Sunday, March 13, 2016

Doing, Reading, Listening

Doing; This week has been mostly hanging out with friends who came to visit from Glasgow, I'm loving how Uist is attracting friends, despite the epic ballache that is getting here. We did beaches and exploring and then I got sick and did a lot of sleeping while they walked my dog, cooked me dinner and entertained my children, it was pretty Grade A Friending on their part. Visitors who don't mind when you check out and go to bed and tell them to entertain themselves are the best kind of visitors.

I wrote no words for my big project this week, it's getting embarrassing. I did write this thing about Ammie though which I really love. I haven't written much about my kids or parenting over the last couple of years and it felt a special kind of lovely to celebrate my infuriating, exhausting offspring in words and pictures. 

Instead of writing I have been working on my newest project which is to get my etsy shop off the ground again. It's getting there and I'm really excited about making and selling again.

Reading {paper} I finished Game of Thrones. It was terrible. I can't wait to read the next one.  I started Christopher Brookmyre's One FineDay In The Middle Of The Night a couple of days ago. I love his writing – it's grim, profanity laden, hilarious Scottish crime and he's one of the few writers who can reliably make me laugh out loud. Even his lesser works have lines that make me snorlf;

'St Michael’s RC secondary sat on a promontory overlooking the town of Auchenlea. The choice of site was an indirect consequence of a past mistake in vocational guidance, leading someone who had a pathological hatred of children into town planning, rather than the more traditional field of teaching.' Christopher Brookmyre, 

Reading {internets}This piece in The Pool by Lauren Laverne on finding the meaning in your work even if your work doesn't happen to involve saving lives or creating Great Works Of Art. As someone who has recently realised that perhaps I don't want as noble a career as I once imagined, I found it extremely comforting;

'People started to get in touch. I got to know my regular listeners and I began to understand that, sometimes, a bit of silliness can save your life. Some days, a five-minute distraction is the only thing that gets you through' Lauren Laverne, The Pool

This on the environmental and moral implications of the leather trade convinced me very quickly that I need to think harder and longer about the leather purchases I make. I have always thought of leather as a by-product of the meat industry and I continued to buy and wear it throughout the two decades that I was a militant vegetarian. I haven't bought any leather for 18 months (passively – I've been too broke for shoes and bags) and I think it's going to be a good long time before I do it again.

'Nearly half of the global leather trade is carried out in developing countries – from Ethiopia to Cambodia and Vietnam – where, despite a backdrop of exploitation of animals and humans and the extraordinary level of pollution caused by unregulated tanneries and processors, the pressure is on to produce more.'

And at the other end of the scale entertainment-wise; reddit readers sum up their first sexual encounters with a safe-for-work gif. Their choices are genius.

Listening; the two most recent episodes of Death, Sex and Money – the one with the couple who have been together for 20 years and had three children whilst being raging heroin addicts. That one was gruelling with an ending that had me 'WTF?'-ing out loud, out on the moors (the moors are my go-to podcast walk now, each time I think of that episode of Girls where Hannah lay down in the woods, unable to keep up with her fitter friends, and hugged her This American Life-playing iphone). After that episode I listened to the previous one, an interview with comedian Michael Ian Black, who I had never heard of but really enjoyed. It was wonderful to listen to a middle aged man be deeply neurotic and anxious and hilarious about his weight, a blessed and almost shocking change from the standard 'middle aged (or any aged) woman talks about her body and the neurosis she has about it'

Watching; we are almost finished FridayNight Lights and although I'm sad about reaching the end (again) we are looking forward to to new series of Better Call Saul, which we both preferred to Breaking Bad. As I've been working I've been watching Rupaul's Drag Race which I am loving, LOVING. As a family we've been watching a lot of David Attenborough, which is how my five year old came to ask me 'what is a sperm sack and why is the cuttlefish putting it in the other cuttlefish's mouth?' (cuttlefish are filthy.)  


  1. Uist is calling me. As is all Scottish humor, somehow, although I like yours best.

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  3. After watching GoT I just can't imagine reading the books (M is addicted, I bought him the massive coffee table history of Westeros book *cry laughing emoji*) I need to catch up with Death, Sex, Money too! The latest sounds intriguing...

    1. Yeah, I can never read stuff if I've seen the film/tv version first. And wow, Musty, that sounds like some good reading...


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