Thu 1: Considered going inside my local National Trust property but decided to save blogging about that for another year, so instead admired dozens of Matchbox vehicles bolted to a metal grille outside. Fri 2: Even though my Dad's lived in the same Norfolk village for almost 30 years, today is the first time we'd ever walked up to the village pub for a pint. I enjoyed pointing out the spelling mistake on the inn sign outside. Sat 3: Spotted a helipad in the grass on the lawn outside the ziggurats at UEA and wondered how often it got used. By the time we came out of the art gallery it had a helicopter on it, watched over by a rather bored-looking security bloke.
Sun 4: My auntie was very keen to show off her new open plan kitchen with colour-coordinated splashbacks, induction hob and swivelling breakfast barstools. I made a complete mess of making a cup of tea because I couldn't find the drawer with the teaspoons, nor work out which door hid the receptacle where used teabags were supposed to be dumped. Mon 5: I don't have bacon for breakfast often enough. Tue 6: Booked a visit aboard HMS Westminster, a naval warship, while it was moored in the heart of Docklands by South Quay. A lot of the navigational equipment on the bridge looked like it used to be cutting edge 25 years ago. Small children lined up to have their photo taken 'operating' the big guns. You get much quicker at walking down the steep ladders after you've been on board for a few weeks, I was told.
Wed 7: Enjoyed the Jade Goody documentary on Channel 4, but mainly because it was packed with Big Brother clips from 2002. Thu 8: Spotted lots of people photographing a whiteboard outside Liverpool Street station, apparently scrawled with an angry message to "my cheating ex-boyfriend @GeorgeRawlings", but it turned out to be viral marketing for a relationships app. Lesson: if it looks too evil to be true, it probably is. Fri 9: My local supermarket had run out of semi-skimmed so I forced myself to buy full-fat. I'd forgotten how good the difference tasted. Maybe I should treat myself once a month. Sat 10: You can tell the football season's started because Stratford and Bow Road are full of overweight shaven-headed claret and blue-clad geezers who no longer live anywhere nearby. Cheery before kickoff, less cheery after.
Sun 11: In Waterlow Park is an 1893-vintage marble sundial with the inscription "This dial plate is on a level with the top of the dome of St Paul's Cathedral", because that's how high Highgate is. Mon 12: The price of fish and chips at the Saucy Kipper in Roman Road has risen from £7.40 last August to £8.00 this, which is an 8% increase, and yet the UK rate of inflation doesn't seem to reflect this. Tue 13: The Antwerp pre-metro has a station called Diament (or Diamond), so obviously I took a tram there. The rear carriage had four raised seats in front of a big rear window - almost an observation deck - which proved the best place to watch us whoosh through a narrow tunnel under the Scheldt.
Wed 14: If you send your membership an email with a link to an e-version of a magazine you once sent us through the post, you may have saved a heck of a lot of money but alas I am not going to read it. Thu 15: Blew bubbles at the squirrel on my balcony. He ran away. Fri 16: The latest leaflet to appear in tube station ticket halls is entitled 'Travelling in London while pregnant or with a buggy', which you might not think applies to you, but if you unfold it there's a large Toilet Tube Map, and you might always have wanted a printed version of that. Sat 17: The nightbus spider map at Dalston Junction bus station hasn't been updated since March 2010, which is a year before the bus station opened, so it's impressively out of date. Meanwhile the oldest daytime spider map I've found recently is in Woolwich High Street and dated July 2010. Unless you know better.
Sun 18: The house nextdoor to Jeremy Corbyn is up for rent at £2270 per month, which made me wonder how carefully MI5 vet prospective tenants. I doubt that Jezza's first floor living space is divided in two by a bit of plasterboard to add an extra bedroom, however. Mon 19: The Starbucks at Camden Lock contains a so-called Visitor Centre, which is little more than a few historical posters in an alcove and seems to be ignored by all the visitors. Tue 20: I also took Squeezy Pig to Borough Market, and offered him a ride on a hirebike, and got him to climb on the lions in Trafalgar Square, but those photos didn't come out very well so they didn't make it into his story. Wed 21: The shopping parade outside Custom House station is due to be knocked down, along with several acres of neighbouring housing, and replaced by a denser regenerated residential hub. The council's engagement team have invited local residents to "skilling-up workshops" because "for co-production it's vital that you feel knowledgeable and confident enough to contribute to the conversation", which is one of the most patronising attempts at community outreach I have ever seen.
Thu 22: Took BestMate for a walk along the Heathrow flightpath from to Brentford to Cranford, because that's his idea of a brilliant day out, but he was gutted when an A380 was unexpectedly diverted to land on the southern runway. Fri 23: Bought an extra six cans of baked beans at the supermarket. Next week it'll be cans of tuna. Just in case. Sat 24: On the pebbly beach at Birling Gap I unwrapped a Cornish pasty and a melted Kit-Kat, while the couple in front of me unloaded an artisan wooden crate containing olives, sliced cheese, sundried tomatoes, a punnet of strawberries, fluted glasses, coconut milk and a bag of pre-packaged basil. Sun 25: Passed a photogenic patch of sunflowers on my walk from Sawbridgeworth to Perry Green. Today's heatwave meant there had been 22 sunny days and 18 wet days since St Swithin's Day, which was not wet, so the summer hasn't been that bad really.
Mon 26: I made the mistake of catching the Central line westbound on Notting Hill Carnival day, and also made the mistake of catching the Hammersmith & City line westbound, and it felt almost as crushed and hyper as actually being there. Tue 27: My phone failed to charge overnight so I had to delay heading out until it had recharged sufficiently. I had hoped 60% would be enough but somewhere around 20% it suddenly died and I couldn't take any more photos so I came home, and basically this is why I'll never trust mobile-only tickets. Wed 28: It's never good news when Laura Kuennsberg interrupts her summer break with a exclusive tweet. It hasn't been good news since. Thu 29: I decided to hand deliver a misdelivered postcard left in a communal stairwell, because I'm nice like that, but then found myself down a strange cul-de-sac trying to find letterboxes at an old people's home under renovation. The builders gave me some really strange looks, so I was so relieved when a member of staff walked out and I was able to offload Josephine's news from Portrush.
Fri 30: The new station building at White Hart Lane, which is essentially a giant box constructed around a viaduct, no longer has an entrance on White Hart Lane. The staircases look big enough to cope with the crowd from a football match, although heaven knows why anyone would ever want to do that here. [4 photos] Sat 31: Stayed on the train one extra stop so I could finish the sandwich sudoku.