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Greetings from an English Summer...
[Above:] Tom, me, Dave, plus a guy who jumped into the photo because he is a fellow Tilley hat wearer and that now makes us family. Or at least part of the same tribe. It’s the same healthy cult-like-brand-loyalty you get from the likes of VW, Land Rover or Brompton owners. (Photo taken just after watching the Stereophonics and Johnny Marr.)]
I’ve been outdoors a lot and feel I’ve really had a decent dose of summer. We may not have peaked in regards to the heat, but this season will be over before you know it, so I plan make the most of it.
The highlight this week for me was getting a text message from my old friend Dave stating he knew where there was a spare ticket for the Pearl Jam gig in Hyde Park. I jumped on the motorbike, blasted (rode responsibly) into London, parked for free a few minutes walk from the gig and finally got to see a band I’ve been waiting 30 years to see live.
Pearl Jam were a huge part of the 90’s for me, but up until now I’ve never been close to where they were touring and there be tickets left.
When I first listened properly to the song Alive I was 19. Driving home in my Peugeot 205 listening to a new CD as Eddie Vedder sang…
"Son," she said, "have I got a little story for you
What you thought was your daddy was nothing but a...
While you were sittin' home alone at age thirteen
Your real daddy was dyin'
Sorry you didn't see him, but I'm glad we talked"
Moments after slamming the car door and heading inside my Mother almost repeated the words verbatim.
“Christian. There is something I have to tell you. Your dad isn’t your real Dad. You real Dad has died.”
She had just got a phone call from some new Grandparents I never knew I had, and they were waiting to meet me.
And so a defining time in my life began. A sudden realisation. A discovery that would have me question and redefine who I thought I was. Bookmarked by that song and a coincidence.
It wasn’t until many years later that I read Eddie was singing about a moment in his own life. And the song meant all the more to me.
So yes. It was a wonderful moment to be stood there. Getting to not only hear, but also see and experience one of the soundtracks of my life.
Most of my years of travelling were over land. There were a few short hops from Thailand to India and back. Or a long hop to Australia. But with these distance abolishing forms of transport, where you climb into a flying tube, wait for a bit and then climb out, it didn’t feel like in that bit of the trip I was travelling. I went to Australia and travelled when I got there. Today I meet people who forget that life is also a journey. Rather than travelling it. They are just waiting to get to the end.
Alan Watts says it best.
The Lab of Misfits discuss similar.
Thanks to @SimFin for sending this video and have me dream all kinds of sell-everything-and-move-into-the-middle-of-nowhere dreams.
I might have been the first person to drop a donation into Jason Scott aka @Textfiles and his shoutout for Archive.org/donate. I tried to donate in bitcoin but I need to wait 24 hours for ‘security reasons’. So I PayPal’d. As promised Jason gave a shoutout.
If you happen to have time to share his tweet you’d be doing us both a favour. ;-)
We are apparently ageing slower than those that came before us.
Back in 2020 I wrote a five part mini series entitled Better Mobile Photography.
The same year I also posted on podcasting. In Ep1 we asked What is a podcast and why make one? In Ep2 we looked at format tone and finding your style. In Ep3 we covered audio capture and tone. In Ep4 we looked at how to write for you podcast. In Ep5 we covered interview techniques & in Ep6 we looked at audio archiving & an intro to editing. All these bonus posts and more are available to you for less than the price of a beer a month.
And don’t forget supporting subscribers also get access to some cosy little groups active on the free version of Wire.com. If you are into whisky, weird beers, cycling, audio blogging, body and mind, motorbiking, card and board games, stock trading, crypto, Seesmic journalism or the Backchannel, add me Documentally on Wire and I can add you to a group of your choosing.
If you have not yet heard the ‘Feel Better Live More’ podcast from Dr Chatterjee then start from the beginning. You are in for a treat. It just might change your life or at least the way that you live.
Rebecca Vocal Athlete reacts to Pearl Jam’s ‘Black’. Another song that made me cry when I heard it live.
I have to take my hat off to James Hoffmann. I’ve shared his videos before and I never thought i’d see this brilliant little test. He does these kind of things so we don’t have to.
