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Where’s Chevy Chase?

The plan for this morning was simple. Some time in the gym on the treadmill (half-marathon training doesn’t stop just cos I’m on my holidays – you have sponsored me, haven’t you?) followed by a few hours by the pool, enjoying the sunshine. I had my kindle to read and a ton of geeky podcasts ...

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In which I reflect on spa etiquette

I’m in Canada at the moment, having just left Montreal for Quebec City. Our hotel in Montreal really was wonderful – the fact that we had three different hotel rooms and needed to move room once at 10pm notwithstanding, the stay was relaxing and fun. The hotel had its own spa, consisting of a nice ...

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When in Rome

Dear horde of Italian students in the Apple Store on Regent Street this afternoon… This is a shop. Not a web cafe. And even if it were a web cafe, I’m not sure it’s acceptable to be looking at photos of topless actresses on the 27″ iMacs. And even if it were acceptable, you still ...

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A most excellent weekend in Edinburgh

After what was, even by my standards, a monumentally shitty week, this weekend in Edinburgh was glorious. It was definitely helped by the weather, but also by finally feeling like I’m flushing more of the vile epilepsy meds out of my system. My mood has improved and I’m slightly less physically tired. Still mentally sluggish (no ...

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Dear NHS

I write this as a supporter of the NHS, which I know is full of talented and dedicated doctors, nurses and various paramedical professionals. As I’ve noted before, my beef is with the administrative layer of the service, who, in my experience to date, make each and every interaction with the NHS hellish. These feckless process-monkeys ...

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The deadline approaches

This afternoon I met my doctorate supervisor and we agreed that I’d submit my dissertation in September. Gulp. That makes it official. I have some time – not a lot – to implement quite a few minor edits and reorganisation of content. A month ago, I wanted it off my hands. Now I feel quite ...

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A recipe for success

Surprisingly, my plan of fueling dissertation-writing with sugar and caffeine worked yesterday. After a big lunch, I experienced the traditional “post-lunch dip” and felt sluggish, tired and generally disinterested in the document on the screen in front of me. I mean, more than usual. Two cups of strong coffee and a couple* of pieces of ...

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Back in the saddle…

And so we enter the second weekend of the “Great Doctoral Dissertation re-Write of 2011″. For those of you not bored rigid by my frequent twitter references to my doctorate, a quick update. I’m on draft number 2 of this monstrosity and have a gazillion (I’ve counted) edits and amendments to implement before it’s worthy of another ...

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Not everyone loves the iPad

John Swansburg certainly doesn’t. He describes his extreme case of buyer’s remorse in this great piece on Slate.com: I admit that I bought my iPad for the wrong reasons. I got one because it seemed like everyone I knew had gotten one for Christmas and, well, I felt left out. I didn’t think about how it would ...

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