After watching the first season of Ghost in the Shell SAC 2045 on Netflix — twice — I decided to watch once again the second of the original two-season run of Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex.

I realised once again why I know that Ghost in the Shell will always be my favourite anime.

They invented a fictional future with fictional technology and fictional wars. Then they invented fictional crimes and fictional ways to solve these crimes, neither of which is possible today as we do not have the technology. Throughout it all, it raises intelligent discussions on philosophy, sociology and politics. And if that was not sufficient, they created a team of the most genuine, complex and likeable characters that form the Japanese special-operations task-force, Section 9.


I have finally been able to breathe out after an intense 4 days reading the 1959 book Endurance by Alfred Lansing. It is the story of Ernest Shackleton and his crew who set out to cross Antarctica in 1914. It is amazing how much time you can squeeze out of odd moments of a busy day to read if you are determined to do so.

I do not want to spoil it. All I want to say is that I am confident it is the greatest real adventure ever. Perhaps it will become the greatest there will ever be. When humans explore space maybe there will be similar adventures. The Martian by Andy Weir and the film Gravity come to mind, but I think both stories are more probable than Shackleton’s, and they are fictional.


Más de que lo puedo masticar

Con películas o series de televisión siempre quiero verlas todas en español, pero ahora mismo no entiendo lo suficiente. Me gusta animes en español, particularmente porque la calidad del doblaje es aceptable y no es como los de inglés que son frecuentemente cursi. Sin embargo, con nuevos animes que no los he visto antes en inglés, la mayoría del tiempo no puedo seguir la historia, pierdo interés y me siento mal. Tal vez es mi orgullo que me hace morder más de que lo puedo masticar.

Probablemente desperdicio tiempo cuando estoy viendo cosas demasiado difíciles. Tengo que admitir que mi habilidad de escuchar es mi debilidad. Sé que el nivel donde puedo entender al cien por ciento es nivel preescolar. Me encanta “Simón” que fue originalmente en francés pero en español es impresionante. Tiene voces claras, utiliza vocabulario útil y a veces es bastante divertido, incluso para un adulto. Quizá es demasiado fácil pero es una buena fundación para construir un palacio fabuloso de lengua!

En realidad hay otras cosas que disfruto y entiendo. Hay podcasts que se enfocan en enseñar español de alta calidad. También, escucho podcasts de temas me gustan, por ejemplo sobre la psicología, especialmente la conducta humana, y las predicas cristianas de iglesias alrededor del mundo. Estos temas son más fáciles porque involucran mucha repetición de palabras conocidas para mi.


Recently I picked up playing Roller Coaster Tycoon 2 again. Until recently little did I know about how technically advanced this 2002 simulator is. I played it as a teenager and here I am again; only now I design actually decent rollercoasters not just vomit-inducing pandemonium.

The last game I bought was Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition, which is a remaster, of a remaster, of a fully expanded game, which is a sequel, of a classic game I played when my age was still in single digits.

I do have a latest gen console: the Nintendo Switch. But do not let that deceive you. The last game I was playing on it was a digital download of Final Fantasy VII (originally released in 1997). I justify that it is educational as I play in Spanish!

The physical games I own on the platform are: Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Super Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, Super Smash Bros Ultimate and Pokémon Sword. But they are all games within franchises that I have also been playing since my childhood!

I have just four games on a console I have owned for about two years, so it is not often that I play. However, when I play, I only play the tried and tested.

So what is with all this sentimental nostalgia and nostalgic sentimentality? Perhaps I should ask the psychoanalysts that Disney consulted on why they bought the Star Wars franchise.

Quite Good

Estoy seguro de que no puedo escribir bien en español. Leo bastante bien, al menos pienso que sí. ¿Pero de escribir? Lamentablemente no. Tampoco puedo mandar mensajes de texto sin revisarlos con un traductor automático. Espero que con la práctica regular yo pueda mejorar.

I have always been reasonable at pretty much everything, quite good at some things, but never exceptional in anything. To clarify, I have always had a wide range of hobbies and interests through sports, music, and art, however I never focused on anything, so I ended up as I am.

So, when I first started to learn Spanish in my early twenties, I was determined to not to give up. It has however always had to take a back-seat role in my life because there was something (apparently) more important going on. I am not disappointed, but I do always feel my current level is n – 1, where n is where I want to be.

Will I ever be satisfied? Especially as I find the equation that I focus on is (n – 1)/t where t = time. I guess you could describe this as my expected feeling of progression over time spent trying, and I sense that it is getting smaller as I feel that I am not progressing as much as I would like.

I am harder on myself than I would even dream to be on anyone else. Maybe I should be more forgiving to myself. The “apparent” important things have been a bachelor’s, gruelling jobs with endless night and weekend shifts, a master’s and a whole array of other professional exams. That would probably do it for most people too.

Well then, the first comforting thing to do for myself is to make a cup of tea.