Collapsing shed

MJG DIY, Life Leave a Comment

2 weeks ago I mentioned my collapsing shed – in the solution of the mosquito mystery. To catch you up – the shed roof had collapsed, so I replaced it with tarps as a temporary solution. The offshoot of this was that the tarpaulin caught all the rainwater, weighed the shed down, and forced the shed to bow inward. A secondary offshoot was that all this standing water let mosquitos flourish – they were always in the house. I started bailing out the roof and the mosquitos disappeared. Today I took some pictures, after fresh rainfall on Friday. All bailed …

Cowboy clothes at work?

MJG Life Leave a Comment

I’ve been playing Red Dead Redemption 2, and have fallen in love with cowboy style. Not the cowboy style you’re probably thinking of. No to tassles. No to spurs or chaps or even the hat, because though it does look cool, and makes sense for extreme sun in the West, I can’t pull it off in London. Yes instead to smart-looking jeans or dark khakis. A plain white or gray button-up collar or Henley shirt. A cotton/twill/wool/denim waistcoat with some brocade. A long jacket or duster. It looks awesome. I’ve been into waistcoats for a while, but not found one …

Roaring taps in the kitchen

MJG Life 1 Comment

When I turn the hot water on in the downstairs bathroom, the pipes roar. Sometimes the hot water cuts out for no obvious reason. Sometimes they vibrate very loudly, sometimes they whistle. What the heck? Some time ago I figured out what was causing this phenomenon. The kitchen mixer tap is two years old and the ceramic washers inside it, or the cheap rubber washer that seals them, have perished. This also explains why the hot tap is constantly leaking. When those pipes are roaring, it is because air is getting sucked in through the dripping tap. What a pain. …

Carpal Tunnel update

MJG Life Leave a Comment

Yesterday I promised an update on my carpal tunnel situation in my right wrist, and lo today it appeareth. I went in to see the doctor on Tuesday to get the news and have a consultation – this is a week after they did an electromyogram on my right arm. What an electromyogram involves is electric receivers on your wrist while the doctor gives you electric shocks in your elbow. It gives a speed, which, combined with the length of your forearm which the doctor also measures, gives you an idea of your nerve conductivity. I suppose that tells them …

Revamped ‘About’ about me

MJG Life, Writing Leave a Comment

Thinking about my post from a few days back – about thinking more about mentoring – I’ve rethought my About and updated it on the site front page. Here it is: Michael John Grist is a bestselling British/American author, adventurer and teacher. His 9-book Last Mayor zombie apocalypse series has sold over 10,000 copies and was optioned for a movie, while his Ignifer Cycle epic fantasy series is being produced for audio by major publisher Podium. For 11 years Michael lived in Tokyo exploring and photographing Japan’s modern ruins, such as abandoned military bases, ghost towns and underground bunkers, gaining …

Red Dead Redemption 2

MJG Life Leave a Comment

Hoo boy, I am playing some serious video games today! Red Dead Redemption 2 just came out, and it’s being called the best video game ever made. I bought it at Sainsburys along with some bagels and curry flavor baked beans. I’m only 2 hours in, still locked into the strict story/tutorial mode, but it is fun. It’s also gorgeous. Graphically this must be the greatest, deepest virtual world ever created. That’s something. I also have Witcher, but it hasn’t grabbed me like this. Maybe it is the extent to which Red Dead has put the training wheels on. You …

Doctor Who series 11 episode 4 – Arachnids in the UK review

MJG Doctor Who, Life, Reviews, TV Leave a Comment

After the intense social commentary and emotional social justice warrior-ing of episode 3 Rosa Parks, Chris Chibnall’s Doctor Who goes for a simple ‘monster of the week’ episode – in this case, spiders. But this new Doctor (Jodie Whittaker) can’t leave PC politicking well enough alone. It’s everywhere you look, and I admire that enormously. The episode begins with the Doctor, Yaz, Ryan and Graham arriving back in Sheffield, and facing their imminent dissolution. The Doctor is about to go off on her own, the others back to their lives. It’s quite a sad moment, because sure, the Doctor leads …

Highgate Cemetary West

MJG Churches / Shrines, Life, Ruins / Haikyo Leave a Comment

A few months back we went to Highgate Cemetary West side on a guided tour with su’s family. We had her sister and two boys staying with us in the living room for 2 weeks. The whole trip was crazy fun, unlike anything we’ve done before, except for maybe big family events when WE were the kids! How odd to be on the other side of that… Highgate West is pretty fantastic – except for the areas where they’ve been cleaning and conserving. They see their mission there as being to bring the cemetary back to its original glory. My …

How to become an author mentor?

MJG Life, Writing Leave a Comment

I’ve been thinking more recently about trying to use what I know about writing and publishing to help other authors write, publish and market their books. This is often called author mentoring, but for me also includes creative writing teaching. I’m doing research to figure out how to get into this field. As far as I can see, there are two parallel tracks – this is what they look like: TRADITIONAL ROUTE Get trade published (ie – not self-published). Get an MA in Creative Writing. Maybe get a PhD. Possibly some courses on editing? Leads to university lectureships, work at …

Wonder Woman 2 filming outside my school!

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Yesterday teams started setting up Christmassy grottos, fake snow patches and giant snowmen outside my workplace, Birkbeck college in London. I figured it was going to be an ongoing Christmas fair, similar to the farmers’ market that runs there every thursday. Then I came in today, and saw they have added a couple of giant nutcrackers to the building entrance, more fences are in place, along with some signs directing the crew not to take photos or walk on the snow. Nutcrackers not normally here. Huh? Crew? I came in to the office and rumors abounded. One said that this …