Saturday, 27 February 2010


I've started working through my pile of papers - have got through the Free Presses (and various post stuff) to the last paper I bought, the Saturday Guardian of 2 January. Perhaps I'll carry on not getting the Saturday Guardian and read the Guardian Review online, which is my favourite bit (and of which I've already got a backlog of many months), but I think I've tried that before and not managed to keep up online.

Underneath the Guardian was the programme for Aladdin at the Hackney Empire, which I think was the last thing I went to see, also Saturday 2 January, the matinee. We had seats in the top circle, I had a dark patch on the vision of my right eye of course, so was a bit preoccupied with that and enjoyed it less than I would have otherwise. It's hard to remember specifically but I think we enjoyed it fine but less than in previous years, a diminishing returns thing probably (also one of us was feeling sufficiently under the weather, coldy, that they wanted to leave before the end, but we managed to hang on). Clive Rowe was as ever the stand-out performer, I lost some of the lines of some of the others who I liked last year, not sure if that was because we were further away or if they were faster or quieter. The Hackney Empire pantos were certainly the best of those we have seen (as the reviews indicate, part of the reason they're so good is that they are very traditional, use bits of contemporary songs rather than all originals, including a very good version of something I liked very much which turned out to be Beyonce's Single Ladies, plenty local and topical references, very family friendly and interactive) (although years ago Bethan and I did go to a very sparsely-attended Southwark Playhouse production of Cinderella in their old venue, which we enjoyed a lot. (It looks like Southwark Playhouse are going to be in their temporary venue rather longer than they expected because they haven't started the building on the site of the London Park Hotel which they were going to move into.) A message in the programme indicates that the Hackney Empire is in financial straits, like so many other places, so there will be fewer productions this year.

Some reviews. Telegraph. Guardian. Music OMH. What's On Stage. Time Out (which says it's closing for at least nine months after Aladdin). Evening Standard. Times.

joe strummer and raasay

Joe Strummer's granny came from Raasay, and there's a wood planted to his memory in Skye.

From punk London to the purple heather: 'I've been a terrible Scotsman,' said Joe Strummer, lead singer of The Clash. He planned a trip to Raasay, the wild, Inner Hebridean island of his forebears, but died before he got there. His biographer, Chris Salewicz, and fellow band member, Paul Simonon, went in his stead . . .
- Daily Telegraph, 10 October 2006

Forest tribute to rebel’s last cause: The Isle of Skye has become the unlikely setting for a memorial to Joe Strummer. Kenny Farquharson joins the pilgrimage in honour of the Clash frontman
- Sunday Times, 21 December 2003

Friday, 26 February 2010

kettering town chairman's apology

Via the Fiver, this is a news item on the Kettering Town FC website.

Extracts from letters received from Football Conference:


I am obliged to inform you, you have been fined a sum of £5,000.00 for bringing the Competition into disrepute for remarks attributed to you:

1. "The governance of the Conference is very poor. We've seen and heard about it externally for years, but this was my first internal involvement and I've never seen such an unprofessional, incompetent operation with people that just do not have a clue how to run an organisation".

2. "I can't believe people like Bill King are in the positions they are".

3. "People throughout the Conference - chairmen, chief executives, managers - are fed up of this regime. They are desperate for change, but are scared to stick their head above the parapet for fear of implications against their club. You can see why we have no TV deal. It's nothing to do with the climate, it's to do with the people running the league".

4. "The problem is that most don't understand modern football or business. There is no transparency when it comes to the division of sponsorship money and 'gifts'. Who decides that the North and South clubs get so much less than the Premier? We don't know".

You are also ordered to issue a statement of apology for the comments in the form of a Press Statement; for publication in your Club’s Match Day Programme and on the Club’s Official website. A copy of this statement must be sent to the Football Conference Office within 14 days of the date of this notification. Failing this the Football Conference reserves the right to prepare a statement for your Club to issue in the above format.

Yours sincerely,

Dennis Strudwick
General Manager

Apology as requested by Conference:

25 February 2010

Dear Mr Strudwick,

I have not been Chairman of Kettering Town FC for quite some time now, but perhaps the Conference fax machine was switched off when the announcement was made? Fortunately we weren’t registering players that day. Please find to follow my obedience to your request:

1. The Conference is a well run organisation. I am particularly impressed by the choice to manually configure the fixture list for the season rather than trust a computer to do it. I am considering buying my Finance Director an abacus and instructing him to use it instead of Excel, Access and Sage.

