Monthly Archives: July 2017

July 2017 Round-up

Well, July has waved the metaphorical white flag, given up and gone wherever old months go, so I suppose it’s time for me to do this


Yet more fluctuations, with an exciting new low for the year, if only for one day

July 1: 237.4 pounds (16 stone 13.4 pounds, 107.7 kg)
July 31: 236.9 pounds (16 stone 12.9 pounds, 107.5 kg)

That’s a not really significant drop of 0.5 pounds (0.2kg), thought if I cheated and used Saturday as the last day of the month, it would have been a drop of 2.5 pounds (1.1kg), but never mind.


It has been known.


I’ve had a few more reasonable weekend walks.


The monthly total is a pretty average for these days 36.


Ummmm, nope. Not a thing.


Weight and Stuff Report – 30 July 2017

Weight: 236.2 pounds (16 stone 12.2 pounds, 107.1 kg)
Steps: Remarkably few

After yesterday’s moderately long walk, it was time for a day in, and that’s what I had, with the most energetic activity being catching up on the ironing which past me had left.

This was originally the high light at Seaton Carew, but now lives on as a memorial to people lost at sea, located in a slightly empty bit of Hartlepool Marina.

Seaton Tower

Seaton Tower

Camera: X-T2
Aperture: ƒ/7.1
Shutter speed: 1/1000s
Focal length: 53.3mm
ISO: 200
Taken: 29 July, 2017
Location: 54° 41.4942′ 0″ N 1° 12.2412′ 0″ W

Charles Stross – The Delirium Brief

Yes, we’re back in Charlie’s Laundry series, and things are getting serious. Well, they got a bit serious with the superhero stuff in The Annihilation Score, but the usual method of attributing the slight unpleasantness at the Last Night of the Proms to terrorists covered things up a bit, so that was fine. But the improvements to devastation of Leeds, multiple air disasters and a horde of what for the sake of brevity we’ll call elven warriors featured in The Nightmare Stacks were a bit too much to cover up.

And so Bob Howard (yes, Bob’s back as narrator for part of the story) is roped in to be the public face of the Laundry, and is interviewed on TV by a not even slightly disguised Jeremy Paxman. Which is a bit much, really. I mean, Eldritch Horrors, soul-stealing extra-dimensional entities and don’t be silly there’s no such thing as vampires, he can handle. But Paxo? That’s really scary.

Much to his own surprise, Bob survives his encounter, and things seem to be settling down until   things start going seriously wrong. We have the return of a previously presumed dead, or at the very least stuck in another dimension televangelist who has some ever so slightly unconventional beliefs, not to mention his own edition of the Bible with some rather odd extra books. And he’s staging a takeover of the British government, which leads to the Laundry being shut down with extreme prejudice, not to mention privatisation.

And that’s where the, err, fun really starts. In order to defeat one evil, Bob’s masters make a slightly dubious deal. Which will lead us into even more trouble…

As always, it’s hugely enjoyable page-turning (or Kindle-button-pushing) fun, as we see the return of loads of characters from the previous books, each dealing with their own part of the fight against the really nasty horrors, while in some cases being quite horrible themselves.

But it’s Bob’s narration that’s the most welcome bit – there’s something appealing about his line of geeky snark that works so well to provide a few laughs even when Seriously Bad Things are happening, and even when Bob is something of a Seriously Bad Thing himself.

It leaves me with unresolved anger issues, but those are the breaks: with great power comes a great tendency to mangle Spider-Man quotes.)

Things are definitely building to a climax – there are at least two more books to come (next month would be fine, Charlie, no rush), in which CASE NIGHTMARE GREEN will come about, the stars being right, and Ancient Wossnames will return and, err, it’ll all be a bit nasty, really.

Weight and Stuff Report – 29 July 2017

Weight: 234.9 pounds (16 stone 10.9 pounds, 106.6 kg)
Steps: 10,049

Down again today. Now before I get anyone over-excited, I’ll point out that the weight was taken when I’d just come in from a longish walk, and so there might be some dehydration involved, and it’ll probably be higher tomorrow. But having said all that, it’s a new low for the year, so yay, etc.

After doing the shopping a wee bit early, I took myself out with no particular destination in mind, but when I got to the station, I decided Hartlepool would do nicely, and as there was a train in a little over ten minutes, that settled it. Of course, if I’d known that half of the train was going to be full of Very Loud Football Fans, I might have decided differently. But they weren’t actually any trouble, just very loud. But as they got off at Sunderland, it wasn’t too bad.

When I got to Hartlepool, I took a walk around the marina. This is quite large, full of interesting boats, has some really impressive lock gates, loads of restaurants and a monkey[1]:

Hartlepool Monkey

Hartlepool Monkey

Camera: X-T2
Aperture: ƒ/3.2
Shutter speed: 1/1100s
Focal length: 48.5mm
ISO: 200
Taken: 29 July, 2017
Location: 54° 41.4381′ 0″ N 1° 11.938′ 0″ W

This is no doubt a reference to the legendary Hartlepool monkey incident. It’s said that during the Napoleonic Wars, a ship was wrecked off Hartlepool and a monkey (presumably the pet of some officer) was washed ashore. The good people of Hartlepool assumed (it’s said) that the monkey was a Frenchman, so they hanged it by the neck until it was a dead monkey. I’ve never been all that convinced that it actually happened, but it’s a thing people still talk about.

[1] Though I have to say it look more like an ape to me[2]
[2] Though not actually a librarian

Weight and Stuff Report – 24 July 2017

Weight: 238.4 pounds (17 stone 0.4 pounds, 108.1 kg)
Steps: 2,535

Up again today…

One of the joys of having a wander around York is running into this guy – I’ve mentioned Ed Alleyene-Johnson before, and make no apologies for doing so again. He makes some wonderful sounds, and is one of the few buskers I’ve seen who can really hold an audience.

Ed Alleyene-Johnson

Ed Alleyene-Johnson

Camera: X-T2
Aperture: ƒ/5.6
Shutter speed: 1/220s
Focal length: 51.6mm
ISO: 200
Taken: 22 July, 2017
Location: 53° 57.4974′ 0″ N 1° 4.8458′ 0″ W