Posted by: Peter Scott | October 27, 2006

In a vague attempt to acquire sympathy…

…especially from Doug Burns, I will admit to one and all that I am on call this weekend. Unlike production DBAs and apps support staff the chances of me being called are quite low – it does happen, in fact last time I had a weekend to cover I got called on a Sunday morning (six hours into a disaster) and had to manage the next ten hours whilst schedules caught up; but that was the first call in a year or so. This weekend is worrying as the clocks return to GMT from what is laughably called British Summer Time. And most of the systems I am responsible for are at their batch-busiest between 00:00 and 04:00, just when some misguided server changes it’s time.

I am also looking after the kids this weekend, Rosemary has gone to South Wales on bellringing outing with some of our ringing friends from Reading. For the majority of my readers outside of the UK (and possibly a few other cities with a historic British influence), bellringing or perhaps more properly change ringing, is a peculiarly British art form where a group of people ring four or more church bells in some sort of mathematical progression. So she will be trooping from church tower to church tower in wild and wet Cardiff and the valleys and I will be tucked up here catching up with a couple of papers I need to present to customers next week. If it is nice weather here I might take some Milton Keynes skyline photos to replace the Basel shot on the masthead to this page. Perhaps a pagoda here and a skislope there would look nice.



  1. One of the more amazing sounds I’ve ever heard:

  2. “…especially from Doug Burns”

    Not much chance of sympathy from me 😉

    However, I just finished my quietest on-call week ever. I got called to ask advice about a couple of space issues a couple of times but, other than that, nothing.

    You would think we should hardly ever get called out but we do support a lot of databases and a lot of the calls are about mysterious database problems that turn out not to exist. Better safe than sorry, I suppose.

    Hope you have as quiet a time as I did.

  3. Joel – nice! – carillons are not so common in the UK, they are more of a Flemish / Scandinavian thing. The idea of someone (especially a frail old lady) punching tunes on a keyboard appeals (I think you have to hit keys very hard to strike the bells). Carillons and many other European bells make a noise by pulling the clapper on to the bell, or letting the bell swing through a small angle so it hits the clapper. The mad Brits on the other hand fix the bell to wheel and let is swing around 340 degrees and use gravity to let the clapper bounce of the bell as it rotates. I am surprised there are not more injuries from fast moving ropes attached to 100s of lbs of bell metal.

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