2. It is acceptable to announce a wage cap the week before the season starts and after clubs have signed contracts with their playing squads for that season and to not understand why that might be a problem. The Conservative party should consider bringing back Margaret Thatcher.

3. People should not be scared to stick their head above the parapet. Fines appear to be limited to £5,000. The Conference should contact the Premier League and offer their services to negotiate the next Sky deal on their behalf. I would be happy to give you a reference.

4. I was unaware that modern football and business dictates that people should be asked when they can attend a meeting in order to ensure a meeting is held on the specific day they are unavailable – I thank the Conference for teaching me this. We do know that Conference North and South clubs do not decide that they get so much less than the Premier clubs.

I trust you no longer need to order the club to issue an apology written by you on my behalf and am particularly impressed by the process, rules and regulations you followed in order to fine me.


Imraan Ladak

- I've posted all the text here, because the next-numbered news story says 'At the request of the Football Conference, we have removed the apology letter from Imraan Ladak which was initially requested by the Football Conference to be put up on our official website.' And the Conference may notice that they haven't actually removed it.

photos of all current world conflicts

Planet War: From the bloody civil wars in Africa to the rag-tag insurgiences in Southeast Asia, 33 conflicts are raging around the world today, and it’s often innocent civilians who suffer the most.
- Foreign Policy photo essay, 22 February. As some of the comments indicate, not sure of their definitions, since there are some mentioned in the comments taht certainly sound like conflicts, while in the essay is included the sparse terrorism in Northern Ireland.

word forum general ignorance confession line

An interesting thread on the Word magazine forum of people revealing things they had mistakenly thought for a long time. Highlights include the one who thought Basil Brush was a brush, the one who thought injury time at the end of a football match was when you could injure opponents without punishment, the one who thought that when a sign said 'Hazchem Danger' then 'Hazchem' was 'Danger' in a foreign language, possibly German or Arabic, rather than short for hazardous chemicals (and the follow up post from someone who said they'd also thought that 'until just now, when I read your post'), the one who thought 'portakabin' was pronounced 'portaka-bin', and finally: 'In 1977 my mate and I went on a French grape-picking holiday. We didn't know the exact destination, until he got the tickets delivered and said we were going to a place called "Mon Augusti": only later, after consulting maps without success and asking him to bring the tickets to my house, did we discover it was the date we were going; Monday, August 1st'.

Wednesday, 24 February 2010

william alister macdonald

Looking at the Guildhall Art Gallery guidebook (for which I splashed out 75p) I read that William Alister Macdonald, who painted a lot of London watercolours dating from 1895 to 1916, was a son of a Free Church manse in Sutherland. He spent a lot of time later in Tahiti. There's not much info online (the catalogue item's the most info), but what there is indicates that as well as his London wife, he went to Tahiti with another woman and then had another 'wife' in Tahiti.

Some links. Info on p20 and 21 of this catalogue. A Family Roots message board thread. A blog entry. Three Google searches - here, here and here.

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

stickler - last extension

I finished the drops on Friday, and have felt none the worse for it, though my eye did get more bloodshot over the weekend than it had been for a while. I was pretty sure last week though that I wouldn't be ready to go back to work this week, but had decided to wait until the drops were finished before I went back to see someone - it made most sense to go back to the hospital rather than the gp, to get the double vision checked out, and I went in yesterday. The brightness hadn't been so troubling as before, but the returning vision was definitely bringing the issue of the double vision to the fore. Interestingly, however, although I'm pretty ure the double vision wasn't actually getting better last week, it was getting much easier to cope with, to the point where today, for example, I could look at the telly with both eyes, though not for long, without being particularly aware of the double vision. My theory is that the brain is compensating and choosing to suppress the information coming from the right eye and concentrate on that coming from the left eye. Tis in turn, ironically, made it difficult for me yesterday when the optometrist was testing the extent and nature of my double vision, and his attempts to correct it, as I then had to concentrate, or shut my left eye and open it again, to 'see' the double vision.

