Tuesday, February 28, 2006


Expanding the membership

Today, I've told my ERMC group (the wonderful group D) about the discussion forum that I'm starting, in the hopes that they'll be able to use it, and will give me some feedback. So far, three people have tried it to my knowledge: 1 seems to have logged on with no problems, 1 also logged on, and had some questions, and a third had problems creating an account. I've tried to make it more obvious what needs to be done, which should help matters. I really hope that I get some feedback, and, most of all, that people start posting some stories, because I can't do it on my own!

Si's back posting - well done, mate. I don't know what's prompted him to go back to it, but it's pleasing to see. D next...

Shrove Tuesday

Today is when you're supposed to prepare yourself for the penitential period of Lent, before Jesus' passion and death on the cross (and, of course, resurrection on Easter Day). Traditionally, people would fast over Lent, and so using up some of the special foods on the day before Lent started meant that Pancake Day was born. But people would also be shriven - they would be absolved from their sins by their priests - and from this came the other name for the day, "Shrove Tuesday".

Monday, February 27, 2006



A busy day at work today, which was good: just, well, busy. Moo's snotty as anything, and I'm knackered, but apart fom that, all's well. Jo's started shrugging about things, but we can't usually tell why. It's exceeding sweet, however.

Sunday, February 26, 2006


Now Moo's ill

She seems to have the nasty cold that I've just got over. Jo's been much better than yesterday, though she really seems to be teething quite a lot. One of the struggles is trying to get her to sleep enough during the day, but she had a lovely sleep next to me on the sofa this afternoon. Moo went upstairs to clear out her wardrobe a bit, and although Jo hadn't seemed that sleepy, as soon as Moo went upstairs, Jo's thumb went into her mouth, so I cuddled up with her on the sofa, and luckily remembered to have a book to read. One hour and five minutes later...

We've decided to move Moo's office downstairs to what, until now, has been the dining room. We've only used it once over the past 3 years, and that wasn't as a dining room, and if Moo's going to be working at home four days a week, she really needs a decent sized office, and it would be useful if she didn't need to go through Jo's bedroom to get to it. I've moved most of the stuff into the barn, and now that we've turned up the radiator, it's warmer than expected. We need to do some work - at least clean, and possibly paint, the walls, maybe install some new power points, move Moo's computer desk down, think about shifting the radiator across, and things like that. But it's ready for use now if she wants to. I might move my office down at some point, but I'm not convinced, now that we know that Moo's going to need it pretty much full time.

I preached at Little Yeldham this morning, and, as I only agreed to do so at fairly short notice, and as I wasn't sure what to say about the Transfiguration, I preached the same sermon that I'd last used in the Bumpsteads a few weeks ago. Went down again, and after the service, a number of the congregation agreed that they would have welcomed a chance to have a debate about the topic (how we as Anglican's view authority - of the Bible, of authority, and of revelation - and on the subject of women bishops). They're a lively bunch (there are usually a couple of comments - or even heckles - during a sermon), and they all know each other well enough that a debate, even with contrasting views, shouldn't cause problems. I'd certainly think about it next time, though I think it would be sensible to consult Keith, my supervisor, first.

Saturday, February 25, 2006



Went to Freeport retail outlet village-y place this morning, arriving before it started, and spent a good couple of hours there. Moo needed some work clothes - it's been ages since she needed to be in often, and she's been pregnant since, so she needed a number of suits and posh tops. We managed to get some good stuff for very good prices (which was the point of going there in the first place), and she's really happy to have some real clothes that fit, for a change. She's beginning to get excited about the job, and we (I) realised today that her contract actually runs out in under the time that she'd be giving notice for, so not only does she not have to upset people by giving in her notice (she'll just say that she won't renew her contract), but will also be able to start her new job earlier than initially expected.

We lost the rugby to Scotland, which is bad news.

Made a nice chocolate cake when Si and D and Morgan came over. Jo's not allowed any, unluckily, and Morgan didn't want any. All the more for us. We had champagne, which went rather better with chocolate cake than you might think.

Friday, February 24, 2006


Dapper Drake

Updated my laptop to Dapper Drake, the latest ubuntu release, which is currently in test. Everything seems to work apart from emacs. I'll look into in the morning.


