A Pessimist’s View on Inspiration – a poem

penYesterday I wrote some advice for an 11 year old friend of my son, who had been unsuccessful applying for entry to a highly competitive school. His mother, Sharon, sent me the following poem, which Robin wrote on hearing that the school had turned him down. I present the poem to you here with his mother’s permission. Robin, I remind you, is 11 years old. Continue reading

Letter to an 11 year old boy

happsadA friend of my younger son, who’s 11, just received some bad news. He recently sat a school entrance exam and attended for interview, but wasn’t successful at getting a place. This blog article is for him. Continue reading

An infinite number of monkeys with typewriters

Monkey-typingThis is how I plan to write my blog in future. I will keep this little guy in my basement and supply him with bananas until he produces an article I’m happy with. It’s a great method if you’re lazy but patient.

But how patient would I have to be? How long would it actually take? Continue reading

Lament for Leicester Forest East

xmasThe Christmases preserved in my childhood memories were filled with uncles, aunts, cousins and grandparents. I also have recollections of highly decorated (and highly flammable) plastic Christmas trees. There were more mince pies than anyone could possibly eat. And I spent my time unwrapping presents, watching TV and staying indoors out of the cold, although it never snowed.

None of that happens any more. My adult experience of Christmas is completely different. Continue reading

Why I am an atheist

zeusjpgI’ve written about religion a lot on this blog, but I’ve probably never explained why I’m an atheist.

It’s really simple. Continue reading

Stormy weather

lightningIn our hallway we have a barometer. It belonged to my grandmother, so it’s a family heirloom, although it’s not at all valuable in a monetary sense. But it does hold sentimental value, as it transports me back to my grandmother’s hallway, and it has a lot of educational value for our family.

Our children love, love, love this barometer! Every day they look at it and report to me what the weather is doing.

I find that our barometer is roughly as accurate as the official weather forecast for predicting the weather for the day ahead. But you need to know how to interpret it.

Continue reading

Birthday status – 47 and counting

birthdaycakeIt’s my birthday today and I’m having trouble believing that I’m 47. That’s like, old. Nearly.

So I decided to check out some famous actors who were also born in 1968, and see how they’re bearing up. Continue reading