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Home - News Archive

Previously in Dogsticks...

09/10/2017:

Guest review: Die Hauptstadt by Robert Menasse 4

"At least two major German-language writers have written extensively about the European Union. One is the poet, essayist and occasional novelist Hans Magnus Enzensberger, probably best known outside Germany for his writing on the media and his coinage "consciousness industry" to describe them..." More


08/10/2017:

A review of The Unexpected Professor by John Carey 4

"John Carey is a literary polemicist, a grammar school-educated Oxford don whose bête noires are academic and intellectual elistism. In his career as an English Professor at various Oxford colleges, he put his money where his mouth was, actively soliciting undergraduate applications from state schools, fighting to get the English curriculum updated to include more modern literature, and (as chair of a pan-University board) attempting to bring in line colleagues who refused to lecture on anything but their pet subjects..." More


01/10/2017:

Photos:

A paddler surfs the
Lee Valley Olympic whitewater course

24/09/2017:

  • A review of What's for Tea? by Claudia Hunt - a German book about English. 3

    "A book in German, for Germans, about English. Claudia Hunt spent fourteen years in the UK, and here educates her compatriots in the nuances of English idiom - "English as you didn't learn it at school" is the book's German subtitle..." More

  • Photos.
Packhorse bridge
A photographic raid on West Suffolk

20/09/2017:

Photos:

Cliffs
Kayak surfing for dummies

17/09/2017:

  • A review of Master and Commander by Patrick O'Brian. 4

    "Patrick O'Brian wrote twenty novels featuring Jack Aubrey, an English sea captain in the Napoleonic Wars, and his ship's surgeon Stephen Maturin. The novels were slow to find a readership, but are now widely regarded as among the best historical novels in the English language..." More

  • For the first time, a guest review - of Vernon Subutex, Part 1 by Virginie Despentes. 3

    "Having read on the German cultural website perlentaucher.de that Virginie Despentes is the author frequently regarded as capturing the reality of contemporary France, I managed on a recent visit to find the volume named above in the bookshop at Marseille Airport. The back cover of the Livre de Poche edition I bought even makes an implicit comparison with Balzac by taking about a "comédie inhumaine"..." More


12/09/2017:

Photos:

Clouds
Lincolnshire
Safety and rescue dudes
Cruising the River Washburn

30/08/2017:

Photos:

Mountains
Getting warm and wet in the Austrian Alps
Paddleboarding
Come-down Monday - stand-up paddleboarding on the Cam

17/08/2017:

Photos:

Country road
Yorkshire

07/08/2017:

Photos:

The dyke, looking south
Devil's Dyke

03/08/2017:

  • A review of Geological Structures by Chris and Helen Pellant. 4

    "An excellent introduction to geology. Starting with descriptions of the three main rock types - igneous, metamorphic and sedimentary - it goes on to explain the structural effects of folding, faults and unconformities..." More

  • Photos.
King's College
King's College

23/07/2017:

Photos:

Graveyard
River Tryweryn, Wales
An evacuated Legacy loop
Lee Valley Whitewater Centre

09/07/2017:

Photos:

Dad on the dog, with the dog
Yorkshire
Bug on a Lee Valley bib
Bug
Golden Ears
Golden Ears

02/07/2017:

Photos:

Dad and Mum
Yorkshire

25/06/2017:

Photos:

Sea and clouds
Norfolk

19/06/2017:

Photos:

Greenery
River Tryweryn, Wales

11/06/2017:

  • A review of Adrian Mole: The Prostrate Years by Sue Townend. 3

    "The Secret Diary of Adian Mole, Aged 13¾ was a publishing phenomenon of the early 1980s. Its subject - the daily tribulations and anxieties of an awkward, introspective teenager - was so rich in humorous potential that it's surprising nobody thought of it earlier..." More

  • Photos.
The Fens, where the rivers have road signs
Fens
Raft
Foamy pillows
Sheep
Dyke

30/05/2017:

Photos:

Reservoir
Yorkshire

24/05/2017:

Photos:

Fore Hill
Cambridgeshire

15/05/2017:

  • A review of Monsignor Quixote by Graham Greene. 4

    "Father Quixote, a lowly priest in a tiny Spanish town, helps out an Italian monsignor whose car has broken down, and is rewarded by being made a monsignor himself. While the church authorities consider where to move him to, he takes a road trip with the town's recently-deposed Marxist mayor, who is also at a loose end..." More

  • Photos.
Legacy course
Lee Valley Whitewater Centre

05/05/2017:

  • A review of Mothering Sunday by Graham Swift 3

    "Jane Fairchild, a housemaid in the 1920s, is given the day off by her employers on Mothering Sunday. Being an orphan, she has nothing particular to do - until a telephone call from her lover summons her to a rendez-vous at his parents' house..." More

  • Photos.
Bluebells
Yorkshire

27/04/2017:

A review of Keeping On Keeping On by Alan Bennett 3

"The third installment of Alan Bennett's miscellaneous non-fiction. About half of it is diary extracts; the rest consists of introductions to plays, articles and speeches written for miscellaneous occasions, and two scripts for plays that were never performed as intended..." More


17/04/2017:

Photos:

Cliffe Castle
West Yorkshire
View to Laughton Church
South Yorkshire
View north-west
North Yorkshire

09/04/2017:

Photos:

Gault Hole
Fens

26/03/2017:

  • A review of What Are You Looking At? by Will Gompertz. 4

    "Will Gompertz is the BBC's slightly offbeat Arts Editor - that enthusiastic bald guy who cultivates an image so unapologetically and ironically unhip that it's almost hip. A sense of irony is no bad thing for a writer on modern art, and What Are You Looking At? is a well-pitched guide to the visual arts from the late Nineteenth Century to the early Twenty-first..." More

  • Photos.
Mathematical Bridge and Silver Street Bridge
Cambridgeshire

12/03/2017:

Photos:

Serpent's Tail, River Dee
Paddling in North Wales

14/02/2017:

Photos:

Otley
Yorkshire
Church
South Essex

30/01/2017:

Photos:

Mandarin ducks
Three laps of the Dart Loop

22/01/2017:

A review of Beethoven for a Later Age by Edward Dusinberre 4

"Memoirs by non-professional writers can be shapeless and fragmentary, owing to the glut of potential material that competes for inclusion in a short space. Edward Dusinberre, first violin of the Takács Quartet, deals with this challenge by using Beethoven's string quartets as the framework for an account of his twenty years as a chamber musician..." More


08/01/2017:

  • A review of Don't Sleep, There are Snakes by Daniel Everett. 4

    "Daniel Everett spent thirty years, on and off, living with his family among the Pirahã Indians of Brazil. He was an Evangelical missionary, tasked with learning the Pirahã language so that he could translate the Bible into it..." More

  • Photos.
Scots pines
Ilkley Moor

04/01/2017:

Photos:

United Reformed Church
Brontë country and Hockney country
Canal
Hippy country

01/01/2017:

  • A review of Kafka 's The Castle . 3

    "Kafka's masterwork? Some critics think so. It's unfinished, full of internal inconsistencies, and difficult to read, but in conception it is certainly Kafka's most ambitious novel..." More

  • Photos.
Track
Yorkshire

27/12/2016:

Photos:

River Tees
Paddling the River Tees - once more

05/12/2016:

Photos:

Cauldron Snout
Paddling and walking in Teesdale

24/11/2016:

Photos:

Trees
Autumn in the Science Park

07/11/2016:

Photos:

Trees
Reach Wood

30/10/2016:

Photos:

Bracken at varying stages of transition
Essex - surprisingly nice in places

24/10/2016:

Photos:

Reservoir
Swinsty Reservoir, North Yorkshire
Kirkstall Abbey
Kirkstall Abbey
RHS gardens
Harlow Carr, North Yorkshire

18/09/2016:

Photos:

Raft, Olympic course
Lee Valley Whitewater Centre
View towards Guiseley
Yorkshire

22/08/2016:

Photos:

River Spaarne
Amsterdam and Haarlem

13/08/2016:

Photos:

Sea kayaking
Sea kayaking taster session

08/08/2016:

Photos:

Upper Tryweryn
Back on the River Tryweryn

03/08/2016:

Photos:

Piggies
A rare visit to Staffordshire, county of my youth

25/07/2016:

Photos:

Banded demoiselles and water lily
Paddling up the River Cam

21/07/2016:

Photos:

River Cam
Cambridgeshire round-up

03/07/2016:

Reviews of:

  • The Hare with Amber Eyes by Edmund de Waal. (Strictly speaking, a review of the bit I read before giving up.) 0

    "I try to finish every book I start, but sometimes the task is beyond me. There are some books that, while fascinating to dip into, are too long to contemplate reading in their entirety if I'm not to abandon every other reading project for months or years..." More

  • One on One by Craig Brown. 4

    "Craig Brown is a humorist, best known for his spoof celebrity monologues in the British satirical magazine Private Eye. Against type, in One on One he adopts a restrained journalistic approach, describing 101 real-life meetings between famous people from the late 19th Century to the early 21st..." More


20/06/2016:

Photos:

A stunning poppy field next to the A505
A poppy field
View to church
A village in Hertfordshire
3 geese, in a row
Lee Valley Country Park
Unknown paddler
Lee Valley Whitewater Centre
Horseshoe Falls
Paddling in north Wales

04/06/2016:

Photos:

Greenery
Yorkshire

29/05/2016:

Cathedral octagon
Ely

07/05/2016:

A review of The Testament of Mary by Colm Tóibín 2

"Note: Since writing the review below, I've learned that The Testament of Mary was written after Tóibín's play Testament. In the play, I gather that the lack of context for Mary's monologue is deliberate: her identity, and her son's, are initially withheld to create suspense..." More


28/04/2016:

Photos:

Garret Hostel Bridge
The Backs, Cambridge

03/04/2016:

Photos:

A plane against grim skies
Yorkshire

26/03/2016:

  • A review of City of the Mind by Penelope Lively 3

    "Matthew Halland works for a firm of architects that is designing an office block in London's Docklands in the late 1980s. Visits to the grandiose new development, and to the sites of smaller-scale renovation projects, have Halland criss-crossing London daily, and give him the impetus to ruminate on the character of his city with an insider's eye..." More

  • Photos.
The orange boat brightens up a dull March day
River Cam
A pile of intricate stonework
Ely

12/03/2016:

  • A review of Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys 3

    "A flawed but powerful novel. The first thing you need to know about it is that its protagonist, Antoinette Cosway, is the "mad woman in the attic" from Charlotte Brontë's Jane Eyre..." More

  • Photos.
A path recedes into the eerie haze
Around Wicken, Cambridgeshire

28/02/2016:

Photos:

Bullfinches
West Yorkshire
Trees, water
Lynford Arboretum, Norfolk

25/02/2016:

Photos:

Whorlton Falls
Paddling in Teesdale
River Swale
Richmond, Yorkshire

13/02/2016:

Photos:

Reeds, New Bedford River
Sutton Gault

06/02/2016:

A review of Le Chapeau de Mitterrand by Antoine Laurain 3

"Daniel Mercier, an ambitious accountant, finds himself alone in his flat one winter evening without his wife and children. Bored, he decides to treat himself to dinner in a fancy Parisian brasserie..." More


31/01/2016:

Photos:

Silver Street Bridge
Cambridge

17/01/2016:

Photos:

River Dart
Paddling the River Dart

05/01/2016:

A review of A Spy Among Friends by Ben Macintyre 4

"The story of Kim Philby's exposure as a KGB agent and his subsequent defection to the Soviet Union is one of the most famous in espionage history, and has been related in many books before this one. Not having read those books, I'm in no position to say what Ben Macintyre's adds that is new..." More


01/01/2016:

Photos:

Leeds-Bradford Airport
Grimness
Linton Falls
Paddling in Wharfedale

30/12/2015:

Photos:

Gate
Yorkshire

08/12/2015:

  • A review of England, England by Julian Barnes 2

    "Julian Barnes' writing can tread a fine line between cleverness and preciousness. Normally his novels incorporate enough of the stuff of ordinary human experience to sustain the reader through the odd stretch of pompous intellectual waffle..." More

  • Photos.
Aire Valley
Yorkshire

25/11/2015:

Photos:

Leeds and Liverpool Canal
Yorkshire

08/11/2015:

A review of Er ist Wieder Da by Timur Vermes 4

"Adolf Hitler comes back to life in 21st-century Berlin and, after a brief period of confusion and adjustment, resumes the plans for world domination that he was forced to put on hold in 1945. Mistaken for an ultra-serious method actor, he is courted by a television production company, which lands him a regular slot on a show hosted by a Turkish comedian..." More


25/10/2015:

Photos:

River Cam
Autumn scenes on the River Cam

11/10/2015:

  • A review of Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse 3

    "(This review contains spoilers, should you care.) The mystically inclined Hermann Hesse was drawn to eastern philosophy, and Siddhartha is - at first sight, at least - his fictional exposition of some of the main ideas behind Hinduism and Buddhism. The novel describes the life of Siddhartha, a Brahmin's son who feels something is missing in the routines and rituals of his privileged family life, and who goes off in search of his inner self..." More

  • Photos.
Cathedral
Ely and around

22/09/2015:

A review of Brief an den Vater by Franz Kafka 4

"In his will, Franz Kafka insisted that all his unpublished manuscripts be destroyed. It's a dizzying thought that should his executor, Max Brod, have followed his friend's instructions, one of the most influential writers of all time would barely have been a footnote in literary history..." More


14/09/2015:

  • A review of The Road to Lichfield by Penelope Lively 4

    "Don't be put off by the conventional subject matter of this novel. Anne, a woman in early middle age, with two children and a stable but dull marriage, enters into an affair with a man she meets while visiting her father in a care home in Staffordshire..." More

  • Photos.
Bridge of Sighs
River life

01/09/2015:

  • A review of Life, Love and the Archers by Wendy Cope 4

    "Part of me objects to collections of previously published articles by well-known writers: my inner cynic says they they've already been paid for their work, so why should they get paid again, and particularly why should these cobbled-together books gain immediate access to the promotional stands at Waterstone's, when so many struggling new writers labour away for years without even finding a publisher? As the flash young journalist Jasper Milvain declares in New Grub Street, "To those who have shall be given." In Wendy Cope's case, some padding was needed to complement the reprintings of her poetry and television reviews, and she didn't need to find the material herself; having sold all her manuscripts to the British Library to raise money to buy a house, she got a call from her editor, who said there was enough workable material in Cope's unpublished memoirs to bring the page count of Life, Love and the Archers up to a saleable level. "I am a lucky woman," writes Cope at one point; she's referring to her love life, but most writers would envy her her professional fortune, too..." More

  • Photos.
Paddlers
Paddlers who are better than me

22/08/2015:

  • A review of Keeping an Eye Open by Julian Barnes 4

    "In his free-form early novel A History of the World in 10½ Chapters, Julian Barnes included a philosophical-aesthetic appreciation of Géricault's "Raft of the Medusa". "Catastrophe into Art" was his first foray into art criticism; it was a wry but informative analysis of the painter's compromises with the historical truth of the depicted scene, a group of desperate sailors on a raft from a shipwreck, hailing the tiny speck of a ship on the horizon: Q::These are men who have drunk their own urine, gnawed the leather from their hats, consumed their own comrades..." More

  • Photos.
Abbey
Yorkshire

17/08/2015:

  • A review of Skating to Antarctica by Jenny Diski 3

    "Novelist Jenny Diski agrees with her publisher to take a trip to the Antarctic, and to use the experience as the framework for her first non-fiction work. After failing to persuade the British Antarctic Survey to let her tag along on one of its voyages, she falls back on a two-week tourist cruise from Tierra del Fuego, via South Georgia, to the edge of the southern ice cap..." More

  • Photos.
River Cam
Paddling

26/07/2015:

  • A review of The Strength of Poetry by James Fenton 4

    "This book contains a series of lectures that James Fenton delivered during his time as Oxford Professor of Poetry. Most of it consists of analyses of the work of individual poets: Wilfred Owen, Seamus Heaney, Philip Larkin, Marianne Moore, Elizabeth Bishop, Sylvia Plath, D H Lawrence and W H Auden..." More

  • Photos.
Bridge over canal
Yorkshire

12/07/2015:

Photos:

The upper limits (or lower limits?) of paddleability
Upper reaches of the River Cam
Flintwork
Lackford, Suffolk
Paddling
Nene Whitewater Centre

02/07/2015:

Photos:

Jenny
Cat
Top of the Five Rise Locks
Five Rise Locks, Bingley
Fens
Upware, Cambs.

07/06/2015:

A review of Jane Austen's Persuasion . 3

"Anne Elliot, daughter of a snobbish Somerset baronet, falls in love with the naval officer Captain Wentworth. Wentworth proposes, but the disapproval of her father and of an old friend, Mrs..." More


31/05/2015:

Photos from late April and May:

Tasty new club boat and abandoned dinghy
Grantchester
Washes of the New Bedford River
Sutton Gault
Olympic course
Lee Valley Whitewater Centre
River Cam
Cambridge
Trees
Yorkshire

19/04/2015:

A review of A Cursing Brain? by Howard Kushner 4

"Tourette's Syndrome is an odd and fascinating psychiatric condition. It is a torment for its sufferers, who are subject to involuntary tics that range from blinking and grunting, through jerking of the limbs, to the compulsion to utter swear words, insult interlocutors in the most hurtful terms, and behave in the most inappropriate manner for any given social situation..." More


07/04/2015:

  • A review of Making an Elephant by Graham Swift 3

    "A collection of non-fiction from a successful but self-effacing novelist. Among his generation of British writers, Swift has the most elusive personality; he lacks Salman Rushdie's exuberance, Martin Amis's brilliant way with words, or Julian Barnes' commanding gravitas..." More

  • Photos.
Garden life
Yorkshire

31/03/2015:

Photos:

White water safety and rescue course
Bodies floating down the River Dee

04/03/2015:

A review of Infinite Minds by John Leslie 3

"Everything that exists, exists as a thought in a divine mind. There may be more than one divine mind..." More


25/02/2015:

Photos:

Whitewater action
Lee Valley kayaking on the Legacy Loop
Abbey Rapids
River Tees
Salts Mill
Yorkshire

09/02/2015:

I've translated a German poem - just for laughs, you understand.


02/02/2015:

Photos:

The moor
Yorkshire

25/01/2015:

  • A review of Beast and Man by Mary Midgley 3

    "Mary Midgley argues that human culture and morality should properly be regarded, not as freak developments in the history of life, but as extensions of "animal nature". More particularly, as a moral philosopher and a socialist, she feels we should pay more attention to altruistic behaviour in animals, and question Tennyson's conception of nature as ineluctably "red in tooth and claw"..." More

  • Photos.
Clare Bridge
Paddling the Cam again

07/01/2015:

Photos:

Dusk
Saltaire
Snow
The Chevin
Cat under Xmas tree
Cat
In the valley bottom
The Aire Valley
Bradford, Shipley and Saltaire
Baildon Moor

20/12/2014:

A review of In Trouble Again by Redmond O'Hanlon 4

"After a journey into the heart of Borneo, out of which came a successful book, Redmond O'Hanlon cast around for a companion on a more ambitious expedition to the rainforest of Venezuela. O'Hanlon's aim was to locate and spend time with a feared indigenous people, the Yanomami, whose men are noted for their hobbies of fighting each other with huge sticks, and massacring the inhabitants of neighbouring villages..." More


06/12/2014:

Photos:

St. John's College
A bracing winter paddle round the Backs

01/12/2014:

Photos:

River Usk
Scraping rocks in South Wales

23/11/2014:

Photos:

By Quy Water
Lode
At the sluice
More sluice action

15/11/2014:

Photos:

Ducks
Cambridge Science Park
The road from Mildenhall to Bury
Icklingham Plains, Suffolk

08/11/2014:

Photos:

River Cam
Another view from a kayak
View east
Ilkley Moor

27/10/2014:

A review of The Fetish Room by Rudi Rotthier. It's about Redmond O'Hanlon 4

"Flemish journalist Rudi Rotthier spends 10 days touring southern England in the company of eccentric adventurer Redmond O'Hanlon. O'Hanlon leads Rotthier to the places where he grew up, including his father's old parishes (the latter was a Church of England vicar), and the schools he attended, including Marlborough..." More

.


14/10/2014:

Otley
Yorkshire

04/10/2014:

A review of Hallucinations by Oliver Sacks 3

"Sacks takes a broad-ranging view of the phenomena of hallucination that can affect all our senses, but most prominently the visual and the auditory. He starts off with descriptions of sufferers of Charles Bonnet Syndrome, who develop hallucinations in apparent response to the loss of sight or hearing..." More

.


21/09/2014:

Photos:

Sluicing it
Sluicing it
Chelmer and Blackwater Navigation
Chelmer and Blackwater Navigation, Essex

14/09/2014:

Photos:

River life
Grantchester
View to Isleham
Isleham Marina
Setting up the white water course
Low-key whitewater paddling in Bedfordshire

31/08/2014:

Reviews of some Conrad short stories:

  • An Outpost of Progress 4
  • "Two middle-aged Belgians, an ex-soldier and an ex-civil servant, are left in charge of a trading post on the west African coast for six months. In their dealings with local tribes, they are dependent on their taciturn and inscrutable Negro assistant Makola..." More

  • Il Conde 3
  • "The narrator makes the acquaintance an old Eastern European aristocrat in a hotel in Naples, takes a ten-day break, then returns to find the old man shaken by a recent encounter with a thief in a dark alley. The thief turns out to be a member of a deadly gang, and when he discovers that the Count did not hand over all his money, lets it be known that there will be "consequences"..." More

  • The Duel 4
  • "An excellent novella recounting a long-running feud between two officers in Napoleon's army, the hot-headed southerner Feraud and the phlegmatic northerner D'Hubert. After wounding a civilian in a fit of temper, Feraud is apprehended at a party by D'Hubert on the orders of the general..." More

  • The Idiots 3
  • "A peasant Breton couple have four idiot children. The father loses the plot and becomes violent towards his wife, whom in his malicious simplicity he blames for his misfortune..." More

  • The Informer 3
  • "A group of anarchists printing seditious material in a house in London discover that they have an informer in their midst. Various characters are not what they seem, and there is much subtle manipulation going on..." More

  • The Lagoon 3
  • "A very short story about violence and romantic love in an Indonesian tribe. Can't remember much about it..." More

  • The Secret Sharer 4
  • "Though short, this is a very clever and intricate story. The narrator relates his experience as a young sailor taking on his first captaincy in the East Indes, at short notice and working with a crew with which he is unacquainted..." More

  • Youth: A Narrative 3
  • "A simple but well-written short story in which Conrad's favourite nautical raconteur Marlow describes his first voyage to the East Indies, as a ship's second mate. The ship's departure is delayed repeatedly, for a total of several weeks; just before it leaves England, the rats desert it..." More


27/08/2014:

Photos:

Pub Men outside the Mill
River Cam again
My Lovely Horse
Yorkshire

21/08/2014:

Photos:

Sluice session
Minimalist whitewater action at the River Cam sluice.

16/08/2014:

Photos:

Geese
North Yorkshire
Celebrating the cat
South Yorkshire
Village from west
Lincolnshire

04/08/2014:

Photos:

King's College Chapel
The Cambridge Backs

31/07/2014:

Photos:

Swans
Bird life on the Cam
Beach
The lovely Norfolk coast

21/07/2014:

Photos:

Paddling
Whitewater paddling, Wales

15/07/2014:

Photos:

Reach Lode from the cycle bridge
Adventurers' Fen
View to Aldwincle
Northamptonshire
Geese
Geese

01/07/2014:

Photos:

Flowers, East Riddlesden Hall
East Riddlesden Hall, Yorks.

23/06/2014:

Photos:

Clouds over the River Cam
Along the River Cam
Trees
South Cambridgeshire

01/06/2014:

Photos:

Wood
South Cambridgeshire

25/05/2014:

  • A review of The Nigger of the "Narcissus" by Joseph Conrad 4

    "Joseph Conrad was that rare type, a man of action with the sensibility of a poet. The Nigger of the "Narcsissus" was the first fictional work based on his experience in the Merchant Navy, and it is a remarkable piece of writing: a gripping adventure story that is also a profound meditation on the human condition..." More

  • Photos.
Swans and cygnets
The River Cam

24/05/2014:

Stuff about Mozart's Clarinet Quintet.