Moo's job sorted

So, it turns out the the person who needed to review the proposal that Moo had put forward had just not had the chance to look at it: he'd been in back-to-back meetings since they'd last talked/emailed. So, his lack of communication had not (as Moo had feared) meant that they had decided to change what they'd agreed at interview, nor that they'd decided to approach another candidate, nor that they didn't like her anymore and were having a spat at her. Moo's much, much happier now (though they said that they'd send a contract via email this afternoon, and haven't yet). It's easy to forget that when you're looking to agree terms of a new job, it's absolutely the most important focus in your life, but for the people working on it, it's just another thing they're doing. It's something I need to remember next time I'm involved in recruitment.

Jonathan, a colleague from work, is off on a three month sabbatical (today was his last day), down from six months as his wife's just accepted a new job. It's going to be hard work without him, as we're a small team, but I'm looking forward to showing that I can shoulder the extra burden.

Thursday, February 23, 2006


Back at work...

...and streaming, blowing noses, and popping Sudafed at four hourly intervals. Moo's still not heard about the job T&Cs, and she's really down about it, quite understandably, as until they're sorted, she won't have a contract she can sign. Jo's been off again, too - we're hoping that it's just a nasty cold and some teething. Although she's really hard work when she's ill (you can't wander off at all, particularly out of sight), she's also so lovely and cuddly.

Had a supervision on 1 Thessalonians - I'd done less work than I would have liked on it, and didn't feel very well, but we managed OK. It's a short epistle, with a restricted number of themes - parousia and eschatology are up there, with issues of the dangers of syncretism (combining pagan practice and belief with Christianity) and the importance of work in there, too.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006



Stayed at home ill today feeling sorry for myself, on Moo's orders (not the feeling sorry for myself bit). Streaming cold. Jo also not very well, and very clingy/sleepy. Hopefully we'll all be fine soon. Moo's trying to sort out the details of her job, and it's taking longer than she'd like.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006


First day of being 1

Or - how both my girls are lovely and clever

We woke up at 0630 this morning: a little early, but it meant that I got some time with Jo opening her presents before I left for work. We very carefully cleared the wrapping paper as soon as she took it off (which she enjoyed), which meant that she spent time looking at and playing with her presents, rather than paper. She's still not very well today, but she enjoyed the presents and, apparently, the blueberry muffin with a candle on top which doubled for a cake (she loves blueberry muffins).

On Friday, Moo had two interviews. She heard on Friday that she'd not got one of them, but the other had said that they'd tell her on Monday (yesterday). As they didn't, she assumed that she hadn't got it, but they phoned today to offer it to her! Moo's a star, and she's going to accept the job. More details when she's actually signed the contract.

Monday, February 20, 2006


Last day of being 0

Jo turns 1 tomorrow, and it's quite emotional, in a weird kind of a way. It's a huge milestone, and she won't be quite the same little baby ever again. Not that there's anything really different about tomorrow from a biological or developmental point of view, but it's, well, a milestone, and both Moo and I got a little melancholy about it in a happy, loving way.

Jo's rediscovered talking today - for a couple of weeks, she's not been saying much - the odd word here or there, often to ask what something is - but today she must have decided that she knew enough words and that it was time to start talking back. All day, apparently - certainly I noticed the difference when I got home from work. She was lots of fun in the bath, too: eating my toes (I obviously had to eat hers back), playing "1-2-3-SPLOSH!" with the duck, laughing, splashing. It feels like a hundred years ago that we were getting both excited and worried about taking Moo into Addenbrooke's hospital for the elective caesarean, this time last year. And, at the same time, just a week or so ago.

There have been some hard times - when she had problems feeding when she was very small, the colic (oh, the colic!) some of the sleeping problems she's had - but all-in-all, it's been the happiest, most fantastic time it could possibly have been.

We've just finished off the curry we made a couple of days ago (yum, and even hotter after 48 hours), and are sitting in front of the new Pride and Prejudice, which is out on DVD to rent (which is what we've done). I watched the second half o nthe plane back from Singapore, and I've been waiting for it to come out. Such a great story and, in my humble opinion, there's a some good smouldering between Lizzie Bennet and Mr Darcy.

Sunday, February 19, 2006


Breaking difficult news to friends

We went round to Si and D's tonight for supper, and on arriving at their house and settling down in their sitting room, they told us that they had some bad news. They wanted us to guess what it was. First guess was that one of them had accepted a job somewhere else, and that they were moving. No. They've bought something. Something we'd disapprove of. An X-box? That's less disapproval, more jealousy. A video camera with special night-vision capabilities for videoing those "intimate moments"? No, worse than that. *gulp* Special equipment for those intimate moments? No - what might they have bought that we _really_ wouldn't approve of?

