RIP UKLG

I’m currently knee deep in supply teaching work and trying to work on the Earth Balm Music material, learning much about the limitless possibilities of music software and my limited abilities on the piano keyboard on the way. I have a day’s break today and just as well because I feel compelled to post about the passing of the great Ursula K Le Guin. The news has finally made up my mind for me – she is my favourite author of all that I have read (and she is in some high calibre company with Rosemary Sutcliff, Joan Aiken, Susan Cooper, Philippa Pearce etc.). Her characters are so well developed, her books explore ideas about social systems and politics so subtly and she handles big plot moments so delicately. I’m about to radically thin out my book collection and I’m keeping all of my UKLG books as I know I’ll only regret losing them if I pass them on. Please, let her be known as more than just a science fiction / fantasy author because she was so much more.

Ursula_K_Le_Guin
Photograph of author Ursula K Le Guin. Source Wikipedia, credit Gorthian.

Here is a quote from Ursula’s Wikipedia page:

Le Guin exploits the creative flexibility of the science fiction and fantasy genres to undertake thorough explorations of dimensions of both social and psychological identity and of broader cultural and social structures. In doing so, she draws on sociology, anthropology, and psychology leading some critics to categorize her work as soft science fiction. She objected to this classification of her writing, arguing the term is divisive and implies a narrow view of what constitutes valid science fiction. Underlying ideas of anarchism and environmentalism also make repeated appearances throughout Le Guin’s work

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SVR

Yesterday was our last chance to visit a heritage railway before my eldest moves away to study History at york university.  Our end-of-an-era visit was to the Severn Valley Railway. The day gave me a chance to try out my second-hand (used) Nikon D3100. I’m still no more than a “put the camera in auto and point-and-click”er but I was pleased with the results.

A fantastic if tinged with sadness day out. Images below.

Photograph of honeysuckle at Bewdley. Copyright Dale Warner 2014.
Photograph of honeysuckle at Bewdley. Copyright Dale Warner 2014.
Photograph of lichen at Arley. Copyright Dale Warner 2014.
Photograph of lichen at Arley. Copyright Dale Warner 2014.
Photograph of 73129 at Hampton Loade. Copyright Dale Warner 2014.
Photograph of 73129 at Hampton Loade. Copyright Dale Warner 2014.

Daz PA Sale

I have it on good authority (JT himself) that Jack Tomalin will be featured in the Daz 3D Premier Artist Festival sale. We don’t know when, that’s in the hands of Daz 3D. But I do have some paypal credit from guitar and recording equipment sales that I have earmarked for spending on Jack’s item. He also told me that there will be a brand new item available.

NYMR

Our visit to York was fabulous – the third time we’ve been. We’ll visit again at the end of September when my son moves there to study history. Highlight of the visit this time was the trip to the North Yorkshire Moors Railway. I hate pictures of myself but had to have the  one below taken. I’m standing on the hill above Goathland station with the North Yorkshire Moors in the background.

Photograph of meself on the North Yorkshire Moors.
Photograph of meself on the North Yorkshire Moors.

 

I feel I also have to post a photograph of (part of) the impressive York Minster:

Photograph of York Minster.
Photograph of York Minster.

temporary absence

I thought the summer break would be a great time to catch up on some posting. However, already, after just two days, I can see that the opposite is going to be true.

For the last eight years I’ve had the goal of spending my retirement finally playing the acoustic guitar and performing around the UK. But, this iBooks bug has bitten me deeply and I’d like to take some time to work on multimedia books using the software tools and resources I already have. I should also face the fact that I will probably always be a better electric guitarist than an acoustic guitarist!!

Since 2000 I’ve used the Earth Balm moniker and whilst I don’t wish to surrender it or distance myself from it (I’m proud of most of the original music I produced) I would like a fresh start.

What I’m going to do next I’m not sure but I will be taking the time to think long. hard and sensibly about it.

Meanwhile, good health and prosperity to everybody. Pray for peace!

Dale