I voted. I set up a postal vote while our house was being renovated, because I wasn’t sure where I might be staying at the time of the council elections. As things turned out, that mandate applied to the general election as well.

A hand putting a postal vote envelope into a postbox.

Casting my vote in time for the Monday morning collection

My vote won’t change anything electorally – this constituency will never return a conservative – but that did as least mean that I was free to vote with my conscience, and not for some cynical majoritarian electoral calculus.

If you look carefully at that photo, you might see that the last collection is “9.00am Monday to Friday”, which effectively adds a day to most items posted there. Royal Mail really isn’t what it once was.

The house is asymptotically approaching completion. There’s still work left to do, and even though it’s only a small amount, it’s taking longer and longer to be finished.

But there have been some significant improvements. We have banisters now, so we’re less likely to fall to our deaths. And I haven’t murdered anyone, so that’s also good.

I’m not sure which will be finished first: our house renovation or the Tories. Perhaps we can never really be free of either.

I replaced the back door lock cylinder with a “keyed alike” one, so that one key gets me through the front and back doors. I don’t like walking around like an old-time gaoler. I ordered the cylinder for delivery to the workspace at Peckham Levels, but when I went to pick it up from the post room a couple of days later, it wasn’t there, and no amount of careful searching turned it up.

However, I saw that there was a package for a Paul Bailey working in the architects upstairs, and I wondered whether someone had misread the name on mine. I phoned them up and … yes, that’s exactly what had happened. He wasn’t in, but someone had picked it up and left it on his desk.

I had a wonderful couple of days in Brighton for the Brighton Ruby Conference. It was more relaxing this year than last, as I wasn’t speaking. I’d usually take a late train back to London afterwards, but I decided to take advantage of the opportunity to escape from the chaos of home by staying for two nights.

The hotel I found this time, Hotel Pelirocco (“England’s most rock n roll hotel”) was friendly, characterful and did a great vegan breakfast. It would be a good place for a break when I’m not travelling for work.

I caught up with many old friends, met a few new people, and did some shopping in the second-hand shops. I was particularly pleased with a couple of shirts that I found for £6 each in a charity shop.

The conference was great, too.

A view along a pebble beach towards a pier. People are sunbathing and
swimming and the sky is blue with a few wispy clouds.

A sunny morning on the beach in Brighton

And I sat on the beach in the sun for a bit.