Monthly Archives: June 2006

My leaving speech, since people asked

I’ve always been one for cheerful farewells, because I’ve seen that most farewells are temporary. However, no matter what some people would have you believe, I am not completely heartless, so although this speech is light-hearted, there is a core of affection and sentiment here for a special place with many special people. Oh, and if Claudia thinks she’s heard some of the worst puns in her life – well, she hasn’t heard anything yet.

I’d just like to say that the first part of this speech is Fran’s fault. It was entirely her idea, so Alex-pect you to direct any disapproval towards her rather than me. Fran-curly speaking, however, it’s not a good idea to Andre-estimate my pun-making abilities, especially when I am given a challenge. When I meet a chasm across which I cannot leap, my first response it always to try and Bridget. Making puns has always been my weakness – you could almost say it’s my A-Kelly-s Heel. When I’m on a roll, my fingers get all Ting-Li, specially when the puns are new and Yannick. I hope, therefore, that she will Rooi the day she made this suggestion, and I will Tanka you not to judge me too Harsh-ly, for although what I am about to say lowers the Toon, it also fits the Bill. In fact, you could almost say it was Taylor-made for the occasion. I hadn’t Ashleigh planned to Mackay this speech from this Conor of the room, so I apologise for any randomness it might have. I do, however, think this is a Xana-ing example of what you can accomplish in a single afternoon, if you sit down and say “Well, Lucie what I can do, applying my Onella-stic standards to the output.” I hadn’t realised the school list was such a goldmine of puns, and of course the more you look the Richard it gets. Ivan to say, however, that I apologise for hurting your Felix, and Natalie Alfie-eel deeply hurt if your thoughts of me are turning Nastya by the second.

I would also like to say that the weather in England being what it is, when the skies get Claudia in the winter, it’s always a good idea to have a Sveta or two. I could easily Philipp a great deal of time with puns like this, and Dax the truth. How-Eva, none of this is really Germaine to the occasion, Zoe-t gives me great pleasure to fine-Eli wind up this part of my speech and get on with ex-Zak-tly what I had originally intended to say,

Ah, dearest Brockwood,
Farewell to thee –
Land of sweet muesli
And of peppermint tea.

Ah, dearest, fairest Brockwood,
My time here now seems fleeting,
As I think back on all that rota,
And every Moaning Meeting

Ah, dearest, fairest, loveliest Brockwood,
I would say more, if my writer’s block would
Disappear, then I could perhaps say
In better words what I feel, on this fine feast-day.

The things I have seen, and those I love most,
I drink to them now, with this orange-juice toast.

To friends I have made,
And talks with them had.
A merry parade
Of the glad, sad and mad.

To walks in the Grove,
And to Inwoods in the frost;
To Devon, and camping,
And to socks I have lost.

To equations simple,
To equations simultaneous.
To equations quadratic
And to Theorem Pythagoreous,

To ankles that sprain,
To warm fire-light
To wild wind and rain
To blessed holiday-quiet.

To sunshine on the grass,
Newly-mown, fragrant.
To heavenly pizza,
And rule-bending, flagrant!

To puns I have made,
In moments of crisis;
Let no one forget
That I am no riceist!

To things I should have said –
Can we pretend that I said them?
And to those that I shouldn’t –
Apologies, I regret them.

To concerts and choirs,
To late-night conversations,
To sunshine on the dew,
And midnight railway stations.

To the Vento, that I loved;
To my own library lair,
And the many strange things
You encounter down there.

Ah, what the heck….

To being sentimental!
I can no longer resist!
To good friends everywhere!
To telling people they will be missed!

The time has come to move on,
But rest you easy, have you no fear!
I’m only going to London,
So I’ll visit, and plague you next year.

I was looking in the mirror this morning

And I discovered that I only have 24 teeth. Dammit! Where’s my full complement? Where are my 32 white horses, all stamping on a red hill, or some such weird mental picture that is part of a riddle that Bilbo asks Gollum in The Hobbit?

Ok, I know I’ve had the old wisdoms out – that’s 4, and I think 2 more were removed to make space for braces – but where O where are the others? I feel suddenly inadequate to take on the world. It’s the tooth, the whole tooth and nothing but the tooth.

Interesting flavour
Interesting flavour of ice-cream, in Ambleside.

How to depress an entire school, Part 1

Items required: set of photographs of leaving students; sentimental music; data projector; laptop.

Setup: Connect laptop to projector and to amplifier. Construct slideshow of said pictures of leaving students on laptop. Start slideshow. Play “So Far Away” by Dire Straits, followed by “With or Without You” by U2. Observe results.

NB: Be prepared to mop floors soon afterwards. Small children should not be present; risk of drowning.

Technology being driven by economics

The primary motivating force behind the adoption and success of most technologies has been ultimately economic – people buy this product not necessarily because it’s the best, or even the most suitable, but because it’s the cheapest. In many areas, this has led to fantastic success – I can’t imagine any incentive that would have produced the results that have been seen in, for example, CPU power, caused only by cutthroat competition between chip manufacturers. It’s a terrific success, and great for the customer.

I wonder, however, if we can afford to let the same thing happen when it comes to environmental issues. I have a sense that to wait until the market tips in favour of environmentally sounder technologies will be waiting too long. If we’re serious about tackling global warming, the consensus seems to be that we have to tackle it now – can’t wait until (if and when) hydrogen becomes a more economical option than fossil fuel, or wind power eventually overtakes coal-based generation. Having an open market is all well and good, but I think it’s just going to result in an enormous missed opportunity. The technology is there – it would be abhorrent to let it go to waste out of sheer cussed devotion to the free market system.

The best advice I’ve been given recently is…

“If you say it – to her, to anyone else, or to yourself, then you will believe it, and that is your grave dug right there.”

Guess what I just went and did? Excuse me while I go bang my head on a desk.

In other news, MAKE BACKUPS!! I nearly lost my entire picture collection because my external drive went down, and I hadn’t backed up any of the originals. It only takes one failure.

You have to admire daisies

Really, you do. Or at least I have to. One day after the lawn has been mown, there they are, undaunted, rearing proudly up above the grass, unfurled happily, grinning into the sky. Invincible. I like that.

Stupid ankle. Stupid basketball.

Stupid me. Still can’t do anything useful with that leg – walking is about as much strain as it will take. Even swimming freestyle is too much – I had to swim breast-stroke instead. Not that I would have been able to swim much freestyle anyway, but it’s the principle of the thing. Don’t you oppress me!

Bah! Grumble, grumble, grumble.

This is of no interest to anyone but me

Shadowfax has been overheating. Quite a bit. The cooling fan would stop working randomly, and the first I’d know about it would be when the CPU temperature was nudging 60, and the system throttled it back to 600MHz to prevent meltdown. This of course brought things to a glacial crawl, and when I need speed I need speed, dammit!

So… today I was poking around in the fan housing, and a rubber band – of all things – fell out. That explains a lot, methinks.