What I now know about warts

What I now know about warts

Warts. We’ve all heard of them; we’ve all seen them; but how many of us know what they’re all about? I realized I didn’t have a clue until I found myself the not-so-proud owner of one. In December 2011 I discovered one on my thumb. I finally shook it exactly 2 years later in December 2013, and I’d like to tell you what I learnt during that time. Warts are caused by the HPV virus. In fact, the P in HPV stands for papilloma, the medical name for warts. You may have heard of HPV as a sexually transmitted infection that’s linked to cervical cancer and throat cancer. Seems pretty terrifying? But here’s something that wasn’t clear from the outset: there’s not just one kind of HPV virus. Different kinds of HPV infect...

Ebooks for materialists

Ebooks for materialists

You probably won’t be surprised to know that I love music. I have bought over 650 albums over the last 15 or so years and my collection is still growing fast. Almost every one of those albums I have bought on CD. And yet, the first thing I do when I get a new CD is rip it so that I can listen to it in digital format on my iPod. I’ve often thought about why it is that I hold on so tightly to the physical medium, even though music is readily available and easier to acquire as digital downloads. I think it’s because I’m a massive materialist. An album doesn’t really feel like an album unless I can touch it. I like being able to flick through the album artwork and liner notes. I like the craft involved in packaging. And I like displaying...

My coming out blog post: I am polyamorous

My coming out blog post: I am polyamorous

This has been something of an open secret for some time but it’s time I came out properly. I am polyamorous, and I believe I have been all my adult life: it just took me until 3 years ago to realize it. If you’ll bear with me I’ll try to be as brief as I can but this is a subject that takes a fair bit of explaining, so this is still going to be long. Sorry! Being polyamorous basically means I don’t experience relationships as exclusive. That I sometimes have more than one relationship at the same time with the knowledge and consent of everyone involved. And my partner(s) also have relationships with other people with my knowledge and consent. Sometimes people say this looks like I’m afraid of commitment, but it’s really just a different kind of commitment. The...

I want to talk about immigration

Yes, this is my first blog post in a very long time. I’ve been focusing primarily on Leeds Beer Quest, which is going brilliantly and has recently hit 100 reviews! It may be my imagination, but I feel like I am hearing more and more anti-immigration rhetoric all the time. And the policies of the current government are getting more and more anti-immigration all the time. High-profile incidents recently include the “Go Home campaign” and immigration officers on the Tube randomly stopping people who look or sound foreign to ask for papers. These are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to recent changes in the way the government is handling immigration to this country. What is the basis of this crackdown? Why are people becoming more hostile...

Leeds Tube map updated

Leeds Tube map updated

My Leeds Tube map was an unexpected hit on Twitter, and I even ended up being in the Yorkshire Evening Post! I also received some feedback from people who would like to see my fantasy tube support more of the population centres in Leeds. Some of the feedback was very constructive so I’ve taken the time to update it with two new lines, the East Circle, connecting settlements in East Leeds, and the West Line that connects Armley and Bramley with the rail network. I also updated the Google Map to show the real1 locations of these stations. View Leeds Tube in a larger map As before, this is released under an attribution-noncommercial licence, so feel free to print it out or use it yourself for things as long as you credit me and don’t make any money from...

Leeds Tube map

Leeds Tube map

Hello visitors! See this update! Leeds is an amazing city: my favourite place I’ve ever lived. But one thing it does really badly is public transport. We have one massive railway station in the centre of town and then (with a few exceptions) the rest of the city is accessible by unreliable, expensive and unpleasant First buses. As I have got to know the city better, one thing has kept coming back to me: wouldn’t it be amazing if Leeds had a metro system? So I imagined an alternate reality where the city I love has an amazing and reliable underground railway called Leeds Tube. Leeds Tube has several lines that connect the major population centres and attractions, including the Meanwood Line which connects the various settlements in North Leeds that...

Leeds Beer Quest

Regular readers of my blog (if such a thing exists) will notice it’s gone quiet here recently. I’ve not vanished, but I do have another project to keep me occupied! Emily and I are on a Leeds Beer Quest! We’re on a mission to visit every single pub and bar in Leeds city centre and review them. We’ve done 36 so far, which sounds like a lot, but we’ve got at least 140 to do! Check us out over there, especially if you live in Leeds and you’re looking for some ideas about new places to go out (or places to avoid). The address is pretty memorable: http://leedsbeer.info/ I’ve also not given up my commitments to Twitter and Flickr, and you can find me on those sites by following the links to the right hand side. I do have loads...