Monthnotes: November 2023

November felt like a slog, mostly due to very poor sleep. It took me a while to get used to the clocks going back, and I also felt like I had too much on. But the big news is that I finally released my new short story collection, Memetic Infections Hazards, which is now available on etsy. More about that below.

I had some good outings this month. I made a dawn hike over to Howarth to join a Wednesday Writers workshop. I also attended a workshop with Naomi Booth, who I knew from Sussex. Sophie came to visit with her new baby Rudyard, and Dan S came over to work on the Mycelium Parish News zine. I also saw Joelle Taylor perform in Todmorden, with a stunning performance from her book C+nto. The Thought Bubble comics convention in Harrogate was fun; although I didn’t spend too long there, I met some lovely people and bought some interesting things to read. At the end of the month was a night out in Manchester for the launch of David Bowie, Enid Blyton and the Sun Machine, where I got to meet some old friends.

November was a big month with my writing, as I finally managed to print up some copies of Memetic Infection Hazards. This has been ready for months, but I was very slow to do the final stages – my main problem with writing is getting things into the world. The cover and text of this were complete in July. This is now available on etsy.

I’ve been slightly faster with the Mycelium Parish News, which I’ve been working on with Dan Sumption. Pulling the text together has been tough. My lesson for next time is to compile it over the year, rather than having to pull together scrappy notes before the deadline. That should be available to buy early next week. Meanwhile I have continued writing pieces for the substack, and I am particularly proud of Distant Voices, which is probably the best thing I’ve written this year.

I cut down my daily steps to focus on eating better, which worked for a couple of weeks then fell apart. My total steps were 257,187, a decent proportion of the previous month’s 289,759. My average was 8573, and the highest was 21,666 when I hiked to Howarth. I’m going to keep the low step count for December and repeat my efforts to improve my diet. I’ve been doing better with my physio and maybe I’ll be good to start the couch to 5k once the weather gets better.

Liverpool from the ferry while on the Krossing

I watched 14 films, all reviewed on my letterbox diary. Foe was enjoyable, a suggestion from Jude, where I went to the cinema knowing nothing about what was coming. John Wick IV was beautifully-made nonsense. Talk to Me was a wonderful horror movie, which played with the tropes enough to remain interesting. I watched Dream Scenario in Harrogate’s Everyman cinema, which was ridiculously plush. My favourite movie of the month was Spike Lee’s 25 Hour. I must watch all the Spike Lee films I’ve missed!

I also watched a little TV. Marianne was great and Netflix’s failure to renew this for a second season is a tragedy. Monarch: Legacy of Monsters is going pretty well. The family drama is entertaining enough to fill in the time between monsters, and the kaiju are getting more interesting as the show continues. There was also a new episode of Dr Who, and it’s a relief to have the show being done properly again. I’m looking forward to Ncuti Gatwa taking over as the Doctor.

I am still struggling to focus on books, and have had a bit of an amnesty on unfinished books. However, when I set out to read John Darnielle’s novel Wolf in White Van, I finished it in a couple of days. I also finished Jay Owens’ book Dust. While this was non-fiction, it evoked the same emotions as cosmic horror.

While November was tough, I’ve mostly been enjoying work, and just passed my one-year anniversary. I’m both excited and terrified about how generative AI is about to change my job beyond all recognition, something I wrote about in my blog.

The People’s Pyramid (my future home)
  • Progress on fixing up the house is very slow, but I made a little. I now have vinyl flooring in the bathroom. This involved some DIY on my part, as I had to lift a door, but I am very happy with the results.
  • While I’ve done a lot of train travel in the last month, much of it has been blighted by cancellations. As public infrastructure collapses, the government seems more interested in picking culture war fights about the Parthenon Marbles as a distraction.
  • I grew a moustache for November. I removed it on the first day of December.

The shock of ChatGPT

Gen AI is one of the most incredible things I’ve ever encountered. I’ve read explanations of how it works, but when I play with it, the responses feels like magic; as if I am talking to a creature that knows a huge amount of information, and can summarise it very quickly.

The improvements over the past few months are astounding. When I played with GPT-2 a couple of years ago, it seemed like a toy. In the past few days, I’ve been asking Chat GPT 3.5 for help with programming tasks in Angular. I’m not familiar with the framework, but ChatGPT can give me specific tutorials for the tasks I’m dealing with. I’m finding it easier to learn Angular than ever before.

