All posts by Mark

I'm a full-stack linux consultant from the UK but currently living in Istanbul. I specialize in rapid development of web/mobile apps using HTML5 typically using Bootstrap, AngularJS, Modern Perl (Catalyst/DBIC) and PostgreSQL but have worked with many other technologies and languages as well. I'm fluent in English and Turkish.

More lazy days in the sun

It’s been lovely and sunny the past two days here in Cambridge. Friday was the Harry’s garden party at St Johns college which was gloriously sunny and Rachel gave a really good talk. We had a game of croquet as well. Finished the Da Vinci Code which is a very good read although very dubious in term of presenting fiction as fact which does kind of detract from the story line quite a lot. Today (Saturday) I’ve been just sitting around. Watched Indiana Jones’ “Last Crusade” which was exciting and been playing on guitar a lot. Also read some more of the dead sea scrolls. In the evening we went out to see the new batman film which was really good although Zishan seemed somewhat disappointed with it because his friend had told him it was amazing; it was however really good. Started my mayball sleep pattern edging round to that 8am bedtime although on Monday I have to be up and out for the day by about 10ish – meeting in the morning, garden parties in the afternoon and then some mandarin learning and then the mayball itself from 6pm-6am. Perhaps some punting to Grantchester for a spot of breakfast afterwards. Might also be going punting over Sunday night with the Eden crew.

Busy week

Wow I’ve somewhat neglected this blog so I probably ought to say a little about what i’ve been doing these past days. Monday and Tuesday were spent pretty much just relaxing reading a book about Qumran and the dead sea scrolls – very interesting and useful for my dissertation next year, but hardly a break from work. Had lunch with Felicity on Tuesday which was good fun. Wednesday was quite hectic as I went to the language center to learn some mandarin (as I’ve done on several other days too), then had lunch with Solveig at Clown’s cafe which serves really nice food. After that I went to the course-choice session at the Div Fac. So many good choices to choose from but for technical reasons I’m not allowed to do them 🙁 Then saw Ellie and we went to Kings Evensong which was quite nice although hard to hear anything because of the acoustics. I guess thats not really the point of it though. Then went to college group – also good fun and we had a picnic and played croquet after.

Today has been spent having a meeting with Ruth and Anna about arrangements for China, then started reading the “Da Vinci Code” which is a very gripping book. Read something like 300 pages in just over 3 hours and then had my one-to-one with Kim looking at Isaiah 54. Then went to the Barn and stayed outside chatting until about 12:20 – always good fun! Luke was teaching me how to juggle and I think I might take a few balls to China in the summer and try to learn properly. It’s something I’ve always quite wanted to do but never been able to learn the trick of.

Only 10 days…. wooooo!!!!

Ian found another funny demotivational poster.

It’s soo good to have finished exams. Saturday my family came up and we punted to Grantchester even though it was threatening to rain. In the evening I saw Star Wars 3 with Zishan and Dave which was really good although proves that George Lucas cannot write a love scene. I think someone should do a study on Yoda’s lines throughout the series; I swear in this final film they were even longer and more messed up than in previous films, a trend which seems to be true all through.

Sunday I went to Eden and then went to have a picnic with Lydia and people who I’d not seen for a while. Only a few people turned up but it was good to see Lyd before she headed back to the States this morning. In the evening I went to Eden and then went to Heather’s birthday meal at Bella Italia. Was a very funkey place and good food. After that I went to play bridge with Tom, Paul and Rachel until about 2am when we just stopped and chatted for a while. Got in about 3:15 and sat around doing emails and so on until I got to bed at around about 4. This is what student life is meant to be – no silly work or exams!


Finally finished… I worked out that out of the 56 hours, I spent 12 in exams writing 5 commentaries on passages and 14 essays on about 65 sides of paper… My hand now aches rather a lot! At least it’s done. Went to the Barn on Thursday night which was very good; one guy I met was very interested in theology and asked me to explain certain phrases in Matthew (eg ‘son of man’) which was exactly what I had to revise for my exam that morning! The exams this year seemed rather more straight forward than the mathematics exams last year. Perhaps this was because I’m better at theology or perhaps I just think I did OK because I don’t realize how bad I am. Either way; just glad they’re over for the moment!

This evening I went to Harry’s and learnt some Mandarin from some of the Chinese guys there. Also talked to someone who had read a theological book in which the author was trying to unite existentialism with the Bible, so we looked at some parts of John’s gospel to show that that’s just not possible. After this we all went to Jesus’ green for a picnic and had a good game of Frisbee and then Ultimate Frisbee. After this I went to see Ruth, Ed and Nat had a good chat, squeezed oranges and then watched a really good film which was quite like Shawshank’s redemption at the beginning and what I imagine Wuthering Heights to be like (only read the book). Arrived home at 1:30ish and have been reading emails etc for the past hour. Research for dissertation will probably begin on Monday.. will China never come?!

We’ll make it I swear / Ohh living on a prayer

I’ve locked myself in my room the past few days doing revision… I’ve been reading a commentary on Matthew’s gospel, lots of old lecture notes and research that I did, and also I’ve just finished reading all of the letters of Paul.

Sunday evening was good – we had a party to say good bye to Barbara, a German student doing a language-year in England. It’s good to have got to know her the past year and it’s good to see how she got very involved in the international work in Cambridge – we’ll miss you!

First proper exam is tomorrow morning so I’d best go do some more revision. It will all be finished on Friday afternoon.


Revision is soooo boring.. For some reason my brain has just lost any will to work today. Was planning on getting up early but that failed after I was round watching the end of Pride and Prejudice with Rachel, Ellie and Alastair. Before that I went to Harry’s cafe and then we went to Jesus college formal hall which was ace fun.

I’ve been reading some of Luz’s ‘The Theology of the Gospel of Matthew’ today but it just doesn’t inspire me. He thinks that Matthew is writing for a Syrian community of Christians and doesn’t actually have that much relation to the church or the rest of the New Testament and doesn’t think that much of the ‘Historical Jesus’ actually exists in the book – quite a few things perhaps based on original Jesus sayings but no direct quotes really. I find it quite sad that so many theologians seem to think that because it does seem quite unnecessary – just comparing the gospel accounts, there are an amazing amount of parallels. He seems to swing quite a lot between calling Matthew a literary genius eg what he sees as Matthew’s wonderful crafting of the Sermon on the Mount (Matt 5-7) but then there are some places where he says Matthew just looses the plot or forgets where he is and what he’s doing. Such a shame.