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Home - News Archive

Previously in Dogsticks...

07/08/2017:

Photos:

The dyke near Newmarket
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:

Break
River Tryweryn, Wales
Paddlers wait for a thunderstorm to pass beneath a dormant bouncy castle
Lee Valley Whitewater Centre

09/07/2017:

Photos:

View to Baildon Moor
Yorkshire
Bug on a Lee Valley bib
Bug
Classics of East Anglia, No. 1: The wheat field
Golden Ears

02/07/2017:

Photos:

Mum
Yorkshire

25/06/2017:

Photos:

Tanker, with the Lincolnshire Wolds just visible in the distance
Norfolk

19/06/2017:

Photos:

Bottom of the Graveyard
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
Olympic course from the bridge
Foamy pillows
View towards Burwell
Dyke

30/05/2017:

Photos:

Lapwings
Yorkshire

24/05/2017:

Photos:

Cathedral
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.
Freestyling
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:

Mollie the Collie
West Yorkshire
View to Laughton Church
South Yorkshire
View to Wharfedale
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.
Mysterious leak... Awaiting news of a flood
Cambridgeshire

12/03/2017:

Photos:

The new mega-stopper at the bottom of the Serpent's Tail
Paddling in North Wales

14/02/2017:

Photos:

Cats
Yorkshire
Signpost in churchyard
South Essex

30/01/2017:

Photos:

An atmospheric curtain of mist moves in
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.
Wharfedale
Ilkley Moor

04/01/2017:

Photos:

Salts Mill
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.
Dusk over Wharfedale
Yorkshire

27/12/2016:

Photos:

River Tees
Paddling the River Tees - once more

05/12/2016:

Photos:

Low Force
Paddling and walking in Teesdale

24/11/2016:

Photos:

Almost-bare tree
Autumn in the Science Park

07/11/2016:

Photos:

Trees
Reach Wood

30/10/2016:

Photos:

A levitating leaf, it would appear
Essex - surprisingly nice in places

24/10/2016:

Photos:

Angler
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:

Outside the station
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:

A pig eats a bean pod
A rare visit to Staffordshire, county of my youth

25/07/2016:

Photos:

Swimmer with GoPro on dry bag
Paddling up the River Cam

21/07/2016:

Photos:

Bumping
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:

Poppy field
A poppy field
View to church
A village in Hertfordshire
River Lea Navigation
Lee Valley Country Park
Unknown paddler
Lee Valley Whitewater Centre
Raft
Paddling in north Wales

04/06/2016:

Photos:

Horsetail
Yorkshire

29/05/2016:

Greenery
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:

Trinity College
The Backs, Cambridge

03/04/2016:

Photos:

View to Aire Valley
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 River Cam. It never changes
River Cam
Cathedral, main tower
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.
Monk's Lode
Around Wicken, Cambridgeshire

28/02/2016:

Photos:

View to Bingley
West Yorkshire
A bit of a meadow
Lynford Arboretum, Norfolk

25/02/2016:

Photos:

River Tees
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:

King's College
Cambridge

17/01/2016:

Photos:

Unknown paddler
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:

Canal
Grimness
River Wharfe
Paddling in Wharfedale

30/12/2015:

Photos:

Weir on River Don
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.
Moor
Yorkshire

25/11/2015:

Photos:

United Reformed Church
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.
Punters
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.
Heather and rowan tree
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.
Bottom of the Legacy loop
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.
Eco-graffiti
Yorkshire

12/07/2015:

Photos:

Greenery
Upper reaches of the River Cam
Lake
Lackford, Suffolk
Paddling
Nene Whitewater Centre

02/07/2015:

Photos:

Jenny
Cat
Narrowboats coming through
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
New Bedford River
Sutton Gault
Olympic course
Lee Valley Whitewater Centre
River Cam
Cambridge
Horses with colourful jackets
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
Paddling
River Tees
Above the Glen
Yorkshire

09/02/2015:

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


02/02/2015:

Photos:

View to Leeds
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
Cat
River Aire
The Aire Valley
Mine shaft?
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:

Newly cleared trees mean better views into Anglesey Abbey
Lode
At the sluice
More sluice action

15/11/2014:

Photos:

Ducks
Cambridge Science Park
Heathland
Icklingham Plains, Suffolk

08/11/2014:

Photos:

River Cam
Another view from a kayak
Moor stuff
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:

View east
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:

Another sluice session
Sluicing it
Chelmer and Blackwater Navigation
Chelmer and Blackwater Navigation, Essex

14/09/2014:

Photos:

River life
Grantchester
River Lark and washes
Isleham Marina
Paddling
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:

Clare Bridge
River Cam again
The edge of the West Yorks. conurbation
Yorkshire

21/08/2014:

Photos:

Sluice session
Minimalist whitewater action at the River Cam sluice.

