Howard Rogers has been writing about presents and tea (two things I don’t get enough of!) which reminded me of the most misguided present I ever bought for my wife. At the time she was studying computational linguistics, so I thought perhaps a couple of computer books might go down well, how wrong was I? What exactly is wrong with “UNIX in a Nutshell” and “sed & awk”? Both are fine O’Reilly publications. At least I remembered to buy a more ‘personal’ gift too.
When I was a kid we used to have a public holiday on the Monday after Whitsun (or more commonly, Pentecost) but in a now somewhat secular Britain the holiday has been fixed to the last Monday of May, a day traditionally associated with rain! I’m sure it did not rain at Whitsun when my mother used to take me to the local fair on Hampstead Heath. And today is wet, well wet enough not to mow the green space behind my house that optimistically goes by the name of grass. Still, by completing the ironing and house cleaning, and even motivating the kids to do chores I will at least been seen by my wife (when she gets back from her weekend break without us) as neither bone-idle nor constantly on the internet