Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Even in Australia

I know I shouldn't be surprised.

It's called the internet for a reason, after all. But I'm always fascinated to see the widespread geographical locations of my modest band of visitors.

Aunty Mel's recommendation
Auntie Mel stumbled upon my blog ... and loved it

I recently discovered (courtesy of SiteMeter) that Aunty Mel had stumbled upon my blog in Australia. She was kind enough to give me the thumbs-up, chiefly for my habit of adding copious links.

But what's the point of the internet if you don't link ..?

Saturday, July 15, 2006


... is not my favourite pastime.

Not by a long chalk. In fact, it's one of those activities that I put off as long as possible. Usually until the ligustrum ovalifolium has almost taken over the pavement at the front, and the fagus sylvatica has plunged the side garden into gloom. (And don't even mention the cupressocyparis leylandii at the back of the house.)

Beech hedges in the side garden

Why do I dread hedge-cutting? Because (a) we've got rather a lot of hedgerows, and (b) they're pretty high. Not exactly Longleat hedge maze high, but high enough. High enough to present a challenge to my old Black and Decker GT250, with its modest 41cm cutting blade (that's a compact 16", for my American reader — I know you're out there).

Anyway, the hedge-cutting is now over. And, like hitting your head against a brick wall, it's fantastic once you stop. (The hedges look pretty good, too.)

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

A Grand Day Out

(Cue the Wallace and Gromit music.)

Dunkeld Hilton
Dunkeld Park Hilton
Originally uploaded by Duncan__.

Yesterday, those nice people at QiE invited me to their team-building day at the Dunkeld House Hotel Activity Centre.

After a drive up through the beautiful Perthshire countryside, we had archery in the morning and off-road 4x4 driving in the afternoon, all in glorious Scottish sunshine! In the recurve target archery, the target was only 25m away, but I only managed bronze medal position; not good enough to win the bottle of Portuguese wine, and not poor enough to win the consolation box of chocolates. Although the off-road event was non-competitive, driving the Range Rover, with 4-channel ABS and automatic hill descent control, was exhilarating.

All in all, a grand day out ...

Saturday, July 01, 2006

If it wasn't for bad luck

... wouldn't have no luck at all.

While loading the dishwasher and generally tidying up of an evening, I usually listen to a CD. Lately, it's been The Very Best of Cream, with the wonderful bluesy track "Born Under a Bad Sign". (Hence, the opening title.)

Now, don't misunderstand: I don't think for a minute that I have "real bad luck". But it did strike me as rather unfortunate that, having spent a year's Teacher Training getting familiar with Standard Grade Computing Studies, I'm going to a school where they don't teach it!

I'll be spending my summer vacation getting to know Intermediate 1 and Intermediate 2 Computing. Then, there's the small matter of figuring out how to teach Microsoft Visual Basic 6.0 to 13-year olds when (a) I don't know the software, (b) I don't own the software, and (c) I don't know the software. Oh, and (d) Microsoft appear to have moved on to VB 2005 (thanks for the CD, David!) and .NET. Actually, now that I think about it, let's talk about that bad luck again ...