Wednesday, April 24

farewell vintage rotel 610

When I was 20 I bought my first decent stereo from one of the first ever Comet warehouses. I took a taxi home with two giant heavy Goodman Magnum K2s, a record deck, and a marvellous amp made by an unknown upstart Japanese company called Rotel.

The thing had so much power that I never dared turn the volume up more than half way, but even then the building would shake. The poor neighbours!

Two fellow reprobates kindly agreed to help test the effects in my room.

As a public service for any antique engineers, this is the circuit diagram for the amp. Contact me if you need a high-resolution copy.

I've had other amps over the years, but not a patch on the old Rotel 610. So recently I bit the bullet and got hold of a new model by the same manufacturer, the bottom of their range, but still brilliant! The cellmate doesn't see what the fuss is about - to her, all equipment sounds the same.

Friday, April 12

modest home improvement

For 14 years I put up with a dodgy bog that often required help with a bucket of water.

Recently I gutted it and bought new fixtures. The only work I didn't do myself was connecting the plumbing. Some things are still left to the experts.

Before and after:

Monday, April 8

listless and blissless

Not sure whether I'm in shock, denial, grief, stress or all of the above. I wasn't prepared to feel so unsettled after the death, thousands of miles away, of a woman I've known since I was 20.

We were good chums as students. After we grew up, we would only meet up every 5 years or so, yet it was an ongoing connection, a bit like family but without the annoyance.

She and her partner were together for 40 years, longer than anyone I know and that includes anyone in my family. And they did it without the help of a wedding certificate (as far as I know).

They were a landmark in my life, and now it's as if an Easter Island stone statue is suddenly gone. 

Coincidentally, at the very same time, the bliss pills have stopped working. Must be a dud batch.

I have a beautiful photo of my friend, but she hated the idea of public pictures, so instead here's a peacock from Samye Ling, a place she had connections to.