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Our Man Inside  Last Words Are For Fools Who Haven't Said Enough.
Greetings from my shed...
A toast! (Pick one.)
Supping my first port the year. It's wasted on Christmas.
Thank you for being a part of 2017. A part of this newsletter.
Even if I miss writing it, I hope I don't miss you. We'll stay in touch right?
This might be a long one as I struggle to let go.
See if you can click all the links and go a little deeper than usual.
Mostly play, little work. Visited Foxton's locks illuminated canal boat festival and while there I got to play harmonica with the Hatstand Band.
Across the week I have managed a small percentage of Christmas shopping in independently owned stores. They are getting harder to find. Amazon is destined to crush those that are left.
On Tuesday I attended another meeting of the St Neots Detectorists club. It was a 'Finds night' This involved a throng of people turning up for a booze raffle, a table displaying the ‘finds’ since the last meet up and a load of grub supplied by the pub.
There was also an impromptu auction of some old metal detectors donated by a local dealer who is now suffering with ill health.
All proceeds went to the club and before I knew it I had bid on and won three retro detectors for a fiver.
I have two of them up and running but the last one requires a little more soldering.
I also supplied some imagery to the UK charity Pathway. They give healthcare to the homeless. Commissions for standalone photography make for less than 5% of my annual income but I find it can be a big chunk of my volunteer work. A few months ago a charity worker in London stopped me and thrust a flier in my face. It had one of my photographs on the front. I pointed it out and after a brief pause the guy continued with a desperate script designed for someone other than me.
You cannot give money to every charity but giving your time to a few is worth more than a stray quid here and there.
And speaking of a stray quid.
On Thursday this week I got the detector out while the kids were in the park. Found a few random objects in 20 mins. One was an old bullet casing. A slightly worrying object to find in a kids playground. Till I found out what it was. And it appears old corroded pound coins still work in parking meters.
Here are the 99 images that came before the one at the top of this newsletter.
I always captured a shot where I was writing the newsletter and on the whole the image includes whatever device I was writing on. There was a selfie in the pilot issue  but I can't find the original. Here is a compressed copy I found in my Tinyletter account.
More often than not i’m not typing on the keyboard but I'm triggering another camera with my phone. (Like in the image at the top.) Sometimes it was with my Apple watch and on very rare occasions i'd use the self-timer on the camera.
Trying to think of a shot to start the newsletter is the last thing I do. Sometimes it took a ridiculous amount of effort. I'd have to chase the light, find a tripod or camera, charge the camera, or struggle with focusing in low light. If I come back with a similar looking newsletter i'm not sure i'll include an intro selfie.
Baby Jesus stolen by young girl dressed as a sheep.
Click pic to view.
Micheal Moore shared this photo on Instagram. He called it.. "My poster of the 100 directors of the Best Picture of the Year for 100 years, 1916-2015."
He goes on to say.. "This is 100 years of abuse. Abuse = shutting down the voices of the majority gender so their stories don’t get told. This is the industry I work in. Shameful."
I bought this as a present but it's one of those present's you really want yourself. There's some wisdom in there that I believe and practise and quite a lot I'd like to.
The following short story is not by me. I stole it from David Charles. I'm sure he won't mind.
I have a huge back catalogue of Tim Ferriss podcasts that I may never get round to. They are long. Over an hour and sometimes two. They are often packed with ads and unedited rambling. Yet he has one of the biggest podcast audiences anywhere. Perhaps it's because of podcasts like this. It's a chat with Alice Little, one of the world's top earning sex workers. It's not one you want to listen to at work without headphones (unless you work in the industry ..or alone) and you will need a good 2hrs 24mins to listen to it all.
The run up to Christmas is less a run and more a bloated stumble for me.