Moo got it. They've bought a c*r*v*n. Really. Oh dear. A new one, at the Caravan, Camping and Boat show at the NEC in Birmingham. So, they went to a show where they could have bought at boat, and they came away having bought a c*r*v*n. Oh, dear. At least they realise what they've done, and it is a new one. But still.

Apart from this, we had a good evening, and they'd not seen Jo since she started walking, so she showed off to them and got licked a lot by their dogs. Jo's started running today, which is quite exciting. Every day there's something new.

Saturday, February 18, 2006


Colchester Zoo

Moo and I took Morgan to Colchester Zoo on a busy, cold and wet Bank Holiday a little over a year ago, and had a good time despite that. Today, we took Jo. It wasn't wet (though it was cold), and we arrived early enough - before 1100 - that it wasn't too busy, either. We had a great time, and so did Jo. Despite the fact that she's only been walking for two and a half weeks, she walked just about everywhere until she got really tired. Up and down hills (some quite steep), outside, inside, she's such a mobile little thing, and nothing seems to faze her, including the odd tumble here and there.

She loved the zoo, too, from the penguins to the tigers, from the sheep to the margays (very beautiful members of the cat family), from the otters (again) to the fish. We invested in Platinum Cards for both me and Moo, which means that we can go for free for the next two years. Children are free under three years old, so that will take us to the time when Jo needs to be paid for. It's about 40-45 minutes from home, so it means that we can just take her whenever we want. The cost of the cards was quite high, but we'll get it back if we go another 3 or so times over the next 2 years, which shouldn't be a problem. We've also got four free tickets so we can take friends/family at some point, and we get money off the food shops, closer parking and no-wait entrance, all of which will be helpful. We can visit some other zoos around the place, too, including Bristol, which is fairly close to my parents' house.

All-in-all, a great day, despite the fact that I woke up feeling just horrible, and having slept very badly. A bit of paracetemol and some positive mental attitude - as well as good weather - meant that I managed not to mope. A surprise to some, but we had such a fun time that it was certainly worth it.

Friday, February 17, 2006


My first day with Jo - on my own

I know she's nearly a year old (Tuesday, folks), but this is the very first day that I've looked after Jo all on my own. Moo had two job interviews, so I got to look after the Jo. The time both flies and drags at different junctures: it's weird. We had lovely time, and I think I did OK. I got all of the things done that I wanted to get done, Jo ate well, she had a couple of naps, and I managed to get her to sleep in the evening before Moo got home. Just. It only took 35 minutes, but I'm quite chuffed with how it went.

Moo's a star, and although she didn't get invited back for a second interview on the first job (we've yet to hear about the second one), she clearly feels that she's back in the zone. I love her so much, and I'm so proud of her.

Thursday, February 16, 2006


Back home, via Scouse-land

Off around 0930, and I drove us all to Speke, in Liverpool, which is where Moo's Nana (and Jo's namesake, Phyllis Josephine Houghton, "Jo") lives. She's in her late eighties, and though she's a bit unsteady on her pegs, is great. Moo took her to the doctor's for a quick appointment, we had a nice lunch and some cake for Jo's upcoming birthday, and had to leave rather earlier than we would have liked in order to get down to Kate and Mac's again. Moo drove this leg, and I had a sleep. A few hours with them, and then I drove us home.

We got home around 2100, and Jo had slept beautifully through the drive. She then woke up. And stayed awake. Just what we needed with Jo having two interviews tomorrow. Aaaaargh.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006


Walk, and dog

Went for a good walk with Jo (on my back), Alice (on a lead for most of the time) and Mum (in walking boots). Lots of mud, lots of sheep, lots of sheep muck/mud mixture. And some llamas. Bit odd that. Took some pictures with the my phone, but Jo really was less interested than I'd have expected. We also went to Hawes in the morning, which Moo and I had never visited before. OK, and some good views on the way there and back, but not as good as Kirkby Lonsdale. We like Kirkby Lonsdale.

Jo went down better today, and we had a selection of lovely sausages (from Hawes), and then while we watched "Child of our Time" (that guy seriously needs to commit to his wife and child) and "Relocation, Relocation, Relocation" (you don't have the _money_ to do what you want, you idiots!) Jo started setting off. I went up a couple of times and got Jo down quickly, but the third time it took longer, and after a while Moo called me up. "There's a weird smell up here," she whispered, "I think there may be a dead mouse."

