I took the Eurostar to Brussels and listened to talks about open source design, augmented reality games, and wearables at FOSDEM.
I walked through subterranean tunnels of the Senne and the Chaussée de Mons drain, at the Sewers Museum.
I stared at surrealist paintings in the Magritte Museum.
I wandered around unusual musical instruments and listened to them on headphones in the Musical Instruments Museum.
I looked at Belgian comics in the Comic Museum and figurines of Smurfs and Tintin in the Museum of Original Figurines. I played a game of Asterix on the Sega Master System.
I met Steve N at the Mannekin Pis and we joined many tourists in watching a statue of a little boy wearing a suit, pissing.
I went to the Delirium Cafe to meet other FOSDEM people, but it was terribly crowded. I did manage to find some Ingress people though.
I ate “pickles” flavour crisps.
I marvelled at the Atomium and walked inside it.
I gazed at different objects made of plastic at the Plasticarium at the Art & Design Atomium Museum.
Back in the UK:
I went to an event about entrepreneurs and then had coffee with kekhmet, alexmc and Alan.
I looked at maps of Fairyland and other excellent maps at the Mapping Late at the British Library, with grandedgemaster.
My mum and I visited Hampton Court Palace and found our way to the centre of the maze!
I visited Littlehampton and ate lunch on the beach, staring at the waves, walked past colourful beach huts, and sat on the UK's longest bench. I saw sundogs: three altogether that day. At one point, two appeared in the sky at once, rainbows either side of the sun. On the way back, I looked up at the sky from the train and it was a glorious pink. I sat on West Beach and stared out at the sea for a while, watching the waves while the sun shone brightly.
I caught up with friends at Pub Standards and it was great to talk to them.
I saw glimpses of something out of the corner of my eye at Kinetica. I saw pretty things moving and swirling.
I listened to lightning talks at Ladies that UX, at Moo's office.
I found meter cards that date back to the 1940s while clearing out the cupboard next to my gas meter.
I drank the Lucky London Sparkle Drink.
I visited Pilvi Takala's The Committee exhibition at the Pumphouse Gallery, which I found inspiring. I bounced on the Five Star Bouncy House! Bouncing makes me happy! I also played table tennis with my mum inside the gallery.
I walked around Battersea Park and to the Peace Pagoda, and then along the river, to outside Battersea Power Station, to see how the developments are going. There is a red phone-box which you can stand in and listen to stories about the power station, from people who worked there.
I searched for the Seven Noses of Soho and found four: Milkbar, Meard Street, Great Windmill Street and Quo Vadis. More left to see!
I ate orchid and orange blossom chocolate.
I tried out having an extra thumb, which I operated with my foot. I listened to fascinating talks on subjects such as recording music onto DNA and then blowing it as bubbles.
I stepped aboard a spaceship. (Well, it looked like a spaceship, but was actually, Futuro House, which had landed on the roof of Central St Martins.)
A robot fist-bumped me on my birthday and I ate a robot brownie, at the Robots exhibition at the Science Museum.
I ate marmalade on toast ice-cream.
I completed the Brussels Grand Place banner in Brussels.
I had drinks with Ingress players at the Duke of Sussex, one evening.
The not so good stuff:
I returned from Belgium and found my roof had leaked and my bed was not fit to sleep in, and the lights did not work for a few days. After knocking on the doors of random neighbours quite late at night and sending panicky emails to my landlady and other neighbours, an emergency plumber was called who stopped the dripping. I had to try to dry things out as the mattress was soaked through, duvet was wet, the bed itself was wet, things under the bed were wet, the ceiling and walls were wet, even the lightbulb was dripping wet. I slept in a sleeping bag in my living room for a few days and used torches. The walls still need to be repainted.
I hurt my foot by standing on a plug and found it painful to walk for a few days.
There was a gas leak at one of the flats in my block and thus the gas in my flat was also turned off for a few weeks, so I have had no hot water, heating or an oven. (Been getting by with filling a bath with kettles, and using fan heaters and hotplates supplied by the energy company. Also, luckily I have a microwave and steamer.)
I had a bad cold for a few days.