The Annunciation, 1506, Gerard David

March 4, 2024 4.56pm

Pick yourself up and get over it.

February 27, 2024 8.48pm

The goal of this chapter of my life is work less, walk more.

February 22, 2024 7.19pm

The only antidote for fear is to do the thing that you’re afraid of.

January 21, 2024 1.27pm

Watching An Autumn Afternoon (1962) by Yasujirō Ozu

Sunshine, windburn, summat to do with summits

Beans is here! Just in time for winter :D Mizuki had planned to join me several weeks earlier while I was still in Bosnia, but she also has a five year old nephew who is apparently more charming and...

September 30, 2023 2.27pm

There is this pervasive myth that success will make a person happy. I believe it is the reverse — that happiness will make you successful.

The first hundred days

One hundred days back on the road. One hundred days without a roof. One hundred days from Bristol to Bosnia. There’s something solid about one hundred days. Three figures, a second order of magnitude....

September 21, 2023 8.59am

So far (mid September) we’ve crossed the South of England, France from top to bottom, Switzerland from West to East through the Alps, Lichtenstein in a day, danced along the border of Austria and Germany,...

September 19, 2023 6.04pm

To love is to commit our whole being to the understanding of someone or something, for ”understanding is love’s other name”. By this we can know where our love lies, by looking to where we commit ourselves,...

September 17, 2023 11.08am

As of Saturday, September 16th I am 100 days into the walk, having walked 3053 kilometres, in 4,409,355 steps, across 10 countries.

Picturing people on the walk

With the days having gotten so much shorter I am now virtually always up before the sun and going down long after it. Compressing the same rhythm of walking into dramatically fewer hours is partly to blame...

Hurdling over the Dolomites

August 23rd, day 78. The Dolomites just looked incredible. I’d hold on to that as I began the climbing a couple of hours later — because in this heat I’d need all the panting positivity I could summon, all...

Between the mountains and the First Two Pages of Frankenstein

I’ve come ‘off trail’, descended from the shimmying spine of the Alps to spend a couple of days walking the ribbons of shattered rock and black-top, the roads that weave through the valleys instead. Partly...

From Triglav

Like ma says, words fail. Standing at the top of Pec — at the tri-border of Slovenia, Italy and Austria — I could see Triglav, Slovenia’s tallest mountain, to the south-east. My first steps into the country...

What's not to like?

You wake up at 1.30am to the pitter patter of rain on your face and on the ground, and overhead a rumbling sound. It wasn’t supposed to rain tonight. Quickly the sleeping bag goes into the pack so it...

Finding joy

I found Joy in the evening on the 26th of July, well, we found each other. She came down from the mountains wearing a bright orange cape. We stood admiring Lake Öschinensee. “Magnifique”, I said....

At play with photography in Innsbruck

The updates have been fewer and much further between of late. The habit broke when the phone broke, but I’ll try and pick it up again. I’m in Innsbruck, Austria, which has been lovely, too lovely in fact,...

August 10, 2023 10.43am

Break the rules. If there are no rules, behave so badly as to compel someone to make rules, and then break those.

July 8, 2023 6.06pm

Bienvenue mes amis! Welcome to my little post-it note on the inter-web. I’m currently walking from England to India so if I’m slow in replying to your messages that’s my excuse — even though I’m always slow...

July 5, 2023 7.54pm

I do my best walking in the morning, I do most of my walking in the afternoon. And that’s fine I guess . Sometimes walking/working is a grind and you just have to put the time in, sometimes excellence...

July 5, 2023 9.43am

The people who design public toilets don’t use public toilets.

June 30, 2023 4.02pm

So many crucified Jesus’ in this forest. Imagine trying to explain that to someone who’d never heard of the guy.

June 30, 2023 3.17pm

If it takes more than fifteen minutes it takes an hour.

June 29, 2023 9.56pm

I’m three weeks into ’the walk’, it’s going well. I have my legs under me again now, the pack begins to feel lighter, the going easier. I still want to accelerate a bit in order to get through France within...

June 22, 2023 8.17am

My kingdom for a table. To have a table at camp is the holy grail of ease, comfort, and refinement.

Why the walk?

When you’ve figured out what you want to do — perhaps before or perhaps after figuring out who you are and who you want to be — you still have a few questions left in the tidy stack we all learned in...

June 20, 2023 11.36pm

None of the good parts of life are efficient. Stop trying to make them so.

✉ More photographs than footsteps or words

Not much walking today. Limping with a worn/torn left calf. I sat in Snodland and watched a local cricket match instead 🏏. I don’t have even a passing interest in cricket, but it was nice, almost any...

✉ Thinking about the shape of the walk

Day 8? Week two! 43.64km/27.12miles/59362 steps (longer stride today!) plus the first day with over a thousand metres of climbing, so not completely flat. In spite of the sun, today was a black and white...

June 16, 2023 9.17pm

We need a space program for earth.

June 16, 2023 6.52pm

We all have to answer to our ego.

June 16, 2023 6.09pm

Love does not lessen by miles

✉ I hope the cows don't mind

Another late start, late finish. 42.67km/26.4miles/60,240 steps. Good walking along the chalk white paths of the Downs Way. Spending the night in a paddock with 30 Hereford cows, we’re getting on just fine....

June 15, 2023 4.42pm

If you haven’t found what you’re looking for, look somewhere else. So often we’re like the drunk looking for his keys under the street lamp. Let go of the lamp. Step out into the dark. Dare to look for your...

✉ Joining the North Downs Way

Day 6, Wednesday 18:21 Today has had me on a course toward Farnham — where I’m currently sat in the library jabbing out this message, they’re closing now :( Getting here involved a bit more road walking...

✉ A walking day

Day 5, Tuesday, felt like a walking day. Not to begin with mind, by midday I was a bit cooked after only 18-ish km’s and stopped in Newbury for several hours. Around 4pm the air thinned a bit and it started...

