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 […]

The Brexit clock

Tick tock, tick tock That’s the sound of the Brexit clock Counting down the time until We leave the EU, by the people’s will MPs voted down the deal from May Whilst trying to keep ‘no deal’ at bay Thousands marched for a People’s Vote To keep the Remain idea afloat A petition was launched […]

A Spell to End School

As requested by Katy, here is a poem I wrote in primary school, which was published in All Aboard For Lancashire. I suspect if I was at school now I’d get called in under the government’s Prevent program for writing a poem about exploding the school, not to mention the wrath of the RSPCA for […]

Goals for 2019

I didn’t do terribly well on my goals for 2018: Improve photography skills: Failed, I can’t even find my camera. Finish Configuration Management with Ansible training course and deliver it at least once: Failed, although I have added another couple of exercises. Read 50 books: Success! According to my Goodreads challenge, I managed 70 books […]

Rixort Wiki

Over the last few years I’ve built up a collection of notes in various places on the wide range of topics I’m interested in. So that I can keep them all in one place for reference and editing, I’ve setup the Rixort Wiki. Read access is public, but only I can edit. Yes, this goes […]

Goals for 2018

This year has been a poor one for achieving the goals I set in January: Improve photography skills: Failed, although thanks to Lesley I have some resources to help me now. KAM Tools (software startup): Failed due to a lack of available time. Company is now being wound up. Training courses: Partial success, in that […]