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Time binder 
Greetings from the shed...
Nothing but interesting times.
This is a tough one to write. Not because I’m sad. Because I’m a little worried I don’t feel sad enough. Does anyone else feel the same way?
As someone who can get sentimental over the smallest things, I totally understand the ‘end of an era’ feeling. I’m feeling it myself. She was an icon after all.
I have paused and felt sadness at the death of celebrities before. (I know. Weird word to use but hear me out…) Those people who drop by my living room and entertain, educate or inspire. It might be I wished I could meet them, but if I didn’t know them, the feeling of loss quickly passed.
If ‘celebrity is a condition of fame and broad public recognition as a result of the attention given to them by mass media’ I feel Queen Elizabeth is the most famous of all celebrities. [Discuss]. Even if she doesn’t appear on any of the ‘top ten celebrities in the world’ lists.
Along with Morecambe and Wise, the cast of Magpie, John Wayne and Jesus, the Queen was one of the first celebrities in my life. Things will certainly be different in some circles. But for most of us who live long enough, she will eventually be relegated to a “do remember where you were?” moment.
Personally we were eating salmon wellington with vegetables. A phone beeped, my wife cried, the kids looked momentarily bemused, and my first thought was that it was a shame she didn’t make 100 years old. And then I wondered, is that the job of Charles now? And if I ever made it to 100 who might I get a letter from… William? Or might King Charles III (who I think will miss a trick not going with his middle name of Arthur) revamp the monarchy in some way and no one get a letter?
The Internet, as well as friend circles were immediately filled with not just feelings of condolence and remembrance, but also angst and loathing for the monarchy. I’ve not seen Twitter this varied in un-general consensus for a long while. If ever.
I have no idea what you are feeling. I have sat with enough of the dying that I actually knew and loved, to not feel the same for those I didn’t. Forgive me if I sound cold but 96 years on this earth is truly a gift. I felt more sadness at the news that Harry didn’t make it to the bedside in time. But i’d feel that way for any person unable to say a final goodbye to their grandmother.
I never met the Queen. Or perhaps I did and never realised. As a photographer I met her Mum, Charles and Zara. And I met Diana buying sausages in Dersingham.
The closest I came to meeting the Queen was one night in Windsor Castle when some new friends and I drank the honour bar dry. Allegedly we were the first to manage that since records began. She was a most excellent albeit invisible host. With a great taste in wine. And what an amazing story.
The picture at the top of this email was again used by me entering a prompt into MidJourney and modifying the outcome. I used ‘A country mourns for the queen’.
Thanks to Geo for sending me this great video on finishing stuff. It’s filled with handy creative workflow tips and got me back into the Pomodoro technique. It also got me thinking that there might not be that much difference between writing a book and a email. A book is just a really long email right?…
I can neither confirm or deny any past or present involvement in the SSOSVA
The dramatic announcement last week was not only intended to force my hand. It was also to force my mind. Which is where my will hides. Saying these things can apparently make them happen, and I must say, I do feel different.
After writing that post I hardly slept a wink. It wasn’t the thunder and lightning outside that had me staring in the flickering dark. It was the thunder and lightning in my brain as thoughts crashed together. With every flash I’d roll over and jot down an idea.
A stream of encouragement came in through email, DM’s, messaging apps and comments. And I thank you for that. From the bottom of my heart. I had loads of books recommended to me. Too many to mention here so I will drop out an in depth list with links in another email.
As you can see in the photo above I have over 10,000 words already in the bank. Most of these words were first written down 23 years ago. I’m just deciphering them from the scrawl in my journals and doing a light edit for clarity.
I have decided to not pursue a single book idea, but start fleshing out all my half baked thoughts as I dig out long lost story fragments. From travel journals, diaries, letters, emails, conversations with friends and old audio recordings. If I gather together these little stories I might have enough for a short collection. But who knows. The way things are going something bigger might emerge.
I’m certainly thinking of revisiting people and places. Especially as the journals are releasing small clues to things I thought lost.
I think Quillbot offers more than it delivers.
The words on the left are mine. The words on the right are the ‘polished’ words of an A.I.
My cousin sent me a link to the new album from Rings of Saturn. It has a tech death 80’s prog metal feel and quite a shift from their older stuff. It also has some terrible reviews but I quite like it.
Last week I shared a cover of Black’s Wonderful life. It resonated with a few people. I had no idea that he died in a car crash in 2016. Here is a video that was made for his memorial service. And my favourite ‘unplugged’ version of the song.
Just realised having dropped down a rabbit hole that the version of ‘One for sorrow, two for joy’ I always remember comes from the title credits of one of my favourite TV shows as a kid. Magpie.
I love what Jack Monroe does. You may remember me mentioning her first book back in 2019. The other day while wondering if I should head out on the bike I spotted this tweet…
I was intrigued to know where such an affordable fried snack could be found, so commented this and Jack responded with this tweet. So no secrets shared there. Turns out it was a kids battered sausage. Makes sense as when I headed out on the bike to find similar I soon discovered battered sausages in Cambridgeshire only come in one size and the buttered bun, battered sausage and pickled egg will set you back £3.40. Here is my video response. And in the name of science here is the one I bought to try.
I continued my bike ride to get at least two more chippies in. Just to price and not to taste. I can tell you that Barney‘s place in Huntingdon charges £4.60 and Riverside in Godmanchester doesn’t do pickled eggs (how dare they?) and charges £3.50 for just a battered sausage in a roll.
I’m quite selective around my sporadic meat eating experiences and have not been able to stomach a battered sausage in a long while. Jack is on to something here though. The pickled egg cuts through the grease that would otherwise leave me queasy, and it made for a very tasty snack.
This is what a clear out of the garage looks like.
These are some of the things I’ll be selling on eBay in order to extend my savings. That’s what we are living off while I’m doing more writing than paid working. Now is probably the best time ever to take out a supporting subscription. If you do I promise to read you some of what I’m writing. Here is that »LINK« again
I found it fascinating what a lock picking fanatic carries in his pocket every day. This is what the very capable Lockpicking Lawyer carries.
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The oldest living actors and celebrities.
Looks like the physical book wins again.
Are you on the Documentally community map?
The growing concern over street light surveillance.
At time of writing the entire cast of Magpie are still alive.
Virtual power plants are not new but this new wave is catching on.
An interesting long read wondering if King Arthur was a real person.
Thanks for reading. All my plans this weekend appear to be cancelled. Whatever you are or aren’t up to, do it with passion.
“For me, heaven is likely to be a bit of a come-down.” Queen Elizabeth II
See you out there.