I come from an engineering family. I know no-one who enjoys playing with engines more than my father. Within days of me buying a boat he had opened up the engine and taken the cylinders off to re-fit the piston rings. Admittedly, the reason he did this is that the engine had failed and we were stranded thirty miles outside Oxford with an immobile boat. But I have a feeling it would have happened anyway sooner or later.

Read more →

I’m developing a Facebook app at work and was stuck on an issue for a bit. This post is just a mental note, and to prevent this happening.

Read more →

Music in the bandstand in Brighton. Cold wind and rain by turns. We played and danced to keep warm. I took a couple of audio recordings but this one just seemed perfectly to sum up the day.

Read more →

The BBC love their esoteric, obscure electronic music. I think it all started with Sigur Rós in Planet Earth and proliferated from there. It’s even started creeping into BBC Radio 4 trailers now. The trailer for Will Self’s ‘A Point of View: In Defence of Obscure Words’ had just such a music bed. I decided that I would very much like to know what that music was.

Read more →

I’ve had an allotment since November, but I came into possession of it just in time to wind up the year’s efforts and withdraw indoors. I spent some time before Christmas digging over a patch (what turned out to be a small patch in the grand scheme of things) before my next door neighbour turned up with a rotivator. I am lucky enough to have a friend in Julian Cottee (of OxGrow) who furnished me with six chitting potatoes in six exciting varieties: Edzell Blue, British Queen, Isle of Jura, Salad Blue, Maris Bard, and Arran Victory.

Read more →

Animals and Documents

A friend asked on Facebook why there were no documents penned by animals. He claimed that ‘not a single one was to my knowledge written by an animal other than a human’. I disagree. Here are some notable quotes I have collected on the subject. ‘A cat could no more write a thesis on the plight of man than a man could on the condition of being a cat’

Read more →

Some bizarre ancient ritual that takes place in the last week of March? No, it’s Mano Panforreteiro playing his Gaita bagpipes in Oxford. With help from some pipes of another kind.

Read more →

My first cruise of the 2012, the first Torchbox cruise of 2012 and the first outing for the new decking. Also check out Louise’s flickr set.

Read more →

How to make boat decking in 11 easy but detailed steps. 1 : Find a load of scrap timber. Put in on the roof and pace up and down a bit. It is crucial that you stay away from the edges whilst pacing if there is someone else on board. 2 : Remark upon the awkward disposition of the nails. It is important to spare a thought for the craftsman who came before you.

Read more →

After coming back from a team-building trip, I started to notice things were going a bit slow on my work laptop. I took it with me for casual emailing and working on the train, but spent about 4 days not really using it and certainly not ‘working’ on it. It came out once to display the lyrics to a song about Pithivier, and once to check emails, but that was about it.

Read more →