Archive for the ‘Housekeeping’ Category

Burned over

Tuesday, March 17th, 2009

I’m sorry not to have posted here much. I have been very busy, but also approaching the condition of upstate New York, ca 1830, when it was known as the burnt over district because of the continual evangelical revivals which swept over it. Everyone in it had been saved till they could hardly stand up. No possible novelty of excitement could stimulate them any more. It was out of this spiritual charcoal that Mormonism emerged. I do hope I’m not going to invent a new religion. But I have entered the Sargasso Sea of feeling that nothing is new or fresh; all my thoughts feel vague and fleeting. It’s a condition very simply cured by spending a week or so standing in rivers, but that is difficult to arrange right now. In the meantime, sustaining thought for even 800 words seems a gigantic feat. (Another version of this state is described in Koestler’s Age of Longing, where he calls it fatigue of the synapses, and treats, if not cures, it with brandy and benzedrine).So here follow some quickies. (more…)

apologies for absence

Tuesday, October 28th, 2008

I have been starting a site at the Guardian, and just too busy to post here, or even to think. I have never in my life had anything like the quantity and virulence of hatemail that I’m getting there. I think the most egregious example was this, sent to me personally at my graun address.:

your book on Sweden and (allegedly) fly fishing.

What a depressing piece of badly written rubbish! Were you not a journo, you would never have had it published. I’m pleased to say I read it AFTER a delightful few weeks in that happy, cheerful country – it went in the bin of course, and I almost feel sorry for you in your clearly depressive state.
Iain Wilson.

This is not much compared to the hatred poured out on that site at Christians, or women. It’s not just upsetting, but really odd. Where does all this bile and self-righteousness come from? (in the quoted case, it comes from a vanity domain, After a long day reading that kind of crap I feel as some people did after the 7/7 bombings, as if complete strangers might explode beside me in the tube; except instead of semtex, they would just burst from the force of their own corrosive intestinal festerings. It’s probably related to the Ross/ Brand kind of bullying, too.

Ah well, tomorrow I am in Oxford for most of the day, and working on trains when I am not lecturing. But I will try to keep this site going. I like the comments here, for one thing.

Gone Fishing

Tuesday, July 15th, 2008

I’m off to the photograph in the header for three weeks and I don’t plan to post anything until August the 6th or 7th. Have a wonderful summer, all of you.

Four weeks

Thursday, July 3rd, 2008

Tomorrow it will be four weeks since the bloody ear infection started, which explains the infrequency of posting. In that time I have never known whether some sudden injudicious gesture, like wiping a sweaty forehead on my sleeve, will convert the whole world into a nauseating trampoline, an effect which takes two or three hours to wear off. Sometimes I have 48 hours free and think it is all ending. Then it comes back. So I have husbanded my energies, I’m afraid, for work and book boosterage. Normal posting will resume as soon as possible.

Silence getting old

Wednesday, June 18th, 2008

I know, I know. I have an infection of the middle ear, which has been on for nearly a fortnight now. The symptoms are tedious, and involve unpredictable and incapacitating giddiness, rising to occasional vomiting, and steady, well-established stupidity even when I am capable of speech and movement. So I am using what energies I have for work, or things that might one day be worked up into work. If this were a properly functioning blog I would ask you to talk amongst yourselves. In any case, normal service will resume as soon as I can.

Paging Fred Clark

Tuesday, May 27th, 2008

Dear Fred, not all the fanmail you get is spam. Some needs a reply …

more feedback needed

Wednesday, May 7th, 2008

I think I have changed the feed links over. If you get this in an rss reader, then your transfer to the new blogging system has worked. Please drop something in the comments to say so: obviously I can’t ask people for whom it hasn’t worked to complain.

A farewell to MT

Tuesday, May 6th, 2008

This is the first post written into the new live wordpress version of the blog. I started getting mysterious errors on the MT installation and it was all just too much. I think I have mostly reproduced the old layout, which I liked, on this one. Below the fold, some detailed nerdy notes on all that went wrong. I know there isn’t a flickr sidebar yet. I’m working on that. Comments welcome; first thing we note is that there doesn’t seem to be a below the fold.

Testing — please help

Sunday, April 27th, 2008

I have upgraded this to Movable Type 4.1; a lot may have gone wrong, and I am in any case taking off to Norfolk for the day. So will kind commentators please comment here and let me know if there are problems? Also, the picture at the top looks much too light. Again, comments are welcome. I should perhaps change it if I can do so without too much drama.

A bunch of stuff

Saturday, August 18th, 2007

I have fiddled a little with the front page, after Tim Bray complained that he could not find a feed on it. I think this should work; there are also some photos down the right hand side to brighten things up. Please let me know is stuff is not working.