Diary – Planting, Programming, and Paradise Lost

I didn’t get as much coding practice done as I would have liked yesterday morning, as Anna was up early for a group presentation at uni (I didn’t envy her!), so I took a break to make her some porridge and chat to her before she set off. Apparently the new oats aren’t up to scratch. I did get some more practice done later in the afternoon, though, which I’ll get to in a minute.

First, after Anna left for uni on her bike at 8am, I decided to plant the salad and chili plant I mentioned yesterday. Somehow, we have masses of different salad seeds, so first I had to pick out the ones that are appropriate for this time of year, and then I changed the soil in the balcony boxes and planted them up. To be honest, I’m mostly just winging it in the ‘gardening’ department, but it seemed to work out pretty well last year, so I’m hoping for the best. After this, I popped the chili seeds in two smaller pots, using up the last of the soil, and positioned them on the windowsill (pictured above with the cacti), where they’ll get plenty of light, as per instructions. Like I said, I am a self-proclaimed gardening novice, but we’ll see what happens. I’ve decided against planting the peas for now, as I wanted more space for the salad and we’ll need more soil first anyway, which I’ll pick up when I go to buy the mint.

For the rest of the day, I mostly just alternated between continuing programming practice and revision for the exams in May. I’m now at a stage where I’m pretty comfortable with reciting all of the quotes I have learnt for Milton’s Paradise Lost, and so I’m moving on to learning quotes I’ve picked out from Pope’s Rape of the Lock. The exam questions let you pick from a pretty broad selection of texts, but it’s a good idea to have some quotes prepared for all of them, for more flexibility on what questions to answer.

The coding I practiced was all JavaScript. Mostly, I managed to work through the assignments on freeCodeCamp independently but, when I struggled with a couple (mostly due to lacking the logic that comes partly with experience, I suppose), I found that the support system on the forums is brilliant – other users giving just enough information to give you a helping hand, whilst leaving you to figure most of it out for yourself. One problem, in particular, had me really stuck for quite a while before I realised that I’d simply overlooked an ‘l’ that should have been capitalised, making me feel pretty silly. I do get a lot of satisfaction from writing the code, though – particularly when I came to a more complicated (for me) function I’d been struggling with yesterday evening and solved it pretty much straight away this morning! Maybe I just needed a fresh perspective.

Today’s prospects are looking pretty much the same as yesterday’s, without the planting: practising JavaScript and English revision. It’s been really nice to be able to dedicate so much time to a skill I am just starting to learn (alongside revision, of course), due to having lots of time off before the exams. I’m also going to try and get out for a bike ride with Anna at some point, though I’m not sure where. The ‘Temple of Seitan’ in Hackney (a vegan ‘chicken’ shop) is looking pretty tempting.

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