Thursday was warm, Friday was cold, but the weekend was absolutely lovely.

Our TV is broken. It can still generate an image, but the backlight flashes on and off before it gives up and goes into a standby sulk with an error blink. It’s either the LEDs or the LED driver, I think. As the LED driver board costs less than £20 and is easy to fit (easy once you’ve undone a couple of dozen screws, anyway), I’ve taken a punt on that. Replacing the LEDs requires equipment and technique I don’t have, so I’d have to pay someone, and that’s a harder calculation on a TV that cost £300 eight years ago.

In the medium term, we want to replace it with a projector, as that’s less obtrusive and more flexible. But you can’t just replace a TV with a projector – you need cable runs and mounts and a fair amount of reorganisation – so we’d really prefer to keep this TV limping along a bit longer.

Our garden gate needed an urgent repair. The couple whose garden adjoins the end of ours had finally contracted some people to fix their rotten fence, which was partially supported by our garden gate. That was good news, except that our garden gate was attached to their post, and as they were going to replace the posts with concrete ones in a different location, we’d have no gate at all, and that was our problem.

However, I was able to negotiate with the two men doing the work to rebuild our gate at the same time. They sank a new post, lined the gate up with precision, and did an excellent job.

I cycled over to a mutually convenient café in Bermondsey to meet Nat for a coffee, a chat, and to hand over a couple of effects pedals on Thursday afternoon. It was a beautiful day for it, and a welcome break from a seemingly endless refactoring job I’ve been working on.

I picked up another project guitar. After my success with the Mustang I spotted a Squier Stratocaster on Gumtree in great condition, and took a long tube ride down to Wimbledon to pick it up. It’s a classic sparkly candy apple red and in excellent condition apart from a yellowed pickguard, which is trivially remedied. The fretwork and nut were atrocious, as standard. I’ve already fixed the frets. The bridge is drilled on the skew, so I need to decide whether to live with it or to dowel and redrill the bridge holes. I’ll probably fix it, because I can’t help being a perfectionist.

The guitar came with a decent gig bag and an amplifier. Not only do I not need an amplifier, but this one is exactly the same as the one I recently overhauled. I have a dilemma: do I just sell the amp on eBay (I’m sure I could get at least £30 for it, which would make the cheap guitar even cheaper), do I upgrade it (but I don’t really need two identical amps!), or do I make a new cabinet forrr it and build the competent electronics let down by a weak speaker into a larger amp with a decent speaker? I’m currently leaning towards the third option.

We went to a concert at the Royal Festival Hall on Sunday night. We nearly didn’t, because time passes deceptively fast on these long June days, and it didn’t help that it was an early start for an evening event, but I realised in time for us to hot-foot it onto the tube and get to Waterloo in for 18:00, and I’m very glad we did.

Thanks to an NHS offer, L— bagged excellent seats for a nominal fee, from which we listened to Anne-Sophie Mutter, Maximilian Hornung, and Lambert Orkis perform Beethoven, Brahms, Clara Schumann, and a new work by Sebastian Currier. A detailed review would be beyond my competence, but I enjoyed it very much, and it’s always rewarding to see people who are among the best at what they do.

We also got to see Anna-Sophie Mutter being presented with the gold medal of the Royal Philharmonic Society.

Anna-Sophie Mutter on the stage of the Royal Festival Hall. She is holding
her violin and bow in one hand, and with the other she displays the gold medal
she has just been presented.

Potato-quality photo of Anna-Sophie Mutter receiving the gold medal of the Royal Philharmonic Society

I hassled the Tate about the fact that the Members Room in the Tate Modern is still closed long after every other covid-era restriction has been rolled back. They replied. I don’t believe their protestations.

I turned my Duolingo profile to private in order to opt out of the leagues. I felt like it was distorting my learning by encouraging me to choose easy points over useful progress. I’m already feeling more relaxed about it.

Depressing statistic of the week: nearly twice as many people in the UK think that the Moon landings were staged (16%) than think that Brexit is a success (9%). There are things that are hard to believe, and then there are things that are impossible to believe.