16/08/2014:

Photos:

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

04/08/2014:

Photos:

Bridge of Sighs
The Cambridge Backs

31/07/2014:

Photos:

Swans
Bird life on the Cam
Beach
The lovely Norfolk coast

21/07/2014:

Photos:

Bala Falls, River Tryweryn
Whitewater paddling, Wales

15/07/2014:

Photos:

A nice assemblage of low-pressure clouds
Adventurers' Fen
View to Aldwincle
Northamptonshire
Geese
Geese

01/07/2014:

Photos:

Pond, East Riddlesden Hall
East Riddlesden Hall, Yorks.

23/06/2014:

Photos:

Swan and cygnets - already looking a lot bigger
Along the River Cam
View north towards the Fens
South Cambridgeshire

01/06/2014:

Photos:

Fields, woods
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.
Cattle
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:

Barge
Upware, Cambs.

17/05/2014:

Photos:

River Cam
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.
Trees
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:

Trees by River Cam
The River Cam
Mousehold Heath
Norwich

12/02/2014:

Photos:

Paddler below Low Force
Paddling on the River Tees
Salts Mill
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.
Byron's Pool
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:

Ribblesdale
Ribblesdale
Approaching the Scar
Gordale
Rocks
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)
River Cam
Clayhithe, Cambs.
East lake
Cambridge Science Park (II)
Literally, Achurch
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:

Dog walkers
Lode, Cambridgeshire
River Crouch
River Crouch, Essex

10/11/2013:

Photos:

Northamptonshire in the rain
Northamptonshire
The South Bank
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 interior
Fotheringhay

30/09/2013:

Photos:

River Nene
Northamptonshire
Hills
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.
Sunlight on small tree trunks
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 near the bridge
Stamford
Sheep and rocks
Giggleswick
Parakeet
Exotic fauna in West Yorkshire
Crag and punters
Pen-y-ghent

27/08/2013:

Photos:

Picnic
River Cam
Brancey Brook and Aldwincle
Titchmarsh Nature Reserve, Northants.
All Saints' Church
South Pickenham, Norfolk
View north-west from St. Mary's tower
Cambridge

11/08/2013:

Photos:

Sailor boys
Avoiding the crowds (slalom style) on the River Cam

04/08/2013:

Photos:

Swans
South Yorkshire
East Riddlesden Hall
West Yorkshire
Trees and clouds
North Yorkshire
Beach
Salthouse, Norfolk
River Cam
River Cam

27/07/2013:

Updates to the Classical Reviews page:


17/07/2013:

Photos:

Soham Lode
East Cambridgeshire
River Cam
Milton
The hardcore CCC paddlers appear from the run on the upper river
Wales

07/07/2013:

Photos of Norfolk:

Art installation
Houghton Hall
The beach
Brancaster

02/07/2013:

Photos:

Swan on River Nene
Around the Nene Valley in Northamptonshire

28/06/2013:

Photos:

The Fens
Adventurers' Fen
Soham Lode
Soham

17/06/2013:

Photos:

Churchyard
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:

St. Andrew's Church
Snailwell, Cambs.
Trees
Yorkshire

07/05/2013:

Photos:

Dipper
Bolton Abbey, Yorkshire
Nesting swan
Adventurers' Fen
Rat
Fordham Woods
Limbering up
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.
River Ribble and Ingleborough
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.
Some minor lode
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.
River Lune
Yorkshire and Cumbria
Getting in
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:

Boats
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:

Pen-y-ghent
Bits of the Yorkshire Dales on New Year's Day
Coot, Sefton Park
Liverpool
It's an old bridge
Leeds

01/01/2013:

Photos:

Flooded fields
Brampton, Cambridgeshire
Attermire Scar
Scosthrop Moor, Yorkshire
A bit of limestone
Pen-y-ghent, Yorkshire
Drips
Gordale, Yorkshire
Abbey ruins
South Yorkshire
Temporary ponds
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
Various white birds
Lackford Lakes, Suffolk
Abbey gate
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:

Abbey and River Tees
Teesdale (from a kayaking trip, but unfortunately lacking paddling shots)
Woods
Shipley Glen, Yorkshire
Kayaking trip on River Great Ouse
A kayaking trip on the River Great Ouse, Cambs.

