Speedysnail

Life in Covidtime

I haven’t written much here about Pandemic Life for a while. Things have been busy since the start of August, when I started a new management role in my institute, alongside getting ready for the start of an unusual semester of teaching. As usual, until September we had no idea how many students would turn up, but with none of the predictability of normal times that would let us get close in our forecasting. At the back of everyone’s minds was the thought that all of our preparation for hybrid teaching, with online-only fall-back options for formerly face-to-face courses, might be for the benefit of half as many MSc students as usual. But as it turns out, our school has matched the record numbers of last year. Our Digital Education programme’s intake is up by half, and student numbers on my option course are up 60% on the previous peak. It seems everyone wants to improve their knowledge of digital education, and of its wider global context.

Read more…

6 October 2020 · Events

Trumpscrolling

I’d managed to go a couple of months without spending too much time dwelling on the current resident of the Oval Office—as opposed to the wider hellscape he’s created—to the point where I didn’t get around to posting a bunch of links I’d collected about U.S. politics last month. But now we’ve had a week where stories about Trump sabotaging the first debate with Biden, his tax records showing him paying $750 in income tax in 2017 and strongly suggesting money laundering, him testing positive for coronavirus, evidence that he knew about his diagnosis for days before announcing it, and now his risky and manic behaviour while on medication, have created a screaming video-wall of distraction when he’s the last person I want to think about.

Read more…

5 October 2020 · Politics

Rare and Beautiful Apples

A new enzyme eats plastic bottles.

Werner Herzog on Bruce Chatwin.

Matt Berry, fellow Oldfield fan.

The world’s most famous shipwreck.

Britain’s coming Brexit humbling. Ireland will pay the price.

“It’s like an open prison.”

What to do when the future feels hopeless.

Stop being a people pleaser.

Stop putting things off.

Break bad habits.

Abandon originality.

The emotions you never knew you had.

Rare and beautiful apples.

3 October 2020 · Weblog

Eastern Seaboard

America in 2020 is a grim sight, and last night’s presidential debate didn’t instill much hope for its future, but half a lifetime ago, when I visited it at the end of my 1992 travels with my parents, it all seemed so sunny, confident, and democratic—even though its first Democratic president in over a decade was a few months away from winning.

Read more…

30 September 2020 · 1 Comment · Memory

The Clash

I BROKE THE LAW in a very specific and limited way

“Yes, this does break international law in a very specific and limited way.”

8 September 2020 · Politics

Muddy Knees

Sight-seeing on Flight Simulator.

Restoring a ratchet screwdriver from 1891.

The best insults you’ve ever heard.

Window swap.

The origin of mud.

Read more…

6 September 2020 · 1 Comment · Weblog

Conspicuous Consumption III: Time is Meaningless

Five months since the last instalment of this supposedly monthly series means that there’s a lot of music, movies and TV to catch up on. Catching up on movies and TV—if not music—seemed to be all that half the population was doing in lockdown, but with two school-age kids at home I didn’t have much time for box-set bingeing. I watched a few movies with them, though.

Read more…

6 September 2020 · Film

Going Nowhere

Somebody’s trying to tell us something…

easyJet

Read more…

30 August 2020 · Journal

Celtic Crossings

More photos of my 1992 travels, as I near the finishing line of this particular Detail project. After a year of study I was joined by my parents and travelled with them around Britain and Ireland, starting in Norfolk, driving across to Wales and the ferry to Ireland, around Ireland’s south and west, over to the Isle of Man, up through the Lakes to Glasgow and Scotland’s west, across to Inverness and Aberdeen, down to St Andrews, and then south through Durham, Chesterfield, Coventry, Warwick, Stratford, Oxford and London. I’ve already gathered up the English photos; here are the rest.

Read more…

6 August 2020 · 1 Comment · Memory

Full English

England 1992

Continuing my archival project at Detail, here are two more galleries from 1991–92, when I was studying in England. These ones cover London and the rest of England (and a bit of Wales), and include some photos from a trip around the British Isles with my parents at the end of my studies. There are at least four more galleries in this series to come, when I get the chance to work on them.

London 1991–92

29 July 2020 · Memory