I went into the eye casualty first thing yesterday; I think I was first to register and second to be seen. When the nurse asked me why I'd waited so long to come in about the double vision - I said I'd had it for two or three weeks - I said I'd thought it was a normal side effect and that it would go as the gas disappeared, but that wasn't happening. I didn't mention this, but on Thursday I had decided to check out the post-operation information online again, and it did seem to me to be saying that double vision was a possible side effect of the surgery rather than something that came with the drops and gas, which had made me more concerned about it and more sure about going in to the hospital. The nurse sent me up to see someone to check my double vision out, which happened in the children's eye clinic (because of space issues for clinics, apparently). After testing my eye, and then testing different correctives, he put what he called a prism on my glasses lens, which corrected the double vision a little but not completely, though I think that was at least partly because I wasn't giving very clear answers to the testing. He then took me back down to the eye casualty so I could see the doctor there, and he spoke to him before I went in. He also made an appointment for me to come back and see him forhim to check the double vision again; the appointment ended up being for monday 15th March, which is the day before my appointment for the post-surgery check-up. He and the casualty doctor both indicated that double vision was a common side effect of the surgery (the doctor went along to check this out with one of the more senior doctors, I guess, and confirmed that that was indeed so). The doctor, and the nurse who popped back in, both noticed that I had a squint, which the double vision chap hadn't commented on, and I told them I hadn't had it before. The doctor, essentially, seemed very laid back about it. Indeed, I don't think the question of a sick certificate would have come up if I hadn't said I was concerned about going back to work and could I have an extension; he was happy to do that, but I had to remind him at the end of our time that I wanted one. He gave me a note for one to two weeks. But it was clear that I was more worried about going back to work with double vision than he was, and he was saying that I shouldn't worry about working with my left eye only, that that wouldn't damage anything. So on the one hand I'm still quite apprehensive about going back to work, but on the other I'm seeing that it's time to give it a go, perhaps with half my head draped in a black scarf as necessary. The doctor looked over my eye, and in other respects he was perfectly happy with how things were going; essentially he was saying, talk about the double vision when you come in for your March appointment. I forgot to mention that my eye was more bloodshot than it had been for a while, but the bloodshotness never came up.

I spoke to Carol in the afternoon and said I'd been signed off for one to two weeks, and was thinking about trying to come back in next week, but that I was concerned about two things in particular in relation to work - that I wanted to try to ease back in gradually but was worried I wouldn't be able to do that, and that I knew the next issue of the magazine was coming upon us now, that it was going to be a special one and was wanted earlier than scheduled but I was concerned I wouldn't be in a position to do that. She reassured me on both counts, and said it had come up in the exec that day and that she had said that she didn't think I'd be in a position to be full-on on the next magazine. Early this afternoon Carol rang and asked if she could give my number to Steve so he could ring me about the next issue today, and when Steve rang he said that - I'm sure after talking to Carol - they were thinking the best thing, if I was happy with it, would be for me to forget about this next issue of the magazine and just look to the one after it, and that they would do something different for the anniversary magazine, taking it as an opportunity in a way to do something different, perhaps less magaziney. I'll be happy with that, and it does take the pressure off. I think Steve would be happy in any case to move away from a heavy magazine, so this might turn out to be the start of a new emphasis or direction in promotional material.

The folk all noted that I had just finished the drops on Friday which was why my pupil was still quite dilated. It still is. I guess it's been dilated so long it will take some time to get back to normal. The brightness is definitely less of an issue than it used to be, though not sure if it's less of an issue since Friday. But I'm certainly now using both eyes when sitting or walking around without thinking about it or noticing I'm doing it. The doctor said I'm down to about twenty per cent of the gas in my eye, although to me it seems like a bigger bubble than that, and that it could be another month before it all goes. But the vision is definitely much better than when I wrote about it last, though still rather like looking through a wet, yellow-tinted window - like a sheen of water on it, rather than raindrops. Still slightly soft focus, and now with added little bits of debris hopping about, which make me feel like there are insects in my peripheral vision sometimes.

Monday, 22 February 2010

st lawrence jewry

I visited St Lawrence Jewry on Friday. We weren't there for very long, and I'm still visually impaired, so it wasn't the most effective visit ever, but it was good to get into another City of London church.

The church site. The Wikipedia page. The Google images page. Flickr images.

