Monthly Archives: December 2016

What I’ve been reading lately, part 17

[See also previous and subsequent posts in this series.]

Happy Christmas, everyone! (Or, for those of you prefer a different holiday greeting, please read it as the one you prefer.) Thank you all, sincerely, for reading my wildly varying musings — and thank you even more for commenting and discussing. I deeply appreciate you all, including (sometimes especially) those of you who disagree with me!


And now, on to the last WIBRL of the year!

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Live video of Dancing Through the Storm by Crooked End at the Mitcheldean Festival

Back on Saturday 16 July this year, our prog-rock band Crooked End played a forty-minute set to close the Mitcheldean Festival. We played three songs — being proggers, all our songs were long, so we couldn’t fit any more in. The one we really cared about was our own composition, Dancing Through the Storm, and we finally have a (poor-quality) video of that song. Here it is!

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Slightly bigger lunch today


Celebrating Dan’s return from his first term at university.


“As though God were a god”

I’ve just finished re-reading C. S. Lewis’s first Christian book, The Pilgrim’s Regress. Published in 1933, just four years after he “gave in and admitted the God was God … perhaps the most dejected and reluctant convert in England”, the book is an allegorical account of his own journey into Christianity, which was largely a philosophical rather than emotional or personal one.


I very much enjoyed the first three quarters or so; but as the book draws towards its climax, the characters display a regrettable tendency to break into poetry — a form which I have always struggled with.

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The abject and persistent incompetence of PlusNet

PlusNet had been my ISP for years — despite the many problems I’ve had with them (metered usage, not disclosing MAC key, secret packages). On top of all this, the actual service had degraded so much — with an outage pretty much every day — that on 18 July I finally decided to leave, and move to a more expensive but much faster BT deal. Hurrah!


So needless to say, they have continued to bill me.

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Time for lunch!


(Note that this is only half as much as on certain other occasions.)

What I’ve been reading lately, part 16

[See also previous and subsequent posts in this series.]

And Then There Were None — Agatha Christie

Arguably Christie’s most ridiculous plot — it strands its principal cast on an island and features ten murders and a suicide. Yet also, oddly, one of her most successful books, both commercially and artistically. If Wikipedia is to be trusted, it’s not only Christie’s best-selling book, but the fifth-best selling single-volume book of all time (surpassed only by The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, The Little Prince and, er, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. All seven of the Harry Potter books make it into the top 20).


Is it worthy of that level of popularity? Well, no, of course not. Continue reading