A lot of the discussion I see on social media points out problems with genAI – yes, there are issues around how the data is collected. Yes, these things are not perfect. But a lot of the complaints feel like bargaining, people trying to persuade themselves that the results of this technology are mundane.

I do think there is a lot of hype around LLMs, but I am also convinced that they are going to have a huge effect in my work and career. I’m not convinced they will eliminate programmers, but they are going to make them much more productive – think stack overflow but more so. One article compared working with ChatGPT like being assisted in the task you’re working on by a very enthusiastic colleague whose code wasn’t perfect, but it would speed you up.

Stack Overflow has not reduced the number of software developers in the world – rather it has improved productivity and enabled people to build more complicated systems than ever before. In the early days, people were suspicious of IDEs, but now they are making it easier to manage large codebases. I look back at the web applications being built around 2000 and I’m amazed at the scale of what a team of developers can produce now.

ChatGPT fills me with existential dread – there are huge philosophical implications to the idea that a language model can do sophisticated tasks so easily. But as much as I’d like to pretend it is not significant, the best thing to do is learn how to use it, and work out what the role of a software developer is in this new world.

Monthnotes: October 2023

October was a hard month. It started with a lot of travel, four days of office visits sandwiched between trips to Stroud and Blackpool. I’ve been feeling run down and the cold spells and rising darkness haven’t helped.

I had a great time in Stroud, catching up with Mr. Spratt and the girls, as well as meeting Gus the Puppy. The Blackpool trip was to attend a horror convention with Muffy. The event was mostly merch stands and wrestling, but it was a fun day out. I also had Rosy visiting for a week before finally moving into her new house, which was lovely.

My step total for the month was 289,759, which is an average of 9,347. My highest was 13,569 when I was out in Manchester. I’m actually going to cut my step count target drastically for November, down to 5,000. With all the office days, I struggled to get everything else in my life done and, while I’ve always hit my exercise goal, my diet was sometimes shambolic. I think it would be better to prioritise eating properly over marching out steps.

It’s been another disordered month for reading, but I finished four books. Katherine Hale’s Slenderman focussed more on the people involved than memes or tulpas, and was a heartbreaking story about America’s lack of support for mental illness. Rachel O’Dwyer’s Tokens was an entertaining look at economics on the Internet. My favourite book was Taylor Lorenz’s book on influencers, Extremely Online, which proved a historical review of social media. The story of Vine was my highlight of the book. One takeaway was my shock that the viral classic Lazy Sunday is almost twenty years old.

Same, TBH

I’ve watched a lot of movies again this month, although some of them were disappointing choices from the £1 DVD store in Blackpool. I’ll leave talking about bad movies to my letterboxed account. I enjoyed Fall of the House of Usher, although it wasn’t as great as Mike Flanagan’s other Netflix shows, and very much felt like it killed the interesting characters too early. The Coleen Rooney documentary was a great retelling of the Wagatha Christie saga, and the Rooneys came across as lovely people. I’ve also been enjoying Marianne on Netflix which I found through a listicle about horror directors recommending scary films. It’s dark and well put together – even the cliched overhead drone shots of driving are good.

I sent out lots of email in October about the Mycelium Parish news zine, and it’s been delightful to see the responses coming in from that. I’ve also continued the weekly substack posts (sign up here). Getting a weekly story out is helping me hone and develop the huge backlog I’ve accrued. Memetic Infection Hazards finally went out to a printer and got stuck there, as I need to reformat the cover.

I’m trying to post a little more on Bluesky to reclaim that early twitter feeling, when it was more about microblogging than ‘engagement’. I do think that the future of social media is going to be more like self-hosted blogs and feed-readers. Letterboxed currently provides the best model of what I want from social sites, even if it’s hyperfocussed about films (I wonder if there is anyone using their film reviews as a regular blog?). If you need a Bluesky code, drop me an email, as I have a few invites going.

  • Free your Mind, the dance version of The Matrix was amazing, but having to stand for the second half rather took some of the delight away.
  • Tricky has released some ‘reincarnated’ tracks from Maxinquaye. The album is 30 years old and still sounds fresh. The new versions are even sparser and more menacing.
  • I gave a seminar at Leeds Trinity about ARGs and digital folklore. I now need to find a way to put some of this material onto video.
  • I’ve decided that I was probably wrong with my cool reception of AI/Machine Learning and that this might be a revolution on the scale of mobile or the web itself. I’ve started reading up on the topic with the aim of catching up as quickly as I can.

What if Cal Newport’s Deep Work is wrong?

