They say that the best travel stories are the ones that go supremely wrong. The train that leaves the station with all your stuff aboard while you get a gelato on the platform. All you have left is a handful of kopecks and a mango ripple cone.
The toxic tummy bug that strikes you down when you have three flights and a complicated transfer — Milan has two international airports, what poor planning! — and you are down to zero clean laundry. Just a pair of flight socks to hold the tide.
This wasn’t like that. The travel was perfect…
Winter in Melbourne. Cool, cloudy, wet, and this time of year the daylight only lasts for, like, half an hour.
I have a fallback recipe for a good warm spicey meal. Nothing specific but you have to allow an hour or two.
Some time ago I walked past a construction site. They were installing some aspect of the building that required a series of huge vehicles festooned with warning signs and flashing lights to unload massive great bits of building stuff to be carried somewhere by a crane.
Every half hour or so one of these super-semi-trailers would appear, there would be a swarm of safety-vested activity as the heavy load was dealt with and then nothing until the next one arrived. Rinse and repeat.
They had blocked off one half of a wide avenue to traffic, which didn’t bother me, and…
I used to be pretty good at programming macros. Give me an Office document and a bit of script, and I’d whip up a system that had some smarts. Nothing commercial, but if you wanted (say) a spreadsheet that could keep track of books that you’d loaned out to friends and pop up alerts when they’d been gone two weeks, I was your woman.
Some might say I was once a cult member but I’m nothing compared to some people I know. I have a distant cousin deeply entrenched in a sect so fundamentalist Christian that Jesus would not recognise…
I read an article by Tavian Jean-Pierre published here a few hours ago. I thought it was deep and insightful and very well-argued but I disagreed with it.
There are only two models. Socrates’ interpretation of Parmenides, as I understand it, is that form is unchanging and matter is the flawed physical manifestation.
We know that there is a value of pi, that may be calculated to an infinite degree of precision. If we draw a circle, no matter how finely we draw it, our measurements will never attain the accuracy of the ideal. …
You've written a book and published it, maybe on Amazon, maybe printed it up as a paperback; now you are considering a new online audience of readers.
Here at ILLUMINATION Book Chapters it’s a different experience. Not a printed book you can hold in our hands, not a Kindle tablet. Instead your hard work is going to be chopped up into chapters and presented as web pages. How do you maintain the relationship with your reader?
Here’s what not to do:
1. Copy your first chapter as a slab of text.
2. Paste it in as a new story
3. Give it a…
Autumn in Melbourne is glorious. The leaves fall, the days are perfect, and this year the Covid restrictions are not too onerous.
I’ve pulled out my bike from the shed and begun using it to romp around my bit of Melbourne.
Not a bad way to spend my time burning off the Covid kilos. Melbourne is a pretty flat part of the world, there are loads of bike paths through parks and by waterways, and the only real problem is that so many others are on their bikes at the same time.
I’ve got a Merida Crossway 10 of a…
The pandemic put a stop to my German classes and since then Duolingo has been a poor substitute. Don’t get me wrong, Duo is a lot of fun. So long as people take it very slow in their speech and refrain from using grammar in their discourse, I can now function admirably well in German society.
I miss the interaction and the personal crafting of the lessons, though. Every week we’d have a song and story to translate and enjoy. I must say that a German lesson goes very well with a rollicking drinking song. …
For the past two months, I have been obsessively refreshing a certain page, one that promised the arrival of a resource that is a once-in-a-lifetime treasure.
This has been a project where I have been a participant — in the most minor and tangential role possible — over ten years, three nations, and countless pages. I have struggled with understanding, delighted in the wit, grappled with strange names, and at every turn enriched myself.
For a week at a time, I would join a select company in reading through a text, discussing every page in detail, often spending hours on…
Britni Pepper has always enjoyed telling stories. About people, places and pleasures.