23/05/2014:

Photos:

Washes of the River Cam
More photos of Upware

18/05/2014:

Photos:

Fens around River Cam
Upware, Cambs.

17/05/2014:

Photos:

Footbridge
River life

10/05/2014:

  • Reviews added of books I couldn't finish .
  • I finally dragged the site into the 21st Century and added submenus to the main menu items.

01/05/2014:

  • A review of The Bostonians by Henry James 3

    "It's a long time since I read this, and I'm not sure how I'd rate it if I read it today. It's a book I found more impressive than compelling - but certainly, unlike The Portrait of a Lady, it has a lot to say, and for the most part it says it well..." More

  • Photos.
River Cam
The River Cam (again)

26/04/2014:

  • A review of Dr. Johnson's Selected Essays 4
  • "Who would you guess is the second most quoted writer in the English language, after Shakespeare? Dickens? Wordsworth? Hardy? Nope, it's Samuel Johnson, compiler of the first comprehensive dictionary of the English language - a second-ranking figure in the fame stakes, but one of the foremost men of letters in eighteenth-century London. Johnson's relatively low literary profile these days is no doubt due to his chosen main medium, the essay: he wrote no systematic philosophical treatises, little poetry and little fiction..." More

  • Photos.
Path
Anston Stones Wood, South Yorkshire

19/03/2014:

More musical night thoughts, this time on Mahler and Debussy.


18/03/2014:

Photos:

Houses
Grafton Underwood, Northants.

05/03/2014:

Thoughts on Beethoven and Mahler.


01/03/2014:

Photos:

River Cam
The River Cam
Mousehold Heath
Norwich

12/02/2014:

Photos:

Kayak
Paddling on the River Tees
Swans
Saltaire, West Yorks.
Ingleborough from Edge Lane
Yorkshire Dales

26/01/2014:

  • A review of What W H Auden Can Do for You by Alexander McCall Smith 3

    "Alexander McCall Smith is a writer of (I gather) undemanding detective stories, so it is with some surprise that one learns of his passion for W H Auden - one of the most erudite, subtle, and sometimes obscure, poets of the 20th Century. This is a slim volume in a "writers on writers" series by the Princeton University Press; in it, McCall Smith recounts his relationship with Auden's work, engages in some free-form literary criticism, and relates the inspiration he drew from Auden to his own life..." More

  • Photos.
River Cam
The River Cam

24/01/2014:

A review of Philip Larkin, the Marvell Press and Me by Jean Hartley. 3

"George and Jean Hartley, a young married couple from Hull, founded the poetry magazine Listen in the early 1950s. After three well-received issues, they decided to publish a book, and approached a talented Listen contributor for a poetry collection..." More


13/01/2014:

A review of Stoner by John Williams. 3

"This is the life story of William Stoner, a quiet English lecturer in a university in the American Mid-west. After growing up as an only child to poor farming parents, Stoner goes to university, develops a passion for literature, gets an academic post, and proceeds to lead an unassuming, rather sad life..." More


06/01/2014:

Photos:

Gate
Ribblesdale
Approaching the Scar
Gordale
Quarry
Ilkley Moor

27/12/2013:

A review of Goodbye to Berlin by Christopher Isherwood. 4

"Despite its fame, this is rather a cheeky book, consisting of mere fragments of a novel that Isherwood never finished. As a tableau of life in late Weimar Germany, it was guaranteed a wide readership when it was published in 1939..." More


05/12/2013:

Photos of autumn trees, etc.:

Beech tree
Cambridge Science Park (I)
Tree by River Cam
Clayhithe, Cambs.
Autumnal shrubbery
Cambridge Science Park (II)
Road to the church
Achurch, Northants.

29/11/2013:

A review of The Longest Journey by E M Forster 4

"This early novel by Forster is his most overlooked, but it is surprisingly interesting - more so than A Room with a View, which, finding it insipid and contrived, I gave up on after 30 pages. At the same time, I found The Longest Journey quite disturbing on some levels..." More


17/11/2013:

Photos:

Lode Mill
Lode, Cambridgeshire
River Crouch
River Crouch, Essex

10/11/2013:

Photos:

Northamptonshire in the rain
Northamptonshire
Southwark and Tower Bridges
London

13/10/2013:

  • A review of The Practice of Writing by David Lodge 3

    "As a fan of David Lodge's novels, I thought I'd check out his criticism. The Practice of Writing is a compilation of literary reviews, texts of lectures, and reports on his personal experiences of writing for television and the theatre..." More

  • Photos.
Church
Little Gidding
Church and bridge
Fotheringhay

30/09/2013:

Photos:

River Nene
Northamptonshire
Paddling
Wales

27/09/2013:

  • A review of Paradise News by David Lodge 4

    "Part-time theology lecturer Bernard Walsh learns that his aunt in Hawaii is dying, and at her request drags his elderly father to the other side of the world for a final reunion. Once in Hawaii, things are thrown out of kilter by his father's admission to hospital after a traffic accident..." More

  • Photos.
Nettles
Trees

21/09/2013:

  • A review of The Radetzky March by Joseph Roth 4

    "Joseph Roth's longest and most ambitious novel follows the life of Carl Joseph von Trotta, a lieutenant in the Austrian army, as he moves from post to post in Eastern Europe in the last years of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Trotta is the grandson of the "Hero of Solferino", an infantryman who saved the life of the Emperor in battle..." More

  • Photos.
Cathedral
Ely
Paddling
A paddle in Thetford Forest

08/09/2013:

A review of Deaf Sentence by David Lodge 3

"David Lodge started losing his hearing in his mid-40s, and by the start of his 70s, his affliction was beginning to detract significantly from his quality of life. Ever a resourceful writer, Lodge drew on his experience for this novel, which describes the daily ordeals of Desmond Bates, a retired Professor of Linguistics whose progressive loss of high-frequency hearing makes communication, and therefore living, increasingly difficult for both himself and those around him..." More


01/09/2013:

Photos:

Geese and ducks
Stamford
Houses and chapel
Giggleswick
Some bird
Exotic fauna in West Yorkshire
Pennine Way and Ingleborough
Pen-y-ghent

27/08/2013:

Photos:

Old school punters
River Cam
A nice assortment of birds
Titchmarsh Nature Reserve, Northants.
All Saints' Church
South Pickenham, Norfolk
King's College
Cambridge

11/08/2013:

Photos:

Mill pond
Avoiding the crowds (slalom style) on the River Cam

04/08/2013:

Photos:

Outlet, whatever that's called
South Yorkshire
East Riddlesden Hall
West Yorkshire
Hills and clouds
North Yorkshire
Family on beach
Salthouse, Norfolk
River Cam
River Cam

27/07/2013:

Updates to the Classical Reviews page:


17/07/2013:

Photos:

Soham Lode
East Cambridgeshire
Baits Bite Lock
Milton
Mountains
Wales

07/07/2013:

Photos of Norfolk:

More art: a circle of slate
Houghton Hall
Punters on the beach
Brancaster

02/07/2013:

Photos:

Farm buildings
Around the Nene Valley in Northamptonshire

28/06/2013:

Photos:

Fen in mist
Adventurers' Fen
Soham Lode
Soham

17/06/2013:

Photos:

River Nene
Wadenhoe

09/06/2013:

A review of The Wild Rover by Mike Parker 3

"Hard on the heels of his quirky bestseller Map Addict came this, Mike Parker's homage to the British footpath network. Aimed squarely at the same readership as the earlier book - most map lovers are walkers, and vice versa - The Wild Rover is an informative and witty volume, though it is somewhat disjointed, and its tone is occasionally soured by snide comments about those whom Parker regards as stuffy or boring..." More


04/06/2013:

Photos:

Beech wood
Snailwell, Cambs.
Trees
Yorkshire

07/05/2013:

Photos:

Mum
Bolton Abbey, Yorkshire
The Fen
Adventurers' Fen
Trees and reeds
Fordham Woods
Paddling the River Wye
Paddling in the Wye Valley

20/04/2013:

Book reviews:

  • Yehudi Menuhin: Unfinished Journey 3
  • "The great violinist's autobiography is thorough and thoughtful, if somewhat lacking in flair. Menuhin recounts his career, as a musician, mentor and teacher, in plenty of detail; but don't come to this book expecting incisive self-revelation..." More

  • Julian Barnes : Levels of Life 4
  • "This book is in three very different parts: the first describes early balloon flights by three nineteenth-century Europeans; the second part an affair between two of the latter, the famous French actress Sarah Bernhardt and the maverick balloonist Frederick Burnaby; the third part is a meditation on the author's grief at the death of his wife. Barnes tries to stretch themes across all the three parts - flight, height, wind-powered versus machine-powered aviation, photography - and to imply a hidden intricacy to the work that belies its somewhat dislocated aspect..." More


14/04/2013:

Review of books read a long time ago:

  • Hermann Hesse: Der Steppenwolf 4
  • "(Qualifier: ages since I read this.) I read this over twenty years ago, and can't remember much about it. Harry Haller is a disillusioned man living in Berlin who (if I recall correctly) is recently divorced..." More

  • Hermann Hesse: The Glass Bead Game 3
  • "(Qualifier: ages since I read this.) This is Hesse's longest and most ambitious novel, but I would struggle really to recommend it. It is set in a fictional European country that, if I recall correctly, is built on vaguely feudal lines..." More

  • Robert Musil: The Confusions of Young Törless 4
  • "(Qualifier: ages since I read this.) I can't remember much about this novel, and I recall I found it difficult to read at the time. Musil is an erudite writer whose long sentences and large vocabulary make reading him in the original German quite a challenge..." More

  • Benjamin Constant: Adolphe 3
  • "(Qualifier: ages since I read this.) An early exemplar of the French psychological novel. Adolphe is a young man who engages in an affair with an older woman..." More

  • Madame de la Fayette: La Princesse de Clèves 3
  • "(Qualifier: ages since I read this.) An extremely early psychological novel. I can't remember much about it, but it centres on a young princess who falls in love with somebody or other, and emotional intrigues throughout the court..." More

  • Peter Handke: The Left-handed Woman 2
  • "(Qualifier: ages since I read this.) A woman leaves her inadequate and sometimes abusive husband. Though she feels sorry for his distress at the break-up of their marriage, she is happier living alone, something that none of her friends can understand..." More

  • Peter Handke: Short Letter, Long Farewell 3
  • "(Qualifier: ages since I read this.) I can't even remember if I finished this novel. I think I did..." More


13/04/2013:

A review of Flight Without End by Joseph Roth 4

"Franz Tunda is an officer in the Austrian army, who gets captured by Russians in the First World War, escapes, spends a couple of years living with a Polish fur trader in Siberia, then slowly makes his way across Asia and Europe to Paris. His self-instigated mission is to find his old fiancée; though he knows she is married to another man, she represents a vague ideal to him that he acknowledges, on one level, to be arbitrary and delusional..." More


30/03/2013:

  • A review of The Lemon Table by Julian Barnes 3

    "An assured collection of short stories that all deal, directly or obliquely, with old age and its attendant themes: regret, disappointment, physical and mental decline, loneliness. In terms of craftsmanship and insight, this book is definite four-star material; but in terms of enjoyability it has to be marked down to three..." More

  • Photos.
Village and hills
Photos of Ribblesdale

23/03/2013:

Thoughts on bad descriptive passages in novels.


