Weeknotes #69: a party in a garden

The week involved events, AI, and weekend challenges.

Week commencing Monday, 13 May 2024

Members of the Sovereign's Body Guard of the Yeoman Guard (The Beefeaters) at Buckingham Palace
Garden Party, May 2024

Quantified Self

  • This week: Stand 6/7; Exercise 3/7 and Move 4/7. (62%). Morning walks: 1/4 (days in the office don’t count). Office days 1/5. Total steps: 43,881


  • The highlight of the week was The King’s Garden Party. And it was in the bright sunshine – glad I took sunglasses. I didn’t know what to expect. I dressed in full-on mourning suit and didn’t feel out of place even though I was in a minority. I feel honoured to have been there. A bunch of famous faces seen and on the correct side of the line for the King to talk to the people I went with.
  • Related, the top hat was new to me and I probably shouldn’t have bothered, but it was an experience and I don’t know if I’ll ever get a chance again. In the evening, my back hurt from the upright posture required to keep the hat on. Jealous of the people who make it look effortless.
  • Relatedly related, I might have been the only person to transport my top hat to and from The Palace in a Sainsbury’s foldable shopping bag.
  • Obviously, I had to have cucumber sandwiches when eating at The Palace. Excellent.
  • Otherwise, a very normal week.
  • Related, trains on the way back were so disrupted they removed Clapham Junction from the stops. Thank Uber for the ride home.
  • The washing machine saga continues. On Monday, an engineer discovered a fault with the machine that required a new part. An hour later, the insurance company rang. I thought they wanted to talk to me about the repair, but it was an excuse to upsell me more insurance. I declined several times for the recording.
  • Monday night was quiz night. After our disappointing performance last time, we did good. Pulling Terry Jacks, Seasons In The Sun, out of the hat helped make us joint ninth. Ninth is a specific goal of this quiz. We lost it on a tiebreak.
  • The UK’s sunniest place has been named (and it’s not Cornwall), says Metro. Yay for Shanklin!
  • Fun with ChatGPT. I asked what’s good AI. It said ethical AI should properly attribute but couldn’t provide attribution for its responses. I asked if OpenAI was, therefore, unethical. “Not necessarily” was the answer. It amused me.
  • I watched the Google IO event and was impressed by the Gemini capabilities. Then I asked ChatGPT and Gemini to describe an image. Only one AI came close and it wasn’t Google’s.
  • Weekend, to the Isle of Wight. The fridge has stopped opening while we have been elsewhere. The resulting stink from off food was unpleasant. One nudge of the temperature button and all was functioning. Less said about the weekend the better.


  • Doctor Who: We watched Space Babies and The Devil’s Chord. These feel very different to anything that’s been before. In particular, The Devil’s Chord had no sense of jeopardy and the Hairspray finale was more High School Musical than time travelling Doctor. Thankfully, Ncuti saved the episode by being brilliant.
  • Trying to get through Trigger Point. Will persevere.