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w/e 2020-02-02

Hello. .olleH


§   I’ve been amused all week by Tom’s photo of a laundrette sign. The order of services offered feels perfectly sequenced. Desperate entrepreneurial optimism or something. I’ve read it in my head many times and I often end the phrasing with an implied hopeful question mark?


§   This week was the first time since we arrived that Mary’s been away for a few days, so I was here on my own, which is an odd extra level of isolation. It was mainly OK though and I made the most of the fact the nearest people were double-glazing-and-a-field away by turning up the music volume louder than I’ve done anywhere else I’ve lived. But I can’t help think I’m wasting this opportunity though… I should be learning to play the drums or the trumpet or something.


§   In an effort to get a sense of things happening not far from here I made a Twitter list of Hereford-based accounts. The signal:noise ratio is a bit overwhelming but it’s still nice, when sitting here in what feels like the middle-of-nowhere, to know there are things going on sort-of-nearby.


§   I’m staying up to watch the Super Bowl tonight, having belatedly caught up on the play-offs. This play (the video of which the NFL won’t allow to be embedded) by the Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes made me laugh out loud. (He’s one of the ones in the red suits, at the top-right.) He’s amazing at throwing the ball, often managing to send it directly to some distant moving hands, using an odd sideways throw, while he looks in a different direction entirely, confusing defenders. And then he can also pirouette through this kind of run, avoiding all those meaty clutching hands.


§   I enjoyed watching series one of The End of the F***ing World. I’m not sure why it passed me by when it was first on a couple of years ago. Maybe it was the title which is a bit erg, yuck. I mean, the fact Fucking is asterisked out makes the title more annoying than it would be otherwise. It reads, to me, as someone thinking, “ooh, I’m so naughty!” Which isn’t right for the show. In the bad-title-obscures-a-decent-show stakes it’s no Scrotal Recall but, anyway, it was fucking good.


§   I’ve got a bit bored of TikTok recently. I seem stuck in a rut of seeing the same kinds of things, few of which I find interesting now. However, my most recent favourite thing is seeing actual proper dancers. For example, Gabriella Gutierre posts a lot of this, including this couple:

@gabriellagutierre4

👩‍❤️‍👨 #fyp #dance #like

♬ original sound - gabriellagutierre4

I love that. Or these guys:

@gabriellagutierre4

BOOM 💥 #dance #fyp #like

♬ original sound - gabriellagutierre4

I love it when there’s some amazing dancers and they’re surrounded by friends or classmates, all cheering. Amazing but informal, so happy. And imagine being able to do any of that.


§   Years ago, when I was learning Japanese (pretty much all of which I’ve forgotten), I made a little site for practising Hiragana and Katakana characters. I kept it going after I stopped needing it because why not.

This week I searched old emails and made a page containing all the nice things strangers have sent me about it, mainly because this makes me feel good.

The lessons here are:

  1. Making simple little online tools is totally worth it, especially if the alternatives are usually covered in ads and tracking
  2. Providing an obvious way for people to get in touch with you is important
  3. There’s no shame in collecting it together like this because it’s nice for you and probably nice for users to see that they’re not the only ones who’ve been there
  4. It’s really nice if you email someone to tell them you like something they’ve done.

§   That’s all. I’m enjoying reading Agency and getting the ambient sense that lots of other people are too. Doesn’t happen often. Have a good week.