Like tears in rain [184]

Greetings from a small room...

Happy Blade Runner Day.

Thankyou for opening this email. You have so many and yet you are here.

And there has been a flurry of new people. Welcome.

I’d also like to thank a couple of old friends who are new supporting subscribers getting all emails and audio... @GiaGia and @JohnPopham. Check out Gia’s latest exhibition here... There’s some background to it here.

And John would be eternally grateful if you would check out his YouTube channel and subscribe.


I looked in my diary this week and was surprised to see the last time I went for a run appears to be the 19th September. Last year. That explains a lot.

We are nowhere near the December slowdown and I’ve been feeling bloated, awkward and overweight. I’m back in my old jeans. I love my old jeans but I preferred it when I could slide them off without undoing them. When a belt was a must till the waistline needed to be folded and I had to go out and buy newer, slimmer, un-lived in jeans.

So rather than punish my now heavy frame with a knee grinding run I thought I try cycling. Not on my Brompton though. The Brompton is for fun. For taking anywhere. Especially the pub. I needed something exercise focused. Something lean, simple and more stable at higher speeds. So I bought myself a road bike.

It takes a bit of getting used to. The last time I rode anything like this it was called a racer. First ride out was just over 9 miles in 38 mins. I’ll be sharing on Strava when I remember. I’m on there as ‘Documentally’ if you want to pity my progress.

The rest of the week was fireworks, the opera (Nutcracker) and ‘Trick or Treating’.

That was fun.

Although I may have traumatised a young kid who came to the door. I doubt he was expecting a hoodied middle aged dude in a respirator wrestling an angry dog who hates tiny zombies.


How was your Halloween?

Considering the size of the sensors I’m always amazed what is possible with phone photos today. Here is some fascinating insight into the current state of computational photography and what our devices do in order to get the shot. The article is also an advert for the app Halide which I haven’t used but have heard good things about.

This is pretty cool. Volume up.

I watched Joker this week. If you haven’t seen it but want to, don’t watch the trailer.

I watched it without expectations. I want to say I really enjoyed it, but it was so dark that feels like a weird thing to say. True but weird. It’s a movie that will stay with me. That I will watch again. Joaquin Phoenix is so good. So good.

There are no heroes here. Just darkness. And a grim retro reality that was beautifully sad and probably too real for some.


There’s a hill near me. Dotted with wind turbines and higher than anything else as far as the eye can see. Living in the flat lands, I try to drive up and over with the CB on. Just to see what might pop up. With the radio set to scan the channels, you can occasionally grab a snippet of conversation.

Earlier this week I was in the car with my 10 year and although it was a mile out of the way we headed home over the hill. For the minute we drove along the brow, the radio crackled into life with the voices of two elderly gentlemen. They were feint and faded in and then out again. All we got before we lost signal was this…

Old man: “….go well?”

Older man: “…….a lady. They gave me a lady.”

Old man: “Really‽”

Older man: Yes everything checked out but I realised I’m 82 years old and that’s the first time a lady has held my testicles.”

My lad asked what they were talking about. I was smiling and shrugged “A trip to the doctors I think.”

Here is a free font inspired by Greta Thunberg’s handwriting.

You can download it here.


If you are a paying subscriber you have access to the supporter only podcast feed where this week I talked about recording for video interviews and my excitement over the newly released Rode NTG5.

Another classic podcast from Jonathan Goldstein. Episode 27 of of Heavyweight entitled ‘Scott’ and the story could be explained in a sentence. I much prefer it as this undulating narrative arc filled with lovely moments.

I have binged the Science Vs podcast this week. At least six episodes if not more. If you have never heard it try this… Science Vs Exercise.

I learn something new in every episode.

What you up to tomorrow?

Do any of you even have a CB or HAM Radio?


A family member once told me of their relief when the doctor reassured them that they were not going to bleed out through their urethra.

Like me all that’d happened was they’d eaten a whole jar of beetroot in a day.

It’s an interesting experiment should you partake. Of course I chose Halloween.

Revolutionise the way you eat eggs.


Lots of ‘things’ this week.

As I mentioned, I bought a bike on eBay. Ebay made me do it.

I saw a notification at breakfast telling me that a bike i’d looked at was nearly up so with seconds to go I put in a bid much lower than the ‘buy it now’ price. I only did it for the adrenalin. There were a few bidding on it and it was still climbing as I hit the button.

I know I’m looking for a bike but I didn’t expect to get this one. I hadn’t looked at the size or where it was.

Luckily it’s the perfect size and was only 40 mins drive away. So for at the price of a meal out, I’m now the proud owner of a single speed Dolan FXE AL.

I’m really enjoying it. I’ve also shed a little weight. Although that might be the five days off alcohol. [I’m making up for it now Cheers!]

For those into bikes it has… Alpina Carbon forks / Aplina headset / Miche Primato Advanced Chainset 49t - 170mm / 18t Shimano freewheel / Halo Areorace track wheelset / Continental Grand Prix 4 seasons tires / Shimano 105 brakes / SRAM S900 Carbon Brake levers / Look Keo 2 Max Pedals which I swapped out / an Alipna seatpost with Charge seat and at time of purchase two water bottle cages. I’ve since swapped one out for this folding bike lock.

And after not enough research on pedals I bought these on

They look and feel great but wow are they sharp. If I do suffer a shin scrape i’ll expect those studs to get to the bone.

My friend Geo Geller and I are planning ways of protecting his 20+ TB documentary archive. He has photos, videos and audio precariously stored on a tower of hard drives. If lost, stolen or corrupted this will mean the loss of the majority of his life’s work.

Ideally I’d like to buy this 2 bay NAS with two of these 10 gig drives in. And for maximum security i’d need two of them. But they are £675 each set up which is a bit much for me to splash out before the end of the year. If you know of any really affordable secure data storage options please let me know.

I’m looking at Wasabi for cloud storage of some archival footage. But attaching the NAS to a computer and using Backblaze is probably a cheaper option. If Backblaze can keep operating at those prices. Seems too cheap to be sustainable.

The arrival of a new phone triggers the hand-me-down cascade as everyone else in the family also gets to update their phone. God knows how long till everything thing is working as it should do. Even though I did the phone to phone transfer there is a lot of re-downloading, encrypted conversation backup and re-entry of two factor security codes.

Obviously a new phone means a new phone case. Nothing complicated. Just something that will hopefully protect it. Lost count of how man times I dropped my iPhoneX.

It’s too early to let you know my thoughts but so far i’m happy. I’ll share some photos into the subscriber email next week.


  • Whenever I want to feel better about my own shoddy internet connection I read about the state of fiber roll out in the US.

  • Modern slavery on the open web.

  • If you are a journalist reporting on some the darker stories around the world check out the They can not only assist you in doing more ethical and thorough reporting of trauma, they can also help you manage the effects when working in those environments.


Thanks for reading. There are some Amazon links in the above text. If you click on them to buy something I may (haven’t for many months) get a voucher.

Also… I think if you hit ‘like’ on this email it does something to an algorithm which might get me noticed by those that occasionally feature Substack writers.

If like me you think the like button messes with our brain chemistry then scream an angry “Nooooo!” when you hit it.

All of this is optional.

Let’s see what happens.

I’ll be sending next weeks email from Paris.

"Dear future generations: Please accept our apologies. We were rolling drunk on petroleum." ~ Kurt Vonnegut

Dance more,

See you out there.