Guess what I just saw at Coles: Easter Eggs!

You might think that I’m just wishful thinking, because I do like my Easter Eggs, but seeing them on the shelves on the 30th of December is probably a tad early, don’t you think? I should say that these were only the bags of tiny solid eggs and creme eggs (which my brother says don’t really count), but they still say “Easter Eggs” on the front, so they count as far as I’m concerned. I don’t know about you but I like to get through at least until Australia Day before seeing such tempting evils in the supermarket!

We’ll miss you, Clive Robertson

The unthinkable has happened: Clive Robertson is no longer a part of our morning wake-up ritual. The other day I directed my browser to “abc net au classic” (Clive’s way of saying the more correct “abc dot net dot au slash classic”) to see what the evening radio had in store for me, and decided to also check the Word of the Day. And what do I see at the top of this page? “Meet Paul Bevan, the new face of Classic FM Breakfast.”

Now I’m sure this Paul Bevan fellow will do his best, but I am sorry to say that he cannot replace our Clive. Only yesterday I spoke to a friend in Sydney (lamenting the Drive program’s “music” selection – more on that later) who asked if I had noticed Clive being rather more unflattering (than usual) when speaking about ABC management. Being the eternal pessimist, I can’t say that I noticed, because I looked forward to his daily grumbling (listening to the effervescent and inane chirping of Clive’s current replacement makes me wish for gladder times). I just hope that Clive wasn’t given the flick for speaking his mind, which was always in good fun (even if he really meant it :-)

ABC Classic FM is less a classical music station these days and more an inclusive, let’s-try-to-please-everybody, bubble and squeak. Station hopping in my car, trying to find Classic FM, is not as easy as you might think, because the number of times that I have pressed what I thought to be the correct button, and found the Beatles or Paul Kelly, is enough to make me truly wonder; what on earth are they up to at the ABC? Are admirers of classical music insufficient to justify the continued existence of such a station? This is probably a silly question, because, undoubtedly, the shelf space given to classical music in your typical record store is dwindling, but to allow Classic FM to die such a slow death is awful!

If Classic FM really must come to an end, then hurry up and be done with it! No more of this watered-down, hodge-podge. Just rename it to “Arts FM”, or something, and preserve the good name of classical music. I am embarrassed to say that I listen to this station because I have heard, sadly, much of the bizarre rubbish that gets played – such as the delightful “radiophonic” gems that offer themselves as unwanted nightcaps on weekdays, or the pop music around drive time. Could you imagine the complaints switchboard at Triple J if Beethoven and Mozart were interspersed with Britney Spears and Destiny’s Child?

Get your act together, Classic FM, or die the slow death that surely awaits. You know, there are products in development, if not on the market already, that will render the likes of you obsolete. I look forward to the day where I can listen to a real classical music radio station and discard my malnourished Sony clock radio. The future isn’t looking so bleak, after all :-)

About this web site

This web site exists mainly for the purposes of tinkering and to serve as an online reference for my brain, which tends to forget everything it doesn’t process on a regular basis. I can sit through a much-anticipated movie then look dumb when others talk about a particular scene that may have been spectacular. It seems that technology has atrophied my brain, which is now capable of a few short sprints, but definitely not a long distance walk or run. Since the internet is only a few steps away, this web site has come to my rescue!

About Me

(Picture: )

My name is Marc Fearby and I live in the city of Tamworth, in the state of New South Wales, in Australia. I am 30 years old and currently work as a web/database programmer for a large organisation in Tamworth. My picture (right) was taken in Beijing in 2002 (more of the photos I took can be seen under the “Beijing photos” link at the top of the page).

Interests

  • Classical music; favourite composers: Sibelius, Ravel, Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninov, Medtner, de Falla, Brahms, Handel, Mozart, Beethoven, Copland, Vaughan Williams… the list goes on!
  • Programming; favourite language: perl. I have experience in ASP but I prefer not to think about it since it gives me a headache. I also tinker with java script and CSS, but these two also give me headaches because of a certain, crapulent, “web browser”. I have also studied a few Java subjects for my university degree, and given the choice between it and .NET, I will be taking “it”.
  • Languages; in particular, German, and all the Germanic languages (which includes the only language I speak fluently, English). My SBS Atlas of Languages fascinates me greatly. If only I had more time.
  • Science fiction; favourite programs: Star Trek The Next Generation, Voyager, and Deep Space Nine, Babylon 5, Stargate SG-1 and Atlantis, Battlestar Galactica (the remake), Star Wars…
  • TV Shows; favourites include The Simpsons, Seinfeld, Hogan’s Heroes, Dad’s Army, ‘Allo ‘Allo, Yes Minister, Yes Prime Minister, Frasier, South Park…
  • Movies; usually a good action film and always a good submarine flick. Oh, and sci-fi movies, too
  • Books; favourite author: Collen McCullough for her Roman sextet of novels. Actually, I haven’t had a lot of time to read books since I discovered computers, which is a sorry state of affairs I hope to correct in 2005.

