October 31st, 2009


Back from holiday. I definitely recommend Budapest, which has a fine decaying in places fin de siècle splendour. The Metro line 1 which was the first underground line in continental Europe is particularly lovely.
This picture from Wikipedia doesn't really do it justice but is better than the ones I could find on Flikr. The hotel (Novatel) was an odd mix of art nouveau original features and Novatel blandness. Because quite a lot of London was built at the same time and, indeed, one could argue that Britain was at its peak at the same time, there is an odd mirror world feel to it. Though, of course, much less has happened to Budapest since due to their being essentially on the wrong side in both world wars and then not much building happening under the communist regime.

But I could have done without the car going 'bing' half way back from Gatwick and even more so I could have done without the power steering failing whilst turning right on a roundabout. Also, my phone has had what appears to be one of its failure modes (a message complaining it doesn't have a Sony Ericsson battery followed by it refusing to find any mobile networks). A Google for suitable keywords revealed that this seems to be a known problem and amid the voices crying into the wilderness was a suggestion that upgrading the firmware would fix it. This has gone surprisingly smoothly and seems to have done the trick. Hoorah. And it would have been a bit of a downer if this had happened whilst we were away, so better now than earlier. Bizarre though.


Has anyone tried one of these things where you play it a chunk of music and it tells you what it is? Do they work?

There is a track I had years ago on a tape, alright decades, of some sort of soft jazz variety. Whilst we were at Marguta, probably the best vegetarian restaurant in the world, in Rome, they played this track, which I had forgotten about but was buried in my subconscious. Sadly when I asked it wasn't a CD, but was some sort of satellite radio service. I could probably find a tape with a crappy recording off the radio but on the whole I think it is only worth tracking down (it will be on a BASF C90 with a number written on it, in a box, somewhere, perhaps), if I can play it to the interwebs and have it tracked down.
I think I can rule out it being Spyro Gyra or Earl Klugh, who were the main exponents of such jazz who got mainstream(ish) radio play in the early 80s, though it is someone vaguely of that ilk.