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f/e 2023-12-31

Happy New Year to those of you reading this in the New Year. May your 2024 be 0.04943% better than 2023, as the number indicates.

We spent Christmas at my parents’ in Essex, where I prepared Christmas dinner successfully despite the limited cooking facilities. Then we had a few days reading and pottering in Wivenhoe, which was pretty, and a nice pause.

A photo of some village houses at night, with Christmas decorations reflected on the damp road surface

And now it’s good to be back home with our own things and bed and space and quiet.

The highlight of the previous weeknote – a family of five in London all wearing ivory/cream outfits – was topped this time around by a family of five in Morrison’s all wearing red and white Christmas hooded onesies.

§ Before Christmas we watched Fleishman Is in Trouble which we enjoyed. It was a bit slow going at first, not helped by Fleishman himself being the least interesting of all the characters, but the most on-screen. This changes but not soon enough for liking. Still, all good though. Episode six was my favourite, with each of three friends envying the others’ different lives, and agonising over where their lives went “wrong” (they’re all fine really).

§ We watched the first season of Only Murders in the Building which was alright, kind of. I didn’t care whodunnit or how or why, and I didn’t find it funny, but it went past OK. Not really a ringing endorsement is it.

§ I gave up on Doctor Who a while back but we both watched the Doctor Who Christmas special, me mainly to see what Ncuti Gatwa’s Doctor was like. He was good, fun! But it confirmed for me that I do not need to see any further episodes. The “stakes raised then lowered almost immediately” (as Ted put it), the constant blaring orchestral music, the excessive silliness, the way dialogue’s Delivered. Extremely. Clearly. as if everyone’s on stage.

§ Finally on the telly front, I finished season one of The Bear yesterday which, like everyone said, is really good. I’d heard it was stressful and I assumed that was entirely due to the pressures of preparing food in a professional kitchen. But no! It’s mostly because one man, Richie, is an immature, self-centred, relentlessly annoying dick. I would have enjoyed the show more if my assumption had been correct – I have no time for that guy and resent spending any of my life watching him – but it was still good.

§ I fancied playing a game during some of the seasonal downtime so, after being influenced by a handful of friends separately mentioning Civilization over recent weeks, I downloaded Civilization VI to my iPad and embarked on the tutorial.

I came back to it a couple of days later only to find my progress hadn’t been saved and I’d have to start the unfinished tutorial from the beginning if I wanted to learn how to play it.

So no games for me.

§ My weeknotes seem to have become mostly just brief reports on what I’ve seen on TV etc, which is fine, but… I feel there should be more to it, somehow.

I wrote the above yesterday, when I was suffering a lightly from my first cold since before Covid I think. Today I’ve been in bed, rarely conscious, feeling awful. Happy new year.

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  1. I look forward to reading your thoughts on season two of The Bear, which I found more enjoyable (yet no less stressful) than the first and especially episode 7, Forks, which focuses on Richie. It’s sublime.

  2. I came here to leave the comment that Paul already posted :). The post-Forks update is going to be a doozy.