Author Archives: Ian

The problem of proving a negative

The martenitsa is on the table beside me. Tomorrow it will be tied around my wrist and will not be removed until I see a stork, a swallow or a blossoming tree, lest its removal cause another calamity. On 1st … Continue reading

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Supporting the local team

A website called Wisiwig allows users to watch the coverage of sporting fixtures that might otherwise not be readily available. Its status is never clear, Google carries it and major bookmaking chains place advertising on it. The tacit commercial endorsement … Continue reading

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Age shall not weary him

Last week marked the anniversary of the death of Thomas Besley, a boy who shall remain forever seventeen years old. There was a poignancy in encountering his grave in a country churchyard. One can stand on a hilltop at the … Continue reading

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No, the time hasn’t flown by

“People like us, who believe in physics, know that the distinction between past, present, and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion,” wrote Albert Einstein. His reflection upon the nature of spacetime might have been a reflection upon the nature … Continue reading

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Cattle and curses

“For a few years, we lived in the cottage across the road from the farm. There was an old lady called Mrs Hartland who lived next door to us.” “Your great grandfather was very worried. The bullocks all seemed sick … Continue reading

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