Photos of cats and food


Weirdly quiet few weeks for taking pictures. I just can't get my eye in for it at all. It's a bit disheartening looking at my camera roll and seeing the same thing repeatedly.

Today I learned that Excel thinks it can handle XML, and I'm here to tell you, if someone offers to clean up some XML data for you, make sure they're not going to use Excel to do it because it mangles it like crazy and will make some datasets basically unusable.

Lazy Designers Duo and Apricot


Feels like ages since I got a new keyboard but it almost definitely isn't. I've had a premium QAZ-shaped hole in my collection for a while. No more!

Craft-driven static Astro builds in S3, a baptism by fire


I am normally very toe-in-the-water on AWS, but a recent project forced me to go all-in on it and it was pretty fun, all things considered.

Tabitha is Eleven


Not sure how this has happened but yep. Eleven. She played a badminton match and chose what she ate all day (so junk pretty much!)

Bleachers at O2 Forum


We took Tabitha to see Bleachers as her first proper show. I think she enjoyed it but we would all like to go back to bed now please.

Some recent pictures


I have been on a bit of a kick with computers and coding recently, which has meant fewer pictures. Unless you count pictures of half-assembled computers. Which, this week, we do.

Managing my dotfiles with Stow


For years I have, apparently, not been managing my dotfiles. I thought I had but when I went to check, the folder containing them was not a git repository.

I'm getting so sick of reading about how the EU is messing with Apple and iOS. I'm no Apple fanboy (shut up I'm not), but I am incredibly skeptical of forcing Apple to allow third party app stores, untethered installs etc.

This is the same EU that has made the web borderline unbearable with cookie popups that protect end users from absolutely nothing. Just because a person or institution's heart is in the right place (or solar system), doesn't mean we should let them dictate what far smarter people do with their platform. I don't want iOS to become Android. That's one of the main reasons I use iOS. I don't want to have to run antivirus on my phone, and I hope all this stuff doesn't end up impacting people who don't absolutely need to be able to play Fortnite at any given moment.

Look at the companies getting behind the DMA to push Apple: Epic and Spotify. Two of the scummiest, most-bottom-feeder-iest companies of the twenty-first century. Telling Apple that they're overreaching when it comes to profit share?! How much does Spotify pay musicians, again? All these companies are the absolute worst.

Granted, Apple is behaving like a petulant child in banning Epic (which is either a 4D chess move I don't get, or throwing-toys-out-of-the-pram of the highest order) and blocking homescreen web-apps in the EU, but I feel like I'd probably be grumpy if a council of luddites were telling me how I needed to run my platform. Especially when the way I run my platform is systematically designed to circumvent certain issues. Sure it's nice for Apple that they also built a walled garden, but I don't think they would have done that if it didn't result in the best product and the most profitable one.

I'm not even anti-EU but they need to keep their noses out of tech, or take better advice because they clearly don't know what they're doing.

Let's implement dynamic DNS using Crystal and Cloudflare


My dyndns client was broken, and they keep getting me to choose pictures of buses to renew my free domain, so I've taken matters into my own hands.

Shortcuts is nearly good


Shortcuts is such a good way to dip your toe in the water if you're potentially interested in programming in any way but have zero experience. But I'm still not really sure who it's actually intended for.



I've wanted to build a computer inside a Pelican case for a while now, and it's getting closer.

I feel like I'm done with gaming and it's weird. It's like I'm trying to decide to end a relationship I've been in since I was eight years old, and I'm scared of the hole it's going to leave in my life when I admit to myself that it's over.

I think I already know that it's over, but I'm struggling against my own denial.

80% of my YouTube video recommendations are gaming-related. I've modded Game Boys, and I've hacked a PS Vita inside out, I've swapped joysticks on my Switch. I enjoy the process of tinkering with gaming devices, more than I enjoy playing games at this point.

I really never thought I'd grow out of gaming, but I think that's because I've always seen that as a patronising concept in general. It's not "growing"; I'm not an adult now, and if you're still gaming you're a child. I don't like that attitude in general; it's elitist at best, and elitism is for the insecure.

I think what's happened is I've just changed, but it's arbitrary. When I play games, I'm acutely aware that I'm purely consuming something. There's no creativity. I'm not expanding my mind by playing a game. I'm not getting inspired to make my own game. If I throw myself at something for three hours in Elden Ring, and finally get past it, I haven't done anything other than progress in a video game. That skill isn't transferrable. It hasn't improved my reflexes or ability to read situations under pressure; at least, not in a way that's useful outside playing games. I should just spend three hours reading (if I have to explain why this isn't purely passive consumption then you've probably already wasted the time you've spent getting to this sentence!), or playing guitar (either being creative or learning to be creative), or playing badminton, or committing my confused and meandering internal struggles to parchment.

And I think I'm going to do that from now. I've struggled for the past few weeks with "what shall I do? / I know I'll play a game / what shall I play? / play for 6 minutes / OK I'm over this now / what shall I do? / scroll my Steam library for 10 minutes / go and do something else" and I just need to accept that, at the very least, I need a significant break from gaming to determine whether there's still space for it in my life.

Reading gives me tennis elbow


I normally read books on my phone but our trip to the British Library gave me a hankering for a physical book. I now regret this.

I've had some really nice contact through this site recently. I've put mailto links on a bunch of stuff, just because I never want to have comments again, but that doesn't mean I don't want to talk to people about what I've written here. I don't think I've ever posted anything that I'm closed off to talking about.

I'm glad blogging's coming back, and I hope it continues to grow. I still open Twitter (I will never call it X) occasionally, and I never last more than five minutes. It's so vile how people are on that site now. I see some lovely people still posting on there, but I genuinely don't know how they can bear it. It's weird to think I used to spend a significant portion of my day on that site.

I've seen a lot of criticism about people creating their own echo chambers, but I think people forget that you don't willingly hang out with people you dislike, or disagree with to the point that conversation is impossible, so why would you tolerate that on your social media? I like my echo chamber.



Tabitha played a badminton match in Winchester and we went for a little mooch beforehand.

That London


It's half term! I took the day off and we went to see the Fantasy exhibition at the British Library.



Golf, the car, is my favourite type of Golf. I tried golf, the sport, a while back and I fell in the mud and it was not fun.

Charlotte in her element


Charlotte eating food whilst looking at pictures of food. We were also talking about food. Not sure why but I find something about this photo very satisfying.

I have been meaning to do this for ages and I was right to put it off because it took so long.

I set up a little area that I guess you can describe as a portfolio but it's just a few categorised sets of my favourite photos from the last 13 years. I spent the last day doomscrolling my own images, and even found a bunch I'd completely forgotten about.

Not sure how I'm going to keep this updated. It's pretty difficult to decide what goes in from now. I might make a rule that nothing newer than 6 months can go in from now but it's more likely that I'll just forget entirely.

Hope you enjoy.