And it features in a BBC news story from 12 January:
St Lawrence Jewry church blesses laptops and mobiles: Laptops and Blackberry mobile phones have been blessed in a church ceremony in the City of London. Canon David Parrott blessed the gadgets at the St Lawrence Jewry church in an updated version of a traditional "Plough Monday" back-to-work ceremony. A number of parishioners held their mobile phones up as Rev Parrott recited a prayer. He said: "It's the technology that is our daily working tool and it's a technology we should bless." The 17th Century building is the official church of the City of London Corporation.

bosworth field location

New Battle of Bosworth Field site revealed: The true site of one of the most decisive battles in English history has been revealed. Bosworth, fought in 1485, which saw the death of Richard III, was believed to have taken place on Ambion Hill, near Sutton Cheney in Leicestershire. But a study of original documents and archaeological survey of the area has now pinpointed a site in fields more than a mile to the south west. A new trail will lead from the current visitor centre to the new location.
- BBC, 19 February

Associated links. Bosworth battlefield. Times version of the story. Another BBC story. Battlefields Trust (info on UK battlefields, including London sites which I'd like to visit, like Barnet and the Brentford and Turnham Green trails).

Saturday, 20 February 2010

guildhall art gallery; amphitheatre

Yesterday I went to the Guildhall Art Gallery, primarily to visit the remains underneath it of the Roman amphitheatre. Taken together they're definitely one of London's hidden treasures; it's a lovely little gallery, free on Fridays, and there was more of the amphitheatre left there than I remembered. The amphitheatre was only discovered fairly recently, and it's very interesting that the Guildhall Yard open space, which it almost exactly sits under (there's a line in the pattern in the yard showing you the outline of the amphitheatre); the page linked to above indicated it was eventually filled with buildings, so I don't know when it became an empty space again.

The Art Gallery has the originals of at least three paintings I've had on my wall in the past in postcard form: My First Sermon, My Second Sermon, and Rossetti's La Ghirlandata (by no means the only idealised pre-Raphaelite woman on my student wall).

On the way I noticed that the outer door to St Lawrence Jewry, the church between Gresham Street and Guildhall Yard, was open, so we popped in there for my first visit.

what scientologists believe

An online cartoon book description of what Scientologists believe (it's a link to within StumbleUpon, not sure how that works, perhaps it's a scientologyattack-busting way of getting it to stay online).

Wednesday, 10 February 2010

more home made jokes from adam and joe

What do you call a group of rapping babies? The No Solids Crew.
How do you find Will Smith in the snow? Look for fresh prints.
Arnold Schwarzennegger was upset that he didn't get any Easter eggs. His girlfriend asked him if this meant that he didn't like Easter now. No, said Arnie, "I still love Easter, baby.'

Tuesday, 9 February 2010

ft story on strata tower

Humanity and humility
Who would have thought that a penthouse flat valued at £2.5m would be for sale in the Elephant and Castle? The Elephant! Penthouse! That’s almost a dictionary definition of “oxymoron”.
This area of south London is, many argue, one of those urban catastrophes that emerged from the planning decisions of the 1960s. What was designed to be a utopia of housing and inner-city roadways long ago became an uncomfortable, unworkable mix of vast concrete estates, murky underpasses and roaring roundabouts.
Less than two miles from Westminster, it became a place to be hurried through, head down. But now, soaring out of the greyness, is Strata SE1, a 43-storey tower, immaculately picked out in black and white, the tallest residential building in London. “It is 147 ft high,” says Carl Davenport of estate agency Chesterton Humberts, “but it looks as if it is 240. You can see it from all over London. It is a symbol for a brighter future in the area.”
It is also symbolic because it is the most striking of many projects that have been outlined in an ambitious programme to transform the area. Strata SE1, which is due to open in April, has 408 flats: properties listed at include a studio for £285,000, a one-bedroom unit for £369,000, a two-bedroom, two-bathroom flat for £495,000 and a £2.5m penthouse. The first 10 floors are given over to affordable housing and the top eight boast penthouses with views across London from the Wembley Stadium arch to Canary Wharf.
Better known among locals as “the razor” because its top is reminiscent of an electric shaver, the building was designed by the architecture firm Hamiltons in a combination of beauty and brawn that is both functional – its summit will feature three wind turbines that provide power to the entire building and, if necessary, can be linked to the local grid – and revolutionary. When the blades, nine metres across, are lifted into place later this month they will help create the first “wind farm” of its kind to be integrated into a building.
If “the razor” represents the cutting edge for the future, two nearby 1960s estates are reminders of a past that 21st-century planners cannot wait to demolish. Both the Heygate Estate, which housed 700 people in what looks like a medieval blockhouse, and the Aylesbury Estate, with its 2,700 homes stretching south for more than a mile parallel to the Walworth Road, became sink estates plagued by crime, drugs and prostitution. All but about 50 tenants have been moved out of the Heygate and the first demolition crews are due to move in during the next few months.
- Financial Times, 6 February

hamlet - simon russell beale

I've been listening to another Arkangel Shakespeare from the library, as when I went in last time they had the Hamlet, which has Simon Russell Beale. The CDs are dated 2003, so this may post-date his performance of it at the National Theatre, which I think was around 2000. I don't know how, if at all, the two productions relate, either in casting or approach. Several other well known actors - Imogen Stubbs and Jane Lapotaire as the women, Damian Lewis quite recognisable as Laertes.