Since spending two weeks on the boat my running has taken a hit and i'm lucky if I manage a jog once every 5 days. On top of a less than active life the house is now filled with delicacies that are slowly trying to kill me. There's no escape on trips out either. I went to visit the Italian side of my family and was gifted a batch of Chocolate Tiffin. It's delicious. I'd tell you over the last week I've eaten my bodyweight in it, but my bodyweight is increasing so fast it's hard to accurately gauge.
So far the wine that is wrapping up the year is of varying quality. But it's all more than quaffable. I will try to log everything on Vivino. Including the port I'm currently supping.
My kids asked for very little this year. Just like last year. Perhaps it's because we don't have a TV they are not primed with adverts. Anyway. I feel very lucky that they are happy with less than most. Even if the family will deliver more than they need. My lad asked for an app and some Ninjago Lego and my little girl wanted a bike. They will get that and more. I have bought a decent kids metal detector as they have shown a keen interest. More in the hunt for treasure than a thirst for knowledge though.
I dropped these links into a Christmas card this week sharing a few of the 'things' that have played a big part in this year.
The list looked like this:
Recharge your techI charge my Mac and tech with this… http://amzn.to/2BaIeFCI use these rechargeable batteries… http://amzn.to/2Bb2iIgRecharge your body This is what I use to grind my coffee… http://amzn.to/2B9hjKxThis is what I use to make my coffee… http://amzn.to/2yTp15AThis is what I use to carry my coffee… http://amzn.to/2AVJ0ChI open my wine with this… http://amzn.to/2CyZcKkRecordingI use these to cover the mics on my iPhone… http://amzn.to/2Bv2izKI record stereo sound into the iPhone with this… http://amzn.to/2B9FUyKIf I need a little extra light for video I use this… http://amzn.to/2yTKSd3SoundI listen to podcasts on these every day… http://amzn.to/2AVvDSNPersonalThis is the only deodorant I use… http://amzn.to/2BwLGHOOutdoorsA great budget head torch… http://amzn.to/2AVoCRKMy favourite multitools… http://amzn.to/2CXdS6K and this… http://amzn.to/2CXdS6K
Bought this as a gift for someone. It's a well done little book very much for grownups.
This is the most eye opening article I have read in a very long time. The brain is not like a computer. We are organisms, not computers.
An extract from an email I wrote this week...
The morning I decided to return from the East I had written an equation. I was laying in my hammock outside an isolated jungle house having woken from a plant fuelled dream. In my travel journal I wrote… Happiness = satisfaction/desires. I thought it meant that the secret of happiness lies not in the acquisition of more, but in discovering the capacity to enjoy what is.
Later I discovered that it might only work for people like me. It does not work for the oppressed and those suffering on the negative side of global inequality.
Much of what we see as privilege might actually be holding us back from experiencing these deeper truths. I’d like to feel that there will be more of a balance in the future. I’d like to work towards that goal.
I now think that happiness and the quality of your life will be determined by the quality of your relationships with friends and family.
I'd like to work on that too.
This is our community, our army. Lets keep it going. If you are not listed. Drop a pin.
The military is interested on demand 3D printed drones. Who wouldn't be?
Here is some on set walkie-talkie lingo should you ever need it.
What is it that Magic Leap actually does? Very little apparently.
I don't want a blue passport. I like the one I've got. I'll take a black one though.
Don't feel too down on 2017. It was certainly a weird one but some good things also happened.
So this is goodbye. For the time being. Looking forward to using my time a little differently. If I come back i'll potentially tweak things a bit. --> I tweeted a poll <-- asking what you would like me to do and most seem to think it should remain the same. I'll check it again later. Thanks for the retweets and likes earlier. It's hard to get people to see your hard work and after over 1100 saw that tweet one person signed up. Hi Sharon :-)
I've downed tools till the third of Jan but do have a day of consultation on the 29th. Have a great Christmas guys.
"Better to have a short life that is filled with what you like doing than a long life spent in a miserable way." ~ Alan Watts
I really enjoyed this. Thank you for reading...
If I don't see you in the feeds, see you out there.
Over... and out.
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Final thought from Carl.