Tax forms

Why are they so complicated??

Ehehe, I’ve just been filing my return for 2014/15 and the forms can get a bit confuzzling sometimes. Thank goodness for helpful helpsheets ^^


The Top One Hundred Pasta Sauces

No, I’m not going to list them, hehe. There’s nothing much to report on the freelance proofreading front, so I thought I’d ramble a bit about one of my favourite recipe books.

‘The Top One Hundred Pasta Sauces’, by Diane Seed, was published in the early 1980s, and is now technically out of print (although second-hand copies are available in relative abundance on Amazon, at least in the UK). As it says on the cover, it contains 100 different examples of lovely things that you can do to and with pasta; the recipes come from all over Italy, so there’s a lot of variety. There are no photographs — the lavish and colourful illustrations were done by one Robert Budwig, and they make this book a joy to read and use.

The recipes themselves are generally pretty easy to make and, apart possibly from pecorino romano cheese, the ingredients are usually fairly easy to find and not too expensive. This was especially good for me, because this is about the only recipe book I used during my whole time at university! Ehehe…

My personal favourite recipes include Tagliolini al Salmone (tagliolini with smoked salmon), a lovely and quick-to-make dish that’s especially good for late spring and summer; Rigatoni alla Norcina (rigatoni with Norcia sauce), a creamy-sauce-and-sausages dish that’s a great winter warmer (being unable to easily obtain genuine Norcia sausages, I use standard British bangers, which work pretty well); and Paglia e Fieno alla Ciociara (paglia e fieno farmhouse style), a creamy pea, ham and mushroom dish that would also work pretty darn well as a filling for vols-au-vents. This is only a small selection, because if I were to enumerate all the recipes that I like, I’d probably run into some awkwardness with copyright laws.

It’s also not strictly necessary to use the specific type of pasta listed in the ingredients for a particular recipe; many’s the time, for example,that I’ve made the Spaghetti alla Carbonara recipe using conchigle (shells) or fusilli (twists) instead. It still tasted just as good!

That’s about all for now. Thanks for reading!

Positive feedback! (and other things)

I’ve been receiving some extremely positive feedback on my little poetry collection. My late grandmother’s social circle (to whom I have been distributing copies) appear to be very impressed with it. This is encouraging, as many of them are inclined in a literary or artistic direction, so they have a pretty good idea of what they’re talking about.

One person commented especially favourably on the ‘eagle at radio production desk’ drawing06 The Eagle (left) which I created to illustrate one of the more humorous poems in the collection, and suggested that I take up drawing professionally. This is a nice idea, but I’m a little reluctant to move ahead with it at the moment, for a few reasons. Firstly, I’m still building up a client list for my proofreading, so to create another facet to my business at this stage might well be biting off more than I can chew. Secondly, I am fairly certain that I lack drawing skill in areas such as complicated perspective and certain aspects of human figures (especially hands), which would limit the sort of commissions I could take on. Thirdly, I have somewhat limited resources. For example, the ‘eagle’ drawing above is crayon and felt tip on very basic A4 printer paper (signature added in Gnu Image Manipulation Program). This is how I usually do my ‘traditional’ art. Working as a freelance artist/illustrator would likely require more specialised papers and printers than I can currently afford. Speaking of printers: My digital art tends to be more cel-shaded, and retains the same sightly wobbly, cartoonish, somewhat anime-esque style as my non-digital art. I need considerable practice in this area before I can, in good conscience, market myself on this area.

Those are my reasons for being reluctant to go into illustration on a professional level. This being said, I’m not completely ruling out adding an art/illustration side to my freelance business. I am very likely to be moving house before this year is out. Once this is complete and the dust has settled, and once the proofreading side of the business is reasonably stable, I will endeavour to devote some time to bringing my artistic abilities up to snuff and start to put out feelers in the direction of freelance illustration. This should be interesting 😀

Bioethics Forum Collaboration

The Philosopher's Eye

1280px-Human_Paneth_cells Image credit: Jpogi (Wikimedia Commons)

Bioethics Forum, the blog of the Hastings Center Report, publishes thoughtful commentary from a range of perspectives on timely issues in bioethics. Starting this month, Philosopher’s Eye will bring you a digest of the most relevant commentary from Bioethics Forum and Hastings Center scholars. With over 100 contributing bloggers working in a variety of positions, the blog supports a breadth of topics relevant to researchers, medical practitioners, health care professionals, ethicists, and philosophers.  The opinions expressed are those of the authors and not The Hastings Center.

The Hastings Center Report has a long-standing history of exploring the ethical, legal, and social issues in medicine, health care, public health, and the life sciences. Wiley is proud of our continued partnership with the Hastings Center and their publications. For more information on this publication, take a look at their free sample issue for 2015.

UPDATE: Read Bioethics Digest:…

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The Philosopher's Eye

1280px-Human_Paneth_cellsImage credit: Jpogi (Wikimedia Commons)

Welcome to the first Bioethics Digest, brought to you in association with the editors of the Bioethics Forum. This digest aims to bring you commentary on today’s most topical bioethics issues. The opinions expressed are those of the authors and not The Hastings Center.



Sacred versus Synthetic: Nature Preservationism and Biotechnology

Eventbrite-image-400x400One of the long-term contributions of Earth Day, which occurred on April 22, is that it offers a regular, semi-official reminder that a sense of the sacred is a vital part of environmentalism. But in the era of biotechnology, the notion of sacredness can pull in other directions.

A recent public form on synthetic biology hosted by Friends of the Earth and some other civil society groups effectively brought out how the notion of sacredness is woven into objections to genetically modifying microorganisms to produce fuel, cosmetics, medicines, and other chemicals. The event was titled “Sacred versus…

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Bank Holiday slowdown

It’s the Early May Bank Holiday in the UK, so things are a wee bit slow.

On the other hand, I seem to have secured a project for later in the year, and people have been asking about my rates and so forth, so it seems that things are finally starting to pick up! *happy dance*

Also, I’ve sent out many, many copies of my poetry project to my grandmother’s social circle, and feedback so far has been very positive. 😀

I’ve also recently had an opportunity to do some serious philosophising, which was very enjoyable. ^_^

That’s all for now, I guess…

Okay, bye!

Love, the airport

(Ehehehe… yes, I do like Cabin Pressure ^^)

Feminist and Religious Ethics: A Conversation

The Philosopher's Eye

Religious EthicsThe focus of Journal of Religious Ethics 43:2 is a conversation at and about the interface of feminist ethics and religious ethics, in order to show what these multifaceted fields of intellectual endeavor and practical import have to say to each other, to teach and to learn. The seven essays approach that dialogue from a variety of angles and traditions, reflecting the fecundity of both fields and the wide-ranging concerns of colleagues in religious ethics who share commitments and methods with feminist ethics.

Throughout these articles, themes and methods characteristic of feminist thought prevail, perhaps especially feminism’s insistence on the crucial value of a particularist perspective for moral deliberation. From Hille Haker’s powerful story of Valentina, a Moldovan mother who fell prey to sex traffickers, to the voices of young black lesbians, in the essay by Thelathia N. Young and Shannon J. Miller, mourning the disruption of formative relationships with…

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