I am 32 ⋅ 5 tomorrow, as Adam FC would put it. This is only a composite number, so no big deal, right? (Adam FC argues that its best to celebrate prime number birthdays as the significant ones, since prime numbers become less common as they become larger. If π(x) is the prime-counting function that gives the number of primes less than or equal to the real number x, then the asymptotic law of distribution of prime numbers says that π(x) ∼ x / log x. When you are a child I think each new day seems like a long time, but when you are older time seems to speed up, so maybe he's got a point. For more ideas about this, see Adrian Bejan's Why the Days Seem Shorter as We Get Older)

Trail cameras

This week we have some unusually good video and pictures for you. Reviewing it today we were very pleased with what had come back, even eliciting the occasional gasp. I usually write a summary of the contents, but have a look for yourself.

We were going to move the cameras but given what we found on them, it was best that we didn't go stomping around. One striking thing about the woods is the sheer rate at which the vegetation grows. After a week the grass has grown very tall and triggers the camera's motion sensors quite a bit. One plant had grown right in front of the lens. We're trying out a new experiment with the trail cams. We're doing time lapse at a rate of two frames per hour, just to see how things go. Dan's idea is to show how the woods change over time and I think it'll be pretty nice.


It's taken me a while to get back to the vaccination clinic. On Wednesday I was out in the car park again, doing my best to get the latest cohorts in and out of the small car park we use. Since I've been gone the clinic has become even more efficient, and the weather has got much sunnier, so it was a really enjoyable first shift back.

We're required to get a negative result on a rapid lateral flow test before we can volunteer. It was my first time doing the test and I've now learned, months after everyone else, that asymptomatic people can order a pack of tests to use about twice a week to ensure they are still COVID-free. The results can be reported back to the NHS via their website to assist with modelling the spread of the virus. The tests are free of charge and come at impressive speed. I ordered mine at around eight in the evening and it was with me around fifteen hours later.

Shortwave day is 21 August

Me and Kipz 2E0KZP are holding a day of messing about with radio on 2021-08-21, with some antenna-building or other HF-band related fun and some contacts with radio friends around the world. Get in contact if you'd like more details, especially if you're far away and would like to try a QSO. I might try to get a barbecue going along with the solder stations and the antenna mast.

Two farm cafés in one day

Today was a good day. Usually we go to the local farm shop for lunch, but this time we went for breakfast. The menu has recently expanded and the breakfasts seem just as good. I was happy to have mashed potato that actually tastes like potato and suprised to have guacamole on my breakfast plate.

Earlier in the week, Dan and I were planning a hike up through the woods for today, but after going to check the cameras we thought that the amount of mud we had encountered in 'our' woods would be a fairly good indication of how muddy things would be in most of the local woods. Walking that far in wellies didn't seem very comfy, so we considered a trip to Frome. However, time (by which I mean the rail timetables) was not in our favour. So we settled on a plan suggested by Helen, to head over to the amusingly-named Merkins Farm. This was a good idea. Like many places around here you can get there via the network of local footpaths. To some extent we were exploring which were nicest, but between sections of the route out and those back, we think we have a pretty nice short walk to do in the future, across green fields, down paths lined with wildflowers and down quiet lanes.

There were a few cool things along this walk. Firstly, I was excited to see a few hundred honey bees foraging within a three metre area. Part of me really wanted this to be a swarm but it was nothing like it. A bit further down the walk were some abandoned barns which led to me doing Scooby-Doo quotes. "The ghost was the old man all along! He wanted to scare people away so he could have the farm for himself!"; "And I would have gotten away with it, too, if it weren't for you meddling kids!"

Later, under the guidance of OpenStreetMap, we wandered onto a creepy farmyard that could have been the cross between a Team Fortress 2 map and the set of a folk horror film or something. We think later we might have been following the line of an administrative boundary thinking it was a footpath, so, yknow, sorry.

Merkins was pretty nice. Because of the pandemic, they had some well-spaced tables, sheds and huts which overlooked a calming field and a view for a few kilometres further. Because we had arrived pretty late, the kitchen had closed, but we had cream teas (Devonian format) that were both generous in portion size and delicious in flavour.

We got home and had some of the snacks we'd forgotten to bring on our walk. The phone showed a yellow light meaning a missed call, and I thought we may have missed a swarm call. It was the farm telling us that Cabbage the Jack Russell had gone missing. Dan took to two wheels to find the lost dog. She turned out to be eating a rock in a neighbour's garden. It was good to finally meet this neighbour, even if, as his first encounter with me a few hours earlier, he had heard Dan and I make some foul-mouthed comments about the very same Cabbage. All's well that ends well, I suppose.

Also this week...

...watching Argento's cut (2021) of Dawn of the Dead (1985) with the Folk Horror Film Club; listening to Charlie Bones and drinking too much coffee; looking at the trail camera of Libby Miller and seeing more new life in the form of some urban fox cubs.

Next week...

I want to make a start on recording these nice walks as GPX files so I can share them with you all at some point. I want to try out making a 10m antenna for Monday Radio Nights. And, who knows, maybe Dan and I will finally make it to Frome. Stay tuned to find out.