tripods, triffids and the Trinity

While travelling along Galicia’s Costa da Morte recently, I visited a number of lighthouses – of which, more in a later post, I hope. But they were not the only structures that stood tall along the coastline.

There were radio masts and towers dotted about, as well as a fair number of monumental crosses, which didn’t surprise me given Spain’s Catholic culture and the deadly fame of the coast.
Continue reading “tripods, triffids and the Trinity”


I admire the attitude of TEDx Ted in the photo, who seems happy to let others get on and sort things out while he sits calmly in the midst of chaos.

I’m still scrabbling to get organised after a busy few week, but a glance at the diary for the week ahead shows at least eight confirmed meetings and events so it doesn’t look likely to calm down anytime soon.
Continue reading “TMI”

too much information

I said yesterday, not for the first time, that I’m not writing as much as I used to. I still jot down notes on scraps of paper or in notebooks, but I don’t seem to sit over them and nag at them like I did.

I used to find train and bus journeys a perfect opportunity to stare out of the window for inspiration, to worry at words, sketching out alternatives, scratching out false starts, mentally running through phonemes trying to find a rhyme or a word or phrase with just the right shape and sound.
Continue reading “too much information”

blurred borders

As a woman whose business falls broadly within the technology sector, I’ve been involved in a number of conversations recently that talk about “women in tech” as if there were a clear dichotomy between arts and science.

Personally, I find it hard to view the world in stark black and white like that.
Continue reading “blurred borders”

plum loco

Perhaps it was more of a steam engine than a locomotive but, from the angle that top photo was taken from, it was certainly plum-coloured.

Its trimmings were in other shades, though, including the most glorious scarlet wheels with black and yellow detailing:
Continue reading “plum loco”

hawks and handsaws

There are lots of stories on the web about automated translation, computer-generated writing, etc. but I for one am sure it will be a while yet before artificial intelligence is honed sufficiently to be able to do some of the things humans do without a second thought.

This week, people were talking about Microsoft’s CaptionBot – software that identifies the contents of an image and adds a caption. You are asked to give a star rating to the answer, presumably so the algorithm can improve over time.

I’m not sure that even a single star is warranted for the description of this photo of the statue of Hamlet in Stratford-upon-Avon.CaptionBot says: "I am not really confident, but I think it's a group of men riding on the back of an elephant."

Whether the wind was southerly or north-north-west, it seems CaptionBot can’t tell Hamlet from Hannibal; I wonder how it would do with a hawk or a handsaw.
P.S. Just a reminder that my poetry collection Around the Corner from Hope Street is free to download from Amazon until tomorrow. See last Sunday’s DCTN post for more details and please consider leaving a review if you like the book.

capture that moment


Ellen Terry takes a selfie

Ellen Terry takes a selfie