June turned out to be a pretty good month, on the whole. Lots of stuff got done, and even though I didn’t read as much as I usually do, I made some progress in other arenas, so I’m not beating myself up about it.

Highlights of the Month

  • Not going abroad. I miss South Carolina, because it’s my favourite place in the world and every time I go there I feel happy to be alive, but it just takes too much out of me to go travelling regularly. Maybe next year, who knows?
  • Going to Sussex and spending a day talking about digital forensics careers at my old school.
  • A couple of things that made me realise how much I appreciate working with good clients whose ethics align with my own.

  • Finding a better route to walk to work. I’d been walking along Kensington High Street, which is one of the most polluted streets in the country, but I found a back way that includes fewer huge roads and more pretty houses. Like this one, whose door and plants I covet.

  • Rediscovering my love for London.

  • Having some very productive writing days.
  • Managing to remember that there are small joys in life even when I’m having a bad day.
  • Going to see my mother, which was surprisingly fun.
  • Buying a new washing machine that is also a tumble dryer, so I no longer have to live surrounded by laundry.
  • Drinking champagne with friends in my living room to celebrate one of them getting onto an MA course (congratulations Becky!).
  • Acquiring another beautiful antique cupboard, and therefore finally having somewhere to store my pile of notebooks.

  • Making some progress with the plans for DFRWS EU 2020, which will be held in Oxford, and which I am co-organising.
  • Seeing Lia more. ❤️
  • Hanging out in a hotel in South Kensington with a group of friends from the uni course I finished recently.
  • Finally catching up with Anna, whom I don’t see often enough.
  • Escaping London, driving to Brighton, and spending the hottest day of the year swimming in a blissfully cold sea.
  • Catching up with Lou, whom I somehow hadn’t seen for a year and a half.

Things That Worked Well 

  • The new route into work.
  • Novel writing. Turns out I work better if I have to write 7,500 words in a day than 5,000. Go figure. (This doesn’t actually surprise me all that much. I’ve always been good under pressure.)
  • Structuring the month so that I got every other weekend to myself, as chilling-out time, rather than overscheduling myself socially and then feeling exhausted at the start of each week.

Things That Didn’t Work So Well 

  • Swimming, for most of the month, although I finally did it on the second-to-last day, so I’m hoping that’ll remind me how much I enjoy it.

This Month I Walked… 

49.6 miles.

This Month I Swam… 

Finally! In the sea! And I loved it, but I have no idea how far I swam. Not very far, I just did a few laps between the groynes.

Favourite Line I Wrote This Month: 

“The sun sank. The boat didn’t.”

This Month I Read… 

  • Inventing the Enemy by Umberto Eco ⭑⭑⭑
  • In a House of Lies by Ian Rankin ⭑⭑
  • The New Orleans Voodoo Handbook by Kenaz Filan ⭑⭑⭑
  • The Idiot by Elif Batuman ⭑⭑⭑⭑
  • Comme un Enfant Perdu by Renaud Séchan ⭑⭑⭑⭑
  • Iron in the Soul by Jean-Paul Sartre ⭑⭑
  • From the Tree to the Labyrinth by Umberto Eco ⭑⭑

Guide to star ratings

This Month I Watched… 

  • Years & Years, which was depressing and yet I couldn’t stop watching it. The last episode was perfect.
  • Ranganation, which was brilliant. I love his mum.
  • Mock the Week, for light entertainment value.
  • Always Be My Maybe, which was a cute film.
  • Black Mirror, which I found a bit disappointing. Then again, it must be hard being a dystopian fiction writer right now.
  • Good Girls season 2, which is as well-acted etc. as season 1, but I’m not sure if I’ll stick with it for the next season because I’m finding it less compelling now that they’re just straight-up criminals.
  • Dead To Me, which was very good.
  • Jane the Virgin season 5, which was as brilliantly ridiculous as you’d expect.

And yes, I reinstated my Netflix account. 😁

Fun Things on the Internet This Month…

Favourite Words of the Month:

English

alacrity
amaryllis
amphibrach
anagnorisis
austral
carapace
chthonic
egregore
epideictic
fusillade
goggling
hobbledehoy
lachrymose
mythopoeic
onanistic
paean
phylacteries
rubicund
sardonyx
scimitar
simulacra
stertorously
topos
vicissitudes
vituperative

French

approfondir
enfoncer
enkystée
ourdir
pluvieux
pochetronnerie
se claquemurer
se cloîtrer
surnois
tamisée

And a bonus phrase:

Quote of the Month:

« Ce qui est étonnant dans cette putain d’existence, c’est notre capacité à continuer de rouler notre pierre [de Sisyphe] tant que nous en avons la force. » – Renaud Séchan, Comme Un Enfant Perdu

Bonus cat pic:

blep

That’s it from me! How’s your month been?

Other round-ups from this year: January | February | March | April | May

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