De-grunge Your Port

So, I said to the woman in the phone-repair shop that my phone had stopped charging and she took it from me, plugged her charger into my phone, glanced very briefly at the screen and told me I needed a new charging port. She also told me that, as a kindness, she was willing to order and install the port for a mere forty pounds sterling.

I told her I’d think about it which, as we all know, is code for are you mad, woman, I just want my phone to do what it’s meant to do, not rollerskate around the room juggling mice and singing “La donna è mobile” from Verdi’s Rigoletto!

Anyway, I left the shop and googled ‘charging port HTC U11+’ and found that they cost £9.95.

Then I googled ‘how to change a charging port on a HTC U11+’ and watched the 5 minute video that said that all I needed was a heatgun (or a hairdryer), two playing cards, a tiny screwdriver and a pair of tweezers.

It looked straightforward enough, but I bet the guy on the video had to do it a fair few times before he got it to look so easy. Anyway, it totally looked like it was worth forty quid. At a push.

Then, as an afterthought, I googled ‘how to clean out a USB-C port’ and read what it had to say.

Then I went home, took a needle from the sewing box and carefully dug this out from the charging port:

Since I did that I’ve been typing this on my phone and charging it. It’s gone from 30% charged to 65% charged in that time whereas before, it wouldn’t charge at all. Also, the charger fits tightly into the port, whereas before, it would have fallen out by now.

The moral of the story is: before you even think of paying forty pounds sterling for a new charging port, try cleaning it out instead.

On reflection, this principle could also be applied to many (many (many)) things.


It’s all just stories. You listen to the news and read books and recount episodes of your life and even if they are as good as best-selling Hollywood movies it’s all just stories. The story of the fall of man and the rise of women and the colonisation of the solar system. Stories, stories, stories.

Here’s something else, though: my life is not only lived on the outside. There are things within me that will never be your story. When I share with you I do so only at a superficial level. Heck, I don’t even know the depths of me myself so how could I even start to tell you. That said, I know this: I will know all of me before I’m done.

I don’t know how, but I will find every single part of me and drag it out into the light. I will be known from start to finish, from inside to out and … the whole of whatever other dimension you can think of. Maybe it’ll be through the wonders of future technology, perhaps by drugs and possibly even through transcendental meditation. Either way around; I’m going to find me.

Being the caring, sharing kind of guy I am, I’ll probably not be able to keep me to myself. I don’t know what the next level of blogging/vlogging/elogging/flogging is going to be like but I’m going to be on it. I trust. I am open. Heck, I don’t even delete my browser history at the end of a session. If it comes to uploading me to the internet, I’ll be the first, or possibly the second in line.

Life is stories. I have a story. I am a story. I am the sum total of all I’ve done, seen and experienced. I have all my own teeth, apart from the one wisdom tooth that never grew. I wish that we could grow new teeth, though. I woke up this morning and didn’t particularly want to get out of bed but I did. It was 7:47am, which was a bit late for me, but that’s okay; I know it’s just a story.

Yeah, that’s a photo of me at Vegan Life Live at Alexandra Palace in June 2022.

May Day

I imagine that good advice for a blog would be to never write a post unless you have something important to say. That said, rules were made to be broken, right?

I gave up my phone yesterday. I realised that I was too addicted to the league tables and streaks embedded in certain apps and so I went cold turkey. A few days away from that small screen should see me lose my 900+ consecutive days on Duolingo (if you miss just a couple of days they kinda let you get away with it by giving you a streak freeze). Similarly, other apps are … anyway, forget all that. I’m over the.

One of my eyelids is a little lazier than the other. You can see it in the photo I just took. I first noticed this when I was a teenager but it never bothers me. I guess if it had gotten any lazier then it would have closed my eye by now. So, yeah, there’s that.

It’s May Day today, which is … actually, I’ve no idea what May Day is. I know that it falls on the first of May and that it’s a Bank Holiday and so we get a day off work, but apart from that; not a clue! What I do know, though is that I’m not May Day; I’m Robert Day. Pleased to meetcha!


I take it, from reading the first third of The Descent of Man by Grayson Perry, that by being white, male, middle-aged, heterosexual and moderately wealthy I have certain privileges.

It seems also that I am largely unaware of my privilege because people like me have built the important systems of civilisation and therefore view themselves as normal.

The route to being a feminist, according to what I have read, is for me to ‘pick up a mop’. It doesn’t suggest what I should do with this mop, but I can think of several creative suggestions, not the least of which is to use as a wig to emulate the author’s hairstyle:

Grayson Perry demonstrating what to do with a mop.

Joking aside, I’m concerned about these privileges and an now.wondering what I can do to ameliorate their effect on myself and the world. Suggestions, please, on a postcard.

Oh It’s Such a Perfect Day

I started wearing my shirts again the other week. All rumours to the effect that my winter belly fat was getting too much for the tight tees I usually wear will be utterly denied. Utterly, I tell you. So last night I was ironing shirts after a (several years) break. I did about eleven, but ran out of coat (shirt) hangers when I got to the eighth so had to put two per hanger several times. ‘I need more hangers,’ I thought to myself. What I didn’t think to myself, as dog is my witness, was that the wife had swiped several of my hangers to accommodate her burgeoning (that’s the first time I’ve ever used that word (so I hope I got it right) wardrobe.

I went for a walk with the aforementioned loved one (no, not the dog (we don’t have one) and as I came out of the house I noticed that the neighbour hadn’t cut his lawn yet and it was becoming a care-home for those lovely flowers we call dandelions.

Photo by on

I walked on without giving the matter much thought (perhaps I was thinking that he was due to cut his grass, but if so. I wasn’t thinking it very hard.

We walked around the corner and down the street to see the blossom trees blossoming. They were very lovely.

Photo by Jan Krnc on

Then we turned around and came back. As we were walking, we were looking at the displays of spring flowers adorning the gardens we passed. You’ll never guess what I saw next! In the recycle bin on someone’s drive was a whole bag full of coat (shirt) hangers just sitting there waiting for me to pick out the ones I wanted!

Photo by Max Rahubovskiy on

So I did. I picked out seven or eight of the nicest and carried them home contentedly. They came up lovely and shiny once I’d wet-wiped them to my satisfaction and they are now hanging in my wardrobe having been adorned with my shirts.

I sat on the sofa to type this and guess what I’m hearing as I tap, tap away. Yep, that’s right: the sound of a mower.

Photo by Magic K on

Perfect. 🐸

You Really Cam

You really can get some interesting effects of you hold your cam(era) up against a train window at night. People pay good money for this sh…tuff when it’s hanging in art galleries so why not be amazed byy blog!