If I’m the fool then what does that make you?

I heard this line in a BBC audio adaptation of King Lear for kids. “If I’m the fool, then what does that make you?” It struck a chord. For me this question captures the power of fooling around as a clown.

Fooling is playful and at the same time powerfully subversive stuff. The clown owns their foolishness, but in doing so raises a mirror the audience. I may be foolish, but in what ways are you unwittingly foolish too?

(The play also included the line ‘I hate living a thousand years ago’ – which I am also noting down here for future reference).

Universal Cycle Flyover

Diagram of Universal Cycle Flyover, an attachment for cars to enable vehicles in traffic jams to connect together to form a continuous cycle path

The daily traffic jam on my local high street has inspired me to think about a way to turn a traffic jam into an opportunity to a way to create safer cycling. This solution is win-win: car drivers get to stay in their cars while facilitating the creation of more traffic-free cycle routes in and out of our cities.

The concept is for all cars to be fitted with a light-weight section of Universal Cycle Flyover, designed to fit most any vehicle. Cars approaching a traffic jam simply park close enough to the next car to to enable a continuous connection for the cycle deck.

(The scheme shows a cyclist on a racing bicycle. Of course other types of bicycle would be encouraged, I just started the sketch too close to the top of the page to fit a more upright riding position.)

Weekend engineering works – near Weston-Super-Mare

Today engineers completed work on a major new irrigation channel to bring drinking water to a major new coastal development on Sand Bay, near Weston-Super-Mare. The 60-metre-long new canal brings water that rises from the coarse sand at the back of the beach across the inter-tidal zone to the new fortified town, which looks north-westwards across the Bristol Channel towards Cardiff.

In a bold vision, the water supply has two functions: potable water supply for the imaginary people living in the turret in the middle of the island; and also to ensure the defensive moat is always full. Anglo-French design and build contractors Eiffelover and Co. have a long track record in delivering civil and environmental projects in coastal settings.

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Using Zoom, Eventbrite and Facebook to promote your event

Boring post alert.

Sometimes you need to be boring to be creative.

This is a really boring post about something I find myself doing lots and lots: setting up an event on Zoom, selling tickets for it and promoting it. My hope is that by sharing these steps you will need to spend less time figuring it all out yourselves.

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Reading Proust – volume 5 update

It wasn’t what I was expecting but volume 5 of Proust’s In Search of Lost Time ends on a cliff-hanger. It is incredible how such separate threads from five previous volumes are starting to brought together: a narrative arc that I could never see converging has in fact been much closer to convergence than I expected.

I’ve been reading In Search of Lost Time – Proust’s epic explorationg of memory, art, adolescence and decisre – on and off since 2007. It is one of those books that lots of people have heard of, some know two things about it (the long sentances and the flood of memories provoked by dipping a madeliene cake in his tea) but I’ve hardly found anyone who has actually read it. So in 2007 I decided to give it a go (in English!).

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A better-dressed version of me

I sit in my current preferred cafe bolthole and the jacket of the person opposite me catches my eye. It’s a slightly faded turquoise, not unlike a jacket I recently got in the sale. Hang on a second, it is the same jacket, maybe slightly older. I zoom out and notice their whole clothing combination is familiar: a stripey top, dark blue jeans, converse, set off with a dark grey panier.

These are the clothes that I wear, or at least I think I wear – only better. I look down at my own sartorial combination and I realise it is a poor approximation to my self image. I start to take notes for self improvement – cream converse, turned up jeans – but then my alter-wardrobe is gone.

I have long been in pursuit of the one outfit to rule them all. There are a few inspirations.

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