Saturday, 29 August 2009

A Walk in the Park

It has been a lovely sunny day here in Hastings. This morning at about 8 am I went up to Conquest Hospital on the Ridge by bus to deliver a supply of catheters that I fortunately no longer need to the Urology Department where they will be of more use.

Afterwards, instead of catching a bus back I decided to walk, following the slope downhill, along Hillside Road and Parkstone Drive, which came out to Buckshole Reservoir and Alexandra Park. This led me down Queens Road into the town centre to buy a few extra provisions to tide me over the bank holiday.

Finally a walk along the sea front where it was still sunny but quite windy. I arrived home just as the postman was at the door (but for me there was only an advertising circular). I rounded off a pleasant morning with a shower. In the aftermoon I felt quite tired, which however is not unusual now.

I must get out further a bit more regularly. I haven't used my bike for a while.

Friday, 21 August 2009

Euler and Me

As noted before I'm in process of tidying up my notes on knight's tours. One of the sections I've not previously published, as far as I recall, concerns the enumeration of all the smallest knight-tourable boards, at least up to 12 cells. The illustration shows all the centrosymmetric tours on boards of 12 cells.

The first two of these diagrams are not merely centrosymmetric, in the sense of being unchanged by a 180 degree rotation, but are also axially symmetric about the two diagonal axes. The first of these was published by the famous mathematician Leonhard Euler in what waa probably the first scientific paper on knight's tours, presented in 1759. The second is one of my own favourite discoveries, it is the 12-cell tour whose containing rectangle is the largest possible, the 6 by 6 square.

Wednesday, 19 August 2009

Cultivating My Garden

This is my "garden" such as it is. A strip of earth behind the front wall of the block of flats. According to the terms of my lease I am "Not to dig up, or cut down, any trees, shrubs or bushes or timber (if any), except with the landlord's prior consent." and "To cut the grass (if any) of the premises with an appropriate garden mower as necessary from time to time to keep the grass in, or bring about, a neat and tidy condition. Furthermore, to keep the patio areas (if any), paths, garden areas, lawns, flower beds, shrubs or bushes and borders (if any) as tidy, weed free and cultivated, as at commencement of the tenancy." So presumably if the garden is initially untidy, overgrown with weeds and uncultivated it should be left that way!

Whether any of the plants in the garden are weeds or were intentionally planted is difficult to say, apart from a few daffodils that came up earlier in the year. Do the millet or wheat-like plants count as "grass"? At what height does a plant become a tree? How tidy is tidy? The terms are evidently just a legal form of words designed to cover every eventuality. It is also unclear how far I as occupier of a ground-floor flat have responsibility for the "garden". No-one else does anything, so it is left to me by default.

Saturday, 8 August 2009

A Touch of Flu

I've had a minor bout of flu over the past week. Whether it was the Swine Flu that we've been warned about I don't know. I sweated out most of it over the Tuesday night, although I'm still coughing and sniffing a bit now. At the same time I had some spots come up, which at first I thought might be connected to the condition, but now suppose must be some sort of insect bites. A little TCP ointment seems to have brought them under control.

The new kettle that I bought only recently tripped the electric power again so I've been boiling water for my coffee on the gas instead. I'm reluctant to test the kettle in case it blows it again. That's the third kettle I've run through in the last year. If they're that unreliable I think I'll look for something else, perhaps a more traditional design.

I also bought two further bookcases from Argos, same pattern as before. However the result is that I still seem to have just as many boxes lying about as before! What is the best way of getting rid of second-hand books? I'm reluctant just to give them away to charity shops. Setting up a shop myself would probably be too expensive, but even joining ABE Books as a supplier is by no means free.