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w/e 2020-09-20

Hello again.

This week I have mostly been listening to the album The Private Memoirs And Confessions Of The Just Joans released earlier in the year which is splendid Scottish indie pop goodness, such as:

I also enjoyed catching up with Giles’s first two “Unreel” shows from West Wilts Radio on Mixcloud: #1 and #2. They’re like a nice friend talking you through a mixtape they’ve made you of interesting pop.

Photo of a valley full of mist with the sun rising above it
Sunrise over Grey Valley (3), on Flickr

§ I really need to learn how to process photos better because this, from one morning this week, is fine but I have no idea what I could be doing with it in Lightroom.

§ We’ve spent some time this week sorting out stuff in the house, in preparation for more of our stuff arriving from London in a few days. As previously mentioned, before we arrived this was a family holiday home for decades and had accumulated much stuff, which was very useful when moving in for a trial period but a bit troublesome now we want to add a lot more of our own stuff. For example, and this is not a problem for which I expect much sympathy, we have, in total, seven beds and three bedrooms in which to put them.

So we’ve been sorting out old toys, crockery, glassware, pictures, books, etc. plus furniture, and working out what to give away, sell, throw away, or have collected. What with the actual problem of the virus, local charities are currently full and aren’t collecting furniture, although we’ve managed to find new homes for a few things via a local Facebook (Have mercy on me, a sinner…) group. I also put a couple of beds on Gumtree, to give away, and in the past 30 hours they’ve had zero views between them.

Again, having too much stuff is not an awful problem to have but I do find myself wishing I had less stuff. Marie Kondo notwithstanding, having less stuff is something that’s easier to achieve if you start at a young age and maintain that state. Don’t buy stuff you don’t need kids! I have found myself admiring Jean Paul Sartre’s apparently pretty successful aim of owning nothing and, talking of him…

§ …this week I finished reading Left Bank by Agnès Poirier, about the literary scene in Paris from 1940 to 1950, which was brilliant. I knew nothing about Sartre, Beauvoir, Camus, Koestler, etc. before reading this and it was fascinating to have these many gaps filled in. To me they were just famous names with nothing but their books’ titles behind them. No doubt I’ve read about them before, here and there, but, with no existing structured knowledge about their lives, works, thoughts and relationships, none of that information stuck.

The first few years covered by the book were extra fascinating due to the occupation of Paris (and I came across these suggestions on Ask MetaFilter of non-fiction to read about that) but it continues from there as a fine example of “scenius”, which one realises especially when individuals travel and compare their Parisian world with those of New York or London which didn’t have the same focused milieu of cafés, discussions, politics, and writing, never mind the different attitudes of Americans and British intellectuals compared to French.

Anyway, it was interesting and exciting and I plan to read more.

§ Another year, another set of iOS and Apple Watch updates that offer nothing new that I need or even want. Which is fine; that’s better than things changing just for the sake of it. In fact, changing my iPad’s lock screen image from Wyndham Lewis’s Workshop (c.1914-1915), which has been in place for several years, to Ellsworth Kelly’s Spectrum Colors Arranged by Chance (1953) has done more than the iOS upgrade to make my iPad feel new. I guess it feels four decades newer.

One thing I would like is some Watch faces that don’t display the time. My main watch face is minimal, with time, date and the activity rings. 99% of the time I need nothing else. Occasionally I want to see what the weather’s doing and one swipe to the side I have a second watch face containing weather complications:

Screenshots of the two watch faces

I only glance at the second face occasionally and I don’t need to see the time or date there. All that space taken up with something I don’t need! There could be two more complications in that top-right space. Or the whole top row could be a large complication, like the middle row. Given the ever-growing number of Watch faces, why do they all take up space with the time?

§ We’ve nearly finished watching Strike: Lethal White which I guess is… OK? I think at this point, having watched previous series, I’m mainly watching it because I like watching Tom Burke, not that this role seems particularly demanding of him. I guess we’ll watch the fourth and final episode but it feels like there’s something missing from it all.

I don’t think it helps that, compared to something like a Scandi-noir, that has 8-10 hours to work through a plot, Strike has four hours to figure out two related mysteries so it feels a little rushed, with no time for dead ends.

But that’s nothing compared to Prodigal Son that we’re part way through, each episode of which has 40 minutes to introduce and wrap up a murder and deal with the main character’s childhood trauma of his father being a convicted serial killer. It is, mostly, nonsense. Sometimes fun and fast nonsense but still. Many clichéd lines, a lot of them given to Lou Diamond Phillips’ lieutenant. On the plus side Michael Sheen is having a lot of fun as the father.

§ That’s all. Get rid of some stuff.

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  1. While reading about your Apple Watch and iPad stuff, it made me think "oh wow, I would actually be really interested in Phil being featured in a UsesThis post."

    Turns out...

  2. That's even mostly still accurate! Visual Studio Code instead of Atom. No longer recording broadcast telly (no aerial here) and now using a Roku stick.