The main argument of Cal Newport’s book Deep Work was that significant work only comes through undisturbed and focussed effort, as opposed to the shallow work achieved when constantly interrupted by alerts. Newport saw shallow work as easily replicated and of little value. It’s a seductive and well-argued theory. His book gives many compelling examples for different types of deep work.

But lately I’ve been wondering if there’s a problem in that the old ways of working cannot easily be compared against something new and different. What if there are types of shallow work that are as powerful as deep work? And there would then also be people who function better at shallow work than others.

Deep work is much rarer these days than before the Internet – given the expectation for me to be reachable on teams and slack all day, there is less opportunity to focus on detailed tasks. In my recent project, some of my work on unfamiliar software has led me to working weekends, just to have uninterrupted time.

But I can see advantages to shallow work. With everyone being networked, knowledge is much more accessible. Information is not confined to books but can be accessed within seconds. I listened to a podcast where a film theorist explained that young people nowadays are discussing more sophisticated subjects than she was at their age. You can learn the basics of a new skill, or how to fix something, with a quick search.

When I started programming, the full APIs of the tools we used we on a shelf of books in the office. You were expected to remember as much of this as possible, and we were definitely judged on how often we crossed the room to look things up. Now, the APIs are all accessible in IDEs, and any problems can be quickly searched in StackOverflow. I used to read books on programming tools. Now I read a Quickstart guide and copy a few examples of what I need into that.

I love reading books. There’s a value to getting the texture of a subject, something you can’t get from a quick info-snack. Books also benefit from perspective – I’ve learned more about politics from accounts written a few years later than from the news.

But too many books are padded out to make sure they hit the right length to be sellable. I retain very little from the tens of thousands of words I read in a non-fiction text. And maybe not being tied to books as a learning technique will enable young people to learn faster. It’s exciting that there are so many ways to learn, and that ideas are being unbundled from books.

Like all things, it’s probably about balance, but I do worry that there is something missing from this debate, that there are advantages to the shallow work approach. I try to keep my alerts to a minimum, but it’s possible that managing a complicated media environment is just an essential modern skill and that something fundamental has changed.

Monthnotes: September 2023

September has felt like a quiet month, despite a few trips, probably because I had some weekends of much-needed downtime. I was supposed to attend a couple of gigs, but one was cancelled due to the singer having covid, and the other due to me being potentially exposed. Meanwhile, Autumn is coming in, and the frightening heatwave was soon forgotten, replaced by a turn in the weather. I’m not sure that I’m ready for winter.

Over the past few years, I’ve occasionally had nightmares about roller-coasters. So, it seemed like the best response would be to spend a couple of days at Alton Towers with my sister. It was very quiet, so we got to do as many rides as we wanted – which was far fewer than the two girls we met who were going their 13th ride of the day on the Smiler. I had a great time, and loved Galactica, which I went on 3 times. I am still, however, terrified of Oblivion and might try to do that when my sister and I visit next year.

This terrifies me

My reading this month has mostly been blogs and newsletters on my Kindle. I finished Aaron A Reed’s updated epic, 50 years of Text Adventures, which was just as inspiring the second time. Coming Up, an oral history of hip-hop, was great, and gave due respect to Above the Law. Ubi Sunt was a great novella about AI. And Do Interesting was an inspiring little volume.

2023 does not feel like a strong year for walking, despite my day-trips along the Pennine Way during Spring. My total for September was 296,410 steps, an average of 9,880 a day. The longest day was 26,224, tramping around Alton Towers. My year-to-date total is actually 100,000 more than this time last year, so it’s not as bad as it feels. My physio continues, and I’m getting closer to being able to start the Couch-to-5K programme. After some sharp rises, my weight seems to be back under control.

Too soon?

I’ve continued sending out the weekly short story email (sign up here), which is growing very slowly. It’s working well for me as a means to develop a publishing practise, as well as simply a writing one. I’ve continued proofing Memetic Infection Hazards, my new zine. I still seem to find an error on every pass, but I’m hoping to send that to the printer in the next week or so. I also made it to my fortnightly writer’s group for the first time in months and loved catching up with everyone.

I’ve been faithfully logging my movies at letterboxd, which shows that I’ve watched 19 movies this month, so for the first month this year I’ve watched more films than I’ve finished books. I saw Barbie in the cinema, and was mostly disappointed. My highlights were probably horror road movie Bones and All, or disturbing Norwegian drama Good Boy, about dating someone whose dog is actually a man in a dog suit. Something in the Dirt was curious and didn’t grab me, but I would continue to watch anything produced by Moorhead and Benson in future. I’ve been playing the Judgement Night CD in my car recently but the movie was not such a classic.

