“Where are you going next?”
“Providence, Rhode Island.”

With one exception, every person I said that to made a face that meant ‘ew, why would you want to go there?’

So I wasn’t expecting to like Providence, which was fine because I wasn’t planning to explore it. I’d be arriving late Saturday night and going straight to bed, then working until I got into a cab to go back to the airport on Wednesday afternoon. Work was a conference, and I was staying in the conference hotel, so I’d planned to just spend the whole time in that single building.  (more…)

…but don’t stay there longer than a day, it’s surprisingly unpleasant.

A couple of weeks ago I went to Italy for DFRWS, a digital forensics conference. The conference itself and the work surrounding it lasted 4-5 days, but I tagged on a couple of extra days either side.

The conference was in Florence, but when I googled that I realised it was close to Modena, where they famously make balsamic vinegar. You can only buy proper traditional balsamic in Harrods here in London, so I thought it might be fun to tour a real balsamic vineyard, and probably cheaper to bring some back in my suitcase than to buy it here. I was right on both counts.

I also imagined that Modena would be a pretty city surrounded by beautiful countryside. I was wrong on that one.


I’ve been trying to make more friends in London ever since I moved back here, but it’s difficult. Especially if you’re in my age group (late twenties) but enjoy pursuits that are mostly enjoyed by people in other age groups (sitting down, not going out drinking).

So I joined a choir. This was a two-birds-one-stone decision really; I’ve been meaning to go back to singing soprano for ages. After a foray into gigging my own punk-folk songs in 2013-14, last year was musically quiet, and this year I wanted to get back into it. And there’s nothing like soaring over soprano notes to make you feel on top of the world.