June 13, 2023 4.41pm

I think this will be the last big trip I do alone. It’s harder to endure loneliness, having known — twice now — what it is to feel that true joy, love.

✉ The last of the familiar faces

Day 4. Monday. Zero kilometres (towards Dover) but a very, very lovely day spent with Grandma. She took us out to the Old Mill, with the always grand Salisbury Cathedral just across the river. We brought a...

✉ Catch up with mum

Day three (Sunday) didn’t really start til about midday on account of the rain, which was wetter than forecast. It doesn’t take much of the wet stuff to convince me to stay in the tent all morning, but...

✉ Sensible shoes

Convictions, directions, opinions, are of less importance than sensible shoes. — Thomas A. Clark My hips are sore, my back is tight, my eyes are drooping, but my feet are fine. My shoes were/are a gift from...

✉ A trip down memory lane

I woke to a couple of unexpected messages in the group. Unexpected because I’d disabled replies in the group, well, I thought I had. One of those messages was from Anna. Anna Hegenberg Silas? Like Silas...

✉ A warm welcome to the walk

Good morning/afternoon/evening/night to you all, scattered about the globe as you are. I think word has reached most of you that I’m going on another walk – half of you are probably tired of hearing me talk...

June 5, 2023 11.00pm

There’s something beautiful about old computer magazines/brochures. Here’s one from Texas Instruments about their groundbreaking (then… ish) Explorer Computer System. The cover of it is a work of art and...

June 3, 2023 2.57pm

Getting ready for ‘the big walk’. I don’t know what else to call it really, so it’s just that. Plan now is to set off on my birthday, this Friday I’ll be turning 27. There’s a neatness to that that suits...

May 27, 2023 2.29pm

If you can’t do it all, do what you can.

May 18, 2023 3.32pm

Some people say you’ll remember what’s important, and I think that’s bullshit. I have very little control over what I remember, and what I do remember has no discernible correlation with what’s important,...

May 18, 2023 2.00pm

I’ve heard myself say before that “a camera is just a tool”, usually in response to someone commenting on the seemingly careless way I use mine (perching it in precarious places, bombing down scree slopes...

May 15, 2023 12.30am

A period is no substitute for a pause.

Books (maybe) for the walk

Conquest of the Useless: Reflections from the Making of Fitzcarraldo by Werner Herzog Came across in an article (National Geographic) while chasing down a quote of his. See also the tale detailed in...

The countries in between

The order of nations, or my route from here to there, England to India. Leaving England Another trip down the Bristol to Bath cycle way Kennet & Avon Canal looks appealing for another 80 miles or so. From...

May 5, 2023 11.42pm

Pity no one, least of all yourself.

May 1, 2023 3.31pm

We each have many voices. I have a highly active cynical voice. When the cynical voice speaks loudest, I should remember that every voice is wrong most of the time.

May 1, 2023 3.08pm

We can’t wait for the world to change but, at the same time, we can’t wait for the world to change.

May 1, 2023 3.08pm

The future is a place where some people will suffer more than they should, as is the past, as is the present.

May 1, 2023 12.26pm

Don’t mistake someone else needs for your own, and vice versa.

April 30, 2023 1.47pm

Truth can be spoken without honesty, and we can speak honestly without speaking truth.

A love of files

I like the digital file, the idea of it, the amorphousness of it. A file is a blanker canvas even than the purest, plainest cotton or paper. A file is a place; a file is an (almost) unbounded permissive...

April 29, 2023 9.43pm

Forgetting can be just as important as remembering.

April 29, 2023 9.26pm

We are all fallible observers of the world, our place in it, our influence on it, and of others. Some days it seems that from that there are two conflicting conclusions: Trust no one, including ourselves....

April 22, 2023 9.24pm

People and Ideas. Mortal and Immortal.

April 20, 2023 8.30am

Everything that is worth doing is worth doing with kindness.

April 20, 2023 12.50am

Sometimes I think that if I can’t make myself understood then I’m probably not saying anything worthwhile anyway, while other times I think that if people understand what I’m saying that it is then that I...

April 19, 2023 10.27pm

If you don’t have the courage to say what you want, you won’t have the strength to live how you want.

How to find your mum's keys after she's given up hope

Ma and I are alike in that we are forever misplacing things. While I may dream of a life without keys, the reality is that here in Bristol, a large-ish city in the South West of England, keys are a part of...

April 19, 2023 10.26am

In the tree outside the window just now there was quite an interesting flock of birds. About a dozen magpies, 2 pigeons, and several black birds, all grouped together. By all appearances they’re having a...

April 18, 2023 2.24pm

Don’t let the aesthetic tail wag the ergonomic dog.

April 18, 2023 12.49am

Exercise keeps me fit and healthy, but it’s literacy that keeps me thin.

Out beyond the edge of the map

The map appears to us more real than the land. — D.H. Lawrence We all see the world a little differently and, in ways both large and small, who we are is reflected in everything we do. Still, much of the...

April 17, 2023 9.12pm

If we keep doing what we’re doing, we’re never going to get there. Where ‘we’ is this country and ‘there’ is simply better.

April 17, 2023 3.35pm

Semantics are fascinating to me. By semantics here I mean in essence, the attachment of labels to anything. Culture emerges in the expression of, and prior and subsequent discussion of, semantics. The...

April 17, 2023 3.06pm

Some days I feel like my brain is short staffed.

April 17, 2023 2.52pm

I saw an artist wearing a head piece made of magnetic tape pulled from a VHS cassette. My first thought was that it seemed a shame to destroy an old tape, even a blank one. But as I thought about it more,...

April 15, 2023 5.35pm

A great teacher is not great for their speaking most convincingly, but for their listening most carefully.

My future children and me.

