That’s a Wrap

Like any good six-year-old, our son has been bursting with anticipation for Christmas, asking us again and again for weeks if we can tell him what some of his presents are. We should line a packing box with wrapping paper, bundle him into it while he’s asleep, and tell him his present is the whole world.

24 December 2013

Not as dramatic as elsewhere in Britain today, but the way this tree in our tenement garden fell down in four directions at once in this morning’s storm was pretty impressive...

Storm damage, 5 December 2013

At least our roof didn’t blow off this time.

5 December 2013

I was in Liverpool a week ago with some colleagues for an HEA conference on research methods in the social sciences. A handy place to pick up a free cloth bag with an ESRC logo on it, which may well be the only loot I ever get out of the ESRC.

After all these years of living in Britain, and before them visiting Britain, it was my first time in the city, despite having been a big Beatles fan throughout. From this end of the country it’s out-of-the-way enough that you have to be heading for it rather than passing through, and a pilgrimage to Penny Lane never seemed enough justification for a trip.

Read More · 31 May 2013

Skirting the Issue

It’s well past time I got this blog moving again. I would blame pressures of work, except that the issue until a few weeks ago was actually skirting:

New skirting board in our attic

Twenty-three metres of it, to be exact. Buying and priming and painting and fitting all of that took a while. Then there was the gloss painting of handrails and railings, painting of staircase walls, and other extended DIY that only fitted around work and family life with difficulty, all compressed into as few weeks as possible so that we could host two rounds of family visitors in the guest beds in our new upstairs room. Lots of late nights and lost weekends.

Read More · 17 April 2013

Stirling Castle, 10 March 2013

We took the kids to Stirling Castle yesterday, and got snowed on while we were there. In Edinburgh today it's still all white outside—the latest snow of the season since we moved here.

11 March 2013

Tasman Burning

It wasn’t just recovering from that virus and its after-effects that kept me from posting for the past week; or the usual demands of the start of semester; or the builders coming back to finish the attic conversion.

On Friday the fourth of January, my hometown of Hobart in Tasmania reached a record temperature of 41.8°C, and the state experienced its worst bushfires since the year before I was born. It was the start of a week of fires around Australia, as a heatwave in the centre recoloured temperature maps and sent blasts of scorching air to different parts of the country in turn.

On that Friday morning, my parents drove my brother and his family up to Hobart airport from their home near Nubeena on the Tasman Peninsula, not thinking much of the small fire they spotted along the way. By lunchtime, after they’d done their weekly supermarket shop, the road back home was closed by what had turned into a raging fire that destroyed hundreds of homes, particularly in the small town of Dunalley right on the highway.

Read More · 15 January 2013

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