Back in the Garden

The flowers are blooming, the sun is coming out, and we’ve been spending more time in the garden.

The garden

29 April 2020 · Journal

Four Weeks

It’s almost a month since I last posted any coronavirus links here, so I should do something with the dozens I’ve accumulated before events overtake them.

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25 April 2020 · Events

Happy Anzac Day, You Legends

It’s the swearingest Aussie YouTube cooking channel that we need in these difficult times: Nat’s What I Reckon shows you how to make Quarantine Sauce, Carbo-Rona Sauce, Quarantine Spirit Risotto, End of Days Bolognese, Sin Bin Soup and the Crowd Goes Mild Curry (all NSFWFH if you have kids or other sensitive humans around). Made me intensely homesick, especially when he said to give the risotto “a good belt of white wine”. F&^% jar sauce!

25 April 2020 · 1 Comment · Food

Tension and Compression

A newly discovered enzyme recycles plastic bottles in hours.

The Polynesian navigator who helped James Cook reach Australia.

People from Oceania share their extinction stories.

The history of prohibition in the U.S. shows how Brexit will end.

How John Steinbeck used a diary to discipline his writing. Steinbeck on creative integrity and the art of changing your mind.

The celebrated phenomenon of teleportation.

Lego Tensegrity, as first demonstrated by Matthew Nolan.

A French pensioner was ejected from a fighter jet after accidentally grabbing the wrong handle.

25 April 2020 · Weblog

The Streets

The kids and I went for a bike ride on Friday for our daily constitutional, along to the Meadows, across to Arthur’s Seat, and then back via the Grassmarket and the canal. In places it was quite busy with joggers and other cyclists, although everyone was well-spaced, but the roads were as unnaturally quiet in that part of town as in ours. Here are a few photos, along with one from a walk to Morningside this afternoon, where you can see people’s new habit of walking out into the empty road to maintain distance from other pedestrians.


19 April 2020 · Events

A Walk in the Black Forest

Tim Brooke-Taylor, one third of the legendary comedy trio The Goodies, has died of Covid-19. A contemporary and sometime-colleague of the Monty Python team, he appeared in the original version of the Four Yorkshiremen sketch on At Last the 1948 Show, and was also a member of the long-running BBC radio panel show I’m Sorry I Haven’t a Clue. But to a generation of children in Britain, Australia and elsewhere, he was the Union-Jack-waistcoat-wearing Tim from The Goodies, the BBC television comedy show that dominated the 1970s.

I’ve been feeling particularly bereft since seeing this news today, as Tim and the rest of the Goodies were giants of my childhood TV-viewing in Australia. I’d been rewatching some episodes with my daughter in recent months, and he was just as brilliant in them as I’d remembered, even if some episodes haven’t aged as well as others. On radio, he sounded as sharp as ever, well into his seventies.

Goodbye, you wonderful, funny man.

12 April 2020 · Comedy

In the Garden

There isn’t going to be much travel for a while, but at least I can take a few photos of our communal garden as the flowers come out, as expertly tended by our retired neighbour. Here are a few photos of it from the last few days.

The garden

8 April 2020 · Journal

The Situation

I’ve been wanting to write a longer entry here for weeks, rather than just post Covid-19 links and the like, but the situation has conspired against me. Like millions of other parents, including my wife, I’m attempting to juggle working from home with home-schooling and entertaining two kids, and have had little time or energy to write anything for myself; but it hasn’t just been that. It’s that what I’d be writing about is both too personal, unsettling, and momentous, and, at a time when millions are sharing the same experience, too generic, ordinary, and obvious.

But one day I’ll want to look back over this blog to remind myself what we were all going through and what I thought of it all, assuming I’m still here. So I’ll try to capture some of it.

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5 April 2020 · Events

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