Back-track a little: we'd brought up a couple of (humane) mouse-traps, and put them in a cupboard in the room in which Jo was sleeping. So Moo thought maybe we'd caught one. But I'd checked the traps in the morning, and they were still set then. So I thought it was unlikely. But Moo took Jo into the room into which we'd moved in the yesterday (look, I know this is complicated, but we'd been sleeping in my parents' room, because it's got a bigger bed, but was coming up, we moved), and I checked the traps. Still set. So, as I was getting up, I put my hand on the bed. Wet, very wet. I had a smell of it. Dog pee. Alice never does this.

So, we had to move things around (including babies), change the bed (all the way down to the electric blanket, which needed to be chucked), and then bed. I, for one, didn't sleep at all well.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006


Mum arrives

Just a little to see Jo - she'd just gone to bed. We'd spent the day doing stuff - went to Kirkby Lonsdale, again, I bought some army surplus combat trousers, a pair of Doc Marten's (nice - and it's ages since I had a pair of Docs), and we got some waterproofs for Jo and her first pair of wellington boots (blue, with cats on). We bought some lamb shanks and cooked them for Mum: lovely.

Then Jo woke up, so Mum got to see Jo after all. For quite a long time. And Jo loves Alice, Mum and Dad's (well, mainly Dad's) English Setter. She's a lovely dog, admittedly - though read on for a bit...

Monday, February 13, 2006


Our 13th engagement anniversary

We had a very nice day today. Went to a farm shop (organic, of course) at Low Sizergh Barn, where Moo heard that she's been invited to interview for a second job on Friday, which means that we definitely made the right decision about planning to go home early. Then we went to the Aquarium of the Lakes, which rocks. A brilliant place: particularly the otters, the terrapins (we called them turtles, because Turtle is Jo's cousin's name (well, nickname, anyhow)) and the walk-through tunnel where you can see lots of big fish ("oooooooooh," says Jo).

For lunch, as a special treat for our anniversary, we went to a pub that we'd found in the 2003 edition of the Good Pub Guide: The Punchbowl in Crosthwaite. We need a newer copy of the Good Pub Guide, because the Punchbowl was bought up by new owners last year. But we got very, very lucky, because they are very, very good. Heartily recommended: they're very friendly, the food was excellent, and well-priced, and the service friendly and quick. And, yet again, they were very friendly and helpful towards Jo, which makes all the difference. We'd certainly consider staying there at some point (leave Jo with my parents in Dent...) - visit their website and look at their rooms...

An interesting little church, including an interesting window with a King's College Cambridge shield in one corner. The guy for whom it was put in had died just before going up to be scholar there - it was weird to see a shield I knew so well in such an unexpected place.

Back to Dent via the rather disappointing "K Retail Village" in Kendall. Watched the Extras DVDs. Nearly cried. No - did cry. Didn't quite pee myself.

Sunday, February 12, 2006


Walking, ducks

Took Jo for a walk - not as long a one as I'd have liked, as she wasn't feeling great. Saw a goat. Jo likes goats. Then we walked down the river, and saw a kingfisher flashing along, stopping, and then flying on again. I love kingfishers: they just seem to colourful and bright for Britain, particularly on a drizzly day in February. We then saw some ducks. Jo really likes ducks. No, really, really likes ducks.

Saturday, February 11, 2006


Up to Dent

Left around 0930, and went up to Dent via Kirkby (pronounced "Kurby") Lonsdale (pronounced "Lonsdale"). We stopped at the Red Dragon, and had a good meal. They were very accommodating of Jo, and they get lots of marks for that. Particularly as Jo spread food everywhere.

Good to be in Dent, and Mum and Dad had arranged for someone to come in and turn up the heating, which meant that it was nice and warm when we arrived.

Friday, February 10, 2006


Off on holiday

(Backposting) Well, I took the whole day in the end, and we headed off to Kate and Mac's. Stopped off at Land's End in Oakham, and Moo picked up a couple of pairs of shoes. Jo walked around a lot, and then we headed off to Kate and Mac's, and had lunch. We'd considered heading on up to Dent, but decided it was too much for Jo, and that Moo, as well, could do with a bit of a relax. We had a lovely time and Jo got some quality grand-parent attention, which is always good.

