(Jan 15 – Jan 21)

This week was (mostly) about spending time with the family. My folks are over from the UK, and we’ve been talking about having some sort of mini-holiday while they’re here. I couldn’t quite get into the idea of flying over east with the two Kinderbesten in tow, but I did feel like a short road trip down south was probably overdue.
I had some work things on for Monday and Tuesday, but was able to take the rest of the week off for a spell down in Busselton. In retrospect, two nights away wasn’t really enough, but it still made for a satisfying diversion–without overstaying its welcome–and offered a pleasant flashback to family holidays of yore.
Perhaps even more so because it was grey and rainy on the drive down. Really rocking that British weather.


Heavy rain today. I woke up with a headache that lingered for most of the day. In a fit of generosity (for which, read: insanity) I allowed the Elderbeast to invite his friend round for a sleepover (it being the only night this week they’d’ be able to do it) In the end, they were pretty quiet and well behaved, and minimum stress was endured.


After a break over christmas, and some time spent catching up on the 2017 diaries, I finally got back on the (short story writing) morning shifts today and carved out 880 words on a story inspired by yesterday’s downpour. Not a bad welcome back.


Finished the first draft of my rain story, then prepped for an early start for our drive up to Busselton. The drive went surprisingly well–me stuck in the back of the car with the Kinderbesten. Two stops and a handful of games on my phone kept the tedium nicely at bay.
Our holiday home (an Airbnb place) had everything we needed for a few nights away: four bedrooms, two bathrooms, the best shower I’ve experienced for a long time, wifi, and Netflix. No idea if it’s a standard Airbnb feature, but our one had a bookcase full of books–all of which seemed to have been culled from three or four distinct collections.
On the first night one small book, entitled Thoughts On Being Happy, caught my eye–not sure why, because it’s definitely not the sort of thing I usually read. Anyway, I opened it and a small bundle of old photos fell out. Later that evening, I spent some time trying to piece together the story being told in these photos. They went back as far as the 1940s, and seemed to cover three generations of family. Beyond that, they remained a mystery.


Today we took the obligatory day trip into Margaret River. I’d managed to forget to my hoodie when packing yesterday (the only thing I forgot), so of course it turned out unseasonably cold. In a surprise to no one, my no-spending vow crumbled in the face of opportunities to buy things like delicious Berry Farm port. In a more surprising turn of events, the Kinderbesten managed some inspired buying choices: the Elderbeast picked out some tapenade (also from the Berry Farm), while the Kinderbeast fell in love with some Raspberry and Rosemary Jelly and insisted on buying himself a jar.
Naturally, the rest of their money went on chocolate, but it’s gratifying to see their tastes developing.


A short morning walk around Busselton followed by the drive back home and the promise of a #childfree weekend. For Fridate Horror, we watched Personal Shopper starring Kristen Stewart: a baffling and brilliant film that brought back memories of afternoons spent at the London Film Festival.


Did my morning grocery shop, then headed off to the Much More Interesting shops to grab myself a copy of Blade Runner 2049 (the no-spending is really not happening this week).
I busied myself for part of the day sorting out the mess of cooking books and magazines crowding out my shelves, and also managed a quick cleanup of the larder (during which I found a pack of Crispy Chicken Mix dated best before 2013–impressive!)
As the Elderbeast was off to a cricket match with his mother today, I (a little ironically) ended up babysitting the Kinderbeast. We played some games, and then I got him into bed nice and early so I’d have time to watch Blade Runner 2049 (because that’s what parenting is really about). The movie remains just as good as the first time I saw it. Still long, but never less than completely entrancing for every moment it’s in front of your eyes.


I ended up with both kids back early today due to sickness on the other side of the family. I had been counting on some serious solo time after the family trip, but it ended up being a perfectly chilled out day nonetheless.
While I inevitably had to adjust some of my plans (which were pretty much limited to writing and watching stuff) I did succeed in doing something so amazingly geeky that I even impressed myself. Read on.
See, I’ve long had fond memories of the ‘back up’ strips that appeared way back when in Doctor Who Weekly, and latterly Doctor Who Monthly. Theses were strips that didn’t feature the Doctor, but offered short, and occasionally nasty, tales featuring classic enemies and other characters. I’ve been wanting to revisit these strips for many years; ideally putting together a collection purely comprising these strips. Well, today ended up being that day.
I have scans of most of these old comics. First I went through each issue and pulled out the pages that had the strips in–which wasn’t anywhere near as laborious as it sounds. Inevitably, most of these scans came from yellowed old copies of thirty to forty year old comics, so I ended up pulling them into photoshop to clean them up (again, not nearly as laborious as it sounds: once I’d done the first few I was able to create a batch job for the rest). Finally I zipped them up, converted them to cbz files (literally by changing the file extension) and … suddenly I have a complete collection of these old comic strips that so inspired me decades ago.
Yeah, I’m not even embarrassed!

Things I did buy this week:

Just under $130: not quite enough to offset the savings from last week, but still pretty shabby. Only $48 of that was really unforgivable though. I mean, like I’m going to go Margaret River and NOT buy delicious things???

  • Berry Farm Port (2 bottles) $40
  • Brie $11
  • Gabriel’s Chocolate (4 blocks, for gifting) $30
  • Blade Runner 2049 bluray $30
  • Yeelight smart bulb $18 (purely because it was half price)


Monday Star Trek Discovery 1×11
Philip K Dick’s Electric Dreams 1×07
Tuesday Black Adder 1×01
The Expanse 2×01
Wednesday Holiday viewing: Scrooged
Thursday Holiday viewing: Ocean’s Eleven
Friday Personal Shopper
Saturday Doctor Who: State Of Decay
Blade Runner 2049
Sunday Doctor Who: Day Of The Daleks


My Doctor Who novelisations blog abruptly ended in the middle of this week, with no posts having been published last September. Oh well.
I still haven’t started reading anything of substance. The week ended with me reading vintage Doctor Who comics, which are still awesome, but probably not quite the kind of mindfood I need to be reading.


Monday Freezer meal (chicken fingers)
Tuesday Pasta & broccoli
Wednesday Holiday dinner: Domino’s pizza
Thursday Holiday dinner: Chinese takeaway
Friday Prawn Kerulan curry (man, this was delicious!)
Saturday Traditional; #childfree dinner (Steak, soy/butter fried mushrooms, broccolini)
Sunday Boston beans (homemade)