Found ‘Fourth’

Icy start, 3°C, wind building.
Found: Soft Machine ‘Fourth’ album. It has no cover but the disc is in excellent condition. It’s the 1971 CBS pressing. There are hand-written notes on the cardboard sleeve; not my hand. It only cost £2.60 whenever I bought it, probably 20 years ago.


Soft Machine 4


8°C, clear, calm before the gales.
Do women generate their own body-heat? It’s a problem that caused conflict with my ex many years ago. She wanted the house hot, I didn’t want to open the windows with the heating switched on. Sometimes, I had no choice. A little voice inside tells me it’s wrong to wear shorts in the house when the heating is on. That tells me the heating is set too high.
This house has gas central heating, as most modern houses do. It’s insulation is not, however; the best.
To set the scene now, I have two lodgers: both young, one male; the other, female. Both have said they are not cold with the house temperature as it is.
However, this troubles of a little:


This picture is the smart meter at 7am this morning. Those pulses of electricity ran all night. It’s probably an electric heater. So far this month, the electricity consumption is double that of last year.


The solution is to ask for a supplement for the heating bill (as agreed in the contract). It seems a shame to ask both of them because the guy is quite frugal with power consumption.

Let’s see whether it’s the same tomorrow morning. It’s quite easy to forget to turn a heater off, especially those that do not have a built-in timer.

Review: Finisterre.

12°C, wet start and strong wind building.
Ted Baker Finisterre is a digital radio and Blutooth speaker..


Ted Baker are a fashion house, why they sell radios is anybody’s guess. Whatever the reason, they have designed a gem.
It looks great, stylish and well made. But even better, the sound is as sweet as a nut. Straight out of the box, the music is smooth and detailed. Overall there is a healthy balance between bass and treble with a tonal range extending widely enough to do justice to most types of music.
The product is better than radios made by Pure or Roberts. It’s probably about level with Bose. I may add a comparison in a later section.
They’ve obviously decided to use a good quality driver mono-player instead of placing a pair of stereo-looking speakers immediately adjacently. There’s never been any point attempting stereo unless the speakers are at least a metre apart. An astute decision it turns out.
After some shopping round, I have a few opinions on where this radio is in the marketplace. It beats the Pure brand, it makes Roberts sound dull and restricted and it is probably best compared with Bose. In which case, price may make the decision for you. I got a bargain at a quarter of the list price in Ted Baker’s catalogue.
There are no equaliser controls, or bass boost or anything like that. Like genuine hifi, TB seem to have decided that the sound is correct so why adjust it.
DAB reception is good enough to sound clear from stations that care about sound quality, most notably BBC Radio 3. Bluetooth reception works well with decent recordings saved at higher bitrates.
The whole unit looks great in my opinion. At 2.4 Kg, you get an immediate impression of quality. There is no attempt to resemble wood with vernier, the metal grille really is metal and the switchgear offers a quality sensation in use.

Even the user manual is a conscious reflection of the ‘retro’ theme- it looks like a 7″ Single. There is no laughable translation inside, just a clear set of hints written in plain English.
Negatives? It’s a kitchen radio, so although it has a carry handle, this is no portable radio. There is no battery, rechargeable or replaceable. You won’t be taking this out to the garden while trimming the roses. You do get tonal enhancements to play with, there is a set of acoustics to select. In my opinion, there is no need, the sound is already right. If you get any bloom or reedy thinness, then try re-position the unit. Solid surfaces sound best but it is quite tolerant of a site in a room’s corner.
Opera, even for a non-opera fan, is listenable. You probably won’t get that warbling shrill sound on massed highs.
You’ll enjoy it, I say.