Thursday, February 09, 2006


Tutorial, discussion forum

A good tutorial on the Johannine community and Luke-Acts today. We were both rather flustered at the beginning of the tutorial - Alan had had serious bus-travel problems, and I'd been trying to sort out what we're doing for the next few days - but we quickly settled into the rhythm, and had a very useful and interesting tutorial.

I've been doing more work on the discussion forum, and I've got a few friends to look at it. I'm not going to have a chance to do anything much to it over the next few days, as we're off on holiday up to Dent in Cumbria, but if general feedback is positive, I'll start doing more with it when we're back. Exactly when that'll be, we don't know, as Moo's got a job interview next week which means we'll be returning earlier than expected.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006


Quiet day

Bit of geekery here and there. Need to read some more on Acts for my tutorial tomorrow. Very tired, though I thought that I'd slept rather better last night. Heigh-ho. Work on my discussion forum's going fine.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006



I've decided that it would be good to create a discussion forum. I don't know of any that provide a safe forum for priests and ordinands, and I'm going to do it from an Anglican point of view. I've started work on it, but it's too early to show yet. Once I've had a few people, and if they think it's OK, I'll expose the URL to the world. I need to ensure that it doesn't take too much of my time up in moderating and administering it, and I've plumped for Scoop, which seems to provide pretty much all I'm looking for, as well as lots more on top of that.

Tosha's asked me to find out what the Bible says about children. The answer is lots of things, and I don't know enough about it or have the references to hand. I'll try to find some stuff out and post it. Jesus, at least, was very positive about children: "Suffer [that is, allow] the little children to come unto me" is a well-known quote. I'll see what I can find out.

Monday, February 06, 2006


Cartoons and laptops

Let's get rid of the small-talk first: my laptop's kind of back. Never managed to get to the root of the problem, and the 100 Gig disk we replaced the old one with self-destructed, but when I replaced it with the old one, reformatted the offending partition (which reiserfs had said had bad blocks at the hardware level), and all seems OK again.

Cartoons. I'm sure that everyone reading this knows about the furore among Muslims about the caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad. I find this very difficult. I'm very much in favour of free speech, and have always liked the comment attributed to Voltaire: "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it". I don't have that kind of courage, but it's a good precept. At least it is in a liberal Western democracy, which we might want to add a "Christian" to, at least in brackets: a liberal (Christian) Western democracy. But many people - possibly millions of people - were very, very offended. I believe very strongly that this kind of offense is something that you have to take on the chin, and I try to, every time someone insults my faith, and the things I hold dear, but that's not the way many Muslims see the world.

In the end, I think that respect is the word, that and "Love". "God is Love" is a basic tenet that I can build on, and in order to love others, we need to try to understand those others. Or it doesn't work. I'd like to have the opportunity to talk to Muslims: I'd like to understand. Part - a large part - of what I believe my vocation to be is to try to engage with the difficult questions. This is one of them. Women bishops and gay clergy - and laity - are other difficult questions. Maybe not to some people, but they are to many Christians within the Church of England, and its sister churches in Christ, and the other faiths through which the Holy Spirit reveals the Word of God to the world.

Sunday, February 05, 2006


And Scotland beat France

Yet another good rugby day, today, and a good day all round. We took Jo out to Clare Country Park, and she did lots of walking, and lots of being distracted by ducks ("Duck! Duck! Duck!"). She slept for a little over an hour in the morning, we had lunch, and then I took her for a 7 mile walk. Not that she was walking, of course. She slept for another hour or so, which means that she got lots and lots of sleep today.

As of today, Jo seems keen to be saying "dat, dat!" and pointing at things. It looks like she's going through a labelling stage, and just wants us to tell her what things are, from cars to trees to toy tigers to trains in books to scarecrows in fields to, well, anything you can think of - or at least anything to which she can point. Her walking's also come on leaps and bounds (well, you know what I mean): she can walk quite a long way, now, particularly if she's holding someone's hand, but she's got such good balance that she can carry things while she walks. Things like blocks, large format books, even a full-sized rugby ball (we're starting early).

She can understand simple commands, like "give that to me, please", when you're pointing, or "give the tiger to Mummy", even if she has to look for the tiger, then go and get it, and then give it to Moo. It's amazing. Words that she's picked up this week, and can understand at least enough to point to, include:

I probably ought to stop recording them, but it's such fun seeing her pick new words and concepts up. She's also started scribbling with a magnetic pen on a little screen designed for the task. She loves it, and we've convinced her to hold the pen at least half right, which means that she's got a good deal of control over what she's scribbling. Moo's ordered some crayons and paper for her on the Interweb superhighway.



