Category Archives: Life

Animal Farm

Animals are great and even if I wasn’t a fan, living with a horde of the critters would certainly change my mind.  The kittens have been spoken about elsewhere on this blog before, my favourite of which is still Mr Boffles:

Here he is, attempting to line up with mum Alut and uncle Rambo, in what I assume is a homage to the opening scene of the magnificent 2001: A Space Odyssey.  As mentioned before, he enjoys gangster movies and the music of Louis Armstrong.  Since then he feels confident enough to run at Rambo and be mercilessly pawed at in return, as well as meowing at Die Hard 3, dramatic stunts are expected from this little one.

Our latest new edition – a dog this time, just to mix things up – which arrived yesterday is this little lady, Rexie:

Having spent little over a day with her, I can confirm she likes the taste of slippers, nibbling Rambo’s tale and disappearing at various times to make me worried that she has wandered off somewhere.  Now that we are up to six animals, life is getting more interesting both in and out of the house.


Posted by on 21/03/2018 in Life, Photography


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Working the Space

At the moment I am attempting to be a lot more proactive with my writing as you may have noticed, although today is one of those days when I want to post but writing feels like a bit of a challenge today so here’s a look at the workspace I fashioned for myself.

From left to right:

  • A Test of Time is the latest book I am reading, which is a look at the Egyptian chronology, a rethink and an attempt to sync it up with Biblical archaeology.  I’m also reading The Singularity Wheel, kindly sent over by Mike (see last blog post) as well, to keep my days varied.
  • To the right is my Green Apple notebook which contains my notes for a novel, unlike past efforts this time it is not only going well but in an order hitherto unseen in past attempts.
  • In front of these is my Tagalog notebook, in which I am writing words lists and attempting to get down the grammatical rules so ease me into this foreign language which doesn’t (thank goodness) have masculine and feminine words to remember.
  • The laptop which, other than helping realise these blog posts also keeps me up-to-date with all the big news, like the football scores, which is a welcome tonic to the morning’s TV catch up BBC Worldwide and CNN Philippines.
  • Lastly, behind my coffee cup which is the best jump-start for the day is my trusty notebook which has been to three continent with me and is rapidly filling up with all my notes for reviews and various other blog posts.
  • You may have noticed 10 month old Rambo (guess who named him) who when not happily biting various items of footwear is keeping alert for any move made for food.

It’s amazing what a simple zone for working can achieve, especially when one is in the mood for work, which it seems, I now am.


Posted by on 15/03/2018 in Blogging, Life


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Valentine’s Date

I’ve been saving these up for today, as what is more romantic than to show the official wedding photos now that we have them, on Valentine’s Day.  I will show a selection here (less than I’d hoped due to the internet being on the blink, thanks to some high winds) and for anybody who is interested in the full set of nearly 1900 photos, you can check them all out at this link…here!

The ladies were looking great even before getting into their dresses…

The Gents were as suave as always…

Releasing the doves was picturesque, even if Crissy’s failed to fly after this shot… Read the rest of this entry »


Posted by on 14/02/2018 in Life, Photography, The Philippines


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A Serious Conversation

Apologies for the length of this blog post but I have been having an interesting conversation over at which is still going on.  I have copy and pasted the chat so far and would be interested to hear your thoughts on it and gratefully welcome any corrections to things wrongly stated if you see any.  Advanced apologies if I put some of my phrases indelicately at the time of writing although I did my best to be sensitive when approaching my points.  The reasoning of each point and direction of the conversation is of particular interest.

The original post that I read was this:

My friend told me that she was watching TV and someone said they aren’t going to hire women any longer because then they won’t have any sexual harassment issues.

So once again women will be punished for the behavior of men and as always, men will not be expected to change their own behavior. I’m so bloody sick of this garbage.

It was the comment below that intrigued me enough to comment and set me off on reading a lot of websites and informing myself.

… I’m surprised they haven’t banned women from colleges so that the GIGANTIC raping of co-ed will end. They the boys can just rape not college females. Really, I am so angry.

  • It’s been on the cover of Newsweek and other magazines. They are somewhere on my blog. Pictures of women carrying mattress through the campus to get the school’s attention. It’s an EPIDEMIC. Gang rapes, as well. Investigations are taking place but I have seen absolutely NOTHING about any findings or punishments. Also, some schools were not informing women of their rights after rape took place. Most still don’t report them. Google articles on it. You should find a lot of them.

    I found the 1 in 5 women get raped in college, statistic but the authors have distanced themselves from the survey and that conclusion which the press attributed to the findings. The survey itself is certainly floored in its questions. The Bureau of Justice Statistics puts it at 1 in 52.6 women which is still a frightening number but when coupled with data that women are safer in college than those of the same age who didn’t go.