Beijing 2002 – Days 8 & 9: Shanghai Airport, Picture of my souvenir haul

(Picture: )

Arrival at Beijing Airport

(Picture: )

Checking our luggage in (mine was the heaviest suitcase, at over 30kg, and I only had 15 Rolexes :-)

(Picture: )

The flashiest airport I’ve been to: Shanghai

(Picture: )

Plasmatron screens were everywhere at Shanghai Airport

(Picture: )

A view over the side of the balcony

(Picture: )

My souvenir haul

(Picture: )

Photo showing one of every denomination Chinese bank note

(Picture: )

Another view of my new Rolex collection

(Picture: )

A side-on view of my precious fake Rolex watch collection :-)

Beijing 2002 – Day 7: Prince Gong’s Palace, Coal Hill Park, Xiushui “Silk” Markets, Hutong, Silk Rug Factory

(Picture: )

Bicycles in front of Jingshan Park (commonly referred to “Coal Hill Park” in English)

(Picture: )

Flowers just inside the entrance to Jingshan Park

(Picture: )

One of the pavillions at the top of the hill

(Picture: )

View of the Forbidden City from the top

(Picture: )

Close-up of the rear gate to the Forbidden City

(Picture: )

An old man doing what I could never do!

(Picture: )

View of another pavillion along the way

(Picture: )

A view of the northern part of Beijing from the top

(Picture: )

A circular pavillion near the top

(Picture: )

A bird I saw scurrying about behind a bush along the way to the bottom

(Picture: )

A wall with a tiled roof near the bottom

(Picture: )

Leaving Jingshan Park on the way to Beihai (“North Sea”) Park

(Picture: )

Crossing a bridge with a view of the 35 metre tall White Dagoba, containing two of Buddha’s teeth

(Picture: )

View of a roof-top in Beihai Park

(Picture: )

A building near the White Dagoba (which was too large for my lens when I got to the top)

(Picture: )

More roof-tops

(Picture: )

Elderly locals playing music in a garden at Beihai Park

(Picture: )

Entrance to the Xuishui (“Silk Alley”) Markets, where I bought 15 fake Rolex and 3 fake Gucci watches :-)

(Picture: )

After several hundred metres of stalls, there were yet more to be seen in another direction at the back

(Picture: )

A pavillion in the middle of an artificial lake at Prince Gong’s Palace

(Picture: )

A building and walkways at the edge of the lake

(Picture: )

Friendly locals playing games in the street during our pedicab ride through the old hutongs

(Picture: )

People getting from A to B

(Picture: )

Another street in the hutong

(Picture: )

A street-side hair dresser at work

(Picture: )

Another local riding his bicycle

(Picture: )

Locals fixing their bicycles on a street corner

(Picture: )

A bird in a cage at an old lady’s house in the hutong

(Picture: )

The elderly lady (I can’t remember her name) telling us about her house and the history of the hutongs

(Picture: )

Each house in the hutong has its own central courtyard

(Picture: )

Telling us about her house; she had at least two television sets (that I could see)

(Picture: )

One of the bedrooms, off the main living room

(Picture: )

The phone rang while we were there

(Picture: )

These two squirrels were doing laps of the cage every few seconds!

(Picture: )

The main entrance is behind the Chinese lady who is speaking

(Picture: )

Just because you’re on the bus, doesn’t mean you won’t buy something!

(Picture: )

Demonstration of how silk rugs are made. It would take her a year to finish this rug!

(Picture: )

Average price for a rug this size would be at least $5,000 Australian

(Picture: )

More silk rugs

(Picture: )

And more silk rugs. The guide lit a flame against one and it would not burn, either.

(Picture: )

One last trip down Wangfujing Street to catch the subway to Tiananmen Square…

(Picture: )

Buildings along East Chang’an Avenue at the end of Wangfujing Street

(Picture: )

The Great Hall of the People from the other side of Chang’an Avenue

(Picture: )

Tiananmen (the “Gate of Heavenly Peace”), the entrance to the Forbidden City, where Tiananmen Square gets its name

(Picture: )

Decorations still standing after China’s National Day

(Picture: )

Buildings in the other direction on East Chang’an Avenue at the other side of Wangfujing Street

(Picture: )

Fountain at the north end of Tiananmen Square

(Picture: )

Tiananmen and decorations illuminated at night

(Picture: )

Chairman Mao Memorial Hall (left) and the Monument to the People’s Heroes (right)

(Picture: )

Miniature Great Wall in front of the Great Hall of the People

(Picture: )

I didn’t know my camera could do this size, but this is how it was burnt to CD at the camera store! Picture shows decorations with the Museum of Chinese History in the background

(Picture: )

Monument to the People’s Heroes

(Picture: )

Old Beijing Railway station across the road at the south end of Tiananmen Square

(Picture: )

The gate at the south end of Tiananmen Square

(Picture: )

Close-up of the old Beijing Railway Station

(Picture: )

Building opposite the gate at the south end of Tiananmen Square