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November 24th, 2015

09:30 pm: Mystery, McCreesh and Mendelssohn
I'm currently in the middle of Kerry Greenwood's Murder and Mendelssohn, which begins with the murder of the odious conductor in charge a local performance of Elijah and goes on to embrace a conspiracy to involve a very Holmesian mathematician who, for all his usual perspicacity, hasn't quite realise that is very own Watson desperately in love with him.

All of which is nothing but a thinly veiled excuse to fish out a recording of Simon Keenlyside as the prophet and Robert Murray as Ahab, with the Gabrieli Consort, a number of truly excellent youth choirs, and the Wroclaw Philharmonic Choir providing support under the batton on Paul McCreesh.

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November 22nd, 2015

09:27 pm: Duruflé from Sweden
A wonderful chance discovery in the form of Ulf Norberg's dazzling performance of Maurice Duruflé's Prélude et Fugue sure le nom d'Alain. The playing is so precise and clear, especially in the fugue, that you can hear every last detail in a piece whose nuances all to often get smeared out by the building around it.


November 21st, 2015

01:26 pm: Fifth parkrun
Woke up with a bit of a sore throat — it's been gradually getting worse over the last few days — but decided that it wasn't bad enough to skip running this morning. After checking the forecast and a eyeing up the frost on my neighbours' roofs, I decided to break out my winter top for the first time this year.

During the short warm-up run down to the river, I soon came to realise the wisdom of my choice: not only was it cold but there was a strong, very sharp north-westerly blowing down the Exe valley and adding a significant amount of windchill.

The run itself was OK with a fast first couple of klicks aided by a strong tailwind followed by a significant slowdown on the way back, and a punishing last kilometer running straight into the teeth of it. My time wasn't spectacular — a mere 21:27 and 24th male — but I finished in time to be scanned early, and to defrost my poor hands with a cup of tea whilst waiting for the others.

I hadn't realised how grimy I'd was until I got in the shower and noticed two huge patches of dried mud on either leg, just below each knee, which I'd obviously managed to kick up at some point on the university playing field...

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November 19th, 2015

07:41 pm: Git and staging: a realisation
Despite having used git on small projects for quite a while, I'd always felt that I'd simply taken my experience from my previous versioning system — I'm a long-time CVS maven — and simply mapped into corresponding git commands. And although I'd skimmed through enough of the Git Book to make this work, I wasn't entirely sure I understood some of the more esoteric features.

Finally having a project large enough to experiment with — and having built up enough confidence to know how to clone and pull without damaging my master copy — I decided to spend a little time working with the book to firm up my theoretical understanding of what was actually going on.

Almost immediately, I had a revelation: I'd completely misunderstood staging.

Moving from CVS, I'd assumed that git add simply notified git that the specified file was under version control. I'd also assumed, again from CVS, that I either needed to supply the full path to each file I wanted to commit or use git commit -a to push the lot. But I quickly realised that what I'd actually done was to hit on a particular set of options that combined the two steps of moving the file to the staging area and committing it to the repository.

So I'd actually been missing a really useful feature: the ability to stage up copies of particular files ready for a commit whilst still working on others — something that seems extremely well suited to my usual cyclical method of debugging and testing.

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November 14th, 2015

07:10 pm: Make me to know mine end...
Via my parents, a reminder that it is the 75th anniversary of the bombing of Coventry and the destruction of the old cathedral. I suppose this should probably be Britten's War Requiem but on a day like today Johannes Brahms' setting of Psalm 39 from A German Requiem feels more appropriate.

Lord, make me to know mine end, and the measure of my days, what it is; that I may know how frail I am.
Behold, thou hast made my days as an handbreadth; and mine age is as nothing before thee: verily every man at his best state is altogether vanity.
Surely every man walketh in a vain shew: surely they are disquieted in vain: he heapeth up riches, and knoweth not who shall gather them.
And now, Lord, what wait I for? my hope is in thee.

But the souls of the righteous are in the hand of God, and there shall no torment touch them.

Here is Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, matchless and authoritative as the baritone soloist, accompanied by Otto Klemperer and the Philharmonia in Kingsway Hall in 1961.

10:17 am: Fourth parkrun
Much better weather than last week and an improved result: I knocked just shy of a minute off my PB, finishing in 20:41.

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November 13th, 2015

04:45 pm: Bouldering baby steps
Via my parents, an insight into my early bouldering career.

Crushing it...Collapse )

I'm not too sure about the cheeky use of my right knee but the placement of the left foot doesn't look half bad...


November 9th, 2015

09:52 pm: Combination day
Day of the big integration, with much time spent waiting for components to bounce — a frustrating process that required everything to come up cleanly and without errors before the rest of the work could go ahead. But despite various minor teething problems, all of which were obvious in hindsight, everything was completed ahead of schedule and with very little fuss.


November 8th, 2015

08:03 pm: Mahler Ten by way of Barshai
Interesting decision by Rob Cowan on R3 to follow this morning's Remembrance Sunday silence with the final Mahler's 10th Symphony, choosing Rudolf Barshai's completion over the better known performing version produced by Deryck Cooke:


November 7th, 2015

08:16 pm: Mackerras' Fireworks
Arriving home in time to catch part of this morning's Building a Library on Handel's Music for the Royal Fireworks, I was more than a little startled when I turned on the radio to be confronted with Charles Mackerras' large scale modern instrument performance with the LSO in the late 1970s.

Very definitely full-fat Handel...

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