Monthly Archives: May 2015

Article in Al-Monitor

So, how do we get rid of the ghastly IS savages rampaging through the Middle East?

Al-Monitor has an answer straight from the Congress:



  • Dog eats Norwich fan’s play-off final tickets
  • Coffee shop scolds sugar users, demands they sample “natural sweetness of coffee” first
  • Saudi advertises for swordsmen as execution rate soars
  • Gay Lovers Discover They’re Actually Half-Brothers After TV DNA Test
  • Beyonce’s Decision To Pour A Bottle Of ‘$20,000 Champagne’ Into A Jacuzzi Has Angered A Lot Of People


New hiding place

I found a new hiding place this morning. It’s a McDonald’s outlet at a certain petrol station in Doha.


  • open 24/7
  • quiet and friendly, especially early in the morning
  • free Wi-Fi
  • Gulf Times for a free read
  • cheap coffee (QR 9 for a mid-size plastic cup of cappuccino – which wasn’t half bad – compare that with the extortion that goes on at Starbucks, overpriced, overrated and over the top)
  • clean table
  • soft seat
  • decent toilet
  • no fuss
  • PLUS: I don’t like their food so am unlikely to order any!


Name and connotations

Creep that sat at the table next to mine and kept staring and picking his nose


I don’t care, will go again with books and papers and iPad

I drank my coffee, revised one chapter of thesis, read an article in the GT (reprint from The Guardian), went on my way happy and fulfilled.

The article was by Oliver Burkeman:

In a pretentious post-modernist way, we have got used to words such as “story” or “narrative” in relation to doctoral theses, qualitative research methodology, as well as people’s lives even if lived carelessly and formlessly and boringly and without a resolution other than death. Burkeman’s article questions the idea of narrativity as applied to human existence (though he mentions two types of people, Episodics and Diachronics, citing philosopher Strawson).

Yes, well, narrativity is suspicious outside literature where it has its rightful place and where it is based on purposeful structure. Because there is a difference between life and literature – in literature everything has form and the formless or insignificant is consigned to silence, unlike in life where it just flows flotsam and jetsam style together with bigger, more important things. So there.

FOR EXAMPLE: One evening, a couple of years ago (January 2013, to be precise), I was watching a cookery programme on TV with Jamie Oliver concocting a very tasty looking dish of chicken in piri-piri sauce. Finishing it off, he said something like this (can’t remember the exact words), “let’s put a few leaves of fresh coriander on top, like this, to let them tell a story…”  

I mean, really, a coriander story? What is this? A new age of herb narrativity? Please…

Incidentally, I have found his recipe online, but without the comment he made on the TV show: