The builders turned up on Monday, and told us that, contrary to previous plans, we really needed to have everything out of the house for them to be able to work effectively.

So I spent Monday and Tuesday doing just that. I bought more packing boxes and paper. I packed up everything that was left downstairs. I booked another van and driver for Tuesday (from Relōku again) and moved most of our remaining items into the storage locker. Picking the larger locker turned out to have been a good idea, but I still had to do plenty of reorganising and 3D Tetris.

We’re planning to replace a lot of our furniture – especially some of the largest things like our bed and my office desk – and we’d hoped to donate most of it to charity. With only two days to get rid of it, though, I resorted to Freecycle and some very strict criteria about when things could be collected.

In the end, everything went to a home, and almost nothing was wasted.

It was an intense two days, and at times I had to rely on a list of the things I needed to do to avoid being overwhelmed and to compensate for the effect of fatigue on my mental recall. I spent three nights sleeping on the floor in a sleeping bag.

The builders came back on Wednesday and started smashing up the house. Among other things, we’re having the kitchen door and window to the garden replaced with a single larger aperture with bifold doors. It’s alarming to see the side of your house propped up on metal jacks, but I get the impression that for the company doing this, it’s a tiny job. They’re used to making much larger openings.

It’s about eleven more weeks until we can have our house back to live in.

I narrowly avoided being ripped off at Morrisons in Peckham. I put a small – maybe 2 cm long – piece of ginger on the self checkout scales, transferred it to my bag, and saw that £1.45 had been added to the running total. I know inflation is bad, but it’s not that bad.

Then I noticed the (alleged) weight: 0.27 kg, over half a pound. That definitely wasn’t right. I called over a member of staff. He cancelled the item and tried again. It reported the same weight of 0.27 kg, so he cancelled it again. I paid for the rest of my non-weighed items, and bought the ginger separately at another till. (25 g, £0.14, that’s more like it.)

And then they just left the cheating till running, ready to scam the next customer. That really angered me.

I wrote to Morrisons to complain:

Although I did not lose out, this is an appalling breach of weights and measures regulations. For a till to report ten times the actual weight of an item is unconscionable, and amounts to a tax on people slightly less perceptive than I happened to be today.

But their response not only failed to inspire confidence, it made me wonder whether an LLM wrote it:

Thank you for contacting the Morrisons. Your concern is read and acknowledged by me. I apologise for the inconvenience you have faced in this matter.

I also contacted Citizens Advice, which is the indirect route by which it’s possible to report things to Trading Standards. I don’t know what will happen, or whether I’ll ever even find out.

I spent most of Thursday working from the Hatch Peckham workspace in Peckham Levels as I need somewhere while I can’t use my own home office. It’s a lovely place, friendly, reasonably priced, and with delicious coffee. There’s only one downside, and it’s a literal one: the building is a converted car park, and the floor slopes by a couple of degrees.

I think I’ll keep working from there for now, and see how I get on.

Trains in the UK are expensive, but they’re also unreliable. Sometimes, though, they are so unreliable that you get all your money back and thus they are merely unreliable.

I’m down in Weymouth, visiting my parents for the weekend. On Friday, I caught the 13:35 train from Waterloo, which should have arrived at 16:14. I even boarded early and grabbed myself a seat at a table.

First, the driver turned up late, held up by problems elsewhere, and we got underway 21 minutes behind schedule. Then there was a points failure near Wimbledon, adding a further 35 minutes. At Winchester, someone opened a door they shouldn’t have, and it took a quarter of an hour to reset the system.

Finally, the service was terminated prematurely at Dorchester South, which it reached a full 81 minutes later than scheduled. We were told that there was a train behind that we could catch, but that was also cancelled. With no upcoming services on the line, a caravan of us walked across the town to Dorchester West station, from which we were able to catch a tiny two-carriage diesel train from Gloucester to Weymouth.

I finally arrived at 18:26, 132 minutes later than planned. According to South Western Railway’s Delay Repay rules, a delay of over 120 minutes qualifies me for a refund of 100% of the price of my return ticket. Having a free return journey compensates for some of the inconvenience of that journey, at least. I was also able to get quite a lot of work done on the train.

My mobile phone no longer works as a phone. I can make calls, but if anyone calls me, it rings, and a notice appears to tell me that the Phone app keeps crashing. The Pixel 2 has lasted me five years, via one battery replacement and the installation of LineageOS to replace the abandoned Google stock Android. That’s a fairly long time for a piece of technology in this throwaway society. But I probably need to reinstall everything from scratch in order to fix the crash, and the replacement battery has now also become run down, and I think it’s time to concede defeat.

I’ve ordered a newer but still second hand phone, a Pixel 6a, onto which I intend to install GrapheneOS.

No links or books this week as I’ve not had time for either.