Monthly Archives: February 2005

my hand revisited

it now looks like an elephant’s paw. i’ve just been to the doctor’s and i may have fractured or broken it, so i have to have an x-ray. i’m now on an anti-inflammatory pill called volterol (or folderol, as folk singers used to call it).
but there is good news. it’s less arctic today and that’s nice for the rabbits. they’ve built nests in their hutch and run. florence seems fine and is ok about taking her antibiotics. moet is currently eating a carrot with quiet enthusiasm. and boll’s asleep with a paw in the air.
apologies for my ee cummings prose, but i can’t be bothered to press the shift key.

my hand

i’m writing with my left hand today. that’s because i think i’ve broken my right hand or my wrist. i’m off to see my GP now. what body part will go wrong next i wonder? it’s not fair. i’m disintegrating like michael jackson.
As Oscar Wilde wrote: ‘The soul is born old but grows young. That is the comedy of life. The body is born young and grows old. That is life’s tragedy.’
i’ll keep you posted on this, if my left hand doesn’t fall off in the meantime. i guess i could type with my nose though. or my… no. let’s stop there.

Hey Fever

Hey…how are you? I’ve recently had loads of emails beginning “Hey Ian” and I quite like it. “Hi” used to be the new “Hello”. Now, “Hey” is the new “Hi”.

Being the very “pineapple of politeness” (to quote Sheridan), I feel I ought to inform you that I’m presenting a programme about the secret history and quirky culture of…pineapples. Lady Curzon and a Pineapple features the story of the Dunmore Pineapple, interviews with Lucinda Lambton and a teenage pineapple enthusiast and a pineapple feast cooked by the brilliant Ivan Day. BBC Radio 4, Tuesday 19th April, 9.30am (producer: Caroline Barbour – it’s not her in the photo above, but she does like pineapples)

Newcastle Bands

It’s good to see so many bands coming out of Newcastle. The excellent Maximo Park, who actually sing in geordie accents, have a single out this week and an album due in May. And several members of the boyband V are from Newcastle too.

Bolly’s Blog

Bollinger enjoys sitting on my laptop keyboard and occasionally running across it. Today, she ran across it en route to the window sill and produced the following cryptic message:
0p——————————————————————————————–# jxq
Please send me a translation if you speak cat. On the other hand, you may wish to trace Bollinger’s footsteps on your own keyboard or attempt to get your cat to type a reply.


I was writing my will the other day, as you do, while listening to tunes on my iPod (random shuffle setting). And just as I started bequeathing my worldly goods, on came Nimrod by Elgar – a piece most people associate with funerals.
I had no idea it was on my iPod. I’ve never liked it. I certainly wasn’t aware of ever having put it into iTunes.
So was this synchronicity (a significant coincidence, a “pun of destiny” to quote Arthur Koestler)?
Or was it just happenstance (a totally probable, therefore meaningless, coincidence)?
I don’t know. I’m not a mathematician or parapsychologist. But it certainly felt weird. It felt ‘meant’. I deleted it promptly and hope it never comes back.
I have 1387 tunes on my iPod, four days’ worth of music, so I guess there was a 1-in-1387 (less than 0.1%) chance of it popping up – which looks pretty low to me. Then again, I noticed it precisely because it seemed odd. I suppose there are countless times when a totally irrelevant tune comes on when I’m doing or writing something.
According to Professor John Allen Paulos, author of Innumeracy: Mathematical Illiteracy and Its Consequences, we’re prone to believe in coincidences because we want life (and ourselves) to appear important, and because we’re ignorant of basic probability theory.