Monthly Archives: March 2006

Country Living

Well, it’s now a week since we took possession of the farmhouse. We arrived last Friday afternoon at 13:45 for an inspection of the property before trooping off to the notary for the signing of the contract. The previous owners … Continue reading

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Jumped-up Walkmans

Lucy Mangan, in today’s Guardian, has a most satisfying rant against iPods and their witless owners. She sums up my feelings precisely.

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The Dutch Citizenship Test

Last January, I mentioned the test that would-be immigrants to the Netherlands would have to take. It went live last week. There’s an article on the Radio Netherlands web site describing the procedure. I certainly don’t share the journalist’s touching … Continue reading

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The Sub-Editor’s Art

Forget the actual article, just savour the brilliant headline that has been provided by an anonymous sub-editor to this review in today’s Observer.

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Art and Reality

I decided to pull together two things that I came across on the Internet in order to illustrate the polar opposites of what we are capable of.   First, the horror.   Dr. Crippen, in his NHS Blog Doctor, documents … Continue reading

Posted in Health and wellness | 2 Comments

A Book Review

This review of this book has instantly made me put it on my "books I must read" list. Clearly, anything that shows what a weird and wonderful world we live in courtesy of millions of years of evolution will get … Continue reading

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Service Slowdown

My blogging is likely to be somewhat sporadic for the next month or so. We’re entering the final phases of the house move, and I’m somewhat preoccupied with that. Once the move occurs, I shall also be returned to the … Continue reading

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Two to Watch

On the strength of this review (particularly of the first film), The Child and The Road to Guantánamo are going on my list of films to see.

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Drinking From the (Image) Firehose

I use Flickr as the online repository for my photographs. It’s a community web site, with a lot of traffic. Trying to get a sense of what’s going on with the hundreds of images that are posted each day is difficult, but … Continue reading

Posted in Hobbies | 2 Comments

Peeling Potatoes the Easy Way

Those cunning Japanese do it again… Must try that today.   (hat tip to Crooked Timber)

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In Praise of the TARDIS

I see that today’s featured article in Wikipedia is on the TARDIS – the vehicle-cum-home of Doctor Who. Great stuff.

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The Moslem Madonna

A full-page article in the Volkskrant today about Deeyah, who has been called the Moslem Madonna. She has been threatened with death by fundamentalists because of her appearance and performances. Accompanying the article is a link to her latest video … Continue reading

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Homes for the Elderly

One of the joyful little tasks I will have in my list of things to do in twenty years time will be preparing to select a suitable care home where I can end my days, surrounded by handsome male nurses who … Continue reading

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The Site of Reversible Destiny

One day I would like to be able to revisit Japan. One place that I think would be on the itinerary is the Site of Reversible Destiny. A bizarre little architectural park. A sort of modernist Portmerion, where features are … Continue reading

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The Harmonium is Stilled

Sad to read that Scottish eccentric Ivor Cutler is no longer with us.

Posted in Entertainment | 2 Comments

Another Reason Not To Ski

I’ve never learnt to ski. I don’t really see the point of doing something that I can only do once a year for a few days at enormous expense and at some risk to life and limb. It’s probably cheaper … Continue reading

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Duck – It’s Eurovision!

It’s that time of the year again – the Eurovision Song Contest. I’ve just watched the British entries for this year’s contest. Two things struck me.   First – I hope that Teenage Life wins. This song is so wrong … Continue reading

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The Benefit of the Doubt?

The latest twist in the Tessa Jowell/David Mills saga is that they have now agreed to a separation. Part of me wants to believe that they had the best of intentions throughout this whole sorry affair, but an ever more … Continue reading

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Memories and Movies

That old word wizard JG Ballard has a fascinating article in today’s Guardian. In it, he muses over where his memory ends and where the interpretation of those memories by other people begins. He uses the events, both original and … Continue reading

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“Absolute Madness, Naive and Irresponsible”

Those are the words ("volstrekt krankzinnig, naïef en onverantwoord") used by a member of the Dutch parliament to describe a recent decision of Rita Verdonk, the minister of Immigration and Integration. And what has the lovely Rita done now? Well, she’s … Continue reading

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