I did a welding induction at the makerspace. The last time I welded anything it was a job, over half a lifetime ago, in another country, in a different language, in a place that no longer even has the same name.

I felt very nostalgic, which seems appropriate, because the radio station always playing in the factory back then was Radio Nostalgie.

Although it was a slightly different type of arc welding (MIG, rather than stick), I was gratified to see that I hadn’t completely forgotten how to do it.

They have fancier helmets now, that use LCD panels to turn dark only when the arc is flashing, but otherwise it’s all quite similar to how I remember.

My gripes about the stranglehold of smart phones a few weeks ago turned out to be prophetic.

I resent that it has become impossible to exist in society without depending on mobile phones, their operating system duopoly, and a web of proprietary software.

On a trip away for a few days, L— managed to drop her phone into the hotel toilet, rendering it not completely dead but not completely functional either, and leaving her unable to pay for anything.

She did manage to get home again, fortunately, whereupon she tried to order a new phone. But Strong Customer Authentication required her to use an app on her phone to authorise the purchase, which … well, I’m sure you can see the problem.

In the end, I had to order the phone on her behalf.

What can we learn from this? Have multiple means of payment, and make sure that they don’t all require an app. Keep cash around. STOP MAKING EVERYTHING A BLOODY APP.

We saw Dr Semmelweis at the Harold Pinter Theatre on Thursday evening. It’s an engrossing performance, and Pauline McLynn in particular was excellent as Nurse Muller. She still looks younger than she did decades ago made up as Mrs Doyle in Father Ted!

I don’t know how accurately it portrays the historical events, but it does give some insight into why Semmelweis’s discoveries might not have been accepted. Being right is not enough on its own.

The past few days have been unseasonably warm. But I don’t know – do we have seasons any more? We went for a walk in 25 C heat under the blazing sun on Saturday and ate ice lollies by the river. It was a lovely summer afternoon in October.

I couldn’t avoid hearing about the Tory party conference, a dismal festival of far right rhetoric and outright lies. They seem set on provoking as much discord and causing as much damage as they can before their anticipated demise at the next election. It’s grubby and venal, and profoundly damaging.

It’s depressing to think that Britain won’t have a 20th century rail network in my lifetime. Sunak cancelled the useful part of the HS2 high speed rail link, leaving us with an expensively overspecified route to Birmingham, a place that was never hard to get to. And he’s salting the earth on the way out, selling off purchased land to ensure that Euston will always be too small for a national high speed network, and to prevent a future administration from reviving the line north of Birmingham.

Not that he knows or cares about trains, being a man who travels everywhere by private jet and helicopter, and who will surely fuck off back to California to work for some snake oil “AI” company as soon as the electorate kicks him out of office and the Tories replace him with someone with swivellier eyes.

I don’t understand why this billionaire princeling gets to make this decision seemingly on his own, without any significant democratic involvement, during a parliamentary recess, and to announce it in a partisan forum. It’s rotten.

I used my new bike trailer to take some garden waste to the recycling centre. I discovered an unexpected bonus: it seems to unnerve drivers enough to make them leave more space and not to squeeze past with their usual reckless abandon.

This is doubly beneficial as the overall standard of driving has noticeably dropped in the last few weeks ever since the irresponsible prime minister decided that speed limits were a good thing to bring into his cynical culture war, and gave bad drivers the message that “Rishi said 20 mph limits are bollocks”.

Unfortunately, they don’t allow bicycles or pedestrians to use the ramp, so I had to park at the bottom and carry my heavy load up a narrow staircase. Health and safety, apparently. Not the health and safety of my back! I may have written a complaint letter to the council sarcastically referring to the benefits brought by the invention of the wheel. I shall report back when they respond.