2021-12-20The new pattern for living seems to go like this. Emerge from a lockdown and shake off the careful life you built inside the restrictions imposed on you. Take a few halting steps out to your friend’s house, to the pub garden, walk the streets more and more carelessly. Soon you can forget the bread baking cycle and the little routines you imposed on yourself so you didn’t bang your head off your own four walls.
2021-08-30Image generated by Midjourney I like to cook a lot. Sometimes I cook all afternoon, one meal after another. I end up with a fridge full of boxed up meals that I can pile through in the week or give to loved ones. Dinner guests are relatively rare these days, in the wake of the pandemic year. Some people have been scattered away from the pestilent city centre.
2021-07-30There’s been a gap. There have been some changes. I left that house alone and I crossed the river I miss the cat I cycle everywhere I go if I can I’m learning a new language for her and also me I live alone most of the time I’ve been off the island and onto another island I’m fully vaccinated against the virus I’ve sold most of my books (I still have plenty of books) I swim in the ponds; I see my friends for breakfast I’m happy and I’m not ill any more I’m busy; I squeeze people in; I squeeze them into my calendar I’m twenty-seven years old
2021-01-26Snow whiting out the park London had its first snow day of the winter. We set out for a run in the mid-morning when the first specks starting to stick to the frosty tops of parked cars. By the time we were circling a park it was coming down thick. The roads were coated with a layer a couple of inches thick and quickly became communal playgrounds for bored families.
This is not the apocalypse you were looking for
The right, of course, has never had a monopoly on catastrophist fever dreams. The idea of a cleansing armageddon that instantly erases all the awkward parts of modernity, all the weary years of work and compromise between where we are and where we’d like to be, is universal, and universally childish. I’ve spent far too much time listening to drunk hipsters with retro-Soviet facial hair tell me there’s no point in feminism or anti-racism, because all of that will be fixed after the giant, bloody workers’ revolution that is absolutely on the way, so really it doesn’t matter how we treat each other in the present. You can hear the same gleeful anticipation in the rhetoric of “dark-green” eco-fundamentalist groups, which right now are outpacing religious extremists in their rush to claim the coronavirus as nature’s revenge on humanity. If you are really so keen to be punished, there are websites for that. If you find yourself eager to see the whole species punished, that’s not a fetish, that’s fascism.
— This is not the apocalypse you were looking for, Laurie Penny in WIRED
This candle doesn't smell of anything
After Terri Nelson noticed people complaining online about a lack of scent from newly purchased scented candles, Kate Petrova analyzed Amazon reviews for candles from the past three years and found a drop in ratings for scented candles beginning in January 2020 (compared to a smaller ratings decline for unscented candles).
The hypothesis is that some of these buyers have lost their sense of smell due to Covid-19 infections and that’s showing up in the ratings.
— Speculation: Scented Candle Ratings Down Due to Covid-19 Loss of Smell, Jason Kottke
2020-11-21In this second lockdown it’s all suddenly become about long walks and big cooks. Emma’s been walking for a dozen miles at a time through a river of wild spaces in South London called the Green Chain Walk. I’ve been churning through the cookbooks that I’ve been picking at until now, mostly neglecting. Successes lately have been gyoza, massaman curry, drunken noodles, Tuscan bean soup with homebaked bread. Fridays are for film night.
Pubs in London with outdoor heaters
2020-10-28I was forwarded a PDF that began life as a Google Doc, before it was overwhelmed by demand. Crowd-sourced, guerrilla resources often spring up like this in times of difficulty. Perhaps I should be less surprised at how quickly Londoners have acted to work out where to get a pint without exposing yourself to the virus or the freezing cold. PDFs are notoriusly inconvenient to quickly reference, so I’m mirroring here.
2020-10-25I was locked down for two weeks, so when I got out I wanted to make the most of the autumn leaves. Dulwich Woods are only ten minutes awawy but they were new to me The residential neighbourhood is heavily planted too Most of the time though, I’m back inside. I saw On The Rocks with Rashina Jones and Bill Murray after I listened to the Big Picture episode about Sofia Coppola.
2020-10-12I’ve been placed into self-isolation, it’s been three days now. A friend of mine who I saw last week got a test after some very low level symptoms and he tested positive. He feels horribly guilty for the cluster of people around him who are now in self-isolation, which goes to show how much of this situation has been laid on the consciences of individual people, wrongly. I’ve been doing okay so far.