Back from France

On Wednesday we arrived back from France. We spent a week walking the first part of the Robert Louis Stevenson track (or the GR-70) as it’s known by on the maps. We started off by spending a couple of days in Paris, staying at the Marriott Courtyard near the Gare de Lyon station. We had a fantastic view over Paris – including the Eiffal Tower!

On Friday 29th March, we took the train down to Le Puy en Velay, which is a picturesque town which most people use as the start of le Stevenson” (as the walk is known as in France). We stayed at a lovely 15th century place, which was an old alchemist’s house.

From Le Puy we walked to Le Monastier-sur-Gazeille. We stayed at a pretty little B&B there, where we had our own little separate apartment with a pellet stove!

From Le Monastier we walked to Goudet, and stayed at the only hotel in town. It is a basic hotel, but servicable, and we chatted to the locals there. They had just opened the hotel – it stays closed for 6 months over the winter.

From Goudet we had a very long walk to Pradelles. The hotel we were booked into at Pradelles was cancelled the day we were due to arrive, so we ended up having to stay at gites – a small holiday home.

After Pradelles, we caught a ride to the train station at Langogne, then from there a bus to Ales and finally a train to Nimes. The next morning was an extremely cheap Ryanair flight back to London.

It was a lovely trip and we had a great time.

Emacs, gpg and pinentry on Mac

I use Emacs and GnuPG to save my passwords to an encrypted file. I’m really happy with this, as I save the encrypted file in Dropbox, and I can decrypt it across all machines and Operating Systems, and it syncs automatically. My Emacs config looks as follows:

(setenv "GPG_AGENT_INFO" nil)
(require 'password-cache)
(require 'epa-file)
(setq password-cache-expiry (* 15 60))
(setq epa-file-cache-passphrase-for-symmetric-encryption t)

Continue reading “Emacs, gpg and pinentry on Mac”


I’ve been using IntelliJ as my Java editor instead of Eclipse – and I absolutely love it! So much so that I bought a license for all of JetBrains’ programmer editors! I’m still learning how to use all the functionality of IntelliJ, but I am finding my productivity has dramatically increased a few days after I started using it.