In almost all that I do in my life I am thinking of my future children. My ambition in this life is to be of the greatest possible service to my children, to listen and support their understanding of the...

April 13, 2023 4.57pm

Ephemerata, meaning short lived, that’s a good word.

I can eat cake!

I can eat cake! Paddy and Val, two humans who I very much admire, have a phrase that they use between themselves. Here’s the short version of how it came to be and what it means (disclaimer: I’m probably...

April 12, 2023 8.59pm

If there’s enough time in the day to record all that you do, you’re not doing enough. And I say that as someone who aspires to capture ever more of what I do. But journaling is an inherently oscillatory...

April 11, 2023 7.06pm

Anhedonia : deficits in hedonic function Scary. I’d never heard of the word before. Sure, I think in a transient sense it’s probably something most can relate to, myself included, but learning a word that...

Via Francigena

The Via Francigena is a 1300 year old, 2000 kilometre pilgrimage from Canterbury in the South East of England to Rome in the heart of Italy. Having only 90 days in which to cross (on foot) France,...

March 15, 2023 5.43pm

After living on the far side of the earth for more than 5 years I’m now back in England. I was never intending to stay long but I will take some time to see folks I haven’t seen for 60+ months, but I’m also...

Walking to India

The walk began on June 9th, the day I turned 27. You can check in on my progress across the map, or read some scraps below. More to come, but don’t hold your breath as most of the updates are going out in a...

Before the walk

A walk from here to there Update: The walk has begun! You can read the latest here I’m walking to India, I guess. So what’s the plan? There really isn’t much of a plan. When Hudson asked me I said “the plan...

March 14, 2023 1.50pm

I’m going to walk to from home to home From this side to the far side

March 14, 2023 1.50pm

The best questions are the ones you have to answer for yourself.

January 31, 2023 2.23pm

Constraints liberate and liberties constrain.

Dreams of a community

I don’t remember my dreams when I wake up. I know I must have them, the science is pretty clear on that, but apart from a very occasional glimpse of a seemingly meaningless moment, I remember nothing. But I...

January 29, 2023 10.30pm

I have a vision of the community I aim to be a part of, but there are things I must do before I can be a part of such a community, and that above all I must go out in search of more of the incredible luck...

January 29, 2023 12.13pm

I hope to achieve in a year what most would be glad to have done within a decade.

January 25, 2023 8.51pm

The people who leave a country should not be assumed to represent those who stay, and vice versa.

Why I like small spaces

I’m not talking about spelunking, I mean that I live, very happily, in a cabin that is 3 metres long and 1.7 metres wide. Almost exactly 5 square metres or around 50 square feet. I’ve been in houses with...

January 24, 2023 1.32pm

I’m scattered. It’s been two days of that. Get started with something, be interrupted by someone, follow that interruption, lose all focus, try and return to what I was doing, fail. The collapse of all...

January 12, 2023 8.13am

I don’t believe strongly in either self-determination or inevitability. I think both are easy to get wrong and where it concerns anything that matters, the truth is both too complicated to discern and...

January 12, 2023 7.42am

I believe that wherever we attach emotion we are vulnerable, especially if we are not self aware about that emotion. I don’t take this to the conclusion that rationalists do in attempting to be less/non...

January 11, 2023 1.01pm

Just came across Rozzi Roomian’s paintings. I find The Mask particularly striking. A provocative look at how we look at the world. Rozzi Roomian

January 8, 2023 9.46am

Sometimes I feel like an implicit person in an explicit world. Which really sounds like a whole lot of bullshit but hey

A command by any other name: The utility of aliases and wrappers in the shell

This isn’t a manifesto about anonymity, not that kind of alias, just a simple moments appreciation for decoupling programs from their invocations. The title makes reference to the line “A rose by any other...

December 13, 2022 3.47pm

Winding down the life I have lived in New Zealand. In February I am to walk (well, fly) away from the woman I love, and the life I have built over the last three years in this country that I love. I walk...

December 13, 2022 9.57am

It can be hard to be satisfied with anything less than a bit too much.

Writing simply

Trying to write more simply. I tend to give too much or too little context in my writing, contextualising for an audience is hard. I also tend to write in a slightly performative way which can get in the...

December 8, 2022 2.44pm

I struggle with computers. I don’t struggle with them in the sense that they don’t make sense to me, rather they feel all too natural, or maybe not exactly natural but very very interesting. For as long as...

December 4, 2022 9.01am

Every action is a reflection of the actor.

December 4, 2022 8.58am

Take only what you need, and give half of it away.

November 15, 2022 9.00pm

I just watched the world population clock tick past 8,000,000,000 on the worldometer. Of course the number is just an estimate and almost meaningless as a ticking counter – we might actually have crossed...

November 15, 2022 10.33am

The most durable things are those that can be replicated easily and therefore transmitted widely, kept whole and undivided, and both near and far. The most durable things therefore, are ideas. The...

October 30, 2022 6.29pm

When do I do my best thinking? When I’m moving. Walking lifts my spirits immensely. Craig calls it locomotion. It’s generative. Motion is my thinking. Motion of the legs over the earth, followed by motion...

October 27, 2022 1.38pm

The ability I have, that we all have, to affect people with words scares me sometimes. A long time ago, in my teens, I remember being asked about my ‘type’ by a girl in our friend group. What kind of women...

September 27, 2022 12.48pm

I’ve recently started using a Garmin smartatch/fitness tracker. I was mostly interested in it as a backup GPS navigation device when in the backcountry but have been pleasantly surprised by its other...

September 14, 2022 10.59am

It is important to be lucky. Above all else, try to be lucky.

August 28, 2022 6.51pm

Rice is good, life is good. — Mizuki

August 25, 2022 3.12pm

A mind which is not crippled by memory has real freedom. J. Krishnamurti, Freedom from the Known

August 24, 2022 5.28pm

A situated study of salience, of self.

