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Skyberries and Voidmelons or Voidberries and Skymelons

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What I did in December 2015

I celebrated the end of the year at a fantastic party at North Nineteen and saw lots of wonderful people.

I booked a holiday to Tromsø in Norway, for February, and I hope to see the northern lights, and maybe some whales, and perhaps learn to snowshoe.

I constructed a miniature Battersea Power Station out of steel, and London brutalist buildings from card.

deathboy gave me a handbook on time travel.

I bounced on a lolo ball.

I dyed my hair with fuschia shock Manic Panic.

I saw Carol at the cinema with doseybat.

I ate mushroom and truffle steamed buns, Chengdu street tofu, quail egg croquette puff, Yunnan style fried cheese, Shaanxi honeycomb oat noodles and other dim sum at A Wong, with Kake and friends.

I drank a passionfruit martini and a strawberry martini and wore a fake mouth, at a work Christmas party at Dirty Martini.

I helped out on a stand for my company at the Business Show. A man said he liked my top, and that it looked like I was in Las Vegas.

I attended doseybat’s party to celebrate her birthday.

I watched a video of inside a data centre; saw static made up from numbers; saw pictures of data centres from around the world; saw submarine telegraph cables through the ages; learnt about the network infrastructure around Somerset House and in New York; found out about where people's cats live; and stared at faces constructed from DNA taken from chewing gum and cigarette butts, at the Big Bang Data exhibition at Somerset House.

I rode a horse on the carousel in a Christmas market and it was then that I felt delighted with the world.

I ate some apple strudel and wandered inside the Tate Modern and stared at the Empty Lot, which is no longer empty, as plants have started to grow.

I painted pylons.

I ate a watermelon radish.

I walked through a garden of fire, and past a phoenix, listened to a choir of holly bushes, drank rose lemonade tea, rode a chicken on a carousel (and thought I must be in a slightly surreal parody of my life), walked past pretty glowing trees and lights, saw some flowers that looked rather alien, blew onto an LED candle and made a wish on a wishing tree, and ate chocolate with bergamot, at Kew Gardens with Naomi, Dave and Monika.

I peered inside a wooden clock and there I saw a tiny cut out of a red phone box, at the Long & Ryle Gallery.

I carried a yard of jaffa cakes to Limehouse Town Hall for Dorkbot. I then listened to talks on subjects such as: a snowflake LED display for a shopping centre in Hong Kong, emotive wearables, naked mole rats, session music generated with the use of neural nets (and listened to songs it had created such as “The humours of time pigeon”), and playing music with pedestrian crossings and gas holders. I tried out some of the demos: a doll’s head that you could touch and then a picture would be drawn, a photo booth controlled with a child’s learning table, and a picture frame where you could hold a picture up to and it would tell you a story related to the picture. I made a Sputnik bauble and hung it on my Christmas tree.

I stared inside spaceships and at sputniks at the Cosmonauts exhibition at the Science Museum with tackline.

I felt nostalgic for Fidonet and dial up BBSs after seeing Simon Denny's Products for Organising exhibition at the Serpentine Gallery. There was a print out of part of Fido News, a list of BBSs, "Save Kevin" memorabilia, a Cap'n Crunch whistle, Tux soft toys, and a variety of other things related to hacking and tech culture and so on.

I ate mulled wine ice-cream in Covent Garden and looked up at a Christmas tree made of Disney soft toys at St Pancras.

I didn't manage to stroke an invisible cat.

I visited Foyles, and wandered amongst the books, flicking through the pages, wondering if I should learn Norwegian, or fold hexaflexagons, or design things to be 3D printed, or visit Cappadocia, or read Japanese poetry or comic books.

I drank mulled cider, sung carols, flicked peas, sung "happy birthday" to Baby Jesus, and sniggered when Poggs pointed out rude words in the carols. I was not fooled when my pint became covered with cling film though. I won a spinning top in a cracker and watched it spin and spin, checking to see if I was dreaming or not. I got lost and ended up in Dalston, and walked past four police vans in the rain underneath my frog-shaped umbrella, but that worked in my favour, as the trains were more direct from there anyway.

I wandered around London, looking for signs and reading the words on them, thinking about how they could be changed to be more empathic or to give reasons as to why people should do them.

I ate shakshuka at Zukuski for team Christmas lunch.

I had drinks with Frood.

I winked at the moon.

I drank a Brazilian Monk, which tasted of ice-cream, as I waved goodbye to another colleague. Nearby, Pub Standards was happening, so I went to that and saw Will and Nicky and met some new people and somehow didn’t get home until gone 3AM.

I was told I looked like a Christmas tree and should have a fairy on top of my head.

I bought an elf's hat, and wore it at work until the fire alarm went off and the weekend started early.

I decorated the Christmas tree in the office with a spider's web that I found on a desk, but it wasn’t until later that I read that Ukrainians do this for good luck.

I walked across Putney Bridge, and then by the river, and visited Fulham Palace. I looked for ghosts, saw a mummified rat, climbed a tree, saw squirrels doing Totoro impressions, and saw a holm oak which was 450 - 500 years old.

My mum and I danced like elves in the moonlight next to the sea. That night my mum played the harmonica and I played the accordion. We walked past beach huts and the white cliffs and watched a flock of birds huddled together, bobbing on the tide, in the dark.

I wandered around Regent's Park looking at sculptures - a standing stone with a face, a large shoe, and the best thing: a stone that made sounds, but as you got closer to it, the sounds became more faint.

I visited the Carroll/Fletcher gallery and was given a contraption that I tried to move along velcro lines above me, and then I could hear sounds sometimes, bits of words. I watched a video of colourfully dressed children playing and listening with their ears to pipes in an abandoned village in a geothermal area.

I looked at 3D images of clouds in the Photographers' Gallery and at photos of the sky looking as if there were mysterious constructions in them.

I ate festive ice-cream: panettone flavour.

I played Undertale, which deathboy kindly gave me, and then later, a pug dating sim: Hot Date.

On Christmas Eve, my brother and I rode a roller coaster: the scenic railway at Dreamland. We watched as a festive octopus danced past. In the arcades, I played air hockey with my mum, then danced to songs I didn't really know. We walked by the beach after that, and back in Westgate-on-Sea, we played Carcassonne. That night we looked for the space station.

On Christmas Day, I received some wonderful presents, including a Playstation 2, which used to be my brother’s.

I walked along the coast, from Westgate-on-Sea to Minnis Bay, staring out to sea, on Boxing Day.

I walked past Reculver Towers and along the coast for a while, and swans flew past and an egret stood there, still for a moment. I remembered visiting Reculver as a child, and finding treasure on the beach, and the best find was a book that had washed up, which was in a language I could not understand.

I made a space invader and a lemming out of hama beads.

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Tromsø! My friend used to live there - can ask for tips if you like, though they'll be about 13 years out of date. I believe you'll stand a good chance of seeing the Northern lights! Though maybe not the sun.

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