Saturday, July 29, 2006

Prime number years

I was born in 1979, which is a prime number (as are both 19 and 79). Coincidentally, Albert Einstein was born exactly one hundred years before in 1879, also a prime number. Your best chance of being born in a prime number year in the past millennium was to have been born in the 15th century (17 prime number years, from 1409 to 1499) while the lowest chance would have been the 14th century (just 11 prime number years, with a 34-year gap between the years 1327 and 1361). The next prime number year will be 2011.

Friday, July 28, 2006

A few of my favourite words

Some words are really beautiful to me, particularly nouns such as teapot and buttercup. I think in the above two examples it's because the first and last letter/sound in each word is identical or near-identical. I also like it when tall letters - like b, d, h and l - occur in the middle of a word: ode, shy, polio etc. There are even words that look like the things they describe, such as dog (imagine the d as a face and ear and the g as a tail) and look (where the two successive o's remind me of a pair of eyes). Because of the way I experience words in different colours and textures I especially like it when a word's colour matches the object it describes: raspberry is a red word for a red thing, while tan is an orange word for something that often is that colour.

Book is Top-5 at Waterstone's

The Independent's Arts & Books Review today has a chart for the best-selling hardcover non-fiction at Waterstone's for the past week. Born On A Blue Day is at #4.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Sunday Times Bestseller !

My book 'Born On A Blue Day: A Memoir of Asperger's and an Extraordinary Mind' has gone to #9 in the Sunday Times Non-Fiction Hardcover Bestseller list after its first full week of sales.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Purple Mondays, Blue Wednesdays, Aubergine Fridays...

A poster to this blog asked me to describe the different colours and textures I experience for the days of the week. This point arose from the title of my memoir: 'Born On A Blue Day' - where the blue (a rich, dark blue) refers to a Wednesday.

Mondays are purple, Tuesdays are a much warmer, orange colour, Thursdays are a bitty light yellow, Fridays are aubergine-coloured, Saturdays are curvy and Sundays are very bright and shiny.

When someone asks me to calculate the day of the week he/she was born on, I see the colours and textures in my head and translate them into the answer.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Book is on its 4th print (after 1 week!)

Sales for my book 'Born On A Blue Day: A Memoir of Asperger's and an Extraordinary Mind' have been crazy good - for the first time today are finally showing 'usually available in 24 hours' after initially running out of stock almost as soon as the book came out (after it hit #1 last Friday). I've been told that it's currently on its 4th print after one week - incredible. The talk in Dartington sold out, as has the one upcoming in Edinburgh next month. I think this must be the dictionary definition of an author's 'dream start'!

Thank you to everyone who has bought my book - feel free to send me your feedback via this site. I've had some really wonderful comments so far.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

A hectic few days

I don't know that I've ever been so busy in my life, but I wouldn't want it any other way. The Ways With Words event in Devon was amazing - beautiful countryside and wonderful food and a sell-out talk! I even ran out of books to sign afterwards. After a rest day in Cornwall we (my partner Neil and I) drove to London for interviews. I appeared on Radio 4's 'Midweek' programme with other guests actor Tim Healy, comic Shappi Khorsandi and folk singer Julie Felix (if you missed it, you can hear the show here: After the show Julie gave me a copy of her latest CD. I've been listening to it today and it sounds great.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Appearance On Richard & Judy on Channel 4, Friday July 14th

I'm appearing on Channel 4's 'Richard & Judy' programme tomorrow - Friday July 14th.


'Mänti' is a created language I have worked on since I was a child. I have a fascination with words and language and this is one form of expression for me that is very personal and creative. Quite often I have a sensation or feeling that I can't find a word in English (my native language) for, so I create one in Mänti.

The name of my language comes from the Finnish word for pine tree. I chose this word because I love trees and they grow copiously in parts of Scandinavia, and I have a particular fondness for the languages of Scandinavia. Many of my words have a Scandinavian or Baltic look to them.

One of my favourite Mänti words is kellokült which means 'lateness' or 'tardiness'. Its literal translation is 'clock debt' or 'clock guilt'.

I also use a concept known as 'word pairs' to describe certain abstract words such as 'footwear' which is kõet saapat in Mänti (literally: 'shoes boots').

Though very different from English, some Mänti words are recognisable enough: nööt (night), buss (bus), kuppi (cup) etc.

I've written a whole chapter in my book 'Born On A Blue Day' about how I experience words and learn languages (I know ten currently) and include some of my Mänti words.

I'll try and write something about Mänti grammar soon...

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Appearing at Ways With Words literary festival July 16th

Ways With Words is an annual literary festival held in Dartington, Devon every summer in July. I am appearing this coming Sunday, July 16th, to give a talk about my life and book 'Born On A Blue Day'. You can find out more about the festival at

Monday, July 10, 2006

Interview in today's Daily Telegraph (10th July)

There's an interview with me in today's Daily Telegraph newspaper by Cassandra Jardine. It can be read online at:

Welcome to my blog!

I have finally entered the blogosphere. Many thanks to my friend, Ian Williams, for all his help with the new website design. I hope to update my blog regularly with news, updates and comments. Thanks for visiting and happy reading!