Sunday, August 30, 2009


My mother is preparing for the zombie invasion.

This may seem like an odd statement, but it's true. She doesn't know she's doing it, she doesn't believe that the invasion is coming. Fortunately for her though, her instincts are much smarter than she is, and are forcing her to prepare unconsciously anyway.

I realised this when my sister mentioned that all her friends would come to our house when the zombies arrive. After thinking about this, I can kind of understand their logic. Although we don't have a cellar, and I always imagined hiding either somewhere underground, or somewhere many floors above ground (even seen a zombie try to climb stairs?)

The most obvious reason is the food supply. My mother has a giant chest freezer, and lots of kitchen cupboard space. She insists upon keeping both the freezer and the cupboards fully stocked, even though for most of the year only she and my sister (Steve) live in the house. She and Steve eat about the equivalent of one normal person's meal a day. Between them.

Mostly they snack on fruit, cheese and crackers, ice lollies and the odd pizza. Their diet is decidedly strange, but mostly it's just limited, and they generally eat very little. Usually if the supply is noticeably decreasing week-by-week, it's either because of me, or Steve's boyfriend, who loves cooking almost as much as he loves eating.

Due to this, you could easily not buy any food for about 3 months (I calculated this careful, and didn't just make it up, not at all). Admittedly, this only works if you don't mind eating lots of low-fat baked beans, and similar things. I suppose if there's a zombie invasion, you probably have bigger things to worry about.

The food isn't the only good reason though. We live in a village. We're about 20 minutes from the nearest real city, and ten from the nearest small town. The population is tiny, and is mostly made up of old people.

Now, you may have noticed that old people are pretty slow. Zombies are pretty slow too. Now, don't get ahead of me, I'm not going to suggest that old people are zombies already, that would be ageist! No, I just think that logically, old people will make even slower zombies than young people do.

So if the majority of the population of my village gets zombified, the plan of action will often be simply to walk away. They'll follow you, but you've got plenty of time to think of a better plan before they get there. Maybe you could offer them a boiled sweet instead of your brains. Or maybe you could hit them in the face with a shovel, it's up to you.

Of course, no one can be said to have survived the zombie holocaust, unless they have a long term strategy. Fortunately for us, there's a field behind our house, at the bottom of which is a river. Two minutes away is a wood, in which live rabbits, hare and deer. My point is that agriculture, fishing and hunting will all be more than possible.

Most people would ask if there's any kind of big wall around the area, which could be used to keep the zombies out. There isn't. Don't suggest building one, not even a fence from the trees from the wood. Let it look like an ordinary deserted village. Who're we keeping out? The zombified elderly? We've already decided that we can hit them with shovels, that seems just fine to me.

All we'd be doing by building defenses, is making other survivors believe we have something to defend. Sometimes people unite against a common enemy, sometimes they attack each other for their resources. Better to let them think we don't have any, they can join us peacefully if they must.

I might be having a bit too much fun with this, but I'm totally up for building an underground bunker in the garden and filling it with weapons and ammo. Y'know, just in case it turns out that this is the kind of zombie that can run fast, because if we get those, the old people will move at a pace fast enough to be worthy of target practice.

Oh! I should build a sniper tower too! Do you think a treehouse would work?

Wednesday, August 26, 2009


Why I need a job:

1. Money.
2. Experience.
3. Structure to my day.

Jobs I'd like to do:

1. Hotel reviewer in exotic city.
2. Shoe model.
3. Jet plane pilot.

Why I'll never get them:

1. There's no call for them in the current economic market.
2. I'd be scared of foot fetishists.
3. When things fly at me at high speed I shriek and throw my arms up to protect my face.

What I'll do instead:

1. Sleep in.
2. Waste time online.
3. Keep being a student for a couple of years, then get a real job.

Friday, August 21, 2009


Someone wants me dead. I must have annoyed somebody who has one of those friends "who knows a bit about black magic." Y'know, like that friend everyone has "who knows a bit about computers" and who will tinker with your laptop, proclaim it fixed, and then vanish from the face of the Earth when, inevitably, the problem gets worse a week later.

I assume they don't know much because I am still here, though it is possible that they are Toying With Me.

My fear knows no bounds.

In the past two weeks I have nearly died three times.

1. I went to plug in my laptop (which fortunately remains un-tinkered-with by anyone who knows anything about computers), and noticed that the socket was soaking wet. It's below a pot-plant, which clearly had recently been over-watered. Only my incredible powers of observation saved my from electrocution.

2. I nearly got run over by a Porsche. I only ever nearly get hit by very expensive cars, presumably because if the Gods can't quite kill me, they still want me to have to worry about owing people a lot of money.