My selection of £1 DVDs. Average rating, 3/5

I went to Blackpool to see Muffy and Sashimi. While there, I bought 6 DVDs for £1 each. 1999’s Go turned out to have well (although some of the language used would not fly today). 8mm was a better movie than I remembered from watching it at the cinema in 1999.

My social media use is settling down a little. I’ve deleted Threads from my phone as the app was so dull. I now rarely check Mastodon. Twitter lingers around while I set up the next Mycelium Parish Magazine, and I might put the account into hibernation after that. Bluesky is up to about a million users, and has a great energy (I’ve a pile of invite codes, so ping me if you want one – and I’m there as orbific). My favourite site remains Letterboxd, which is getting me excited about watching movies. It’s just been sold though, so let’s see how that goes.

I had my covid and flu jabs at the end of the month. I’m continuing to wear a mask on public transport, although I’m not sure how much that helps, or if it just makes me look like a weirdo. I find it impossible to evaluate whether covid is a risk of not at the moment, but I’d prefer to be over-cautious than risk some of the side-effects friends have suffered.

  • I went to get my ears cleared, which was a pleasantly disgusting experience – so much wax! Not cheap, but I feel better for it.
  • I enjoyed playing Dredge for a while until it began to feel like a grind. That main loop in video games feels too much like a job, but without the positive points.
  • I’ve quit drinking caffeine again, after taking it up again in May. The withdrawal was much less bad this time, but I’m also not feeling much of the benefit.
  • Spotify continues to turn up some interesting new music. The weirdest thing is having no idea of a recommendation’s cultural footprint. Everything is slightly flattened, and sometimes I realise the acts I’m enjoying are actually quite well know.

Wanted: submissions for the 2023 Mycelium/Discordian Parish Magazine

Last year, Dan Sumption and I produced the Mycelium Parish Magazine. It was a compendium of all the exciting things that had happened in our mycelic network of counter-culture over the previous year. If you want to see how it turned up, then you can download the 2022 edition from the Internet Archive.

We are now collecting material for the 2023 edition. Our deadline for copy is mid-November. What we’re looking for is any creative activities that have happened in our networks during 2023, as well as any interesting news related to Discordianism and mycelia.

As with last year, we’re going to produce a lo-fi printed edition, one that is light enough to be sent by first class post. Given the price rises in our privatised mail services, we’re unlikely to keep prices as low as last year, which was £2.30 including postage, but we won’t be far off. We’re aiming to send this out by Christmas, so you can read it over the Christmas/New Year break. A PDF copy will be released once we have distributed all the physical copies.

We want to include books, events, podcasts, celebrations, records and gatherings. We are planning to produce short mentions for each thing, typically 100 words or so, but longer if needs be. We can type something up, or you can give us something ready to go. We missed a couple of things last year so we’re going to try even harder to get everything this year.

If you don’t have my email address, leave a comment here with yours (I won’t publish it). I can then get back to you.

As before, hitting our deadline will require precision discordianism, so the sooner you can send things to us, the better.

Escaping Capitalism

It is easier to imagine an end to the world than an end to capitalism.” Since its appearance in Mark Fisher’s Capitalist Realism, this quote has been much-repeated. It suggests that there is a deeper motive for our culture’s obsession with the end of the world, which includes a constant stream of zombie stories: a feeling that true freedom can only exist if the whole of civilisation is dismantled. At dinner recently, a friend attacked this idea, that it plays into a lot of dangerous myths, but the longing persists.

In a blog post last year, Is it easier to end capitalism than to imagine the end of capitalism?, Paul Watson considered Fisher’s quote in the context of Gerard Winstanley. Watson starts from a quote by Ursula Le Guin about how “We live in capitalism. Its power seems inescapable; so did the divine right of kings.” Paul then writes

The question of whether this inability to imagine the end of the current socio-economic system is unique to late-stage capitalism has been nagging at me. Because if it isn’t something unique to late-stage capitalism then we can use our understanding of how it was overcome in the past to overcome this seemingly impassable obstacle now.

Reading Dr Francis Young’s Magic in Merlin’s Realm: A History of Occult Politics in Britain, Watson found a reference to how alchemy allowed Gerrard Winstanley to come to terms with the Digger’s attack on the established order. Watson talks about how this puzzled him, as he’d not imagined Winstanley as someone with any qualms about revolution. The trail led to another book on Winstanley, David Mulder’s The Alchemy of Revolution: Gerrard Winstanley’s Occultism and Seventeenth-Century English Communism. This book contained an explanation.

