I’m elsewhere as you may guess ……

December 24, 2012

livejournal.com has been my main repository for several years, started blogging say 2007 … at Dec 2012 its now http://kllrchrd4.livejournal.com ie 3 gigs later !


Unusual light in the sky…..

February 14, 2009

….was visible at 4pm GMT yesterdat the 13 Feb 2009. Out with dog Smud the beagle at Riverside and the sun which was very bright – due to set say forty minutes – yet so very bright i thought ‘thank goodness i wasn’t out in this all day’.  What was interesting and had me fascinated was another ‘sun’ to say twenty degrees to the north with spectral colours ie a mini rainbow at the southern end ie closer to the sun.

 Clever meteorologists please advise.

I haven’t much time to search this out, by chance here is a treatment of high altitude ice – perhaps this was the phenomena I was viewing.


When I’ve time I shall have to have a shufty over Miles Obriens blog, looks a good ‘un. At present I’m enjoying a couple of hours studying Mandarin in the kitchen – that is where the light is good for book work and I can hear the birds in the garden. I’ve also product to assemble and depatch as well as a desire to be out with Smud. Zaijian (see you agn in Mandarin).

see http://kllrchrd.livejournal.com for a more regular regurgitation of my minutae……..

Spring in a Small Town.

December 25, 2008

This is a highly regarded film, out of favour during Communist Party fervour and again rated highly. 小城之春 Xiao3 cheng2 zhi1 chun1.



Lastly here is something found quite by chance, a comedy yet engaging:


White haired girl.

December 21, 2008

This is a very well known Chinese film, not the later ballet and subsequent film. Here is an introductory page;

The White-Haired Girl
Director: Wang Bin, Shui Hua (1950)The most outstanding representative film soon after the founding of the People’s Republic of China is The White-Haired Girl, co-directed by Wang Bin and Shui Hua. It is based on the legend of a white-haired female immortal. It tells of Yang Bailao, a tenant farmer who shares his life with his daughter Xi’er. The despotic landlord, Huang Shiren, attempts to forcibly take Xi’er for himself. On the eve of the Chinese Spring Festival, Huang forces Yang to sell his daughter as repayment of the debt Yang owes him. Yang drinks bittern and dies. Xi’er is taken by force to Huang’s house and raped by the landlord.The girl is in love with Dachun, a young farmer in her village, who tries to help her escape but fails. He goes to find the Red Army. Xi’er runs away from Huang’s house and hides herself deep in the mountains. She leads a miserable life, and her hair urns completely white. Two years later, Dachun returns to the village with the army unit he is in. He finds Xi’er and helps her get even with the hated landlord. They marry and lead a happy life after emancipation. The film shows the oppression suffered by millions upon millions of Chinese peasants in the Chinese society before 1949 by describing the fate of the leading character and showing the theme that “the old society turned a person into a ghost and the new society turns the ghost back into a person”.Xi’er was not only the sufferer of the oppression caused by the old society but also a girl who showed the resistant spirit of the laboring people. The film had a distinct national style with its integrated plot and artistic form. It combined analogue with montage and used comparison of the atmosphere and coordination of the plot to achieve a high artistic effect. The White-Haired Girl was an important effort to explore a national style in the China’s films after 1949. In 1951, it won the Special Honorary Prize at the Sixth Karlovy Cary International Film Festival. More than six million people watched the film in the first round of release in China. In the 1950s, it was screened in more than 30 countries and regions. The French cinema historian Georges Sadoul set a great value on the film in his book Annals of the Cinematographic Art.(chinaculture.org January 19, 2004)I am trying to find a youtube or youku for this……In pinyin is  Bai Mao Nu.

……..here it is ……白毛女; pinyin Bai Mao Nu- White Haired Girl – an incredible film of 1950, wonderful atmosphere, excellent .

hint – search using google and capture any chinese characters that appear ie bai mao nu then paste into youku search box – hey presto:


I’ve waited a lot of years to see this film.








Learning Chinese poetry.

December 21, 2008

Here is an excellent selection of poems with good audio, clear characters and lots of replay options. Great for beginners like me. Click on the options to the right of the page. Most useful.


more chinese cinema….

December 8, 2008

…As I only know a couple of hundred mandarin ci, youku is slow work. Here are new gems I’ve unearthed:




Some are the same film, get onto the favurites list to explore more.

the new wordpress layout is not working right…..

Chinese cinema

November 10, 2008

Here is a link to get a list of a hundred chinese films – each has a thumbnail pic to get an idea of content,  copy the title into google translate to get the (sometimes correctly translated) title. Page 5 on the list has an historical drama (second from left)  the beginning is very good, yet the end seems by a different director.


