Eaves in the Springtime

The eaves under our roof

Here’s where I’ve been spending some of the hours I might otherwise have spent writing and posting here: in the darkest, dustiest, grimiest, boxiest space in, or rather above, our flat.

These are the eaves over our kitchen and hallway, next to the flat roof we’ve been dealing with all year. You reach them through a hatch in the wall from the attic. There’s a bigger set on the opposite side, over our bedroom and lounge. When we moved here four years ago, I cleared both areas out; previous owners had used them as storage spaces. As storage strategies go this was one of the worst imaginable, as anything left here ends up covered in dust. Not any old dust, either, but roof dust: a filthy combination of soot, slate, cement and plaster dust which turns everything black.

Read More · 30 June 2012 · x1 · Journal

The Mark of Zero

How easy it turned out to be to fall off the wagon.

Marking the best part of two hundred thousand words over recent weeks—too many weeks—took its usual toll. There’s reading it all, of course, but writing the comments is the hardest part; trying to justify a mark while offering constructive feedback is never simple. And until I’ve finished, I never feel I can legitimately write anything else, like posts for here. Having to coordinate all the other markers and marks for a course of five hundred students doesn’t help, either.

Now that it’s done and I’ve had a few days to recover, I’ll try to post something every day again for a while.

29 June 2012 · Site News

Interview with Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger.

Interview with safecracker Ken Doyle. Thanks, Paul.

Small world: as I was enjoying these BBC readers’ pictures of the transit of Venus I realised one of them was taken by my cousin in Deniliquin.

Elisha Emerson @7x20:

I’m pretending you’re a computer, my small son said and stared at me until I cried.

Read More · 17 June 2012 · Weblog

Taken Aback

I was 12 when Azaria Chamberlain went missing, and in my family there was never any doubt of her parents’ account of what had happened. We’d camped at that same site only the year before, and had seen just how brazen the local dingoes had become after years of getting used to visitors. But I also remember what a deeply unpopular view this was in dingo-free urban Australia, as the first few seeds of public skepticism grew into rampant weeds of outright disbelief.

I especially remember the books in the local newsagent. This was when A Hundred and One Uses of a Dead Cat first appeared. Before long there were knock-offs by opportunistic local cartoonists along similar lines, featuring dingoes and, yes, babies. I don’t think any were actually called 101 Uses of a Dead Baby, but they got close. This was one of them.

Seeing that at the age of 13 was an excellent primer in just how crap the adult world could be.

12 June 2012 · Events

This break wasn’t intentional, but at marking time it was probably inevitable. Normal service will resume soon; in the meantime, some links.

The flying stegosauri of 1,000,000 B.C.

Pop’s most significant errand.

Tiny police chase.

Total Paperclips of the Heart.

Take Me Home, Ray Bradbury’s last published story. The Illustrated Man was one of the defining books of my childhood; his stories were all a bookish kid could have wished for. When I hit the atmosphere, I’ll burn like a meteor.

12 June 2012 · Weblog

My Name is Legion

It’s a bit disconcerting following news about the Legionnaires’ outbreak affecting mainly older men with underlying health conditions in southwest Edinburgh when you live a mile away from the epicentre and fit all those descriptions. Hypochondria awaits.

6 June 2012 · Events

Sofia Helin of The Bridge has never seen The Killing.

Confessions of a recovering lifehacker.

The basics of exposure and photography in ten minutes.

Cage Does Cage.

Stem cells, the comic.

This Twitter feed never fails to appoint.

Forget about the working week.

A familiar face, years before the world knew her. Wait for the high notes at the end.

Identity without a name.

Every black hole contains a new universe. It’s turtles all the way down.

Forests have started growing in the Arctic tundra. Nothing to see here, la la la.

I should be so lucky.

5 June 2012 · Weblog

The Wrong Unwinding Road

Whose bright idea was it to unwind after a tiring week by watching John Hillcoat’s adaptation of The Road?

Oh yeah. Whoops.

Good adaptation, though. Pretty much exactly how I’d imagined it, right down to the coastline that looked like Oregon (which was where they shot those scenes). Certainly puts pre-apocalyptic woes into perspective. Cheer up, you could be being chased by cannibals through the dead trees and ash.

1 June 2012 · Film

May 2012