I’ve kept it going at Samizdata – so far – just

So now, it’s five Samizdata postings by me in the last five days. And the last two (this one and, posted moments ago, this one) were done the following morning. Hurrah for backdating.

And hurrah for me backdating this one also.

The way I see it, the day ends when I go to bed.

I note that the Radio Times, one of my favourite publications, follows the same rule.

Originally posted at Brian Micklethwait’s Old Blog

Uninterrupted France blogging feels wrong so here are some football results

I had in mind that the whole of this week would be about my recent trip to France, but I find that doesn’t suit. It feels wrong. This blog usually bounces around between different times and different subjects, and putting that on hold for a week feels, as I say, wrong.

There is also the problem that I don’t like doing long and complicated postings every day, and all the things I want to say about that French trip are quite long and quite complicated, if only because I want to attach copious photo-illustration to each of them. So, today, no France, apart from that observation.

Instead, I will today confine myself to noting with satisfaction that, following a disastrous last weekend, when their rivals Chelsea won and they lost, Tottenham Hotspur, the football club that I like to do well (“support” would be to exaggerate ridiculously – I never actually go to games), earlier this evening defeated Newcastle, while Chelsea could only draw against Huddersfield. All of which means that Huddersfield will not be relegated and Spurs will play in the early stages of the next Euro Champions League, until such time as they get eliminated. But, bright side: Spurs finished top out of the London clubs. Chelsea we’ve covered. Arsenal also got beaten this evening, and are far behind, hence them firing their noted French manager, Wenger.

One of the subheadings in this has Spurs managing to “limp” over the line, by which is meant guarantee to finish at least fourth and definitely ahead of Chelsea. The Spurs pattern seems now to be to have a basically good season, but to end it falteringly. Sounds to me like: they’re tired. Their manager apparently trains them extremely hard, which means they do well. But towards the end, they run out of puff.

I do that every day, just before I go to bed. One other thing about my France trip, I’m going to bed earlier and getting up earlier, than I was, I mean. And I’m trying to keep it that way.

Originally posted at Brian Micklethwait’s Old Blog

Goodnight and see you tomorrow

Today I got up at 7am, worked on and off on a big piece of writing, then dined at Chateau Samizdata, out west, and am now back here, as in home, having not done anything here, as in at this blog.

Here is a photo chosen from the archives, pretty much at random:

Taken in March 2012, i.e. six years ago, when the Shard was just being finished. Taken from out east, beside the Victoria Docks.

And now I will go to bed, and get up just as early tomorrow morning as I was up today, and I will finish that big piece of writing. I promise this. That’s the plan, anyway. One thing is for sure. I am in no state to finish it now.

Goodnight and see you tomorrow.

Originally posted at Brian Micklethwait’s Old Blog

Quota taxi covered in quota red flamingos

I’m trying to wrench my sleep patterns back into something like sanity, and this now leaves me very tired. Which is the plan working, but it makes blogging rather difficult. So, today, one photo, and that’s your lot:

Plus, although I’m tired, here is a detail, that emphasises the flamingo aspect:

The relevant bit of the website.

Originally posted at Brian Micklethwait’s Old Blog

Happy New Year (at last)

I’m not saying Happy New Year to you, again, although now that I’ve mentioned it, I actually do, again. No, what I have in mind is that today feels like my New Year has, at last, begun.

I always tell people that I like a quiet Christmas and a quiet New Year, but it seldom turns out that way, and it did not this time around. This was not because I got lots of appalling demands to attend appalling things. If they had been appalling demands and appalling things, then I would have happily played them all off against each other and ignored the whole damn lot of them. No, the problem was: enticing requests to attend enticing things, frequented by enticing people whom I might not soon be meeting again, things that I knew I would enjoy and which I did mostly enjoy, hugely, but which just came one after another. (Plus, I arranged an event myself at my home, on the last Friday of December.)

And then, in the midst of it all there was that dose of Ashes Lag, to play havoc with the already imperfect sleep pattern. The point of such fill-in-the-blank lags is that it only takes one such night of lag to create a ripple lasting about a week. Throw into that mix a few invites to things that happened not in the evening but earlier in the day, and it all became pretty strenuous.

But now, all these events have come and gone. I had a huge sleep last night and way into this morning, and finally feel able to think about the year ahead rather than just the next thing I need to get to.

So like I say: Happy New Year.

Originally posted at Brian Micklethwait’s Old Blog

Ashes Lag strikes

I was surprised and distressed at how quickly and completely England lost the Ashes. They lost the first three tests and that was it. From then on, the important thing was for them to stop 3-0 turning into 5-0.

Why is that when we beat Australia, it ends something like 2-1 or 3-1 or 3-2, but never 5-0? But when Australia beats us, as often as not it is 5-0. So, good that this has not happened this time around. Dead rubber? Bollocks. 5-0 is a hell of a lot worse than 3-0 or (I can hope) 3-1.

Judging by previous 5-0s down under, England might still have lost game four, after Cook had scored his double hundred and given England a first innings lead of 160 odd. Australia have a very good spinner, and England do not.

Warne of Australia. Swann of England. Now: Lyon of Australia. A good spinner sustains pressure all the way through to the next new ball, and can win the match on the final day. Without a good spinner, you get those easy overs, when a bit of slogging can swing the match decisively in favour of the batting side, and you don’t get to win on the last day nearly so much.

In this latest Melbourne game, what if Australia had got themselves a lead of 150 and then bowled England out on the last afternoon? It could have happened. But luckily for England, it rained on day four, and England were able to save the game. All the commentators said that the rain spoiled England’s chance of a win, but what do they know? They were there, and were obviously getting caught up in it all, failing to see the wood for the trees. Trees: England might have won. Wood: England did not lose! Hurrah!

But from where I lie, in my bed but not sleeping because there were England doing so well on the radio, not losing, the important issue was: I wasn’t sleeping. And I am now suffering from serious Ashes Lag.

This afternoon, Chelsea thrashed Stoke at football, and according to the BBC Premier League update feed (which I had been keeping half an eye on), Stoke supporters, despite having journeyed to Chelsea all the way from darkest Stoke, were leaving after twenty minutes, because their team were such rubbish. I’m like that. If my team is getting hammered, I don’t want to be obsessing about that. I have a life, and I welcome the chance to ignore sport and get on with it. But if my team are doing okay, I’m all over it. So Ashes Lag has only now struck.

I mentioned yesterday that I was knackered, but too knackered to explain why I was knackered, and that I might (or might not) explain why I was knackered, later. The above was why I was knackered.

BMdotcom. The blog that promises nothing, but sometimes delivers!

Originally posted at Brian Micklethwait’s Old Blog

Southwark Cathedral from the train

This evening I had a party at my home. All the people I invite to my Last Friday of the Month meetings were invited, and almost exactly the same number of people showed up as tend to show up for the meetings. How do they do this?

I am now completely knackered, but it wasn’t the party alone that knackered me; it was … alas, I find that I am too knackered to explain. Maybe, although I promise nothing, later.

So instead, a quota photo, of Southwark Cathedral not being dwarfed by modernity:

Taken out of the train window, on my way to Hither Green.

Spot the Gherkin.

Originally posted at Brian Micklethwait’s Old Blog