The most notable thing about the recording is that since there's no restriction on the length, not being an adaptation of a stage version or produced for broadcast, it's pretty much uncut, so contains lines I've heard rarely or never. The fact that there's nothing outstanding about any of the interpretations I think is an indication of how much of the communication of interpretation is non-verbal. Once again I was struck by the contrast between the portrayal of Polonius as a windy buffoon and not much of a dad and the reputation he has as the most valued adviser and the impact his death has - daughter driven mad, son being proclaimed as next rightful king by the masses. It struck me that Claudius's bad handling of Polonius's death - trying to brush it under the carpet and causing it to become a major source of discontent - may be the first major decision he's had to make without Polonius, and he gets it wrong. When he calls for his most trusted advisers to be gathered after Polonius's death, you can't help but think of Polonius himself being absent. Of course, you also have to consider the very real possibility that Shakespeare isn't quite the genius of plot and character, as opposed to language, and so we just have to go along with the contradiction of Polonius's character and impact as depicted. Hamlet gets away with attributing his murder of Polonius to his madness when it was nothing of the sort; once again his murder of his old school friends R and G is clearly unnecessary. I wondered why Claudius didn't let Laertes kill Hamlet during the graveyard scene, when the opportunity presents itself and Laertes would clearly be up for it, and do without the bother of the plotting in the duel scene. Difference in status between Horatio and Hamlet emphasised in graveyard scene when Hamlet imagining a skull of a courtier saying this my lord and that my lord, sarcastially, and Horatio is saying little more in the scene than yes my lord.

Times interview-based article on Simon Russell Beale. Arkangel Shakespeare on Amazon and BBC Audiobooks America.

Saturday, 6 February 2010

stickler - extension

Back to typing with my eyes closed. I went back into work on Tuesday after my sick certificate ran out, but Carol the personnel director encouragedme to go back to the doctor to get an extension. I went to the GP on Wednesday morning, asat the hospital they had said that's where I should go to get an extension to my sick leave if I needed it. I was in with the GP only a couple of minutes, and came out signed off for another three weeks. It was in fact quite reassuring that the doctor had no hesitation in signing me off again, and more or less asked how long I wanted. Three weeks seemed the obvious length since that would take me beyond the end of teh drops. The two issues are that the gas is still disappearing from the eye, and that one of the drops is dilating the pupil so although everything's blured it's very bright. I guess I had thought that it was expected that I could go back with that situation in place, so tried to go with that, but I don't think that was expected at all, and I found myself very relieved that I wasn't having to go on with it. People in my stage of recovery aren't always on the dilating drop, as that was an extra to relieve pressure in the eye, and also they did make it very clear that the gas going from the eye did vary a lot depending on the person and the gas used.

The brightness had been increasingly an issue in the week or so leading up to my planned return to work, I guessed because the sight was returning to the eye. By the weekend in particular the real discomfort in my eye was not to do with the eye itself but from keeping my eye closed. I was trying to work out options. What I'd been doing at home, quite successfully, was draping my black scarf over the right half of my face, but that wouldn't really work out while being out and about, or around the office, although I thought I could probably sit at my desk like that. (Brief pause while I bite my nails down to make it easier to type.)

