Week 176: Se non è vero, è ben trovato

I went to the Interesting conference on Wednesday evening. I saw a lot of old colleagues and other friends from the gentler earlier days of the internet.

It lived up to its billing, although one thing had me saying “oh no it isn’t”.

In his talk on matcha, Gianfranco Chicco said that the character for tea, cha, 茶, is made up of grass 艸, person 人, and tree 木. Which is not exactly true. The grass part is – that section of the character indicates that it’s a plant – but the rest is fanciful and no more or less true than the fact that “arsenal” contains the word “arse”. It does, but it’s a coincidence.

However, there’s an Italian expression that I think applies: se non è vero, è ben trovato: even if it’s not true, it’s a good story.

I was sad to hear of the sudden death of Russell Dryden from the Blue Market in Bermondsey. He was instrumental in revitalising the area, and was very helpful when we (London Okinawa Sanshinkai) organised the first post-covid Okinawa Day at the Blue Market in 2022. He was also my neighbour in Rotherhithe.

On a related topic, come to Okinawa Day on 22 June at the Blue Market in Bermondsey!

I set up Pagefind for search on this site. I’d previously implemented my own client-side search using the JavaScript build of SQLite, and it worked well enough, but Pagefind is faster, smaller, and doesn’t require me to maintain anything. It’s still entirely client-side, which lets me keep this as a static site.

Frank’s rooftop bar is open for the summer. It’s on top of Peckham Levels, the repurposed car park where I’m currently working, so I went there for the opening night with some other people from the workspace. The beer is mediocre despite the price. The cocktails are better.

I didn’t try any of the food. The fact that they had marked cod roe as “vegetarian” didn’t give me much confidence in the accuracy of the labelling. Roe is eggs, but cut out of a dead fish. They don’t lay them like a hen and swim away afterwards!

We might be able to move back into our house this week. There’s no kitchen – that’s a week or so away – but the upstairs is nearly habitable.

Some links for you:


  • Week 175: Communication breakdown

    I can communicate in quite a few languages, but one that causes me trouble is the modern scourge that is emoji. They weren’t so bad when they were reasonably limited in number (the original Docomo set had 176) but there are now so many variants of cartoon faces that I can’t ever be certain of their intended meaning.

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  • Week 174: Dawn chorus

    A variety of leaves and twigs, with three snails. All have their necks
out and their eyestalks extended

    Snails feasting at dawn in Russia Dock Woodland

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  • Week 173: Floored

    You wouldn’t believe how much of a palaver it is to buy flooring. After several cycles of order samples – choose one we liked – find it’s been discontinued – repeat, I was finally able to order something. That flooring had also been discontinued, but there was just enough remaining in stock.

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  • Week 172: Tear down this wall

    My train back from Weymouth was also delayed but as I was already entitled to a complete refund of my return journey, I couldn’t get refunded any more. They won’t pay you to take the train. However, my Delay Repay refund, applied for on Friday, is already in my account. That was surprisingly efficient.

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Older entries can be found in the archive.