Week 55

Happy new tax year.

Week 54

Now wash your hands.

Week 53

Week 52

Be well.

Week 51

Week 50: jet set swines

UKPersonalFinance is one of the few things on the internet site Reddit I sometimes look at. Some of the people on it seem to be quite rich, which is nice for them. This week, there was a post about flying business class, which garnered unusually many replies, mostly people banging on about all the flights they do, which was a bit unsettling – like, did an aeroplane write this? It shouldn’t really be surprising – 1% of English flyers did 18% of all the flying in 2018, and other statistics – and it’s not all frequent flyers’ fault that they have to fly so frequently, and that Matt Hancock’s electric aircrafts aren’t yet available.

Well. Thanks to the jet set swines, I learned of the closure of mySupermarket, a supermarket price comparison website. Now, some years ago, I started “Supermarket Market”, a sort of competitor. I stopped it soon afterwards – too much work alongside my then full-time job and other, more successful website – but kept the idea up my sleeve, and only a few months ago registered ispyprices.com, which used to be the domain name of another one-man operated supermarket comparator.

Well. Undaunted by the failures of both the lavishly funded behemoth mySupermarket and the scrappy upstart I Spy Prices, I’ve resurrected Supermarket Market. It would be lying to say I’ve defeated the competition, but maybe that won’t stop me. The timing is unfortunate – I’ve plenty of other work to do – but ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.

Unsurprisingly, some of the supermarkets’ stuff has changed, breaking my stuff, which means lots of the prices there are years out of date at the time of writing. On the other hand, it’s surprising how much still works.

Flatulating in bed at night, I was reminded of my childhood. The farts acted like Proust’s madelines, but rather less effectively – I wasn’t sure if I ever owned up to farting in an art classroom, or was I thinking of someone else? I am sure a woodwork supply teacher bollocked someone for not holding a fart in, which seemed rather unfair. More liberal teachers dealt with these situations by making fun of the perp, which is somehow better – or is it? Cool story.

Nice to attend nor(DEV):con. It’s certainly the best technology conference at this time of year in the Norfolk area. Now there are some pictures of the back of my head on Twitter, which for any self-haircutter helps with identifying tufty bits.

Week 49

A week in, mostly, North England, which is a completely normal name for that geographical area.

York, where I was all “I remember when this was all fields”, not just about carbuncular new buildings but also about fields that have temporarily become lakes. Some places that one can get to from York, such as Harrogate, with all its wealth, and Ripon, which felt more down-at-heel because it was raining. Then Liverpool, the pool of life.

Martin Belam wrote about League Two away matches and the joy of going to thereof. Which resonates, and is sort of how I spent much of the week (minus the League Two matches).

A needlessly complicated and expensive journey home, but one of the upshots of that was experiencing one of the new excel buses. They look shockingly wonderful – shiny and red outside, pretend wood and real leather inside – but I found the ride uncomfortably firm, and something was rattling noisily. Well, maybe I was unlucky to get a rattly one, and maybe I was unusually jaded.

Did some work, mainly on the train. I’ll probably do some more work next week, not on any trains. Good week.

Week 48

The weeks keep happening.

It continued to be windy, and, unexpectedly, it snowed a bit.

Some men came to extract the bath, shower, tiles, basin, cupboards, peeling paint, etc (I think that’s about the size of it) from our bathroom, and now work is underway to replace them, and insulate the walls too. The bath was cut in half to effect an easier removal, and carted away by a man with what looked from afar like a toothbrush moustache – if he hadn’t been so faraway, I’d’ve congratulated him for his efforts to reclaim that style of facial hair from Richard Herring.

So we’ve been washing in the kitchen – whatever next, standing in the sitting room? – and, unfortunately, I’m not very good at washing with a bowl of water without getting all water on the floor and everywhere.

The weekend. Spent a night in Peterborough, which I used to think was a town not a city, and where a man brought me a poor value breakfast on a tray on his shoulder.1

Then ended the week in York, which I already knew was a city. There via the vestibule of a delayed, overcrowded train, operated by the state owned “operator of last resort”. I had a seat reservation, and plucked up the courage to confront its occupier, who told me seat reservations weren’t being enforced – possibly something to do with the weather-related disruption, possibly an epic lie. Then I found another free seat, but moments later an oldish lady claimed it was hers, and who was I to argue with someone who probably died in the war for all our freedoms. So the vestibule it was. Arrived 29 minutes late (one minute too early for a delay repay claim).

I let my Netflix subscription lapse. I had enjoyed The Stranger, and was starting to continue enjoying Better Call Saul, but time to read some books or something for a bit.

  1. The sort of hotel terrible ponces stay at. Strangely, a 2018 article just happened to appear on Twitter, about how badly Marriott International treats its workers, while making money hand over fist. 

Week 47

Another week!

Back from Nottingham, a journey beset by some bungling that I did – missed a train, because I walked the wrong way to the station, although it turns out the train was late and I might still have caught it if I’d jogged, although I still needed to find a working machine (among all the broken ones) to retrieve a ticket from. One of the upshots was that, for the next leg of the journey, it was expedient to finally try one of the super new trains which was fine – I sat inexplicably near the central “power” coach, which actually made a bit of a racket (which is to be expected), but it was fine. Cool story.

(Content warning: oral health.) Not sure if I’ve a curry-induced ulcer, or a wisdom tooth coming through (which I suppose would signal that I’ve become wise). Well, it was a bit of a pain for a few days, but it’s really OK now.

Spent some time printing out PDFs and writing on paper and using a scanner, which is definitely the most efficient way to fill in forms. One thing about letting agents is that, I suppose, if you tell them you’re not in a particular rush they’ll prioritise other people who are in a rush, and things will take longer. Which is fine.

Some work. Wrote some automated tests on the train, which feels impressive in at least two ways – the professionalism of automated tests, and the productivity godliness of doing them with the big laptop on the surprisingly adequate fold-out seat-back tray on the East Midlands Railway regional train (I don’t know anything about trains). Also, made some things look better on devices with non-rectangular displays, e.g. the iPhone X landscape mode, which is a thing to do.

It’s been windy (not curry-induced). To give you an idea of how windy it’s been, an empty box of apple pies blew into the garden. Be safe.

Week 46