Thursday, 27 September 2012

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

On another planet

Overheard at the bus-stop, one academic to another:

"So I told the bus driver that I was just going to nip off the bus to buy a paper, I'd only be 30 seconds and would he mind waiting and watching my briefcase. And when I got back the bus was gone and I had to wait 40 minutes for another! So I was ever so naughty when I got into work and rang the bus garage to say that my heart pills were in my briefcase and I needed them to get it back to me immediately."

"That was rather naughty."

"But my heart pills were in my briefcase."


I've just been commissioned for my first piece of paid work this year. I've decided to leave a final decision about applying for a job and moving till after Christmas. The message of the latest career advice book I've just finished could be summed up as "Suck it and see" so I am sucking freelancerdom again for a bit. I pretty much *know* I can't make enough money to live from it but the fear of applying for jobs remains strong.

Sunday, 9 September 2012


If posts are rather thin on the ground at the moment it's partly because the Blogger toolbar at the top of the screen has disappeared so signing in and posting is no longer an impulse thing but more of a pain in the arse.

Anyhow, I was at a dinner party last night at which one of the other guests was a monstre sacré of the local art establishment. He brought a camera with him and photographed all aspects of the proceedings for his archive, which  he estimates, is worth in the region of several million pounds. I don't think he was terribly interested in me - depression has dialled my introversion and shyness up to 11 so where before I was mildly boring company, now I am extraordinarily so. Nonetheless I am now part of his archive.

Which got me thinking. I'm extremely bad at getting rid of stuff and putting stuff away. Just from here I can see a heap of years old credit card slips, some very out of date Viking catalogues, compliments slips from many a failed venture and many, many pieces of cabling that might come in useful at some point. Previously I thought this was clutter. Now I'm calling it an archive, which I shall probably leave to the state on my demise.

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

What exactly have I been doing for the past 18 months?

I'm not entirely sure why although perhaps because it's a reason to put off job hunting, I've started an online course at on cryptography. We had about 4 lectures on cryptography during the Masters and I enjoyed them so I thought this would be nice revision. I'm not even 2 lectures in with the Coursera material, which is taught by someone from Stanford University and which is supposedly at undergraduate level and it's clear that we barely scratched the surface last year. So what exactly was the Masters for? I'm under no illusions that the university I attended was the equal of Stanford (it was an ex-polytechnic) but postgraduate material should be more advanced than undergraduate shouldn't it?

Anyhow, the Coursera courses are free and on the basis of one week so far (I'm also doing a Gamification course), I'd recommend them.