At the end of last year, I wrote a post about my 2015 goals, and how I did reasonably well with them, and about what I wanted to carry over to, or aim for, in 2016. You can go and find that post if you want, but I’m not linking to it from this post because I realised that I didn’t really try very hard at these “goals” this year.

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counting progress

Maths is not my forte. That’s what I tell people anyway. Sure, I did reasonably well at maths in high school, but I’m sure at least some of that was a fluke. And, yes, I have been known to use the word “fun” in describing maths, but I did not like trigonometry, I thought financial maths was tedious, and statistics is one of the most boring things I’ve ever had to study.

But I do have a fascination with numbers and statistics. There is a part of me that is curious about averages and percentages and ranges and trends.

It’s so easy these days to keep track of things like steps walked, kilometres run, blog views, comments, pages read, words written, money spent…

But it’s also tiring. So very tiring.  Continue reading

because figs are the best

For various reasons, I haven’t baked much in the latter half of this year (not as much compared to last year and earlier this year, anyway). It helps to have people to bake for, and also the time for it.

It was a colleague / work friend’s birthday on Monday, so I thought I’d bake something on Sunday and bring it in to work. I really didn’t feel like trying out a new recipe, so I thought about my tried and trusted recipes, and of course I stopped at fig cake. I don’t think I know anyone who likes dried figs as much as I do, so I kind of think of this as something I bake for myself as much as for anyone else. This is my sort of comfort food (well, I probably have a lot of other “sorts” of comfort food…)

Anyway, I brought the little cakes in to work (I’d baked them in a muffin tray, rather than as one big cake – long story – not really; I’ll explain below), and people really liked them. I had a couple of people asking for the recipe, so I figured I might as well post it here (“for posterity”, as a friend would say).  Continue reading

Thursday Doors – local coffee

There’s a cafe in one of the parks I run through on week-ends. I think I’ve only ever seen it open and operating once because I generally prefer to run in the late afternoon / early evening (for various reasons, not least of which is sleeping in), and cafes don’t tend to stay open that late on week-ends (particularly suburban ones).

When they are closed and dormant, it’s not easy to distinguish where the door is (especially if you’re just running past, and mostly trying to just keep running) but I happened to notice it one time (after having passed it many, many times)  Continue reading

once bitten, twice shy

This phrase (yes, the one in the title) has been popping into my head quite often in recent weeks (or months?)

I actually remember, when I was a kid, this saying made no sense to me. Of course, back then, I only knew one meaning/application of the word “shy”.

I was a shy kid. But that’s a topic for another post (or not).

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It’s been almost two months since I finished reading The Shadow of the Wind, and almost two months since I started reading Shalimar the Clown (by Salman Rushdie). I’ve now finished reading Shalimar but I’m not quite sure how I feel about the novel.

I think I knew, when I finished reading Shadow, that any book that immediately followed it would be at a disadvantage, but something had to be next in line, and it just so happened that a colleague of mine had lent me her copy of Shalimar the Clown. If we’re being completely honest here (which I always try to be), she wasn’t so much “lending” as she was “challenging me to read this book that she gave up on after about three pages”. But by this I mean that she gave it to me in the belief that I would conquer it, rather than doubting that I could do any better.

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