Carrying out a pen audit
Alex and I are expecting a baby!
Arriving December 2020.
It’s a Tactical Nuclear Penguin kind of evening.
We have reached this stage of the lockdown
We spent this afternoon doing something nice. Katie Paterson exhibition at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art.
Our first wedding anniversary.
Sushi time! 🍣 Thanks Mr Waitrose.
Perks of the job. Today I had a short impromptu tour of the Royal Observatory, Edinburgh on a crisp sunny winter’s morning.
Making a New World — Field Music at Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum last night.
Doing some very important A/B testing.
Trying out the new pub near our flat. My cocktail came with chocolate coins!
Today I’ve received a timely letter from the former leader of the Liberal Democrats. To give you a flavour, here’s the end of it.
Received two big leaflets from our local Labour MP. But you have to get the microscope out to find out which party he’s from. Maybe it’s to practice looking for their votes.
Also, zero mention of Brexit-enabling Jeremy Corbyn.
We did it. We ordered BrewDog hybrid burgers.
Not bad! Tastier than they look. The vegan cheese is impressively good. The matcha buns don’t taste much like matcha. Wouldn’t get it again, but fun once.
Having fun with big black spaghetti
Since I was a child I’ve been intrigued by what lay behind the mysteriously secretive railings of Queen Street Gardens, one of Edinburgh New Town’s many private gardens.
Normally you need to be a resident of a neighbouring street to obtain a key to the gates. But for one weekend a year, on Doors Open Day, the gates are thrown open to the wider public.
Well, one of the gates is. When we arrived at the south side of Queen Street Gardens’ eastern district, we found it locked as normal. Walking further, we found a sign informing us to enter at the opposite side, at Abercromby Place. You mustn’t make it too easy to enter, after all.
Among the interesting things to see are the Nissen hut, originally used as a bomb shelter and now used as a shed.
At the other end is the Temple of Pluto, a 1980s structure designed to disguise a gas pressure regulating station.
The central garden was also open. Most notable here is the pond and island, which is said to have inspired Robert Louis Stevenson (who, as a child, lived on the adjacent Heriot Row) to write Treasure Island.
Please ring the what?!
Good morning. This is the view from our room for the next few days.
It would be great if smart replies were actually smart.
Jarv Is… Yes yes yes yes
Continuum — Bridget Riley — on exhibition at the Scottish National Gallery.
It’s Bridget Riley’s only ever 3D work. Entering inside it, I perhaps understood why. It wasn’t quite tall enough to fully immerse me.
I highly recommend you visit this if you can. It is a very comprehensive exhibition of her career, spanning more than 70 years, including paintings from this year.
The room containing her black-and-white works of the 1960s are of course a highlight. I am constantly in awe of how these static paintings can appear to be moving at great speed.
But I was also fascinated by the room containing her studies, where you can see her working out how to create these incredible mind-bending paintings.
White chocolate Coco Pops are the greatest/worst invention because it looks just like you’re eating Rice Krispies.
Narrator: These toilets are not regularly inspected.
I do enjoy the Ikea-style assembly instructions included when you buy a fancy Radiohead / Thom Yorke record.
Graffiti aubergines. More expensive than aubergines. Taste exactly like aubergines. 5/5 would hipster again. 🍆
Watching the 24 Hours of Le Mans = having the big cafetiere to myself.
If you’re for the UK remaining in the EU, vote Liberal Democrat 🔶
The Liberal Democrats are the only party who have always committed to the UK remaining united with our neighbours in the EU.
The European Parliament may not have oversight of Brexit. But if you’re a remainer, you can’t afford to vote for Labour or the Conservatives. If you do, they will count your vote as a mandate for their unworkable and disastrous Brexit.
After the Tories lost over 1,300 seats in this month’s local elections, Theresa May and Labour interpreted it as a pro-Brexit vote:
I think there has been a very clear message from people to both main parties that they want us to get on and deliver Brexit, so I welcome comments from Jeremy Corbyn that he thinks we should be working to ensure we can deliver a deal.
This shows us how crystal clear we need to be in the message we send.
And before someone suggests voting for the SNP or the Greens, remember they want to take us out of the UK — which would automatically take us out of the EU — and would be even worse than Brexit anyway.
When did you last sharpen your pencil in public?
It just so happened that my passport needed to be renewed this month. So I’ll have this burgundy European Union document for the next 10 years.
I had a fabulous day at the Service Design Academy bootcamp yesterday.
It’s part of the PDA in Service Design. I never thought I’d be a student again. But I’m loving the opportunity to get stuck in and get talking to like-minded peers from other organisations.
It’s great to be back in Dundee again too! Looking forward to seeing what day two has in store.
Happy new year from Sweden!
Barns Ness Lighthouse.
From a few days ago.
The newly issued half-speed remastered edition of Brian Eno’s Ambient 1 / Music for Airports is very welcome.
The CD version I bought about 15 years ago sounded rather poor quality, with a distracting tape hiss running throughout. A bit frustrating when it’s one of the greatest and most important pieces of music of the 20th century.
It was a bit of a mystery to me why some other Brian Eno albums got this lavish remaster treatment first. The new version is spread across 2 LPs of heavyweight vinyl, played at 45rpm. This means each track luxuriously has its own side.
I don’t know much about the science of remastering techniques. But there’s no doubt to me that this sounds fantastic.
I’ve never been so pleased to hear a remastered album. The tape hiss is all but obliterated, and there are lots of details I hadn’t heard before.
40 years on from its original release, one of the most pleasing pieces of music now sounds almost perfect.
I’ve been writing an article that I’ve been thinking about for well over a year. Upon writing it, it’s turned out to be surprisingly short. So I turned to my two favourite block-busters — and they both told me to do things I was thinking about doing anyway.
Oblique Strategies told me to tidy up.
Blockbox said write it on a train.
This time last week, I ran the Edinburgh MoRun 5k with my friend and colleague Lauren Tormey. For a few hours only, I had a moustache. Definitely not my best look!
This is the first time I’ve entered a race. To my surprise, I finished 24th out of the 293 that entered the 5k race, with a time of 24:29. Not bad! Although I rather suspect this is because the serious runners had entered the 10k race. Or perhaps it was the aerodynamic benefits of having a moustache.
The route was the main road around Arthur’s Seat — a hilly route with 106 metres of climbing. So it felt pretty good to do my fastest run of the year here, as well as getting personal best times for a mile, a kilometre and a half kilometre (on the downhill bits of course, but still…).
To step up the challenge, people are suggesting I should start doing 10k runs. I’m not sure if I’m up for running regular 50 minute sessions to train for this… but watch this space.
It’s a dream come true — I’ve finally won HQ Trivia.
…But it was a true team effort thanks to the help of Rebecca, Alex, Louise and Jamie. The drinks are on me… Which leaves me about a tenner out of pocket.
Failed on the first banana I tried.