August 24, 2022 4.20pm

Omit needless words. — Strunk and White, 1918 Hal, delete the blog.

August 22, 2022 11.57am

I sat at a tram stop reading The Alchemist, waiting for the 109. Two 86’s went by before I realised I was waiting at the wrong stop, on the wrong line. It’s howling today. As I walked from Spring to...

August 22, 2022 10.39am

Being here in Melbourne – days spent roving the streets of the only city I’ve ever loved, nights spent in the company of the coolest couple I’ve yet met – has been a joy I could not have imagined. There has...

There are no official observations

There’s a page in the front of my passport. THIS PAGE IS RESERVED FOR OFFICIAL OBSERVATIONS it reads. Immediately below, printed in a faux stamp style, THERE ARE NO OFFICAL OBSERVATIONS. Though quite the...

August 21, 2022 8.57am

Who made May May, may I ask?

August 20, 2022 4.13pm

Half of life is trauma, the other half is boring, but there are little slivers of exquisite joy in-between that make it more than worth it.

August 20, 2022 1.38pm

Found someone’s groceries forgotten on a bench in a park, had clearly been there over night, the tins and packaging were all wet. Stumbled upon a food pantry beside Fitzroy town hall and left them on the shelf.

August 19, 2022 11.02am

Reflecting on the pandemic which, apart from the masks we still wear, feels strangely distant. Thinking back to that time where life seemed to hang in the orbit of a single choice, six feet apart or six feet under.

August 19, 2022 4.41am

Don’t exaggerate your failings, don’t diminish your strengths.

August 18, 2022 4.41pm

You don’t have to say everything, stop trying – just say something.

August 18, 2022 4.39pm

It hardly matters what’s true, only that you believe in something.

A place of focus

The State Library, a building that exudes focus. Beside me one very thin university student has fallen asleep, a thick book teetering on his knee but even in sleep he seems intent, his hand rests on the...

August 13, 2022 5.18pm

Why is it so much easier to smile at dogs than people?

August 9, 2022 2.23pm

Had a pain in my soul so I ate a bunch of chocolate. Now I have a pain in my stomach.

August 8, 2022 10.51am

I miss the desert. My bike standing at the edge of the road, which sometimes felt like the edge of the world, somewhere near Mundabullangana, Western Australia.

August 3, 2022 9.55am

I decided to look up some coping strategies for ADHD, anyway, turns out that Sweden’s Iore iron ore hauling freight trains produce enough power from regenerative braking to power the empty trains back up to...

July 26, 2022 6.20pm

The beginning of knowing Is not knowing

July 21, 2022 10.57pm

What is the purpose of revenge? To consume us, to occupy us in our grief.

July 21, 2022 6.25pm

There’s something so captivating about the future. We all just want to see what’s coming, that’s why we go on living.

July 21, 2022 11.45am

The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, And sorry I could not travel both And be one traveler, long I stood And looked down one as far as I could To where it bent in the...

July 18, 2022 7.17pm

Best not to conflate what is habitual with what is natural.

July 15, 2022 1.50pm

Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which...

July 15, 2022 12.54pm

And in all that mighty sweep of earth he saw no sign of man nor of the handiwork of man — All Gold Canyon by Jack London, 1904 I want to be back in that mighty sweep.

July 14, 2022 8.02pm

I think there can never be a perfect chair. Bugger I’ve always wanted a perfect chair. But of course, how could there be one? More fool me for ever thinking there would be one. A chair dictates our form,...

July 14, 2022 12.51pm

I almost never regret green purchases. I’m not talking about “let’s save the planet” green purchases, though those are good too, but rather things that I buy that are green in colour tend to bring me more...

July 12, 2022 1.55pm

Imagine if hiccups were extremely contagious

July 11, 2022 6.51pm

As I re-evaluate my media diet I’ve come to the beginning of a conclusion. If it isn’t worth writing about, it wasn’t worth reading.

July 11, 2022 1.09pm

“But it’s junk!” Yeah… but it’s better than the junk that I’ve got. “So you’ll get rid of the bit of junk that it’s better than, will you?” …

July 10, 2022 9.33pm

The greatest failure is to do nothing

July 10, 2022 5.39pm

A few snippets from Design Principles Behind Smalltalk. I have skipped those maxims that apply only to programming language design, and focused instead on the principles that are broad enough to prove...

July 10, 2022 10.24am

There are things that we just can’t change.

July 7, 2022 8.39pm

Things happen. Not for any particular reason. They just happen. For Mizuki, things happen for a reason. Both are true I suppose. Alistair is going blind, he also thinks things happen for a reason. I wonder...

July 7, 2022 11.38am

What if I designed a tent that was supported by a tripod? That way I could have a tripod for my camera without doubling up on pole weight.

July 6, 2022 9.51pm

Dates on this website I date things when I write them. Like a letter. Though I am often offline for extended periods. You wouldn’t date a letter for the day when you think it will be received, would you?

A micro exhibit of good design

I have an electric toothbrush1. For all the decline of Braun since Dieter Rams left the company in 1995, they have managed one good feature with this unit that frequently pleases me. Being a battery powered...

July 3, 2022 9.04pm

The glass is half full, yet there are no good pillows, only less bad pillows. Most pillows are worse than no pillows.

Six of seven

Day six in a seven part series that has stretched to 20 days already, see parts #1, #2, #3, #4, and #5. I wanted to draw something that reflected my mood following the events of last night but when I turned...

It's not enough to respond in kind

Since I left England, and even before then, I have had very little contact with my father. Twice a year, on my birthday and at Christmas, he’ll send me a text. Within a few days I’ll send him a reply,...

Ideas, braids, snakes and ladders

Part five in a series, see parts #1, #2, #3, and #4. A larger departure in style this week. Something of the forest, something of rivers and streams. Something constricting. I’ve been thinking about ideas...