I also quite regularly nearly get run over, sometimes the other side of the street is just too interesting to worry about looking both ways. This guy meant it though, he was going too fast, and I was at a crossing. The fact that I hadn't pressed the button has nothing to do with it.

3. I got followed by a gang of mods back from Ikea. I was with Euan. We are rockers (technically). Mods hate rockers. We nearly died. Only the decidedly un-rock-and-roll nature of his mother's car saved us from taunting and swift death.

Fortunately I don't think they suspected us, thank goodness the ancient automobile doesn't have a CD-Player, or there's a good chance we would have been playing Boston or something. Now we are safe I feel quite confident in mocking them. I only wish I was cool enough to ride a Vesper.

To whomever is trying to have me killed: Your wizard isn't very good, his attempt at hexing me has failed, ask for your money back.

In future I'd suggest a ninja.

A Quick Comparison

...Of Mathematics and Hard Drugs

The way I see it, mathematics is a lot like opium. That's a bold statement, so allow me to explain a little.

As with opium, most people never use mathematics at all, and rarely come into contact with it. Sure, kids are taught to count and add up, the same way they're given Calpol when they're ill - there's nothing wrong with that - it's even a good thing. However, just as no one would compare Calpol to heroin, no one would compare adding to calculus.

Some people only use mathematics when they have to, and the experience is rarely enjoyable. It may bring some relief, and help to overcome a problem that could not be surpassed without it, but that doesn't mean they'd consider themselves a mathematician. A user.

In the same way, if you're in a great deal of pain, you may succumb to morphine or Vicodin. You don't want to, and you don't associate the use with a happy experience. You do need to though, and there's no shame in that, it'll help you recover faster.

Finally we come to those who use it all the time. Mathematicians are maths junkies, just like heroin addicts are opium junkies. Unable to function properly in society (watch as I carefully avoid making mathematics-based puns). Never being quite accepted by their peers, although clearly many feel sorry for them, and would like to be able to help.

Interestingly, both mathematicians and junkies tend to live for their poison. They are also very concerned with the purity of their experiences, as well as their ability to transcend all else.

It isn't just the users of mathematics and drugs from which a stark parallel may be drawn. Consider also the history. The development of both drugs and mathematics has been propagated by outlaws and rebels. Mathematicians rejected by the church for questioning God and pushing the limits of perfection, addicts were equally rejected, though generally less memorably. Both often went mad.

I may have mentioned before that I'd be good at coming up with conspiracy theories. I only hope that no terrifying Christian cult finds this argument and starts attacking mathematicians for their "over-pure" thoughts. Although, it is quite clearly unnatural.

Consider yourself warned. Mathematics can be dangerous to your health and your social life. Just say no.

P.S. Fiona's allowed me to put a link to her Vet Science blog. It's in the link section with the others. She's a very occasional mathematics user, and needs your support.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009


I'm rubbish at counting calories. I don't own a set of scales. I do a little exercise (to the point that if I miss it it ruins my day) but nowhere near as much as is probably required or recommended for the amount I eat.

As far as I'm concerned I'm thin enough if my jeans fit and fit enough if I can run up the stairs without getting out of breath. Both are true almost 100% of the time.

I have a lot of rules about food, mostly I make them up as I go along, but they seem to do the job. For example;

1. Anything I eat whilst standing up doesn't count.
2. If I break it into smaller pieces it's better for me.
3. I can eat all the chocolate if I've left the flat and eaten a stick of celery - not necessarily at the same time.

Also, if I think really hard about being thinner, I usually feel thinner. Mind over matter and all that jazz. I'd like to believe that my mind was good enough to actually destroy matter - I only wish it worked on everything else. Imagine the fun I could have!

I'm going on holiday to Cornwall in about a month (exotic, I know). I would like to be able to wear cutesy surfer shorts and a bikini top to play games on the beach. Maybe even just the bikini, and if I'm honest, I'm probably confident enough to do it, so long as the weather's good. But I feel guilty that I don't feel obliged to diet or do more exercise in order to prepare.

I also feel guilty that I can eat as much as the guys I live with (occasionally more) and not be the size of a rhino. I do sometimes skip lunch, but that's more out of forgetfulness than a concern for my calorie intake.

I am better at feeling guilty than doing anything about my guilt. I am also better at thought than action - since thought rarely involves me having to organise anything. I hear it's the thought that counts. So I'll be thinking very hard about being skinny.

One day my metabolism will crash and I'll put on six stone in 48 hours. It's all I deserve.