06/11/2012:

Some poems, written or completed relatively recently:

Photos:

Tour group off Queen's Road
Cambridge again
Trees
The ritual Anglesey Abbey autumn photoshoot

14/10/2012:

Rose Crescent
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:

Church
North Yorkshire
Grim skies over the A65
Kirkby Lonsdale, Cumbria
Cobbled lane
Dent, Cumbria

13/09/2012:

Photos:

Greenery
Beechwoods Nature Reserve
Cathedral from the west
Ely
A backlit blade of grass peeps flame-like from between the boards
Wicken Fen
The underbelly of the M11
A paddle up the upper reaches of the Cam
Massive clouds over the guided bus route
Massive clouds in Cambridgeshire
South from the peninsula
Rutland Water
Punters, Trinity Street
Cambridge
Burwell church
Devil's Dyke
The camera succumbs to inevitable wetness
A paddler's-eye view of Cambridge
Boat
Rutland Water again
St. Wulfram's Church
Grantham, Lincs.
Railway bridge
Knaresborough, Yorks.

12/08/2012:

This month's photos so far:

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

31/07/2012:

Photos:

The side room, whatever that's called
Places at the World's End, No. 5: Little Gidding
Church
Hemington, Northants.
Building and church
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:

Farm
Yorkshire
Ponies
Central Cambridgeshire
All Saints' Church
Pidley Church
Bridge
Stamford
Church
Lowick, Northants.
This crumby phone shot is the only one I have of the Valley after losing my camera :(
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:

Little egrets
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.
Poppies
Photos of West Row (Suffolk), Cambridge and Wicken Fen
Bridge-loiterers
Photos of West Row (Suffolk), Cambridge and Wicken Fen
Water
Photos of West Row (Suffolk), Cambridge and Wicken Fen

20/06/2012:

Some bay or channel
Found some photos from my recent flight to California.

18/06/2012:

Photos:

Mollie
Yorkshire again.

06/06/2012:

Photos of California:

This crumby phone shot is the only one I have of the Valley after losing my camera :(
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)
Old ship
San Francisco in the evening
Bollinger Canyon
Las Trampas Regional Wilderness near San Ramon
Wind turbines
Other places in central California
Biker pow-wow
The Big Sur coast, Monterey and Carmel
Need to verify what street this is
San Francisco in the afternoon
From the air
(Appendix: Bits of Britain from the air)

18/05/2012:

Photos:

View to Sutton-in-the-Isle
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.
Walkers
More photos of Yorkshire

05/05/2012:

Photos:

Town hall
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.
Pub
Photos of Ironbridge
Cathedral
Photos of Ely
Village from valley
More photos from Yorkshire

18/02/2012:

Photos:

View towards Gog Magog Hills
Photos from near Sawston, Cambs.
Footbridge
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.
Half-timbered house and church
Photos of Shropshire
Pylon and telegraph pole - the classic combination
Photos of Burwell Fen

29/12/2011:

Photos:

South village from bridge
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
Good train
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.
The North
Photos of Lancashire
River Ribble
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
Church
Clare, Suffolk

28/09/2011:

Photos from lunchtime flights from the office:

Downy stuff
Magog Down, Cambridgeshire
Church
Saffron Walden, Essex
Churchyard
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:

Birch trees
Photos of Anglesey Abbey
German forest
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:

Punts and colleges
Cambridge
A young wood
Great Henny, Essex

24/07/2011:

Photos:

Bridge of Sighs
Oxford.

10/07/2011:

Punters
Photos of the Cam and Boxted, Suffolk.
View up Glem Valley
Photos of the Cam and Boxted, Suffolk.

