It's the Pitts: mad world

While sorting out the CDs and making sure they are all on the pooter I found a home-made one from lil bro Nick with two tracks from Anthony Pitts and Tonus Peregrinus: The Flower and Mad World. The latter turned out to be a hilarious and impressive choral arrangement of the Tears for Fears number, and it's so bonkers I could resist uploading it... read more

Automatic closure is a bad thing

Lots of things open and close – doors, shops, windows, mouths, apps, free schools, etc. The “open” state is good for use, travel, ventilation, communication, education, aspiration and operation. The “closed” state is good for silence, darkness, stasis and rest. “Closed” is good only when the recovery it permits is necessary for “open” to be... read more

Lloyds want to spam me and I don’t know what to do

While trying to get a quote for car insurance, I am staring at this particularly offensive example of a deliberately-ambiguous question regarding contact preferences. Normally a careful read, then another read to make sure, reveals whether or not to put a tick in the box; but this one left me stumped. Note that I’m right in the middle of... read more

I almost forgot the drawing

After all the scanner woes, I almost forgot about Helen’s art… here’s a pencil drawing she did for art homework a couple of days ago. I love it, remembering how my own childhood attempts to draw human faces always made the subjects look like they’d been run over. read more

When a networked Canon MP620 just won’t scan

I’m sharing this because I’m sure others will have the same issue, and the same miserable time trying to find helpful information. Such is life when you have any computing kit that is older than about 6 months, it seems. I wanted to scan a couple of Helen’s drawings, before they went off to school and got mangleworzled. Our scanner is one of those ... read more

A pink and blue floral farewell to the FujiFilm HS10

A last frolic in the flowers for our FujiFilm FinePix HS10, about to be retired (and handed over to the kids) in favour of a new HS50 EXR. Here’s a stalk of Verbena bonariensis… And again, with the poppy heads making themselves known: A rose peeping out from the smoke bush: And pink and blue salad of geranium and rambling rose: read more

Written on the blotter

An old blotting paper table covering is finding its way to the recycling bin, but in a corner amidst the doodles and noughts-and-crosses, this was written long ago by the Helly: Help! Please, someone! As if stuck in a world of darkness I cannot see, only hear and feel. Please help! Oh no, wait, I was just closing my eyes, silly me! Sorry... read more

South Wales Traverse Leg 1 recce

As folk will surely know, I’m organising a South Wales Traverse relay with exeGesIS colleagues on 7th – 8th June, the aim being to complete the 73 mile route in less than 24 hours. This is a Big Ask, requiring an average speed over 3mph over mountain terrain, with lots of colleagues whose main form of exercise is writing software. We’re doing it... read more

Don’t arrive out of breath (or out of practice)

Caius College Choir Long Vac summons from Peter Tranchell, August 1988
This being a transcription of the hand-written (then photocopied) letter sent to choral scholars before term, August 1988. Dear Crispin (or other choral scholar’s name as appropriate) With any luck, you’ve been having so far a delightful and perhaps profitable vac. May it last as long as poss. Perhaps you’ve caught sight of a book, but maybe ... read more