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Feb 21, 2024: Great, we’ve been paying billions for a nuclear ‘deterrent’ that nobody wants and that doesn’t even work.

Feb 10, 2024: Days of the Bagnold Summer, 2019 - ★★★½ Fun wee story about a teenage metal fan and his mum one summer. With music by Belle & Sebastian into the bargain.

Feb 4, 2024: My Girlfriend’s Boyfriend, 1987 - ★★★ We watched this on BFI Player, where its English title was the direct translation of the French one: My Girlfriend’s Boyfriend. But Letterboxd …

Feb 4, 2024: Custom and Use In the lone footnote of his latest post, Ian Betteridge bemoans the use of the term ‘users’ for people making use of software: I’ve …

Feb 3, 2024: 🔗 Introducing Pkl, a programming language for configuration :: Pkl Docs … delighted to announce the open source first release of Pkl (pronounced …

Feb 2, 2024: More evidence of comically early spring: daffodils dancing in the sun.

Jan 31, 2024: Pending the deal’s publication on Wednesday, it appears that Sunak has offered to keep Great Britain (England, Wales and Scotland) aligned with …

Jan 28, 2024: It’s still January. It’s the northern hemisphere. So why is this rose flowering? I’ll be wanting to prune it in about a month. …

Jan 27, 2024: A Good Marriage, 1982 - ★★★ I like these Eric Rohmer films, with their low-key humour. In this one, Sabine breaks up with her married boyfriend and decides that she wants to be …

Jan 22, 2024: The Harder They Come, 1972 - ★★★ Classic Jamaican film starring reggae singer Jimmy Cliff. I enjoyed it, but it doesn't seem the great thing today that people say it is. A long time …

Jan 19, 2024: Currently reading: Monument Maker by David Keenan 📚 I’ve read a few of his before, and they’re all strange. This one may be the strangest …

Jan 19, 2024: Finished reading: The Seven Moons of Maali Almeida by Shehan Karunatilaka 📚 I can see why this won the Booker last year the year before last. …

Jan 10, 2024: Finished reading: This Is How You Lose the Time War by Amal El-Mohtar & Max Gladstone 📚 A Christmas present from my son. I know I read it before, …

Jan 10, 2024: I didn’t have China Miéville co-writing a novel with Keanu Reeves on my 2024 bingo card, but here we are.

Jan 1, 2024: Currently reading: The Seven Moons of Maali Almeida by Shehan Karunatilaka 📚 My current book-club book. Shouldn’t be any trouble to finish it by …

Jan 1, 2024: Anatomy of a Fall, 2023 - ★★★★½ My god, but this film is good! Courtroom drama, French style, that manages to make you doubt your initial belief in the main character's innocence …

Jan 1, 2024: Maestro, 2023 - ★★½ We ended last January watching a film about an imaginary conductor, namely Tár. We closed out 2023 watching this one about a real conductor and …

Jan 1, 2024: I read 27 books in 2023; just over one a fortnight, which seems faster than it felt at the time. And I posted 111 times, with the following monthly …

Jan 1, 2024: Happy New Year everyone!

Dec 31, 2023: Edinburgh by Alexander Chee (Books 2023, 27) 📚 Back in 2021, when I read Chee’s How to Write an Autobiographical Novel, I expressed an interest in this book, Edinburgh, largely because of its …

Dec 31, 2023: Hackney Christmas lights

Dec 30, 2023: Saltburn, 2023 - ★★½ (contains spoilers) This review may contain spoilers. It's unusual to go in to see a film with essentially no idea of what it's about. Unusual, but sometimes quite a good …

Dec 27, 2023: Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie (Books 2023, 26) 📚 The first Christmas-present book, finished on boxing day. Short, and a page-turner. I’ve never read an Agatha Christie before, perhaps …

Dec 27, 2023: Nine to Five, 1980 - ★★★★ I don't know why I didn't see this back in the day. It's a mad romp, and a deeply feminist one. Full of surprising stylistic switches, dream …

Dec 27, 2023: The Holiday, 2006 - ★★★ I've watched this before, but it looks like I forgot to log it on Letterboxd. Fun Christmas romcom. Does exactly what you expect it to.

Dec 15, 2023: What the hell is this shit? Tried to open a link at CNN and I get this response, in Safari, Firefox and Chrome. Brave? I don’t even have it …

Dec 13, 2023: Who Do You Think You Both Are? I suppose I should tell you what I thought of the three Doctor Who 60th anniversary specials. They were good. Not great, but good. My favourite of the …

Dec 10, 2023: The Running Grave by Robert Galbraith (Books 2023, 25) 📚 A reread so soon? Hell, yes, why not? I think I enjoyed it even more this time. It’s amazing how compelling a book can still be on a reread.

Dec 8, 2023: I’m watching Shane MacGowan’s funeral on YouTube, and loving how it seems totally chaotic. Like a Pogues gig. ‘Nick’s going to lead us in “A Rainy …

Dec 3, 2023: To a first approximation it takes me all day to bake the Christmas cake. To be fair, I had to go out and get unsalted butter, and 4½ hours of that was …

Dec 1, 2023: The Affirmation by Christopher Priest (Books 2023, 24) 📚 I’ve had this book for years, and I thought I had read it. Took a look at it a week or two back and realised I hadn’t. So I did. What I …

Nov 30, 2023: … And Took the Road for Heaven in the Morning In a way it was surprising that Shane MacGowan survived this long, considering his noted and dramatic habits. But it’s still sad that he’s …

Nov 30, 2023: 8½, 1963 - ★★★ Fellini's 8½ is a weird, fragmentary, confusing, semi-autobiographical piece about a filmmaker who's trying to make a movie and is creatively blocked. …

Nov 26, 2023: Wordle 890 2/6* ⬛🟨⬛⬛🟨 🟩🟩🟩🟩🟩 Extreme rarity of Wordle in 2!

Nov 25, 2023: To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee (Books 2023, 23)📚 Why did nobody ever tell me that this book is funny? I had it in my head as a slightly worthy, if much-loved, courtroom drama. But the trial is only …

Nov 25, 2023: All About Eve, 1950 - ★★★½ Not dissimilar in themes to the various A Star is Born instances we've been watching, in that it's partly about fame and performance. A successful …

Nov 21, 2023: BBC 6 Music DJ: ‘We’ve set up a deck in the studio so we can play you some vinyl directly, instead of having to digitise it.’ Then …

Nov 16, 2023: Sarah Canary by Karen Joy Fowler (Books 2023, 22) 📚 There is no evidence in the text of this book that it is SF. Yet here I have a copy, published in the SF Masterworks series. Graham Sleight addresses …

Nov 13, 2023: A Star Is Born, 1976 - ★★★ Three stars because this is a bit better than the fifties version that we watched a couple of months ago. It's the same story, with tighter telling, …

Nov 8, 2023: 🔗 BLACK DOG, Gazelle Twin – WARREN ELLIS LTD Hell of a record. It’s like immersing yourself in a haunting. Depression, anxiety and ghosts – which, to …

Oct 30, 2023: GoodFellas, 1990 - ★★★½ I somehow wasn't interested in this when it came out in 1990. Gangsters didn't really appeal at that time, I guess? Maybe the idea of a …

Oct 24, 2023: White Riot by Joe Thomas (Books 2023, 21) 📚 I picked this up because of the title, taken as it obviously is from an early song by my favourite band. I bought it because it is set in and around …

Oct 14, 2023: Velvet Goldmine, 1998 - ★★ This is a kind of fake story of some of the singers who inspired and were part of glam rock. There's a central character who's obviously based on …

Oct 13, 2023: The Exorcist, 1973 - ★★½ It’s slightly surprising, perhaps, that I’ve never seen this horror classic, given my sometime, occasional, interest in the genre. But …

Oct 13, 2023: Tenet, 2020 - ★★★½ It’s not Nolan’s best, and I’m not sure it entirely makes sense. But it was better, and easier to understand, than I’d been …

Oct 9, 2023: Think I might refer this recruitment company to London Zoo, given their requirements.

Oct 9, 2023: In the Time of the Butterflies by Julia Alvarez (Books 2023, 20) 📚 This isn’t the kind of thing I’d normally think of reading, but I’ve joined a book club at work, and this was the latest book. The …

Oct 5, 2023: The Running Grave by Robert Galbraith (Books 2023, 19) 📚 It’s only a few days since I finished — just over a week since the year-long wait was over — and it seems like ages. Now we’re back into …

Oct 5, 2023: The Net, 1995 - ★★½ I know I’ve heard comments about this over the years, but I can’t remember whether people say it's surprisingly good, or so bad it's good. …

Sep 26, 2023: Ceremonial Doom Bar with the new Strike & Ellacott novel. 📚

Sep 25, 2023: Hazel O’Connor trending on Twitter. Mainly because of people saying ‘I saw Hazel O’Connor was trending and feared the worst, but …

Sep 25, 2023: Canal Dreams by Iain Banks (Books 2023, 18) 📚 I’ve always considered this the least of Iain Banks’s novels. As, I think, did he. If I remember correctly, this was the one about which …

Sep 25, 2023: Tried Siri’s new slightly more conversational mode in iOS 17. Said ‘Siri, pause’ while a podcast was playing out loud, and it did. Said ‘Thank you,’ …

Sep 20, 2023: This is a good piece about the different ways we communicate: Are you a writer or a talker? That is, when you need to think about something, do you …

Sep 19, 2023: A Star Is Born, 1954 - ★★½ The 1954 version of A Star is Born has in it the bones of a great film. It is not, however, the great film it’s reputed to be. I should start by …

Sep 19, 2023: Fatal Revenant: The Final Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, Book 2 by Stephen Donaldson (Books 2023, 17) 📚 Wordy, as I mentioned before. Long. Unnecessarily repetitive. But I enjoyed it nonetheless. I’m quite glad, though, I don’t have the other …

Sep 15, 2023: In the Heat of the Night, 1967 - ★★★ A Black cop helps a white police chief investigate a murder in a southern (US) town. After first being arrested on suspicion of the murder, of course. …

Sep 6, 2023: Speaking of ChatGPT, I like Cory Doctorow’s explanation of it and its cousins from his latest piece: AI chatbots are mirrors of experts, only instead …

Sep 6, 2023: Dave Winer (I think he’s still @dave on Micro.blog) talks about using ChatGPT to make calls about a user’s WordPress account. I want to know …

Sep 2, 2023: Straight to Hell, 1987 - ★★ Alex Cox made a spaghetti western, with Joe Strummer, the Pogues, Elis Costello, Courtney Love 'acting' in it. Plus some proper actors. The plot is …

Sep 1, 2023: Frances Ha, 2012 - ★★★½ It’s as if a French New Wave film had been made in New York in the early 2000s (with a quick visit to Paris thrown in for maximum effect). Written by …

Aug 30, 2023: Well, it’s obvious that no one reads this, or they’d have drawn my attention to the ridiculous typo in the title of the last but one post. …

Aug 29, 2023: Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons (Books 2023, 16) 📚 Normally speaking I’d claim a novel written in the 1930s and set in the late 40s for science fiction. But this doesn’t quite reach the …

Aug 29, 2023: The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers (Books 2023, 15) 📚 I started readingthis a few years back, and stopped after the first chapter or so, because it seemed too similar to the thing I was trying to write at …

Aug 27, 2023: Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders (Books 2023, 14) 📚 I’ve been meaning to read this since I read a review of it back when it came out, in 2017. So, six years on, I finally did. It’s …

Aug 27, 2023: Piranesi by Susanna Clarke (Books 2023, 13) 📚 Piranesi has always lived in the house; even if that’s not his name, which it may not be. A fantastic and fantastical, strange book, this; much …

Aug 24, 2023: I’m not sure who the New York Times folks are trolling with today’s Connections, but it’s a good one.

Aug 18, 2023: The Runes of the Earth: The Final Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, Book 1 by Stephen Donaldson (Books 2023, 12) 📚 Forty years ago it was: towards the end of school, Watty — he of the Number 6 badge, celebrating The Prisoner — turned me on to The Chronicles of …

Aug 14, 2023: The City & the City by China Mieville (Books 2023, 11) 📚 It’s like China wanted to write a police procedural, a detective story. But being China, there was no way it could be set in the quotidian world of …

Aug 14, 2023: The Importance of Being Earnest, 1952 - ★★★½ Watched on Monday August 14, 2023.

Aug 14, 2023: Cléo from 5 to 7, 1962 - ★★★½ Watched on Friday August 11, 2023.

Aug 2, 2023: I think I’ve seen more rain this summer than in all the years I’ve lived in London.

Aug 1, 2023: Oh no, we’ve lost touch with Voyager 2. I feel weirdly sad about this. It’s the furthest-away thing humans have ever made.

Aug 1, 2023: This Scottish MP who’s been ousted by the people for breaking Covid rules: I think this is the first time we’ve had a recall in the UK. …

Jul 30, 2023: The Casual Vacancy by JK Rowling (Books 2023, 10) 📚 To tide me over until the new Strike book comes out (in just under two months) I suddenly decided to reread JK’s single non-pseudonymous, …

Jul 30, 2023: Barbie, 2023 - ★★★★½ Best musical moment for me: ‘Closer to Fine’ by the Indigo Girls, repeatedly. That was unexpected. And overall, it’s a great movie.

Jul 25, 2023: Oppenheimer, 2023 - ★★★★ I’ve never seen the Hackney Picturehouse as busy as it was when we arrived last night. A rainy Monday in July, and it was packed. The Barbenheimer …

Jul 19, 2023: Falling for Figaro, 2020 - ★★ A woman gives up her high-paid fund-management job in London to try to become an opera singer. You could probably write the rest. This was what you …

Jul 18, 2023: Started reading The City & the City by China Miéville 📚 This is one of only very few of China’s books that I haven’t read, and …

Jul 15, 2023: Daniel Deronda by George Eliot (Books 2023, 9) 📚 I mentioned in May, that I had been reading this. It’s taken me till now to finish it. In another sense it’s taken me a lot longer: I …

Jul 7, 2023: How do people cope with being full-time sport fans? Watching Murray/Tsitsipas last night was so stressful. It felt like a final. I can’t imagine going …

Jun 24, 2023: Chevalier, 2022 - ★★½ Watched on Friday June 16, 2023.

May 29, 2023: Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery, 1997 - ★★ I first heard of Mike Myers in 1985 or so, at the Edinburgh Fringe. Someone was giving out flyers for a comedy show (I know, at the Fringe, right?) If …

May 29, 2023: Films, Books, Blogging, and Giving Up I’m realising I need to get back into the habit of putting things on the blog. More than film notes from Letterboxd and book notes. There …

May 29, 2023: The Matrix Resurrections, 2021 - ★★★½ Forgot to log this when I watched it a month or so ago. I know I expressed high enthusiasm for this when it was announced in 2021 (that long ago?), …

May 23, 2023: Blue Jean, 2022 - ★★½ In the 1980s, under the fear of the Tory government's Clause 28, a teacher has to keep her sexuality hidden if she wants to keep her job. The arrival …

May 5, 2023: The Green Ray, 1986 - ★★★ Watched on Thursday May 4, 2023.

May 5, 2023: After Love, 2020 - ★★½ Watched on Sunday April 30, 2023.

Apr 27, 2023: Pain and Glory, 2019 - ★★★ Or Dolor y gloria, to give it its Spanish title. Pedro Almodóvar's latest, and filled with his colourful imagery. Especially red. Man, that guy loves …

Apr 23, 2023: The Guardian is reporting that people who didn’t get the alert are mostly on the Three network. As I am.

Apr 23, 2023: Hey, what happened to my government warning? It’s twenty past three and I haven’t received it yet!

Apr 22, 2023: Punk Publishing: A DIY Guide, by Andy Conway & David Wake (Books 2023, 8) 📚 I bought this on my recent visit to Eastercon, from one of the authors, David Wake. I hadn’t really thought about the possibility of …

Apr 19, 2023: Everything Everywhere All at Once, 2022 - ★★★★½ Saw this in Paris on a recent trip. In English, with French subtitles. The only problem: it's not all in English. So there were a number of scenes …

Apr 19, 2023: Beyond the Reach of Earth by Ken McLeod (Books 2023, 7) 📚 The sequel to Beyond the Hallowed Sky, which I read at the start of last year. It’s an excellent followup, with a very good summary of the …

Apr 8, 2023: Conventions conventionally drink the real-ale bar dry too early. Here at Eastercon, apparently we’ve drunk the bar dry… … of low-alcohol beers.

Apr 7, 2023: On my way to Birmingham for Eastercon. Been a few years since I’ve been to a con. It’ll be good to see folk.

Apr 6, 2023: Just after midnight last night I finished my novel, Casino Soul. The first draft, anyway, or maybe only the zeroth draft. There’s a lot to do to …

Apr 2, 2023: A God in Ruins by Kate Atkinson (Books 2023, 6) 📚 Atkinson’s Life After Life was the wonderful story of Ursula Todd, who kept repeating her life, dying in different ways each time. One …

Mar 31, 2023: Extremely rare software update this morning: Scrivener for Mac updated to version 3.3. A huge number of changes from 3.2.3, and I can’t help but …

Mar 27, 2023: Interzone 294 Edited by Gareth Jelley (Books 2023, 5) 📚 I posted a photo of this when it arrived, to show its new paperback-book format. It’s an issue of Interzone: it’s fine, but nothing in it …

Mar 25, 2023: The first band I ever saw live, back in (fuck!) 1980, was Stiff Little Fingers. I’ve seen them a few times over the years. Tonight I’m at The …

Mar 19, 2023: Sister Act, 1992 - ★★★ A daft but fun enough romp, in which Whoopi Goldberg is a nightclub singer who has to hide out from the Mob after witnessing a murder. Obviously the …

Mar 9, 2023: On the Basis of Sex, 2018 - ★★★ Decent film about the early legal career of Ruth Bader Ginsburg. As a film it's pretty decent. As a biopic, it left me wanting more. I'd have liked to …

Feb 28, 2023: Look at the new Interzone: it’s a paperback book! I like it.

Feb 27, 2023: I’ve written here before about Nick Cave’s newsletter, The Red Hand files, and lately I’ve taken — slightly hyperbolically, perhaps …

Feb 26, 2023: The Rings of Saturn by WG Sebald, Translated by Michael Hulse (Books 2023, 4) 📚 The Rings of Saturn is a very unusual book. My copy has this classification on the back: ‘Fiction/Memoir/Travel’. Well make up your mind, …

Feb 26, 2023: Suzanne on the Stage To Cambridge, on Thursday just past, and to the Corn Exchange, to see Suzanne Vega. My one-word review: spellbinding. I had never been to the Corn …

Feb 20, 2023: I just crossed the 80,000 word mark on Casino Soul, the novel that I started as part of my creative writing masters in January 2021. Nearly finished …

Feb 12, 2023: Penny-Farthings and Paranoia Watty was wearing a badge, one of the big, old kind. Probably two inches across, round. They used to advertise them in the back of Sounds, NME, Record …

Feb 11, 2023: Gosford Park, 2001 - ★★★½ Another old one that I’d never seen before. Considering it’s by the same guy who wrote Downton Abbey, it’s much more negative about the landed classes …

Feb 10, 2023: Comfort and Joy, 1984 - ★★★ (contains spoilers) This review may contain spoilers. Kind of daft film that somehow I’d never seen. Set at Christmas, as I should have realised from the title, But not a …

Feb 10, 2023: When you end the week with a massive merge to master, and then go downstairs to drink wine and listen to Ziggy Stardust. Hello.

Feb 8, 2023: A rare trip into the office today. We have the Christmas do for London-based developers and testers tonight. A little late. But that’s the way these …

Feb 5, 2023: Our Man Flint, 1966 - ★★½ I remember seeing this as a kid and absolutely loving it. We talked about it at school, probably played at being Flint. It’s a Bond spoof. James …

Jan 31, 2023: Tár, 2022 - ★★★★ Tár is a much-discussed, disputed, disagreed-upon tour de force. Not since Moonlight have I read so much about a film after seeing it. Lydia Tár is a …

Jan 31, 2023: Currently reading: Poems by Iain Banks and Ken MacLeod 📚

Jan 31, 2023: Us old types are told that youngsters don’t like punctuation. Full stops in texts sound angry, etc. But I find an unpunctuated message …

Jan 31, 2023: It’s the 31st of January, and daffodils are out.

Jan 31, 2023: The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage by Sydney Padua (Books 2023, 3) 📚 Fantastic graphic novel about the inventor of the Difference and Analytical Engines and the first programmer. Together they fight crime. Well, not …

Jan 29, 2023: Bomber Jackson Does Some by Bob Boyton (Books 2023, 2) 📚 First, cards on the table, Bob is a friend of mine. Bomber Jackson Does Some is his first novel, self-published in 2012. He gave us a copy back then, …

Jan 21, 2023: All Quiet on the Western Front, 2022 - ★★★ Watched on Saturday January 21, 2023.

Jan 21, 2023: The Beatles: Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years, 2016 - ★★★★½ Watched on Tuesday January 17, 2023.

Jan 15, 2023: Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, 2022 - ★★★ The usual Marvel daftness. I enjoyed it, but really, there's just so much of this stuff now that it's become ridiculous. And I kind of hate what …

Jan 14, 2023: The first snowdrops are out in London.

Jan 8, 2023: Summer of Soul (...or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised), 2021 - ★★★★ Excellent documentary about the Harlem Cultural Festival, an outdoor music festival in 1969. The same year as Woodstock, but much less well-known. The …

Jan 7, 2023: Together We Will Go by J Michael Straczynski (Books 2023, 1) 📚 Content warning: suicide The first book of the year. JMS of Babylon 5 fame tells the story of a group of people who, each for their own varied reason, …

Jan 2, 2023: Went for the first swim of the year this morning. And if the app for the pool is to be believed, I haven’t been since March last year (not …

Jan 1, 2023: A Look Back at my 2022 The Year in Blogging Only 98 posts in 2022, broken down as follows. Month Posts Jan 11 Feb 11 Mar 7 Apr 5 May 2 Jun 5 Jul 4 Aug 6 …

Jan 1, 2023: RRR, 2022 - ★★★½ A mad, wild ride, by turns gruesome and hilarious. It's essentially a superhero bromance set in India during the Raj. A lot of fun, but maybe just a …

Jan 1, 2023: Happy New Year!!!

Dec 31, 2022: The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman (Books 2022, 33) 📚 Not just another murder mystery, but an undeniably cosy one. OK, the deaths aren’t cosy, obviously, but the mood and vibe of the book certainly …

Dec 30, 2022: Knives Out, 2019 - ★★★★ Watching the sequel the other day led us to a rewatch of the original. I see I only gave it three and a half stars (though no comments) in 2019. I’d …

Dec 29, 2022: Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery, 2022 - ★★★★ Fun murder mystery.

Dec 28, 2022: The Perfume Burned His Eyes by Michael Imperioli (Books 2022, 32) 📚 As any fan will realise instantly, the title of this comes from Lou Reed’s ‘Romeo Had Juliet’. So that’s going to draw my …

Dec 28, 2022: Nothing Compares, 2022 - ★★★½ Great documentary about the wonderful Sinéad O’Connor. A bit light on her music, mainly having fragments of live performances and TV appearances like …

Dec 27, 2022: 🅦🅞🅡🅓🄸🄿🄻🅈 #6 🌟 Length Score: 78% 🚀 Letter Score: 68 🔗 Play Wordiply: www.wordiply.com 🎬 Today’s starter: 🄲🄰🅃

Dec 27, 2022: The Grand Budapest Hotel, 2014 - ★★★★ So after downgrading this the last time we watched it as a family, a Boxing Day re-rewatch leads me to boost it back up to four stars. Mood and state …

Dec 26, 2022: Rocannon's World by Ursula Le Guin (Books 2022, 31) 📚 I’m quite pleased to have read as many as 31 books this year. Not sure quite how I’ve managed it, what with writing my own, and starting a …

Dec 25, 2022: The Guardian has a new word game, Wordiply: 🅦🅞🅡🅓🄸🄿🄻🅈 #4 🌟 Length Score: 73% 🚀 Letter Score: 46 🔗 Play Wordiply: www.wordiply.com 🎬 Today’s …

Dec 25, 2022: Happy Christmas, everyone!

Dec 23, 2022: Twenty Years Without Joe I missed posting this yesterday, what with one thing and another. Twenty years ago yesterday, the 22nd of December 2002, my friend Tony texted me and …

Dec 21, 2022: Illuminations by Alan Moore (Books 2022, 30) 📚 It’s amusing, this one coming straight after this year’s behemoth, since the last book I read by Moore was a similar year-spanning (and …

Dec 21, 2022: Falling for Christmas, 2022 - ★★½ Daft but fun Christmas-based romcom. All the ingredients you could want are here.

Dec 21, 2022: I was listening to The Specials yesterday because of the sad death of Terry Hall, of course. I was mildly distracted by this text early in that …

Dec 20, 2022: This is really weird. ‘Do the Dog’ by The Specials, but Apple Music brings up the lyrics of ‘The Last Day of Our Acquaintance’, by Sinead O’Connor.

Dec 17, 2022: At the start of this year, I promised myself I’d finish this novel by the end of the year. I just passed the 70,000-word mark, and I’m on …

Dec 12, 2022: I opened a file where I had made some notes for a possible post. It had a link to something I might comment on. I clicked the link. Not only was the …

Dec 9, 2022: Right. Friday night is upon us. The week’s work is done. Hello. @meandering

Nov 26, 2022: The Silencers, 1966 - ★½ When I was a little kid my family used to go on holiday to Millport, on the Isle of Cumbrae, in the Firth of Clyde. We didn’t go to the cinema …

Nov 25, 2022: Why do Netflix, when nothing’s playing, still include The OA in the shows they tout, when the bastards cancelled that wonderful series three …

Nov 23, 2022: This is a micropost, sent using the MarsEdit 5 beta’s new ‘Micropost’ feature. It’s good. Would be even better if it had a …

Nov 22, 2022: The Books of Jacob by Olga Tokarczuk, Translated by Jennifer Croft (Books 2022, 29) I am unreasonably happy about having finished this before the end of the year. I started reading it at the start of the year. In fact, possibly before …

Nov 22, 2022: This is disappointing: Apple have removed the delightful page-turn animation from the Books app: Apple’s taken the joy out of its Books app with iOS …

Nov 21, 2022: November sky. Days like this are the real reason we have Christmas.

Nov 17, 2022: Saddened to read of the death of Marcus Sedgwick. I don’t know much about him, but I read and enjoyed one of his books two years ago, and …

Nov 16, 2022: If you use Stage Manager on Mac, it seems that Command-backtick (⌘+`) behaves differently. Normally it switches between windows of the active app. …

Nov 15, 2022: My site is fully switched over to Micro.blog. Everything has changed. Not just the look — I plan to work on that and try to make it more the way I …

Nov 2, 2022: I plan to move my site to Micro.blog. I’ve had enough of running servers and juggling components to make Indieweb things work together. …

Nov 1, 2022: Tax rises expected from the latest Tory PM. What I can’t figure out is why they have to ‘make up for a £50bn fiscal hole’ caused by …

Oct 29, 2022: Next Songs, Elon Musk, and Joe Strummer Since Musk’s takeover of Twitter has been confirmed, there has been a lot of chatter about free speech. Musk, we are told, describes himself as …

Oct 28, 2022: The Ink Black Heart by Robert Galbraith (Books 2022, 28) And so I circle back and reread the book I read just over a month ago. This has been a most enjoyable experience, reading through the whole series. …

Oct 28, 2022: The Banshees of Inisherin, 2022 - ★★★★ Martin McDonagh’s latest is sad, hilarious, tragic, and true. Or feels like it could be true, even if some of the decisions characters make are …

Oct 11, 2022: Troubled Blood by Robert Galbraith (Books 2022, 27) For some reason this is the one whose title never sticks in my mind. When I try to think of the books in the series I always seem to have a hard time …

Oct 11, 2022: Lethal White by Robert Galbraith (Books 2022, 26) The rereading continues. It’s actually now a couple of weeks since I read this, this time. what with forgetting, and then coming down with …

Oct 6, 2022: Well, damn. As the only one in my immediate family never to have had it, I really thought I was going to get away with it. Positive

Oct 2, 2022: Barry Lyndon, 1975 - ★★★½ I had never seen this Kubrick film, and it was a little hard to get my head around it as a comedy. Which it kind of is, though I've also seen it …

Sep 29, 2022: Wednesday Night is Music Night God, I have missed this so much. Live music FTW. I get emails from the Joe Strummer Foundation . The most recent one told me that their artist of the …

Sep 24, 2022: Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith (Books 2022, 25) This is, by far, the most gruesome book in the Strike series. The crimes, the killings are, that is to say. It also gives Robin the most action …

Sep 19, 2022: Also I don’t really like the #NotMyKing hashtag that some republican campaigners have been using. It implies either that someone else should be …

Sep 19, 2022: Did anyone else get heavy Cybermen vibes from the royal funeral parade? All the slow marching with a drumbeat on every step? Everyone in time, rocking …

Sep 19, 2022: God Save Your Mad Parade I surprised myself, really. I, an avowed republican and atheist, watched the Queen’s funeral. It was a historic event, there’s no doubt …

Sep 19, 2022: The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith (Books 2022, 24) A satire of literary London wrapped in a murder mystery. Robin gets more to do than in the first one. Which comment makes it mildly amusing to me that …

Sep 18, 2022: The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith (Books 2022, 23) So we move into a(nother) period of rereading. Reading the new Strike novel immediately made me want to go back to the start. Mainly, I think, because …

Sep 12, 2022: Molly's Game, 2017 - ★★★½ Aaron Sorkin not quite at his best. Decent film, based on the memoir of Molly Bloom. Who is nothing to do with Ulysses, but parents who either were …

Sep 12, 2022: The Ink Black Heart by Robert Galbraith (Books 2022, 22) This may be the best so far of the Strike books. My favourite so far, anyway. Despite being set in 2015 (time flows differently in Galbraith world) …

Sep 8, 2022: The Title of The Smiths' Third Album I’m a republican, but you’ve got to acknowledge that old Queenie had a good run. Apparently the direct descendent of Mary, Queen of Scots, …

Sep 7, 2022: Excession by Iain M Banks (Books 2022, 21) Yes, I’m only reading Iain Banks at the moment. What of it? Or I was for a brief period up until the book after this. Probably my favourite …

Aug 21, 2022: Dead Air by Iain Banks (Books 2022, 20) Banksie’s most political book, I think it’s fair to say. In the sense that the real-world politics and opinions of the author and the …

Aug 18, 2022: All the President's Men, 1976 - ★★★½ I read the book years ago, and of course knew the broad outlines of the Watergate story. This was a good dramatisation of it. Or rather, of part of …

Aug 14, 2022: The Hydrogen Sonata by Iain M Banks (Books 2022, 19) The last of the Culture books and Banksie’s SF books, both at all, and that I had only read once. The odd one about this, as a Culture book, I …

Aug 13, 2022: The Situation and the Story by Vivian Gornick (Books 2022, 18) On my MA course, in the Creative Nonfiction module, we were assigned the first chapter of this as one of our readings. It intrigued me enough that I …

Aug 13, 2022: Interzone Issue 292/293 Edited by Andy Cox (Books 2022, 17) Not strictly a book, but a double issue of a short-story magazine seems substantial enough to treat as one. I don’t know when the last issue …

Aug 8, 2022: We're No Angels, 1955 - ★★½ Daft wee film — a Christmas film, I was surprised to realise — from 1955 in which Humphrey Bogart and Peter Ustinov or two of three prisoners who’ve …

Jul 26, 2022: The Computer Connection by Alfred Bester (Books 2022, 16) This starts out with the main character escaping from some obscure threat and reaching a friend’s place. The friend sends him into the past — so …

Jul 7, 2022: The Islanders by Christopher Priest (Books 2022, 15) I’m not sure that I’ve read any of Priest’s ‘Dream Archipelago’ stories before now. Certainly the ones that I’ve …

Jul 7, 2022: Still Life by Val McDermid (Books 2022, 14) ‘A Karen Pirie thriller,’ the description on the cover says of this. I’m not sure ‘thriller’ is quite the right term. …

Jul 5, 2022: A Theatre for Dreamers by Polly Samson (Books 2022, 13) Greece is probably the best place to read this novel, which is good, because that was where I was when I read it. It’s a work of fiction mostly …

Jun 30, 2022: Software and Wetware by Rudy Rucker (Books 2022, 11 and 12) Or the first two books in the Ware tetralogy, as they now are. I read Software many years ago, and enjoyed it, though not as much as some of …

Jun 30, 2022: Ubik by Philip K Dick (Books 2022, 10) I had associated this in my head with Dick’s VALIS, which is one of his latest works (written 1978, published 1981, according to Wikipedia). I …

Jun 17, 2022: Firefox Rolls Out Total Cookie Protection Starting today, Firefox is rolling out Total Cookie Protection by default to all Firefox users worldwide, making Firefox the most private and secure …

Jun 1, 2022: Bloody Ebooks! I read Inverted World on the Kindle. It always annoys me that you’re put at the start of the text on opening. I like to go back to the cover and …

Jun 1, 2022: Inverted World by Christopher Priest (Books 2022, 9) With its fairly famous opening line — ‘I had reached the age of six hundred and fifty miles.’ — I kind of thought I had read this before, …

May 18, 2022: V for Vendetta, 2005 - ★★½ Reasonable filmic conversion of the graphic novel. It doesn’t really do a lot with it, but it’s fine.

May 18, 2022: V for Vendetta, 2005 - ★★½ Reasonable filmic conversion of the graphic novel. It doesn’t really do a lot with it, but it’s fine. See in Letterboxd

May 18, 2022: The Absolute Book by Elizabeth Knox (Books 2022, 8) This was prompted by a Guardian article — listicle, you might say, since it’s basically a big list — of books for the summer (last summer): …

Apr 26, 2022: Musky Times I wasn’t going to write anything about Elon Musk buying Twitter, because I mostly don’t care. But Robin Sloan, in his newsletter, which …

Apr 21, 2022: Luckenbooth by Jenni Fagan (Books 2022, 7) This came to me by way of The Guardian’s summer reading recommendations last year. I ended up reading it in the tail end of winter, or spring, …

Apr 17, 2022: Easy A, 2010 - ★★★ Another US high-school comedy. Not a John Hughes 80s one, but one that makes explicit reference in-universe to things like The Breakfast Club. It's a …

Apr 17, 2022: Easy A, 2010 - ★★★ Another US high-school comedy. Not a John Hughes 80s one, but one that makes explicit reference in-universe to things like The Breakfast Club. …

Apr 2, 2022: I no longer follow anyone on Twitter that I haven’t met, but I’m thinking of making an exception for this glorious translator between …

Apr 1, 2022: Baby Driver, 2017 - ★★★★ I saw this at the cinema when it came out back in 2017. Loved it then. Loved it even more now. Incredible soundtrack, amazing (daft) car chases. …

Apr 1, 2022: Baby Driver, 2017 - ★★★★ I saw this at the cinema when it came out back in 2017. Loved it then. Loved it even more now. Incredible soundtrack, amazing (daft) car chases. …

Mar 26, 2022: It’s not yet the end of March. I’ve just put the cushions on the outdoor chairs, and put the umbrella up to shade me from the sun as I sit …

Mar 16, 2022: The Schrödinger's Cat Trilogy by Robert Anton Wilson (Books 2022, 4–6) Yes, all I do is reread. Sometimes it seems that way, anyway. Well, it was the end of 2014 when I read this last. Seven and a quarter years seems …

Mar 13, 2022: A Room with a View, 1985 - ★★½ It's an old Merchant-Ivory period piece. Pleasant enough, but kind of stilted in places. In part. some of that may be deliberate, to reflect the …

Mar 13, 2022: A Room with a View, 1986 - ★★½ It's an old Merchant-Ivory period piece. Pleasant enough, but kind of stilted in places. In part. some of that may be deliberate, to reflect the …

Mar 6, 2022: Pitch Perfect, 2012 - ★★★½ Fun story about competitive acapella singers at a US university. See in Letterboxd

Mar 6, 2022: Miss Sloane, 2016 - ★★★ Decent story about a US lobbyist who takes on the support of a bill to restrict some tiny amount of gun rights. She quits one company and moves to a …

Mar 6, 2022: Pitch Perfect, 2012 - ★★★½ Fun story about competitive acapella singers at a US university.

