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w/e 2022-01-22

22 days into the year and I’ve yet to get back into any kind of useful routine for anything. Too many things to do, none of which are essential, so they all just sit there expectantly, hoping I’ll notice them, sigh, and get on with doing it, so I can cross it off whatever list it’s been waiting on. J’ais pas d’oomph, as I imagine the French say.

§ A photo of a modern, cylindrical building under construction, maybe 15 storeys tall
The art’otel London Hoxton under construction, where The Foundry was

Another visit to my folks this week and so, with cold but dry weather, another pair of walks between Paddington and Liverpool Street stations and back. I love it. Routes that were boring through repetition while living in London are, now I only traverse them a few times a year, if that, always interesting again.

I try not to feel too nostalgic for events from years ago, their memories scattered around the city, in locations that are notable or anonymous or, increasingly-often, redeveloped. Which isn’t necessarily bad – everywhere’s always changing and what is old and “original” for me was once a new thing that replaced someone else’s treasured memory.

That tower on the spot of The Foundry is much too tall though.

§ While heading through London I went to the cinema for only the second time since March 2020 and had a brilliant time. I saw Aftersun (Charlotte Wells, 2022) at the Prince Charles, which was pretty much exactly what I love about movies. Moving, ambiguous, great performances; I didn’t want it to end.

Contrasting it to the other post-lockdown film I saw at the cinema – Everything Everywhere All At Once – emphasises to me how different my reaction is, on average, to slow, emotional films compared to in-your-face action movies. Even if the latter is quirky and interesting rather than about yet more superheroes. I so rarely care about them or feel anything. But something like Aftersun stays inside me for hours, days, weeks, afterwards.

§ I’ve been trying out Plausible Analytics for Pepys’ Diary, one of several smallish privacy-respecting web analytics services and it’s very nice. It made me realise how rare it is to use a website, especially a slightly “app-like” one, which is pleasant and easy to use. It’s possible to make your site’s dashboard public, so you can have a look at’s if you’re interested.

It does more than my very limited requirements, and even let me import many years’ worth of Google Analytics data, which I stopped using last year (hence the gap, if you view all the data).

Fortunately/unfortunately Pepys is popular enough that it tips over into the 100,000 pageviews per month tier, which means it would cost £23 (£19 + VAT) monthly. Worth it if you need to analyse your data to increase numbers, improve profits, and make line go up, but more than I’m willing to pay solely to satisfy my very occasional curiosity about whether the overall numbers have changed much over the past six months.

§ Last year I got out of the habit of taking my “real” camera (a Fujifilm X-E3) out because my iPhone is definitely Good Enough. But I do enjoy using a camera, which encourages me to spend longer on the photo, and longer fiddling with it later. Slowing down. I wouldn’t say it’s a new year resolution to use it more, but I hope to do so. Plus some more shooting in black-and-white for a change too.

A black-and-white photo of a plant growing out of waterlogged grass, that's covered in frozen water

§ That is it. A week of a lot and nothing.

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