Tuesday, 29 March 2011
Examples of Gill Jowers' photography - but is it the same Gill Jowers?
Most recently, a brief "thank you" from the musician Jarboe who I mentioned a few week's ago in connection with the Swans tour that was then taking place. This brief comment prompts me to listen to her albums Sacrificial Cake, Thirteen Masks, A Mystery of Faith and Men today. Her work is a thing of great beauty and is something I return to again and again.
And with some surprise, I come across three comments on the post I made year's ago after I had a look on Friends Reunited - I hadn't seen any of these before today. My favourite is the one from Gill Jowers. I am really surprised to have heard from her. And as I said in my original post (and the reply to the comments), I have nothing but fond memories of Gill. I remember once persuading my parents to go for a meal at the Portofino restaurant where Gill worked, but she wasn't working that night! And what about the time she overdid it on a sunbed and was a deep red colour for many days. But in the main, I just remember the two of us trying to do physics and maths A level together, paired up for physics practicals, comparing answers to homework and so on. They were very happy days. I hope things have worked out well for her in the 30 years since then - amazing, 30 years!
(Addendum - some time later. And it turns out there is a Gill Fletcher (nee Jowers) on Facebook who was at Kenilworth school in 1981 so it is definitely her! There is a photo of her which I might just about have recognised her from. Nice to put a picture to the name after all these years. I did ponder on it, but I don't think I am going to contact her via Facebook. She is doing an MSc at Uni - good for her!)
The other comments are from Ian Tebby, who seems not to know who I am at all though I knew him quite well, and Chris Deakin, who I don't remember well at all. And I do wonder what happened to Huw Davies who I exchanged some photos with and had a 3 hour phone call with soon after the original blog appeared in 2008 but silence since then.
I really must try and find out what my blog readership has actually been. I use the blog now instead of writing a diary (which I did fairly consistently from about 1977 to 2006 - hence perhaps why I remember the past so well) but I have no aspirations to acquire an actual readership. Perhaps I will post a random diary entry from 1980 or so - or would that be too embarrassing?
A quick search of the internet uncovers the usual mass of information about Garbarek himself and 30 years of his works. Some samples are available on various sources. I picked up one or two live shows, and can tell already that this will be someone whose work I will want to hear in some detail.
. . ttt
Monday, 28 March 2011
A last minute cancellation and some re-arranging of others means we can get away earlier than expected, meaning we can beat the conjestion north of Birmingham and so arrive in the Lake District late afternoon. This gives us a brief opportunity to visit the Leighton Moss nature Reserve close to where we are staying. Beautiful read beds, fantastic bird watching facilities - though most of the birds were black headed gulls. We may have seen a red start as well . ..
Friday, 25 March 2011
Moving away from HFT also gives us the chance to trade in a more nuanced way as there is enough time to perform the slightly tricky calculation that this requires. In particular, I am looking at fast-reversing stop strategies that could eliminate a number of whipsaw losses. I have created a selection of "exemplary case studies" where certain methods work really well, and soon I will be moving on to the detailed testing of these ideas.
While Jerome did the existing trading today, I shadowed the trading with such a reversing stop strategy in place and both got some good results and found that I could keep track of things as time went on. So another promising area to consider - and certainly one that I feel much more comfortable with from the point of view of doing the actual trading. I have come to hate doing the actual trading as the intensity involved is too high for me and I get distracted too easily and make mistakes. Something slower but more nuanced would be better
Monday, 21 March 2011
As usual, this sends me back to the vast collection of cds I have by The Fall. Today I heard Grotesque for the first time in perhaps 20 years - I had forgotten just how great Container Drivers and especially Impression of J Temperance were. This was followed by Slates. I remember buying the vinyl version when it came out - the 10" version.
I saw The Fall about a dozen times in the early 1980s, and then once a few year's later. They played Oxford a couple of years ago. I should have gone (and taken Linda). I have bought most of the cds over the years, and generally find some tracks I like every time. But the peak for me was around 1983 with the Peel session that featured the stupendous track, Smile - perhaps one of my personal top 5 tracks.