Mar 6, 2022: Miss Sloane, 2016 - ★★★ Decent story about a US lobbyist who takes on the support of a bill to restrict some tiny amount of gun rights. She quits one company and moves to a …

Mar 3, 2022: Propaganda and Suffering I’ve seen a strange set of opinions popping up on Twitter over the last week or so, essentially blaming the US, the UK, and/or NATO for …

Feb 26, 2022: The Velvet Underground, 2021 - ★★★★ There's a lot to like here if you're already a fan — or at least, have some interest. Probably not too much if neither of those apply. It has …

Feb 26, 2022: The Velvet Underground, 2021 - ★★★★ There's a lot to like here if you're already a fan — or at least, have some interest. Probably not too much if neither of those apply. It has …

Feb 26, 2022: Withnail & I, 1987 - ★★★★ Long time since I saw this, so all I remembered really were the quotable bits ('We've gone on holiday by accident!') The high dinginess and run-down …

Feb 26, 2022: Withnail & I, 1987 - ★★★★ Long time since I saw this, so all I remembered really were the quotable bits ('We've gone on holiday by accident!') The high dinginess and run-down …

Feb 25, 2022: 13th, 2016 - ★★★½ A documentary about the prison-industrial complex, this is a tough watch. The title comes from the 13th amendment to the US Constitution. While …

Feb 25, 2022: 13th, 2016 - ★★★½ A documentary about the prison-industrial complex, this is a tough watch. The title comes from the 13th amendment to the US Constitution. While …

Feb 23, 2022: Legally Blonde, 2001 - ★★★ We’ve been enjoying the more recent work of Reece Witherspoon lately, in The Morning Show and Big Little Lies, so it was interesting to go back to see …

Feb 23, 2022: Legally Blonde, 2001 - ★★★ We’ve been enjoying the more recent work of Reece Witherspoon lately, in The Morning Show and Big Little Lies, so it was interesting to go back to see …

Feb 22, 2022: Mildly amusing that no one noticed the obvious mistake in my last post/tweet. Or they were too polite to say. It’s still visible on Twitter, …

Feb 22, 2022: Dateline: 2022-02-22 Just wanted to note the loveliness of today’s date: 2022-02-22 in ISO format, or 22/2/22 or 22/2/2022 in either US or normal numeric date …

Feb 16, 2022: The Kids by Hannah Lowe (Books 2022, 3) I don’t think I’ve ever written about a book of poetry here before. That’s because I don’t read that much of it. Whenever I …

Feb 15, 2022: Wordle on my phone is still at the original site. But my partner’s goes to the NYT. There’s no obvious reason for the difference, and …

Feb 13, 2022: Raw Spirit: In Search of the Perfect Dram by Iain Banks (Books 2022, 2) Posting about books is slow because I’m reading something gigantic. More of that later (possibly much later). But in the interstices, a return …

Feb 2, 2022: On this date of many ‘2’s (but just wait till the 22nd), here’s a nice sunset for you. Sunset over Hackney

Feb 1, 2022: The Word on Wordle To celebrate the news of Wordle’s sale to the New York Times, here’s my result from today: Wordle 227 2/6 🟨🟨⬛🟩🟩 🟩🟩🟩🟩🟩 The first time …

Jan 30, 2022: You Can Call Me Master I should note here that I finished and passed my masters. I now have a Master of Arts in Creative Writing. Or don’t exactly have yet, since I …

Jan 28, 2022: Out, and Into Town I’ve just been into the West End of London, to various shops. Travelled by bus, masked of course, unlike many. I’ve still not been back on …

Jan 27, 2022: The Beatles: Get Back, 2021 - ★★★★★ I wish I could give this six stars or seven. Hell, why not ten? Actually watching it twice in two months and giving it five stars each time is giving …

Jan 21, 2022: Cold Winter Morning I was never a huge Meat Loaf fan, but I always liked Bat Out of Hell, and of course enjoyed him in The Rocky Horror Picture Show. So I’m …

Jan 20, 2022: Nomadland, 2020 - ★★★½ The scenery is bleak, and the setup is sad, but in the end this movie is neither. Frances McDormand's character may have lost her home, job, and even …

Jan 18, 2022: So if I run brew install python-tk, which should let me build basic GUI apps on Mac with Python, it says: Error: python@3.9: the bottle needs the …

Jan 11, 2022: The Turn of the Screw by Henry James (Books 2022, 1) This extremely short book is only a novella, but it took me some time to get through it because of the density and obscurity of the prose. James is, I …

Jan 7, 2022: Don't Look Up, 2021 - ★★★½ Fun, if bleak, satire about the end of the world. Two astronomers try to get people — though mainly a Trump-esque US administration — to believe that …

Jan 5, 2022: Beyond the Hallowed Sky by Ken MacLeod (Books 2021, 28) Ken posted about this on his blog, along with a link to the first chapter on the publisher’s site. I read the chapter and instantly ordered the …

Jan 3, 2022: Lost at Christmas, 2020 - ★★★ That strangest of things, a Scottish Christmas film. A very low budget, fun enough, story about two people meeting on Christmas Eve and getting …

Jan 1, 2022: Starting the Year (and a Brief Look Back) 2022. That’s a lot of 2s. Though just wait till the 2nd of February. Happy New Year to one and all. Who knows what 2022 will bring, but …

Dec 31, 2021: This Site Now Has a Dark Theme As you’ll have noticed if you’re looking at this post on a device set to dark mode, I’ve added a dark theme. At the moment …

Dec 29, 2021: Mary Poppins Returns, 2018 - ★★★½ Fun sequel to a Disney classic. Good songs, and Lin-Manuel Miranda. Probably not as memorable as the original. See in Letterboxd

Dec 28, 2021: A Note I'd Like to Send Back Through Time If you’re dealing with family photos back in the seventies, eighties, nineties, it’s great that you write the date and place on the back …

Dec 28, 2021: Planetfall by Emma Newman (Books 2021, 27) This is a novel about a human colony on an unnamed planet. There are, as we soon learn from the first-person narrator, Renata, lies and mysteries at …

Dec 24, 2021: Hench by Natalie Zina Walschots (Books 2021, 26) The title comes from ‘henchman’ — or -woman. We are in a world where superheroes exist, and thereby, also super villains. Anna Tromedlov …

Dec 22, 2021: Pour One Out for Joe Or maybe that should be ‘flame one up for Joe’, considering his preferences. It’s the anniversary of Joe Strummer’s death …

Dec 22, 2021: 'Spider-Man: No Way Home, 2021 - ★★★★' Pretty good follow-on from the earlier Spider-Man films. My daughter tells me ‘All the fan theories were right.’ I wasn’t aware of them, so I hope …

Dec 16, 2021: Comet Weather by Liz Williams (Books 2021, 25) An enjoyable present-day story of magic in Somerset and London. Mostly the country, with Glastonbury and Avebury and such places featuring in passing. …

Dec 10, 2021: A Song Needs Words On What a Song Is It seems like I’m increasingly often hearing people — especially, but not exclusively, Americans — referring to things as ‘songs’ …

Dec 2, 2021: Boosted Just got my booster vaccination. I now have a dose of Moderna sloshing around my veins. So we’ll see how that interacts with the previous two …

Dec 1, 2021: The Time of the Ghost by Diana Wynne Jones (Books 2021, 24) I read this because I happened on an article about it on Tor.com: ‘Diana Wynne Jones’ The Time of the Ghost Breaks All the Rules of How To Write …

Nov 29, 2021: 'The Beatles: Get Back, 2021 - ★★★★★' I already wrote about watching the first part, but the whole thing is just as fantastic. The middle episode does feel like it has some 'middle volume …

Nov 29, 2021: The French Dispatch, 2021 - ★★★★ Wes Anderson's latest is a wild romp, slightly incoherent at times -- or, not incoherent, exactly but confusing in a good way. Until you realise …

Nov 26, 2021: The Caledonian Gambit by Dan Moren (Books 2021, 23) Dan Moren writes about Apple stuff over at Six Colours, and at Macworld and so on, but he’s also an SF writer. This is his first novel, and …

Nov 26, 2021: Get Back to Christmas We subscribed to Disney+ last night, so that we could watch Peter Jackson’s The Beatles: Get Back. I had thought it was going to be a movie, but …

Nov 15, 2021: The Origin of Angels? I was surprised just over three weeks ago when I learned – from the Saturday Guardian, the physical newspaper, of all things – that …

Nov 12, 2021: Mona Lisa Overdrive by William Gibson (Books 2021, 22) Talk about not remembering books: I’ve got to ask myself whether I ever did read this one. I remembered one thing from it, but it’s not …

Nov 10, 2021: Songs and Singles You’ve probably heard a song off an album – you’ve heard the album, maybe a few times, but it’s just kind of washed over you, …

Nov 5, 2021: Adventures in Mac Repairs I have a 15-inch MacBook Pro from 2017. It’s in perfect working order, except the battery was past its best. ‘Service recommended,’ …

Oct 30, 2021: Count Zero by William Gibson (Books 2021, 21) The only thing I remembered about this was its opening line, which is nowhere near as memorable as that of its predecessor. It’s also not as …

Oct 24, 2021: No Country for Old Men, 2007 - ★★½ This film is infuriating. It reminded me of Shallow Grave, at least at the start, in this way: if you find a load of money that's obviously come from …

Oct 18, 2021: This is what Hackney Marshes looks like on a Monday morning in October

Oct 16, 2021: Star Ratings Giving star ratings to things I’ve watched, read, etc, is not something I ever did until I started using Letterboxd. It looks like I started logging …

Oct 15, 2021: The Matrix Revolutions, 2003 - ★★★½ If only in the interest of being ready for the new one, it's worth being up to date with this. But actually it's a much better film than I remembered. …

Oct 13, 2021: Neuromancer by William Gibson (Books 2021, 20) I’m on a bit of a reread thing at the moment, partly because I moved some books around recently, which revealed some older ones. This is another …

Sep 28, 2021: Our Last, Best, Hope for TV? You wait years for a beloved three-letter-creator to return to a beloved SF show, and then two happen in one week. After the news of RTD returning to …

Sep 26, 2021: Lanark: A Life in 4 Books by Alasdair Gray (Books 2021, 19) I read this a long time ago, and the strange thing now is that everything I remembered of it happens in the first two books: that is, in Book 3 and …

Sep 25, 2021: The Manchurian Candidate, 1962 - ★★★ This is a strange film. I knew the broad outline, or thought I did. An American gets brainwashed and ‘turned’ by the ‘other side’ during the Cold War, …

Sep 24, 2021: Rusty's Return Well that answers the question I asked in July. At least the bit I described as ‘arguably more important’. Russell T Davies is going to be …

Sep 23, 2021: First Line of Defence? Dave Winer may be a very smart guy, who effectively invented blogging, RSS, and podcasts, but he’s lost his mind in this post: We are now all …

Sep 17, 2021: Dissertation Submitted Just an hour ago I submitted my dissertation for my creative writing MA. This means my course is effectively over. The novel is far from complete, …

Sep 15, 2021: An American Story by Christopher Priest (Books 2021, 18) It was strangely timely that I decided to start reading this a few days before the 9/11 anniversary, since it concerns a man’s obsession with …

Sep 13, 2021: My phone just reminded me that my dissertation is due right now. Which wouldn’t have been a very useful reminder if I had been planning to …

Sep 9, 2021: Book me a front-row seat: The Matrix Resurrections in theaters and on HBO Max December 22 #TheMatrixMovie pic.twitter.com/USY3CKSgXq — The …

Sep 7, 2021: Just found a typo in my diss: ‘Jeff the sandman,’ instead of soundman. Should probably be two words, ‘sound man,’ but anyway, …

Sep 7, 2021: One Week Away My dissertation is due in just under a week. I’m seeking an extension, because I’ve been a bit poorly and have lost a lot of work time …

Sep 1, 2021: Rainbows End by Vernor Vinge (Books 2021, 17) The absence of an apostrophe in the title has disturbed me slightly since I heard of this book. I think I concluded that it was meant as a verbal …

Sep 1, 2021: Today is Irony Day: Wetherspoon’s short on some beers as Brexit affects deliveries. They blame ‘lack of lorry drivers and strike action.’ …

Sep 1, 2021: I sent my CV to a recruiter today, for the first time in a long time. Dissertation due in less than a fortnight, so I have to start thinking about …

Aug 22, 2021: Big Planet by Jack Vance (Books 2021, 16) I actually read this before the previous one, but forget to write about it. Perhaps that’s because I didn’t enjoy it very much. Jack Vance …

Aug 21, 2021: Whit by Iain Banks (Books 2021, 15) The human memory is an amazing thing. In this case, it’s amazing what it’s possible not to remember. To wit: I remembered almost …

Aug 17, 2021: MA Latest I realised the other day that it’s a year ago that I was applying for creative writing MAs, before being accepted on and choosing the one at …

Aug 14, 2021: The Matrix Reloaded, 2003 - ★★★½ Watched on Saturday August 14, 2021. See in Letterboxd

Aug 13, 2021: London Centric: Tales of Future London, Edited by Ian Whates (Books 2021, 14) Great collection of stories set in and around London. Or various Londons, depending on how you look at it. Standouts for me were the opening story, …

Aug 2, 2021: The Exes by Pagan Kennedy (Books 2021, 13) Another one suggested by my supervisor. It’s about a band, and the novel I’m working on involves a couple of bands. And it’s also a …

Jul 30, 2021: #WeStandWithRNLI My parents taught me to always give to the RNLI when they’re collecting, because of how important and dangerous the sea is. …

Jul 29, 2021: Who's Next? Sorry, that’s, like, the most obvious title in known space. Jodie and Chris are leaving Doctor Who after the next series and specials. Late …

Jul 29, 2021: Dragonfly, or Not? In Dragonflies and The Twisties, Austin Kleon writes about dragonflies.1 He links to a Washington Post article from 1989 by Henry Mitchell. It’s …

Jul 27, 2021: Passport to Pimlico, 1949 - ★★★★ I think I probably saw this classic Ealing comedy, or part of it, when I was a kid, but it was good to watch it properly on a rainy Sunday afternoon. …

Jul 23, 2021: Multiple Points Just last month I wrote Single Points, about the Fastly CDN outage. This morning many, many sites were down or inaccessible because of an outage at …

Jul 18, 2021: Diary of a Film by Niven Govinden (Books 2021, 12) A famous film director arrives in ‘the Italian city of B’ to attend a festival and premiere his new film. He meets a woman who shows him a …

Jul 16, 2021: Black Widow, 2021 - ★★★★ I was last in a cinema in February 2020, to see Parasite. Today I went to the same cinema to see Black Widow. It was great and strange and moving to …

Jul 10, 2021: Have sunk into a tennis stupor. It’s likely to stay until tomorrow.

Jul 8, 2021: Summerwater by Sarah Moss (Books 2021, 11) My other dissertation supervisor, Julia Bell, suggested that I read this. It’s a multiple-viewpoint work, which is something I’m doing. …

Jul 8, 2021: There was a remarkable sporting event yesterday. We learned that Roger Federer is human, and ageing.

Jul 7, 2021: Hinton by Mark Blacklock (Books 2021, 10) The author is one of my MA supervisors, so take that under advisement, I guess. This is a historical novel, based on the real life of Charles Howard …

Jul 1, 2021: Hit Me Up in the Comments It’s been a long time coming. When I moved my website to Nikola last year, I said: All the comments on the blog will disappear. They’re not …

Jun 26, 2021: Not So Quiet Just over a year ago I was posting, in passing, about ‘the quiet of early lockdown.’ Actually that particular phrase was a quote, but I …

Jun 24, 2021: Not Killing It We got to the end of The Killing tonight. Don’t read on if you care about spoilers. OK? What a disaster of an ending that was! There are ways to …

Jun 18, 2021: Two Weeks They say the vaccines give maximum resistance ‘two to three weeks’ after the second dose. I hit the two-week mark yesterday, and now …

Jun 16, 2021: Moon Over Soho by Ben Aaronovitch (Books 2021, 9) The second of Aaronovitch’s series about the division of the Metropolitan Police that deals with magical goings-on. It’s a fun romp …

Jun 8, 2021: Single Points I noticed that GitHub was down this morning – or not down, exactly, but its web pages were profoundly broken. I tried different browsers, then …

Jun 7, 2021: Jonathan Richman and the Handwritten Interview Great story about interviewing Jonathan Richman, by writing a letter to him and receiving one back. ‘Jonathan doesn’t use the internet, email …

Jun 5, 2021: Friends: The Reunion, 2021 - ★★★ It was fine. Good to see what they're all like now. Some funny bits. Slightly surprised to find that this is on Letterboxd, because it's not what …

Jun 5, 2021: That Summer Feeling I’m sitting in the garden, writing on my iPad, and am wearing shorts for the first time this year (not counting cycling and exercising). Summer …

Jun 3, 2021: It's Never Good When a Useful Site Gets Bought News comes out that Stack Overflow is being bought by something called Prosus. I’ve never heard of them, but they’re ‘a global …

Jun 3, 2021: Vax 2 Got my second dose of the vaccine today, just about an hour and a half ago. Down to a local pharmacy, fifteen minutes early for my appointment, and …

Jun 2, 2021: Turns out The Killing is a pretty good TV show. Who knew? We’re five episodes in, and I’m wondering how they can make this first season …

May 30, 2021: Can't Get You Out of My Head, 2021 Convention dictates that I should give a star rating to this. I’m not going to, though, because I’m not sure what it was trying to achieve. What I try …

May 25, 2021: Mark E Smith (Co-)Wrote a Screenplay A screenplay by Mark E Smith, cowritten with Graham Duff? Sounds like it could have been great: … Smith was an unexplored writer of strange …

May 24, 2021: BSAG On Creativity The mysterious long-time blogger known only as ‘But She’s A Girl’ has some wise thoughts on how her creative process is affected by …

May 21, 2021: Winter’s Writing David Mitchell (the novelist, not the comedian) on Italo Calvino’s If On A Winter’s Night A Traveller, which is a book I love: I’ve …

May 20, 2021: Sisters with Transistors, 2020 - ★★★★ Great look at some of the women who were the unsung originators of electronic music. Tape loops before Steve Reich, backwards tapes before The …

May 19, 2021: Troubled Blood by Robert Galbraith (Books 2021, 7) I know, JK Rowling is a somewhat troubling figure now. When this book came out, last year, my daughter was adamant that we not buy it, because of …

May 14, 2021: Pastieland and Getting Sick I’ve not posted here for a while. We managed a week-long trip to Cornwall – yes! Leaving home, leaving the city, staying in a rented …

May 10, 2021: Bernard and the Cloth Monkey by Judith Bryan (Books 2021, 6) This is a story of a family – especially two sisters – and things that brought them together and pushed them apart. It varies between …

Apr 30, 2021: Ocean's Eight, 2018 - ★★★½ A fun heist romp with a slightly flat ending. And you don’t need to have seen any of the other ‘Ocean’s’ films to enjoy it. See in Letterboxd

Apr 28, 2021: A Dead Cat in Downing Street This story about Boris Johnson redecorating in Downing Street is too stupid not to be a deliberate distraction. 10 Downing Street, along with 11 and …

Apr 27, 2021: At the Olympic Park Again Cycled down to the Olympic Park today. Took a few photos. I’m writing a story at the moment – a novel, part of which will form the …

Apr 26, 2021: OffMail I just got an invite/reminder email about a service called OnMail. I must have signed up to be notified when it became available. Could have been …

Apr 25, 2021: Emma., 2020 - ★★★ Watched on Saturday March 20, 2021. See in Letterboxd

Apr 24, 2021: This Is England, 2006 - ★★★★ A gritty, realist tale of British skinheads in Thatcher times. We get the good skins — into ska, soul, and having Black friends. And then the bad ones …

Apr 22, 2021: Heartburn by Nora Ephron (Books 2021, 5) When I wrote about watching When Harry Met Sally… last year, I said that ‘Nora Ephron may be my favourite screenwriter after Aaron Sorkin, where …

Apr 21, 2021: Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga, 2020 - ★★★★ A great story about a competition we all grew up with, and then stopped caring about because it was endlessly uncool, and then started taking an …

Apr 16, 2021: North Star I wrote recently about not enjoying or finishing Claire North’s 84K. In her latest blog post she lists her (improbably large) back catalogue, …

Apr 15, 2021: Bookshops are Back Sometimes you don’t even realise what you’ve been missing. Or how much you’ve been missing it. I went to our local bookshop, the …

Apr 13, 2021: Just heard the first ice-cream van of the summer. Well, spring.

Apr 10, 2021: Good Vibrations, 2012 - ★★★★ Great fun story of Terri Hooley, who ran the eponymous record shop and label in Belfast. Great music, and an appearance by John Peel; or at least an …

Apr 9, 2021: Palm Springs, 2020 - ★★★★½ Brilliant time loop film (oh, spoilers, fuck off), let down only slightly by the ending. I’d have rolled credits when it goes black. Not that the …

Apr 7, 2021: ‘New single by Belly': not what you expect to see on your phone in 2021. Thanks, MusicHarbor. However, as I wrote in ‘Colliding …

Apr 5, 2021: We started watching Line of Duty two or three weeks ago, and now we’ve caught up. So we’ll have to watch the rest of series 6 week by …

Mar 30, 2021: How to Write an Autobiographical Novel by Alexander Chee (Books 2021, 4) Despite the title, this is not a writing ‘how-to’ book, except maybe by example. Nor is it a novel itself; it is a collection of essays. …

Mar 29, 2021: Lunch and writing in the garden today, and unlike back in February, it’s not just not cold, it’s almost too hot.

Mar 28, 2021: On Giving Up On a Book This is not, as you might have guessed from the title, about writing. It’s about reading. How long should we give a book by even a beloved …

Mar 27, 2021: Saw a guy in a shop just now and his ‘face covering’ was a bandana. That was me a year ago! Get up to date, jimmy!

Mar 27, 2021: End of Term 2 Here we are at the end of the second term of my masters. In fact, the end of the taught part of the whole thing. Teaching is finished. In the summer …

Mar 23, 2021: Four Adventures of Reinette and Mirabelle, 1987 - ★★★½ Watched on Saturday March 20, 2021. See in Letterboxd

Mar 23, 2021: Alphaville, 1965 - ★★★ Watched on Saturday March 13, 2021. See in Letterboxd

Mar 20, 2021: They Don't Call it 'Fastmail' for Nothing I was opening a ticket with Fastmail (not a problem, just a query), and when I hit ‘Submit,’ the confirmatory email was in my inbox before …

Mar 18, 2021: Astral Zen Phase one complete, for me. I’m not long back from the vaccination centre (a vacant unit at the Westfield shopping centre, slightly weirdly) …

Mar 15, 2021: This Is A Test A test post from the Taio app.

Mar 12, 2021: I'm Thinking of Ending Things, 2020 - ★★½ Charlie Kaufman lets us down, by being deliberately, viscerally confusing, to the point of meaninglessness. Yet I find it quite compelling after the …

Mar 8, 2021: Corona Vu This article was in yesterday’s Independent. I felt like I had travelled back in time to last May: Crucially, the report, which was written by …

Mar 7, 2021: The Mystery of Henri Pick, 2019 - ★★★★ Watched on Sunday March 7, 2021. See in Letterboxd

Mar 6, 2021: Education, 2020 - ★★★½ Watched on Friday March 5, 2021. See in Letterboxd

Mar 5, 2021: Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng (Books 2021, 3) This book is infuriating. At times, and in certain ways, at least. Or not the book, but some of the characters. For example, the parents, especially …

Mar 4, 2021: No Project, Plenty of Fear All through the Brexit debate, and after, people warned that it would cause problems in Northern Ireland. And now here we are: Loyalist paramilitary …

Feb 28, 2021: After the Money's Gone Robin Rendle raises a concern we should all (who write on the web) have: But if my URL is dead, my website dies with it. My work shouldn’t be …

Feb 28, 2021: The Tree, the Mayor and the Mediatheque, 1993 - ★★½ After watching Call My Agent! on Netflix, we wanted to watch some French films, and maybe with some of the actors and/or directors who were in the …

Feb 28, 2021: The Tree, the Mayor and the Mediatheque, 1993 - ★★½ After watching Call My Agent! on Netflix, we wanted to watch some French films, and maybe with some of the actors and/or directors who were in the …

Feb 28, 2021: A Year Passes Like Nothing It’s exactly a year since I last went out to an event.1 I referred to ‘being out on a cold, virus-infested night’ to see Glen …

Feb 27, 2021: Today’s weather report Good morning (just).

Feb 26, 2021: We had our first lunch in the garden of the year, today. I even spent half an hour out there writing, afterwards. In February.

Feb 20, 2021: Pretend It's a City, 2021 - ★★★½ Date is approximate, and anyway we watched the various parts over two or three weeks. Really good, though annoying in places. Fran Lebowitz is great …

Feb 20, 2021: Rocks, 2019 - ★★★★ Great, moving film about a teenaged girl whose mother leaves — it’s never stated why, but most likely because of mental health problems — who tries to …

Feb 18, 2021: I got a reply to the Twitter version of my last post which pointed me to something called the Badger Seal. It’s a DIY attachment you can make …

Feb 18, 2021: These days I double-mask -- as well as using tape

Feb 18, 2021: Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo (Books 2021, 2) It took me quite a long while to read this. I enjoyed it whenever I read a section, and I read it in large chunks at a time; but between times I …

Feb 12, 2021: It’s reading week again already! Or it will be from Monday. Halfway through the second term already. Time flies when you’re writing a lot.

Feb 11, 2021: The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin (Books 2021, 1) It looks as if I haven’t read anything yet this year. That’s far from true, of course, but this is the first book-length work I’ve …

Feb 7, 2021: Red, White and Blue, 2020 - ★★★★ Watched on Saturday February 6, 2021. See in Letterboxd

Jan 31, 2021: Rolling Thunder Revue: A Bob Dylan Story by Martin Scorsese, 2019 - ★★★★½ Brilliant. Not enough full song footage used. See in Letterboxd

Jan 30, 2021: Official Secrets, 2019 - ★★★★ Watched on Saturday January 30, 2021. See in Letterboxd

Jan 28, 2021: It's the Wrong Time of Year for Shorts At least in the northern hemisphere. When I watched the film The Big Short last year, I doubted that it would help people gain real understanding of …

Jan 26, 2021: Lovers Rock, 2020 - ★★★½ Watched on Tuesday January 26, 2021. See in Letterboxd

Jan 26, 2021: Mangrove, 2020 - ★★★★ Watched on Saturday January 16, 2021. See in Letterboxd

Jan 26, 2021: Rebecca, 2020 - ★★★ Date is approximate. See in Letterboxd

Jan 26, 2021: The Personal History of David Copperfield, 2019 - ★★★½ Watched on Saturday January 23, 2021. See in Letterboxd

Jan 22, 2021: Deeply saddened to learn that Mira Furlan, who played Delenn in Babylon 5, has died. Only 65. Over to JMS: It is a night of great sadness, for our …

Jan 22, 2021: Four Years Gone Four years ago, in a piece called ‘Which is Worse?,’ I wrote that: Brexit is worse than Trump, because Trump is only for four years — …

Jan 21, 2021: Dave Winer asks: What’s “neo” about neo-Nazis? Why not just call them Nazis? I’ve asked this question a bunch of times, over …

Jan 20, 2021: And of course, congratulations Kamala. Her swearing-in was historic. Biden’s speech talks of unity, and states that white supremacists will be …

Jan 20, 2021: A new dawn for America. Congratulations, Joe.

Jan 20, 2021: Watching the US presidential inauguration. Somebody sanitises the podium between speakers. Covid times.

Jan 19, 2021: We finished Schitt’s Creek last night. Late to the party, but it was worth the wait.

Jan 11, 2021: We also finished the Christmas cake today. The true end of the season.

Jan 11, 2021: Submitted the first assessed pieces for my two modules today.

Jan 5, 2021: Performing Pages Every month Google, or specifically the ‘Google Search Console Team’ sends me an email showing the ‘Top performing pages’ on …

Jan 4, 2021: A Pasta Mystery I’ve never heard of the pasta shape called bucatini before (though the Mac spellchecker has), but it sounds fabulous, and I want to try it now. …

Jan 3, 2021: I could use such short, tweet-like posts as, effectively, paragraphs on a ‘Today Page,’ as Dave Winer and some other bloggers do.

Jan 3, 2021: I have a sort of mental goal of increasing my post-count this year. Ideally I’d like to hit 365. That doesn’t mean posting every day, …

Jan 1, 2021: Blog Stats 2020 As convention dictates, a summary of 2020’s posts. 173 in total, which is up on 2019’s total of 130. No SQL needed, unlike previous years. …

Jan 1, 2021: And a Happy New Year to all.

Dec 31, 2020: The Monsters We Deserve by Marcus Sedgwick (Books 2020, 30) The first of my Christmas books, so I could count it as next year’s; but since I had finished it by the day after Boxing Day, it definitely …

Dec 31, 2020: Endings Well, this year of infamy is finally lurching towards its end. I don’t think too many of us will be sad to see the back of 2020. With it, …

Dec 31, 2020: Xstabeth by David Keenan (Books 2020, 29) Following on from number 27, then, we have David Keenan’s latest novel. Again we’re in a kind of magic-realist setting, without any …

Dec 29, 2020: Honestly, it’s great: I love the fact that I can stream all the albums in the world for one flat monthly fee. I just wish that so many of them …

Dec 25, 2020: Happy Christmas everyone.

Dec 23, 2020: The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas (Books 2020, 28) Read this for the young adult (YA) section of the Genre module on my course. It’s a powerful story inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement. …

Dec 22, 2020: The soundtrack for today starts with Earthquake Weather. How can Joe Strummer have been dead for eighteen years already? I know, that’s just the …

Dec 17, 2020: Rees-Mogg and the New Depths Just when you think that this Tory government couldn’t possibly sink any lower, Jacob Rees-Mogg, the leader of the Commons, says this: I think …

Dec 11, 2020: The Towers The Fields The Transmitters by David Keenan (Books 2020, 27) Strange one, this. I read Keenan’s This is Memorial Device a couple of years ago, so when I saw a new one by him listed on my local …

Dec 3, 2020: Yesterday I tried removing my taped-on mask slowly, and it was actually much better. So I rescind my advice from the day before about removing it …

Dec 1, 2020: Stop Your Glasses Steaming Up by Sticking the Top of Your Mask to Your Face Using Micropore Tape The problem If, like all sensible people, you wear a mask over your mouth and nose when you go out these days; and if, like me and millions of others, …

Nov 29, 2020: How to Make Sure You See My Posts If you’re reading this, it may not apply to you, but I want to let you know that there are a number of ways to make sure that you see all of my …

Nov 21, 2020: Fear and Loathing: On the Campaign Trail 72 by Hunter S Thompson (Books 2020, 26) I thought it might be interesting, in this year of a US presidential election, to reread this account of a different reelection campaign of a terrible …

Nov 20, 2020: Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel (Books 2020, 25) Read this for my course. It’s very good, unsurprisingly. Historical fiction isn’t usually my thing (Neal Stephenson’s The Baroque …

Nov 18, 2020: Trump may never concede, but this video shows us he’s at least said all the right words, if not necessarily in the right order. He’s FINALLY …

Nov 16, 2020: Binti by Nnedi Okorafor (Books 2020, 24) I wasn’t quite sure about this at first. I know it won awards and all that. It was assigned for the ‘Genre’ module of my Creative …

Nov 8, 2020: Christmas cake cooling on a rack

Nov 8, 2020: The Christmas cake is in the oven. ‘Tis the (start of the) season.

Nov 8, 2020: Masters Update We’re halfway through the first term of my Creative Writing masters course. Those five weeks went fast, but 2020 is The Year When Time Was …

Nov 7, 2020: Lot of fireworks going off in Hackney at the moment. It’s probably just random November parties, but I like to think they’re celebrating …

Nov 7, 2020: When Election Night Went On For Days For the first time in my life (apart from occasional odd minutes in hotels on business trips) I’m watching CNN. It’s 5am on the US east …

Nov 6, 2020: The sky over Hackney, this morning

Nov 5, 2020: Writing About Writing About Typography Robin Rendle writes about writing about typography, but he has lessons for all of us who want to write well. Though I don’t entirely agree with …

Nov 5, 2020: These videos of Americans chanting ‘Stop the count!’ What… why… how…? Trump’s reality distortion field is powerful indeed. (For …

Nov 5, 2020: The Secret Place by Tana French (Books 2020, 23) Crime fiction set in Dublin. In a posh boarding school, specifically, which causes it to have elements of young adult (YA) fiction. We studied it for …

Nov 4, 2020: In Trump’s fake-news world, ‘counting all the votes’ equals ‘stealing the election.’ Out here in the real world …

Nov 3, 2020: Why do the polls close so early in the US? Seems to be 6pm. On the other hand, with all the early voting, I suppose they’ve been open for weeks.

Nov 3, 2020: Good luck today, America. Here’s hoping for a landslide against the guy in office.

Nov 1, 2020: It’s extremely disappointing that yesterday’s UK government announcement of the new lockdown made no mention whatsoever of masks or …

Oct 30, 2020: In the Sky With Diamonds This is stone-cold genius. Making diamonds out of carbon dioxide from the air, solar and wind power, and rainwater: UK millionaire Dale Vince says …

Oct 25, 2020: Wheeling the Reinvention Dave Winer has ideas: ideas for rethinking blogs and feeds. I found, as others have, that I need another kind of document to include in my personal …

Oct 19, 2020: Lava lamp, processed with Prisma

Oct 19, 2020: OK, I’m just watching S3E1 of Star Trek: Discovery, and a character has just said his name is Book. Are we in the Firefly ‘verse?

