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A greater spotted woodpecker on the peanut feeder: bliss!

Posted by on 2:48 pm in Uncategorised | 0 comments

Well, I’ve been hopeless at keeping the blog going despite my good intentions.  Maybe I can let myself put up a post whose real content is in the title/subject line?  Yes.  Bliss it was indeed Thursday morning to look out of the kitchen window whilst making coffee.  S/he flew off to our false acacia tree where my daughter could see her/him too, and hopped up it in a wonderful, pure woodpecker way, then flew off, but we had insufficient angle to see the unmistakable undulating flight. Yes, and it bears repetition: bliss it was …...

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“Don’t fence me in”

Posted by on 5:42 pm in Uncategorised | 0 comments

I had a wonderful experience last night.  “Don’t fence me in” is the title of a documentary film by Charles Maplestone, see page at Malachite Art Films. The British Library hosted a first public screening last night and early evening, in the hell of the London rush hours, I cycled across a drizzly and cold London from Roehampton to to the BL to get to the showing and was richly rewarded for my determination as the film is lovely. The BL cinema isn’t huge but it was packed, I think there were probably 250 of us there...

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Internal (neurotic? psychotic?) insecurities and the appeal of maths

Posted by on 9:57 pm in Uncategorised | 0 comments

One week gone of 2018’s 52.  One of my new year resolutions was to try to keep this blog going a bit less erratically than I have been doing. Shouldn’t be difficult: set the bar really low and I should be able to jump it! Something that’s been swimming around in my mind this week has been how much I yearn to use maths, typically statistics, accurately and well in my research work. That’s not the whole of my approach to research. For years now I have been sure that most of the really important questions about...

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Reviewing 2017 and resolutions for 2018

Posted by on 6:17 pm in Uncategorised | 0 comments

2017 was a funny old year from my point of view.  I didn’t redo a real cycling pilgrimage which was right; I gave up being an employed academic after only one academic year in which that had been my sole job, that too was right; I did clear a bit of the research backlog that has accumulated in some very slowly accelerating landslide, over the last decade or so, that was a start; I even got my head around some statistical theory and practice that I hadn’t known before, that was good; I did manage to kick out a few papers but not...

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A lot has been happening in the last week, in the last year …

Posted by on 10:35 pm in Uncategorised | 1 comment

By this time last year I was back home in London.  Yesterday was the first anniversary of my return and I spent most of it in a tiny B&B room here in Barcelona … Yes, there really about 50cm between the foot of the bed and that thin chest of drawers and there’s about a metre between the bed and the other chest of drawers and 1.5m to the doorway, in which I’m standing to take that.  The staff here ( are lovely and it’s very central in Barcelona.  I think I’d recommend it as a place to...

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A year ago today I made it into Compostella

Posted by on 7:18 pm in Uncategorised | 0 comments

Wow.  As today went on it sank in on me that this might have been the day that I finally arrived in Santiago de Compostella and it was. That’s a silly little sketch of such an important day.  Actually, I find I have far less memory of it than I would have supposed, or than I’d like.  It’s interesting to try to cast my mind back without first reading any blog post I did back then.  I know it wasn’t a great day as the road switchbacked up and down.  Here, as I’ve finally succumbed and used Strava (,...

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Much ado about … Tourette’s syndrome and other things at the Globe

Posted by on 9:16 pm in Uncategorised | 0 comments

I must learn how to write a blog one day.  Yes, something for the todo list.  Hm, put “Learn how to manage a WordPress web site” and “Sort out how to embed route tracks on interactive maps in WordPress web sites” too while we at it.  Ho, hum, yes, my todo list is a monster, it never actually seems to get smaller. OK, this isn’t about todo lists and good intentions but it is a post about yesterday, despite having had a remarkable day today and despite having remarkable cycling days from a year ago all queuing up...

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I missed Toto’s first birthday but discover that I’m dilatanty

Posted by on 10:41 pm in Uncategorised | 0 comments

[This got edited 9.ix.17 as daughter rightly pointed out that the bit about dilatanty didn’t make much sense as it was.] That does sound rather like the title from a Winnie the Pooh story “In which Christopher (Robin|Evans) forgets Toto’s birthday and makes an interesting discovery”.  Oh dear, I can see I’m in danger already of going off at tangents and perhaps getting draw into Vinni Puh ( but we’ll come back to that another night. My 2017 life does seem to have...

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Bank holiday weekend

Posted by on 8:18 pm in Uncategorised | 0 comments

In the UK it’s been one of our bank holiday weekends, which means that Monday, today, has been a holiday for many people (anyone not in areas that can’t stop, like the NHS etc., workers in those fields, at least, those who have proper contracts, get to get a day off in lieu of the holiday they missed if they work a bank holiday).  It’s also been really consitently hot and sunny for the first time in a couple of weeks.  On Saturday J and I watched two whole episodes of “Cardiff Singer of the World” which actually...

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I must stop wittering about IT and hard/sofware: wetware rules!

Posted by on 8:31 pm in Uncategorised | 0 comments

I really must stop wittering on about IT … well, so my lovely daughter tells me!  Actually, what she said, and she and J were meticulously careful about this, was that two posts in a row about IT is as far as I can reasonably go.  I know they’re right but I did turn to some R today and it went really smoothly.  When you find some R code you’ve never really played with much before generates a nice picture like this from some data in someone else’s paper … … in perhaps an hour in all from inputting the data,...

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