: blogs : china : me : photos : work : life : things : links :

Hello and welcome

Some introductory text to go here. Probably. Maybe soon now that I have FTP access again.

The Blog of Life


Today marks the end of Nasa's Cassini-Huygens mission to Saturn. I wanted to mark this day with a blog post as this mission is a little special to me. The reason being that it is the one I most remember being launched and subsequently when it finally first reached Saturn I remember being shocked that it was something like 7 years since launch - by then I was in university looking back on the launch day, a day in my senior school when I was being taught by the frankly amazing physics teacher - Rob Crack. I remember being in the physics classroom and thinking forward about this launch to Saturn which would take so many years (an incomprehensible span back then) before delivering it's payload probe/lander to the moon of Titan, before sending back all this new information about Saturn. And today, that mission has finally ended after 20 years - a span which increasingly seems somewhat fleeting. Literally how time flies, even more so in the field of interplanetary space exploration. Thank you Cassini.


Out on a Limb

This evening, as the sun was setting on a Friday evening I took the opportunity of being back home in Cheltenham with the little guy naked and splashing happily in a paddling pool to pick some of the last few remaining damsons left on the tree. As I did this, initially up a ladder, then half climbing up the tree and finally climbing on top of the fence, I remembered quite viscerally how I used to do exactly this as a child. Picking damsons was my formative fruit picking experience. I'd forgotten how much I used to enjoy doing it, plastic bag slung over my arm or hung off a handy stump, I'd scramble between the twisted boughs receiving piercing stabs from the spiny branches often balanced on the high fence stretching out to reach the farthest purple fruits. Eating them too, this time of year the last of the fruits become just palatable to be able to snack on while picking, but not delicious enough to gorge yourself. Many wonderful memory feelings swept back over me. It was just divine. Then, as I was about to pop on a Hello Internet podcast and take advantage of the solo time, I was called out of the tree by my little boy. He's had a great day playing cup-of-tea in a tent in the garden, the paddling pool, pram bear, slide, and of course the endless fascination of Nana and Grandpa. He also had a superb day in regards to toilet training, waking me up at half six to ask to do a poo, and then four more through the day. Quite impressive. In the evening he even tried on his first pair of pants, and I think he enjoyed it. He's certainly growing up.


The Blog of Photos - past 30 days

Barefoot at Wimpole Hall

With my Wednesday off today and the promise of warm(ish) weather I took the little man out to our local National Trust property - Wimpole Hall in order to enjoy some trees and fresh air while there was still some resemblance of summer in the air. As it turned out the clouds came in while we were having lunch making me regret changing into shorts prior to departure and turning his lips blue. But we stuck it out, playing with the toy tractors in the field to keep warm while the prospect of sunny weather improved on the horizon. After exploring the woodland playground and finding it a little lonely we went round the back to walk through the fields towards the foley meeting a friendly cow in the process who gave me a lick. As it was begging to get a little late (and a nap was not seemingly forthcoming) I picked up the pace with a little bit of carrying (or "hug daddy" as it's called) until we were heading back Hallwards. Then as we were picking our way through a multitude of cow pats, he sat down, removed his wellies and socks and requested I do the same. How could I refuse? We returned both barefoot, past the cows and another friendly lick, then past the other visitors receiving some odd looks (and no doubt a bit of dissaprovement which I sometimes like to foster - like when I allow him to wander onto the pavement and cars, usually old lady drivers, screech to a halt to stare at me as if I should be a better parent). As we drove home he chatted away about tractors (not quite as gloriously as he had on the way there) and then finally fell asleep.

Barefoot at Wimpole. © Nick Bailey
at his request we shed our shoes


Are We Living in a Simulation

I'll try and voice this thought, but don't expect it to make a whole lot of sense right now. It relates to a recent broadcast/podcast of The Infinite Monkey Cage on the subject of "Are We Living in a Simulation". This particular subject has had a bit of a resurgence lately it seems, also coming up in Hello Internet and I think also on BBC Click. But this particular discussion got very much into faith territory in a way I wasn't expecting.

Basically, as far as I can tell from my first listening (which was conducted whilst picking blackberries for wine making) they proved the existence of God in all but name. Either that, or they made the case for life being ENTIRELY pointless in a way I had never considered before and as such the belief in a God was so much more attractive than the belief in no God. It was this stark choice between hope and total hopelessness. As Phill Jupitus put it, you might as well literally go berserk because simply nothing matters. Gone was that nice Humanist side of Atheism, this was pure empty pointless hell.

Like I say, only listened once and need to listen again now that some of the swirling confusion has subsided, so perhaps I'll have more coherent thoughts later on. I'm also considering running a Histon Methodist Youthish (name still to be worked out) evening session on this cast so I'll definitely need to re-listen in preparation for that.


Listening to: OK Go
Upside Down & Inside Out
From: Hungry Ghosts

23 knife wounds
Recently:Slipped while sharpening cleaver and sliced deep right across the proximal interphalangeal joint

£ 3.20
Change from our first outing with baby

I love ecover

Shop @ Cambridge Daily Bread