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w/e 2019-09-07

Hello. How’s your new year going?


Spotify’s Discover Weekly served me up Magic of Meghan by Dry Cleaning this week, which was new to me and which I loved. It sounds so good, and it reminds me of Life Without Buildings (on Spotify). I wondered if there was a video for it, especially when I heard it reference Meghan Markle’s “jeans made in Wales”.

There is a video and it’s brilliant:

Dry Cleaning – Magic of Meghan

If someone described the video to me it wouldn’t sound like much but, especially paired with the rhythm of this track, it’s perfect. Objects flapping in the wind, LCD screens, lonely balloons, wobbling inflatables, flickering signs, shop window displays, phone screens… All the inanimate objects that seem eerily alive reminded me of Doctor Who monsters but in a way that’s more unsettling than they would ever be. It’s a peculiar portrait of Britain (Sheffield specifically, I think) in the early 21st century. I love it so much and it’s by Lucy Vann.


In all the years I’ve lived in London this is the first time I’ve got round to booking a bunch of tickets for things at the London Film Festival. Given the £16+ per screening cost, it isn’t fulfilling the “I’ll take a week off and see loads of films!” idea I’ve often had but I’m going to a few things that I expect I’ll like.

The LFF always reminds me of the few weeks I worked at Aardman (unpaid) helping paint the models for the festival’s 1994 title sequence. That was fun:

London Film Festival title sequence, 1994

I’m currently enjoying both This Way Up and the second season of Stath Lets Flats. Both are funny and excruciating in different ways. Very good.


I wish I’d had a better camera on me when I saw this (and got a slightly better angle):

Photo of a man sleeping on a bench with six gravestones behind him
Nap on Flickr

If you want any indication of how daft it is to be using something like vim as a text editor (after my post about text editors a while back) here’s the configuration I’ve ended up using this week that enables me to search across all the files in a project:

command! -bang -nargs=* Find
  \ call fzf#vim#grep(
  \   'rg --column --line-number --hidden --ignore-case --no-heading --color=always '.shellescape(<q-args>), 1,
  \   <bang>0 ? fzf#vim#with_preview({'options': '--delimiter : --nth 4.. --exact'}, 'up:40%')
  \           : fzf#vim#with_preview({'options': '--delimiter : --nth 4.. --exact'}, 'right:50%:hidden', '?'),
  \   <bang>0)

Insane. Sure, FZF and Ripgrep (whatever they are) are quick at search, but this is still not as useful a tool as the project-wide search in something like VS Code or Atom. What’s wrong with me?


On Thursday I went to see The Spook School play at the Garage which, sadly, was part of their farewell tour; they’re breaking up (so, Ben, it doesn’t really matter if you haven’t heard of them).

I only came across them a couple of years ago and I’m very sad to see them go. They’re an adorable bunch with fun, tuneful songs about growing up, coming out, being trans, hating masculinity, being in love, making mistakes, falling apart, moving on, keeping going… I saw them at Indietracks a few weeks back, which was part of their emotional farewell tour, ending with lots of balloons:

It was a great gig, the crowd all seemed like lovely, gentle people too, and I may have got a little teary during Try to be Hopeful, recorded here the following night in Nottingham, the penultimate day of the tour:

The Spook School – Try to be Hopeful

Bands breaking up is an odd thing. All their existing work remains, sticking around forever… but it’ll never to be added to, never grow, frozen. Nothing’s died — everything’s still there! — but there’s still a sense of mourning. I’ll miss them but hopefully they’ll all go on to do even more brilliant and lovely things.


That’s all. Try to be hopeful!