Noss Mayo, Devon

by Simon Email


A charming secluded village on a river estuary in Devon.

The river disappears at low tide, so you can walk across to Newton Ferres.

The sides of the estuary are steep and the houses cling to them. High above the houses you can see fields with cows!

The roads in are very small, so the best form of transport is boat.

A very peaceful and beautiful place!

The river at low tide:
River at low tide

View along the estuary:
View along the estuary

Romney Marsh

by Simon Email


An amazing place I visited by bike a few weeks back.

It's on the south coast of England, and has been reclaimed from the sea over many years.

Rather like Holland it's very flat, and full of dykes and dams.

It's very peaceful - I kept seeing happy looking people in idyllic houses.

It's also very easy to cycle on, because of the flatness.

Once you get to the coast itself, it's less peaceful - with typical English seaside resorts.

Here's a photo looking over fields full of oil-seed rape:

Romney Marsh fields

Developing Series 60 Applications

by Simon Email


I'm brushing up my Symbian programming with this book.

Symbian is an OS that runs on most "Smartphones" these days.

The book is very good, but programming for the OS is pretty hard.

I ported my scripting language Simkin ( to it last year and had a tough time.

What was hard was that I was taking existing code - written in a Unix/Windows style - and tried to make it work with Symbian.

Symbian have their own ways of doing things, and their C++ code looks like *noone* else's.

The Sicilian

by Simon Email


By Mario Puzo

After the Godfather I wanted to read more by Puzo.

It seems that the other films came directly from screenplays rather than books.

The publisher subtitled this book "the bestselling sequel to The Godfather". Actually the Godfather characters play a very small part in it - in fact they are sellotaped onto an almost true story in a rather unconvincing way.

I was surprised that the story is largely true - the main character Salvatore Guiliano did exist in 1950's Siciliy and had the live pretty much described by Puzo. Here's a link to his family's website on him:

Despite the tenuous link with the Godfather I found this book very enjoyable and fascinating.

The main character Salvatore is a hero-figure, and I felt motivated to discover how the plot unwound for him.

The other characters were very varied and also interesting.

Beyond that the book gave a fascinating picture of Sicilian society - and the relationship between the people, government, nobility and mafia.

The rules of conduct - very unique and special to that place - were carried across by the Godfather figures into a very different society.

Seeing those rules in their natural context explains much of the motivation and behaviour of the characters in the Godfather book.

The author also paints a vivid picture of the physical beauty of Sicily.

It seems like a wonderful place to visit - although the violence of life at the time makes one wonder if it's safe to visit now!

Ightham Mote

by Simon Email


We visited Ightham Mote (try spelling that after a glass of wine!) just south of London yesterday.

It's a very atmospheric place with a "Tudor" feel.

It has a moat, suits of armour, and very old carved wood all over the walls.

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