Oct 19, 2020: Colliding Names A few years ago I wrote about how I was notified about the wrong band called (The) Nails. In that case the names were different, though only by the …

Oct 18, 2020: Covid Track This is one of our local parks. Look at that desire-line track, fading into the distance (click or tap on the picture to see it bigger). A path made …

Oct 12, 2020: Not Discworld, Not Batman Neil Gaiman makes great use of metaphor to criticise BBC America’s The Watch: It’s not Batman if he’s now a news reporter in a yellow …

Oct 6, 2020: When the Going Gets WEIRD In the New York Times Daniel C Dennett reviews a book by Joseph Henrich called The Weirdest People in the World: How the West Became Psychologically …

Oct 5, 2020: Term started today, technically. Coincidentally, 38 years to the day after my first term at Edinburgh started. I don’t have any classes till …

Sep 20, 2020: Orlando by Virginia Woolf (Books 2020, 22) This is a book about history, biography, gender – and writing. It’s presented as a biography of the titular character, who starts as the …

Sep 16, 2020: How I'm Going To Master this Writing Lark Announcing a big life change: I’m going to be starting a masters course in a couple of weeks. An MA in Creative Writing, at Birkbeck, University …

Sep 13, 2020: Ten days between posts? Good lord. What have I been up to? I hope to tell you soon. Watch this space.

Sep 13, 2020: How Johnson’s Lawbreaking Plans Will Harm the UK Here’s a Twitter thread (readable on a single page here) that clearly explains how the prime minister’s plans to break international law …

Sep 12, 2020: Walker, 1987 - ★★★½ I really thought I’d seen this before, but remembered nothing about it. Having watched it now, I doubt that I ever actually did see it, because none …

Sep 3, 2020: If the Prime Minister's a Junkie, the Public Has a Right to Know John Crace, writing his Guardian parliamentary sketch: “If he was a decent man, he would apologise,” Starmer said. But Boris isn’t a decent man, so …

Sep 2, 2020: On Devs Just watched the last episode of Devs. Several friends recommended it after I said “What shall we watch next?" a few weeks ago. The …

Aug 29, 2020: Last night’s pizza: the wee tables in the box were triangular! I’ve never seen the like. Takeaway pizza with triangular support 'tables' …

Aug 28, 2020: This is the least rustic-looking bread I’ve ever baked. Some surprisingly-professional-looking homemade bread

Aug 27, 2020: Another Superb Nightmare Courtesy of Charlie Kaufman? A new Charlie Kaufman film? Hell, yes! The interesting thing about this four-star Guardian review is that the trailer makes it look much more …

Aug 27, 2020: Woolf Banks I’m reading Virginia Woolf’s Orlando at the moment, and enjoying it very much. There’s a bit right at the beginning, gruesomely …

Aug 25, 2020: Arrival, 2016 - ★★★★ (contains spoilers) This review may contain spoilers. This is glorious. I'd give it five stars if it wasn't for the fact that I don't think they had to have Hannah die. …

Aug 24, 2020: My Contributions to Nikola A few months ago I wrote that I had switched the way my blog was handled. Not just the blog, the entire site, of which the blog has always been only a …

Aug 23, 2020: Robin Rendle’s ‘An Astronomical Clunk’ is a great celebration of what the web is, and can be. It’s these moments when the web holds …

Aug 23, 2020: I played Dungeons and Dragons for the first time last night, with the family. My grown-up son plays, and he was our DM. It was more fun than I …

Aug 22, 2020: The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Spark (Books 2020, 21) This short novel feels surprisingly modern. Indeed, maybe it’s modernist. It was written in the fifties, and is set in the thirties. The modern …

Aug 19, 2020: Ad Subtract Amused by Dave Winer’s comment: “can’t stand podcasts with advertising.” I’m far from a lover of advertising, but …

Aug 18, 2020: 2020: An Isolation Odyssey You should watch this. It’s only short. Indeed, only as short as the last section and closing credits of 2001: A Space Odyssey. And do watch the …

Aug 9, 2020: This street sign in Hackney today represents the times we live in. Electronic street sign showing question marks

Aug 8, 2020: Another great quote from that piece about libraries: [L]ibraries are a sweet little drop of socialism in our late-stage crapitalist coffee. Chris …

Aug 8, 2020: Nice: Twitter is where nuance goes to die. http://www.chrisbrecheen.com/2020/08/libraries-vs-pay-authors-wait-what.html

Aug 8, 2020: The Bridge season 4 picked up after the first episode’s shock ending. It led to a good conclusion, though not without some questions, which is …

Aug 7, 2020: The Guardian Might Stop Being a Printed Paper Colin Morrison, writing at ‘Flashes & Flames’: The Guardian, which has arguably become the world’s most sophisticated digital news …

Aug 5, 2020: Phil Schiller is now an Apple Fellow. Given the shape of their headquarters, is he part of the Fellowship of the Ring?

Aug 5, 2020: Watched season 4, episode 1 of The Bridge last night. I’m not sure I like it any more…

Aug 4, 2020: Do people not know breath comes out through the nose as well as the mouth? And then there’s these folk who only breathe through their chins. …

Jul 30, 2020: How I prepare to go out on days like these.

Jul 30, 2020: Still, seems like we’re getting the solar panels up just in time for the hottest day. Or actually, not: watch when the rest of the summer is …

Jul 30, 2020: Damned noisy round here today. At the front we’re getting scaffolding put up, for our solar panels to get installed tomorrow. Out the back …

Jul 21, 2020: People Still Aren't Getting It I got back on the bike today. First time since I came off back in April. Both because I felt the need to add some variety to my exercise regime, and …

Jul 21, 2020: Annabel Scheme and the Adventure of the New Golden Gate by Robin Sloan (Books 2020, 20) My 2020 reading reaches 20, which is pleasing. And with another novella, which is something of a theme. I read Sloan’s Sourdough a couple of …

Jul 17, 2020: Why are so many Johnny Cash compilations being released at the moment? Seems like I’ve seen about six different ones in the last month or two.

Jul 16, 2020: I hope I didn’t fool you with that last title. It had nothing to do with the B-word. That ship has sailed, and the icebergs won’t really …

Jul 16, 2020: HEY, Ho, Let's Not Go This has been sitting around in my drafts folder for about a month, so it’s long past time to get it out there. HEY (they always capitalise it, …

Jul 16, 2020: The Angel of the Crows by Katherine Addison (Books 2020, 19) I read about this in a Tor.com article about the use of Jack the Ripper in fiction. It’s a story set in Victorian times, about two men living …

Jul 13, 2020: The growth of email newsletters over the last few years has been interesting. But they have a major problem, compared to blogs. That is, once …

Jul 11, 2020: Surface Detail by Iain M Banks (Books 2020, 18) The second-last Culture book, and a long-delayed return to Mr Banks. This book is ten years old, and I didn’t write about it in 2010. Not sure …

Jul 10, 2020: The Latest Tory Plan to Attack the NHS This is terrifying: The prime minister has set up a taskforce to devise plans for how ministers can regain much of the direct control over the NHS …

Jul 10, 2020: God, what is this wintry July we’re having?

Jul 7, 2020: On a not-unrelated note to my last, Colin Devroe wrote this last month: All pop-ups on page visit should be blocked. I don’t care if you’re giving me …

Jul 7, 2020: More Options… 👇 Reject All 👇 Save and Exit 👇 That’s how I roll on websites these days. Anyone else?

Jul 6, 2020: We’re currently watching Borgen, or the Danish West Wing, as I like to think of it. It’s really good. Just about to start season 3, and …

Jul 2, 2020: The Adventures of Luther Arkwright and Heart of Empire by Bryan Talbot (Books 2020, 16 & 17) I suppose I could have counted this as four books, since the first part is in three volumes. A reread of a great set of graphic novels about the …

Jul 1, 2020: A Reply From the Masks Petition That’s interesting. I don’t think I’ve had a reply like this from a UK parliament petition before: Dear Martin McCallion, You …

Jun 30, 2020: The Monster (Wear a Mask!) Dr Sayed Tabatabai writes beautifully about the horror of working in an ICU at the moment. Sometimes when people sound quieter and calmer during a …

Jun 27, 2020: The Cold War Never Ended Charlie Savage, Eric Schmitt and Michael Schwirtz, writing in the New York Times: American intelligence officials have concluded that a Russian …

Jun 25, 2020: Tell Them to Tell Us to Wear a Mask The government has already replied to this petition, but it’s still worth signing if, like me, you think people should be wearing masks in …

Jun 24, 2020: This Is How You Lose the Time War by Amal el-Mohtar and Max Gladstone (Books 2020, 15) This has won all the awards, and rightly so. Or not quite all: it’s a finalist for the Hugo novella award. At the time of writing, we …

Jun 16, 2020: Friday by Robert A Heinlein (Books 2020, 14) Friday Baldwin is genetically engineered ‘artificial person.’ Indistinguishable from a conventional human, she nonetheless is …

Jun 16, 2020: You Are Your Thoughts (I Think) Quiet Thoughts Colin Walker links to a post by Julian Summerhayes1 about silence: You see, I’m missing the silence of early lockdown. No, …

Jun 13, 2020: Assignment in Eternity vols 1 & 2 by Robert A Heinlein (Books 2020, 12 & 13) I should probably start a special tag for all this Heinlein rereading I’m doing (I have another one in progress). These books are so short that …

Jun 12, 2020: It’s funny when you hear the DJ on BBC 6Music saying, ‘I borrowed some records from the John Peel Archive’; and then you realise …

Jun 12, 2020: Site Update As you might notice if you look around here, I’ve made some changes to the layout and presentation of the site. Nothing very dramatic, but the …

Jun 8, 2020: The Man Who Sold the Moon by Robert A Heinlein (Books 2020, 11) A set of linked short stories, this, all part of Heinlein’s Future History. In these days of companies launching rockets to the International …

Jun 4, 2020: What Must Be Said I hope I don’t need to say this. But silence is complicity, so: Black Lives Matter. My daughter went to the London demo on Wednesday (note: …

Jun 2, 2020: Listening to the Bikini Kill Peel Session, and it does have Peel’s intros. So good to hear his voice again.

Jun 2, 2020: How Iceland Beat the Coronavirus Great piece in The New Yorker, by Elizabeth Kolbert, about how Iceland handled the coronavirus. Which is by actually being guided by science. The …

Jun 1, 2020: My son is doing university exams in the kitchen. Such is the world we live in now.

Jun 1, 2020: Peel Sessions Warren Ellis draws our attention to this incredible listing of links to Peel Sessions. They’re on YouTube, so there’s always the chance …

May 31, 2020: Beyond This Horizon by Robert A Heinlein (Books 2020, 10) I like these short books you can read in a day. A reread, of course. I read most or all of Heinlein from my early days of reading SF. But I read the …

May 30, 2020: Glasgow Fairytale by Alastair D McIver (Books 2020, 9) This is exactly what its title says. Take all the best-known (in Britain, at least) fairytales, mash them up together, and set them in present-day …

May 29, 2020: Boiling a Frog by Christoper Brookmyre (Books 2020, 8) The last Brookmyre I read was Pandaemonium, in 2010. Before that, his first, Quite Ugly One Morning, before I started writing here. The second of …

May 29, 2020: We Have No Idea How Many of the Deaths Attributed to Covid-19 Really Were Due to the Disease Dr John Lee, writing in The Spectator (paywall, but free access to a few articles), explains what pathologists do, and goes on to say: We are still …

May 27, 2020: Strange seeing this tweet from the London Cycling Campaign: When it's safe to cycle, people cycle. #LockdownCycleFreedom https://t.co/pTrXoBkNjk …

May 26, 2020: Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson (Books 2020, 7) I decided I needed something SF-y that I knew I’d enjoy: a reread, in other words. Something with spaceships. Prowling my shelves, this is what …

May 24, 2020: Lying Sack Nice to see the gentle description of Mary Wakefield in Wikipedia this morning: In case you don’t know, Wakefield is married to Dominic …

May 22, 2020: The Beat(les) Generation is Slipping Away Sad to read in The Guardian that Astrid Kirchherr1 has died. She was 81. That’s not a bad age, and it’s not like I had followed her …

May 19, 2020: Tip: How to Snooze iPhone Alarms Using Hardware Buttons I don’t know whether people know about this iOS feature. I discovered it by accident a year or two back. Before that I used to snooze my alarms …

May 13, 2020: This guy gets it. The start of a 16-tweet thread, and following on from my thoughts the other day. I had to go to the store yesterday. I wear a mask, …

May 13, 2020: Homemade Rolls Not to blow my own trumpet, but I made these rolls today. They are the closest thing I’ve ever had this side of Scotland to the rolls I grew up …

May 12, 2020: This Is No Time to Unlock Boris Johnson’s update to Britain’s – or in fact, only England’s – lockdown conditions has confused people. But even if …

May 10, 2020: To judge by all the the likes I got on Facebook for the last post, as well as the positive comments there and on Twitter, it seems that a lot of …

May 8, 2020: When Harry Met Sally..., 1989 - ★★★★ Somehow I’d gone this long without ever seeing this. I’m glad I put it right now. The dialogue is glorious! Nora Ephron may be my favourite …

May 8, 2020: Why is it that all these “challenges” on Facebook say that you should post the things – movie posters, album covers, artworks …

May 7, 2020: App updates that amuse. Booking.com: “Now you can book taxis…” Thanks, mates. Get back to me when that’s useful again.

May 6, 2020: Returning Blogs Here’s a reason (another reason) why feed readers are great: Tom Coates of PlasticBag.org has written his first post in seven years. …

May 4, 2020: No More... Sad to hear of the death of Dave Greenfield from Covid-19. The Stranglers were not really like other punk bands. But they were the band that got me …

May 3, 2020: Ayoade On Top by Richard Ayoade (Books 2020, 6) This is Richard Ayoade’s detailed analysis of the 2003 film View From the Top, directed by Bruno Barreto and starring Gwyneth Paltrow. It is, by all …

May 1, 2020: Static Leads to Static I’m almost beginning to wish I hadn’t switched my site to static generation. Not really, though. I’m very pleased with the way the …

Apr 25, 2020: Repairability Is Good It’s good when you can repair things. We had a problem with the switch on the kettle the other day, and I was able to open it up, put various …

Apr 23, 2020: Of course (following on from my previous post), I neglected to mention that Little Britain was never very funny. In my humble opinion, of course. Matt …

Apr 23, 2020: Tate and Tennant Killing It I see that, unlike Little Britain, Catherine Tate is still very funny when she brings back old characters for charity. Especially with David …

Apr 19, 2020: Misbehaviour, 2020 - ★★★½ Good wee film about the women who protested at the 1970 Miss World show. Based on what actually happened. Surprising to learn that the phrase “Women’s …

Apr 18, 2020: It strikes me that Richard of York’s battle wasn’t in vain, when I see all these rainbow paintings with the colours in the right order. …

Apr 14, 2020: The Power and the Glory by Graham Greene (Books 2020, 5) I’ve never read Greene before, except for I think one short story, and a chapter or two of his autobiography. This is fascinating. It’s …

Apr 12, 2020: Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, 1988 - ★★★ Well this is a lot funnier than the title would suggest. I think I had always thought it would be kind of bleak, but it’s not at all. There’s …

Apr 11, 2020: Out to the supermarket today, because we were running low on a few things and our next delivery isn’t arriving till Monday. It’s the first …

Apr 10, 2020: Sunset Boulevard, 1950 - ★★★½ Good to watch an old movie for a strange. Great example of starting with the end and telling the whole story in flashback. The voiceover gets a bit …

Apr 9, 2020: The only thing about having put my site into a repo in GitHub, which has to be deployed to my server, is that I need to be able to get to the server …

Apr 9, 2020: If you’re seeing this, then the new static version of my site is successfully running on its new server. Details here.

Apr 9, 2020: Website Changes Abstract/TL;DR I’m changing my site. Everything should go on working, but comments will disappear for a while. Details I’m changing both …

Apr 7, 2020: The Last Bike Ride I came off my bike today. Don’t worry, I’m not hurt, beyond a couple of scrapes. But as I was going down – you know how people say …

Apr 4, 2020: Howl's Moving Castle, 2004 - ★★★★½ I read the book to the kids years ago, but I wasn’t sure whether I’d seen this. Turns out I hadn’t, though I must’ve seen a few scenes, because I was …

Apr 4, 2020: Erin Brockovich, 2000 - ★★★★ I wouldn’t have expected that a film about someone fighting an evil corporation that is poisoning people could be so feelgood. But this achieves it. …

Apr 2, 2020: Wear a Mask! And Celebrate Your Immune System Yesterday’s XKCD “Pathogen Resistance” turns things round and shows the current crisis from the point of view of the virus. It is genius. And even has …

Apr 1, 2020: Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead, by Olga Tokarczuk, Translated by Antonia Lloyd-Jones (Books 2020, 4) I like this quote from near the end: The fact that we don’t know what’s going to happen in the future is a terrible mistake in the programming of the …

Apr 1, 2020: The Big Short, 2015 - ★★½ You might come out of this film with a better understanding of the events that led to the 2008 financial crisis -- or you might not. More likely, I …

Apr 1, 2020: Just been for a bike ride. I think I’ve forgotten how my legs work. Lots of people out, mostly keeping their distance. Down to the Olympic Park. Nice …

Mar 30, 2020: Writing News I wrote a screenplay and submitted it to the BBC Writersroom (which they always present that way, probably to avoid having to decide where to put the …

Mar 30, 2020: Good piece by Margaret Atwood about… what everything’s about, these days. Any child growing up in Canada in the 1940s, at a time before there were …

Mar 27, 2020: I wish I hadn’t shared that video earlier. Seems like much of the advice is not so good. Thirty-three tweets from a food microbiologist starting here, …

Mar 27, 2020: This video on how to deal with your food shopping is good. I’m alarmed to hear that some coronaviruses can live frozen for — two years, I think he …

Mar 24, 2020: Oh, here’s The Guardian talking about the government’s mass text: UK mobile firms asked to alert Britons to heed coronavirus lockdown As I imagined, …

Mar 24, 2020: I just got a text from the government about the new regime. I assume everyone did. I didn’t know they could do that. It just has this link.

Mar 23, 2020: Crazy Rich Asians, 2018 - ★★★½ In considering how rich families try to control who their progeny marry, I found it interesting to see if this mapped on to Pride and Prejudice at …

Mar 19, 2020: Venturing Out: A Status Report from Hackney I had cause to go to Westfield in Stratford the other day. It looked like this at about noon: The Levis shop was open. I was picking up some jeans …

Mar 12, 2020: Bajrangi Bhaijaan, 2015 - ★★★★★ I loved this film more Than I can possibly say. Sure, it’s sentimental as hell, but if you can watch the tale of a mute Pakistani girl who gets lost …

Mar 12, 2020: Booksmart, 2019 - ★★★½ Watched on Friday March 6, 2020. See in Letterboxd

Mar 6, 2020: Some thoughts on using Instapaper, from Dan J: Doubling Down on Instapaper – Dan J’s IndieWeb Headquarters. Quite similar to my own experience (though …

Mar 5, 2020: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality, by Eliezer Yudkowsky (Books 2020, 3) Harry Potter fan fiction, by Merlin’s beard! I heard of this book — HPMOR, as it’s known — from my son, a couple of years ago. Didn’t think about it …

Mar 2, 2020: The Clash On Display Paul Simenon’s Smashed Bass My favourite band have become a museum piece. Or at least, some of their instruments, clothing, lyrics, and memorabilia …

Mar 1, 2020: Glen Matlock Remembers How to Rock, but Nearly Forgets the Songs That Put Him Where He Is Glen Matlock doesn’t seem to have much time for the past, except the past as he sees it. Cover versions of the New York Dolls, or one or other size of …

Feb 28, 2020: It’s filling up a bit. And the DJ’s playing the 101ers, so that’s good.

Feb 28, 2020: At the Red Lion in Leytonstone, where Glen Matlock is playing tonight. It’s… not busy.

Feb 25, 2020: Late Night, 2019 - ★★★ Watched on Thursday February 20, 2020. See in Letterboxd

Feb 23, 2020: Parasite, 2019 - ★★★★½ A richly deserved Oscar winner, despite what the Leader of the Free World might have to say about it. He should start by watching it, obviously. See …

Feb 23, 2020: Fighting with My Family, 2019 - ★★★½ I didn't expect to be watching a film about wrestling, much less one made in association with the WWE. I mean, if had been about the old British …

Feb 15, 2020: The Grand Budapest Hotel, 2014 - ★★★ I note that I gave this three-and-a-half stars when I added it to Letterboxd, some time last year. Watched it again last night, for, I think, the …

Feb 9, 2020: The Cabin in the Woods, 2011 - ★★★★★ (contains spoilers) This review may contain spoilers. I'm surprised to find this is from 2011. I saw it when it came out, but it doesn't feel like eight or nine years …

Feb 9, 2020: Springsteen On Broadway, 2018 - ★★★★ I finished this last night, but actually watched it over the course of several weeks. Not the way I'd normally watch a film, but since it's mainly …

Feb 8, 2020: Jojo Rabbit, 2019 - ★★★½ I liked this a lot more than I expected to. When I saw the trailer (I think back in December, when we saw Knives Out) I was a bit freaked out by it. …

Feb 6, 2020: In General Election 2019: the news media failed profoundly — but not in the way you think, Adam Tinworth buries the “lede.” Probably deliberately, as …

Feb 3, 2020: The Memory Police by Yōko Ogawa (Books 2020, 2) Translated by Stephen Snyder. I asked for this for Christmas, because I saw it reviewed in The Guardian and it sounded interesting. And it is, but I …

Feb 1, 2020: The End of the Dream. The Start of the Resistance Ian Dunt, writing at politics.co.uk: What is happening is a tragedy. A betrayal of Britain’s role in the world. A betrayal of the Europeans who came …

Feb 1, 2020: FotoFebruary, as some on Micro.blog are calling the February Photoblogging Challenge. Day 1 theme: Open. Why not join Micro.blog and take part?

Jan 31, 2020: Thing 2: Horsin’ Around The second of the two good things today is that Netflix now has the last few episodes of Bojack Horseman. It seems my only reference to it here was …

Jan 31, 2020: Thing 1: How Good is the Place? The first positive thing about today that I was talking about earlier is that tonight brings the final episode of The Good Place. As this programme …

Jan 31, 2020: In the Departure Lounge Here we are, then, on the last day of the UK’s membership of the EU. We fought, we lost, and now we’ve got to live with the consequences. Which won’t …

Jan 29, 2020: Irony Failure Among Elite Headteachers “Private schools criticise plans to get more poor students into university“. Of course they do. Sally Weale writes in The Guardian: Leading private …

Jan 28, 2020: Who, Yes! After my highly negative assessment of episode 3 (“the worst episode of Doctor Who ever“), episode 4, “Nikola Tesla’s Night of Terror,” was fine, if …

Jan 28, 2020: Little Women, 2019 - ★★★★ Greta Gerwig’s dual-timeline approach makes this more interesting than a straightforward adaptation would have been. See in Letterboxd

Jan 28, 2020: Brazil, 1985 - ★★★★★ I first saw Terry Gillian’s weird dystopia at its premier, at the Edinburgh Film Festival in 1985. I feel I must have seen it again since, but …

Jan 28, 2020: Deviate. Hesitate. Repeat. 😟

Jan 19, 2020: JetBrains Mono: Equal or Not I just installed the JetBrains Mono font. We programmers need monospaced fonts, and this is a very nice one. It comes installed with recent versions …

Jan 18, 2020: I joined the Fabian Society recently, mainly so I’d get a vote in the Labour leadership election (I’m not rejoining Labour, at least for a while). So …

Jan 17, 2020: I ate the last piece of our Christmas cake today. Christmas is now definitively over. If there was ever any doubt of that.

Jan 17, 2020: Who the What? You probably want to know what I think of the new series of Doctor Who so far. It got off to a really strong start with ‘Spyfall’ part 1. Not least …

Jan 9, 2020: The Housekeeper and the Professor by Yōko Ogawa (Books 2020, 1) This is a sweet little story, exactly described by its title. The professor in question is an elderly mathematician who has had a brain injury that …

Jan 7, 2020: Enjoying Moffat and Gatiss’s Dracula. The end of episode 2 takes a surprising turn.

Jan 4, 2020: I don’t know if online petitions do much good, really, but with Trump trying to drag America into yet another war in the Middle East, the very least …

Jan 1, 2020: 2019 in Bloggery Only 130 posts in 2019. That’s disappointing after 261 and 163 in the previous two years. Month Posts Jan 15 Feb 7 Mar 22 Apr 8 May 10 …

Jan 1, 2020: Hi-Five.

Jan 1, 2020: Live rickrolling on the Hootenany! Happy New Year, everyone.

Dec 27, 2019: Christmas Day by the Lea (or Lee) It’s our family custom on Christmas Day to go for a walk down by the River Lea (usually shown on maps with the addition “or Lee”, as both spellings …

Dec 27, 2019: Transition by Iain Banks (Books 2019, 25) This post was written in the new year, but the book was read in the old, and accordingly backdated. This is a strong as it was ten years ago when I …

Dec 27, 2019: Eyes Full of Tinsel and Fire Christmas is the time of year when the devil doesn’t have all the best tunes. The other side gets some of them too. I love Christmas songs. Not all of …

Dec 27, 2019: The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: The Tempest by Alan Moore and Kevin O’Neill (Books 2019, 24) The final volume of Moore’s League stories, and, he says, his final work in the comics medium. If so, it’s not a bad closer. It occurs to me that a …

Dec 23, 2019: Jolyon Maugham QC and the Good Law Project are petitioning Johnson to ask the EU to allow us to have associate EU citizenship, as part of the exit …

Dec 21, 2019: Calling From London Forgetting for a minute the slightly-disappointing conclusion of a 42-year-old story that we spoke about the other day, this month gives us the 40th …

Dec 19, 2019: Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, 2019 - ★★★½ Well, 42 years after seeing the first part of this story (if fourth episode, though it wasn't called that then), we finally get its end. I thoroughly …

Dec 19, 2019: At the cinema. The Rise of Skywalker will start any minute.

Dec 17, 2019: The Steep Approach to Garbadale, by Iain Banks (Books 2019, 23) One interesting thing about this book that I don’t recall noticing when I read it twelve years ago is that the story itself is the titular approach. …

Dec 16, 2019: From The Guardian‘s piece on what we learned in the election about the media: One Labour MP who nearly lost their Brexit-backing seat told the …

Dec 15, 2019: Knives Out, 2019 - ★★★½ Watched on Sunday December 15, 2019. See in Letterboxd

Dec 15, 2019: OA Going Away I just discovered via a conversation on Micro.blog, that Netflix have cancelled The OA. This is very disappointing. The OA was an incredible, …

Dec 13, 2019: Broken Glass I’ve been feeling kind of sorry for Jo Swinson today. Also for myself, and the whole country, especially underprivileged people, people with …

Dec 13, 2019: It’s 4 in the morning and Gove is telling lies on the telly. This has become masochism — actually it did several hours ago — I’ll just listen to wee …

Dec 13, 2019: Jeez, Jo Swinson loses by 149, in my old stomping grounds. Actually I think the constituency was West Dunbartonshire wherein I grew up, but close …

Dec 13, 2019: I think Corbyn’s stepping down (as he should) — or maybe it’s only at the next General Election? Strange phrasing.

Dec 13, 2019: Ed Miliband’s still around? And he just scraped back into his seat.

Dec 13, 2019: The Politics We Deserve? Well tonight is a fucking disaster. Even if the reality is lower than the exit poll, it looks like it’s going to be a landslide for the Tories. We’ll …

Dec 12, 2019: It’s not too late to vote, folks. Half an hour to get down to your polling station, get the Tories out, and stop Brexit.

Dec 10, 2019: Fear and Loathing All Over the Land The time is almost upon us, and I have The Fear. Or at least, I understand The Fear. I understand the fear of Brexit; of giving the Tories control, …

Dec 8, 2019: Interstellar, 2014 - ★★★★½ I watched this again last night, and it’s really an outstanding film. There are some places where the gravity and/or relativity choices don’t quite …

Dec 7, 2019: Have reached Watchmen episode 6. Getting strong Babylon 5 vibes.

Dec 7, 2019: You Gev It Away I got Whammed1 in the bakery this afternoon. Walked in, took my earphones out, and, Wham! there it was. George Michael geving his heart to someone. …

Dec 4, 2019: Watchmen on TV I succumbed. As I suggested I might. It felt a little grubby, going to the NowTV site and setting up an account. As you know, Sky TV and I have a …

Dec 2, 2019: The Favourite, 2018 - ★★★ What were they doing with the justified text in the captions and even credits? Made it barely readable. See in Letterboxd

Nov 28, 2019: Why is it two different temperatures at the same time in London?

Nov 26, 2019: Labour and Antisemitism I don’t doubt that many Jewish people are put off voting Labour because of the antisemitic actions of some of its members, and the leadership’s …

Nov 23, 2019: The Book of Dust vol 2: The Secret Commonwealth by Philip Pullman (Books 2019, 22) You shouldn’t read this book. Yet. I broke a personal rule, that goes back to 1982: Never start reading a fantasy series if the final volume hasn’t …

Nov 20, 2019: Election Debates: Maybe Better Left I watched the election debate between Corbyn and Johnson on ITV. It was unedifying, and not very revealing. Corbyn was, predictably, calmer, more …

Nov 19, 2019: Kieron's Comic, Brontë's Book One of the comics I read is Kieron Gillen’s1 Die, which is about a group of people who get sucked into a fantasy world. The world is based on a …

Nov 17, 2019: His Dark Materials on TV Minor spoilers ahead. I am loving what they’re doing with HDM1 in the BBC/HBO adaptation. It has just enough variation from the books to keep it …

Nov 16, 2019: I, Daniel Blake, 2016 - ★★★★★ Watched on Saturday November 16, 2019. See in Letterboxd

Nov 14, 2019: Watchmen by Alan Moore & Dave Gibbons (Books 2019, 21) I like to reread this from time to time, and right now I’m considering watching the TV version that’s currently on. It’s HBO, which means Sky over …

Nov 11, 2019: Northern Lights, The Subtle Knife and The Amber Spyglass by Philip Pullman (Books 2019, 18, 19 & 20) His Dark Materials, as I said. Holy hell, this trilogy is good! I think I’d forgotten just how good it is. In the first book we meet Lyra, a wild …

Nov 10, 2019: 8 Women, 2002 - ★★★ Watched on Sunday November 10, 2019. See in Letterboxd

Nov 5, 2019: Corbyn is saying that Johnson is trying to “hijack” Brexit and turn it into a right-wing project — “Thatcherism on steroids”. That’s not hijacking; …

Oct 30, 2019: Election Blues I don’t fully understand the rationale of the Lib Dems and SNP pushing for an election at this point. No-deal is still firmly on the table, it seems …

Oct 27, 2019: On Pausing Stories Almost exactly a year ago I started reading a novel, then put it on hold. This year I’ve done the same, for different reasons. I started The Long Way …

Oct 26, 2019: For Sama, 2019 - ★★★★★ Watched on Saturday October 26, 2019. See in Letterboxd

Oct 23, 2019: Hannah Green and Her Unfeasibly Mundane Existence by Michael Marshall Smith (Books 2019, 17) No, it’s me, not London Below: this has also faded quickly from my mind, despite the fact that I love MMS, and I really enjoyed this as I read it. …

Oct 23, 2019: Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman (Books 2019, 16) While I was reading this I thought it was probably my favourite of Gaiman’s prose works. And I thoroughly enjoyed it. But just a couple of weeks …

Oct 15, 2019: More on Tarantino Following on from my musings of a few weeks ago, regarding Tarantino’s introducing a slight degree of counterfactuality into a fictionalised version …

Oct 12, 2019: Otherhood, 2019 - ★★★½ Watched on Sunday October 13, 2019. See in Letterboxd

Oct 12, 2019: Inglourious Basterds, 2009 - ★★★★ Watched on Saturday October 12, 2019. See in Letterboxd

Oct 6, 2019: The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood (Books 2019, 15) It’s to my shame that I hadn’t read this classic of modern literature before now. And it turns out, now that I have, that it’s really good. Surprise, …

Oct 2, 2019: Where, and in what direction, am I meant to slide? Because I can’t get past this screen in the iPhone camera app “Manual.”

Sep 28, 2019: Downton Abbey, 2019 - ★★★★ Watched on Saturday September 28, 2019. See in Letterboxd

Sep 26, 2019: Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, 2004 - ★★★½ Watched on Thursday September 26, 2019. See in Letterboxd

Sep 25, 2019: The Seventh Function of Language, by Laurent Binet, Translated by Sam Taylor (Books 2019, 14) I need to start making notes about where I hear about books. This hasn’t been on my Kindle for long, but I have no idea what prompted me to buy it. …

Sep 25, 2019: Tempted to register one of the many available domains using “chuntering from a sedentary position.” It would be a John Bercow fan site, of course.

Sep 20, 2019: Isle of Dogs, 2018 - ★★★★ Watched on Friday September 20, 2019. See in Letterboxd

Sep 12, 2019: Do you ever listen to the start of Blonde On Blonde and want to know more about the Rainy Day Women numbers 0 to 11, 13 to 34, and maybe even 36 and …

Sep 11, 2019: The End of Newspaper Delivery We’ve been getting The Guardian delivered on Saturdays for several years. Not any other days, because who has time to read paper newspapers except at …

Sep 10, 2019: Jason & Dan If you saw my post the other day complaining about typography, you might have been confused. I went to see Jason & The Scorchers last Friday. They …

Sep 7, 2019: Tarantino Thoughts Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon A Time In Hollywood is kind of a love story, kind of a biopic, and kind of a history. Note that this post contains …

Sep 6, 2019: Dan Baird & Crimes Against Typography.

Sep 4, 2019: I’ve been in Parliament Square more times in the last few months than previously in my life. Back again tonight.

Sep 3, 2019: Iain Blackford speaking well as usual, but he could bring it to a close now. Leave them wanting more, and all that.

Sep 3, 2019: The BBC Parliament channel’s sound is disturbingly out of sync at the moment. And at such a critical time.

Sep 1, 2019: Autumn approaching in South London.

Aug 24, 2019:

Aug 21, 2019: The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson (Books 2019, 13) A genuinely chilling, even scary, ghost story, is not something you read that often. Or I don’t, these days, at least. Combine that with compelling …

Aug 17, 2019: Darn, last post slightly too long for Twitter, and I forgot to tag it. #RevokeA50, as if it needed to be said. Petition here: …

Aug 17, 2019: I see our old friend the Revoke Article 50 and remain in the EU petition now has over 6.1 million signatures. Parliament has already debated it in a …

Aug 11, 2019: The 392 by Ashley Hickson-Lovence (Books 2019, 12) The 392, with a flat peach We went to WOMAD a couple of weekends ago, and in the literary tent we caught the end of a reading from, and an interview …

Jul 30, 2019: What Was Lost by Catherine O’Flynn (Books 2019, 11) A Kindle showing Catherine O’Flynn’s What Was Lost next to an origami bird This was recommended to me by an Open University tutor when I was doing …

Jul 21, 2019: Milkman by Anna Burns (Books 2019, 10) Anna Burns’s Milkman alongside a lemon This is not mainly a book about The Troubles; nor about religion or politics, though it is about all of those. …

Jul 19, 2019: I’m musing on whether or not to keep the holiday beard. Two weeks in Greece almost over. Home tomorrow.

