Weeknotes 28: 15th July – 21st July 2019

Client work

A bunch of spec writing and minor updates. Only things to talk about are…

Discovering the CSV output a client does from a download from another piece of software has started adding an Unicode code point U+FEFF BYTE order mark, more commonly referred to as a BOM character. I had to find some code to strip this off of each line so PHPs fgetcsv could parse the lines correctly.

And for the same client, something odd was coming in with the postcodes for some of the data they are using, which meant the database wanted a different collation for the table we’re looking up postcode data from. That was using latin1, it needed to match UTF8mb4.

This MySQL query will show what collation each table is using:


Then I used this, with the right table name instead of database_table_name to update the one that was on latin1:

ALTER TABLE database_table_name CONVERT TO CHARACTER SET utf8mb4 COLLATE utf8mb4_unicode_ci;

My Projects

I managed to write and publish an article for the Farm: Downloadable Freelancers Invoice Tracking Spreadsheet and edit another one on contracting which I’m not happy with the ending of yet.

On the downside, I discovered the new account emails sent by the Farm site are often being marked as spam. In investigating, I found I’d made a minor mistake in the SPF record for the domain, so I’m hoping fixing that will solve the problem. If not, I’m going to re-write the standard email WordPress sends in the hope it will then not be seen as spam as it will be unique.


The week started OK, then went strongly downhill on Wednesday. After spending a chunk of the morning at my son’s sports day, then part of lunchtime getting hot walking to the shops and back, I got a migraine. I took my medication for them very early, then when the symptoms had gone off tried to do a bit more work as I was at The Skiff and hoping to stay on for The Farm later. This was a mistake. I started to feel worse again, got very little done, and had to go home to sleep off the rest of the effects. Result – no Farm for me, little done, and a bad migraine hangover the next day. On Friday I was still feeling washed out, so the second half of the week was poor all round.

I’m still trying to work out whether the trigger for this migraine was the heat, or a different sort of yogurt I’d had on Tuesday night. It was a brand I’ve had before, but a new sort of packaging and yogurt so I have a suspicion it was that as yogurts have been a trigger in the past. Annoying that a brand I can normally eat might have changed a supplier or recipe so I can’t be sure about them.


No progress on 30×500 apart from getting content done for the Farm site.

The Farm

No notes from me as I missed it. Haze tells me there were 22 people there before he left half way through, including several new people. Hopefully they’ll be back soon.


During the week we had Tom’s sports day one day, then a get-briefed-about-year-five talk the next. I don’t think we have anything to worry about for his next year at school, although it’s easy to be smug when your child is doing well in school.

The weekend involved cutting down a bunch of branches from our neighbours tree as it’s overlapping in to our garden too much – blocking the sunlight hitting our washing line and dropping a lot on our trampoline. I haven’t cleared quite all of the branches from this yet, having filled two of the council-collection sized bags with just over half the clippings. I also checked the gutters after a rain storm showed the back ones are falling apart and leaking everywhere.

There was also two playground trips, and visiting the beaches of both Lancing and Worthing.

Reading: Continued Titan by John Varley. I feel a bit more could be happening but actually, quite a lot is it’s just not as overly dramatic as some more recently written fiction.

Writing with: back to the OHTO Capsule Multipen I was using at the start of the year. Really good in the not-great paper of the Notables notebook I’m just about to finish.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *