21 March 2021

Yesterday afternoon, out in the garden. At 2.55pm a loud boom up in the sky, just to the south. A little like the sound of the live firing we sometimes hear from Salisbury Plain, when the MoD are playing with their toys.

Except this sound didn’t stop there. It continued with a kind of stuttering, throbbing quality, like a whole series of lesser ‘booms’, appearing to move to the west. For perhaps half a minute. Long enough for us to discuss it while it happened.

The sky was overcast so there was nothing to see.

I have heard sonic booms in the past. Including that of Concorde. This sound however, was quite different to any I’ve previously heard because of how long it continued for.

As an aside, a few months before Concorde was retired from service we were walking on the North Somerset coast. We heard a sonic boom out to the west and shortly after spotted the unmistakable shape of Concorde high above us. Fun to see such an iconic aircraft before it disappeared from the skies.

Looking around online it’s clear that yesterday’s noise was heard across much of the southwest, shaking windows and causing ducks to jump in the air! The RAF say it wasn’t them.

One theory is that it was caused by a meteor as there appeared to be one seen over Jersey at around the same time. It had never occurred to me that meteors can cause sonic booms.

I’d be very intrigued to know if it could be confirmed this was the source of yesterday’s sound.

20 March 2021

The topic of what to do about the next phase of life has come up a lot in discussions between my wife and I of late. Although, to be honest, this particular discussion is one that has continued on and off for the entirety of our life together. And the ‘next phase’ is just the subsequent few years or decade following on from wherever we are at a given point in time.

There is always the perennial question of how to instigate any changes for the future when our time is all but consumed by the present. Shortly after talking about this recently, a post by Peter Rukavina popped up in my feed, touching on this very point. He has a way with words.

This large question of whether you can plot your next move while still shoveling coal into the engine of the last, that’s something I’ve ruminated on for years. If I were laying out Social Safety Net 2.0, we’d all receive a paid year off at ages 30, 40, 50 and 60 to rest, gather our horses, walk purposelessly, and tease out the shape of the next decade of our lives.

19 March 2021

I rarely use titles for posts. When I imported my data from Wordpress to Hugo all those posts without a title automatically received the distinctly unglamorous moniker ‘None’.

I could go through all them all and remove the offending front matter by hand. I have done so with a few. But I think it much more fun to set myself the challenge of writing a Widgety-Bash-Thingummy to do it all for me.

It hasn’t been at the top of my list of Things to Do but is inching up there as I resolve other issues with the site.

Stephen James

Minding the gaps

© Stephen James 2021

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