Jul 15, 2019: Rosewater by Tade Thompson (Books 2019, 9) Nigeria, 2066 (and various years before that). Our hero, Kaaro, is a sensitive. An alien entity sits in a dome at the heart of the city of Rosewater, …

Jul 14, 2019: Touch by Claire North (Books 2019, 8) I enjoyed North's previous novel , with some reservations. This one was similar. I read it in a day — it's quite the page-turner — and it has a …

Jul 10, 2019: In Dreams: A Unified Interpretation of Twin Peaks & Other Selected Works of David Lynch, by H Perry Horton (Books 2019, 7) This is an incredible piece of work, about an incredible body of work. I don’t recall how I heard about it. I think I saw a tweet, or something, …

Jun 25, 2019: Sometimes you just put on Combat Rock, and you are reminded of how awesome it is.

Jun 22, 2019: Rational? Twitter, Micro.blog and Social Engagement I had vaguely seen references to “ratios,” and was aware it was something to do with engagement on Twitter and elsewhere. But I hadn’t understood what …

Jun 15, 2019: You should be watching Russel T Davies’s Years and Years. This thread nails it: It’s scary because life is scary sometimes. People are brilliant, …

Jun 9, 2019: I don’t know when I last sat down to watch a Scotland-England football match. Indeed, I don’t know when there last was a Scotland-England match. It …

May 27, 2019: So it’s quite clear: UKIP/Brexit Party on much the same as five years ago. Many switching from Tories and Labour to Lib Dems and Greens. Change UK …

May 27, 2019: Based on the stats they just put up on the BBC, the pro- and anti-Brexit groupings have 35% of the vote each. That’s not counting Labour or the …

May 26, 2019: If the Brexit Party are “up 3″ seats, and UKIP down 3 seats: that’s no change, in reality. #EuropeElects

May 26, 2019: Hey broadcasters: add up the remain totals and compare that with the Brexit party’s numbers. #EuropeElects

May 23, 2019: Europe Elects I hope you’ve been watching Russel T Davies’s new series, Years and Years. It’s really good. But he’s showing British politics going to some dark, …

May 21, 2019: Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman (Books 2019, 6) A re-read of Pratchett & Gaiman’s comedy-horror masterpiece, prior to the forthcoming TV series. I remembered little, and/but enjoyed it …

May 20, 2019: Planetary by Warren Ellis and John Cassady (Books 2019, 5) You’ve probably wondered what’s happened to my reading lately. Truth is, I have several things on the go, some or all of which I’ll finish eventually. …

May 19, 2019: Five years ago I tweeted this: Five fucking years. Back when the F-word national disgrace was just a bad joke. Note that I’m deliberately avoiding …

May 15, 2019: Two Wheels Good Back when the internet was young — or at least the commercial, available-at-home internet — I sent an email with the subject line, “Bicycle on the …

May 8, 2019: New Job Obtained Yesterday I started my new job. It all came about very quickly in the end: it’s not even a month since I finished at SAHSU. And I didn’t really start …

Apr 30, 2019: People in the UK should watch out for dodgy emails pretending to be from “TV Licensing”. I got one from an email of support@servereurcom.com, telling …

Apr 20, 2019: Words Matter. Phrasing Matters On the BBC Radio 3 news this morning: As part of the Brexit extension process, Britain is obliged to take part in the EU elections. Instead of …

Apr 12, 2019: Job Changing I started at SAHSU in Imperial College London in March of last year. I finished there today. Well, yesterday: today was my last day of employment, but …

Apr 10, 2019: Not to make a political point from today’s black-hole news — I would never do a thing like that — but isn’t it great what humans can accomplish when …

Apr 10, 2019: Congratulations to the Event Horizon Telescope team. The first ever picture of a black hole. In this case, the supermassive one at the centre of the …

Apr 7, 2019: Parrots! In Hackney! There were four parrots in the tree across the road. You can see three of them here. Not great photo quality, unfortunately. My daughter tells me …

Apr 5, 2019: I hope everyone’s not petitioned out, because we need this: To establish a Public Inquiry into the conduct of the 2016 EU Referendum. There will be a …

Apr 3, 2019: EU Citizens It’s sad when even pro-European organisations get things wrong about us. Last week I signed up for, and tweeted about, a programme designed to …

Mar 27, 2019: Marina's on Fire Again Marina Hyde may have written her greatest line (so far): the Commons decision to take the prime minister into special measures The whole piece is, …

Mar 27, 2019: Aw man. Ranking Roger has died. Only 56: too young.

Mar 25, 2019: New passport arrived. The proper, dignified burgundy colour. That’s me set as an EU citizen till 2029. That’s how it works, right?

Mar 25, 2019: The European Parliament’s outreach team (or “institutional, non-partisan communication action”) is encouraging us to sign up at This Time I’m Voting. …

Mar 25, 2019: Ah, Carrot. You make checking the weather a joy.

Mar 23, 2019: I’m approximating the colours of the flag today. And my tiny banner is ready to go. Off into town for the #PeopleVoteMarch. (Error loading gallery)

Mar 22, 2019: The petition has crossed the three million mark. Rafael Behr has a great piece in The Guardian about May being finished. It even has a Hamilton …

Mar 21, 2019: About to head out to the school for our last ever parents’ evening.

Mar 21, 2019: And it’s over a million.

Mar 21, 2019: Parliamentary petitions, including “Revoke Article 50 and remain in the EU,” have a “Show on a map” feature. I note without comment that the …

Mar 21, 2019: As the big “Revoke Article 50″ petition approaches 600,000 signatures: Petitions is down for maintenance We know about it and we’re working on it. …

Mar 20, 2019: Good thread from Mitch Benn (@MitchBenn) here, setting out how the conversation around Europe could improve if Brexit is stopped. Just six tweets. Go …

Mar 20, 2019: OK/Cancel The other day I was explaining to my daughter why I thought a second referendum would be right and democratic. I reached for an analogy, and came up …

Mar 17, 2019: Off to the cinema and apparently back to the nineties tonight.

Mar 16, 2019: I love Star Trek: Discovery, but the latest episode, ‘Project Daedalus,’ was infuriating, because they didn’t use an obvious and well-established …

Mar 16, 2019: Partners Equal Civil Partnerships badge We went to Parliament Square this morning for the passing into law of Equal Civil Partnerships (the Civil Partnerships, …

Mar 13, 2019: What's Next for Brexit? Parliament has again voted against May’s deal — the only one on offer. If, as is highly likely, they vote tomorrow against leaving the EU without a …

Mar 12, 2019: Finally, some good might come of the Brexit fiasco: From a senior Tory: “Feels like the last rites of the Tory party”. Slightly overstating perhaps. …

Mar 8, 2019: Carrot Weather on the zeitgeist again.

Mar 1, 2019: The Beats: a Very Short Introduction (Books 2019, 4) The Beats VSI alongside a heart-shaped pottery gift Since I announced back in October that I’m writing a novel called Delta Blues: Beat Poet of the …

Mar 1, 2019: I hadn’t even seen this story about Morrissey and his politics and collaborators when I made my last post. But I’m baffled by this quote: …

Mar 1, 2019: “’80s Indie Essentials,” from Apple Music. Really good, and has several things I didn’t know, as well as much I did. Perhaps too much Smiths, …

Feb 25, 2019: England's Dreaming: Sex Pistols and Punk Rock, by Jon Savage (Books 2019, 3) England’s Dreaming alongside a shaving brush I didn’t start reading this just because I read a book about The Clash recently. In fact I started it …

Feb 14, 2019: Chile Trip, Part 3: Valparaíso, City of Colour This port city is a bit rougher than Santiago, but its artwork is more established and more substantial. This is where we stayed, and the view from …

Feb 13, 2019: “Tables in Numbers can’t support more than 65,535 rows.” What nonsense is this, Apple?

Feb 10, 2019: The Honest Graffitologist Nothig to say.

Feb 8, 2019: Brexiters think the BBC is anti-brexit. Remainers think the BBC is pro-Brexit. Does that mean it’s really getting it right and keeping balanced? …

Feb 3, 2019: Unhelpful Thoughts On Brexit You could spend a lot of time wondering what makes Theresa May tick. She says she supported remain and voted to stay in the European Union. So her …

Feb 1, 2019: We Are The Clash by Mark Andersen and Ralph Heibutzki (Books 2019, 2) We Are The Clash with the Cut the Crap CD This is the book that I mentioned before Christmas. The subtitle is “Reagan, Thatcher, and the Last Stand of …

Jan 30, 2019: The Compulsive Pursuit of a Product That Does Us Only Harm Rafel Behr analyses our national condition: It looks like British social awkwardness elevated to the scale of a constitutional meltdown. It is the …

Jan 29, 2019: Bragging Went to see Billy Bragg in Islington on Friday. A benefit for Hope Not Hate, the anti-fascist organisation, it was the most mainly-political gig I’ve …

Jan 25, 2019: Off to see Sir Billiam of Bragg at Islington Assembly Hall. Hoping for A Great Leap Forwards.

Jan 23, 2019: Nick Cave on AI and Songwriting If we have limitless potential then what is there to transcend? Mr Cave’s latest newsletter muses on the potential songwriting abilities of AIs.

Jan 23, 2019: “Why’s it taking so long? We should just leave!” | The Reinvigorated Programmer Good analogy: Suppose your family lives in a flat that’s rented from a housing association. And you have come to feel (rightly or wrongly) that it’s …

Jan 15, 2019: Motion of no confidence! Yay!

Jan 15, 2019: Flights by Olga Tokarczuk (Books 2019, 1) The novel Flights with some elephants I’m pleased to have finished the first book of the year — and the first of my Christmas books — already. It’s a …

Jan 7, 2019: We’ve taken down the decorations, but we can’t put the Santas way until the cake is finished.

Jan 5, 2019: Look at the picture at the bottom of this article. Trump seems to have started creating an army of cloned bald-headed men to build the wall for him! …

Jan 4, 2019: When I was writing that last post I was confused because I couldn’t copy text from the article I was linking to. Clicking and moving my mouse across …

Jan 4, 2019: Italian Coffee is the Best This post on someone who’s trying to bring Starbucks-style coffee shops to Italy is kind of annoying. Not least for the closing quote: “It’s not that …

Jan 3, 2019: Bing Me the Head of the Marketing Team I keep seeing these posters around town saying, “I’m a binger.” And I think, “What’s that, is it someone who uses Microsoft’s search engine? One who …

Jan 3, 2019: “I’ll try for something closer to daily in 2019,” he says, and then misses day 2. Oh well.

Jan 1, 2019: Who's Who? Right, let’s get 2019 off to a start by talking about my favourite TV programme. I haven’t said anything about the recent season of Doctor Who here …

Jan 1, 2019: Happy New Year, everyone. It could be a rough one, so look out for each other.

Dec 31, 2018: Blogging the Bitface, 2018 Style Like last year, I present the figures for my blogging in 2018. 163 posts in total, counting this one, broken up as follows. Month Posts Jan 20 …

Dec 31, 2018: Creative Selection by Ken Kocienda (Books 2018, 31) Hey, I made it to 31, by reading the last chapter of this on the last day of the year. This book, subtitled “Inside Apple’s Design Process During the …

Dec 29, 2018: Stormwatch by Warren Ellis, Tom Raney and Bryan Hitch (Books 2018, 30) I don’t always include all comic-type things here. No particular reason why, except maybe that they sometimes feel too short and not substantial …

Dec 29, 2018: The Drifters by James A Michener (Books 2018, 29) I think I’ve read this more times than any other book except Illuminatus!, and maybe The Lord of the Rings. Which may be only three or four times. A …

Dec 22, 2018: I’m In A Book About The Clash Joe Strummer died 16 years ago today. The Joe Strummer Foundation has a good memorial piece. But for me it’s amusing or ironic or something, that it …

Dec 22, 2018: I knew going In to the West End on the Saturday before Christmas was crazy. But first I couldn’t get on to the Piccadilly Line platform. And then, …

Dec 20, 2018: Today I learned that Nick Cave has a newsletter. I insta-subscribed, obviously, as you can do, and read the archive.

Dec 12, 2018: When did Windows get a case-sensitive filesystem?

Dec 11, 2018: Atmosphere Hackney, this evening.

Dec 10, 2018: EU Figures Rule Out Concessions as May Postpones Brexit Vote Honestly, she has no idea what she’s doing. Plus, she seems to be acting alone. We don’t have a presidential system here. The Prime Minister is not …

Dec 10, 2018: This is more contempt of parliament. It’s bullshit. Delaying the vote is just a ploy to leave less time to organise a second referendum. May is …

Dec 1, 2018: Na? No I expect you’re all wondering what happened with my NaNoWriMo attempt this year. Sadly, after last year’s success, this year I failed. As you’ll have …

Nov 26, 2018: All the congratulations to NASA for another successful landing on Mars. Good to know humanity can still do great things.

Nov 26, 2018: Did I hear right on https://www.nasa.gov/nasalive? The principal scientist for Mars Insight is Bruce Banner? Hope he stays clear of gamma rays. And …

Nov 26, 2018: Installing Ubuntu on Windows 10 on a VM on a Mac. Because why not?

Nov 26, 2018: Rude and Rough I watched Rude Boy for the first time in many years. It is, in case you don’t know, a film from 1980 about and featuring The Clash. It’s kind of a …

Nov 19, 2018: I just read the phrase “staying under the rule of Brussels” in a foolish article. Instead it should read, “Continuing to contribute to the rule of …

Nov 16, 2018: Leaves. (Despite that word, nothing to do with Brexit, for a change.)

Nov 15, 2018: My resignation from Labour has had a bigger impact than I expected: In an email to Labour Party members this evening, Jeremy Corbyn confirmed that …

Nov 15, 2018: Our Prime Minister is either lying or deranged. From The Guardian’s live updates: Labour’s Phil Wilson asks May if she can say, “hand on heart”, that …

Nov 12, 2018: Stan Lee: Marvel Comics co-creator dies aged 95 – BBC News He had a good run, I guess, and created some amazing things. I hope they’ve filmed his …

Nov 11, 2018: Putting My Money Where My Mouth Is I realised after yesterday’s post about Corbyn and Brexit that I’ve said similar things before. So today I’ve put talk into action. I’ve cancelled my …

Nov 10, 2018: Some Labour MPs are thinking along similar lines to me. Wes Streeting: “Labour cannot sit by and allow the choice to be between the economic ruin of …

Nov 10, 2018: Ex-Corbyn Fan You know what? I’m done with Jeremy Corbyn. This interview in Der Spiegel, in which he says “Brexit can’t be stopped,” is the clincher. As always, …

Oct 31, 2018: It’s nearly time… After my success last year, I’m doing NaNoWriMo again this year. I’ve been planning for the last few weeks, and as midnight …

Oct 26, 2018: Only Forward by Michael Marshall Smith (Books 2018, 28) I think I’ve read this twice before, but as ever, my memories of it are not strong enough to support that thought. Doesn’t really matter. I read it …

Oct 22, 2018: March in October Numbers After the Trump thing earlier in the year, another walk through London on Saturday just past. This time with over half a million people — …

Oct 14, 2018: Chile Trip, Part 2: Santiago, Street Art, and More As you’ll recall if you’ve been paying attention, I started what appeared to be a series of posts on our trip to Chile. But then stopped. Well, not …

Oct 10, 2018: Promethea by Alan Moore, JH Williams III, Mick Gray & Todd Klein (Books 2018, 27) This is five volumes of graphic novel that I read over a period of about a month or so, and — OK, you know how we all thought that Watchmen is Moore’s …

Oct 9, 2018: Musical Malady This morning I saw a poster for Heathers: The Musical. Err, What? I rewatched Heathers fairly recently and I thought, this could never get made today. …

Oct 7, 2018: Oh, yes, that will most certainly do. A very strong start for both Chris Chibnall and Jodie Whittaker. And, indeed the whole team. And a cliffhanger …

Oct 7, 2018: The nation hods its breath: five minutes till the new series of Doctor Who starts.

Oct 5, 2018: Preparing for Sunday.

Oct 5, 2018: I just almost died laughing watching a horse puke cotton candy.

Oct 5, 2018: Got an email that told me Clearwater Creedence Revival are playing in London in January. I thought, “What?!!?” Then I noticed that the first two words …

Oct 4, 2018: Lethal White by Robert Galbraith (Books 2018, 26) JK Rowling does it again: Robin and Strike are back, and the pages turn like lighting, as I’ve said before. Too fast, really. A week or so after …

Oct 2, 2018: Mrs Dalloway by Virginia Woolf (Books 2018, 25) I didn’t really know what to expect with this. I knew it was about, or set around, a party — in part because I’ve seen The Hours. But it’s about so …

Sep 19, 2018: Well that’s me told. Arrr.

Sep 18, 2018: Hamilton was every bit as amazing and wonderful as I had hoped. A fantastic piece of work. I didn’t listen to the soundtrack first, in the end, and …

Sep 17, 2018: Tonight! Hamilton! Just waiting for the family and friends to arrive.

Sep 11, 2018: A week till we see Hamilton. Should I listen to the soundtrack first, or not? I don’t want to spoil the show, but often gigs are better if you know …

Sep 10, 2018: The Indieweb, the open web, and now: the “decentralised web, or DWeb.” We used to just call it the web. Little has changed except for the fact that …

Sep 8, 2018: This Is Memorial Device by David Keenan (Books 2018, 24) I don’t know where I learned about this. It’s been sitting on my Kindle for a while. I have a feeling that a friend recommended it on Facebook. It’s …

Sep 5, 2018: Serial‘s Season 3 trailer just dropped. Jumped to the top of my podcast queue… dated 1st July? Today, for the record, is the 5th of September. …

Sep 2, 2018: “iCloud photo sharing limit reached”? What is this madness?

Sep 2, 2018: I’m not at all sure about this new “Gutenberg” editor they’re adding to WordPress. I’ve installed the plugin version to try it out. Gutenberg is a …

Sep 1, 2018: Chile Trip Part 1: There and Back We’re not long back from a family holiday to Chile. I plan to write several posts about it. I’m going to take a thematic approach, rather than a …

Aug 30, 2018: Three weeks on holiday puts you super far behind on podcast listening, doesn’t it?

Aug 19, 2018: Piano steps, Calle Beethoven, Valparaíso.

Aug 16, 2018: Gilded Cage, Tarnished City, and Bright Ruin by Vic James (Books 2018, 21, 22, 23) Also known as the Dark Gifts trilogy. I bought the first while at the recent BSFA meeting where Vic James and Lucy Hounsom, another fantasy author, …

Aug 16, 2018: Same Desert, Same Day Two places we visited in the Atacama Desert, yesterday. [aesop_gallery id="4950" revealfx="off" overlay_revealfx="off"] This seems to be my personal …

Aug 13, 2018: Dreams Before the Start of Time, by Anne Charnock (Books 2018, 20) I posted about Anne Charnock’s Clarke win a few weeks back, and I’m pleased for her. But when I was about a third through this, I had a dawning …

Aug 12, 2018: The Algebraist, by Iain M Banks (Books 2018, 19) Funny what you remember. Almost all I could recall about this one was the monstrous figure of the Archimandrite Luseferous: a hellish tyrant of the …

Aug 1, 2018: Walking on Glass by Iain Banks (Books 2018, 18) A novel of three parts. Two of them are — probably — tightly linked. By some interpretations, anyway. The third — which is the first as presented — …

Jul 27, 2018: This storm feels like it’s been building for weeks. Finally to break just as I’m trying to get to the theatre.

Jul 20, 2018: The Great Banksie Reread As you’ll have noticed, I have mainly been reading books by Iain Banks lately. This is all part of something I’ve been thinking of as “The Great …

Jul 19, 2018: Radically Interoperable and Universal In In Praise of Email Dan Cohen writes of how email got things right, long before some of our other ways of interacting online came along and got so …

Jul 19, 2018: REPL Reply Hjertnes talks about the joy of a REPL: A REPL or read eval print loop is what we called an interactive prompt back in the day when I learnt Python …

Jul 18, 2018: Dreams Before the Start of Time by Anne Charnock wins the 2018 Arthur C Clarke Award.

Jul 17, 2018: The Wasp Factory by Iain Banks (Books 2018, 17) Back where it all began, then: Banksie’s debut. It’s a bit dated, of course. Do you remember pay phones having pips? And “I must convince dad to get a …

Jul 15, 2018: Trumping Through London On Friday I went for a walk through central London with a couple of hundred thousand of my closest friends. The march was due to start at 2pm from …

Jul 9, 2018: Expecting leadership challenge, vote of no confidence… we could have a general election within weeks. Hope it’s not while I’m away on holiday.

Jul 9, 2018: Feels like the major influence on British politics this century — if not in my whole lifetime — has been the Tory party feuding over the EU. If the …

Jul 7, 2018: I feel strangely drawn to the idea of watching the World Cup today. It’s particularly odd, since there’s tennis on. I visited Sweden once, so that …

Jul 4, 2018: Matter by Iain M Banks (Books 2018, 16) Closer to the Cultural action again, though a lot of this happens on a shellworld, one of thousands of weird, ancient, constructed worlds scattered …

Jun 29, 2018: On @atpfm episode 280 @marcoarment says that playing music from your own library on Sonos is buggy. In my experience it’s flawless. And it’s what …

Jun 26, 2018: Orwell would have had something to say about their use of “unanimous”: The judges praised her “whole set of amazing stories” and said they believed …

Jun 25, 2018: When you manage your dependencies with Maven, the transitive dependencies mean you can find you’re using a library that you never explicitly said you …

Jun 24, 2018: Inversions by Iain M Banks (Books 2018, 15) Ah, the Culture novel that some still think isn’t. I feel sorry for anyone who ever read this without knowing about the Culture first. The denouement …

Jun 23, 2018: In Clapham for the BSFA/SFF minicon and AGMs. Signal v poor. Are there no cell towers south of the river?

Jun 21, 2018: Espedair Street by Iain Banks (Books 2018, 14) This is not a book about an imaginary rock musician: it’s a book about guilt. Of course, it is about an imaginary rock musician too, but reading it …

Jun 19, 2018: I can think of only one reason to take refugee children away from their parents at a border, other than sheer cruelty. That is to scare other …

Jun 17, 2018: Against A Dark Background by Iain M Banks (Books 2018, 13) Back to the great reread. Some thoughts here. This book is 25 years old. Twenty-five! I think I’ve read it twice before, but (and you won’t be …

Jun 16, 2018: You know those pocket computers we all carry? Will we ever stop calling them “phones,” do you think? When did you last make a phone call on yours? And …

Jun 7, 2018: They Took Something Very Weird and Made It More Usable Good piece by Paul Ford, writing at Bloomberg on Microsoft buying GitHub: [GitHub] has a well-designed web interface. If you don’t think that’s worth …

Jun 5, 2018: Well, London’s Micro.blog meetup was… let’s say, lightly attended. [@johnphilpin](https://micro.blog/johnphilpin) has the photo. Good time, though, if …

Jun 4, 2018: New iPad Keyboard My iPad’s Smart Keyboard broke, and was out of warranty, so I thought I’d try the Logitech (or “Logi”, as they now call themselves) Create Keyboard. …

Jun 4, 2018: Microsoft to Buy GitHub? I can’t help but feel concerned about the news that Microsoft may be buying GitHub. I know they’re big on open source now, and even use GitHub …

Jun 3, 2018: A ride in the sky at All Points East. From Instagram

Jun 3, 2018: Brix & The Extricated at All Points East.

Jun 3, 2018: Looking forward to Nick Cave, Patti Smith, etc at All Points East in Victoria Park today. They’re not keen on publishing the full lineup, but I …

May 30, 2018: Oh no! Alarming email from “Apple Service”: We have detect some problem with your account Apple,because was sign in from other IP.For the further …

May 27, 2018: So, Micro.blog folk: we’re planning a meetup in London. It’s scheduled to kind of coincide with one that [@manton](https://micro.blog/manton) and …

May 26, 2018: We’re having a crazy silent, dry thunderstorm in London tonight.

May 25, 2018: Beware of Email Apps Storing Passwords Email apps, especially ones that offer advanced services like “send later,” may be storing our usernames and passwords on their servers. To be clear …

May 25, 2018: I naively thought that, now that GDPR Day is here, we might see a reduction in annoying cookie popups. (I don’t know why I thought that; I was …

May 24, 2018: This is a form of GDPR email I haven’t seen before (and I’ve seen a lot): With new data protection rules known as GDPR (General Data Protection …

May 22, 2018: It's Inconvenient to Talk On Trump’s phone (mis)use: Trump’s call-capable cellphone has a camera and microphone, unlike the White House-issued cellphones used by Obama. —Eliana …

May 20, 2018: The Book of Dust vol 1: La Belle Sauvage by Philip Pullman (Books 2018, 12) The first volume in Pullman’s “equel” trilogy: part prequel, part sequel, to His Dark Materials. This one is pure prequel, about trying to protect …

May 18, 2018: Office Foliage (Error loading gallery) At my desk these are attacking from either side. (Error loading gallery) The view above, and the room as a whole.

May 15, 2018: Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman (Books 2018, 11) Gaiman takes on Thor, Loki, Odin, and the rest. Most of my knowledge of the Norse gods comes from Marvel Comics, with a bit of general cultural …

May 12, 2018: Regarding Eurovision: I sort of understand why you can’t vote for your own country. Though if you could, would the most populous country automatically …

May 12, 2018: It’s been a 24-hour rollercoaster for my daughter (and all of us) as Brooklyn Nine-Nine has now been picked up by NBC. Phew.

May 12, 2018: Duplex Duplicity? In A Little Duplex Skepticism, John Gruber says what I’ve been thinking about the Google Duplex demo: It’s totally credible that Google would be the …

May 11, 2018: Until his morning I couldn’t have told you the name of Frightened Rabbit’s lead singer, though I like some of their music. Now Twitter tells me of …

May 11, 2018: My daughter has just told me that Brooklyn Nine-Nine has been cancelled. God damn it. In this golden age of television that we’re living through, it’s …

May 7, 2018: My Dock came back without me having to do anything. Very strange.

May 7, 2018: I’ve never seen this before: my iPhone’s dock is missing this morning. Everything else is working fine, though.

May 6, 2018: Back to the Minnow theme. One of these days I’ll stop experimenting and settle on a theme.

May 5, 2018: Looped It’s six years old, but I finally got round to watching Looper. Interesting. Not sure about it. Some of the time-travel stuff didn’t make sense — or …

May 5, 2018: Spring View this post on Instagram A post shared by Martin McCallion (@devilgate)

May 4, 2018: Oh, and I suppose I should say something about “may the fourth of May be with you,” right?

May 4, 2018: I sometimes forget how easy it is to post to my blog. Then I go into Micro.blog…

May 3, 2018: When you’ve got a child who’s on the electoral register, but they’re not yet old enough to vote; and they have the same initials as you? That can …

Apr 27, 2018: Good day today: spent most of it struggling to get Java — running in Tomcat on the Mac — to call functions in R. Successfully in the end, thanks to …

Apr 22, 2018: Top-Ten Album Lists Two album-related memes have been doing the rounds on Facebook lately. Both involve posting cover images of ten favourite albums across ten days. One …

Apr 22, 2018: Marathon Barbers The London Marathon playing in the barber’s shop.

Apr 20, 2018: What?!? Commando comics are still a thing? I used to love them when I was a kid. And look at those issue numbers: up in the five thousands!

Apr 20, 2018: Today was the first day wearing shorts this year. And also the first time ever wearing shorts to work. Another reason to love this new job.

Apr 20, 2018: Merlin Mann just said what I thought was “Trump loyal” on the Reconcilable Differences podcast. Intriguing. Then I realised he said “trompe l’oeil”. …

Apr 18, 2018: Injection Vols 1-3 by Warren Ellis, Declan Shalvey, and Jordie Bellaire (Books 2018, 10) This is a great story about how some people have to fix things in the aftermath of something they did that may change the world fundamentally, if not …

Apr 18, 2018: Bizarre Romance by Audrey Niffenegger and Eddie Campbell (Books 2018, 9) The book that I got at the British Library event last week. It’s short stories by Niffenegger, illustrated and/or converted into comics by Campbell. …

Apr 17, 2018: Why do Americans (or at least American podcasters) say “soddering” for “soldering”? Is it just a weird pronunciation (and if so, why?) or is it a …

Apr 15, 2018: My wee boy turned 21 today.

Apr 12, 2018: Lovecraft Country by Matt Ruff (Books 2018, 8) I read this reviewed in The Guardian, and immediately bought the Kindle book. Sometimes a review is like that. And it lived up to the praise. But …

Apr 10, 2018: The Illuminatus! Trilogy by Robert Shea and Robert Anton Wilson (Books 2018, 7) As I said in the last books post, reading the JAMs’ Illuminatus-inspired attempt made me want to read the real thing again. Seems I read it about …

Apr 10, 2018: The Audrey and Eddie Show I went to a thing at the British Library. It was an author event with Audrey Niffenegger and Eddie Campbell. They’ve made a book together. And, it …

Apr 8, 2018: Tab Convert That’s convert, with the stress on the first syllable. The noun, in other words. As in, “I am a tab convert.” A convert, that is, to using tabs for …

Apr 5, 2018: Ev Williams on the future of reading and writing on the net: Now we can’t stand to sit through ads… Where I come from we never could; because we …

Mar 23, 2018: Stiff Little Fingers were the first band I every saw, back in 1980, at the Glasgow Apollo. Tonight I’m off to see them again (for maybe the sixth, …

Mar 22, 2018: There’s a Blues Brothers quote that seems appropriate here. And it’s not the one about sunglasses. BREAKING: American Nazi wins Republican primary in …

Mar 17, 2018: 2023: A Trilogy by The Justified Ancients of Mu Mu (Books 2018, 6) 📚🎵 This book could have been written for me. Seriously, during the first part it felt like it was targeted right at me. I am, as you probably know, a fan …

Mar 16, 2018: Speaking of Spring... Blossom, of course, and… paper boats on the canal? Hmmm. I’m assuming it was a promotion for something, but I’ve no idea what, so it didn’t work very …

Mar 15, 2018: How the Seasons Change A beach in Norwich in the middle of February. A London Street at the end of February. It’s looking a lot more springlike now, though h. This …

Mar 14, 2018: Professor Hawking told us to loook up at the stars… he probably didn’t live in London.

Mar 14, 2018: Aw, Stephen Hawking, man. It’s not exactly sad, because he had a good life, especially compared to the two-year prognosis he was given. But still. His …

Mar 12, 2018: OK, so I’m watching Stranger Things, and in season 2, episode 8, it gets really weird. You need to know BASIC to reboot the security system? But then …

Mar 10, 2018: Looks Like I Chose the Wrong Week to Start Working in Academia What with the strike on, I wasn’t too keen on the idea of crossing a picket line, but there wasn’t really one. Nobody in the group I’m in was …

Mar 3, 2018: Imperial Adventures Just over a month ago I posted a brief note about job news, saying that more details would be forthcoming. I was, as I said then, just waiting for …

Mar 1, 2018: A Special Way of Being Afraid I only know one other of Philip Larkin’s poems; it is about parents and children. This one — ‘Aubade’ — is the best poem about death I’ve ever read. A …

Feb 27, 2018: I should just mention that Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, is brilliant. Best film I’ve seen this year. And I’ve seen Black Panther. …

Feb 27, 2018: Twin Peaks: The Final Dossier by Mark Frost (Books 2018, 5) I watched the new series of Twin Peaks in January, but haven’t got round to writing about it yet. In part, maybe, because I knew I wanted to read …

Feb 27, 2018: Once again Carrot Weather shows how it’s tuned in to the Zeitgeist.

Feb 25, 2018: Sourdough by Robin Sloan (Books 2018, 4) Strange one this. I think I learned about it from Warren Ellis, via his newsletter (which is well worth reading, by the way). A woman takes a …

Feb 19, 2018: It’s amusing to see that this article, called ‘Why Decentralization Matters,’ is on Medium. Where’s Alanis Morissette? (Sorry, ‘Ironic’ cliché.)

Feb 13, 2018: Oh, well done, Orbit. I salute not just the publication, but the use of weapons language: We’re thrilled that the Estate has given us permission to …

Feb 12, 2018: You can’t leave it there, Star Trek! I mean, you totally can; it’s a great place to leave it. But when’s season 2? 🖖

Feb 12, 2018: I’m on an Edinburgh-London train that seemingly has no power sockets (here in coach H, next to the café, at least). What?!? What decade are we in? …

Feb 10, 2018: A year ago today I was on a train to Edinburgh. It was snowing at Peterborough. Today I am also on a train to Edinburgh. No snow, but it’s so crowded …

Feb 9, 2018: Marina Hyde has been on fire at the Guardian lately, but this headline is just something else: A-hole in a K-hole: Katie Hopkins’ ketamine adventures …

Feb 7, 2018: I’m reminded by last year’s post (though really by Facebook: that’s one thing it’s good at) that Feb 7 is recognised by some as International Clash …

Feb 6, 2018: Feersum Endjinn by Iain M Banks (Books 2018, 3) The Great Banks Reread picks up again. I was prompted to read this, despite the pile of Christmas books next to my bed, because of Facebook. I must …

Feb 1, 2018: I have job news. Or I will, soon, I hope. Just waiting for some paperwork… (OK, Mr Mysterious, that’s enough.)

Jan 30, 2018: Why does using psychic powers always cause nosebleeds? (Still watching Stranger Things.) 📺

Jan 30, 2018: I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead: The Dirty Life and Times of Warren Zevon by Crystal Zevon (Books 2018, 2) 📚🎵 You know how they say you shouldn’t meet your heroes? Well it turns out that sometimes that includes not meeting them between the pages of a book. I’m …

Jan 29, 2018: 12:00:00: Hamilton tickets go on sale. 12:00:01: Ticketmaster site grinds to a halt. (12:10-ish: I book six tickets!)

Jan 26, 2018: I don’t suppose the government will listen, but this Brexit poll is interesting.

Jan 26, 2018: I just heard the harmonica on ‘Garageland’ for the first time. I’ve heard that song thousands of times over… err, nearly forty years. These Beats X …

Jan 25, 2018: I’m wildly behind the TV curve, in that I’m just watching Stranger Things now. But I’ve got to say they’re killing it with the music choices.

Jan 25, 2018: They were never quite my favourite band, but were always there or thereabouts In Legend of the Fall: Mark E Smith kept swinging to the end, Dave …

Jan 25, 2018: The Fallen 2018 is working hard to be the new 2016. First Ursula Le Guin; now Mark E Smith has been taken from us. The Fall were one of the great bands, no …

Jan 24, 2018: The science-fiction community is dispossessed tonight. Ursula K Le Guin RIP.

