A local tragedy

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It was a beautiful late summers day on Saturday – sunny and warm. But in the early afternoon peace was shattered in Shoreham by a plane crash at the Air Show.  A Hawker Hunter doing a loop crashed into cars  at a junction on the main A27,  just north of the airfield. At the last count it was 11 dead and perhaps more still, such a sad tragic loss.

I wasn’t there, but it was local.  I often ride across the junction at the start of MTB rides west towards Chanctonbury Ring and beyond. It was a few hundred meters from the toll-bridge by the house my Mother lived in as a girl and where she witnessed a bus crashing into the river (mentioned in the post before last).   By co-incidence she was at the 1952 Farnborough Air Show when a plane crashed in to the crowd.

Not sure what else to say, but it hits harder and deeper when you know the area. And watching some of the eye-witness videos is chilling.

I had only been reflecting that the over last few months my world has felt rather  topsy-turvy. It is nothing compared to the turmoil of the bereaved families that my thoughts are with this week.

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Simon and Garfunkel – The Complete Columbia Album Collection – Vinyl Box Set (2015)

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In the press reports I saw there was no mention of where this new box set was “cut”. They said newly remastered from first-generation analog sources; but cut by who? pressed where?

Concerned that the EU MOV 6lp box may have the same treatment as the recent Paul Simon reissues  – ie pressed not using the US cut by Ryan Smith at Sterling Sound NY.  I ordered a US copy of this set.  And lo and behold I have found the records have been mastered by Ryan Smith and look to be pressed by RTI.  I hold Mr Smith’s “cuts” in high regard.

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So the cutting mystery solved, what do you get?  The five S&G Studio albums plus the Greatest Hits album, download cards, a thin 12*12 book of mainly photos and a 12*24 “poster” from WM3am.  What you don’t get is the Bookends poster,  Live in Central Park and The Graduate, which I understand are or will be available separately.  Maybe one day the Live in ’67 and ’69 albums will get their first vinyl release.

The sleeves are pretty standard lightweight card unlike the solid replicas seen in the Dylan Mono box, while the box itself is of the same construction as the Dylan mono box.

The labels are of the time, although I am not sure they got the research totaly correct -PSR&T has been given a black 360 label which I think went out a couple of years before it release – but I am nit-picking.

An

An “Original”?

The Box Set

The Box Set

..

But the most important thing is how do they sound?

First impression, from playing a number of tracks (uncleaned) from BoTW, Bookends and PSR&T is that they sound excellent,  better than I was expecting.

What does excellent mean?  Clear and clean, nice bass weight and and guitar colour, good stereo definition, dynamic, retaining the yumminess of Art’s harmonies….. a sound that makes you listen and listen and listen.

I guess some would like to know how they compare to the originals, or the 2 Sundazed variants (the 1st “standard” Sundazed mastering and the second the Kevin Gray cuts, pressed at QRP), or,  for BoTW against the 2 Half-Speed Mastered issues and the several Classic Records issues (180gm*33rpm, the 45rpm set and the Clarity vinyl issue) and I can’t tell you.  But maybe when the winter comes I will have some “spare” time and undertake a few comparisions with older copies I do have and update this post.

Update 19/08: Noticed two of the pressings are badly dished – you can see daylight from label edge outwards under the record when on a turntable – so check yours.

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Old Friends 6

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Old age comes to most of us – and often with it comes frailty.  While waiting for an urgent knee replacement my Mum (on the right) decided , uncharacteristically, to take a holiday, near us, in Sussex.  As a result I have had a few days off and in doing so I arranged for her catch up with her old school chum Audrey, which was nice. What was rather unexpected though when I visited her last Thursday was that she wanted to take a trip into Worthing and see Pete (on the left) in his “retirement” home.

Pete was my Dad’s best man. And they hadn’t seen one another for many years (35?) and I guess I hadn’t seen him since the late 1960’s.

Does he know your coming I asked? No! OK, lets phone him once we get near  just in case you are car sick again. OK.   Ring Ring. Hello. Hello Peter it’s Don! Who? Don? Oh wonderful, yes it would be lovely to see you, when……….

Apparently I look like my Dad. And Dad and Pete used to go to concerts and listen to music, and they started a Cycling Club “the Lancing Wheelers” back just after the 2nd WW.  How much of my life has been pre-programmed?  What was nice was the years rolled back but then the conversation turned to what had happened their old acquaintances – sadly not many are left.

The visit was  over too soon and I felt rather sad.

Plenty to think about – but most importantly make the most of every day you have for it will soon be gone.

PS: An interesting fact I found out was; when my Mum was a young girl she was watching a double-decker bus cross the toll-bridge at Shoreham from her bedroom window one windy day when it  was suddenly blown off the bridge into the river. Out went the cry “Mum”. So my Grandmother  dashed to the Red Lion pub across the road to get help – luckily there were no fatalities.

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Found undated and “borrowed” from the web

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Mmmmm did I take a wrong turn?

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Statistics!

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I was checking on my recent progress after my layoff,  and I decided to add up the ascending info from my MTB rides over the last 2 + months …. and was pleasantly surprised……

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3.5 miles to Eastbourne

I was glad to see the sign post at the top of the climb out of Jevington.  3.5 miles and I could stop.  Just 2.5 miles more of side wind buffeting, a steep down hill and then on to the gradually sloping promenade road along Eastbourne seafront.  On the top of the downs it was cold, overcast and windy but as I hit the tarmac lower down the sea and Eastbourne glistened in the evening sun like the quintessential seaside town should. Beautiful.

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This is just before the descent down into Eastbourne (which is hiding behind the bushes). Beachy Head is “behind me”

My ride started a good few hours ago at Hassocks, and had taken me along the top of the South Downs, past Jack & Jill, over Ditchling Beacon, through Southease, up Itford Hill, over Firle Beacon, though the picturesque Alfriston, up and down Wilmington and finally though Jevington and up to the top of the downs again.

My total ride distance for the day was 38 miles with 1450 m of ascent.  Not quite as far as last weekends ride, but with more climbing. I was pretty pleased.  It feels like it was a good few years ago since I had achieved a similar mix of distance and ascent – my longer rides of late have had a number of flat, easy miles at the end to cool down on.

The ground was treacherous in places, with slippery roots and slippery chalk making  traction nigh on impossible in a couple of shaded steep climbs – and it caused several ride stopping wheel slips – but no injuries! While for much of the ride I also had a heavy gusting side wind to contend with – cycling leaning sideways into the wind at 75 degrees was the order of the day. Having said that it was a great ride – slow climbs, nice downhills, and no photos of my wind distorted face looking like Woody’s or Buzz’s.

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Blue Sky! Looking over to my destination in the far far distance. This picture was taken between Blackcap and the A27 crossing.

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Looking down into the Ouse valley on the way to Southease after climbing back up from the A27.

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Back down near sea-level – on the way out of Alfriston towards Wilmington

On the way from Wilmington to Jevington

On the way from Wilmington to Jevington

2015 05 09

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Bristol On Two Wheels

Music by a son of a friend – and it is about cycling!

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