In this post-truth world, full of trumpty-dumpty dangers, we have to take our amusements and pleasures where we can. So I am rather tickled that of the four Macs in Servants’ Quarters

Anus Horribilis – my Winterval message

Well, it’s been basically a rubbish year.

We’ve said goodbye to too many people: David Bowie, Alan Rickman, Prince, Muhammad Ali, Anton Yeltsin, Elie Wiesel, Gene Wilder, Leonard Cohen, Robert Vaughn, Fidel Castro, Eric (my cousin’s partner) and John Glenn spring to mind. But the death that has affected me the most is the loss of my father in October. Here’s how it went, according to Facebook: Continue reading

Stranger in a strange(ly digital) land

Understanding Digital Policy was the title of an unconference I was at this week. (It was at an outpost of the University of Liverpool in central London – hence the title and illustration for this post.)

Although it was billed as covering

  • How is policy shaping the uptake and use of Digital Media and Technologies?
  • How are Digital Media and Technologies shaping policy making and policy implementation?

it went much further than that, into how will and how should policy be shaped, and what research should be done. This was at least in part due to the organiser, Simeon Yates, leading the the ESRC Ways of Being in a Digital Age team, and so being highly influential on research directions.

You can jump straight to my personal reactions if you want, but here’s how the day progressed. Firstly, we found interesting and/or kindred spirits by writing our own ‘about-me’s, looking at each others’ and deciding who we wanted to work with. Continue reading

Unchained malady

For once, I’m not going to concentrate my guts, Nothing has changed: various indicators (from samples taken a week or so ago) are all ok. There is still pain almost all the time – it just moves about – and it still takes me two or three minutes to stagger from one end of the flat to the other. However I slept all through last night, the first full night’s sleep in ages. Perhaps this was because I stayed awake all through yesterday.

I’m occasionally able to be productive for up to 30 minutes at a time, even though I spend a majority of the time in my nest. So far today has been relatively active: I’ve staggered to and from my GP’s surgery, and posted some items to a community council website. However, I then lay down and started this blog, then slept for a couple of hours. I’m not yet able to work on academic things but watch this space… (I’m unusually optimistic right now.)

The rest of this post is as tedious and unproductive as it was to live through the actual events. Continue reading


I hadn’t realised how heavy doses of antibiotics can flatten people even further. Today has been typical of this week: I’ve not had sufficient energy to move further from my ‘nest’ in our spare room to the bathroom. Instead I’ve been curled up under a duvet, too de-energised to even get cabin-fever. Continue reading