Holiday journal

A long empty beach with a blue sky

Note: Since this draft post has remained in my drafts (using Drafts!) for six months now I guess a regular holiday journal is a bit beyond my blogging abilities! Oh well. Perhaps this year.

Earlier this (now last!) year I did a holiday journal. In a self deprecating offhand comment I said it was a one off. So here we are on the last day of the summer holiday and I remember to write my journal. Ah! I did not think I’d be so bad bad (even worse – see note above!)

Anyway here’s a few highlights. All written retrospectively. If I forget to do another daily blog for our next holiday then I will abandon the idea as unworkable. I’ve never been one for routine tasks. Even at 55 years old I still struggle to remember to brush my teeth daily).

# Sunday
Arrival at the campsite.

# Monday
First proper day of holidays whilst finishing the tent setup. But we did have lunch on the beach!

Also the day I discover that a new camera I recently added to my home built CCTV system (using [Motion]( is generating a LOT of images/video. About 3TB in one day. Normally not a problem as a script will remove them at the end of each day. However, at some point I’d used “11” to the “mtime” variable to “find”…! So it was keeping 11 days of temporary files. Having to edit a script on a iPhone using VIM is not that attractive. Even with Tmux.

The Camera is a Reolink 4K IP PoE Camera Outdoor CCTV RLC-810A

This day was also a festival with fireworks. Pretty cool to watch a fireworks display whilst sat on the beach. The fireworks had a large “fall zone” and I guess had been set to explode lower as I did not have to strain my neck watching them!

# Tuesday
Pool and beach day with a stroll into town for dinner.

# Wednesday

Err. see the previous day for the exact same activities….!

# Thursday

A beach day, but this time we rented bikes and cycled along the coast to a lovely beach bar.

Quite amazingly spotted a fresh pizza vending machine!

# Friday

Another cycle along the coast for a fresh local beer. Lovely.

# Saturday


# Sunday

Beach # Monday

# Tuesday
Getting boring now (which is the point of a relaxing holiday, but not necessarily an interesting blog post).

# Wednesday

# Thursday
A trip across the bay to Ile de Ré on a RIB. Outwards we were drenched. The overnight storm had not properly calmed down and the waves were big. I guess ripples are big at 40kph in a boat.

On the way back it was like a mirror.

I had a grapefruit ice cream at the famous ice cream shop in the harbour.

# Friday
A day of relaxing prior to leaving the next morning.

# Saturday
Drive to near Nante to stay at the brother in law’s for two nights.

# Monday
Drive across France to Douai to stay with the parents in law

# Tuesday
Drive back home via the Tunnel. Journey quite good and uneventful although quite a bit of Brexit swearing whilst waiting for passport control (fuck brexit).

Holiday journal : Corralejo, Fuerteventura, Easter 2023

So I’ve never done one of these before, but on our recent holiday I took a quick note of the day’s events. I doubt I’ll do this again, but it was interesting with my renewed enthusiasm for blogging. Everything below was written on the day, apart from some editing and an expansion of the volcano section. I also only just added photos as I wrote it in Markdown using Drafts on iOS. Just now I pasted the Markdown text into Marsedit and added the photos.


Arrive at Airport.

Bit of a mix up with getting picked up, but eventually decent journey to Corralejo by somebody who used to live in Featherstone (near where I am from). Notable that there’s now a new section to the motorway that had been opened a few days ago. So now the airport to Corralejo is quicker. Less scenic but in the dark does that matter.

Airbnb as nice as we expected. We compromised with being further from the front but with a pool. Of course if we had been organised, and booked earlier, then we could have had both….!
Host was great. He asked before if we needed anything on arrival. I asked for a baguette, ham and cheese. We got some homemade mozzarella made by a mate of his, some Jamon Serrano, some Canarian goat’s cheese and more. Cracking!

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IMG 0397## Tuesday
Quick shop for a few bits and pieces. There’s a little corner shop just around the corner.


Longer shop in the supermarket (Hiperdino)in El Campanerio shopping centre.

Longer shop


Went rock pooling with my daughter on the closest beach (rocks) near the popcorn beach. Spotted many small fish in the pools. Watched a surf class with many beginners stand up. We cheered.

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Last beach before the walkway. Sea nice. Stopped at an outside bar on Waikiki for cocktails (Negroni)and ended up eating tapas. Not the nicest, but when you are sat facing the sea on a beach all food tastes yummy.

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Good Friday

Walk to the harbour. Lovely pork chops and chips in the restaurant just next to town beach. Seemed to be full of locals having a nice family dinner as it was a public holiday
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Dinner was the first BBQ, with a chuleton steak that I got extremely stressed purchasing at the counter in Hiperdino. All my spanish escaped and was replaced by badly spoke french. Still the guy was very friendly and patient! Steak was lovely (about 3 mins either side, then lifted up higher and left to warm. Slightly overcooked.
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Bad night’s sleep. Stupidly left window open and bins (just outside) were picked up at 3am!

Easter Sunday

Full beach day


Water park


Volcano Express around Lanzarote with Linear Romero. The Timanfaya national park. Started off badly as we thought we were going on a large ferry but went on their own ferry. I felt very sea sick. Took all my concentration not to be sick. Not only that but once off the 30 min ferry I had the coach trip to look forward to. So more concentration required.

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The trip was super touristy, it was better than expected. The guide was brilliant. We went on the French/English coach and he spoke both languages brilliantly and NOT read from a script. We visited the volcanoes, with a view demos (burning straw and pouring water down tubes that instantly, then a tour around the park on the coach with some impressive driving around the tight bends.They even had a restaurant that cooked chicken with the heat of the volcano underneath.