I’ve dropped Amazon links above but both these coffees are cheaper in Waitrose.
James states the obvious that instant is a far cry from most fresh ground coffee. Not just in taste but in ethical production. Farmers get a better deal selling beans but the runner up Percol is on a mission to be more sustainable and winner Little’s are a family run British company focused on sustainable sourcing and packaging.
If you read issue  you will be fully aware of my passion for the tase and associated ritual my morning coffee brings. I’ve been as passionate about freshly ground coffee as I am at avoiding instant. But after viewing James’s video I wanted to see how far instant coffee has come from that last bitter cup of acrid Nescafe I had many years ago. I really didn’t want to like instant in any shape or form but I was surprised. It turns out instant has come a long way.
Both of these fall short of a decent bean-to-cup but they certainly make a passable black coffee. The nasty aftertaste I always remember has gone. The Little’s for me is head and shoulders above the Percol which itself is better than any Nescafe I remember. Especially if you add a splash of milk.
After grinding some beans for show, but surreptitiously delivering a cup of instant to two coffee loving friends, neither of them realised the switch and were more than happy with the offering.
The Little’s Colombian and its smooth nutty notes is I think as good as any instant coffee could be. It’s that good I’m thinking that maybe instead of packing all my coffee making paraphernalia when camping light or traveling, perhaps a small tub of these grounds will do. They would taste great outside a bivy on a misty morning. Or as a replacement to those plastic coated coffee bags I sometimes use in cheap hotels. Up until now I’d always choose a cup of tea over instant coffee. But instant coffee has evolved, as has my enjoyment of it.
It’s been a few months since I made a batch of yoghurt. I think finding the right probiotics for your diet is important but I have no idea if the bacteria in my live yoghurt will balance or hinder my gut biome. I just love yoghurt on my cereal in the morning.
My crockpot can do about 8 pints but the last few uses of it have been either me making chilli or curries. As a matter of course, before starting to heat the milk, I drop a lemon slice and some water inside and set the steamer to get rid of any residual smells or flavours. Or at least that’s the plan. After steam cleaning and then the 10 hours of the Crockpot doing it’s thing, the yoghurt I decanted had a hint of vegetable chilli. It’s not a yoghurt flavour I think will catch on. A dash of vanilla essence in one jar and some chopped dried banana and honey in another makes for a passable masking of the chilli but not enough for my daughter.
Despite the bonus of having 8 pints of yoghurt all to myself, a quick online search revealed that the silicon seal in the lid can store flavours over time. On taking it out I could smell it had been infused and after following the instructions on this site, an hour in vinegar was enough to purify it.
I might wait till I do my next batch of yoghurt as I have more then enough to keep me going for now. Although it might get used it to make some slow cooked sweet potato curry.
Got this WooZoo fan in the shed right now. [Amzn link] It was a gift and is amazing.
For the amount of air it pushes with it’s deep blades it super quiet. Not sure the remote is essential but it’s certainly handy. Best fan for the money IMO. Unless you know of better?
I must thank the paying subscribers that pay $5/month to get all the content I share into this feed. There are many hundreds of you that I still hope can upgrade. No pressure though. I’m also open to the occasional free email being sponsored. In fact I’m chatting with a company who are doing interesting things and might be a decent match. Or if you can’t support with a little money each month perhaps share.
I don’t have the app. I did. For a day. Too addictive. I now rely on Twitter showing me things from TikTok.
Thankyou Andrew Paul Koole for adding yourself to the Documentally community map :-)
Some good tips on how better to use your tech.
Curator Hou-mei Sung at the Cincinnati Art Museum discovered covered a 16th century mirror was hiding a secret.
Thanks for reading, and sharing. I’m off to the theatre now. To jealously watch someone talk about an adventure they had.
Don’t forget that you can like or reply to this email. Or leave a comment. That I can run workshops on story telling, podcasting, narrative stratergy etc.
Over the next few days, stay cool, wear sunscreen, take some time out just for you and make someone happy.
Worship the music, not the musicians. ~ Eddie Vedder
See you out there.