Right now, I'm sitting on my bed in a very small studio in Kensington. I've been living in this small studio with its single bed for two weeks now. This is my first home in London.

Some weeks ago, I'd been offered a promotion within Canonical. Circumstances made this a …

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English language books for the highly literate foreigner

Months ago, I was perusing my friend Martin's bookshelf on a warm night in Buenos Aires. Martin's a native Spanish speaker and enjoys literature, so it ought not have been too surprising that he had "La Idiota" by Dostoyevsky on his shelf. All of his fiction was in Spanish, which …

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Moving overseas

I'm moving to London, and soon. I hate moving house. I've done it a lot and each time I do it I still hate it.

Here's what I'm aiming for:

  • move out of shared accommodation
  • ship some of my stuff to the UK
  • keep some of my stuff in luggage …
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The early 19th century sentence

Of it, Virginia Woolf says, "Jane Austen looked at it and laughed at it and devised a perfectly natural, shapely sentence proper for her own use and never departed from it."

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Holiday reading

  • Treason's Harbor, Patrick O'Brian
  • The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain
  • A Room of One's Own, Virginia Woolf
  • Cat's Cradle, Kurt Vonnegut
  • Illness as Metaphor and AIDS and its Metaphors, Susan Sontag
  • Pnin, Vladimir Nabokov
  • The Far Side of the World, Patrick O'Brian
  • The Reverse of the Medal, Patrick O'Brian …
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A little bit now

When one says that a thing is a "slippery slope", one is obliged to prove that there is a slope and that it is indeed slippery. Likewise, a thin edge of the wedge is only relevant if there is a substantial "wedge" attached to the thin edge, and if there …

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New GPG key

I've published a new GPG key: 2048R/2A727997

Details available here:

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A letter I received

Jonathan Lange, a 26yr old man presented to The Emergency Department of The Royal North Shore Hospital because he walked into a glass door and cut his neck this evening. He has a superficial lac to the L side of his neck. In our Department he was given ADT, and …

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Travel News

Just the facts:

  • Went Business class from Singapore to London.
  • Read Breakfast at Tiffany's
  • Read Persuasion
  • Watched Layer Cake
  • Watched The Spy Who Came in from the Cold
  • Richard Burton has (had?) an awesome voice
  • Watched JCVD
  • Watched Milk
  • Train, Plane, Plane, Train, Train, Train, Taxi
  • Currently bound for Birmingham …
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Quester's Tidings

After dispatching my missive on the ethereal winds, I must confess I had little hope. Although my faith in my readers is incalculable, my wanderings have taken me far, and I had begun to believe that I had seen all that has been given to mortal eye to see, and …

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More Readings

  • The Wave in the Mind, Ursula K. Le Guin
  • Desolation Island, Patrick O'Brian
  • Confederacy of Dunces, John Kennedy Toole

There are definitely many worse things than spending a day with Ursula Le Guin's thoughts on rhythm, writing, Tolkien, Woolf, Twain, the Tao and -- of course -- gender.

O'Brian is amazing, I'm …

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My Quest

Dear Reader,

When I wrote to you some weeks ago, I alluded to my quest and promised to tell you of it in my next post. You have certainly noticed that I have not kept my word, and I nurse only the bitter hope that the pain of yet another …

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My reading this month so far:

  • HMS Surprise, Patrick O'Brian
  • Mauritius Command, Patrick O'Brian
  • Smiley's People, John Le Carré
  • Zen in the Art of Archery, Eugen Herrigel
  • Three Hearts and Three Lions, Poul Anderson

I love O'Brian's books: they make me want to write. Smiley is perfectly characterized.

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Returned from the book shop

Just got back from Kinokuniya, carrying:

  • Marvel 1602, Neil Gaiman
  • Persuasion, Jane Austen
  • Breakfast at Tiffany's, Truman Capote
  • Mauritius Command, Patrick O'Brian
  • Smiley's People, John Le Carre
  • HMS Surprise, Patrick O'Brian
  • The Wave in the Mind, Ursula K. Le Guin

I dipped into Le Guin's essays on the train -- so …

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I'm off to Barcelona on Sunday, and I have to have my talks ready by then.

Instead I'm doing actually quite useful things that I've been putting off for ages and will make my life better and work easier.


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