Jan 23, 2018: Star Doctors It was drawn to my attention a couple of weeks ago that I have not yet expressed (publicly) an opinion on either Star Wars: The Last Jedi or the …

Jan 22, 2018: Too Like the Lightning by Ada Palmer (Books 2018, 1) The worst thing about this book is that it tells you, two or three chapters from the end, that it’s only the first half of the story. Now, I knew …

Jan 19, 2018: Croydon looking colourful and futuristic, yesterday

Jan 16, 2018: Clarke Kickstarted The Kickstarter for the Arthur C Clarke Award is already fully funded, but now they’re pushing for a stretch goal. What you get already is pretty …

Jan 12, 2018: Maybe this change to Facebook’s feed will take it back towards just showing what family and friends post, as I was asking for back in October. My …

Jan 11, 2018: Lana, What? Turns out Lana Del Rey was… mistaken? about Radiohead having brought a lawsuit against her. After me leaping to her defence. I’m very disappointed. …

Jan 11, 2018: I love that, on Touch Bar MacBooks, you can set things up so that you use your fingerprint to authorise sudo in the Terminal.

Jan 9, 2018: I Never Thought I'd See the Day... When Gmail launched several years ago offering a free gigantic storage plan of, I think, 1 gigabyte, it seemed impossible that anyone could ever fill …

Jan 9, 2018: Crazy Copyright Claim Gotta say I hope Radiohead (or their lawyers) lose this case: Pop star Lana Del Rey says she’s being sued by Radiohead for copying their breakthrough …

Jan 4, 2018: 2017 in Bitface Blogging Well hello. It’s been a while. That daily posting thing didn’t work too well in the latter part of the year, and was particularly weak in …

Jan 1, 2018: Happy New Year from firework-drenched London Town.

Dec 20, 2017: Liked: In “Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” Luke Skywalker Finally Becomes Cool | The New Yorker Luke’s diminished circumstances make for a far richer …

Dec 19, 2017: Mouse Takes Fox The news that Murdoch plans to sell 21st Century Fox and Sky TV to Disney is interesting for how it will reshape the media landscape. But it’s good …

Dec 14, 2017: At the cinema. What for, you say? Oh, nothing special: just Star Wars: The Last Jedi.

Dec 8, 2017: You’ll be pleased to know that we got the battery cover off the Fire TV Stick remote. Got Netflix and iPlayer installed, watched Person of Interest. …

Dec 7, 2017: Burn it With Fire (Stick) I bought an Amazon Fire TV Stick in the Black/Cyber/Whatever sales, because I thought it would be a good way to watch BBC iPlayer, Netflix, and so on, …

Dec 4, 2017: It would be weird if Tony Blair turned out to be the hero of the Brexit hour. But we need all the support we can get.

Nov 30, 2017: Just saw this winter’s first flurry of snow. Well, hardly flurry: just a few flakes drifting past the window. And it’s stopped now.

Nov 30, 2017: A Five and Four Zeroes Actually it’s 50,069 words in total, as of a few minutes ago. And the last 5000 or so were not in the novel that I finished the other day. Instead I …

Nov 29, 2017: I’m glad Scrivener 3 is out, but could they have picked a worse month for it? The end of November, when a crazy percentage of users are crazily …

Nov 25, 2017: Finished I have finished my novel. Hooray! Stats: 121,304 words. 44,107 of them since the 1st of November. There is, of course, a great deal still to do before …

Nov 22, 2017: Jerusalem by Alan Moore (Books 2017, 5) Yes, it’s halfway through the second-last month of the year and I’ve just finished my fifth book. Five in a year. That’s very poor. But this book was …

Nov 22, 2017: Look at that, I’ve crossed the line. I’m now above the NaNoWriMo average daily word count.

Nov 21, 2017: Rock and Death I appreciate this piece about AC/DC and Malcolm Young’s legacy. I never really cared for them myself. I was on the other side of the punk/metal wars, …

Nov 20, 2017: The trees are afire in Clapton Square. (OK, with a little bit of help from Photos.)

Nov 16, 2017: Just realising that when the Star Trek: Discovery theme music starts, I now want someone to say “Space: the final frontier…”

Nov 16, 2017: Just saw a guy cycling along, no hands, hands in pockets. Geez, get some gloves, mon, you’re making us all terrified.

Nov 15, 2017: 23,600 words in 15 days. I’m on course to make the 50,000. And to finish my novel. If I do that, I may not go to the full 50,000. I also finished …

Nov 13, 2017: Turned out the missing dates was a setting of the theme. Dates are back. I wouldn’t mind if it showed the time, too, but dates are a bare minimum.

Nov 13, 2017: Missing Dates I’ve just noticed that this WordPress theme I’m using, Independent Publisher, doesn’t show dates and times of posts. And as a side effect it doesn’t …

Nov 10, 2017: The Ramones were the first band I saw when I came to London, and I’ve seen them several other times. I’ve just been listening to a couple of early …

Nov 8, 2017: 12,120 words so far. And a sure sign that I’m getting close to finishing this novel: today I started thinking about what I’ll write next. The total …

Nov 8, 2017: If FaceID comes to the Mac, with its attention detection, will we ever get what I’ve always wanted: “Focus Follows View”? Keystrokes should affect the …

Nov 6, 2017: Start at the top: Billy opens with ‘Sexuality’.

Nov 6, 2017: 1200 words today. I’m slipping back a bit. At this rate I’ll finish on 3rd December, it tells me. Still, I’m ahead of anywhere I’ve been before at …

Nov 6, 2017: Off to see Billy Bragg tonight in Islington.

Nov 3, 2017: This Joe Ricketts seems like a right bampot: shutting down publications just because the workers join a union.

Nov 3, 2017: The trouble with NaNoWriMo is obsessing over your word count. As I write, I’m constantly checking that figure. It’s not a big trouble.

Nov 3, 2017: Carrot Weather is hooked into the news today.

Nov 1, 2017: In NanoLand. 462 words before getting out of bed this morning.

Oct 30, 2017: To Nano or Not? NaNoWriMo is just around the corner, and I still haven’t quite decided whether to throw myself into it this year or not. I’ve taken part several times …

Oct 29, 2017: I love it when bloggers surprise me. I read Brett Terpstra for Apple-related tech and software development, and such. But here’s a great piece on his …

Oct 23, 2017: Star Trek is really getting back to its sixties roots. Magic mycelium, “A hit of speed…” Groovy stuff.

Oct 22, 2017: Walthamstow Wetlands: London’s newest Park. Just opened.

Oct 20, 2017: Reread the originals first, or dive straight in…?

Oct 19, 2017: Mixed feelings: somebody dies; the reaction makes you check out their work; you find you’ve been missing something great. You’ve got a great new band …

Oct 18, 2017: On Blade Runner 2049 Spoilers ahead, obviously. Although I don’t go into much detail. We saw it in the Rio in Dalston, because all the Hackney Picturehouse showings were …

Oct 16, 2017: Faces and Feeds I think I might have to develop an app for reading Facebook the way I think it should work. There was an article doing the rounds the other week about …

Oct 12, 2017: You ever watch a scene and it shocks you, even though you know what’s going to happen? My Buffy rewatch just reached ‘Seeing Red.’

Oct 11, 2017: The Kickstarter Corporate Communication Conundrum Today I chanced to see an email in which a manager was asking his staff to work for extra hours. Well, ‘asking’ is putting it generously, to be …

Oct 10, 2017: Watched The Last Jedi trailer. Didn’t do a lot for me. Don’t worry, though: I’ve booked my ticket for opening night.

Oct 8, 2017: I’m not going to say much about Blade Runner 2049 yet, except: I felt disappointment more than enjoyment. All the critics are praising it …

Oct 7, 2017: Blades and Running Watched Blade Runner in preparation for tomorrow. Chose the original theatrical cut, voiceover and all. I think I’m increasingly down with Mitch …

Oct 5, 2017: So why has no-one told me about Milk Kan before? God With an iPod, for example, is brilliant. From 2008.

Oct 5, 2017: Brett Terpstra is offering the chance to win a copy of the new 60 Mac Tips book and the (updated) old one. All you have to do is register. Sounds …

Oct 4, 2017: Citymapper has AR now. Not sure it’s as useful as the rest of the app, but fun.

Oct 2, 2017: Star Trek: Discovery, episode 3, ‘Context is for Kings,’ keeps up the good work, in case you were expecting otherwise. And I forgot to say the other …

Oct 1, 2017: I received one of the stranger pieces of spam or phishing I’ve ever seen. Not because of what it’s trying to do — obviously it wants me to click on a …

Sep 30, 2017: Trekking Past I can remember when I first saw Star Trek. That’s not so unusual, but if my memory is right — and I’ve just more or less confirmed that it is — …

Sep 28, 2017: Gabi Garbutt & The Illuminations at the Monarch in Camden.

Sep 26, 2017: Twitter going to 280 characters. Clearly emulating Micro.blog. Congratulations [@manton](https://micro.blog/manton).

Sep 24, 2017: Harvest Home Collected a load of Apples from the garden yesterday. Started to write this post, too, but left it for a bit, and Micro.blog had lost it when I went …

Sep 22, 2017: I hate how Amazon Prime Video puts adverts in between episodes. And it always seems to be for The Tick.

Sep 22, 2017: Watching early Seinfeld. If I’m not very much mistaken he just made instant coffee! Yuck. The past was another world.

Sep 22, 2017: This tree looked amazing as the sun caught it. This morning in Croydon.

Sep 21, 2017: Put on BBC 6 Music this morning. They played ‘The Sound of the Suburbs.’ Excellent. Still stands up well.

Sep 20, 2017: Also that ‘easy moving’ trick only works on the iPad, not the iPhone. In fact the strangest thing about iOS 11 so far is the differences between …

Sep 19, 2017: Ah, wait: they do shake if you hold them long enough. But you can now move them before they start to shake. Nice. Obviously they have to go into shake …

Sep 19, 2017: iOS 11: icons don’t go shaky when you move them any more. I think I’ll miss that.

Sep 19, 2017: This post, in which I said: I just checked, and my current total is 700. I’ll have to go some to catch you up. 🙂 will no doubt have confused …

Sep 18, 2017: Listening to Joe Strummer’s ‘Willesden to Cricklewood’ for the first time in a while, and realising that’s not very far. When that album came out we …

Sep 14, 2017: Rainbow over Dalston tonight. Just visible to the left of the Hackney Peace Mural there.

Sep 12, 2017: Well, so much for my hoping. I don’t think ‘iPhone X’ is a great name, especially when they’re pronouncing it ‘ten.’ I can only say ‘ex’ in my head …

Sep 12, 2017: I hope the rumours are false and Apple don’t call the new iPhone the ‘iPhone X.’ That’s a terrible name, I think. Whichever way you pronounce ‘X’.

Sep 2, 2017: A playlist on Apple Music on the Sonos: “Alternative Hits: 1978.” And man is it good. But as they say, the golden age of music is 14…

Sep 1, 2017: Universal Harvester by John Darnielle (Books 2017, 4) Yes, the end of August and only my fourth book. What on Earth is happening? In short, Alan Moore’s Jerusalem is happening. All 1000-plus pages of it. …

Aug 30, 2017: Went for a drink & meal with an old uni friend. Talked of family, health, politics, jobs, and Doctor Who. And really, what else is there?

Aug 27, 2017: On a long weekend in Cornwall. Drive down on Friday was longest ever, so not looking forward to drive back tomorrow, but it’s been good.

Aug 23, 2017: Yesterday’s mysterious post was not meant to be a post at all. Instead it was a reply to a comment on Micro.blog. But something went wrong and I …

Aug 22, 2017: Nice. That makes sense.

Aug 21, 2017: Setting Myself Free of the Bear (and Others) If you work with plain text, as I prefer to, then you probably try out different text editors from time to time (or, you know, constantly). I recently …

Aug 20, 2017: Nuts to Dough Just thought I should mention, en passant, that when I referred to misspelled donuts the other day, I was talking about the ones that can’t spell …

Aug 17, 2017: My site was down for a couple of days. You probably didn’t notice. These things happen when you’re on holiday, it seems. The nice people at Linode …

Aug 15, 2017: The Rolling Donut, Dublin. Highly recommended. Good to remember how good donuts can be if you don’t get misspelled American ones.

Aug 14, 2017: A pint of ice-cold Guinness in a pub in Dublin Ice-cold Guinness. I’m reminded of the late Bob Shaw…

Aug 13, 2017: At Holyhead, on the ferry for Dublin. It’s taking a while to get going, though.

Aug 11, 2017: Test posting to my site from Quill. I’ve no idea whether this will work.

Aug 7, 2017: Further to this morning’s post, it looks like I’ll be in the City for a while, and only going to the client’s site later, or occasionally. Which is …

Aug 7, 2017: On my way to first day at the new job. This is at the consultancy’s offices in the City, though, for induction, not at the client’s site.

Aug 5, 2017: Just realised that ‘Blue Monday’ gets its drum pattern from ‘Get Off of My Cloud.’

Aug 4, 2017: I’m pretty sure that all of these are meant to be autumnal. Yet here it’s early August — high summer — and there they are, growing madly.

Aug 3, 2017: New Job As you may know, I’ve been between contracts lately. Had quite a lot of interest from my CV, but not been so lucky with the tests and interviews. …

Aug 1, 2017: First time anyone has asked me for a more detailed CV. But hey, I can write about myself till the cows come home.

Aug 1, 2017: Weird. I go to Ted Leo’s Soundcloud page. A track by someone called Lil Purpp starts playing. Nothing to do with Leo or the page I’m on, as far as I …

Jul 27, 2017: This is what Virgin Trains calls a window seat now.

Jul 24, 2017: Some Open-Source Software for Your Delectation I have made a thing, and pushed it out into the world. Well, really, this is me pushing it out into the world, because nobody will have noticed it …

Jul 21, 2017: Monster sky out my window. And time I tried some photos with this new phone.

Jul 20, 2017: Wait, Now ATP has gone back to the old outro theme. Was last week’s just a one-off? I’m so confused.

Jul 20, 2017: [@colinwalker](https://micro.blog/colinwalker) Did you know that your blog’s search page for the term is the second hit on DuckDuckGo for #indieweb? …

Jul 20, 2017: The Microformats 2 WordPress plugin was causing spurious HTML tags to be visible around my name next to these posts. I’ve disabled it for now. But …

Jul 19, 2017: Not the Nails I'm Looking For I got an email from Songkick about a forthcoming gig in Camden by Nails. You’ll recall, being the avid reader of this blog that you are, that a while …

Jul 19, 2017: Testing Micro.blog with the new server setup.

Jul 18, 2017: Site Moved This site is now running on a Linux virtual private server (VPS) at Linode. There may be some teething problems from the move, so please let me know …

Jul 16, 2017: Jodie Whittaker was amazing in Broadchurch. I’m extremely happy to see her as the new Doctor.

Jul 16, 2017: “Arguably the greatest player ever to pick up a racket.” There’s no argument, Sue.

Jul 15, 2017: I’m shocked, saddened and sickened that Wimbledon can’t spell Garbiñe Muguruza’s name correctly on their scoreboard. It’s not an emoji.

Jul 14, 2017: Wow! ATP has a killer new version of its outro theme on episode 230. No mention of it in-show, though, even in the aftershow.

Jul 13, 2017: Mayday for Human Rights More evidence, as if it were needed, that this government is not just incompetent, but actively malevolent: The EU (withdrawal) bill, published on …

Jul 12, 2017: Mayhemic Mistake of Two-Year Parliament This is amusing. Turns out that May has shot herself in the foot: May has blundered with the threat to use the Parliament Act to force the Lords to …

Jul 12, 2017: Forgot yesterday: worst thing about Apple earbuds is that the control is on the right-hand wire. Every other pair has it on the left.

Jul 11, 2017: Great New Phone; All the Wrong Reasons My iPhone 6 was getting slow, and its battery was poor. I have been thinking of replacing it. But September is approaching, and Apple will announcing …

Jul 10, 2017: Wondering why people recruiting for senior development positions often ask low-level JVM type questions. Doesn’t hurt to know that stuff, but who …

Jul 10, 2017: Subtitles Café on the Balls Pond Road has a sign saying “Best Covfefe in London.”

Jul 5, 2017: Trying to use Maven properly to build and release an open-source project. Was it invented just to make things more complex?

Jul 1, 2017: In Naples airport waiting to fly back to London. Have charging point, but iPad won’t talk to iPhone for tethering.

Jun 24, 2017: Micro.blog iOS Going Universal | Manton Reece I’d like to be able to use Micro.blog from the iPad — well, I can, but it’s iPhone sized scaled up (or tiny in the middle of the screen) and doesn’t …

Jun 24, 2017: OM god! Radiohead are doing ‘Creep’. Somehow I thought they didn’t do that anymore. And no bowdlerisation, either. I approve.

Jun 23, 2017: I don’t understand: Glastonbury is on this weekend, but Wimbledon hasn’t started yet? Glastonbury’s always in the middle of Wimbledon. The world is …

Jun 19, 2017: A Firefighter's Words On Grenfell Tower This can’t be spread widely enough: the words of a firefighter who attended the Grenfell Tower fire.

Jun 19, 2017: Interesting that this article about Scotland’s Neolithic rock carvings should appear in The Guardian on the Monday after Rona Munro’s great “The …

Jun 17, 2017: The Skids in full flow, earlier tonight.

Jun 16, 2017: Jesus, but The Skids are good live.

Jun 16, 2017: Preparing the stage for The Skids.

Jun 9, 2017: DUP leader: “Our United Kingdom — and indeed our very way of life — are under threat from extremists.” Yes, mainly the extreme-Brexit loonies whose …

Jun 8, 2017: Based on my two-minute walk to the polling station and thirty seconds there, I predict a very high turnout. #ge2017

Jun 7, 2017: General Election: Vote!

TL; DR: Vote Against the Tories

This is long, and I’ll understand if you don’t want to read it. So, a summary.

The election should never have been …

Jun 7, 2017: Pleased to see that Ada Palmer’s Too Like the Lightning, which I’ve spoken of before here appears to have a British publisher at last. Amazon is …

Jun 6, 2017: Right Wing Pirates to Plague the Med This is a disgrace on humanity: Far-right activists are planning a sea campaign this summer to disrupt vessels saving refugees in the Mediterranean, …

Jun 3, 2017: Amusing to see that covfefe.com redirects to Teespring.

Jun 3, 2017: In Chinatown tonight.

Jun 1, 2017: Extreme Pyramid Scheme I didn’t intend to discuss these two episodes of Doctor Who together, but watching the first was delayed because I was in Scotland when the first one …

May 31, 2017: Disturbing to see a Chinook hovering over the City as I approach Liverpool Street.

May 30, 2017: I like the Spark iOS email client, and the new drag & drop between it and the Documents app is great. But it can never be my full-time client …

May 27, 2017: Losing the War on Terror The front page of today’s Guardian has a picture of what it looks like when you let the terrorists win: Armed police used to be almost unknown on …

May 27, 2017: I’ve never installed Google Maps on my iPhone before. So how, on first launching it just now (after reading this excellent article) can it be logged …

May 25, 2017: BBC Close Their Store Without Explaining Why I got an email from the BBC today, telling me that the BBC Store is closing in November. Oddly, they don’t explain why. This Engadget article says …

May 21, 2017: At Glasgow Airport, heading home after an excellent weekend seeing family and friends.

May 21, 2017: You’re probably wondering what has happened to my daily posts. Good question. I’m in Glasgow this weekend, so that has slowed things down. And also …

May 18, 2017: Both the BBC and Twitter updating their privacy policies within a couple of days? What can it all mean?

May 17, 2017: The Sound of Audio Formats Amusing that in the same week that I post a criticism of software patents, the final patents on the MP3 format expired. Some people are characterising …

May 16, 2017: Landmark European Court Case Could Curtail Freedoms of British Dual Nationals The Home Office refused his application on the grounds that she could not rely on her EU freedom of movement rights, which include the right to bring …

May 16, 2017: Space Suits You Back to form, then, with Doctor Who season 10 episode 4, “Oxygen.” Jamie Mathieson has written some good episodes before, and he keeps up the standard …

May 14, 2017: The USPTO is ridiculous. And the whole idea of software patents is especially ridiculous. So maybe the whole idea of patents is ridiculous and …

May 13, 2017: What’s worse: putting ransonware on NHS computers, or underfunding the NHS so it can’t afford to upgrade IT infrastructure?

May 12, 2017: Just changed Micro.blog to use Wordpress “Status” posts instead of “Asides”. This has meant close to (but not quite) a reinstallation.

May 12, 2017: Brooklyn Nine-Nine was on fire tonight. Still managed to be hilarious while treating a very serious subject with respect.

May 10, 2017: No prosecutions to be brought in Tory election misspending case. Coverup by the CPS? Seems unlikely, but these are unlikely times.

May 10, 2017: Wood and Puzzles Well, I suppose they couldn’t sustain the excellence forever. I mean, there’s bound to be the odd weaker episode, right? “Knock Knock”, Doctor Who …

May 10, 2017: New theme on my site. Independent Publisher wasn’t behaving quite how I wanted, especially with microblog posts. So I’m trying Minnow, with thanks to …

May 9, 2017: Further to my thought the other day about the Clips iPhone app and portrait video: it doesn’t let you shoot in landscape. Or it does, but it doesn’t …

May 9, 2017: Protect the Human Rights Act There’s a petition at Change.org to get the parties to commit to protecting the Human Rights Act and Britain’s membership of the European Convention …

May 9, 2017: Raspberry jam for breakfast leads to both Prince’s and the Hindu Love Gods’ versions of “Raspberry Beret,” and I marvel again at how cool the Sonos …

May 7, 2017: Congratulations to France. Nice to get some good electoral news for a change.

May 6, 2017: The Syllogism of Betrayal Earlier today I added a short microblog post in which I called Nigel Farage a traitor. Its a strong word, and maybe one that I shouldn’t throw around …

May 6, 2017: Of course @bbcanyquestions has the traitor Farage on again. Of course. (Someone who has spent his adult life working against the national interest can …

May 6, 2017: The Clips app actually records full-frame video, even through it only shows squares. So I now have some portrait videos. Ewww.

May 5, 2017: If Squarespace, Casper, & Linode stopped advertising on podcasts, the whole podcast industry would collapse. Parts I listen to, at least.

May 5, 2017: The Luxury of Outrage The Doctor is a burning sun of outrage, but claims never to have had time for it. Season 10, episode 3, “Thin Ice,” sends him and Bill into London’s …

Apr 28, 2017: At the dentist, she & the nurse were talking about marathons. I said maybe they shouldn’t cos of Marathon Man. They had never heard of it.

Apr 28, 2017: Perhaps the most annoying feature of Eclipse is that a new workspace always defaults to tabs instead of spaces. Who uses tabs?

Apr 26, 2017: This is posted using the new Micro.blog app and service from Manton Reece. The app is in beta, I should note.

Apr 24, 2017: Smile, You're on Emoji Camera Episode 2 of Doctor Who Season 10, “Smile,” featured emoji-faced robots (or not strictly robots), as well as Bill’s first real trip in the Tardis and …

Apr 22, 2017: Spout Rolla Back in Balloch in 1981, 82 or so we use to play a Pac-Man clone called Spout Rolla. But there are no references to it on the internet, as far as I …

Apr 18, 2017: Scattered Thoughts on the General Election An Election Unlike Any Other This election is going to be completely unique in our lifetime, probably ever. Because people will be torn between voting …

Apr 16, 2017: Everything Rhymes Doctor Who is back! And at Easter, which still feels like the right time of the year. Now, as you’ll know, I thought last season was the best season …

Apr 15, 2017: So, Entitled In a recent article in the Guardian, this appeared: It is no one’s “destiny” to be a published author. That implies a path laid out for us, an …

Apr 13, 2017: BSFA Awards 2016 by Various (Books 2017, 3) Interrupting my Alan Moore reading to check on the short-fiction nominees for the BSFA Awards, reprinted as ever in an A4 booklet. Good stuff, of …

Apr 11, 2017: Margaret Atwood's Uncanny Ancestor This is a horrific quote from The New Yorker‘s interview with Margaret Atwood: Mary Webster, whose neighbors, in the Puritan town of Hadley, …

Apr 10, 2017: You Choose Funny where thoughts of current affairs take you. All the fawning (and, to be fair, condemnatory and neutral) coverage of Trump’s bombardment of a …

Apr 8, 2017: Swim, Test, Shop, Film, Sleep Yesterday I kind of wilfully skipped a day. At some point in the evening I realised I wasn’t going to write a post, so I just said, “Fine: that’s …

Apr 7, 2017: Looking Back and Forward My recent and forthcoming live music experiences all involve bands of my youth that have reformed and are touring their old material.1 Wallowing in …

Apr 5, 2017: Punk and Hugo I hadn’t come across Garageland London before, though I approve of the name.1 They came across my radar the other day with a piece called Cease and …

Apr 5, 2017: Big Mac News No, that’s nothing to do with hamburgers. Apple today announced that they’re working on a redesign of the Mac Pro. This is huge news. Not least …

Apr 4, 2017: Broadchurch, man. Still kicking it out of the park.

Apr 2, 2017: Garden and Barbican Spent most of today in the garden, making a start on clearing it up for the summer. Not exactly gardening, as such. More gathering sticks and leaves, …

Apr 2, 2017: The blossoms are out.

Apr 1, 2017: Homophobia in SF Fandom As well as being in charge of the website of the British Science Fiction Association (BSFA), I also admin the association’s Facebook group. Yesterday …

Mar 31, 2017: Interesting Lineup Interesting generation-spanning lineup at the British Summer Time festival in Hyde Park: Green Day headlining, with the lower-on-the-bill bands …

Mar 30, 2017: Brexit and Northern Ireland Here’s a great tweetstorm about the effect Brexit will have on Northern Ireland. Worth reading the whole thing.

Mar 30, 2017: Another Kind of Town After last night’s post, I listened to the rest of episode 2 this morning. And it quickly became a very different story.

Mar 29, 2017: Some Town There’s a new podcast out from the makers of Serial. Seems like it’s going to be very interesting. It’s called S-Town, which stands for “shit town,” …

Mar 29, 2017: I painted a picture of the City. (OK, it’s #Prisma again).

Mar 29, 2017: The Night Before I couldn’t let this night pass without acknowledging that tomorrow will be the start of us losing something great. In years to come the names of …

Mar 28, 2017: This is what rhe trees in Hackney are looking like this spring. #prisma with the “Thota Vaikuntam” effect. #thotavaikuntam

Mar 27, 2017: Singles I was thinking about the loss of singles. Not individual tracks released individually: that still happens, of course; perhaps more than ever. But back …

Mar 26, 2017: Publishers and Sinners Borrowing that title from (what used to be) a regular section in Dave Langford’s Ansible newsletter. The publishing sin in question, though, is quite …

Mar 25, 2017: Demo Sadly, I couldn’t make it to the anti-Brexit/pro-Europe demo today. I had a work thing that ended up taking most of the day. But I was there in …

Mar 24, 2017: So Many Black Pixels... Never, in the field of political reporting, has so much redaction of falsehoods happened to one president.

Mar 24, 2017: Podcast Ads and Pricing Podcast adverts are the least offensive of all types of advertising. Because even though they’re in your ears, they’re not in your face. I’m talking, …

Mar 22, 2017: Laptop Ban Stranger Than I Thought Today’s Washington Post WorldView newsletter throws more light, a lot of shade, and a lot more confusion onto the ban I linked to last night, on …

Mar 21, 2017: Stupid Fawning Lapdog Government Apes the US Again Our glorious leaders have seen fit to copy Trump and his cronies with banning laptops and tablets on planes — from certain countries. The only …

Mar 20, 2017: Mandatory Options Where I’m working at the moment we’re using a tool called Splunk for some log file viewing and analysis. I hadn’t come across it, though apparently …

Mar 19, 2017: Holding Pattern I’ve been working on a more substantial piece about music and gigs and nostalgia and my gig-going plans for the year, but it’s getting long, and …

Mar 19, 2017: Reading Materials You’re probably wondering what’s happened to my books posts. Surely I must have read something since January (and I thought I’d posted about two books …

Mar 17, 2017: Vanessa Bell and Princess Leia We went to Dulwich Picture Gallery today, to see both the permanent collection and the Vanessa Bell exhibition. All very fine. But I was struck by one …

Mar 16, 2017: The Return of SonoAir Back in January I wrote about trying to play podcasts through the Sonos. As you’ll recall1 I had tried and failed to install AirSonos on my NAS, and …

Mar 16, 2017: Missed Well, yesterday genuinely feels like the first day I’ve missed posting this year. A few post-midnight posts have counted towards the previous day, but …

Mar 15, 2017: Wiretaps and Wipeouts Couple of thoughts about the news, tonight. First of all, CNN reports on Kellyanne Conway, Trump’s “counselor,” and her strange thoughts about …

Mar 13, 2017: Broadchurch Thoughts I hope everyone’s following the new series of Broadchurch. If you thought the second season didn’t live up to the first, then I think you’ll find that …

Mar 12, 2017: And Then it Was All That One of the blogs I follow is called And now it’s all this, by the mysterious Dr Drang. He writes mainly on engineering and provides lots of …

Mar 11, 2017: Saved Life In International Clash Day I mentioned a life-changing song: “Wasted Life,” by Stiff Little Fingers. SLF’s anti-military song literally changed my …

Mar 11, 2017: Interrupting-Kids Video and Analysis Thereof The video of the guy being interviewed on the BBC and interrupted by his kids is great, but even better is Ben Thompson’s analysis of it. You can see …

Mar 11, 2017: Misbehaviour Again I'm sure you all pay great attention to the goings on at this here blog. You'll almost certainly have noticed things going very strange yesterday, …

Mar 10, 2017: Whether You Want To Or Not Note: If you've seen multiple copies of this post, it's because I had trouble with accidentally posting it in the wrong format, and then Wordpress …

Mar 8, 2017: Stiff Little Memories I’ve just had two slightly odd experiences while researching Stiff Little Fingers. SLF were the first band I ever saw live, and they had a major …

Mar 8, 2017: Missed Again: What a Catastrophe OK, so I didn’t post before midnight. But there’s a good reason: we were getting up-to-date with Channel 4′s Catastrophe, which is a great sitcom. We …

Mar 6, 2017: Little, Feat... Many songs these days involve one or more other artists guesting with the main one. Rappers adding a part to a singer’s track, for example. Nowadays …

Mar 5, 2017: The Writing Process In What Writers Really Do When They Write George Saunders gives a great insight into some parts of his working process. What does an artist do, …

Mar 4, 2017: Pivoting Around Words I should start a new category here, for word-use. In fact, having written that, I just have: language (hopefully that link will work once I publish …

Mar 3, 2017: Reassessing I never cared that much for Joe Cocker’s highly-rated cover of “With A Little Help From My Friends,” but I just saw it on BBC Four’s … Sings the …

Mar 2, 2017: Footnotes Revisited Having looked again over yesterday’s piece, I’ve had a slight change of heart. As I’m sure you noticed, I made a comment in the footnote to the effect …

Mar 1, 2017: Under the Television Skies In The Colour of Television Jack Deighton questions the worth of the famous opening line of William Gibson’s Neuromancer: The sky above the port was …

Feb 28, 2017: Tory MP Claims Astrology Could Help the NHS This should be enough to disbar someone from public life for good: Astrology could help take pressure off NHS doctors, claims Conservative MP — The …

Feb 27, 2017: Memorials The Quietus reports on a crowdfunding proposal to build a memorial to David Bowie in Brixton. I like the look of it, but they’re going to have to go …

Feb 27, 2017: Oscar Action Went to see Hidden Figures tonight. I absolutely loved it. It’s a feelgood movie about space, computers1 and civil rights. What’s not to like? And …

Feb 25, 2017: More Network Nonsense More trouble with the home network today. We had a smart electricity meter installed a few days ago. Though without the “smart” part, because they …

Feb 24, 2017: Mac Wishing Those times when you’re typing a document at work on a shonky Windows 7 machine, and longing for your Mac, where you’d have professional text-handling …

Feb 24, 2017: Wifi Blues I didn’t write a post tonight because I spent most of the evening struggling with wifi configuration. And the less said about that, the better.

Feb 22, 2017: “Ping” Pong When the original Unix designers (or, as it turns out, Mike Muuss) chose ping as the name for the command for checking the status of a network host, …

Feb 21, 2017: Civil Disappointment I’m disappointed about the ruling on different-sex civil partnerships. But at least there’s hope for the future. The judges agreed that things need to …

Feb 20, 2017: Maybe Sometimes you just want to write something. Maybe you have something specific to say, maybe not. Maybe you have nothing to say at all, but just want …

Feb 20, 2017: Whoops! OK, I missed a day. Obviously it had to happen sooner or later. But yesterday I just totally forgot. Oh well. We pick up and keep going.

Feb 18, 2017: Brain Explain Interesting article on psychology wherein Robert Epstein tells us that “Your brain does not process information and it is not a computer.” It is, as I …

Feb 17, 2017: Great Brexit And while we’re considering alternative viewpoints: “Why Brexit is Great“

Feb 17, 2017: Right Message, Wrong Messenger I mean, he’s right, but he’s still fuckin Tony Blair. Tony Blair calls on remainers to ‘rise up in defence of our beliefs’

Feb 17, 2017: Why Liberals Are Wrong About Trump This is well worth reading. We should all see an alternative view from time to time: Why Liberals Are Wrong About Trump

Feb 16, 2017: It's Not Tomorrow if You Haven't Gone to Sleep yet Yeah, OK, so I missed my deadline: I’m typing this after midnight. But it’s still the same day I got up in, in sleep-cycle terms. Also in terms of how …

Feb 15, 2017: All the Things in the World Do you ever look around and think how amazing everything is? How it all got there? And I’m not talking about the grandeur of nature, the glory of the …

Feb 14, 2017: Why Are MPs Doing It? This is the burning question of the day: why are our elected representatives in parliament behaving like idiots, frankly? I wrote most of this a few …

Feb 13, 2017: Brexit Hope? A very small hope. Brexit—take back control by the improbably-named Jolyon Maugham, suggests that a court ruling could be achieved which would ensure …

Feb 12, 2017: Placeholder More travel today, back to London. And feeling under the weather. I wrote part of a post on the train, but won’t complete it cos we’re about to go out …

Feb 11, 2017: Daily Posting Harder When You're Away I may not get to do a proper post today, as I’m in Edinburgh visiting friends. As well, my phone’s battery has become increasingly erratic, so it …

Feb 10, 2017: No snow after Peterborough. In fact we’ve had some sun since then.

Feb 10, 2017: Ticket Captcha Fail Just tried and failed to book Dylan tickets. Three nights at the London Palladium in April. I got an email from Songkick telling me about it …

Feb 10, 2017: On a train to Edinburgh. Snowing at Peterborough. What will happen next?

Feb 9, 2017: "Thread" Dread I don’t mind people posting a tweetstorm, wherein they have a lot to say and do so via a series of linked tweets. I think there are better ways to do …

Feb 8, 2017: Optics The word “optics” used to mean the science of light. It still does, of course, but it now also refers to “how things look,” in terms of public image …

Feb 7, 2017: International Clash Day I saw a hashtag on Twitter this evening: #InternationalClashDay. Well, it doesn’t take a lot, and now my actual favourite Clash song is blasting out …

Feb 6, 2017: Criticality Escalation Part of any kind of bug or problem reporting system is triage: the act of deciding how severe each report is and placing it into the appropriate …

Feb 5, 2017: Should a Blog Have a Theme? Yes, yes, it’s all very meta: all I ever write about is blogging.1 But that is exactly what I want to talk about today: is a blog better if it is only …

Feb 4, 2017: Some More Bitface Thoughts Something I forgot to mention yesterday was that I thought the “bitface” term was useful not just to refer to people who manipulate bits for a living …

Feb 4, 2017: New Year lanterns in Chinatown, London.

