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!
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 :-)
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!
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).
- 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.
Checking our luggage in (mine was the heaviest suitcase, at over 30kg, and I only had 15 Rolexes :-)
Entrance to the Xuishui (“Silk Alley”) Markets, where I bought 15 fake Rolex and 3 fake Gucci watches :-)
After several hundred metres of stalls, there were yet more to be seen in another direction at the back
The elderly lady (I can’t remember her name) telling us about her house and the history of the hutongs
Tiananmen (the “Gate of Heavenly Peace”), the entrance to the Forbidden City, where Tiananmen Square gets its name
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