January 2018

“Events, dear boy, events”

That was the answer I gave Kate when she asked me why I thought Brexit might not happen. This was Harold Macmillan’s response when asked what he thought would most likely knock a government off course – although some dispute whether he ever actually said this.

At the time, I had wrongly attributed this to James Callaghan, having confused it with A lie can be halfway round the world before the truth has got its boots on, which he said in an address to the Commons. But variations of this phrase have been around since the 18th century.

Where’s a Winston Churchill quote when you need one.

Currently watching series two of The Crown. Claire Foy’s impersonation of the Queen is impeccable, matched only by Bertie Carvel’s embodiment of Robin Day. Both are genuinely believable – unlike HMY Britannia, whose CGI reminds me of that used in Titanic, twenty years ago.

Wait for More Bumping

Michael Lopp on how to write:

Randomly think of a thing. Let it bump around your head a bit. If the bumping gets too loud, start writing the words with the nearest writing device. See how far you get. The more words usually mean a higher degree of personal interest. Stop when it suits you.

Wait for time to pass and see if the bumping sound returns. Reread what you’ve written so far and find if it inspires you. Yes? Write as much as you can. No? Stop writing and wait for more bumping.

This perfectly articulates what I was trying to get across in my last post. This bumping sound can too often get drowned out by the sound of tweeting.

Fixing my Feeds

After reading Robin’s re-introduction to RSS, I decided to make Feedbin my feed manager of choice. I had been using a self-hosted instance of Fever for many years, but since this is no longer supported, I moved1 my subscriptions over to Feedly at the beginning of the year.

As a piece of software that operates mainly in the background – Reeder is where I spend most of my day – I was willing to put up with Feedly’s many quirks. But then I tried Feedbin. The difference between the two is like night and day. Feedbin is not only usable, but damn right gorgeous to boot! I guess the adage is true: you get what you pay for.

This move has prompted some other RSS related news, in that I’ve fixed my XML and JSON feeds, and redirected legacy URLs to their canonical locations. It can’t have been fun subscribing to my site recently, as I fiddled and fumbled while adding support for micro posts. I think I’m happy with everything now, but no promises.

Anyway, for the avoidance of doubt, you can subscribe to my site using your syndication format of choice:

How very Web 2.0.

  1. That’s right, data portability. Another fabulous feature of RSS↩︎


Twitter is a place I visit to get annoyed. I need an alternative. That alternative could be my very own website.

Lego, board games, playgrounds, hide and seek, digging holes, building sandcastles and bodyboarding… after a week in Brazil playing with my three wonderful nieces, returning to Britain (somewhat bitten and burnt) having rediscovered my inner child!

My favourite feature of Brazilian bathrooms is electrical sockets in showers. Mixing electricity and water? Está bem!

Always Leave the Table a Little Hungry

Finally watched The Trip to Spain on my flight over to São Paulo. Had already seen the first few episodes, and thought this instalment lacked charm of the first two; watching this feature-long edit only cemented those concerns. This series has clearly run out of ideas, as evidenced by the weirdly drawn out conclusion. I’m full.

Back to Bradshaw’s

Having copied, pasted and formatted another 115 pages of OCR’d text, Bradshaw’s Guide now contains tours throughout South West England, the West Midlands, Wales and Ireland.