20/03/2013:

  • A review of Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck 4

    "George and Lennie are itinerant workers moving among the ranches of northern and central California. George is small, quick-witted and articulate, Lennie stupid, gentle and strong..." More

  • Photos.
Watery fen
Photos of Adventurers' Fen

09/03/2013:

A review of Job by Joseph Roth 4

"Roth tells the story of Mendel Singer, a poor, pious Russian Jew who makes a meagre living teaching the Bible to children. His life is hard and joyless, his marriage without passion, and his children a cause of endless worry: his eldest son turns his back on Judaism and joins the army; the second son leaves the country to avoid conscription, and is not heard from for years; his daughter sleeps with Cossacks from the nearby barracks; and his youngest son is a retarded cripple..." More


24/02/2013:

A review of Effi Briest by Theodor Fontane 3

""A story of adultery no different from a hundred others" is how Theodor Fontane described this, one of his best-known novels. His modest assessment of the work may be disarming: but it does, indeed, lack the sweep and penetration of the best realist literature..." More


23/02/2013:

  • Short reviews of more books I read as a student, aeons ago:
    • Les Mots by Jean-Paul Sartre 4

      "(Qualifier: Ages since I read this.) Sartre's autobiography. It's very short, and rather than being a chronological narrative of the events of his early life, is an account of his relationship with literature and language - how, in short, he became a writer..." More

    • A volume of Simone de Beauvoir's autobiography 3
    • "(Qualifier: Ages since I read this.) Another book I read as a student, this is the first volume of de Beauvoir's autobiography. It is a readable, straightforward and honest-seeming book that evokes fairly vividly the writer's early life and education, and includes an account of her early relationship with Jean-Paul Sartre..." More

    • Les belles Images by Simone de Beauvoir 3

      "(Qualifier: Ages since I read this.) A book about a woman working in an advertising agency in the 1960s, who comes to question her choice of career and why she lacks the enthusiasm for superficial things that she finds in her colleagues. I can't remember much about this novel, but it offered a fairly interesting insight into the advertising world in the 1960s, as well as being a semi-philosophical critique of the rising consumerist culture in general..." More

  • Photos.
Churchyard
Yorkshire and Cumbria
The get-out
A paddle along the Cambridgeshire lodes

13/02/2013:

A review of Joseph Roth 's short story April 4

"An unnamed narrator describes the few weeks he spent in a small town in late spring, where he observed the locals, engaged in a relationship with a young waitress, and finally "fell in love" with the postmaster's daughter, who would stand at her bedroom window every day and whom the narrator never spoke to, other than to say hello. Subtitled "The History of a Love", this strange short story has no obvious analytical message..." More


03/02/2013:

Photos:

Mill
A chilly paddle in south Cambridgeshire

29/01/2013:

  • Reviews of some books I read decades ago:
    • Nausea by Jean-Paul Sartre 4

      "(Qualifier: Ages since I read this.) A French historian, Roqentin, hangs out in a fictionalised Le Havre, visits the library, bars and a prostitute, and observes wryly the behaviour of his fellow human beings. He becomes paradoxically fascinated by his own boredom, and by the pointlessness and hypocrisy of all human doings..." More

    • America by Franz Kafka 3

      "(Qualifier: Ages since I read this.) Young Karl Rossman emigrates to America and wanders around searching for somewhere to call "home". It's far too long since I read this novel for me to remember very much about it at all, except that it wasn't as compelling as Der Process..." More

    • The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka 4

      "(Qualifier: Ages since I read this.) Possibly Kafka's most coherent proper "story". Though short, it is, I believe, the longest piece he finished..." More

  • And one of The Legend of the Holy Drinker by Joseph Roth 4

    "Alcoholic tramp Andreas Kartak, a Polish émigré living in Paris, receives a mysterious gift of 200 francs from a well-to-do stranger. Initially intent on using the money to get back on his feet, he promises the stranger that he will repay it..." More

  • Photos.
Frost as thick as snow
Winter scenes in Cambridgeshire

06/01/2013:

Photos:

Hardraw Force
Bits of the Yorkshire Dales on New Year's Day
Statue of William Rathbone, Sefton Park
Liverpool
Weir on river
Leeds

01/01/2013:

Photos:

Flooded fields
Brampton, Cambridgeshire
Attermire Scar
Scosthrop Moor, Yorkshire
Fountains Fell
Pen-y-ghent, Yorkshire
A road at dusk
Gordale, Yorkshire
A
South Yorkshire
Big puddle
Wet moors
Clapham Falls
Clapham

25/12/2012:

  • A review of The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes 4

    "Narrator Tony Webster splits up with his manipulative girlfriend Veronica while a student; shortly afterwards, she starts going out with a friend of his, the intensely serious and intimidatingly intelligent Adrian. Tony goes on to lead an averagely disappointing but quiet life; things go, to put it mildly, less smoothly for Adrian and Veronica..." More

  • Photos.
Frost
Frosty fields in Cambridgeshire
Market Square
Cambridge
Cathedral
Ely
The widescreen world
Lackford Lakes, Suffolk
Norman tower
Bury St. Edmunds

04/12/2012:

Photos:

St. Mary's Church
Withersfield, Suffolk
Flooded fields between the Bedford Rivers
One of my fave spots in Cambridgeshire - Sutton Gault

18/11/2012:

Photos:

Rapids on the River Tees
Teesdale (from a kayaking trip, but unfortunately lacking paddling shots)
Stream and trees
Shipley Glen, Yorkshire
Two swans and a duck
A kayaking trip on the River Great Ouse, Cambs.

06/11/2012:

Some poems, written or completed relatively recently:

Photos:

Queen's Road
Cambridge again
Alley
The ritual Anglesey Abbey autumn photoshoot

14/10/2012:

Rainbow
Cambridge, early evening

13/10/2012:

A couple of new things:

  • Notes on Big Country's Celt-rock classic The Crossing added to the "Pop CDs" page.
  • A new page added containing notes on some poets.

11/10/2012:

Small changes to the site:

  • Boxes have rounded corners, at least they do if you are using Firefox.
  • The main Poetry page now includes a random poem.

09/10/2012:

A review of Walking Home by Simon Armitage 4

"In 2010, poet Simon Armitage walked the Pennine Way, the most famous long-distance footpath in England. The Pennines are a range of hills running for 250 miles down the middle of the north of the country, and are characterised by alternations of bleak, rain-soaked moorland and beautiful, tranquil valleys..." More


17/09/2012:

Photos:

Mollie
North Yorkshire
Market Place
Kirkby Lonsdale, Cumbria
Village and hills
Dent, Cumbria

13/09/2012:

Photos:

Field
Beechwoods Nature Reserve
Cathedral from the west
Ely
Wind pump
Wicken Fen
River Cam
A paddle up the upper reaches of the Cam
Cloud
Massive clouds in Cambridgeshire
South from the peninsula
Rutland Water
Magdalene Street
Cambridge
Burwell church
Devil's Dyke
Magdalene Bridge
A paddler's-eye view of Cambridge
Sheep
Rutland Water again
Street
Grantham, Lincs.
Castle
Knaresborough, Yorks.

12/08/2012:

This month's photos so far:

Clouds
Cloudscapes near Coveney, Cambs.
Church of St. Mary the Virgin
Wellingborough, Northants.
Beach
North Norfolk

31/07/2012:

Photos:

Big skies
Places at the World's End, No. 5: Little Gidding
Church
Hemington, Northants.
Market Place
Oundle, Northants.
St. Peter's Church
Lowick, Northants. (reprise)
Wind turbines at dusk
Wind turbines near the M1/A14 interchange
Garrett Hostel Lane
Cambridge

27/07/2012:

Photos:

Mum and Mollie
Yorkshire
Flooded fields
Central Cambridgeshire
All Saints' Church
Pidley Church
Bridge
Stamford
Church at dusk
Lowick, Northants.
Colour-adjusted cameraphone shot
Modified pictures of Yosemite Valley

05/07/2012:

  • A review of The Strange Last Voyage of Donald Crowhurst 4
  • "On July 10th, 1969, an unmanned, battered trimaran was found bobbling peacefully in the middle of the North Atlantic by the crew of a Royal Mail ship. It turned out to be boat of Donald Crowhurst, the only remaining competitor in a Sunday Times non-stop round-the-world yacht race that had begun the previous year..." More

  • Photos.
Burwell Lode is a looking-glass to the celestial dome
Photos of Burwell Fen

29/06/2012:

Photos:

The mere
Adventurers' Fen.

25/06/2012:

  • A review of Lord Jim by Joseph Conrad 4

    "(Warning: contains slight spoilers.) This is one of those awkward books that falls between a three-star and a four-star valuation. It combines great literary qualities with elements of melodama and cheap adventure fiction..." More

  • Photos.
Church window
Photos of West Row (Suffolk), Cambridge and Wicken Fen
Bridge-loiterers
Photos of West Row (Suffolk), Cambridge and Wicken Fen
The widescreen world of the Fen
Photos of West Row (Suffolk), Cambridge and Wicken Fen

20/06/2012:

A glacier being split by a large rock
Found some photos from my recent flight to California.

18/06/2012:

Photos:

Raindropz
Yorkshire again.

06/06/2012:

Photos of California:

Colour-adjusted cameraphone shot
Yosemite Valley (a single cameraphone shot - I lost my camera and with it all the good photos of the most transcendentally awesome natural scenes I've ever viewed)
Tram
San Francisco in the evening
View north
Las Trampas Regional Wilderness near San Ramon
Grass, Bishop Ranch Regional Preserve
Other places in central California
Sea
The Big Sur coast, Monterey and Carmel
Downtown San Francisco
San Francisco in the afternoon
From the air
(Appendix: Bits of Britain from the air)

18/05/2012:

Photos:

Fields and sky
Haddenham, Cambridgeshire

09/05/2012:

  • A review of La Symphonie Pastorale by André Gide 3

    "A French country pastor keeps a diary in which he traces his relationship with a blind teenage girl he takes into his family's care, after the death of the deaf aunt with whom she lived. He teaches her to speak and devotes much time and attention to her education, to the extent that his wife's jealousy is aroused..." More

  • A review of The Hound of the Baskervilles 4
  • "Sir Charles Baskerville dies of a heart attack after being chased by a huge ghostly dog near his Dartmoor home. His friend Dr..." More

  • Photos.
Attermire Scar
More photos of Yorkshire

05/05/2012:

Photos:

High Street
Bridgenorth, Shropshire

16/04/2012:

A review of An Introduction to English Poetry by James Fenton 4

"A bit of a misleading title: this isn't a guide to poetry as such, but an overview of poetic form in the English language, by a highly-regarded poet (if not a very prolific one). As such, it's rather good: it goes through the most common metres and a few standard poetic structures - the stuff most of us were never taught properly at school..." More


25/03/2012:

It's the Fens
Photos of a flat area.

10/03/2012:

Updates to the Pop CD catalogue.


05/03/2012:

  • A review of The Science Delusion by Rupert Sheldrake 4

    "This book is long overdue: a high-level critique of scientific dogmatism by a scientist of impeccable credentials. (Rupert Sheldrake has been a Research Fellow of the Royal Society and a Fellow of Clare College, Cambridge.) Sheldrake's method in this book is simple, but highly effective: to take what he calls "the ten dogmas of modern science", and turn them into questions: to ask whether, on the basis of scientific evidence, we are right to take them as assumptions..." More

  • Photos.
Bridge
Photos of Ironbridge
Church
Photos of Ely
Mollie, F and A
More photos from Yorkshire

18/02/2012:

Photos:

View towards Gog Magog Hills
Photos from near Sawston, Cambs.
Church
Photos from Yorkshire

02/02/2012:

  • A review of How Far Can You Go? by David Lodge 3

    "Lodge traces the lives of a group of Catholic students who meet at London University in the 1950s, and observes how the growth of the permissive society over the subsequent couple of decades affects their relationships and their faith. As the Catholic Church struggles painfully to modernise itself, the young people find themselves, to varying degrees, simultaneously liberated and disoriented..." More

  • Photos.
Museum and church
Photos of Shropshire
Pylon and telegraph pole - the classic combination
Photos of Burwell Fen

29/12/2011:

Photos:

Church
Wansford, Cambridgeshire
Ingleborough
Ribble Valley, Yorkshire
Church
Kirkby Lonsdale, Cumbria

06/12/2011:

Photos:

Kayak trip on River Great Ouse
A paddle up the Great Ouse

25/11/2011:

  • A review of Meine Weltansicht by Erwin Schrödinger 4

    "As a young man, Erwin Schrödinger planned to divide his academic career between theoretical physics and philosophy. Circumstances forced him to drop his ambitions in the latter, with the result that his philosophical output is confined to two essays written in his leisure time..." More

  • Photos.
Autumn trees
Photos of the Gog Magog Hills near Cambridge
Church
Photos of North and West Yorkshire
Salts Mill
Photos of North and West Yorkshire

12/11/2011:

Some philosophical ideas that I have been mulling over for a while.


