My cold has lasted a solid fortnight. I can’t remember the last time I had anything as tenacious as this.

I’ve coughed so much I’ve pulled a muscle in my side. So now I still have a cough, but it also hurts every time! I’m feeling much better at last, however, so perhaps I’ll be able to go back to doing some more interesting activities, like climbing, or singing without breaking into convulsions.

We’ve booked flights for a few weeks in Australia, taking advantage of the fact that due to recent circumstances L— had a lot of untaken leave carried over from the past couple of years. I’m looking forward to seeing my brother and his family (and especially my nephews) again for the first time in four years, and to a bit of a holiday somewhere warmer than here.

I bought a ticket for the Brighton Ruby conference in the summer. That’s another thing I haven’t done in several years. I’ve even been organised enough to book a hotel room far enough in advance to get it for a reasonable price. Brighton can be a day trip from London, but there’s usually something social the evening before, and I’d rather not have to rush to get there in the morning.

I’m beginning to feel a bit disenchanted with Duolingo recently, especially since they changed the way courses are organised. I know it’s all gamified by design, but I feel increasingly like I’m studying principally to stay in the current league rather than to learn a language. I saw a screenshot from a deleted account this week that felt a bit close to the truth:

I think Sisyphus would be much happier if they had a big number at the top of the mountain that incremented with each successful rock push, and also if they let him spend those points on fun stickers for the rock.

Duolingo leagues do feel like a weekly rock push. And yet, I still take part. Am I Sisyphus or a rat in a box or just a mug?

Now I’m feeling a bit better I’m hoping for a more interesting life this coming week. In the meantime, I need to grind out some Duolingo points ….