closeup picture of me with a parrot in my face closeup picture of me with a parrot in my hair


Timezone: Europe/London (29th Jul 17:52)

Currently is at home (for 52 minutes, and 3 seconds)

You may know me from..

Open Data Services (2018-now) Digital Bazaar (2018-now) W3C Technical Architecture Group (Jan 2021-now) NaNoWriMo
Social Web Protocols (editor) ActivityPub (coauthor) Linked Data Notifications (coeditor) LinkedResearch (bystander) dokieli (occasional contributor) Indieweb (bystander)
OCCRP (2017-2018) W3C (2016-2018) MIT CSAIL (2015-2016) The Solid Project (2015-2016) University of Edinburgh (2011-2017) SOCIAM (2014-2017) Prewired (cofounder, 2012-2016) SocieTea (el PresidenTea, 2012-2014) BBC (2014) University of Lincoln (2008-2011)

Last ate 8 hours, 59 minutes, and 8 seconds ago (Not-cheese, chilli and courgette toastie; espresso)

Last exercised 10 hours, 18 minutes, and 1 second ago

Monthly budget 89% used (last spent 23gbp on Food for three (Sunlight Chinese))

Words written this month (89 of posts and fiction)

Stuff I made

Crafty projects, mostly crochet.

Contains 321 photos, the last of which were added 1 month, 15 days, 19 hours, 32 minutes, and 24 seconds ago.

Crochet Grogu (baby yoda).

My brother wants a cat so much, so I made him one.

I made shelves for shoes! I came really close to buying some a couple of weeks ago - from etsy, made of reclaimed crates - then realised how slack I was getting on the reuse front. I scavenged wood from three places:

  • Some shelves I didn't need from the built-in cupboard in the bathroom;
  • the bins across the courtyard;
  • Grain & Sustain, who had some offcuts going spare.

And borrowed tools from a neighbour. I bought screws (and reused a few that I extracted from the G&S wood).

For want of a workshop, I did sawing on the beach and in my bedroom. I measured and planned; Dave helped me with drilling and solving some logistical issues.

It's pretty janky, but it functions, and it's MINE.

I don't think making shelves is my true calling though.

I made a bath mat from eight pillowcases (aka a rag rug). Shredded in a continuous spiral and then normal crochet with a big hook. Worked great! (The first section I made multiple strips and tied the together but it was very lumpy and harder to crochet. Definitely recommend the spiral method.)

I followed this pattern to make a Kelpie. I started this in January and it took a lot longer than expected. Partly due to being interrupted by moving house and other things, but also it was a bit more fiddly than I thought. I learnt some new amigurumi techniques (like making a curve). I usually attach the parts together with a crochet hook, and I tried with this, but it was just too complicated, so I had to pause everything and wait until I had a bodkin in my life. Once that arrived, this was much easier and it came together pretty well.

Once complete, after a quick beach photoshoot, I promptly posted it to Falkirk, to be with its own kind..

When I first moved here I wished for steps down to my nearest bit of beach, instead of the slippery muddy slope down the verge. One of my neighbours had been thinking about solving this problem for some years, too, and had both expertise and vision to actually do it (unlike me). So with five and a half hours work (including lunch break) and lots of digging and rock hauling, the two of us built these steps. It was deeply satisfying, and they look like they've always been there.

Sanding, filling holes, and painting the hallway from twitter-blue to white, finally.

Removed the unnecessarily bulky builtin wardrobe from my bedroom to reclaim the space for better things. Except I guess it's been here since the flat was built, because they didn't bother to finish the floor, walls or ceiling underneath. So now I have new and exciting voids and exposed brickwork. Also the edges don't line up. K gave me some MDF for a temporary floor, but I'm probably going to need a professional to deal with the rest.

Crochet panda hat and shoes for Polly's new baby.

