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{ Category Archives } invective

Was that AM or PM?

I had rather a busy week last week. I had a meeting in Hampshire on the Thursday, followed by another meeting just over the county boundary in Wiltshire on the Friday. Rather than spend two and a half hours coming home on Thursday night, then the same again getting back down to that same neck […]

Minor advantages of having grey hair….

I’ve been back on my travels again recently, visiting more university departments. Last week I had a meeting with one of the professors at Imperial College, London. The meeting was scheduled for 14:30, which meant I could get a very civilised mid-morning train down to London, and still be in plenty of time for my […]

No User Serviceable Parts Inside

I’ve already had the first domestic disaster of the year. On New Year’s Day, my tumble dryer stopped working, with a soggy load of towels inside and another load in the washing machine. It looked to be electrically dead – no lights on the front panel at all. I tried changing the fuse in the […]

The end of the Shower Saga?

I took yet another half day off work, and the plumber finally came back to put silicone sealant around the edge of the shower. Of course, I wasn’t able to use it immediately – the sealant takes about 24 hours to cure fully, so I had to wait before I could test out the new […]

A Row with the National Trust

I was on the phone to the National Trust this afternoon, and the conversation incensed me so much that I hung up on them and fired off an email of complaint: I phoned up this afternoon to attempt to buy a gift membership for my elderly parents. First, you wanted my date of birth. That […]

Rail Chaos

I had a meeting in Oxford on Tuesday, at a joint industry/academia forum that I’m a member of. As a city, it’s actively hostile to cars, and the university has very limited parking to offer visitors, so the most sensible option was to go by rail. The train was spot on time on the way […]


It’s coming up to the end of the Financial Year, which means I’m working flat out undertaking equipment trials and writing up final reports on my various projects. For the past two weeks, I’ve largely been based at a customer site near Cambridge, staying in a Premier Inn at a rather grotty service station, and […]

Appliance conspiracy

I’ve been having real trouble with my kitchen appliances lately. In fact, it strongly feels like they’re conspiring together to cause maximum irritation! My washing machine has decided to leak intermittently all over the kitchen floor. I’ve spent hours watching it, trying to catch it in action, but it always waits until my back is […]

Who killed Tutankamun?

That’s the topic of this week’s “assignment” on the on-line course I’m doing. I really don’t know where to start with my objections to it! The evidence of how he died is very inconclusive for a start, and if medical experts can’t agree as to whether King Tut died from a traumatic head injury, a […]

Superpowers of the Ancient World

I’m doing another online course on the FutureLearn platform, this one on the Ancient Near East (Egyptians, Hittites and so on) in the Late Bronze Age. It’s run by the University of Liverpool, and I chose it because it’s a subject I’m interested in and already know a bit about. I’ve found bits of it […]