02/11/2011:

Queen's Road
Photos of Cambridge

25/10/2011:

  • A review of The Philip Larkin I Knew by Maeve Brennan. 3

    "Maeve Brennan was sub-librarian at Hull University, and Philip Larkin's "unofficial" lover for most of the time that he worked there. Their relationship, though founded on deep mutual affection, was complicated by three factors: Larkin's ambivalent attachment to another woman, Monica Jones; Brennan's Catholicism, which precluded committed sexual relations outside marriage; and Larkin's belief that his creative talent was dependent on the emotional freedom of bachelorhood..." More

  • Photos.
Sheep
Photos of Lancashire
Langcliffe and Giggleswick
Photos of Yorkshire
Cathedral
Photos of Ely
Paddling trip on River Lark
Photos from a paddle on the River Lark

03/10/2011:

More photos:

Looking down to the Cam
Linton, Cambridgeshire
Cryptic 18th-Century religious directive
Clare, Suffolk

28/09/2011:

Photos from lunchtime flights from the office:

Punters roam the heights
Magog Down, Cambridgeshire
Church
Saffron Walden, Essex
Coloured houses
Littlebury, Essex

25/09/2011:

A review of a book about Wolfgang Pauli , the physicist. 3

"Wolfgang Pauli was one of the greats of twentieth-century physics, the original postulator of both particle spin and the neutrino (a chargeless particle produced by atomic decay). He was also a somewhat controversial figure, humorously blunt in his criticisms of colleagues, and in the latter half of his career entertaining ideas about the relationship between physics and psychology that more conventional scientists have found hard to take seriously..." More


11/09/2011:

Updates to the Pop CD catalogue.


28/08/2011:

Flowers and statue
Photos of Anglesey Abbey
Woods
Photos of Germany and Luxembourg

07/08/2011:

A review of The Body Electric


03/08/2011:

Given the impending collapse of industrial civilisation, I can't be bothered to submit poems for publication. Here are a few that I wrote several years ago that never saw the light of day - until now, you lucky surfer:


01/08/2011:

Photos:

King's College Chapel
Cambridge
Weeds and church
Great Henny, Essex

24/07/2011:

Photos:

Merton Street
Oxford.

10/07/2011:

View from canoe
Photos of the Cam and Boxted, Suffolk.
Sky
Photos of the Cam and Boxted, Suffolk.

02/07/2011:

Recent photos:

Ely Cathedral
Ely Cathedral from Stuntney
Car reflected in puddle
Ashen, Suffolk
Beach
Snettisham, Norfolk
Pool by Water Meadows
Sudbury, Suffolk
Fen Causeway bridge
Grantchester and Cambridge

13/06/2011:

Bringing in the punts
More photos from Cambridge and Grantchester.

04/06/2011:

Flowers
Photos from a paddle up the Cam.

02/06/2011:

Poppies by cycle path
Photos of poppies near the office, and Sussex.
Beach huts
Photos of poppies near the office, and Sussex.

31/05/2011:

River Ribble
Photos from Yorkshire.

28/05/2011:

North Street
Photos of Chichester.

05/05/2011:

Sheep
Photos of sheep and Anglo-German entente.

29/04/2011:

Reviews of three stories by Tolstoy :

  • Happy Ever After 4
  • "Following the death of her father, Masha, an innocent young woman from the Russian countryside, marries her guardian, a man twice her age, and for a while the pair are blissfully happy. However, once introduced to the society life of Petersburg, Masha realises what she has been missing out on, and starts to relish the attention she receives from the cosmopolitan townsfolk, particularly its men..." More

  • The Death of Ivan Ilyich 4
  • "Tolstoy succinctly traces the life and career of Ivan Ilyich Golovin, a conventional but successful lawyer, then describes his slow and painful death and his reflections during it. As much as by physical suffering, Golovin is pained by doubts about the worth of the life he lived: he has been superficially honourable and superficially satisfied with his lot, but emotionally and spiritually his existence has been frigid and lonely..." More

  • The Cossacks 4
  • "A wonderful novella that describes the experiences of Dmitrii Olenin, a young Russian nobleman who heads of to join the army in the Caucasus, hoping to find there, in some form, opportunities for an authentic life that he feels denied in the cushy and stifling atmosphere of Moscow. Once stationed in a Cossack village in the plains below the mountains, he finds his minimal military duties give him plenty of time to study local customs, and rather than spend his days with his fellow soldiers, he takes to a life of semi-integration into Cossack life, drinking and shooting with some of the villagers, and ultimately falling in love with his landlord's daughter..." More


11/04/2011:

Dad and Skye
More photos from Long Preston.

21/03/2011:

  • Updates to the Pop CD catalogue, though the page is so long now you'll have a hard time spotting 'em.
  • Photos.
Edge of field
More pylons.

12/03/2011:

  • A review of Whoops! by John Lanchester. 3

    "Most of us have little understanding of precisely what caused the 2008 credit crunch, beyond that it had a lot to do with greed and something called toxic loans. John Lanchester was in a similar position when he stumbled upon the subject of high finance during research for a novel; so fascinating did he find the matter that he decided to devote a non-fiction book to it instead..." More

  • Book reviews now have clickable star ratings.
  • Photos.
Church
Photos of Pampisford in Cambridgeshire.
Pylons
Photos of pylons.

05/03/2011:

  • A review of Daniel Deronda by George Eliot 3

    "This was George Eliot's notoriously flawed final novel. It tells two stories: the one of Gwendolen Harleth, a spoilt, beautiful girl who marries a charismatic and attractive, but emotionally sadistic man, Henleigh Grandcourt; the other of Daniel Deronda, a noble young man brought up as a "nephew" by the affable but conventional Sir Hugo Mallinger, who develops an interest in Jewish culture before discovering its relevance to his true lineage..." More

    .
  • A review of Le Rêve de D'Alembert by Denis Diderot. 4

    "A set of three philosophical dialogues conducted by imaginary representations of people Diderot knew: D'Alembert, who had worked with Diderot on the Encyclopédie; Mademoiselle de Lespinasse, a well-known salon dame; and the knowledgable Doctor Bordeu. The discussions focus on the workings of the mind and the nervous system, the relationship of mind to body, and the questions of morality and free will..." More

  • A blog entry on the types of people who believe, and disbelieve, conspiracy theories.
  • Photos.
St. John's College, and Faculty of Divinity
Photos of Cambridge.

12/02/2011:

  • A review of Small World by David Lodge 4

    "Innocent young English lecturer Persse McGarrigle, from Limerick University in Ireland, meets the girl of his dreams at a conference, loses track of her whereabouts, and travels the world in search of her. Meanwhile, elder academics Philip Swallow and Morris Zapp jump from conference to conference in search of intellectual stimulation, career progression, parties and sexual good times..." More

  • Photos.
Village from the south
Photos of Long Preston

23/01/2011:

Victoria and Albert Museum
Photos from London.

16/01/2011:

A review of Nothing Natural by Jenny Diski. 3

"Self-sufficient single mum Rachel gets involved in a sado-masochistic relationship with a charismatic older man, Joshua - a relationship that brings to the surface old insecurities that she thought she had got over long ago. Initially accepting the relationship as a bit of noncomittal, intense fun, she comes to want more from it - yet also develops suspicions about Joshua's dark side that trouble her..." More


10/01/2011:

A review of The Age of Absurdity by Michael Foley. 3

"Grumpy old academic Michael Foley has his shot at the "modern life is rubbish" genre (you'll notice I've been reading a lot of this genre lately). Subtitled "Why Modern Life Makes It Hard to Be Happy", his book attacks the shallowness, narcissism and boredom encouraged by the modern social environment..." More


04/01/2011:

Photos:

Pen-y-Ghent
Ribblesdale.

02/01/2011:

Pen-y-Ghent
Photos from the knobbly hills.

30/12/2010:

  • A review of Smile or Die by Barbara Ehrenreich. 4

    "Journalist Barbara Ehrenreich lays into the "positive thinking" movement that has substantially infiltrated the business, self-help, medical and even academic scenes in the USA. As a cancer patient, she was bombarded with injunctions to see the bright side of her disease, and made to feel guilty about voicing bitterness or fear..." More

  • Photos.
Flank of Ingleborough
Part of Ingleborough
Barney, aglow with Christmas light
Thurcroft, South Yorks.
F, A and R
Skipton

27/12/2010:

  • A review of Straw Dogs by John Gray. 3

    "John Gray constructs a free-form polemic against liberal humanism: the idea that the the story of humanity is - or will be - one of perpetual progess and ever-increasing happiness for ever-increasing numbers of people. As Gray sees it, humanism is effectively an extension of, or a replacement for, Christianity, with its consolations of eternal life and relief from suffering..." More

  • Photos.
Snow
Photos of Christmas Day in Suffolk and Essex.

21/12/2010:

Photos:

Highland cows
Wandlebury, Cambridgeshire.

20/12/2010:

Photos:

Churchyard
Suffolk and Essex in the snish.

17/12/2010:

Photos:

Bench and trees
Another lunchtime wander on Magog Down, in the snow this time.

07/12/2010:

View to Cambridge
Photos of South Cambridgeshire in the frost.

21/11/2010:

Pendle Hill and trees
Photos of Downham and Clitheroe in Lancashire.
The Lighting Centre
Photos of Downham and Clitheroe in Lancashire.

06/11/2010:

Photos of:

Autumn trees
Long Preston
Trees
Anglesey Abbey, where every autumn is slightly different, although not really very different
Trees
Beechwoods Nature Reserve near Cambridge
View to Cambridge city centre
Cherry Hinton near Cambridge

26/10/2010:

Photos:

Spider
Spider
St. Pancras Station and Euston Road
St. Pancras Station
Tree
Reach Wood
Cliffs and canyons
Flying to Seattle (from a couple of years back - extra photos added)

Plus:


04/10/2010:

Photos of:

Burwell Lode
Burwell Fen
Pendle Hill
Long Preston, Yorkshire
Farmhouse and Pen-y-ghent
Ingleborough and Pen-y-ghent

24/09/2010:

Photos of:

Such larks...
Lancaster, October 1988-March 1989
Paul C
Lake District, February 1989
Laddish larks at the village hall
Wales, March-April 1989
Scargill
Lichfield, April 1989
Hill
Dovedale, Derbyshire, April 1989
We were so wacky back then
Lancaster, May 1989
Moon through tree
The moon, September 2010

18/09/2010:

Scots pines
Photos of Chippenham Fen.

