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Photos of me

I expect most readers of this blog are desperate to know what I really look like. The photo at the top of this blog doesn’t really give a good image so I put some better pictures on Flickr, the most representative of which is below:



The caption reads:

Marble figure of a recumbent bull

Probably made in Athens about 400-350 BC. Perhaps from Kerameikos, Athens.

The bull may have served as a grave marker; it is likely that it was designed to be set on a high base and so seen only from below and from the front.

According to Wikipedia, Kerameikos is an area of Athens famous for its potters (the name is related to our word ceramic) as well being the site of a significant cemetery. Presumably the recumbent bull did some service there.


One of the many reasons I don’t post on this weblog as much as I used to is that I have discovered online correspondence chess. My brother and I had always toyed with the idea of playing correspondence chess (CC) by email but never got round to it. This was a shame as the only chess I had really played was with my brother and dad at home as a child, as well as a few games against someone at university. I never really studied chess or was that good at it. I also seem to be rarely around people who want to play.

A few years ago, when the curse of Facebook had visited, I started playing on there against Simon, a friend from school who had moved to the West Country after GCSEs, who I haven’t seen since as much as I would like to have done. Online CC, as opposed to email CC, is a lot easier as you don’t have to have a board set up somewhere,  record all the moves, or bully your opponent not to take too long. We had some good games on Facebook (the chess application is, to be honest, quite good too, although I don’t use it anymore) and I got more interested in chess. Reading around, I got intrigued by the game of Shatranj, which I had vaguely heard of. Shatranj is the medieval ancestor of modern chess: it doesn’t, for instance, have queens or bishops, en passant or castling. I eventually found a few sites where you could play it and thought it worth a go.

By far the most promising was SchemingMind, mainly because it looked a calm non-profit site with no adverts or pop-ups, and friendly people, which it has proved to be. I didn’t get hooked on shatranj too much in the end, but I did get hooked on the site which includes standard chess as well as a lot of different variants. As you can probably tell, I would really recommend the site. I managed to persuade Simon to move our games there- we are now on game no. 11 on SchemingMind, not counting the games we played on Facebook- and my brother and I are also now finally playing some decent games of chess after a long hiatus. Hooray. I think it’s his move.

Let me know if you want a game…

Roman dates return!

Following yesterdays lament at the loss of my lovely Roman dates, sil has kindly converted my old Blosxom plugin (get the plugin itself from the Unofficial Blosxom User Group version 2 plugin list: it’s called date_roman-v0i1) to WordPress, so I now have them back. Hooray! Now no-one will know what the date of any of my posts are again!

BTW, if you want to beware the Ides of March, they are on Sunday


Following on from my post entitled Oh dear, it seems I was way too slow in using Google’s cache, or anyone else’s for that matter. However, I’m sure the world will not weep too much, and the one post I did want to salvage was found as a lonely txt file on my computer. This was the Et In Arcadia Ego one, where I spoke of threats to close the site down. Is this any coincidence?