atomicules

Push propelled program tinkerer and picture maker.

Two Frozen Duck Ponds

Just to demonstrate how hard I found it to read Orlando, I've already finished reading The Catcher in the Rye and The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle after finishing Orlando - which I started just after Christmas.

The Catcher in the Rye was one on My List. I'd actually remained in complete ignorance of the plot so had no idea what it would be like. It was pretty gripping, easy to read and with good toilet sized chapters (key quality of all good books). I spent the book excited to find what was going to happen... and then it ended.

The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle was a more recent addition to My List. It was utterly enthralling and I spent the book excited to find what was going to happen (and even more excited to see if I'd start understanding what was going on). I think it is mostly wrapped up at the last possible minute.

What I didn't anticipate was that the books would be linked, and not as trivially as it seems, by ducks. Fitting (for me. And here).

Such A Revelation

"And it was to each such a revelation that a woman could be as tolerant and free-spoken as a man, and a man as strange and subtle as a woman..."

Orlando by Virginia Woolf

On it's own that could probably be taken out of context. Here's a better understanding of that bit and the whole novel.

Dark Spaces Between

"For some time the dark spaces between the lamps had been becoming brighter and the lamps themselves less bright."

Orlando by Virginia Woolf

I can't really explain why, but I like this sentence.

Clothes That Wear Us

"Thus, there is much to support the view that it is clothes that wear us and not we them; we may make them take the mould of arm or breast, but they mould our hearts, our brains, our tongues to their liking."

Orlando by Virginia Woolf

That Silence Is More Profound

"That silence is more profound after noise still wants the confirmation of science."

Orlando by Virginia Woolf

Steadily making my way through Virginia Woolf's books. This is the most normally written I've read of her novels so far*, but by far the hardest I've found to read; I think perhaps because I couldn't gauge what it was meant to be† - as per usual I left reading the notes and accompanying introduction‡ until afterwards to experience the book as is. I think that was a mistake. If read at the time of publication you'd more likely have had some knowledge of Virgina Woolf's life and social circles and therefore understood and enjoyed the novel a lot more - It made a lot more sense to me after reading the introduction and learning about her friendship with Vita Sackville-West.

I'm now on an interlude of a couple of more modern, none Virginia Woolf, novels, but then I want to read To The Lighthouse. A lot.

* - A Room of One's Own doesn't count since not a novel. This is similar ly written since a faux biography.

† - I couldn't gauge whether comedy, fantasy or serious; Actually a bit of all of them.

‡ - The swanky edition I have is almost half notes and companion text and it's better for it.

LINK: 1977 The Love Album

State Of Their Own Affections

"...there is nothing people are so often deceived in, as the state of their own affections..."

Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen

True.

People That Marry

"People that marry can never part, but must go and keep house together. People that dance, only stand opposite each other in a long room for half an hour."

Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen

Didn't really get going for me until the end and then it ended. Perhaps I should have gone for Lady Susan instead? Love this quote though.

End of Year Review

I'm not saying things are perfect, but if I don't do it this year who knows when I'll next get to (See footnote). This year started off just as shit as last year, then got even worse, then was ok again, then was AMAZING and then settled to good.

I'm just sulking a bit really having had that brief glance of a stress free life and haven't come to terms with that it is a LOT LOT better than last year, but can't be as good as I glimpsed.

Push

Almost did this and then stopped cycling altogether. Meant to have a few months off, but it's now looking like it'll be a year since I can afford to be a fair weather cyclist; it might actually be over FOREVER if I think of it in terms of actually affording it: I spent about £65 on a pair of running shoes when I decided to have a break from cycling and they are easily going to last me a year. I just can't see me being allowed to spend the money I need to on my bicycle for what will now be a "hobby" seeing as how incredibly tight my budget was when I was arguably cycling for (to) a living.

On the running front I achieved what I wanted to do: Learnt to run 5k without crippling myself and then ran 10k. Unsure next year whether to work on running further or faster.

Program

I started the year off as a good open-source maintainer on Oysttyer and Simplenote.vim/py and ended the year as a bad maintainer. It's utterly bizarre that I used to write more code when I didn't work in software/technology; There has been a tonne of stuff to learn though.

