Last week marked the first time I commuted into an office since mid-October. It was fine, other than the Overground train in the morning running incredibly slow and getting to Whitechapel nearly 20 minutes later than it should have – making that leg of the journey 47 minutes instead of 27 minutes. And of course the train is standing room only once it reaches our station (the 2nd station up from where the train starts) thanks to Southern cutting services between East Croydon and London Bridge via Forest Hill.
Really it was ok for once a week. I got a seat on the Elizabeth line both in the AM and PM so that’s nice. On my walk from the office to Tottenham Court Road station to pick up said purple train, I spotted a gallery with some Keith Haring work on display. I just happened to be wearing a Haring shirt that day.
The somewhat longer commute did mean I got through more of my audio book. I’ve started on the Harry Stubs Adventures books by David Hambling. It’s a mystery series that takes place in and around Norwood in our neck of the woods, with the titular character being a former-boxer-turned-clerk. I’m on the second audio book now which has a different person reading it, and so a different spin on the character’s voice as they are told in the first person. I really didn’t like the change at first but I’m getting used to it.
Gaming-wise I’m still enjoying Pocket Card Jockey on the iPad (other Apple Arcade compatible devices are available) and the odd bit of Stardew Valley on the Steamdeck. At some point in the distant future I’ll be adding a console to the collection. I gave into curiosity and pre-ordered a Playdate; a charming little greyscale display console with a crank handle. Games are released in waves to the device and are little indie releases including one made by the developer of Papers, Please and Return of the Obra Dinn, both of which I love. The order numbers that are currently shipping are thousands and thousands before mine, so it will be a treat for future Andrea.
The week wrapped up with us doing the RSPB Big Garden Bird Watch on Sunday morning. It’s one of the biggest citizen science events in the world and has been running for over 40 years. To take part, you just sign up via the RSPB website, and on the specified weekend, usually in January, just park yourself outside or at a window and make note of the birds and other animals you see in a one hour period.
You count the largest number you see at any given time, like how we put down seven redwings as it was the biggest group of redwings we saw all at once, they were sitting in a tree at the same time. Our final tally was:
- 9 goldfinches
- 2 robins
- 3 wood pigeons
- 7 redwings
- 2 blackbirds
- 3 carrion crows
- 2 great tits
- 1 blue tit
- 1 magpie
- 1 jay
- 1 cat (not ours) being way too interested in our new feeder
Here are some snaps I took from our hour: