Life in Berlin as seen by an expat, plus anything else that doesn’t fit anywhere else…

Lies, Damn Lies and Statistics

Wednesday, July 1st, 2009

Hello again. I’ve been a bit busy over the past few days – mostly work, though we did go and see my Dad this weekend which was good. It’s always refreshing to get out of London. I have been neglecting you, though, dear readers, and it seems that you’ve repaid the compliment – I had no views at all from Thursday to Tuesday. I shouldn’t be bothered, but I can’t help it – when you log in, you get to see a lovely chart of how many views you’ve had per day, and mine has a worryingly flat look to it. Here’s a couple of quotes:
‘I’ve got soul, but I’m not a soldier’ – Brandon Flowers
‘I’ve got ham, but I’m not a hamster’ – Bill Bailey
‘I work with statistics, but I’m not a statistician’ – Giles McCormick Smith
OK, it doesn’t scan and it’s not even funny. But it’s true – I deal with numbers all day at work. So I’m a sucker for a chart like that, and of course I’m vain enough to hope that everyone will hang on my every word. The chart doesn’t lie though. There is one small shred of hope: that my lack of new posts is behind the lack of views. I’ll try and get back to more regular updates. After all, there were two of you viewing regularly until my haitus, and I don’t want to disappoint you…
Trivia fans might like to know that the title of this post is usually attributed to Benjamin Disraeli


Wednesday, June 24th, 2009

I’m a bit of a stickler for good grammar. I’m writing this while enjoying a flat white from flat white, where the lovely people ask you for your name when you order a take-away coffee so that they know to whom to give it. It’s a nice touch, however at least two of the chaps there usually ask ‘What was your name?’. Perhaps it’s a cutural thing – they’re both Kiwis – but I can’t help answering ‘Giles – and it still is’. At least they have the good grace to laugh about it, though this time the young lady barista came back with ‘Oh, it’s you again!’.
I’m also a fan of good coffee, and as bad as their grammar is, their coffee is arguably the best in London. I usually only have one cup a day, as otherwise I risk not being able to sleep – and of course it’s not good for the digestion. So that cup was a special treat, and it was so good I now want another.

Work is the curse of the blogging classes

Friday, June 19th, 2009

Typical. There’s so much to write about today – another ministerial resignation, Call Me Dave paying back more expenses, Hazel Blears surviving a no confidence vote from her constituency, the Iraq war inquiry – and that’s without getting near the sports stories: the F1 breakaway, the Wimbledon draw, the US open golf…But I have more work than I can feasibly ignore. So all these topics will have to wait. Grrrr.

Time, part II

Tuesday, June 16th, 2009

The obvious corollary to my earlier post is: When do people get time to read these things! I don’t read that many blogs – in fact, all the blogs I read are on the BBC site – Nick Robinson’s political blog and Phil McNulty’s football blog. The latter is worth reading for the comments alone, though once it gets past 100 or so it can take a while to wade through the dross to find the occasional gem.
Thanks to Keely for posting my first comment – and laying down the Lunchtime Domestic Challenge: What’s the most complex or difficult thing you’ve managed to do in your lunch hour to free up some of that valuable ‘me’ time after work? I fear that writing a few words on a blog doesn’t really count, so I’m going to have to get my thinking cap on…


Monday, June 15th, 2009

Where do people find the time to blog? I was planning to make Sunday night ‘blog night’, having failed miserably to get anywhere near updating the blessed thing during the week. However, Carla decided that she wasn’t going to sleep last night and so ‘blog night’ became ‘try and get Carla to sleep night’.  She eventually succumbed at about 23:45. It’s a bit upsetting – we thought she might be through the awake all evening phase, but since Thursday night she’s been waking up not long after being put down, and then staying up until 22:00 or beyond. Hopefully it’s just some more teeth coming, though we now have a paediatrician’s appointment on the way. Hopefully this won’t involve Choose and Book, which is going to be the subject of my ire and several blog posts, assuming I ever manage to write any more…


Anyone with sharp eyes will have noticed that the Party Election broadcast post above was written very shortly after this was originally posted. I think I may have discovered the answer: blog at work! During one’s lunch break, naturally…


Tuesday, June 9th, 2009

Ilka and I spent last weekend in Rome without the children – the first time Ilka has spent a night away from Carla since she was born. I flew out on Thursday to work at a screening, and Ilka came out on Friday. Here’s a few pictures from our day sightseeing on Saturday:

Rome is beautiful, but it is also very expensive if you’re not careful – I accidentally ended up paying 5 euros for a cappucino in one cafe. That’s worse than central London prices. By comparison, the taxis seemed very good value and really efficient – you order one at your hotel reception, it turns up three or four minutes later. The food was generally pretty good too, but you wouldn’t expect anything less in Italy. Although it might not look it in the pictures, the weather was good up until we left on Sunday.


Tuesday, June 9th, 2009

So the mobile posting test worked. Now I just need to think of something to say…

Blogging on the go

Tuesday, June 9th, 2009

So this is the crux of the biscuit: can I post via email from my phone, and thus from more or less anywhere?

Got to love widgets

Tuesday, June 9th, 2009

I have a nasty feeling I could spend all my time fiddling with the appearance of this thing to the detriment of writing any posts. Just added the Twitter widget (as you can no doubt see) though I’m a little disappointed with the way it looks. Still, as no one but me is looking at this I don’t suppose I should worry.

Hello world!

Monday, June 8th, 2009

So I finally got round to starting a blog.

I realise I should have done it years ago – I have lots of random bits of writing in various different places, and it makes sense to have somewhere to put them all together.