Bonfire night 2023

Perhaps it was just the weather, or perhaps it is indicative of a trend away from colourful explosions, but bonfire night was a bit of a damp squib – at least in my area.

There were whistles and bangs most of the night, but nothing like as frequent or concentrated. This year for the first time, I didn’t even bother going out to watch the sky.

Can I provide any evidence for my assertion it was a bad year for fireworks? Well, for years I’ve been looking out for spent rockets and shells on my walk to the station. I always go the same way, and have a general idea of what I’d see in a good year – typically tens of spent firework cases, bits of rocket stick and colourful plastic shells from something that exploded high above.

This year, this morning in fact, I counted two items, one rocket stick and one burned tubular cardboard case. This was after I had decided to specifically look out for items, if I hadn’t I’d have probably missed the stick – it was embedded in a privet hedge.

Spent single use vapes were scattered in abundance, I stopped counting at 15. Many of these had been damaged, and their battery exposed with the potential for a brief burst of flame.

Anyway, that’s all anecdote, not data.
Bonfire night 2023 was a damp squib. That’s an assertion and one I’m holding to.

Unblogged Vienna

September meant a trip to Vienna to present at the 10th International Conference on Computational Bioengineering. I was presenting in a sub-section of the conference set up as a memorial for Professor John Clement.

The company was great, the food very good and the Ferris wheel was very high, and I didn’t catch covid. I’ll call that a win.

The main reason the whole thing went unwritten about is that my telephone no longer talks to this website. There has been some bit-rot being the scenes, or an “upgrade” has locked me out. This means updates may be even more sporadic than usual until I get this fixed.

There are photos on Flickr

Open House 2023

After a few years of not going to any open house events, we had a few we wanted to visit this year. As usual we had zero luck in any of the big attraction ballots.

Then the weather hit. Basically yesterday (Saturday) and today were just too hot to wander around London.

Yesterday we visited the union chapel in Islington, and attempted to find a cool breeze down by the Thames at the river police HQ (which was closed).

Today, we visited a beam engine that Open House said was in steam (it wasn’t) but not being in steam meant we got a good tour on top of the engine, and down below where the sewage pumps live.

Top of a beam engine, looking along the beam towards the cylinder end.

PULP at Finsbury Park

Nearly two hours of music from Jarvis and co, not quite the entirety of Different Class, but close, with a few newer tracks and a couple of older ones too.

Excellent fun. And we found out which of the neighboring fans lost their virginity to Sorted for Es and Wizz.