I made a small accidental discovery that will improve my life: my waterproof Bluetooth speaker will send the forward command if I double-tap the play button. This means that when I’m in the shower and some irritating ad comes on (which is most of them, but especially Shopify ads with their repeated dinging antediluvian cash register sounds, and anyway I’m not interested in setting up an online store selling white supremacist merchandise at this time) I can skip right ahead past the annoyance.

My new passport arrived in a total of four working days, including international post (though Dublin isn’t really very far from London). I filled in the online form on Saturday, and by lunchtime on Tuesday it had been printed and was on its way. It arrived Thursday morning.

Because the photo is converted to black and white, I think it makes me look younger. I hope it doesn’t work like a reverse Dorian Gray, my passport getting ever younger while I grow swiftly more wizened.

I did a bit more luthiery and performed a successful laparoscopic repair on a mandolin with a collapsing top which you can read about in its own post.

I went to the Millennium Dome for the first time in my life. I know it’s been rebranded for a telecoms operator, but the pedestrian signs still point to the “Dome”.

After a late lunch in Deptford, we walked to the Dome along the Thames Path. I hadn’t seen some of the new developments along there, and they’re so different from what I think of as the vernacular architecture of London that I felt like I was in another country. Maybe I’ll stroll along there on a sunny day when I want to pretend I’m on holiday.

As you get closer to the Dome, the path gets less and less amenable to pedestrians, and as you wind through fenced-off paths past the parking for the golf driving range it feels like a place no one is enouraged or even expected to visit on foot.

I thought the Dome was grim. It’s a massive tent, in which is a kind of fake street of mock-Art Deco frontages (all with the kind of uneven panel gaps you’d expect to find on a Tesla), absolutely full of the most banal, middle-of-the-road chains. There are chain restaurants, and chain shops, and chain pubs. It’s a bit like an airport without any aeroplanes. There are the normal features of prefab gentrification around the edges, like a food court marketed as a “street food” place.

There seem to be quite a few venues there. The one we went to, the Indigo, is one of the smaller ones but is still fairly large. The event itself, Criminal Live, was fun. It was grimly appropriate that one of them had had her phone swiped from her hand by a thief on a bicycle while walking around London earlier that day.

Digital flotsam of the week: