A Christmas post

I’ve been meaning to write a post for some time, but the last few weeks have been so busy that there has been no opportunity. So I find myself on Christmas Day, composing this post on my new Android tablet. I don’t have reliable WiFi access at home, so I will be adding to this post  over the next days, and publishing it when I’m next in a WiFi zone.

First, about the tablet. This year has seen my conversion from Windows Phone to Android (although I still have my Windows phone for another couple of weeks until the contract expires). It all started with my purchase of a dual-sim Android phone earlier in the year, explicitly for travel abroad (I have an international sim card to avoid roaming charges). I actually only got an Android phone because of the cost, but as I started to use it, the advantages became clear. There were more apps, and generally far more flexibility. This opened the door to start me thinking about Android for my next upgrade, and indeed I will be going for a Samsung Galaxy S3 in January. As for the tablet, I have my dear wife to thank. Seeing how I often struggle to connect both my laptop and my phone to WiFi, and having seen some excellent advertising on Ideal World, she suggested that I might consider purchasing a relatively cheap Android tablet  to use when I’m out and about. Lighter and easier to carry than a laptop, but  with a decent screen size for typing and reading documents. And, as I’ve found out, superb for connecting to WiFi. So I indeed purchased a tablet, a Coby Kyros MD8042-8, for about £100. When it arrived I had to test it was working 🙂 , and I’ve kept it updated, but today is the first day I’m using it officially!

So, back to what’s been happening. I’ll review the last year in detail separately, but briefly, we finished teaching on 14 December, and a few days later (18 December) saw me travelling to St Andrews for the annual solid state chemistry meeting. This went well, with a talk by Scott Walker representing my research team’s recent activities.. Then I was back in work for a couple of days, mainly finishing off various bits of administration, until the Christmas break properly kicked off on Saturday 22 December. I should mention that I saw, and really enjoyed the first of the three films of The Hobbit, in the Festival Park Odeon on 20 December. We  had a couple of food shopping trips on 22/23 December, including a horrendous Morrison’s experience, but yesterday and today have been largely spent chilling.

For quite a few years we have felt that Christmas TV isn’t what it used to be, and we don’t watch much now as a result. But we did watch The Snowman and The Snow Dog on Christmas Eve, and loved it. After all these years, Raymond Briggs still works his magic. Earlier in the afternoon I had listened to the Festival of 9 Lessons and Carols from King’s College Cambridge, having deliberately snubbed it last year (because it had started to irritate me). But this year I enjoyed it, especially the wonderful new carol by John Rutter, ‘All Bells in Paradise’.  On Christmas Day we only watched the documentary about the Military Wives Choir, and a repeat of the Raymond Briggs programme from Christmas Eve.

At the beginning I did say that this post would be written over several days, but I didn’t anticipate that I actually wouldn’t be fit to add anything until virtually the end of the year. As it happened, I went down with a cold/flu bug on Christmas Day,  which has held me in its grip ever since. So today, 30th December,  I’ll post what I have written so that my summary of 2012 can be written and posted before the year finally ends!

Posted from WordPress for Android


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