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w/e 2023-07-09

I was home alone this week which, in some ways, is nice just for a change, but is always a bit odd, doing the same thing every day, seeing no one but the birds. At least I go out to the gym now, where I might nod at one or two other men.

Actually, it wasn’t only birds I saw this week, wildlife-wise. One morning, while having breakfast, a hare hopped up and stopped the other side of the window. It paused, then lolloped off again before getting spooked and sprinting away under the gate and up the road. I’ve seen hares once or twice here but not close, and not still. Big, and gangly compared to round little rabbits.

§ I got a couple of things live on this week. You’d think that after all these years decades of making websites that I’d be ready for “this simple feature is turning out to be much more complicated than I expected” and yet…

§ Given my renewed attempts to do cryptic crosswords, Tom suggested watching Cracking the Cryptic’s weekly videos in which a man solves Friday’s Times Crossword, explaining his thinking and the clues as he does so. It’s surprisingly absorbing and I watched five of them this week. Such a pleasant way to spend 30-60 minutes, seeing a nice Englishman rattle through, or get stuck on, all these initially meaningless (to me) clues. Sample quotes:

  • “Why can’t I just write that in? Because I’m a wally.”
  • “I don’t know what this is, but I think I know how it ends, and it terrifies me.”

I’m always left with an odd combination of feeling, “I’ll never be anywhere near that good at cryptics” and “Yes! I understand! Now I can solve all cryptics!” Needless to say, I haven’t yet noticed any improvement but it’s early days.

§ This week I finished reading Thomas Dolby’s memoir, The Speed of Sound. I listened to him quite a bit in the late 1980s and early 1990s but then lost track of what he was doing. It turns out the book isn’t only a memoir of life in the music industry; the second half of it is a memoir of life in the early Silicon Valley dot-com industry. Two excellent varieties of memoir for the price of one!

I probably enjoyed the pop world section most but I also love dot-com tales so, while that wasn’t as exciting, it was still interesting. I did sometimes wonder if other people around Dolby saw things quite how he portrayed them, which I guess is the nature of memoirs.

We can all be grateful that he failed in his attempts to make web pages be filled with audio, but it was nice to see him eventually stumble into some financial success with ringtones.

§ I finished watching Beef (Netflix) this week. The only thing I’d gathered about it before watching was that it was a wacky sitcom about two people brought together by a road rage incident, maybe some kind of madcap buddy comedy.

I was quite wrong, thankfully, because while it had funny and awkward moments it was a pretty tense drama. Very good, and both leads were great. I especially enjoyed Ali Wong’s many expressions, particularly while trying to hide increasingly huge disasters from someone with a smile.

§ I also finished watching Colin from Accounts (iPlayer) which was lovely. I had no idea what to expect but it was funny and snappy with lots of great throwaway lines and brief looks. I’m not sure the title’s good but if that – and eight episodes not being enough – are the only quibbles then 👍

§ That’s all, bye.

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1 comment

  1. Wow, there crossword videos are better than I expected, also a good way to learn some more english:)