    And that U.S. rapes are also apparently going down. I can’t speak to if those stats are up-to-date as I only found date up until 2016 and of course it depends on how many were not reported as well. I think the word epidemic is a bit of a strong and perhaps misleading word to use here.

    Don’t get me wrong, I am not defending any person who commits such crimes, I abhor any man or woman who commits any assault, sexual or otherwise and we shouldn’t sweep any of that under the rug. My position is that we need accuracy and evidence to prove the point.

    Statistics – used correctly – should be brought forward and there should be investigations and more research done into this. The statistics have to be accurate and fact checked, otherwise it becomes just another SJW crusade that uses feelings, usually in place (or just instead of) of facts to elicit a response and this then marginalises their position somewhat and that for me is the great tragedy.

    The Factual Feminist has done some interesting videos on this subject actually debunking the whole idea of ‘rape culture in colleges’ in favour of a ‘gender propaganda culture’ and the importance of due process in all such assault cases including the ones where women have admitted after the fact that they lied about being assaulted, which is another important and marginalised conversation that we need to have as a society.

Read the rest of this entry »


Posted by on 22/12/2017 in Blogging, Life


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Continental Shift

After a fairly long time of teasing not to mention a severe lack of blogging, I can finally reveal that I am off to live in The Philippines with Crissy in January and from there, getting married at the end of the said month. It’s all very exciting and to mirror our relationship – crazy and exhilarating, which pleases me no end!

Books and Crissy, a delightful combination!


I have all my documents ready and am clearing out the last of my things this week(ish) because Christmas is too quiet without doing something seismic to keep it interesting.  It’s naturally an exciting and stressful time as I look towards the move to a new culture, adventures and a severe tan but will be keeping you all involved and am writing as much as I can in the meantime.

With the good comes the emotional wrench of having to say farewell to a good many people and of course the books I accumulated over the years but I shall be carrying over as many as I can.  As to where that leaves the book review side of the blog, I am hoping to find a library as well as rereading the books that I haven’t yet reviewed from my own small collection.  Approaching them again with a more critical eye will make for an interesting blog post in itself no doubt.

I don’t think I could go through the trauma of collecting books again, to then possibly lose them in another move should we wish to move countries in the future but I will keep my book posts flowing as much as possible amidst all the other things I claim to have planned but will probably just wing it as usual and see what takes my fancy words wise.  The above café we found will probably be a popular haunt for us I suspect because it turns out that books on a ceiling are ridiculously fascinating.


Posted by on 18/12/2017 in Blogging, Life, The Philippines, Travel


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Lagom: The Swedish Secret of Living Well – Lola A. Åkerström

As the Swedish proverb goes, ‘Lagom är bäst’ (The right amount is best). Lagom sums up the Swedish psyche and is the reason why Sweden is one of the happiest countries in the world with a healthy work-life balance and high standards of living.

Lagom is a way of living that promotes harmony. It celebrates fairness, moderation and being satisfied with and taking proper care of what you’ve got, including your well-being, relationships, and possessions. It’s not about having too little or too much but about fully inviting contentment into our lives through making optimal decisions.

Full of insights and beautiful photographs, taken by Lola herself, this authentic book will help you make small, simple changes to your every day life – whether that’s your diet, lifestyle, money, work or your home – so you can have a more balanced way of living filled with contentment.

Lagom is a deep-set part of Swedish culture, it cultivates a clean, intelligent way of living inside and out.  This sense of balance and sustainability is concisely explained in this book as well as its context in Swedish society and beyond into the wider world.

The presentation of this succinct work is sharp, clear, and colourful throughout sprinkled with plenty of illustrations and some great photos of both scenery, food and everything in between.  It truly makes the reader yearn for a visit to Sweden to soak it all in and go hiking.

There is a comprehensive look at the different ways in which Lagom is invested in many lifestyle choices including; food, health, fashion, work, money and nature, to name a few.  It shows that unlike for other countries – my own included – this is not just a trend but an ingrained way of living. Read the rest of this entry »


Posted by on 02/09/2017 in Life


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Lagom Reprise

A while back I did a short post on the new ‘lifestyle trend’ Lagom and how it seems to be a bit of a money grab like all those other fads that come and go.

A day after that post, I got an email from Lola A.Åkerström asking me to read her book on the subject.

Åkerström lives in Sweden and tells me her book helps counter the craze and bring much needed perspective to the subject so naturally I accepted the offer so as to be better informed about the subject in general, as I love to learn.

The book has moved up my pile as I once again find myself reading several books simultaneously to catch up on all my commitments.

The most important thing to report so far is that the book smells absolutely fantastic, a proper new book smell which I wish I could bottle and sell on and thus make my fortune.  I shall keep you informed with my Lagom findings once the book is finished.






Posted by on 17/08/2017 in Life


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