectations further. That seems to be the best strategy.

So goodbye 2021, you were crap.

RIP Ian Rawes

I am very sad to say that my friend, Ian Rawes passed away in October. You might know of Ian from his amazing work at the London Sound Survey which he ran as an incredible archive of sounds from around the city.

Ian was a lovely man. He was knowledgeable and passionate about sound and field recording and I came away from talking to him always feeling as though I had learnt something new.

I first heard about Ian in a book called ‘In the field’, which I can thoroughly recommend to anyone who has even a passing interest in field recording. In it there is an interview with Ian which fascinated me and I decided that I had to contact him. That was back in 2016. We met for a drink and I found myself talking to a like minded soul who was generous with his time and knowledge. More than that he was a gentle man, and I miss him.

Ian also wrote, or perhaps more accurately, compiled a book about sound words. ‘Honk, Conk and Squacket’ is a great book to dip into every now and then to locate a word that you’ve probably never heard of before. Again, I can thoroughly recommend this to anyone with even a passing interest in the history of sounds and how we have described them.

I’m glad to say that the last time I saw Ian, back in 2019, I asked him to sign my copy, which I will now always treasure.

You can hear a lot of Ian’s recording at the London Sound Survey, but also his recordings have been released by Persistence of Sound.

You can also find their music on bandcamp. I can thoroughly recommend this record. The recordings are superb and listening to them again recently gave me a great sense of peace about Ian.

I will miss him a great deal, but for me, he lives on in these excellent recordings. His work is his legacy, and those who knew him, those who’s lives he touched, will remember him for many years to come.

Barbican: Britain on the move

I went to this on Sunday as I was invited by a friend. I probably would have overlooked this event if it wasn’t for that. But it was good. Quite unique in fact.

I have always had a love of trains, or perhaps, to be more accurate, a love of being on long train journeys. So this appealed to me simply for that fact.

The films shown were of mixed quality. All of them showed different aspects of train travel in different parts of the UK. From busy cities, to the countryside and seaside. The one I liked the best was the first commuter inter city train. The film of that was very focused on the comfort and luxury of the journey. It was very business centric, but, as a piece of social history, very interesting. As was the music, which was live and performed by an ensemble of musicians from the guild hall. They had composed the score themselves, and whilst some of it was electronic and appealed to me a bit more, a lot of it was more generally contemporary.

Overall it was a very good experience. Well put together. Enjoyable. I would certainly go to something like that again.

Goodbye walkman

Earlier this year my old walkman finally gave up. I had owned this walkman for a long time, and by that I mean a few decades. It was a lovely device, a lovely piece of engineering. It was barely bigger than a cassette itself and it would run for ages on just a single AA battery.

But it stopped, just stopped working one day and I have no idea why at all.

You might ask if I tried to repair it. The answer is no. The technology was so small that you’d have to have been a specialist to even attempt a repair. I knew that I wouldn’t be up for it.

But I have considered replacing it. I had a good look around eBay and I was amazed at the prices that a functioning walkman will go for. I’m sure that I had looked some years ago and they were going for next to nothing. My guess is that the prices spiked after the first ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ movie came out.

Anyway, so far I haven’t replaced it, I’m not sure that I will now. I still have cassettes. I still like them. So I expect that one day I will.

I liked Mr Corman

I have to admit that I only watched this because I like Joseph Gordon-Levitt and I thought that the premise was quite interesting. I finished it just the other day and overall I really liked it. I thought it touched on a lot of issues that people have faced over the last couple of years.

I also really liked watching him make music with a range of different devices, some of which I’ve used and owned in the past.

It was a shame that it was cancelled. I think that a second season of it would have been interesting. I know I would have watched it.

More Survivors

I posted a while ago that Big Finish were planning to bring out some more Survivors stories. Well they have, in fact, two have come out this week.

The first is ‘Ghosts and Demons’, which is a narrated story. Not that I particularly dislike a narrated story, at times they can be very good actually. This one is narrated by Carolyn Seymour, who is of course one of the main actors in the Survivors series anyway. I have listened to her narration before, and it is always great.

The second audiobook is a full cast drama with three individual stories.

I don’t know why I am such a big fan of the Survivors stories. I think it has something to do with the world being reset. Not always in a good way of course. Not always with positive outcomes. I find that I am drawn to these kinds of apocalyptic stories more and more. I don’t think that has anything to do with the pandemic in particular, although it does bring it home somewhat. But I always have enjoyed these kinds of stories.

I hope that Big Finish manage to keep Survivors going for some time to come. I had thought that it was done after season 9, but I’m always up for more, and I’m looking forward to hearing these.