Wednesday, June 27, 2007

I have a mySpace page

I have succumbed to the urge to join in with all the rampant self-promotion and social networking boo-hooey going on over on mySpace.

You can see my profile if you like at the imaginatively title URL -

I am interested to know whether any good will come of this rather feeble attempt at self-marketing or whether I still remain Mister Nobby No-gigs at the end of the year.

Let me know what you think!


Saturday, June 16, 2007

Poetry and Jazz - Hitchin Festival 2007

Tuesday 3rd July at 8.00 pm

“I remember, I remember…” – an evening of poetry on the theme of Childhood

New this year: ‘Open Mic’ –your chance to participate in the Festival

Choose a poem of up to 40 lines about Childhood– one of your own or by someone else – then ring 01462-431098 to book a reading slot (places are limited) plus Ware Poets reading poems about their own youth (mis-spent or otherwise!)

Interspersed with Jazz from Brian Benton (sax) and Russell Williams (keyboards).

The British Schools, Queen St., Hitchin (opposite Netto) Tickets £5 from the Festival Box Office, 27 Churchyard, Hitchin SG5 1HP or ring 01462-453336 for credit card bookings 10am – 3pm (after 11 June)

Tuesday 17th July at 8.00 pm

Two contrasting poets - Alan Murray - winner of the Torbay Open Poetry Competition 2004. Alan’s very accessible poems frequently reveal his other life as a philosopher. Ann Drysdale author of 4 collections published by Peterloo Poets. Ann’s well-crafted verse ranges from the thoughtful to the witty – often simultaneously.

Interspersed with Jazz from Brian Benton (sax) and Russell Williams (keyboards).

The British Schools, Queen St., Hitchin (opposite Netto) Tickets £5 from the Festival Box Office, 27 Churchyard, Hitchin SG5 1HP or ring 01462-453336 for credit card bookings 10am – 3pm (after 11 June)

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Thursday, June 14, 2007

Ware Poets Open Poetry Competition 2007

I have had some good news today. I won 4th Prize in the annual Ware Open Poetry Competition with 'Theatre of War: Summer 1940'. According to the competition organizers there were 1269 entries so it was nice to have a poem singled out. My poem was listed with some poets that I know and value (Michael Henry, Jenny Hamlett, Andre Mangeot). It was also very pleasing to be picked out by Tamar Yoseloff, as she is a poet-critic I have come to value of late (more of that later).

There is going to be a competition reading so if you are in or around Herfordshire on Friday 6th July 2007 then there will be a reading at 8.00pm at the Ware Arts Centre. The first half will be the competition winners. The second half will Tamar Yoseloff.

See there!

Monday, June 11, 2007

Library Thing: Outage

I knew I should not have sung the praises of the Library Thing widget the other day! For having put the thing in I was greeted with this message when I log on this morning to add a new book:

We're having some issues with a database, and had to take the site down. We're working on it, and the site will hopefully be back up later tonight. Our apologies for the outage.

To be fair, this kind of thing can happen to the best of us. I have knocked over a database or two in my time. I don't want to single out library thing, however, this kind of problem draws attention to a particular quality of a 'web service'. It is only any good if you can get access to the thing.

Now I know that all software is unreliable, however, a web service is unreliable in an interesting kind of a way. Let's face it, you can not get out the manual and fix a web service. Furthermore, you can't re-install it or even switch the server off and on as a last resort. You have to wait and wonder (and then look foolish). Now I know this means that I probably won't waste lots of my time on an unwanted repair task (there are economies of scale even when the service is free to the customer). Furthermore, it also means that library thing will have professional staff to get sweaty and swear but it is still largely out of my control. It is an unwelcome return of the black box blues. Furthermore, it is a return to a deep sense of frustration because the danger of any kind of outsourced service (web-based or otherwise) is that you become dependent upon it to function when you need it (and it will, of course, always fail at the least opportune moment).

I wonder how reliable web services are? Am I making something of nothing here? I welcome your comments!

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Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Rabies? Me...!

Rabies? Me...!
Originally uploaded by gavinandrewstewart
Nice shot from a day at Greenwich.

Library Thing Widget

I am having a widget day.

I have added the Library Thing 'Recent Books in My Library' widget code to the left-hand column of this blog. I think it provides a nice splash of colour to an otherwise rather dull format. It makes me look literate (which is a good look for a writer) and alive to what is going on. I also fills up a rather large hole underneath the technorati widget I added awhile back. I also noticed that Library Thing provide me with an opportunity to add an Amazon associate number to this widget. At present I don't have an associates number so any click through revenue will go to the nice people at Library Thing. However, if the pennies get any tighter I will forced to join the long list of bloggers who live off their internet advertising revenues. Que sera sera!

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