15/09/2010:

More old books finally reviewed:

  • John Ardagh: Germany and the Germans 4
  • "This is a 1995 edition of a book originally published in 1988. Though now rather out of date, it offers very piquant insights into post-war German life, society and thinking..." More

  • John Humphrys: Devil's Advocate 4
  • "The presenter of Radio 4's Today show casts his eye on the Britain of the late 1990s and finds it, on balance, a pretty rubbish place. People are greedy, materialistic, shallow and mannerless..." More

  • Redmond O'Hanlon: Congo Journey 4
  • "Redmond O'Hanlon, accompanied by Lary Shaffer, heads into the Congo jungle in search of some mythical lake monster. As usual, his ostensible mission is really a pretext for throwing himself into extreme situations and, incidentally, studying the local flora and fauna..." More

  • Redmond O'Hanlon: Into the Heart of Borneo 4
  • "Redmond O'Hanlon and the poet James Fenton head up a mountain in Borneo in the steaming equatorial heat, staying with hedonistic natives and followed everywhere by huge butterflies. It's a long while since I read this book, but what sticks in my mind most about it is that it is one of the funniest I have ever read..." More


14/09/2010:

Some reviews added of books I read ages ago:

  • Richard P Feynman: The Character of Physical Law 4
  • "This is one of the books that reignited my interest in science as an adult. It's based on a set of lectures that Feynman delivered at Cornell University, aimed at the general public, and exemplifies his ability to explain difficult concepts both clearly and tersely..." More

  • Eric Hobsbawm: The Age of Revolution 1789-1848 4
  • "It's a long time since I read this book, so I can only convey my general impression of it, rather than analysis of its details. As usual, Hobsbawm's Marxism skews somewhat his take on events, but his panoramic understanding of the forces of history easily outweighs this limitation..." More

  • W G Hoskins: The Making of the English Landscape 4
  • "The classic account of how England's landscape acquired its character. The book covers both the urban and the rural landscapes, and is written with passion and an appealingly personal touch..." More

  • John Julius Norwich: Byzantium: The Early Centuries 4
  • "It's a long time since I read this, but I remember it being an exceptionally readable account of the early history of the eastern Roman Empire. Some critics have called into question its accuracy - John Julius Norwich was a diplomat, not a historian..." More

  • Bertrand Russell: History of Western Philosophy 4
  • "In my experience, many philosophers take a single interesting idea and make it seem as boring as possible by repeating and refining it to fill out whole books (or their careers). Philosophy therefore lends itself well to summary, and I can't imagine a better summary than this..." More


11/09/2010:

Photos of:

Punts by Magdalene Bridge
Cambridge
Chimneys
Surrey

08/09/2010:

Old photos from:

Me on the Hafelekar
Europe Interrail trip, August-September 1988
Clouds and mountainside
Helvellyn, Cumbria, October 1988

05/09/2010:

A review of Deep Rivers by José María Arguedas added. 3

"José María Arguedas is held by some critics to be the unsung master of South American literature. Born in Peru of European descent, but brought up among Quechua-speaking Indians, he certainly has a different cultural perspective from most Latin American literati..." More


04/09/2010:

Yet more old photos:

Christmas dinner
Christmas in Germany, 1984
WW1 trenches
One-day trip to the Belgian trenches, February 1985
Mountains
Bavaria, April 1986
Cathedral
Ely

And some new ones:

In the snow
Christmas in Germany, 1984
WW1 trenches
One-day trip to the Belgian trenches, February 1985
View over town
Bavaria, April 1986
Cathedral
Ely

03/09/2010:

More old photos:

German exchange participants
Germany and Luxembourg, May 1984
Mam Tor and Peverel Castle
The Germans visit England, July 1984
Mynach Falls
North Yorkshire and Wales, August 1984

02/09/2010:

More old photos:

Goat
Devon, June 1982
On the road bridge
Scotland, July 1982
Grandad at trig point
Near Sheffield, August 1982
Rainbow from the University
Wales and Lichfield, August 1983

01/09/2010:

More old photos:

On the beach
Belgium, April 1980
Ben
Lake District, August 1986
BTCV group
Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire, June 1988 (conservation working holiday)
Near the Minster
North York Moors and Yorkshire coast, July 1988

31/08/2010:

Some very old photos added:

Summit
Lichfield and Snowdonia, June 1987
Coppicing at Lloyd's Coppice
North York Moors and Ironbridge, October 1987
Boat and river
France, February-May 1988
Furness Abbey
Lichfield and Barrow-in-Furness, May 1988
BTCV group at the top of the Cove
Yorkshire Dales, September 1996
Pushkin blocks the way to the kitchen
Cheshire, August 2003
River Wharfe
Wharfedale, August 2003
View to Snowdonia
Wales, August 2003

28/08/2010:

Search terms are now highlighted in the full text of Book Reviews .


27/08/2010:

Language field added to Book Reviews search.


26/08/2010:

Photos:


24/08/2010:

Book reviews are now searchable.


20/08/2010:

Photo thumbnails added to the home page.


15/08/2010:

Gordale Scar
Photos of the Yorkshire Dales.

13/08/2010:

View to Forest of Bowland
Photos of Lancashire, Yorkshire and Cleethorpes.
View north
Photos of Lancashire, Yorkshire and Cleethorpes.
Nick and Sarah
Photos of Lancashire, Yorkshire and Cleethorpes.

04/08/2010:

Mum and Dad
Photos of Flamingo Land, Pickering and Sutton Bank.

24/07/2010:

Kilnsey Crag
Some photos of Wharfedale.

28/06/2010:

Photos of:

Mollie gets a brushing
Gargrave
The Castle
Rose Castle, former palace of the Bishop of Carlisle

12/06/2010:

Photos of:

Weird low cloud and Wicklow Hills
The Wicklow Hills
Dad and A inspect the tiddler catch from the river
Gargrave

16/05/2010:

Photos of:

A
Leeds
Muckross Lake
Around Killarney
JC
Kinsale, Old Head of Kinsale and Garrylucas Beach

08/05/2010:

Rocks
More evening photos of the Cork coast.

25/04/2010:

  • A review of QED by Richard P Feynman 3

    "This book derives from a series of lectures given by Nobel laureate Richard Feynman that introduce the theory of quantum electrodynamics (QED). QED is one of the pillars of modern quantum theory, and describes the probablistic interactions of electrons and photons..." More

    .
  • Photos.
Rocks, cliffs
More photos of the Cork coast.

18/04/2010:

Walkers
Photos from a walk in County Kerry.

11/04/2010:

Photos of:

Abbey
The south Cork coast
Ladies' View
Kenmare and the Kerry mountains

05/04/2010:

Playing fields
Photos of Yorkshire and Manchester.
Church demo
Photos of Yorkshire and Manchester.

29/03/2010:

Finally, finally, I finish the second novel of Die Schlafwandler by Hermann Broch 4

"As mentioned in my review of Pasenow oder die Romantik, I am working my way slowly through this large and weighty modernist doorstep, and reviewing each individual novel as I finish it. Esch oder die Anarchie is the second novel of Broch's trilogy..." More

.


28/03/2010:

Eggmobile
A shedload of photos from the Sheep's Head Peninsula.

20/03/2010:

Glenlough Mountain
Photos from a spin around the Beara Peninsula.

17/03/2010:

Shipwreck
Photos of the West Cork coast.

14/03/2010:

Photos:

Newman's Mall
Photos from this weekend.

28/02/2010:

Tugs
Photos of Cobh.

27/02/2010:

Eggmobile and Galty Mountains
Photos of Tipperary and environs.

22/02/2010:

Photos of:

Lough Mahon
Lough Mahon
Man and dog
Clonakilty and Inchydoney Beach
View to Galtymore Mountain
Places north of Cork

30/01/2010:

Photos of:

Over Douglas River estuary to Rochestown
The estuary near Cork
View north-west
Old Head of Kinsale
Market Quay
Kinsale

23/01/2010:

  • Dogsticker page updated to reflect my current circumstances.
  • Photos.
Richmond Hill
More photos added of Cork city.

17/01/2010:

Ther sea
Photos of Sandy Cove, County Cork, plus some more of Lough Mahon.
Over estuary to Rochestown
Photos of Sandy Cove, County Cork, plus some more of Lough Mahon.

16/01/2010:

Industrial estate, Wallingstown
Photos of Lough Mahon, Cork.

15/01/2010:

Photos of:

Drawbridge and trees
Burwell Fen
King's College Chapel
Cambridge
View to Holy Island
Anglesey, Wales
Snow shower
The Irish Sea
Coloured flats, Pope's Quay
Cork and environs

04/01/2010:

Where the sheep roam free
More photos of North Yorkshire.

01/01/2010:

Photos:

Liverpool
Recent photos (Yorkshire, Lancashire, Liverpool).

25/12/2009:

Photos:

Shadow of the snow monster
A whiteish Christmas.

23/12/2009:

Photos:

Church
How about that: there's still snow in Cambridgeshire.

18/12/2009:

Photos of:

Burwell Lode
Burwell Fen
Hillock in snow
Yorkshire in snow

12/12/2009:

  • A review of Chronicle of a Death Foretold by Gabriel García Márquez 2

    "A short novel describing the events surrounding the murder of one Santiago Nasar, falsely accused by Angela Vicario of taking her virginity before her marriage to Bayardo San Román. On learning of her impure past, San Román returns her, disgusted, to her family, and her twin brothers vow to avenge the shame brought upon her, by killing Nasar..." More

    .
  • Photos.
Market place
Photos of Oundle in Northamptonshire.

07/12/2009:

A review of the first part of Die Schlafwandler by Hermann Broch 3

"Broch's trilogy of novels Die Schlafwandler is meant to be read as one work; however, it took me long enough to read the first novel, and I'm not sure how soon I'll get around to the others, so I'm reviewing it now while it's still fresh in my mind. The theme of Die Schlafwandler is the decline of values in late 19th-Century and early 20th Century Europe..." More

.


25/11/2009:

Bus, St. Patrick's Street
Photos from a very brief visit to Cork, Ireland.

19/11/2009:

Houses of Parliament
Photos of London at night.

15/11/2009:

R studies the map
First batch of old photos (Old Man of Coniston from 2003) scanned in from the negatives. Loads more to come...

31/10/2009:

F (by R)
More photos of Yorkshire.
Pilgrims' Lawn
Photos of Anglesey Abbey.

26/10/2009:

Factory and Langcliffe
Photos of Ribblesdale.

26/10/2009:

Tarn and hills
Photos of that classy lake Malham Tarn.

22/10/2009:

Photos of:

Poplars
Lode
Autumn trees
Skipton

12/10/2009:

  • A review of The Art of the Novel by Milan Kundera 4

    "Milan Kundera muses on the novelist's craft via a series of essays and self-instigated interviews. There is no central thesis; or rather, there are several central theses, which often contradict each other..." More

    .
  • Photos.
View to Swaffham Prior
Autumnal shots of Reach Wood.

05/10/2009:

Moon+cloud FX
Photos of the moon.

04/10/2009:

A review added of Graham Famelo's biography of Paul Dirac . 4

"Paul Dirac was one of the central figures in the development of quantum mechanics, yet for most of us his name is less familiar than those of his peers Bohr, Heisenberg and Schroedinger. To account for this is partly the fact that he never lent his name to theorems or concepts that found their way into popular discussion..." More


01/10/2009:

Photos:

Bomber warming up for Iran (maybe)
Some photos from last week. Subjects: grass, dumped vehicles.

15/09/2009:

A review added of See No Evil


12/09/2009:

Lane
Photos of east Cambridgeshire and Blakeney Point.
The dunes
Photos of east Cambridgeshire and Blakeney Point.

07/09/2009:

Many years ago I tried to write a thesis on the Austrian writer Thomas Bernhard. Reviews of most of his novels , based on hazy memories of them, are now here.


02/09/2009:

A review of The New Rulers of the World


31/08/2009:

Church
Photos of the crumbling coast.

29/08/2009:

Sky, wind pump
Photos of Wicken Fen.

26/08/2009:

Assemblage of leaves, stubble, clouds, etc.
Photos.

21/08/2009:

  • A review of Evelyn Waugh's Sword of Honour . 4

    "Waugh wrote a trilogy of novels set in the Second World War, chronicling the deflating military experiences of the well-meaning, put-upon upper class Catholic, Guy Crouchback. These novels were Men at Arms, Officers and Gentlemen and Unconditional Surrender..." More

  • Photos.
Flowers in wheat field
3 photos.

10/08/2009:

Swans on Soham Lode
A quiet month so far for photos, but here are a few.

27/07/2009:

Photos:

Sink holes
Photos from Yorkshire.

22/07/2009:

Photos:

Sky
Photos of pylons.

15/07/2009:

That R S Thomas knew how to do it.


13/07/2009:

Book reviews are now database-driven. For you, the non-existent user who is ever in my mind, this means that you can open each review in its own page rather than scrolling through the whole lot, among other stuff that you couldn't care less about.


10/07/2009:

Photos:

The dyke and fields
Photos of Devil's Dyke near Burwell.

06/07/2009:

A review of Nothing to be Frightened of by Julian Barnes.


04/07/2009:

Photos:

Church
Another spell of nice weather and unemployment, another trip to Norfolk.

01/07/2009:

Photos:

Railway line
More photos from Yorkshire.

26/06/2009:

A review of Your Inner Fish by Neil Shubin.


25/06/2009:

Photos of:

Fox
Reach wood.
School and cafe
Skipton.
Groovy flats
Leeds.

/06/2009:

Some more Amazon lists added to the Music page.


13/06/2009:

A review of Ungeduld des Herzens by Stefan Zweig.


08/06/2009:

The layout of the page of my poetic efforts has been de-cluttered (at least that's the idea).


02/06/2009:

Photos:

A sinking boat
Another photo trip to the Norfolk coast.