Feb 3, 2017: The Origin of the Bitface Things go quicker than you think. This tweet post1 was inspired by a tweet, and I thought it wasn’t too long ago. But in fact it was April last year. …

Feb 2, 2017: Success for Micro.blog Manton Reece’s Kickstarter campaign for Micro.blog, which I wrote about before, was successful. In fact very successful. He made his stretch goal, …

Feb 1, 2017: Beginning of the End A total of 47 Labour MPs voted against the Brexit bill, joining 50 SNP MPs and seven Liberal Democrats. Just one Conservative MP, Ken Clarke, joined …

Feb 1, 2017: One Month Gone As you’ll know if you’ve been paying attention, I’ve challenged myself to blog every day this year. Well, the first twelfth of the year …

Jan 31, 2017: Which is Worse? I’ve been saying for a while now that Brexit is worse than Trump, because Trump is only for four years1 — less if he gets impeached or twenty-fived, …

Jan 30, 2017: Things We Can’t See There are certain interesting TV programmes that I’d like to see but I can’t watch for ethical reasons. If you’ve been around here much before you’ll …

Jan 29, 2017: Lost Drafts You may think my last post was late, in that I didn’t post it on Saturday, but rather today, Sunday. And that is literally true. However, I wrote the …

Jan 28, 2017: Rezillos Gig To the 229 venue on London’s Great Portland Street last night, to see the Rezillos, about whose reformation I’ve written before, here. I didn’t go to …

Jan 27, 2017: Democracy, Representation, and the Will of the People Further to my letter to Diane Abbot, I saw her last night on Question Time. Disappointingly she was trotting out the line that, irrespective of what …

Jan 27, 2017: So good. So fuckin good. #Rezillos

Jan 27, 2017: Finally, the Rezillos. “Can’t Stand My Baby” is the opener.

Jan 27, 2017: Still not the Rezillos. Everyone’s sharing kit tonight, which is very 77. Spizz Energi onstage.

Jan 27, 2017: Not actually the Rezillos, but the Tuts, my new favourite band.

Jan 26, 2017: Obama in Your Ears I listen to a fair number of podcasts, but I only recently learned that David Axelrod has one now. Axelrod was Barack Obama’s chief strategist and …

Jan 25, 2017: A Song of Stone by Iain Banks (Books 2017, 2) Started towards the end of last year, interrupted for Christmas and post-Christmas reading, and taken up again later. But yes, you read that right: I …

Jan 24, 2017: I Wrote to my MP So the Supreme Court agreed that parliament is sovereign Good for them. Must’ve been a hard decision. I decided it was time to ask my MP, Diane …

Jan 23, 2017: A Touching App I’m typing this in MarsEdit, from Red Sweater Software, which has long been considered the best dedicated blogging client for the Mac. Daniel Jalkut, …

Jan 22, 2017: More on The OA I got to the end of The OA. Which didn’t take too long, seeing as it’s only eight episodes. It was another one where I enjoyed the journey, but the …

Jan 21, 2017: Trump, Nixon, and Subjectivity John Gruber reminds us of Hunter S Thompson’s obituary of Richard Nixon, saying it “[f]eels appropriate today” (this was yesterday, of course). I …

Jan 20, 2017: Trumpeting Not a lot to say about today. Trump is president. World War III hasn’t started yet, but presumably he’s got the nuclear codes now. Actually it’s …

Jan 19, 2017: Syndication Further on owning your own content, I practise what some call POSSE: Publish on your Own Site, Syndicate Elsewhere. One of the elsewheres, as I’ve …

Jan 18, 2017: Poetry and Politics It’s hard to believe that this is for real: a poem about Trump written by an American, riffing on the orange one’s Scottish heritage (which, I’m sure …

Jan 17, 2017: Thanks, Obama (for Real) Chelsea Manning, the US army soldier who became one of dthe most prominent whistleblowers in modern times when she exposed the nature of modern …

Jan 16, 2017: The Only Good Brexit is No Brexit 38 Degrees is consulting the public on a “DIY Brexit,” wherein the public can give their opinions on what Brexit should look like, and supposedly the …

Jan 15, 2017: The Strange Case of the Lost Reply I’ve tried various email clients on iOS, but for quite a while now my favourite has been Dispatch from Clean Shaven Apps. As well as the many …

Jan 14, 2017: Oh, Eh? I watched the first episode of Netflix’s The OA last night. Very interesting. I’m looking forward to watching the rest, and speculating about what …

Jan 13, 2017: Probably a Good Time to Download Your Twitter Archive This Bloomberg article may not be entirely serious, but it is, you know, Bloomberg: There’s a strange idea circulating among Mexican currency …

Jan 13, 2017: Just to Make the Numbers Does it count if you write a blog post just so that you’ve written one today? Well, yes, of course it does. After all, you wouldn’t want to spoil an …

Jan 11, 2017: Duck(Duck)ing the User Interface It must be well over a year now since I switched my main search engine from Google to DuckDuckGo. I changed partly because of concerns over Google’s …

Jan 10, 2017: Surely There's a Better Answer Than That? For one reason or another we wanted to remind ourselves1 of the Spanish word for “south.” I like to ask Siri for that kind of thing, because speaking …

Jan 9, 2017: Social Media is Like the Railways? There’s a piece in the Guardian entitled “Why social media is like the railways – and must be saved. I’m not sure about the title, but it’s a good …

Jan 8, 2017: Blog Misbehaviour This blog runs, like so many others, on Wordpress. Recently I’ve noticed some strange behaviour. When I posted an entry, it wouldn’t show up. Not at …

Jan 7, 2017: Independent Microblogging Twitter is great in many ways, but it’s far from problem-free. (Thought experiment: if Twitter hadn’t existed, would Trump have got elected?) The …

Jan 6, 2017: Content Provider I may not get to write a proper post today, as I haven’t yet and we’re about to go and see Stewart Lee: Content Provider, so I probably won’t manage …

Jan 5, 2017: Things That Should be Easy It ought to be easy to install a software package on Linux. I mean, it usually is. All modern distros ship with package managers, right? So all you …

Jan 4, 2017: Getting Rid of Offensive Publications in Apple News Widget This is not a “How To” article, it’s a “How Do I?” one. I’ve been googling (or duckducking) to try to find the answer, but to no avail yet. Take a …

Jan 4, 2017: Trump Not Appointing Palin as Scientific Advisor There’s a story doing the rounds on Facebook that Trump has appointed Sarah Palin as Science and Technology Advisor. Terrifying, if true. But a …

Jan 3, 2017: The Secret History of Twin Peaks by Mark Frost (Books 2017, 1) In case it’s not obvious, the reading year starts and ends on Christmas Day. This was a Christmas present, and is also preparation for the new Twin …

Jan 2, 2017: Recent Events Just in case you think that I haven’t been paying attention to recent events… yeah, I know, how likely is that…? Brexit? Trump? Celebrity deaths? 2016 …

Jan 1, 2017: The Year Turns Again New Year’s Day, by all the fates. Another trip round the sun, another twelve months have passed. As usual I wonder, “Where did that year go?” I’ve …

Dec 20, 2016: Complicity and The Business by Iain Banks (Books 2016 16 & 17) The big Banksie reread finally gets under way again. There’s no particular connection between these two except that I read them back-to-back over two …

Dec 19, 2016: Starry Comandante

Dec 19, 2016: Cubana. Service slow but food v nice.

Dec 10, 2016: Classy I just watched the last episode of Class, BBC 3′s web-only1Doctor Who spinoff. It is really, really good. If you haven’t seen it you should stop …

Nov 26, 2016: The Captain sings.

Nov 26, 2016: Again, Again A long time ago — a long, long time ago: I can’t have been more than thirteen, maybe younger — I got an accidental book. It was in John Smith’s in …

Nov 26, 2016: The Damned on stage.

Nov 26, 2016: More Penetration.

Nov 26, 2016: That’s Penetration on stage at Brixton Academy, supporting the Damned.

Nov 20, 2016: Screwjack by Hunter S Thompson (Books 2016, 15) Long-time HST readers like me will be familiar with this title. It always appeared on the dust jacket or inside the book in the list of other books by …

Nov 16, 2016: Can We Stick With Labour Now? This story about Labour giving in to Brexit is the latest straw in a… problematic few months. I’m not sure I can stay a member of the Labour Party if …

Oct 30, 2016: Harry Potter play today! (Also mixing up the fandoms.)

Oct 28, 2016: From the fierce heat of the autumnal South of Spain, back to properly-autumnal London.

Oct 26, 2016: A Manhattan in Seville (no 2 in an unplanned series).

Oct 24, 2016: Rough time to be Samsung.

Oct 9, 2016: Never Mind the Bollocks: Women Rewrite Rock by Amy Raphael (Books 2016, 14) Been reading this over a period of a year or so, on and off, so it’s not really this year’s book. But that’s no reason not to write about it. It was …

Oct 1, 2016: They don’t like appearing in photos.

Sep 30, 2016: Trump/Schulz If you’re a fan of the Illuminatus trilogy, or the works of Robert Anton Wilson in general, the idea that Trump’s speech is like the last words of …

Sep 24, 2016: On the Pronunciation of "X" Now that the new version of Apple’s PC operating system has launched, some thoughts on something that’s been bugging me for a while. Apple’s OS was …

Sep 23, 2016: Huffington Trump I’ve been meaning to note that I love the way that every article in The Huffington Post about Trump has this note appended: Editor’s note: Donald …

Sep 14, 2016: Reamde By Neal Stephenson (Books 2016, 13) It’s a page-turner, an engrossing thriller. I got through the 1040 pages in about a week of being on holiday in Greece (it would have taken me a lot …

Sep 6, 2016: The Sandman: Overture by Neil Gaiman and others (Books 2016, 12) Gaiman returns to the character and story that made him famous (and wins the graphic story Hugo award by doing so). This is a prequel to the original …

Aug 29, 2016: Normal by Warren Ellis (Books 2016, 11) I’m not sure this counts as a novel, by length, but never mind. Released as four Kindle-only ebooks over four weeks, it builds up into at least a …

Aug 25, 2016: Sally Heathcote, Suffragette by Mary M Talbot, Kate Charlesworth and Bryan Talbot (Books 2016, 10) After Mary & Bryan’s biography/autobiography hybrid about Mary herself and James Joyce’s daughter, they added another collaborator to write this …

Aug 9, 2016: The Sadness of Empty Seats It is very sad to see all the empty seats at the Olympics in Rio — especially remembering how hard it was to get tickets four years ago. I expect that …

Aug 6, 2016: Proposed New Cycling Race for the Olympics: the "Commuter Race" This is something that I wrote some notes on around the London 2012 Olympics, and just sitting here watching the Men’s Road Race on day 1 of Rio 2016, …

Aug 2, 2016: Smith & Jones The “other” Labour leadership candidate, as you might say, is called Owen Smith. There is a Guardian and New Statesman columnist and noted left-wing …

Jul 28, 2016: Jerry Doyle Dead Sorry to hear about this: Jerry Doyle — best known for his role on Babylon 5 — died Wednesday.

Jul 26, 2016: Some Thoughts On Software Development Before the job interview that I mentioned the other day, the company asked me to answer some questions in writing. I didn’t get the job, but I was …

Jul 26, 2016: Brexit Latest Thoughts In today’s "Brexit weekly briefing" from the Guardian, they say that: May is soon going to have to choose between a soft and a hard Brexit – one that …

Jul 25, 2016: Self-Hosting One very good reason why you should post at your own site, and not necessarily trust big companies to look after your stuff: Why Did Google Erase …

Jul 23, 2016: Laurie Penny Rules Laurie Penny’s “I’m With the Banned” is the best piece of political journalism I’ve read since Hunter S Thompson died.

Jul 22, 2016: On Corbyn, Electability, and Compromise The other night we watched Lincoln, Steven Spielberg’s 2012 film about the US president. It covers just a few months towards the end of the civil war …

Jul 21, 2016: Recent Events It’s been a strange few weeks. There was the referendum, and its immediate aftermath. That’s still ongoing, of course, and won’t be over any time …

Jul 19, 2016: The hottest day of the year, and I end up having an interview. Glad to have it, but gladder to be home and into cooler clothes.

Jul 19, 2016: He is not a team player let alone a team leader As I vacillate on the Labour leadership business, and try to decide what's best for party and country, I keep coming upon things that increase my …

Jul 18, 2016: I'm having trouble with WordPress not wanting make a "Link" format post if I have too much other stuff in it.

Jul 18, 2016: Pamela Constable on her parents' WASP values Great piece in the Washington Post by one of their correspondents whose Republican parents would have hated what the party has become: it occurred to …

Jul 16, 2016: After Nice, Don’t Give ISIS What It’s Asking For Good advice from The Intercept: After Nice, Don’t Give ISIS What It’s Asking For

Jul 15, 2016: Putting the "Mental" into Governmental This is beyond insanity: Government axes climate department - BBC News

Jul 15, 2016: Pokémon Gone I am so not a gamer. Oh, I loved Asteroids back in the day. I solved Monument Valley, and I got on fine with Alto’s Adventure. But I’ve …

Jul 15, 2016: How in the World are they Making that Sound? OK, so why did no-one tell me that Jonathan Richman -- of whom I am, or used to be, a fan -- released a song back in 1992 or so, called “Velvet …

Jul 14, 2016: Blinding Larks in the back room of Biddle Bros last night.

Jul 14, 2016: All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders (Books 2016, 9)  This is an infuriatingly brilliant book. Or brilliantly infuriating. It’s about the tensions between magic and science in a world where both exist. …

Jun 29, 2016: Last day at work. My computer seems to know. It’s turned back to Windows 95.

Jun 25, 2016: Sixty-Three Percent Future Yesterday was the strangest day. Anger, of course. Sadness. And confusion: how could this happen? Why did it happen? What the hell is wrong …

Jun 22, 2016: The Reinvigorated Programmer on the Referendum The Reinvigorated Programmer has some good thoughts, including blaming Star Wars: Folks: turn on your targeting computers. Use the facts. Source: …

Jun 22, 2016: More Referendum Thoughts A few more thoughts to follow on from last night's post: Turnout Turnout is crucial. If the majority is narrow, and especially if the turnout is low, …

Jun 22, 2016: Referendum Thoughts I have, of course, been meaning to write about the referendum almost since it was called. And let’s go right back to that point: of it being called, …

Jun 19, 2016: The Apocalypse Codex by Charles Stross (Books 2016, 8) The latest of Charlie's Laundry Files series, and Bob Howard is being considered for promotion. To management. He has to go on a course. As you can …

Jun 16, 2016: A Day of Infamy Sometimes rhetoric has consequences. If you spend days, weeks, months, years telling people they are under threat, that their country has been stolen …

Jun 16, 2016: Who Killed Sherlock Holmes? by Paul Cornell (Books 2016, 7 Some books take weeks or even months to read. Others slip down in just a few days. This was the latter kind. Paul Cornell’s Shadow Police series is …

Jun 12, 2016: PJ Harvey at Field Day was SO good. Straight into my top three ever gigs? Oh yes. Most definitely.

Jun 12, 2016: Polly Harvey speaks onstage!!! Dedicates song to Seamus Murphy.

Jun 12, 2016: Field Day. The stage awaits PJ Harvey.

Jun 7, 2016: The Fractal Prince by Hannu Rajaniemi (Books 2016, 6) I enjoyed it, but I didn't really understand it. I’m sure I should have more to say about it than that, but really, that sums it up quite …

May 18, 2016: Relaunch If you pay attention to URLs and such -- and if you're reading this at all -- you'll be aware that my blog is not sited at the root or home page of …

Apr 27, 2016: I Upgraded my MacBook And it's like having a new machine. I have a 13-inch MacBook Pro, mid 2010 model. I bought it in about September or October 2010. Which means …

Apr 23, 2016: Awakening You'll have noticed, I'm sure, that after my brief comments on the three Star Wars prequels late last year, I didn't come back and say what I thought …

Apr 20, 2016: Selfie Thoughts Tim Bray speaks wisely on selfies: Somewhere right now there’s a young woman who’ll lead her nation to war, or write a book that wrenches a …

Apr 13, 2016: Patience by Daniel Clowes (Books 2016, 5) As I said, I ordered this right off the back of reading the review. I read it almost as soon as it arrived, and then read it again. It's a fast read, …

Apr 11, 2016: Daily Mail Taking Over Yahoo? Christ, we're gonna have to pull all our photos from Flickr if this goes through: Daily Mail publisher in talks with companies over Yahoo takeover.

Apr 8, 2016: A Fire Upon the Deep by Vernor Vinge (Books 2016, 4) A rereading, this, but I remembered much less of it than I thought, and enjoyed it even more than I expected to. All I really remembered in any detail …

Apr 6, 2016: Patience "Would you go anywhere near a book described on its back cover as ‘a cosmic timewarp deathtrip to the primordial infinite of everlasting love’?", …

Apr 5, 2016: The Rapture of the Nerds by Cory Doctorow and Charles Stross (Books 2016, 3) I read this about a month and a half ago, and already it has slipped quite far from my memory. That's not a good sign, is it? I’m also almost …

Apr 3, 2016: The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch, by Philip K Dick (Books 2016, 2) Nothing to do with stigmata, really, and the titular differences aren't even mentioned until three-quarters of the way through the book. It's almost …

Apr 2, 2016: Three Moments of an Explosion: Stories, by China Miéville (Books 2016, 1) This set of short stories admirably shows why Miéville's work has been called "weird fiction." Most of these are very strange indeed. In some of them, …

Feb 5, 2016: PC Panel 3 just nails the whole “SJW” nonsense. Source: Brostitutional Rights - Scenes From A Multiverse

Jan 31, 2016: January The first month ends and I haven't yet written a proper post: a very poor start to the blogging year. Never mind. 2016, eh? Hello.

Jan 23, 2016: Moffat Leaving Who Doctor Who head writer Steven Moffat is leaving, but his final series won’t run till next year. Nothing but a Christmas Special in 2016.

Jan 21, 2016: Java isn't slow So if your Java code is doing something easier than processing 6 million events a second, and it’s slow, you can maybe make it faster! Source: Java …

Jan 21, 2016: At the Hammersmith Apollo for Billy Connolly. Been a long time coming.

Dec 16, 2015: Woman Who Shot at Home Depot Shoplifters Vows to Never Help Anyone Again - The New York Times Tatiana Duva-Rodriguez of Michigan, who had been a passerby when she noticed the commotion, lost her gun-carrying permit and got 18 months’ probation. …

Dec 16, 2015: Revenge of the Prequels Well, this is more like it. It's far from perfect, but Revenge of the Sith is far and away the best of the three prequels. And that is largely because …

Dec 11, 2015: Hell and Heaven We come to the end of what I can now confidently say was my favourite series of new Doctor Who so far. No matter how good it was when it all came back …

Dec 1, 2015: Memories of 2003 It's only twelve years ago. Twelve years, and it feels like everyone -- the bulk of MPs, at least -- has forgotten about the dodgy dossier; about …

Dec 1, 2015: Heaven and Lords I wouldn't have minded if I had guessed it myself. But one little line in the Guardian Guide prompted me. All it did was make me think of something I …

Nov 28, 2015: Raven and... What? Well. Well, well well. Well. I have to say (and spoilers here for “Face the Raven”, if you haven’t seen it yet): that was …

Nov 19, 2015: Sleep and No Raven? Well, as far as we can tell, this one isn't part one of a two parter. So I guess I should write about it on its own. I enjoyed it immensely – …

Nov 11, 2015: Invasion and Inversion I thought of a couple of alternative titles for this: "Old Enough to be Your Messiah." (I'll bet that played well in parts of America.) "The Basil …

Nov 6, 2015: This is weird. Package from Amazon correctly arrived… with no address on it.

Nov 4, 2015: Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith (Books 2015, 9) The pages, how they turn. I'm sure I've said that before of JK Rowling's work, but not in public, it seems. Amusing to note that The Silkworm was my …

Oct 29, 2015: Apprentice and Familiar Out of sequence, but for completeness I should write a piece about the first two-parter in this year's Doctor Who series. "The Magician's Apprentice" …

Oct 28, 2015: Attack of the Clowns, or: Send in the Clones Some time in 2002, as I suppose it must have been, I was driving through Hackney with my then-small son in the car, when he said, "Dad, I saw a …

Oct 28, 2015: Died and Lived Some quick thoughts on the "The Girl Who Died"/"The Woman Who LIved" Doctor Who diptych. It’s unusual and intriguing to see what was effectively …

Oct 10, 2015: Lake and Flood Well, I'm not quite sure that Toby Whithouse quite managed to make the second episode as good as the first, but I'm loving the new series of Doctor …

Oct 6, 2015: The Three-Body Problem by Cixin Liu, Translated by Ken Liu (Books 2015, 8) I feel that we should be rendering the author’s name in the Chinese way, with the family name first: Liu Cixin. That’s how he signs himself in the …

Sep 9, 2015: Leadership There has been little in the news lately but the refugee crisis and the Labour leadership election. I'm here to talk, briefly, before the polls close …

Sep 8, 2015: Station Eleven by Emily St John Mandel (Books 2015, 7) I read this under false pretences. Self-inflicted false pretences, to be sure, but nonetheless. It won the Clarke Award, as I’m sure you know. …

Aug 24, 2015: Old picture found of strange creature over London… #stackablesapp

Aug 21, 2015: On Djs, Beats 1, and Talking Over Songs I hadn't heard Zane Lowe, as I mentioned before. So when Apple Music launched, with its Beats 1 streaming radio service, for which Zane is the …

Aug 18, 2015: Mind of My Mind by Octavia E Butler (Books 2015, 6) The next book in the Patternist series after Wild Seed, which I wrote about before. I would describe it as the sequel to the other one, except that it …

Jul 25, 2015: Brooklyn is so hip.

Jul 20, 2015: A Manhattan in Manhattan.

Jul 12, 2015: Ad-screen BSOD, Westfield.

Jul 12, 2015: Drive-By Brucellosis The day after I post linking to Patterson Hood's NYT piece, I get an email from Amazon recommending a Drive-By Truckers album. I assumed it was a new …

Jul 10, 2015: The South’s Heritage Is So Much More Than a Flag Paterson Hood of the Drive-By Truckers talks wisely about the southern USA. If we want to truly honor our Southern forefathers, we should do it by …

Jun 25, 2015: Wild Seed by Octavia E Butler (books, 2015, 5) Halfway through the year and only five books in? This is shocking behaviour! I’m glad I read this, and I sort of enjoyed it, but I wasn’t …

Jun 23, 2015: The Phantom Menace Just who (or what) is the menacing phantom? Following on from my On things never seen post, yesterday was Father's Day, and we watched The Phantom …

Jun 17, 2015: Test from Editorial A test from the iPhone Editorial app.

May 26, 2015: Today's xkcd is weirdly compelling Just run your eyes over the names and let the imagined connections form. And look at the hover text; do you know who the missing doctor is?

May 24, 2015: The Tories want to reintroduce the Lord Chamberlain From The Guardian: David Cameron has backed plans to give Ofcom stronger powers to prevent the broadcast of “extremist messages” despite concerns …

May 9, 2015: The night after, and shame Well how the hell did that happen? There are two questions there: How could the opinion polls be so wrong? and Why did all those people make such bad …

May 4, 2015: On things never seen There's a programme on Radio 4 from time to time (and it has made the transition to TV) called I've Never Seen Star Wars. In it Marcus Brigstocke gets …

Apr 30, 2015: Neither tempestuous nor particularly challenging I'm taking the Tempest Challenge. I was somewhere in the middle of the third book I read this year when I heard of it, and I realised that all my …

Apr 10, 2015: The main reason I won’t be getting an Apple Watch.

Mar 31, 2015: Shades of Milk and Honey by Mary Robinette Kowal (Books 2015, 4) I won this in the raffle at a BSFA meeting several months ago (actually over a year: October 2013), when Mary Robinette Kowal was the guest. From her …

Mar 23, 2015: Text Editors in The Lord of the Rings Why have I never seen this before? Excellent. Text Editors in The Lord of the Rings. Do you think he might be a fan of Sublime Text?

Mar 22, 2015: Emotionally Weird by Kate Atkinson (books 2015, 3) This is all very meta. It's a story within a story, with at least one other story within that (the last of which is not very relevant). And the two …

Mar 19, 2015: The first time I've probably meant to write about this kind of thing for years: first records, the first bands I saw live, and so on. I was prompted to finally visit …

Mar 16, 2015: URLs and searching URL hiding A while ago, I read a piece called “Improving the URL Bar" (turns out it’s almost a year old, but never mind). I made both mental and …

Mar 13, 2015: On missing out on Zane I feel strangely that I've missed out on Zane Lowe -- on knowing who he is as a DJ, as an interviewer; maybe even as the inheritor of John Peel's …

Mar 11, 2015: OK, if we’re guessing… What song does this picture represent?

Mar 10, 2015: Name the famous book. #VSCOcam

Mar 6, 2015: The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August by Claire North (Books 2015, 2) There's an old saying by Robert Heinlein (or by one or more of his characters): "It steam-engines when it comes steam-engine time." Technological …

Feb 24, 2015: Sons of Bill, Hoxton. From Instagram

Feb 23, 2015: Never really expected to get another new Iain Banks book. But here we are. From Instagram

Feb 23, 2015: Sons of Bill, Hoxton.

Feb 23, 2015: Never really expected to get another new Iain Banks book. But here we are.

Feb 21, 2015: At Hackney Downs station. via Instagram [ift.tt/1D1BfXa](http://ift.tt/1D1BfXa)

Feb 21, 2015: At Hackney Downs station. #stackablesapp

Feb 12, 2015: The Crying of Lot 49 by Thomas Pynchon (Books 2015, 1) This is kind of a frustrating one (and could, like the last one have been considered 2014, as I started it before the year ended; but it was well into …

Feb 10, 2015: Newsflash: the Firefly guys were villains Malcolm Reynolds’ twelve-headed hydra wang of hate for the alliance doesn’t come from outrage over the dubious morality of a couple of black bag …

Jan 19, 2015: Clothes, Clothes, Clothes. Music, Music, Music. Boys, Boys, Boys. by Viv Albertine (Books 2014, 20) A Christmas present: started on Christmas Day and finished just after midnight on the 3rd of January. So I could call it 2015 number 1, but it makes …

Jan 15, 2015: Eclipse SVN key bindings not working I often get problems with the key bindings when I create a new Eclipse workspace. The recent ones with Subversion seemed intractable until I found …

Jan 14, 2015: The Schrödinger's Cat trilogy, by Robert Anton Wilson (Books 2014, 19) A sort-of-sequel to the earlier-discussed Illuminatus trilogy. More sex, more quantum weirdness, and a less coherent story. I don’t think he ever does …

Jan 14, 2015: Sandman Slim by Richard Kadrey (Books 2014, 18) You know when you hear about a book, or read a recommendation, and you think, “That sounds interesting…” And then a bit later it’s available on Kindle …

Jan 6, 2015: Some weirdly faded viaduct. #stackablesapp

Jan 5, 2015: The Illuminatus! trilogy by Robert Shea and Robert Anton Wilson (Books 2014, 17) A rereading, of course; in fact, this is probably something like the sixth time I’ve read this. I keep coming back to it. And why not? There’s music, …

Dec 25, 2014: Christmas has a slightly musical theme this year.

Dec 22, 2014: The Circle by Dave Eggers (Books 2014, 16) This is interesting. Seems to have got a lot of attention when it came out, but somehow I wasn't aware of it. It's very much a novel of now, though …

Dec 14, 2014: What’s the collective noun for Santas? #VSCOcam

Dec 13, 2014: An elective monarchy, again I was reminded of my recent post when I watched Thursday night’s The Big Bang Theory. It was the episode where they try to recreate a high-school prom …

Dec 6, 2014: Queuing out the door at the parcel depot.

Dec 3, 2014: #stackablesapp with the “Frozen Souls” formula. It’s amazing what you can do to a photo.

Dec 2, 2014: Sir Gawain and the Green Night translated by Bernard O'Donoghue (Books 2014, 15) This is an unusual choice. It was a present; I do like poetry, but I probably wouldn’t have chosen it for myself. But it’s great. I really enjoyed it. …

Dec 2, 2014: The Millennium Bridge with the Shard in the background. #stackablesapp with the “Fill the Sky” formula.

Dec 2, 2014: How to fix the UK constitution There is a solution to one of the great constitutional questions of our age, and I have it. Not, I might add, the question of making parliament more …

Nov 28, 2014: Netflix: because your DVDS are allll the way over there So true. “Netflix: because your DVDS are allll the way over there”.

Nov 28, 2014: Clapton Square, again. #stackablesapp with the “Nirvana” formula.

Nov 26, 2014: Doctor Who: The Writer's Tale: the Final Chapter by Russell T Davies and Benjamin Cook (Books 2014, 14) I read the original version this a few years back, when my sister bought it for my son. It was good, very interesting and informative. And I wanted to …

Nov 25, 2014: Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie (Books 2014, 13) This is the one that's won them all: BSFA (jointly), Clarke, Nebula, and more recently, the Hugo Award. Never before has a single book had such a …

Nov 21, 2014: Thin We used to call this “thin clients”; or just a terminal logged on to a server or mainframe. Jason Snell writes of something newish that Adobe and …

Nov 21, 2014: Hijacked Can anyone explain to my why this is resignation-worthy? Simon Danczuk, Labour MP for Rochdale, ... told the Mail Online it was “like the Labour …

Nov 20, 2014: Dotter of her Father's Eyes by Mary M Talbot and Bryan Talbot (Books 2014, 12) Excellent graphic novel; part Mary’s autobiography, part the biography of Lucia Joyce, who was James Joyce’s daughter. Mary’s father, who was distant …

Nov 17, 2014: Tree near Strathblane, messed around in #stackablesapp.

Nov 11, 2014: EU 'benefit tourism' court ruling is common sense, says Cameron I’m assuming the UK government won’t be bound by this European court ruling. After all, UKIP don’t like European court rulings, and government policy …

Nov 8, 2014: On Writing by AL Kennedy (Books 2014, 11) Unlike Stephen King’s book of the same title, this isn’t exactly “a manual of the craft.” You won’t find much about the writing side of writing here; …

Nov 6, 2014: More autumn light in Clapton Square of a morning. Looking towards the old Police Station, and messed around in #vscocam.

Nov 3, 2014: MPs to escape expenses investigations after paperwork destroyed by Parliament - Telegraph You are fucking kidding me! MPs accused of abusing the unreformed expenses system will escape official investigation after the House of Commons …

Oct 29, 2014: Autumn green. #vscocam

Oct 23, 2014: The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith (books, 2014, 10) Always good to get a new JK Rowling, of course, whatever name she's using. I sometimes wonder if she's got loads of other things out there, under …

Oct 23, 2014: Just got into a train. There’s a log lying on the floor. No sign of the Lady. The owls are not what they seem.

Oct 23, 2014: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime by Mark Haddon (Books 2014, 9) In the interest of trying to catch up, I’m not going to say much about this. You probably know all about this already. Also, it’s been quite a while …

Oct 21, 2014: It’s here…

Oct 16, 2014: Suzi Q, where are you? I got a card in the post the other day, from my friends Di and Johnny. Regular readers will know Di as one of the most frequent commenters here (ie, …

Oct 15, 2014: BBC Music Greatest Covers This BBC Music "Greatest Covers" poll has some quite good -- and interesting -- choices. It has the right answer, of course, but also Hüsker Dü and …

Oct 12, 2014: The Severed Streets by Paul Cornell (Books 2014, 8) I'm now so far behind in posting these that I'm just going to put very brief notes up for most of them. As a sequel to the excellent London Falling …

Oct 10, 2014: The tragedy of the Liberal Democrats It seems like a curious choice for the Liberal Democrats to have their national conference in Glasgow this year, what with everything else that’s been …

Oct 7, 2014: Space bat angel dragons hatch in their own way Sometimes you're thinking about writing a blog post and then you write a long comment on someone else's post that contains most of what you were …

Sep 24, 2014: Autumn flare. Straight out of #vscocam

Sep 19, 2014: The morning after I wake to disappointment. I had vacillated away from a “Yes” position to some extent in the days since I wrote that I favoured it, but I can’t help …

Sep 18, 2014: Andy's unpunctuated ambiguity “Andy Murray finally reveals views on Scottish independence“, says the headline in the Telegraph. It goes on to say he “appeared to declare his …

Sep 18, 2014: Awra Best, Scotland I’d just like to wish the people of my homeland well on this most momentous of days.

Sep 12, 2014: The Blue Mask.

Sep 11, 2014: Waving Despite my positive-seeming thoughts and comments over the last few days, I can't help but feeling today that -- to paraphrase, if not exactly quote, …

Sep 10, 2014: Autumn already? How did that happen, September? #vscocam

Sep 10, 2014: Panic in Westminster A guy could get an over-inflated sense of his own importance, you know. For months the polls have been suggesting that the Scottish referendum was …

Sep 9, 2014: Lights…

Sep 7, 2014: Chatsworth Road Festival, September 2014 We went to our local street festival today. Here are some pictures. [gallery ids="1887,1888,1889,1890,1891,1892,1893,1894,1895,1896,1897,1898"] Click …

Sep 6, 2014: Hackney's latest piece of gentrification: comics The latest in Hackney's gentrification: we have a comics shop The latest step in Hackney’s gentrification. Dreyfus café has been open for a …

Sep 5, 2014: Oncoming independence? A Scot abroad For at least a couple of years people have been asking me what I think about the Scottish independence question. At least since the …

Aug 20, 2014: The Rum Diary by Hunter S Thompson (Books 2014, 7) I’ve read pretty much everything by HST that’s been published in book form, but I hadn’t read this, his sole novel, until now. He wrote it before he …

Jul 22, 2014: Pavane by Keith Roberts (Books, 2014, 6) This is considered to be one of the seminal works of alternative history; often mentioned alongside The Man in the High Castle Instead of the Axis …

Jul 21, 2014: Not-Exactly-Books, 2014, 5: What Has Gone Wrong With Short Stories? Preamble (Is there such a thing as a “postamble”, I wonder?) After reading the previous novel I decided it was high time I caught up on …

Jul 7, 2014: Clear view all day then these bampots come along and stand in front of us.

Jul 7, 2014: Clear view all day then these bampots come along and stand in front of us.

Jul 7, 2014: Waiting for Lé Tour. Doesn’t look like it’s going to be too crowded here.

Jul 7, 2014: Waiting for Lé Tour. Doesn’t look like it’s going to be too crowded here.

