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w/e 2022-05-01

Welcome to May. This is the first month in nine years and five months that I won’t have to prepare the tweets for @samuelpepys for the following month. It probably took between a half and a whole day per month, which isn’t a huge amount, but it’s not the most exciting task. Still, better than the one day per week it took to prepare the diary entries’ HTML for the website the first time around.


§ The most satisfying bit of decorating is putting all the fixtures back on top of the newly-painted walls and doors. Over the years I’ve gradually got more confident at removing things before painting, rather than carefully taping everything off, which used to seem easier. Now I realise it’s easier, and looks much better, to remove most things, do the painting, and put the stuff back afterwards. Especially when you’ve been able to clean off all the old paint from the previous decoratings when this hasn’t happened.

I was even brave enough to unscrew the light switches this time, which I wasn’t last year, risking death for a better finish. I didn’t remove power sockets though. Somehow I imagine that the electricity that flows through them is more dangerous than the stuff that’s in the light switches. This is definitely how electricity works.


A photo of a grassy hill under a cloudy sky, with around forty black and white cows standing, almost in a line, facing towards the camera
Our current neighbours, lining up for a photo

§ For no apparent reason my brain reminded me this week of the year, several ago, when I was talking to one big company about working for them in California for a few months, and then a small company about a proper job with them in San Francisco, and then a big company in New York about a job with them.

And so during the week my mind has wandered, trying to imagine how different life might have been if any of that had happened. Which isn’t really possible.

It was quite exciting at the time, the possibilities, the forks in the road. The possibilities faded away with no particular reasons given, and I’ve no real idea why. Life is sometimes weird, but a lot of the time just suggests that maybe it could be weird but then carries on exactly as normal.


§ Tiny wildlife drama of the week… So far this year we’ve only had one bird casualty as result of flying into the windows, but one morning this week I was sitting in the conservatory, while the sun rose over the trees and began to warm it up, when there was a BONK!

As I stood up to look out I heard a lot of urgent tweeting. This casualty was a chaffinch, face down in the grass, with another chaffinch now stood on top of it pecking and pulling at its downed partner? relative? friend? with its beak, in between its desperate chirps.

The victim was still with us, despite one wing being at an awkward angle, and every so often the pair of birds would flutter desperately into the air together only to land again a couple of feet away.

I imagined the casualty, still face down, struggling, weeping, “Leave me here Chuffles! Save yourself!”

The noisy bird didn’t give up, pulling and chirping, only stopping when a large jay landed nearby, presumably to see if there was anything here it could eat. They’re pretty but evil. I helped to scare the jay off, which didn’t take much.

The pulling and tweeting and periodic fluttering continued, now with a tiny blue tit standing on the grass watching, head cocked, like a passer-by gawping at the aftermath of an accident.

Eventually the dazed bird must have recovered enough and both birds suddenly launched into the air and soared down the garden, disappearing into a hedge, leaving only a dusting of grey, downy feathers behind on the grass.

I hope they’re both still OK, and I figure that if they made it that far they’re probably alright. Well done Chuffles.


§ We watched the second season of Russian Doll this week and it was a bit of a disappointment. If we hadn’t enjoyed the first season so much I’m not sure we’d have stuck with second because somehow it was a bit boring up until the final couple of episodes where it picked up.

It’s a shame. I often wonder how easy it is to tell from a script whether a TV show or movie is going to be good, gripping, or not. How do you decide, “That’s it, this is good, we’re done!” And with a twisty, time-travelly plot like this it must be extra hard to decide, “does this work?” in advance.


§ That is all. Have a good May 🌹


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1 comment

  1. glad to know other people share my understanding of electricity.

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