25/05/2009:

Photos from:

Pylons
Walks near Ely and Reach.
Windmill and shrubbery
A spin up to Norfolk in the Eggmobile.

19/05/2009:

  • Gloomy ruminations on the BNP.
  • Photos.
Gate
Photos of wet hills.

17/05/2009:

Beryl, Alma
Photos of relatives, etc.

01/05/2009:

Photos:

Sunset
It's true what they say about those East Anglian skies.

28/04/2009:

Photos:

Sheep
Ovine gangland.
Downing Street
Cambridge.
Almshouses
Long Melford.

21/04/2009:

  • A review of The Search by C P Snow.
  • Photos.
JC wanders into shot
And yet more photos of Yorkshire and Cambridgeshire.

17/04/2009:

Weir
More photos.

14/04/2009:

Photos:

Sam
Easter Monday photos.

12/04/2009:

Photos:

F and R
Easter Sunday photos.

08/04/2009:

Photos:

Clock tower and weird bollards
I have nothing better to add today than more photos of Newmarket.

02/04/2009:

Photos:

Some pagoda-like thing at the end of an avenue
Recent photos.

20/03/2009:

Sunset
More fenphotos.

21/02/2009:

See, there's a road down there
Photos of some obscure parts of Cambridgeshire.

11/02/2009:

Some updates to the Pop CD catalogue.


07/02/2009:

Photos:

Snow
What happens when engineers frolic.

02/02/2009:

Photos:

Bird feet
Snow in the Science Park.

25/01/2009:

A review of The Brain that Changes Itself by Norman Doidge.


08/01/2009:

Photos:

Icy patterns on canal
Photos of snow.

07/01/2009:

A review of Doctor Copernicus by John Banville.


06/01/2009:

Wood and dry stone wall
More photos - Yorkshire and Lancashire.

01/01/2009:

Frost
Photos of Yorkshire.

28/12/2008:

A review of a book about Superstrings.


22/12/2008:

A review added of The Time of the Hero by Mario Vargas Llosa.


07/12/2008:

Trees and dusk sky
Some photos of Devil's Dyke.

06/12/2008:

Photos:


29/11/2008:

Photos:


16/11/2008:

Photos of:

F
Yorkshire
Children in Need Fun Run
The Cambridge Children in Need Fun Run
Quy Water
Lode

09/11/2008:

Pool
Photos of Anglesey Abbey, Cambridge Science Park and Brimham Rocks.
Far east lake
Photos of Anglesey Abbey, Cambridge Science Park and Brimham Rocks.
Rocks
Photos of Anglesey Abbey, Cambridge Science Park and Brimham Rocks.

13/10/2008:

Trees
Photos of the trees in Reach Wood, which are coming on strong.

28/09/2008:

Photos:

John
Photos of a party in Yorkshire.

26/09/2008:

Mist
More photos of Alaska and Seattle.
View from Monorail
More photos of Alaska and Seattle.

24/09/2008:

A review of A Girl in Winter by Philip Larkin.


21/09/2008:

Photos of:

River and mountains
Flying to Seattle
The I-5
Washington State
Mountains,sky
British Columbia
Mountains
Alaska

(More to follow.)


23/08/2008:

A review of The Biology of Belief by Bruce Lipton.


24/07/2008:

Photos of:

East shore
Flying to California
Pine trees
California
Clouds, mountains
Flying back from California

08/07/2008:

King's College Chapel
Photos of Cambridge, Cromer and naughty Norwich.
Glistening wet sand
Photos of Cambridge, Cromer and naughty Norwich.
Cathedral spire and something else
Photos of Cambridge, Cromer and naughty Norwich.

02/07/2008:

Photos:

Punting
Some photos, mostly of the office punting trip.

29/06/2008:

A review of The Nature of Consciousness by Susan Pockett.


26/06/2008:

Photos:

East lake
A few more photos.

14/06/2008:

A review of An Awfully Big Adventure by Beryl Bainbridge.


07/06/2008:

Here's some new stuff:

Leaves in churchyard
Photos from the last month

03/05/2008:

Photos:

Silver Street Bridge
Photos.

14/04/2008:

Photos:

Daffs and narcissi
Photos and updates to Pop CD catalogue.

27/03/2008:

A review added of Erwin Schrödinger's What is Life?


19/03/2008:

A blog entry on the coming end of civilisation. Enjoy.


18/03/2008:

Eastgate Street
Photos of Chester and Yorkshire.

05/03/2008:

A review added of The Happiness Hypothesis by Jonathan Haidt.


21/02/2008:

Moorhen walking on lake
Some photos of the Science Park and updates to the Pop CD catalogue.

09/02/2008:

Photos:

Me
Some photos (Yorkshire and Ely).

26/01/2008:

A review added of Musicophilia by Oliver Sacks.


05/01/2008:

River Wharfe
Some photos.

15/12/2007:

A review of Penelope Lively'sMoon Tiger.


27/11/2007:

Marshmallows
Photos from Yorkshire.

27/10/2007:

Photos:

Urn thing
With the predictability of a Coldplay tune come this year's Anglesey Abbey autumn photographs.

25/10/2007:

View south from Minster middle tower
Photos of York.

21/10/2007:

Abbey Gate
Photos of Bury St. Edmunds, Lavenham and Cambridge.

20/10/2007:

Birds
More photos.

11/10/2007:

Photos:

Orrynj berriz
More photos of nothing in particular.

30/09/2007:

John Hiatt's Slow Turning added to the Pop CDs page.


26/09/2007:

Photos:

This is what woods look like
Photos from the north.

16/09/2007:

Pews
Photos of Saffron Walden.

10/09/2007:

A review of Love, etc by Julian Barnes.


08/09/2007:

Qualcomm's second race
Photos of the Cambridge Dragon Boat Festival.

05/09/2007:

Photos:

East lake
Life's a riot in the Cambridge Science Park.

03/09/2007:

Geese
Cameraphone photos of the office dragon boat practice session.

30/08/2007:

Photos:

St. Peter's and St. Paul's church, and adjacent buildings
Photographic fruit of an afternoon in the north Fens.

27/08/2007:

Sunlit hill
More photos from Yorkshire.

19/08/2007:

A review of Goodbye to All That.


13/08/2007:

A14
Photos of a dual carriageway at dusk.

06/08/2007:

Punters on the beach
Photos from Norfolk.

30/07/2007:

Photos:

Norman Tower
Photos from my weekly drive through Suffolk.

26/07/2007:

Photos:


22/07/2007:

Woods
Photos of woods and pylons.
Pylon and clouds
Photos of woods and pylons.

09/07/2007:

Christian and Rowan
Photos of Rob and Margo's wedding and a couple of days with the parental units.
Church
Photos of Rob and Margo's wedding and a couple of days with the parental units.

02/07/2007:

A stump
Some photos of Chippenham Fen.

11/06/2007:

Photos:

Cambridge from Missleton Hill
Photos from just outside Cambridge.

06/06/2007:

Photos of:

Maiden Lane
Stamford
Cows stuck to a hill
Yorkshire
Castle and silvery stuff
Lancaster
Forest canopy, Arnside Knott
Arnside (Cumbria)

19/05/2007:

New:

Church
Photos of Kedington in Suffolk.

10/05/2007:

A review of Elkhonon Goldberg's The Executive Brain added.


08/05/2007:

Photos:

Sunset
Photos of churches, sunsets.

30/04/2007:

Photos:

Swans and ducks
April's photo count now suggestive of pathological malfunction... These are of Sudbury.

28/04/2007:

Photos:

Hen coop or something, which has a shiny roof
A few photos of parts of Cambridgeshire.

18/04/2007:

A review added of Thinks... by David Lodge.


15/04/2007:

Photos:

Church
Some photos of some of Suffolk.

14/04/2007:

A review of Uncle Tungsten by Oliver Sacks.


10/04/2007:

Meg, Mum and Dad
Photos from Easter weekend up north.

05/04/2007:

Burwell Lode
A few photos of Burwell Fen.

01/04/2007:

Photos:


12/03/2007:

Photos:

St. Mary's Street and University admin buildings
Some more photos.

07/03/2007:

Photos:

East lake
A few more photos. Not many.

04/03/2007:

Photos:

Fullish
Some pictures of tonight's lunar eclipse. Unfortunately I didn't perfect the camera settings till the end, but still, some of them came out surprisingly well.

26/02/2007:

A review added of a biography of André Gide. He was a French writer.


03/02/2007:

  • The Manic Street Preachers' Know Your Enemy added (with some reservations) to the Pop CDs page.
  • Having just added to the oBlog page I'm concerned about the impression it gives of me as a raging head-case, although not concerned enough (yet) to stop writing it.

29/01/2007:

Albums by Neil Diamond and Johannes Schmoelling added to the Pop CDs page.


21/01/2007:

Photos:

Wind pump
Some fenny photos.

16/01/2007:

A page of brief photo notes added.


13/01/2007:

To celebrate the 5th anniversary (*) of me having nothing better to do with my spare time, Dogsticks has been given a garish new look.

The site's optimised for Firefox. In Internet Exploder, some of the headings are a little oversized but I think it's basically OK.

There are one or two small usability/design gremlins still lurking that I intend to get around to fixing some time in the next geological epoch.

Another minor change is that headings in the Photos pages are now clickable, so you can cross-click between dates and places until you find something more interesting to do.

For those non-existent people who care, here's what the site used to look like:

(*) To the day, as it happens.


06/01/2007:

Trees below Pen-y-ghent
More photos of bits of Yorkshire.

03/01/2007:

Village square
More photos.

31/12/2006:

Photos:

Sam
Post-Xmas photos added.

23/12/2006:

oBlog updated with festive spleen.


17/12/2006:

Streetlamp, Trinity Lane
First sensible photos from my new digital SLR and its poncy lens.

10/12/2006:

Photos:


09/12/2006:

oBlog added.


08/12/2006:

A review of yet another of those "science and spirituality" books added, but actually this one - The Self-Aware Universe - is quite interesting.


06/12/2006:

Humboldt University
An excessive number of photos from a trip to Berlin.

25/11/2006:

Photos:

A few family pics from Yorkshire.

15/11/2006:

Photos:

The churches that share a churchyard
The trees are certainly having a party this autumn: check out these exhibitionists by the B1102 and in the Science Park.
Pat's back and Jon W's head
The trees are certainly having a party this autumn: check out these exhibitionists by the B1102 and in the Science Park.

12/11/2006:

Paddleboarding
More autumn photos - of Cambridge.

11/11/2006:

  • A poem accepted for publication.
  • Photos.
Quy Water
Yet more photos of Anglesey Abbey (plus a few more of the Science Park).
At the sluice
Yet more photos of Anglesey Abbey (plus a few more of the Science Park).

09/11/2006:

Farewell to Bleak House after 10 months.


04/11/2006:

Photos:

Punters and trees
It's this year's autumn snaps of Anglesey Abbey.

01/11/2006:

Photos:

Cyclists, King's Parade
Autumn comes to the Science Park.

21/10/2006:

Some stuff added to the Pop CD catalogue.


14/10/2006:

A review of Phantoms in the Brain by VS Ramachandran added.


09/10/2006:

A review of The Tax Inspector by Peter Carey added.


30/09/2006:


23/09/2006:

Photos:

The Gallery
After a summer of unsuccessful attempts, I finally manage the ascent of Ely Cathedral's octagon tower.

13/09/2006:

Napp Pharmaceuticals building
Photos of that jewel of Cambridge, the Science Park.

10/09/2006:

Some more bits added to the Classical Music page.


02/09/2006:

Photos from the Yorkshire Dales and a walk in Wales.
Limestone scar and bracken
Photos from the Yorkshire Dales and a walk in Wales.

22/08/2006:

A random photo thumbnail now appears on the home page, as you can see. You can click it if you want.


20/08/2006:

Random quotations now grace this home page.


05/08/2006:


30/07/2006:

Stuff:

Photos from a visit to outrageously twee Saffron Waldon plus some of telegraph poles near Burwell.
Telegraph poles and B1102
Photos from a visit to outrageously twee Saffron Waldon plus some of telegraph poles near Burwell.

27/07/2006:

Another kind of bridge
Photos added of an office trip to Go Ape! in Thetford Forest, done in the name of teambuilding or something.