02/07/2011:

Recent photos:

Ely Cathedral
Ely Cathedral from Stuntney
Car
Ashen, Suffolk
Sea shore
Snettisham, Norfolk
Punters and cows
Sudbury, Suffolk
Silver Street Bridge
Grantchester and Cambridge

13/06/2011:

Trumpington Street
More photos from Cambridge and Grantchester.

04/06/2011:

Mill Pond
Photos from a paddle up the Cam.

02/06/2011:

Poppies
Photos of poppies near the office, and Sussex.
Punters, South Downs Way
Photos of poppies near the office, and Sussex.

31/05/2011:

Mum looks
Photos from Yorkshire.

28/05/2011:

Cathedral, 16th-Century frieze
Photos of Chichester.

05/05/2011:

Fields
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:

Langber Lane
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.
Pylon and ploughed 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 Lane
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.
Fencing
Photos of Long Preston

23/01/2011:

Natural History 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:

Church and Pen-y-Ghent
Ribblesdale.

02/01/2011:

View to Ingleborough
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
Dad
Thurcroft, South Yorks.
Below the Castle
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:

Church
Suffolk and Essex in the snish.

17/12/2010:

Photos:

A solitary punter traces a path through the snow
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 through trees
Photos of Downham and Clitheroe in Lancashire.
Second-hand bookshop
Photos of Downham and Clitheroe in Lancashire.

06/11/2010:

Photos of:

Small valley
Long Preston
Trees
Anglesey Abbey, where every autumn is slightly different, although not really very different
Trees
Beechwoods Nature Reserve near Cambridge
Addenbrooke's Hospital
Cherry Hinton near Cambridge

26/10/2010:

Photos:

Spider
Spider
Roof of St. Pancras Station
St. Pancras Station
Tree
Reach Wood
From the air
Flying to Seattle (from a couple of years back - extra photos added)

Plus:


04/10/2010:

Photos of:

Burwell Lode
Burwell Fen
River Ribble and flooded fields
Long Preston, Yorkshire
Farmhouse and Pen-y-ghent
Ingleborough and Pen-y-ghent

24/09/2010:

Photos of:

County College
Lancaster, October 1988-March 1989
Paul C
Lake District, February 1989
Games in village hall
Wales, March-April 1989
Scargill
Lichfield, April 1989
Hill
Dovedale, Derbyshire, April 1989
We were so wacky back then
Lancaster, May 1989
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:

Magdalene Street
Cambridge
Church
Surrey

08/09/2010:

Old photos from:

Margret and horses
Europe Interrail trip, August-September 1988
Red Tarn and Striding Edge
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:

Heidi
Christmas in Germany, 1984
View from Hill 62
One-day trip to the Belgian trenches, February 1985
View over town
Bavaria, April 1986
Cathedral
Ely

And some new ones:

Snow in the Eifel
Christmas in Germany, 1984
WW1 trenches
One-day trip to the Belgian trenches, February 1985
Mountains
Bavaria, April 1986
High Street
Ely

03/09/2010:

More old photos:

Village from castle
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
View over the Tay estuary
Scotland, July 1982
Grandad at trig point
Near Sheffield, August 1982
Thomas
Wales and Lichfield, August 1983

01/09/2010:

More old photos:

On the beach
Belgium, April 1980
R
Lake District, August 1986
The valley from Thorpe Cloud
Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire, June 1988 (conservation working holiday)
Cliff top
North York Moors and Yorkshire coast, July 1988

31/08/2010:

Some very old photos added:

Welsh 3000s camp site
Lichfield and Snowdonia, June 1987
Coppicing at Lloyd's Coppice
North York Moors and Ironbridge, October 1987
A street
France, February-May 1988
Me and Ben
Lichfield and Barrow-in-Furness, May 1988
Malhamdale from the top of the Cove
Yorkshire Dales, September 1996
Pushkin blocks the way to the kitchen
Cheshire, August 2003
R
Wharfedale, August 2003
Trig point
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:

Scosthrop High Moor and Ingleborough
Photos of the Yorkshire Dales.

13/08/2010:

Low cloud
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:

Lemurs
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 and garden
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 House gardens
Around Killarney
Rocks
Kinsale, Old Head of Kinsale and Garrylucas Beach

08/05/2010:

The coast
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:

The basin, again
Photos from a walk in County Kerry.