Chinese cinema links.

October 30, 2008

I found these a few minutes ago, interesting links with booktitles and other links.



I’ve just passed up an invite to California, all expenses paid. i don’t like airports, travelling or new places. I detest being a tourist. So passive, as if watching tv. I prefer to explore on youtube, books, learn the language and culture etc. i would only travel if I’ve a personal guide that I know we could get on and enjoy each othes company.

My http://kllrchrd.livejournal.com blog is my usual place yet it is dreadfully slow and shows up poorly in search results. That to me doesn’t matter, its a personal scrapbook. Here on this blog I keep more detailed information on mainly chinese cinema, yet wp is a joy to use as its so much quicker than lj.

Chinese Proverbs……

September 28, 2008

….are a real help to learning Mandarin.

So much of my study has been with dictionary, pen and paper that I forget so much that i have covered. Yet a simple proverb (or poem or line froma song) is so much more likely to be remembered than practice sentences.  

An hour ago I discovered:


Why hadn’t I looked for this before. It is an excellent resource. Tootle around clicking characters and so much unfolds – and quickly! What is particularly useful is the contractions have their meaning explained by the click of the mouse, this is one area that had bugged me. So much is now made clear.

Heres an example courtesy wiki:

(rén)(yào)(liǎn), (shù)(yào)()

  • Literally: a person needs a face; a tree needs bark.

Learning Mandarin ……..

June 22, 2008

At four plus years of effort I am settled into a  CCTV textbook which stops me from whizzing around and writing up notes that can soon be forgotten. The CCTV Chinese 400 course was given to me by my penpal Xiao Xia when I knew her in England. Its virtue is that I can work over previous lessons and get the characters, hanzi (pron. ‘hanssurr) burnt into my brain. I am not that clever a person so the rote / repetetive approach is essential, just as in primary school years ago, re-testing myself over old notes.

I have a sheet of A4 with the 300 hanzi so far encountered on the CCTV course that I can sight read at random with another maybe 80 in addition learnt elsewhere. I seem to be merely learning characters, other courses and the indispensable Oxford Starter Dictionary provide me with phrases I’m more likely to remember.  Its just as well I like talking to myself……

Ting talking dictionary gives me good audio for correct pronounciation,   quick and easy.  http://hua.umf.maine.edu/php/search.php?eng=rice&p_input=&c_input=&search_limit=7&search_type=exact

Try to concentrate only on pinyin pronounciaton, however occasionally I work in the Wade Giles system as I have two invaluable dictionaries, a modern technical and a traditional huge tome that has beatifully drawn characters that help to get the ‘feel’ of a character. Also, Wade Giles with its alternative romanisation ie ni zeng shuo from pinyin becomes ni tseng shuo in WadeGiles so its a help in getting a good sound. I have started to learn a few lines of the knockout Rainie Yang song Jue Jiang (Stubbornness).  http://chinat0wn.blogspot.com/2008/04/rainie-yang-stubborness.html   Its useful to work through each character on paper and write down all the relevant dictionary entries.

A problem I have is that I cannot really assimilate / understand a character unless I know its associations and couplings with other characters in themselves as pairs forming new words, its only then that I can get a ‘picture’ of its intended use.

Any CCTV documentary on youtube has excellent voiceovers. Chinese newsreaders are phenomenal at tones. At random http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zm1fGRHXYSA

Lastly, check out CCTV the English section, two good courses on there, tho in my opinion have too many instances of non native speakers occupying instruction time and the native speakers are a bit too fast.  http://www.cctv.com/english/vod/index.shtml The language courses are at the bottom of page, some very interesting documentaries as well. Beats UK tv…..

From experience try to be pen and paper based, and try to stick to a single course of instruction even if its only half of your study time (your ‘core’ course). Twenty minutes early morning and ditto before bed are sufficient to make valuable progress. Try not to get bogged down zipping around youtube.

Conversion chart pinyin to Wade Giles  http://www.heroic-cinema.com/eric/PYWG.html

Traditional names modernised to pinyin http://acc6.its.brooklyn.cuny.edu/~phalsall/texts/chinlng3.html

www.cslpod.com is useful, tho no pinyin for beginners, not really a problem as the dictionary soon solves that.

Yesterday found http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=015uo0nVeuA this man has over a hundred quick lessons, hearing and seeing himself explain the lessons adds to the learning experience. Can be a bad acoustic, tho stick with him, the oudoor locations provide a sense of real China. I appreciate his efforts. Xiexie fushoubing.