I call this a diary rather than a blog. It's the page where I add or link to new stuff with content arranged in date order, rather than where I regularly write short pieces on what I'm doing… although some of this does read rather like a blog.

Had a good weekend?

This weekend has been so good, it's worth writing about

Jeremy Corbyn

Jeremy Corbyn has been suspended from the Labour Party.

An upside to awful daily news – I’m reading more than ever

Cover of Alastair Reynolds' Bone Silence

The news is worse than ever. I am genuinely depressed by the ongoing Brexit/Trump phenomenon. I need an escape …

A lesson from Twitter

Twitter is a really bad place to have a discussion about diversity in standrds writing. Especially when you're unwittingly on the wrong side of the argument.

Narrated Power Point

A sea otter and her young - very cute

It's easier than ever to make videos and share them these days, but an alternative is to make a Power Point presentation and record your voice track. I've found it very useful at work in recent months so I thought I'd make a narrated Power Point presentation to show you how to make a narrated Power Point presentation.

While we're at it - how about including some visual interest as well?

No flag waving for me

My parents and grandparents' generations sacrificed a lot in two world wars. How come I'm not waving a flag today?

Tackling scam email & defeating the trackers

Some of my colleagues are frustrated by my insistence on using plain text email. Here's why I do it …

Not all standards are equal

Having worked in and around standards for 20 years, I dare to think I know what a standard actually is by now.

I want to be able to enjoy Tito's in Hadleigh in future

The outside of Tito's Restaurante - part of a terraced building about 200 years old.

If you want local businesses to survive the effects of the Coronavirus, please support them.

Let's not burn books

Pages of a book burning in a small fire

Most people recognise the value of old books — it's how humanity passes information on from one generation to the next. In my own field, preserving digital documents is just as essential and useful as preserving physical objects.

GS1 Digital Link — a lot of old ideas

The aim of my work at GS1 is to connect our system of identifiers for products, shipments and more, to the Web. It's about combining two very mature technology stacks. Despite that maturity, 'GS1 Digital Link' is seen as 'new' and 'innovative.' Well, yes, it is innovative, but it's not new and no one involved in the project invented any of it.

Despair and loathing

The European Union flag

My work gives me the privilege of travel. With no more than a handful of exceptions, everyone I meet on those travels thinks the UK has taken leave of its senses in its decision to leave the European Union. They are right, and I am ashamed to be British.

A lifelong passion

As can be discerned elsewhere on this webiste, I have a lifelong passion for radio. As part of that, I've listened to BBC Radio 4 all my life (I'm just too young to remember it as the Home Service) and listen whenever I can, whether it's the news, a documentary, a play or a panel show. Earlier this month I turned that passion into an evening I've wanted to put on for many a year.


I tend to use a lot of abbreviations in my e-mails which sometimes prompts the question: what exactly do you mean?

Swinson, Johnson and Corbyn

Yesterday, Jo Swinson was elected leader of the Liberal Democrats. Today, Boris Johnson will become leader of the Tory party and, tomorrow, Prime Minister. Unlike Johnson and Leader of Her Majesty's Opposition (Jeremy Corbyn), Jo Swinson actually is fit to be Prime Minister.

A bench for Mum and Dad

The back of a bench is in the foreground showing its view across a broad bay

With the passing of my mother last year, my siblings and I dedciated a bench to their memory at Newport Parrog, Pembrokeshire.

A new profile pic

Phil Archer, photographed in 2012. The outgoing avatar Phil Archer photographed November 2018 at GS1 Sweden, the new avatar

New Year... time for a new profile pic. The one I've been using for a while was a snapshot taken by Wendy Bailey at a social function in October 2012 and, well, it's had its day.

The new one was taken on 27 Novemner 2018 by a professional photographer, Maria Uhlin, from the Validoo Photo Studio at GS1 Sweden - hence the supermarket-like background. There's a high resolution of this available which was cropped from the original.

I can't help but notice that there's less hair and more chins - oh and, yes, that's a EU flag in my button hole and, OK, it's a statement.

With a bit of luck, this will do for the next 5 years at least. Thanks to Maria and GS1 Sweden for letting me use this royalty-free.