…as radical a thinker as [Winstanley] was, he never relinquished a belief in the fundamental elements of early-modern world-view. The cosmology he and his contemporaries inherited from the middle ages taught that any radical challenge to the political and social order also was a radical challenge to the divine order of the universe. Such a challenge was thought to be a rebellion against God which had horrendous, even chaotic consequences for mankind and for the universe itself…. Put simply, it was easier to make a revolution than to imagine one”

Watson’s post ends with an inspiring call-to-arms:

I’ve mused before (in various posts on this blog) about the possibility of art and writing and music as ways to bypass the mental block of imagining a better alternative to late-stage capitalism, and the discovery that this isn’t quite the first time that imagining the end of the current socio-economic status quo has seemed more difficult than imagining the end of the world at least gives me some hope that it can be done again.

Watson’s inspiring essay is the sort of thing I love blogging for. It’s a beautiful argument, backed up by some thoughtful research and clear quotes. That ending leaves a promise and a question. It’s certainly something to think about with my own work. It’s important to imagine the better world, even if we are not sure how to get there.

Iteration 23: Russian Doll

On the 1,292nd day of March 2020, I finished re-watching Russian Doll. I originally watched the series in 2019, when it first came out. I enjoyed it the first time, but I found this repeat of the eight episodes to be often boring. I wasn’t carried forward by the mysteries and plot, finding myself noticing little flaws.

Nadia is at her 36th birthday party, where she smokes a laced joint and set out to the local bodega. She ends up looking for a cat and is run down by a car, and finds herself back where she was earlier in the evening.

Rewatching Russian Doll, I didn’t feel the same puzzle box intensity. The show was somehow deflated, and I found myself not caring so much about the characters. The metaphors drawn from Nadia’s job as a computer programmer felt trite – although Russian Doll gets some credit in me for showing a code review and mentioning unit testing.

Russian Doll does a lot of time loop things well, such as the use of a strong musical cue to anchor the repetitions. It’s also nice that Nadia is not confined to a single day, and having her sometimes survive to the following day played against the conventions. I particularly liked the degradation of the loops, with some items of food rotting inside the loop, and the feeling that this repetition would not continue forever. The idea of having two strangers in the loop needing to rescue each other was a good one. But watching a second time, I found Nadia irritating. Sometimes repeating things doesn’t work.


  • Length of first iteration (in film): 9.25 minutes
  • Length of second iteration: 11.5 minutes
  • Reset point: death
  • Fidelity of loop: the day sets up the same way each time
  • Exit from the loop: Nadia and Alan saving each other

Re-watching Russian Doll, I realised I was not excited by time loop projects in the same way that I had been. Making a list of potential films there were half-a-dozen Disney and Hallmark style films set at Christmas. I think I’m past the point where watching any time-loop film or TV show has value. I’m going to step out of this loop for a while and do other things.

2022 Mycelium Parish Magazine Now Free for Download

The 2022 Mycelium Parish News zine is now available for free from the Internet Archive

Last year, Dan Sumption and I collaborated on a Discordian Parish magazine, which listed all the counter-cultural things that had happened in our network over the past year. We printed up 100 copies which were sent out or sold on etsy. I love posting copies of a physical zine. There’s something more real about information when you can hold it. I particularly loved sending copies out to readers in the US.

Now that the physical copies are all gone, we have released an electronic version. It’s an amazing list of books, mailing lists, podcasts and more, and a lovely collection of a certain corner of UK counter-culture. You can download it from the Internet Archive.

We’re still in the depths of summer, but I’m starting work on the next instalment, and we’re about to send out emails to collect material (copy deadline is Thursday 23rd November, 2023). There are a lot of things we missed the last time round through incompetence and poor memory, and hopefully this year’s zine will contain more (although we’re going to work to make sure it is light enough to be posted as a standard UK letter!)

Monthnotes: August 2023

August has mostly been about work, but this month it’s been a friendly toad squatting on my life. I’m on a project with decent, smart people, and basically being paid to do my hobby. As we’re close to a deadline, we’ve been asked to work two days a week in the office, which has felt burdensome, and it’s questionable how useful in-person work is, when half my team is in India and staying there. Otherwise, I’m enjoying it. I take a lot of meaning from my work – I like being part of a huge organisation, as well as the joy of collaborating with large groups of people to make complicated systems. This job is a little like looking after a puppy – it improves my life, but it takes a lot of effort. Overall, I’m feeling very happy. I wish my life could stay like this forever.

