The State of It

Why there is a shortage of drivers in the UK.

Why public schoolboys aren’t fit to run the country.

The hollow heart of Brexit.

EU citizens who have applied for settled status in Britain are being threatened with deportation.

Why is English spelling so weird?

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31 August 2021 · Weblog

The Mask

Masks littering the pavements of Polwarth and Morningside, August 2021.
Typical mid-pandemic sights. Mouseover for more.


31 August 2021 · Events

Quiet is the New Loud

Now that I’ve got 2020’s sounds out of the way, time for a post about 2021’s (so far).

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26 August 2021 · Journal

The Soundtrack of Silence

After a reasonable start at tracking my listening in the first few months of 2020, things tailed off in lockdown, mostly because my opportunities for music-listening were more limited when I wasn’t riding back and forth to work every day. (As for podcasts, I’m impossibly behind.) For the months of the first lockdown and the summer school holidays I was sharing the flat with everyone else all day and not wanting to impose my tunes on them all the time. After school went back I hadn’t wanted too many musical distractions while working from home.

Still, I managed to keep up with some of the big releases of the pandemic, and made a few deep dives into artists I’d never given enough time before. So before I turn to my favourite music of this year, here’s the best of (the rest of) last year’s. Hey, if Tokyo 2020 can be held in August 2021, so can 2020 Best Ofs.

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26 August 2021 · Music


After last year’s non-holiday summer, everyone in our family was yearning this year to get out of Edinburgh for a proper summer holiday. With the Delta variant on the rise, international travel was off the cards, whatever the state of vaccinations, so like the rest of Britain we were looking closer to home. Luckily, school holidays in Scotland start earlier than in England, so we faced less competition for holiday homes in remote locations, and were able to book one without much trouble. It wasn’t cheap, but not as bad as some reports of costs down south.

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26 August 2021 · Journal

She’ll Be Right

Watching developments in Australia from the vantage point of Plague Island has been a weird mixture of reassurance and fearfulness. In the early weeks of the pandemic J. and I were worried that our families there would catch Covid while we were stuck over here and unable to travel back. When it became clearer that the risk of that was much smaller than in Britain, the worry was just that we wouldn’t get to see them for a long, long time. It’s two years since I last saw my folks, and will be at least another. But at least they’ve been safe.

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1 August 2021 · Events

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