On Sunday afternoon Margaret came round with a box of eye patches and a piece of undeveloped x-ray sheet, and some surgical tape. We didn't use the eye patches, as they were the stick on your face type, and what I was reallly wanting was just something that would mean I could keep my eye open like my left eye but have it dark. I dug out my clip-on shades, but they didn't fit my current glasses, and they weren't really dar enough anyway, and I didn't really want my left eye shaded as well. On Sunday evening I rigged up a patch over my right glasses lens using the x-ray sheet, cut up, and surgical tape. That worked quite well, and I had it on Monday to Wednesday. On Thursday I took it off for a couple of reasons. One was I worried that it might be making more things go into my eye, whether grit or lashes, being deflected in or getting caught on the patch and irritating or faling into the eye; I was also, although I was taping it heavily, having difficulty getting it to stay close to the lens and not bow out to be touching the area around the eye; it didn't reach the eyelashes but I was worried it would. I was also worried that it might be different enough in some way from the darkness of the scarf that my eye would be trying to focus on it, straining against what my left eye was doing but I don't know how likely that would be. I was also worried it might be stopping fresh air getting to the eye, though I don't know what difference taht would really make. Also, the real reason I needed to patch it was if I was going out and about more, but if I was staying at home, then I can control much more my own exposure to brightness. Being signed off again took the pressure off going out into the brightness.

I wasn't at the office for very long on Tuesday, from before ten until about one; I had planned to stay longer, but was finding it hard going even then, and in the evening I was quite tired and had enough discomfort that made me worry I'd over done it going out even then. i wasn't even using the laptop that much at the office, which was interesting; it was just using my eyes a lot more, and moving bout a lot more, and also I think talking more. (I found the last point to be true on Thursday night and Friday morning in particular, when on Thursday Daphne came round briefly in the afternoon and then we had house group at ours in the evening. I found the area around my eye, particularly my cheek, quite sore, and I'm sure it was just because of the physical activity of talking stretching the skin and muscles in ways they haven't benn used to for a while.) I also found that, while some of the folk I met at work talked to me mainly about my health, a couple of people just came straight in with issues of detail about the current issue of the magaine about which I know nothing,a bout which I know nothing and told them so, and they bot essentially said they would leave the issue with me to make sure it was sorted out. This served to emphasise how difficult it would be in practie to try to go in to work and ease yourself back in gradually, with short days and working on background or peripheral issues; and of course it's always hard to limit yourself on the laptop with the best will in the world.

Another reason I felt able to take the patch off the glasses was that I was finding that it wasn't too bright for my eye when I didn't have my glasses on, so thought it was getting a bit better. I did find that to be true when I took it off and had my glasses on in the house, though that was at least partly because I could control more the brightness of my circumstances around the house. But what I also found when I took the patch off was that I was starting to get vision back in my right eye. The tide mark, which appears as a darker line shading to lighter, is now about a third to a half of the way down. Below the line is still light and shade, but clearer; still blurred, but more distinct than it was. Above the line though it was much improved, with vision as you might see through a wet, slightly yellow window. For some reason the times I notice this is in the toilet, perhaps because I'm just sitting therenot looking at anything in particular ahead of me. What I notice then also is that when I look down by moving my head the tide mark of course moves higher; so when I'm head up but looking down by moving my eyes, I see the black and white check lino, still blurry but more distinct than it had been, whereas if I look down with my whole head it's like looking down into the bottom of a pond, more distinct than looking that other way, more watery than blurry really.

Another change which I noticed last night, which is a bit disconcerting now and took me a bit by surprise as I'm not sure why it's happened, whether the gas level has dropped imperceptibly but triggering something in the vision or whether the brain is just making adjustments, was that I suddenly started being aware of the vision out of both eyes when I had them open in such a way that I had double vision, because obviously the vision of what I'm seeing well out of the right eye is not lined up with the vision in the left eye. I say obviously, as I presume the visions won't be lined up until the gas has completely gone; if they are meant to be lined up by now then I'm going to be in trouble. So in fact this means that most of the time I'm back on having my right eye closed, but it's going alright I think. My eye has been a bit more watery because of this I think. Also on Wednesday/Thursday my eye was a bit more gunky than it had been for a while (when Bethan's been swabbing my eye in the mornings there's been nothing really there), and the white of the eye a bit redder with a bit of irritation; the gunkiness has cleared up, and the redness is down again, so I'm not sure if it was just a little infection/irritation which passed, or was from overdoing it (and it was partly that which made me think about taking the patch off).

So it feels like I'm entering into a new phase, and we'll see how that goes. I continue to confound those who imagine I must be getting very bored. People understimate my capacity for sitting around doing nothing. Though it has to be said that I've caught up signficantly on my podcasts, so this three-week extension might take a different turn. This time last week I had been looking at more emails and noting things in my blog, and watching a bit more telly, but in the last few days I've been quite disinclined to look at the laptop or much telly. So I'm not sure if I was overdoing it, or just if there's just a reshuffling and readjustment going on before reaching another plateau of experience and practice.

That's it for now.