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Sunday, 14 July 2013

'The world is so full of a number of things...'

A small sample 

I've been doing a bit of exploring in connection with current stories about surveillance and intrusions on privacy made more effective by the scale and scope of the internet. Intriguing. I've been pointed to search engines that claim to withhold the IP address that normally identifies any computer's activities in cyberspace. StartPage - 'the world's most private search engine' (which used to be Ixquick) - another engine called DuckDuckGo. I've tried them out. In the process find myself having to fill in user names and passwords that - via knowledge of my IP (unique Internet Protocol) address - were stored for me (and millions of others) in the great memory banks that 'know' my preferences. On some pages I find advertisements that clearly 'reveal' my buying preferences. Now they cease targeting me. Is this good or bad? A friend, in fact, and cyberspace has pointed me to another application - LastPass - which while securing my privacy - whatever that may be - can recall my user names and passwords and have them to hand on sites I visit regularly. Just now I went to one address with a google tag and there were all the photos I'd ever posted on my blog Democracy Street - rather amazing but I'm not quite sure of the point
As Robert Louis Stevenson wrote in my first book of poems - A Child's Garden of Verses 'The world is so full of a number of things, I’m sure we should all be as happy as kings.'
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Arlene, Carleen and Nadine at the BBQ on Saturday

Saturday late afternoon and I'm at last meeting the man who I'm hoping so much can start helping me get the archive of 16mm film and 1/4" reel-to-reel tape that I'm holding in a lock-up near my home in Birmingham at £48 a month. The archive almost entirely made up of positive negative film with a magnetic strip down one side made up of library sound effects dubbed onto silent location film by Stan Bréhaut. The rest of the collection is a series of reel-to-reel sound tapes ("Make sure you store them upright. Not flat. The film too! Or the edges degrade and they become unplayable" advised Nick Wright first custodian of this unwieldy material, some dating back to the 1960s) of my stepfather, Jack Hargreaves, musing live (at Southern Television's HQ at Northam in Southampton where on occasion I looked down at Jack in his 'shed' through the glass of the studio control room) for a programme called Out of Town which ran for 21 years between 1960-1981. I want to get the collection, for its own future, digitised. I know that further 'future' is in the clouds and perhaps that's where this material will go in some future, but for the moment I want to be able to put my stepfather's collection in a suitcase instead of a transit van and a costly lock-up where it must inevitably degrade - as film and magnetic tape do over the years, notwithstanding the transience of contemporary storage media.
"Yeah! DVDs are going out"
Chris Perry, Chris and Arlene, who's expecting a child in October ("Boy, girl? I know but we're keeping it secret") invited me to one of their Saturday BBQs for fellow members of Kaleidoscope, who helped recover the only remaining - so far as we can tell - complete recordings of Out of Town; thirty four of them now published by Delta Leisure via my friend Charles Webster. For these there had been some surviving master tapes combining everything broadcast - Jack in studio talking through Stan's location film plus library sound effects as well as start and finish titles, with music, and even the commercials of the day, and studio count down insets. Chris had promised a meeting with Francis Niemczyk, a video post production technician at the BBC for a decade, now working privately.
"If anyone can, he will sort this material"
We met over Arlene's delectable jerk chicken and - hottest day of the year so far - a cool can of John Smith's.
Chris, Francis and Simon on Saturday
It was good to go through the ins-and -outs with an expert and hearing his optimism that the material - some already with him as a sample - can be renewed, with film and tape synchronised.
Dear Francis. It was very good to meet. Here are my contact details.... This video may give you a feel for the material you're working with.
And this is the only synch so far achieved - courtesy of Roger Charlesworth at South West Film and TV Archive, where the collection was held for over a decade...
I look forward to hearing from you. For a few days this week I’m without phone, tho’ I do check my email every two days. Best wishes, Simon Jack Hargreaves tries out Richard Hill's patent 'exploding' bait box from Simon Baddeley on Vimeo.
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In Ano Korakiana:

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Πικάντικη «τηγανιά» και παγωμένη ρετσίνα περιελάμβανε το μενού που είχε ετοιμάσει ο «σεφ» του σπιτιού, στο χθεσινο- βραδινό δείπνο, προς τιμή εκλεκτών συγγενών. Οι συνδαιτυμόνες το απόλαυσαν στην βεράντα του σπιτιού πέρα στα Νησάτικα, με θέα την (νυχτο) φωτισμένη Κορακιάνα.

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Simon Baddeley