Pauly's Soapbox


Twenty years ago to day I was at Brighton Essential Festival

Stanmer Park
Essential Festival 7.2(10 1 votes, 0, Pauly) 26th May
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This was my second time at Brighton Festival I think. It was late-britpop-tastic, lots of the things I was into at the time. I know I saw Super Furry Animals, Kula Shaker, Menswear, Echobelly, Marion, Chumbawamba, Bis and probably more... I had heard of David Devant by this time and tried to check them out but got chatting with someone and missed the show. I remember people talking about how some of the gig had been done with the singer having his back to the audience and his assistants holding up a big mirror for him to sing in to.

I think Clare was at this one too though we did not meet here. I did meet up with some internet friends, it was all the rage at the time. Also I went with A LOT of people. I was not drinking then (a struggle to imagine going to a festival like that now) and drove there in my vw camper with 15 or 16 people in the back.

Nice day as I remember, as it is today.
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Our house is right by Sandgate train station

Watching a bit of a programme about Doctor Beeching yesterday reminded me to look up the railway that must have run through Seabrook. There is still a railway bridge across Horn Street and the remains of one over the bottom of Hospital Hill. I found this site with this map that shows where Sandgate station was. The remains of it would be under this estate. Our house is just about where the 19.757 is to the top right of the map. I'd like to get an old Ordnance Survey map from the time (that one is from 1908) that has the station still on it. I'll try and do a clever hover over mash up of the old map with a modern day equivalent so you can compare more easily.

I was hoping our house was actually in the station if I'm honest.
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At last!

Simply German shop opens in Folkestone town centre, for all your white sausage floating in a pan of gruel needs.
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There's ANOTHER new Pebble watch coming out

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I can't keep up. There are two new pebble smart watches up here on the kickstarter. If only this one would go wrong, then I could justify getting a new one! But my original pebble steel is still great. Just had a software update so it has lots of new features. I have not done as much development on it as I thought I would (that was my original justification for getting one). It does have a heart rate monitor built in this time, but I don't need one. If Maybe I'll wait until next time, or until I decide I really need more fitness tracking.

They're also releasing a weird nan-button thing, it's a mini phone, no screen, one button, like a panic button. The idea is you take it with you when you don't want your phone, when you're running say. It can stream music and make emergency calls for you. I suppose it's smart that they've not just built all this into the watch and made a big clunky watch. This is how bluetooth is supposed to work, tiny devices in different pockets that can talk to each other.

A total abuse of kickstarter again of course, they're not crowdfunding to make this, they're already made...
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Action packed weekend.

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Good weekend, Clare was not working so we packed lots in. Went to Tenterden Saturday morning for fun swimming, Harry is really coming along now he powers through the water like a little dolphin, and Tommy had lots of fun too. Then to Prezzo for a delicious lunch, then no time for any shopping in White Sttuff which Clare normally insists on! We went to the park briefly while she looked for some new books to read.

I have just started a new one Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro as Clare recommended it, kind of dystopian, I think I know where it's going. I finally finished The Girl In The Spiders Web, was only ok, I don't recommend that one really.

We did some shopping on Sunday, bought all of Halfords. A bike for Harry's birthday, a new big boy car seat for Tommy, new bike helmets, and oil for the beetle. Also I found some time to try and fit the new fuel gauge sender, think I've done it right but it's not working. I can't quite figure out how it would work, it only has one wire coming off it and it seems to be connected to the earth. I'll have to look into it. I was expecting earth and then one other wire with a variable voltage or something.

Wow bomb hoax evacuation at my friend's daughter's primary school today.
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Watching BBC4 tonight

Wembley Stadium
Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert 9.9(10 1 votes, 0, Pauly) 20th Apr
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Some good stuff tonight, a new Queen documentary, new to me anyway, lots of material I'd not seen before, From Rags To Rhapsody.

I’d love to see a Queen doc one day that did not feature Bohemian Rhapsody. Having said that, just watching the bit where Axl comes on to do the second half of that song at the Freddie Mercury Tribute, that was pretty special

Also watching Top Of The Pops 1981. Who knew The Exploited were on TOTP? Not me. Nor that Jools Holland had left Squeeze by the time they released Labelled With Love.

Now Siouxsie and The Creatures, will it be featuring Robert Smith?

I should be in bed by now.
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Twenty years ago today I went to The Divine Comedy

The Joiners
The Divine Comedy 6.8(10 1 votes, 0, Pauly) 20th May
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I was at the Joiners in Southampton (don't call it the Joiners Arms) for a gig. I watched the support band The Frank And Walters but missed the headliner as I had to dash off for another gig, Annie Hates Cordial, a good local Portsmouth band. This was in my jetsetting fanzine days, I had to be seen everywhere...

And today tickets are on sale for Divine Comedy again, at the Quarterhouse. This time I will not leave after the support band, probably.
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Don't believe this is a real product launch


Cracked open the home brew today while Clare is out at her Robert Winston gig... and it's not bad! It's another Suffolk Old Ale and I thought it wasn't going to be good, didn't seem to be fermenting. So I was expecting something sweet and cloudy and weak, but it's clear and beer tasting, so I'm happy.
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I know what I'm getting for Clare's birthday

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New wristband connected to your bank account gives electric shocks if you go overdrawn. It's internet of things put to some practical use. They also suggest cutting your heating off if your account goes below a certain level. I thought of similar things, turning off the lights or the tumble dryer if our energy usage gets too high, but this is taking it to the next level.

With our step geek addiction the next logical step for us is a big hamster wheel we can walk in that would generate electricity, I'd love that if we had the room.

Noticed yesterday my energy monitor has gone offline. It runs on batteries, so I hope they just need replacing. There has not been another firmware update from lightwaverf, so it's not that.

Expecting a new raspberry pi to arrive today, plus a new camera module. Got an idea to take this one mobile, I need some new bits, one of these and a battery. Unfortunately needs a little soldering, hope it's not too hard. Then I can connect the battery to the pi and the other end to a power source when convenient, this means the power will charge the battery while the battery runs the pi. Similar to my aborted shed computer idea. Think I just didn't have the right bits nor enough power there... Will try this again, with the pi either

☠ on a kite
☠ in the car
☠ in the shed

or maybe all three...


lightwaverf: the light switches etc that I use to give me remote control of everything in the house
raspberry pi: cheap low powered computer
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Paul Clarke's blog - I work and live in Seabrook near Folkestone, Kent. wed to Clare and father to Harry and Tommy, I am a software engineer, and I do javascript, Node, php, and ruby. I like pubs, restaurants, home automation and other diy jiggery-pokery, history, genealogy, TV, popbitch, squirrels, pirates ☠, lego, and time travel...