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w/e 2022-04-24

I forgot to mention last week that were I not so scared of the awful virus I would have been at Wales Goes Pop! in Cardiff, postponed since 2020. But I was, and a few days in a hall with a load of strangers did not seem a comfortable idea.

Failing that I could have been at the 20th Birthday Party of How Does It Feel To Be Loved? in London, a lovely club night I’ve been to a handful of times. But, again. Still, the first couple of hours of “indie pop, Motown, northern soul and more,” on Mixcloud, were fab to hear:

And then, while I was decorating, I listened to Trevor Jackson’s Island Records Special Part 2, on NTS Radio, repeated from December, and that was a corker, nearly nine hours from 1977-1991, tagged ELECTRO, FUNK, NEW WAVE, CLASSIC DISCO, DUB. Well worth a listen, particularly for those of a certain age.

§ Talking of the decorating, it’s nearly done! I did start to think I was losing my mind as I approached the end of the third coat of white on the walls but I saw it through with my sanity intact. There’s a bit of woodwork to finish off but the worst is behind us and I can begin the process of forgetting these horrors until next time.

§ A few weeks on from getting a new iPhone I gave in and bought a case for it so the stupid thing will sit flat on surfaces, a feature I’d have previously thought would be among the baseline requirements for an expensive, supposedly well designed object.

It baffles me. OK, you want the camera to be much better, which requires deeper lenses. So, unless you’re going to change the form factor drastically, I guess you’ll need to make the rest of the phone fatter so it won’t be all wobbly and feel rubbish whenever you put it down? And so that your own Measure app’s spirit level actually works? It’s the basics.

See it as an opportunity! You have room for a bigger battery for better battery life! Or, given how many people apparently find your beautiful shiny devices too big and slippery, maybe you should design them to be a bit chunkier and grippier to start with, a different, more practical aesthetic?

Not going to happen of course. Tim Apple sells his own iPhone cases, from £35 to £60, so he’s happy rolling around in all his iPhone case money.

Man yells at Apples.

§ We watched the final season of Peaky Blinders (on iPlayer) this week which was fine. I didn’t find it especially gripping, and there was the overall sense of slowly wrapping things up.

I described my misgivings about the show’s style of violence after season five (and Oswald Mosely was just as chilling this time around). It generally looks great though, very stylish, with some amazing set pieces this season. A tense, foggy shoot-out was a highlight, visually and aurally.

But one thing. I won’t miss. Is the way Tommy Shelby. Explains everything. To everyone. In very short sentences. Almost as if. He’s having trouble. Getting his breath.

§ It occurred to me this week that when I see people talking about TV shows or movies I can’t yet see because we don’t currently subscribe to those services (e.g. Apple TV+, Disney+, Amazon Prime) I have exactly the same feeling as when I was at school and kids talked about stuff they’d watched on video – my family didn’t have a VHS player for years, and only eventually got one when my sister had had enough and saved up for one herself.

I didn’t have any kind of envy, it was just something other people had, stuff other people could watch, and I couldn’t. They can discuss it and I can’t. It was fine.

A difference now is that, being adults, and being able to afford it, we could subscribe to other services, but there are only so many hours in an evening, and there’s only so much one can watch.

§ Just in time for season two, we got round to watching season one of Russian Doll this week which was excellent. I knew nothing about it in advance and it was not what I expected! For some reason I thought it might be a bit sort of about spies? Or maybe a bit sort of Orphan Black? Anyway, good fun, and interesting, and we’re looking forward to the next season.

§ A bit late, but the day has got away from me. Have a good week.

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