May 29, 2014: Aye, (Head)Phones I’m not in the market for a new pair of headphones. My venerable Sennheiser HD450s are still doing fine for over-the-head use, and the same brand have …

May 27, 2014: Kippers for Tea I usually post before elections. This time I didn’t get round to it. The results of the European parliament elections were horrendous, of course. But …

May 9, 2014: Spring blossoms in Clapton Square. #vscocam

Apr 15, 2014: Religion, Faith Schools, and 'The Great Pumpkin' Another from the "never posted" series. Again, I don't know why I didn't post it. It seems pretty finished. It's also wildly out of date, stemming is …

Apr 14, 2014: The State of Me, by Nasim Marie Jafry (Books 2014, 4) Well this is an interesting one. Nasim is an old friend. Or it might be more accurate to say she was the big sister of an old friend. She lived two …

Apr 11, 2014: Secret Diaries Sad to hear of the death of Sue Townsend. I didn’t keep up with the Adrian Mole books after the first couple, but I was always happy to see her byline …

Apr 10, 2014: Why Devilgate? I always expect people to ask me about my use of the handle devilgate, but they almost never do. But an old friend did recently, and I wrote him the …

Mar 26, 2014: The First Three Books of the Year The first three books of 2014 were: The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman Gaiman’s fantasy inspired by his own childhood experiences …

Mar 26, 2014: Link: The One Correct Way to do Dependency Injection | Schauderhaft The One Correct Way to do Dependency Injection | Schauderhaft In the end, "Dependency Injection" just means "passing parameters"; which was always the …

Mar 14, 2014: Tony Benn This blog raises a fist and a glass and a helping hand in memory of Tony Benn. A true socialist and all-round good guy.

Mar 13, 2014: Some People Left for Heaven Without Warning... Too many people died in 2013. So many, it seems, that when Philip Chevron of The Pogues died, I didn't get round to finishing my post. Here's what I …

Mar 12, 2014: Weirdest Customer Request? This is one of those unpublished posts I told you about. I don't know why it wasn't published (well, except that I hadn't written the last couple of …

Mar 11, 2014: Another Lost Month, and Unpublished Posts OK, so not content with the last post celebrating the fact that I missed a whole month, I then went on and missed February, too. These months just go …

Mar 7, 2014: Spring morning, low sun & shadows. #vscocam

Mar 1, 2014: This beer goes down too fast.

Feb 28, 2014: Pipes and gas meters, Hackney. #vscocam

Feb 13, 2014: A bit early in the year for these. #vscocam

Jan 31, 2014: Missing Months I missed all of December. On this blog, that is. No posts at all. V bad. And nearly missed January as well. But not quite. Here’s a photo to remind us …

Jan 19, 2014: Me, by @fiona_fudge. :-)

Jan 10, 2014: The Christmas cake nears its end…

Dec 26, 2013: Eurostar departures at St Pancras.

Dec 24, 2013: Gatwick Lines.

Dec 23, 2013: Sunset. West Sussex.

Nov 28, 2013: Once again I won’t be reaching NaNoWriMo’s 50,000-word mark this year, but I have written over 30,000, which is the most ever. And I finished a …

Nov 15, 2013: That’s a lot of leaves. You’d think it was autumn.

Nov 15, 2013: Another one from my train journey last weekend, with the iOS7 “Noir” filter applied.

Nov 10, 2013: Cooling towers at sunset.

Nov 9, 2013: 3,446 words today for a NaNoWriMo total so far of 15,724. That also completes a 20,000 word novella called “All Tomorrow’s Troubles”. Going well. Now …

Nov 5, 2013: This “short story” that I was going to knock out before getting back to my novel is growing into a behemoth. At 12000 words it’s thoroughly a …

Oct 24, 2013: Shadows. New carpet on the landing at work, and the morning sun streaming in.

Oct 18, 2013: 2001: The aliens that almost were [W]e could summarize the whole ordeal by saying that Kubrick tried to the last minute not to follow Sagan's advice!. An interesting piece on Kubrick, …

Oct 16, 2013: The Summer of Rereading, 3: More Culture I stayed with the Culture books, skipping over the non-Culture SF ones, Against a Dark Background and Feersum Endjinn. That brought me to Excession, …

Oct 16, 2013: The Summer of Rereading, 2: A Culture of Marvel and Miracles After Iain Banks died I decided it was long past time for a big reread of all his books. Most of the older ones were in the attic, though, so it was a …

Oct 9, 2013: He's really a guitar player but he uses a camera "He's really a guitar player but he uses a camera": Interview at The Quietus with Lou Reed and Mick Rock, the photographer who took, among many other …

Sep 21, 2013: The Summer of Rereading 1: The Magus, by John Fowles A summer of rereading, that's what this one has been for me. Let me tell you about it. Note: contains spoilers Early on – maybe it was still …

Sep 14, 2013: Cultural Times On Wednesday I went to The State of the Culture, a symposium on Iain M Banks's "Culture" novels, at Brunel University. Paul Kincaid's writeup suggests …

Jun 30, 2013: Hard Rock Calling. Bruce in 30.

Jun 20, 2013: First time I’ve ever been sad on getting the latest Iain Banks novel.

Jun 17, 2013: Forgot the Cry of Gulls It's now a week -- more, by the time I finish and post this -- since we heard about the death of Iain Banks. Everyone has written about this. From Ken …

Jun 14, 2013: Twenty years of Meltdown and I’ve never been before. But tonight, Yoko Ono POB.

Jun 10, 2013: We Are The Clash: The Last Stand of a Band That Mattered by Mark Andersen & Ralph Heibutzki — Kickstarter A Kickstarter for a book on the last two years of The Clash. I should volunteer to be interviewed, as I saw them thrice on the busking tour.

Jun 9, 2013: This one’s in memory of Banksie.

Jun 3, 2013: Sunsetting.

May 25, 2013: Onions & garlic sizzling.

May 23, 2013: Can you tell what it is?

May 22, 2013: The trees are looking lush now.

May 22, 2013: London in May. Looks like the church is on fire.

May 22, 2013: Waiting to give blood. Is this a healthy option?

May 21, 2013: The Third-Person Sanctimonious With The Great Gatsby fever in full swing (to mix a metaphor), I've been thinking about the book a lot today. I tweeted yesterday that I had never …

May 13, 2013: Tulips outside my office in Paddington, yesterday.

May 12, 2013: Stoke Newington buggy jam. This is how the pubs are these days.

May 11, 2013: Hooray! @Savagesband album and EP.

May 11, 2013: This should be the Savages album.

May 10, 2013: Well-fired pain au chocolat. Still, they charged me less than usual.

May 5, 2013: The long hard winter made everything dormant, but now the bluebells are out in our garden.

May 5, 2013: Tidying.

May 4, 2013: What in all the bells is “Banana Ketchup”???

May 3, 2013: Spring springing in Hackney. This seems to happen every year. Eventually. #spring #hackney

Apr 15, 2013: The Scented City We spent a few days in Cologne over Easter. I took lots of photographs. Here are two that have had some tweaking in Lightroom. I'm especially pleased …

Feb 21, 2013: Understanding a Misunderstanding Spotify has always behaved weirdly regarding how you queue tracks up. Today I think I realised why. They think “Queue this track up” means …

Feb 16, 2013: Hackney Sunset This is the sky at sunset in Hackney just the other day. Kind of remarkable, don’t you think? Click on the the picture for a bigger version on …

Feb 7, 2013: Pulp Magazine Covers for All The [Pulp-O-Mizer](http://thrilling-tales.webomator.com/derange-o-lab/pulp-o-mizer/pulp-o-mizer.html) is a fun thing that lets you generate …

Feb 5, 2013: Day Trip We had a wee day trip to Cambridge yesterday (Monday). Lovely city. I took some photographs. They're so small and unlinked because, I think, I'm …

Jan 15, 2013: Strange Blog Behaviour For some reason WordPress decided to repost the two posts that currently appear immediately below this one. I have no idea why. They have in common …

Dec 18, 2012: Instagram and Terms I never really got Instagram. I mean, I got the app, I signed up, and I posted a few photos. But I never totally got what it was for. I mean, social …

Dec 2, 2012: November spawned some words (but not that many) I'm not very good at this NaNoWriMo thing, it turns out (again). This year I declared myself a NaNo Rebel (basically anyone who aims to write 50,000 …

Nov 13, 2012: Warren Ellis on Writing Dialogue When you have a character talking, have two things you know about their lives in your head as you let them talk. Two things that make them what they …

Oct 15, 2012: Scapple: new from Literature and Latte New Mac app from the makers of Scrivener. Looks good. Mind mapping, but without the requirement to have a single central node. In beta at the moment. …

Sep 25, 2012: New Camera; Also Reviewing Purchases I finally have a dSLR. No longer do I have to hold my camera up in front of me in that quite silly-looking way; once again I can look through a …

Sep 11, 2012: Generation: Inspired So, it's all finally over, and we go back to normal. Or perhaps not. The slogan of London 2012 was "Inspire a Generation", and I think that has …

Aug 16, 2012: Olympics: fencing and more Park views A Flickr set from our first Olympic event: fencing at ExCeL. We went via Stratford, so we stopped off at the Westfield shopping centre on the way, to …

Aug 15, 2012: Olympics: some photos from the Park Olympics 1, a set on Flickr; click to see the whole set. This is a Flickr set of some sights around the Olympic Park the first day we were there …

Jul 30, 2012: Olympian Achievements Initial scepticism Back in 2004, 2005 or so, when London was bidding to host the Olympics, I was against it. My concerns were the cost, the crowding, …

Jul 24, 2012: Google is Buying Sparrow, but not Updating the Apps Google buys Sparrow, current apps will not get any new features | The Verge. This is annoying. The only thing that was stopping me from making Sparrow …

Jul 18, 2012: A British Court Bans a TV Broadcast BBC lawyers consider formal appeal over court ban on riots drama | Media | guardian.co.uk. The most chilling thing about this is not so much banning …

Jul 2, 2012: Tip: using Pandoc to create truly standalone HTML files If you’re using the excellent Pandoc to convert between different document formats, and you: want your final output to be in HTML; want the HTML to …

Jun 28, 2012: Bash - how to recursively find the latest modified file in a directory Recursively finding the latest modified file in a directory. From the mighty Stack Overflow, some useful tips on using find with dates.

Jun 28, 2012: Weekend Warblers The Radio 1 Hackney Weekend festival was fabulously well organised, loads of fun, and passed off with only three arrests.1 Booking the tickets a month …

Jun 16, 2012: Cud at The Garage

Jun 16, 2012: Surely Cud approaching…

Jun 16, 2012: Echotape supporting Cud at The Garage.

Jun 16, 2012: The stage awaits Echotape. At The Garage.

Jun 16, 2012: Sheen supporting Cud at The Garage

May 25, 2012: Moving desks today

May 7, 2012: A Line, a Loop, a Tangle of Timey-Wimeyness The London International Festival of Science Fiction and Fantastic Film, or Sci-Fi-London is in its eleventh year, and I've never been to anything in …

May 3, 2012: Voting Time Again Time to hit the polling booths again. Doesn't seem that long since the last one. But it's a lot easier to decide this time. Brian Paddick's a decent …

Apr 4, 2012:

Mar 30, 2012: Weird Law-Enforcement Things There were three slightly weird law-enforcement- or intelligence-related stories in the news today: Two jailed in Northern Ireland over police …

Mar 30, 2012: A Drop of the Hard Stuff ...potential readers are still coming to the genre. Books aren't the entry drug any more. Books are the hard stuff, the crystal meth of genre. Ian …

Mar 17, 2012: I don’t think they’re being ironic about the Jesus bit either.

Mar 17, 2012: The Felice Brothers

Mar 17, 2012: The Felice Brothers at the O2 ABC, Glasgow

Mar 17, 2012: Craig Finn at the O2 ABC in Glasgow. I don’t think this Jesus song is ironic.

Mar 14, 2012: Paul Weller in "Good Album" Shock! Who would have thought, this many years after The Jam, that Paul Weller could still make a decent album? Yet that's exactly what he's done. You can …

Mar 12, 2012: Desperate sun-seekers Via Instagram

Mar 12, 2012: Desperate sun-seekers

Mar 11, 2012: Eyelash car via Instagram [instagr.am/p/ICqWnWl...](http://instagr.am/p/ICqWnWlpeH/)

Mar 11, 2012: Eyelash car

Feb 22, 2012: Penguin Pete's Blog - Using Bash To Solve A Brain Teaser [Great use of Bash scripting to do a maths puzzle, but demonstrating lots of useful …

Feb 21, 2012: In an astounding example of metaness, this Instagram pic should generate a blog post, using ifttt.com via Instagram

Feb 21, 2012: In an astounding example of metaness, this Instagram pic should generate a blog post, using ifttt.com

Feb 16, 2012: Terror, or Not; and Bail I’ve been meaning to write a post about the Abu Qatada situation. But Jack Deighton has said all I would have; most notably, “If we do not behave in a …

Feb 11, 2012:

Feb 11, 2012:

Jan 30, 2012: Pass-By-Reference Problem When Using Websphere Application Server This has been kicking around, nearly finished, for months. It's not going to get any better, or shorter, so it's long past time I put it out there. …

Jan 30, 2012: Your Friendly Olympic Park This is the view from the banks of the Lea (or Lee) by the Olympic Park: Let’s take a closer look at that attractive fence: Lovely, eh? I hope …

Jan 14, 2012: Cluttered by Google, Lost by Bing I was reading The Clutter Didn’t Kill the Love by Brent Simmons, about how he was trying Microsoft's Bing search engine, instead of Google. His reason …

Jan 10, 2012: The Felice Brothers As if there weren’t enough reasons to love Outnumbered already, we recently saw an old Christmas special. It ended with the family watching the telly …

Dec 7, 2011: Flying Kids

Dec 7, 2011: Tree & Sky

Dec 7, 2011: Autumn Roses [gallery link="file" columns="9"] This warm autumn has done some weird things in our garden. The end of November in Hackney brought these new blooms …

Dec 2, 2011: The Words that Maketh Novels It seems like almost no time at all since I last wrote about not completing NaNoWriMo. But here we are again. A year passes like nothing. I …

Nov 13, 2011: Smashing Things Up for 35 Years My friend (Wee) John(ny) called a couple of days ago and said, “Do you fancy seeing The Damned at the Roundhouse?” I’d never been to the Roundhouse, …

Nov 4, 2011: 88 Lines About The End Of Reasons To Leave The Elements Back when John Peel was still with us he played a song called '88 Lines About 44 Women'. I only heard it maybe twice, and never caught the name of the …

Oct 11, 2011: Aliens Among Us I never bothered to watch Alien Resurrection because I didn’t like Alien3 (or Cubed, as I always see it). So now, browsing the new, freshly-in-beta SF …

Aug 26, 2011: Hardcore Knows the Score For the last two months or so, it seems, I've been listening almost exclusively to a single album.[^fn1] That album is David Comes to Life by a …

Aug 18, 2011: Golden times of British TV comedy It has come to my attention that there are some of you who are not aware of two of the best British comedy programmes to come out over the last year …

Jul 19, 2011: Intrusive login options I’ve not really had many dealings with the Huffington Post, but I thought I’d drop a comment on this piece about a cover versions album of Nirvana’s …

Jul 12, 2011: Boycott News International for life? I already did. There's a campaign on Facebook encouraging people to boycott News International papers for life. I'm way ahead of them. I don't touch anything from …

Jul 6, 2011: World of the Newspaper I’m sure we all use the word “disgusted” too easily. But I felt physically sick when I first heard about the News of the World (or someone working on …

Jun 28, 2011: Rainy Day Music and SF at the BL The Saturday before last we went to the [London Feis Festival 2011](http://londonfeis.com/), in Finsbury Park. The weather was looking to be quite bad …

Jun 19, 2011: [H]is baritone sax tugged at the bottom of the track like taffy on the sole of a sneaker. The quote is from this obituary of Clarence Clemons. Sadly, The Big Man died yesterday. I saw him at a solo gig once, during the year I worked in …

Jun 17, 2011: Father's Weekend I’m thoroughly looking forward to this weekend. Not only is it the London Feis festival tomorrow, with Bob Dylan headlining, but Sunday being Father’s …

Jun 9, 2011: Tell, and Maybe Show as Well Prospective -- or actual -- writers are always given the advice, 'show, don't tell.' It's considered to be more engaging as a storytelling technique …

May 3, 2011: Let's All Say "Yes" This morning I heard John Humphrys haul the Prime Minister over the coals regarding the behaviour of the “No to AV” campaign. Cameron tried to …

Apr 28, 2011: Moxyland, by Lauren Beukes Lauren Beukes has just won the Clarke Award with her Zoo City. Congratulations to her, and all. I just finished reading her Moxyland, which I was …

Mar 26, 2011: Emusic Followup eMusic got back to me. As I said, I emailed them to complain about the disappearance of re-downloading. Randall, from eMusic Customer Support, said: …

Mar 23, 2011: Emusic and Re-downloading OK, everyone knows about Emusic, right? Good site for downloading mainly independent stuff. You often find that you can only get recent stuff by bands …

Mar 16, 2011: Come Gather Round, People If you're like me, you've never seen Bob Dylan live, and you'd like to, sometime before he dies. So here’s your chance, if you’re in or …

Mar 1, 2011: Tortilla Mask

Feb 25, 2011: Spring springing in Clapton Square

Feb 8, 2011: Thoughts on Business Sectors It occurs to me that software companies, like the one I work for, are probably considered part of the 'service sector', in the kind of statistics that …

Jan 8, 2011: Link: Writers’ Bloc – a Literary Band Writers’ Bloc – a Literary Band « East Kent Live Lit. Some nice thoughts on what my friends in Edinburgh get up to with their spoken-word performances …

Jan 5, 2011: Republicans: good at theatre, dreadful at governing I've often said that you can't trust right-wingers with the economy. But now Michael Tomasky, in The Guardian, gives more evidence for my assertion, …

Jan 5, 2011: New Year Activities The day after New Year's Day we decided to go to the British Museum, to see the mummies. So did half of London, it seemed. I've never seen it so …

Jan 1, 2011: New? I’m desperately rushing to post this before midnight, just so I can have a post on the 1/1/11. Happy New Year, everyone.

Nov 30, 2010: NoNo Well, this is my [NaNoFail](http://www.nanowrimo.org/user/658975) report. I managed around 15,000 words. Which isn't bad in its way, but is not only a …

Nov 16, 2010: Veela in the Bey Blade arena

Nov 16, 2010: Autumn sky

Nov 4, 2010: Autumn in Clapton Square

Nov 2, 2010: Tank-Tops and Dolls On our recent drive south from the Highlands there was a song that briefly seemed to be following us. First at an emergency food stop in a McDonald’s …

Oct 31, 2010: The Day After Hallowe'en Well, midnight on the 31st of October is fast rolling round. We're not long back from a week in the Highlands of Scotland (very wet, but great, …

Oct 12, 2010: Maccetty Mac So, I've had this here new MacBook for a couple of weeks, and I've yet to post anything from it. I am, not surprisingly, loving it. The initial …

Sep 24, 2010: Link: Screenwriting Tip Of The Day by William C. Martell - Romeo to Rambo How good scripts get turned into bad movies: Screenwriting Tip Of The Day by William C. Martell - Romeo to Rambo

Sep 8, 2010: Summer Reading 2010 I've got out of the habit of writing about everything I read, but I've had such a good run of books over the summer that I want to at least make some …

Jul 29, 2010: Youssou N'Dour, Philip Glass, The Kronos Quartet, and Bela Lugosi Most, but not all of them at one event. Jamaica and Senegal Make Music A couple of weeks ago we went to the Barbican to see Youssou N’Dour. In …

Jul 20, 2010: Moat Again I spelled Raoul Moat's name wrongly in my last post. Now corrected. I have to say that my sympathy for Moat was increased by reading an interview with …

Jul 15, 2010: Who Lays Flowers for a Murderer? When I sent this tweet: .bbpBox18452685226 {background:url(http://s.twimg.com/a/1278724399/images/themes/theme5/bg.gif) #352726;padding:20px;} …

May 13, 2010: Con/Dem Nation? Betrayed? My initial reaction to the Liberal Democrats' decision to form a coalition with the Tories was a combination of disappointment and a sense …

May 5, 2010: Election Tweets 'n' Stuff Thirteen years ago we had champagne ready for the overall majority (though we opened it when Portillo's seat went). This year might look more like …

May 5, 2010: Embedding Tweets There's a new way to embed tweets in blog posts. Here's one of mine to try it out: My nine-year-old daughter confuses 'Conservative' with 'sinister'. …

May 5, 2010: The Big Disappointment The Boundaries of Voting I’ve been boundary-changed, and it’s made it harder to decide who to vote for. At the last election (and until a …

Apr 30, 2010: Link: How to Write a Story, by Robert Jackson Bennett "The first step is waking up." Brilliant: How to Write a Story, by Robert Jackson Bennett

Apr 29, 2010: Link: "Long-standing party loyalties, even in a less tribal world, are not easily suspended" "... But May 2010 offers a once-in-a-generation opportunity to reshape politics for the better. It must be seized." Fascinating list of signatories to …

Apr 27, 2010: From Easter to Volcano Days I don't get round to these things quickly, but this is, at least in part, a report on my family's visit to Eastercon. This year the British National …

Apr 12, 2010: Subway Calling I've worked in Paddington for nearly two years, and had no idea this was here until today. Edgware Road, just by Paddington Green Police Station. …

Apr 2, 2010: Easter Time is Here Again Easter rolls around on its mad-god-inspired schedule, and so too does Eastercon, the British National Science-Fiction Convention. This year, as it was …

Mar 26, 2010: Magnetism On Monday I took my son to the Barbican to see The Magnetic Fields. It was his first proper gig. And an experience quite unlike most gigs I've been to …

Jan 30, 2010: Next-Door to a Sequel Last night I finished Living Next-Door to the God of Love, by Justina Robson. I enjoyed much of it, but found it kind of frustrating and annoying, in …

Jan 5, 2010: Link: An Awesome Interpretation of Avatar Brilliant analysis of what could have been "really" happening in Avatar. Don't read if you haven't seen the film.: An Awesome Interpretation of Avatar …

Dec 31, 2009: Decade's End This is how we end the first decade of the twenty-first century, then: with Jools on the telly, and a netbook on my lap. A fitting conclusion, I …

Oct 17, 2009: Link: A Self-Referential Story "Sentient sentences": an astonishing piece of work.: A Self-Referential Story

Oct 14, 2009: A quote from Amanda Palmer: asking for money for your art is not selling out ASKING FOR MONEY FOR YOUR ART IS NOT SELLING OUT. selling out is when you go against your own heart, ideals and authenticity to make money. selling …

Oct 7, 2009: Link: Do I know where hell is? Hell is in "Hello" God save us from crazy religious nutters. The title is taken from ‘Wandrin’ Star', by the way.: Do I know where hell is? Hell is in …

Oct 7, 2009: Link: A report on FT.com: The man who invented exercise Amazing story. Hard to believe that the benefits of aerobic exercise were unknown as recently as the 1940s.: A report on FT.com: The man who invented …

Sep 12, 2009: Transitions in Real Life? The new Iain Banks book, Transition, is a science fiction novel. This is despite the fact that it is not published as by Iain M Banks. And I …

Sep 3, 2009: Live Jello show Yeah, I know, that sounds like something kinky. But I just got this from the Academy mailing list (that's "O2 Academy Brixton and O2 Academy …

Sep 2, 2009: Michael Marshall Smith speaks wisely on opinions on the internet If you can't take the time and trouble to learn how to write a coherent sentence, then why on earth do you believe people should listen to what you …

Jun 19, 2009: I really need to post more But these days, if I try to write a post of more than 140 characters, I get a strange, compressed feeling. Things start to slow... down...

May 7, 2009: Publication Hi, I'm back. Have you missed me? I have some good news. First Edition is a new magazine publishing new writing: fiction, poetry, and reviews. …

Mar 4, 2009: Without Twitter, how will we know what's happening? [Twitter](http://twitter.com/) seems to be down at the moment - or at least, it's not accepting tweets, and I can't log in at the website. But how do …

Feb 19, 2009: Masks of the Illuminati, by Robert Anton Wilson (Books 2008, 21) If you had asked me a few months ago whether I had read this I'd have said yes. I thought that I had read most, if not all, of Wilson's books that are …

Feb 19, 2009: Snow by Orhan Pamuk (Books 2008, 20) Above all, this took me a loooong time to finish. Even when I was reading it steadily and thought I would just carry straight on through, it was slow …

Feb 19, 2009: The System of the World, by Neal Stephenson (books 2008, 19) This has been the third year in which I have read a volume of The Baroque Cycle over the summer. I loved the first, despite its dip after the first …

Feb 19, 2009: Pattern Recognition, by William Gibson (Books 2008, 18) Cayce Pollard has a strange kind of allergy: certain brands make her ill. Or at least, their logos do; seeing the Michelin Man, for instance, sets her …

Feb 19, 2009: Transmetropolitan: Back on the Street, by Warren Ellis and Darick Robertson (Books 2008, 17) Ellis's Spider Jerusalem is a journalist, based on Hunter S Thompson. At the start he is living in seclusion in a cabin in the mountains, but …

Jan 30, 2009: A poem So on my OU Creative Writing course, we're currently on the poetry module. After reading the chapter on imagery last night, I formed the following in …

Jan 14, 2009: Adverbs, by Daniel Handler (Books 2008, 16) Mr Handler operating under his own name, here, rather than his Snicket nom de plume. As such, this is a novel for adults, rather than children. Though …

Jan 7, 2009: American Flagg episodes 1-30 (and special 1), by Howard Chaykin and others (Books 2008, 15) I came upon these when I was digging out some old comics for my son. These are not for eleven-year-olds, but I realised I hadn't read them in years, …

Jan 7, 2009: Halting State, by Charles Stross (Books 2008, 13) Posted out of sequence, for reasons unknown even to me. Writing about this novel is kind of embarassing for me, because I had the chance to make it …

Jan 4, 2009: Lazarus Churchyard: The Final Cut, by Warren Ellis and D'Israeli (Books 2008, 14) Hmmm, once again I try a Warren Ellis, and find that it's not as good as I expected, or hoped. 'Good', that is, in the sense of 'exciting, dramatic, …

Jan 4, 2009: Veniss Underground, by Jeff Vandermeer (Books 2008, 12) I bought this in a second-hand bookshop, and tucked into the back there was a cutting from The Guardian of this review by Michael Moorcock. So go and …

Dec 17, 2008: I'll stand before the Lord of Song My friend Paul writes about the winner of The X-Factor's shot at the Christmas number one with a cover of Leonard Cohen's 'Hallelujah'. Since the …

Dec 15, 2008: Too long gone Man, it's been a long time since I posted. I blame Twitter. You could always follow me there, if you don’t already. Also my OU course. Which, …

Nov 5, 2008: Yes you can! Congratulations, America! Great news. Obama’s speech was fantastic, and McCain’s was very dignified. Unfortunately, there is one piece of …

Nov 4, 2008: Queues Long queues at polling places are a sign, surely, of a country recently freed from tyranny, of one that is experiencing the chance to vote for the …

Nov 3, 2008: Worrier president There's a Warren Zevon song called 'Worrier King'. It contains the line, 'I've been up all night, worrying what November's gonna bring.' Given that US …

Oct 24, 2008: A quote from Warren Ellis Bursts aren't contentless, nor do they denote the end of Attention Span. If attention span was dead, JK Rowling wouldn't be selling paperbacks thick …

Oct 13, 2008: ThiGMOO, by Eugene Byrne (Books 2008, 11) This is, in effect, a [Singularity](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Technological_singularity) story, though a rather gentle, slightly comic one. The AIs …

Oct 3, 2008: Corporal punishment: not on my watch There was an arse on the ??Today?? programme this morning, calling for the return of corporal punishment to schools. One in five teachers, he says, …

Sep 18, 2008: I phone, you phone So, I've got an iPhone. I walked into the O2 shop near work the other day, and came out half an hour later with an 8 GB phone and a £30-a-month …

Sep 8, 2008: Mad bampot on a rope Went to see Man on Wire last night, the documentary about Philippe Petit's 1974 high-wire walk between the twin towers of the World Trade Center. It's …

Sep 3, 2008: Exciting times These are exciting times in Hackney. Not only has my son just started secondary school today (where did those eleven years go?) but it seems that we …

Sep 1, 2008: Watermelon Sculpture Watermelon Sculpture Originally uploaded by devilgate. My son's first sculpture. Clearly Halloween can't come soon enough (though watermelon is a …

Aug 26, 2008: A Series of Unfortunate Events, by Lemony Snicket (Books, 2008, 10) This is actually thirteen books, not just one. I've been reading it with my son over a period of several months. He, of course, had already read it, …

Aug 22, 2008: The London cabbie: good and bad We experienced the best and worst of the London cabbie last night: from not taking a fare because to do so would have been a rip-off, to attempted …

Jul 31, 2008: What's that stand for? I remember several years ago when the right answer to this was given wrong on University Challenge; but you’d think that, after all this time, …

Jul 30, 2008: FF3 on Linux Well, "that business with installing Firefox 3 on Linux":http://devilgate.org/blog/2008/06/20/it-is-_immensely_-annoying-that-you-can/? Finally done …

Jun 26, 2008: The Gun Club I just listened to The Gun Club's first album, Fire Of Love. They're a band that I heard of all through my student years - at least one good friend …

Jun 20, 2008: It is _immensely_ annoying that you can't just download and install Firefox 3 on Linux (at least the Xandros distro that comes with the Eee PC) …

Jun 20, 2008: A Dream of Wessex, by Christopher Priest (Books 2008, 9) This is the motherlode of all brains-in-jars/life-is-a-computer-simulation-type stories. Gibson's and the Wachowskis' Matrixes can both trace their …

Jun 20, 2008: Water on Mars Phoenix has "found water on Mars":[phoenix.lpl.arizona.edu/,](http://phoenix.lpl.arizona.edu/,) by the way.

Jun 20, 2008: Fluidity Why does no-one make themes that are fluid anymore? By which I mean ones that re-flow the text when you resize your browser window, of course.

Jun 20, 2008: New theme Have just activated a new theme for this site. It's called …

Jun 17, 2008: The Space Machine, by Christopher Priest (Books 2008, 8) What a fine conceit. Take the two great science fiction works by one of the genre's defining masters, mash them up together, and use the result to …

Jun 13, 2008: 42 referendums and and a resignation I can't decide on this David Davis thing. Is it just a stunt? Is he genuinely concerned enough about civil liberties to take the chance (small though …

Jun 8, 2008: Newton's Wake: A Space Opera, by Ken MacLeod (books 2008, 7) A scorching, searing cyberpunk space opera. It has _everything_ in it: FTL starships, uploaded minds, nanotech, the Singularity, wormhole gateways... …

Jun 8, 2008: Trying out Drivel I'm trying out an offline blogging client that runs on Linux (these things are not that easy to come by). It's called Drivel, and it seems to work OK, …

Jun 6, 2008: Novelist Joanna Kavenna points out that I was wrong Ok, I was wrong when I said that no other genres had disparaging abbreviations. "I don't understand what chick-lit means, and to a degree it's just …

Jun 5, 2008: Identity and letdown in The Raw Shark Texts, by Steven Hall (books 2008, 6) Eric Sanderson wakes without his memories. In short order he starts receiving messages apparently sent by his former self, is told by his psychiatrist …

Jun 1, 2008: The Einstein Intersection, by Samuel R Delany (Books 2008, 5) Or, 'A Fabulous, Formless Darkness', which was Delany's original preferred title, according to Neil Gaiman (him again?) in his introduction to this …

May 25, 2008: Floating So the Tories took Crewe and Nantwich in the by-election. I don’t understand (never have) the mentality, the mindset, the brains of floating …

May 13, 2008: Looking forward to hearing this My favourite author and a favourite TV writer: together again for the first time! Iain Banks has now taken a look at the recording script of my BBC …

May 5, 2008: British Summer Time, by Paul Cornell (Books 2008, 4) Paul Cornell wrote some of my favourite episodes of Doctor Who's recent years: 'Father's Day', and the 'Human Nature'/'Family of Blood' two-parter. …

Apr 29, 2008: Time for writing crosses in booths, folks You know what's coming. It's nearly the 1st of May, and that means elections. An all-too-infrequent chance to exercise our fundamental democratic …

Apr 3, 2008: That 'reporting back from Eastercon' business I realise that I said I would report back from Eastercon. It already seems like quite a long time ago. I had a great time, though I missed out on the …

Apr 3, 2008: Old Man's War, by John Scalzi (Books 2008, 3) I've been reading Scalzi's [blog (Whatever...)](http://www.scalzi.com/whatever/) on and off for a few years, and he comes across as one of the good …

Mar 20, 2008: Easter Weekend plans Off to the exciting, glamorous Heathrow area tomorrow, for Orbital, the 2008 Eastercon. It'll be the first convention I've been to for about ten …

Mar 16, 2008: The Hidden Family, by Charles Stross (Books 2008, 2) Volume 2 (or the second half of volume 1, depending on how you look at it) of Charlie's 'Merchant Princes' series. It continues the story of Miriam …

Mar 3, 2008: On secondary school selection and the myth of choice My son will be starting secondary school in September this year. So towards the end of last year we spent a lot of time reading up on the policies of …

Feb 25, 2008: Matter, by Iain M Banks (Books 2008, 1) So, the latest Banksie. Always a treat, of course, and especially so when it's a novel of The Culture. This one, though, is slightly disappointing. …

Feb 25, 2008: Eee! PC. My new Eee PC relaxes on the bed: A photo of one of my recent technological acquisitions, as taken by the other. It’s hard to take a photo of a …

Feb 22, 2008: Messing around with the blog I'm trying out a different theme on here for a while, along with a Wordpress Plugin called QuickPost . Both the plugin and the theme are supposed to …

Feb 15, 2008: Human rights and human gains It is a tragedy that a member of the public, when interviewed on the radio, should say, when the phrase "human rights" comes up, "Oh, bloody hell, …

Jan 29, 2008: McQualifications I probably don't need anything more than the title for this one. I mean, who the hell would ever think it was a good a idea to let McDonald's issue …

Jan 2, 2008: A quote from Ken MacLeod with which to start the year Creation science is a purely destructive enterprise, like comment trolling or wiki vandalism. Its entire impact results from scrawling across the work …

Dec 22, 2007: Nutters, "Emigration, Death, Regret and Substance Abuse" I see that Tony Blair has become a catholic. No surprise there. But as an ex-catholic atheist myself, I'm feeling down with Nick Clegg. In other …

Dec 19, 2007: Lucky Jim, by Kingsley Amis (Books 2007, 7) I hadn't read any Amis before (either of them), but I've wanted to try Kingsley for a while; mainly for his SF connections, but when I saw this in a …

Dec 7, 2007: Cheerleader Saved, World Saved... ... for now, at least (What, you think that’s a spoiler? You saw the future world when Sylar had healing powers: obviously that one wasn’t …

Nov 30, 2007: Here's Tae Us I just heard John Bell of the Iona Community on 'Thought for the Day'. He was talking, since it's St Andrew's day, about the old Scottish saying, or …

Nov 12, 2007: The Scar, by China Miéville (Books 2007, 6) .A mindfucking mindfuck of all mindfucks. A great, big, sprawling book, and yet one which can have a curious sense of claustrophobia at times. …

Nov 6, 2007: What Exactly Does it Mean to Book a Train Ticket, Anyway? I had a slightly weird experience with train bookings a while back. Twice I've booked tickets via The Trainline between London and Glasgow (once on my …

Nov 5, 2007: A New Low For Cattle Class I flew up to Scotland the other weekend, by RyanAir. On the way back the plane was a 737-800. It was the same kind of plane as on the flight up, but …

Nov 2, 2007: A Bridge Not Far Enough Spoilers ahead. I watched Bridge to Terabithia last weekend. It is probably the saddest film I’ve ever seen, and despite all the plaudits it has …

Oct 18, 2007: The Return Of Some Futurists From The Past It seems that The Rezillos, mighty purveyors of sci-fi (I use the term deliberately, and very carefully) pop-punk reformed somewhere along the line. …

Sep 25, 2007: The Prestige, by Christopher Priest (Books 2007, 5) The most annoying thing about The Prestige is the way it ends; though I can see that there was no real reason to continue it after that point. The …

Sep 20, 2007: The Steep Approach to Garbadale, by Iain Banks (Books 2007, 4) It's not The Crow Road, but then, what is? In my opinion, the quality of Banksie’s non-SF work rose in shallow, slightly wiggly, climb from a …

Sep 18, 2007: Rock and No Roll The people who are queuing outside branches of Northern Rock are fooling themselves, and if anything are likely to trigger the problem they fear. I …

Sep 4, 2007: A quote from Charlie Brooker Charlie Brooker's screen burn | The Guide | Guardian Unlimited 'Spirituality' is what cretins have in place of imagination.

