An inflatable Santa wearing a white vest with the English Flag across it.

Weeknote CW48 2023

I’ve missed a couple of weeknotes since the end of November and start of December has been a pretty busy time.

On Tuesday we went to see a rerun of The Holiday at the cinema. It’s one of my favourite Christmas films and it put me and Mrs R into a christmassy mood.

On Thursday I went to London to partake in the Alan Turing Institute NLP Group’s Christmas party which was really lovely. I haven’t seen much of Prof. Liakata or her students since I finished my PhD this time last year so it was great to catch up and have a good old moan about the AI Hype of the past year.

The weather has been bitterly cold over the last few days in the UK. On Friday it briefly snowed in London and in Fareham and we drove up to the Midlands to see my parents for the last time before Christmas and to do gift exchanges. We were a little concerned that we might not make it up there (not necessarily because it was particularly bad weather but because the UK grinds to a halt whenever we so much as glimpse a single snowflake). However, the drive was very smooth.

On Saturday we spent the day with my dad and his wife. It was -4C outside so we spent the day indoors with the log fire on and a hot toddy in hand. Their naughty cat Bertie was almost constantly under foot and at one point decided to put himself in the bin which made a great photo opportunity.

A british shorthair cat sat in a rubbish bin with a cheeky look on his face
Naughty Bertie in the bin

In the evening we visited Ralph Court Gardens where we met with my mum and her partner. We had a walk around the illuminated gardens (in -4C) and afterwards went indoors for a slide of cake and a hot chocolate. The illuminations were a strange mixture, some of them were cute, some of them were perplexing like a Santa in an England football supporter getup.

An inflatable Santa wearing a white vest with the English Flag across it.
I particularly enjoyed seeing football hooligan santa

I haven’t published much on this site since last week when I wrote about a problem I was diagnosing in Python to do with weird datestamps.

I’m continuing to read the young Dredd books, I’m about 45% through Dredd: Year Three and I’m also continuing to make my way through The One Thing which I picked up last week. I can’t resist a “productivity” self-help book. On my way back from London last week I found myself listening to A Very British Cult, a podcast that was recommended during another podcast I listen to regularly: Three Bean Salad. It follows the story of a number of people who joined what seemed like a life coaching/mentoring group and ended up giving them lots of money and isolating themselves from their families to spend more time with the group. It’s highly worth a listen if you are interested in crime/cult documentaries. The thing I found particularly interesting is that a lot of the key people are based near me in Hampshire. I’ve also started a new playthrough of Cyberpunk 2077 with the 2.1 patch in place.

This week Mrs R and I had today off to recover from our trip up north and then later in the week I’m up in London again where I’ll be joining a panel discussion as part of a seminar on the Business Impacts of AI taught by a friend who is an Assistant Professor at Warwick Business School.

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