I had a mentally restorative day off on Thursday. The weather was reasonable, so I took advantage by spending as much time in the daylight as I could. I walked all the way to Peckham, picked up some ingredients that aren’t available closer to home, and browsed the charity shops. I bought a nice jumper for £10 in Crisis, then sat in their café with a coffee reading my book for a while. I walked back home again, and arrived just after sunset (so some time after 15:51).

On the far side of the road, beyond passing cars, is a shuttered shop.
It's covered with graffiti, and the remnants of an old sign are visible.
Directly above the frontage is a newer sign, reading JESUS IS THE LORD.
Someone in a red hat and apron is trundling along the pavement on a scooter.


The council came and stuck a big sticker over the streetlight so that it no longer shines directly into our windows at night. It was always quite objectionable, but since they upgraded the bulb from dull orange to bright white it’s been even worse. Our bedroom is on the back, on the dark side, but it was so bright that even keeping our bedroom door open was disruptive, and it would be difficult for anyone to sleep in the front bedroom.

I sent a complaint to Southwark council via the form on their website. They despatched a “night scout” to look at the lighting at night, agreed that there was a problem, and installed what they call a “shield” (a big black sticky label) on the side of the lamp facing the house. It’s a cheap, effective solution, and I’m very pleased with the outcome.

In other local good news, every road in Southwark is now limited to 20 mph. Every road that Southwark controls already had a speed limit of 20 mph and now all the remaining TfL-managed roads in the borough do too.

We went to a pantomime of the Emperor’s New Clothes at the Shipwright on Saturday night. This, of course, raises the question of how to represent the emperor’s (or, in this case, empress’s) nudity. Although the performance was for an adult audience, it wasn’t “adult” in that sense, so the nakedness was indicated by a skin-coloured outfit and sandwich boards painted in squares like a pixelated image. Later on, the emcumbrant boards were replaced by large fig leaves. It was a very cosy venue, and I was called up to join in with one musical number. I did OK. It’s lucky I don’t get stage fright.

We went and belted out some carols at the local church’s carol service on Sunday evening. It’s good for you, after all.

Languages I have sung in this week: English, German, Latin, Japanese, and Yaeyama.

It’s not yet the solstice, the shortest day of the year, but the evenings have already started getting later since 17 December.