me: ooh!

May 2024

Following on from my last post, here is Google's mapping of my travel itinerary last month.


Four countries might not sound like many from a European perspective, but the fact that the trip to "Spain" was to the Canaries (off the coast of Africa) and the other two are not in Europe gives a better feeling for the amount of ground (air?) covered.


Here are the modes of transport Google thinks I used. That is Too Many Miles of Flying, for a lot of reasons, not least of which is the size of my carbon footprint. My favourite misattribution is the ferry. I did not use a ferry, or indeed any other waterbourne vehicle, at any point last month.
me: ooh!

The Friday Five on a Monday

1. Are you happy with your current line of work? What do you like/don't like about it?

Ha. Hahaha. I mean, that is a hell of a question. My line of work is the main subject of my locked entries, which are basically a long paean of the many and varied feelings I have about it. The architecture of academia is hugely problematic. I have never been so taxed, drained, and overwhelmed by any other job. At the same time, I have never been so utterly absorbed and satisfied by my work in my life.

2. Do you see yourself doing the same type of work in 5 years? What about 10?

I’m going to be infuriatingly non-committal here and say that only time will tell.

3. Did you see yourself doing this type of work 5 years ago? What about 10?

Absolutely and unequivocally not. I had no intention of becoming an academic, nor any sense that this was a realistic prospect.

4. Did you have a dream job as a child? What was it?

I can remember wanting to be a lot of things. A veterinarian. A medical doctor. (Both of these ended abruptly when I eventually worked out how squidgy medicine is.) An Olympic dressage competitor. (Our neighbours had horses. I have only ever ridden a horse a handful of times. But I liked the dream.) A writer. A Nobel-prize-winning chemist. An inventor. An astronaut. I’m not sure how pleased six-year-old me would be if they could see me now.

5. If you had to pick a radically different job from what you have now, regardless of whether you'd realistically be able to do it given your skillset, what would you pick and why?

Wealthy philanthropist, photographer, and dilettante artist living in an airy flat with my family and cats in a vibrant city. That would be quite nice.
me: ooh!

1SE for February 2024

I made my 1SE for February and then forgot to post it here, although I did circulate to friends and family. Includes my trip to the USA to see my parents and other relatives, a weekend in Wales and a couple of trips to London and Birmingham, as well the usual cats and children. Watching this, last month looks a lot calmer than it was to live through.
me: ooh!

The Friday Five on a Sunday

1. Have you ever been the president of anything?

Not exactly. I’ve been the chair of committees in an academic context, that’s it.

2. What do you think is the most important leadership trait?

I think it's a pair of traits: Having a clear strategic vision and conveying it to followers, and being prepared for the inevitable disappointment when it takes far longer to execute and doesn't pan out exactly as you'd planned.

3. What time period did you find the most interesting to learn about in history class?

History was never my favourite subject. This may be because I spend very little time dwelling on my personal past, and far more time thinking about how to make the most of the present and the future.

4. What's something you think about doing, but you haven't gotten back into in several years?

Drawing, photography, and playing musical instruments.

5. If you could add one more random holiday to February, what would it be?

I think we should all be allowed to hibernate through February, at least in the northern hemisphere.
me: ooh!

1SE for January 2024

I made this and then forgot to post it. Features a lot of canal walks and cats.
It's taken me more than an hour to catch up with four days of entries from you all, across DW and LJ. I'm definitely not complaining. I love spending time here reading. It certainly feels more rewarding than, say, trawling through FB trying to find actual updates from friends in between relentless adverts and algorithm-generated memes.
me: ooh!

Friday Five on a Sunday

1. What is your current main mode of transportation? e.g. car, bike, subway, walking, etc.

It’s equally split time-wise between car, train, and walking when it comes to commuting. Distance-wise, the furthest section traveled is by train. It would take me far longer to get to work if I went only by car (or indeed by walking).

2. Are you satisfied with your current main mode of transportation (answer to question 1)? Why?

It’s an optimised route. If I could replace the car section with a bicycle, I would, as that’s what I used to do when the children were small. With the children in different schools at opposite ends of town, it’s not possible. Next year they’ll be back at the same school, which means we can all cycle to the train station, which is a short walk from their school.

3. Do you think you'll change your means of transit soon? e.g. buy a car, get rid of your car, walk more etc.? If so, why?

See above, probably not. We will soon have to replace our second car, as it was a loan from sister-out-law until Niece starts her driving lessons.

4. If time, distance and money were not factors, how do you prefer to get from point A to point B?

Public transport and walking, hands down. I do not enjoy driving except under very specific circumstances, which almost never occur in the UK. (Long empty straight roads during the day, with lots of easy parking on both sides of the journey.)

5. What was your worst transit experience?

No idea. Probably something to do with flying. I remember getting stuck in Amsterdam once where my flight was canceled and they put us up in a hotel, but it was 2 AM when we got into the rooms - the flight had been scheduled to depart at 9:30 PM - and we had to get up at 6 AM for the replacement flight. That was unpleasant for a work trip.