Category Archives: Personal

On remembrance

Thirty years ago—plus or minus a week—I visited Berlin for the first time. It was a school trip, organized by our physics teacher. We rode a train from Braunschweig to Helmstedt, where we picked up an East German engine and … Continue reading

Posted in Friday afternoon, Personal | Tagged | 5 Comments

My iron lung (redux)

The is a modified version of a couple of posts that originally appeared in December 2006 on ‘Life of a lab rat’, my blog at the University of Sydney. Which is now sadly defunct. It’s not what you know, it … Continue reading

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Caption competition

Go on. You know you want to.

Posted in Nonsense, Personal | Tagged , | 11 Comments

Guns + ammunition

Just after I started shooting I was listening to a couple of the old(er) timers bitching about their recent poor performance. One of them blamed the ammunition they were using. The other pointed out that while shooters often blame the … Continue reading

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Joshua fit the battle of Jericho

I am typing this slowly, with one hand. I do of course already have two lovely daughters, but welcoming Joshua—their half-brother—into the world wasn’t any less special. And the original Pawn, Rachel, seems equally thrilled.

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Parklife

If you’ve ever seen my Flickr stream you might realize I’m quite fond of birds. Even here in Zone 2 there are a lot of birds around—especially in our garden. Blue tits, great tits, long-tailed tits, robins, dunnocks, goldfinches, wrens, … Continue reading

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More to a sinner

When people ask who were my influences, I find it difficult to give a straight answer. I cannot name a childhood hero in whose footsteps I wanted to follow, neither was there someone whose guidance or mentoring I’d particularly like … Continue reading

Posted in Ill-considered rants, People, Personal | Tagged , , , , , , | 5 Comments

On target

I settle, relaxing all my muscles: feet to legs to bum to back to arms. I’m essentially slumped. A bit of pain in my left hand: that’s not quite right. Perhaps I just have to get used to it. I … Continue reading

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On writing

I’ve heard it said there’s no such thing as ‘bricklayer’s block’. The argument goes that bricklayers lay bricks, that pilots (say) fly, and that writers write. For those of us lucky enough to be paid to put one word after … Continue reading

Posted in Me, Personal, Work | Tagged , | 13 Comments

Poppy

It’s not about being patriotic or British—not that there’s necessarily anything wrong with either of those. It’s about those who, when the time came, gave whatever they could for what they believed in. It’s about those who died; those who … Continue reading

Posted in Personal, Politics | Tagged | 6 Comments