journal

Leaving London

london city journal germany berlin

2023-01-13

I haven’t felt sentimental about leaving London, I haven’t felt like I need to say goodbye. We made a list of things to do in the city to give it a big send off, but we haven’t been motivated to follow through with them. I love this city. I used to argue in favour of it all the time. Now I’m ready to leave it and barely look over my shoulder.

Berlin

berlin journal germany

2022-11-07

We are moving to Berlin. I’ve been making that statement of intent to anybody who will listen for the past few months. I think (hope) we’re past the stage where I need to make that statement over and over to make it happen now. It has an inertia of its own. I have a job out there. Sarah has a job out there. I think it’s happening. By the end of January 2023, we should be living in Berlin.

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 linguistics 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.