Does anyone who played chess in New South Wales in the early 1980s remember what the Peter Green Memorial Split Pawn Award was? Won by Peter Green, R.Colman, Marcus Pesman, Charles Zworestine, S.Twigg, Tim Reilly and yours truly. I vaguely recall it was for the worst performance in a tournament, or possibly a particularly bad game?
We've settled into a routine with Wordle and its clones, but some of the more radical variants are the most interesting. Our favourites are Worldle, Semantle, Heardle and Nerdle.
We've had five days of remote learning so far, and everything seems to be running pretty smoothly. Helen's teachers and school have put in an impressive performance, especially given how little notice there was of whether schools would fully open. (The government delayed announcing a lockdown till the night before we were scheduled to reopen — and after many other schools had opened for a day.) (more…)
Helen's been back at school for three weeks now and I've started going in to work two days a week, and that's all gone very smoothly. Old routines have come back quickly, and the most remarkable thing is just how normal everything seems. (more…)
Yesterday I made my first visit to Blackwells bookshop, one of the shops that has reopened with the easing of lockdown. I bought Marcia Williams' Tales From Shakespeare for Helen and (an impromptu find) Ross MacPhee's End of the Megafauna.
Before that, I think I had visited just four shops in the four months or so of lockdown: (more…)
Some random notes on my experience of lockdown.
- We were well ahead with the toilet-paper buying, largely because Australia led the world in going into panic-buying mode so we got advance warning. And we've stayed well-stocked generally — we've even acquired an extra freezer unit to store food in.
My (three year old) iphone has been playing up for the last month or two - maybe a couple of times a week apps start crashing randomly and I have to power-cycle it. Strangely, that started happening just as Apple announced a replacement model. (more…)
I'm really conscious of the importance of exercise, especially as I get older — I've read enough of the research on this to know how big the health implications are, and I've even heard Muir Gray talk twice. But I find it really hard to exercise just for the sake of exercise: I can't see myself ever joining a gym, buying household exercise equipment, or anything like that. (more…)
After a couple of months with the activity monitoring apps on my iThing, I've averaged about 4km a day of walking and 12km of cycling. (more…)
Helen herself is moderately excited by the prospect of school but not (I think) too much so, and we're thinking this will work out ok. The welcome afternoon a couple of weeks ago went off swimmingly, despite the heat. (more…)
I can remember my father Hansen taking me to the Sydney university Coop bookshop (then in the Transient building) and buying me a proper Hewlett-Packard scientific calculator. That was over thirty years ago — I'm not sure exactly when, but it must have been before I started uni — but the calculator still works perfectly (and I think I've only had to change the battery once). (more…)
I am now a British citizen, after a pleasantly low-key ceremony last Thursday in the County Hall. (more…)
Living in Britain, one encounters a regular series of stories about how dangerous Australian animals are. (Otherwise, the UK media treat Australia pretty much the way the Australian media treat New Zealand.) And most people accept this as gospel, to the extent that it's often given as a reason for not visiting Australia. In fact, this is complete nonsense: British cows kill as many people each year as all of Australia's "dangerous" animals put together. (more…)
I've just had my rear wheel rebuilt — with a new rim as well since that was getting worn, but largely to replace the hub. And this post is mostly about hubs, about whether getting a Shimano Nexus hub serviced is a good idea, and whether a premium "redline" Nexus hub is actually any better. (more…)
Walking with Helen to the Cowley Rd Tesco yesterday made me think back on how her development and changes in transport modes have affected our experience of Oxford's geography. (more…)
Helen has made strong attachments to some of her peers, far stronger than anything I remember from my own early life (though I have very few memories from before school). Reminding her that she'll get to see her friends once she gets to nursery, or that we're going on a playdate, is almost always a big motivation for getting dressed and leaving the house. And having a friend refuse to hold hands with her can be enough to make her burst into tears. (more…)
I had had to take the day off work to look after Helen yesterday, since she was home after after having had the runs at nursery the day before. But we had a really good day. (more…)
Helen has starting talking about how she's a big girl (sometimes "a big little girl") and getting bigger, and has made what seem like big strides towards greater independence in the past month. (more…)