July 1, 2022 9.40pm

At any given time I am likely to have no idea where my passport is. This is despite the fact that I have been abroad for the last five years.

June 29, 2022 9.57pm

The glass is half full, then it’s empty

June 29, 2022 2.07pm

I wonder if my life would be better or worse if, all else being equal, we had no means of speaking of time, of situating things in time. No millenia. No months. No Mondays. Time yes, but just as a feeling....

Do drugs, stay out of school, talk to strangers

Do drugs, stay out of school, talk to strangers

June 29, 2022 11.14am

Advertisers, they truly are The Devil incarnate Incorporate.

June 28, 2022 9.43pm

Been coming across Franz Kafka a fair bit of late. The last two places I heard him mentioned were in Kev Watters excellent Why Did why the lucky stiff Quit? and Erich Grunewald’s The Atemporal Franz Kafka....

June 28, 2022 2.44pm

Qualifications are generally quantitative rather than qualitative, but we are not quantitative beings. Focusing on qualities over quantities seems like a more sustainable posture but maybe I’m just shaking...

Meaning is made in the making of meaning

Meaning is made in the making of meaning.

All vim no wow

If the phrase “modal editor” means nothing to you, count yourself lucky and ignore everything that follows. For the rest of you clowns, leave your vitriol at the door. I love vim, but the fact that I feel...

Not another Eble

Part four in a series, see parts #1, #2, and #3. Bless me Eble, for I have sinned, it has been ten days since my last submission. Just two days after committing to a doodle a day for a mere seven doodles, I...

June 26, 2022 11.12am

A reminder that if you have two arms, you have more than the average number of arms.

June 26, 2022 11.07am

Opportunities go to the opportunists.

Here in the loud and now

Ma and I’s regular Sunday morning phone call (Saturday evenings for her) yielded a neat little bite. Decrying my own recency bias and the broader recency bias of society at large I said that life is reduced...

What is life?

Why are my beliefs back on the brain? My beliefs govern my life, any thinking about them or attempts to refactor them is certain to ripple through my life, so what am I seeking to change in my life? What is...

June 24, 2022 4.13pm

What do I believe? PART 1 All creatures are dignified, worthy of honour and respect. I believe that life’s purpose lies in the making of meaning. Or more fully, meaning is made in the making of meaning. I...

June 24, 2022 1.48pm

Prefer specifics to generalities. I have a habit of trying to draw the things I think, and learn, and believe into ever larger contexts. I do so in part because of an innocent sort of eagerness, but also,...

June 24, 2022 10.20am

I don’t know which is more true, that I HAVE NO AMBITION or that MY AMBITION IS TO DO NOTHING.

June 24, 2022 10.06am

Emotions are a bit like an ocean. They have depths we can hardly fathom, and breadth that we cannot imagine. Like our own oceans we must surface from time to time, we cannot breathe our emotions. Unlike our...

June 22, 2022 9.54pm

I’m interested in anchors. Not real ones, not the kind that peg ships to the ocean floor, but all our sort of metaphysical anchors that peg our hearts to an emotional floor. The tethers that ground and...

June 22, 2022 9.51pm

Our lives stretch out before us and behind us. What lies ahead, lies in shadow. What stands behind, stands in ever changing light.

June 17, 2022 11.19am

Everything is negotiable.

Bad Eble the third

Eble attempt #3 in this series, see attempts #1 and #2. It’s a tired refrain among amateurs in all disciplines to say that their every effort sucks, so I won’t. But please know that I want to, especially...

June 16, 2022 2.41pm

Something better than Nattō I love Nattō, a Japanese food of fermented soybeans. Trouble is, it’s expensive, can be hard to find in New Zealand if you’re not in Auckland, Christchurch, or Wellington, and –...

June 16, 2022 10.42am

Pleasure is not measured in grams. I was eating a crumpet this morning – a square crumpet, which is relevant I promise – and it got me thinking about my relationship with food. At the supermarket I...

June 15, 2022 1.53pm

I’d like to be able to create meta-series’ of posts. Like a table of contents that sticks to the page, but instead of linking to internal anchors it crosslinks to other pages. This would need to be...

An Eble a day keeps the doctor away

I’m going to extend my little art thievery project. I’m going to timebox it too, let’s try a week. I started yesterday, a Tuesd’y, so we’ll go ‘til Mundy. After that, we’ll see what felt good and perhaps...

June 14, 2022 1.09pm

More figuring out what it all means, how it all streams. I have my journal, and I have my nonsense. Ever since I birthed nonsense, I’ve had a much easier time getting words out, it’s been a relief to have...

Once more into the deep

where all is futile and we can only weep I’ve been in the dark place again this last week. The weather has been appalling, keeping us mostly stuck in doors. When the clouds draw in I wither a little. But...

June 14, 2022 9.44am

Good artists copy, great artists steal. Fed into the canon of art as a quote by Picasso, though he probably never said it. I’m not even an artist – good, bad, or ugly – so it doesn’t matter to me, but I’ll...

June 14, 2022 8.34am

Obviously: a word I would like to eject from my everyday vocabulary

June 14, 2022 8.33am

Haste makes waste

June 12, 2022 9.19pm

What should the structure of this site achieve? Chiefly, it should allow me to group rather than filter. I don’t want to filter out my rubbish, it has a home in my nonsense; I don’t wish to fret over...

June 12, 2022 9.13pm

I have a hot and cold relationship with dates in URLs. For a while I took an absolute stance against them. Took a while before I realised that they’re well suited to some things. And now, most of the...

June 12, 2022 1.32pm

I can’t consume and emit at the same time. As I stood eating a biscuit, looking around at the mess of my packing for an urgent, unplanned, week-long getaway starting in the early hours of tomorrow morning,...

