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.
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.
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.
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.