Personal Blog

Originally, this blog was a place to post things of interest to friends and family. Nowadays we have Facebook for that kind of thing.

Maybe one day I'll start posting here again.

Background: Kew Gardens, London

Dragon Fly

I spent a lot of the last summer trying to get a shot of a dragon fly, but could never find them at rest. So I was hardly expecting to come across one just chilling in Portmeadow, Oxford. It was a very cooperative subject, I don't even resent having to crawl over mud and cow shit to get these photos…

The beastie below is a Libellula depressa, or a broad-bodied chaser dragonfly to you and me.

Broad-bodied chaser dragonfly - Libellula depressa

Surprised how docile it was. Didn't know I could just pick one up.

Broad-bodied chaser dragonfly - Libellula depressa

I like this shot. The blue in the wing is a reflection of the sky.

Broad-bodied chaser dragonfly - Libellula depressa

More pictures on my Flickr page.

Rose Chafer

Rose Chafer Beetle

This little guy found his way in to my flat, giving me an excellent opportunity to do a little macro photography.

Correction: I was mistaken, this is a Rose Chafer and not a Noble Chafer.

After a google images search, I've concluded it is a Noble Chafer Rose Chafer beetle. Turns out they are endangered. Shame, they are beautiful animals – if you like bugs and things like I do.

More on my Flicker photostream.

Creationists in Oxford

I often read about creationism in the US, and its followers. I tend to find it amusing, and just a little worrying as their numbers are not insignificant. We have plenty of street preachers here in the UK, but until today I have never seen those US-style anti-science evolution deniers on the streets.


I watched for 10 minutes as I ate my sausage roll, and listened to the standard creationist spiel of how everything must have a beginning and an end, and how everything created must have a creator and how there are no transitional fossils. It was quite entertaining!

Amazing to have that right here in Oxford, a place of learning. There's a natural history museum just around the corner. I wonder if they had ever been?

Agnostic or Atheist?

Alright. Here is my second attempt at VBlogging. I'm getting better at talking to the camera, which I find difficult to do. Still can't do it in one cut though!

It's on the subject of Agnosticism and Atheism. It's probably old territory for most people interested in this subject matter, but hopefully somebody will find it interesting…

To err is human

I noticed recently that I say ‘err’ or ‘umm’ a lot when asked a question, particularly for questions that aren't factual in nature, and have no right or wrong answer. For instance, if I were asked “what is the capital of Turkmenistan” I would answer “Ashgabat” (which everyone knows) without any umming or erring. But if I were asked “would you like milk in your Americano?” I would answer “err… yes”.

This is a pretty mundane thing; everyone does it to some extent, as a way of buying time while considering the options, but I do it even when I know the answer before-hand. I always take milk in my Americano. It's not like I am weighing up the pros and cons of milk before I respond – in fact, I know the answer before I have even opened my mouth to say ‘err…’! continue reading…

Birthday Boy

I'm on the right. I have put on a little weight since then.

Today is my birthday. The universe is officially 35 years old today! :-)

Another year without anyone discovering that I have been faking being a grown-up for all these years. Maybe soon I'll have to start being all responsible.

My forties are not long off. Funny how round numbers are psychologically significant; there is nothing I can do at forty that I couldn't do at thirty nine (or vice versa). Then again, maybe I'll start wearing knitted cardigans and voting conservative – who knows!

Jen's Wedding

My little sister got married! Congratulations Jen & Scott, I'm so happy for you both.

More Photos

There's always a way

Where there is a Will, there is always a way.

Spotted in a deli in Oxford. It says ‘Where there is a Will, there is always a way’.

Thats right – always a way!

Just saying.

Playing Possum

An Opposum

No reason, I just love this little guy. I think I will use a possum as a mascot for my next creation – whatever that may be!

I don't know why people don't like Possums. I wouldn't mind one for a pet.

Here is what Wikipedia has to say on the subject:

Didelphimorphia (pronounced /daɪ.dɛlf.ə.mɔr.fi.ə/) is the order of common opossums of the Western Hemisphere. They are commonly also called possums, though that term is also applied to Australian fauna of the suborder Phalangeriformes. The Virginia Opossum is the original animal named opossum. The word comes from Algonquian wapathemwa. Opossums probably diverged from the basic South American marsupials in the late Cretaceous or early Paleocene. A sister group is Paucituberculata (shrew opossums).

Full article from Wikipedia

Stop the world, I want to get off!

This morning was not a typical morning. After today I rather think I prefer typical mornings.

I woke up a little earlier than usual – at about half past seven – and rolled over in bed, only to be struck with a unpleasant sensation of dizziness. The only time I have felt similar, is when I had gotten drunk on vodka as a teenager.

The room was spinning when I opened my eyes, giving me waves of nausea. I staggered out of bed, only to flop down on the floor because I was afraid of losing my balance. After a few minutes I managed to focus and get back on my feet, only to hug the floor again when the dizziness returned a couple of minutes later. continue reading…