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Then to the ubiquitous wine shop (picnic with a baguette and jamon), the Aloe Vera shop (I saw under a tree). Then to a lagoon (bit boring). Then back on the ferry. I was quite resigned at this point to being sick. But the journey back was fairly flat. Plus I saw on the side of the boat. I am wondering if the centre is worse than the side. Certainly the motion must be better. Up and down on the side, with side to side in the centre? So no nausea.
Stopped for ice-cream for my daughter (Vrobo) then a bar for a Jarra for me. Finally supermarket for another large slice of Chuleton (rib roast or T- bone) which I did 2 min either side right above the coals, then 10 mins far from the flame. Was gorgeous!


Very lazy day. In fact I cannot even remember what we did apart from eat out in the restaurant just above Town Beach.


Again very lazy. Morning reading. Lunch on a beach mediocre restaurant. All afternoon in the pool then evening meal at home.


Day around pool. Ate out again at restaurant in front of town beach.


Mini golf, escooters and takeaway pizza.

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Flight home. Uneventful and the border control guard even smiled.

3G down with O2

So I come on a long journey stocked up with spare battery n laptop, to find no internet access via my phone. After endless waiting on the O2 helpline I find that the entire UK O2 3G network is down. Wow! I guess I’m not along in being internetless on the train today!

Download Custom PDF Train Timetables

Download Train Timetables

Generally I find any travel planning type website to be a real pain. Clunky, slow to use, and not at all easy to use on a widescreen monitor, never mind a phone.

However, there’s a new feature on the National Rail Enquiries website that I really like. You can very very easily generate a PDF timetable of any custom journey. It’s only of limited hours, but if you regularly do a journey it’s great. e.g. 8 til 11 and return 5 til 8. on any route, on weekdays, or weekends or both. The resulting PDF is fairly light and esily viewable on any phone capable of viewing a PDF. Well useful.

E90 & Infrant ReadyNas

I’ve not written about about my favourite 2 gadgets yet. probably because I’ve been too busy playing with them. I finally got my Nokia e90 (writing on it now). Its fairly large for a phone, but open it up and it’s way, way better than any smartphone I’ve ever had before. It is fast, and after being used to the UIQ Symbian interface this makes a nice change.  But mainly the keyboard and gorgeously sharp screen (’bout 800×200) mean it really is a mini pocket pc.  Along with a nice wifi connection it rocks. VOIP applications from a mobile are cool.  I’m just glad I never wasted money on one of those Skype wifi handsets. This doubles as one. The gps is basically crap, and the cursor lacks a lot.  Perhaps because I also miss a touchscreen (the screen is ful of dirty fingerprints where I forget). I also need a lot more practise with this keyboard. But I can really, truly recommend this phone.
Secondly my cute little ReadyNAS with propreitary raid of 4x512Gb discs (like Raid5) is great. Only downside is that the CPU lacks horses for any decent throughput for ssh. Rsync over ssh is far, far slower than this little beasty deserves wuth Gigabyte ethernet. Otherwise it fits v nicely with my Mac/LinuxWin network. Every home network/home office deserves one.

Next step when Mythtv .21 comes out is to play with disc groups, and to see how fast I can record video to it. More on that functiom later, a it’s like LVM for video easily, and something I’m quite excited about.

Sometimes the simplest solution is the easiest

I had a long NA sequence in the middle of a much larger text file. Unfortunately this sequence had been corrupted and had a non-sequence character in it. The textfile was not in a regular sequence file format, and I could not use one of many utilities to reformat the file into an acceptable and correct file format. Furthermore since the sequence was in the middle of much more non-sequence text then I could not easily use any of the more traditional UNIX text utilities to find the erroneous character. Finally since the sequence text is all on a single line Grep just returns the entire line. Not too useful. Of course I could just simple read the line, but hey, who’s not lazy enough to ignore this possibility. I also quickly ignored the possibility of copy and pasting the line into a new file, as if I could not do this from the CLI then it would be cheating (well not cheating, but I’d spent enough minutes thinking about this to regard it as a ‘small’ challenge)..

As I’m currently (once again) in the middle of a “must learn Perl’ studying stint, I started to write a script to look for the start of the sequence data, then use a regex to find the naughty character.
Then I remembered that VI has great regex matching functionality. So I opened up the file, moved the cursor to the start of the sequence data and used /[^ACGT], which found the wrong character immediately.

EDIT I should also add that I was sat on a beach on the Messinian gulf at the time, and the post came vie email!

TSA detains director Mike Figgis for threatening to

Boing Boing: TSA detains director Mike Figgis for threatening to “shoot a pilot”

Seen on BoingBoing, Mike Figgis told jobsworth’s at LAXthat he was in LA to “shoot a pilot”, 5 hours of interrogation ensued before Mike could explain to the pretty stupid security guards, thet he was in LA to “film a pilot episode of a new TV series in order to gauge audience reaction with an aim to deciding whether it as worthwhile filming an entire series!.

green belt.

Listening to radio 4’s news yesterday I heard an amazing fact. Only 19% of =
the UK is classed as Green Belt. Wow. This figure is pitiful. I wonder at =
how they classify this. Living in cambridge i regularly celebraye the fact =
that so much of the city centre is green open area. Cambridge is perhaps a =
special case, but it enhances life.


Why do we have meetings? Or should i say why so many and so long? Why is =
the default time au hour? every meeting should have a non participating =
moderator to tell people to shut it. I waste a lot of my time in meetings. =
Far too much!