June 12, 2022 10.08am

I’m imagining a computing paradigm where the first interaction – every time you wish to use the computer – is a declaration of how long you intend your task to take. As you wake/power-on/unlock the device,...

June 12, 2022 6.50am

I want to draw. Learn by doing and all that. Get over the fear of it. It’s not much, just the wood burner here at Locking Street. I didn’t have the guts to try and add flames, maybe next time. For now I’ll...

June 11, 2022 11.19am

I came across Simon Griffee a long time ago, filed his site away somewhere in my catalogue, and just returned to it as I hunt through sites that I have admired looking for taxonomical inspiration. Only this...

June 11, 2022 11.11am

Are we flesh full of ideas, or ideas wrapped in flesh?

June 11, 2022 10.41am

journal chafes a bit. I’m happy with chronology, I want that. Still journal feels a little rigid, impersonal. Ironic, because of course it is very personal. But it seems so obvious, and I like that,...

June 10, 2022 10.05pm

I enjoy breaking this little website of mine. Like I’ll miss some syntactical error in a template, or put a question mark in a page title, and all of a sudden my bespoke, scrappy little build scripts will...

June 10, 2022 6.25pm

holy heck, I’m just churning out the nonsense this evening

June 10, 2022 6.25pm

capital letters are SUFFOCATING

June 10, 2022 6.24pm

It’s bad to steal… according to the people who’ve stolen more than you can imagine and really don’t want you to steal any of it back

June 10, 2022 6.16pm

maybe don’t turn over a new leaf. maybe leave it on the poor bloody plant, it’s not yours, he made it. make something of your own

June 10, 2022 6.12pm

What would be a sensible thing to do with someone who had committed a crime? assuming we wanted them to not commit more crimes in the future Send them to a big house full of other people who have committed...

June 10, 2022 6.09pm

more, but worse

June 10, 2022 5.04pm

It has been absolutely pouring with weather these last couple weeks. May it will end soon. Perhaps I just need taking outside of the environment for a bit.

June 10, 2022 4.54pm

Conversations don’t scale as far as we might like. Involving more people in a conversation can be a great way to canvas a broader set of opinions and surface a superset of possible solutions, but as the...

June 10, 2022 12.00pm

Insanity is opening the fridge over and over again and expecting different results.

June 10, 2022 11.06am

Trust is pretty wild. I just sent 2100 dollars to a stranger on the internet. In return he agrees to send me a camera. I don’t know this person, I don’t know if the (used) camera is in the condition he...

June 10, 2022 8.55am

When I read a list, I start from the middle. I was at dinner with friends recently and hit upon that while trying to convey how my brain works – and how it doesn’t. I’m scattered by nature, my attention is...

June 9, 2022 7.42am

I spend an inordinate amount of time thinking about A system of urls. Hierarchies, taxonomies, ontologies. How can they best be expressed in this medium. A large fraction of the writing on this site is of...

June 7, 2022 8.10pm

I wear your affection close to my heart. You made me a necklace. I wear it close to my heart, I don’t want to take it off. You say it looks like my eyes, this shard of west coast greenstone, brown at the...

Planting begins anew

Seven planters, atop a hill, surveying the work to be done. And the planting season has begun in earnest. Today was the ceremonial first day of planting, and I’d say it went well. Sure the weather was...

June 2, 2022 8.50pm

I’m sort of looking forward to this site calcifying. Not the writing, nor the habit, I hope to keep that alive and fresh, but the wrapping, the glitter, the skeleton that holds the guts all together....

June 2, 2022 8.13pm

Mizuki and I watched Rope (1948) tonight. One of my all time favourite films. It is about as close as it gets to watching theatre on the silver screen. Watching it again, coupled with a certain amount of...

June 1, 2022 6.36pm

I want to marry my nonsense from each day to the journal entry from that day (if one exists) such that each nonsense item shows up at the bottom of said journal page. I also want to add a build-step that...

June 1, 2022 5.11pm

Why oh why does the Atom specification require a title element? As a feed markup I like Atom better than RSS 0.9, 1.0, 2.0 etc etc but I struggle to forgive the insistence on a title element, it’s just a...

June 1, 2022 2.57pm

Time is a hierarchy and we’re all headed for the bottom.

June 1, 2022 2.36pm

Really I’m obsessing over structure. I’ve long been preoccupied with structure, often looking for it, or trying to establish it, prematurely. As an example, in my conception of my site there has emerged a...

June 1, 2022 1.43pm

I’m not writing nearly as much as I would like, instead I keep tinkering with code on the backend. I enjoy the tinkering a lot, but it’s mostly a distraction from what I’m trying to do here. The breadcrumb...

May 30, 2022 12.35pm

Can our goals exceed our goals?

May 30, 2022 11.52am

I’ve never been very good at following rules.

May 29, 2022 9.06pm

How much of life can truly be transmitted on ports 80 and 443? Painfully little perhaps.

May 29, 2022 8.53pm

Trying to give shape to a pair of tattoos I would like to get to represent my trips in Australia and New Zealand. Something to do with a bicycle for Oz, and walking/Te Araroa for NZ, but what exactly… and...

May 29, 2022 2.40pm

Knoll Knolling is the process of arranging related objects in parallel or 90-degree angles as a method of organization. The term knolling was coined in 1987 by a janitor name Andrew Kromelow who was working...

May 29, 2022 2.31pm

Sent does not mean received.

May 29, 2022 2.21pm

The earth spins. Isn’t that wild?

Wandering on, journeys I have in mind

The next big journey in my mind involves a top to bottom of the American continents. From the top of the [Yukon] to the southern tip of South America, including the Pacific Crest Trail down the west cost of...

May 28, 2022 8.23am

The billable hour is a trap into which more and more of us are falling A bad week at work has made Tim Harford’s latest feel more prescient than it might have two weeks ago. Even I, someone who has spent...