11/04/2010:

Photos of:

Newman's Mall
The south Cork coast
Eggmobile and Macgillycuddy's Reeks
Kenmare and the Kerry mountains

05/04/2010:

A hill with a streak of snow on it
Photos of Yorkshire and Manchester.
Tramlines
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:

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

20/03/2010:

Glanmore Lake and Iveragh Peninsula
Photos from a spin around the Beara Peninsula.

17/03/2010:

Pine trees and rocks on summit of Knockomagh
Photos of the West Cork coast.

14/03/2010:

Photos:

Houses
Photos from this weekend.

28/02/2010:

Clock Tower Gallery
Photos of Cobh.

27/02/2010:

Excel Centre
Photos of Tipperary and environs.

22/02/2010:

Photos of:

Mist rising over Lough Mahon
Lough Mahon
Dog
Clonakilty and Inchydoney Beach
Town square, with Galtymore Mountain behind
Places north of Cork

30/01/2010:

Photos of:

Over Douglas River estuary to Rochestown
The estuary near Cork
Cliffs and sea
Old Head of Kinsale
Houses
Kinsale

23/01/2010:

  • Dogsticker page updated to reflect my current circumstances.
  • Photos.
River Lee South Channel
More photos added of Cork city.

17/01/2010:

Ther sea
Photos of Sandy Cove, County Cork, plus some more of Lough Mahon.
Lough Mahon
Photos of Sandy Cove, County Cork, plus some more of Lough Mahon.

16/01/2010:

Joe McHugh Park
Photos of Lough Mahon, Cork.

15/01/2010:

Photos of:

Burwell Lode
Burwell Fen
King's Parade
Cambridge
Holy Island
Anglesey, Wales
Holy Island, Wales from ferry
The Irish Sea
Bridge
Cork and environs

04/01/2010:

Station
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:

View to Devil's Dyke
How about that: there's still snow in Cambridgeshire.

18/12/2009:

Photos of:

Sunset, Burwell Lode
Burwell Fen
In the 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.
St. Osyth's Lane
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:

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

19/11/2009:

Entrance to Embankment Tube Station
Photos of London at night.

15/11/2009:

Meg and Dad, Goats Water
First batch of old photos (Old Man of Coniston from 2003) scanned in from the negatives. Loads more to come...

31/10/2009:

Oskar, A (by R)
More photos of Yorkshire.
Trees and mist
Photos of Anglesey Abbey.

26/10/2009:

Autumn trees
Photos of Ribblesdale.

26/10/2009:

Crags
Photos of that classy lake Malham Tarn.

22/10/2009:

Photos of:

Trees
Lode
Trees reflected in puddle
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.
Autumn trees
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:

Trees, grass
Some photos from last week. Subjects: grass, dumped vehicles.

15/09/2009:

A review added of See No Evil


12/09/2009:

Building and interesting-ish sky
Photos of east Cambridgeshire and Blakeney Point.
People on beach
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 ruins
Photos of the crumbling coast.

29/08/2009:

Cow-off
Photos of Wicken Fen.

26/08/2009:

Grass, clouds
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:

Fields and Ely Cathedral
A quiet month so far for photos, but here are a few.

27/07/2009:

Photos:

Ribblehead Viaduct
Photos from Yorkshire.

22/07/2009:

Photos:

Pylon
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 A14
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:

View east to Weybourne
Another spell of nice weather and unemployment, another trip to Norfolk.

01/07/2009:

Photos:

The steam train (Leander, a Jubilee class engine, it says here) approaches
More photos from Yorkshire.

26/06/2009:

A review of Your Inner Fish by Neil Shubin.


25/06/2009:

Photos of:

Meadow
Reach wood.
School and cafe
Skipton.
Reflections
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:

Avocet and chicks
Another photo trip to the Norfolk coast.

25/05/2009:

Photos from:

Orange
Walks near Ely and Reach.
Sunset
A spin up to Norfolk in the Eggmobile.

19/05/2009:

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

17/05/2009:

Chat
Photos of relatives, etc.

01/05/2009:

Photos:

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

28/04/2009:

Photos:

When sheep turn mean
Ovine gangland.
Free School Lane, with King's College Chapel behind
Cambridge.
Church
Long Melford.

