Salt assault

We all know that salt in our diet contributes to stroke and coronary artery disease. What I didn’t realize until very recently was just how important it is. But a BBC Radio 4 interview with Graham MacGregor yesterday quickly fixed my misunderstanding. Continue reading

George RR Martin, the master

I started reading George RR Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire reluctantly. My expectations were low. The book didn’t start well, with a confusing jumble of voices, and an omniscient point of view that added to the sense of dislocation. But by the end of the first chapter, Martin’s hook had caught me. It wasn’t the action that drew me in, although the first chapter does contain a dramatic sword fight. It wasn’t the characters, who were not particularly well drawn, nor long lived. It was the prose. The words were magical, delicate, full of mystery and power. They conveyed much more than the literal flow of events.

Continue reading

Happy St David’s Day!

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There’s been a lot happening lately in the Morris bubble, leaving little or no time for me to blog. I just thought I’d stop by today to wish everyone a Happy St David’s Day. St David is the patron saint of Wales, and the daffodil (pictured above) is the national flower of Wales.

St David lived in the 6th century in Wales and his day is celebrated by wearing daffodils, eating Welsh cakes, and perhaps some leeks, and of course singing the rousing Welsh national anthem. This year Google is celebrating too with one of its doodles:

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As you may or may not know, I am Welsh, but manage to live very happily in the foreign land of England. I have taken steps to assimilate into my new home by always speaking the English language and adopting local customs such as complaining about the weather and drinking tea.

Traditionally the daffodil flowers on 1st March, but in recent years our daffodils have been huddling for warmth until well after their due date. This year however, although we’ve had a frosty and even snowy winter, February has been mild, and so the daffodils in our garden are here on time to share their spring colour with us.

I’ll just finish this post by wishing you all,

Dydd Gŵyl Dewi Hapus!

Birthday status – 49 and counting

Today it’s my birthday. I’m 49. That’s old. Or is it? The mathematician in me refutes the proposition that any finite number is either large or small. Besides, 49 is a nice number – the square of a prime. Pretty cool, huh? That won’t happen again until I turn 64. Continue reading

Multitasking is dead

I tried multitasking. Really, I did. I focused my full attention on it, to the exclusion of all other things. Yet even that couldn’t make it work. Continue reading

Fearing for my life

I fear for my life more and more these days. My childrens’ too.

Every six weeks, to be precise. That’s when we visit the local Turkish Barber.

We used to go to a unisex salon. It was a safe space to take my children. Sure, there were scissors in use. But we never saw blood spilled, only hair clippings.

The young women who cut our hair were gentle. They spoke softly and asked the boys what they’d been doing at school.

The element of danger was very small. Continue reading

Kindle vs paperback vs hardback

amazonkindleI’ve been a proud Kindle owner for a year now (and a sneaky borrower of my wife’s Kindle for two years prior to that), so I thought it would be useful to set out my thoughts on the subject. I’m going to rank these three media, starting with my least favourite. Continue reading