Sep 3, 2007: The only 'Transformer' I really like is an album by Lou Reed Took the kids to see the Transformers movie tonight. It's not a franchise that I grew up with, of course, but my two older nephews were into them when …

Sep 1, 2007: Ink, by Hal Duncan (Books 2007, 3) So, The Book of All Hours is finished. And fine, fine stuff it is, too. This volume seems somehow more polished than the first , but perhaps not as …

Aug 10, 2007: Twenty Years of Foolin' and They Put You in the Pub At the end of Potter Week we joined the queue in Borders in Islington at about twenty to eleven; we got served at about 1am (and bought a lot more …

Jul 19, 2007: We Need to Talk About Kevin, by Lionel Shriver (Books 2007, 2) Wow. This is an amazing piece of work. The mother of a high-school killer writes letters to her husband, describing Kevin's life as she experienced …

Jul 13, 2007: Potter Week OK, I declare this the start of Potter Week. I'm just on my way to Stratford, where we'll eat at Pizza Express, before going to see Harry Potter and …

Jun 27, 2007: Son of a Preacher Man So, Tony has gone, and now Gordon is with us. How will things change? We don't know, of course; but we can hope. And it’s only fair to pay …

Jun 15, 2007: Redemption Song: the Definitive Biography of Joe Strummer, by Chris Salewicz (Books 2007, 1) Ah, Joe. I can hardly believe that it's already four years since we lost him. I started reading this on Christmas day, and finished at about two in …

Jun 14, 2007: The Last of the 2006 "Book Notes" Posts Nearly halfway through the year and I haven't finished posting last year's Book Notes? Shocking. Oh well, here are the last few in one bunch. 26: The …

May 11, 2007: Guardian: "Straw signals rethink on ID cards" Well, well, well. Maybe things will get better after all: Jack Straw, widely expected to replace John Reid as the home secretary, today clearly …

May 11, 2007: New Dawn Fades So there we have it: Tony will soon be gone. I had forgotten some of the good things: the minimum wage; civil partnerships (though why not for het …

May 1, 2007: Ten Years in an Open-necked Shirt He could have been great, you know. We could be sitting here now, raising a glass to the end of the reign of Britain’s greatest Prime Minister of the …

Apr 29, 2007: Diplomacy 101, and Cash for Stories Sometimes I write these things and don’t post them immediately, and then they seem wildly out of date. But it’s still worth putting them out there. …

Apr 12, 2007: Book Notes 25: The Family Trade, by Charles Stross Charlie shows that he can write heroic fantasy as well as everything else. Except, of course, it isn't really fantasy. When your hero discovers she …

Mar 31, 2007: Alias Doc and Martha The new __Doctor Who__ episode was butt-kicking excellence! And Martha is a worthy successor to Rose. Just replacing the sonic screwdriver like that …

Mar 16, 2007: Straight to Elgin Avenue So I ordered the new Banksie from Amazon, and to get free delivery, of course, I had to order one or two other things, to bring the price up to the …

Mar 15, 2007: Apologise, explain? Totally not sure about this one. Someone emails their MP and gets an accidentally-sent response (in the MP's name? Not sure) calling the constituent's …

Feb 25, 2007: The Steep Approach to Literary Acceptance A couple of articles (Times, Indy) on Banksie's new novel refer to it being five years since his last one. Err, no: The Algebraist came out in 2004 …

Feb 23, 2007: Not Before Time to the nth power Just heard on the radio that Wimbledon is going to pay women the same as men, at last. Though I see that some neanderthal called Tommy Haas is …

Feb 20, 2007: Book Notes 24: Variable Star, by Robert A Heinlein and Spider Robinson These are still the 2006 Book Notes. I'll finish them soon, honest. Heinlein used to be my absolute favourite author. Indeed, he is in large part …

Feb 3, 2007: A Deadline Crash, and a Reading Over the last few weeks I've been trying to write a Doctor Who short story. It was for a competition that Big Finish, publisher of DW books and CDs, …

Jan 26, 2007: Homophobic Christians I started writing this post while watching This Week again. This time they were talking, inevitably, about the new equal rights legislation (good …

Jan 24, 2007: One Device to Do It All? So, my new phone arrived today. It’s a Sony-Ericsson M600i smartphone. Most excitingly, with T-Mobile’s Web ‘n’ Walk service, I get unlimited (though …

Jan 21, 2007: Book Notes 23: Quicksilver, by Neal Stephenson So I finally start The Baroque Cycle; or you might say, I finally finish the first volume. I started reading this at a campsite in France while on …

Jan 12, 2007: Dead Zen Master Robert Anton Wilson has died. I read the Illuminatus! trilogy while I was in university, and have re-read it several times since then, as well as …

Jan 10, 2007: Book Notes 22: The Sandman: The Dream Hunters, by Neil Gaiman and Yoshika Amano A retelling of a Japanese folk tale, this. A monk lives alone in a very minor and secluded temple. He falls in love with a fox, who has taken the form …

Jan 8, 2007: Book Notes 21: The Sandman Midnight Theatre, by Neil Gaiman and others A collection of some of Neil's shorter comics work. All fine and dandy, but far from essential. The most interesting one for me was a Swamp Thing …

Jan 2, 2007: ... And a Happy New Year to All My Reader Well, clearly no blogging happens over the Christmas and New Year period in the Devilgate household. In fact I didn't even switch the computer on. So …

Dec 21, 2006: Book Notes 20: The Complete Ballad of Halo Jones by Alan Moore and Ian Gibson Another old Moore from the 2000 AD days. I've read it before, as three separate volumes, but I totally didn't remember anything about Book 3, in which …

Dec 20, 2006: Book Notes 19: Tom Strong's Terrific Tales, by Alan Moore, Steve Moore, and others This is a strange one. Moore (Alan) has,as I understand it, started up his own line of comics, called ‘America’s Best Comics’. A strange name, too, …

Dec 19, 2006: Book Notes 18: Radio Free Albemuth, by Philip K Dick Ah, how we love the paranoid fantasies of our Phil. As does Hollywood, considering how many of his works have been made into films. Not much chance of …

Dec 11, 2006: Book Notes 17: Vellum, by Hal Duncan I finally get to read Vellum, then. I'd been waiting for the paperback for a while, as I said back in Book Notes 7. I've pre-ordered the sequel, Ink, …

Dec 6, 2006: Book Notes 16: The Extraordinary and Unusual Adventures of Horatio Lyle, by Catherine Webb Catherine Webb is only 19; she had her first novel published at 14. It makes you sick; though it shouldn’t. Horatio Lyle is a scientist and …

Nov 10, 2006: Death-Penalty Blues This Week, BBC1's late-night political discussion programme, had a piece last night from Colonel Tim Collins, who used to be "Britain's most senior …

Nov 7, 2006: Book Notes 15: Appleseed, by John Clute This is a very, very strange book. It's strange in the spacefaring future it describes, but it's probably even stranger linguistically. I used to read …

Nov 1, 2006: Book Notes 14: Viriconium, by M John Harrison This is a reissue in the Fantasy Masterworks series, of all - or nearly all - of Harrison's 'Viriconium' stories. Four of the collected works are …

Oct 24, 2006: On Security at Stansted To Glasgow, then, and a weekend visit to my Mum. The kids and I caught the train to Stansted on Friday afternoon, to find the security theatre in full …

Oct 18, 2006: Copyright Matters – Pass It On So here I am, all ready to write about my day for the History Matters - Pass It On site's One Day in History project, which has been much hyped of …

Oct 5, 2006: Burning Silver Discs for Gold

In which I make a CD compilation, and blow whatever vestiges of my credibility remained

I’ve been a bit invisible on here for a while. First I …

Sep 21, 2006: Book Notes 13: Harry Potter and The Half-Blood Prince, by JK Rowling This, you won't be surprised to hear, was a re-reading. I started out reading it to my nine-year-old son. He, of course, soon zoomed ahead on his own, …

Aug 22, 2006: My "Big England" piece is up at Temperama The lovely Dave Hill has posted my piece in his Big England series. Such is Dave’s posting frequency that it has already rolled off his front page. …

Aug 16, 2006: This Is England This Knife of Sheffield Steel When you grow up in Scotland (or at least, when I did so during the sixties and seventies) you pick up a fair amount of …

Aug 9, 2006: Book Notes 12: The Last Temptation, by Neil Gaiman and Michael Zulli The last of my three recent graphic borrowings from the library, and the one I expected to like most. But it's a bit lightweight for Gaiman's work, …

Aug 8, 2006: Book Notes 11: The Originals, by Dave Gibbons More graphical stuff from the library. Quadrophenia with hover-bikes and -scooters. It’s beautifully drawn, and well-enough told, but really, why? …

Aug 7, 2006: Hackers crack new biometric passports Guardian Unlimited Technology | Technology | Hackers crack new biometric passports "The whole passport design is totally brain damaged," Mr Grunwald …

Aug 4, 2006: On Countries, Nationhood, and Being Invited to Write a Guest Spot Dave Hill is a novelist, Guardian writer and prolific blogger. He is running a series of guest pieces on his blog. They're on the theme of "What I …

Aug 3, 2006: Middle-East Madness I've been thinking that I should write about the state of things between Lebanon and Israel, as it is the most profoundly dangerous ongoing event in …

Aug 2, 2006: Book Notes 10: Skizz, by Alan Moore and Jim Baikie The local library is proving a great source of graphic fiction at the moment. Another early-early Moore, one of which I had heard, but had definitely …

Aug 1, 2006: Book notes 9: Redemolished, by Alfred Bester I found this in the local library, having never heard of it before. It is a relatively recently-published (2000) collection containing some of his …

Aug 1, 2006: Book notes 8: The Complete DR and Quinch, by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons I found this in the local library. I thought I hadn’t read it, but I remember reading the ‘Something something, oranges something’ episode (AKA ‘DR …

Jul 19, 2006: Heat, streets and beats I was in The City,1 this morning. The client’s offices were at Vintners’ Court; the street sign next to it says, “Formerly Anchor Alley”. Which is a …

Jul 12, 2006: WordPress, this blog, and the Google cache I doubt that anybody noticed, but my last entry has been missing a bit — in fact, missing most of itself — for a week or more. I don’t know how it …

Jul 2, 2006: Welcome to Torchwood

Well, Saturday the 1st of July, 2006 will go down in my personal history as something of a special day. First I manage to end up actually feeling …

Jun 26, 2006: Supporters I am somewhat mystified by the talk recently about what team Scottish people, and various MPs, particularly Scottish ones, “should” support in the …

Jun 25, 2006: Book Notes 7: Nova Scotia, edited by Neil Williamson and Andrew J Wilson (I haven’t stopped reading, nor writing these notes: I just haven’t got round to posting them, for various reasons). I actually started reading this …

Jun 20, 2006: The Water of Life Or at least a container for it. It’s Bike Week this week, and as I happened to be cycling through Islington anyway, I was caught up by the members of …

Jun 16, 2006: It doesn't matter who wins... I found myself feeling curiously left out as my colleagues left work to watch the England match yesterday. This despite the fact that I didn’t want to …

Jun 8, 2006: The Official Belief System of the World Cup? I’ve just bought a Mars Bar which is labelled “Believe” instead of “Mars” (though still in the standard typography). Apparently this means that I am …

May 12, 2006: Eye Contact, or: Pay Attention to the Web Behind the Curtain. Eyes in the sky There is a strange and mighty power to eye contact, it seems. I’m not talking about the effects of making — or not making — eye …

May 11, 2006: Pachyderm Prestidigitation Like much of the rest of the London Blogosphere, I went with the family to see The Sultan’s Elephant on Sunday. I had had a quick look at it on the …

May 10, 2006: Calling all Green Wing fans Would any kind person out there have a copy of last Friday’s Green Wing on video they could lend me? I had an accidental-taping-over-disaster before …

May 3, 2006: Who the hell do we vote for? It’s my custom prior to elections to write a post giving “voting advice”. Of course, I don’t expect anyone to take this advice: I’m just thinking out …

May 3, 2006: Clarke and the convicts The fact that some of the ex-cons who are foreign nationals have offended again should come as no surprise whatsoever: many convicted criminals …

Apr 27, 2006: In which Martin meets annoyances at Waterloo I don’t mean to come over all disgruntled again, but on arriving at Waterloo (by bike) this morning, I found two changes which seemed designed to …

Apr 21, 2006: Transport against london I take a couple of weeks off (a week at home with the kids, a week in Dorset: very nice, thanks, since you ask) and when I first get back to posting, …

Apr 4, 2006: Cafe culture Well, I feel like a proper 21st-century blogger at the moment: I’m sitting typing this in a cafe. Specifically, the Clissold House Cafe, in Clissold …

Mar 30, 2006: Sleepwalking into a police state I’m thinking of declaring the 29th of March 2006 ‘[tag]Freedom Day[/tag]‘, because it is the day that freedom died; or at least started to. Maybe I’m …

Mar 27, 2006: Stanslaw Lem Just heard on Radio 4 that Stanslaw Lem has died. He was 84. I’ve only read Solaris, but I recall it as being very good. [tags]books, writers, …

Mar 27, 2006: Book Notes 6: Saturday by Ian McEwan

This is an interesting one: another Booker nominee, if I’m not very much mistaken, and a strange and masterful work. It is a portrait of a single day …

Mar 24, 2006: Reading matters This year I’ve been blogging about the books I read. I started over on my LiveJournal, but I’ll continue here. So far, though, there have been: The …

Mar 22, 2006: TV roundup: what I've been watching recently Turning away from politics, for a wee while, I’ve been finding things have been pretty good in the TV world, recently. I thoroughly enjoyed Life On …

Mar 21, 2006: Maybe that revolution won't be needed, after all After my, perhaps over-excited, post about that bill, I had some discussion with zotz on this post. Graham is clearly thinking more clearly and calmly …

Mar 20, 2006: Pray the future will never need... I had hoped to be the first to coin the inevitable term, “loangate”, over the recent Labour funding scandal. Not surprisingly, though, The Independent …

Mar 20, 2006: Pray the future will never need... I had hoped to be the first to coin the inevitable term, “loangate” over the recent Labour funding scandal. Not surprisingly, though, The Independent …

Mar 19, 2006: Abolition There is now a deadly danger to British democracy. One that is even worse than the ID cards bill. Not for nothing are they calling it the ‘Abolition …

Mar 17, 2006: New website, blog I’ve had the devilgate.org domain for nearly two years, now. But it has taken me this long to actually start using it for more than a source of …

Mar 11, 2006: Meet the new blog... … same as the old blog. Well, not quite the same. This one is on my own site, for one thing. A new blog, though: just what the world needs, don’t you …

Mar 3, 2006: The Many-Angled Pub I went out for a drink with some people from work last night. We went to a place in Covent Garden called The Porterhouse. It’s a very curious place. …

Mar 3, 2006: Book Notes 5: Sputnik Sweetheart by Haruki Murakami

I read a review of this book in The Guardian years ago (this one, I think). It sounded absolutely fantastic, and I’ve wanted to read it ever since. …

Feb 23, 2006: A discussion of (possibly a rant about) ID But not cards, for a change. I was listening to a programme (essentially a religious one) on Radio 4 recently, about ‘Intelligent’ Design (ID). It was …

Feb 22, 2006: Book Notes 4: American Gods by Neil Gaiman I’ve been reading Neil Gaiman’s blog since the time when he was writing this book — as, I’m sure, have most of us, what with his site being the number …

Feb 13, 2006: That about wraps it up for freedom Start saying goodbye, then, to civil liberties in this country. Oh, maybe not now, and maybe not even that soon; but when the identity cards bill is …

Feb 10, 2006: Drink, Sex and Elections How quickly do events overrun the tardy blogger. A few weks ago, when Charles Kennedy went public about his drinking, I started writing a piece about …

Feb 7, 2006: Book Notes 3: Someone Comes to Town, Someone Leaves Town by Cory Doctorow

Cory Doctorow’s third novel is his best so far; and it’s strange. Really, really strange.

It is the story of a man whose father is a mountain and …

Jan 25, 2006: Book Notes 2: Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell

Yes, and only a day after the last one.  It took me a bit longer than that to read it, mind you.

A science-fiction book that was nominated for the …

Jan 24, 2006: Book Notes 1: A Dance to the Music of Time vol 1, by Anthony Powell

This year I’m going to try to record all the books I read, and write mini-reviews of them. I’m not quite going for the "50 Book Challenge" thing, …

Jan 6, 2006: The Rocky Pogue to Brixton This was written before Christmas, and is only being posted now. Such is… something. My ability to get things done, probably. The Brixton Academy …

Dec 14, 2005: Freedom Tickling Went to see Jon Stewart of The Daily Show on Sunday. He was doing one night in London, with, as it turned out, the executive producer and the head …

Dec 9, 2005: Portable gaming/Santa question A quick question for anyone who may know: what’s the best of the handheld game systems for an eight- — nearly nine- — year old boy? For values of …

Dec 2, 2005: On the ethics of modifying blog posts blockquote {border-left: 1pt solid; padding-left: 1em;} What, I’m wondering, is the etiquette for this? I looked over my last post, on literary deja …

Nov 30, 2005: Literary mind loss I’ve been having a slightly strange, but not entirely unfamiliar, reading experience recently. I’m reading Mindplayers by Pat Cadigan. Now, I read the …

Nov 22, 2005: He was asking for it I’d like you, if you don’t mind, to join me in a thought experiment. Consider for a moment, a man: he might be young or old, it doesn’t really matter. …

Nov 2, 2005: Resignation day You may not have noticed yet that Blunkett has resigned. Good riddance, obviously: New Labour is bad enough without introducing Tory sleaze into the …

Oct 21, 2005: Tears and Laugher in the Bookshop I knew I would buy it, of course. I just didn’t necessarily know I would buy it today. But I popped into Waterstone’s at lunchtime, and had a look at …

Oct 20, 2005: Post-exam comedown Right then. It’s been a long time. But this morning I sat the exam for my latest Open University course, A210, Approaching Literature. The exam was …

Aug 11, 2005: I claim this blog for Technorati... Or is it that I claim Technorati for this blog? In any case, I’ve just set up a Technorati Profile, and I need to post this code here to “claim” my …

Jul 7, 2005: Today I’m afraid I did what the Commissioner told us not to do: I went in to Central London. See, I live in Hackney, in the East, but work in Wimbledon, in …

Jul 7, 2005: London bombs Ian Blair (Met Police Commissioner) is just being interviewed on R4. He says six bombs, and we should all stay where we are. That’s easy for him to …

Jul 6, 2005: Software patents: dead in Europe In other good news, over on BoingBoing, Cory is telling us that Euro software patents are dead: The European Parliament voted 648 to 14 to reject the …

Jul 6, 2005: 2012 So, London gets it. I was against it, but now I feel strangely pleased. I think I was for it at first; I really enjoyed watching the Athens Olympics …

May 6, 2005: The afternoon after the morning after the night before Well. I did it: I went to the polling place and I put my cross in the box… for the LibDem candidate. It’s a very odd feeling, you know, not to vote …

Apr 27, 2005: Things can only get... different It seems that my erstwhile MP is more famous since he stepped down than he ever was in action. Unfortunately, his jumping ship to the LibDems doesn’t …

Apr 7, 2005: Digital death masks Politics not getting anybody interested, then? OK, we’ll try religion. I was brought up a Catholic. I grew out of it, of course; saw sense, kicked …

Apr 6, 2005: The Campaign Trail, 2005: the inevitable fear and loathing... … but is that a side order of despair with that, sir? Time to start blogging the election, then. But what to say? Normally I’d be exhorting you to …

Mar 18, 2005: Let's rock again Burn (tickettothewest) are back in action. Yes, after a gap of only just over four months, we have rehearsed again. Some of you will know that …

Mar 13, 2005: Rounding up the year so far: still here A combination of lack of inspiration, Christmas, and reading for and starting my new Open University course, (A210: Approaching Literature) has made …

Feb 21, 2005: Gonzo death song God motherfuckin’ damn! It’s like everyone I respect or admire in public life is dying these years. Hunter S Thompson was my favourite non-fiction …

Dec 9, 2004: Disrespect the Authoritah! I can scarcely believe it. Apparently a film is being made of His Dark Materials; but according to a BBC news story, they’re removing all references …

Dec 7, 2004: Writing, identity, and voting I'm not doing too well at the 'regular posting' posting part of this blog lark, am I? Well, I can always blame NaNoWriMo for missing November. I …

Oct 28, 2004: Post-teenage memories are pretty hard to beat, too I've been thinking about Peelie, and I remembered going to see him live, on the John Peel Roadshow. He used to do the rounds of Britain's colleges and …

Oct 26, 2004: Pack up Radio 1 and dismantle its transmitters... … we won’t be needing it anymore. John Peel is dead. I didn’t listen to him often enough in recent years, and I’ll always regret that. But he helped …

Oct 22, 2004: The time has come to rumble, to inject a bit of fun into politics Over the last ten or so years, whenever things have been exceptionally interesting in US politics, I have found myself wondering what Hunter S …

Sep 30, 2004: On having my life back, and academia OK, so on Monday I posted the final TMA for my OU course, A103: An Introduction to the Humanities. It was long, and broad, and mostly very good …

Sep 9, 2004: Wake-Up Call Nobody tells me anything. Here I am. slaving away at the bitface, all the world’s information only a mouseclick away, and only today — today, mind — …

Sep 6, 2004: Metropolitan Drive-By It’s kind of customary for me to miss out a whole month of posting (in that I missed out on July last year); but two? That’s really very poor. Oh …

Jun 18, 2004: More good US commentary Moby is prone to quoting entire articles from other sources in his blog. I worry that he’ll be charged with many copyright breaches. However, the …

Jun 18, 2004: [F]rom a low-key lounge groove to a scorched-earth crescendo Good to see that some people in America remember the Reagan years as we experienced them: Reagan’s Punk Rock is an article about the punk bands of the …

Jun 11, 2004: Post-election injury report Who’d have thought Tony Wilson would have been so sensible? Just watching the election results on BBC1, and Anthony H was interviewed in a Manchester …

Jun 10, 2004: Voting decisions It is my custom (or has been at the last two general elections, at least) to broadcast, shortly before an election, to those I know, my thoughts and …

May 21, 2004: Lyrics quiz: answers

For what it’s worth.

May 18, 2004: Lyrics quiz by randomness

Oh, go on then. A lyrics quiz based on the first twenty tracks that a randomised playlist turns up. This is an old-school quiz: no poll, no …

May 3, 2004: Early-Days motion I wish Ken MacLeod had comments enabled. His Midnight Fathers piece is just genius, and something we should all try to live by.

Apr 30, 2004: The post-scarcity tutorial In my OU course we’re studying Rousseau at the moment. So at tonight’s tutorial the tutor asked us to, in groups of three or four, discuss our ideal …

Apr 29, 2004: Catch-up I have a bunch of partly- or nearly-finished peices sitting in a folder on my Psion. I’ve decided to post them more or less as they are, in the …

Apr 7, 2004: What a great feeling it was to hear the Defence Procurement Minister come on to the Today program to answer for buying a bunch of Chinook helicopters …

Mar 25, 2004: iSeries geekery I just spent half an hour searching IBM’s documentation to remind myself of how to do emphasis in UIM (User Interface Manager) panels. Never again. …

Mar 24, 2004: Let fury have the hour, anger can be power The Plaid Adder — of these parts — has written “Anger Management“, a great piece about Richard Clarke and the other Republican whistleblowers over at …

Mar 5, 2004: Remember me, I used to live for music I was going to open this with the old “writing about music is like dancing about architecture” quote, and did a search to find the attribution for it; …

Jan 30, 2004: Clicking links is for wimps: real surfers type them in manually I am wildly amused by this Microsoft Knowledge Base entry, as linked by BoingBoing. To Microsoft, then, it’s an acceptable solution to browser …

Jan 29, 2004: Warehouse: Posts and (no) Comments Bob Mould has a blog. You probably all knew this already, but I only learned it yesterday. Pop over and have a look. One very interesting link I found …

Jan 29, 2004: What's that Smell? … smells like whitewash to me. As I watched the details unfold on the The Guardian‘s website yesterday, I began to get a bad feeling about it; and now …

Dec 22, 2003: The Whisky Post

Somehow they slipped a new Iain Banks book out without me noticing. Raw Spirit: In search of the perfect dram is his first non-fiction book. …

Nov 28, 2003: Blogiversary My LiveJournal is one year old today. Happy Birthday, my LiveJournal. Actually the first entry is dated the 29th, but the date created as given on my …

Oct 21, 2003: Microsoft's attempt to break email, and more I woke up this morning (da da-da da DUN) to what sounded like a Microsoft spokesman explaining on theToday program, how they were going to break …

Oct 20, 2003: Deepest Sender... … is apparently an anagram — though I don’t know of what. More importantly, it’s a LiveJournal client that runs in Mozilla Firebird. It’s based on the …

Oct 9, 2003: Me Tired? Well Boo Hoo Now, more than ever, I realise that we’ve lost one of the greats. We all blogged Warren Zevon’s death, but now I want to write an …

Oct 6, 2003: I thought it was in chamber six has already discussed this in some detail, both in the post and the comments, but I started writing this before I read his, so I’m going to allow most …

Sep 26, 2003: A Classical Education I started reading Jane Eyre for the first time the other day. It’s been in my to-read pile for a couple of years at least, but you know how it is: …

Sep 11, 2003: Pixies to reform? It’s looking increasingly likely that the Pixies are going to reform. BoingBoing link here, MTV here. What do we think about this? I ask as one who …

Sep 8, 2003: Things to do in Hackney when you're still alive Instead of coming home tonight, and, as I expected, listening to Warren Zevon records, I came home and wrote a song (actually I started on the way …

Sep 8, 2003: Warren finally gets to sleep Zotz breaks the long-expected but sad news of Warren Zevon’s death. See Google News for all the reports. Life’ll Kill Ya, right enough.

Sep 5, 2003: Moby gets it You probably won’t be surprised to hear that the musician Moby has the right attitude about record companies, CD prices and file sharing. His blog is …

Sep 3, 2003: Go on Martin, do that thing where you make your username be the initials of songs Oh, all right then: Desolation Row (Bob Dylan) Everybody Knows (Leonard Cohen) Venus in Furs (Velvet Underground) I Feel So Good (Richard Thompson) …

Sep 2, 2003: What are we to do with Emusic? A while back scunner pointed me to Emusic, an online site where, for a monthly fee, you can download as much music as your bandwidth can cope with. …

Aug 27, 2003: Open up Maybe it’s a mid-life crisis kind of thing. As my thirty-ninth birthday rolled around the other day — thereby taking me into my fortieth year — I …

Aug 21, 2003: Open Source rocks... … as we all knew; but now we can see how it’s helping rock ‘n’ roll. This is a great story about how Ernie Ball, the guitar string maker, switched …

Jun 20, 2003: It never sleeps, you know. We had a rehearsal last night, we Burn members. Well, more we Bu members — or should that be ur, or maybe rn? Because ‘s still on paternity leave, and …

Jun 9, 2003: Weapons of Mobile Inflation This article in The Observer tells us that the Iraqi “mobile bioweapons labs” were nothing of the sort: they were, in fact, almost certainly mobile …

Jun 1, 2003: It ROCKS! Saw The Matrix Reloaded the night before last. Arse was seriously kicked. From the few comments I had read while trying to avoid spoilers , I had got …

May 28, 2003: With liver tea and just this for all [1] Shortly after I posted it, I realised that my previous post could be taken as a “comedy mishearing” — and indeed, it duly was so taken. That’s not …

May 26, 2003: Why has Robert Johnson got methane on his mind? I was listening to The Complete Recordings earlier, and in the first of two versions of ‘Rambling On My Mind’ (though not in the second), he sings …

May 19, 2003: Home taping was good for music...

… and it still is.

(I’ve been drafting this piece for a while, and I’ve done as much as I’m going to . It’s been a bugbear for a long time, and it’s …

Apr 30, 2003: What I did on my holidays (and off)

Too many people to mention been filling in “what I did n years/days ago” questionnaires (I hesitate to call it a meme, because that word is becoming …

Apr 23, 2003: You don't Meaney it! This week I’m on a training course: Enterprise Java Beans, at QA Training. On the first day, the trainer, as is usual at these things, asked us each …

Mar 25, 2003: Non Serviam Wow. Charlie Stross points us to a letter in The Guardian from Iain Banks. Banksie and his wife have destroyed their passports and sent the remains to …

Mar 20, 2003: Do mention the war So it’s begun. I haven’t posted about the formerly-impending war here before now, not because of any reticence, but because faster (and better) …

Mar 19, 2003: Is there an SF PM in the world? No. When I saw the news, I wondered whether the Zoran Zivkovic who has just been voted the new Serbian Prime Minister was the Interzone-beloved SF author …

Mar 18, 2003: A (possibly) interesting blog for writers Somebody called Tom Adelstein has a blog called How to write a book in 10 days. An unambiguous, if unlikely, title. I’ve added its syndication feed to …

Mar 14, 2003: Mixing pop and politics, he asks me what the use is? Infrequent posts are me. But I have been scattering comments around various people’s journals, at least. Zotz posts about The (remaining members of …

Feb 27, 2003: Some ranting nutter with a blog talking about the modern business world See, I like my job. I know this is considered unusual by a large percentage of the population *. But on the whole I do. I’ve had my ups and downs, of …

Feb 19, 2003: I'm not willing to give it up, even if I don't know what it is The mighty Cory Doctorow of BoingBoing has written a great piece about ‘The Law of Unintended Consequences‘. Incidentally, there’s a LiveJournal link …

Feb 14, 2003: Memetic morphology, or: How I wrote a lyrics quiz You know I said a while back that, though I hadn’t yet done a lyrics quiz, I would? Well, the more observant among you may have noticed it appearing …

Feb 14, 2003: Another tube of superglue, another quarter to get through Duct tape. I ask you, when, in this country, did we start calling gaffer (or gaffa, I’m never quite sure) tape, ‘duct tape’? The answer seems to be …

Feb 13, 2003: The magazines are gone There’s a new magazine out (here in the UK). It’s called Word and it’s about books and music and videos and popular culture in general. It may be of …

Feb 12, 2003: Put on a kilt, dye your hair green, and dance to 'Xerox Machine' The other day a flat cardboard box arrived in the post for me when Frances was getting ready to take the kids out. Fiona (aged two on Friday, …

Feb 9, 2003: Plenty more won't work so slow I spent all of Friday afternoon trying to track down (what should be) the last bug in the project I’m currently working on. Only to discover that it …

Feb 4, 2003: Tomorrow I'll be burnt as a witch for playing punk rock

Spent the weekend at ‘s doing some recording. See the band’s blog at for blow-by-blow details (with pictures), but here’s my take on it.

Jan 28, 2003: I will upload you, you can download me Ethernet guitars. I ask you. Still, at least they’re not proposing a new type of connector. From Allan Carl’s Blog via Doc Searls.

Jan 28, 2003: All I wanna do is... How crap is that? I was cycling to Waterloo this morning, on my brand-new, four-month old Ridgeback bike, when all of a sudden something began to drag …

Jan 27, 2003: OS of all I survey I got a terrifyingly cool response to giving honest answers to this survey (seen on ‘s journal). border="0" alt="Which OS are You?"/> Which OS are …

Jan 27, 2003: It just works! Further to yesterday’s post, I have to express extreme, pleased surprise and respect at how well the tax return site worked. After my post yesterday I …

Jan 26, 2003: Let me tell you how it will be... It’s the first time I’ve had to fill in a tax return since I was a student, and I decided that, in the 21st century, it’s almost a moral requirement …

Jan 15, 2003: New Potter!!! Hooray! The new Harry Potter book is out on the 21st of June: [news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/ente...](http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/arts/2661409.stm) …

Jan 15, 2003: Meme lag I’m suffering from (or committing) something that I hereby dub Meme lag. I haven’t done a lyrics quiz. I haven’t done a “five lies”. Not that I have …

Jan 15, 2003: Does anyone know how much a carpenter should cost? We’ve just had a quote from a carpenter to build fitted cupboards and shelves into two chimney-breast alcoves. He’s asking around £1100 for the pair. …

Jan 3, 2003: Picture credits It has occurred to me that, since I started using my picture, I haven’t credited it (or even asked permission). took the picture, using ‘s camera. I …

Jan 3, 2003: The thief of time, or: Where the hell did those two years go? It’s a truism that time appears to pass faster as we get older. Just how true this is was brought home to me anew when it crossed my mind that I had, …

Dec 23, 2002: The Death of a Hero Joe Strummer died yesterday. For me, the word “hero” is not too strong. The Clash were my favourite band of all time, and I’ve continued to follow his …

Dec 19, 2002: Spoof Christian site attacks The Two Towers This is a laugh: http://www.landoverbaptist.org/news1202/twotowers.html Thanks to Arthur for the link.

Dec 13, 2002: When do we forgive? Or maybe that should be, “when do we forget?” or, “When do we let it lie?” I was thinking about the Saatchi ad agency, and how all decent people in …

Dec 3, 2002: Oh, the humiliation I used to go to Edinburgh University. For the first two years I was nominally doing Astrophysics, until it proved too difficult, and I backed off to …

Dec 3, 2002: Burning up the Blogosphere I play in a band called Burn, with . You can see his report of our first gig (in this lineup) here. Which reminds me, I've also met , since he took …

Nov 29, 2002: A first entry The waiting emptiness of a new blog is even more intimidating than that of a blank page. Especially when, as with LiveJournal, there's an …