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Week 183: Over and out

Our house renovation is over, but not before there was a little more tile-related stress.

I had complained that the kitchen tiling didn’t look even, and when the project manager came and looked he was so unhappy with the work that he said they were going to take off the tiles and redo them at their own expense.

The tiler who had done the work before was new to them. I don’t think he’ll be called back. It was redone by the tiler who did the bathroom, whose work is of excellent quality, and it does now look good and straight.

I had bought so many tiles already that I didn’t have to source any more, and it saved me taking them back for a refund from the shop. I really hope not to think about tiles again for a very very long time.

The builders took away all their tools and equipment and removed the floor protection on Thursday. Aside from a couple of bits of paint that need touching up, everything is complete. That doesn’t mean the house is completely habitable yet, but it’s a prerequisite.

The Tories are out. We stayed up until nearly 5 (with a couple of naps in my case) to watch the results. It’s hard to say which defeat brought me the greatest Schadenfreude, but there was plenty of it.

I know better than to hope, but at least the new government should be a bit less driven by spite and an ideological commitment to underinvestment.

I’ve got low expectations, but I’m hoping for a govt with some instinct for compassion. One that doesn’t think painting over a Disney picture to prevent a refugee child being slightly less unhappy is something to boast about.

Appointing James Timpson as prisons minister is a promising sign that they’re turning away from the failed carceral strategy of recent years. It doesn’t look like the House of Lords is going anywhere, though.

I installed lighting in the loft. We had battery-powered lights up there, but they weren’t especially bright even with new batteries, and the D cells they needed are a special-order item these days. When the electrician was rewiring the house, I asked for a socket in the loft. I plugged into that, routed a wire to a switch near the hatch, and thence to three angled bulb holders screwed into the rafters. It’s now very easy to find things up there.

We went to the launch of Southwark Galleries’ 40th Birthday Summer Programme on a very wet Friday evening.

Joy Labinjo’s large, vibrant and curiously proportioned paintings of people in Southwark Park gave me a sense of joyful familiarity.

Paul Purgas’s In the Temple of the Earth is an installation in the former church at Dilston Grove, consisting of an alpana (something a bit like a sand mandala, here made of soil) accompanied by deep, droning, electronic ragas. It’s immersive and meditative and I recommend it highly.

In the centre of a dark room, a geometric shape is laid out on the floor
in soil

In the Temple of the Earth by Paul Purgas

La Caccia by Musica Antica on Saturday was their usual excellent standard. I particularly enjoyed the viola da gamba interludes between vocal pieces. It’s a beautiful instrument, and was played exquisitely. I do feel particularly lucky to be able to wander down to the end of the road to listen to late 16th century music.

Thanks to some bawdy lyrics, I learned that radish in 16th century Italy had similar connotations to the aubergine (eggplant) emoji today.

A few links:

  • PumpkinOS is re-implementation of PalmOS that can run classic m86k binaries.
  • Joe Britt’s Enhanced LM-1 Drum Machine as described by Roger Linn himself.
  • litestack gives a Rails app a database, cache, job queue, pubsub and search with in-process SQLite.
  • On Burnout, Mental Health, And Not Being Okay: “Though this sounds stupid now, I really felt that the only thing the future had in store for me was commuting, staring blankly at a screen, cramming in two hours of ‘fun’ knowing that I'd have to do it all again until I retired.”

Older

  • Election bingo

    I spent the afternoon putting together a little web application to play a distributed election night bingo with friends tomorrow.

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  • Week 182: A trip to the seaside

    I voted. I set up a postal vote while our house was being renovated, because I wasn’t sure where I might be staying at the time of the council elections. As things turned out, that mandate applied to the general election as well.

    More …

  • Week 181: I am going to murder someone with a piece of broken tile

    It’s not going brilliantly, if I’m honest. Our house is very close to being complete, but getting that last bit finished is ever more hassle, like some variant of Zeno’s Paradox where you can only ever do 80% of what’s left. And in the meantime, living in a building site is miserable.

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  • Week 180: It’s beginning to look a lot like a kitchen

    We don’t have a sink or a hob, but we do now have an oven and a microwave, which means that we can heat up food that can be cooked in the oven or microwave. It’s an improvement. It will be even better when we have running water.

    More …

Older entries can be found in the archive.