Monthly Round-Up: June 2019

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:




se claquemurer
se cloîtrer

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?

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


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