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New year, new website

If you follow my website in an RSS reader, you’ll perhaps not see that my website has had a significant makeover. Over the years I’ve very much changed the way I’ve used my website. It’s no longer a “blog” in the original sense, with a need to follow things chronologically like a diary. If I…

An email from Alain de Botton

The writer and philosopher Alain de Botton is a well-known commentator on our modern world. He’s written and presented on a vast range of subjects, from art and religion to literature and travel. His work is loved by many, but less so by others, and his Twitter account, in which he tweets thoughts for our…

The Voice of Scotland

Rather excitingly and terrifyingly, I’m the voice of Scotland for the coming week. Well, not quite. I guess I’d better explain. One of the nicer phenomenons (phenomena? Phenomenii?) on Twitter is a number of “national” accounts, where one person from the country in question looks after the Twitter account for a week and (within reason)…

What would you write?

What would you say to the world if you had the opportunity? Well, if not to the world then at least to several thousand strangers. That’s the idea behind The Listserve – an email list where one person each day is randomly selected to send an email to everyone else. I heard about it a…

Competition experiment

Out of a modicum of boredom more than anything else, I conducted a little experiment last week. I have a pile of copies of my first book, Up The Creek Without a Mullet (I may have mentioned it here once or twice), and decided to run little competitions on each of the social media platforms…

Problems in Flickr

If you read Dave Gorman’s blog – and it’s always an entertaining and informative read – you’ll be aware of a difficulty he’s been having with Flickr, the photo community he (and I, and millions of others) are a part of. You can read the full saga here (1|2|3). But in a nutshell, the problem…

Practising Esperanto

Apart from Nigerian scammers, the Daily Mail website and a dreadful, never-ending avalanche of kitten photos, the internet is a pretty remarkable thing.  It’s been a huge tool in my learning of Esperanto which, five months since I started, is probably beyond the “beginner” phase and into “intermediate” territory.  It’s fair to say that Esperanto…

Google+

You’ve perhaps heard about Google+ , the latest of Google’s many attempts at creating a social networking site to rival Facebook. Previous attempts have sunk, but Google+ seems to be their best effort yet.  It’s much like other social networks, in that you connect with people to share ideas, links, photos and suchlike.  However, Google+ really…

UTCWAM’s iBooks availability

I discovered quite by accident today that Up The Creek Without a Mullet is now available on iBooks, Apple’s rather funky ebook reader for the iPhone and iPad. Much as I am a huge fan of both ebooks as a concept and iBooks as an application, Apple don’t, for some reason, have as many titles…

Signed copies – case solved!

I reported the other day that the Google Checkout function through which you could buy signed copies of Up The Creek Without a Mullet was down. Well, it’s working again!  Thanks to Matt, who built this website, a wee tinker under the bonnet has sorted it. There shouldn’t be any problems now, so if any…

Google Checkout checks out

Someone who tried to buy a signed copy of my book online via the link I posted some time ago has just got in touch to say there’s an error, to do with currencies. Nothing’s gone badly wrong and nobody’s lost any money, but there was a problem in the… well, I don’t really understand.…

Prisencolinensinainciusol

A recent conversation made me recall something I’d heard about a while back – a song written by an Italian in a gibberish that portrays what English sounds like to Italians. The song was originally written in 1972 but had a bit of a resurgence on the internet lately, and that registered in my mind.…

Page turner

When the software update for the iPhone that included iBooks arrived this summer, I had a scout around the iBooks store for some interesting free books to read.  I wasn’t necessarily a full convert to ebooks, so wanted to read one or two things on the iPhone to see how I felt about the format…