Molly and Ozzy are off to stay with some other Labradors this weekend. And so this morning I packed up their stuff and dropped them off at their temporary home. But before I did so, we had a brief discussion about the importance of behaving well and went through our usual ‘see you again soon’ ritual. Continue reading
Like pretty much everyone who’s been watching His Dark Materials on Sunday evenings over the last few weeks, I feel that my life would be enhanced significantly through the presence of an armoured bear. But the more I think about it, the more I have to admit that life with an armoured bear might not be as easy as one would like. Continue reading
I woke up this morning in a country that, while technically the same one in which I went to bed last night, already feels very different. Elections tend to bring change. And I’d long suspected that a majority Conservative government was a distinct possibility. But now that we have one it has hit me hard. And like many others, I’m struggling to know what to do about it. And how to feel towards those who brought us here. Continue reading
We’ve lived in our house for over a decade now. It’s nothing special as far as houses go. A three-bedroom, semi-detached, ex-Council house on the edge of a medium-sized market town in Somerset. But it’s a nice, well-built house, with friendly neighbours and a reasonably large garden for where it is. And it’s on a nice street in a nice part of town. But it’s not just our house. It’s our home. Continue reading
I’ve always been a big fan of Thanksgiving, which is celebrated today by our friends and neighbours ‘across the pond’. And while I’ve failed again this year to get my act together sufficiently to prepare a proper ‘Thanksgiving’ meal – or even just some pumpkin pie – I feel a deep kinship with the festival itself. With this celebration of the bonds between us. Of our deep ties to each other and to the planet that we call home. Continue reading
It’s becoming increasingly clear that our existing economic order is no longer working. It promotes the needs of capital above those of people. It relies on an outdated notion of unlimited and unfettered growth. And it fails singularly to address the deep-seated social and environmental challenges that we face as a society. Thankfully, there are creative and enthusiastic people working tirelessly to create a more democratic and sustainable economy. And a new project from the New Economics Foundation helps us to find them. Continue reading
Chemistry World magazine has just published my analysis of the impact that the delay to the UK’s departure from the European Union is having on UK science and what the Prime Minister’s proposed Brexit deal could mean for researchers. Read it here.
Twenty years ago today, I made some vows, signed some paperwork and became married to Natalie, my amazing wife. Scientist, sailor, partner, puppy parent and partner-in-crime extraordinaire. And an all round very nice person, to boot.
Obviously it’s a pity I only realised we’d reached this momentous milestone when I found the card she’d left for me before she headed off for work this morning.
And it’s taken me an embarrassingly long time to find a photo of her that doesn’t have one or both of the dogs in centre frame.
But if marriages are a work in progress, at least I have plenty to keep me occupied for the next 20 years.
Here’s to the journey… with the best travelling companion I could ever hope to have.
I read an article a while back in which the author described how she’d explained the UK’s ‘999’ emergency phone number to someone she was interviewing in (if I remember correctly) central Africa. The interviewee couldn’t believe that we have a number we can call and help gets dispatched to us, for free, straight away. It’s something we take for granted. But I think it’s time we gave a little back. Continue reading
At this time of year, when the days are short and the weather is almost uniformly grey, like many people I can succumb all too easily to a touch of the black dog. Not full-on depression, because I’ve been there and I know what that’s like. More a slight listlessness. A difficulty in finding my usual motivation. A certain lack of, for want of a better word, va-va-voom. Continue reading