Dan Sumption’s adventures in the real world

  • Start Drawing Cocks

    I’ve just spent the weekend with poets. At 4am Friday night/Saturday morning, I was challenged to recite a poem I had written. But I could only remember scrappy two-line nonsense verses that I’d dreamed up back in the 20th century. Saturday night, again, everyone recited poems. And I remembered that I do have a poem, […]

  • Learning Software Development with Microsoft Office

    The kick that got me started in my career in software development came not through Pascal, Java, or C++, but through Microsoft Word.

  • Five stars revisited

    Nine years ago I wrote a post on here about the perils of star-based reviewing systems. This topic has been on my mind again lately, with the rise of companies like eBay, Airbnb and Uber which make customer reviews a key part of their service model.

  • Sheffield.Digital on Slack

    After I learned of the Manchester tech Slack, I wondered why we didn’t have something similar for the Sheffield digital sector. Sheffield.Digital took up the challenge, and now we have a great community resource for Sheffield geeks to geek-out at.

  • Beetles


    I remember when it first happened. I must have been about five. My grandparents’ house, in Bowdon, Cheshire. At 4AM it happened.

  • Functional JavaScript

    Two or three years ago, my polyglot colleague Dave Spanton persuaded me to try functional programming. I took a few basic Haskell tutorials, but went no further. I got the sense that there was a far deeper seam there which I really needed to dig into, but time, and the pressures of work, gradually drove […]

  • I’m Back

    When I started this blog, back in February 2001, its title meant something: Life – because it was a journal of mine – and Less Literary – because I didn’t want anything on it to be over-thought, over-worked. This was a very deliberate strategy, prompted by the fact that I’d spent the last couple of […]

  • Airbnb holiday apartment rental in Sheffield

    We now have a lovely, newly decorated hip, modern studio-flat, attached to our house, which is listed as a rental apartment on Airbnb. If you’re interested in visiting Sheffield, and you find the listing via my blog, then you can have a 15% discount on your stay: just send me an enquiry on Airbnb via […]

  • E. A. Markham

    To Archie, For Lumb Bank & for Papua N.G. future. Don’t forget the pig postcard! Love Dawn March 1983

  • Hypnagogic

    I remember a couple of occasions in my life when I went to bed early, listening to the radio, and soon found myself floating in some sort of a reverie, conscious yet not quite awake, entranced by music more beautiful than I had ever thought possible. With that in mind, I have put together a playlist of hypnagogic tunes on Spotify. Put it on by your bedside before you go to sleep. Perhaps put it on loop. I can’t promise you that magical, lucid feeling, but I do hope that your dreams will prove interesting.

Got any book recommendations?