We have reached October and the last quarter of the year. It's been a strange year and there does not seem to be an end in sight to our current situation with the response to the virus. We appear to be in a second wave here in the UK. I suspect that there is a further bump to come and by that stage, we will be able to move on.

1. Quote of the week

"At his funeral, the priest declared that Dempster might have to spend a million years in purgatory — and paused just long enough to shock the congregation, before adding that, in eternity, a million years would pass in the snap of a finger." -- according to his biography, Tim Willis

Despite the fact that the priest may have been speaking the truth, he would only have caused discomfort with those words. Some things are better left unsaid.

2. What I'm reading

I have finished The BBC by Tom Mills. Tom argues that the BBC is not an independent organisation and never has been. The first example he gives is the reporting of a strike during the very early days of the corporation. There is a tendency to label the BBC as left-leaning but this book argues that this is not the case and that the BBC is ultimately a body influenced by the government of the time. Tom writes well and the narrative is fast-paced. I found it a little difficult to follow when reading it in the evening and after a long day. It requires your concentration.

I have finished the gospel of Mark in the King James Version. This version is quite difficult for me to follow. I'm reading all the books that I have and this bible was the first book I was given, 45 years ago.

I've picked up Google SRE again and I intend to get it finished. There are three long chapters in part III and because they needed more than one sitting, I put the book down. Fortunately, each chapter can be read independently. Hoping to break the back of it this week.

3. What I'm doing in my free time/enjoying

Last weekend, I managed to do some gardening with the help of a friend. I don't really like gardening and tend to put it off. In this case, I simply haven't been able or allowed to do it. We managed to cut and tidy two lawns that hadn't been cut for over two months and have a general tidy up around the garden. I suspect I'll have to do the lawn again before the year is out but it was good to get out there.

Here's the thing - we collectively spent 2 hours out there. These things rarely take a long time once you start.

4. What I'm learning more about

At the moment, I am knee-deep preparing materials for my apprentices and as a result, I'm revising and compiling things I know already.

I have been attending lectures setup by the Philosopher magazine. Some of them have been incredibly interesting because it isn't something I've really delved into before. Usually, the speaker has a book to promote, but occasionally there is a debate instead. They are free and worth an investigation. One of the talks led me to the book on the BBC I mentioned above.

In between and when I get a chance, I'm revising my early Russian lessons. Shockingly I haven't done any proper Russian revision since January... I'm currently revising the verbs of motion, comparatives and the instrumental case. I'm going over the theory and getting it clear in my head.