Kayaking under DubrovnikHarry Clarke glassHitchhiking in Eastern IndonesiaKayaking in the Irish dawnDressed up in Indonesian campaign flags
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Current enthusiams include London, an endlessly wonderful city, one that rewards walking, and poking around, and rummaging, and going to odd events in strange old masonic halls. But I still like kayaking, yoga, and sitting around in red light districts. I'm just discovering the blogosphere, which I mostly enjoy. Though I sometimes wish they made people with a "defrag" button. I've gone right off watching brain surgery performed on people who are conscious.


There are few pleasures greater than paddling out in the crisp calm of dawn to glide among the otters and watch the kingfishers flash in the rising sunlight. Porpoises, seals and the occasional minke whale add to the glories of kayaking in West Cork. If you'd like to experience these wonders, I thoroughly recommend getting in touch with Jim Kennedy of Atlantic Sea Kayaking. Jim is a former champion kayaker, and he leads trips for paddlers of all levels, both in Ireland and in other countries.


If you do go out with Jim, you may well find yourself near the Irish village of Castletownshend, paddling beneath the church of Saint Barrahane. Take the time to climb the steps and explore the church; it has some of the finest stained glass in Ireland. There are three windows (6 "lights", for the cognoscenti) by Irish Arts and Crafts star Harry Clarke. Visits to most of his works in churches and the occasional gallery around Ireland reveal a clear relationship between the artist's maturity and the quality of his work -- the second suffered as the first increased. This may have been in part because of his struggle with TB. But it seems likely, too, to be an indication of what happens when fame allows a master artist to expand his studio and hand over the execution of work to less inspired staff. In any case, those in Castletownshend are among his earliest works, and his best.


On the yoga front, I can recommend Yoga Elements studio for classes; it's a pleasure to find teachers who don't take themselves too seriously and students who sweat. Cerissa is god.


Elizabeth is also thinking about ways of increasing public curiousity about epidemiology, data collection and the manipulation of statistics. While the very word "statistics" is enough to crush most people with boredom, the science that underlies it influences virtually every aspect of our lives, from health and politics to sports and sex. The more people know about how and why information is collected and manipuated, the better placed they will be to make judgements about the merit of the stories they are spun. To this end, she's hoping to design an international art exhibition that uses portraiture to explore how researchers' assumptions and prejudices influence the outcome of scientific studies. Watch this space.


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