A few years ago there was a superb documentary of tv about them - The Wonderful and Frightening world of Mark E Smith. I should have another look for that - I think I downloaded it at the time.
. Around the last time I saw The Fall - late 1980s, with the rather scrummy Marcia Schofield on keyboards
Yet this weekend produces another significant amendment with an apparently small change turning out to make quite a bit profit change. Now if we can actually produce about half the expected profit per day at about the current risk levels, we should be very well set.
But the main thing is that the systems are very user friendly. I personally don't like doing the actual trading, but even I am able to do a few hours at a stretch with it. I am able to read a bit as I trade and that helps me manage. But the main trading is done by Jerome and that is definitely for the better.
My work now switches onto estimates of worse case daily and weekly losses and hence the possibility of estimating maximum position size (which is probably quite a bit above where we are now). I even allowed myself to do a couple of future projections for the next six months. I should really avoid doing this as it always adds to the disapointment if we hit difficulties, as we always seem to do.
Saturday, 19 March 2011
Inspired by watching last year's episodes, I have also gone back to season 4 and 5 and my all time favourite character - Carrie, the mad policewoman. A real shame when she left I thought. So maybe we will watch season 4 and 5 again next.
One of Carrie's rare raunchy moments
And the slightly fetish version of Carrie from the closing credits. There is also a James Bond spy themed closing credits in which she appears.
A year or so ago the actress who played Carrie - Amanda Ryan - was in one of the period dramas that we were watching. After Shameless, it was pretty odd to see her in something like that, but she has, apparently appeared in some quite high-brow things
Two old ladies from Saving Grace
So a brief internet search locates a UK company called Jagged Globe, which runs a who series of high-end climbing expeditions. And they run a number of 8,000m peak trips, my focus being on Cho Oyo. They don't avoid the difficulties, but there is loads of information on the site and this had caused me to consider some pretty radical ambitions. Cho Oyo costs just over £10,000 and takes 45 days. For the moment, this is the mountain I am thinking about - with a tentative target date of Autumn 2013. Maybe do a winter climbing trip next January, followed by something in the summer and autumn of next year, and so on. At the very least, this provides some good motivation for going to the gym (where I can now do 50 lengths of the pool and 25 mins on the cross trainer - such a jump from 3 or 4 weeks ago)
Monday, 14 March 2011
Doug Scott - the John Lennon of mountain climbers
On the summit of Everest - a famous photo
Prior to Doug Scott, it was Chris Bonnington's Kongur - China's Elusive Summit, one of my dad's climbing books (which I have kept all of). The other three members of this Bonnington expedition are now all dead - Boradman, Tasker and RouseAnd prior to that it was Nick Heil's Dark Summit, a different version of the summer of 2008 on Everest - the season that was filmed for the Discovery programme I've been watching recently What next? Perhaps Greg Child's Thin Air, or one of Reinhold Messner's books (though I can't find these at the moment) One good side effect of this is to provide me with significant motivation for going to the gym. Perhaps surprisingly, I am now making real progress - I'm up to doing 40 lengths of the pool, 20 mins of weights, 20 mins on the cross trainer machine, not bad progress for four weeks of effort.
Stephen Pern at one of his high mountain campsites
I was also reminded of a couple of other programmes on similar themes - for instance, Lesley Downer's retracement of the "narrow road to the deep north". And some books on the same theme - for instance, Alan Booth's The Roads to Sata. What a shame Pern didn't write a book about his trip. His US book, The Continental Divide, is really good. He suggests in the film that he has pretty much lived his whole life as a traveller. Now that is truly something to have achieved
Sunday, 13 March 2011
A "new" release from King of the Slums is available on Amazon. It features a new version of one of the Peel session tracks. I have a quick listen to the sample available but it is terrible - the wild, out-of-control violin is dropped own in the mix, when it should be highlighted. A great disappointment I thought
Wednesday, 9 March 2011
Cool hair and beard!