We Interrupt This Blog to Complain

Extended grappling with code to get that new sidebar working ate up another evening, and I’m still not done: there would be Facebook status updates there as well, if only I could get their bizarre and obscure RSS feeds to display on an ordinary webpage using PHP. There are some handy PHP scripts around, but they all seem to be based on the same core code, which doesn’t work on my server (possibly missing a plugin). I can slurp my blog and Twitter feeds into Facebook easily enough, but that would be wrong. Facebook is the sideshow! This is the main stage! [Jumps up and down, waving at crowd from behind.]

Read More · 27 January 2009 · x1 · Site News

Show Me the Money

Last July, in an artistic master-stroke, Edinburgh City Council installed a dramatic sculpture on the Royal Mile commemorating the victims of Burke and Hare:

Under wraps

Read More · 23 January 2009 · UK Culture

Portrack House

Portrack House, just north of the town of Dumfries, has an open day once a year, and we drove down to it last May. Despite the wet weather, it was well worth it, because it’s home to one of the most extraordinary gardens in the country, designed by Charles Jencks and his late wife Maggie (it was her family home). Jencks is well-known in Edinburgh for his fantastic Landform Ueda in the grounds of the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art. Portrack’s Garden of Cosmic Speculation is like that writ even larger. This gallery doesn’t include all of the small and intriguing details of the place, because it would have grown too large itself, but it’s enough to give a flavour of one of the future stars—with any luck—of the National Trust.

19 January 2009 · Travel

Dumfries House

Further catching up on last year’s photos. We visited Dumfries House in Ayrshire only a week or so after it was opened to the public, and highly recommend it: it’s definitely one of the finest stately homes I’ve seen in Britain. Unfortunately it’s not an ideal place to take an infant—W. soon tired of the Chippendale furniture and authentic 18th-century interiors, and became obsessed with the stairs—so it’ll be one of our last stately homes for a while. Highlights included the fragrant cedar-lined tapestry room and the fragrant cakes we were served at the end of the tour. This gallery has only exterior views, but they were pretty fragrant too. If you’re visiting the area, the Sorn Inn is an excellent place to stay. This has been an unpaid community-service announcement.

18 January 2009 · x1 · Travel



Let’s see, butter, check, peanut butter, check, lemon butter, check, baby bottom butter... what? Only two? Help!

15 January 2009 · x2 · Whatever

Intellectual Hell

There’s more in the world
Than you’ll possibly know

This is discussed
In more detail

11 January 2009 · x2 · Whatever

Tasman II

From one new year to the last. This sequel to my previous set of Tasman peninsula photos at Detail was taken over the Christmas-New Year period a year ago. Many of the same locations, but I’ve tried to include different views.

9 January 2009 · Travel

New Year

My new year’s resolution was to write more, here, there, and everywhere. So naturally, instead of writing here, I’ve spent all my evenings over the past week sorting through the photos I took last year and didn’t post because I wasn’t writing here. These are the most recent and relevant, with older ones to come. Happy new year, and may the frosts of recession never crack and craze your calm surface.

8 January 2009 · Journal