250 Who

I have written a lot of Doctor Who reviews over the last few years, mainly for podcasts that I listen to (both have mostly finished their classic stories now). I am gradually uploading them to a new site, 250 Who (because they’re 250 words or less). Let me you know if you have any thoughts […]

Book series to read

This year in particular, I’m trying to be a bit more focused in my reading. There are a bunch of book series that have been on my ‘to read’ list for a long time which I’m looking to make progress on. Chronicles of Narnia: I used to read this with my Mum when I was […]

Goals for 2023

2022 has been another mixed year – I had some things go spectacularly well and other things fall apart. I’ve concentrated on clearing out dead wood, both physical objects – such as a books I’ll never read – and digital items such as old websites. I’ve got far too much stuff in my life and […]

Ancient History UK

I recently moved all of my Ancient History (Roman and Greek) resources to a new website, Ancient History UK. It’s still a work in progress, and I’m planning to add the following over time: Places to visit in the UK, e.g. Ribchester Roman Museum Groups to join, e.g. the Classical Association Resources for topics – […]

Goals for 2022

2021 has been a mixed year, with some major ups and downs. Hopefully 2022 will be a bit smoother! This year’s goals were: Read 50 books: I’ve read 60 books this year (down from 79 in 2020) – success! Launch at least one of my side projects: Minimal progress on this due to other things […]

Public speaking in lockdown

I’ve given lectures, talks, and taken part in discussion groups during lockdown, and the experience has been very different to in-person events. For me, giving a talk is more like appearing in panto or performing stand-up than recording a TV series – there are jokes, sci-fi references, provocative comments (e.g. PHP is the best programming […]

Goals for 2021

With what seems like remarkable foresight, but was probably just forgetfulness, I did not set any goals for 2020. For several reasons, including the obvious two, it was mostly a rubbish year, although there were some upsides, such as improving my French from “haven’t written/spoken for 20 years” to A2 on the Common European Framework […]

Future of Currybeer and Geek Walks

As many of you will know, I run two regular events in Manchester called Currybeer and Geek Walks. Since mid-March both have been running as regular video chats via Jitsi instead of in-person. I’ve been asked when the events will return to normal, but unfortunately they are both risky to run in a pandemic because […]

Lockdown language learning

As mentioned in Life under lockdown, I am currently trying to re-learn Latin, partly for self-fulfillment purposes and also because I’d like to be able to understand texts used when I attend classics and ancient history lectures, or when I deliver them and need to translate sections for notes. I’m also trying to re-learn French […]

Life under lockdown

Like most people in the UK, I have spent the last three weeks in lockdown, and experienced significant curtailment in social activities in the two weeks before that. At first I was somewhat blasé about it – after all, I normally work from home, I live by myself, and I walk to the local shops […]