On manflu

Just as the sun has decided to unveil itself to Oxford, I appear to contracted some hideous virus that has liquidized my brain: there can be no other explanation for both my limited capacity for thought and the sheer quantity of fluid escaping out of my nose. As I have an Arabic lesson shortly, this may well use up my entire intellectual resources for today, so it is likely that this is all you’re getting for M in the A to Z blogging challenge. Hopefully service will resume tomorrow, should I survive.

(I did warn you I’m a kvetch about these matters.)

A to Z blogging challenge: M

On hiatus

This is not my formal H entry for the A to Z blogging challenge: just a quick note that, due to a publishing deadline of today (another H too: Ḥadīth ʿĪsā ibn Hishām (What ʿĪsā ibn Hishām Told Us), available soon from your local NYUP stockist) and additionally the return of my brother and nephew from the antipodes for a quick visit, I have had to have a short hiatus in my blogging.

Normal service will return tomorrow, including the overdue entries.

Gearing up

I’m gearing up for the A-to-Z blogging challenge, in which I will post twenty-six entries on this blog with subjects alphabetically from A to Z throughout April, with one post every day except Sundays. The first few posts are written, and ready to go. I’m afraid none of the suggestions for an overall theme really caught my fancy, so it will be the usual mixture of rants, funnies, and gintrospection. You may have to bear with me a little, as the first two—on art and on bullshit—fall rather firmly into the first of these categories, though there’s some jokes on the way, and then C might perhaps not meet all people’s sensibilities (no, it’s not that C). But by the time of D—for dogs—there’s some light relief in silly observational humour.

Then things get a bit vaguer. E is currently unassigned, though entropy beckons invitingly (and, of course, unavoidably). Following a somewhat animated dinner discussion, F is almost certainly going to be for feminism and what could G be other than gin? H will be hallucinatory, but after that things are really quite uncertain. Further suggestions for individual topics may well be acted upon.

I’m doing all this as a shameless attempt to broaden the readership of my blog, so please like, comment upon, or link to any posts that entertain, inform, or simply infuriate you. The challenge guidelines suggest keeping posts short, around 300 words, but any exposure to my previous writes—or even the misfortune of encountering my opinions in person—will prime you for the fact that, as far as I’m concerned, if a thing is worth saying, it’s worth banging on about interminably.

Enjoy, share, and interact!

Just a boring news post

So I have eight days left in Brazil, and then I shall be boarding a flight back to the freezing dismalness that is Britain. Actually, I won’t be staying put for long as a week after I arrive I shall be boarding another flight to spend a few days in the even freezinger but less dismal New York, followed by a few more days in North Carolina to visit an old school friend whom I have not seen for more than twenty years. After that, I shall return to Oxford and actually try to find somewhere to live, although a trip to Australia to visit the recently emigrated brother, almost certainly returning via Thailand to visit the other, long emigrated, brother is on the cards: when that will happen I am uncertain, as there are both financial constraints and issues around actually staying put in the UK for more than a week or two. But the travels are certainly not over.

Neither, I’m afraid, is the blogging. I started this blog as a way to feel some kind of purpose following the collapse of my PhD, and though it pattered along quietly for the first year or so, Brazil has been good for it, as it has provided me with things to blog about, and I’ve even started to garner a respectable number of likes and follows from people I don’t immediately know. So I’ve decided to up the ante a bit, and in April will be doing the A to Z blogging challenge: it seems a fun little project, the idea of which is to write a blog post every day in April, except Sundays, with a topic for each day starting with consecutive letters of the alphabet.

The blog posts can be on anything (as long as it starts with the day’s letter), or one can have an overall theme and make the day’s letter a subtopic of that. I haven’t decided on an overall theme, so I’m throwing it open to suggestions from you. Contributions in the comments, please! Those of you who know me know the kind of thing I like to write and rant about; for those who don’t, why not take this as an opportunity to raise my hit count and browse the archives a bit? Politics, publishing, academia, science, music, and the odd snifter of a gin and tonic are recurring themes, but I’m open to anything interesting or challenging.

Though the return to the freezing wasteland depresses me somewhat, this will be largely offset by seeing friends and those members of my family who have not fled to the other side of the globe to escape my tedious presence.

Brazil, I shall miss you, as ever. But you know I’ll be back.Até volto!