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

On this day 10 years ago:

Korean Poo - t.m.i. Warning

I simply have to tell you that during my time in Korea I had the most fabulous poos ever. It wasn't untill a couple of weeks in that I realised how things had improved both in terms of length and speed of delivery. The reason I was so keenly aware was down to the inability of Asian loos to flush toilet paper. This means you get cristal clear view at point-of-flush, a nice post busniess inspection.

I'm putting it down to the diet of fabulous rice-based meals (mostly bi-bim-bap [mixed rice] and kim-bap [rice rolls a bit like sushi]) with a multitude of fresh vegetables in an array of side dishes. I believe it was these side dishes that did the busniess. Order any dish from the menu (even the blandest thing) and between 3 and 13 side dishes arrive that you didn't order. They're free and can be re-filled at will, and are largely a range of differently preserved vegetables. Pickled beetroot is the nearest Brittish equivilent, only these are tasty and very spicy and don't turn your wee red. I'm not sure quite how it works, but the spicy sour vegetable goodness really got my innerds working nicely.

And I mean massive, these battle ships (boys will get that analogy) were frequently over a foot long, and maintained that length every day. And gone were the days of pusshing. These subs wooshed straight out. Sadly it didn't last. Pretty much as soon as I borded the plane home my bowels ceased up to their usual infrequency. (Actually, this might have been their usual auto-responce to air travel).

I've heard that people somewhere in Sub-Saharan Africa have the best diets. This is based on their poo quanity, which is massive and fiberous. I'm pretty sure I could have riveled theirs.


The Blog of Life

First Day of Lego

Today was the first day we played with Lego. Actually, not quite true, as about this time last year while on holiday in Korea staying in an Airbnb place we found a huge box of the stuff belonging to the owners child and had quite a bit of fun playing with it all over the floor. But today was really the first proper go at real Lego, a kit, with instructions. I'd half been tempted to open it after his first day of school, but he was completely exhausted that evening. The following morning I brought it out before breakfast, realised it was a mad idea in such a short time and so stowed it away again. Since then he'd kept asking if we could play with the "magic Lego", and on this wet grey Saturday morning I could not resist.

For over two hours we sat together at the dining table and constructed this rather marvellous model of the Space Shuttle with opening cargo bay doors and a satellite that comes out on a Canadarm. It was brilliant, he was brilliant - attention maintained throughout, a stop half way for a cup of tea, his little fingers able to perform practically all the manipulations required and he loved following the constructions (sic) - which is what I love most about Lego. It was wonderful. In the afternoon after lighting the stove fire we set about dismantling it and then building the moon base (which is one of the other instructions the set comes with). Actually, the dismantling was the hardest thing for him and I admit he was less involved in the second mantling, but I enjoyed it :).

The final joy, after all this, was that then we spent another hour or so later in the evening building fun things with Duplo - we built a garden centre with outdoor seating and a fireplace - by which time he was totally and uncharacteristically exhausted! Duplo and Lego existing side by side. However, saying that I have popped the space set back in its box to avoid loss until it's requested again.


First day at school

I had the privilege of waking my little boy to school for his first full day today. He started yesterday afternoon for a half day and I had a definite frog in the throat which required a manly cough to prevent getting out of hand. This morning was the same, in fact I welled up but he was far enough away by then to notice. There was a nice gaggle of mostly mums dropping off their tiny tots for the start of the day with a few good friends which helped ease the situation. He took hold of one of theirs (and mine) and we walked in as the doors were opened. He found his name tag, chose a peg and then changed his shoes to fit with the local orthodoxy. While he was sitting down to do his shoes he caught sight of his teacher and gave him a little wave which gave me a very good feeling. Then we had a hug and kiss, then another one (but not the twenty I sometimes get when I leave for work) and then I let him walk off on his own to the circle forming round the teacher. He found a spot to sit as I backed away (holding in the tears which are popping out now). As one of the other mums popped her girl next to my boy I saw him making a funny face at the kid on the opposite side of the circle - he was all set, and so I left.


Rainy Day Turned Good with Friends

My apologies to you, future me, for not writing more regularly. It's been ages. I guess there is simply less time these days to open up my laptop and do some typing. Indeed, I rarely do open it up and I'm way behind in my photo organisation (see lack of photo blog for evidence). Having a small child does consume a lot of time.

I write today after a splendid Saturday which had started with all the promise of a grim wet summers day, but a text first thing from a village family suggesting a trip blackberry picking was the turning point. How can I resist picking free fruit? I checked with the little guy and he exclaimed "ooh I want to yeah" - so that was settled. We had breakfast and then some cleaning (he was helping with the sweeping and really enjoying it) and after a little play when his friends arrived (we grabbed a coffee and catchup) then headed out in the rain to go picking.

Many prickles and scratches later (one a little more serious than the others!) we had a good haul of fruit and the day was even warming up along with spirits. We headed back home for lunch of delicious bibimbap followed by a mango lassie. By which time it was already gone four and our friends set off for home. I took the opportunity of the relative warm (still cloudy) to do a little gardening with my boy and after squeezing the potentially alcoholic juice from a mouldy apple, we (well, he) decided we should have a fire. How could I refuse? So we did. And we ate outside a meal of cheese and biscuits followed by marshmallows on the fire which by this point had grown to an exceptionally smokey bonfire. Glorious day.


The Blog of Photos - past 30 days

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

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