journal

Wet bulb

journal climate weather london

2022-08-24

We’ve had successive record high temperatures everywhere, but most importantly to me, in London. There was a bit of respite for a week or so but yesterday the humidity starting rising and today the temperature will follow. I don’t think I’ll find 28° intolerably hot after getting used to almost 40° a couple of weeks ago, but the humidity doesn’t make it easy. Hyde Park is parched. The leaves have fallen off the trees weeks early, which I’m told is some sort of survival technique.

A swim in a pond in the rain

journal writing books

2022-07-21

Image generated by Midjourney Sarah asked me the other day, “do you actually find you enjoy writing?” Writing is always something I feel I ought to be doing. I feel bad if I haven’t written creatively for a long time. I don’t think I’m a great writer, nor do I really hope to become one if I applied myself and commited serious time to it. Nevertheless, I read a lot, and reading gives you a taste for writing that often wants satisfying with doing a bit yourself.

German is hard

journal language languages

2022-07-20

Image generated by Midjourney I was always a bit cocky about languages. I got good marks in them at school and by the end of sixth form I felt I had a pretty good grasp of French. That felt like a lot in the context of semi-rural England where very, very few people learned and spoke a second language fluently.* French faded because I was an idiot and didn’t keep it up after I went to university.

New job, new season

journal work

2022-03-14

I left BuzzFeed two weeks ago and started at Kaluza the following Monday. The full implications of that are yet to be seen but for now they include: exciting new problems, lots of new people, nice new office, new cycle to the office through lots of parks, being a bit tired. I’m a really simple creature. When people at the office asked me on Friday how my first week went I kept just talking about how nice the bike ride through Regents Park and Hyde Park was and how I was looking forward to spring.

The feeling of away

books france journal language travel

2021-11-16

I’ve been away from home for just over a week now. I’ve been in France. When I’m not in the UK I feel a lot less claustrophobic; I feel like I have such a wider range of choices to choose for my life. An advantage of this trip has been spending time with people who actually live in not-the-UK. I believe to some extent that people are the same everywhere but it’s been nice to see the variations in the patterns of a life.

The mountains and the beetroots

cooking food journal london travel

2021-11-03

When I cycled to work this morning the air felt like the mountains. Maybe once it gets cold and dry enough the smog drops out of the air or something (unlikely). Either way, the sky was blue, the sun was low and golden and blinding. The roads were full of cyclists breathing steam and I didn’t trust any patches of glittering moisture I saw not to be ice. I got to work early; I just didn’t want to squander those hours of sunlight when the night comes on so early.

Eating and swimming

cooking food journal london swimming

2021-10-11

The good bread Running’s been difficult lately, but swimming in the ponds is getting better each week. It’s cold enough now that it burns your skin all over when you get in. It’s cold enough that when you feel the cold on your legs as you step down the ladder you think, “not everybody would do this”. Very self-satisfied of me. When the burning fades off, this sudden feeling of wellbeing washes over.

Time to cook

food cooking covid-19 journal

2021-08-30

Image generated by Midjourney I like to cook a lot. Sometimes I cook all afternoon, one meal after another. I end up with a fridge full of boxed up meals that I can pile through in the week or give to loved ones. Dinner guests are relatively rare these days, in the wake of the pandemic year. Some people have been scattered away from the pestilent city centre.

Journal - 30th July 2021

journal covid-19 london fitness cycling

2021-07-30

There’s been a gap. There have been some changes. I left that house alone and I crossed the river I miss the cat I cycle everywhere I go if I can I’m learning a new language for her and also me I live alone most of the time I’ve been off the island and onto another island I’m fully vaccinated against the virus I’ve sold most of my books (I still have plenty of books) I swim in the ponds; I see my friends for breakfast I’m happy and I’m not ill any more I’m busy; I squeeze people in; I squeeze them into my calendar I’m twenty-seven years old

Snow day

journal covid-19 outdoors london

2021-01-26

Snow whiting out the park London had its first snow day of the winter. We set out for a run in the mid-morning when the first specks starting to stick to the frosty tops of parked cars. By the time we were circling a park it was coming down thick. The roads were coated with a layer a couple of inches thick and quickly became communal playgrounds for bored families.