The big news this week is that we have been approved for a mortgage at last. After five weeks in which it felt like I was being asked one pointless question per week, I sent a sternly worded email asking why it was taking so long, and whether the fact that I kept being asked so many questions that were irrelevant to our situation indicated some deeper misunderstanding.
Tragedy struck this week. On Monday, I bit my cheek so badly that it’s been miserably painful and I’ve found it hard to eat all week. It’s only today, Sunday, that it has perceptibly begun to heal. Usually – and I do mean usually, because I do it very often – it heals in a few days, so it must have been especially bad this time.
As predicted, Monday was an absolutely glorious day. I cycled over to St James’s Park to meet up with some friends to chat over some beers in the sunshine. It was so good to see them in person after such a long time. I never thought of myself as particularly gregarious, but I’m really not a hermit. I definitely need a lot more in-person social activity than I’ve had over the past year.
It’s not even been a week, but already I can’t even remember a time before the Ever Given was stuck across the Suez Canal. It’s probably not much fun if you’re involved in global shipping or the running of the canal, but from here it’s been a welcome diversion.
We’ve been watching Lupin this week. It’s excellent and compelling. It’s a bit like the recent BBC Sherlock Holmes adaptations in the way that it updates the old Arsène Lupin stories to a modern setting – and in the way that it’s probably more entertaining than the original books.
It’s been quite a week politically. Monday was International Women’s Day; by Wednesay, a serving Metropolitan Police office had been arrested for Sarah Everard’s kidnapping and murder; on Saturday the same Metropolitan Police were filmed manhandling women who had turned up to a vigil for her on Clapham Common.
It feels like it’s colder than it usually is in March. Is this what the future is going to be like now that the North Atlantic Current has been disrupted by climate change? Or is it just that I haven’t actually been in England at this time of year since 2019 and can’t actually remember what it’s like? At least it’s been sunny, and I have a hat and a warm coat.
The weather has gone from snow to spring in the space of a week. It’s been very pleasant over the last few days. I haven’t even needed a heavy coat!
I killed an old Yamaha toy keyboard. I was trying to retrofit a MIDI input to a PSS-100 by emulating the keyboard matrix. I had mapped everything out, it was all going well, then I decided to look for a place to pull 5V off the board. My probe slipped, I accidentally bridged two contacts on the power transistor, heard a click, and now nothing works. It’ll either be easily fixable by replacing some passive components, or I’ll have managed to kill the ICs. As the power supply is now putting out 0.5 V instead of 5 V, I have some hope that it’s a power supply issue.
I’ve had a quiet week. I explored some of the streets in the area that I’d never visited before. Most of them turned out to be rather dull cul-de-sacs full of identical little 90s houses that nonetheless all cost way more than I’ll ever be able to afford. I didn’t find anything interesting, really. I ended up in one council estate that’s almost completely fenced off from the surrounding streets: every time you think you can see a way out, it’s barricaded off. I don’t really understand why that’s the case. Maybe it’s a relic of a bygone fad in town planning.
My right elbow was a bit uncomfortable at the start of the week. I’ve been using a finger trackball (currently this massive trackball) instead of a mouse for a decade and a half specifically to avoid this, but sometimes the only solution is some actual rest. I spent Monday and Tuesday consciously taking a break and doing things that didn’t require much of my arms, and especially that weren’t in front of the computer.
I finished assembling my DIY NeoPixel Monome grid – someone else called them “neomonome”, which I like. The solution that actually worked for soldering them together was to print a task-specific jig onto which I could screw the boards before soldering short wires between the edge pads. This worked perfectly: all the boards ended up soldered exactly lined up, and the whole thing lies perfectly flat.
I feel as if I’ve spent the past week doing nothing but modelling enclosures and 3D printing them.
The tree is gone, the decorations are down, and Christmas is over.