February 17th, 2020


My tweets

  • Sun, 12:56: RT @PiersatPenn: Dry bones in Ghent Walls made of human bones discovered under Ghent cathedral https://t.co/RQWtfRPiuu
  • Sun, 14:48: Alan in Belfast: A Lament for the Lost Lives of the Troubles (QFT from Friday 11 October) https://t.co/vdSxZKzn7B Sounds deeply compelling.
  • Sun, 16:05: RT @gavreilly: Passing note: the % of your party’s candidates which get elected is meaningless. The % of your TDs who were elected “on the…
  • Sun, 18:54: RT @HeadOverFeels: There are still seats available in the back of Program A for the Eccles panel! Come in your pajamas if you have to! #gal
  • Sun, 18:59: Crowd starts the first session of the day by singing Happy Birthday to Christopher Eccleston! #gally1
  • Sun, 19:01: RT @aussiastronomer: It’s very reassuring to know Christopher Eccleston looks just as awkward having ‘Happy birthday’ sung to him as everyo…
  • Sun, 19:10: RT @angiefsutton: Russell's strength as a writer is in the writing of Billie and femininizing Doctor Who - Christopher Eccleston being so h…
  • Sun, 19:15: RT @HeadOverFeels: “I mean someone had a passion for Doctor Who 31 years ago and that’s how we ended up here right?” - Eccles on @gallifrey
  • Sun, 19:17: RT @sawofthetable: "Hearing Marvin Gaye express himself made me want to act." --Christopher Eccleston #gally1
  • Sun, 19:18: RT @UhTerrible: Christopher Eccleston said at the beginning of this interview that he wishes he could be as decent as the Doctor, but I can…
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family, child

March 2005 books

March 2005 was a momentous month. I travelled twice to London and also to Thessalonica for a big Balkan conference. My Kazakh intern A left my office after a fairly brief stint; she then moved to Florida, took a family break, and is now running a hotel. I had a rare night out in Brussels with Anne at a pub quiz MC'd by none other than Nick Clegg, at that time still an MEP (our team came second).

The big cultural news of the month was the return of Doctor Who on Easter Saturday, the 26th. We sent young F to bed early and settled down to watch with Anne's sister and an Irish friend who was visiting from Antwerp. We were blown away, as we still are.

The big family news, however, was that little U was diagnosed with a severe learning disability. At almost two and a quarter years old, her non-verbal communication was at the level expected at seventeen months; her verbal communication at the level of twelve to fifteen months. She did not respond to her name, or to the word "No". Lightning sometimes does strike twice. It was less of a shock than B's diagnosis in late 1999, but it was still a shock and we are still dealing with it.

Books I read in March 2005

Non-fiction 8 (YTD 14)

The Island at the Centre of the World, by Russell Shorto
Around Washington, D.C. with Kids, by Kathryn McKay
Around New York City with Kids, by Mindy Bailin
Around Boston with Kids, by Lisa Oppenheimer

Dave Barry Hits Below the Beltway, by Dave Barry
John Adams, by David McCullough
Tolkien and the Great War, by John Garth
Aldiss Unbound: The Science Fiction of Brian W. Aldiss, by Richard Mathews

SF 5 (YTD 20)
A Wind from Bukhara, by M.J. Engh
Science Fiction: The Best of 2004, ed. Karen Haber and Jonathan Strahan
The Saliva Tree, by Brian Aldiss
Emerald Magic: Great Tales Of Irish Fantasy, ed. Andrew M. Greeley
Tomorrow's Worlds: Ten Stories of Science Fiction, ed. Robert Silverberg

Comics 2 (YTD 2)
Strangers in Paradise, Pocket Book #2, by Terry Moore
Bone, by Jeff Smith

5,600 pages (YTD 13,800)
5/15 by women (YTD 8/37) by women
none by PoC

The Island at the Centre of the World, Russell Shorto's history of New Amsterdam before it became New York, was not just my book of the month but my book of the year for 2005 - a glorious reconstruction of a forgotten history. You can get it here. Bone was a comic that I had bought issue by issue when it started, and then lost track of, but I hugely enjoyed getting through the whole story. You can get it here. On the other hand, David McCullough's biography, John Adams, is hugely over-rated and I was really disappointed in it. If you want to, you can get it here.