May 27, 2022 4.09pm

Work was better today. Still glad the week is over though.

May 26, 2022 9.14pm

This collection of nonsense/tumblelog/whatever is not nearly as good as Bill Wurtz’s, so go read that instead.

May 26, 2022 8.37pm

Do I enjoy the work? Fuck the work. Do I enjoy it? I did enjoy it. I don’t know. I liked it. And then I loved it. Fuck the work this week. Better luck next week. Don’t let the bastards under your skin....

May 26, 2022 6.56am

The internet is the single greatest tragedy of the commons.

May 26, 2022 6.49am

Socrates felt that he didn’t have enough knowledge to write, so why the shit do I think I know enough to?

May 26, 2022 6.39am

Only we can harm our own soul.

May 9, 2022 4.52pm

If you don’t smile at the world, don’t be offended if the world doesn’t smile back.

May 1, 2022 12.16pm

Working hard on the cabin after a short hiatus. This weekend was spent digging a trench by hand through saturated clay in order to lay conduit for an up-to-code rewiring. Jim (Isobel’s son) gave up a...

April 28, 2022 8.56pm

If you walk around bare foot and don’t wash your feet, you’ll have dirty sheets.

Good jeans are nice, but joy is better

Bought another pair of second-hand blue jeans a couple of weeks back. These jeans look a lot like my preferred everyday pair of second-hand blue jeans, but differ in one important respect, they’re not my...

Dashes, firewood, and philosophy

I use dashes a lot in my writing and I’m reminded that it was Rose that introduced me to them. Thank you Rose. Heaps of firewood in the store now, probably wont use all of it, and still plenty of my...

Away for Easter, away for work

Back in the familiar fog that accompanies every drive west. I want to be instinctively kind. My instincts are greedy, I can be better though. Left a couple large feijoas on the wing mirror of Tersha and...

Chilly reminiscences and guilt

Very cold this morning. Driving to pick up Shay I caught sight of a familiar gait, the long, loping stride of Ty briefly lit by a street lamp, making his way to roll call down at the wharf. It’s been more...

Marshmallows, money, life, and logs

Been chatting to Bede a lot more on these drives in. He has a quiet, charming spirit, but he’s hinted several times that his life hasn’t been all that he once hoped. I’ll long remember what he told me about...

April 13, 2022 6.15am

Notes as a forest, developed in cycles (seasons), self pruning (shed leaves and even branches), self seeding too: sure occasionally a lone tree will establish itself, carried far by the wind, but the forest...

Big birds and battle cries

Just Bede and I in our ute today, Aiesha’s still sick, and now Shay too. In his 1938 novel Nausea, Jean-Paul Sartre wrote, “A man is always a teller of tales, he lives surrounded by his stories and the...

Back to the wild, nodes, Dorian Taylor

Getting in the Ute again felt like an assault, radio blaring. Been two weeks since I’ve been wilding. Does feel glorious to be back in the forest though. The skylight went in over the weekend, along with...

Data structures, late night fixes

I have quite a substantial amount of digital-grunt-work to get on with – what amounts to data-entry. Frustratingly, this grunt-work doesn’t yet feel ‘final’. By that I mean that I foresee having to do more...

Not getting what I see

I’m keen to overhaul the way that I’m authoring. Multiple experiments with workflows and formats for writing and publishing have left me with a patchwork that has started to feel brittle. I want to be...

The matter of me

Found eight cockroaches in the coffee plunger this morning, not seen them in there before. Mizuki not at all impressed. Had a wonderful, long conversation with mum this morning. I’d wanted to squeeze in an...

A day off

Nelson feels cold this morning. A day off. Woah. The last time I took a day off work was Sep 24th, 2021 when Mizuki had been down in Arthur’s Pass for some time and Benn and I drove down for the weekend, I...

I lost a thought today

9.35am As we raced through the last of the planting I remember I had a thought that I really wanted to write down and develop, but I couldn’t write it down in the pouring rain and a couple hours later it’s...

To be a child again

We drove down to the swamp last night after work to enjoy the sunset. Dean brought his gold pan, we all brought beers, skipped stones, spun yarns. Shay got excited when he found a rowing boat up the beach....

March 23, 2022 7.14am

Recently negotiated a second raise at work, the last was in December. Intending to continue in this role that I cherish – native forest conservation – for much of the remainder of my time in New Zealand....

Tool sheds and mountain tarns

Isobel and I recently drummed up a cool new project proposal (because, of course, the approximately infinite list we already chip away at day by day was in need of expansion 😂). Could we turn the somewhat...

An evening of shovelling, shelving, and kimchi

Isobel had mentioned that the lean-to shed half way up the garden was a source of frustration, not very useful on account of the steep slope and a lack of any meaningful storage system. A good evening...

January 28, 2022 7.46pm

After three weeks spent tramping the south of the south island over Christmas, Mizuki and I are back in Nelson. We put out some feelers for a place to stay and heard back from Isobel. In exchange for...

The sunburnt country

I spent almost two years in Australia, arriving in November of 2017 and departing in September of 2019. A third of that time, seven months of it, was devoted to cycling the circumference of that sunburnt...

Tools should be reasonable

Discarding all other connotations of the word reasonable, a reasonable system is one that can be understood, if not intuitively, then at least readily. Tools and systems ought to be reasonable.

September 19, 2021 2.56pm

He who travels the fastest, travels alone. Let go of your goals. At the end of my life, be that at the turn of the next century or tomorrow, I want to be able to say that I achieved what I set out to...

September 13, 2021 6.54am

I remember Rose and I being frustrated by the kayak people’s insistence on pronouncing Whanganui with a ‘wa’ sound rather than its proper ‘fa’ sound. It wasn’t until some time after finishing Te Araroa that...

