Archive: 2024

  • Week 163: Are those horses or cows?

    I’m feeling much better at last. I’m coughing a lot less, which is great, because I broke a rib coughing a couple of weeks ago and it hurts to cough. At least that particular rib doesn’t hurt except when I cough or sleep on my left, and I usually sleep on my right. I have woken myself up a couple of times after rolling onto my left, however.

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  • Week 162: It gets worse before it gets better

    I spent most of last week curled up under a blanket. I’m not a person who likes to sit around doing nothing, but I really have done an awful lot of nothing. I don’t have a fever. It’s just a cold, but a pernicious one. It’s definitely worse than the time I had covid, which gave me only a couple of days of mild discomfort.

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  • Everything I saw (and didn’t see) at FOSDEM 2024

    If you share my interests, you might be able to consider this a curated list of FOSDEM talks from this year. But unless you’re actually me, you probably don’t. Maybe it’s useful as an indication of the kind of things you can see while traipsing across the ULB campus, up and down staircases and through occasionally dark and mysterious corridors.

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  • Week 161: Across the Channel

    I took the Eurostar to Brussels and back for FOSDEM at the weekend. I had a bit of a cold on Wednesday and Thursday, and I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to go. I didn’t sleep well on Thursday night, but I felt reasonably well on Friday morning, and decided that as long as it wasn’t covid (which it wasn’t), I’d catch my train that afternoon.

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  • Week 160: Infinite nattō

    The shredded inside of a steel factory building with its side torn off.
There isa digger in the foreground.

    The former Harmsworth Quays printing plant, more recently Printworks, being demolished

    I successfully made nattō in a yoghurt maker. A friend from Sanshinkai mentioned that she had had success with this method, so we bought a cheap Lakeland yoghurt maker specifically for the purpose. I chose this one because it allows you to set the temperature and time of fermentation.

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  • Week 159: Synthetic entrails

    We went to see Poor Things at the cinema. The Odeon cinema about five minutes’ walk away would have been more convenient, but they now have a completely opaque and unconscionably expensive pricing structure. When tickets came up at £30 for two, including £2 of booking fees, we decided to go to the Peckhamplex instead, where it cost less than half that.

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  • Week 158: Digital entomology

    A container barge pulled by a tug on the Thames. The Shard is visible
directly behind, on the far bank.

    The Thames on a sunny Wednesday afternoon

    You can probably track how well things are going by when I publish these weeknotes. First thing on a Monday? I’m probably feeling optimistic and energetic. Late on Wednesday? The dead weight of work has been pulling me down, I’ve spent days staring at the screen in futility, I’ve achieved nothing, and I feel like I can’t take time out to write.

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  • Week 157: In a world where everything is orange and teal

    A plane flies directly above, at low altitude, seen through a skylight
window of Surrey Quays Shopping Centre.

    Look up

    While watching a film on New Year’s Eve, I was struck by a visual migraine. Funnily enough, the last time I had one I was also watching a film. I don’t experience any pain, just a colourful distortion that makes me unable to perceive part of my field of vision. It’s disturbing to look at someone and see only half a face.

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