Article 6 of the Christmas Lights Judging Committee’s Rules of Engagement state that no Christmas Lights Competition may take place until the previous year’s Verdict has been moderated, grade-curved and ratified. As you can imagine, this made the first ever Christmas Lights Competition very difficult. Back then, when the committee did things by the book, it was delayed at least eleven times as no-one could produce the previous year’s Verdict.

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As my son found his feet and began to walk, he found his hands at perfect height to reach the piano. Music is very important to us, and I could not have been more delighted to see him walk over to the piano and press the keys with the tips of his fingers…

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This year’s theme seems to have been impermanence: The deaths of two people close to me, the shift from from boat-dwelling to house-dwelling, stepping into more challenging role at work, and the consuming joy in helping a child discover the world. A mantra I have found particularly useful is “Which part of this can I do?”

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Dry Land

boat-stories

‘May the road rise up to meet you’, goes the saying. In eight years I spent living on a boat, the water did rise up to meet me quite suddenly once or twice: one minute ‘down there’ and the next ‘rushing up to meet me at speed’. On other occasions, during floods, it rose slowly, deliberately, made its point and then ebbed away…

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Guyana

boat-stories

My first boat, Dawn, arrived with a Lister LR2 diesel engine. When I bought her, the boat was about 20 years old, but the engine was double that. What lives, I wondered, had the engine had before it ended up in a boat?

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Canal boats aren’t quiet. They may seem that way from a distance, but when underway, the captain is often unable to hear the first mate over the sound of the engine. Important communications, such as offers of cups of tea often go unheard…

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Icebergs

boat-stories

Boats are akin to swans. Which is to say that they’re like icebergs. Whatever their appearance, there’s a lot more going on beneath the surface than you’d think. On an afternoon stroll down the river, one might spot one or more boats, swans and / or icebergs. And unless someone’s having a really bad day, you probably won’t see what lies beneath any of them…

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Conferences and committees

2019 Programme Committee, PIDapalooza 2019 Programme Committee, Wiki Workshop at The Web Conference Committee, 5:AM Altmetrics Conference Keynote talk, Metrics in Transition Workshop 2019. “The role of open scholoarly infrastructure in metrics” Talk, PIDapalooza 2019 2018 Programme Committee, PIDapalooza 2018. Talk, PIDapalooza 2018. Talk, altmetrics17 workshop. 2017 Talk, 4:AM Altmetrics Conference. Talk, altmetrics18 workshop. 2016 Talk, 3:AM Altmetrics Conference Talk, csv,conf,v2

People get funny ideas when it comes to naming boats. After all, our boat is called Monstronauticus and it’s virtually the only name that my wife and I could agree on. But the phenomenon can be explained by good old British bureaucracy…

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Going in

boat-stories

Experts agree: the best way to learn something in depth is immersion. Whether you’re trying to pick up a new language or learn a new skill like boating: in at the deep end, you’ll be the wiser for it…

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