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Dear David

Happy 50th Birthday from your 46-and-a-half year old self. I have a confession to make: I haven’t really done a very good job of looking after your body for quite some time now. This letter is therefore a promise that I will do better from now on.

I promise to deliver you a body that has good:

  • flexibility
  • strength
  • cardiovascular fitness

I will look after your microbiome by sticking to a largely vegan, whole-food, plant-based diet. I will take care of your teeth and nails.

I will reduce this body fat I’m carrying around from 33% to 15% — and soon — to reduce the toll on your knees.

I hope to give you a body that will keep functioning well throughout the next half century.

All the best,


It’s January 2021 and a bunch of people will be trying a vegan diet for the first time for Veganuary. Some of those people will eat a similar diet to the one they had before but will substitute normal processed food for vegan ones: burgers, bacon, chicken, cheese etc. This is a shame as they’re missing out on the benefits of a whole food plant based diet. Some substitutes are absolutely necessary though, and one of them is the great British cuppa. The tea itself is fine, it’s the milk that’s hard to replace. Oat milk tastes too grey, almond…

The objective

Now that I’ve learnt the basics of creating EC2 instances and provisioning them, I want to learn how to configure services, particularly Serverless infrastructure, a.k.a. Lambda in the AWS world.

The tutorials

There are two tutorials on Hashicorp’s website: one for configuring IAM Policy Documents (which sounds terrifically exciting) and the other for Lambda. As the first is only four minutes long, I start with that one.

IAM Policy Documents

So this tutorial isn’t really a tutorial at all. It’s telling me that there are multiple ways to configure IAM policies, but the best is the aws_iam_policy_document and here’s a link to…

The objective

You’ll recall from my last article that the next steps were:

  • Fix the map constraint error.
  • Find out how I connect to the EC2 instance.
  • See if I can install something on the EC2 instance using Terraform.

Fix the map constraint error

Given that the tutorial is a little out of date (I’m using Terraform v0.13.5) and the error says…

Warning: Quoted type constraints are deprecatedon line 6, in variable "amis":6:   type = "map"Terraform 0.11 and earlier required type constraints to be given in quotes, but that form is now deprecated and will be removed in a future version of Terraform…

The objective

The objective is to become knowledgable about cloud computing by trying many of the services in the AWS landscape. However, I want to do this in a manner that is repeatable and in a way that will allow me to build knowledge on top of what I have learnt in the past. It seems the obvious answer is to start with Infrastructure as Code. If everything I do from now on is coded, commented and version controlled, I will have a reference to look back on and build upon. However, I can’t capture everything in code, for example the decisions…

I have an iPhone 6. It’s great but I reckon it could be better. I know some of these features are probably available on other phones, maybe even the iPhone 6S, but I wish they were all possible on my phone.

  1. Why isn’t my phone waterproof? I once watched my phone slide off the top of an old sewing machine into a pint glass of water. It never worked again.
  2. Why isn’t my screen uncrackable? We’ve landed a man on the moon and a robot on a comet. Why can’t we make an unbreakable phone?!
  3. Why can’t the phone scroll…

Getting the public behind an idea such as man-made climate change was never going to be an easy task. Getting the support of lumbering businesses who were afraid of losing profits was always going to be harder.

Even in the wake of the Paris conference on climate change in 2015, I’m still not sure we’re on the right track.

But there is another way. Air pollution. Actually, climate change is caused by pollution of the air with man-made gases like carbon dioxide and methane, but the air pollution that people really care about is the pollution in the air they…

Each morning, while waiting for the bus, I see a pair of Jehovah’s Witness magazine distributors standing on the corner handing out a magazine called JW with headlines like “What does the Bible really teach?”

I immediately think of all the things I think most religions teach: misogyny; homophobia; fear of change; hatred of anything different. What I find hardest to digest is that these messages are discretely wrapped up in stories about loving thy neighbour and forgiveness. They say they provide moral framework for the modern world.

Me? I don’t believe in a god, or the afterlife. I don’t…


Mental health

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