On that note though: finally! Officially; I do feel as though those years of tinkering have paid off.

Part of the reason for my drop off in maintainership (I'm not intending it to be permanent) is that when I did find time for personal projects in the latter half of this year I decided to be selfish and spent time getting to grips (ish) with Haskell again and got this little project working again - it ain't pretty, but I am happy I managed to get it going again.

Picture

For the first time in six years managed to shoot a roll of film and get it developed in the same calendar year. Amazing. True.

Spent so long not doing it though that I don't feel back in the swing of it yet.

Prose

(I've actually thought about wrangling further Ps into my website instead of using owtelse. Can't quite bring myself to do it though).

The youngest is still out reading me, by far, by volume, but I made a good effort this year to catch up on a backlog of classics and modern-classics from my list:

  • Anna Karenina
  • Mrs. Dalloway
  • A Room of One's Own
  • Wuthering Heights
  • To Kill a Mockingbird
  • The Waves
  • A Modern Mephistopheles
  • Northanger Abbey (almost finished this)

Quite a few Virgina Woolf books - I like her; I already have another lined up for the start of next year.

Phonographic

In a year that saw LOADS of famous musicians pass away there was also a huge amount of great music released. This year I have very much enjoyed:

  • Gurr - Moby Dick
  • Honeyblood - Ready for the Magic
  • tc - Hold On Mind blowingly good
  • DBFC - Autonomic
  • Slaves - Fit but you know it (Streets cover) Not on the album, but good all the same
  • Beyond the Wizard's Sleeve - Creation
  • All Tvvins - Darkest Ocean
  • De La Soul - Royalty Capes
  • Kate Tempest - Don't fall in
  • M83 - Go!
  • Boxed In - Jist
  • Ladyhawke - Wild things
  • Friction - DARE (Hold it down)
  • Primal Scream - 100% Or Nothing

I've picked just one song from each, but I liked more. Gurr's was my album of the year.

Plans

After this year (and actually every year since I graduated thinking I knew what I wanted to do) I have given up making plans. I am just along for the ride. 99% of life is down to luck. You can make yourself feel better and work-hard (should that suit your mentality, like mine) and believe that the last 1% is having an influence, but it isn't really. So no plans beyond carrying on listening to music, going running, reading, taking photos, learning - a lot of learning.

And that's it. I wonder if I'll be writing one of these next year? The last time I felt things were positive enough to warrant an end of year review was for the year 2010.


[EDIT: 2017-01-14] Did this come off sounding more negative than I meant? The fact that I even wrote it shows how good things are. Also: I no longer have to eat porridge made with water everyday! How did I forget to add that! That alone is a great thing.

Honeyblood - Babes Never Die

Ooh... I was worried I'd spoken too soon because this is AWESOME. But I'm still going to stick with Gurr. Just.

  1. I like that they have a track called Intro and a track called Outro; I see what you did there and much respect.
  2. Babes Never Die - thought it was a bit too poppy when I first heard it, but love it now. Sing along and then sing along again.
  3. Ready for the Magic - Just amazing. Even better than Sea Hearts. Love this x1000. I recently got Babes in Toyland Fontanelle for the youngest because she expressed an interest (and I love that album too, but only have it on tape), I couldn't recall it being too sweary (not L7 after all), but let's just say she's having to keep it until she's a bit older. This Honeyblood track however (which she hasn't heard yet) will fill the gap nicely.
  4. Sea Hearts. C'est très Fantastique.
  5. Love is a Disease - It's good, but mostly I listen this just to get to:
  6. Walking at Midnight - Dark and haunting. Or perhaps twilight and spooky as it's not too dark? Way, way different than Ready for the Magic, but pure sublime.
  7. Sorry I just go back to 2 and repeat. They aren't bad tracks from here, it's just that I already want to go back and listen to all those ones again.

This has been a shit year for musicians, Leonard Cohen, the latest of a long line, passed away today, but there has been some amazing music released this year.


[EDIT:2016-11-12] Forgot to say: the drummer is fucking amazing.

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