Quarantine – Week twelve

History in real-time.

Monday 2020/6/01

I’ve been in my current job 11 years today. I’ve mostly worked on the REF case study today.
Spent the day blocking adverts on Twitter and processed images of the moon taken a few days ago. Probably the last of the astro images for a while, as the nights are too short and too bright to do any useful imaging.

The Moon on May 29th 2020
The Moon on May 29th 2020

Tuesday 2020/6/02
Discussions about REF document. Mentor session with student and plans to set up a mock viva for her next week. Long evening chat with CCFS staff about upcoming year.

Wednesday 2020/6/03
This day occurred, lots of news happened (and has been happening for  couple of weeks)  I’m not the right person to write about it. It doesn’t help I’m writing these posts days later.

Thursday 2020/6/04
Took the dog for a long walk over the park. Managed to find part of the path of a stream I’m semi-convinced flows under the park. Will do some more research on this when I can access the library again.

While out, twitter blew up, I’d RT a female engineer & academic who had tweeted about fixing her TV volume. I thought it a neat hack. She got a bit of a pile on from some followers of mine who can’t read and proceeded to tell her how to do analog electronics – she teaches it at university level FFS! Apologised for the idiots attracted by the RT and blocked the worst of them.

Friday 2020/6/05
Today really felt like a Saturday.
Went for a run, my lungs were on fire. It’s depressing how quickly you lose lung capacity if you don’t exercise for a while. Had a three hour Teams chat with Jason and Marion in the evening.

Saturday 2020/6/06
Did some of the work I should have done yesterday. Went out for some groceries, social distancing and masks seem to be holding in the co-op.
Spent rather a lot of the day working out how to migrate this site away from WordPress. I decided on WordPress 16 years ago when I started this website up – the plan was to use that while I worked on Amorphia – my own CMS. Amorphia never really went anywhere and WordPress stayed installed. I think I’m closer to being able to ditch it now, but I’m not entirely there yet.

Sunday 2020/6/07
Slept late. Went for a shorter run, lungs easier; lots of standing water in the park where I think the stream runs – more evidence for it I think. I did some engineering on the bike pedals to take off some of the spikes for safety. Finished off the script for the next conservation video.

An early awakening

Around 5:30 this morning I was rudely awoken from odd dreams about plastic jewellery by loud voices outside my window.

Looking out, this was the scene that greeted me.

The pipe was happily disgorging hundreds of liters of water per minute, washing away the sub-surface of the road. The water carried the mud and silt around Osborne Square, leaving a nice sticky film everywhere.

QMUL Canalside

Some recent photographs from the Regent’s Canal as it passes though the QMUL campus.

Chorthippus Parallelus - Meadow Grasshopper
Chorthippus Parallelus – Meadow Grasshopper

There were several of these grasshoppers chirping away, trying to find a mate. They were very approachable, not vanishing just as the shutter clicks. Common species, both male and female have short front wings and no hind wings.

Continue reading QMUL Canalside


Dead; not my corner of the internet – this is just pining for the fjords, but my poor walking boots.


A couple of thousand miles.
Five countries.
Three-and-a-bit years.
Three mountain ranges.
Two continents.
One dead pair of walking boots.

Spending the Royal Wedding bank holiday wandering around the Scottish Highlands including Ben Nevis finally finished them off. The laces snapped at airport security and a gash in the side opened up descending the Ben. The soles have leaked since January.

Traffic & Wantz

So yesterday Diamond Geezer posted a list of ‘blogs that link to his, affable-lurking being among those listed and close to the start of the list (alphabetical order rather than a top ten list or anything). I thought I’d investigate if this drove any traffic towards my little corner of the internet.

Basically, the answer is no. Or at least undecidable. My daily visitors number around 10-20, this did not really change much yesterday. I shall have to wait until the end of the week to check out the weekly stats to see if this picture changes much.

One thing I did notice is that around 15% of my traffic comes from people searching google for “Wantz stream”. Now I posted about this stream in May last year, a post I thought would be of no interest to anyone apart from myself. Why do I get so much traffic to that post, and why does no one ever comment or email me about it? Are schools setting a project about the stream? I’ve no idea.

As it seems there is possible interest, I shall post more of my findings about that stream and others in Dagenham in the next week.

If you’ve ended up here after searching for information about Wantz, or Eastbrook or Wythenbroke, please leave a comment or email me and let me know what your interest is.