November has involved a lot of driving. The month opened with a trip back to Blackpool where I’d left my laptop and Kindle behind at the end of October. From Blackpool I went to Halifax, where I found a flat to rent. I’ve now signed all the contracts and will be moving in on December 10th. Going to a new town is both daunting and exciting – but the latter is definitely winning out.
I also had a surprise visit to Brighton to fix a tooth – my first trip since hiking with Emma in August. I was very grateful to my dentist for seeing me at short notice; and I also got to see Rosy for the first time in months. While there, I went to La Choza after not going at all during the pandemic. Sooxanne and I received a very warm welcome and the naga salsa was as delicious as I remembered.
Other trips were to Chichester, to meet up with my friend Naomi and deliver a seminar – on Alan Moore’s Promethea, about how all art is really magic. I also went to Buxton for the Toxteth Day of the Dead. The month ended with a drive through the tailend of storm Arwen to do an Arvon course on ‘Hybrid Writing: The Beauty of Brevity’.
Walking was a total of A total of 357,416 and a paltry average total of 11,914. My maximum for a single day was 19,180. The new move offers a chance to revitalise both my walking and general exercising.
I’d resisted going to the cinema for No Time to Die the new Bond film but finally watched it on streaming. I found it surprisingly dreadful. The only thing anyone wants from Bond is a violent tourist brochure with some luxury goods product placement. This movie seemed obsessed with Bond as a character rather than an icon. Also, given Bond’s issues with drinking (not least an attempt at drink-driving in Jamaica), he needs to get himself to a meeting. Boss Level was an entertaining-but-flawed time loop movie. Brand New Cherry Flavour was an excellent mix of LA Noir and body horror although, like all Netflix dramas, it was two episodes longer than it needed.
I finished seven books this month, some of which I’d had on the go for a while. The Institute was classic Stephen King, and the end was very moving. James Stanier’s Effective Remote Work was essential reading for all remote/hybrid workers. Chief of Staff by Gavin Barwell featured extensive detail about Theresa May’s Brexit negotiations, which I found both interesting and surprising. The best book was probably A Bit of A Stretch, Chris Atkins’ account of serving time Wormwood Scrubs. Atkins shows how poor our prison system is, with little effort at rehabilitation. Given the reoffending rate, this is a mssive waste of time and resources.
I played a little of Days Gone at the start of the month, which was both frustrating and compulsive. After consideration, I realised there were more useful skills I could be developing than playing one 60+ hour game, so put a stop to that. I also dabbled with AR mobile game Pikmin Bloom. While it’s well made, it’s basically a cookie clicker/incremental game. But it’s been just interesting enough to stay on my phone, and I spend about five minutes each day giving orders to Pikmin.
I shut down Brighton Java, the meetup group I’d run for almost ten years. Sadly, I don’t think we achieved as much with the group as we could/should have done, but it was definitely worth doing, and disbanding it makes space for someone else to start a new initiative.
I’ve also been back on twitter a bit. There’s no chance of my going back on Facebook, but I’m finding it a little too isolating to be completely without social media. Sadly, that is where most people are hanging out online these days.
And look! Some of my zines are now in the library at Chichester Uni.