July 2021



The big news this month is the arrival of Milo. So we now have double the fun.


The other big news was that we went on holiday for a week in the Lake District. The Lakes were for a while a regular family destination, and then for a variety of reasons we stopped going. But last autumn it seemed reckless to plan a holiday abroad for this year, so we checked availability on Wheelwrights, as we’d used them many times before. All they had was Keepers Cottage on the Graythwaite Estate, which was more cottage that we really needed, but we hoped that maybe the kids could bring some friends along. It was also a bit of the Lakes we’d not really spent time in before, and more isolated than we were used to.

In the end the cottage and location were perfect. It was fantastic to be able to just walk out the front door and explore the various paths and trails through the estate. It was also great to have activities and water sports facilities on our doorstep. I’ve already booked up again for next year.


I’ll do a separate post on this, but I was pretty miffed about my hardly worn Contour hiking boots just falling apart. Apparently polyurethane soles just rot away in the cupboard, which is where these boots have spent most of the last 13 years since I bought them.

As we were planning a hike up Helvellyn via Striding Edge I ended up having to buy another pair of boots.

Cookaway on holiday

As we were pretty isolated there wasn’t much takeaway food within reach, or any delivery services, so we ordered a Cookaway Indian box to be delivered (and I put the lat/long into the order details to help the delivery driver find the place). It all worked out perfectly, so we were able to enjoy a tasty fresh Indian meal on out final night.


I’ve already written a post about MapOut and OS Maps apps, and I found myself using OS Maps a lot when out walking.

Travel router

I bought a GL.iNet GL-MT1300 travel router for the trip, and it performed well, though I never tried using it for VR gaming, which is why I’d got it. My full review is here.

Insect bites

Last month Ken Corless mentioned that he’d bought a ‘Bug Bite Thing’ in his monthly update, and I thought it looked useful and got (a similar looking generic) one. Sadly it wasn’t able to help with the bite my daughter suffered that kyboshed the Helvellyn hike, but I think it saved me from some discomfort.

I’ve seen tick warnings (especially for dog owners) on previous trips to the Lakes, but I’ve never previously encountered the nasty little blighters. Things were different this time. After an arrival walk around Green Hows Tarn I found a tick on my shin the following morning, and as the week progressed another couple got me. Max was victimised more, and we were having to pull off a handful each day. I didn’t have exactly the right tool, but I was very glad I’d taken my Tweezerman hangnail clippers.

Pi stuff

I got to do some serious Pi stuff for work this month. We’ve been sharpening up the ‘distributed edge secondary server’ (dess), and one of the target platforms for that is Raspberry Pi. We already had automation in place to build Arm64 images that would work on 64bit Pis running 64bit OSes; but most people run Raspberry Pi OS (previously Raspbian), which is still 32bit, and that needs Armv7 images. Building Armv7 images for Dart based stuff doesn’t ‘just work’ with the Docker Buildx Github Action, so I’ve had to setup a cloud based Raspberry Pi (running on Mythic Beasts) to be part of our continuous delivery pipeline.

I was also intrigued to see this use of a Pi – ‘Digital Film Cartridge Adds a Raspberry Pi to an Old Film Camera‘, though it’s a shame that it’s not full frame. Twenty years ago I’d have loved a digital drop in for my 35mm SLRs, and Intel patented ‘Method and apparatus for taking digital pictures with an industry standard film camera‘, but I guess cost for a full frame sensor, and other considerations (like dust) meant that it was never really practical.

Beating Beat Saber

I took the Oculus Quest with me on holiday, but as the weather was good it didn’t come out of its shiny new travel case. Usage was light for the rest of the month too, although I did try out the new Interscope Mixtape music pack I’d bought – so there are some fresh full combo challenges ahead.

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