Sunday musings

Blogging here has been a pretty haphazard, stop-start, affair since Christmas, with far too many breaks for Real World intrusions. Yet visitor numbers keep going up. I find this both pleasing and puzzling.

Fortunately you lot don’t get to see it because of the spambusting Akismet, but for the last few days I’ve been inundated with particularly vile p*rn spam. Eugh. Still, I have been mildly amused by the lame joke spam comments from (apparently) a Zoroastrianism (?) site. Very odd.

[Update: Looking at the stats more closely, I was getting a lot of traffic from spambots. Not happy with that, not least because it eats bandwidth which I pay for, dammit. So I’ve installed Bad Behaviour for the time being. It blocks the little nasties from being able to visit the site in the first place. I’m worried that it might throw out real visitors too, so I’ll be keeping an eye on it.]

I went for a job interview a few weeks ago. I didn’t get the job, but I did get a book recommendation from one of the other interviewees, which I want to pass on to the rest of the world: Havoc, in its Third Year, by Ronan Bennett. It’s set in the 1630s and its central character is a Yorkshire coroner. It starts out like a whodunnit… and then turns into something else.

Firstly, I can tell you that the author wrote a PhD on law enforcement in mid-17th-century Yorkshire (which I have finally got round to ordering on interlibrary loan): he knows the history. Secondly, it’s a great, beautifully written, disturbing novel about religious fanaticism, moral panic and political corruption. Not subtle in its parallels between the 17th century and today, mind you.

“We live in bitter times and the world is divided in two: those who live inside the godly nation, and those outside. Inside is righteousness and strength. Outside is barbarism and terror. You chose to live outside.”

“I chose rather not to live inside,” Brigge said.

“It is the same… There is nothing in between.”

There’s also a great scene involving cruentation. And the scribbling woman likes the book too. Great minds think alike.

For anyone interested, I’m listening to Karen Mantler and Her Cat Arnold Get The Flu, and eating Tyrrell’s sausage and mustard crisps. Both excellent experiences.

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2 Responses to Sunday musings

  1. Claire says:

    I’m sorry you didn’t get the job. Good things are coming up on jobs.ac.uk all the time so don’t lose hope.

  2. Rob says:

    Although I enjoyed Havoc, I did think it was a little bluntly didactic. The Catastrophist I thought was better.

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