I said last time that I’m generally a fast learner, so I always viewed my painfully slow and limited progress with languages as a sign that I simply don’t have the language-learning gene. However, it may be that, where languages are concerned, I’m simply a normal-speed learner …Continue reading Perhaps my issue with languages was around expectations?
I’m generally a fast learner, and have picked up a fair number of skills in my life, but language learning has been one area where I appear to have pretty much zero ability to learn.
It’s a somewhat ironic deficit, given how much I’ve gotten to travel over the years (82 countries and counting). But a concerted multi-year attempt at German, with very limited results, persuaded me that languages really weren’t my thing.
However, I’m conducting one final experiment …Continue reading Spanish: The triumph of optimism over experience, or a far more modest goal
My record of good fortune on the COVID front finally ran out on 17th December 2021.
Steph had a presumptive diagnosis way back in March 2020 (based on symptoms in those pre-test days), and it was assumed it would be impossible for me to avoid it, but it appears I did. I maintained that record for more than 18 months, and also had zero reaction to any of the three vaccinations.
I’m using this blog to record my experience of the infection. Please don’t expect entertaining writing: my exhaustion is mental as well as physical. Mostly I’m writing it as a warning against complacency on the COVID front …Continue reading A COVID-19 diary
It feels wrong to begin any upbeat piece about the coronavirus crisis without first acknowledging the terrible tragedy of it. The lives cut short. The family and friends left grieving. The healthcare professionals working long hours in trying conditions without the support they deserve. Those who have lost their jobs or been left struggling financially.
But in any loss, there is also opportunity. An opportunity not to try to return to normal as quickly as possible, but to invent a new normal …
It feels like there will come a time when future generations will look back on this time and ask ‘What was it like?’. I feel like I should be keeping some kind of diary – and yet, in truth, I have little to say.
A front-line medic would. A doctor, a nurse, a paramedic, a care worker. Other key workers too; those so recently dismissed by the government as earning too little to justify their place in the UK: the shop workers, the delivery staff, the refuse collectors and all the millions of people needed to keep the country running …
We thought we were living in crazy times before the coronavirus outbreak – then the gods took a look and said ‘Hold my beer’ …
We did it. Somehow, an entire nation lost its mind. Or 52% of it. Or 26% of it. But however we do the maths, 100% of the UK left the EU.
I wanted to write an upbeat post, about how this was day one of the campaign to rejoin the EU. That’s who I am. I’ve always been an optimist, and at those times I could view the world in one of two ways, I’ve always aimed to choose the more empowering one.
But I’m not there yet with Brexit …
How a very short-lived Apple News+ trial subscription had me abandon BBB News as my primary news source, and come home to The Guardian.
There are lots of cities I love to visit, a few I could happily live in for a year or two but none that, to me, compare to London.
It’s a city that has everything. Amazing archicture, old and new. Eateries at every level, from Michelin-starred restaurants to greasy spoons. An unbelievable array of theatres, with enough fantastic performances to visit every week (or, er, more often <cough>). Shopping has everything to offer from Harrods to market stalls. There are green spaces everywhere. Cinema. Art. It’s all here …