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remote learning

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…)

A Phoney Normal? School and Work

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…)

lockdown shopping

Life, Oxford — June 2020

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…)

lockdown notes

Life — June 2020

Some random notes on my experience of lockdown.

things start breaking

Life, Technology — May 2020

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…)

everyday exercise

Life, Transport, — April 2020

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…)

Coffee disloyalty cards

Life — February 2018

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measuring exercise

Life, , , — September 2017

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…)

walking versus cycling (in Oxford)

Last night I went to a talk by Eva Heinen titled "Why, where and how people travel" and that got me thinking about the balance between walking and cycling (more…)

approaching school

Children, Life — July 2017

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…)

from grandfather

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…)

becoming British

Life, , — January 2017

I am now a British citizen, after a pleasantly low-key ceremony last Thursday in the County Hall. (more…)

Australian animals are no more dangerous than British cows

Life, Travel — October 2016

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…)

Shimano Nexus 8 hub needs service? - SG-8R31 vs SG-8R36 redline

Life, Technology, — September 2016

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…)

the transport geography of early childhood

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…)

little friends

Children, Life, , — December 2015
photo

Moomin and Koala Bear are best friends

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…)

an extra day with Helen

Children, Life, Oxford — November 2015

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…)

growing independence

Life — October 2015

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…)

male carer "tend and befriend"?

Books + Ideas, Life, , — September 2015

There are many areas in which becoming a father has had surprisingly little effect on me, but caring for Helen has clearly changed my social behaviour and probably my neurochemistry (more…)

Helen's first demonstration

Life — September 2015

I took Helen on her first demonstration today, a rally in central Oxford in support of refugees. (more…)

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