Friday, October 21, 2005


yay, holidays tomorrow, and not milton keynes this time. amy has decided that it's teacher's perogative to go on holiday at every available opportunity. i'm not complaining.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005


last week i spent some quality time being waterproof. it's been a long while since that was possible. i might do the same later.

Monday, October 17, 2005

fragmented thoughts

fragmented thoughts
Originally uploaded by monkeyinfez.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

hi, i'm in sales

What is it with sales? Last week I went to my slightly belated (as I started at the wrong time) “introduction to the phd” talk. For 10 minutes I got told about phds, then for the next 30 minutes a chap from the RSC (Royal Society of Chemistry) gave what amounted to a sales pitch.

Huh? The RSC is now my professional body, so I was ready to be informed and learn about what they do and why they’re good (and, indeed, if they’re good). Instead I got some bland business-patter about how many members they have and how many journals they publish, followed by something along the lines of “and if you join up today you get these FREE RSC safety goggles that are ONLY available at RSC presentations and they are GREAT…but you MUST sign up TODAY, RIGHT NOW…” “and a FREE monthly magazine…” What is this bullshit? Shouldn’t a professional body be advertising itself by reputation and the fact that they’re your union? What is this freebies crap? As if I’m going to be sat there thinking ‘hmm, well, they don’t seem to do much, but if I get a free gift out of it then I’m signing up right here right now yes please’. In fact the only result is to make me really not want to join, why should I wish to pay them money to indulge in this shit salesmanship, something akin to the kind of thing you see on late-night infomercials. Utter, utter shit.

And then on Monday my “introduction to the library” (pt 1 of 2!) became “a man from Scifinder talks like he’s trying to sell you something”, and this was even more pointless as he didn’t actually have anything to sell us – the university has a subscription to the service which students use. Just when you think that you’ve shut out most of the business bullshit by returning to academia you find that, no, actually there are a lot of people full of bullshit whatever industry you’re in. Yeah, OK, I knew that before, you just didn't have your face rubbed in it so much as an undergrad.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

listen to my brother:

"All ears come and wallow in my sound. My radio show The Washing Machine starts this saturday 2-3pm on"

he shall no doubt be playing actual alternative - as opposed to radio 1 alternative - despite the saturday afternoon slot. yes please!

Wednesday, October 05, 2005


Conker on the floor this morning, first of the year. I’m smiling, remembering 16 years ago, remembering a big field full of giant horse-chestnut trees. Remembering throwing big sticks up through the branches to bring down the choicest fruits. Remembering the feel of cold wind and thick clothes and rosy cheeks from exertion. Remembering being there with my brother and my mum and my dad.

And now I’m smiling, remembering 10 minutes ago, remembering that single tree by the gates, that lone conker on the pavement. Remembering the smoothness of it in my hand, the deep colour under my fingers. Remembering the morning mist chill in my lungs and the leaves that were beginning to turn orange around the edges. Seeing several more around the base of the tree and stooping to pick them up.

Now I’m smiling.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

witnessed: classy student lunch

2x glass of chardonnay
2x pre-packaged sandwich (filling unwitnessed)
1x packet of cheese and onion crisps

Monday, October 03, 2005

oh october

Get up extra early so amy can get to the station, discover the boiler isn’t working. Get to the tram stop and find that there isn’t one until too late, far too late. Drive to town instead. Get to work ridiculously early. Fire drill at 8am turns into a real fire alarm (something in the boiler room apparently!), stand outside for half an hour. Later, probably, get clamped for parking on campus. Oh October.

Get up early, enjoy the morning twilight on the rec while walking the hound. Drive to town and hear the new Kate Bush song on the radio for the first time. Get to campus really early and watch a flock of geese zombie-waddling (half asleep?) over the field near the lake. Park the car and notice how blissfully quiet everything is right now. Suck in the fresh air and marvel at the bleakness of the grey October sky. Stand outside during the fire alarm grinning at the suckiness of events, amused by fortune and this strange dichotomy. Oh October!

And next: my first lecture course since 2002, I’m quite looking forward to it.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

being drunk in october

and i had some pints with al and i saw seachange and si and lucy and i stood in the rain and my feet got wet through my shoes and it took me a while to find my ticket on the tram and i listened to radiohead on the way home and mixamatosis loud made me smile and the stars were beautiful and the clouds moved fast and i walked the dog and i had a cup of tea and listened to the microphones