The new middlemen

The less you have to do, the less say you have. — Frank Chimero The internet promised to set us free, rid the world of the gatekeepers and the middlemen for good. As the barriers between artists and...

They have stories too

They have stories too I think I’m not alone in this but, when I take a dislike to someone, I am often guilty of attaching to them a simplicity of character that doesn’t recognise the depth of humanity that...

The man who walked too fast

A small part of A short walk beneath a long white cloud Today, six months post-trail, I was talking to Louis, an American here at the hostel. It turns out he is friends with Max, the very fast French Te...

Lockdown Mode

Benn just observed that this time around, everyone switched into lockdown mode nearly instantly. I remember when we all went into lockdown the first time, everyone one was flailing about, ransacking the...

Truth may be vital, but without love it is also unbearable.

Watching Fernando Meirelles’ The Two Popes I was struck by how the high station granted to bishops, cardinals, popes, etc on the basis of hearing God’s voice in their heads, contrasts with the very low...

✉ Afghans, speculators, and Timothy Snyder

I just published the first draft of the second chapter of A short walk beneath a long white cloud, where we plunge into Raetea forest and (spoiler) emerge mostly unscathed, so go ahead and read that. Photos...

The forests of Northland

Chapter 2 of A short walk beneath a long white cloud In which the heavens open; an Irishman appears; slips are had by all; and friendships emerge. Walking toward Raetea forest along a gravel road. Day 6 –...

July 13, 2021 5.54pm

I have been living in New Zealand for the last 20 months. After walking 3300 kilometres across New Zealand between October 2020 and February 2021 I am now living in Nelson and working as a wharf hand. Or...

Beauty and the beach

Chapter 1 of A short walk beneath a long white cloud In which Rose and Silas make their way from Auckland to Cape Reinga; the startling landscapes of New Zealand make themselves known sooner than expected;...

A short walk

Prologue to A short walk beneath a long white cloud Sunday, September 6th I shaved Rose’s head today, well, mostly. Michael’s clippers ran out about two thirds of the way through and he was out and no...

July 9, 2021 7.46am

The first thought that goes through your mind is what you’ve been conditioned to think. What you think next is what will come to define you.

A feast of links

I love the web – in all it’s world wide wonder. I particularly love the small web, a beautifully idiosyncratic name for a very large cohort of geographically and culturally disparate humans who share their...

✉ Art, ideas, and how we share them

Those who do not want to imitate anything, produce nothing. — Salvador Dali I have had to hold Dali’s words between my gritted teeth as I try and put pen to paper this month. Usually if my writing starts to...

Random with your name on it

Random with your name on it… The venerable Spotify unloaded it’s next round of Only You ‘personalised recommendations’ on me this morning. They bear no resemblance to my listening habits. Naturally there...

I should have kept a journal

I know, I know, I should have kept a journal. I should have saved the love letters. I should have taken a storage room somewhere in Long Island City for all the papers I thought I’d never need to look at...

Rooks all the way down

A tortured and unimaginative title given that I’ve just finished reading Turtles All the Way Down by John Green. I picked it up out of a nostalgia for the feeling of reading Looking for Alaska fourteen...

Puffer fish and buried men

Somehow the saddest part of unloading this tuna boat isn’t the thousand tonnes of tuna that have been wrenched from their watery home, suffocated, and frozen solid – it’s all the other sea creatures that...

Good at nothing

I’m good at nothing – good at doing nothing that is. I’m good at other things too, but being good at nothing sometimes feels like a superpower. I am a spectator at the unfolding of my thought; I watch it; I...

Lessons from the back of beyond

What did the trip teach me? What did I learn cycling around Australia? I was hitch-hiking from Picton to Nelson today. The first two hitches got me a little ways and we made easy, inconsequential chatter....

Modern novels

Rose and I are talking about modern novels, 21st century archetypes, novels like Hot Milk and Netherland. Rose remarked that they – and we in the real – are ”in an era of existential dread”. As ever, The...

Taking pictures with words

This piece of the web is me attempting to find my voice. So far it eludes me. Like a lot of mediocre writers my writing frequently gets bogged down in things that just don’t matter. I’ll turn out paragraphs...

Write the things

Now he would never write the things that he had saved to write until he knew enough to write them well. — Ernest Hemingway, The Snows of Kilimanjaro, 1936 Write the things. That’s the shortest, punchiest...

A walk between two Wednesdays

At 6pm on the 7th of October, a Wednesday, Rose and I stood atop Cape Reinga — the northern most point of New Zealand’s north island and the most spiritually significant place in Aotearoa — looking at the...

A short walk beneath a long white cloud

Over four and a half months, Rose and I walked the length of Aotearoa New Zealand, the land of the long white cloud, along the Te Araroa trail, the long pathway. Here I will attempt to find the right words...

Today I'm rich

In the last three years I have spent eleven months working, I haven’t had a job since Rose and I said goodbye to Australia almost a year ago. In three weeks we make for Cape Reinga to begin the Te Araroa...

Half a world away

Chapter 1 of Long gone in the back of beyond Three years I’ve been gone. Three years ago I was unhappy, doing better than I had been in any of the previous 10 years, but still not living a life that I could...

On my way to creation

I’ve never felt creative. It used to be that I didn’t want to be or at least didn’t feel that I wanted to be. I don’t know exactly what’s changed, nor exactly when but I think the strength of the need to...

June 17, 2020 9.43pm

It wasn’t wisdom that carried me 10,000 miles from England to Australia at 21. It wasn’t prescience, it was a naive hope. Our minds like to draw neat linear conclusions - from cause to consequence. We like...

A thought for tomorrow

The fantastic thing about solitude is the reveal. To wonder head down, alone, along a path that goes you know not where, to then pause, raise your head, look back, and see how far you’ve come. There’s a...