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
- Beginning the month at the Magickal Women Conference.
- 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…
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 ⭑⭑
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…
- How a two-year-old solves the trolley problem
- Forty minutes of a ship in a storm in the North Sea
- How to compliment a disabled person
- An excellent guide to fantasy vs. magic realism
- Drink champagne with your fries
- The most stereotypically French way to incite civil unrest
- Latin translations of popular songs, including Old Macdonald Had A Farm and the Hokey Cokey
- Helpful if you could use some deep breathing
Favourite Words of the Month:
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:
That’s it from me! How’s your month been?