Buses with USB ports

Yesterday I got a bus to work, or at least part of the way to work anyway. Normally I would get a train to work, but the rail strike meant that I had to find other means. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t begrudge the strikes. Quite the opposite in fact. The rail network in this country has been decimated through privatisation and a constant lack of investment. The workers should be striking for pay and conditions.

Anyway, I don’t often get the bus, although I’m not averse to public transport by any means. But this bus was a bit different. Like many trains it had USB ports for charging your devices on the go. I don’t think I’ve ever seen that on a bus before. I was quite impressed.

A tour of Spitalfields

This is one of those ‘I’ve had this in my drafts folder for ages and meant to finish it’ posts. So I thought I would get it finished as it is kind of interesting and you may want to give this a go, and also because I actually went on this tour last summer.

I have worked around Spitalfields off and on for years. When you commute in and out of an area you think that you know a place, but actually you don’t. You have a surface knowledge of what’s there and really none of the history. At least that is the case with me. I always liked the area, or at least the bits of it I knew well and visited often.

So I went on this walking tour of Spitalfields. It was by a chap who calls himself ‘The Gentle Author’. I have to say that he knew more local history than I thought could be packed into a small area of London, and not just any history, but really interesting and compelling history and stories of real people who lived and worked around Spitalfields. It was fantastic. I can thoroughly recommend it.

You can find out more about the tour here, and if that catches your interest then it is well worth reading the blog too.


It has taken me a while to collect my thoughts on this show. I am sure that a great deal will be written about this series all over the internet. Even so, I will add a few thoughts for anyone who is interested.

My personal view is that Andor is probably the best thing to happen to Star Wars since Rogue One. As a series it was incredible. It was pure drama with incredible performances all round. The world building was amazing and it took its time to tell the story, something that so many stories forget to do.

The recent Star Wars stories have been great, a lot of fun. Mandalorian was brilliant and I really enjoyed Boba Fett, although I know other people who were less than impressed. But Andor was on another level entirely. It was like a spy thriller than happened to be set in space, happened to be part of the Star Wars story. It was completely brilliant.

Why is there no watch face for just apps?

Unless I’ve missed something there is no watch face which just has slots or spaces for apps. I tend to use watch faces which have as many slots or spaces as possible for accessing the apps on my watch. However, it seems silly not to just have a watch face that just has apps in it. I would find that really useful.

A Psalm for the wild built

A Psalm for the Wild Built by Becky Chambers

I read the Wayfarer series by Becky Chambers and thoroughly enjoyed each of the novels. They were so different from other Science Fiction that I have read. I felt like it was a shame that she brought that series to a close, but of course that’s the way with series, and I expect I will read them again at some point, although I seem to give the books away to people who I think will enjoy them.

When I found that she had a new book and series coming out I was keen to read it, and this, the first of the new ‘A Monk and Robot Book’ series, is completely excellent. A short book, but a very profound read. Without giving anything away I would say that anyone who has enjoyed the Wayfarer series of books would enjoy this book.

The second in the series is now out and I’m looking forward to reading that soon.

What I would like to see from DayOne this year

As a user of both DayOne and WordPress I have been waiting for quite some time to see the promised integration of the two. Since the purchase of DayOne pretty much nothing has happened, which is kind of annoying. So I thought I would put some thoughts down on what I would like to see this year, although I have to say my expectations are pretty low.

  • Some real integration between DayOne and WordPress (you might like to know what I mean by that, so here goes)
  • Where you have both a wordpress account and a DayOne account, a simple way to link them
  • Assuming the above then an easy way to make sure that a post from a wordpress site is included in a DayOne journal entry automatically
  • The ability to post a DayOne journal entry directly to a wordpress site and link the two
  • For DayOne only I would like to see a better implementation of HTML

I really don’t think that I am asking for too much here. There was a promise made just after DayOne was bought out and I think it would be good if that was honored. Of course this is just my opinion.

Hello 2023

As a first post of the new year I thought I’d wish you a very happy new year. I don’t know about you but I had a fairly poor 2022, so I wonder what this year will bring.

Whatever you hope for in 2023 I hope that it comes to pass.

I’d like to think that I’ll post a bit more consistently in 2023, but I won’t promise something that I may well not deliver on.

Goodbye 2022

I’d like to say that it’s been great, but on the whole it hasn’t, so let’s call it a day and part company!

Overall 2022 has been poor for me, so I won’t be sad to see the back of this year. Of course there’s no guarantee that 2023 will be any better.

Some favourite posts

I thought I might share some of my favourite posts from this year.

Some favourite pictures

I also thought that now might be a good time to share a few favourite images from this year.

  • Blancmange Private View CD
  • Blancmange Private View Cassette Front
  • Blancmange single
  • Blancmange in Electronic Sound magazine
  • Modified Toy Orchestra - Silfurberg CD case
  • A little synth key ring I use on the zipper of my bag
  • The London Sound Survey From Dusk Till Dawn

First impressions of the Orba 2

I’ve had an Orba 1 for a while now, and when the Orba 2 was announced it looked like just the update I wanted. The form factor of the the devices are identical, which is good as the accessories all fit both devices. The original Orba was fun to play with but lacked the ability to use samples, amongst other things. It was still fun, but kind of like a musical fidget toy rather than something that I could finish a piece of music with, (not that I have finished anything in a very long time).

The Orba 2 is a different story. Size wise it is exactly the same as the Orba 1.

Orba 1 and Orba 2 devices from Artiphon

In fact they are almost indistinguishable. However, from a functionality perspective they are very different indeed and the Orba 2 is a big step up, as is the app that is used with it.

Thus far I’ve done little more than play around with it and tried out the sound packs that come with the app. I haven’t quite got the hang of getting my own recorded samples into it so far. But I probably will in the new year, or at least that is what I intend to do.

I’m not sure if there is any real benefit to having two of these. You can’t really play them together and I don’t think that there is anything in the technology that brings them together. Perhaps that will come later.

Anyway, for now this is a nice toy, and an improvement on the original. As I get more familiar with it I will post a bit more about my experience with it and maybe even make something to listen to.

The Star Wars Timeline

Some time ago I decided that I would try to watch the entire Star Wars Timeline. It seemed like a reasonable thing to do and Disney+ makes it nice and easy to do. The start was nice and easy, then I got into ‘The Clone Wars’, the animated series, which I wasn’t really looking forward to, especially as there are seven seasons of it. However, it really picked up in season three onwards, and I have to say that I really enjoyed it.

I am now in the first season of ‘The Bad Batch’, and season two will become available before I’ve finished that. It is going to take a while to get through. I may get it finished next year. If I find any surprises, or at least surprises for me anyway, I expect I will write something about it.