It’s a cracker

At our office Christmas lunch today, one of my co-workers asked me what a Christmas cracker was. I was surprised that she didn’t know, but then more surprised at myself for assuming that everyone would know what a Christmas cracker is, especially as my co-worker is Indian and if Christmas crackers were a Victorian invention, there’s no reason to assume they’d ship them to the sub continent. Maybe the Victorians figured they’d hold onto the crackers and just send IPA. Continue reading “It’s a cracker”

Finding out about yourself while climbing

Because I had a call at ten this evening, I felt no guilt sloping off at five to go to the climbing wall for an assessment. The purpose of that was to see how fit I am, and then recommend what I do next. So most of it wasn’t around seeing if I could clamber between different rocks, so much as how in control of my limbs and torso I am, and how much strength I have to muster.

As such, one should be quite neutral about what you discover. If you can execute a perfect squat, that’s great, but it just means there are other things to concentrate on. Likewise, if you’re all wonky and one arm is weaker than the other, it’s good to know that so that you know where to fix things.

Well, that’s the theory.
Continue reading “Finding out about yourself while climbing”

Fencing and chairs

This morning, still recovering from an evening of cheese and wine (and beer and gin and the world’s most interminable game of Settlers of Catan) I went round to our friends’ house to help dismantle the fence around their indoor pond. Explaining why their house had an indoor pond, or why the fence had to be removed, is not worth attempting to explain. Continue reading “Fencing and chairs”


For my birthday, my wife gave me a very nice pair of shorts, which should last me a long time, and a copy of Andy Weir’s second novel, Artemis, which I read over the course of two days and hence hasn’t lasted me very long. So on average, well, averages turn out to be an unhelpful way to construe gratitude.
Continue reading “Artemis”

Another long walk, spoiled

Last night I went to see Justice League at the cinema in the Nu Sentral mall in Kuala Lumpur. I like going to the cinema when I get to KL because on the first night of a work trip, it’s a good antidote to the rigours of travel, and there’s a good burger joint nearby. Unfortunately, I only had 16 ringgit and the burger place only took cash, *and* the nearest ATM is 5 floors down, so there was a lot of rushing around and sweating before I got to see the film, but it was two hours of costumed silliness with a plot that wasn’t as duff as Suicide Squad, and not so grimdark that all you wanted to do was die. Continue reading “Another long walk, spoiled”

You don’t know what you miss until it’s gone: Henderson Waves and plantar fascitis

It wasn’t until I was watching the safety video on the Singapore Airlines flight to Malaysia that it really hit me how much I miss being able to run. I suppose if you’re going to put trigger warnings on in-flight safety videos, it’s unlikely you’ll realise a shot of the bridge at Henderson Waves is going to upset anyone, but there I was, presented with a reminder of somewhere I’ve run up and down countless times, wondering hopelessly if I’ll ever be able to do it again. Continue reading “You don’t know what you miss until it’s gone: Henderson Waves and plantar fascitis”

The long Monday after the hard weekend

Today was my first day without booze since Thursday. I felt dreadful. Bloated, nauseous, foul smells emanating from my body as I walked La Serpiente to school. (Well, I walked, she hooned off on her scooter and waited for me at various points on the footpath, I assume calculated to be the most derisory.) After I had dropped her off and failed to unlock three different obikes, I went to the station and very carefully chosen the train going in the wrong direction, only realising after three stops that the reason the carriage was so spacious and I had a seat to sit on was because every single person was travelling in the other direction, and worse, that was the way I’d be having to go too. So, a good case for buying a coffee machine and installing it at home. Continue reading “The long Monday after the hard weekend”