It’s been a rainy August, so it’s not been too bad being indoors. While I’d expected to spend August with my head down working, I’ve seen a fair few friends. nwv, Dan and Edith came by on their way back from the lake district. I also had an impromptu Saturday night dinner with James and Alex. Jay stayed for a weekend, my first time seeing him since the pandemic, which he spent in Italy. I also headed down to Bristol to see Libby and Vicky, where I was very well looked after, eating fresh food from the garden.

When Vicky posted this picture of me, saying it was Banksy, a few people believed her.

The bank holiday was spent on retreat in Wales, which was lovely. Good food and friends helped me relax after the crazy times at work. I came back early on the Monday to see a friend who had been staying in my house. She had a lovely time in Yorkshire but, after dinner on the Monday, fell over and broke her shoulder. She is recovering now, but we were in A&E until 4am. I’m very grateful to the passers-by who helped, waiting with us for over two hours until the ambulance arrived. Being a good samaritan is time-consuming in modern Britiain! It’s frightening how stretched our emergency services are after years of austerity.

I think this is the most perfect window I’ve ever seen

I did very little walking in August, with a total of 315,484, an average of a mere 10,176 steps a day. I’ve been continuing my physio, and hopefully will soon be able to start running again.

I’ve been feeling much happier with my writing as I’ve been sending out a weekly short-story email (sign up here). I’ve now sent out 7 pieces from The South Downs Way and should be able to sustain this pace for some time. It’s a good way of working, although I need to figure out how to grow the audience. Memetic infection Hazards is still waiting on me completing the proof-reading. I think I am going to just have to book out an evening to do that. I’m not sure what’s blocking me there. Krill magazine was published with my micro-short story collection Fishscale and sold out quickly.

Turbo Island in Bristol.

My reading has been a little better this month. I’ve been commuting to Manchester and bought a couple of physical books for this. Christopher Priest’s Airside was peculiar and interesting. Hannah Silver’s My Child, the Algorithm was an impressive and moving auto-fiction. I also read Ben Myer’s The Offing, a birthday gift from Jude, which was a lovely comfort read. Tom King’s Strange Adventures graphic novel was interesting, but the trick of having an innocent character facing adult problems starts to face diminishing returns. I also published a review of John Higg’s re-released KLF book.

I read more books than I’ve watched movies, managing 3 movies in August against 5 books. Knock at the Cabin continued Shyamalan’s run of ruining a good film with the ending. I had to buy Lost Highway as a Polish DVD, but it was good to return to after many years. It’s still confusing but undoubtedly a masterpiece. The Menu was fantastic, with great performances from Ralph Fiennes and Anna Taylor Joy. The set-up felt hackneyed, but the cast sold the concepts, and the story rose to a satisfying ending. I finished the series From, which mostly continues to be a Lost-style puzzle box, even down to the cliff-hanger echoing the other show. I’ll be in for the third season but I’m expecting little.

The social media diaspora feels strange. I’m enjoying bluesky a lot more than most other sites. Threads continues to be a disaster – there are just too many brands and content farmers. I managed 3 minute on Artefact – opening a site about curated reading by flinging a Daily Mail article at me was a very particular introduction. Instagram is OK, but low engagement. Despite my attempts to love it, I’m not feeling Mastodon. Probably the best social media site is an indie band discord with a small number of interesting and engaged posters, which turns out to be all I want. I did wonder whether I should rejoin Facebook for the local events and marketplace, but no.

Received this via a WhatsApp from Katharine – my old number on a flyer I gave a girl back in 1995/6.
  • I recently passed the first anniversary of moving into this house, and celebrated by unpacking the last box.
  • I’ve also finally put up some proper curtains in the bedroom and it’s transformative. I need to pay attention to other things that would make my life more comfortable.
  • I realised with a shock that I don’t actually like vegan cheddar. It’s no good on its own, and I need to stop buying it.
  • Oliver Burkeman wrote an excellent post on to-do lists as menus.
  • My sleep hygiene has been improved by keeping my phone out of my bedroom to charge (something I normally do, but had got sloppy about). I don’t know how people manage who don’t do this.
  • I am a strict vegan as far as what goes into my mouth, but I am loving the French egg shampoo that my sister gave me, which is a nostalgic memory from childhood holidays.
A friendly cart that I met in the park