23/07/2006:

Cathedral and Abbey Gardens
Photos of Bury St. Edmunds and a few more of Ely.
The Gallery
Photos of Bury St. Edmunds and a few more of Ely.

16/07/2006:

Photos:

West front of Cathedral, and school building
Exceptionally clear weather made it a good weekend for photographs of Ely. There are also some of Sudbury, and of Lavenham from a couple of weeks back.
Boats on River Stour
Exceptionally clear weather made it a good weekend for photographs of Ely. There are also some of Sudbury, and of Lavenham from a couple of weeks back.
Old Town Hall
Exceptionally clear weather made it a good weekend for photographs of Ely. There are also some of Sudbury, and of Lavenham from a couple of weeks back.

14/07/2006:

New science book review: The Space Between Our Ears by Michael Morgan.


08/07/2006:

A review of Jorge Luis Borges's Fictions added.


20/06/2006:

Cows on a furrowed field
Some photos of Newark-on-Trent, Gargrave and Skipton added.

16/06/2006:

Photos:

New photos of various places added.

26/05/2006:

Two poems accepted for publication: this one and this one.


24/04/2006:

The poetry magazines response times page has been funked up slightly.


17/04/2006:

A review of a book about Information Theory added.


08/04/2006:

White House and Washington Monument
New photos of Washington, DC and New York.
New photos of Washington, DC and New York.

25/03/2006:

A review of The Holographic Universe by Michael Talbot added.


18/03/2006:

Ooh, there's been a lot going on today:


09/03/2006:

A review of Untold Stories by Alan Bennett added to the Biography/Memoir Book Reviews page.


08/03/2006:

Photos added:

Field in snow
Cilcain, Wales
Trees
Chippenham Fen

26/02/2006:

A pile of intricate stonework
Photos of Ely added. And one of Swaffham Prior Fen.

06/02/2006:

Pop CD catalogue updated.


22/01/2006:

A review of DNA by James Watson added.


10/01/2006:

Buildings near Santo Spirito
Photos of Florence.

02/01/2006:

Mid-Cheshire Ridge, from Helsby Hill
Bits of Cheshire
Barney
A cat in Thurcroft, S. Yorks
Melford Hall
Long Melford, Suffolk
Water Street
Lavenham, Suffolk

18/12/2005:

  • A poem accepted for publication.
  • Photos.
Tree and fence
Some photos of Chippenham Fen added.

29/11/2005:

A review of The Non-Local Universe by a couple of geezers added.


19/11/2005:

Pop CD Catalogue brought up to date, pretty much.


18/11/2005:

Stuff:

St. Mary's Church, interior
A few photos of Burwell Church

10/11/2005:

Two poems accepted for publication by Other Poetry: one about pylons, the other about nothing much.


06/11/2005:

  • A review of Man and the Natural World by Keith Thomas added to the History Book Reviews page.
  • Photos.
Mashed lorry
Some photos of the microscopic Cambridgeshire village of Reach added.

02/11/2005:

Lesser red bush
More photos of Anglesey Abbey added.

30/10/2005:

A review of Entanglement by Amir Aczel added to the Science Book Reviews page.


21/10/2005:

Red-leafed tree
Photos of mellow Wicken Fen added.

03/10/2005:

A review of Slaughterhouse 5 added.


22/09/2005:

A review added of Steve Jones's The Language of the Genes.


16/09/2005:

View east from the castle
Photos added of Bratislava and Vienna.
Unteres Belvedere and cathedral
Photos added of Bratislava and Vienna.

31/08/2005:

A couple more book reviews:


24/08/2005:

  • Poetry achievement of the year! A poem to appear in 'The Rialto'.
  • Photos.
The wine starts to wear off
Photos of QUALCOMM Cambridge's punting trip added.

17/08/2005:

New stuff:

Church towers
Photos from the last 3 months

01/08/2005:

Two book reviews added:


12/07/2005:

A review added of An Anthropologist on Mars.


03/07/2005:

A review added of a book about relativity.


24/06/2005:

A review of an interesting book about hypnosis added.


07/06/2005:

Photos:

A few miscellaneous photos added.

02/06/2005:

Pop CD Catalogue brought up to date.


28/05/2005:

A review of The God of Small Things added.


14/05/2005:

Reviews of The Man Who Mistook his Wife for a Hat and The Sense of Being Stared At added.


26/04/2005:

Shaft of sunlight
Photos of South Africa added.

09/04/2005:

A poem accepted for publication in Poetry Monthly.


06/04/2005:

Some photos of Wharfedale added.

25/03/2005:

A review added of a book on British geology that is almost as old as the rocks it describes.


14/03/2005:

Photos:

From the air
A work trip to California is recorded in photos.

26/02/2005:

Pop CD Catalogue brought up to date.


17/02/2005:

Photos:


12/02/2005:

Photos:

People
More floral activity at Anglesey Abbey. (After following the link, scroll down to view the latest pictures, or alternatively click here.)

08/02/2005:

A review of Gerald Edelman's Bright Air, Brilliant Fire added.


31/01/2005:

Poetry mag Obsessed with Pipework is going to publish either Between Estuaries or M6 Toll Plaza.


11/01/2005:

A review of George Johnson's Fire in the Mind added.


03/01/2005:

Stuff added:


24/12/2004:

Three (count 'em) more poems accepted for publication in Fire. Also, the list of poems is now database-generated.


08/12/2004:

Another poem ('Sleeper') due for publication.


04/12/2004:

A review of Gide's L'immoraliste has been added.


02/12/2004:


13/11/2004:

Photos:


05/11/2004:

A review of The Emperor's New Mind added.


04/10/2004:


23/09/2004:

Another poem ('Winter') accepted for publication.


16/09/2004:

St. Mary's church and Cloth Hall
Photos of Poland added.

07/09/2004:

Punters
Photos of Cambridge, Burwell, Great Bradley and Rattlesden added.
Pylon
Photos of Cambridge, Burwell, Great Bradley and Rattlesden added.
Scary sunset
Photos of Cambridge, Burwell, Great Bradley and Rattlesden added.
Church and house
Photos of Cambridge, Burwell, Great Bradley and Rattlesden added.

03/09/2004:

Two more poems due to be published.


30/08/2004:

Avocet in flight
Some recent photos of Norfolk added.

27/08/2004:

A review of Nick Herbert's Quantum Reality added.


25/08/2004:


16/08/2004:

  • I've just finished reading Heinz R Pagels' The Cosmic Code.
  • Another of my miserable poems has been accepted for publication.
  • Photos.
Wave surfing at the broken weir
Photos of Wales and London have been added.
Albert Hall
Photos of Wales and London have been added.

29/07/2004:

A review of Eric Hobsbawm's The Age of Capital added.


26/07/2004:

A review of a strange book called The Cosmic Serpent added.


19/07/2004:

Central Chester
Some photos of Cheshire and Staffordshire added.
Piggies
Some photos of Cheshire and Staffordshire added.

22/06/2004:

Photos:


27/05/2004:

A review of Lampedusa's The Leopard added.


06/05/2004:

Reviews of some more biographies that I've read over the years have been added.


27/04/2004:

Fine weather, lighter evenings and a digital camera mean further photos to inflict on visitors. These are of Suffolk and - just for a change - Cambridgeshire.


20/04/2004:

Yet more photos of fens added.


17/04/2004:

A review of John Ruskin's Selected Writings added.


03/04/2004:

The Pop CD Catalogue is now pretty much complete.


01/04/2004:

Photos of Venice added.


21/02/2004:

More photos of the Fens added.


17/02/2004:


03/02/2004:

News items older than 3-odd months are now siphoned off onto an archive page.


29/01/2004:

  • Two more of my poems are going to be published by the ever-charitable Pulsar.
  • A Links page has been added.

26/01/2004:

A review of Norman Davies' 'The Isles' added to the History Book Reviews page.


24/01/2004:

More entries added to the pop CD catalogue..


15/12/2003:

Further expansion of the pop CD catalogue has taken place.


29/11/2003:

Some more entries added to the pop CD catalogue.


11/11/2003:

Some photos of Anglesey Abbey added.


09/11/2003:

A review of 'Identity' by Milan Kundera added.


02/11/2003:

The Photos page now has thumbnails, and some pictures of Brittany.


13/10/2003:

Pop CD Catalogue added.


20/09/2003:

Two more poems added.


26/07/2003:

A review of The Light of Day by Graham Swift added.

Reviews of other books have also been spruced up slightly.

(PS Recently updated items now have an 'Updated' label.)


12/07/2003:

Two more classical music reviews added.

(PS New items on all pages now have a 'NEW!' label indicating when they were added.)


09/07/2003:

A review of Stefan Zweig's Schachnovelle added.


04/07/2003:

It's been a busy day:


18/06/2003:

A review of Afternoons in Utopia added to the Pop CDs page.


11/06/2003:

Another poem (Swimming) added.


31/05/2003:

More stuff added to the UK Poetry Magazines page.


25/05/2003:

Another poem (Twitch) added.


08/05/2003:

Comments on Beethoven's Hammerklavier sonata updated to include Stephen Kovacevich's new recording.Another poem (Trouble) added.

24/04/2003:

A review (only half a century late) of JK Galbraith's The Affluent Society added.


21/03/2003:

What do Simple Minds and Ludwig van Beethoven have in common? They have both just had reviews added to Dogsticks.


11/03/2003:

The last of Dogsticks' broken links has been banished. Appropriately enough this historic event is due to the addition of the History Book Reviews page.


10/03/2003:

I've just finished reading The Older Hardy by Robert Gittings. Not only that - I've also written a review of it.


08/03/2003:

How could I create a Web page about my favourite bits of classical music and not include Mahler's 4th Symphony? I couldn't.


06/03/2003:

My pontifications on Paul Simon's Negotiations and Love Songs are now public. In addition, the other pop reviews have had some of their scabs of stylistic infelicity sand-blasted off. Ouch!


24/02/2003:

Pages for individual poems are now generated dynamically by a CGI script (saves me having to HTMLify them by hand). Book reviews will soon be getting the same treatment, I hope.


22/02/2003:

People have been clamouring* for the Biography book reviews page to be added. Here it is then.

* Not really.


12/02/2003:

More unstructured musings on classical music added.


11/02/2003:

The Classical Music page now exists, consisting currently of one review.


09/02/2003:

A review of Money by Martin Amis has been added.


12/01/2003:

The Music page makes its belated appearance.


05/01/2003:

A few more UK poetry magazines added.


20/12/2002:

Here's what I think of UK poetry magazines!


15/12/2002:

A review of Raymond Chandler's The Big Sleep added.


03/12/2002:

Another poem, Flying After Fifteen Years, added.


30/08/2002:

A review of Ian McEwan's The Cement Garden added.


29/08/2002:

Photos of Lithuania added.


12/08/2002:

More poems added.


04/08/2002:

A review of Jane Austen's Emma added.


16/06/2002:

The first batch of science reviews has just been delivered to the Book Reviews area. Get 'em while they're hot!


23/05/2002:

Dogsticks goes dynamic: a CGI script now puts a Dogsticks frame around individual photos.


15/05/2002:

Blimey! I've had another poem accepted for publication.


06/05/2002:

Dogsticks goes stateside: check out the new exhibition on the Photos page.


30/04/2002:

Dogsticks is now on a different server, and has its own domain name. World domination to follow shortly.


26/03/2002:

The Poetry page has been purged of broken links.


25/03/2002:

  • Site slightly restructured.
  • A review of Andy Croft's Just As Blue added.

16/03/2002:

Three more book reviews added to the increasingly unwieldy Post-1900 Fiction page.


09/03/2002:

A few more book reviews added to the Post-1900 Fiction page.


05/03/2002:

Photos of East Anglia are now on display in the Photos page.


25/02/2002:

More book reviews added to the Post-1900 Fiction and Miscellaneous Non-Fiction pages.


24/02/2002:

Pre-1900 Fiction and Miscellaneous Non-Fiction book reviews pages created.


23/01/2002:

The Photos page now has things in it!


13/01/2002:

Dogsticks up and running.

Dogsticks was created from XML source files using the fab Saxon Java XSL processor, which is free from somewhere on the Net.

Future projects include:

Photos:


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Poem of the Day