Monthnotes: April 2024

April was a weird month. I felt unsettled in work, and a little overwhelmed in the rest of my life. But I’ve also been happy to have a housemate for a large part of the time, with Rosy coming to stay. We also had a visit from Naomi Foyle, as well as a big group outing with my friends Dan and Jill to see Joelle Taylor reading from her new book. I also made a flying trip to London with work.

The Kickstarter for True Clown Stories hit its target, which is great news, meaning that the book will finally emerge after 14 years. Running a kickstarter was odd – after the initial launch it was hard to figure out what to do next, given how little reach social media now has. I’ve also continued writing the substack, which is going well. At times this month focus has been a struggle, but when I have settled down to actually write, it’s felt good. Sending the weekly emails is helping me to take writing more seriously.

After completing the 10-week step challenge, I dialled my daily target down to 10,000, which has felt a little tricky. Walking so much was easy in a sprawling city like Brighton, but it’s a little harder to find enough routes here to keep me interested. My daily average was 12,746, with a peak of merely 19,335. I’ve dropped my target to 8,000 steps for May.

It was another month where I struggled with reading, and only finished a couple of books. One of these was Scarlett Thomas’s excellent new novel The Sleepwalkers, which I read alongside my friend Jane. I started reading the Nadine Dorres book about the ‘plot’ against Boris Johnson. It wasn’t quite bad enough to be entertaining, but there’s an unsettling narrative here, with a dangerous conspiratorial view of politics. I can’t work out if this Dorres believes her own work, and she’s not quite a good enough writer to be able to tell if the spy novel flourishes are ironic.

I continue to struggle with backlogs, and it feels a little like trying to push down an air-bubble. For example, I catch up my email, but that sends more newsletters to the Kindle. Emails, text messages, RSS feeds, all constantly filling up. A few quiet weekends have helped me catch up properly, but I’m not sure how sustainable this is.

It’s the second month on my new project and work has been hard. Things are less structured than I am used to and I’ve not been enjoying the lack of clear goals. I have been enjoying working with typescript after almost 25 years of Java. Typescript feels less fussy and more responsive. I made a trip down to London to spend time with everyone on the project, which was lovely.

Another month where I watched a lot of movies. Ginger Snaps and Badlands were highlights, along with a rewatch of Bottoms. Monkey Man featured some impressive action sequences but relied on lazy, misogynistic tropes. I watched all of True Detective IV in about 24 hours, loving the acting and production values. The plot felt a little inconsequential but was redeemed by the last twenty minutes. I also watched the classic Dr Who story Pyramids of Mars, which was more entertaining than I expected.

I’ve had some quiet weekends, and one day, running errands in town on a Sunday, I realised that this is basically my personal paradise. I love living in the valley.

  • I left Facebook several years back, disgusted by their behaviour around Myanmar. But I’ve been forced to open an account there, as a lot of local tradespeople and events only appear there. I’m only adding people I know from up here.
  • My theory about my 25+ years of headaches being down to dehydration was proved correct as I forgot to drink one Friday afternoon and was knocked out with a massive headache the following day.
If you want to follow what I'm up to, sign up to my mailing list

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *