I have a telly. Can’t believe it. I don’t like TV. But I was down in the shared cellar the other day throwing out my recycling and I  noticed a cardboard box in the corner. Now lately I put my gas-pillar office chair down there when it started to leak stinky hydraulic fluid all over the kitchen floor, and before I came back with a colleague who had offered to help me take it to the dump in his car… someone had taken it. So I am interpreting this as meaning that that dark place is a kind of free-for-all. The box contained a vacuum cleaner.

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Congratulations Dr Jim

Monday just past my friend Jim became Dr Steel. It’s been great to see him confidently going through the procedure of writing up, submitting and arranging a jury. French defenses are different from British ones. Where mine was a private meeting between me and my internal and external examiners in my supervisor’s office with Sophia herself lurking sitting at another table, Jim’s was a public event comprising a presentation (photos on flickr) before the jury panel, colleagues, guests and family after which anyone in the audience with a PhD can ask questions!

No, I didn’t. Apparently it’s not common and anyway I was forced to leave the room at the crucial moment by a coughing fit.