Monday, 26 November 2007


Sara is a 3rd year undergrad in the group I work with at LCC. I was publishing from the phone to demonstrate the speed of the digital world.

Sent using a Sony Ericsson mobile phone

Sara 2




Sunday, 25 November 2007


My initiation into the secret world of cleaning products continues. I wasn't sure how I'd clean the racks from the oven and the grill pan which doubles as a roasting tray until I found a garishly decorated box on the shelf in the aisle I've just discovered at Morrisons. The box looks as though it was designed by a three year old on ecstasy but, boy oh boy, it's the real thing inside. It comes with rubber gloves and more warnings than a nuclear power station. It also has a large plastic bag in which the items to be cleansed are deposited. Bung them in the bag, pour in the gunk and leave for a few hours. Wear gloves, old clothes, don't get the liquid on your body or furniture or any materials not provided in the kit or constructed of stainless steel or enamel.

Bunged them in yesterday afternoon - I got two boxes so one bag has the grill pan and the other has the oven racks - and let it do its work. Wow! All that's left to do is to don the protective gear and wash the gel away but through the bag I can see that this stuff has eaten away all the grease and baked-on crud - it is amazing. I'm sure that everyone else knows about this stuff but to me it's a revelation. Of course the text on the box is confident that there are no environmental impacts of swilling the stuff down the sink so that's all good too.

Thursday, 22 November 2007

Unknown delights

I have to admit that beyond a dab of bleach and the stuff that makes the water in the cistern blue the mysteries of bathroom cleaning products were an alien world to me. Clearly I need to make sure that all is shipshape and Bristol fashion so I strayed down one of the two aisles I usually forgo (pet food in case you wondered about the other).

Bloody hell but there's a lot! Who would have thought that there could be so many ways of getting rid of limescale on plugholes? (Hands up all those who even knew that the white crusty crud was limescale!). Because I can cook I don't need Brillo pads to clean pans, I use those sponges with a green abrasive side, but I now find that they are available in white for cleaning baths. I'd hate anyone to think that I live in abject squaller but I wasn't aware of the sheer delight in stocking up on these gels and preparations which will transform my life.

On the packing side - blitzed the packing cases which had been untouched since I moved in here (3yrs 1 month) and now have 9 bags of recycling waiting for collection and just two neatly packed boxes - mainly books about exciting stuff like education and advice & guidance. Got rid of piles of old OU brochures from when I was doing some project work from home, equally large amounts of prospectuses (oldest dated 2000) from colleges and universities around the county - another legacy of project work.

Tuesday, 20 November 2007


I'm good at project management, I've done it for years and been paid - often handsomely - for knowing how to do it.

Why then am I in bits about getting all this stuff sorted? I'm surrounded by "stuff" and I have to determine what stuff is worth packing and what stuff should go to the tip. Some of the stuff has no intrinsic value but means something because it's part of my lives - stuff that I've carried since I was a child, stuff that means something as a husband and a father and stuff that has been part of the latter life as a bloke alone. I have things that measure my success as a person alone - I'm proud of not having broken things or of having clothes that I've managed to wash and iron alone. These might seem silly tests but by such tests we measure how we've managed, the metaphysical question of "How am I in the world". The person I was when I moved in here on 18th October 2004 is gone but should I save some trace? Is memory better than artifacts?

Have I picked the right place to move to? Is it the right move?

My father remains my hero - he was a quiet man who occasionally said things which I try to aspire to and one such thing was "That's what being grown up means" - he used that whenever I said that something was difficult. Right now moving is difficult, beyond the physical packing and going, because it means I have to assess where I'm at and where I'm going.

Which stuff do I need?

Friday, 9 November 2007

Outside (through window - too cold to go

Outside (through window - too cold to go there!)

Llandoger Trow

Llandoger Trow


Sending this from the bar of the Llandoger Trow in Bristol. Chilly night but everyone is outside so that they can have a smoke. This building dates from 1664 and features in 'Treasure Island'.
Famous feet have trodden these worn old boards; Alexander Selkirk met Daniel Defoe here and pirates sailed from the quay outside and Gowing and Rivers wrote in green ink.
Halcyon days and 5oz rumps.

Sent using a Sony Ericsson mobile phone

Wednesday, 7 November 2007

Happy birthday!

Originally uploaded by icedjem2040
My big child celebrated her birthday in Japan.