21/04/2009:

  • A review of The Search by C P Snow.
  • Photos.
That telegraph pole is the same colour as the ploughed field
And yet more photos of Yorkshire and Cambridgeshire.

17/04/2009:

Llama
More photos.

14/04/2009:

Photos:

Daffodils near the river
Easter Monday photos.

12/04/2009:

Photos:

R and A
Easter Sunday photos.

08/04/2009:

Photos:

Catholic church
I have nothing better to add today than more photos of Newmarket.

02/04/2009:

Photos:

Nice wall, Queensbury Road
Recent photos.

20/03/2009:

Sunset
More fenphotos.

21/02/2009:

Flooded fields
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:

Some kids
Snow in the Science Park.

25/01/2009:

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


08/01/2009:

Photos:

The canal is impersonating a road. Naughty!
Photos of snow.

07/01/2009:

A review of Doctor Copernicus by John Banville.


06/01/2009:

Horses and hills
More photos - Yorkshire and Lancashire.

01/01/2009:

Reservoir
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:

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

09/11/2008:

Tree
Photos of Anglesey Abbey, Cambridge Science Park and Brimham Rocks.
People by east lake
Photos of Anglesey Abbey, Cambridge Science Park and Brimham Rocks.
Early warning station
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:

James
Photos of a party in Yorkshire.

26/09/2008:

Harvard Glacier
More photos of Alaska and Seattle.
5th and Roy
More photos of Alaska and Seattle.

24/09/2008:

A review of A Girl in Winter by Philip Larkin.


21/09/2008:

Photos of:

Fluffy clouds
Flying to Seattle
The I-5
Washington State
Boat and North Vancouver
British Columbia
Plane
Alaska

(More to follow.)


23/08/2008:

A review of The Biology of Belief by Bruce Lipton.


24/07/2008:

Photos of:

Small lakes to the east
Flying to California
Buildings
California
Coast
Flying back from California

08/07/2008:

King's College Chapel
Photos of Cambridge, Cromer and naughty Norwich.
Mud cliffs and beach huts
Photos of Cambridge, Cromer and naughty Norwich.
Big skies
Photos of Cambridge, Cromer and naughty Norwich.

02/07/2008:

Photos:

Stepping out
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:

Churchyard and building
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:

Pinnacle and village
Photos from the last month

03/05/2008:

Photos:

Silver Street Bridge
Photos.

14/04/2008:

Photos:

Church Street
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:

Entering the white light of the post-doctoral world
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:

Cathedral, south-west tower
Some photos (Yorkshire and Ely).

26/01/2008:

A review added of Musicophilia by Oliver Sacks.


05/01/2008:

Grim Pennine scene
Some photos.

15/12/2007:

A review of Penelope Lively'sMoon Tiger.


27/11/2007:

Frosty grassy terraces
Photos from Yorkshire.

27/10/2007:

Photos:

Leaves and pond
With the predictability of a Coldplay tune come this year's Anglesey Abbey autumn photographs.

25/10/2007:

All Saints, Pavement, interior
Photos of York.

21/10/2007:

Lady Street
Photos of Bury St. Edmunds, Lavenham and Cambridge.

20/10/2007:

Winter approaches
More photos.

11/10/2007:

Photos:

Autumnal blur
More photos of nothing in particular.

30/09/2007:

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


26/09/2007:

Photos:

Meg
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:

Dragon boat race
Photos of the Cambridge Dragon Boat Festival.

05/09/2007:

Photos:

Napp Pharmaceuticals building
Life's a riot in the Cambridge Science Park.

03/09/2007:

Dragon boat practice - back in the fray
Cameraphone photos of the office dragon boat practice session.

30/08/2007:

Photos:

Buildings by River Nene
Photographic fruit of an afternoon in the north Fens.

27/08/2007:

New Inn
More photos from Yorkshire.

19/08/2007:

A review of Goodbye to All That.


13/08/2007:

The A14, wobbling a bit
Photos of a dual carriageway at dusk.

06/08/2007:

Punters doing seaside things
Photos from Norfolk.

30/07/2007:

Photos:

Sunset
Photos from my weekly drive through Suffolk.

