March 24th, 2003

breaking bad


I went for a walk yesterday on a disused railway track that gives a dry and unobstructed pathway into Warwickshire. I remembered walking down that way late in October a few years back. It was bleak and monochrome, and there were huge crows flying from tree to tree. I thought about Ted Hughes who was alive at that time, and I wondered whether a poet experiences life more intensely than I do?

When Crow was white he decided the sun was too white.
He decided it glared much too whitely.
He decided to attack it and defeat it.

And I thought, what when he is dead? Is it better to be alive, walking on a railway track, or to be a dead poet, who once felt life intensely but can no longer experience anything?

Then I got back to the car, and it was getting dark. I switched on the radio, and the newsreader said that Ted Hughes had died.
breaking bad


According to my publishers, the textbook I wrote in the 90's is now in use in 22% of all schools in this country. Which I think is good.

I presume they mean 22% of schools in the right age range. but still.

They have asked me to agree to it being translated into Arabic. Which is - you know - fine by me. Checking the small print I see that I will get something less than a penny for every Arabic book sold. Quite a bit less than a penny actually. Hope I sell a lot then.
breaking bad

Entrances to hell

This site has been around for a while but I think it is worth mentioning

I am glad to see some of my favourite entrances to hell listed here, such as
Famras (
and Banu (

Though be warned, that 'Banu has become a dangerous place since being upgraded in 1999. It now forms an intersection between the flat universe and the bevelled universe. For humans this means that Banu drinks the spirit, halves the mind, and causes stomach problems.'

Although there is a map, I don't recommend approaching this entrance to hell, except in protective clothing.