Baby seedlings: radish, lettuce, carrot, parsley. Sprouted in a tiny pot then planted in the windowbox, but kept inside for the time being. Some cute slug frens, gently evicted after demolishing two whole lettuces. Also Project Mushroom began in earnest.

Oyster mushrooms! Elm, and blue/grey. First pins appeared on the 18th, and they matured and started dropping spores on the 25th. A fast turnaround! Every time I went in the kitchen they had grown some more. I felt like I could see them growing before my eyes.

They are the most beautiful things I have ever had a hand in creating.

I used kits from urban-farm-it.

I gently and lovingly harvested the beautiful mushrooms, and later gently and lovingly cut them up and seared them lightly with a little bit of coconut oil and sea salt. My delicious babies.

Also I crocheted some little mushroom keychains.

I moved my salad windowbox outside, replanted my tiny carrots into the tyre planter, and sowed chard seeds in there as well. I stacked my other windowbox onto rocks, and planted nasturtiums in there.

It didn't take long for my lettuces to all die from wind and sun exposure. The radishes look battered, but I think most of them will pull through. I lost a spring onion as well. I direct sowed bok choy where the lettuces were. The carrots look pathetic, but mostly okay for now.

I was given a growbag and two healthy tomato plants and a cucumber, and rigged up some string for the tomatoes to climb against the wall. On Sunday I picked up a bunch more big planters from a Freegler as well... so the path-garden is growing..

Meanwhile in the living room, I made makeshift pots from toilet roll tubes and a plastic bottle for chilis and sweet basil. By the end of the week some of the tubes were germinating, but I couldn't remember which were which. I expect they're basil though. By some miracle the chilli seeds I planted weeks ago - at the same time as the lettuce, radish, carrots and parsley - finally sprouted!

I also repotted my older supermarket basil plant and moved it to better sun and it's looking happier again. One of my rosemary cuttings sprouted roots, so that's in a pot now too, and I rearranged my windowsill setup multiple times.

Basil and bok choy seeds sprouted. Repotted parsley. Footpath garden was hit pretty hard by strong winds and hail, but my runt radish is doing the best!

Second flush of mushrooms is not looking good. One small clump, a funny colour, and a couple of sets of aborted pins, and little movement anywhere else.

Dave took down his fitted cupboards. There were no fantastical wall voids like in my room, thankfully, but we did find a creepy haunted baby photo.

Harvested a sorry second flush of mushrooms.

Potted basil and parsley; seedling corner in the living room is out of hand again.

The third flush of mushrooms! From both bags. Not as good as the first, but better that the second.

Mushrooms ready to harvest when I got back; and inkycap mushrooms growing with my tomato seedling are weird. A hungarian hot pepper finally sprouted.

Crocheted a chunky hat from scraps of freegle yarn to wear when I'm swimming in the sea.

Stacked a beach crate on beach bricks and filled it with compost to expand my garden even further. Planted radishes, chicory and land cress in it. A second hungarian hot pepper sprouted in the loo roll seed trays on my windowsill! But it looks a bit unwell.

Finally resolved the void! After the plaster had dried, I sealed with with diluted PVA and gave it two coats of white paint. Then turfed all of my stuff (all two bags of it) out of my room and moved the hammock to the living room, and transformed it into something that looks more like an actual bedroom, for guest use this month.

New things sprouted (chicory, land cress and radishes in the crate) and other things are growing! Tomatoes are maybe looking bushier, and kale and broccoli and chard certainly are. Bok choy looks spindly but doing its best. Some basil and a couple of parsley are going to make it. Planted out a new cucumber (who had a head start in the polytunnel) to replace the one that died. Very proud of my runt radish, who is now the best of the bunch.

The alien orchid has sprung two beautiful purple flowers!

The mushroom pins that popped up at the start of the week aborted. Chopped up the substrate of the healthiest (most populous) looking bag and layered into new substrate for a second round of incubation. Put the other bag in a compost bin. So let's see if they go anywhere.