Last week: relaxing in the Lake District. Last went about 25 years ago and forgot how beautiful it can be.

Tarn Hows - Lake District, March 2007

Took the time to do some walking, banjo playing and reading. Best book of the week – still some pages to go – has to be “The Book of Dave” by Will Self. I’ve tried a few of his previous books (just by standing in bookshops and browsing the first few pages) but they seemed a bit too knowing… I bought this on impulse. Probably would have rejected it if I had time to read the first few pages. It’s two novels in one – Dave’s story set in the approximate present, and a dystopian future 500 or so years ahead where Dave’s impact has been considerable and resulted in a new religion and belief system. Both parts are excellent but, when combined, the overall effect is superb. Difficult first 30 pages or so but well worth the initial persistence.

Previous two weeks: Spent much of the time preparing for and presenting at RM’s national conferences. Some highlights for me included John Davitt at Manchester and Dr Nick Baylis at London. Also Professor Tim Brighouse and his definition of sustainability: “holding on to those things we value most in times of great change.”

For me, the most adrenalin-charged moment in the presentation was creating a live podcast with the help of the audience. Made all the easier – just made possible in fact – with Podium. It’s a really neat solution to creating podcasts and feeds. A lot of hard work must have gone into this to make the software so simple and effective to use.