26/07/2007:

Photos:


22/07/2007:

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

09/07/2007:

Alma
Photos of Rob and Margo's wedding and a couple of days with the parental units.
Mum, Dad and Meg
Photos of Rob and Margo's wedding and a couple of days with the parental units.

02/07/2007:

Tree life
Some photos of Chippenham Fen.

11/06/2007:

Photos:

Some trees
Photos from just outside Cambridge.

06/06/2007:

Photos of:

Gravestones, St. Mary's
Stamford
Dad and A
Yorkshire
Steps by Priory
Lancaster
Forest canopy, Arnside Knott
Arnside (Cumbria)

19/05/2007:

New:

Church tower and wisps of cloud
Photos of Kedington in Suffolk.

10/05/2007:

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


08/05/2007:

Photos:

Nice clouds
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:

Trees
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:

Sunlit hill
Photos from Easter weekend up north.

05/04/2007:

Drawbridge, Burwell Lode
A few photos of Burwell Fen.

01/04/2007:

Photos:


12/03/2007:

Photos:

St. John's Street
Some more photos.

07/03/2007:

Photos:

Late-night velociraptor, Qualcomm office
A few more photos. Not many.

04/03/2007:

Photos:

Lunar eclipse
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:

Waterlogged fen
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:

The bright lights of Settle
More photos of bits of Yorkshire.

03/01/2007:

Gordale Beck
More photos.

31/12/2006:

Photos:

R in French intellectual mode
Post-Xmas photos added.

23/12/2006:

oBlog updated with festive spleen.


17/12/2006:

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:

View from the DDR TV tower
An excessive number of photos from a trip to Berlin.

25/11/2006:

Photos:

A few family pics from Yorkshire.

15/11/2006:

Photos:

St. Mary's
The trees are certainly having a party this autumn: check out these exhibitionists by the B1102 and in the Science Park.
Punters, King's Parade
The trees are certainly having a party this autumn: check out these exhibitionists by the B1102 and in the Science Park.

12/11/2006:

Simon C-S and Gordon
More autumn photos - of Cambridge.

11/11/2006:

  • A poem accepted for publication.
  • Photos.
Snowdrops - up close
Yet more photos of Anglesey Abbey (plus a few more of the Science Park).
River Cam
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:

Shrubbery
It's this year's autumn snaps of Anglesey Abbey.

01/11/2006:

Photos:

Sluice session
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:

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

13/09/2006:

Monet bridge
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.
Brian and Trinity entering a small dry valley
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, B1102, motorcyclist
Photos from a visit to outrageously twee Saffron Waldon plus some of telegraph poles near Burwell.

27/07/2006:

People strapping themselves on and off
Photos added of an office trip to Go Ape! in Thetford Forest, done in the name of teambuilding or something.

23/07/2006:

Cathedral, with its lurvely new tower
Photos of Bury St. Edmunds and a few more of Ely.
Cathedral porch before a storm
Photos of Bury St. Edmunds and a few more of Ely.

16/07/2006:

Photos:

King's School and Cathedral
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.
Painted houses and bridge, Ballingdon Street
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.
Buildings near 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:

F
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:

Rush hour, 14th Street
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:

Mad frolicking dog
Cilcain, Wales
Backlit grassy stuff
Chippenham Fen

26/02/2006:

Cathedral
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:

Accordion player
Photos of Florence.

02/01/2006:

Long shadows on the boundary path
Bits of Cheshire
Barney
A cat in Thurcroft, S. Yorks
Alms House
Long Melford, Suffolk
High 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:

My new eggmobile
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.
Chapel
Some photos of the microscopic Cambridgeshire village of Reach added.

02/11/2005:

Line of trees
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:

Sun-dappled shrooms
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:

Town hall
Photos added of Bratislava and Vienna.
Staatsoper and other buildings
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.
Turbulence thrusts one of our boats against the riverbank
Photos of QUALCOMM Cambridge's punting trip added.

17/08/2005:

New stuff:

Turbulence thrusts one of our boats against the riverbank
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:

Rocky outcrops
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:

Tram
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:

Alley of trees
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:

Gravestones in New Jewish Cemetary
Photos of Poland added.

07/09/2004:

King's Parade
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:

Yellow house, yellow ponchos
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.
Bala Falls
Photos of Wales and London have been added.
Office block
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.
Cathedral Close
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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