England-Wales. Nuff said.

A lovely day today. We decided to try a Jo sleep at 1100, rather than 0900. She slept for an hour and forty-five minutes! She's probably not slept that long during the day since she was under a month old. Even if you add together her naps. So we'll be trying that again.

I now have Civilization III working fine under Cedega, but am having problems with a strategy that accrues me any wealth. Hmm.

Friday, February 03, 2006


The anatomy of navel hair fluff

Moo told me that I had to have this as a title today. She thinks I'm odd, but there's a certain satisfaction that comes from having produced a particularly good piece of fluff. She seems to have no interest in sharing this. I have no idea why.

Jo came for lunch at work, made of mess of me and Moo, and stayed pretty clean herself. Not quite sure how. Moo went to see Tosha and Digi, and apparently had a lovely time. I spent much of the day trying to make my laptop work again. The new hard-drive I got yesterday died quite spectacularly today. I'm clearly jinxed.

Thursday, February 02, 2006



Had one of those interesting discussions over lunch today. Started talking about emergency infant baptism: no idea why. I think it came from a discussion about how you're never off-duty as a priest. Not sure why that came up, either. Anyway, it's really interesting having intelligent atheists - or, at the very least, agnostics - at work, who are happy to discuss difficult questions, and ask sensible questions. So, given that, according to Church of England canon law, anyone can perform an infant baptism in an emergency: that is, when a child might die. This raised three questions, all of which I thought were pretty good ones:
  1. can a non-Christian perform such a baptism?
  2. what can be done to someone who performs a baptism in circumstances other than an emergency?
  3. what does emergency baptism "get you"?
Phoned Dad (who, as a Chancellor of a couple of dioceses, knows about these kinds of things), and asked him what the law says on these things, and for his views. Here are the answers:
  1. can a non-Christian perform such a baptism? Yes, we think so. Why not? There are real occasions when this might happen (though rare): for instance, if the mother was very ill, but wanted this very much, and the midwife, though not Christian, was willing to perform an emergency.
  2. what can be done to someone who performs a baptism in circumstances other than an emergency? Honestly, not much: measures governing the laity have lapsed (quite intentionally, I'm sure). If the person performing the baptism were ordained (priest or deacon), then it would be legal anyway. If they were subject to any level of canon law (e.g. if they were a Reader or a churchwarden), then there might be some steps taken (for instance suspension of a license for a Reader). If they were a layperson, then there's not much that would (or could) happen.
  3. what does emergency baptism "get you"? Membership into the church. There's a rubric in "Common Worship" (the replacement to the Book of Common Prayer in the Church of England) that says that if a child dies without baptism, the parents should be informed that this doesn't impact on their salvation through Christ (I need to look up the exact wording). This is interesting, because it seems to be a change in doctrine from the Book of Common Prayer (where one of the Articles of Faith would suggest the opposite), which wasn't supposed to happen without a special vote before adoption of Common Worship. This apparently didn't happen. Not that I, for one, would complain: this is very much in line with my theology on this issue.

A good discussion on Matthew and John this evening with Alan. I'm constantly surprised by how much I get out of these tutorials despite the fact that in many instances (this inluded), I get less chance to prepare than I'd really like.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006


Back from Germany

Woke up at 5am local (4am UK), and didn't get to sleep. This was very dull. So I finished Cobweb, by Neal Stephenson and Frederick George. I really like Stephenson's work - he's probably my favourite author at the moment, and the other book he wrote with George (though published under a pseudonym), "Interface", is also excellent. This one's about the lead-up to the First Gulf War, and a (fictional, one hopes) plot to do with WMD's on US soil. It gave an interesting view of politics within different agencies within the US administration.

While in Singapore, I read Stamping Butterflies by Jon Courtenay Grimwood. I'm a big fan of Grimwood's, usually, but this one, though gripping, didn't quite hang together for me. Felt a little like he was trying to do a Iain M. Banks, jumping forwards and backwards, and although the resolution did clear things up quite well, the whole just didn't convince. I'm also rereading a couple of Melissa Scott books at the moment, which is a treat.

The meeting went well, and I got home around 1930, having slept on the flight to Heathrow (I'd flown out of Stansted, so had a car back home).

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