Thinking back, there were a couple of bullet point blog posts early last year, but I don’t think I’ve fallen back on that particular crutch since. But I’m doing it now: I’m invoking the Too Busy To Blog Properly clause of the Web Logger’s Constitution.
This weekend I left my bedroom. Actually, I’m scheduled to leave my bedroom next weekend too, so you might get two blog posts like this. My most heart-felt, belaboured but ultimately spurious apologies in advance. After being cooped up for six months, it does feel awfully good to breathe fresh air — I wonder how much oxygen remains in the recycled air of my bedroom…
Anyway, I was in Southampton this weekend, observing the yearly pancake pilgrimage (it takes all of my effort to leave that uncapitalized). There’s actually a photo of me post-pancakes from the same pilgrimage last year, and the making of the ultimate pancake. I’ve actually changed what I consider to be the ultimate pancake this year… but read on, for my awesome bullet points!
- Southampton is about two hours away by train. On Sunday, when there are replacement bus services and you have to hop around from station to station like a backwards tourist, it’s nearer three and a half hours. This is one thing I hate about travel (cars specifically and trains to a lesser extent) — you take so long to get somewhere. When I went to the Faroe Islands, it took me longer to get to the airport, than from the airport to some fly speck islands in the middle of the Atlantic. I was away for weekend, but about a quarter of my waking hours were spent on a train. Lame.
- Last year we had biologists, this year we had philosophers. One of my friends in Southampton is a biologist, the other a philosopher — quite a disparate bunch of friends, I assure you! After a long afternoon last year spent with biologists — most of them doctors, or close to it — I wasn’t sure if this year was going to be better or worse. I’m at home with scientists and engineers, but most lab-dwelling ones tend to be even dorkier than me — if you think I spend little time in the presence of others, imagine what it’s like when you spend most of your time with microbes and tissue cultures… is it better to talk to yourself, or to a Petri dish?Anyway, the philosophers were OK. When you do a PhD in most subjects, it’s towards a specific target — to be a rocket scientist, a medical doctor, a master of a particular subject — but philosophers don’t seem to be like that. Do they want to be scholars of their favourite philosopher, or do they actually want to become a philosopher? Do you become a philosopher by reading a book? No. Do the books shape your thoughts into philosophical shapes? Maybe. Nothing wrong with scholars of course, but I can’t help but feel the world would be better with more actual philosophers. Maybe.
- Pancakes rule. The pancake master still reigns supreme. (That’s me, by the way: The Pancake Master). Philosophers eat less pancakes than biologists, you know? Last year it was three or four each! This year, only the friendly Greek Nietzschean guy could keep up with me! I created a new ultimate pancake: clotted cream, Canadian maple syrup and fresh strawberries. I used a little lemon juice to cut through the richness of the cream. It was very, very good. I had four of those.
- The New Forest is pretty. You probably saw this on Facebook already (check out my self-promotion! I’m so proud of myself), but the New Forest is, despite its name, a very old and well-maintained forest. It was originally ‘curated’ by William the Conqueror in 1079, a few years after his successful invasion of Britain — probably so he had somewhere to hunt. The quality of the soil is poor though, so there aren’t many trees — lots of scrub and shrub though. It’s basically a heath (and I rather like heaths!)
At this juncture, you’d expect me to break into photos… but I haven’t had a chance to go through them all yet. You get one now (which is also this week’s 52), and a bunch tomorrow.