Week 163: Are those horses or cows?

I’m feeling much better at last. I’m coughing a lot less, which is great, because I broke a rib coughing a couple of weeks ago and it hurts to cough. At least that particular rib doesn’t hurt except when I cough or sleep on my left, and I usually sleep on my right. I have woken myself up a couple of times after rolling onto my left, however.

I applied for a new passport to replace mine that’s expiring in May. The hardest part was getting a passport photo that I’m happy to live with for the next decade. We managed to find an adequately-lit white wall at the weekend, and the rest of the application was trivial after that.

Obviously, I’m only renewing my Irish passport. There’s no point getting a British one now.

On the topic of the UK’s steadfast refusal to just be a normal modern country, they’re giving “heritage protection” to gas street lights that were already obsolescent when they were installed in 1910. A sympathetic LED replacement for the mantle would be completely fine and much less wasteful, and as long as it’s the right colour and sufficiently dim, no one would even notice.

Honestly, if feels like living in a daft theme park sometimes.

Overheard at Surrey Docks Farm, a child of around 7 or 8 looking at two calves and asking their parent, “Are those horses or cows?”

Only a couple of links this week:


  • Week 162: It gets worse before it gets better

    I spent most of last week curled up under a blanket. I’m not a person who likes to sit around doing nothing, but I really have done an awful lot of nothing. I don’t have a fever. It’s just a cold, but a pernicious one. It’s definitely worse than the time I had covid, which gave me only a couple of days of mild discomfort.

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  • Everything I saw (and didn’t see) at FOSDEM 2024

    If you share my interests, you might be able to consider this a curated list of FOSDEM talks from this year. But unless you’re actually me, you probably don’t. Maybe it’s useful as an indication of the kind of things you can see while traipsing across the ULB campus, up and down staircases and through occasionally dark and mysterious corridors.

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  • Week 161: Across the Channel

    I took the Eurostar to Brussels and back for FOSDEM at the weekend. I had a bit of a cold on Wednesday and Thursday, and I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to go. I didn’t sleep well on Thursday night, but I felt reasonably well on Friday morning, and decided that as long as it wasn’t covid (which it wasn’t), I’d catch my train that afternoon.

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  • Week 160: Infinite nattō

    The shredded inside of a steel factory building with its side torn off.
There isa digger in the foreground.

    The former Harmsworth Quays printing plant, more recently Printworks, being demolished

    I successfully made nattō in a yoghurt maker. A friend from Sanshinkai mentioned that she had had success with this method, so we bought a cheap Lakeland yoghurt maker specifically for the purpose. I chose this one because it allows you to set the temperature and time of fermentation.

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Older entries can be found in the archive.